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Old 20th February 2021, 07:10 AM   #1
Airfix
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Aviation history

In my opinion, the most interesting and important company in aviation history has been Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin, they've done everything from single engined sport aircraft to transports to the Mach 3 capable A12 family of aircraft that include the SR71 and the YF12 prototype fighter.


Clarence Kelly Johnson of Lockheed was a lead designer on many projects including the Hudson bomber and the P38 lighting. He also chose the location of the Area 51 black project development site where the U2 was first test flown.

In the 1960's the company was involved in a bribery scandal, and their famous Starfighter became infamous in West Germany, for crashing.

There are many figures and companies in the history of aviation, Sir George Cayley, Otto Lillienthal, Orvile and Wilbur Wright, Eustace and Oswald Short, Thomas Sopwith, Harry Hawker, Fred Slingsby, Frederick Handley Page, Sir Alliott Verdon-Roe, George Edwards, Roy Chadwick, Gustav Lachmann, Robert Kronfeld, Rudolf Kaiser, and many others, but I thought I'd start with Lockheed as they have done virtually everything.
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Old 20th February 2021, 07:13 AM   #2
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This is an F104G Starfighter with a zero length launch booster and dummy nuke.

Last edited by Darat; 21st February 2021 at 04:08 AM. Reason: Changed img tag to imgw
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Old 20th February 2021, 11:50 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ghter_2007.jpg

This is an F104G Starfighter with a zero length launch booster and dummy nuke.
Known as the widowmaker in Germany, IIRC.
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Old 20th February 2021, 03:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ghter_2007.jpg

This is an F104G Starfighter with a zero length launch booster and dummy nuke.
German joke:

"How do you get a F-104?"

"Buy a farm near an airbase and wait."

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Old 20th February 2021, 03:53 PM   #5
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IIRC one problem with the Starfighter was that the pilots were all trained in the US, down in Arizona where the sun is always shining and there's plenty of airspace in which to train.

They'd then return to Central Europe, where the weather is far from great the best of time, and the airspace available is tight, and all of the sudden it became a lot more demanding to fly the damn things.

Personally my favourite Lockheed bird is the U-2, if only for the fact that it has so far managed to outmaneuvre two of its potential replacements, three if you count spy satellites.
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Old 20th February 2021, 04:42 PM   #6
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In the commercial world, of course, Boeing revolutionized air travel multiple times. The 247 was the first fully enclosed all-metal monoplane airliner.
307 was the first pressurized airliner.
707 was not the first jet airliner, but by far the most successful of its era.
And then there's the queen of the skies, my lovely lady the 747!

I weep for what's become of that once-great company.
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Old 20th February 2021, 04:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Major Major View Post
German joke:

"How do you get a F-104?"

"Buy a farm near an airbase and wait."

Quite a few pilots bought the farm as well!
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Old 20th February 2021, 04:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Major Major View Post
German joke:

"How do you get a F-104?"

"Buy a farm near an airbase and wait."

Quite a few pilots bought the farm as well!
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Old 20th February 2021, 04:55 PM   #9
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It seems to me that the modern Eurocanards are apex versions of the Century Series fighters. Also, that 4th Gen is the highest fighter generation, unless you go full stealth or start with UCAVs. And that Sweden learned the Century lesson early, and has been refining it ever since.
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Old 21st February 2021, 12:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
In my opinion, the most interesting and important company in aviation history has been Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin, they've done everything from single engined sport aircraft to transports to the Mach 3 capable A12 family of aircraft that include the SR71 and the YF12 prototype fighter...

Clarence Kelly Johnson of Lockheed was a lead designer on many projects including the Hudson bomber and the P38 lighting...
I have a book called "Skunkworks" by Ben Rich, an engineer at Skunkworks while Johnson was its manager, who became the next manager when Johnson left. He was involved in the U-2, Oxcart/A12, and F-117, the latter being his first big new project as manager instead of engineer. Johnson kept berating him from retirement at first for what a stupid idea the stealth plane supposedly was.

