The Airplane thread

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vreihen

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Since there always seems to be interesting airplane articles popping up in the news, why not give them their own thread?

https://hushkit.net/2016/05/25/the-ten-worst-soviet-aircraft/

The 11 worst Soviet aircraft of all time, in particular:

7. Silvanskii IS

Silvanskii is a name synonymous with Russian fighters..oh, wait – no it’s not. And there is a very good reason that it’s not. In the midst of Stalin’s muddled and oppressive USSR, one A.V. Silvanskii secured state funding to create a new fighter in 1937. The concept seemed sound- it was a low-winged monoplane with a 1,000 horsepower radial engine, armed with two heavy machine guns. As development began it soon became apparent that Silvanskii was a reckless bodger. By 1938 the prototype aircraft was virtually complete. Initial tests of the undercarriage revealed that the wheel wells were too small- the undercarriage did not fit into the wing in the retracted position. How this elementary mistake had been made is hard to understand, but the solution was simple- the undercarriage legs were shortened. Now the undercarriage could be retracted it was realised that the wheel bays were too shallow so the undercarriage would stick out into the airstream producing drag. Deciding not to rectify this issue, the team then fitted the propeller. Though the aircraft now had a shorter undercarriage than originally designed, no-one saw fit to think through the consequences of this modification; the propeller was now too large and would smash against the ground on take-off. Ever the master of methodical engineering, Silvanskii took a saw to the offending propeller and lopped four inches off each blade. The manager of the GAZ state aircraft factory watched this slapstick affair with dismay and growing alarm. He quite sensibly refused Silvanskii permission to fly from the factory airfield. The persistent Silvanskii looked for an alternative airfield for his fighter and charmed the State Flight Research Institute (LII) in Moscow into providing a runway and a test pilot for the maiden flight. One cold morning in early 1939, the LII test pilot strapped himself into the aircraft, known simply as the IS or ‘Istrebitel’ (fighter) and prepared to fly. The machine had other ideas, but thanks to a combination of full throttle and extremely dense cold air the machine was coaxed into taking off for one hair-raising circuit flown dangerously close to the stall. On landing the pilot damned the aircraft as unflyable. The Silvanskii bureau was bankrupted and the hapless designer was banned from working in aeronautical design.

— Joe Coles, Hush-Kit
 
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Flaps10

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Which is why Howard Hughes proclaimed the Spruce Goose a success and paid to keep it "airworthy" for the remainder of his life.

Meanwhile, the US went all the way to 1941 with this gem offered up by my employer:

 
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vreihen

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I assume that everyone heard about the P-47 Thunderbolt that was shooting 75th anniversary promotional photos over Manhattan the other day? The pilot had a mechanical problem, and made an emergency landing at Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger Field (aka: the Hudson River)...but without the same happy ending..... :(
 
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Andy

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Wow, the plane was amazingly intact. RIP the pilot though. :(

 
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308jerry

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The government mandated shoulder harness and airbags didn't save him? Hell of a way to go, may he RIP..........
 
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Uwe

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I assume that everyone heard about the P-47 Thunderbolt that was shooting 75th anniversary promotional photos over Manhattan the other day? The pilot had a mechanical problem, and made an emergency landing at Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger Field (aka: the Hudson River)...but without the same happy ending..... :(
Nope. Hadn't heard. Thanks for posting. Can't click LIKE.

RIP William Gordon
 
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Flaps10

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Previous chief pilot of the Old Rhinebeck museum.

Apparently his foot was caught. The P-47 was wel known for durability, so the intact state isn't a shocker.

RIP indeed.
 
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Uwe

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Wait, why does this ^ thing look like a de-fanged version of the Korean T50 "Golden Eagle", an airplane which has been flying since 2002? :confused:

Edit: Oh wait, it is.
 
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vreihen

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Speaking of US Military retreads.....

