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LotusExcelle
2008-Jul-08, 11:31 AM
List your favorite airplane! You can do a "top five" if you want - and feel free to include planes you've flown either in real life or in simulation!


XB-70

G O R T
2008-Jul-08, 12:08 PM
P-38L

My dad used to patch them up in Guinea.

I like them in Combat Flight Simulator 2.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-08, 12:41 PM
Limiting a list of favorite planes to even 5 is very hard for me. Maybe if the list was limited to 50 or 100, then I could give a better answer. Anyway, here's a list of 5 of my favorites, not in any particular order:

1. P-38 - wicked design with a sound that's best described as "sexy". If you've ever heard a P-38 fly by at high speed, you know what I mean. The Japanese called it Whispering Death for a good reason.

2. Spitfire, especially the Mark IX - not only because of its historical significance but also for its beauty.

3. Mosquito - fast, power, innovative, and very flexible operationally.

4. F-86 - no explaination should be necessary

5. 1967 Cherokee 140 (with speed mods) - because I own one.

Jetlack
2008-Jul-08, 12:47 PM
My fave is the F-16 on account of being addicted to Falcon 4 flight simulator over many years. Its still my favourite pc flight simulator. In fact i dont think there has been another such detailed simulator with as realistic a dynamic campaign engine. It really feels like you are just another pilot flying a single sortie in a massive ground and air war on the Korean peninusla. I was hooked to that game for a very long time :)

Just out of interest; is there anything new out there in the pc market to touch F4? Any recommendations?

Moose
2008-Jul-08, 12:50 PM
I've always been a fan of the F-14. I'm fond of the Lancaster as well.

LotusExcelle
2008-Jul-08, 12:56 PM
For civilian simulation I like FSX. But it is still really unstable and regularly crashes my system - so its a trade off between realism and kicking my computer. Because its so unstable I haven't flown in it much but I did used to fly on all the versions of FS before FSX. I prefer the hum-drum Cessna Caravan out of Hardee Field in Alaska. That's my very favorite plane/place in the game.

That being said I know there are XB-70 add-ons for FS. I just haven't had time/patience to try them out. I'm sure THAT would be my favorite simulator plane.

Falcon 4.0 was on some other level of existence, I think. I've never encountered a simulator quite like it. Everyone is listing some fine aircraft!

Nicolas
2008-Jul-08, 01:17 PM
The LAPCAT RBCC M8, as I was part of the research team for that one.

As for built&flown, I like the F-16 (also partially thanks to Falcon 4.0). The Starfighter. The Berkut. The A-10. The XB-70.

Jens
2008-Jul-08, 01:27 PM
1. P-38 - wicked design with a sound that's best described as "sexy". If you've ever heard a P-38 fly by at high speed, you know what I mean. The Japanese called it Whispering Death for a good reason.


Do you have a source for that?

I saw somewhere on the Internet that the Bristol Beaufort was supposedly known by the Germans (or alternatively by the Japanese) as "whispering death". I'm a bit skeptical about your claim, because in Japanese the phrase would be something like "sasaku shi", and somehow it seems unnatural. I looked on the Japanese wikipedia page for the P-38 and there was no such mention.

djellison
2008-Jul-08, 01:35 PM
From 5 to 1, my countdown.

The Embraer 145. Lovely regional commercial jet. Fortuante enough to fly on one of these with only 6 fellow passengers once. Birmingham to Frankfurt, and back.
The BAE Hawk. RAF Red Arrows Legend - getting on a bit, but still beautiful.
SR71. For those weekend getaways, eh :)
Spaceship One. I mean, seriously - it's Buck Rodgers.

and..

The Ventus 2a. A stunning glider. Form and function, together, in perfection. Although any modern single seater competition glider will tick this box. The LS8, the Discus 2, the ASW28, all utterly stunning creations that both look beautiful, and have glide ratios that defy belief.

Special Mention - Concorde. Doesn't make my Top 5...but does make my Top 6. And Thrust SSC. Land Speed Record car...but 50% jet fighter :)

The Hawk, SR71 and Concorde I've flown in either X-Plane of FS..something ('04 probably)
SS1 I've flown in Orbiter.
And most of those sailplanes in 'Condor'

Doug

Neverfly
2008-Jul-08, 01:41 PM
The Spruce Goose. For no real logical reason.
Also, from a modelers standpoint, The more unusual German WWII aircraft like the Blohm und Voss Bv 141, although it never went into production. The Focke-Wulf F2 189 Uhu looked less mutated and was already in production.

Of course, I love fighters too, like our P-51, again, for no logical reason. The F-14 Eagle and the F-16 Tomcat only because it's a Huge Clunky Slug and yet so powerful and graceful in spite of itself.

But when it comes to Just Looking at aircraft, the German Bombers play with the imagination, with their turrets and huge glass domes and spartan facilities.
It takes me away into outer space, on some strange spacecraft, fighting the lizard people of Draco IV.

LotusExcelle
2008-Jul-08, 01:43 PM
The F-14 is one of the loudest airplanes I've ever heard in person, too. And it seems so seedily, disgustingly 80's that its just great.

Moose
2008-Jul-08, 02:13 PM
That means it was way ahead of its time, LE, having been built in 1973.

LotusExcelle
2008-Jul-08, 02:14 PM
Yes I know.

LotusExcelle
2008-Jul-08, 02:16 PM
Oh and I noticed they mention LANTIRN on the wiki entry. My father was the program manager for the LANTIRN project. If I recall the F-16 was the original testbed. For its time, LANTIRN was rather impressive.

Doodler
2008-Jul-08, 02:20 PM
Boeing 737.

Much more comfortable to ride in than the 727.

Torsten
2008-Jul-08, 03:13 PM
This one (http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh315/TKphotofolder/BAUT/TKandC-FCLU.jpg)

1976 Cessna A185F, Edo 2960 floats, Robertson STOL. That machine is now registered to someone living in Minnesota.


Hey Larry, I soloed in a PA-28-140. Poor thing took a lot of abuse from me.


I also have a big spot in my heart for the Bell 206. It's plucked me out of a lot remote places in snotty weather.

When I was a kid, I was into military aircraft too. For a time, my favourite was the F-104 because my older brother had been training to fly them in Germany. However, for medical reasons, he couldn't complete it. He eventually became a controller at Meßstetten.

Argos
2008-Jul-08, 03:21 PM
Impossible to answer, since I tend to love them all, big and small ones [including the WWii German (FW) and Japanese (Zero)]. There are also beautiful Eastern Europe airplanes [Russia, Czechoslovakia], and Italian ones. And there´s the plethora of American, British and French planes.

OK, I´ll nominate one that I don´t like: The awkward V22 Osprey.

