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January 05, 2007

Caption Contest!

Somebody once defined helicopter flying as "Hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror."

You could define helicopter *combat* flying as "A couple of minutes of aggravation, agitation and autogyration punctuated by a whole bunch of cussing -- before, during and after the impact."

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Heh. V29 demonstrating the proper blend of nonchalance, insouciance and "Send me in *again*, Coach" attitude. I taught him well...

Go for it!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by CW4BillT on Jan 05, 2007 | TrackBack (0)

September 13, 2006

More problems for the "Guys In Front"... part of "Trolling for Dusty Week" today's installment is... oh-oh! Unmanned inflight refueling is a reality.

Lex? Dusty? Anyone? Anyone?

From the comments of Chap's post:

I submit that now there is absolutely NO reason to have a human pilot in an F-18. : -)

- They already take a cat shot with no hands
- They already land Mode 1 no hands
- They can now tank no hands (major airmanship challenge for a hornet/hornette pilot)
- JDAM falls off automatically
- All our enemies bury their fighters in sand dunes when we attack- no need for A-A.

by John on Sep 13, 2006

April 06, 2006

Whatsis? Is This...

Some valiant efforts at trying to figure out which helicopter had a water pressure gauge on the instrument panel. Sorry, but no cigar, not even to John--although he gets an Attaboy for not snooping around Fototime...

You're gonna screech like a scalded owl when I tell ya, but before you form the lynch mob, just remember that you gave John a pass when he posted a pic of a WWI Rooskie rifle grenade used only by corporals nicknamed "Sasha" in odd-numbered trenches on alternate Thursdays between March and June of 1917.

Now, there's a reason that the water pressure gauge

RW Water Gauge

looks like the oil pressure gauge which looks like the fuel pressure gauge which looks like the torquemeter.

That reason is this --

Multipurpose Gauge-Rear

It's a multipurpose gauge. Press the magic button twice and you're looking at any one of four labels. You'll find this particular model in most of the UH-1C/-D/-H/-Ms that got busted up in Vietnam and went to the depot at Corpus Christi for rebuild (evidently, the depot got a good deal on a manufacturer's overrun). The newer gauges have a setscrew in place of the button, so it's impossible for the puckish Instructor Pilot to mess with a nervous pilot's mind.

Preflight: *double-click behind the instrument panel while you're checking the electrical compartment in the nose*

During Flight:

Option One: "Okay, what are your normal torque limitations?"
*victim scans frantically for anything saying "torque" and blows right past the "water gauge"*

Option Two: "Water pressure's a tad high--did you check the overflow reservoir for crud?"
*victim knows damwell there's nothing in the Huey that uses water except the crew, but sees the "water pressure" gauge and panics*

Option Three: "Hey--this gauge is marked bassackwards. Water pressure redline is 45psi, not 35..."
*victim tries to assess information, starts blinking in confusion, gives himself a case of flicker vertigo*

Okay--next snipe hunt won't be quite this esoteric. And the pics will at least be in focus *crossing eight fingers and both thumbs*

Heh! Can't wait to see what Neffi comes up with when he tries to figger out what an intervalometer is...

by CW4BillT on Apr 06, 2006

April 05, 2006


Okay, a disclaimer: technically, this isn't Plane Pr0n, it's Helicopter Pr0n, but it *is* an exposé of some of the fiddly bits.

Y'see, my collection differs from John's in that my items are either obsolete, non-functional (and uneconomically repairable), and/or of "no further military value"--and (except for the weaponry) they all are souvenirs of odd things that occurred in the course of one of my flights.

In a couple of instances, they were the *cause* of the odd things that occurred, hence, the non-functional aspect.

This thing is still functional.

RW Water Gauge

Yeah--a water gauge. It's from the instrument panel of one of the (several--heh) types and models of rotary-winged beasties I used to hurl myself through the heavens in and it ain't PhotoShopped. If you're suspicious, check out the hi-rez here. Sorry about the quality--my camera-holding paw is still a bit shaky.

The gauge is a tad over two inches (51.2mm) in diameter across the face and exactly two inches (50.8mm) across the body. Note the slippage mark at 3 o'clock--that tells you the operating ranges are externally applied. The shiny stuff on the face of the gauge is Scotch (don't forget--tomorrow's "Wear A Kilt To Work" Day) tape.

Here's the two-part question:

1. What helicopter used a water gauge on its instrument panel and

2. Why?

Heh. Guess away. I won't be around until later tonight, so you'll have plenty of time to research in between ironing the pleats of your kilts...
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Judging from the comments, it's time for a hint.

