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Chewey

Just cause we have a bunch of airplane lovers

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What is amazing to me is how quickly we were able to take that technology from drawing board to reality and nowadays it takes a decade to make a new fighter operational. Too many politics and hands in the pot.

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Sadly, Mike. You're right. It takes ten years just to decide to build a bomber, then another ten for the politicians to tell the generals what they need or are getting, then ten years of bidding and more politics.

Anyway, back to cool planes. This is the video I had posted over on the fuel injection swap thread in the boating forum. These planes are still truly bad a$$, more than 70 years after they were built. Yes, there are many modern planes that can outperform planes from 70 years ago, but the WWII planes were to me what the Shelby Cobras, GT40's and L88 Vettes were to cars. Yes, there are faster cars now that can do everything better. Still, if hearing and seeing a GT40 ripping down the front straight at Watkins Glen at 140 MPH, or watching a Mustang come in low and pull into a terrible steep climb doesn't send a chill up your spine, I'm afraid you must be dead.

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One of my favorite tv programs is Black Sheep Sqaudron. When it first came out, I paid attention to the story line as much as the plane. Now, being much old and wiser, I pay more attention to the plane.

While I'm not tech savy to every moving part in these types of engines, it still amazes me what it takes to turn that prop and make that plane fly. Or any other recip for that mater.

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Hey Mike,

getting geared up for the Quonset Air Show at the end of May and the Blue Angles are on this year (they tend to do the airshow more often than the Thunderbirds) and one of the crowd favorites is Fat Albert and specifically the JATO take-off, but they haven't done that in quite a few years, at this show, anyway. But Fat Albert is pretty aerobatic for a C-130 and last year they did this low altitude fly-by I thought was really impressive. I've seen them a zillion times but strangely enough, never saw this maneuver.

Amazing the nerves to get that low in an aircraft like that, with props.

Ever do something like this with your Hercules? :) How far off is it from SOP? lol :D

Tough to get good shots with a little digital but how close to the ground do you think he is?

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Hey Mike,

... and one of the crowd favorites is Fat Albert and specifically the JATO take-off,

I know I'm splitting hairs here, but I believe the proper term is RATO. Rocket Assisted TakeOff rather than Jet Assisted TakeOff. They used (I think solid) rockets and lighted them at rotation. Besides, I mean come on, the word Rocket just sounds cooler too! :D I saw it back in the 90s and will never forget it!

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He's probably about 15 feet off the ground. It's not that far out from what an aggressive pilot can do normally. Especially in the variants I've flown (EC-130H & AC-130H), we're very heavy with a lot of drag, so we don't climb or accelerate very good. The requirement for retracting the landing gear is to have 2 positive climbs...that means your altimeter is increasing altitude and your vertical speed indicator is showing a climb. Once you reach that milestone, some guys will shallow out their climb in order to gain airspeed (benefits of that is a whole other discussion) and can even level off. Most guys will try to get up to about 50-100' before they actually level off on a normal basis, but somebody feeling froggy can stay in ground effect until close to the end of the runway before they start climbing again and no one will probably say anything if it's an Instructor Pilot and the crew trusts him.

I'm a big fan of doing this at about 5-10' (but with my gear down) in something called a landing attitude demo for new pilots. The Herc does not like to land in a crab because of the way the main gear are attached to the airframe so we work hard to make a wing low landing if we have a crosswind. Well, the C-130 has a sloped dashboard instead of being straight across and that combined with the windscreen bars makes for a funny sight picture compared to other airplanes which results in new pilots landing in a crab. So what I'll do (something I learned when I went through instructor school) is come down like I'm landing, but not actually touchdown and I'll fly down the runway about 5-10' off and kick the rudder to show them the different sight pictures of landing in a right crab or a left crab or the right way with the nose straight down the runway. It almost always makes an instant improvement in their landings if they are fighting with it. Then just for fun, I'll power up a bit, suck up the gear and flaps and try to use the ground effect to help me accelerate, then pull up like I actually have climb performance until run out of airspeed at around 500' and have to lower the nose to catch my climb speed. It's the little things that keep life interesting and me happy.

And yeah, you're correct TP that they are actually solid rocket boost engines, but for some reason we tend to call it JATO vice the more correct RATO. Don't know why. We even still have the switches and the mounts on the E-130H, but don't believe we have ever used them. It would be nice to have a bit of help though!

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I agree, great stuff even for us non-pilots but enthusiasts. This line at the beginning of your post reminded me of something -

It's not that far out from what an aggressive pilot can do normally.

Remember this?

This guy was a bit too aggressive but he was known to be that way, unfortunately.

The other thing I've always marveled at with this plane is the nose-down attitude that it flies with all the time. Something to do with the anhedral wings, I believe?

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Yeah, it's a balancing act when it comes to that stuff. In my opinion if you never push yourself, then when you get into a bad situation (which we all do) you won't have the skills, knowledge or confidence to get yourself out of it. Believe it or not, we're fairly risk averse in the Air Force...most guys are afraid to try new things because of people like Bud Holland (the pilot of that B-52). But there's a difference between smartly pushing your capabilities/skills and backing yourself into a corner with few options for escape. That's why I would never do a landing attitude demo with the gear up for example.

From what I remember from my Aero degree I got 17 years ago, it has to do with the angle that the wings are mounted on the fuselage and there multiple factors that go into it like deck angle during cruise, amount lift generated by the body at certain angles of attack etc. An extreme example is the Concorde. The designers wanted a level deck angle during cruise, but when it slowed down, the wings needed a very high angle of attack to generate the lift required. This caused a problem with the pilots seeing the runway over the nose, they canted the nose down for approach. One of my college professors was one of the designers. It was incredible to hear him talk about it in class.

