Author Topic: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?  (Read 88244 times)

Offline Frank N. O.

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What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« on: February 10, 2006, 11:43:30 PM »
I thought this might be an interesting thread and I hope I'm right.

I've personally seen a AN-124 at Billund Airport (EKBI) thrue the fence at the main road that goes diagonally at the end of the runway near Legoland (Lego created the airport originally for personal traffic if I recal correctly and now it's a main international airport). I had my late dad's old big binoculars so I could easily see the AN124 (written in cyrillic I think it's called, looks like AH-124).

Another one I've seen right up close and personal is a PBY-5 Catalina at a museum north of Copenhagen that also houses a DC-3, Caravelle, several ex-RDAF (Royal Danish Air Force) vintage jet-fighters from a Gloster Meteor to a Starfighter, a few old cars and a KZ-IV ambulance plane (danish airplane factory).

I also went to a open day at a now closed danish air force base also north of Cph in the mid or late 80s and saw the Red Arrows and a hovering Harrier and that made an impression on me too like someone else mentioned elsewhere in the forum, however what I remember is my stomach shaking like a jello-cake in a paint-shaker from the shockwaves of the deflected exhuast lol.

Of course the Cardinal I flew was the most memorable. They say boxer-engines are vibration-free but they sure aren't when starting and definately not when shutting down, that whole plane shook from side to say when stopping, but of course I've later found out those 4 and 6 cylinder engines in planes have the displacement of truck engines!

Greetings
Frank
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
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Offline Gulfstream Driver

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2006, 12:08:07 AM »
Is the AN-124 the biggest plane?  I believe I got to see that one up close.  An ex-girlfriends dad worked at the airport in Houston, and took me out to the flight line one day.  Also walked through a C-5 at the Fargo Airsho this summer.  Also got close to F-15, F-16, and F-18's.  The North Dakota Air Museum is on the field here at Fargo, and they have a P-51, a PT-19, a Zero, B-25, 2 DC-3's, an TBM Avenger, an F4U Corsair, and the only Super Corsair in the world.  It's pretty cool hanging out on the ramp in the summer.  :)

I've also had a chance to fly a glass cockpit 182.  :)  Very cool toy, but not my choice for a trainer.
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Offline Frank N. O.

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2006, 01:49:05 AM »
The AN-225, one built, is derived from the 124 but longer and with a new wing with 6 vs 4 engines and it's the biggest plane in the world to my knowledge, I just checked and it seems the length and wingspan are a few meters bigger than the A380 however I'm not sure how big the C-5 Galaxy is, or the Spruce Goose for that matter, but they are all among the biggest planes in the world for sure. Walking thrue a C-5 must've been a fantastic experience.

A glass-cockpit 182 sounds interesting but I think the whole cockpit should be redesigned to get the most out of the instruments, like some cars have it, but that would also require non-std. shaped screens and a new non-flat panel and a new seating-position etc. but I think it could be done though, just not in old designs like the Cessna singles. Btw do you know if it's still required/needed to have analogue/mechanical back-up instruments? I don't know how reliable electronic instruments are in airplanes but I've seen many glass-cockpits in airliners having classic instruments inbetween the new ones, I'm playing with a concept-cockpit so I'd like to know if I need to incorporate round instruments as well.

Back to classic planes then I think there's a Spitfire in a museum (that also has a public airfield) in the west-coast of Denmark and many other classic planes including a few that only exist one of now, and several fly regularly from their airfield so you can see them, I wish I could visit it some day.

Btw do you know if the YF-23 is still intact, I heard at least one of the two was put in a museum on display without engines (there were two ATF-prototype engines, one of which is used in the F-22 I think, the two YF-23's each tested one of them), and if you know, is it possible to look into the cockpit of it?
Btw speaking of cockpits, the Starfighter in the museum I visited last year had a ladder up to it and a open canopy, a row in children in fact climbed in it, and not far from the plane and behind the Caravelle, you could also go in, was a old full-cockpit flightsimulator from an old airliner, but I can't remember which one.

