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Carruthers 09-16-2015 12:15 PM

In my teenage years I had an all consuming interest in aviation. Anything with man made wings and an engine or two would attract my attention.
It wasn’t just the aircraft themselves, it was also how they were operated. Navigation, routes, procedures all fascinated me.

I eventually obtained a Private Pilot’s Licence and although competent enough, I was never a natural.
I can say, with all due modesty, that my landings were usually pretty good. However some stretched the definition of ’landing’ beyond its elastic limit.
I think that they could be better described as ’arrivals’.
Of the bone crunchingly ’firm’ sort.

Eventually, I rather lost interest but a year or two ago it was rekindled to casual observer status.
Most of the aircraft I see here on a daily basis tend to be fairly unremarkable.
There’s the early morning rush of arrivals from the US and Canada and the corresponding conveyor belt of departures in the afternoon.

A number of Air New Zealand’s extended range Boeing 777s used on the Auckland-Los Angeles-London route, are truly eye catching in their special livery and I’ve shown a couple of the best here..
These two represent the Hobbit films which were made in New Zealand and help promote the country as a tourist destination.

And here's how it was done...

BigV 09-16-2015 12:43 PM

Their planes are purty, and their safety videos are.. epic. These are some with a Hobbit theme, then several with a different flavor. All are awesome.

Betty White, Old Skool.

Nakey people

xoxoxoBruce 09-16-2015 09:21 PM

They've taken this opportunity to grab an identity other than "Near Australia", and run with it. Not just businesses, like the airline, but the government has worked it into some legislation, trade agreements. I heard making disparaging remarks about Tolkien's work is treason. I've read, but can't verify, much of the population has embraced this fever.

Sundae 09-17-2015 05:27 AM

I so wish you could come here, Carr.
Despite simply the pleasure of your company.

Dad's interest in aeroplanes has waned in line with the ascension of his dementia, but even he was like a little boy again watching the planes from Leeds/ Bradford airport appear and disappear over the Chevin. They are far lower than you ever see them in Aylesbury and its environs.

If he'd been here five years ago I know we'd have taken the 33a up close to the airport.
And ten years ago he'd have been driving and we'd have gone to the Yorkshire Air Museum (probably dropping Mum off for a Spa Day somewhere!)

Carruthers 09-17-2015 10:57 AM

Another of Air New Zealand's special liveries.
Unlike the other two, the aircraft was delivered from Boeing in this colour scheme which honours the NZ Rugby Team aka the 'All Blacks'.

All Black 777-300ER Unveiling (Behind The Scenes)

Gravdigr 09-17-2015 04:20 PM

I don't think I've ever heard an aircraft, and not looked up to marvel at it. Not as a child, and not as an alleged adult. Still do it today. Every time. I'll even get up and go outside when I hear a helicopter, or low-flying plane.

glatt 09-17-2015 04:54 PM

Too much air traffic around here for me to leave the house and look up, but if I'm outside or near a window I will always look.

plthijinx 09-17-2015 05:49 PM

anytime, every time I see or hear a plane or chopper I have to look. It's second nature to me

sexobon 09-17-2015 07:38 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I once jumped one of these contraptions, the French Puma. Rescue and firefighting versions were made with a small trap door in the floor. Enclosed by the aircraft, it felt like stepping into an elevator - going down!

Attachment 53406

xoxoxoBruce 09-17-2015 09:48 PM


Originally Posted by glatt (Post 939395)
Too much air traffic around here for me to leave the house and look up, but if I'm outside or near a window I will always look.

Same here, Philly flight path.

Griff 09-18-2015 06:45 AM


Originally Posted by sexobon (Post 939412)
I once jumped one of these contraptions, the French Puma. Rescue and firefighting versions were made with a small trap door in the floor. Enclosed by the aircraft, it felt like stepping into an elevator - going down!

Attachment 53406

That is..................... awesome.

Carruthers 09-26-2015 09:15 AM

The last airworthy Vulcan bomber flies in formation with the Red Arrows RAF aerobatic team at Southport Air Show earlier this month.

The Vulcan was one of the RAF’s three Cold War nuclear ‘V bombers‘, the others being the Victor and the Valiant .

