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(Gizmodo)   Would you like to fly the most advanced airplane in the world, that doesnt really work? Neither do Air Force Pilots   (gizmodo.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, U.S. Air Force, Air Force Base, beta testing, airplanes  
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19566 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 May 2012 at 2:02 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-01 04:42:36 PM  

DoctorOfLove: The german's brilliant tank innovation? A 5 watt fm radio in each tank. No other army had thought of this at the beginning of the war. The other armies used signal flags being shown by a lead tank (which made the life span of the lead tank in battle really really short), or orders like "follow me and shoot at what I shoot at."


Oh yeah, I vaguely remember reading that. Didn't they also invent the throat mic?
 
2012-05-01 04:44:16 PM  

Marcintosh: CatfoodSpork: darch: Lockheed-Martin strikes again

They built the SR-71.

Nuff said.

Yeah. They built it. In 1962. That was 50 years ago. You can only rest on those laurels for so long.

Right, those engineers are DEAD by now and all that's left are some "tweeners", guys that got their degree between sliderules and computers.

Isn't this the ONE TRILLION DOLLAR aircraft?

Link

I'm pretty sure it is. Yeah I'm sure of it.

I'd just like to point out that for the afore mentioned ONE TRILLION DOLLARS you could cure WORLD HUNGER a few times. I mean actually cure it. To cure world hunger you need 300 billion so with ONE TRILLION DOLLARS you could cure world hunger, pay off the kickbacks to congress, the senate and all the world leaders that stand to lose out exploiting the hungry for their own evil ends and still actually make definitive progress against world hunger. After which everyone would be so freakin' grateful you wouldn't need the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX because people would GIVE us oil and buy all the GMO produce and cheap defective crap we make. Terrorism would be a bad thing of the past because the previously evil 'mericans are actually pretty nice guys now and then we can get rid of * * * LOST CARRIER * * *


*golf clap*
 
2012-05-01 04:50:27 PM  

WhyteRaven74: bemis23: (soon) F-35s

Yeah soon as in a few more years, by which point the plane will be more than a few years late. The F-16 and F-15 entered service exactly when they were supposed to, right when the contracts said they would. The F-22 was late and way over budget, the F-35 is late and over budget. There's really no defense or excuse for that. Hell the first F-117 was handed over 18 months after the contract was awarded. Keep in mind that when the contract was awarded it was based purely on the performance of the two Have Blue prototypes. Which while they looked a bit like the F-117 were smaller and substantially different planes. Yet Lockheed managed to do the design and build the first F-117 in 18 months. And it worked as promised.


The primary difference is that Lockheed is no longer the same company that built the F-117 or even the F-16. The factories don't house the same number of workers, and the vast majority of the work is now pushed back in the supply chain. What Lockheed really does is software+system integration, final assembly, and testing. Part of it is just the changing face of modern businesses, but the biggest part is the complexity of the aircraft. It's essentially the same difference between buying a 2010 Lamborghini Mucielago and a 1969 Shelby GT500 - both are powerful and capable, but one is far simpler. The electronics and software alone in the Lambo blow away the performance of the mechanically tuned GT500 internals, but at the cost of specialization of knowledge, talent, labor - all of which increases development time and cost while losing some maintainability and introduces more fragility. All of those negatives are traded off for vastly superior raw performance and the ability to push the envelope in newer technologies....a la stealth, over-the-horizon target tracking, etc...

Even Lockheed, huge as they are, doesn't have the people and resources to fully develop, build, test, deploy, and assemble that many systems and components in house. Back in the days of the F-16, they could.
 
2012-05-01 04:52:24 PM  
This guy will not only fly it, He'll take on the drones!

cps-static.rovicorp.com

Obscure?
 
2012-05-01 04:56:36 PM  

Evil Kirk vs Bad Ash: RocketRay: Lockheed-Martin strikes again.

Of the top three truly beautiful military planes ever created, Lockheed is responsible for two of them. They are of course

The P38 Lightning

The A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog)

And the most beautiful and magestic of any aircraft mankind has ever conviced, the SR-71 Blackbird.


The F22 however does seem to be a bit... lacking in it's grandeur.


