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Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



decahedron posted:

They should just make a new version of the Spad. Thing's a beast. Here's a picture courtesy of Wiki:



Sometimes I think the same thing. If the thing that's needed right now is close air support against low tech people, there's no reason why you need a airplane made from unobtanium. Hell, you could (theoretically) just use WW2 designs and get good results.

Also, I love this thread. I grew up in a small town that was basically just a airport, so sitting in on a big nerdy airplane conversation really reminds me of my roots.

VikingSkull posted:

loving largest plane the US military uses, largest plane "mass produced", and second largest to a plane the Russians are proud of but only exists in glorified prototype form. That's right, gently caress you Antonov.



Um, I think you are forgetting about the An-124. 20% bigger then the C-5, world's largest mass produced airplane.

Here it is with some trucks to provide scale


Here it is loading 5 APCs to take somewhere


Here you can see the internal crane of the 124, for loading shipping containers






OK, I have two questions in case anybody here knows the answer. First, an empty shot of the An-124's interior:



You see how the interior walls are covered in something? It looks like some sort of fabric. First, what is that? and Second, why do cargo planes do this?

Second, shot of the cockpit:



Note the fans for the pilots. So, world's biggest airplane, can lift 120 tons and carry 80 passengers at the same time, etc, etc. But it doesn't have air conditioning?

Nebakenezzer fucked around with this message at 21:15 on Mar 16, 2010

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Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



VikingSkull posted:

Also I get the A-1 love, but seriously the A-10 is doing that exact job right now.

For the Americans and the Russians, this is correct. But I'm a Canadian, so I was thinking about other nations who don't have close support planes, and that really, they are pretty cheap and low tech combat aircraft. Easy to make, even though I suspect you'd end up with something like a A-10. I mean, they used the A-1 in Vietnam when it was a post war prop design, and the original gunship was just a WW2 vintage Dakota loaded up with miniguns. Also, I'm sorry if I implied that this cheap attack plane *had* to be a prop plane; I was thinking that there are lots of late WW2 designs that you could just put back in the frontline, since the basic job is still the same. There was a variant of the B-25 in WW2 that mounted 6 50 cal machine guns on it's nose, which was used to machine gun merchant ships to death. Granted, it's a obsolete design today, but against guys who live in Caves and don't exactly have a fleet of MiGs at their back and call, I don't think it matters much.

Fucknag posted:

To expand on this, picture the AN-124. Now add fuselage sections, wing root extensions, longer wingspan, beefed-up suspension, twin vertical stabilizers, and remove the rear door and ramp. BAM! An-225. And I'm not exaggerating, that's literally what Antonov did for the 225, they stuck the required mods into the 124's blueprints, handed it to the engineers and said "Build this."

Neat, I didn't know they got rid of the rear cargo doors on the An-225. I love the scale of the An-225; it looks like something out of science fiction more then it does a real life airplane.







A special AI picture for scale:

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



ursa_minor posted:

An-2 Colt
"A note from the pilot's handbook reads: "If the engine quits in instrument conditions (blind flying when you can't see the ground) or at night, the pilot should pull the control column full aft (it won't stall) and keep the wings level. The leading-edge slats will snap out at about 64 km/h (40 mph), and when the airplane slows to a forward speed of about 40 km/h (25 mph), the airplane will sink at about a parachute descent rate until the aircraft hits the ground."



Holy cow!

How is this possible? Does being a biplane generate that much extra lift?

The An-72. Like most Soviet era cargo planes, it was built with a eye to being able to use primitive airfields. So the engines were mounted extra high to keep from sucking in dust and debris. In Russia, it's been nicknamed 'Cheburashka' which is apparently the name of a animated bunny with oversize ears.







Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Sterndotstern posted:

I find it interesting that, for certain roles like CAS, strategic bombing, and STOL cargo, bushplanes; the aircraft haven't progressed since the 50's. It seems that with the advent of the A-10, the B-52, and the C-130 we reached the Aristotelian form of each of these aircraft.

Are there any other aircraft roles that have reached their ultimate form? No one else in the world can field an F-22, so America has air superiority sewn up for the next decade or two. Now that I think about it, I can't see any military aircraft designs that really need revision in the next 25 years.

Are there any great problems in aeronautics that still need solving? Or are we done with airplanes?

Airplanes are one of those weird technologies that have aged pretty well. Things like the C-130 and the B52 are still in use, since having a flying platform that can do multiroles is useful, even today. It's similar to why some cars use *really* old drive trains; they still do the job that they were designed for, because the job hasn't changed. The 4L jeep engine is in modern technolody terms some sort of eldrich artifact, but Jeep fans would still buy 'em today if they could.

