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F-102 — too slow at first

1 September 2014

F-102 — too slow at first

47° 07′ 55″ N / 122° 28′ 59″ W

F-102 — photo by Joseph May

Convair F-102 Delta Dagger at the McChord Air Museum and Heritage Hill Air Park — photo by Joseph May

This Convair F-12 Delta Dagger sits in the Heritage Hill Air Park which is part of the McChord Air Museum. Designed in the during the Cold War during and era when missiles were thought to have made guns into relics the Delta Dagger was built for speed. Armed with missiles as well as rockets the original design was a failure — thought  its delta wing and sharply faceted canopy gave the F-102 a sleek look it was in fact slow. Fortunately for Convair Richard Whitcomb had been studying wave drag when he experienced an epiphany one day, after much research. He realized that the entire aircraft had to be considered as a whole when considering high subsonic and transonic air flow and this led to one of the 20th Century’s greatest aerodynamic breakthroughs — Area Rule. Essentially this meant to look at the fuselage and wing’s overall cross-sectional area as a whole and relate that value to the theoretical optimum design known as the Sears-Haack body. Where the value is too high then thin it out and when too low then thicken it.

Convair reduced some of the fuselage cross-sectional area which gave the F-102 its paradigm setting “coke bottle” fuselage shape. Area Rule became a design constraint for any aircraft made to fly at transonic speeds or higher — including airliners such as the B-747 and A380.

F-102 — photo by Joseph May

The F-102’s sharp triangular vertical fin pairs well with its delta wing — photo by Joseph May

F-102 — photo by Joseph May

F-102 Delta Dagger in profile — photo by Joseph May

F-102 — photo by Joseph May

One characteristic the F-102 was the lack of  forward visibility for the pilot — photo by Joseph May

F-102 — photo by Joseph May

A better view of the canopy shows the distinctive flat triangular panels serve more for streamlining than for clarity — photo by Joseph May

F-102 — photo by Joseph May

F-102’s used active radar as well as passive infrared technology to guide their intercepts, here the IR tracker is shown in its employed position — photo by Joseph May

F-102 — photo by Joseph May

F-102’s rear view — photo by Joseph May

Note: more has been written about the F-102 as well as the McChord Air Museum — the search window will take you there :)

Boneyard Nose Art

29 August 2014

Boneyard Nose Art

Boneyard Nose Art: U.S. military aircraft markings and artwork, Nicholas A. Veronico, Jim Dunn, and Ron Strong, 2013, ISBN 978-0-8117-1308-5, 171 pp.

Boneyard Nose Art: U.S. military aircraft markings and artwork by Nicholas A. Veronico, Jim Dunn, and Ron Strong (front cover)

Boneyard Nose Art: U.S. military aircraft markings and artwork by Nicholas A. Veronico, Jim Dunn, and Ron Strong (front cover)

As so well mentioned in this book’s forward by John Brennan military aircraft nose art is temporal, not meant to last. If you will, nose art on military aircraft is performance art — there and gone in but a few of history’s moments — as military and, especially, combat flying takes its cold and unfeeling toll.

Art is an expression and military aircraft nose art as a collection expresses wants or desires of the crews who fly to serve — most often in exotic and uncomfortable places.

Boneyard Nose Art is much more than documentary, it is sincere recollection which shares with readers insights into the flight crews of a broad aircraft spectrum. Fighters, bomber and patrol aircraft, tankers and transports as well as helicopters and special use aircraft are addressed in hundreds of high-quality color photos. Some images aren’t recommended for young children and some nose art are multiple element murals — some are sarcastic and some are crudely done. The gamut of human experience and emotion are described in the art of the aircraft slowly and surely returning to nature.

Thanks to Veronico, Dunn and Strong for saving this performance art for us in this excellent book.

Boneyard Nose Art: U.S. military aircraft markings and artwork by Nicholas A. Veronico, Jim Dunn, and Ron Strong (back cover)

Boneyard Nose Art: U.S. military aircraft markings and artwork by Nicholas A. Veronico, Jim Dunn, and Ron Strong (back cover)

The Telescope and The Blimp

28 August 2014

The Telescope and The Blimp

The New York Times published an article on 25 August 2014 regarding the potential of using lighter-than-air flight in blimps to carry telescopes aloft in Joshua A. Krisch’s article, Modern Research Borne on a Relic. The article is intriguing for its description of the challenges of long-duration high-altitude lighter-than-air flight as well as its potential advantages to the science specialities of astronomy as well as climatology. [Though animal migration studies also come to mind as well as geological studies.] Krisch has done his research in detailing the recent U.S. Army funded Hi-Sentinel communication blimp projects as well as the Keck Institute for Space Studies at California Tech.

This article is well worth a read as it may be a new dimension to future studies which will not only effectively gather information when it could not have been gathered before but to gather information over the long-term for more representative (and more accurate as well as more insightful) analyses.