Note: The A-10 Thunderbolt was created by Fairchild Republic, not Lockheed-Martin. Republic Jet's typically have hog as part of their nickname, The F-84 Thunderjet was known as the hog, the F-84F Thunderstreak was known as the Superhog, the F-105 Thunderchief was known as the Ultrahog, naturally the A-10 Thunderbolt II would be known as the Warthog.

Anyway these sorts of problems with new jet fighters aren't anything new, the F-16 used to be known as the Lawndart, now it's the most used jet fighter out there.
 
2012-05-01 04:58:15 PM  
CSB time,

Back in the mid 90's I was over at a friend's house. His dad was an airline pilot, and ex-military pilot. We were sitting around and his dad runs off and comes back with an old shoe box. He's going through old pictures from Vietnam. He finds what he's looking for, says 'you never saw this picture' and produces an old, now yellowed picture of an SR-71 refueling in flight. He was the commander of the tanker, and went back to the boom to snap the picture. The End. Not a great story, but it was pretty badass to see a photo that old of the plane refueling.
 
2012-05-01 05:00:17 PM  

mikemil828: Evil Kirk vs Bad Ash: RocketRay: Lockheed-Martin strikes again.

Of the top three truly beautiful military planes ever created, Lockheed is responsible for two of them. They are of course

The P38 Lightning

The A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog)

And the most beautiful and magestic of any aircraft mankind has ever conviced, the SR-71 Blackbird.


The F22 however does seem to be a bit... lacking in it's grandeur.

Note: The A-10 Thunderbolt was created by Fairchild Republic, not Lockheed-Martin. Republic Jet's typically have hog as part of their nickname, The F-84 Thunderjet was known as the hog, the F-84F Thunderstreak was known as the Superhog, the F-105 Thunderchief was known as the Ultrahog, naturally the A-10 Thunderbolt II would be known as the Warthog.

Anyway these sorts of problems with new jet fighters aren't anything new, the F-16 used to be known as the Lawndart, now it's the most used jet fighter out there.


Bah, should have read the entire comment before opening my big mouth.
 
2012-05-01 05:06:35 PM  

bemis23: Even Lockheed, huge as they are, doesn't have the people and resources to fully develop, build, test, deploy, and assemble that many systems and components in house. Back in the days of the F-16, they could.


If they wanted to do it, they could. And there's no excuse for how badly they blow a budget these days or being late. It's not that that they'd need too many people to do it all how they used to, they just have no one around to get enough of the right people. A handful of good engineers can run circles around a much larger group of less skilled engineers. It's why Kelly Johnson could do what we did, he was exceptionally gifted as an engineer and spotted other engineers who were gifted. That part of things hasn't changed. And for all the hoopla about how much things have changed, engineers have far deeper knowledge and experience bases when it comes to things like fly by wire and various avionics and flight control systems than they did when the F-16 came around. Plus the tools engineers have these days blow away anything they had when they were working on the F-16. Back then there was no way to design a part on a computer and then test it on the computer to find out if it would work the way it should. These days there's software that's as accurate as any physical testing can be.
 
2012-05-01 05:07:03 PM  

cptjeff: bemis23: . The F-15 airframes are end of life. This isn't "oh hey, we need some new wings"

I think he meant wings as in air wings. He's not talking about repairing old ones, he's talking about building brand new planes from those existing designs, with some upgrades, like they're doing with the F-16V.


Sometimes that's possible, sometimes not.

When they finish producing a particular aircraft they tend to break down the machinery and move the staff off to other projects. To bring back an out of production air frame you'd have to do the most expensive thing possible, which is to rebuild the factory that made it.

If you're going that far, why rebuild a factory for an old plane?
Obviously you'd want to design lessons learned into the next generation... but a new or vastly upgraded plane brings its own issues. Then there's the politics, which was the real Achilles heel of our military.

I don't think people want to reject the F-22 because its not advanced enough, or overpriced, or because of the usual mechanical failures that come with high tech jets.
They want to reject Lockheed because Boeing is ready to sell you an even newer plane.

/This one is sure to work.
/*10 years and 100 billion later*
/"Lockheed is ready to replace Boeing's failed newer plane with an even new newer plane, and this one is sure to work!"
 
