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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:41 pm 
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Paul described some of the flight characteristics of the T33 and I have written a little about flying the AD5 Skyraider, Bill Greenwood has posted the same about the Spitfire. I couldn't find the post but some one can paste it on this thread. I would be interested in a pilots perspective on some of the other aircraft.

Vlado, Doug J., Mike G., John Lane, etc. please take a minute and chime in. I think a lot of the folks would find a description of flying the P51, Corsair, bombers etc. very interesting. I know I would.







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EDowning wrote:
Paul Wrote:

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What runway length is comfortable for bare bones minimum and regular Skyraider ops?



The Skyraider is a very docile, very well behaved beast. Landing it at an airfield with 4000' allows one to use a very comfortable 98kts on approach at the very light weights that I generally operate at @ 16,500lbs., max gross is a little over 25,000lbs. Brakes are very good and don't really fade, but I make every effort not to use them at all if possible, just a light touch after touch down, to make sure they are there and then a very slight amount at the end of the roll to turn off. The pucks that the system uses are in very short supply, and therefore expensive. Tires are a whole different issue, the Skyraider is very tough on tires. 50 landings on a set is about all you get. They are readily available at $1600 a set plus $600 for a set of tubes, new, but I have them retreaded much cheaper, and the retreads seem to hold up a little better. On 4000ft I hold 20'" and a stabilized approach and put it on the #s and pull off all power at full touch down and let the aircraft coast to almost a full stop.

The Skyraider will teach you alot about three things, Torque, P Factor and Inertia.

The Skyraider doesn't fly like it looks. It has boosted controls, so it is very light on the controls. Rolls as well as anything I have flown and does nice loops. Trim however is crucial.

For take off I hold the brakes and run it up to 30" before I release and the prop air flow gives you full rudder authority as you begin the roll, especially in the AD5, which has 40% more rudder than the "little" Skyraider. I use 48"/2800 for take off, 36"/2600 (2000-3000 fpm and 330GPH) for climb and 28"/1900 for cruise (@180kts and 100GPH) At 16,500lbs you get some very impressive climb rates.

Probably more than you asked for, but, 3000ft is safe if conditions are optimal and you use excellent technique. Anything less than that is emergency use only. The 3000' approach is more like a shortfield/carrier approach, with 91kts, very little flair and complete power reduction just as the mains touch. The Skyraider is rugged. Very firm, and the slight "vertical" drop in, kills a lot of the rolling inertia, brakes as a last resort.


Eric,

Great stuff! The T-33 feels like a cement truck when you taxi it, but it flies like a sports car! Ailerons are the only hyd boosted control surface and consequently very responsive. Great aerobatic airplane! Center to aft CG makes spin recovery it a little tricky and the airplane prone to tumbling if you break the stall too aggressively with excessive forward stick--more like back pressure release, then immediately neutralize controls when stall breaks to prevent tumble. Tumbling's no big deal at slow speeds and it'll fly out of it with neutralized controls and at least 15,000' of altitude. No, I don't spin it. I get 65-80 cycles out of a set of new Goodyears ($920/set). For takeoff, rotate at 110-115 KIAS, retract flaps passing 140 KIAS (600 gph fuel flow) and accelerate to 240-250 KIAS and figure on burning average of 300 gph like clockwork for a low altitude sortie. Climb at .50/.55/.60 mach as you climb up to 18,000/28,000/above 28,000 respectively to cruise at .70 mach or 430 kts True), 35,000'. Idle power descent at 2:1 altitude/distance (i.e. if you're at 35,000', start descent 70 miles out--no wind), at .65 mach. No wind range if no ATC delays climbing, no early descent, of 1000 nm with good IFR reserve. With less than 1577 lbs fuel (approx 235 gal and 11,300 lb GW), appch at 125 KIAS, threshold 110-115 KIAS to touchdown no less than 105 KIAS. One thing an old centrifugal turbojet teaches is don't get slow!! It spools up agonizingly slow below 60% rpm, so I come down final with speedbrakes extended which requires more power, therefore engine is more spooled up and will accelerate much faster in the event I need more power, especially for a go-around. Of course it spools down slow too so you have to chop power well prior to the overrun so you don't come over the numbers fast. Gotta hold power a little longer for gusty winds and/or landing w/ excess fuel (approaching 2000 lbs or 300 gal). Crosswind component limit is 20 kts and sideslip limited to < 130 KIAS (so you don't tumble) and less than 20 degrees so the tip tanks don't block airflow to the ailerons and cause you lose control effectiveness and crash. Anyway, enough trivia from me...great, honest airplane.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:41 pm 
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Here's a pilot report I wrote several years ago on the F-15E:

http://www.warbirdaeropress.com/article ... Pt%201.htm

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From the moment you walk up to the McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15E Strike Eagle, you know that this is an airplane that means business. At 64 feet long and 42 feet wide, this twin-engine, twin-tailed, twin-cockpit fighter about the same general size as the North American B-25 bomber of WWII! Even compared to other contemporary fighters, the Strike Eagle is large. It’s size, in fact, makes it the butt of many jokes, including being called "The Flying Tennis Court" and "Rodan," the latter an homage to a giant pterodactyl that starred in a half dozen bad Japanese horror movies in the 60s.

