Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«53 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


b0nes posted:

Any of you guys remember a series of T-shirts in the 80's which featured all these different fighter jets on them in wireframe, with a black background? I REALLY want one of those.

I had an F-15 one and an A-10 one.

I guess I need to represent. The E-3 is not sexy at all, is a maintainer's nightmare, smoky as gently caress, and the engines sound like banshees, but drat if it doesn't get the job done.

This is an old picture, 70s thru mid-90s.


This was taken at the Langley airshow 2008 from the cockpit of the Memphis Belle. The crew of the Belle were awesome, they let us crawl all over inside, and put our squadron zap (sticker) on the starboard cargo(?) door.


Preoptopus posted:

And more recently, the Sukhoi - PAK-FA t 50

It can do some crazy poo poo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22fN4fVoFdY&feature=fvw


Not yet it can't. They haven't finished developing the radar. They can't build it's engines yet. It's not a very stealthy design (the inlets are straight, for gently caress's sake!). It doesn't have any RAM coating yet.

This is not the full-up jet. This is the prototype. The closest analogy would be the YF-22 in 1991...except it had engines, RAM, etc. Whatever they have for sale in 2015-17 will NOT be a fifth-gen fighter. They have too far to go to finish this one off for it to be there that fast.

Don't take this as bashing, this plane is likely to be bad rear end. It looks pretty sweet, and I think once they finish refining it it's going to be awesome. Sukhoi builds outstanding airplanes, and they're usually dead sexy.

Godholio fucked around with this message at 00:31 on Mar 9, 2010

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


DerDestroyer posted:

I too have a thing for Soviet fighters and interceptors. I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the Mig-31 Foxhound. Speaking of which does anyone have an idea of whether it turned out to be more capable than its predecessor the '25? I heard that Zalson radar it has was supposedly revolutionary technology.

The MiG-31 radar (Flashdance) is just another bigass fighter radar. It's not especially capable, or revolutionary, except that it is electronically steered in azimuth. That's not unusual nowadays, but fairly impressive for the late 70s USSR...but all that really gives is easier maintenance (fewer moving parts). The MiG-31 is better than the -25, though. The second crewmember gives the pilot the opportunity to pay more attention to flying the airplane (very important in the terribly-designed Russian cockpits), and it just had a bunch of improvements. The USSR advanced a fair amount in electronics and avionics between the two planes. Not high-tech, and not especially good at anything in particular, it's still a fast loving interceptor that can ruin a B-52's day (maybe a B-58's day, that'd be cool to see play out).

quote:

The way I see it, I think that the exported models were inferior to what the Russians actually use in their armed forces and also they were never meant to be deployed the way they were by the 3rd world countries that used them. I think to really benefit from a Mig-29 you need an army of mechanics to ensure it's well maintained and you need good ground support in the form of radar etc and maybe an AWACS. Many nations couldn't afford that so the Mig was a flop since the opponents it ran into usually had those things.

Yes, export models were almost always inferior. A lot of them would have the previous generation radar, RWR, low-end missiles, etc. There's been a lot more parity over the past couple of decades though. Russia doesn't have the best MiG-29s anymore. Hell, India's MiG-21 Bison is probably better than the average Russian Fulcrum.

When you compare fighter aircraft, the public generally looks at the wrong things. Cobra maneuvers and vertical stalls are not going to win the fight. Your chance of victory would almost be better if you flew into the ground hoping the enemy would follow you in. Having a radar capable to tracking a target at long range and a missile capable of engaging at long range will give you the edge. Maneuverability is a defensive capability...you want maneuverability so you can degrade the enemy's ability to engage you at range. Maneuverability isn't necessarily a game changer...low observability is. If you can deny the enemy the ability to even SEE you, you can get in close and take your shots. Chances are you'll force him into a defensive maneuver, in which case he's just eliminated his ability to retaliate. Congrats, you win.

Taking 5th generation fighters out of the equation, I'd take a Boeing 747 with a good radar (an APG-70 or newer -63 variant), and a missile with a 50 nm effective range against anything the Russian AF currently flies, and I'll feel pretty good doing it. I'll take radar and range over aesthetics and airshows ANY day.

Godholio fucked around with this message at 22:32 on Mar 10, 2010

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


DerDestroyer posted:

What can they do with flattened lumps of scrap from the F-117 anyway? Isn't the F-117 retired now?