Rich also tells the story of how they lost the stealth bomber competition and mentions the F-22 a couple of times but doesn't say much about it because it was still too new & incomplete at the time. Some of the best parts of the book are when he quotes what another engineer or pilot had to say. The stories of flying over enemy territory on the far side of the planet in a U-2, so alone you could see thousands of miles of your aloneness all around you, in such a flimsy little plane with a cockpit that allowed so much visibility in so many directions so you could look down and see as much of the empty enemy land below as possible, evoked such a sense of nakedness/vulnerability that it had me picturing it as a motorcycle in the sky. Other tidbits like the ones about civilian complaints about sonic booms and how they got their titanium were amusing. The combat stories from F-117 pilots in Iraq are perfect for shifting the focus from background (design & production & how to run an organization that does those things) to foreground (the results in people's lives and military missions, which all of that background work is about). The only problem with it is that it came out before he could say much about F-22 or anything at all about F-35.

"Skunk Works" made such a perfect title for it, though, that sometimes I wondered if aircraft fans would pay a bit more attention to the research & development departments of other companies if they had better nicknames like that.

Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
In the commercial world, of course, Boeing revolutionized air travel multiple times. The 247 was the first fully enclosed all-metal monoplane airliner.
307 was the first pressurized airliner.
707 was not the first jet airliner, but by far the most successful of its era.
And then there's the queen of the skies, my lovely lady the 747!

I weep for what's become of that once-great company.
The 787 has also rearranged how the airline business works, although in a way most of the public wouldn't see because they aren't frequent enough flyers or even schedule-checkers. It's so much lighter than other planes its size that its range is significantly longer, equivalent to a range you could previously only get with a larger plane. Making it possible to send a smaller number of people a longer distance has reduced the reasons for the hub-&-spokes system and opened up more non-stop flights to smaller airports from farther away. (And the new lighting system makes me want to fly on one just to see how much difference it really makes on the experience.)

The certification process for the extended 737 certainly led to disaster, but that wasn't just Boeing; their regulators should have been regulating, and the non-regulating was letting other companies get away with sloppy processes too. One of them had to be the first to fail in dramatic fashion, and it just happened to be Boeing.

They were uniquely sore losers of the fighter competition, though, turning themselves into one of the major sources of the popular lies about the winning plane. And their losing plane now stands as mostly an example for future designers & program managers, a lesson in not getting so locked in to one early design choice that it forces you into a long path of other choices you don't want to make after that.
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Old 21st February 2021, 02:36 AM   #11
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My favourite...



The "DC-3" of my generation (literally, the first C-130 entered service a year before I was born).

I have done dozens of flights as Supercrew on C-130s, some of them on the actual aircraft in that photo. Everything from ordinary shuttle flights, equipment test flights, disaster relief in the Pacific Islands, trips to Antarctica on "Operation Icecube" (and one flight on a US Navy VXE-6 Ski Hercules), to LAPES tactical cargo dropping, the most exciting thing I have ever taken part in on a C-130 flight.

The Herky Bird is an aircraft I will always have a soft spot for.
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Old 21st February 2021, 10:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
In the commercial world, of course, Boeing revolutionized air travel multiple times. The 247 was the first fully enclosed all-metal monoplane airliner.
307 was the first pressurized airliner.
707 was not the first jet airliner, but by far the most successful of its era.
And then there's the queen of the skies, my lovely lady the 747!

I weep for what's become of that once-great company.
Absolutely right, and quite a few of my friends are type rated on various Boeing airliners from the 737-787.

The 737 Max has been a stain on Boeing's record sadly.
A next gen 757 with a 737 style cockpit layout would probably have been better.
They have a taller undercarriage, and were designed from the start to use high bypass engines.
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Old 21st February 2021, 10:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
My favourite...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/u7e683xf5y...1987.jpg?raw=1

The "DC-3" of my generation (literally, the first C-130 entered service a year before I was born).

I have done dozens of flights as Supercrew on C-130s, some of them on the actual aircraft in that photo. Everything from ordinary shuttle flights, equipment test flights, disaster relief in the Pacific Islands, trips to Antarctica on "Operation Icecube" (and one flight on a US Navy VXE-6 Ski Hercules), to LAPES tactical cargo dropping, the most exciting thing I have ever taken part in on a C-130 flight.

The Herky Bird is an aircraft I will always have a soft spot for.
Awesome, I photographed one 6 years ago when the RAF visited my club's airfield:

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Old 21st February 2021, 10:05 AM   #14
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I was on a skiing holiday in Tonale aka toe nail! in Italy, in the early 1980s, when I heard the noise of a fast jet. Naturally, I looked up. Nothing to be seen. I carried on skiing and saw a pair of F-104s screaming along the valley below me!
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Old 21st February 2021, 11:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
Absolutely right, and quite a few of my friends are type rated on various Boeing airliners from the 737-787.