2012-05-01 05:09:45 PM  

Arkanaut: xaks: That's one of the reasons the Blackbird was so expensive (100,000$ an hour, I think it was) to fly.

The thing leaked like a seive when on the tarmac (see above for explanation), they only put enough fuel in it to get the damn thing airborne and up to a circling C-130 air refueller. Then you dump that load into the tanks and stand on the throttle to heat 'er up.

A guy I worked with retired from Pratt with 30-some years, and was on the team that built the Blackbird engines. The stories he told on the night shifts were awesome.

/csb

Thanks for sharing those stories, then.

/I presume you meant KC-135's, btw. The SR-71 would probably stall trying to match speeds with a C-130.


In 1984 I was on a USAFA summer program out to Beale AFB and got to stand on the tarmac, literally track-side for an SR-71 launch. We got to climb on the thing in the hanger, and the hatch was open, though the instruments were all covered. The pilot told a cool story of how you knew your engines were lit because you'd feel your helmet go "bonk" against the left side of the canopy, then "bonk" against the right.

It looked like a bunsen burner on its side when it took off. A double-helix blue flame almost as long as the ship itself. I can see it like it was yesterday. Blew my mind. And yes, it was a 135 orbiting to juice it up right after take-off.
 
2012-05-01 05:10:24 PM  

DoctorOfLove: All piloted aircraft will be replaced in less than 10 years with a mixture of controlled and autonomous drones. Not only is the day of the F22 over, but the day of the flying fighter pilot is over. Fixes the oxygen problem.


That's all well and good until the farker goes rampant.

www.ivid.it
 
2012-05-01 05:11:58 PM  

JDAT: This guy will not only fly it, He'll take on the drones!

[cps-static.rovicorp.com image 275x410]

Obscure?


Will he give me a touch-up on my flame job?
 
2012-05-01 05:16:01 PM  
-Combat pilots want to be sent into combat
-We have been in 3 shooting wars since the F22 went production. Iraq, A-stan, Libya
-The F22 has been deployed to NONE of these AORs
-Combat pilots without combat time, dont get promoted
-Ergo, pilots prefer not to fly a plane that will basically short-stick their careers.

If this thing was dropping bombs on brown people and racking up service time, pilots would be tripping over each other to sit in it.
 
2012-05-01 05:17:02 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: I wonder if Sherman tank commanders decided they had had enough with being burned alive or blown to bits and just quit.

I don't blame people for refusing to serve in unsafe equipment.


Nope, that was the Greatest Generation.
 
2012-05-01 05:20:56 PM  

MythDragon: DoctorOfLove: All piloted aircraft will be replaced in less than 10 years with a mixture of controlled and autonomous drones. Not only is the day of the F22 over, but the day of the flying fighter pilot is over. Fixes the oxygen problem.

That's all well and good until the farker goes rampant.

[www.ivid.it image 640x272]


I still remember what happened when lions went rampant.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-05-01 05:24:26 PM  

iron_city_ap: CSB time,

Back in the mid 90's I was over at a friend's house. His dad was an airline pilot, and ex-military pilot. We were sitting around and his dad runs off and comes back with an old shoe box. He's going through old pictures from Vietnam. He finds what he's looking for, says 'you never saw this picture' and produces an old, now yellowed picture of an SR-71 refueling in flight. He was the commander of the tanker, and went back to the boom to snap the picture. The End. Not a great story, but it was pretty badass to see a photo that old of the plane refueling.


CSB TIME 2: Electric Boogaloo:

My brother was a radar engineer. 25 years to the day, he told us about sitting in an SR-71. In a hangar.

It was that Hushy-McHushy.
 
2012-05-01 05:31:01 PM  

xaks: That's one of the reasons the Blackbird was so expensive (100,000$ an hour, I think it was) to fly.

The thing leaked like a seive when on the tarmac (see above for explanation), they only put enough fuel in it to get the damn thing airborne and up to a circling C-130 air refueller. Then you dump that load into the tanks and stand on the throttle to heat 'er up.

A guy I worked with retired from Pratt with 30-some years, and was on the team that built the Blackbird engines. The stories he told on the night shifts were awesome.

/csb


Hey has anyone on here heard about how the SR71 leaked a lot of fuel? Those were cool planes but sure funny how they leaked, huh?
 