Guns are like this too. If you think of when the colt 45 was made, it's stunning to realize it's a pre-WW1 weapon. A lot of other guns still in use today, even by the military, have similar old vintages. About the only other bits of technology that have that kind of longevity are post WW2 metal lathes, (which apparently haven't changed since the 50s) and pedal powered sowing machines. (Not in the first world, but in places with spotty connections to the electrical grind Singer's god knows how old design is still being manufactured.)

As for the future of aircraft, well, go back to WW2 again. Jets were a complete gamechanger; brilliant WW2 designs couldn't cope with the Jet world. So all the designs had to be re-thought. If another major air war happened, then this would probably happen again.

Though I honestly don't know what you mean by "are we done with airplanes."

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Ola posted:

That capability was commercially available in 1976 and reitred in 2003.

Concorde is a good AI plane topic because it's a aeronautical example of something we've seen in cars before. On the one hand, Concorde was brilliantly engineered, and achingly beautiful to go along with its astonishing performance. On the other, it was a really stupid economic idea that was a commercial failure.

Oh, and it's really tiny on the inside


I mean, goddamn, I'm looking at the interior shots on Wikipedia and it looks about the same size on the inside as a CRJ commuter jet:

Like a Lancia Stratos, it's impossible to operate without mantouching





This toilet is definitely CRJ sized. It's the smallest possible space that you could have for a toilet.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Maker Of Shoes posted:

For anyone not familiar with AMARC here's a satalite shot of the "bone yard". It's unreal.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...067549&t=h&z=14

Zoom in and take a look around.

NICE. I found myself playing "identify the aircraft."



Up top are some old Orions, and the green airplanes are two A-10s. On the bottom are F14s and some little aircraft I can't identify. Also, I have no idea what those giant-winged planes are in the center of the picture. Just beneath the airplanes with big wings are some stout looking Jets that are a mystery to me. I want to say F15s, but the wings look kinda swept. Vigilante bombers, maybe?



Left: Shooting Stars? Seriously? They still are hanging on to those? Delta Dart, some Phantoms, some really old looking thing, like a British Canberra. Top are some twin engined cargo planes.



A-10s on the scrapheap. More of those Vigilante bombers (?) above. And some helicopter airframes, looks like Sea Kings and Labradors. (Erm, that might be the Canadian name. Like Chinooks with twin rotors, but smaller and older.



Wow, even some B-1s. Maybe they are B-1As? And some B-52s as well. Right: C-130s, F111s, Phantoms. (There are a lot of F111s and Phantoms.)



Lots of B-52s slowly being broken down. To the right are Starlifters.



Aardvarks and Hawkeyes and Tomcats, oh my! YOu can barely make it out, but the little fighters on the top left are Skyhawks, I think. They are so much more tiny then the F-14s...



Gubbermint business jets, and down near the bottom, some old Neptunes?

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Ola posted:

The square intakes (and wing sweep) are dead giveaways for the F-15, but it seems to have its tailplane removed. Vigilantes are huge, even bigger than F-14s.

I looked up F-15s on Wikipedia after, and they do have a sweep in their outer wings which I forgot about. Then I looked up the Vigilante, and it looks rather different then the image I was thinking about Shows what I know.

Did the navy ever have a nuclear bomber that had a twin tail like the F-15, and could do something like mach 3?

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



orange lime posted:

Definitely never had anything that went mach 3 -- there are only two air-breathing aircraft that ever did that, the XB-70 and the SR-71, and both were designed as pretty much the opposite of what you need for carrier operations. The MiG-25 could theoretically reach Mach 3.2 as well, and it had a twin tail and I guess could carry a nuke, but it was a suicide mission because doing so would destroy the engines.

No, I was just confused. The Vigilante and the Hustler are all planes I read about 15 years ago in those "aircraft of the world" books, and I was just getting them muddled together.

NathanScottPhillips posted:

Cool, highly informative post on the B-1b

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

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



An An-124 offroad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6bKCsJd2K0

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Boomerjinks posted:

edit: Ooh, top of the page. Time for me to post my "Airliners.net Favorites Collection 1!"


Canada bought a few of these not so long ago, and at the time I thought it was very stupid. We were also considering buying some An-124s from the Ukraine for $100 million a pop, which is literally half the C-17's asking price. And while the C-17 has good lift capibility, it can't land on rough runways, despite that this was one of the big goals of the design program. Is this plane poo poo, or am I missing something?

