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  #1  
Old 06-29-2008, 03:45 AM
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Default Aviation buff thread

Anyone else interested in aviation? I thought I might start up a thread to discuss air shows, favorite aircraft, stories, photos, pictures of unique/rare planes etc. I know quite a few of you on here are close to NAS Oceana, and if I'm not mistaken they do a pretty large air show there. I should check that out while I'm still closer to the east coast.

I want to go back to the AF Museum in Dayton, I was on a tight schedule last time through...and the XB-70 wasn't on display
My first "real" airshow was a few years ago in Lincoln, Nebraska, just a few photos:
Boeing E-4 NAOC aka the "Doomsday Plane"


B-17



Aircraft I would own if I was a billionare: (no particular order)
PBY Catalina, MiG 21, P-51 Mustang, B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell
B-52D (not kidding)
Cessna Caravan Amphibian (for those short weekend trips )
DC-3, F4-U Corsair
F-14 Tomcat (ok so this would probably be #1, but totally impossible to find...so sad most have been scrapped due to fear of the Iranians getting their hands on spare parts )
TBM/F Avenger (I know where one is for $250k )
I'm sure there are more that I can't think of right now

On another topic - has anyone ever been overflown by a CH-53 pave-low? I live up in the hills in the MD/PA/WV area...and once standing inside and heard this low thumping and knew it was a helo...walked outside...the thumping grew to near house-shaking proportions and three of these flew over not too far above treetop level

I stood there like this and almost had to go in and change.
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2008, 04:23 AM
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Default planes

Hi blue, I have a passion for A-6 intruders one of the finest low level attack bombers and too would love to have a tomcat. I thoroughly enjoyed working on them in the Navy. Closest I came to flying one was won a contest on the Enterprise and got to fly Navigator and took a cat shot and trap still feel the rush today.CNR

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  #3  
Old 06-29-2008, 05:03 AM
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Although never actively involved with aircraft, I've always had a keen interest in them.
We don't get to many airshows now, but I still love seeing them flying around.
Even that is something we don't get to see much, as most of the US bases closed up some while back (apart from Mildenhall and Lakenheath ), and the RAF is a shadow of what it used to be.

This is one of the Lancaster, when it was at our local airshow a couple of years ago.
With a Typhoon on the right.
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2008, 09:21 AM
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I love to fly. It is 95% boring and 5% pure terror. But the views are spectacular..........

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  #5  
Old 06-29-2008, 12:26 PM
kovacs01 kovacs01 is offline
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I'm and E-3 pilot in the USAF......does that count?
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2008, 12:36 PM
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Those Lancasters are brutes! And though I have never seen a Typhoon in action, I've heard they are quite maneuverable with those canards. I might have to add that to my "wish list" along with the F-104 Starfighter (though I'd be a little concerned with flat spins in the Starfighter)
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  #7  
Old 06-29-2008, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by kovacs01 View post
I'm and E-3 pilot in the USAF......does that count?
Of course! I think being a pilot pretty much qualifies you as being an aviation buff. Especially if you fly something with a 1-Megawatt radar
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  #8  
Old 06-29-2008, 12:42 PM
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the starfighter in a spin is said to be unrecoverable. the problem is where the spin axis is. when it spins, it happens to spin around an axis that is a hundred yards or more behind the plane. the farther the spin axis is from the pilot, the more G's he will be subjected to when it spins. with a spin axis that far from out, its pretty much impossible for the pilot to do anything but punch out, and even that is a chore.
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  #9  
Old 06-29-2008, 12:43 PM
kovacs01 kovacs01 is offline
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Originally Posted by BlueRhino View post
Of course! I think being a pilot pretty much qualifies you as being an aviation buff. Especially if you fly something with a 1-Megawatt radar
well it at least qualifies me to have trouble having male children or so the story goes
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  #10  
Old 06-29-2008, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by kovacs01 View post
well it at least qualifies me to have trouble having male children or so the story goes
Hmm...does the plane come with little rods you can stick hot dogs on that pop out next to the radar? You know...for those quick snacks...
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2008, 04:47 PM
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Default Here is a Waco CSO Straightwing on it's first run up in decades