2012-05-01 05:32:56 PM  
So they are taking a page from video game companies I see.
 
2012-05-01 05:44:46 PM  
An ex B-52 mechanic on Slashdot was posting in the B-52 thread a couple weeks ago and said he witnessed an SR-71 take off once. He said the only thing louder was the shuttle and that it basically shot down the end of the runway then took off like a bottle rocket into the sky.

Maybe the other guy in this thread can confirm?
 
2012-05-01 06:02:09 PM  

Cyclonic Cooking Action: An ex B-52 mechanic on Slashdot was posting in the B-52 thread a couple weeks ago and said he witnessed an SR-71 take off once. He said the only thing louder was the shuttle and that it basically shot down the end of the runway then took off like a bottle rocket into the sky.

Maybe the other guy in this thread can confirm?


I never saw an SR-71, but I know a B1-B will shake the inside of your ribs from a few thousand feet away when it takes off.
 
2012-05-01 06:09:22 PM  

WhyteRaven74: If they wanted to do it, they could. And there's no excuse for how badly they blow a budget these days or being late. It's not that that they'd need too many people to do it all how they used to, they just have no one around to get enough of the right people. A handful of good engineers can run circles around a much larger group of less skilled engineers. It's why Kelly Johnson could do what we did, he was exceptionally gifted as an engineer and spotted other engineers who were gifted. That part of things hasn't changed. And for all the hoopla about how much things have changed, engineers have far deeper knowledge and experience bases when it comes to things like fly by wire and various avionics and flight control systems than they did when the F-16 came around. Plus the tools engineers have these days blow away anything they had when they were working on the F-16. Back then there was no way to design a part on a computer and then test it on the computer to find out if it would work the way it should. These days there's software that's as accurate as any physical testing can be.


What changed is (for lack of a better term), politics. Not just in DC, but in Lockheed and in the military. Kelly Johnson was able to do what he did because he was able to tell everyone who wasn't Kelly Johnson to fark off and leave him alone, and they would. As soon as he left, that control was gone, and everyone else involved in the project is now able to exercise some amount of control of a project. The engineers today are at the very least as good as the ones who designed the Blackbird, but they are saddled with a lot more constraints.
 
2012-05-01 06:14:00 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: I wonder if Sherman tank commanders decided they had had enough with being burned alive or blown to bits and just quit.

I don't blame people for refusing to serve in unsafe equipment.


Some did; they were reassigned to infantry divisions as combat infantrymen replacements.

However, first iterations of warplanes has tended to be filled with bugs. The B-26 was called the "Widow Maker". The B-29 killed the test pilot that flew the first copy. The P-38 and other fighters had numerous bugs that had to be worked out before they were combat ready.

/the difference now is the plane companies keep making money to fix the bugs they know exist
 
2012-05-01 06:14:18 PM  

WhyteRaven74: bemis23: Even Lockheed, huge as they are, doesn't have the people and resources to fully develop, build, test, deploy, and assemble that many systems and components in house. Back in the days of the F-16, they could.

If they wanted to do it, they could. And there's no excuse for how badly they blow a budget these days or being late. It's not that that they'd need too many people to do it all how they used to, they just have no one around to get enough of the right people. A handful of good engineers can run circles around a much larger group of less skilled engineers. It's why Kelly Johnson could do what we did, he was exceptionally gifted as an engineer and spotted other engineers who were gifted. That part of things hasn't changed. And for all the hoopla about how much things have changed, engineers have far deeper knowledge and experience bases when it comes to things like fly by wire and various avionics and flight control systems than they did when the F-16 came around. Plus the tools engineers have these days blow away anything they had when they were working on the F-16. Back then there was no way to design a part on a computer and then test it on the computer to find out if it would work the way it should. These days there's software that's as accurate as any physical testing can be.


Unfortunately that's just not true. There are a lot of reasons for it, including a significant amount of politics, but it's a discussion that is really isn't appropriate for this venue. LM doesn't have the physical capability to produce a product as quickly as they did with the F-117 initial contract. Those days are long gone now.
 
2012-05-01 06:22:03 PM  

Smoky Dragon Dish: Subby, isn't the F-35 more advanced?


Similar tech, but completely different missions.

