✈ Latest From Airplane Watch ✈

Sunday, March 24, 2013

✈ Ideas About Aircraft Carriers - Battleship Destruction Capability ✈

Came across a think tank about Aircraft Carriers that I think might be a good read. Some interesting facts came to light that say alot about the current situation and for anyone interested you might want to give this one a read.


Floating ideas about aircraft carriers

Original Story at
www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/23/aircraft-carrier-navy-think-tank/

Your article “New doubts about future of carriers” (utsandiego.com, March 20) by Gary Robbins left out one obvious solution: the battleship.

The United States Marine Corps has not had any credible surface-fire capability since Desert Storm when two battleships were on station to provide this needed and massive level of close-in support. This was all documented by the CNO on Dec. 3, 1996, and GAO on Aug. 6, 1997.

A single battleship can lay down more devastating firepower in one hour than can all the attack aircraft operating from two carrier battle groups. 


A single battleship can provide more lethality in that period of time than can 25 B-2 bombers. 


Every single shell from a battleship offers more devastation than that from five cruise missiles all impacting on the same spot.


What’s more important is quick response. Getting a sortie off the deck of a carrier usually requires several hours followed by an interminable wait for the aircraft to arrive. That bomb load also requires numerous support aircraft as escorts.

Presenting American power to the world is good only if it can be seen. An aircraft carrier operating 300 miles offshore (to remain safe from attack) offers negligible psychological impact. A battleship five or ten miles off shore presents an image never to be forgotten – especially when it fires a broadside.

Further, late World War II-class U.S. battleships are about as impervious to enemy attack as anything that has ever been afloat. Aircraft carriers on the other hand are at the far opposite extreme and essentially cannot be protected by anything and are now being targeted by a whole new family of carrier specific attack weapons.

As America’s national debt rockets beyond $16 trillion and nearly half of our yearly budget is funded by borrowed money from Red China, Japan and South Korea, we no longer have the right or the ability to buy “glitter.”

The carrier and the carrier battle group are nothing but navy romance on the taxpayer’s dime. Today we need brute force power projection that can arrive and dig a hole ten feet deep the size on a football field on 60 seconds’ notice. That’s the battleship. – Robert Beken, San Diego

In response to “Report urges phasing out aircraft carriers” (March 21): Before we mothball our entire fleet and surrender our global military hegemony to another emerging power, let us hear from the Center for International and Strategic Studies, The Hoover Institute and Hudson Institute on their thoughts about the viability of aircraft carriers. This newly formed Center for a New American Security think tank hearkens back to the isolationist era.

American military prowess must reign supreme in the Pacific Century and San Diego will be its epicenter. – Edward Mracek, La Jolla

✈ B-52 Stratofortress Rusting Away at Museum of Aviation ✈

This is an interesting story about how downsizing and economic trouble causes museums to scrap Cold War icons and other military aircrafts that belong to future generations. 


Yes there is no possibility to keep all our relics intact, however what strikes me with this story is how hard can it really be to build a roof for the planes? It's just so sad for me to hear what they are planing to do with all the planes..




Monday, March 18, 2013

✈ GoPro® HERO3 - Quadcopter DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone ✈

This amazing piece of kit comes complete with everything you can possible need to capture stunning events from far above. You charge the LiPo battery, mount your GoPro® HERO3 camera, and install the 4 ordinary AA batteries in the transmitter and you are ready to start filming. And that's it, just that quick! This kit comes with everything you need to start Aerial Filming using your GoPro® HERO3 camera.

The compact and highly integrated design means that it is easier for you to pack it into your backpack.

The streamlined design brilliantly reflects the aesthetics of its industrial design and the fantastic visual effects allows you to become the focus of the crowd. Moreover, you can mount a GoPro camera or if you like a light and handy camera on your Phantom to shoot some footage from the air!

The Phantom has an integrated flight dynamics system, the Naza-M + GPS multi-rotor autopilot system, as well as the dedicated remote controller and receiver. Flight parameters and functions have been setup before delivery, so you can fly your Phantom the moment you receive it.

The Phantom also has the Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) function of the Naza-M autopilot system. Usually, the forward direction of a flying multi-rotor is the same as the nose direction. By using Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC), wherever the nose points, the forward direction has nothing to do with nose direction. In course lock flying, the forward direction is the same as a recorded nose direction. In home lock flying, the forward direction is the same as the direction as the direction from home point to the multi-rotor. Failsafe & auto go home/landing:

The Phantom also has the failsafe function of the Naza-M autopilot system. This means when the communication between the Main Controller and the transmitter is disconnected, the outputs of all command sticks from controller will go to the center position. If the GPS signal is good enough, the system will automatically trigger Return To Home and landing safely.


