Author Topic: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?  (Read 96746 times)

Offline Ted_Stryker

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2006, 09:20:49 PM »
Another good source for SR-71 info and stories is the book Sled Driver. I forget the author now, but he was an SR-71 pilot. I did a report on the SR-71 for Advanced Aerodynamics, and that book was my main source. Really fascinating stuff.

I think you are referring to the author, and ex-SR-71 driver, Brian Shul.

I had the good fortune of also having attended an afternoon presentation here by one of Boeing's own, ex-USAF officers that flew the SR-71.  He had all sorts of really great info and photos, though he never put them in book form himself. 
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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 #31 on: February 17, 2006, 09:25:08 PM »
You might be thinking of the YF-12 that to my knowledge was a never-produced mach-3 interceptor that was a sibling of the SR-71 Blackbird or maybe the basis for the Blackbird, not sure. The 12 was slightly shorter than the Blackbird and from drawings I've seen then the smooth flared body was cut off abruptly around the cockpit, I think I read it was for storing missiles that were dropped and then ignited.
Another Mach-3 fighter that was never produced was the escort for the Valkyrie that however was much different and not related.

The U-2 however was the plane that the Blackbird replaced. But wasn't there a TR-1 version that came after? And now there's a rumour of a mix between the B-2 and the F-117 called TR-3 that's for the Navy. Reminds me of the F-19 Stealth Fighter made by a model-company, that even came in a computergame :D

Speaking of stealth, from what I heard then then the Blackbird was the first plane that showed the posibilities of stealth since appearently it's shape was harder than normal to see I guess.

I'm not too sure about the SR/RS though, I think I read somewhere that the SR does stand for something, but maybe it was made afterwards to cover up, who knows.

Edit: About the Sled Driver is this the link for the pilot's book you're referring too? http://www.sleddriver.com/

Frank
« Last Edit: February 17, 2006, 09:31:26 PM by Frank N. O. »
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Offline Ted_Stryker

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2006, 09:37:48 PM »
You might be thinking of the YF-12 that to my knowledge was a never-produced mach-3 interceptor that was a sibling of the SR-71 Blackbird or maybe the basis for the Blackbird, not sure. The 12 was slightly shorter than the Blackbird and from drawings I've seen then the smooth flared body was cut off abruptly around the cockpit, I think I read it was for storing missiles that were dropped and then ignited.
Another Mach-3 fighter that was never produced was the escort for the Valkyrie that however was much different and not related.

The U-2 however was the plane that the Blackbird replaced. But wasn't there a TR-1 version that came after? And now there's a rumour of a mix between the B-2 and the F-117 called TR-3 that's for the Navy. Reminds me of the F-19 Stealth Fighter made by a model-company, that even came in a computergame :D

Speaking of stealth, from what I heard then then the Blackbird was the first plane that showed the posibilities of stealth since appearently it's shape was harder than normal to see I guess.

I'm not too sure about the SR/RS though, I think I read somewhere that the SR does stand for something, but maybe it was made afterwards to cover up, who knows.

Frank


You are correct about the YF-12.  It never went operational either, but was a design prototype forerunner of the SR-71.  The RS/SR flip-flop was related to me by the ex-Blackbird pilot that gave the talk here at Boeing.

The RS designation was used for Recon aircraft by the USAF, and stood for "Reconnassance Supersonic".  When the Senator at the rollout for the first, production, SR-71 was speaking, he flip-flopped the RS and said SR.  Nobody wanted to correct him, including the USAF, since he had been instrumental in getting the program funded, so...  at least that was the story I was told.  I have no reason to disbelieve that since I know the way some things happen with certain things in the government :)

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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 #33 on: February 17, 2006, 09:49:26 PM »
That's the story I've read as well, regarding RS/SR. 

The A-12 was the test bed for all later models, including the YF-12 and SR-71.
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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 #34 on: February 17, 2006, 09:58:07 PM »
A-12 was the predecessor to the SR-71. :)

Is there an advantage to the K-max over a conventional helicopter? Just from the looks of it, and the description of the rudder system in hovering flight, it seems really complicated. KISS principle may have broken down.