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/06/21/marine-corps-forced-to-pull-warbirds-out-boneyard-after-new-fleet-delay.html

Marine Corps forced to pull warbirds out of 'boneyard' after new fleet delay
By Perry Chiaramonte Published June 21, 2016 FoxNews.com


The Marines are looking for a few good planes, and their search has taken them to an Arizona boneyard where the Corps’ old F/A Hornets have been gathering dust and rust for years.

The jets are being reclaimed and refurbished by Boeing after the service branch was caught short on planes because of long delays in the rollout of the much-awaited F-35.

The Marines could have done as the Navy did and adopted second generation F/A- 18E/F Super Hornets until the new planes were ready, but opted not to.

“In hindsight, it was a misstep for the USMC to not have purchased the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, but only because the F-35 has seen such extensive delays and complications in production,” Omar Lamrani, senior military analyst for global intelligence firm Stratfor told FoxNews.com. “If the F-35 had entered production as originally scheduled and at the expected price, then the USMC would have been able to successfully transition straight from the F/A-18 Hornets to the F-35.”

A total of 30 F/A-18C Hornets recovered from the “boneyard” will be modified to a current “C+” standard under a contract with Boeing and the USMC signed in 2014. (USMC.mil)
Boeing has refurbished two of a planned 30 F/A Hornets stored at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson – known as “the boneyard” – and will soon finish more, according to WarIsBoring.com. The planes will be modified to a current “C+” standard under a contract with Boeing and the USMC signed in 2014.

It’s not the first time the military has brought back decommissioned planes from the graveyard. The Marines pulled and restored several retired heavy-lift helicopters during the height of the Iraq War to help with a shortfall in the fleet as a result of heavy usage and crashes.

The F-35 was supposed to be ready for front-line service in 2006. The Marine Corps reasoned that the Super Hornets were too pricey to serve as a bridge to the new planes, and chose to continue to operate their current fleets.

As the F/A Hornets dwindled through attrition, and quality-control issues delayed the F-35 from coming off the assembly, the Corps was caught short.

Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the USMC deputy commandant for aviation, told Senate lawmakers that just 32 percent of the Corps’ Hornet fighters were operational. The branch needs at least 58 percent of the F/A-18s to be flight ready so that there are enough planes for combat, flight instruction and day-to-day training.

Officials for the USMC did not immediately return requests for comment but in their most recent annual report on aviation capabilities, Davis said, “I am concerned with our current readiness rates, both in equipment and personnel.”

Some experts say bringing back the F/A-18 jets may not be much of an issue.

“I consider it a pretty smart move on the U.S. Marine Corps side,” David Cenciotti, of the influential blog The Aviationist, told FoxNews.com. “The F/A-18C and D are very reliable airframes that are quite easy to maintain and operate. Once upgraded to the C+ standard, these ‘gap fillers’ are more than enough to conduct combat operations in low-lethality scenarios like those that see the USMC at work these days.”

Once the upgraded ‘legacy’ Hornets are delivered, Cenciotti added, older planes can rotate to daily training activities required by the Marine Corps pilots to maintain preparedness.

Lamrani says the only real danger is if maintenance is not kept up on the refurbished planes, but that their usage leads to other issues.

“Refurbishing mothballed aircraft is not inexpensive, and hardly cost effective,” he told FoxNews.com. “All this is again linked to the F-35 failing to arrive on time.”


Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @perrych
 
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Jack@European_Parts

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B2 was neat in 1998......
It flew over silent and the shadow scared me while going outside to get a car.

Went by so slow and quiet........in comparison to a flash when others go by.



My favorite to this day is the Corsair.

 
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vreihen

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http://www.wearethemighty.com/articles/that-time-a-navy-f-14-accidentally-on-purpose-shot-down-an-air-force-f-4-during-an-exercise

That time a Navy F-14 accidentally-on-purpose shot down an Air Force F-4 during an exercise
by Logan Nye - Jun 23, 2016 8:32:18 am


There are a couple things that everyone going into a military exercise absolutely has to get right. First, get good training and look for ways to improve both personal and unit performance. Second, and perhaps more importantly, don’t really shoot anyone.