As we all know, oil and water don't mix.

by CW4BillT on Apr 05, 2006

July 31, 2005

Ever wonder... an aircraft manufacturer like Sukhoi manages to keep cranking out fighters despite shakeups in the Russian economy?

The secret's out...

by CW4BillT on Jul 31, 2005

July 29, 2005

Art of the Liberators!

Remember this pic? Meet 439 Squadron, Canadian Forces, who operated the best-looking Starfighters I've ever seen.

Just click "Next" for additional pix. Then click it again. And again. And again. A gazillion photos and the site's even dial-up friendly...

Toque tip to Captain JMH.

by CW4BillT on Jul 29, 2005
» Iraq War Today links with: Now, That's Art I Can Appreciate....

June 29, 2005

Even Warthogs can be technically agile...

Glenn Reynolds significantly increased the level of class on his world-famous blog with this post.

The quality is terrible, but the end reveals something about the American fighting man that is the direct result of living in a free society--initiative and creativity.

Drove the Russians/Chinese nuts, it did/does.

In this case, it may have been a maintainer who thought of it, the squadron weapons officer, or maybe even a line pogue. (Really. One of my former charges used to build black boxes for the Voyager space probe but he wanted to fly. So he did--on a 5-year sabbatical from Motorola.)

Anyway, when you take an ACMI pod (the thingie you hang on your jet that collects and transmits flight data to a range ground station for training purposes) and turn it into a radio range extender, that's just, well, very, very cool.

...and we wonder why the American people take pride in their soldiers...

by Dusty on Jun 29, 2005

May 21, 2005

Okay - today is get SWWBO to London day... things will prolly be slow.

1. Bacevich's book. Thumbnail review (much more to follow): The New American Militarism is ALL YOUR FAULT, Jane and Joe Sixpack, for not being willing to live the life of a monk. It's a little more complicated than that - but, distilled, y'all are just too damn stupid to cut back on consumption, and you punish anyone who suggests that you do so - so, all the military adventurism of the last 40 years is laid squarely at your feet. More on that later. Despite what I just typed, I actually agree with much of what he writes. Amazing how two people can look at the same data, but draw different conclusions based on personal bias.

2. Neffi sent a picture. Since I posted pics of what Neffi considers a 'holder' (see bottom of post immediately below) he decided to send along pics of his collection of what I consider to be impedimenta... purty tho.

Mmmmm. Corsair!

MMMMMmmmm, Bofors! *Aerial* Bofors!

Best yet - Airborne Artillery!

Yes, ladles and germs, the last two are looking at the *inside* of an AC-130 Gunship.

And, in a vaguely naughty-looking pic, here's a Gatling on a gunship - from the outside.

Oh, what the heck. One more. For Commander Salamander, regarding his interest in channeling Admiral Yamamoto on BRAC...

Mmmm - Faux Long Lances hanging under faux-Kates.

And lastly, why do we do this? Because we can, of course. Simply because we can...

Gotta love an Air Show!

(N.B. Once you are at my photo-host, click on the picture in the center labeled "Krufflevapen" and then look on the left sidebar to navigate to the Air Show folder).

by John on May 21, 2005

April 09, 2005

Rules of the Air

This is an oldie-but-goodie, updated, amended and modified for the non-zoomie Denizens. I thought it'd be appropriate, given John's penchant for posting pix of aircraft in various stages of distress...

1. Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory.

2. If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. Unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back—then they get bigger again.

3. Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous.

4. It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here.

5. The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

6. The propeller is only a big fan in front of the plane used to keep the pilot cool. When it stops, you can actually see the pilot start sweating.

7. When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.

8. A good landing is one from which you can walk away. A great landing is one after which they can use the plane again.

9. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

10. You know you've landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.

11. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice versa.

12. Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.

13. Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction.

14. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of takeoffs you've made.

15. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

And click on Flash Traffic (extended entry) for the remainder (gotta keep you awake somehow...)

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by CW4BillT on Apr 09, 2005
» There's One, Only! links with: Good advice.

March 24, 2005

Aviation Obfuscation...

It ain’t easy being a pilot. The actual stick-wiggling is a piece of cake compared with complying with the myriad rules, regulations, administrative directives, pilotage procedures, ad infinitum. You don't have to take my word for it--ask Neffi. Sometimes the publications are crystal clear (“No smoking within fifty feet of the aircraft”) and sometimes they’re--ummmm--see for yourself. I think you’ll get a whole new perspective on flying the friendly skies.