Boomerjinks posted:



Wow. What th' heck is that?

azflyboy posted:

Mostly, it's because the B-52's are paid for, they're reliable, and the airframes can be adapted to do basically anything.

The B-52 is apparently more reliable than the B-1 or B-2. As of 2001, the B-52 fleet averaged an 80% readiness rate, versus 53% for the B-1 and only 26% for the B-2.

Thanks for the detailed reply.

It's been mentioned a few times in the thread that newer designs are often less reliable/harder to maintain then older designs. Is this because the engineers building it are much less likely to have hands on experience? Or because design requirements have gotten way more ambitious in the past 30 years, or what?

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



MrChips posted:

What is even more incredible about the 747 is that it was thought to be obsolete the day Ship #1 rolled off the production line. The idea was the 747 was to be a stop-gap until the SSTs under development at the time took over passenger flights, with the being relegated to a life of hauling cargo.

This is a interesting point all by itself. Everybody in aerospace back in the start of the sixties assumed that the next big thing was going to be SSTs, and most nations with a big aerospace industry were actively planning building one. You can kinda understand why they thought this: if you look at the development of flight from the start of WW2 to the sixties, the amount of change was immense. The smart people just extrapolated the current amount of change into the future. It's a good reminder that even all the smartest people in the room can be vastly wrong about something, especially if that something is a future prediction.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



monkeytennis posted:

One of my favourite 747 pics:




This was taken three seconds before the 747 slammed tail first into the runway, right?

NathanScottPhillips posted:


Requiem for the Daughter of the Skies


I thought the Shenandoah was the airship built by the Germans for the US Navy, but it turns out that was the USS Los Angeles.

Speaking of which:

The USS Akron / USS Macon
The largest aircraft ever built by the USA

The Akron / Macon twins were the last, and most interesting airships built by the US navy. In addition to being only slightly smaller then the Hindenburg, the largest aircraft ever made, the navy twins were also flying aircraft carriers, capable of launching and recovering its 5 Sparrowhawk scout planes while in mid-flight.







The reason why the navy was still interested in Airships is easy to understand: while airships were being supplanted by airplanes in several roles, airships still had a few huge advantages compared to airplanes. Specifically, they had range and endurance untouchable by planes at the time, and had lift capabilities far beyond any fixed wing craft.





While we're on the subject of capabilities, here are the stats for these giant sky honkies. The Akron was 239 m (784 ft)in length, and was 44.6 m (146 ft) high. It was powered by 8 560hp engines, producing a definitely ship like net output of 4480 hp. The crew complement was 91, and the airship included sleeping quarters, a mess, and of course a friggin' aircraft hanger to service and maintain the scout planes. The eight engines were inboard, so they could be maintained and serviced on the fly (GET IT?!?) Useful lift was (for the time) an epic 72 tons, and both airships could stay in the air several days without needing to be resupplied. On their range and effectiveness as scouts, here's a good quote:

As historian Richard K. Smith says in his definitive study, The Airships Akron and Macon, "...consideration given to the weather, duration of flight, a track of more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km) flown, her material deficiencies, and the rudimentary character of aerial navigation at that date, the Akron's performance was remarkable. There was not a military airplane in the world in 1932 which could have given the same performance, operating from the same base."





The Sparrowhawk biplanes were originally envisioned as parasite fighters to defend the mother-airship, but this idea (in the days before radar) turned into the concept of the airplanes being used as scouts. While the planes would spot the hypothetical skulking jap fleet, the airship would wait over the horizon. As you can see from the pics, the planes were deployed and recovered by a trapeze type device. There was also behind the trapeze a second trapeze that a pilot could hook onto and wait when the crane-trapeze was busy. The fighters proved so effective in this role that the navy removed their landing gear, and replaced it with a external fuel tank, which improved the Sparrowhawk's range by 30%. While the airships were merely OK at scouting on their own, (to put it mildly, a 800 ft airship isn't the most inconspicuous thing in the world), with the addition of the scout planes, they became a stellar combo package that no other aircraft could match.











My favorite detail of these leviathans is, believe it or not, their ballast system. Airships, because they generate lift through displacement rather then aerodynamic lift, have several unique engineering problems. For one, lift in a airship varies not only by altitude, but also by barometric pressure. In other words, high and low air pressure systems can have a significant impact on how much lift the helium cells generate. Also, factors like temperature can add extra lift: heat causes the lifting cells to expand and displace more air, and cold does the opposite. (It's for this reason that both the Akron and the Macon were doped with a silvery paint, to reflect as much light as possible.)