The F-15E is the multirole brother of the F-15C, which is a purely air-to-air fighter. The job of the F-15E is to haul iron into enemy territory and place it very precisely on his front door. The Strike Eagle is uniquely endowed to carry out these duties, and is currently the only airframe in the world to carry and drop the AGM-130 (a 2,000-pound rocket-powered standoff bomb) and the 4,700-pound GBU-28 bunker buster bomb. The Strike Eagle is visually distinguishable from the C-model by its dark gunship-gray paint scheme, conformal fuel tanks which bulge out under the wing roots, 12 bomb racks that pepper the bottom of the airplane, and LANTIRN navigation and targeting pods that hang under the engine intakes. In addition, since the F-15E is flown by a Weapon Systems Officer along with a fighter pilot, they all have 2-place cockpits. F-15Es have been built at Boeing’s St Louis, Missouri, plant since 1987 (when it was run by McDonnell Douglas) and are still being produced in very low volume today. There are approximately 230 F-15Es in the US Air Force inventory.

As you stand behind the F-15E, you notice that the fuselage is wrapped around two Pratt and Whitney F-100-PW-220 engines, which produce 24,000 pounds of thrust each. The view from the front of the jet is dominated by the large nose, where the million-dollar antenna for the AN/APG-70 radar makes its home, and a huge bubble canopy covering the 2-seat cockpit. Flanking the cockpit area are two giant variable-geometry air intakes for the jet engines.

Front Office

Entering the cockpit of the F-15E is accomplished either via a crew ladder hooked over the left-side canopy rail between the front and back cockpits, or an integrated (and considerably more austere) boarding ladder that drops down from the side of the fuselage at the same place. It’s a tall climb - about 9 feet - to the top of the ladder and over the canopy rail. At the top of the ladder, you enter the front cockpit by stepping left on to the ACES II ejection seat, then sitting down. Instantly you’re stuck by the fact that the Strike Eagle is a war machine through and through. In any civilian aircraft, the panel is generally organized around the instruments required for IFR flight. In the F-15E, the instrument panel is dominated by three large Multipurpose Displays (MPDs) arranged in a Y-shape, an Up-Front Controller (UFC) placed in between the top two MPDs, and a single-plate Heads Up Display (HUD) perched on top of the glare shield.

There are two 6" green monochrome MPDs (on the left and right sides) and one 5" color MPD in the center. A collar around the outside of the screen holds 20 pushbuttons where the pilot can select from any of nearly 30 screens to be displayed, making the cockpit customized for each pilot for each different mission. The UFC is a large keypad with 6 LCD text lines for digital data display and entry. This serves as the avionics control head and where all data is manually input into the navigation system and central computer.

Below the glass cockpit displays are two rows of 2" standby gauges on the left, and an LCD engine monitor display and analog fuel gauge on the right lower panel. A panel centered between the foot wells in front of the stick houses a large air conditioning vent and a small circuit breaker panel (most of the CBs are in the rear cockpit). The cockpit side panels are wide by any standards, and contain literally dozens of switches and knobs to control anything from exterior and interior lighting to power for the radar and Fighter Datalink systems. These side panels are also nice when it comes to needing a place to set down approach plates, checklists, water bottles, Night Vision Goggles, or anything else.

The flight control configuration is standard, with the control stick anchored to the floor between the pilot’s knees and a large two-throttle quadrant on the left side panel. Compared to almost any other aircraft, the F-15E’s control stick grip is large and seems awkward. The reason for this is a design feature called "HOTAS", meaning Hands On Throttle And Stick. The HOTAS philosophy is that vital avionics functions (like operation of the radar or weapons selection) can be accomplished during flight without requiring the pilot’s hands to leave the stick and throttles or his eyes to look away from whatever he’s fighting. As such, the stick and throttles are covered with 14 different switches and buttons.

Strapping into the Strike Eagle is a complicated process - certainly more involved that your average civilian or commercial aircraft. I first connect my G-suit to the pneumatic hose on the left cockpit side rail, then connect the two survival kit buckles located on either side of the seat to the bottom of my parachute harness. The seat offers a 4-point restraint; a standard lap belt originating from near the survival kit straps goes across my lap and two short shoulder straps buckle to clips on the top of my parachute harness. Unlike older ejection seats, the parachute is built in to the ACES II seat, so the shoulder straps are actually the parachute risers. Finally, I connect my Gentex HGU-55/P helmet and MBU-20/P mask to the ship’s oxygen supply and hook up the communications cord via two leads on the right side panel. Adjusting seat height is accomplished via an electrical switch on the left cockpit wall and the rudder pedals can be adjusted forward and aft with a knob below the instrument panel. Once strapped in, the pre-start checklist is a simple clockwise flow around the cockpit. Without power on, there’s not much to set in a glass cockpit, except standard items like making sure the gear handle is down, circuit breakers are in, and engine fuel pumps are on.