Hmm... the A-12, I believe, was the predecessor to the B-2.  The U-2 spyplane was the SR-71's official predecessor (which was originally named the RS-71 until a dignitary reversed the letters during the rollout ceremony).

Uh no.... the A-12 was built for the CIA, and is a predecessor to the SR-71.  The A-12 was a single seat with a large camera mounted behind the pilot (like the U2), where the Electronics officer sits in the SR-71. 

Check out www.habu.org for alot of history and pics.  ;D

Ah, ok.  We are BOTH right on this one.  A-12 was the internal Lockheed designation for the RS-71 (aka SR-71) prototype, but the plane was never called that in service.  Nice link for the SR-71, by the way.  Also, you may not be aware of this, but the CIA versions of the SR-71 had the red striping on it.

What I was thinking about, and this is probably due to my working at McDonnell Douglas, now called The Boeing Company, in the Integrated Defense Systems group, was the A-12 Avenger program which was cancelled.  It is indeed the B-2 predecessor, and was based on a stealth version of the original "Flying Wing" which had both prop and jet versions long before there was technology to make it a viable aircraft.

For information on the A-12 Avenger, here is a link...

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/a-12.htm

The A-12 Blackbirds were operational.  The Blackbird sitting on the Interpid Air and Space museum in New York was an operational A-12. From what I've read, the Airforce did not like the CIA having it's own private air wing, so they took over the Blackbird program and made the change to a two man crew.  I'll have to find my copy of "Skunk Works" to get the exact sequence, but it was something along those lines.  The A-12 was also purely a photo recon. plane.  

Another tidbit on the SR-71... while the RS/SR switch has been atributed to a politician (I head it was LBJ), one of the missions of the blackbird was post nuclear recon after the first volley of attacks were completed.  The pilots were to call back to whomever was left and report on what was still standing, the second wave of missle attacks would then be targeted there.  Thus the "strategic" part of the SR designation.  
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Offline Ted_Stryker

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2006, 11:13:41 PM »
A-12 was the predecessor to the SR-71. :)

Is there an advantage to the K-max over a conventional helicopter? Just from the looks of it, and the description of the rudder system in hovering flight, it seems really complicated. KISS principle may have broken down.

Hmm... the A-12, I believe, was the predecessor to the B-2.  The U-2 spyplane was the SR-71's official predecessor (which was originally named the RS-71 until a dignitary reversed the letters during the rollout ceremony).

Uh no.... the A-12 was built for the CIA, and is a predecessor to the SR-71.  The A-12 was a single seat with a large camera mounted behind the pilot (like the U2), where the Electronics officer sits in the SR-71. 

Check out www.habu.org for alot of history and pics.  ;D

Ah, ok.  We are BOTH right on this one.  A-12 was the internal Lockheed designation for the RS-71 (aka SR-71) prototype, but the plane was never called that in service.  Nice link for the SR-71, by the way.  Also, you may not be aware of this, but the CIA versions of the SR-71 had the red striping on it.

What I was thinking about, and this is probably due to my working at McDonnell Douglas, now called The Boeing Company, in the Integrated Defense Systems group, was the A-12 Avenger program which was cancelled.  It is indeed the B-2 predecessor, and was based on a stealth version of the original "Flying Wing" which had both prop and jet versions long before there was technology to make it a viable aircraft.

For information on the A-12 Avenger, here is a link...

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/a-12.htm

The A-12 Blackbirds were operational.  The Blackbird sitting on the Interpid Air and Space museum in New York was an operational A-12. From what I've read, the Airforce did not like the CIA having it's own private air wing, so they took over the Blackbird program and made the change to a two man crew.  I'll have to find my copy of "Skunk Works" to get the exact sequence, but it was something along those lines.  The A-12 was also purely a photo recon. plane. 

