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Look! Up there! In the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane!

whollygoats

Banned
I'm something of an aircraft fanboy dweeb and I like to trade aircraft pix and stories.

Every decent sophisticated board has an aircraft porn thread. That is what this is intended to be.

Here's my current favorite: The Dornier Seastar

I am not a craft owner, nor a pilot. I'm just a fanboy. This thread might as well be called "Planespotters".

Enjoy my fantasy.
 
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Rhea

Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
I'm something of an aircraft fanboy dweeb and I like to trade aircraft pix and stories.

Every decent sophisticated board has an aircraft porn thread. That is what this is intended to be.

Here's my current favorite: The Dornier Seastar

I am not a craft owner, nor a pilot. I'm just a fanboy. This thread might as well be called "Planespotters".

Enjoy my fantasy.

Quick! Someone teach the goat how to attach pictures to the PlanePorn thread!
 

Underseer

Contributor
Lifting bodies: the fugliest experimental aircraft ever made, and proof that even a brick will fly with a powerful enough engine (or sufficient speed and altitude at the start of the flight).

343887main_EC69-2358_full.jpg
 

whollygoats

Banned
Heh...

My nomination for fugly is the Spook, aka F-4 Phantom II:

f-22+f-4.jpg


shown here with the F-22 Raptor, which has a tenous resemblence to the lifting bodies above.

The F-5 had the reputation of being a "triumph of thrust over aerodynamics" and was lovingly known by its pilots and mechanics as the "Iron Sled". I've always thought of it as a brick with wings. Still, despite a contretemps over self-defence, it distinguished itself sufficiently to claim being "the world's leading distributor of MiG parts," and was retired with honors after a long career.
 

Worldtraveller

Veteran Member
I like the design on the Optica. Never seen it before. There's actually a lot going on there, from an aero and structures perspective, that seem to be quite smart.

I like lifting body designs in general, and they are actually not a triumph of thrust over aerodynamics. In fact, they are quite efficient, with the most efficiency going to the extreme end of the lifting body design concept to the flying wing. :)
 

whollygoats

Banned
I like the design on the Optica. Never seen it before. There's actually a lot going on there, from an aero and structures perspective, that seem to be quite smart.

I like it, actually. The ducted fan propulsion is unusual. I would certainly say that it has real potential for visual observation. Police services, perhaps? There is at least one unit which has been painted in hi viz with checkers, particularly around the leading edge of the fan duct, which makes it look like a huge coffee cup laid on its side. Here:

14302988153_283ebb6036_b.jpg


I like lifting body designs in general, and they are actually not a triumph of thrust over aerodynamics. In fact, they are quite efficient, with the most efficiency going to the extreme end of the lifting body design concept to the flying wing. :)

Nor did I insinuate that lifting body designs were a triumph of thrust over aerodynamics. Rather, that the F-4 Phantom II was.

It is good to see you here, keeping me honest.
 

Underseer

Contributor
Heh...

My nomination for fugly is the Spook, aka F-4 Phantom II:

f-22+f-4.jpg


shown here with the F-22 Raptor, which has a tenous resemblence to the lifting bodies above.

The F-5 had the reputation of being a "triumph of thrust over aerodynamics" and was lovingly known by its pilots and mechanics as the "Iron Sled". I've always thought of it as a brick with wings. Still, despite a contretemps over self-defence, it distinguished itself sufficiently to claim being "the world's leading distributor of MiG parts," and was retired with honors after a long career.

I grew up on Air Force bases, and always disagreed with people who say that F-4s and A-10s are ugly, but I guess aesthetics are a subjective thing.

Oh, and the F-22 looks downright elegant compared to those old lifting bodies. I don't see the connection at all. The F-22 seems more like an updated F-15.
 

ZiprHead

Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
I love the A-10s. The Army uses our local airport for their A-10 pilots to practice short landing and take offs so I got to see them quite often when I was working there.

As I understand, the A-10s are being phased out. The Army would prefer a craft with both a pilot and a weapons officer separate. So if you've got some fun money stashed away, you may be able to buy one of your own soon.
 

whollygoats

Banned
I love the A-10s. The Army uses our local airport for their A-10 pilots to practice short landing and take offs so I got to see them quite often when I was working there.