And here´s one I´m very fond of: the Embraer Super Tucano.

captain swoop
2008-Jul-08, 04:12 PM
Buccaneer (http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/buccaneer/index.html), Transonic at wavetop height.
Handley-Page Victor (http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/victor/history.html) My fave of the 'V' Bombers.
de Havilland Sea Vixen (http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/seavixen/index.php) Twin tailboom monster fighter.
English Electric Lightning (http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/lightning/index.html) Stands on it's tail and Whooosh vertical.
HawkerSea Fury (http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/aircraft/Seafury.html)

farmerjumperdon
2008-Jul-08, 04:39 PM
Twin Otter
Cessna 206
Beaver
Porter
DC-3

Because I jump them.

Kaptain K
2008-Jul-08, 04:54 PM
1) P-38 Lightning - The Germans called it the Fork Tailed Devil
2) P51 Mustang
3) P 40 Warhawk
4) F4 Phantom
5) A10 Warthog

There are many more, but those are my top five

Jim
2008-Jul-08, 05:05 PM
P-38 - wicked design with a sound that's best described as "sexy". If you've ever heard a P-38 fly by at high speed, you know what I mean. The Japanese called it Whispering Death for a good reason.

I'll let you guys argue this one. The Germans called her the Fork-tailed Devil.

Lessee, my favorites...

SR71 Blackbird
A10 Warthog
PBY Catalina
DC3/C47 Skytrain
A26 Invader

danscope
2008-Jul-08, 05:19 PM
Hi Jim, We share a lot of favourites ! I'll add to the list the great designs of
Burt Rutan like the Defiant and the Long-EZ .....and the Star Ship .
I'd probably put the Lake Amphibian and the DeHaviland Twin Otter and Beaver in there as well.

Best regards, Dan

mike alexander
2008-Jul-08, 05:51 PM
D558-2 Douglas Skyrocket. Thing looks like it's going about 600 mph standing still.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-08, 05:54 PM
Do you have a source for that?

I saw somewhere on the Internet that the Bristol Beaufort was supposedly known by the Germans (or alternatively by the Japanese) as "whispering death". I'm a bit skeptical about your claim, because in Japanese the phrase would be something like "sasaku shi", and somehow it seems unnatural. I looked on the Japanese wikipedia page for the P-38 and there was no such mention.

Here's one source (http://www.xs4all.nl/~fbonne/warbirds/ww2htmls/lockp38.html). I've also read it in books on the plane.

The P-38 was known under a lot of names. The enemy naturally had their own name for it. The Germans called it "Der Gabelschwanz Teufel" or Fork Tailed Devil, while the Japanese spoke of "The Whispering Death". This says a lot about the P-38, which was the first fighter that could penetrate deep into Germany, or was reasonable silent and fast in the Pacific.

Apparently, the Beaufort was also called the Whispering Death.

Hey Larry, I soloed in a PA-28-140. Poor thing took a lot of abuse from me.

I hear you. I can personally attest to the ruggedness of Cessna (150, 152, and 172) landing gear. I find it easier to do a smooth landing in a Cherokee, perhaps due to ground effect and the oleo struts.

captain swoop
2008-Jul-08, 06:07 PM
To me the designs of the late 40s and 50s were the best, they were more 'experimental' even when in service.

Plus the shapes were more 'sexy' look at the Buccaneer with it's strict 'Area Rule' fuselage swelling towards the rear, lovely.

Nick Theodorakis
2008-Jul-08, 06:16 PM
I like some aircraft better than others, and it's hard to pick a favorite, but for over-the-top panache, I suggest the B-70 Valkyrie.

Nick

hhEb09'1
2008-Jul-08, 06:27 PM
Wired's gallery of top ten worst aircraft (http://www.wired.com/culture/culturereviews/multimedia/2008/07/gallery_worstplanes), dateline today

Tupolev TU- 144
B.O.A.C de Havilland Comet
Hughes H-4 Hercules
LWS-4 Zubr
Christmas Bullet
Beechcraft Starship
Hiller VZ-1
A-12 Avenger II
Royal Aircraft B.E.2
Boeing XB 15

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2008-Jul-08, 06:56 PM
The forum ate my first attempt. It's a good thing I copied it first.

My favorite is the SR-71. I'm crazy enough about it to not only own a copy of the flight manual, but to have actually read it (it's 1000+ pages long). None of the versions for MSFS even come close to simulating the real airplane.

Others I like:

Douglas F4D Skyray. Highly maneuverable, incredible rate-of-climb (it set a time-to-climb record of 10,000ft in 45 seconds), and bat-winged styling to boot! If I could own a "warbird," it would be one of these.

Grumman TBF Avenger. Sure, it's big for a single-engine airplane, but with that one engine it had the performance of most nations' twin-engine light bombers, and could do it from the deck of a carrier.

V-tailed Bonanza. Built a few miles from where I am. They bit a lot of unwary pilots, but I'd like to think that I'm cautious enough to handle one. Besides, they just look cool.

Honorable mention: Corsair, A-10, B-1B, I could keep going...

ngc3314
2008-Jul-08, 07:01 PM
I haven't seen it yet here - the Vulcan.

jlhredshift
2008-Jul-08, 07:04 PM
X-15 You gotta love flying into space!

P-47 Go ahead ME-109, try to dive from me.

SR-71 The looks alone....

A-10 Warthog Love where they put the cannon.

F15E Go to full afterburner at 100ft and pull back on the stick...Yee Haw

antoniseb
2008-Jul-08, 07:07 PM
When I was a kid I was very drawn to the P-38.
I haven't thought about it for a long time, but I think the Kitty Hawk Flyer is my favorite now.

Tedward
2008-Jul-08, 08:08 PM
List is long but Buccaneer for one after seeing it in a film at red flag. Tunneling, or at least seemed like it.
Vulcan. Superb. Have a read of 607 (black buck raids).
Lancaster, many reasons.
Spitfire for obvious reasons.
Lightning. Seeing that at air shows when I were a lad and the pilot on the tail and giving it some beans straight up from the runway.
Concord.

I could go on.

pzkpfw
2008-Jul-08, 08:18 PM
The F-14 Eagle and the F-16 Tomcat

Eh?!

-----

"Favourite" for me is too hard (and odd, I mean, I like the Bell P39 for goodness sake).


But I do want to know: am I the only person who thinks the Spitfire is ugly and the A10 is beautiful?

Jim
2008-Jul-08, 08:29 PM
Hi Jim, We share a lot of favourites !

... I'd probably put the Lake Amphibian and the DeHaviland Twin Otter and Beaver in there as well.

It was hard culling to five, and I could change my mind.

