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Recently at PGA

6 July 2015

 

WW II vintage DC-3 aircraft recently at Punta Gorda Airport — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

WW II vintage DC-3 aircraft recently at Punta Gorda Airport — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

These images were recently captured at the Punta Gorda Aiport (a/k/a: Charlotte County Airport) in Florida. For fun some artistic interpretation was used :)

Yellow T-28 Trojan at the Punta Gorda Airport — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

Yellow T-28 Trojan at the Punta Gorda Airport — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

A pair of T-28 Trojans in differing U.S. Navy liveries at the Punta Gorda Airport — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

A pair of T-28 Trojans in differing U.S. Navy liveries at the Punta Gorda Airport — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

Ekranoplan — big mover flying fast and low

1 July 2015

55° 51′ 06″ N / 37° 27′ 22′ E

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) nose beaching gear — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Макс Климов (Max Klimov) from Moscow is a contributed significantly to this post. The text below is his as are the copyrighted images presented in this post. Here are the thoughts and perspective of Russian citizen about this remarkable Russian craft:

The ground effect is known to the aviators from the very beginning of the aeronautics era. It results in the increased lift force and decreased aerodynamic drag that an aircraft’s wings generate when they are near the surface. Early pilots encountered difficulties on landing due to ground effect, since airplane control became complicated in the proximity of the Earth—controls often crossed. Generally, the better was the aerodynamic quality of the airplane, the stronger was the influence of the “air cushion” between wings and ground or water surface. From the aviators’ point of view the effect was often considered harmful and was just taken into consideration in the landing sequence and was initially not researched well.

In USSR interest for ground effect returned after WW II in the construction bureau headed by Rostislav Alexeyev that was developing high speed marine vessels. A floating vessel’s speed is significantly affected by viscous friction with the water. In order to minimize friction it was necessary to minimize hull to fluid contact. First came hydrogliders with only aft part of the body immersed into water. Then followed the hydrofoil vessels that had only foils in contact with liquid when the vessel was at speed. But their top speed was still limited: cavitation disturbed the lift created by the foils as they moved through the water at speed above 70 mph, bending or even destroying the foil. And so there came an idea to create a boat that had no contact with water at all! Alexeyev with his team performed profound research of the “harmful” ground effect and found it to be really useful. The scale models were able to glide on a low altitude for a long distance over a relatively flat surface, no matter was it water or ground. After long sequence of experiments several experimental full sized crafts were produced which were presented to the state commission.

These impressed Khrushchev as well as the military authority so the bureau achieved state funding for further research and development. There were numerous problems to solve. One of the hardest was to create the construction as light as an aircraft, but as durable as a ship — and able to withstand wave impacts at speeds of 300 mph. Finally in late 60-s the huge prototype ship “KM” was built. It was about 100 meters long with a 40 meter wingspan. Spotted by US military satellites it became known in western press as the “Caspian Sea Monster.” The KM was determined to have an optimum (fuel efficient) cruising speed of 267 mph, and a maximum operational speed of 311 mph. Maximum speed achieved was 404 mph, although some sources claim up to 460 mph. KM was tested at the Caspian Sea for 15 years until it was lost in 1980 due to pilot error. In parallel there were developed two branches of military purpose ground effect vehicles (or GEVs): naval missile-carrier called “Lun” and amphibious personnel-carrier “Orlyonok” (Eaglet).

[Thank you Max]

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) forward fuselage showing radar dome, cupola (originally a dorsal gun turret) and exhaust from the starboard Kuznetsov turbofan — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) forward fuselage showing radar dome, cupola (originally a dorsal gun turret) and exhaust from the starboard Kuznetsov turbofan — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) hull view — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) hull view (note the large air intake for the starboard turbofan) — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Designer Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeyev specializes in ground effect vehicles (ekrnoplan) in the Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau. This class of vehicles are generally considered maritime, not aircraft, but they follow aerodynamic principles quite closely nonetheless. This A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) is Alexeyev’s medium sized vehicle entry into ground effects vehicle military transport as well as assault vehicle. Large enough to carry 150 troops or 28,000kg/61,730 pound of cargo is impressive — being able to surprise assault from over the horizon at over 400kph/~250 mph is terrifying to shore installation defense commanders since reaction time once seen would be a matter of a few minutes.

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) cockpit windscreen — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) cockpit windscreen — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) view forward — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) view forward — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) hull form detail — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) hull form detail — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) hull swinging joint detail — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) hull swinging joint detail — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) inboard starboard wing flap detail — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) inboard starboard wing flap detail — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) wing flap hinge — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) wing flap hinge — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) hatch — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) hatch — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Flight power is handles by an immense single Kuznetsov NK-12MK (152kN/~34,000 lbs thrust) turboprop driving contra-rotating propellers while ground effects power is augmented with a pair of Kuznetsov NK-8-4K turbofans (103kN/~23,000 lbs thrust each). The turbofans direct thrust downward underneath the wings and full-span flaps. This is termed power augmented thrust in the industry. The turboprop is the most powerful one available in the world and cannot only propel the A-90 to medium speeds but up to a height of 3000 meters (~9800 feet). The Orlyonok’s range is equally impressive at 1500km (~930 miles).

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) huge Kuznetsov turboprop — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) huge Kuznetsov turboprop — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) profile of the contra-rotating propellers — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) profile of the contra-rotating propellers — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) starboard Kuznetsov turbofan exhaust — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) starboard Kuznetsov turbofan exhaust — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Crewed by six the A-90 could bring cargo such as a platoon or an armored personnel carrier to a remote shore or recently captured airfield, swing the A-90’s nose to the starboard (right) side and be on its way — noisily perhaps but speedily.

