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      04-16-2024, 09:41 AM   #2707
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Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
Yesterday marked 72 years since the first flight of the Boeing YB-52 Stratofortress. Amazingly, the B-52H is still in service today and a B-52J with upgraded engines is under development.
As impressive is the longevity of the C-130. It first flew a couple of years later than the B-52 but note that C-130s are still coming off the production line almost 70 years later!
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      04-16-2024, 02:10 PM   #2708
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      04-16-2024, 02:58 PM   #2709
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During the 1966 Vietnam War deployment of the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA 63), a number of aircraft in the air wing were given camouflage paint jobs on upper surfaces that would normally be gull gray. I believe I've posted at least one previous example.

Here's another: A North American RA-5C Vigilante recon aircraft of RVAH-13 on the deck of the Kitty Hawk. Hard to see, yes?
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      04-16-2024, 03:03 PM   #2710
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Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
During the 1966 Vietnam War deployment of the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA 63), a number of aircraft in the air wing were given camouflage paint jobs on upper surfaces that would normally be gull gray. I believe I've posted at least one previous example.

Here's another: A North American RA-5C Vigilante recon aircraft of RVAH-13 on the deck of the Kitty Hawk. Hard to see, yes?
At first glance, I thought it was a pre-production/prototype F-111 as the B-Model (which never made it to production) was designed to be carrier based.

In fact, I had to do a little digging to make sure it wasn't.

Here's an interesting read about how the Navy killed the F-111B, resulting (sort of) in their acquiring the F-14.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/air-s...b-1-180969916/

Top Gun could have been a little different without the Turkey in it!

R.
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      04-17-2024, 06:50 AM   #2711
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The Snoopy Dogfighter MK1. Shot down on its first experimental flight by its own ground crew.


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      04-17-2024, 07:06 AM   #2712
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Edward "Butch" O'Hare, for whom Chicago's O'Hare airport is named.

Medal of Honor winner in 1942. Later Commander of Air Group 6 as a Lieutenant Commander. Tragically killed in action in November 1943 in early tests of night combat.

The aircraft is a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat. No folding wings and only four .50 machine guns. The -3s were soon replaced by F4F-4s with both of those features. The folding wings allowed many more fighters to be embarked on the carriers.
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      04-17-2024, 07:18 AM   #2713
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
Edward "Butch" O'Hare, for whom Chicago's O'Hare airport is named.

Medal of Honor winner in 1942. Later Commander of Air Group 6 as a Lieutenant Commander. Tragically killed in action in November 1943 in early tests of night combat.

The aircraft is a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat. No folding wings and only four .50 machine guns. The -3s were soon replaced by F4F-4s with both of those features. The folding wings allowed many more fighters to be embarked on the carriers.
If you want to see an F4F-3, there's one on display in Terminal 2 behind the security checkpoint at Chicago International Airport-- otherwise known as ORD, or O'Hare.

It's not Butch O'Hare's actual plane, but has been restored to resemble the plane he was flying the day he had his Medal of Honor flight. It was dug out of Lake Michigan in 1992 and fully restored.

R.
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      04-17-2024, 08:24 AM   #2714
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It was dug out of Lake Michigan in 1992 and fully restored.

R.
According to these articles, another one was fished out of the lake about the same time and is in flying condition. Quite a feat of restoration.

https://www.jetsprops.com/news/a-pho...-michigan.html

https://generalaviationnews.com/2021...story-to-tell/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/air-s...raig-16045817/
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      04-18-2024, 06:27 AM   #2715
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The last piston-engine aircraft flown by the U.S. Navy was this Grumman C-1A Trader assigned to the training carrier USS Lexington (AVT 16) and retired in 1988.
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      04-18-2024, 06:31 AM   #2716
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The rule in the U.S. Air Force -- and to a large extent in the Navy and Marine Corps as well -- is that nothing gets done without aerial refueling tankers. The Boeing KC-135R soldiers on many years after its civil Boeing 707 counterparts have been almost completely retired.

The newer KC-46A is coming, but the majority of tankers are still the old KC-135R like this one.
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      04-18-2024, 09:20 AM   #2717
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The newer KC-46A is coming, but the majority of tankers are still the old KC-135R like this one.
Ah, the KC-46-- which is a lemon, even if it's brand new.