Greetings
Frank
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Mike

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2006, 01:51:32 AM »
Hmmm...

SR-71, Sikorsky Skycrane, Fieseler Storch, but my favorite of all of them is the

F4 Corsair!!!
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Offline Inept

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2006, 02:20:55 AM »
The B-25 that landed at KALN, and got fuel at the FBO that I trained at was incredible, and I got to walk through a cargo DC-3 at an arishow in Illinois, sorry, don't remember where.   I wish I could have seen it leave, that would have been something.

There is the G4 that is stationed at KALN that has had the misfortune of getting sequenced behind me  and my 172 for takeoff more than once.    ;D

If anyone gets the chance, there is a good aviation museum in Rantoul, IL, Identifier KTIP.   The outdoor aircraft display is on the ramp opposite the FBO.   The entrance is within walking distance of sircraft parking and the FBO.   it makes a great day trip.

Offline Turbomallard

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2006, 02:44:55 PM »
Space Ship one (along with White Knight) at Airventure 2005. No question! Global Flyer wasn't too shabby, either. I was surprised at how small they were in person... like many things, seeing them on a screen makes them larger than life. When I got home I watched the Black Sky DVDs (which, if it were possible to wear out a DVD I would have worn out long ago) and noted that many of the close shots of the vehicles were done with the camera just about on the ground looking up. Better camera angle but it did make the air/spacecraft look larger than they really are. It was amazing to stand around and chat with many of the technical folks from Scaled that I remembered from the video, ask questions, talk about flying. You can keep your average "celebrity" who looks pretty in front of a camera but has problems spelling their name... I have no interest in meeting them. Meeting the Scaled folks, though, was beyond description. And Mike Melvill signed my Sonex hat. Wearing it while I'm struggling to make a bracket for the airplane out of a raw piece of alumunum angle (I've never done ANYTHING mechanical in my life before this and have NO experience with metalworking and owned only a drill and a couple of screwdrivers) somehow gives me confidence.

End rant  :D

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Offline Turbomallard

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2006, 03:05:06 PM »


Btw do you know if the YF-23 is still intact, I heard at least one of the two was put in a museum on display without engines (there were two ATF-prototype engines, one of which is used in the F-22 I think, the two YF-23's each tested one of them), and if you know, is it possible to look into the cockpit of it?


One YF-23 is listed as being at the museum at Edwards... not sure how open that may be to the public. The other is being restored and will be returned to the Western Museum of Flight later this year: http://www.wmof.com/yf23a.htm
 
It would be really cool to see one!   8)

TM
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Offline Gulfstream Driver

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2006, 06:06:32 PM »
A glass-cockpit 182 sounds interesting but I think the whole cockpit should be redesigned to get the most out of the instruments, like some cars have it, but that would also require non-std. shaped screens and a new non-flat panel and a new seating-position etc. but I think it could be done though, just not in old designs like the Cessna singles. Btw do you know if it's still required/needed to have analogue/mechanical back-up instruments? I don't know how reliable electronic instruments are in airplanes but I've seen many glass-cockpits in airliners having classic instruments inbetween the new ones, I'm playing with a concept-cockpit so I'd like to know if I need to incorporate round instruments as well.

The glass cockpit airplanes have to have steam gauge back-ups.  At least an airspeed indicator, altimeter, and attitude indicator.  The Garmin G1000 has 3 computers that run certain parts of each display.  If you lose all 3, you still have a GPS and the conventional gauge back-ups. 

I'm confused about your new instrument panel design.  If you're looking to get a patent, you don't have to reveal anything.  Sounds interesting, though.
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Offline FlyingBlind

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2006, 08:15:57 PM »
Most amazing ? That would have to be the Robinson helicopter! Small little bugger amazingly fast and agile...

Offline Firegirl

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2006, 03:10:19 AM »
The most amazing machine I've seen in person is the "Martin Mars"  There are only two of these aircrafts left in the world and both aircraft make their home in British Columbia, Canada.  I had seen this aircraft in person and have seen it deliver water to a forest fire I was working on in the North part of Washington State. 