To make matters worse, airships, like submarines, are built with a generous plus factor to their buoyancy, so a airship commander can deal with extreme weather conditions or damage to the lifting cells. But when actually flying, it's best to have your airship at least at neutral buoyancy, if not slightly heavier then that, especially for the tricky job of landing. (More on this in a bit.) All this equals a big headache for your potential areonaut, since in addition to having ballast for trim purposes, it also means constantly adjusting things to keep your airship under control. The WW1 German airship fliers dealt with this problem by just bleeding their hydrogen into the atmosphere. This of course begs the question why you wouldn't just light yourself on fire on the ground, instead of going to all that trouble to do it 20,000 feet up. (The WW1 German airship fliers deserve their own megapost, because if you couldn't tell already they were suicidally brave.)

Anyway, to deal with this problem, late model airships like the Akron / Macon had an ingenious solution. The engines were gas based, and the main byproduct of combustion aside from CO2 is water vapor. So, they condensed the vapor from the exhaust, and use the water as ballast. They could then condense more as needed, or bleed off ballast, as conditions dictated.









I don't know if you can make it out, but the Insignia of the squadron is a small trapeze artist being caught by a giant, fat trapeze artist.





Of course, even an huge airship geek like myself can't pretend they were perfect. They had several problems, one of which was to be fatal for both. First: landings.

Airships at the time faced several unique problems when landing. The biggest is that at low speeds, their control surfaces don't work, since there is no airflow over them. (Airplanes have this too, but typically they are on the ground by then.)
The Navy twins tried to tackle this with variable angle propellers: both airships could face their eight props in any direction along a vertical plane, which I guess also makes them the world's largest VTOL aircraft. Unfortunately having total control in one dimension is not good enough for a aircraft, so the preferred method of getting these airships docked with their mooring masts was 100 stout sailors, plus a couple ropes. This is not only not cost-effective, it proved spectacularly fatal to ground crew on two occasions.



Both times, the airship was caught by a gust of wind, which caused a rapid assent with men still hanging by the ropes. In the first case, the unlucky sailor fell to his death, and in the second case, two sailors were hauled up. One fell to his death and the second amazingly held on long enough to be hauled aboard by the airship's crew.

The main flaw, though was this:



Unlike the German Zeppelin designs which had the tails structurally connected to each other, the Akron / Macon had their tails attached to the secondary support structure, which was a series of rings which attached to the three keels. This was especially important for the leading edges of the vertical fins, as they were the part that was always under the most aerodynamic stress. Unfortunately, as designs were being drawn up, it was insisted that the tail be modified so that the Captain could see it from the control gondola. This was because experience had shown large airships often had accidents with their lower fin when taking off and landing, especially in a scary incident in Graf Zeppelin's round the world journey: when taking off from LA the airship was overloaded with fuel, and just barely cleared some high voltage power lines.

As you can see in the picture, this change also had the unfortunate side effect of taking the most stressed part of the tail, and attaching it to only the secondary superstructure, and not the much stronger support rings. This meant that the ships were vulnerable to high winds.

Akron flew only three years before her fatal crash. She experienced several minor accidents involving ground handling and the bottom fin of her tail, and was often in for repairs. The fatal crash was caused by a violent storm, which in addition to buffeting winds caused a rapid drop in barometric pressure, which in turn caused a sudden loss of lift. The captain responded by dumping all the ballast while angling the ship upward in a desperate attempt to gain altitude. Unfortunately when he did this, he was several hundred feet lower then he thought he was. In a smaller craft this might not have mattered, but as covered, these airships were nearly 800 feet in length, so the Captain inadvertently dashed Akron tail on the stormy sea, which all but wrecked his controls.