Yeah, but there's like a 10 year gap between the shoot down and the retirement. Russia is also designing their first stealth aircraft. I wouldn't be surprised if they learned something from the wreckage, Vietnam-era design or not.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


TimingBelt posted:


A very bizzare statistic is the fact that a flying museum-piece Mig-25 shot down an F-18 in the opening hours of desert storm using a 1960's-era Bisnovat Long range missle.

Does anybody have any further details about this incident? Did the Mig survive the war?

If it did survive the war, it would've been buried a few years later.

I've actually looked around online and haven't been able to find anything concrete. There's a solid chance a MiG-25 is what shot down Scott Speicher, but it's not definitive...the initial report said it was a SAM, but his wingman is quoted saying it was a MiG. There was another F/A-18 lost in the Gulf War, but no details at all on how. Maybe someone else has more info?

quote:

Also for fighter buffs, this is kind of specific, what was the last confirmed air kill for the USAF( or any modern air force) that was achieved by using the plane's Cannon?

Not exactly what you're looking for, but an A-10 shot down a helicopter with the GAU-8 in Desert Storm. Aside from that, I think the last one was Vietnam. The USAF and Navy both prefer to engage at longer range, and the AIM-120 and post-Vietnam AIM-7 missiles have been pretty drat good. Desert Storm and Allied Force were all missile kills (aside from the A-10). The RAF hasn't had one in quite a while...I remember reading about an almost-dogfight in the Falklands, but the other plane got out of there and avoided dying.


Edit: Clearly, it's a keg of Blackbirds.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Advent Horizon posted:

I saw one crash while standing next to a kid whose dad was on board. That was not a good day.

You were at Elmendorf? Yeah, there have been 2 Class-A mishaps resulting the loss of an aircraft. Yukla 27 ingested a flock of canadian geese and lost two engines immediately after leaving the ground, too late to abort. They tried to go around for an immediate emergency landing, but only made it about 2 miles before going down into a wooded area. 24 on board. The other loss was not long after. A NATO E-3 drove off the end of the runway after the pilot decided to abort after hitting v1...there were birds in the area and Yukla was still fresh in everyone's mind. The airframe buckled after it plowed off the runway an into a body of water...the most serious injury was a broken leg, in the area of the cabin where the frame bent to the side.

The recent Nellis incident was probably Class-A (I can't imagine it being cheaper) but there were no major injuries and the aircraft is being repaired.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Advent Horizon posted:

I wasn't at Elmendorf, I grew up in Eagle River. It's a small town/sorta suburb just north of Elmendorf AFB/Ford Richardson. I was in 7th grade at the time.

I can't find too many pictures online, but I distinctly remember the shape of the wreckage field. I've camped less than a mile from there several times. It shook up a lot of people in the area.

I bet. It's a big plane, and 24 people on a military aircraft is a lot. The E-3 was and still an aircraft with one of the best safety records in the world. There's something like 65 or 70 of them in the world, and two have been lost...neither through the fault of the aircraft. There was just no way for Yukla to recover, and the NATO crash was what I would call pilot error. Aside from Yukla there's never been a fatality in the aircraft.

I've never found pictures of the wreckage, just the scorched area where 80k lbs of fuel turned everything to ash. Pretty sobering, especially the color version.


VikingSkull posted:

That could be true, too. I'm of the opinion that it was dropped because the Serbs were very public with how it was downed, it wasn't a lucky shot.

wiki:


Most missiles can't be targeted using LPRF radar. They might be able to see there's something there, but it's not NEARLY accurate enough to guide a missile into the kill radius. The SA-3 does have a very effective optical guidance, and the USAF was flying the same route at the same time every loving day.

Godholio fucked around with this message at 23:45 on Mar 11, 2010

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Mr.Peabody posted:

Pilots don't rely on radar during dogfights, it's visual identification. That's why they have such nice big canopies on fighters. Radar is great when a target is out of visual range, but once in visual range, it's a lot better to look at them than watch your radar screen.

Guns are also radar guided.

decahedron posted:

It ain't WWII. If you're making strafing passes with your F-15, once again, you are doing it wrong. The military has aircraft and helicopters designed specifically for strafing. They use cannons. They're also slow and have good loiter time because that is important for ground attack aircraft. Strike versions of the F-15 and F-16 use guided munitions, not their twirly peashooters.