Like, the Twin Otter. I used to fly in them a lot on shuttles between Clear Lake and IAH. It bothered me at first that the pilot seemed to "aim" the nose at the runway when landing, until I spoke to one of the pilots. He said the Otter liked to be in the air so much that you had to force it to land... almost a controlled crash.

I like that attitude in any plane carrying me.

I also like the air-worthiness of the DC3. I recall a story about a company that flew them from Brazil to Portugal (or some such) after WWII... way beyond its nameplate rating. They managed it by overloading the plane with fuel and taking off from a runway on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic; the plane didn't take off so much as find itself over water. It would fly at wavetop height until it burned off enough fuel to climb.

Argos
2008-Jul-08, 09:28 PM
I also like the air-worthiness of the DC3. I recall a story about a company that flew them from Brazil to Portugal (or some such) after WWII... way beyond its nameplate rating. They managed it by overloading the plane with fuel and taking off from a runway on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic; the plane didn't take off so much as find itself over water. It would fly at wavetop height until it burned off enough fuel to climb.

Yeah, that would be Panair, an extinct Brazilian co. They used to take off from Santos-Dumont airport (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=+rio+brazil&sll=-21.450784,-43.557595&sspn=1.170785,1.691895&ie=UTF8&ll=-22.908989,-43.162172&spn=0.009052,0.013218&t=h&z=16), Panair´s hub at the time.

LotusExcelle
2008-Jul-08, 09:44 PM
Wow those DC-3's sound pretty wicked. I may have to load one up in FSX if I ever get it to work right!

djellison
2008-Jul-08, 10:09 PM
I haven't seen it yet here - the Vulcan.

Which JUST got a CAA display license again :) I must have seen one as a kid in '91 or '92 at the Royal International Air Tattoo - the loudest thing I can ever remember.

http://www.tvoc.co.uk/


Doug

tofu
2008-Jul-08, 10:18 PM
Wow those DC-3's sound pretty wicked. I may have to load one up in FSX if I ever get it to work right!

I don't have FSX, but in FS9 the DC-3 was quite fun to fly, especially if you have rudder peddles and a yoke with enough throttles (you don't steer with the rudder though, you use differential braking). Anyway, one thing that I really enjoyed was navigating with the 1940's era radios, and no cheating by looking at the map screen! Two other aircraft with old timey instruments that I liked, and you might like, are the Beech 18 (http://picasaweb.google.com/CanFliteSim/FlyingTheBeechC45Expeditor) and the Aero Commander

Paul Leeks
2008-Jul-08, 10:19 PM
I am studying german secret aircraft at the moment...Me264 "Amerika" bomber, Ju 287 (jet bomber!!)..1st jet bomber in history!...german helicopters!

obtw I collect german memorabilia

Paul...

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-08, 10:39 PM
Grumman TBF Avenger. Sure, it's big for a single-engine airplane, but with that one engine it had the performance of most nations' twin-engine light bombers, and could do it from the deck of a carrier.

The Avenger was a really good plane. In many ways, the Douglas A-1 Skyraider (AKA Spad) was even better. Good firepower (4 20mm cannons), big bombload, long endurance, rugged, maneuverable, and carrier based. In the Sandy role, they escorted rescue helicopters during the Vietnam war, helping countless pilots avoid a stay in the Hanoi Hilton.

chrissy
2008-Jul-08, 11:26 PM
I like the C-130 Hercules I have been in that plane a few times, hated it when they open the back up in mid flight though!

I know this isn't an aeroplane, but the Boeing Chinook HC2 (helicopter) is another favourite of mine, but yet again when them damn back doors open up in mid flight....

danscope
2008-Jul-09, 02:05 AM
It was hard culling to five, and I could change my mind.

Like, the Twin Otter. I used to fly in them a lot on shuttles between Clear Lake and IAH. It bothered me at first that the pilot seemed to "aim" the nose at the runway when landing, until I spoke to one of the pilots. He said the Otter liked to be in the air so much that you had to force it to land... almost a controlled crash.

I like that attitude in any plane carrying me.

I also like the air-worthiness of the DC3. I recall a story about a company that flew them from Brazil to Portugal (or some such) after WWII... way beyond its nameplate rating. They managed it by overloading the plane with fuel and taking off from a runway on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic; the plane didn't take off so much as find itself over water. It would fly at wavetop height until it burned off enough fuel to climb.

**********
Hi, Yes, the DC-3 is one of the great classics that continues to serve us well. They were still flying regular air service from Boston to Plymouth and Nantucket back in the 70's and perhaps longer than that. A blessing of non-pressurization. This aircraft coined the phrase " Built to Last ". :)

Many manymoons ago there was a television show (black and white days )
called "Terry and the Pirates " , which was built around a DC-3.
I think...to this day, you can go to Griffin Georgia and get checked out for your ATC rating in a good old DC-3. Quite the aircraft .
Happy days.

Dan

Peace Makes Plenty
2008-Jul-09, 02:42 AM
1.Harrier Jumpjet
2.F-14 Tomcat - Beautiful, surely a design classic

I was staying at RAF Leuchars during the summer of '86 and the GR-5 put on a display for some visiting Russians. It flew around the airfield, dipped and bowed to everyone. Then flew backwards. Awesome display.

Torsten
2008-Jul-09, 06:24 AM
Nine years ago I had an opportunity to fly one of the few Found FBA-2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:FoundFBA-2C1BushHawkC-GYWF.jpg) built (not the one pictured!). Admittedly, I was in the right seat, with the controls thrown over to me. It was quite a treat, but I thought the 185 got out of the water faster.

I'm thinking of all the floatplanes or amphibs I've been in: C180s and 185s, Beavers, Otters, Twin Otters, the Found, and the Grumman Goose.

I think the Beaver is up there on my list too.

I'll leave the military birds to the rest of you.

Nicolas
2008-Jul-09, 07:10 AM
The Harrier can do some amazing tricks for a jet, no discussion about that. Very impressive, and quite reliable now. Always a pleasure at an air show.

I'm quite sure there's still a fair amount of DC-3's being used today. I thought an airline to Antarctica used them, but it could also be a 707 or something looking similar to a DC-3. However, my money would be on it being the real deal, the DC-3. For reasons of being beautiful, good and massively reliable, the DC-3 can be in my list of favourite airplanes :).

captain swoop
2008-Jul-09, 08:29 AM
As for my number 1 the Buccaneer, I have vivid memories of being 'attacked' by one in the North Sea aboard HMS Diomede in the early 80s. It was flying in on the wavetops, pulling up over the ship lower it seemed than the mast. We were giving it full revs and hard helm, the ship was heeling at a crazy angle. Epic!