As I understand, the A-10s are being phased out. The Army would prefer a craft with both a pilot and a weapons officer separate. So if you've got some fun money stashed away, you may be able to buy one of your own soon.

Oh...I think the A-10 may be around a bit longer than we think. The 'plan' was to replace the fleet of A-10s with F-35s. Huh? The A-10 was purpose-built to fulfill the specific needs of ground support and does them better than almost any other craft. Still. I think the only thing comparable in the world is the Sukhoi Su-25 Grach. As far as I know, the F-35 does not have the linger time that the A-10 can provide, and that talk is now shifting to NEW 'replacement craft', which is no surprise, coming out of the 'defense' contracting industry. There is talk of bringing back prop light-attack aircraft, like the Embraer Tucano (or Textron's Scorpion jet), to fulfill the ground support role at relative low cost. In today's conflicts, an airforce equipped like a banana republic despot might not be a bad idea.

I think that upgrades of the A-10 is the way to go forward on this. The same with the F-22 Raptor.

What is it that the UK and the other NATO nations fielding in the way of ground support aircraft? Harriers? The Jaguars have all been retired, but I'm not sure what they have shuffled in to their place.

(ETA: Heh...I just checked 'close air support' on wiki, and they state that, yeah, Harriers are being used, but most CAS strike craft listed are F-16s and F-18s (and some F-15s and Eurofighters). This is a mite amusing, because none of these craft were originally designed to fulfill CAS missions. At all. Quite the opposite. Those are 'air superiority' craft...fast, nimble, and unprotected from ground fire. *sigh* Every fighter seems to become a 'multi-purpose platform', no matter what you do.)

I think the F-35 is another bastardized acquisition program that is attempting to get one design to fulfill too many objectives....to 'save money'. What we tend to get is half-fast products that don't fit the bill.
 
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whollygoats

Banned
Heh...

My nomination for fugly is the Spook, aka F-4 Phantom II:

f-22+f-4.jpg


shown here with the F-22 Raptor, which has a tenous resemblence to the lifting bodies above.

The F-5 had the reputation of being a "triumph of thrust over aerodynamics" and was lovingly known by its pilots and mechanics as the "Iron Sled". I've always thought of it as a brick with wings. Still, despite a contretemps over self-defence, it distinguished itself sufficiently to claim being "the world's leading distributor of MiG parts," and was retired with honors after a long career.

I grew up on Air Force bases, and always disagreed with people who say that F-4s and A-10s are ugly, but I guess aesthetics are a subjective thing.

Agreed. And A-10s are homely beauties.

From my back deck, I get to watch the local ANG fly their F-15C Eagles. I must be on a regular flight path. Last week, it was a formation of eight. I wish they had A-10s to play with, but the nearest wing is in Mountain Home, over in the next state.

Oh, and the F-22 looks downright elegant compared to those old lifting bodies. I don't see the connection at all. The F-22 seems more like an updated F-15.

Sure, because that's what it is. I believe I used the term 'tenuous'. :D
 

whollygoats

Banned
Another candidate for fugly, in my book, at least, is

205096_800.jpg


The Fairey Gannet, which was more than an 'experimental aircraft', it served, with some distinction, with the Fleet Air Arm and other naval airforces worldwide for a number of years (1953-1978). It was a sub-hunter. The wings double-fold up so that it can fit on lower decks on aircraft carriers.
 

Worldtraveller

Veteran Member
Count me as another big fan of the A-10. The official name is the Thunderbolt II, but everyone I know calls it the Warthog. I've actually been lucky enough to see them many times, since one of the larger A-10 training squadrons is based in my home of Tucson.