Strafing is most definitely used in-theater. We lost an F-15E in a strafing accident last year.

decahedron posted:


edit: I get your point, but the whole scenario here is that BOTH aircraft are very stealthy so they're both effectively radar blind. That makes it very difficult to accomplish really anything at all, as far as I can tell, which is why I talked about a reversion to Great War type engagements but way, way loving fast.

The T-50 is not "very stealthy." It's got a lower RCS than a Flanker, for example, but it's not even in the same realm as the F-35, much less the F-22. At a head-on aspect any US fighter will have no problem seeing it at BVR ranges unless Sukhoi significantly alters the design...which they certainly could do. The plane we all saw fly a couple of weeks ago is basically at the 1991-95 YF-22 stage.

Godholio fucked around with this message at 23:24 on Mar 12, 2010

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Preoptopus posted:

posted it already but no one noticed.

I noticed, and I almost stopped watching out of sheer jealousy. But then they actually got to where the sky above is no longer blue and I couldn't look away.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


orange lime posted:

Landing is accomplished by having a high-powered chase car (Buick Wildcats back in the 60s and 70s) follow the plane along the runway and maneuver under one wing. The pilot drops the wing and it latches onto the roof of the car until the pogos can be reinstalled.

In 2008 I saw them using a mix of 4th-generation Z28 Camaros and 2000-something GTOs. Last summer it was all GTOs.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


dietcokefiend posted:

What the gently caress... the pilot is wearing glasses??!?! Since when was that allowed

Pretty much forever. To be a pilot, the requirement is 20/70, nav is 20/200, abm is 20/400. All have to be correctable to 20/20 and not have any serious injuries, scratches, or astigmatism (some astigmatism is ok).

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Fake dogfights (BFM) is pretty standard training. It's a loving BLAST, too. There's also a lot of BVR (beyond visual range...ie, radar & missile work) too. I'm surprised it's low enough for you to actually see it. It's usually way too high.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Slide Hammer posted:

Are they like laser tag? Does the aggressor "shoot" at the target and both planes calculate whether the target plane gets hit or not? Or is it just a lot of maneouvering.

It depends where they are. There's very good performance data on how missiles act and perform, and the pilots know the basic parameters a "good" shot needs. They also know how the enemy can defeat certain shots...put these together, and you have a good idea if A) your shot was valid, and B) the enemy's maneuvers could have defeated it. It's math, but they use vague and simple numbers so they actually decide real-time. Some bases (Nellis, Tyndall, MCAS Yuma, for a few examples) are equipped with tracking pods that make all this MUCH more precise...in large exercises (Red Flag) there are range controllers whose only jobs are monitoring for safety and scoring kills (this requires pilots to actually call their shots and missile impact times). After the fight there will be a massive shot validation debrief, where you sit and watch the whole thing recorded by the pods, where every shot is assessed. If the range controllers gently caress up they pay $5...likewise for a pilot who doesn't bring his info. I've never seen the ACMI pods used to score a BFM fight.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


VikingSkull posted:

It's not inherently more dangerous because of the speed, more like it's easier to lose a prop and a heavy machine gun can do that easily.

Besides, when the A-10 exists and is filling the role already, it's doubtful any prop based program is going to gain traction in the Pentagon. Wouldn't the A-10 carry more weapons and loiter longer than a prop plane that isn't ridiculously big?

There are only so many A-10s to go around, and they're getting up there in years/flight hours. We're not going to build more of them, so what's next?

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Fortunately that's 15 years away, maybe more.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Pretty Little Rainbow posted:

Gunships pretty much do this job but better already.

When they're available.

Fake edit; Unless you're talking about helicopter gunships, not AC-130s...which you probably are. Considering how readily people call for air support, I'd expect everyone to be on board with having more assets. Nobody's going to clamp down on the guys who call for help and tell them to be more judicious. In the meantime, assets are being tasked and are now unavailable for others, plus all the fuel wasted, etc etc.

Affordable airframes capable of supplementing organic air support and current Air Force/Navy CAS assets is a GOOD thing.

Real edit: Not to say that plane's the perfect solution, but the days of the AF getting the funding it needs are long gone. We'll take what we can get.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


amtrak450 posted:

Does anyone know if there are any editions of Sled Driver that don't cost a shitload? The current edition is going for ~$400.

Why the hell is this book not being re-released? Obviously the demand is there.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


FullMetalJacket posted:

tooling required for special parts, a factory to build them in

Yeah, all that poo poo is gone, and Fairchild folded years ago (and somehow wasn't bought by Boeing). Plus costs have gone up since the mid 70s. A new A-10 would probably run $50 million or more, plus start-up costs.