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-09, 01:45 PM
Back in 1996, I met a man* who ran a restoration company (Bassler) for DC-3s. They could rebuild just about everything on the planes. Getting parts for those old radials is a challenge so they can convert the plane to turboprop engines. They've also got a fuselage stretch option. I saw one of their projects in a hangar. It was built for an unnamed South American country to interdict drug smugglers. It had a FLIR (forward looking infrared) pod and a .50 caliber machine gun. Not the kind of thing I'd want to encounter on a dark night.

*Mr. Bassler was a very nice man. Unfortunately, he and several of his employees were killed in a mid-air collision a few months later. They were doing a photo-shoot of one of their newly completed planes when apparently the Bonanza photo plane hit the DC-3. Everyone on both planes died.

I thought an airline to Antarctica used them, but it could also be a 707 or something looking similar to a DC-3.

Excuse me, but a 707 is not at all similar to a DC-3, other than both of them are low wing monoplanes. The 707 is a 4-engined swept wing jet while the DC-3 is a twin-engined (piston or turboprop) taildragger.

Nicolas
2008-Jul-09, 02:05 PM
I meant the Boeing 207. That one is a bit closer to the DC-3, looks-wise. It was in a TV special of the Belgian Antarctica base, showing them arriving in an aircraft. Looked like a DC-3 to me, but it was too fast for an unprepared Nicolas to recognize for sure :).

Both can be seen on this image.

http://www169.pair.com/jcat/jason/flying/vintagepics/dc3.JPG

Top one is the DC-3, bottom one the 207. My bet is it was the DC-3, given not many 207's are flying these days.

LotusExcelle
2008-Jul-09, 02:07 PM
I want to barnstorm with the Spruce Goose. Anyone up for it?

Nicolas
2008-Jul-09, 02:14 PM
The Spruce Goose acting as barn or as stormer?

LotusExcelle
2008-Jul-09, 02:19 PM
The Spruce Goose acting as barn or as stormer?

Man alive I hadn't thought of that. Maybe we could barnstorm the Goose as the Goose barnstorms, say, the Vehicle Assembly Building for NASA

Trebuchet
2008-Jul-09, 03:21 PM
747. I've worked on it (engineering) for close to twenty years and I'm still in awe of the guys who designed it, ink on mylar, very limited computing, creating a design that changed the way the world travels. I still get goosebumps a little bit walking up under one in the factory.

Nicolas
2008-Jul-09, 05:21 PM
Were you the one also involved in the beluga variant of the 747? (can't remember its real name). That bulkhead remains a laugh, but very impressive plane nonetheless.

Besides, the A380 bulkheads are quite impressive as well. Though they are only as large as they need be for their own good ;).

farmerjumperdon
2008-Jul-09, 05:48 PM
Like, the Twin Otter. I used to fly in them a lot on shuttles between Clear Lake and IAH. It bothered me at first that the pilot seemed to "aim" the nose at the runway when landing, until I spoke to one of the pilots. He said the Otter liked to be in the air so much that you had to force it to land... almost a controlled crash.

I like that attitude in any plane carrying me.

You should ride in one during skydiving operations, where the objective is to get to 13K as quickly as possible, dump the jumpers, then get back down for the next waiting load, again, as quickly as is safely possible. STOL takes on a new meaning. I've sat in the right seat a few times and when you are used to normal landings it really does look like you are pointed straight down. And the truth is it is not far from just that. That thing can be landed in an unbelievably short space. A couple weeks back the pilot landed it the wrong way, in the WIDTH of our airstrip. Only guessing, but it could not have been much more than 400' from first touch to full stop.

Tourists hanging out waiting for their tandem usually think it is about to crash when they see it wingtip to ground at only a couple hundred feet as it banks in over the runway on it's final. Amazing.

farmerjumperdon
2008-Jul-09, 06:00 PM
Now that I look on the map:

http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Baldwin&state=WI#a/maps/l:::Baldwin:WI::US:44.966702:-92.374199:city:Saint+Croix+County/m:hyb:7:44.966702:-92.374199:0::/io:0:::::f:EN:M:/e

I'd say he landed it in about 300', from east to west, touching down just after clearing that row of Cessnas, and coming to a full stop before the dried out brown field to the west.

EDIT: I see the link is not saved in zoom mode. Zoom in to the 3rd button from the top in the zoom bar.

Zoombar - - I like the sound of that.

Ilya
2008-Jul-09, 06:12 PM
A-10. It is just... so... badass.

Of course, I had never flown anything but a Cessna.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-09, 06:15 PM
I meant the Boeing 207. That one is a bit closer to the DC-3, looks-wise.

You're probably thinking of the Boeing 247. It has a similar layout to a DC-3 although they really don't look that much alike. The odds are very good you saw a DC-3. According to this source (http://www.tripatlas.com/Boeing_247), only 75 Boeing 247s were ever built compared to thousands of DC-3s/C-47s. Hundreds of DC-3s are still flying. The linked source states that only 4 Boeing 247s still exist and only one of them is airworthy.

mugaliens
2008-Jul-09, 06:44 PM
I'm going to have to list the airplanes that have moved me the most - spiritually, physically, emotionally, and awe-inspiringly. However, I'm going to expand this to include all manner of aerospace conveyences, along with details of the specific instance which touched me the most.

1. Live launch of a Saturn V aka Apollo. Words don't describe it. Tears don't describe it. The thunderous, crackling roar that penetrates every muscle, bone, and sinew in your body, electrifying your senses, doesn't describe it. Nothing describes it - you had to be there.

2. The Blue Angels flying at just 50 feet over the bleachers, coming up from behind us at 500 kts in 1967, during a special (aka, "practice") screening on St. Augustine Beach. Heard 'em? I could feel the heat from their engines as they roared overhead and I could smell their jet exhaust within a short few seconds.

3. Watching an RA-5C Vigilante accelerate from the numbers, lifting off less than half-way down the runway, and scream out of sight through a distant cloud.

4. Watching one of the first AV-8 Harriers taxi past my dad's office, before turning right, taxiing to the parallel, then lifting off vertically to an altitude of just 50 ft. I think he saw me, because once there, he pointed the jet right at me, held it for a moment, then did a 360 to the left, a 360 to the right, then he wagged his nose up and down a couple of times while still pointing right at me. I responded the only way I knew how, which was to pump my fist up and down a couple of times over my head, simulating a train engineer blowing the whistle (we lived next to RR tracks, and that's how the engineers responded). This guy just did a 180, and added full power while angling his thrusters back 45 degrees. The downwash blew against me gently as did the smell of burning jetfuel.

5. My father and I taking off in a Cessna 152, during a beautiful early morning in the Fall when I was in seventh grade.

After experiences like these, who wouldn't persue a career having at least something to do with flying, if not flying itself?