I've even heard (from quite a distance, but it's unmistakable) the sound of the GAU-8 firing once, while driving to Yuma. :)

I'll make a list of all the aircraft I've worked on over the years here at some point, with pictures hopefully. :)
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Take two Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet engines, stacked one above the other. Stick on a tiny cockpit and a stubby set of wings, arm it with a pair of 30mm cannon and four dozen unguided 2inch air-to-air rockets (later replaced by a pair of de Havilland Firestreak heat-seeking missiles), and you have the fabulous English Electric Lightning - able to take off from its bases in East Anglia climbing at 20,000ft/min, blast out over the North Sea at Mach-2, shoot down the Soviet nuclear attack bombers, and then run out of fuel, all in the space of a few hundred miles.

It is an absolutely beautiful and completely insane aircraft.

(pictured Lightning F3 No. XP695, belonging to 11 Sqn RAF, above RAF St Mawgan in Cornwall, 1973; and the same aircraft on the ground at RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire, 1975)

li5-EE-Lightning-F.3-RAF-St.-Mawgan-4th-August-1973-960x639.jpg

15894939064_631d6c3aaf_o.jpg
 

Thomas II

Contributor
P-51DThreeView.jpg

p51_dirty.jpg

The definitive version, the P-51D (shown above) was powered by the supercharged Rolls-Royce Merlin 1650 liquid-cooled V12 engine which put out 1695 hp all the way up to 30,000 feet. This version also had the bubble canopy which greatly improved visibility.
 

whollygoats

Banned
To those who have posted in this thread....

Do you think it should be in 'Hobbies and Crafts', or stay here in general 'The Lounge'?

I consider my 'planespotting' and museum attendance to be hobby fodder. Others may not.
 
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Shake

Senior Member
Heh...

My nomination for fugly is the Spook, aka F-4 Phantom II:

f-22+f-4.jpg


shown here with the F-22 Raptor, which has a tenous resemblence to the lifting bodies above.

The F-5 had the reputation of being a "triumph of thrust over aerodynamics" and was lovingly known by its pilots and mechanics as the "Iron Sled". I've always thought of it as a brick with wings. Still, despite a contretemps over self-defence, it distinguished itself sufficiently to claim being "the world's leading distributor of MiG parts," and was retired with honors after a long career.

I recall the testing which preceded the selection of the F-22. I was more a fan of the looks of the YF-23. To me, it was the better choice, but I'd kind of forgotten about it until I stumbled across that article.

Another shot:
Northrop-Black-Widow-II.jpg


Now that's sexy!
 

whollygoats

Banned
Heh...

My nomination for fugly is the Spook, aka F-4 Phantom II:

f-22+f-4.jpg


shown here with the F-22 Raptor, which has a tenous resemblence to the lifting bodies above.

The F-5 had the reputation of being a "triumph of thrust over aerodynamics" and was lovingly known by its pilots and mechanics as the "Iron Sled". I've always thought of it as a brick with wings. Still, despite a contretemps over self-defence, it distinguished itself sufficiently to claim being "the world's leading distributor of MiG parts," and was retired with honors after a long career.

I recall the testing which preceded the selection of the F-22. I was more a fan of the looks of the YF-23. To me, it was the better choice, but I'd kind of forgotten about it until I stumbled across that article.

Another shot:
Northrop-Black-Widow-II.jpg


Now that's sexy!

Of course, there is always the possibility that they went all 'Blackbird' with it....

Like, the F-16 won the LWF, but the 'loser' YF-17 came back as the F/A-18 Hornet.

The 'Black Widow' may be lurking in the dark wings.
 

Subsymbolic

Screwtape
If we are talking about beautiful aircraft that didn't make it, then there's a painting on ebay I've been trying not to buy for weeks now:

s-l1600_1.jpg
 

James Brown

Veteran Member
I know this can't compare to the high-powered deadly aircraft in the skies, but this is the plane that's captured my heart.

Zenith_CH-650.JPG

This is a Zenith CH-650, a kitplane that can be amateur-built and flown.

The top two items on my bucket list are to earn my pilot's license and to build my own personal airplane.

If I ever do strike the mother lode, then I'll probably go toward the Van's R14, which has about a 50% higher cruising speed, along with a comparable increase in price.
Vans_RV-14A.jpg
 

Worldtraveller

Veteran Member
I know this can't compare to the high-powered deadly aircraft in the skies, but this is the plane that's captured my heart.