My dad and I restored back in 1976. we had a hangar at the Orlando Executive Airport. You can see the wing tips of Big Red the first one we restored in '74.
We eventually bought an airport in Zellwood, FL. late in 1976 and named it Bobwhite Field. I will post another Waco when I get the picture downloaded.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2008, 06:55 PM
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I have a friend who performed maintenance on the SR-71. He used to talk to me a little since it was classified information back then. It did make me very curious and I read up quite a bit as a lot of the information became declassified. Now that was an airplane!



All planes have a service ceiling, which is the maximum height that it can fly at; above this, the air is too thin and the engines stall. No plane was able to fly to the height - 17 miles - or the speed - Mach 3.2+ - of the Blackbird; it was unshootdownable. Over 4,000 missiles have been launched against it, without any successes. So who needs defensive weapons or stealth? Not the blackbird. The enemy might have known it was there, but there was nothing they could do about it.


Make no mistake, this was a plane stretching the limits of technology. Some of the facts and stories around it boggle the mind.

Some interesting facts about the SR-71

Temperature:
Cruising at Mach 3.2, the engines reached a temperature of 1800 degrees. The frame heated up to 300-500 degrees. This heat is so great that the plane expands by a foot at operational temperature. Certain surfaces are corrugated to absorb this expansion. Most surfaces, such as the nose, cannot be corrugated, and have to be 'ironed' back into shape after each flight with a blowtorch.

Material:
The material used had to be titanium, as aluminium would melt at the temperatures reached. This titanium was purchased by America from the Russians at the height of the cold war. An SR-71 is approximately 85% titanium by weight; most of the rest is asbestos and silicone. Wonder if the Russians knew they were helping our spying efforts on them.

Spares:
Replacement parts were manufactured to fit 'used' planes - the airframe became so distorted by the constant heating and cooling, that replacement parts had to be adjusted or manufactured for specific planes. At cruising speed the black paint glowed blue, and the pilot had to sit in the cockpit for 2 hours waiting for it to cool down before he could disembark the plane.

Fuel: MPG? Forget it:
The fuel system had to be fitted loose at ground temperatures because of the thermal expansion, and it therefore leaked fuel prodigiously - a rate of 60 litres per hour, while standing on the tarmac. Blackbirds did not take off with a full fuel load, but took off half full before refueling mid air.

Fortunately, or rather *not* just fortunately, the fuel was also special. This is required primarily because fuel was stored in the wings, which reached internal temperatures of 260 Degrees. JP-7 has such a high flash point that a lit match can be dropped into it without igniting. The fuel wsa pumped round the plane as a coolant to take heat away from the high temperature areas of the plane, and was also used as hydraulic fluid to move various parts of the engine.

JP-7 was routinely washed out of the hangers into drains, until environmental concerns came into play later in its operational life. At this time, the cleaners discovered that coca-cola is the best way to remove JP-7 from clothes and hair.

Because of the high flash point of JP-7, the planes carried 16 doses of "TEB" to start the engines. TEB ignites when exposed to oxygen.

Engines
The engines operated as regular turbojets at low speeds, but at higher speeds they operated as a ramjet and the turbojet was barely used.

The clever bit is the cones on the front. These slow the speed of the incoming air down from Mach 3.2, which the turbojet cannot deal with, and divert most of the air around. They screw out of the way to allow faster air through when the plane is operating at lower speeds.

When the cones are screwed forward at high speed, they create a shock wave inside the engine inlets, which created massive pressure. This pressure forces air through ducts to the back of the turbojet, where it was mixed with a little fuel and lit in the afterburner. Whoosh! At Mach 3.2 58% of the available thrust is provided by the inlet, 17% by the compressor and the remaining 25% by the afterburner.