F-22 vs F-35 = F-15 vs F-16

Also, the F-35 is ~10 years newer.
 
2012-05-01 06:22:34 PM  

Benni K Rok: Cyclonic Cooking Action: An ex B-52 mechanic on Slashdot was posting in the B-52 thread a couple weeks ago and said he witnessed an SR-71 take off once. He said the only thing louder was the shuttle and that it basically shot down the end of the runway then took off like a bottle rocket into the sky.

Maybe the other guy in this thread can confirm?

I never saw an SR-71, but I know a B1-B will shake the inside of your ribs from a few thousand feet away when it takes off.


The same buddy I mentioned upthread used the very same term to describe the Blackbird.

He called it the gods' bottle rocket.

His description was long and exceedingly colorful. But it boiled down to "going from wheels-up to mach 1 in about the time it takes a good-sized fart".
 
2012-05-01 06:32:23 PM  

Cyclonic Cooking Action: An ex B-52 mechanic on Slashdot was posting in the B-52 thread a couple weeks ago and said he witnessed an SR-71 take off once. He said the only thing louder was the shuttle and that it basically shot down the end of the runway then took off like a bottle rocket into the sky.

Maybe the other guy in this thread can confirm?


While I was stationed at Ramstein in '83, an SR came in once while things were quiet on a Sunday afternoon. Word spread around the base real fast. It was the only time one was there for the 3 years I was there. While it was there, the plane was constantly guarded by a bunch of SP's, watching everyone that would drive by in GOV's to get a look at it. Pictures give the impression that it is a rather large plane, but it actually is smaller that you would think- kinda long, but low to the ground. When it took off on Tuesday morning, the crash road around the flightline was lined up with vehicles full of spectators waiting to see it take off. When it took off it didn't seem much louder than an FB-111 or any of the F-4's that took off regularly every day. It circled around and did a flyover, screaming by with the afterburners on and it got a bit louder then, and was gone from sight in about 10 seconds.
 
2012-05-01 06:39:03 PM  
Out of curiosity I wonder what differences humidity, temperature and buildings have on the perceived loudness of aircraft.

Thanks for the responses everyone.
 
2012-05-01 06:40:41 PM  

bemis23: The primary difference is that Lockheed is no longer the same company that built the F-117 or even the F-16.


General Dynamics designed and built the F-16 for the first few years. LockMart took it over later.
 
2012-05-01 06:46:47 PM  

Cyclonic Cooking Action: Out of curiosity I wonder what differences humidity, temperature and buildings have on the perceived loudness of aircraft.


A lot.
 
2012-05-01 06:47:46 PM  

3StratMan: While I was stationed at Ramstein in '83


Where did you work? I was there 87-91.
 
2012-05-01 07:00:34 PM  
I'm glad my wife isn't working on that plane anymore.

Aaaand that's about all I can say about it.
 
2012-05-01 07:05:28 PM  
Love reading the SR-71 stories here... One of my greatest, clearest memories was seeing the SR do a low pass fly-by at the Reno Air Races when I was about 15... Time seemed to slow down... SRSLY... One of the greatest non-family/friend related memories of my life.... *chills*
 
2012-05-01 07:06:30 PM  

JDAT: This guy will not only fly it, He'll take on the drones!

[cps-static.rovicorp.com image 275x410]

Obscure?


Is that Deal of the Century?
 
2012-05-01 07:09:26 PM  

rocketpants: JDAT: This guy will not only fly it, He'll take on the drones!

[cps-static.rovicorp.com image 275x410]

Obscure?

Is that Deal of the Century?


Winner. I'm sure I have a dusty VHS HBO recording of it somewhere.
 
2012-05-01 07:11:54 PM  

YouPeopleAreCrazy: 3StratMan: While I was stationed at Ramstein in '83

Where did you work? I was there 87-91.


I was in the 86th CES, Exterior Electric. From Nov 82-Nov 85. Luckily I had already left and missed the fireball the Italian planes made at Flugtag in '88. My shop's airfield lighting vault was between the tower and the perimeter crash road, and we used to cookout and drink some biers early and walk through the crowd during the airshows. My Ex used to work a food booth for the O Club. We might have been in the middle of it all- although that day everyone was.
 