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-09, 10:27 PM
I meant the Boeing 207. That one is a bit closer to the DC-3, looks-wise. It was in a TV special of the Belgian Antarctica base, showing them arriving in an aircraft. Looked like a DC-3 to me, but it was too fast for an unprepared Nicolas to recognize for sure .

Both can be seen on this image.

http://www169.pair.com/jcat/jason/fl...gepics/dc3.JPG

Top one is the DC-3, bottom one the 207. My bet is it was the DC-3, given not many 207's are flying these days.

Look again at the photo. The Boeing is clearly identified as a 247D. There only is one flyable 247 in the world any more. Here is some more info on the 247 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_247). It was an important design in many ways, perhaps mostly because it lead to the development of the DC-1. The only references I can find to a Boeing 207 are misidentifications of the 247 (its an honest mistake) and a jet airliner test article.

PetersCreek
2008-Jul-09, 10:43 PM
LTV A-7D Corsair II — My first bird at my first assignment with the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing (Flying Tigers), England AFB LA. Low, slow, and not at all sexy but it won the RAF Tactical Bombing Competition for us, two years in a row. I maintained the Pave Penny laser detector and on occasion, helped the photo shop out with the KB-18A strike camera. It makes me feel so much older to think that plane was mothballed and the base was closed so many years ago.

McDonnell Douglas F-4D/E — I maintained the Pave Spike laser target designator on both the D and E models in Korea. Even got to ride in the back seat of a D model once. Later, I put my hands on the RF-4C a few times, working Pave Tack OT&E in Florida. Then it was back to the E model at Seymour Johnson AFB NC, working Pave Tack and TISEO. Maintaining F-4s was kind of a love/hate relationship, at least for me. Just to make myself feel even older, I looked up a few tail numbers some time back to find that a few are being used as target drones.

B-377-SG/SGT Super Guppy — This is one of my favorites for sheer oddity. I've been close to one just once, while I was a load team supervisor during Desert Shield. It parked next to us on the transient ramp and as I recall, it was supposed to be carrying a partially disassembled F-14 Tomcat. That plane sure makes an impression.

Pitts Special — There's just something about biplanes. Always liked the looks of the de Havillands, Staggerwings, and Stearmans but the Pitts is far and away my favorite.

NAA P-51D — not just the warbird but also the post-war high-performance sport plane...to me, the first "muscle car" of aviation. I heard that Bob Hoover's "Ole Yeller" was at our recent base air show, which I missed unfortunately.

Trebuchet
2008-Jul-10, 02:55 AM
Were you the one also involved in the beluga variant of the 747? (can't remember its real name). That bulkhead remains a laugh, but very impressive plane nonetheless.

Besides, the A380 bulkheads are quite impressive as well. Though they are only as large as they need be for their own good ;).

Large Cargo Freighter, or LCF. I actually saw one (of two) flying over my house just this afternoon, apparently having just taken off from Paine Field, where the 747/767/777/787 factory is located. Yes, I worked on that, on the controls side. An interesting, though frustrating, project.

Why do you think the bulkhead is a laugh? As usual in engineering, a lot of ideas were looked at and something close to the optimum evolved. Pressurizing the cargo area was apparently not a practical option, given the swinging tail and the structural weight need to pressurize such a volume. So they created a bulkhead dividing the front section of the plane (pressurized) from the rest (not). Think of it as the world's largest Belgian waffle, 12 inches thick, 24 feet wide, and around 35 feet high! Note also that there was a need for extra weight in the front to counter the effect of the massive structure needed to support the swinging tail.

Trebuchet
2008-Jul-10, 03:07 AM
I meant the Boeing 207. That one is a bit closer to the DC-3, looks-wise. It was in a TV special of the Belgian Antarctica base, showing them arriving in an aircraft. Looked like a DC-3 to me, but it was too fast for an unprepared Nicolas to recognize for sure :).

Both can be seen on this image.

http://www169.pair.com/jcat/jason/flying/vintagepics/dc3.JPG

Top one is the DC-3, bottom one the 207. My bet is it was the DC-3, given not many 207's are flying these days.

The lower one is definitely 247. Something of a game-changing airplane, although not really commercially successful. The first really modern-looking, monocoque construction, all metal, strutless, pilots-inside, airliner. Legend has it that the first several years production was reserved for United Airlines, then also owned by Bill Boeing. As a result, a competing airline (TWA?) turned to Donald Douglas for an alternative. He produced the DC-1 which begat the DC-2, which led to the DC-3.

Perhaps you're thinking of the 307 stratoliner, which I have to add as one of my all-time favorites. It looks a bit more like a DC-3 although the four engines mess up the similarity a good deal. Probably the prettiest airplane Boeing ever built. The first pressurized airliner but another commercial failure, with only about seven being built before production was interrupted by WWII. Only one complete one exists, which after being restored ditched in Seattle's Elliot Bay after running out of fuel. (Bad Pilots! No biscuit!) Restored again, it has been flown to the National Air and Space Museum where it is on display.

There is another partial 307 in existence which has been turned into a boat!

Nicolas
2008-Jul-10, 08:35 AM
It's the 247 indeed. That site wrongly calls it the 207 in their link (know your own museum eh... :)). Hence the confusion. Anyway, it was something looking like a DC-3. Candidates then are roughly the 247, DC-1, DC-2 and DC-3. Which makes the DC-3 in the year 2008 by far the most likely candidate. And it was the DC-3 indeed, I found the reference. A Bassler, equiped with skies it is used to transport people and cargo to Antarctica. What's strange about that one is that while most DC-3's for obvious reasons have a red top, this one is plain white.

http://multiblog.vrt.be/c_antarctica/files/2008/02/bassler_taxiing.jpg

Re the LCF's bulkhead: what I consider funny (funny, but with all respect) about it is that it's huge and heavy, and for once it's a good thing it's huge and heavy. Don't try to make the thing lighter folks, we need mass in front. Perfectly good engineering, just a bit ironic that this time they needed heavy stuff to make a good aircraft. But it's these kind of contradictory tradeoffs that make (aerospace) engineering so interesting to me. There's always multiple ways to achieve the goal, and what looks bad from one point of view could turn out to be the perfect solution.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-10, 12:50 PM
Candidates then are roughly the 247, DC-1, DC-2 and DC-3.

Process of elimination would've helped even if you didn't find the reference. There's only 1 flyable 247 and it isn't going to Antartica. They only built a single DC-1 and I don't know if it even exists any more. They built quite a few DC-2s but to the best of my knowledge, none are flying today. I recently saw one at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. It took a while to recognize that it wasn't a DC-3. They built somewhere around 11,000 DC-3/C-47 airframes and several hundred of them are still flying.