Another tidbit on the SR-71... while the RS/SR switch has been atributed to a politician (I head it was LBJ), one of the missions of the blackbird was post nuclear recon after the first volley of attacks were completed.  The pilots were to call back to whomever was left and report on what was still standing, the second wave of missle attacks would then be targeted there.  Thus the "strategic" part of the SR designation.   

The YF-12A (the one you are referring to as the A-12... not the A-12 Avenger that I was referring to), had three built, and did not go operational.  One of the ones built crashed, and one of them went on display at the Intrepid Museum.  They were flown in testbed and demo capacity, but were not considered to be "operational", which is an official designation when an aircraft goes from EMD phase (engineering, manufacturing, design) and is cleared for production LRIP, then FRP usually today (Low Rate Initial Production and Full Rate Production once the line is establish).

The following website has a historical accounting of the YF-12A, including what happened to each of the three aircraft produced.  Interestingly, the first of the three was converted into an actual SR-71.

http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/research/fighter/yf12.htm
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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 #36 on: February 18, 2006, 12:12:32 AM »
I think we are splitting hairs. ;D

As near as I can find, there were 18 A-12 Blackbirds or derivatives built.  3 were the YF-12 birds, with short chines,  large radome for radar and 2 crew.  2 were built for the D-21 drone program.  The remaining 13 were operational, though for a short time.  The A-12 was a slightly smaller airframe, with the chines being the most notable difference.  The SR-71 had much larger chines, and gave it the impression of being a snake.  The A-12 was essentially an airplane without a mission after we signed the no overflight treaty with the Russians. 

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Offline Mike

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #37 on: February 18, 2006, 12:25:51 AM »
A-12 was the predecessor to the SR-71.  :) 

Is there an advantage to the K-max over a conventional helicopter?  Just from the looks of it, and the description of the rudder system in hovering flight, it seems really complicated.  KISS principle may have broken down.

Aren't the both great? I love those planes. What an ipressive plane to stand next to....
I'll never forget the SR-71. Makes me wanna go out and build a model... ;D

re: KMAX:
The main advantage to not having a tail rotor is a Tim-the-tool-man-Taylor reason:
MORE POWER!!
Not having a tailrotor will direct all the available power to the main rotors (although I am sure some gets lost in those complicated gear boxes). The T/R can use up to 40% of the avilable power in a hover. That's why helos are (among other things) more efficient in forward flight and use less gas/power/and so on.
It also makes it more quiet (the T/R makes most of the helicopter noise)
So, efficient? "yes"
KISS? "no"
maintenance on these things? nightmare
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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 #38 on: February 18, 2006, 12:54:18 AM »
maintenance on these things? nightmare

 :D  I bet.
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Offline Have Blue

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #39 on: February 18, 2006, 04:30:13 AM »
The Cirrus is a beatiful plane. :)  The pilot said: "Hey kid, get outta there!"  I was 5'3" at the time. ;D
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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 #40 on: February 18, 2006, 04:44:16 AM »
Has everyone seen the video of the guy that got sucked into the F-15? 
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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #41 on: February 18, 2006, 05:22:34 PM »
Has everyone seen the video of the guy that got sucked into the F-15?

No but I saw one of a sailor on the flight deck of a carrier who got sucked into an inlet on a carrier based bomber (can't think of designation).    Walked away from it OK except for some bruises and a little hearing loss, I believe.

Offline Gulfstream Driver

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #42 on: February 19, 2006, 06:10:37 AM »
That's the one I was talking about, I guess.  Somehow got the F-14 and the F-15 mixed up.   :-[
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Offline Mike

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Re: What's the most amazing flying machine you've seen in person?
« Reply #43 on: February 19, 2006, 04:52:41 PM »
I don't wann be one of those smart-@$$ you see so many of in the AOPA forum, but wasn't that an A-6 or an S-3 Viking in that video?

(just in case we use it in a strip, you guys know we have to be very accurate... ;))
« Last Edit: February 19, 2006, 04:54:29 PM by Mike »
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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 #44 on: February 19, 2006, 05:06:34 PM »
Could have been.  It's been a while since I've seen it.  Google anyone?  5 points to the one who posts it first.
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