1965 Super Guppy Dive Test Goes Bad

What kind of bird did you say you hit? 

MAYDAY! Mayday! Mayday! This is 1038 Victor, the Super Guppy, in flight test over the Mojave Desert. We have had a major structural failure of the upper nose section in a maximum dive and are preparing for bailout!” “1038 Victor, this is Los Angeles Center. May we help you?” “Stand by, Los Angeles, we have a large hole in the nose, and the aircraft is disintegrating and buffeting severely-Thirty-eight Victor will advise intentions.” Only seconds before, we had been safely completing flight tests for the huge Guppy-confident that the converted Boeing Stratocruiser would regain from Russia the United States claim to the “world’s largest airplane.” Certification tests started with the Guppy’s maiden flight on August 31, 1965.

   A great story, click here to read more:

H/T: Jeff

An Idea So Idiotic It Could Possibly Work

Air Force scrapped top secret ‘bat bomb’ project in Carlsbad 70 years ago

I’d heard about this project before and as stupid as it was it sounds like it could have actually worked against the highly flammable homes the Japanese lived in.  Of course carpet bombing with B-29’s worked pretty good too.  I can’t understand why Hollywood hasn’t made this into a movie starring Bill Murry by now.  I mean, they turned bats into tiny suicide bombers!  The movie would almost write itself.

Super Tomcat

TOP GUN Day Special: The Super Tomcat That Was Never Built

I’ve always been a big fan of the Tomcat and it was sad to see it go, but I understood why they did it.  At least I thought I understood.  It turns out there is/was a super Tomcat version that could have been pretty bad ass!  Check out this article for the story.  SUPER TOMCAT

Hog Lovers

Best Defense of the A-10 This Year

As part of our antitransformationalist canon, one thing we have discussed here on a regular basis since the F-35 came in to being was this; regardless of what people may say – it cannot and will not be able to conduct close air support as it is required.

It is too tender, too ill-armed, too fast, and its crews will never have the detailed practical training needed.


The worst thing for the A-10 was that the USAF owns it – and if she can’t have it, no one else can either.


The army will try to fill the gap with attack helos, but that is imperfect as well.


As I’ve said before I like fat chicks I mean Hogs,  I mean the A-10.  In my opinion it’s stupidity to its extrema for the Air Force to get rid of the single best close air support platform just because they want to get their shiny new toy the F-35.  The Air Force claims the F-35 will do just as good a job as the A-10 but that’s just bullshit.  The article above lists a few of the reasons the F-35 will suck at close air support but the one no one ever mentions is the fact that the F-35 is so expensive the Air Force will never risk losing one just to save a few grunts.  5th generation fighter=expensive  poorly trained teenager with rifle=cheap.  Click the link to read the short write-up but don’t forget to read the comments, their the best part.

H/T: CDR Salamander

More Oops

2013 F/A-18 crash: Out of fuel, out of time and one chance to land

A great write-up about a chain of events that led to the loss of a Hornet.

The aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower was finally in sight.

The pilot of the F/A-18 Super Hornet hurriedly flipped switches and pushed levers. The aviator in the backseat leaned forward, straining to see the flight deck floating in the distance. The jet’s right engine had locked up, its landing gear had jammed, and the main fuel tank was almost empty.

At nearly 350 mph, the Super Hornet hurtled over the warm waters of the North Arabian Sea last April. The pilot had made some tough decisions that day; several hadn’t gone his way.

Now he was out of options. He had one chance to land. 

READ MORE:

H/T: Jeff

The Mighty J58

  From this. Wright Brothers 12 hp. engine.The Wright Brothers' Engine

To this.  The Sr-71’s J58 engine.

 

It took less than 50 years to go from the Wright flyer to the Sr-71.  Just think about that for a minute.  What will the next 50 years bring?  I’m still waiting for my flying car BTW.

Warthaog On The Endangered Speices List

Click the link for a great write-up  about the Air Force and defense department’s decision to get rid of the A-10 Thunderbolt AKA the Warthog.  In a nutshell due to budget cuts the Air Force claims they can’t afford to keep the A-10 because it’s a “one trick pony” All it does is ground support.  That’s ALL?   Just ground support?  THAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB THE AIR FORCE HAS!  Everything the Air Force does really boils down to supporting the ground troops.  The powers that be claim that the multi-role fighters can do the job of close air support just as well as the A-10 as well as other roles such as air superiority.  Well that’s just BULLSHIT!  The A-10 is the best there ever was and is the platform the troops call when they get in trouble.  I could go on and on but this writ-up does a much better job.  Also watch the embedded video about how they built the A-10, it’s worth the 5 minutes.

Airmen at odds with Air Force brass over future of beloved A-10 plane

Is the A-10 Warthog a Cold War relic, or a battlefield workhorse? U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Greg L. Davis Read More:

Old And Bold

This video is a highlights/promo from the Flying Legends Airshow over the historic Duxford airfield.   One thing I noticed when watching it was just how OLD most of the pilots are.  The advanced age of the airshow pilots is probably to a few different reasons.  1. Flying high performance warbirds is EXPENSIVE!  The amount of money these guys get from the airshow circuit probably doesn’t cover half what it costs to keep a 60 year old fighter airworthy.  To be able to own and fly one of these baby’s you need a lot of money, i.e, old guys.  2. Time.  Even if you don’t work on the plane yourself there is still a lot of work that goes into maintaining any plane let alone one that needs waxed to perfection.  3. Experience.  One thing you will notice about old warbirds is that they almost all have conventional landing gear, you know, tail draggers.  Very few pilots these days get their tail wheel endorsement let alone the hundreds of hours required to be considered competent enough to be entrusted to a 2 million dollar museum piece.  A few years ago I looked into joining the Confederate  Commemorative Air Force, to see what it took to fly the P-51 Mustang they had.  The requirements really weren’t too bad.  Just donate $10,000 to the club, get checked out in one of their T-6 Texans and spend every weekend helping work on their collection of planes.  The first two requirements I could handle but I’m a busy guy and there was just no way I could spend the time it would take to satisfy them.  But who knows?  Maybe when I get old.