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      06-21-2023, 10:45 AM   #1475
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F-35A performing CAP duty for Presidential event "head-butts" Mooney M20J:

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ept-over-marin

Does anyone read NOTAMs? I ask this as a non-pilot, who had an up-close view of a Skymaster undercarriage and rear propeller while on a closed runway where the pilot missed the NOTAM and big X's on each end marking the closed runway.....
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      06-21-2023, 07:29 PM   #1476
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It's been getting noisy in these parts, as the various performers show up for this weekend's air show. It seems like the advanced crews arrived a day or so earlier than normal, because of bad weather tomorrow when I assume they make the flight plans for Friday's practices.

Per the NYC TV news talking heads, the Blue Angels did a pass near Manhattan over Captain Sully's Hudson River landing strip late this afternoon, and we heard/saw them on final here about two hours ago.....
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      06-22-2023, 02:00 PM   #1477
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In 2018, Tyndall Air Force Base, near Panama City, Florida, was a busy base -- home to the F-22A training unit for the whole USAF and home to 11,000+ people (including active duty airmen, civilian employees, contractors and families.) Then came Hurricane Michael, a category 5 storm. Fewer than 100 Air Force personnel were at the base during the storm, the rest having evacuated, along with the majority of the aircraft. The base was basically destroyed by the storm, with all buildings rendered unlivable.

The F-22A training effort was relocated to Langley AFB, Virgina, and the operational/deployable F-22As were distributed to the other USAF units. The Air Force vowed to rebuild the base and announced that Tyndall AFB and its 325th Fighter Wing would become an F-35A unit with a full three squadrons of 72 aircraft.

Five years later that plan is about to become a reality. The first of the squadrons has stood up and is expected to get their first F-35As in July or August.

https://www.tyndall.af.mil/Rebuild/
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      06-22-2023, 07:49 PM   #1478
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Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
In the late 1960s, the U.S. military became dissatisfied with the state of aircrew training in air-to-air combat in the Vietnam war and took action to improve U.S. capabilities. The U.S. Air Force established aggressor squadrons to simulate enemy aircraft and hone the skills of fighter crews and the Navy did the same, although they termed the squadrons adversary squadrons. Both services, as well as the Marine Corps, have maintained that capability.

The Air Force has three aggressor squadrons -- one is based at Eielson AFB, Alaska, and the other two at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada. Two of the squadrons fly F-16s, while the third operates more sophisticated F-35As. The aggressor squadrons have unique paint schemes that emulate, in some cases, the schemes used by potential enemy aircraft. The first two photos of are Air Force F-16Cs and F-35As out of Nellis that play the "bad guys" in training exercises. These exercises frequently include non-US allied nations air forces.

The Navy has three adversary squadrons; all belong to the Navy Reserve. One operates F-18E/F Super Hornets at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, one operates Navy F-16Cs at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada and a third operates modified ex-Swiss F-5Ns from Naval Air Station Key West, Florida. Like the USAF aggressors, the Navy adversaries feature interesting paint schemes, and they invariably feature red stars on the tail. Fallon is also home to Top Gun, which has a number of adversary aircraft not assigned to a squadron per se.

The Marine Corps has one adversary squadron, also a reserve unit, based at the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, which also flies F-5Ns. A second Marine adversary squadron is planned to stand up in 2024 on the east coast.
It turns out that all these aggressor/adversary squadrons are not enough for U.S. fighter units. There are also contractor-operated aggressors flying various aircraft to train U.S. pilots. And just today I learned that ex-Israeli Air Force early production F-16s have been repurposed as U.S. civil-registered aircraft to supplement the military units. Here's a photo of one operated by the company Top Aces.
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      06-23-2023, 08:40 AM   #1479
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Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
It turns out that all these aggressor/adversary squadrons are not enough for U.S. fighter units. There are also contractor-operated aggressors flying various aircraft to train U.S. pilots.
These contractor aggressor/adversary companies are big business; they've got contracts at a number of bases and fly a number of different aircraft to give U.S. and allied pilots experience with dissimilar threats. Who are flying these "enemy" aircraft? I suspect that U.S. fighter pilots are finding lucrative employment after resignation or retirement from the military with these companies. Here are a couple of more examples of simulated "bad guys" operated by Draken International and TacAir.