I'm pleased to see that the plane is a Bassler conversion. After the mid-air collision that killed Mr Bassler and several of his employees (1996 or 97), I'm not certain if the company is still in business. Mr Bassler was a true gentleman who ran a good company. I only got to meet him for about 30 minutes in 1996 while attending AirVenture at Oshkosh. I hope his company is still giving new life to those great old planes. As long as companies like his exist, it seems very likely that the good old Gooney Bird will be flying and earning its keep when the design turns 100 years old.

Oh, I wanted to add that while there are similarities between the 247 and DC-3, to airplane lovers they are distinctively different airplanes. There are more differences in appearance than between say a 767 and an A-320.

Nicolas
2008-Jul-10, 01:58 PM
Oh, I wanted to add that while there are similarities between the 247 and DC-3, to airplane lovers they are distinctively different airplanes.

They certainly are different. But when you see it for a brief time (most of it was the rear) in a documentary where you don't expect aircraft, it becomes a tad bit harder. But numbers indicate you're absolute most likely to see a DC-3 on antarctica indeed :).

It's such a cool craft. Still flying in 2008, it has to be a good design. Sure it will have its disadvantages, but if it's still being used, it must do something good. Like the B-52. Not the best aircraft in all aspects, but if it's still being used, there must be something to it. even if it's only "cost" :).

Trebuchet
2008-Jul-10, 07:52 PM
I'm just cranky enough to object to those turbine engines on the DC-3 in the picture. I simply LOVE the sound of the round engines. When we're at our vacation house we're in the direct path of the seaplane traffic between Seattle and Victoria, BC. Sightseeing is a major incentive for the passengers so they fly low. Most of them are DeHaviland Beavers. I really enjoy hearing them pass over.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-10, 08:43 PM
Radial engines have a wonderful sound. Unfortunately, not very many radial engines are being made any more, at least not many in the 1200 horsepower range. A retired pilot I know has over 20,000 flying hours in DC-3s, mostly in Africa back in the 1970s through the mid 1980s. He told me that even then, maintaining those radial engines was difficult. He had 13 engine failures in a single year.

Turboprop engines are lighter and much more reliable than radial engines of the same horsepower. They're also still in production. Unless someone wants to retool and reopen the assembly line to build those radial engines, you're going to have to keep rebuilding the old ones. Given that the parts are also hard to come by, those engines aren't likely to be around much longer in the numbers to keep the fleet of DC-3s flying. Pity.

Nicolas
2008-Jul-10, 09:44 PM
One of the arguments pro DC-3 was easy maintenance. That was when the engines were common. Now that they're not common anymore, if you want to keep the DC-3 as a good workhorse rather than a flying memorial (with all due respect, and that's loads of it in this case), you'll have to switch to engines that are reliable (it's a DC-3...) and easily maintained. Meet the Basler.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-10, 10:19 PM
The DC-3 is a simple, reliable, easy to maintain and rugged workhorse that can carry reasonable loads into and out of short, rough airstrips. Add to that the fact that you can buy one for a pretty reasonable price (such as this one (http://www.airplanemart.com/advertisers/preview_ad.php?opt1=84ddfb34126fc3a7e28ee38d7044e8 7276) upgraded with 1350 HP engines for $295,000) and it isn't hard to understand why so many are still earning their keep. You can find others listed for sale here (http://www.globalplanesearch.com/view/all/All.htm) under McDonald Douglas.

The old radial engines are great for nostalgia but turboprops allow the rugged airframe to keep earning a living. Apparently, Basler is still in business (http://www.baslerturbo.com/). Here's their website. Funny, I thought the name was Bassler. Not cheap (estimated conversion price is $4.5 million for the basic model) but you get a completely rebuilt plane with modern engines, avionics, and greatly increased capacity. Just looking at their spec sheet (http://www.baslerturbo.com/specifications.html) shows why those conversions are so popular.

Compared to the standard DC-3, the BT-67 has:

- 35% more interior volume
- 43% more useful load
- 24% more speed
- 76% more productivity
- Up to 100% more fuel capacity
- Lower stall speed
- Lower approach speed
- Fuel mileage equal at equal speeds
- All metal control surfaces
- Center and outer wings reinforced to reduce loads on lower wing attach angles and to support the increased maximum gross weight.

While searching for a Basler conversion for sale, I came across this account (http://mitchell-antarctica.blogspot.com/2007/12/incidenti-guess.html) of one that was substancially damaged in an accident in Antartica last February. While the damage looks repairable, recovering the plane from the accident site might not be economically feasible.

Trebuchet
2008-Jul-11, 04:27 AM
Oh, I entirely understand the many practical reasons for turbine engines. Like I said, I just enjoy the sound of the radials.

Actually, I'm a sucker for just about any old technology still at work for something close to its original purpose. American Heritage Invention & Technology magazine used to have a feature called "Their still here" showing an example of such in each issue. They dropped it a few years ago, then I dropped the magazine.

Chip
2008-Jul-11, 08:05 AM
I like all the great and famous aircraft from WWI through the 20s and 30s through WWII and on into the early and modern jet ages -- so instead, I'll post 6 (of many) less well-known airplanes: (In no particular order.)

S.A.I. SS4 (http://www.aviastar.org/pictures/italy/ambrosini_ss-4.jpg) (Secret Italian canard fighter from WWII. USA and Japan also had experimental canard WWII designs.)

Piaggio Pegna Pc.7 (http://www.aerei-italiani.net/Alifoto/Piaggio%20Pegna.jpg) (Sleek Italian racing plane using hydrofoils.)

Hawker Fury (http://www.aviation-history.com/hawker/fury-8a.jpg) (The most famous plane in this posting and a very beautiful RAF biplane.)

Couzinet 71 (http://pagesperso-orange.fr/alain.vassel/images/arc/28oc.JPG) "Arc en Ciel" ("Rainbow") – (French aircraft from the days of Saint Exupery with very unusual tail design.)

Bugatti airplane (http://www.daisey-designs.com/nx13688/bugatti/bug100-15.jpg) (French racer turned secret fighter plane privately funded by the luxury auto maker, hidden during WWII – never flown. Very beautiful design.)

Bell Airacuda (http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e387/BertR/JSJ_Bell_Airacuda.jpg) (Weird pre-war US fighter-bomber with gunners in the wings.)

And a bonus just for laughs (http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/AC/way-weird/weird.php).

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-11, 12:42 PM
That last one, the B-17 with the elevators moved up front, was published a few years ago with the caption, "Burt Rutan restores a B-17". Good for a chuckle. However, if you look close, it really isn't a B-17. It a derivative of the B-17 called the YB-40 (http://www.daveswarbirds.com/usplanes/aircraft/yb-40.htm). Before the P-51 Mustang entered service and lacking long range fighters, the idea was to greatly increase the firepower of some B-17s (from 14 to 30! .50 cal machine gun configurations were tested) so they could escort themselves. The thing shows the photo is of a YB-40 is the second upper turret. No other B-17 derivative had that. That was also the version that introduced the chin turret. In practice, the planes were too heavy to keep up with the bomber formation once everyone had released their bombs. Only 20 YB-40s were every built. I've read they were converted back to the standard configuration but the chin turret idea was kept and added to late model B-17Fs and all G models.