The Macon had a much longer and more successful career. The end came in 1935, after a accident while crossing the mountians weakened the tail section. I think I'll just cut and paste the wiki entry, since it weirdly reinforces what safe and durable things airships can be:

quote:

n February 12, 1935 the repair process was still incomplete when, returning to Sunnyvale from fleet maneuvers, Macon ran into a storm off Point Sur, California. During the storm, it was caught in a wind shear which caused structural failure of the unstrengthened ring (17.5) to which the upper tailfin was attached. The fin failed to the side and was carried away. Pieces of structure punctured the rear gas cells and caused gas leakage. Acting rapidly and on fragmentary information an immediate and massive discharge of ballast was ordered. Control was lost and, tail heavy and with engines running full speed ahead, the Macon rose past the pressure height and kept going until enough helium was vented to cancel the lift. It took her 20 minutes to descend from 4,850 ft (1,480 m) and, settling gently into the sea, Macon sank off Monterey Bay. Only two crewmembers died from her complement of 76, thanks to the warm conditions and the introduction of life jackets and inflatable rafts after the Akron tragedy. The two that perished did so needlessly: Radioman 1 class Ernest Edwin Dailey jumped ship after it had lost most of its altitude but was still high above the ocean surface; Mess Attendant 1 class Florentino Edquiba drowned while swimming back into the wreckage to try to retrieve personal belongings. The cause of the loss was operator error following the structural failure and loss of the fin. Had the ship not been driven over pressure height (where the cells were expanded fully and lifting gas released) Macon could have made it back to Moffett Field. Four F9C-2 scoutplanes carried aboard were lost with the airship.

Macon, having completed 50 flights from her commissioning date, was stricken from the Navy list on February 26, 1935.

So, anyway, I love these airships. While they were in some ways flawed machines, in some very special ways to me they are also magical ones.

Nebakenezzer fucked around with this message at 05:53 on Mar 26, 2010

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Slo-Tek posted:

The LA and the Graf Zeppelin were sister ships, and unlike many of their kin on both sides of the ocean, both turned in successful careers and survived to be retired and scrapped.

Wow, I had no idea those two were sister ships.

Also I have to ask about the 'Squirt' jet fighter: did it not get all sorts of water in it's jet intake while landing?

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Slo-Tek posted:

If it looks right, it flies right...which may explain why the soviet Il-40 jet ground attack aircraft didn't get put into production


If the Tu-22 was a spaceship off a flash Gordon type serial, then this thing is one of those background craft that you never see clearly

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Slo-Tek posted:




"The Cutlass could be made into a pretty good flying machine with a few modifications, like adding a conventional tail, at least three times the thrust, cutting the nose-wheel in half, completely redoing the flight control system and getting someone else to fly it."

Didn't John McCain crash one of these?

Pretty Little Rainbow posted:

It can run on diesel and take off and land on muddy dirty runways that aren't even.

That is astonishing. Wait, can't all turbofan engines burn diesel?

Regardless, being able to operate from primitive conditions is way underrated in combat aircraft.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



I ask this because I once talked to an aircraft mechanic in training about this. He told me that commercial aircraft engines could burn just about anything: diesel, gasoline, kerosene, etc. It required changes in the maintenance schedules (because, for example gas burns hotter then jet a1) and obviously you would have to burn more to go the same distance.

This jibed with something else I heard about: that one advantage to German jet fighters in the end of ww2 is that piston engine aircraft had fairly finicky fuel requirements: high performance, high octane, etc. But jet aircraft could make do with any ol' sludge, and get better performance out of it.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



MrChips posted:

I was talking with a guy at the airport a couple weeks ago, and even though he was purely an amateur photographer interested solely in taking pictures of airplanes, he probably had almost $100k of gear with him.

Jesus!

It utterly blows my mind how much some people are willing to spend on a hobby.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Hughmoris posted:

Might as well spend it on the things that bring you joy, you can't take it with you when you go.

True. And I certianly can't cast any stones at the guy, being a person with too much knowledge of airships and whatnot. It just blows my mind sometimes, is all.

The Mi-24 Hind:





The designer envisioned a flying APC, the Soviet command wanted a gunship; the Hind was the result, a gunship with some troop carrying capabilities. Armored like a ACP, the Hind was built to be safe from all small arms, up to a .50 cal /12.7 mm machine gun bullet. Like the A-10, the gunner and the pilot get a armored bathtub surrounding them, good for protection against anti-aircraft shells. It's also looks almost insect like with it's unique double-bubble canopy, which I've seen pop up as the basis for a few spaceship designs in sci-fi tv shows and movies.

More of that Russian anti-eyestrain aqua





Like the T-72, it was exported to everybody the Soviets were friendly with, and remains popular in the third world today. Also like the T-72,( or the for mustang for that matter) the cheapness and popularity of it has created a vibrant aftermarket upgrade industry. Here's a South African 'Superhind' upgrade kit:



also like old vans they sometimes have elaborate airbrushing


This one instead of a machine gun turret has four 30mm cannons


The biggest conflict it saw service in was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Pilots preferred to use it as a straight gunship instead of a troop transport, letting Mi-8s ferry troops while the Mi-24s provided cover The preferred use of the cargo area was to carry rocket reloads, or a mechanic, who could man additional guns added in the field. Pilots also discovered that the winglets provided so much lift that maneuvering in combat could be somewhat tricky; sharp turns would cause altitude loss.