Note that for truly sophisticated adversaries, the services have to use their own latest aircraft, such as the F-35; none of these contracted aircraft have stealth characteristics.
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      06-23-2023, 09:46 AM   #1480
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Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
These contractor aggressor/adversary companies are big business.
Top one looks like a old Mirage F1. First built in 1966 and still in limited service

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Mirage_F1 with list of current operators.
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      06-23-2023, 11:57 AM   #1481
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Originally Posted by Lady Jane View Post
Top one looks like a old Mirage F1. First built in 1966 and still in limited service
And the A-4 is even older, although this particular ex-Israeli A-4N has been updated.

The key point of aggressor/adversary training is that the instructors (the "bad guys") need to check their egos before the flight; the goal is not to win the fight, but to teach the student. Not easy for a fighter pilot; there is no shortage of ego in a fighter squadron!

I remember having a discussion with my Dad about this: If you tell a room full of 10 fighter pilots that they need to go on a mission where 90% losses are expected, you can guarantee that every single one will be thinking "I sure feel sorry about those other 9 pilots. I'll miss them when I get back."
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      06-23-2023, 01:09 PM   #1482
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Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
Not easy for a fighter pilot; there is no shortage of ego in a fighter squadron!
True... but however, if you don't have the tiger spirit, go fly the milk run for a regional airline.
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      06-23-2023, 04:30 PM   #1483
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Originally Posted by Lady Jane View Post
True... but however, if you don't have the tiger spirit
Very true, but sometimes an excess of tiger spirit can be fatal. You've heard of "target fixation"? Where a pilot (typically strafing or firing rockets) never pulls out of the dive and dives, kamikaze-style, into the target, whether in war or in an exercise. Tragic.
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      06-23-2023, 04:52 PM   #1484
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
You've heard of "target fixation"? Where a pilot (typically strafing or firing rockets) never pulls out of the dive and dives, kamikaze-style, into the target, whether in war or in an exercise. Tragic.
I went to a performance driving school where they didn't know it but they were teaching drivers how to harness target fixation as a tool to drive through corners faster without thinking. Magic.

Drizzle and a low ceiling here all day, so no Blue Angels practice today.....
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      06-23-2023, 10:59 PM   #1485
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
...

I remember having a discussion with my Dad about this: If you tell a room full of 10 fighter pilots that they need to go on a mission where 90% losses are expected, you can guarantee that every single one will be thinking "I sure feel sorry about those other 9 pilots. I'll miss them when I get back."
Controllers have the same mentality. It's tough for some to get through the door their heads are so big! Though it does serve a good purpose. Can't do the job if one doesn't think they're the best controller in the room. My motto was Boring didn't build enough to sink me. Neither did Cessna! You send 'em I'll blend 'em. The center that fed us (ZLA) would send all the Hawaiian red-eye's to the same point about 40 miles west of LAX at the same altitude and we had to fix it. Sure was fun!
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      06-24-2023, 10:03 PM   #1486
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The English Electric (later BAC) Lightning was a Mach 2 fighter with characteristically unique UK characteristics: Dual engines arranged one over the other in contrast to the usual side-by-side configuration. Like the F-104 and the MiG-21 it had limited endurance and range. But the Lightning was designed as an interceptor to protect the UK's V-bomber bases from Soviet air attack and endurance was a secondary priority. A proof-of-concept prototype, the P1A, first flew in 1954 and a fighter prototype first flew in 1957. The Lightning entered service with the RAF in 1960.

Like most aircraft, it was progressively improved, but the limited fuel and the radar remained weak areas throughout the Lightning's service life.

Another interesting aspect of the Lightning could be seen in the later F.6: External fuel tanks positioned on the top of the wings rather than below. The landing gear design made underwing tanks impractical.

A training version, the T.5, featured side-by-side seating for two pilots.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Englis...tric_Lightning
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      06-24-2023, 10:04 PM   #1487
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Jane View Post
True... but however, if you don't have the tiger spirit, go fly the milk run for a regional airline.
Milk run?

When my son was flying a ERJ-145 for the regionals he experienced a dual anti-ice system failure within 2 minutes of each other. He was the FO and it was his leg. He had just departed Chicago, at night, sleet and snow. Windshield started icing up. Wings and tail started icing up. No time to dump fuel. Declared an emergency and landed on an icy, windy runway, over weight. He greased it. Passengers had no clue.