It's got half the capability of the KC-10 that it's now replacing at only double or triple the cost-- and it was *suppossed* to replace the venerable KC-135.

Which makes you wonder exactly how the much newer KC-10 got the ax instead of the much older KC-135's?

It holds the dubious distinction of the most critical (Red Flag) errors ever in an airframe when delivered. They've found LADDERS in the fuel tanks (and lots of fun other stuff) on delivery. Great quality control there, Boeing.

It really can't really pass gas or carry cargo or passengers very well, which basically makes it an airframe that literally can't do the job it was designed to do.

In fact, it's **SO** bad that the Commander in Chief of the Air Mobility Command tried to kill the program, which is a HUGE thing. That should have raised more than a few eyebrows.

There's a long and lurid history of how the KC-46 came into being- it only took Boeing three tries to stack the deck in their favor against better, more capable aircraft. Boeing lost a fly-off against Airbus's much more capable A330 tanker in the mid-2000's, threw a temper tantrum, convinced congress to have a "do-over" with a new, rigged contract requirement that Airbus couldn't make (despite having a far superior product), and finally got the contract.

People went to jail and lost their jobs, but Boeing got the contract.

Basically, Boeing put up a 767 variant instead of a 777 variant because the 777 was selling like hotcakes commercially (there wasn't even a freighter model yet as they were selling at full capacity) and they didn't want to waste production slots on the AF. So they shoved the no-longer being built 767 down the AF's throat to keep the production line open-- because nobody in the civil sector wanted that airplane anymore. Basically, Boeing sold an obsolete, no-longer-in-production airframe with far less capability than the airplane it was going to replace.

And the synthetic vision system (where the Boomer sits sideways and watches a video screen instead of being in a pod aft below the tail and using his eyes like all other tankers)? Doesn't really work-- HUGE flaring image issues (i.e. the receiver disappears) and the Boomers have trouble getting used to sitting sideways and trying to refuel via video game. What could possibly go wrong there?

And its now magically replacing the KC-10 instead of the KC-135 (which it was sold to the AF to replace). The KC-10 has a fuel capacity of 356,000 pounds of fuel: The KC-46 only carries 212,000 pounds, which is roughly equivalent to the the KC-135's 200,000 pounds. So, you are getting basically half of the refueling capability of the jet your'e replacing with your new toy-- which means more jets, crews, parts, maintainers, etc. Basically, far more cost for much less capability. Way to go, Congress!!

Yeah, not a fan, and anybody paying attention should be freakin' outraged!

Here's an article worth reading- especially if you read between the lines:

https://www.key.aero/article/story-b...asus-programme

R.
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      04-18-2024, 01:39 PM   #2718
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
The rule in the U.S. Air Force -- and to a large extent in the Navy and Marine Corps as well -- is that nothing gets done without aerial refueling tankers. The Boeing KC-135R soldiers on many years after its civil Boeing 707 counterparts have been almost completely retired.

The newer KC-46A is coming, but the majority of tankers are still the old KC-135R like this one.
I like the yellow stripe on the bottom. Reminiscent of the "rookie" yellow stripe on the rear bumper of NASCAR Cup cars

(Yes, I do know its purpose)
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      04-19-2024, 07:31 AM   #2719
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Each U.S. Navy Carrier Air Wing has an Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) assigned with 5 EA-18G Growlers. (There has been talk of increasing the number of aircraft.)

In addition, there are five "expeditionary" VAQs that operate ashore and support USAF or Allied operations. The Navy has proposed disestablishing these squadrons, only to face pushback from joint commanders and Congress.

Now remember the rule is that you can only have colorful markings on two aircraft per squadron. When you have a larger squadron of 12 F/A-18s, that's one-sixth of the unit with color. But the VAQs are small squadrons, so they get 40% color birds.

Here's an older photo (2021) of a VAQ-138 "Yellowjackets" EA-18G at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Nice livery.
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      04-19-2024, 08:32 AM   #2720
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We knew this was coming: The first AI controlled F16 in a dog fight against a human pilot:

https://www.pcgamer.com/hardware/an-...iles-per-hour/
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      04-19-2024, 09:34 AM   #2721
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We knew this was coming: The first AI controlled F16 in a dog fight against a human pilot:

https://www.pcgamer.com/hardware/an-...iles-per-hour/
Kindof related... but how relevant are high G maneuvers and dog fights in this generation? Taking the human out of the equation is one thing but why..
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      04-19-2024, 10:21 AM   #2722
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Kindof related... but how relevant are high G maneuvers and dog fights in this generation? Taking the human out of the equation is one thing but why..
We've been to this party before.