The aircraft has long been of some fascination to me, not just because of its unique design, but because on three occasions Vulcans landed at a rather small grass airfield at nearby RAF Halton.

Halton was the home to the RAF’s No 1 School of Technical Training where most of the ground trades associated with keeping aircraft flying, were taught.

Although the station, measured by numbers of personnel, was large, the airfield was only suited to smaller aircraft.

When instructional airframes were needed they were flown in, if of suitable size, or dismantled and brought in by road..

In the late 1960s a considerable number of Vulcans were in service and engineering trainees needed ‘hands on’ instruction.

In the space of a few years three examples were flown into the station and landed on a grass runway about 1250yds long.

Landings were planned for a time of the year when the ground would be at its driest, and into as strong a head wind as possible.

The aircraft also had a minimum fuel load to keep landing weight down. All three landed safely and were used for ground instruction over several years.

This aerial photo was taken in 1971. Two of the aircraft, in all white colour scheme, can be seen on the grass south of the hangars.

They were of earlier marks and had been superseded by the camouflaged version which is visible at the northern end of the concrete apron.

The display aircraft is appearing at air shows around the country before retirement this year as the companies which inherited the design no longer which to provide support for it.

Here's the display routine at this year's Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

The full power, almost vertical climb, is executed at 6.40, 9.10 and 10.20.

The final climb is the most impressive.

Vulcan to the Sky.

Gravdigr 09-26-2015 01:45 PM

So long Li'l Buckeye, we hardly knew ye.

U.S. Navy retires the last 3 T-2 Buckeye trainer jets.

Scads of pilots learned their way around carriers by training in the T-2. Generations, really, as the Buckeye was in service for 56 years.

Gravdigr 09-26-2015 01:47 PM

Loving the Vulcan, btw. It shares one spectacular facet with the SR-71...They both look absolutely sinister.

xoxoxoBruce 09-27-2015 03:09 AM

That's FREEDOM you're seeing.
Funny how freedom looks sinister so often, to so many. :rolleyes:

Carruthers 09-27-2015 02:38 PM

Just to tie up a couple of loose ends re the Vulcan.

During the Falklands War, a Vulcan was used in a raids against Argentinian positions on the islands, the first being on the airfield at Port Stanley.

Operation Black Buck had seven planned raids, of which five were completed.

At 6,800 nautical miles (round trip) they were, at the time, the longest range bombing operations in history.

The Vulcan was a medium range aircraft, being designed for attacks on the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries, consequently an in flight refuelling plan had to be devised.

The raids were carried out from Ascension Island and the attack aircraft was supported by eleven tankers.

Some of the tanker aircraft were used to refuel other tankers so they could transfer fuel to the Vulcan at extended range.

On the first raid, the Vulcan was refuelled seven times on the outward journey and once on the return leg.

There's a graphic showing the refuelling plan here:

Wikipedia - Operation Black Buck.

An animation of the refuelling scheme is featured in this video:

This Ch 4 programme was shown in 2012 on the thirtieth anniversary of the Falklands War.

If you have a reasonably fast connection it's worth downloading.

xoxoxoBruce 09-27-2015 03:09 PM


On the first raid, the Vulcan was refuelled seven times on the outward journey and once on the return leg.
Say what? OK, heavy bomb load, head winds, stopped for lunch, but 7 to 1?
Oh, I know one way was Imperial gallons and the other way was metric gallons. :eyebrow:

xoxoxoBruce 09-30-2015 04:29 PM

The story of the two pilots who managed to get their P-40s off the ground at Pearl Harbor.

xoxoxoBruce 10-01-2015 06:48 AM

Battle of Britain
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Why Hitler thought they could win, and why they didn't.

It started in July of 1940, and was intense, but wasn't non-stop. On one day, September 7, nearly 1,000 bombers struck at London. The planes filled a 20 mile wide(32 km), 40 mile long(64 km), 2 mile thick(3 km), hunk of sky. That attack on London resulted in 300 civilians dead, and another 1,300 injured. That's because the Brits were cowering in bomb shelters, instead of coming out with their faces painted half blue, and shaking their fists at the sky, while cursing the bombers, like real heroes. :haha:


There’s no official end-date to the Battle of Britain, but many historians say it occurred in late October 1940 when German planes switched from day raids to night raids over the cities and Midland factories. This switch in tactics signified that the RAF was winning the battle and was very much in control of the skies.