This design was somewhat unstable however. It required the shock wave to remain in exactly the right place, just inside the inlets. If the wave moved away from this position, you could get an 'unstart'. This isn't good, as you'd lose pressure and therefore the thrust from one engine. The way the pilots dealt with this was to unstart both engines by pushing the cones right out, then restarting using one of the 16 TEB injections. Much above Mach 3.2 this would happen consistently; operating at Mach 3.2, it happened on average only once every 3 sorties. The best way pilots had to work out which engine had unstarted first was to try and remember which side of the cockpit your head had hit first.

The point of it all
Was of course surveillance. She could fly 4,000 miles between refueling - finding the tankers was the hardest task for the pilots, due to the massive speeds. Once in action, she could photograph 100,000 square miles per hour. That's Bosnia in 20 mins. The resulting photographs could resolve a car number plate from 17 miles up.

Nicknames
Blackbird, Sled, Habu. A Habu is a venomous snake found only in the Ryuku Islands, which are a part of Japan. She gained the nick from the locals when it was based at Okinawa, from where she flew many a sortie. She was also stationed at RAF Mildenhall in England.

The End
The plane was decommissioned in 1989, although two planes that were previously with NASA were briefly recommissioned for the USAFin 1995. This was short lived however, and the last flight was in 1999.

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  #13  
Old 07-02-2008, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by kovacs01 View post
I'm and E-3 pilot in the USAF......does that count?
We may have met at Tinker. Sure would be a small world...Huh?

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  #14  
Old 07-03-2008, 12:32 PM
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Default Northwest mail plane

Waco stretched fuselage Taperwing, only two were made.
This is a ground up restoration we did in 1987. The picture was taken at Sun 'N' Fun
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2008, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudy View post
No plane was able to fly to the height - 17 miles - or the speed - Mach 3.2+ - of the Blackbird; it was unshootdownable.
I've only seen the SR-71 fly the once, in an Airshow at RAF Mildenhall back in the late 80's. Marvellous airplane

The X-15 did fly higher and faster, but that was purely a research aircraft.
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  #16  
Old 07-03-2008, 11:21 PM
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Default neat pics........how about a few more...

....my son in front of a B-17:

Pic #2 ..one awesome plane for sure....

Pic #3..how would you like to face this gun?? ( from a warthog? )

Pic #4..The warthog itself.
Pics taken at the Dayton Ohio airshow....see ya mark
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  #17  
Old 07-04-2008, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudy View post
I have a friend who performed maintenance on the SR-71. He used to talk to me a little since it was classified information back then. It did make me very curious and I read up quite a bit as a lot of the information became declassified. Now that was an airplane!
Make no mistake, this was a plane stretching the limits of technology. Some of the facts and stories around it boggle the mind.

That reminds me of a funny quote I read one time from an SR-71 pilot. I can't find the quote, but it goes something like this:

"I did Nebraska in 3 minutes yesterday. That's the only way to do Nebraska."

Having lived in Nebraska for college, I found that rather hilarious.
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  #18  
Old 07-04-2008, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueRhino View post
That reminds me of a funny quote I read one time from an SR-71 pilot. I can't find the quote, but it goes something like this:

"I did Nebraska in 3 minutes yesterday. That's the only way to do Nebraska."

Having lived in Nebraska for college, I found that rather hilarious.

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  #19  
Old 07-06-2008, 06:50 AM
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I used to collect aviation patches, bought a few at airshows and was given a couple by a neighbour of my parents, who was an airman at Lakenheath.
Many of them seem rather dated now, and some rather un-pc.

Here's two of them. The first for the F111, and the second for the F-14 Tomcat. (there were lots for the F-14)

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Old 07-30-2008, 02:46 AM
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I fly this 747LCF "Dreamlifter" for Boeing (first officer). Based out of Charleston SC (KCHS). It is used to transport sections of Boeing's new 787 "Dreamliner". While on reserve call out I take my detector and use it there to hunt for coins and Civil War relics. Im type rated on the "Classic" version of the 747 (100 and 200) also.


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