Oh, and cool airship I came across:



The round things on the bottom are landing, um, things. They are like inverted hovercraft: instead of riding on the cushion of air, a fan creates a vacuum to hold the airship to the ground.

Nebakenezzer fucked around with this message at 18:59 on Apr 5, 2010

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



To spite Canada for not joining the Iraqi crusade, the USA changed its refueling plans for all the planes heading to the mideast. Instead of having them refuel in Canada, the USA spent three times as much money refueling all their planes in midair.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



This is a good argument. I heard this with the connection to the millitary buildup in 2003, so I don't think it's offical policy, or even policy still implemented. Just some petty jab from those would-be Caesers of the Bush era.

dangerz posted:

I've seen this thing at our ADP plant. It is as awesome on the ground as it looks in the air. The reason they did the vacuum bottom part is so it can land virtually anywhere.

Nice. Can those fans thrust vector in any direction?

Nebakenezzer fucked around with this message at 09:11 on Apr 6, 2010

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



InitialDave posted:

Anyone spending significant time around me will get to hear some fairly impressive rants on this and similar subjects. It feels like we've got a strange knack of taking seven years to do the impossible, then sitting with our collective thumbs up our arses for the next four decades.

I'm thought about this too. It comes down to will, really. In the 60s we didn't really have the technology, but we still went to the moon. Nowadays our technology is much more advanced, but we completely lack the will and direction to do anything ambitious with it. If the farthest planning horizion you have is the next two fiscal quarters, it's no big suprise that there are no more heros.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Muffinpox posted:

This is like explorers in the 1600s, they would come back with fanciful tales of monsters and dragons. Later on people went after the pioneers and guess what, there isn't poo poo that's exciting; the magic is gone and no one cares anymore when huge revolutions come in small pieces.

I think that's why public support cooled for things like space flight, but I was trying to make a different point.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



fromoutofnowhere posted:

C-130 Everything about this aircraft. Dad flew this as well, friends thought it was an ugly aircraft but I fell in love with it the second I saw it. Up close it's an amazing looking aircraft. I've got a shirt somewhere that has a small Cessna caricature looking all pleased with himself on a runway, behind him a C-130 looking smug, and behind him a C-5 Galaxy looking like he just poo poo his pants and his tires are on fire.

Thanks to growing up next to a CFB I find the sound of planes landing at night, but particularly the C130, soothing.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Blaster of Justice posted:

You're talking Jerk force (g/s) not g. 13g is nothing in e.g. a collision. For a very brief moment the human body can easily handle 50g and +100 survivors aren't totally unheard of.

Richard Hammond experienced 100 gs briefly during his crash, for example.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Ball turrets are crazy:



The B-24 was not as well liked by crews as the B-17 was, despite its long range and big bombload. Apparently unlike the B-17 any crew in the foreward section of the plane wanting to bail out had to get to the after section of the plane first; this included walking through the bomb-bay first on a rickety catwalk.

On a related note, I think the reason pilot casulties were the highest is because with either the B-17 or the B-24, if the plane went too far out of control, the G force buildup would make it impossible to move. So often the pilots would have to wait until everybody else was out, then make a break for the escape hatches themselves.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Minto Took posted:

Are you saying they were fighting the yoke so their crew mates could get out or that they were pinned in their seat by said yoke?

They were fighting to hold the plane in some control, so the plane wouldn't spin and exert g forces on anybody trying to get out.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



I don't get how people on Airliners.net get such great photos out of airplane windows



Also

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye





Story: a German BF 110 sliced through the B-17 with its left wing, leaving only the fuselage opposite attached. The B-17 made it back to base, though the collision killed the waist and tail gunners.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Godholio posted:

The original Hornet design competed (and lost) against the F-16 in the early 70s. The Super Hornet is a totally new design, with about as much in common with the old Hornet as the new Camaro has with the old. SHornets entered production in the mid-late 90s, they are new planes, and among the most advanced fighters in the world.

So out of curiosity, given that they are completely new planes, why did they keep the layout (and the name) of the old Hornet?

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Godholio posted:

This is the thinking that led to the USAF getting it's rear end kicked early in the Korean War.