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One of my favorite tv programs is Black Sheep Sqaudron. When it first came out, I paid attention to the story line as much as the plane. Now, being much old and wiser, I pay more attention to the plane.

While I'm not tech savy to every moving part in these types of engines, it still amazes me what it takes to turn that prop and make that plane fly. Or any other recip for that mater.

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That's one of the sexiest airplanes that ever flew! And I loved watching the Black Sheep squadron.

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There's two kinds of pilot one is old and wise and another is a foolish one. But you never see a foolish old pilot.

That crash was stupid, he knew better. But he probably had gotten away with it at altitude, not realizing just how much altitude he lost when doing it. Must've gave him overconfidence.

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I"ve watched that B-52 video a few times. What amazes me, is how much the plane banked before the wing stalled and dropped him.

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When you look at that 'Gull Wing' you can see why newbie pilots had problems flying it and getting accustomed to it, even when it was first introduced and especially when they were entering it into carrier service with the US Navy. All that because of the size of it's prop lol. Look at the size of that thing and compare it to any of the other fighters of that era, not even close. They had to be really careful not to raise the tail when on the ground or that massive prop would dig a trench rofl! :D

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I"ve watched that B-52 video a few times. What amazes me, is how much the plane banked before the wing stalled and dropped him.

Like Duane said, he probably did that before at higher altitude and didn't realize how much altitude that maneuver cost him. It was amazing seeing what the B52 did before it finally couldn't sustain the lift. I would not have guessed that plane could have done what he was doing with it, even before it stalled. Those are truly amazing planes. To think that they first flew in 1952, sixty three years ago! To this day, no one else has built as effective a long range, heavy bomber, and they're still an important part of our defense now.

I remember well an interview with Don Rumsfeld during the start of the war in Afghanistan after the 9-11 attacks. The B52's were dropping tons and tons of bombs on the Taliban and Al Queda positions. Rumsfeld was giving a press conference and a reporter was probing on whether it was right that we were using these planes to drop such heavy bombs and all the damage it was doing below. He sort-of screwed up his face, looking at her directly and said, "M'am, that's the point. We're trying to kill them."

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Didn't always agree with his decisions, but I loved the way he spoke plainly to the press and wouldn't hesitate to call someone out when they said something stupid like that.

We study aircraft incidents in our safety/CRM (Crew resource management) classes every year and this is one that was numerous times. Do a search for Bud Holland B-52. This was not the first time he did this at an airshow. Almost the entire squadron refused to fly with him because of the things he would do in the airplane. To give him credit, he flew the airplane to edge and back numerous times...but this time, he flew it past that and didn't have the altitude to recover from his mistake. He and the crew paid for it with their lives. It's a very interesting study as there are lessons for pilots, crew members, co-workers and leaders.

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I flew over a B-52 today, was pretty cool seeing that kind of 'Merican firepower go right below us. I believe they are re-engining them too.....with 4 biga$$ turbofans like the Bus or 737. Sweet

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Yeah, that's the plan. It's all funding dependent right now, but I'm sure it'll go through.

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Interesting to hear McCain talk about it when he was a VIP resident of the Hanoi Hilton and he said they would look out the window bars up to the sky at nighttime during Linebacker 2 when Nixon would order the massive bombing runs of North Vietnam and they would send in hundreds of these lumbering birds and every once in a while one would get hit by an SA-2 and he said they'd watch it spin in slow motion, all lit up like a Chinese firecracker and it would take forever for it to hit the ground because even hit and on fire, it still generated so much lift with those wings that it would just spin forever before smashing the ground. I always thought that description was terrific, yet very eerie at the same time.

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This clip is from Air and Space December 2014. An intersting view from a N. Vietnamese SA-2 operator.

"

For Phiet and his SA-2 crews, the start of the bombing campaign brought plenty of anxiety. “We all feared the B-52 at first because the U.S. said it was invincible,” he says. “But after the first night, we knew the B-52 could be destroyed just like any other aircraft. The U.S. said they wanted to bomb Vietnam back to the Stone Age. This was a mistake. You cannot use power to destroy the will of the people.”

If American military planners erred in choreographing the 11-night bombing campaign, author Phil Chinnery wrote in Air War in Vietnam, it was at the outset, when bombers were assigned routes and altitudes that varied little from one wave to the next. The B-52s flew above 30,000 feet and attacked in-trail, with a mile or more between each airplane. As a result, SA-2 crews were able to plot the B-52s’ movements without having to turn on their radars, launching salvos of missiles in the general direction of the bomber stream with virtual impunity. In all, according to Chinnery, the North Vietnamese fired 1,242 missiles. Fifteen B-52s were destroyed (the North Vietnamese claim to have shot down 34), resulting in the deaths of 43 airmen. Another 49 Americans were captured. Vietnamese officials reported more than 1,600 civilians killed as a result of the bombings and some 2,000 homes destroyed.


Read more: http://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/missile-men-north-vietnam-180953375/#deiy54OPM6v6mH4t.99
Save 47% when you subscribe to Air & Space magazine http://bit.ly/NaSX4X
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I flew over a B-52 today, was pretty cool seeing that kind of 'Merican firepower go right below us. I believe they are re-engining them too.....with 4 biga$$ turbofans like the Bus or 737. Sweet

What would be the advantage of four big turbofans over the eight jets? Greater efficiency? A new contract for Pratt and Whitney??

I'm a traditionalist, I guess. I like my B52's with eight engines. It's plain nasty looking. B)

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Going back to that old video of the B-52 reminded me of this one here from Afghanistan a few years back, we had a hue debate on one of the military forums about it and it's just inevitable that every once in a while you get a knucklehead who's bored to death and just snaps.

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