In total the RAF lost about 1,500 aircraft, the Luftwaffe over 2,000. Compared what was to come, however, it proved to be a rather small affair. The Blitz resulted in over 90,000 civilian casualties, of which 40,000 were fatal.

In the end however, the Blitz changed the complexion of the war, and the resolve of British citizens who saw it as a moral victory. What’s more, it justified the British bombing of Germany and did much to sway the opinion of the war in the United States.
That little dust up changed the face of war forever, now air power was crucial and civilians were not just fair game, but basic strategy. Brutal, but looking at the WW I trench warfare, sending waves of cannon fodder while the folks at home were only following the action in the newspapers, it might have been for the better.

Elspode 10-01-2015 06:33 PM


Originally Posted by Carruthers (Post 940056)

The last airworthy Vulcan bomber flies in formation with the Red Arrows RAF aerobatic team at Southport Air Show earlier this month.

I think the Vulcan is one of the most beautiful aircraft ever built. It has always fascinated me.

Gravdigr 10-04-2015 09:41 AM

"Excuse me, is this part of the in-flight entertainment?"

sexobon 10-04-2015 09:52 AM

They forgot to throw out the anchor on the other side too.

Gravdigr 10-04-2015 10:01 AM

Idk what happened there...Comments were all over the place. He did it on purpose, he didn't do it on purpose. He hit something in the water, he was trying not to hit something in the water.

I checked (a little, very little) and, World Stunt Landing appears to not be a thing.

xoxoxoBruce 10-05-2015 08:06 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The early aircraft fired the imagination of millions, and instantly became the best pantie remover since alcohol. So naturally they became a subject of songs, as moon, June, spoon, was getting old. They hoped aircraft songs would spark some adrenaline and spending. Not that everyone in the music business is a crass money grubber, only the ones who control the business half. :haha:

Carruthers 10-20-2015 01:24 PM
Icelandair Boeing 757 in Aurora Borealis livery.

glatt 10-20-2015 01:33 PM

I have very fond memories of Icelandair. I don't remember much about the airline or flight, but their deal where you can stop over in Iceland for a day to and/or from Europe is a really cool deal. A day to explore another country for no addition cost, especially when the country is as geologically interesting as Iceland is, is a sweet opportunity.

Gravdigr 10-20-2015 02:37 PM

xoxoxoBruce 10-20-2015 05:32 PM

Aircraft abuse, po little plane.

xoxoxoBruce 10-24-2015 02:19 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Ima gonna drop this spacey right here. ;)

glatt 10-24-2015 05:05 AM

I have one of those patches in a box somewhere

xoxoxoBruce 10-24-2015 01:13 PM

A real man would staple... no, wait... nail it to his chest. :vikingsmi

Just writing that made me cringe.

Carruthers 10-28-2015 11:33 AM

Vulcan bomber touches down forever after final flight
The world's last airworthy Vulcan bomber has completed its final flight, which had to be kept secret until the last minute for fear huge crowds would attend.

Vulcan XH558, a restored nuclear bomber, takes-off for its final flight at Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport

The only remaining flying Vulcan bomber has landed for the last time.

The distinctive delta-winged Cold War aircraft, which once carried Britain's nuclear deterrent, took off from Doncaster Robin Hood Airport for a short final trip on Wednesday afternoon.

Organisers had kept details of the final flight secret until the last minute over fears that dangerously large crowds would throng the airport for one last chance to see the aircraft.

A final nationwide tour held earlier this month was nearly cancelled after police concerns they would be unable to handle an influx of thousands of enthusiasts turning up at once.

Hundreds of thousands are believed to have glimpsed Vulcan XH558 as it spent two days doing flypasts around the country a fortnight ago.

Martin Withers, who led the 1982 Vulcan raids on the Falklands, was the pilot for the final flight.

As he prepared, he said: "Everyone asks me what is so special about this aircraft and why people love it. Really the people who fly it are the wrong people to ask. It's such a combination of grace and beauty of just seeing this thing fly.