Guess which thing Navy Lt. (j.g.) Timothy Dorsey, an F-14 pilot, messed up while shadowing an Air Force RF-4C Phantom over the Mediterranean on Sep. 22, 1987?

Dorsey and his radar intercept officer, Lt. Cmdr. Edmund Holland, were taking part in an exercise testing the defenses of the Navy carrier USS Saratoga against enemy attacks. The Air Force had provided a jet and aircrew, Capt. Michael Ross and 1st Lt. Randy Sprouse, to act as the opposing force.

Ross took off from Aviano Air Base, Italy, and began searching for the carrier. The unarmed jet would need to get within visual distance of the Saratoga and read off its hull number to count a “kill” against it in the exercise.

The exercise orders called for Dorsey and another F-14 to be unarmed as well, but both Navy jets were actually carrying live missiles. The Navy pilots would have to simulate an attack on the opposing force jet to win.

The Air Force crew faced trouble early on when its equipment for hunting the Navy carrier and its fleet electronically malfunctioned. Ross and Sprouse began conducting a visual search instead. The Navy jets got lucky early when the combat controllers sent them after a radio contact that turned out to be the RF-4C refueling from an Illinois Air National Guard KC-135 tanker.

Dorsey’s flight joined up on the tanker and picked up fuel. Ross and Sprouse flew away first and returned to searching for the carrier. Dorsey and Holland, obviously believing that they had spotted their quarry, pursued the Phantom.

The Air Force jet found the carrier, but also knew that a Navy jet was on its tail. Sprouse, the backseater on the Phantom, alerted Ross to the Navy presence.

“There`s a Navy F-14 sitting on our left wing at about 8 o’clock,” Sprouse said.

“Okay, he’s a good guy,” Ross said.

Meanwhile, Dorsey was tracking the Air Force jet’s progress toward the carrier. When the RF-4C got to about 15 miles from the Saratoga, Ross initiated a diving turn at the carrier, simulating the start of an attack run. Dorsey called out the threat to Holland and they alerted the Saratoga.

So far, everything is good. The Air Force is simulating an attack on the carrier, the Navy is simulating the protocol for attacking a threat to the carrier.

The Saratoga responded, “Red and free on your contact.” And that was where everything got messy. Dorsey, relatively new to the Saratoga and with only a couple hundred hours of flight time under his belt, was under the impression that “red and free” was a command to fire that was only used in real-world, “Shoot that guy right now!” situations.

Still, he hesitated and asked for guidance.

“Jesus, do they want me to shoot this guy?” he asked.

The phrase, “red and free,” was commonly used around the Saratoga in exercises. Holland, thinking that Dorsey still understood that everything was taking place within the limits of the exercise, not an actual fight, responded with, “Yes. Shoot!”

Dorsey armed one sidewinder and attempted to fire, but the missile failed. So, he fired another and this one slammed into the back of the recently-fueled Air Force jet.

Holland later said of that moment, “I heard a ‘whish’ sound from the right side of the aircraft, and I looked out and I said, ‘What was that?’ I saw the front end of an F-4 and the back end was in flames. I said, ‘You shot him down!’ and I was absolutely amazed.”

It was Holland’s shock and sudden questions that alerted Dorsey to the fact that he had done something very wrong.

Ross and Sprouse, meanwhile, we’re going through their own sudden crisis. They mistakenly believed that they had collided with the F-14 that was tailing them. The RF-4C was shaking violently and parts of it were on fire.

Ross gave the order to eject.

“I’m gone,” Sprouse said as he pulled the ejection handle. Both airmen got clear of the dying jet and Holland radioed for an at-sea rescue.

“Mayday! Mayday! Got a kill on a Fox 4!”