A good point - if the likely enemies of the USA were upgrading to 5th generation fighter aircraft en masse.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Boomerjinks posted:

This is the greatest, most amazing pile of airplane porn I have ever seen in one sitting. I CAN NOT miss the next Edwards open house.

http://home.comcast.net:80/~bzee1a/.../Edwards09.html

drat, that's pretty. Shiny unpainted aluminum looks fantastic. Dumb question: are pyrotechnics common at American air shows?
Also:


Strangely enough, it's the Edwards AFB Raptor that's flying. Turned out the demo F-22, AND the backup F-22 both developed some technical problems. Good thing Edwards had a plane ready to fill in!

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Previa_fun posted:

Are those Westinghouse J34s?

Jet engine awesomepost: ( because jet engines fascinate me.)

(God I'm the eternal question asking child of this thread but)

Why are high bypass turbofans more fuel efficient then jet engines with a low bypass?

Also Monsters of internal combustion is an awesome phrase

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Sterndotstern posted:

High bypass means you can present a large fan dangling off the front of the turbine which performs most of the useful thrusting, while a smaller and more efficient turbine jet drives it. Since you don't have concerns over the speed of intake air being supersonic, you need no ducting on the front of the engine to slow it down, which is what allows you to have that giant loving fan to operate quite efficiently.

Take the idea of a turbo-prop, throw it in a duct and trim out all the fat. You end up with a modern high-bypass turbofan. You're effectively taking the shaft of a turbine and hooking it up to a big loving propeller, which is more efficient at converting rotational force into thrust than a turbojet alone.

Thanks for the through reply, that's been bugging me ever since I read the wiki article on the Concorde, and what drove engine choices. Anyway, to contribute:

Two Airliners That Did Not Change the World

But are still pretty interesting



The Boeing 314 flying boat had a short career: designed in 1936, it was made obsolete by the great leap foreward in aviation in WW2. But for a brief period, it was the last word in luxury air travel. The luxury was a bit of a nessessity, since flights were bound to be extremely long, more then twelve hours, usually. On a overnight flight, the passanger complement was just 36. But those 36 people were waited on by a full phalianx of wait staff trained in four star hotels, who served them multi-course meals made in a kitchen staffed with master chefs. Then, the stewards would turn the lounges into beds similar to sleeper cars in trains, and you could drift off to sleep to the soothing drone of its four radial engines.



"Unlike the typical rows a seats in most passenger aircraft, the passenger deck was laid out as a series of lounges with couches. As you moved to the back of the plane, there were steps up into the next compartment due to the curvature of the bottom of the plane. The couches were made into beds at night. The main lounge was transformed into the dining room at mealtimes."



Navagation methods was often by our standards ancient; the dome on the top of the fusalage is to allow easy use of a sextant. And speaking of the crew, this is the one place where the Boeing 314 had a large influence. Pilots up to that time dressed something like a cross between a mechanic and a motorcycle racer; due to the upper crust exclusivity on the 314, Pan Am made a new uniform, a cross between a suit and dress navy blues. Commerical pilots have dressed that way ever since.



The luxury career of the 314 didn't end with WW2; both Churchill and FDR were ferried around on the big flying boat at one time or another. By the end of the war, the days of the flying boat were clearly over. Only 12 had been made to begin with, and by 1951, all had been destroyed in accidents or sold for scrap.

Tu-144: the Concordeski



I think we've already covered that at one time everybody thought airliners were about to go supersonic. The USSR of course, could not be left behind, so the Tu-144 was comissioned. Though it had a similar layout to the Concorde, it was (naturally) much larger then the Concorde, and also slightly faster (at vastly greater fuel consumption). Soviet tooling couldn't handle the complex curves that the Concorde had, so the canard wings were deployed at low speeds.



Also due to the limitations of the wing design, the Tu-144 had such a high landing speed that it had deployable drag chutes, which is something that you don't see very often in a civillian airliner. A much more serious problem was the assembly methods.

quote:

In retrospect, the most fatal design decision for Tu-144 was the decision to assemble the Tu-144 from large machined blocks and panels, many over 19 meters long and 0.64 to 1.27 m wide. While at the time this approach was heralded as an advanced feature of the Tu-144 design program, it turned out that large whole-moulded and machined parts were bound to contain non-uniformities in alloy structure that cracked at stress levels well below what the part was supposed to withstand. Furthermore, once a crack started to develop, it spread very quickly across the entire large part, for many meters, with nothing to stop it. The same kind of catastrophic cracks were to develop from fatigue too.[30] In 1976 during repeat-load and static testing in TsAGI, a Tu-144S airframe cracked at 70% of expected flight stress with cracks running many meters in both directions from the spot of their origin.[30][33]