What you get with this quadcopte.


Ready to fly and film with your GoPro® HERO3 in minutes from Delivery + Transmitter

Stable - Advanced Autopilot Naza M + GPS + Altitude Hold Position Hold

Failsafe auto go home & landing function + Intelligent Orientation Control

Comes with GoPro Camera mount for amazing flight filming capability Two flight control modes, including position hold.

Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) mode.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

✈ Aviation Books - Wings On My Sleeve - The World's Greatest Test Pilot Tells His Story ✈

No test pilot in history has flown so many types of aircraft as Commander Brown and certainly no other test pilot writes as clearly and interestingly as he does. "Wings on my Sleeve" was first published in 1961 in a much shorter form. In this new edition he answers so many questions that come to mind when reading his other books - notably "Wings of the Navy" and "Wings of the Luftwaffe" - and sets these books into a much wider context of his amazing life.

This is the story of his life from his first flight, with the legendary German WW1 ace and later stunt pilot and finally Director of Air Armaments in Goering's Luftwaffe, Ernst Udet, through his experiences in Nazi Germany and his encounter with the SS when they came to tell him that the two counties were at war and on through a life that included convoy escort duties and hair-raising encounters with FW Kuriers before his outstanding deck landing skills led to his being appointed to RAE Farnborough.

Details - Wings On My Sleeve
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (18 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002VCR0OO

He then chronicles the hectic life of a war time test pilot as he flew practically every type of British and US military aircraft and evaluated captured enemy machines to develop combat tactics.

Because of his fluent German, the last days of the war found him despatched to Germany to assemble and test German aircraft. Here he accepted the surrender of a major Luftwaffe base when he landed in the mistaken assumption that it had already been captured by the allies. During this time he met and talked to Goering and Hanna Reitsch as well as every major German aircraft figure of the era.

Post war the pace did not diminish: taking delivery of the first US helicopter to be allocated to the UK, he asked about training to fly it and was handed a thick book with the words, "Here's your instructor!" High speed flights investigating the approach to Mach One were interspersed with development on the Avro Tudor and Bristol Brabazon as well as a huge range of varyingly successful (and otherwise) experimental and new military and civil aircraft.

Commander Brown's close involvement in the development of so many British and US aircraft, allied with his own evaluative and literary skills make this a book to be cherished and re-read time and again: in fact, just like his previous books!

My only complaint is that, like all good things, it leaves one wanting more of the same.

PS: Commander Brown has written far too few books! One I would love for him to write would be "Wings of the Post War Navy".

Brown was born on 21 January 1919, in Leith, near Edinburgh in Scotland. He first flew when he was eight or ten when he was taken up in a Gloster Gauntlet by has father, the younger Brown sitting on his father's knee.
In 1936 Brown's father, an ex-Royal Flying Corps pilot, had taken him to see the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where, Hermann Göring having recently announced the existence of the Luftwaffe, Brown and his father met and were invited to join social gatherings, by members of the newly-disclosed organisation. It was here that Brown first met Ernst Udet, a former World War I fighter ace. Brown, a fluent German-speaker, soon discovered in himself and Udet a shared love of flying and Udet offered to take Brown up with him. Brown eagerly accepted the German's offer, and after his arrival at the appointed airfield at Halle, he was soon flying in a two-seat Bucker Jungmann which Udet threw around much to Brown's delight. Udet told Brown he "must learn to fly" and that he "had the temperament of a fighter pilot".

In 1937 Brown left The Royal High School and entered Edinburgh University studying Modern Languages, with an emphasis on German. While there he joined the University's Air Unit and received his first formal flying instruction. In February 1938 he returned to Germany, where, having been invited to attend the 1938 Automobile Exhibition by Udet, by then a Luftwaffe Major General, he saw the demonstration of the Focke-Wulf Fw 61 helicopter flown by Hanna Reitsch before a small crowd inside the Deutschlandhalle. During this visit he met and got to know Reitsch. Brown was later to renew his acquaintance with her after the war, in less pleasant circumstances, she having been arrested after the German surrender in 1945.

In the meantime, Brown had been selected to take part as an exchange student at the Salem International College, located on the banks of Lake Constance and it was while there in Germany that Brown was woken up with a loud knocking on his door one morning in September 1939. Upon opening the door he was met by a woman with the announcement that "our countries are at war". Soon after, Brown was arrested by the SS. Fortunately, they merely escorted Brown in his MG Magnette sports car to the Swiss border, saying they were allowing him to keep the car because they 'had no spares for it'.

