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      02-11-2024, 12:06 AM   #2487
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Originally Posted by 3798j View Post
Sorry for a delay in response to this post, but I've been out in the Caroline Islands wreck diving on the Japanese Ghost Fleet in Truk Lagoon for the past week and a half.

Anyhow.....

I've walked around the sole XC-99 several times when it was sitting on the ramp at Kelly Field in Texas when I was pushing C-5's around-- it's a damn big airplane.

After it was disassembled at Kelly, my old airlift unit carried the parts for the Air Force Museum-- the engine's are (or were) in the Boneyard at Davis-Monthan, AZ. The body pieces were sprawled around a parking lot at Wright-Patterson, OH, slowly disintegrating to the elements.

I talked to a museum docent where I was there in early 2014 regarding its fate. The sad reality is that it really wasn't all that significant from a historical perspective (unlike the B-36), and the AF Museum simply doesn't have the time, money or facilities to restore or display it. So it'll basically sit until its remains are just a puddle of goo and that will be that.

R.
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      02-11-2024, 07:13 AM   #2488
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I've been bad; I missed Tomcat Thursday!

Here's a makeup post with a twofer:

-- F-14A dropping four Mk 83 1,000-pounders. The F-14 did not have attack capabilities for quite a few years after introduction, but ultimately the capability to carry and accurately drop bombs was added.

-- F-14A of the long-disestablished reserve squadron VF-202 firing an AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air-missile.
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      02-11-2024, 08:35 AM   #2489
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The Douglas A-3 Skywarrior (old A3D) was born out of a desire to have a U.S. Navy carrier aircraft capable of delivering the bulky and heavy early nuclear bombs. Not too many years after its introduction, new and lighter nuclear bombs were introduced that could be carried by smaller aircraft.

While its primary mission of nuclear strike did not last very many years, the A-3 proved adaptable to other missions. The original bomber version had a pressurized cockpit and a large bomb bay; later versions converted that bomb bay to a pressurized compartment with cameras (the RA-3B photo aircraft) or with SIGINT equipment and operators (the EA-3B fleet air reconnaissance (SIGINT) aircraft) or training consoles for student bombardier/navigators (the TA-3B) trainer.

Given that the bomber mission went away, the dozen TA-3Bs that the Navy had bought were soon in search of a new mission. A number were converted to additional EA-3Bs but several were converted to VA-3B VIP transports and were used to shuttle high-ranking officials such as the Secretary of the Navy, his undersecretaries and senior admirals around the country. In most cases, the VIP aircraft were not given the "correct" VA-3B designation but retained their TA-3B markings. (Can't have the press criticizing Washington fat cats jetting around at the public's expense!)

Here is a VA-3B (or perhaps TA-3B) sitting on the flight line with a flag denoting the Under Secretary of the Navy. The row of windows on the side of the fuselage is a giveaway that this is a TA- or VA-3B) and there are several windows, along with a door, on the other side. Also attached is a small photo of the (relatively) plush interior.
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      02-11-2024, 11:48 AM   #2490
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The ship-based helicopter has really come a long way in the past several decades. Helicopters are omnipresent in the fleet and accomplishing many missions.

The U.S. Navy has 36 active helicopter squadrons flying two varieties of the Sikorsky H-60. The MH-60R is flown by Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadrons (HSMs) and the MH-60S is flown by Helicopter Sea Combat Squadrons (HSCs). The MH-60R replaced a couple of earlier variants of H-60s, while the MH-60S replaced the Boeing-Vertol UH-46.

I was surprised some years ago to learn that the largest group of Navy pilots is rotary-wing pilots; this ascendancy of helo pilots is a byproduct of the large number of naval helicopters.