Flint Ironstag posted:

Here is a mention. I "shot" one of those down at CAX once. As a door gunner on a Ch-53E of all things. I still don't really believe it, though.


This wasn't at a Red Flag like 2 years ago, was it? This happened at a flag I went to as well...I thought it was a Pave Hawk or maybe a Blackhawk shooting at a Tornado, but over a year and a half I went to about 6 Red Flags so I might be mixing up airframes.

Edit: A 45 year old A-10 is not a good plane to try to land on a boat.

Godholio fucked around with this message at 03:57 on Mar 19, 2010

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Plus there are only two real options when it comes to American aerospace companies. Not many more in Europe, either.

Edit: For military aircraft, at least.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


orange lime posted:

I think we're getting very near the end of piloted attack/fighter aircraft. When you can put up a drone with the same armament, a lighter, cheaper and stealthier airframe, much better maneuverability because you don't have to worry about crushing soft human tissues, and the ability to fly it from halfway around the world so that your trained operators aren't ever lost...

I have to disagree. The technology is just not there yet to support split-second decision making and the amount of raw information that would have to be transmitted effectively to the pilot. It works great for the current UAS missions: loiter, look for something interesting, follow it, if it looks interesting enough kill it. But it won't work for aerial combat, and it still isn't as reliable as having a manned aircraft overhead in some situations.

And what happens when Country X figures out how to jam your datalink? Congrats, you just LOST the entire war.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


jandrese posted:

The F22 has 3 major problems:

1. It's a maintenance headache. That's never good for a planes long term prospects. See: the F-14
2. It's incredibly expensive, but then this was expected. The fact that we don't export it however only makes this problem that much worse. Having a lot of its jobs taken over by inexpensive (relatively speaking) drones is the real kick to the nuts.
3. It's designed to fight a war we are unlikely to find ourselves in for the foreseeable future. This is the killer. It's not like Al-Qaeda or Hamas are flying 4th generation fighters that we need to counter. Even China and Russia, cool as our relations may be at the moment, aren't going to start up a full on ground/air war with the US. We don't even have the cold war arms race excuse that gave us the F-15.

The F22 is an incredible fighter, but in a lot of ways it seems like a cold war relic. Like the war ended, but the people who were making the profit off of it didn't want to stop. At some point we're going to have to really start to think about shrinking some of these defense contractors back to more affordable sizes, even though it's going to be politically difficult as they start firing people in various senator's districts.

1. They're still working out a lot of bugs, but F-15 maintenance costs have risen a lot since the 70s. There's no such thing as cheap maintenance anymore...it doesn't help AT ALL that the F-22 line was shut down at less than 200 airframes. This will be the single biggest reason for high costs.
2. What jobs are you talking about? I don't know of any drones capable of penetrating deep into a double-digit SAM ring and kick open the door, or wipe out hordes of MiGs with minimal losses.
3. I totally disagree. We simply cannot rely on Vietnam-era fighters forever. Sure the F-22 was designed to counter advanced Soviet fighters and SAMs...well those programs are coming to fruition. The SA-10 and 20 will eat 4th generation fighters alive. And they're up for sale. Su-30s are among the most advanced fighters on the planet...some of them are on par or better than most currently-operational Western designs. The MiG-35 is no slouch. When the T-50 design is finished, it'll likely be an impressive fighter. The F-10 and F-11 are modern designs that are going to be produced in serious numbers to saturate the skies even with an abysmal mission ready rate. Russia, China, France, Israel, and India all have very capable aerospace industries and all of them are willing to sell their talents and products.

We may not be in a cold war, but we are most definitely in an arms race. And the problem with a high-tech arms race is that if you let the other guy catch up you are completely hosed. Without the F-22 we wouldn't have the F-35 (which is shaping up to actually be the disaster that people think the F-22 was), and we wouldn't have technology that's likely bleeding into other platforms as well (ie, future upgrades to legacy aircraft and missiles).

Yeah, I'm an F-22 fanboy. But I've controlled air-to-air intercepts and large-force exercises with every manned fighter the US flies, and I've seen firsthand that it deserves the accolades pilots heap on it.

Godholio fucked around with this message at 23:04 on Mar 19, 2010

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Angelfire? Really?

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Schindler's Fist posted:

Re: A-10 lifetime, iirc there is a fair quantity of A-10's still in storage in the big 'boneyard' next to Davis-Monthan. (I took the AMARC bus tour out of the Pima air museum, and I saw them) They are kept in such condition that they can be ready for flight in a couple of days - if Congress approves the money.