The 737 Max has been a stain on Boeing's record sadly.
A next gen 757 with a 737 style cockpit layout would probably have been better.
They have a taller undercarriage, and were designed from the start to use high bypass engines.
Please, not the 737 cockpit! I spent too many years working on it, particularly the awful 1950's throttle stand. Give it the 767 tanker cockpit.

Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
I was on a skiing holiday in Tonale aka toe nail! in Italy, in the early 1980s, when I heard the noise of a fast jet. Naturally, I looked up. Nothing to be seen. I carried on skiing and saw a pair of F-104s screaming along the valley below me!
A few years ago my wife and I were standing on the rim of the Columbia River Gorge in central Washington and a pair of Navy F-18's came whizzing past below us. Quite impressive, especially when they made the sharp turn at Crescent Bar.
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Old 21st February 2021, 11:49 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
I was on a skiing holiday in Tonale aka toe nail! in Italy, in the early 1980s, when I heard the noise of a fast jet. Naturally, I looked up. Nothing to be seen. I carried on skiing and saw a pair of F-104s screaming along the valley below me!
They'd have probably been the Aeritalia licence made S variant.
As Starfighters go, they were pretty capable.

Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Please, not the 737 cockpit! I spent too many years working on it, particularly the awful 1950's throttle stand. Give it the 767 tanker cockpit.
Fair enough, it's just that so many pilots are trained on 737s I thought commonality might reduce training costs.
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Old 21st February 2021, 02:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
Fair enough, it's just that so many pilots are trained on 737s I thought commonality might reduce training costs.
Southwest Airlines agrees. That's why the control stand that originated on the original 707 is still there.
It doesn't help that the pilot seats on the 737 are a couple of inches closer together than any of Boeing's other models, making it harder to install one of the newer stands.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 01:22 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
I have a book called "Skunkworks" by Ben Rich, an engineer at Skunkworks while Johnson was its manager, who became the next manager when Johnson left.
Added to basket.
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Old 26th February 2021, 04:12 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
In the commercial world, of course, Boeing revolutionized air travel multiple times. The 247 was the first fully enclosed all-metal monoplane airliner.
307 was the first pressurized airliner.
707 was not the first jet airliner, but by far the most successful of its era.
And then there's the queen of the skies, my lovely lady the 747!

I weep for what's become of that once-great company.

Earlier this year there was a drama serie (not a documentary unfortunately) on Dutch television about Anthony Fokker (if you're in this thread you know) and Albert Plesman (one of the founders of the KLM).
It was very obvious what a giant leap forward the Boeing 247 (and the DC-1 & 2) were. Over here they were still building planes of wood (well, Fokker was anyway).
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Old 26th February 2021, 06:25 AM   #20
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Some British companies still making planes out of wood at that time as well, but how beautiful is this one by DeHavilland?



Shorts however had moved onto metal.
They had some very interesting ideas.



Handley Page produced some very odd looking airliners including this:

Sadly all of these were destroyed.

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Old 26th February 2021, 11:23 AM   #21
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My dad was an airplane enthusiast. He had a small plane before I was born and had some great stories from that ownership, but more importantly he just loved the history of them. We went to a local museum and he would walk up to an old engine on a stand and start telling you what was cool about it without even glancing at the plaque. Then, he would tell you why it never really caught on and how it often failed, because he was an engineer and that was what really interested him most.

Side not too all this is that he subscribed us all to the Smithsonian Air and Space magazine for years. One thing I noticed over the years is that many planes are good looking, but that most DeHavillands were good looking.
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Old 26th February 2021, 11:58 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
Some British companies still making planes out of wood at that time as well, but how beautiful is this one by DeHavilland?