 

Aviatik D.I — the rare Berg Scout

27 August 2014

Aviatik D.I — the rare Berg Scout

Aviatik D.I — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I on exhibit on the upper floor of the Personal Courage Wing at the Museum of Flight — photo by Joseph May

The Aviatik D.I sits in the Personal Courage Wing of the Museum of Flight and, like the Caproni Ca.20 which is also in the same display area, is a rare surviving example of as World War I fighter aircraft. Designed by Julius von Berg as fighter in Austrio-Hungary— explaining why it was more commonly known as the “Berg Scout” — the Aviatik D.I is the first Austrian fighter aircraft. It was especially reputed to possess excellent climbing ability with its 200 hp / ~150kN Austro-Daimler six cylinder in-line engine designed by Ferdinand Porsche (yes, the person who founded the Porsche car company). The fighter weighed 1350 pounds / 610kg empty and was a formidable aircraft which had 2½ hours flight endurance, a maximum level speed of 115 mph /185kph and an operational ceiling of 20,200 feet / 6150 meters. Five companies manufactured this aircraft type with this specific aircraft produced by the Thone and Viala company of Vienna.

The restoration of this Aviatik is quite a story beginning with its rescue by Art Williams and subsequent restoration after acquisition by famed restorer Doug Champlin. Famed for original restoration to flight condition Chaplin did no less with this Aviatik D.I — including the complicated hand-built radiator as well as the rare pair of 8mm caliber Schwarzlose aircraft machine guns (the fighter’s primary armament).

Aviatik D.I cockpit — Museum of Flight photo

The Aviatik D.I cockpit where both of the Schwarzlose machine guns are plain to see as is the double grip control column — Museum of Flight photo

Aviatik D.I — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I’s right profile — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I — photo by Joseph May

A common view of the Aviatik D.I as seen by ground crew — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I’s left profile view — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I — photo by Joseph May

The Aviatik D.I’s engine section with one of the Schwarzlose machine guns in view just forward of the cockpit — photo by Joseph May

Aviatik D.I — photo by Joseph May

Closer view of the Aviatik D.I’s Porche designed Austro-Daimler in-line engine — photo by Joseph May

The review of the Museum of Flight can be read here :)

Beardmore Aero Engine Co. engine

25 August 2014

Beardmore Aero Engine Co. engine

Beardmore Aero Engine Co. engine — photo by Joseph May

Beardmore Aero Engine Co. engine with the rare Aviatik D.I in the background — photo by Joseph May

This perfectly restored engine manufactured by the Beardmore Aero Engine Co. is in the Personal Courage Wing of the Museum of Flight. A close cousin to the Porsche design Austro-Daimler engine Britain’s Beardmore engine evolved from 120 hp to 160 hp by the end of World War I. This engine weighs 545 pounds / 245kg and developed 135 hp at 1200 rpm.

Beardmore Aero Engine Co. engine — photo by Joseph May

The Beardmore Aero Engine Co. engine which has six in-line cylinders — photo by Joseph May

Beardmore Aero Engine Co. engine — photo by Joseph May

Beardmore Aero Engine Co. engine left profile — photo by Joseph May

Beardmore Aero Engine Co. engine — photo by Joseph May

Another view of the Beardmore Aero Engine Co. engine as it sits in its display cradle — photo by Joseph May

The Aviatik D.I will be reviewed on Wednesday and the Museum of Flight was reviewed previously (the search window will easily bring you to the post).

Fast Roping from the Venom

22 August 2014

Fast Roping from the Venom

U.S. Marines practice fast roping onto the USS Bataa (LHD 5) from a UH-1Y Venom  — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 1st Class Julie Matyascik

U.S. Marines practice fast roping onto the USS Bataa (LHD 5) from a UH-1Y Venom — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 1st Class Julie Matyascik

 

Super Huey — Bell UH-1Y Venom

21 August 2014

Super Huey — Bell UH-1Y Venom

UH-1Y Venom of the Marine Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 on USS Denver's (LPD 9) flight deck — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Christopher Lindahl

UH-1Y Venom of the Marine Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 on the USS Denver’s (LPD 9) flight deck, note the oval instead of circular jet exhausts as well as the four rotor blades — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Christopher Lindahl

What aircrew does not wish to have more power in their aircraft? The Venom is not only an improved variant of the archetype general purpose (or, all purpose to some) “Huey” helicopter. The Bell UH-1Y is such an evolutionary leap forward it received a new name designation from Iroquois to Venom by the U.S. Marine Corps. Gone is the twin blade rotor disk used to conserve shipboard space for an ultra  modern four blade rotor disk of composite construction. More payload and range as well as greater speed (~100 mph faster) are due greatly in part to the pair of General Electric T700 turboshaft engines of 1546 shp each.

31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) on a Search & Rescue mission near the location of the sunken South Korean ferry Sewol — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 1st Class Matthew Bradley

31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) UH-1Y Venom on a Search & Rescue mission near the location of the sunken South Korean ferry Sewol — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 1st Class Matthew Bradley

UH-1Y Venom taking off from the USS Wasp (LHD 1) for an evaluation flight for the aircraft type — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 1st Class Rebekah Adler

UH-1Y Venom taking off from the USS Wasp (LHD 1) for an evaluation flight of the aircraft type. Like the venerated Huey, the Venom can be hung with weapons, used for dust-offs or loaded with communication equipment for command-and-control. — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 1st Class Rebekah Adler

 

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