2012-05-01 07:23:18 PM  
Sounds like they just need a better class of test pilot...

i.imgur.com
 
2012-05-01 08:04:36 PM  

EWreckedSean: Finger51: The world's top 6 military spenders in 2010- the one on the left has two very large oceans on either side of it.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 320x250]

Not that I'm not a fan of our defense budget as is, but it would seem that before US military hegemony, you tended to have a lot more of those pesky World War things...


TIGER ROCKS FOR SALE! GET YOUR TIGER ROCKS FOR SALE! You'll never again need worry of tiger attack if you gain possession of this TIGER ROCK! Get yours now!
 
2012-05-01 08:49:16 PM  

xaks: But NO PLANE EVER CONCEIVED can take the beating that the A-10 takes, deliver THAT much ass whuppin' going THAT slow, and bring that many pilots home in one piece even with half a wing, half the tail, half the engines ALL shot off an over 50 traceable bullet holes in it.


Vickers Wellington.

upload.wikimedia.org

Damage to Vickers Wellington Mark X, HE239 'NA-Y', of No. 428 Squadron RCAF based at Dalton, Yorkshire, resulting from a direct hit from anti-aircraft gun fire while approaching to bomb Duisburg, Germany on the night of 8/9 April 1943. Despite the loss of the rear turret and its gunner, as well as other extensive damage, the pilot, Sergeant L F Williamson, continued to bomb the target, following which it was found that the bomb doors could not be closed because of a complete loss of hydraulic power. Williamson nevertheless brought HE239 and the remainder of his crew back for a safe landing at West Malling, Kent, where this photograph was taken.
 
2012-05-01 09:13:02 PM  

Benni K Rok: Cyclonic Cooking Action: An ex B-52 mechanic on Slashdot was posting in the B-52 thread a couple weeks ago and said he witnessed an SR-71 take off once. He said the only thing louder was the shuttle and that it basically shot down the end of the runway then took off like a bottle rocket into the sky.

Maybe the other guy in this thread can confirm?

I never saw an SR-71, but I know a B1-B will shake the inside of your ribs from a few thousand feet away when it takes off.


A B1-B will also shake the hell out of a C-130 when it passes over you by less than a thousand feet at .85 Mach broadside. Guess how I know that...

/Impressive as hell in NVGs, after you're finished shiatting yourself and restraining the urge to yell at your pilot
 
2012-05-01 09:39:06 PM  

iron de havilland: xaks: But NO PLANE EVER CONCEIVED can take the beating that the A-10 takes, deliver THAT much ass whuppin' going THAT slow, and bring that many pilots home in one piece even with half a wing, half the tail, half the engines ALL shot off an over 50 traceable bullet holes in it.

Vickers Wellington.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x468]

Damage to Vickers Wellington Mark X, HE239 'NA-Y', of No. 428 Squadron RCAF based at Dalton, Yorkshire, resulting from a direct hit from anti-aircraft gun fire while approaching to bomb Duisburg, Germany on the night of 8/9 April 1943. Despite the loss of the rear turret and its gunner, as well as other extensive damage, the pilot, Sergeant L F Williamson, continued to bomb the target, following which it was found that the bomb doors could not be closed because of a complete loss of hydraulic power. Williamson nevertheless brought HE239 and the remainder of his crew back for a safe landing at West Malling, Kent, where this photograph was taken.


Nice!

And not condescending, either.

But, with all due respect, that's one single plane.

Do several HUNDRED of them have similar pictures with pilots that shouldn't be alive, but are?
 
2012-05-01 09:43:07 PM  
As for noise?

Air Force farking One.

I used to live directly under the main in/out less than a mile from PBIA (Palm Beach International Airport, a massive airbase for the Chair Force back in the day). Close enough that if we were outside smoking, we'd wave to people looking out the windows of the landing or departing planes, You could see if a person was wearing glasses. Sometimes, they'd wave back. So, really gorram close.

Anyhow, whenever Shrubya came to the area (which was more often than I cared for with what these visits did to local traffic...) they'd take of/land a couple hundred feet over my roof. C-130s and KC-135s didn't hold a CANDLE to AF1. When that thing lit off in a hurry, I thought our roof was coming down. It rattled the house so bad the couch, with me and the wife on it, walked about two feet across the floor.
 