20 HSMs fly the MH-60R Seahawk from the decks of surface combatants such as cruisers and destroyers, as well as aircraft carriers. 9 of the squadrons are assigned to the USN's 9 carrier air wings and fly 11 MH-60Rs each. Of those 11 helos, a portion operate from the carrier and a portion from accompanying surface ships. The original mission was antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and the MH-60R is the carrier group's primary air ASW asset. It is equipped with a sonobuoy dispenser (left side) as well as a dipping sonar. A fairly large search radar (with periscope detection capability) is situated on the belly of the aircraft and a number of electronic warfare antenna housings are visible at front and rear. At the nose is a electro-optical/laser turret. The armament is AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and homing torpedoes for ASW. The 11 HSMs not assigned to carriers deploy in detachments on surface combatants that are not part of carrier groups. The interior of the MH-60R is relatively crowded; the two pilots up front are joined by a crewman in the rear compartment with an equipment console. MH-60Rs are frequently seen with one or two 120-gallon external fuel tanks. The helo can fold the rotor blades and fold the tail forward to reduce the footprint for compact storage either on crowded carrier decks or in the hangars of surface ships. To facilitate operations on the small flight decks of surface ships, the MH-60R has a dual tail wheel situated further forward than the Army UH-60s.

The MH-60S Seaknight is flown by 16 HSCs; 9 on these are assigned to carriers and the other 7 to shore installations. The original role of these helos was vertical replenishment: the shuttling of supplies and weapons between auxiliary ships and aircraft carriers or surface ships. They are also traditionally used for personnel transfers between ships and as plane guard during carrier flight operations. The MH-60S is the "long wheelbase" model, with a tail wheel similar to that on Army UH-60s. The mission has grown considerably from the original resupply role and the MH-60S, while equipped less elaborately than its MH-60R sibling, has an electro-optical turret mounted lower on the nose than the R and less elaborate electronic warfare equipment. The S rear compartment is more spacious and has dual sliding doors; machine guns can be mounted on either side. In addition, the S can be fitted with a store system to carry rockets or Hellfire missiles. The expanded missions include search and rescue, surface attack, special operations support and mine countermeasures. Like the MH-60R, the S model can fold the rotor blades and tail for compact storage aboard ship.

The U.S. Navy has over 500 of these helicopters; while they are relatively new, they do not lend themselves easily to replacement; any new model will have to be as compact as the MH-60R/S.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikorsky_SH-60_Seahawk
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      02-11-2024, 03:55 PM   #2491
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As Flybigjets said the XC-99 is just rotting away. When I was with 337TH we flew the wings and the engines out to DM some years ago. I too wondered why they did not restore the hulk, it is a 1 of 1 and may have been the only X type cargo aircraft that USAF used in normal service for over a decade.

It made the C5 even feel a bit normal sized. There was talk at one time of equipping B-36 with Nuclear power in the 50's. That to me was scary idea. I lived for a few months on Ft Belvoir and they still had one of those old Nuclear power plants that the army wanted everywhere.
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      02-11-2024, 05:01 PM   #2492
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Electric cargo plane. Interesting concept.


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      02-11-2024, 05:43 PM   #2493
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Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
The U.S. Navy has 36 active helicopter squadrons flying two varieties of the Sikorsky H-60.
In addition to the large number of MH-60 units, the USN has several other helicopter squadrons:

-- Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadrons 12 and 15 fly the large Sikorsky MH-53E. The MH-53E is a variant of the Marines' CH-53E helo and differs externally in having much larger sponsons containing fuel and in having a pair of prominent rearview mirrors on either side of the nose to allow monitoring of minesweeping operations behind the aircraft. The total active force in HM-12 and -15 is about two dozen MH-53Es.

-- Air Test & Evaluation Squadron 21 (HX-21) conducts testing of Navy and Marine Corps rotary- and tilt-wing aircraft at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. The assigned aircraft vary with time. Note that the Marine Corps also has a separate mixed fixed- and rotary-wing test and evaluation squadron (VMX-1) at the Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma Arizona to conduct Marine-specific testing.

