Posted by lex, on March 8, 2008
A beautiful paean to the SR-71 over at Maggie’s Farm, courtesy of Marianne and Maj. Shul.Continue reading
.Posted by lex, on June 6, 2006
The LA Times today had a story on a concept I hadn’t heard of before: The oblique flying wing * –
The plane would have no fuselage or tail; early models resemble a cross between a giant boomerang and a surfboard. What it lacks in stability, it would more than compensate for with unequaled aerodynamic efficiency.
For commercial flight, such a plane could cut by half the time it would take to fly to Tokyo from Los Angeles — all without burning the massive amounts of fuel that ultimately doomed the Concorde supersonic jet.
For the military, which is paying for Northrop’s design work, the aircraft could fly quickly to a war zone and then loiter at low speeds to extend the time to carry out its mission.
“It’s the holy grail of aerodynamics,” said Joe Pawlowski, the program’s manager.
Not to be confused with flying wing designs of either antiquity (that’d be B2’s timeframe) or modernity, the OFW would actually pivot airborne, with the wing’s full span used for take-off, approach and landing, and the plane rotating around its center of lift to present a narrower profile in cruise flight.
The good news? Apparently the aircraft could supercruise without extended use of afterburners, subtracting hours off of intercontinental travel while enabling extended ranges (and efficiency). The bad news? It’s going to be huge.
If it ever gets off the ground, that is.
** 08-15-20 Link gone – Ed.
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…
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.