And on why, in general, some of us are nuts.

Reprinted below is the notice that British Airways sent to its pilots explaining the cockpit crew duties during the conduct of what we in the US refer to as a "monitored approach"--on an instrument approach to an airfield under conditions of low ceiling and visibility, one pilot flies the approach and the other pilot divides his scan between the instruments and the view outside. As the aircraft nears that point in space where the runway should be visible, the non-flying pilot concentrates on the outside view, and when he sees the runway, takes the controls and performs the landing; this eliminates the problem of the pilot flying the approach having to make a sudden, sometimes disorienting, transition from flying instruments to looking “outside” at the last minute to try to acquire the runway. If the non-flying pilot announces that he sees nothing by the time the aircraft reaches minimums, the pilot on the controls, who is still on the instruments, simply initiates the Missed Approach procedure and the non-flying pilot handles the radio calls and other assorted details.

Simple, right? Geez, even *I* understood that.

Now try the explanation of this procedure from the British Airways Pilot’s Manual.

*** British Airways Flight Operations Department Notice ***

There appears to be some confusion over the new pilot role titles. This notice will hopefully clear up any misunderstandings.

The titles P1, P2 and Co-Pilot will now cease to have any meaning within the BA operations manuals. They are to be replaced by Handling Pilot, Non-handling Pilot, Handling Landing Pilot, Non-Handling Landing Pilot, Handling Non-Landing Pilot, and Non-Handling Non-Landing Pilot. The Landing Pilot is initially the Handling Pilot and will handle the take-off and landing except in role reversal when he is the Non-Handling Pilot for taxi until the Handling Non-Landing Pilot hands the handling to the Landing Pilot at eighty knots. The Non-Landing (Non-Handling, since the Landing Pilot is handling) Pilot reads the checklist to the Handling Pilot until after Before Descent Checklist completion, when the Handling Landing Pilot hands the handling to the Non-Handling Non-Landing Pilot who then becomes the Handling Non-Landing Pilot. The Landing Pilot is the Non-Handling Pilot until the decision altitude call, when the Handling Non-Landing Pilot hands the handling to the Non-Handling Landing Pilot, unless the latter calls "go-around", in which case the Handling Non-Landing Pilot, continues handling and the Non-Handling Landing Pilot continues non-handling until the next call of "land" or "go-around", as appropriate.

Ow. Somebody rub my head.

by CW4BillT on Mar 24, 2005

March 11, 2005

A pic for Dusty.

Since I managed to pi$$ him off yesterday... a peace offering.

Hi-res (worth it!)

by John on Mar 11, 2005

March 08, 2005

Let's see who the geeks are.

Which aircraft cockpit is this?


Really busy day today. But if you know your airplanes... there are enough clues to get this. If you don't, well, have fun anyway!

by John on Mar 08, 2005

February 28, 2005

Heh. Well, we know what *I'm* not...

..a fighter pilot. Boy, was I wrong. So is Bill. Sanger and Dusty however...

Update: Here's our resident ATTACK pilot's reponse

The pict looks like a Viper about to go beak to beak with an F-15. Both guys would have shot each other about 30 minutes previous to this position...if both were armed with AAMRAMs. The Eagle would have had the range on him though (radar range, that is...which is what counts in a Fox 1 shot). At normal closure rates (180-degree aspect, i.e., nose-to-nose), both would have the energy to get the missile to target but the Eagle would probably have seen him first, driven into optimum range, shot and then gone for the notch (hard 90 left/right to dick up the opponent's fire control/radar Doppler shift calculations and befuddle his missile just enough to preclude a lock and counter launch). That said, once the AAMRAM shifts to internal guidance, I understand it's pretty hard to beat.

by John on Feb 28, 2005

February 27, 2005

Look boss! Da plene! Da plene!

Looking back over the last coupla week's posts, I see we've been neglecting a segment of our audience. We've had tanks, firearms, submarines, Marines... but I don't see any airplanes. Well we did have that English-Electric munchkin.

Soooo... let's have a multi-national moment of Aero-Zen.

Two RAF Phantoms flying by a Castle in, I assume, Germany. I at first glance thought it was Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. ... except for being the wrong shape, color, and not in the mountains...

Anybody know which castle that is?

by John on Feb 27, 2005
» TFS Magnum links with: Great photo over at Argghhh!!!