If you have the slightest interest in aviation since the 1930's this book will leave you open mouthed in awe at the incredible experiences of the author. No-one would have the audacity to write this as fiction for fear of it being branded "too far fetched!".

If being taken for a flight by Ernst Udet before WW2 and watching Hanna Reitsch fly one of the first helicopters inside the Olympic stadium isn't enough, the author goes on to fly every major UK, US, German, Italian, Russian and Japanese aircraft of world war two before being at the very forefront of the jet age and conquering of the "Sound Barrier"....and all whilst being in our Navy! Written from his personal diaries, the style is humble and events put down to good fortune when I am sure they are really due to his skill.

The book can be frustratingly thin on subjects that deserve a book of their own (how many other allied pilots flew a Me163 rocket plane under power I wonder...) and it flits back and forth in time a little confusingly but these are minor quibbles. The book is heavy due to the high quality paper needed to support the small print size to cram it all in and if more detail were given it would extend to several volumes.

Just read it and revel as iconic aircraft and characters of the 40's ad 50's are met and summarized before moving onto the next encounter.
In a time when the term "hero" has become confused with "celebrity", here folks, is the real thing...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

✈ Mysterious Space Weapons X-37B Top Secret Spy Plane ✈

"There is no one on the ground with a joystick flying it," Lt. Col. Troy Giese, X-37B program manager in the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, said before the first X-37B mission blasted off last year.

I SPY WITH MY LITTLE SPACE PLANE: The Air Force's X-37B robotic space plane sits on the runway after landing at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on June 16. The plane was in orbit for more than 15 months on a classified mission. (Photo: Boeing)
The Air Force's X-37B robotic space plane sits on the runway after landing at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on June 16. The plane was in orbit for more than 15 months on a classified mission. (Photo: Boeing)
The X-37B looks like NASA's now-retired space shuttle, only much smaller. The vehicle measures just 29 feet (8.8 meters) long and 15 feet (4.5 m) wide, with a payload bay about the size of a pickup truck bed. For comparison, two entire X-37Bs could fit inside the payload bay of a space shuttle. It is designed to launch vertically inside the nose cone of a rocket, stay in orbit for months at a time, and then land horizontally on a runway like a space shuttle.

But unlike NASA's shuttles, the X-37B space plane does everything autonomously. It also has a solar array that is deployed from its payload bay to generate power during its months-long stay in orbit

The X-37B, also known as Orbital Test Vehicle-2 (OTV-2), launched on March 5, 2011, from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Its flight was the second-ever space mission for the X-37B program; the first was flown by OTV-2's sister ship, OTV-1.

OTV-1 stayed aloft for 225 days in 2010, well under the supposed 270-day orbital limit for the space plane. But OTV-2 smashed that limit, zipping around our planet for 469 days.

The X-37B's payloads and mission details are classified, so it's unclear exactly what OTV-2 was doing up there for so long. But Weeden thinks the Air Force's claim about technology-testing is broadly accurate.

Based on OTV-2's orbit — which is also classified but was figured out by keen-eyed amateur astronomers — Weeden reckons the space plane may have been staring down at Afghanistan and the Middle East with some brand-new spy gear, perhaps sensors that can see in wavelengths beyond the visible spectrum.

But China seems dubious of the Air Force's explanation, suspecting that X-37B missions might have a more aggressive intent.

The X-37B appears to be undergoing safing procedures after landing on Dec. 3 at 1:16 a.m. PST (0916 GMT). Significant weathering, or discoloration, can be seen on the spacecraft's upper thermal blanket insulation. (Photo: USAF/Vandenberg)
The X-37B appears to be undergoing safing procedures after landing on Dec. 3 at 1:16 a.m. PST (0916 GMT). Significant weathering, or discoloration, can be seen on the spacecraft's upper thermal blanket insulation. (Photo: USAF/Vandenberg)
 "Industry analysts said the spacecraft could be a precursor to an orbiting weapon, capable of dropping bombs or disabling enemy satellites as it circles the globe," China's state-run Xinhua news agency wrote on June 17, a day after OTV-2 touched down at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

China views the X-37B "as a perfect example of the U.S. developing a space weapon program while stating in public that they're doing no such thing," Weeden told SPACE.com.

Just hours after China's Shenzhou 9 capsule roared into space on June 16, 2012 with three astronauts aboard, including the nation's first female spaceflyer Liu Yang — the U.S. Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane touched down in California after 15 months orbiting Earth on a hush-hush mission.