The martin mars are belly scoopers.  A flying boat.  It has the capability of jettisoning 7,200 US gallons (27,276 litres) at one time.  That's approximately 60,000 pounds (27,216 Kilograms) of payload, water that is, in each drop.  Let me tell you........It is an impressive sight.  We all stand in awe of this incredible machine. 

If anyone is interested they have a website.  www.martinmars.com
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Offline Gulfstream Driver

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2006, 05:44:33 PM »
I read an article on the Mars planes a number of years ago in Air & Space magazine.  I think there were 4 left at that time.  I guess they used to be transport planes during the Vietnam era.  Very impressive.
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Offline Gulfstream Driver

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2006, 06:01:16 PM »
Guess I should have looked at the mars website before I opened my mouth.   :-[
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Offline Frank N. O.

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2006, 07:13:44 PM »
Wow guys have surely seen some nice machines, of course what's amazing is of course individual, for me a Cessna would be amazing if I owned it.

The cockpit design is nothing special just using the look and shape of a newer car interior with custom-designed integrated electronic instruments to get a lower panel with better view of the important information and better view over the nose also enabling a more reclined and comfortable seating position, if it's at all possible that is, it's not something that could be sold sadly, it's part of a personal dream plane of mine, it's a sub-sonic ducted fan 2-seater so it's not out of this world but still.

Mike: AS, that's the one they used in the Gone In 60 Seconds movie (2000) right? Looks very agile, but maybe you'd add the BO-105 to the list if you ever get to see that german video :D The Sikorsky Skycrane is also one big helicopter indeed!

Speaking of float-planes, I remembered incorrectly, the Catalina I saw was a PBY-6A, not 5, I checked the website, and the sim is a DC8 and they have a DC7 cockpit as well, or maybe it was the other way around.

I just remembered btw that I think I may have seen a Starship fly over my childhood home, or maybe it was a Rutan LongEZ, or maybe both. There was one not far from where I lived that we saw on TV making the LongEZ (pronounced and sometimes spelled LongEasy) but I also know the danish businessman Spiess had a Starship and being 30 km south of Copenhagen and having both Roskilde and Kastrup (Copenhagen) Airport within minutes of flight then it could very well have been a Starship too, but this was 15 years or so ago so I can't remember that well. One time there as well my dad came home for lunch (truck driver) and just as I went out the house and hugged him 3 RDAF F-16s came right over us in a V-formation so low I could read the letter on it, if I was fast enough, and right over our heads: BAAAAANGGGGG!!!!!!!! Not fun when you're a kid with sensitive ears but wild indeed and good thing my dad was there to hug me, I miss him and that big bear-hug :(

Frank
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
Leonardo da Vinci

Offline chuckar101

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2006, 07:48:35 PM »
Let's see, coolest aircraft I've seen would have to be 90% of the aircraft at the Air and Space Museum.  The best was the ME-262.  Flying ones would be the old F4-F Wildcat I saw at the air races.  Coolest thing about that was it tried to race and you could definately tell the difference in eras when a P-51 went by then the F4 went by.  Sounded like a little toy compared to the P-51. 
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Offline Sleek-Jet

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2006, 08:09:31 PM »
I read an article on the Mars planes a number of years ago in Air & Space magazine. I think there were 4 left at that time. I guess they used to be transport planes during the Vietnam era. Very impressive.

I've got that issue in a box somewhere... If I find it, I'll scan the article and post it.  ;D

Most amazing.... hmmmm.... that would have to be the Pond Racer at Reno in '91... it crashed the next year. 

I got to fuel the original production Citation one day while working the ramp, and a real honest to god working DC-3 that came through one weekend.  Had to go fill the 100LL truck up twice to top that old girl off. ;D

I also know where there is one of the few remaining Super Corsair's is hangared.  I used to go stand next to it everynight in the hanger and try to figure out some way to fly it.  :D

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