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) vertical stabilizer and rudder assembly — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) vertical stabilizer and rudder assembly — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) starboard wing sponson — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) starboard wing sponson — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) swinging nose-fuselage hull joint hinges — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) swinging nose-fuselage hull joint hinges — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) main beaching gear — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) main (L) and nose (R) beaching gear — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) nose beaching gear — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) nose beaching gear — copyright and photo by Макс Климов (Max Klimov)

[Thanks again Max]

The FedEx B-727 — just in time delivery

29 June 2015

27° 58″ 55″ N / 82° 01′ 35″ W

FedEx B-727 — photo by Joseph May

FedEx B-727 at the Florida Air Museum — photo by Joseph May

FedEx donated one of their Boeing B-727 aircraft to the Florida Air Museum. Its new purpose, “just in time delivery”, is to be a classroom and meeting space.

FedEx B-727 — photo by Joseph May

The FedEx B-727’s distinctive T-tail with triple engines — photo by Joseph May

Postscript: reader dlberek (see the comments below) noted that not long after these images were taken the 727 was repainted in the scheme of Piedmont Airlines and the photo he referenced (http://www.airliners.net/photo/Piedmont-Airlines/Boeing-727-233-Adv(F)/2640251/&sid=64fee62be3d1f96c476b4f97d895ba66) also shows the aircraft is ready to served as a classroom and meeting space. Thanks for the heads up :)

Gear Down Hook Down Blue

25 June 2015

Gear Down Hook Down Blue

F/A-18 Hornet Blue Angel right wing pilot Lt. Cmdr. John Hiltz during practice over NAS Key West — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 1st Class Rachel McNarr

F/A-18 Hornet Blue Angel right wing pilot Lt. Cmdr. John Hiltz during practices over NAS Key West — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 1st Class Rachel McNarr

 

WOMAM models — history in miniature at the Wings Over Miami Air Museum

24 June 2015

This diorama as well as these models are part of the permanent exhibition at WOMAM (Wings Over Miami Air Museum)

OS2U Kingfisher base ops diorama — photo by Joseph May

OS2U Kingfisher base ops diorama (note the OS2U under taxi as well as the painted backgrounds) — photo by Joseph May

Models made by masters are a wonder since:

  • A lot of history can be displayed in three dimensions in a small volume
  • Rare, no longer existing and costly aircraft can otherwise be seen
  • Multiple color schemes of the same aircraft type can be exhibited by using several models — hardly likely to occur with the real thing
  • Thinking-out-of-the-box modifications can be presented
  • Dioramas can evoke visceral feelings and these are much more likely to occur at scale since the mind “wakes up” when the eyes focus on small representations such as dioramas and television

 

Northrop B-35 model — photo by Joseph May

Northrop B-35 and Horten Ho 229 (often also called Gotha Go 229, note the four Fritz-X guided glide bombs which are a theoretical armament) model — photo by Joseph May

Nieuport 17 model by Eduardo G, Salcedo — photo by Joseph May

Nieuport 17 model by Eduardo G. Salcedo (though it appears ti be a Spad 13, with thanks to reader Pal D. in the comments) — photo by Joseph May

de Havilland Mosquito fighter (note the flat, not divided, windscreen) — photo by Joseph May

de Havilland Mosquito fighter (note the flat, not divided, windscreen which is a mark of a Mosquito fighter variant) — photo by Joseph May

Martin PBM-5 Mariner model — photo by Joseph May

Martin PBM-5 Mariner model — photo by Joseph May

Flock of de Havilland Lysander models — photo by Joseph May

Flock of de Havilland Lysander models — photo by Joseph May

Gotha G.IV model — photo by Joseph May

Gotha G.IV model — photo by Joseph May

LTV F-8 Crusader model loaded for bear with AIM-9 as well as AIM-4 missiles and variety of bombs (it must have required air-to-air refueling minutes after taking off!) — photo by Joseph May

LTV F-8 Crusader model loaded for bear with AIM-9 as well as AIM-4 missiles and variety of bombs (it must have required air-to-air refueling minutes after taking off!) — photo by Joseph May

Dornier Do X model (a flying ship instead of flying boats in more ways than one) — photo by Joseph May

Dornier Do X model (a flying ship instead of a flying boat in more ways than one) — photo by Joseph May

License made Cierva Autogiro (Pitcairn PCA-2) — photo by Joseph May

License made Cierva Autogiro (Pitcairn PCA-2) — photo by Joseph May

Upscaled Catalina Super Cat update

22 June 2015

Upscaled Catalina Super Cat update

PBY-5A Catalina super modified to a Supercat — photo by Joseph May

PBY-5A Catalina super modified to a Super Cat — photo by Joseph May

The tail would recall the PBY-6A but this PBY-5A has been hyper modified inside and out. See this post for the specifics :) It has reside outside the hangar of the Wings Over Miami Air Museum for years while ownership was argued in the court system. It is a live aircraft though it has not flown in some time. Oil stains under the engines attest to that. Soon it will fly to a new home though so this may be the last time to see her while she is in Miami, The owners may be advised to fly her away before Florida’s portion of this year’s hurricane season arrives since there is no room in the hangar for her.

Bows on to the Supercat — photo by Joseph May

Bows on to the Super Cat — photo by Joseph May

Down the Supercat's starboard side — photo by Joseph May

Down the Super Cat’s starboard side — photo by Joseph May

The port aspect of the Supercat — photo by Joseph May

The port aspect of the Super Cat — photo by Joseph May

Intrigue at the North Perry Airport

19 June 2015

Intrigue at the North Perry Airport

25° 19″ 48″ N /  80° 13′ 57″ W

Evidence of a person on a mission, we hope, with a Fouga Magister fuselage in the foreground — photo by Joseph May

Evidence of a person on a mission, we hope, with a fuselage in the foreground — photo by Joseph May

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