The Air Force insists the X-37B is just testing out technologies for future satellites, but China has a deep suspicion of the vehicle and its activities, experts say.

"The X-37B is actually very controversial over there," said Brian Weeden, a technical adviser with the Secure World Foundation and a former orbital analyst with the Air Force. "They view it as a space weapon."

The Shenzhou 9 capsule, for example, linked up with the unmanned Tiangong 1 module on June 18 and again on June 24, making China just the third country — after the United States and Russia — to pull off a manned space docking.

Shenzhou 9's mission, which is expected to wrap up by June 29, 2012 is viewed as a key step in China's plan to build a permanently staffed space station in Earth orbit by 2020. The country hopes to land a taikonaut on the moon sometime after that, and it's also developing its own satellite-navigation system so as not to be dependent on the U.S.-military-run GPS network.

China's suspicions about the X-37B may not make American officials too happy, for they've stated a desire to engage the Chinese more fully on space issues going forward.

"The U.S. says they're very interested in military-military dialogue with China on space activities, and further cooperation with China in a few different areas," Weeden said.

Secret second test flight
Air Force officials have not said much about first X-37B mission, and they're been similarly tight-lipped about the upcoming second flight with the OTV-2 vehicle.

But the Air Force has said that the X-37B spacecraft should help the Air Force test and demonstrate new technologies — such as guidance, navigation and control systems — that could be used on future satellites.

The secrecy surrounding the X-37B has led to some speculation that the plane could be a space weapon of some sort. But Air Force officials have repeatedly denied that charge, and some experts have postulated that it is a platform for space reconnaissance.

The X-37B was built by Boeing's Phantom Works Division in Seal Beach, Calif., and can fly long, extended missions because of its solar array power system, which allows it to stay in orbit for up to 270 days, Air Force officials have said.

Originally, NASA used the space plane as an experimental test bed until funding for the project ran out in 2004.

The vehicle then passed to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and was ultimately turned over to the Air Force in 2006.

This article was reprinted with permission from SPACE.com.
Copyright 2013 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

✈ What is the Climb Rate of a 737 ✈

Pilots technical answers for - what the normal climb rate of a Boeing 737 would be.

First things first, climb rates depends on temperature, humdity, air pressure, the aircrafts center of gravity (passenger placement/weight, fuel weight/placement, cargo placement/weight) and cost v. speed considernations..

The initial climb rates can be in excess of 3000FPM, but the Boeing 737 can't sustain that rate of climb above roughly 7000 feet due to the air density. However 1800 is about average climb rate from around 12000 up to the flight levels. Depending on load.

1800 speed is considiered a "normal climb rate" and also found in the manual. You can of course increase the speed if you'd like, but you would have to watch out for stalls. Aircraft are set up in such a way so that you don't want to slow down too much while making your climb.

I'll usually start at about 2000fpm in the Boeing 737. Until around 30000 ft, when the speed starts dropping. To get to cruise of 35,000 or above, I find I have to drop the fpm down to 1000 to prevent stalling..

The below climb profile is SIMPLIFIED and not 100% real-world.
Boeing 737 climb rate - climb profile.

Set throttle to 98% N1 and takeoff at V2+10 (about 150kts) and hold this till ~1500' above the runway.

At 1500’ pitch down by 1/2 whatever v/s you needed to hold 150kts. (ex., if you were climbing at 3000 v/s pitch down to 1500 v/s) and reduce throttles/thrust to engine N1 at 92%. as the aircraft accelerates retract flaps (all up no later than 200-210kts) and as you approach 250kts increase pitch so you hold 250kts. watch the engine N1 as it may change. adjust throttles as necessary to hold about 92% N1.

As you continue climb adjust pitch to hold 250kts.

At 10000' (USA) pitch down by 1/2 whatever v/s you are at to hold 250kts to accelerate to 300kts. pitch up to hold 300kts. watch the engine N1 as it may change. adjust throttles as necessary to hold about 92% N1.

As you continue to climb adjust pitch as required to hold 300kts. watch the engine N1 as it may change. adjust throttles as necessary to hold about 92%.

When the aircraft reaches M0.74 (somewhere between 25000' and 27000') begin following M0.74 (and allow the indicated knots to fall -THIS IS NORMAL!).

Keep M0.74 for the rest of the climb. adjust pitch as required. watch the engine N1 as it may change. adjust throttles as necessary to hold about 92%.

When you reach cruise altitude NG someplace between 35000' and 40000'. Allow the aircraft to accelerate to M0.78-M0.80 and then hit the speed hold button on the autopilot.

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