So, if too many get shot up or start hitting airframe limits, we'll probably still see some flying for a while.

The airframes at AMARC are the least-airworthy of the fleet, that's why they're there. These are the jets that have hit or are already close to the hours limit, have structural damage, etc. Pulling anything out of AMARC for service would require the most dire of circumstances.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Half the B-1B fleet has been retired, so they're definitely Bs. Most of those planes are probably nothing more than shells, they're routinely cannibalized for parts.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Nebakenezzer posted:

Given all this, I'm now slightly confused as to why there are so many B-52s still around.

The B-1 is insanely difficult to keep flying. It's pretty much the definition of a hanger queen. The B-52 is ancient, but still easier to maintain and cheaper. And I think it carries a wider assortment of weapons.

Puddin posted:


I'd love to see them try and land it.

I know I've been beaten by video, but how do you think it got there in the first place?

amtrak450 posted:

Late last week I made an inter-library loan request with my university library for Sled Driver. Yesterday I got an email from the library saying they received it. All excited, I made my way there today to pick it up. I get home, open the first few pages and find this:


Click here for the full 1382x1843 image.


That's amazing. I wonder if Sen Glenn knows the library stole his book?

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


The F-2 isn't a direct copy. The wings are completely different, and even portions of the frame itself. The whole airplane is actually bigger than the F-16. They can't just up and build them completely on their own, but I'm sure they could reverse-engineer those portions that are US-made. The technology is not too advanced by any means, they'd just have to figure out the tooling requirements.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


slidebite posted:

Anyone ever been to the Museum @ Hill AFB in Salt Lake City? Supposedly they have the SR71C there and I'm darn tempted to make the 10 hour drive just to see that.

It's about 40 minute north of SLC, but yes I've been there several times. Every time I visit family in the area I take my son there. He's 9 and loves it every time. It's actually a really good aircraft museum.

Head north on I-15 until you pass Hill AFB, you'll easily see the museum on the east (right) side of the interstate on one of the next exits.

Sterndotstern posted:

Wow, I wouldn't have wanted to be an SR-71 pilot in the late 60's. They only lost 4 of the birds after 1970, but lost 8 during the space race. Inlet unstarts are a bitch.

Actually, scratch that. Who the gently caress WOULDN'T want to be an SR-71 driver, regardless of likelyhood of death, personal cost or the requirement for complete secrecy? "HI MOM, I'M FLYING MACH 3 WITH MY HAIR ON FIRE AND IT'S GREA--- [static]"

Sign me up. I'd go TODAY.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


This sort of thing has been happening for a few years now.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Boomerjinks posted:

The best part of the Tu-4 story was the part where Russian scientists visited the engine factory in the US wearing specially-designed soft sole shoes, which they used to collect metal shavings around the different lathes. SNEAKY FUCKERS!

The best part of the Chinese Tu-4 AWACS story is that it happened in the loving 60s.

Edit: KJ-1

Godholio fucked around with this message at 03:24 on Mar 26, 2010

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Static electricity and a long exposure? Looks loving sweet.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


A-10 pilots are often Sandys as well. Some F-16 pilots are qualified, but it's almost always an A-10.

Edit: Obviously the A-1 did it more, because we had a lot more downed airmen.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


orange lime posted:

How do you rescue people on the ground from a fixed-wing aircraft?


This is actually incredibly relevant, since it was even a Skyraider. :iamafag:

Bernard Fisher is loving awesome. I met him when I was ROTC, he was the guest speaker at our dining in. The guy wore his Medal of Honor, and a leopard-print jacket cut kind of similar to the mess dress jacket, which his wife made.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Frosty- posted:

^^^ To hell with you. ^^^

KC-135 and an E6 or something? They're both based on the same airframe.

It's a KC-135, and the receiver is some flavor of 707. It's not an E-6, it has the wrong engines. I'm wondering if it might be a JSTARS? The resolution might not be good enough to show the radome. But the paint scheme is weird...honestly I don't know of anything that has the forward portion of the engine cowlings painted different from the rest; that bright white portion is really making me wonder. I don't THINK it's a JSTARS, but the US just doesn't have many 707 airframes anymore. E-3, E-6, E-8, RC-135, KC-135...that's all that comes to mind right now.