PREFLIGHT OPERATIONS

Starting engines in the Eagle is far more simple than in other turbojet aircraft. First I crank up the Jet Fuel Starter (JFS), a small jet engine which connects to the engines through a gearbox and turns them for starting while providing limited electrical power. The checklist calls for the #2 (right) engine to be started first so that a hydraulic pump operated by the right engine can be checked. I engage the JFS connection to the engines by a finger lift on the front of the right throttle. As the JFS spins the engine through 20% RPM, I push the throttle forward out of cutoff and into idle. The digital electronic engine control takes over from there - I simply monitor the RPM and FTIT during the process to ensure there is not a hot start or other malfunction. As the engine spins up past 56% the right generator comes on line and the right engine intake ramp, which has been locked in the full-up position, slams to the full down position (this scares a lot of first-time passengers in the back seat!). After testing the fire detection loops for continuity and a few other checks, the same process is repeated on engine #1. With both engines at ground idle and all three hydraulic systems are showing the proper pressure, I close the bubble canopy with a lever on the left side of the cockpit. The canopy is hydraulically lowered and slid forward about two inches to lock closed. Once the canopy lever is pushed all the way forward, engine bleed air is diverted to the canopy seal and the cockpit begins to pressurize.

Pretaxi ground operations following engine start include 3 separate flight control checks, 3 radar and avionics self-tests, plus all the normal ground checks of flaps, lights, and the like. The crew chief wears a headset that connects to the cockpit intercom, so we’re able communicate without hand signals for flight control, engine nozzle, wheel brake, and other ground checks. While I’m checking out and warming up the basic aircraft systems, the WSO is busy in the back seat reading the Data Transfer Module (DTM) and the Mission Cartridge. Both the DTM and MC allow us to program our route of flight, radio frequencies, avionics setups, and other mission variables from a missionized computer system on the ground. Once we get into the airplane, the WSO simply reads the information into the airplane’s Central Computer, saving a considerable amount of time compared to "hand-jamming" the information via the UFC. Start-to-taxi time is generally about 10 minutes, including programming of all the avionics systems for the day’s mission.

Taxiing the F-15E is accomplished via a hydraulically actuated nosewheel and the rudder pedals. A switch on the control stick toggles between the high-gain and low-gain steering. The unique thing is that you sit very high and the cockpit is forward of the nose gear, so the perspective is different than any other aircraft I’ve been in. We generally taxi out for takeoff with over 20,000 pounds of fuel, giving us about a 65,000-pound curb weight - quite heavy for a fighter aircraft. Pretakeoff checks include a final check of the flight controls, turning the radar, INS navigational system, and pitot heat on, and arming the ejection seat. The WSO will also confirm over the intercom that his seat is "hot" and that the ejection seat sequencer is positioned in "Aft Initiate," meaning that regardless of who pulls the ejection seat handle (front or back seat), both of us will be ejected from the airplane.

Once I taxi the Strike Eagle into position on the runway for takeoff, I hold the brakes and run the engines up to 80%. I then perform what is called an "8-6-4-2-4" check, meaning I’m looking for the engines to be at 80% RPM, 600° FTIT, 4,000 GPH on the fuel flow, 20% open nozzles, and 40 psi oil pressure. Once the engines check within limits, I release brakes and push the throttles up over the detent into MAX afterburner. The 5 stages of burner take a few seconds to light off, with a good burner light indicated in the cockpit by the nozzles opening on the Engine Monitor Display.

TAKEOFF

Take Off and Landing Data for an 8,000-foot runway generally shows a 2,500-foot takeoff roll and a maximum abort speed (refusal speed) of around 120 KCAS. Single Engine Takeoff Speed for a 65,000-pound Strike Eagle with no external stores is generally near 197 KCAS.

With the burners lit, acceleration happens fast and I’m generally above 100 KCAS in the first 1,200 feet of runway. At my rotation speed of 135 knots, I pull the stick back halfway and rotate to approximately 10° nose high. A few seconds later, the jet is airborne at around 165 KCAS. As soon as I show two positive rates of climb, I retract the gear via the handle located on the lower left side of the instrument panel. Flaps are retracted simultaneously with the gear with a small switch on the left side of the throttle quadrant. The F-15 has two flap positions - up and down - and takeoffs are always accomplished with flaps down. Actual VLE on a "clean" F-15E is 300 KCAS, but with the LANTIRN pods hanging under the jet, the disturbed airflow buffets the gear doors and reduces VLE to 250 KCAS. Under normal takeoff acceleration the red light in the gear handle extinguishes (indicating the gear are up and the doors locked) around 230 KCAS. With the nose still 5-10° high, we continue to accelerate in afterburner until 300 KCAS. On the 11,000-foot runway I fly from here in North Carolina, I’m pulling the throttles out of afterburner at about 1000’ over the departure end overrun most of the time.

Tech order climb-out occurs at 350 KCAS for an air-to-air configured jet and 330 KCAS on one with air-to-ground ordnance. You’ll note that this is significantly higher than the 14 CFR speed restriction of 250 knots below 10,000 feet. The F-15E, like most fighter aircraft, falls under the Letter of Agreement between the DoD and FAA allowing some military aircraft a waiver to that speed limit. The LOA also allows the Eagle to fly nonstandard cruise, penetration, and approach speeds, but more on that later.