LotusExcelle
2008-Jul-11, 12:50 PM
Hey does anyone know of an easy-to-use airplane CAD (free) for use designing FSX/FS9 models? I have an airplane I designed a long time ago that I'd like to test-fly. I tried making a balsawood model but I was too young to do it right. Flew pretty good even back then though.

mugaliens
2008-Jul-12, 12:25 AM
I'm just cranky enough to object to those turbine engines on the DC-3 in the picture. I simply LOVE the sound of the round engines.

Me, too.

Here's another story. None of you are going to believe it. It is true, nevertheless.

A friend of mine who runs his own aviation business (mainly teaching students and renting airplanes) bought a DC-3.

On eBay.

He keeps it at the same airfield that hosts the Cessnas and Pipers used in flight training and rentals.

Very high winds and a possible tornado hit the area as a result of a rather intense storm. All of the smaller planes were tied down (steel tie-downs embedded in the concrete). But the DC-3 was merely chocked.

High winds picked it up, flung several hundred feet across the field, where it took out some other planes, finally landing on top of one of them.

Score:

DC-3 - 7
Others - 0

And the DC-3 suffered only very minor sheet-metal damage.

True Story, folks. (http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2008/apr/05/planes-tossed-toys-nlr-airport-20080405/?print)

Chip
2008-Jul-12, 01:35 AM
That last one, the B-17 with the elevators moved up front, was published a few years ago with the caption, "Burt Rutan restores a B-17". Good for a chuckle. However, if you look close, it really isn't a B-17. It a derivative of the B-17 called the YB-40 (http://www.daveswarbirds.com/usplanes/aircraft/yb-40.htm)....

Yes, I remember reading about that. Also the odd experiment where they took the nose of a B-17 and fitted it to the front of a B-24! Literally a round peg into square hole, but it didn't improve the flying characteristics.

BTW - I'm fairly convinced that somewhere a DC-3 (C24) will still be flying 100 years after it was designed.

The Backroad Astronomer
2008-Jul-12, 01:55 AM
spitfire
p-51

Whirlpool
2008-Jul-12, 03:13 AM
Chip,

And a bonus just for laughs.

I enjoyed reading that link, sure did I laughed and made me teary-eyed while laughing.

:lol:

Nicolas
2008-Jul-12, 02:50 PM
Yes, I remember reading about that. Also the odd experiment where they took the nose of a B-17 and fitted it to the front of a B-24! Literally a round peg into square hole, but it didn't improve the flying characteristics.

BTW - I'm fairly convinced that somewhere a DC-3 (C24) will still be flying 100 years after it was designed.

I thought the US air force is planning to use B-52's until past 2050, which would quite likely make some of them hit the 100 year mark as well.

On one hand, this is extremely long. On the other hand, should we be surprised a creation can live as long as its creator? We're not even made of metal. :)

slang
2008-Jul-12, 03:23 PM
SR-71
B-1
F-16
Spitfire
DC-3

The first two are rather obvious as to why I like them, I think. Have to add the F-16 because it's the jet I have most close experience with, always love to see and hear it. And the last two because they are IMHO the classics, the shape any kid would draw when drawing an aircraft. That seems to be changing now, kids seem to draw jet-airliner shapes these days. But there are so many awesome airplanes, it's tough to limit the list to 5.

Larry Jacks
2008-Jul-12, 04:26 PM
I thought the US air force is planning to use B-52's until past 2050, which would quite likely make some of them hit the 100 year mark as well.

Close but not quite. If any B-52s are still flying in 2050, they'll be up to 90 years old. The YB-52 prototype made its first flight on April 15, 1952. The only B-52s flying today are the last ones produced, the B-52H models. Those rolled off the line in the 1960-1962 timeframe, with the last one produced rolled off the line on February 28, 1962.

It's uncertain how long they'll keep flying the BUFF. I've heard some estimates of retiring the plane by 2030 but that's subject to change. The planes have been extensively rebuilt several times now. It's almost to the point where the BUFF is like the museum that claims to have George Washington's hatchet. The head has been changed 3 times and the handle 6 times but never both at once, so it's still his hatchet.

There is talk about replacing the 8 old turbofan engines on the H model with 4 more modern engines. The old engines are relatively fuel inefficient and are getting harder to maintain. Replacing the engines could considerably lower fuel consumption (perhaps as much as 40 percent) allowing for longer range and/or a bigger weapons load. It would also simplify the systems and make the plane easier to keep flying. Personally, I like the idea.

Chip
2008-Jul-12, 06:03 PM
BTW, my earlier post comment about the DC 3 included the wrong military designation. It should be C 47. I don't know where I got "C 24". :D

Chip
2008-Jul-12, 06:13 PM
Chip,I enjoyed reading that link, sure did I laughed and made me teary-eyed while laughing.:lol:

They're pretty funny, especially if you're familiar with WWII aviation. They come from a book titled "Zany Afternoons" by Bruce McCall. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zany_Afternoons) mentions it. He also did some wacky aviation drawings for National Lampoon years ago.

Nicolas
2008-Jul-12, 09:56 PM
I thought the US air force is planning to use B-52's until past 2050, which would quite likely make some of them hit the 100 year mark as well.

Close but not quite. If any B-52s are still flying in 2050, they'll be up to 90 years old. The YB-52 prototype made its first flight on April 15, 1952. The only B-52s flying today are the last ones produced, the B-52H models. Those rolled off the line in the 1960-1962 timeframe, with the last one produced rolled off the line on February 28, 1962.

It's uncertain how long they'll keep flying the BUFF. I've heard some estimates of retiring the plane by 2030 but that's subject to change. The planes have been extensively rebuilt several times now. It's almost to the point where the BUFF is like the museum that claims to have George Washington's hatchet. The head has been changed 3 times and the handle 6 times but never both at once, so it's still his hatchet.

There is talk about replacing the 8 old turbofan engines on the H model with 4 more modern engines. The old engines are relatively fuel inefficient and are getting harder to maintain. Replacing the engines could considerably lower fuel consumption (perhaps as much as 40 percent) allowing for longer range and/or a bigger weapons load. It would also simplify the systems and make the plane easier to keep flying. Personally, I like the idea.

I know the H's are not from 52. I meant that if they'd use them actively till past 2050, even if they'd retire them before 2060 some would likely still fly in 2060 as memoriam planes and the like.