For obvious reasons, Navy commanders immediately started asking what had happened. Ross and Sprouse were fished out of the water and questioned by Navy lawyers. They both gave full statements before the commander of the Saratoga, Navy Capt. David Frost, told them what really happened and apologized. (Probably something like, “oh, by the way, we shot you down. Sorry. Okay, who’s up for some great Navy chow?”)

Sprouse and Ross received medical attention, Navy uniforms, and a swag bag. They were given the best dinner on the ship and good spots to sleep until they could be sent back to the Air Force.

Dorsey was grounded but allowed to stay in the Navy. He made it to the rank of captain in the reserves as an intelligence officer and then an inspector general. In 2012, he was recommended for promotion to admiral. When Congress heard about his 1987 incident, they declined to vote on his promotion, effectively rejecting it.

Many suspect that Dorsey wouldn’t have been allowed to stay in the Navy if it weren’t for the fact that his father was James Dorsey, a prominent figure in the Naval aviation community. In 1987, Dorsey was the captain of the USS America, a supercarrier.

Ross’s injuries from the shootdown appeared slight when he was rescued from the ocean, but grew steadily worse as he aged. He received 32 surgeries and became fully disabled.
 
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vreihen

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So, this Airbus A320 goes to Seattle (home of huge Boeing factory) and spontaneously bursts into flames. Suspicious, or late night TV comedy punch line?????

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fire-american-airlines-flight-seattle-before-takeoff/

Fire erupts on flight in Seattle just before takeoff
CBS/AP June 29, 2016, 1:28 PM

SEATTLE - A fire erupted on an American Airlines plane as it headed for the runway to depart Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, but the blaze was quickly extinguished.

No injuries were reported Wednesday morning.

Airport spokesman Brian DeRoy says the Airbus A320 was on the taxiway going toward the runway when smoke started coming out of the back of the plane. He says a spark in the auxiliary power unit just below the tail section started a small fire.

We were in the last row, the fire was right behind us. We didn't know about it of course. Doesn't that wing look like it crumpled the side of the plane? Weird.
A photo posted by Mike Fleming (@mikefleming3) on Jun 29, 2016 at 9:29am PDT

The Port of Seattle Fire Department responded and put the fire out. The aircraft headed back to the gate.

Flight 728 had been scheduled to depart for Philadelphia at 8:10 a.m. It had 151 passengers and 6 crew members on board. CBS affiliate KIRO-TV reports it was rescheduled to depart at 11 a.m. local time.
 
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Uwe

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Just what I always wanted to do: Hover in an aircraft with a single engine and NO auto-rotation capabilities at all.

Hopefully, it has a really good ejection seat. ;)
 
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Flaps10

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I got to work on the JSF back in the late 90s (gives you an idea of how long these things take to develop). The company I worked for did the tooling for the first 7 planes, and my job was to design molds to make the intake ducts. They were about 18' long and the first thing I noticed was how they bent around where the vertical duct is in that plane.

When they told me they were running a drive shaft forward from the only engine on the plane to a 90 degree gearbox for the vertical lift duct I about split a gut.

You can trash the JSF, sorry F-35, all you want but the Lockheed version was 1000X better plane than the offering by my current employer. Nicknamed "Monica"* by non-fans everywhere, the Lockheed engineers knew way in advance that the Boeing plane would never take off vertically without a ski jump run (which turned out to be true).

While I have a sense of pride that I got to work on perhaps the most sophisticated plane of our time, I'm no fan of one size fits all military planes. The F-111 should have been the only lesson we needed.

*Think back as to who was the President at the time:
 
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vreihen

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Hopefully, it has a really good ejection seat. ;)
Hopefully, they used a zero-zero ejection seat...and didn't borrow the design from the F-104's original downward-firing seats.

I had a friend who used to tell the story about how NATO pilots were trained to roll the F-104 over before ejecting at low altitudes...not realizing that later versions had an upward-firing seat that, um, didn't work as well at low altitudes..... :(
 
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