That's just one story from his 15 years in the regionals.
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      06-25-2023, 08:07 AM   #1488
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During World War II, the U.S. Navy started planning for a high-speed torpedo bomber to replace the Grumman/Eastern TBF/TBM Avenger. The Navy turned to old standby Grumman for a new generation of torpedo bomber. The result was the Grumman TB3F (TB = Torpedo bomber, 3 = 3rd model, F = Grumman), which was designed with an R-2800 radial engine in front and an early jet engine in the rear fuselage, with jet intakes in the wing roots. The TB3F would be 100 knots faster than the Avenger and could carry two, rather than one, air-dropped torpedoes.

Early tests revealed problems with the jet intake ducts. At the same time, the Japanese navy was disappearing and the Navy re-evaluated the need for a high-speed torpedo bomber. The TB3F never flew with the jet engine installed.

The Navy was, however, interested in a carrier-capable aircraft for antisubmarine warfare (ASW) duties and the TB3F was repurposed for this new mission. The earliest post-WWII ASW aircraft was the old reliable Avenger, converted as the TBM-3S with gun turret removed and additional crew members to operate sub detection gear.

The S for ASW designation had not yet been established, so the TB3F was redesignated AF (A = attack, F = Grumman). It was also established that a single aircraft could not accommodate both the large radar required to detect a submarine periscope or snorkel, the sonobuoys required to refine the location of the sub AND the depth bombs or homing torpedoes required to make the kill. Therefore, the AF program was divided into a hunter/killer pair of aircraft: The AF-2W hunter was equipped with the same large APS-20 radar used by the TBM-3W and later the AEW versions of the AD Skyraider and Fairey Gannet and the AF-2S killer was equipped with a smaller radar, a searchlight, a sonobuoy dispenser and a weapons bay for depth bombs or homing torpedoes.

It took a few years -- in the austere fiscal environment of the post-war period -- for all of this to come together, but in 1950 the AF was ready. Despite being the largest single-engine piston-engine carrier aircraft ever built -- with a 60-foot wingspan -- the AF was embarked on the smallest carriers; the ASW mission was assigned to escort and small carriers (CVEs and CVLs). This made AF carriers operations relatively dangerous and at times, when there was no wind, impossible; the slower CVEs could not muster enough speed to enable takeoff and landing operations in calm conditions.

The AF was only operational in the active forces for about four years and then served in the reserves for another few years. It was replaced by the Grumman S2F Tracker, which combined hunter and killer functions in the same airplane. The twin-engine S2F had an even greater wingspan (72.6 feet) and operations on the small decks of CVEs and CVLs was even more awkward, but by now the Navy had decided to use unmodernized larger Essex class aircraft carriers for the ASW mission and the S2F fit on those just fine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_AF_Guardian
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      06-25-2023, 08:36 AM   #1489
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Quote:
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Milk run?
Thank goodness you son was properly trained. My point was that not all pilots can be fighter pilots. Many apply but few are chosen. Centrifuge training is great at selecting applicants. Especially those who pass out at 3 or 4 Gs.
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      06-25-2023, 09:41 AM   #1490
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.0L View Post
Milk run?

When my son was flying a ERJ-145 for the regionals he experienced a dual anti-ice system failure within 2 minutes of each other. He was the FO and it was his leg. He had just departed Chicago, at night, sleet and snow. Windshield started icing up. Wings and tail started icing up. No time to dump fuel. Declared an emergency and landed on an icy, windy runway, over weight. He greased it. Passengers had no clue.
Much happier outcome than Colgan 3407:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colgan_Air_Flight_3407
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      06-25-2023, 09:52 AM   #1491
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Originally Posted by Lady Jane View Post
My point was that not all pilots can be fighter pilots. Many apply but few are chosen. Centrifuge training is great at selecting applicants. Especially those who pass out at 3 or 4 Gs.
The Blue Angels took one of the younger NYC TV news talking heads up for a press flight earlier this week. They gave her a framed award for only a minimal blackout during a no-suit 7G maneuver on cockpit video. After they landed, the ground camera operator had to turn away from her sitting in the open canopy because she was blowing chunks into a military-grade barf bag.