FLIGHT PERFORMANCE

A "clean" F-15E cruises comfortably at anywhere between .75 and .9 Mach, depending on fuel weight. This translates to speeds in the 350 to 450 KCAS range in the mid 20s - where we usually like to cruise. Top speeds are technically in the Mach 2+ category, although those speeds are not realistically possible when carrying ordnance loads on a typical mission. Standard cruise altitudes are in the mid-20s, with a regulation-mandated operational ceiling of FL500 (meaning that, if we were able to wear pressure suits, the F-15E is able fly higher than that). We prefer to fly in the 20s and 30s because the air is thicker, meaning better engine performance, better turn performance, and more available G.

Control inputs given to the F-15E result in what most GA or commercial pilots would consider rapid and crisp maneuvering. The F-15E is larger, heavier, and has more parasitic drag than other fighters like the F-16 and F-18, so compared to those airplanes the Strike Eagle isn’t so nimble. The Strike Eagle uses a pseudo fly-by-wire system, and the flight control computer decides where to place the ailerons, rudders, and differential stabilators differently depending on airspeed, G, altitude, and angle of attack. With all those surfaces digging into the air, even a 65,000-pound behemoth like the Strike Eagle moves nimbly as a cat and with minimal stick force.

Both basic and advanced aerobatics are easy to fly in the Eagle. A loop can be accomplished in 5,000-6,000 feet, with an entry of 500 KCAS and an "over the top" airspeed of 250, depending on how much G was used in the pull-up. A loop can be accomplished with as little as 250 knots as long as you’re not ham-fisted and you don’t mind the airspeed getting below 50 knots over the top. A 4 or 8-point hesitation roll is equally as easy, as the jet stops rolling almost immediately after the stick is neutralized. To add extra crispness, a quick inch of stick movement in the opposite direction after neutralizing the stick makes the roll rate halt with a pop. Negative G inverted flight is limited due to the fuel and engine oil systems, but this is never an operational limitation since most fighter maneuvering takes place under heavy positive G in the vertical axis. Maneuvers requiring only a short amount of inverted time, like a square loop or a Cuban Eight, are easily accomplished within the duration of the limitation.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of flying the Strike Eagle through these maneuvers is that it really appeals to a pilot’s sensory inputs. The "seat of the pants" feeling is very definite, and the sounds the jet makes when it is maneuvering are just incredible! When I haul the stick into my lap in a hard turn or climb, the wind rushing over the wing at high AOA creates a giant WOOOOSH sound and I can feel the entire airframe humming and buzzing. These attributes are important for a combat aircraft, because of the need to be able to fly by feel while looking outside the cockpit during a dogfight engagement.

Eagle drivers talk about the airframe buffeting in terms of different types of animals "dancing" on your wings. If it feels like there are mice dancing on the wings, that is light buffet. If it feels like elephants dancing on the wings, that is severe buffet. Somewhere in the middle is the optimum turn rate.

Fighter aircraft are frequently yardsticked against how much G they can pull and how long they can sustain it. In an air-to-air visual maneuvering engagement (dogfighting), the airplane that can turn tighter than the other one will generally have an advantage. The F-15E is definitely not one of the best dogfighting jets in the world today - the airplane is designed to fight beyond visual range with radar-guided missiles and tote around a lot of bombs. Our best "maneuvering" airspeed is anywhere in between 350 KCAS and 450 KCAS. This gives us enough airspeed to reach our maximum G of +9.0 and give us a turn radius of around 2/3 of a nautical mile. When matched up with other multirole fighters like the F-16 and F-18, the F-15E has a distinct advantage in engagements taking place at ranges outside 10 miles. Once the furball starts at close range, the scales tip in the other direction because the Hornet and Viper can noticeably out-turn the littered-with-parasite-drag Strike Eagle.

INSTRUMENT FLYING

The glass cockpit is at once the Strike Eagle’s best asset for instrument flying, as well as it’s biggest drawback. The digital displays, in combination with the HUD, give the pilot positional and flight attitude awareness that is unmatched in most civil aircraft and is equal to newer systems in commercial airliners. Unfortunately, someone used to flying off round dials will find little comfort in those digital displays. When I was first learning to fly the Eagle, I spent many instrument approaches staring at the digital instrumentation in what must have looked like the RCA dog watching television - it made no sense to me whatsoever. Fortunately, once you get used to it, the glass cockpit is really nice!

The main navigational instrument in the F-15E is our EGI system, meaning Embedded GPS/INS. The EGI system is a combination of a Y-coded (military accuracy and anti-jamming coding) GPS signal that gives constant updates to a ring-laser gyroscopic Inertial Navigation System. If all that sounds too technical, what it means is that the F-15E knows where it is, anywhere in the world, without any reliance on ground-based radio navigational aids - pretty handy when you’re flying over a hostile country where, chances are, they won’t keep their VORTACs on for you. Unfortunately, though, the GPS in the airplane doesn’t give us enough information to fly a GPS instrument approach.