The Navy almost got saddled with the Douglas F6D Missileer in the late '50s/early '60s. It was a flying brick with no maneuverability, was subsonic and had no defensive capability. Its only purpose in life would have been to orbit away from the fleet and launch missiles at Bad Guys BVR (Beyond Visual Range). Of course, if the Bad Guys got through your screen, got a jump on you, or actually forced you into a situation where you had to engage at close range, you were screwed, blued and tattooed.

The idea was stupid then, and it's stupid now. That's why the F6D never made it off the drawing board-- saner heads figured out that it was a bad, bad idea.

Also- remember when the Navy decided to get rid of the gun on their jets after the F8 because all future dogfights would be BVR? How'd that work out for everybody in Viet Nam?

If you can 100% GUARANTEE that all fights are BVR, that's great. But there is always..... ALWAYS going to be a time where you get into knife fight range-- the enemy does NOT have to play by your rules, so you'd best be prepared.

The ability to do high-g maueuvers and mix it up with the Bad Guys is *essential* to air supremacy. Period.

Anybody who says it isn't is trying to sell something to the government.

R.
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      04-19-2024, 11:48 AM   #2723
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Another colorful CAG aircraft -- the CAG aircraft of VAQ-141 based in Japan. The Japan-based airwing color aircraft almost always have some Japanese flavor to their markings. In this case, a partial rising sun.
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      04-19-2024, 12:09 PM   #2724
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freakystyly View Post
Kindof related... but how relevant are high G maneuvers and dog fights in this generation? Taking the human out of the equation is one thing but why..
Let me take this one step further. How relevant are jet fighters PERIOD these days? With unmanned drones and cruise missiles costing gazillions less than a jet fighter and training its meat-to-stick analog interface, it seems like the next generation of warfare will be fought from Nintendo controllers or using fully autonomous aircraft. Look at the havoc that Ukraine is causing the Red Army with stuff that could probably be ordered from Tower Hobbies for under a grand.....
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      04-19-2024, 12:21 PM   #2725
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Let me take this one step further. How relevant are jet fighters PERIOD these days? With unmanned drones and cruise missiles costing gazillions less than a jet fighter and training its meat-to-stick analog interface, it seems like the next generation of warfare will be fought from Nintendo controllers or using fully autonomous aircraft. Look at the havoc that Ukraine is causing the Red Army with stuff that could probably be ordered from Tower Hobbies for under a grand.....
Right, was slow typing the response. With the current events, a lot of built up countries have more and more AA and cheaper, safer methods of causing damage. As flybigjet mentioned, there's always going to be a situation when you need a fork and spoons just wont work.

Going back to the article, I wonder what kind of new jets (or more advanced drones I guess) they will concoct. More than just the human controlled or A to B style they have now. Jamming would be more difficult if there doesn't need to be any communication with the ground too.

Autonomous ground driving might be decades off because of limited degrees of motion, required feedback with traffic signals, signs, pedestrians, other traffic, terrain, road conditions, etc. but in the air there's very little to worry about besides the odd thing trying to blow you up.

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      04-19-2024, 01:55 PM   #2726
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We knew this was coming: The first AI controlled F16 in a dog fight against a human pilot:

https://www.pcgamer.com/hardware/an-...iles-per-hour/
From the article:

Quote:
...although the results as to who "won" remain unclear...
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      04-19-2024, 05:56 PM   #2727
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The 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Missouri, concluded a week-long exercise on April 15th with an elephant walk and mass flyoff of 12 B-2A stealth bombers.
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      04-19-2024, 09:08 PM   #2728
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Now here's an aircraft that in a way makes the B-52 and the C-130 seem like kindergarteners: The Basler BT-67. True, the ancient radial piston engines have been replaced with turboprops, but the BT-67 is otherwise much like the Douglas DC-3. And U.S. manufacturer Basler is still converting old DC-3s to Basler BT-67s. The Colombian air force uses the BT-67 as a gunship and Argentina has just purchased a BT-67 for $14.3 million (no doubt including support and spares.)

The DC-3 first flew in 1935.
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