The DH 91 Albatross, same type of plywood/balsa wood construction as the "Wooden Wonder".. the Mosquito
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Old 26th February 2021, 11:59 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
... One thing I noticed over the years is that many planes are good looking, but that most DeHavillands were good looking.
Yeah, De Havilland produced several achingly beautiful aircraft. They had rather a good line in actresses too.
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Old 26th February 2021, 04:11 PM   #24
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What, no love for the L-1011?
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Old 26th February 2021, 04:25 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
What, no love for the L-1011?
Some respect from me. But "last to the party".
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Old 27th February 2021, 04:58 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
What, no love for the L-1011?
The TriStar is an interesting aircraft.
It was the first to be powered by Rolls Royce RB211s, Rolls Royce went bust during development and were nationalised by the Tories. It was the first Lockheed wide body airliner. It served with distinction as a tanker in the Royal Air Force as well.

I like the type.

It also lacked the deep stall problems associated with other Tri jets of it's era such as the Hawker Siddely Trident (I'm thinking of the Staines Air Disaster).

Like the Trident before it, the TriStar was capable of making blind landings by autopilot. A very advanced design for it's time.
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Old 27th February 2021, 06:45 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
Absolutely right, and quite a few of my friends are type rated on various Boeing airliners from the 737-787.

The 737 Max has been a stain on Boeing's record sadly.
A next gen 757 with a 737 style cockpit layout would probably have been better.
They have a taller undercarriage, and were designed from the start to use high bypass engines.
Thing is that while it's certainly the worst example Boeing's issues go well beyond the just the 737 MAX.

Starliner capsule miserably failed its final check flight and needed so 80 fixes before it was cleared for another test, which has drifted to April 2021. Bear in mind Starliner's rival aced the same test and is fully operational.

KC-46 tanker has only now been cleared for limited operations, two years after they were delivered to the USAF.

SLS originally scheduled to fly in 2016, now unlikely to launch until 2022 as despite massive delays and cost overruns it still has technical issues, a stuck valve being the latest. Again maybe not so bad with a test article but this particular booster is supposed to fly.
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Old 27th February 2021, 06:57 AM   #28
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I like planes that tried too hard

Concorde, which I used to watch (and hear) go over. Supposed to herald the new era of supersonic travel (that never happened), stunning from any angle

The SR71 and it's variants, stunning in a different way and withdrawn from service before the plane it was supposed to replace, only now are there planes appearing that match its capabilities.

And the Martin P6 Seamaster, which I think is just beautiful and was cancelled as what it did didn't need to be done.

Special mention to the EE Canbera, a plane that expanded the envelope of jet flight by such an amount that it set a new standard to the point where NASA still use three of them for high altitude research more than 60 years after it was first in service.
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Old 27th February 2021, 07:33 AM   #29
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I'd never heard of that Martin P6 before, thanks for sharing that one
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Old 27th February 2021, 08:43 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
The TriStar is an interesting aircraft.
It was the first to be powered by Rolls Royce RB211s, Rolls Royce went bust during development and were nationalised by the Tories. It was the first Lockheed wide body airliner. It served with distinction as a tanker in the Royal Air Force as well.

I like the type.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped..._AN1135715.jpg
It also lacked the deep stall problems associated with other Tri jets of it's era such as the Hawker Siddely Trident (I'm thinking of the Staines Air Disaster).

Like the Trident before it, the TriStar was capable of making blind landings by autopilot. A very advanced design for it's time.
First and ONLY Lockheed widebody! Unless you count military transports.
The deep stall issue isn't related to trijets as such, it's T-tails that do it. Airflow over the nose at high angles of attack makes the elevator ineffective. The DC-9 family was also affected. The Tri-Star had a low horizontal tail.
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Old 27th February 2021, 08:50 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
I'd never heard of that Martin P6 before, thanks for sharing that one
I think it's just stunning. There's something about having to deal with the similar but differing demands of aero and hydro dynamics that makes it look amazing. To my eye anyway.
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Old 27th February 2021, 09:25 AM   #32
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Sanders Roe Jet Flying Boat Fighter anyone?

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Old 27th February 2021, 10:27 AM   #33
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I used to visit a website called "strange planes" or some such which had lots of photos (some fake) of, well, strange planes. I noticed that many of the strangest seemed to be British.
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Old 27th February 2021, 11:37 AM   #34
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Probably of interest to those on this thread - Rolls Royce’s 747 flying engine tester. This operates out of Tucson. File under “one of these things is not like the others”.