The only other radio NAVAIDS we can use in the F-15E are TACANs and standard localizers and glideslopes. NAVAID information is processed through the central computer and the EGI, then sent to the cockpit. The "raw data" for TACANs and Localizers is displayed on a digital HSI, while the glideslope data is displayed on the digital ADI.

The Heads-Up Display (HUD) is a wonderful tool for flying instruments. In some avionics modes it combines basic flying parameters with HSI-like instrument steering information all in one spot. What’s unique about the instrument cues in the HUD are that they are steering bars, rather than the raw instrument data displayed on the HSI and ADI. Simply centering up the localizer and glideslope steering bars on the computer-generated velocity vector will fly the airplane to a perfect instrument final. Unfortunately, the HUD is not certified for use as a primary reference during IFR flight, so we must back up what we’re doing using the "raw" navigational data on the MPDs.

Another great feature that the HUD adds to a pilot’s ability to fly approaches is that velocity vector I just mentioned. The VV, computed by the jet’s INS, is a small circle displayed in the HUD that points to the precise point in space where your aircraft is flying. This allows you to visually correct for crosswinds if you can see the ground or to establish a precise glidepath on an approach using the pitch ladder.

Additional positional awareness is provided by a color moving map display which shows any number of map scales all the way down to a 1:50,000.

APPROACH AND LANDING

Instrument holding airspeed is a 250 KCAS, and we can hold off a TACAN fix or a notional INS waypoint. Penetration airspeed is 300 KCAS and, depending on the descent gradient, is accomplished with nearly idle power and 10° nose low. Approaching the Final Approach Fix, we again reduce airspeed below the landing gear white arc (even though there are no round dials where a white arc is marked, you get the idea) and simultaneously drop the gear and flaps.

Once configured with the gear and flaps down, the Eagle is a little more sluggish to control inputs, but still vastly superior in maneuverability to your average Cessna 172 or 182. Approach and landing is flown referencing an angle of attack, rather than a particular airspeed. In an airplane that can vary as much as 40,000 pounds in landing weights, approach and landing speeds can be anything from 155 KCAS all the way up to the 190s. The "perfect" speed for approach and final correlates to 20-22 "cockpit units" of AOA. You can compute a "backup" airspeed for final approach by starting with 155 KCAS and adding two knots for every thousand pounds of fuel or ordnance on board the jet.

Flying a straight-in final with or without instruments is very simple. All you have to do is place the velocity vector in the HUD over the top of the runway threshold and maintain approach airspeed to fly down final. If you make sure that, when the velocity vector is on the end of the runway, it is sitting 3 degrees low in the HUD pitch ladder, you’ve just given yourself a 3° glide path all the way down to the runway!

Of course, the preferred way to arrive at an airport in the F-15 is not via the Localizer straight-in (for wimps!), but via the overhead break (Man style!). Generally initial is flown at 1,500’ and 300 KCAS. Once over the approach end runway numbers, I roll into 80° of bank and perform a 3-4G level turn while pulling the throttles back to idle. Once I’ve rolled out on downwind, I’m below 250 KCAS, so I drop the gear and flaps and continue to decelerate for the final turn. Prior to the perch point, I confirm my landing configuration by saying, "4 green, good pressures, brakes off, antiskid on, lights on" (translation: gear and flaps down, all three hydraulic systems are showing good pressure, the holding brake is off, the antiskid braking switch is activated, and my landing light is on).

The "perch point" is where most pilots would turn base in a normal box pattern. In the Eagle, though, instead of a squared-off base and final leg, I fly a constant-rate descending turn to final. To do this I dip the nose 8-10° low, roll into 60° of bank, and maintain about 190 KCAS. Something that might make the hair stand up on the back of your average civilian pilot’s neck while flying the final turn is how much the airplane buffets. This is normal, and is just another one of those great sensory cues that the pilot can use to evaluate his speed and bank in the turn. If there are "mice dancing on the wings," you’re okay. If the elephants have come out to play on your wings, you’re about to stall in the final turn - bad news. If I’ve judged my pattern spacing and pattern winds correctly, the descending 180° turn should spit me out on a 1 NM final at 300 feet AGL and my computed final approach airspeed. From there, the approach and landing picture is the same as described above for a straight-in…you just looked a lot cooler getting to that point!

Once the airplane is over the runway over-run, you shift the velocity vector to the departure end of the runway and softly flare. The landing picture in the F-15 is very different than any other aircraft I’ve ever flown due to the nose-high attitude in the flare and the length of the landing gear. In fact, in the landing attitude, the cockpit is almost 30 feet off the ground! With the main gear tires on the pavement, the preferred method of slowing the Eagle down is the aero brake. This is where we both save wear and tear on the wheel brakes and take advantage of the Eagle’s huge wing area to slow down. To aero brake, simply hold the nose 10°-12° nose high until 90 knots, increasing aft stick until it is all the way back to the seat pan. Once at 90 knots, briefly neutralize the aft stick to get the nose lowering, then haul it back to soften the impact on the nose strut. With the nose gear on the ground, you can honk on the toe brakes as hard as you want and watch the antiskid braking work wonders. After exiting the active runway, I safe up my ejection seat, turn the radar to standby, and turn off other power-hungry avionics like the LANTIRN pods.