2012-05-01 09:53:14 PM  

Evil Kirk vs Bad Ash: RocketRay: Lockheed-Martin strikes again.

Of the top three truly beautiful military planes ever created, Lockheed is responsible for two of them. They are of course

The P38 Lightning
[www.military-aircraft.org.uk image 640x310]

The A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog)
[www.fas.org image 640x374]

And the most beautiful and magestic of any aircraft mankind has ever conviced, the SR-71 Blackbird.
[www.militaryfactory.com image 640x459]

The F22 however does seem to be a bit... lacking in it's grandeur.


Those are certainly beautiful military aircraft, however *cough*spitfire*cough* *cough*mosquito*cough* *cough*Me262*cough *cough*F-86*cough*

I could go on, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, etc, etc.
 
2012-05-01 09:53:28 PM  

Finger51: The world's top 6 military spenders in 2010- the one on the left has two very large oceans on either side of it.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 320x250]


Well China doesn't have to spend any money on R&D. They just steal ours.
 
2012-05-01 10:18:54 PM  

darch: Lockheed-Martin strikes again

They built the SR-71.

Nuff said.


Kelly and Heineman, and Jack Northrop. All aviation legends. We don't have those force of personality designers anymore, the corporate culture has stifled that type of design and what we are left with is mediocre design by committee products like the F-35.

Had Heinemann been constrained by today's corporate culture, the A-4 would have been an underpowered, overweight aircraft with molasses handling. Because he didn't take no bullshiat, the MD A-4 had the biggest possible engine he could stuff into the smallest possible frame. It became a nimble, affordable, bomb truck.
 
2012-05-01 11:06:18 PM  

firegoat: Senordos13: Evil Kirk vs Bad Ash: RocketRay: Lockheed-Martin strikes again.

Of the top three truly beautiful military planes ever created, Lockheed is responsible for two of them. They are of course

The P38 Lightning
[www.military-aircraft.org.uk image 640x310]

The A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog)
[www.fas.org image 640x374]

And the most beautiful and magestic of any aircraft mankind has ever conviced, the SR-71 Blackbird.
[www.militaryfactory.com image 640x459]

The F22 however does seem to be a bit... lacking in it's grandeur.

I agree wholeheartedly with everything this poster said.

well, 3 out of the 4 most beautiful. General Dynamics commissioned the 4th in 1978. It's the Lotus Elise of military aircraft.

I think we're forgetting one...
[fc08.deviantart.net image 640x511]


Call me old fashioned, but the Spitfire is a classic...

i.imgur.com

Also:

i.imgur.com

(Avro Shackleton, IIRC)
 
2012-05-01 11:17:31 PM  

iron de havilland: xaks: But NO PLANE EVER CONCEIVED can take the beating that the A-10 takes, deliver THAT much ass whuppin' going THAT slow, and bring that many pilots home in one piece even with half a wing, half the tail, half the engines ALL shot off an over 50 traceable bullet holes in it.

Vickers Wellington.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x468]

Damage to Vickers Wellington Mark X, HE239 'NA-Y', of No. 428 Squadron RCAF based at Dalton, Yorkshire, resulting from a direct hit from anti-aircraft gun fire while approaching to bomb Duisburg, Germany on the night of 8/9 April 1943. Despite the loss of the rear turret and its gunner, as well as other extensive damage, the pilot, Sergeant L F Williamson, continued to bomb the target, following which it was found that the bomb doors could not be closed because of a complete loss of hydraulic power. Williamson nevertheless brought HE239 and the remainder of his crew back for a safe landing at West Malling, Kent, where this photograph was taken.


Holy damn. It boggles the mind that the rear landing gear still worked.
 
2012-05-01 11:18:20 PM  

xaks: iron de havilland: xaks: But NO PLANE EVER CONCEIVED can take the beating that the A-10 takes, deliver THAT much ass whuppin' going THAT slow, and bring that many pilots home in one piece even with half a wing, half the tail, half the engines ALL shot off an over 50 traceable bullet holes in it.

