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About Chewey

  • Birthday 03/14/1975

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    Ashburn, VA

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  1. I totally see myself doing something like that when I retire and get bored!
  2. Touch/feeling is such an important human sense that it's very disappointing when that opportunity is rejected. I always opened my plane up and let folks crawl around it when I have the opportunity to show it off. It's pretty easy to scan all the switches to make sure they are in the right place before we get moving again. Folks will bag on the 4th generation fighters (F-15/16/18), but there's a amount of capability enclosed in those old designs.
  3. Yep, you got it. The Cruise Control you refer to is termed Super Cruise. The reason it's important is it allows the aircraft to be fast without burning a ridiculous amount of gas. Afterburners literally pour gas into the hot exhaust which then ignites creating a bunch of power...but it's wildly inefficient. IR and radar (therefore sleath) are 2 separate animals. The reason the engines are hidden as much as possible (look at the B-2, they are on top of the body) is to shield the insides of the engines from the radar. Engine internals are shaped to provide power...reshaping them for radar returns ruins their effectiveness at producing power. You can't really coat them with RAM, so the next best thing is to block them from view.
  4. The coatings are merely a piece in the puzzle of making an aircraft stealthy...as is aircraft design and flight planning to avoid threats. It's quite a complicated subject, and to suggest it's all about the coating vice the design is inaccurate.
  5. Actually, it's quite the opposite. The most modern US example of a stealthy aircraft is the F-35. From Lockheed Martin's advertising materials: “The plane’s shape is designed to deflect radar energy away from the source like a slanted mirror. Its surface is also blended and smoothed to enable radar energy to smoothly flow across it—similar to water flowing across a smooth surface. Other aircraft features that are difficult to re-shape or treat with radar-absorbing materials, such as the engine compressor face, are hidden from direct view by the threat radars. The plane’s conventional probes and vanes are housed internally to promote stealth." The coating is expensive and time consuming to maintain. It's better to make the design inherently stealthy and just coat the areas you can't incorporate stealthy characteristics into with RAM (radar absorbing materials). The differences in coatings used on the B-2 and F-22 or F-35 are significant. If was all about the coating, then we could just buy some more F-15s or F-16, paint them with some RAM and call it stealth.
  6. You got it except that stealth and stability are not mutually exclusive. Stability relates solely to performance qualities. You can have a stealthy stable aircraft. But as you alluded to, there may be some design aspects that are driven by a desire for stealth (i.e. control surface size/shape/orientation) along with other consderations (desire to carry internal/external weapons or placement of certain sensors) that may make the aircraft less stable. In that case, computers can make stealth possible because they allow for design compromises to enable stealth by electronically compensating for the instability. I think may have even lost myself on that last sentence...lemme know if I was too confusing!
  7. Satbility is a design feature that makes the aircraft easier to fly for a human. We currently have plenty of processing power and coding to enable an inherently unstable airplane perform like a stable aircraft using computers just as described. Intentionally building an unstable aircraft does 2 things: it allows for design features to be present that drive an instability and thus no longer require compromise in design and #2, unstable aircraft tend to be more maneuverable. If you think about a cheap go-kart...once you get the steering off axis a bit, it is easy to get it to the extreme limit (sometimes unintentionally) vs a well designed car or truck that seem to have steering that 'prefers' to be centered. The cheap go karts are more difficult to drive in a straight line, but will turn quickly which is the same effect with an unstable airplane (depending on the instability mode). Now you can correct that steering with a computer instead of redesigning the steering system...and as an added benefit, you get to keep the quick turning benefit.
  8. It's gotta be doing something really cool...or something really mundane that they keep secret anyway just to mess with everyone.
  9. I recommend pulling them and inspecting them yourself. If you see anything that concerns you, then replace them. If they look ok to you, then give a professional mechanic a couple bucks to look at them. It could save you from pulling them again in the near future to replace them. Given the damage that can occur due to those things, I don't mess around with my inexperienced eyes with those things.
  10. You will definitely see stealth incorporated into just about everything significant that the DoD buys at this point with the exception of attritables.
  11. I prefer to beach nose in if possible. I won't do it though unless I know the beach is pure sand. The signature picture was taken at Spectre Island between Pensacola and Ft Walton Beach in the FL panhandle. It also depends on the slope of the beach. If it's too steep then it's like running up onto a curb vs a nice slope that supports more of the keel. You do need to be careful about tides though. I had to get pulled off once because I failed to check the tides and it went out quicker on me than I expected...and I kinda lost track of time (that's the honest part of the story). I'm getting better at backing in but FL is pretty shallow with a shallow slope so it's tough to get close without kicking up sand and bouncing the drive off the bottom when wake runs through.
  12. Between them and the Russians just about everything we've built in the past 4 decades has a "twin" on the other side of the world! It's almost sad they haven't had an original thought in quite some time. Looks and performance are 2 different animals though. That said, 75% design effectiveness is pretty good, and some of our stuff isn't tough to copy...externally anyway. I wouldn't worry about learning Chinese just yet though.
  13. Thanks bud. The move itself went pretty smooth. Of course, that's likely because we did a CRAP TON of work preparing for it. Now I'm just living in what feels like a cardboard fort with boxes everywhere. It's slowly coming together though. Now I gotta look for new places to dunk 'Harmony'.
  14. Sorry for the delay Hatem, we just moved to DC (northern VA actually) and I've been slowly getting settled and getting things taken care of. I don't get a chance to follow aviation news as much as I would like so I enjoy the tidbits you throw out there.
  15. Like Hatem said, I'm a 130 guy. I've flown both EC-130s and AC-130H Gunships. Not Guard though...been active duty for 21 yrs. Got a few more to go. The movie looks interesting so far, but I'm hoping they didn't ruin a good flying movie with cheesy lines and a love story like last time!
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