I also recommend a book titled, “Bombs Awry!”, By Grover “Ted” Tate. He was a flight mechanic and navigator and engineer and about everything else for Martin and also in USAF, and tells a wealth of stories about aircraft and their development and the men and women who designed and built and flew them. One of them involves a test pilot he knew who calmly declared “Flameout” just after taking off in an F-104 (leaving him zipping along a few feet above the ground in an aircraft with ridiculously stubby wings and a downward firing ejection seat), and then just... disappeared.
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Old 27th February 2021, 11:45 AM   #35
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I have a lot of love for this one



The Russian Beriev B-200 Altair,

Its fully amphibious i.e. it can take off and land on both water and land and transition to and from water using a boat ramp.



It can also be configured in multiple roles as a cargo aircraft, a passenger aircraft or as a water drop firefighting aircraft. The aircraft can also be equipped for special missions, such as an air ambulance for up to 30 stretcher patients and seven seated patients or medical crew.

As a firefighter it can carry 12,000 litres (3,200 US gallons) of water in 12m³ ferric aluminium alloy water tanks under the cabin floor in the centre fuselage section. It can also carry fire-retarding chemicals (in special additional tanks) which can be added to the water using centrifugal pumps.

The tanks are filled using four retractable water scoops, two installed forward of the hull step and two after.



These can scoop up the 12 tonnes of water in 14 seconds from seas with waves up to 1.2m, and can empty the tanks over the target less than 1 second.


And on top of all that, it is a fantastic looking aircraft!
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Old 27th February 2021, 12:39 PM   #36
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Speaking of firefighters, here’s a cool article from a while back about TBM Avengers that served as firefighters in Canada. I actually had my hands on one of these aircraft a bit helping clean it up for restoration after it retired from that job.

People tend to think of single engine propeller planes it’s not being very big. Avengers are very big. And I don’t mean just the Hulk.
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Old 27th February 2021, 01:11 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I have a lot of love for this one

https://www.dropbox.com/s/n4ttw9q95t...e200.jpg?raw=1

The Russian Beriev B-200 Altair,

Its fully amphibious i.e. it can take off and land on both water and land and transition to and from water using a boat ramp.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/viqj1ww5c2...00-2.jpg?raw=1 https://www.dropbox.com/s/jiohtuxkjk...00-4.jpg?raw=1

It can also be configured in multiple roles as a cargo aircraft, a passenger aircraft or as a water drop firefighting aircraft. The aircraft can also be equipped for special missions, such as an air ambulance for up to 30 stretcher patients and seven seated patients or medical crew.

As a firefighter it can carry 12,000 litres (3,200 US gallons) of water in 12m³ ferric aluminium alloy water tanks under the cabin floor in the centre fuselage section. It can also carry fire-retarding chemicals (in special additional tanks) which can be added to the water using centrifugal pumps.

The tanks are filled using four retractable water scoops, two installed forward of the hull step and two after.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/es290kdn51...00-3.jpg?raw=1

These can scoop up the 12 tonnes of water in 14 seconds from seas with waves up to 1.2m, and can empty the tanks over the target less than 1 second.


And on top of all that, it is a fantastic looking aircraft!
I've always had a fondness for Russian aircraft and that one looks ace

I guess firefighting operations would require extra training above that which a normal ATPL (airline pilot) would receive, as during the 14 seconds in which water is being taken on board, the centre of gravity would change, and therefore the trim would change requiring rapid and precise compensation, and the same thing would apply whilst emptying the tanks.
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Old 27th February 2021, 01:47 PM   #38
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If you want to see a big Flying Boat 'firebomber' check out the Martin Mars!

Largest operational flying boat ever flown.

Still in service with Coulson Flying Tankers

http://www.martinmars.com/
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Old 27th February 2021, 02:06 PM   #39
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Thanks for that, those can take on 27 tons of water.

That's some loading!
When Lancasters were loaded with Grandslam bombs, the wings would bend slightly in flight, and then go straight when the bombs were released.
So I'd imagine the same thing would happen with these fire bombers.
And the change in shape would have an effect on the spars.

I guess they would need regular inspections to guard against fatigue.
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Old 27th February 2021, 03:07 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
If you want to see a big Flying Boat 'firebomber' check out the Martin Mars!

Largest operational flying boat ever flown.

Still in service with Coulson Flying Tankers

http://www.martinmars.com/
I solemnly swear that next time I get up to central Vancouver Island I'm going to go pay a visit to Sproat Lake. The last time we were running late.
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