Vickers Wellington.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x468]

Damage to Vickers Wellington Mark X, HE239 'NA-Y', of No. 428 Squadron RCAF based at Dalton, Yorkshire, resulting from a direct hit from anti-aircraft gun fire while approaching to bomb Duisburg, Germany on the night of 8/9 April 1943. Despite the loss of the rear turret and its gunner, as well as other extensive damage, the pilot, Sergeant L F Williamson, continued to bomb the target, following which it was found that the bomb doors could not be closed because of a complete loss of hydraulic power. Williamson nevertheless brought HE239 and the remainder of his crew back for a safe landing at West Malling, Kent, where this photograph was taken.

Nice!

And not condescending, either.

But, with all due respect, that's one single plane.

Do several HUNDRED of them have similar pictures with pilots that shouldn't be alive, but are?


Well, I'm not a military historian. I don't have several hundred pictures of damaged Wellingtons.

But, their durability came from their design. The entire fuselage was doped fabric over a geodesic frame. I understand that they were renowned for their ability to survive attacks that would take out other aircraft.

According to teh wiki, at peak production in 1942, over 300 were being produced a month between 3 factories and it was the only British bomber in use for all of WWII, so there should have been plenty similar situations.

Of course, cameras were much rarer back then, so I can't say how common pics of the damage are. But there was a propaganda film made showing one being constructed in less than 24 hours. Parts of it were included in a BBC documentary on the Wellington bomber a couple of years back.

/Documentary had the inspired title "Wellington Bomber" if you'd like to look it up.
 
2012-05-01 11:26:24 PM  
Had Heinemann been constrained by today's corporate culture, the A-4 would have been an underpowered, overweight aircraft with molasses handling. Because he didn't take no bullshiat, the MD A-4 had the biggest possible engine he could stuff into the smallest possible frame. It became a nimble, affordable, bomb truck.

I agree that the culture which allowed these amazing machines to be conceived/designed/produced is gone, but there are still some cool planes/ships/boats/weapons being produced. Just takes longer, costs more $ and involves way more meetings.
 
2012-05-02 01:20:13 AM  

bemis23: While an A-10 is very adept at ground support and control missions,


Not "very adept". UNPARALLELED. As in, everything that we've tried to replace it with can't do the job nearly as well.

the rest of your statement is just bottom of the barrel idiocy.

Reading comprehension. Try it some time.

The F-15 airframes are end of life.

Which is why I said "Buy new ones". F-15 J/K is still in production, and the F-15SE is basically ready to go (at 1/2 the cost of a F-35 and 2/3 the cost of an F-22).

Why in the world would you start up a new production run of 30 and 40 year old aircraft?

Several reasons:
1) The R&D (which is the bulk of the cost of developing an aircraft) is already paid for. Manufacturing costs -- including new tooling -- is a fraction of R&D. Even if we didn't have a single schematic, reverse engineering a B-52 and tooling up a new production line would likely cost less than the billion-dollar fly-away price of a single B-2.

2) The systems have proven themselves to be almost ideally suited to their respective missions, and are still mission critical assets while their would-be "successors" are sitting in the boneyard. How many generations of "replacement" bombers has the B-52 outlived? The F-15's combat record is 104 - 0, and has proven itself in combat against newer designs specifically designed to counter it (Su-27 and MiG-29).

3) The combat record shoes that they are equal to or better than any existing threat, and with the fall of the USSR there isn't anyone working on anything better, or capable of building them in sufficient numbers to pose a threat. Good enough is good enough.

Regardless - precision munitions delivered by stealth aircraft present a better risk/reward solution than carpet-bombing for most missions today.

Which explains the hundreds upon hundreds of combat sorties flown by B-52s in the last 10 years.

The ability for B-2s and (soon) F-35s to delivery precision-guided air-to-ground munitions quickly and safely is already outstripping the B-52 fleet's ability to keep up, even B-52s can deliver a tremendous payload capacity.

B-52s are currently being used for CAS using precision guided missiles in Afghanistan. B-2s don't have the loiter time of a BUFF, are more expensive to operate, and are basically too valuable to risk using on anything except high-value strategic targets.
 
2012-05-02 01:26:53 AM  

darch: Lockheed-Martin strikes again

They built the SR-71.

Nuff said.


That was a different Lookheed Martin. The ones today can't find there butts with both hands.
 
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