Once I leave the active runway, the flight’s not over. There are still postflight tests of avionics to be accomplished, an update to the inertial navigation system to be accomplished, and finally I will download the flight data to the same Data Transfer Module that I brought to the jet. The DTM download accomplishes two things; one, the airplane assesses it’s own maintenance issues and puts that information on the DTM, and two, the central computer has kept track of the parameters of every gun and missile shot that I’ve taken, as well as every bomb I’ve dropped. After the flight, maintenance doesn’t have to fuss with talking with pilots to assess the maintenance condition of the airplane - they just read the DTM codes. As for the weapons parameters, they are infinitely valuable for use in postflight debriefings of the day’s missions.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:18 pm 
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Here's a link to an article I wrote about my checkout in the Sea Fury, if anyone is interested.........

http://www.fly-low.com/feat0601/seafuryckot.html

Gary


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:30 pm 
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Thanks for those, guys - and the ones to come. Very interesting to this small-plane pilot! 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:50 pm 
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Hacker and Gary,

Great stuff! I had the chance to fly with Paul Besterveld in his Sea Fury out of Van Nuys four years ago and it was an awesome airplane to fly! We did some acro then cruised low over the coast--unforgettable! Sorry to say I've never had a hop in an F-15 but had the chance in the late '90s through my F-15 driver buddy Greg "Skull" Gibson & under the auspices of "crossflow training" but didn't get off my a*s and down to Tyndall to do it...Hacker, did you ever run across Skull Gibson? He was an F-15 IP at the Tyndall RTU up until 1998 or 1999.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:49 pm 
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Gary,
Flying with Neil Anderson! COOL!

I had the privilage of strapping him in to an F-86 one day...he was a super nice guy.


I love reading how airplnes fly...gives one a good idea of what's happening inside those beautiful machines.

Z

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:04 pm 
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Gary - great stuff on the Sea Fury...you are a lucky man. The pix of you in the Lil thread have always looked very familiar - now I think I know...did you fly down in the Sea Fury from Memphis to a Memorial Day fly-in in Starkville, Miss a few years ago?

I was there in the Denny Hickman's L-39, and recall talking to you (I think) for a while both about the Sea Fury and putting an Allison on a Yak. Ever since then I have always said to myself "man, if I ever get a big fighter, I'm going to find that guy from Memphis and have him work on it for me". I was quite impressed with your enthusiasm then, and even more so now with your updates from Midland!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:07 am 
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The F4U-5 cockpit is 10 feet off the ground. I measured it after jumping out one day. It was on fire at the time and I had slowed to 15mph before the jump to runway 22.

The climb up is a little difficult and has been a limiting factor when trying to get veterans back in the seat compared to the Mustang. First you pull on the step under the cockpit and a stirrup drops down from under the fuselodge. Your left foot goes in the stirrup, right hand in a handhold, right foot on the wing, left foot on the step,and then either switch feet on the step so you can put your left foot in the cockpit or step backwards with your right foot and then spin forward. The step is only about 4 inches by 10 so you need really strong toes to stay on it and don't look down as your knees are at the 10 foot level so you can figure the rest of the heights from that. I sometimes get people running up to me as I taxy out to tell me about leaving the stirrup down. It does retract automatically when you put the gear up.

The dash 5 has quite a few luxuries over other Corsairs, a floor, hydraulic canopy, autopilot (original one), adjustable rudder pedals that fold down so you can stretch and rest your feet, and electric trim. Most have been converted from the original engine with a carb underneath the engine to a later engine with the carb on the top. This is much less prone to fires then the original. I also have a complete clean kit and an aux hydraulic pump to that is capable of raising and lowering the wings without the engine running.

Engine starting is standard 2800. The tailwheel is full swivel and locked for takeoff and landing. During run up what I notice the most is that my legs are worn out from holding the brakes and keeping the rudder from moving. At only 155 pounds I am sure it is a little easier for the bigger guys. S turns require brakes and I am always carefull to use them sparingly. View over the nose is pretty bad but I never really notice anymore as they all seem to be the same. I think the worst as far as view over or around the nose is the Extra 300L.

Takeoff is very standard tailwheel but the seating position transmits any tiny deviation from the centerline much more then shorter nose airplane. The Corsair wants to go straight and doesn't drop the left wing or require much directional correction like my P-51. I use somewhere around 48 inches on takeoff raise the tail when it is time and fly off around 100 knots hit the brakes and the wheels will thump when they stop and put the gear up.

My engine seems to like power reductions by reaching around and pulling the prop and throtle back at the same time and adjusting your hand angle as needed to get to 2000 rpm and 30 inches. I climb at cruise power.
The -5 is a solid 210 indicated knots in cruise at 80 to 85 gph. The coolest thing about the Corsair is when taxiing in and your buddy left his car too close to the centerline. You can motion to him to leave it, raise the wings and taxy on by. The other thing is rolls. It is incredibly cool to look out at the bent wings and roll the plane, also cool is the vapor trails when pulling G which I have never seen in the Mustang even at more G's.