-- Three Helicopter Training Squadrons (HTs -8, -18 and -28) train Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard helicopter pilots in the Pensacola Florida, area. The students are already graduates of primary fixed-wing training in the T-6B and start with the new TH-73A Thrasher in HT-8, and then move on to fly the TH-57B/C in the other two squadrons. (The plan is to replace the TH-57s with more TH-73As.) Student V-22 pilots undergo an abbreviated helicopter course in HT-28 and then move on to advanced training in King Airs. Of note, the instructors in these Navy squadrons come from all three services and command of HT-28 alternates between Navy and Marine Corps officers.
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      02-11-2024, 10:57 PM   #2494
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Electric cargo plane. Interesting concept.


Max range... 10 flying miles!
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      02-12-2024, 07:33 AM   #2495
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The U.S. Navy has 36 active helicopter squadrons flying two varieties of the Sikorsky H-60.
There have also been a number of export sales of naval H-60s -- older SH-60s as well as new MH-60s -- to other countries. Australia bought 24 and Qatar has purchased both MH-60Rs and MH-60Ss. Japan has produced over 100 SH-60Js and improved SH-60Ks under license. Other buyers include India, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Denmark, Tunisia and Norway. Taiwan is a special case, as their acquisition of maritime H-60s was not approved as a foreign military sale; their helicopters are designated S-70C(M) and as far as I can see do not include sonobuoy dispensers and have a different search radar. When all countries and models are totaled, the naval H-60/S-70 variants total almost a thousand helicopters, including some 300+ USN aircraft that have been retired; a quite substantial number, though far less than the army H-60s used by the U.S. and other countries. About 20% of the 5,000-plus Sikorsky S-70/H-60 helicopters produced to date have been naval or maritime models.
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      02-12-2024, 08:20 AM   #2496
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In 2008 the Luftwaffe (German air force) retired their last F-4F Phantoms and in commemoration of the retirement, decorated the last Phantom in special livery.
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      02-12-2024, 12:00 PM   #2497
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Thinking about a way forward for USN shipboard helicopters, I considered the Sikorsky S-92, which after all is an enlarged and improved H-60. But in investigating the dimensions of the Canadian CH-148, a maritime version of the S-92, it looks to be several feet too long in the folded condition to fit into the hangars of U.S. Navy destroyers.

I suppose the other thing is that by the time the MH-60s are ready to be replaced, the H-92 (U.S. designation) may be "outdated" technology, despite their improvements over the H-60 like fly-by-wire control, greater internal volume and takeoff weight and more power.
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      02-13-2024, 10:09 AM   #2498
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Conroy Tri-Turbo Three (conversion of DC-3 using PT6 turboprops)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conroy_Tri-Turbo-Three
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      02-13-2024, 11:43 AM   #2499
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Conroy Tri-Turbo Three (conversion of DC-3 using PT6 turboprops)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conroy_Tri-Turbo-Three
Probably had to beef-up the airframe for that much power! That would be one cool DC3!
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      02-13-2024, 02:42 PM   #2500
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EVERY DC3 is a cool DC3.

In case anyone wants the history of the airframe and details of its demise:

https://www.airhistory.net/registration/N23SA


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      02-13-2024, 03:14 PM   #2501
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Probably had to beef-up the airframe for that much power! That would be one cool DC3!
Was thinking the same thing bet it's a hot rod now, landing gear looks upgraded. Need to read about maybe a video on youtube?
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      02-13-2024, 04:00 PM   #2502
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It was built for Antarctic expeditions, and the landing gear was probably beefed up significantly for ice/snow field landings as well as on skis.....
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      02-13-2024, 05:36 PM   #2503
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EVERY DC3 is a cool DC3.