But now that you mention 2030, that may be what I read as well. I don't remember these things too well :).

Giving the BUFF new engines might be a good idea. there's nothing wrong with the basic airframe for the role of delivering huge loads of bombs in a not too stealthy way.

PetersCreek
2008-Jul-12, 10:22 PM
We see a lot of DC-3s and -6s on the ramp at Anchorage, flown by cargo operators. I seem to recall on of my Aviation Safety Inspectors telling me that one of the carriers here is a national or world leader in DC-3 maintenance. Can't recall which one though...Era, Evergreen, TransNorthern...I forget.

mugaliens
2008-Jul-13, 02:07 AM
If any B-52s are still flying in 2050, they'll be up to 90 years old.

The most recently plan was to keep them in the inventory until NLT 2050.


The planes have been extensively rebuilt several times now.

Yes, and no. They came from the era when aircraft were overbuilt. That legacy allowed it to do something it was never designed to do: Low level penetration and escape. It was removed from that role about 10 years ago due to fatigue concerns. It still maintains a high-altitude standoff bomber/missle launch platform.


It's almost to the point where the BUFF is like the museum that claims to have George Washington's hatchet. The head has been changed 3 times and the handle 6 times but never both at once, so it's still his hatchet.

Not really. Having flown them, I'd say that more than 90% of the parts are originals. By "parts" I'm referring to structural components, too, including sheeting, spars, etc., not just moving parts. While most moving parts have been either refurbished or replaced, the original H-model panel is still in use, so that goes a long way towards telling you how much of the aircraft has not been replaced.


There is talk about replacing the 8 old turbofan engines on the H model with 4 more modern engines.

That was the I-model, pitched by Boeing to the Air Force nearly thirty years ago. They'd originally proposed the same engines that rolled out with the first 747.


The old engines are relatively fuel inefficient and are getting harder to maintain. Replacing the engines could considerably lower fuel consumption (perhaps as much as 40 percent) allowing for longer range and/or a bigger weapons load. It would also simplify the systems and make the plane easier to keep flying. Personally, I like the idea.

So does the Air Force, which is why they keep re-looking at this issue. However, every time they do a cost analysis, the cost of refitting is more expensive than maintaining the cost of the older engines, even with their higher fuel consumption.

billslugg
2008-Jul-13, 03:44 AM
My favorites:

Constellation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:049-connie-gov.jpg) - My first flight - May 1955. Sexiest airplane in creation.

DC-3 - Flew in - Spain 1969. - Quite a hike/climb up that aisle when she is parked!

DC-8 - 60 series (stretch) - Rode in cockpit transatlantic 1969 - Bouncy bounce! What a ride!

Spruce Goose - toured in Long Beach 1992

Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante - Flew in numerous times commuting - Optically clear windows - The only plane I have ever ridden in where you can use a telephoto lens without distortion.

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2008-Jul-13, 05:23 AM
So does the Air Force, which is why they keep re-looking at this issue. However, every time they do a cost analysis, the cost of refitting is more expensive than maintaining the cost of the older engines, even with their higher fuel consumption.

That's too bad, simply because Boeing would probably be doing the conversion work here in Wichita, like it did for the KC-135R model. They're currently trying to get the new Air Force tanker contract with a 767 (or maybe 777) conversion, but the procurement program has been a complete mess. The recent GAO decision means the bidding process is going to start over for a third time, and it's expected that the loser of this round will file another protest. With luck, the AF may get their new tankers sometime this century.

Nicolas
2008-Jul-13, 09:16 AM
One of the planes I also like very much: the first 2 (flying) prototypes 001 and 002 of the Concorde. They look quite like the production model, but the cockpit windows are different. Less windows. It gives it a more design, futuristic look. Really like that.

On the added pic, you see front to back Concorde 001, 01 and 002. 01 is the first preproduction model, already featuring the final cockpit.

Another view of the prototype cockpit windows:

http://k43.pbase.com/o4/64/252464/1/57339145.concorde.jpg.acopy.jpg

It's a bit overlit, but it has 2 big windows in the front as well.

I also really like the photo of the BA 747-400 and Concorde. How different, how beautiful.

mugaliens
2008-Jul-13, 11:09 AM
That's too bad, simply because Boeing would probably be doing the conversion work here in Wichita, like it did for the KC-135R model. They're currently trying to get the new Air Force tanker contract with a 767 (or maybe 777) conversion, but the procurement program has been a complete mess. The recent GAO decision means the bidding process is going to start over for a third time, and it's expected that the loser of this round will file another protest. With luck, the AF may get their new tankers sometime this century.

The Air Force really missed the boat when it failed to use the 767 as a patient transport. It missed the boat again when it failed to use it as a tanker.

Had it done so on both accounts, it would have terrific economies of scale, much like Southwest Airlines' exclusive use of 737s allowed it to remain the only solvent airline through two major crises in the industry.

The 767 would only have filled the theater/tactical refueling role, however, just as the KC-135 did. The KC-10 remains very strong in it's role as the Air Force's long-range refueler.

sarongsong
2008-Sep-11, 05:22 AM
...The recent GAO decision means the bidding process is going to start over for a third time...:doh:
September 10, 2008
Defense Secretary Robert Gates...decided it's not possible to get a new refueling tanker decision done by the end of the year, so he'll leave it [the $35 billion contract] up to the next administration..."to review objectively the military requirements and craft a new acquisition strategy for the KC-X".
ABC (http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/09/pentagon-punts.html)

LotusExcelle
2008-Sep-11, 10:12 AM
Lets just order a up a bunch of AN-225's and retrofit them for tanker duty. That should be cost effective and stop the bickering.... wait maybe not.

PetersCreek
2008-Sep-11, 04:15 PM
I wasn't able to stop and snap a cell phone picture but there was a Boeing Dreamlifter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_747_Large_Cargo_Freighter) on our ramp for a couple of days this week. It's no Super Guppy but it's odd looking all the same.

geonuc
2008-Sep-11, 04:33 PM
I like the SR-71, F-4, A-10, B-52 and the 707.

Biggest plane I've been in was a C-5; noisiest probably the C-141 on a trans-Pacific hop. Watching and listening to a B-52 take off is impressive.

The NASA 747 shuttle transporter is a pretty awesome sight (with a shuttle on its back).

Trebuchet
2008-Sep-11, 11:22 PM
I wasn't able to stop and snap a cell phone picture but there was a Boeing Dreamlifter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_747_Large_Cargo_Freighter) on our ramp for a couple of days this week. It's no Super Guppy but it's odd looking all the same.

I've seen two of them on the ramp here. Of course "here" is Paine Field in Everett, WA. Home base!

Now that I think of it, two is probably the whole current fleet. I don't think the third one has joined yet.