This, combined with the political pressures to rush the Tu-144 into production made for a frighteningly unreliable plane. According to wikipedia "Alexei Tupolev, Tu-144 chief designer, and two USSR vice-ministers (of aviation industry and of civil aviation) had to be personally present in Domodedovo airport before each scheduled Tu-144 departure to review the condition of the aircraft and make a joint decision on whether it could be released into flight."



quote:

Tu-144 pilot Aleksandr Larin remembers a particularly troublesome flight on or around 25 January 1978 that he piloted. The flight with passengers aboard suffered the failure of 22 to 24 on-board systems. Seven to eight systems failed even before the takeoff; however given the large number of foreign TV and radio journalists aboard the flight, and also some other foreign notables aboard, it was decided to proceed with the flight in order to avoid the embarrassment of cancellation. After the takeoff, failures continued to multiply. While the aircraft was supersonic en route to the destination airport, Tupolev bureau's crisis center predicted that front and right landing gear would not extend and that the aircraft would have to land on left gear alone at the aircraft landing speed of over 300 km/h. Due to expected political fallout, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was personally notified of what was going on in the air. With the accumulated failures, an alarm siren went off immediately after the takeoff with sound and loudness similar to that of a civil defense warning. The crew could figure no way to switch it off and the siren stayed on throughout the remaining 75 minutes of the flight. Eventually the captain ordered the navigator to borrow a pillow from the passengers and stuff it inside the siren's horn. Luckily, all landing gears extended and aircraft was able to land.[28]

For some reason, production continued until 1984, even though it was withdrawn from service in 1978. The withdrawal was the end of a nightmare of anexitey by soviet officals, who were so worried another crash would embarrass them that the flights that did go out were often limited to 60 passangers, to lessen the fallout. Of course, since the USSR didn't have to worry about things like environmental regulations, noise concerns, or even cost-benifit analysis, they could have, in theory, churned out lots of Tu-144s and been the only country in the world with a SST network.

It's probably a good thing they didn't.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Airplane youtube post

Russian Pilots: balls of steel

[Russian Pilots: 150 t in the mud(I know I've posted this before, but I didn't realize this took place at a Canadian airport.)

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Ola posted:

Here's a Russian plane that changes is mind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4DNEZbuivc

Have posted it before, but it's a good'un.

Why are people just wandering around on the infield

Also people who were fondly reminiscing about the show Wings should know most of it is on Youtube

I learned that the Su-22 Frogfoot can break the sound barrier when not carrying munitions.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



tripsevens posted:



Is this guy asleep?

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



CommieGIR posted:

Russian Prop Plane of some sort
http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/...ow/IMG_1932.jpg

Looks like a Texan to me. Nice looking CF-18, too. (The CF-18 of course being the Canadian version of the F-18. I think that means it has the Marines airframe, but the landing gear, arrestor hook, and folding wings of the carrier version. The Canadians kept those bits because they figured they were all useful details for primitive airfields.)

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



MrChips posted:

Apart from the lettering on the side, there are no meaningful differences between a USMC F/A-18 and a Navy F/A-18, especially when comparing the old A/B models. There are some differences between their C/D models, but that's entirely down to the avionics. As for the CF-18, the only differences from its F/A-18A/B contemporaries are the identification light on the port side of the forward fuselage and ILS that can be used with civilian ILS approaches (something the Navy didn't originally opt for).

A wikipedia article I read once mentioned something about "navy (f-18s) have extra strengthening for carrier landings." Oh well. Good to know.

Today I checked out the North Korean air force on Wikipedia. They have bombers (Il-28s) and lots of Russian jet fighters from the 1960s! But no fuel to fly them. Also most pilots get almost no actual flying time in an average year.

Good thing they spent all that money on the Raptor

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



oxbrain posted:

You don't need rockets to do that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfeMLQNe57E

That's astonishing. I love the extra large tires.

Back to waterbombers for a moment. They were using these things in the waterbomber role well into the '90s. I like the paint job.



Of course, they were eventually replaced.

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Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



DiscoDickTease posted:

Disclaimer: Some (read most) of the aircraft pictured are no longer in service, but they rock so hard they need to be pictured

Are they still using those S-2 Trackers?

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