...
Until you have to put his 80kt butt amongst 150kt jets! He's on final a VERY long time!
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      02-14-2024, 09:30 AM   #2504
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While the Navy's inventory of Ospreys is small, they provide critical support for carriers at sea, with a detachment of three CMV-22Bs busy shuttling spare parts, mail and passengers to and from each carrier. The Pacific Fleet had already transitioned to all CMV-22Bs and their older Grumman C-2A Greyhound turboprops had been sent to the boneyard. The Atlantic Fleet force of C-2As has been tasked to fill the gap during the grounding of the CMV-22B force.
A bit more info on the U.S. Navy carrier force's current problems with logistic support at sea. For many years there have been just two squadrons of logistic support aircraft for carriers; the U.S. calls them Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) aircraft. The Grumman C-2A, which uses the wings and powerplants of the E-2 Hawkeye AEW aircraft with a fatter fuselage and rear loading ramp, has been the COD aircraft of choice since the 1960s. Only 17 were originally bought in the 1960s, but piston-powered versions of the S-2 Tracker were also available. In the 1980s, the C-2A COD was put back into production and 39 (with a few improvements) were built. These were assigned to just two squadrons -- one in Virginia and one in California. Any aircraft carrier that deployed would then include a detachment of two C-2As to shuttle cargo and passengers to and from nearby airfields, providing critical support to keep the carrier at sea and fully functional.

In 2005-15, 36 C-2As were updated to keep them in service, but at the same time, the Navy was exploring a replacement. The leading candidates were the C-2 itself -- put back in production yet again with updates -- or the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor. One of the key requirements was that the COD needed to be able to transport an F135 turbofan engine (used by the F-35) to and from the carrier. The F135 is very large and transport is a challenge. I believe a new-build C-2A would've required structural changes to accommodate the engine, which is a tight fit in the Osprey.

In the end, the Navy selected the V-22 Osprey to undertake the COD mission. The Navy's version, the CMV-22B, was modified slightly from the Marines' MV-22B to suit the non-combat transport mission.

As I posted earlier, the transition from the old C-2A to the new CMV-22B is halfway done; the Pacific squadron is now all Ospreys and the Atlantic squadron was preparing for the transition. Only 15 C-2As remain in service, and training and logistic support for these aircraft is winding down, as they were due for the boneyard in 2024.

Now suddenly the CMV-22B is grounded and the small Atlantic squadron is responsible for providing world-wide COD services and scrambling to keep their heads above water given the greatly increased tasking.

In a sign of the importance of the mission, the CMV-22B COD detachments were and are planned to increase in size to three aircraft rather than the two C-2As. For the present, I'm sure that the Navy can only provide two C-2As per carrier. Hopefully, the Ospreys can be fixed relatively soon so that the old C-2As can be retired.
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      02-14-2024, 11:42 AM   #2505
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Seems to me the Osprey has been a problem child since Day-1. Typical gummint operation where they (we) keep throwing more and more money at a questionable project, hoping to make it eventually work.

The FAA spent millions upon millions and years on this thing called Sector Suite. They thought it was a good idea to replace my one scope and a row (or 10) of strips with 4 monitors. They thought I needed to have a monitor for proposed flights, taxiing flights, the lineup at the runway and finally, my actual traffic. Talk about increasing my workload with useless, to me, information and splitting my attention.

Gummint waste never ceases to amaze me. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! How long has the B52 been providing excellent service?
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      02-14-2024, 01:39 PM   #2506
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Seems to me the Osprey has been a problem child since Day-1. Typical gummint operation where they (we) keep throwing more and more money at a questionable project, hoping to make it eventually work.
I disagree -- the Osprey has had problems, it is true, but has matured into a very capable and safe aircraft for some missions. I think a lot of the problems were because of the novelty of the tilt-rotor technology; there was definitely a learning curve for some years.

The driving force behind the tilt-rotor was the desire for more speed than helicopters are capable of. Helos are limited to about 200 knots -- stub wings and a pusher prop can help, but only so much. The V-22 offers a speed of 300 knots.
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      02-14-2024, 01:47 PM   #2507
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No BONE love here?

After 20 years in the AF working next to the flight line for many of those years, I can't think of any other plane that would knock pictures off the walls taking off.
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      02-14-2024, 05:04 PM   #2508
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Until you have to put his [DC3] 80kt butt amongst 150kt jets! He's on final a VERY long time!
Couldn't you just divert that DC3 to a nearby GA airport or even a grass strip, and tell the pilot that a bus will get his passengers to LAX faster?????
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