"Just to see it fly along, it's so graceful. And then that combines with the sense of power and manoeuvrability you've got with this aircraft and the vibrations it makes. It just seems to turn people on emotionally, they really love it."

Former pilot Angus Laird added: "I think it's very, very sad but we all come to a time when we stop flying. She's an old lady now and she's stopped at the height of her popularity, which I think is brilliant."

XH558, which first came into RAF service in 1960, has been kept in the air by a volunteer trust since 2007.

This summer, millions of people have watched it as it has made a farewell tour of the UK before its permit-to-fly expires at the end of October.

The Vulcan To The Sky Trust, which brought the 55-year-old aircraft back to flight eight years ago, has accepted advice from supporting companies that they no longer have the expertise to keep it airworthy as engineers retire from the industry.

Vulcan XH558 at Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport

XH558 will stay in its Cold War hangar at Robin Hood Airport - once RAF Finningley - where the trust is planning a visitor centre and also to continue "fast taxiing" the massive bomber around the runways.

The trust had to keep details of Wednesday's final flight under wraps until the last minute as the aircraft has become such a popular attraction.

Airport officials feared news of the event could attract thousands of spectators, endangering its normal operations.

John Sharman, chairman of the trust, said: "It's a sad day but its also a day of optimism in many ways.

"Today marks the end of the beginning of this life of Vulcans because we have huge plans for the future.

"We will preserve this aeroplane for the nation in working order, if not in flying order, for the future as the centrepiece of a heritage centre."

Mr Sharman said: "She is very beautiful, she is very powerful, she is is totally unique, totally distinct. And that delta shape seems to inspire both young and old."

Daily Telegraph

I last saw XH558 a few years ago when it flew a display routine at a small local air show.
Even at some distance, when the aircraft was flying under full power, you could 'feel' the noise as well as hear it.
It actually made the chest cavity vibrate. It was a remarkable aircraft, and even those who knew little about aircraft, and probably cared less, would watch.
Mercifully it was never called upon to lob a nuke at Ivan.

Gravdigr 10-28-2015 11:41 AM

So long Vulcan, we hardly knew ye.

Gravdigr 10-28-2015 11:44 AM

Great moments in improvised landings.
A Harrier Jet Once Landed on Cargo Ship on Top of a Minivan

Carruthers 10-28-2015 11:54 AM


Originally Posted by Gravdigr (Post 943648)

A rather uncomfortable interview of the 'hats on' variety and without tea and biccies no doubt followed in short order.

Gravdigr 10-28-2015 12:27 PM

Just found this:

Carruthers 10-28-2015 01:07 PM

They were pretty lucky to have been able to walk away from that one.

xoxoxoBruce 10-28-2015 01:07 PM

Turn your phone sideways, damn it.
I wonder how high off the ground they were when they hit the trees?
I didn't hear an Oh Shit, you know, the shorthand for seatbelts fastened, tray tables up and locked, seat upright, head between your knees, to warn the passengers.

Carruthers 11-14-2015 10:11 AM

The An 225 always attracts attention when it operates into a UK airport.
By sheer good luck I happened to see it when it was on its way to East Midlands airport near Derby a year or so ago.
Only one example has been constructed and it was originally intended to transport the Russian Buran space shuttle.
Have a look at the landing gear as it does a 180 at the end of the runway.

Gravdigr 11-14-2015 03:49 PM

No audio, b-roll video:

Lamplighter 11-14-2015 04:32 PM

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If the Government ever throws one of these away...

Attachment 54164

...will it come back all by itself ?


plthijinx 11-16-2015 07:02 PM


Originally Posted by Carruthers (Post 943653)
They were pretty lucky to have been able to walk away from that one.

what surprises me the most is the pilot turning around and asking as if nothing happened, "you guys alright?"