The Corsair is a big airplane and compared to a Mustang it feels big. The controls may be lighter but it feels big. I compare the Corsair to a big BMW it handles just as good or better then most sports cars, but it has four seats. On the other hand the Mustang is like a real race car, a lot more unforgiving maybe a little darty. It seems to move quicker but this may be more due to relative size then actual performance. The Mustang is like a Lamborghini Countach when they were real sports cars with no compromises on performance. You feel every bump, steering is immediate, and acceleration is exciting to say the least. So what if it is hard to get into and you can't see out the back at all, performance is more important.

The Corsair is a little harder in formation then a Mustang. I am sure most of this is due to mass but I am extremely carfull with throttle movement, as the 2800 just seems to not be as happy as the V-12 with a lot of throttle movement.

Oil coolers used to be automatic but now they really are just good speed brakes, I open them for landing. They are good for almost 10 knots of easy slow down in speed. I think the newer engines have a lot to do with the easy to control oil and cylinder temps. One thing to really watch for is the oil cooler shut offs. They were meant for battle damage but could cause an engine failure if someone you are showing it to moves the switch. Mine are disabled as I am not expecting any combat damage. Gear speed is whatever you like. There is no gear speed limitation. I try to lower them below 150kts as I want to baby the plane. In the pattern I try to end up over the numbers between 95 and 100kts with full flaps always making sure the nose is down and the power is enough so that the engine is driving the propellor rather the the wind.

Landing is about as easy as it gets (not counting crosswinds). If you ever feel the wheels touch you really have screwed up. The struts are double pistons and with our lower landing weights they just mush down and you never feel the wheels touch at all. The pilot's height at touchdown is about the same as a 737 during taxi, oweing to the extension of these struts. I use full flaps for landing and raise them as the tail is on its way down. I am told this helps with rudder authority. You can pull the power off a lot more agressively then with a Mustang and the Corsair stays straight down the runway. You must always be carefull with the brakes as they will easily lock up and flat spot.
Crosswinds need some attention but I have yet to be scared on landing (19kts so far). I think the extra attention keeps it this way.

I am very conscious of both the historical and dollar value of this aircraft and try to limit the liability to damage by picking the right day and circumstances before take off.
Insurance is out of my budget limitations so every time I fly I face loosing a tremendous amount of $ (of course a very historic aircraft as well). I try to make up for this by dropping all of the hull insurance on cars motorcycle, boats etc. and spending the savings on aircraft spares.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:05 am 
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DB2, yep, that was me with the Sea Fury in Starkville (was only the back seater though). The Allison powered Yaks are neat machines and I always enjoyed working on them.

Mike (aka mgeorge51), I don't know if this is the right thread for it or not (perhaps you could start a new one), but your story about when you were on fire and had to jump out of the Corsair while it was still rolling would certainly be something that the WIXers would like to read about. The way you handled that situation impressed me and the "survivors" stories like yours and Doug Jeanes' are always helpful to anyone who may be caught in a similar situation, heaven forbid.

Gary


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:55 am 
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From the Corsair drivers I've spoke to and read here it seems the U-bird is relatively docile. It was known as the "Ensign Eliminator" in the war. Is this because most are flying later model birds as compared to the early models still cutting their teeth? Is it pilot experience where during wartime the pilots only had a few hours before flying the Corsair, and today pilots have 500-1000 hours before they get their hands on one?

What do you Corsair drivers think?

BTW, anyone interested in a report on the O-2 after hearing about what fun it is to fly those other machines? :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:13 am 
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oscardeuce wrote:
From the Corsair drivers I've spoke to and read here it seems the U-bird is relatively docile. It was known as the "Ensign Eliminator" in the war. Is this because most are flying later model birds as compared to the early models still cutting their teeth? Is it pilot experience where during wartime the pilots only had a few hours before flying the Corsair, and today pilots have 500-1000 hours before they get their hands on one?

What do you Corsair drivers think?

BTW, anyone interested in a report on the O-2 after hearing about what fun it is to fly those other machines? :D


Let 'er rip on the 0-2!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:44 pm 
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Cessna O2-A "Super" Skymaster.
AKA Duck, Skypig, Mixmaster

For me, not having heavier metal to fly, I'll give you a bit about the O2. First, Strappinginto the cockpit you notice things are a bit snug ( I'm 6'3" 260 lbs). You also notice that for a high wing plane, given the extra windows, the visibility is excellent. I have the Bubble pilot's window, and the greenhouse really lets me see.

Starting the Continental I/O 360D engines is straight forward. I pull them through in the preflight. Master on, and give it 8-10 seconds of prime from the boost pump on high. Mags on and hit the starter. I idle at about 800-1000 rpm. I usually start the rear engine first, as it is easier to feel/hear if the darn thing is actually running. Once you get both engines running, you really know you are sitting between them. I think the cockpit noise is louder than the T-28 I flew in.

Takeoff, not too much special here. Prop forward full increase, Fuel flow 16 gph, MP about 28-30. The big difference: lead in power with the rear engine, and let it stabilize. then bring the front engine up to power. I climb out at 90 kts 1/3 flaps at takeoff.