January 30, 2005

News from a socialist's paradise...

Won't work as a hooker? We'll cut yer unemployment bennies then.

Well, there's an interesting take on welfare reform.

by John on Jan 30, 2005
» damnum absque injuria links with: Unemployed German Prostitutes
» There's One, Only! links with: *SLAP* Bad Subconscious

January 23, 2005

Whoo-hoo! Good times!

This will make Bill the Rotorhead's heart race.

Now you *know* what we mean when we're yelling "Hose him down" at each other on the radio... Give it a minute, it takes some time to load.

Hat tip to Geoffrey at DogSnotDiaries for the pointer!

Oh, and just because - time to check the Smith and Wesson cam - where we can see whether or not "Guns kill people." This pistol in question has still shown no signs of acting in the absence of a human to do all the heavy lifting.

Oh yeah, I've also got 4 3 2 gmail invites if anyone is looking.

SWWBO Alert - Beth, don't look at the picture in the following link! Really.

The rest of ya - sometimes, window seats are bad.

Beth - this one's fine.

Then there's this. When I was in Germany back in the 80's, and later stateside as a commander - there were usually 4 of these per barracks room. All going at once, with competing music styles. At least it seemed that way.

Hat tip to Rich B. for those last two photos.

by John on Jan 23, 2005
» Brain Shavings links with: Hose him down
» Flight Pundit links with: Ever wounder what Hose Him Down means

January 19, 2005

The Answer to the Question.

What was the question? Go read here!

The answer is 11. There were a few of you who answered with that number, but as I observed earlier, we'll have to wait for Bill to get back from his short trip this week to give us the definitive winner.

I got 10 - but, I didn't get the right 10 (and I dithered a lot over whether or not the damage in the upper left corner of the door was a hit or just a ding. I also counted at least one rivet, which, based on the numbers some of you put in, you did too. I also allowed for about four possibles - one of which *was* a hit, the other were, as I suspected, rivets.

Anyway - here's the annotated picture with the answer. This picture was taken not long after landing from the mission that provided the punctures - and Bill was flying this aircraft - in the left seat, the side with all the holes.

Hi-res here.

by John on Jan 19, 2005

December 20, 2004

If Airplanes Could Talk...

Actually, they do. You just have to know how to listen.

In this case, what you would learn would go a long way in getting you to understand and appreciate the Golden Age of aviation. From Scott Crossfield's blazing ascents into near-space to the Scram Jet's blistering run across the Pacific at 7,000 MPH+, "Balls 8" was, at one time or another, at the center of the known universe for thousands of scientists, engineers, pilots and maintainers. Her "passing" is indeed a milestone and she will be missed.

It hasn't been a good year for these winged icons...the last of the KC-135s that helped train astronauts and supported Hollywood film crews (among other things), affectionately known as the Vomit Comet (sorry), was also retired.

By the way, if you want to get a good feel for what the test pilots faced during the Golden Age, dig a little deeper into Crossfield's experiences as a test guy (the link above is a good start). I'm willing to bet not many have seen the explosion on the test stand that Scott was, quite literally, sitting in front of when it occurred (the X-15 rockets were a tad tempermental)...or the landing he made in the X-15 where the thing broke in half on landing skid (as opposed to a landing roll--the only wheels were on the nose gear). For some pretty cool overall X-15 footage, go here.

BTW, pilots define "Golden Age" as that time when the adult supervision didn't know enough about the risks to say you couldn't do stuff. I call it the Constitutional Period--anything not specifically prohibited was allowed. Heh.


by Dusty on Dec 20, 2004

December 15, 2004

Flight Pay.

Sometimes... SOMETIMES... they earn it.

OH-58s are useful little critters, and I flew in one as an Aerial Observer, but they ain't bullet-resistant. Though - to the credit of the bird and the crew - this one had a good landing, i.e., one you could walk away from.

Right-click the picture and 'Save Target As' for the whole pdf.

by John on Dec 15, 2004

November 16, 2004

Yeeee Haaawwwww!

Ooof. Know what would be going through the pilot's mind in the boost phase of this little number?

His eyeballs
His nose
His visor
His mask
...and anything on the glareshield not nailed down.

That muffled bang you hear when the scrammer lights is your a**hole slamming shut as you accelerate at a Mach a second. That is SO cool. Frickin' American engineers rock...

Maybe Jonah's volcano lancing procedure can be rendered moot by one of these babies fired at the lava dome...heh.


by Dusty on Nov 16, 2004