Makes me wonder how many times he'd done that before?

plthijinx 11-16-2015 07:13 PM

In this video, made 11/15/15, is the jet that I will be taking my SIC (second in command) training so I'll have something to fall back on and/or part time job while doing my engineering gig. Here is Brian (right seat) taking the test flight which he was kind enough to let me ride along so I'd know what to expect when I do mine here shortly (whenever I get up the $3500 for the training and also my medical back from the FAA).

anyway, this is a short field/maximum takeoff performance demonstration from T41 (Pearland Regional) that really was so. Full fuel (285 gals jet-a each wing and 4 people on board) followed by an approach and landing in Galveston (KGLS)

can't wait to take the test myself! :D

Gravdigr 11-20-2015 11:36 AM

I guess some of you have heard about that brand spankin' new AC-130J "Ghostrider" that went inverted while out of control, and sustained too many G's, and was subsequently retired from service.

Here is a story about damn near the very same thing (different cause), only this one lived to fly again.

Very interesting read.

xoxoxoBruce 11-20-2015 01:42 PM


“wrong choice of action during an operation.”
Promote that sumbitch, he's obviously Pentagon material.

That was the 7th time those life rafts popped out like a teenage boner?
Bout time to work on that problem.:eyebrow:

xoxoxoBruce 12-14-2015 10:25 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Nighttime carrier takeoff of a V-22 Osprey, shows the transition of the rotors from vertical to horizontal flight.

Gravdigr 12-17-2015 02:45 PM

Kinda Christamas-y.

I wonder how the rotor tips are lit/lighted?

Suppose it's the running lights shining on them?

Nevermind, both rotor's tips are green, running lights are red & green.

xoxoxoBruce 12-17-2015 03:27 PM

I was thinking the green light/reflector may be only on one blade tip per side to make the slinky that clear.

Pamela 12-17-2015 06:35 PM

They have lights in the rotor tips to prevent rotor strikes when landing troops at night. They are NVG compatible for night formation flying and can be seen from above and below. Top and bottom light intensity is controllable by the crew.

Here is a pic


xoxoxoBruce 12-17-2015 06:39 PM

That looks like a helicopter blade.

Gravdigr 12-18-2015 12:25 PM

Shouldn't it?:eyebrow:

xoxoxoBruce 12-18-2015 12:39 PM

Not for a V-22.

Gravdigr 12-18-2015 12:48 PM

Vertical is vertical, is it not?

xoxoxoBruce 12-18-2015 03:04 PM

Yes it is, and horizontal is horizontal. However the V-22 is both, or neither, or something else, but uses a different type of blade.

John Sellers 12-18-2015 09:37 PM


Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce (Post 948907)
Yes it is, and horizontal is horizontal. However the V-22 is both, or neither, or something else, but uses a different type of blade.

IDK much about military aircraft, but judging from the Wiki-article just read, I'd say both. The V-22 Osprey is a V/STOL aircraft.

xoxoxoBruce 12-18-2015 10:21 PM

Yes it is, take off and land vertically, fly horizontally, but the point was the blades are unlike helicopter blades.

Gravdigr 12-19-2015 03:53 PM


Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce (Post 948798)
That looks like a helicopter blade.


Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce (Post 948940)
...but the point was the blades are unlike helicopter blades.


Beest 12-19-2015 10:03 PM

They look too short and wide for helicopter blades.

Drifting back to how the RAF won the Battle of Britian, I watched documentaries on the first world and Battle of Britain and they said exactly the same thing about both conflicts.
"We would fly sorties all day and might lose 5 or 6 aircraft, by the morning of the next day there would 5 or 6 replacement aircraft on the airstrip."

Manufacturing capacity was significant factor

xoxoxoBruce 12-19-2015 10:29 PM

Perspective is deceiving. The Chinook has a 60 ft rotor diameter, the Apache is 50 ft and the V-22 38 ft, those are the three I built. But the V-22 blade is a completely different shape and not metal.

Oh god yes, I've heard people, mostly Europeans, saying the US didn't do shit, jumped in at the last minute and claims to have saved the world. However they overlook the fact that the US was a producing motherfucker. We were knocking out ships and planes, and tanks and weapons and ammo like nobody ever could, or had. Yes, Virginia, we did make a difference.

Pamela 12-20-2015 06:19 PM

It IS possible that the blade in question is not actually one from a V22. It is a picture of the type of light found on the blades of a V22 as well as numerous other rotorcraft.

Sheesh! Bloody perfectionists! :D

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