Edit: It's an OC-135 Open Skies! I've actually seen these before, too. Duh.

Godholio fucked around with this message at 00:43 on Apr 3, 2010

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Breaky posted:

Sure as hell is an OC-135... what was it doing over Scotland then?

The UK is a signatory of the Treaty on Open Skies. Chances are that jet was TDY to somewhere in Europe, and was getting gas either shortly after takeoff (if they were based in England) or on their way to/from the US.

My question is how the hell did somebody get a photo that zoomed in and that clear of an AAR operation...those planes are probably well above 20,000 ft.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


That's pretty awesome. Make sure you pass on what they are, that's pretty cool he got that shot. There are only 2 OC-135s in service.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


oxbrain posted:

Why didn't they just make the tankers able to refill off the huge tanks?

What huge tanks? All the fuel these planes carry is internal...they don't use external tanks.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


InitialDave posted:

I think he means why can't tankers be refilled from the refuelling supply they carry, rather than themselves being refuelled by another plane?

Ah...they do that.

The reason a tanker would refuel another tanker isn't because he doesn't have enough gas to get to his destination (unless there's some kind of maintenance problem, in which case he's going to divert wherever he needs to), it's more for fuel and asset management.

Scenario: A KC-135 has been on station for 9 hours. Most of his planned receivers cancelled due to terrible weather at their base. That tanker needs to RTB soon, because the airplane and crew both need to be ready to fly tomorrow. But the plane is still drat near full of fuel. You can't just bring that much gas home...for one thing landing an airplane that heavy will destroy the landing gears. The runway may not be designed to take that kind of impact. Even without those concerns, it's just plain dangerous. So the preferred action is dump the excess fuel. Basically the plane flies over an approved area and opens release valves to dump fuel...this happens high enough that the fuel vaporizes long before it would reach the ground. But that's a LOT of fuel, and that poo poo is expensive. Also, what happens if one of the tankers that's supposed to take off tonight breaks and can't fly? Now you don't have enough gas in theater to fight the war. So the solution is to consolidate what you've got in the air already, and pour that gas from the outgoing tanker into a newer tanker than can accommodate it.

This happens on a daily basis. It made my day when we had KC-10s in the air, just because of cases like this.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Frank Dillinger posted:

isn't something like this kind of an environmental hazard? I mean, dumping that much hydrocarbon fuel can't be good, can it?

Well, yeah...but burning it isn't all that great either. It's only used as a last resort. The environmental impact isn't any worse than if the tank is ruptured during landing, which will almost certainly ignite killing everyone on board and anywhere near it. There are requirements for a suitable dump area...I don't know what goes into it besides altitude, honestly. I know the fuel dump area out here isn't far from my house.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


orange lime posted:

Many planes put their dumping valves at the end of the wings, since that's where the fuel is stored. The F-111 for some reason (maybe because of the swing-wings?) puts its dump valve just below the vertical stab, between the engines. Which means that, using its afterburner, it can do this neato trick at airshows.



It's like something I would have drawn in fourth grade.

It's drat near criminal the Aussies are getting rid of these, I'm so bummed I never got to see this in person.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Mr.Peabody posted:

As an Army environmental compliance officer, I will interject that gasoline contaminates water at a ratio of 1:1,000,000 so it's insane to think someone would dump fuel over water as a matter of precaution. It would also have to be reported to the EPA. I can vaguely sympathize with field dumping, though the site would need to avoid run-off and be subjected to close monitoring.

Our legal fuel dump area is over a lake, so yes it happens. At 20,000 ft, none of it is landing in the water.

Manny posted:

What about bombers returning with a full load of stores, do they ever have to jettison before they can safely land? (i'm guessing there's an emergency procedure, that Boeing report was interesting to read)

In general, no. The landing weight should be enough to include armament...they just can't be full on gas too. For aircraft landing on carriers, they jettison prior to landing on the ship. In theater, if we had the option of using Navy aircraft for a mission or Air Force, we'd give it to the Navy guys so hopefully they wouldn't have to waste their ordnance when they went home.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Based on personal experience, I think it had more to do with how our planes have a tendency to break. We had a recent tail swap to replace a jet overseas...drat thing was stuck at Mildenhall for almost a MONTH thanks to an ops-stop because there weren't any tankers available. Those refuelings offer valuable training, and come out of the bucket of flights available for that training.

Repairs in foreign bases, even US bases that don't have that airframe stationed there, is an absolute NIGHTMARE.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«53 »