Category Archives: Airplanes

He Still Headed The Wrong Way

A German Wrong Way Corrigan?

 

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.

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Aviation – When to Listen to the Computer

I’ve really been enjoying this series on aviation airliner accidents. When I used to fly in the 80s, I used to read accounts of various accidents in aviation magazines to see if there was something I could learn from them.

And I believe Lex’s account of his flying has helped some readers somewhere.

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A Good Interview About the A-6 Intruder

One of our own, Comjam, talks about flying and fighting in the Intruder.

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A Carroll “Lex” LeFon Primer

testLex

Who was Carroll LeFon?

The best description of Lex that I’ve heard is “Imagine Hemingway flew fighters…and liked people.

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“There I Was: Flat On My Back, Out Of Airspeed And Out Of Ideas”

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…

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What Really Brought Down the Boeing 737 Max

This article is a long read and in case you haven’t seen it, worthwhile if you really want to know what brought these down.

The Cliff Notes version?

“Malfunctions caused two deadly crashes. But an industry that puts unprepared pilots in the cockpit is just as guilty.” 

This was sent to me by someone I’ve known a long time, a retired Air Force test pilot. He believes that this problem is only going to get worse, and chooses to fly on only a few airlines.

I have a good friend who bought his dream car a few weeks ago – and has discovered that it is so heavily invested in electronics and “driver aids” – he is starting to hate it. He calls his car “the beast“.

He almost rear-ended someone thinking his cruise control – with a forward radar that keeps the distance of the car ahead of you – was on.

Point is with that car and this issue, when we depend too much on electronic aids – use them as a crutch instead of an assist – we can get into trouble when the electronics fails.

As an aside, this author knows flying. In addition to his own credentials, his father wrote the classic book on piloting.

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All That, And They Are Trying To Kill You Too

All That and They're Tryinkg To Kill You

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.

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Technological Progress

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.

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Bad Software?

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.

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A bit of good news

Seems the F-35 has flown over Iran – undetected. Amid news that the Air Force could not maintain their projected fleet because of projected maintenance costs – and would have to cut back by a third.

 

And being 7 years behind schedule with a seemingly runaway budget.

 

It is either going to become a weapons system that will lead the industry, or a boondoggle.

Let’s hope they can rein in those problems.

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