Cruise 24MP/2400 RMP/12GPH with bombs and rocket launchers on the wings I get 135 kts indicated.

Stalls are typical Cessna with lots of warning, mushy controls and a slight break.

Single engine: Here is where it gets easy but hard. The O2 is a bit underpowered, but in single engine flight no asymmetric thrust/Vmc issues. In fact, pulling and engine back to 12"MP to simulate an engine out still allows the plane to fly hands and feet OFF. Try that in any other twin! On the other hand, with full fuel, bombs and rockets and 3 px, single engine performance is anemic at best, and you'd better find a place to land as you are flogging the remaining engine quite hard. Both props fully feather. On a hot day one engine and 1/2 load I was able to maintain 90 kts at 1200 MSL. Over the mountains you fly like a single engine pilot.

Landing: Throttle back to about 18" MP and first notch of flaps at less than 140 kts (Ha Ha Ha!). Gear speet 120 kts, and the large clamshell doors double drag over gear down and doors closed. I fly the pattern at 90kts. 80 kts on short final, 70 kts over the numbers and touchdown about 60 kts with full flaps. Again, a typical Cessna as it will float down the runway in ground effect if you let it. The Skymaster is quite tail heavy, so a bit of care is needed if you like to keep the nose high for aerodynamic braking.


That's it, not as sexy as a Corsair or Mustang, but I love my O2-A!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:48 pm 
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Focke-Wulf Fw 149D
S/N 167
C-FWOL

First impression is that the Focke is a alot of airplane to be pulled by a wee 275HP engine.

Climbing is helped by the springloaded handle on the side of the fuselage, which retracts afterwards. Steping on the seat helps getting in the cabin, and the rear seat is accessible by lowering the pilots' seat back. Strapping is easy, we put Hooker Harness in there. Startup is fairly standard for a pressurized carburator engine : Boost pump, then prime 5 shots, mags on M1, engage starter and when it fires, shove the mixture forward. It starts very easily each time. Once it is running, put the mags on M1+M2 so you're running on both. While the engine is warming up, I set my switches (lights and so forth), avionics, trims and check the controls. Also, I enjoy the throaty growl of the BMW-Lycoming GO-480-B1A6. 8)

Run up is your standard piston engine procedure. When you're ready to take-off, close the canopy (it can't be opened in flight), lower two notches of flaps, boost pump on and off you go. It is an atmospheric engine, so MP will be at around 30". Rotation is made at around 60KIAS, once you assert that you have a positive rate of climb, retract the u/c. This is the most awkward manoeuver, since you have to change the stick from your right hand to your left. In fact, you have to do this everytime you need to mess with the gears, flaps, radios and systems on the right side of the cockpit. You have to be careful during the take-off roll to put enough rudder, because the aircraft has a good tendency to swing to the left and it is hard to correct. Also, rotating too soon will blank the rudder and again, it'll be hard to hold straight. Once the u/c is up, reduce prop RPM to 3000 and suck the flaps up slowly at around 100KIAS. The flaps are manual, so you need a good arm, especially when retracting them.

Cruise is done at 2750RPM and 23-24" of MP, burning 17-20 gallons an hour. There is no mixture control, so you just burn fuel. It gets a little bit better if you go up. Airbatics are easy, but the aircraft is slow to respond. During a roll, you have time to email your friends about it. Split-S are easy, although speed builds up rapidly, so I always start them in a climb.

Stalls are non eventful, with plenty of shaking and buffeting 4-5 knots before the break.

Approach and landings are easy, although you sometime have to work quite a bit to slow the aircraft down, as you can't really pull the power all the way back without damaging the gear box. Drop the gears and the flaps at 110KIAS, and usually 30 degrees will get you down safely at a Vref of around 85KIAS. For shorter fields, full flaps and 80KIAS take care of the job. In base leg, advance prop RPM to 3000, it helps slowing you down and once you activate the boost pump on final, you're set for an overshoot if the need arises. Also, be sure to check your carb heat for any ice, as the aircraft has a tendency to ice up.

So, that's how my trainer flies.

8)

P.S. Here's a small video of the beast in action : http://www.f00sly.com/video/aviation/rv ... f_csb3.mpg

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 Post subject: Oldsmobile Delta 88 Solo
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:28 pm 
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Checking out in the Delta 88 is fairly easy. First thing is, make sure it's someone else's.
It's single control so no sissy dual checkout with an instuctor, your on your own.
Minimum takeoff is about 75mph. I've tried slower, but it just won't fly.
Once in the air enjoy it, you won't be there long. It flies smooth and straight. I guess if you had a cross wind you could open a door to get it back straight.
It lands pretty much on it's own. Just hang on and let the CAT III autopilot do it's job. It is a bit louder and bumpier though, tough to grease it on.

There you go, Delta 88 solo & checkout!

Regards,
Mike

Image


Last edited by mike furline on Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:42 pm 
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OscarDuece you forgot one name for the O-2, confused Cessna, it don't know if it is coming or going.

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