I just finished watching a YouTube video on a comparison between the Focke-Wulf FW-190 and the P-51 Mustang.
Learned a lot of things. I knew that the Mustang really came into its own when a Rolls Royce test pilot, Ronald Harker, decided to substitute the Allison V12 for a Merlin. Didn’t realize that (A) the Merlin was still more powerful at 20,000 feet than the Allison was at sea-level, and (B) fuel consumption was significantly improved. It was a win-win, and turned the Mustang from a good fighter to an icon. Actually it was a “win-win-win” as it gave the Mustang the high altitude performance that it lacked.
A good article from Aviation Week sent to me by my retired Air Force friend. I did not know that tire pressures are much higher for Navy aircraft for carrier ops, and lowered when landing on land.
Or how critical it could be…
A beautiful P51-D I shot at the 2007 Reno Air Races
The other day, I wrote a bit about the talk given by WW2 aces Bud Anderson and Dean Laird.
What a day that was. I felt I was a witness to living history. What an honor it was to meet these 2.
And me being me, I had to buy Anderson’s book at the museum store to learn more. Just started it, but I figured any book about flying that has accolades by Ernest Gann, and forwards by Chuck Yeager and Günther Rall, has to be some aviation ride.
I’ve just started it, and Anderson is describing the battle he had as shown from the History Channel.
What I didn’t know was the workload involved in flying that plane while someone’s trying to kill you.
Over at ChicagoBoyz, someone made an observation that in transportation, most of the progress was made in a 50 year period by 1969.
Which got me thinking.
The cars that many of us baby boomers idolized, such as the Jaguar E-Type, Corvette Sting Ray, Shelby Cobra – all came out about 50 years after cars first started making inroads with the Model T.
Sometime ago, I read of the software that flew, I believe, the F-16. Which is fairly old technology today. I have forgotten the number of lines of code but it was easily in the 100s of thousands, and probably over a million.
Which has to perform correct under every conceivable condition.
It looks like a top contender for the crash of the Lion Air in Indonesia may have been software. The plane was one of the latest versions of 737 and not in their fleet very long.