Regional press pictures of yesterday's performance:



(I didn't realize how ugly the A10 is from its side profile.)






.
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      06-25-2023, 09:59 AM   #1492
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This C5 picture was in another story on the regional news web site. I'm not sure if it was a canned/archive photo, since the C5's have been gone for at least 5 years now. Maybe they still have trained ground crews doing C5 maintenance in the former C5 hangars for other bases like Dover (from the tail marking)?????




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      06-25-2023, 02:05 PM   #1493
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My post on the Grumman AF ASW plane -- and its S2F (S-2) successor -- reminds me of the great concern that the U.S. Navy had with using twin-engined piston aircraft on aircraft carriers.

As I've discussed before, losing one engine on a twin-engined piston-powered aircraft at low speed can be quite dangerous; the natural reaction is to increase power on the remaining engine to maximum. In a carrier landing situation, that can be disastrous and lead to a crash; lift on the side with the good engine is great, while that on the side with the engine out is minimal, leading to an uncommanded roll and disaster. To counter this effect, the aircraft needs a LOT of rudder authority -- far more than is needed under normal flight conditions.

The Grumman F7F, a high-performance twin piston-engined fighter, was mostly kept off of carriers for this reason and flown by the Marines. Another early twin piston-engine aircraft, the North American AJ Savage, did not have the problem because it had a third engine, a jet engine, on the centerline. It was standard AJ operating procedure for the jet to be used for takeoffs and landings.

Then came the Grumman S2F antisubmarine aircraft -- with not quite the performance of the earlier twins -- but it was essential for the S2F to operate on carriers and to have excellent wave off characteristics. Approaching the carrier deck for a landing, if for some reason the landing could not be accomplished, it was critical for the S2F to be able to increase power rapidly and go around again. Were one engine to fail at this critical moment, a crash was likely.

To solve this problem of controllability when an engine failed, Grumman engineers came up with a two-part rudder. There was a normal-size rudder for normal conditions and a larger "rudder trimmer" for use when an engine failed. See the attached page from the S2F manual -- the bottom left shows the operation. The large rudder trimmer can be clearly seen in the rudder photo and the photo of the CS2F-2.

The S2F (S-2) went on to a long and successful career as a safe carrier airplane.
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      06-25-2023, 03:07 PM   #1494
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Much happier outcome than Colgan 3407:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colgan_Air_Flight_3407
My son was flying for Colgan as a captain on a Saab 340 when 3407 went down. The captain of the accident 3407 was occasionally his FO before he moved up to the Dash 8 Q400. My son busted that fellow at least twice for fouling up in the cockpit, yet the company allowed him to eventually upgrade to the Q. Piss poor management with nothing but profit on their minds.
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      06-25-2023, 03:52 PM   #1495
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[QUOTE=Llarry;30250623]My post on the Grumman AF ASW plane -- and its S2F (S-2) successor -- reminds me of the great concern that the U.S. Navy had with using twin-engined piston aircraft on aircraft carriers. [QUOTE]

The airborne early warning version of the S-2 (S2F), the Grumman E-1B (WF-2) Tracer, was not a concern due to the twin rudders, as seen in the second photo, giving the aircraft more rudder authority.

In 1959, when the S2F was still in production, Grumman proposed a greatly modified version to the Navy; the internal company designation was G-215. I'll call it the S3F (not an official designation.) This new ASW plane would have turboprop power with T64 engines and four-bladed props. It would also have the tail of the AEW version and be stretched 22 inches. The inner wing panel chord would be increased for more lift and larger fuel capacity for the thirstier turbine engines. The searchlight on the right wing would be replaced with a TV camera optimized for low light levels and the belly radar would be upgraded. It would be superior in all respects to the S2F but endurance -- and endurance is important in an ASW aircraft. The Navy did not bite and the S2F stayed in production -- designated S-2 after 1962 -- until 1967. Its replacement would ultimately be the Lockheed S-3A Viking. The G-215 or S3F remains a "what-if".
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      06-25-2023, 06:41 PM   #1496
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Great article about how the RAF pulled off bombing missions in the Falkland Islands back in their 1982 skirmish with Argentina:



https://www.businessinsider.com/brit...nds-war-2023-6
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