View attachment 13570

This is a Zenith CH-650, a kitplane that can be amateur-built and flown.

The top two items on my bucket list are to earn my pilot's license and to build my own personal airplane.

If I ever do strike the mother lode, then I'll probably go toward the Van's R14, which has about a 50% higher cruising speed, along with a comparable increase in price.
View attachment 13574
As an aircraft engineer, I'd stay away from the Vans. At least the ones I've seen. The 'hinges' on the aileron is just a thin piece of metal that flexes. That's a failure waiting to happen. Some guys who built their own have put real piano hinge type hinges on theirs, but the stock design is sketchy. Other than that, I've heard they fly well and are a fun little plane. I've flown/in several aircraft in that size range, and nothing beats for the pure joy of flying.

Have you done any of the ground school or flight lessons yet? I'd started it, but then when I moved to WA, I took up motorcycle racing, and I can only afford so many expensive hobbies at a time. ;)
 

James Brown

Veteran Member
Good advice, thanks. I haven't started any flying lessons yet (well, I took a Discovery Flight a couple of years ago), but someday I will.
 

Worldtraveller

Veteran Member
I've spent quite a few hours actually flying aircraft. My dad got his private pilot's license when I was young (7ish), and we regularly went flying together, and joined the Civil Air Patrol for a number of years flying search and rescue.

Planes I've flown with my dad: Cessna 172, 150, 152, Beech T-34A, Piper Arrow III, Rockwell commander 112.

I had a friend in Seattle with a Piper 180, and we used to fly...about weekly. All I had to do was walk over to his desk and say the magic words, "I'll buy the gas." :) And we'd usually go flying for 60-90 minutes around the Puget Sound area, which I'll be honest, is some of the most scenic terrain in the US. Since I was paying for the gas, once we got airborne, he'd pretty much let me fly the whole time. :D

Last October, I got to go flying with Fighter Combat International, which was probably the absolute best weekend of my life, period. 8) Two days of fighter combat in Extra 300L (my friend flew the 2nd aircraft) and full aerobatics. Tons of fun. It's an expensive weekend, but well worth the experience. FTI was a client of mine, so they gave me the employee discount, too. The guy who flew backseat in my friend's plane the second day was none other than William Gregory! Very cool and down to earth guy. :cool:



Other somewhat exotic aircraft I've flown on: S-64 Aircrane (formerly the Sikorsky Skycrane) for several days of flight testing. Fantastic view flying in the rear bubble of that beast. :D



Funny thing about most commercial airlines, I've spent more time walking around on the wings of them than flying in them.....
 

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Worldtraveller

Veteran Member
Another unique (it's the only one of it's kind) aircraft I've had the pleasure of working on somewhat, and getting to watch some of the ground testing, flight testing, and the painting. :)

The Global Supertanker, a 747-400 converted into an airborne fire fighting platform capable of delivering 19k gallons of water or fire retardant in up to 4 separate drops, or all at once. :cool:
This photo is one I took the first day after the paint job was complete and it was pushed out into the sun.

More information on the Global Supertanker Project.

The footage of the painting. Starting at about 2:40, all the time lapse footage was taken from a GoPro that was literally mounted right over my office door. I got to go on board several times, and the ground tests where they dump the water were done right outside the hangar.
 

whollygoats

Banned
YEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAAAA!

[YOUTUBE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRtOGJTqjkQ[/YOUTUBE]

An Airbus A-400 Atlas breaches.
 
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whollygoats

Banned
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvKCKYuQdRU[/youtube]

How about with a smaller, twin-engine Alenia C-27J Spartan?

Great ghost of Bob Hoover!

Make sure your cargo load is secured before takeoff.
 

whollygoats

Banned
Hmmm...Weaponry. In this case, autonomous drone swarms....Perdix.

perdix-drones-swarm-over-the-desert-without-human-intervention.jpeg


[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndFKUKHfuM0[/youtube]

They look and sound like a plague of locusts.

I suspect it is being considered for a 'wild weasel' application, disabling ground-to-air defenses, but I don't know as what kind of delivery system it might serve.
 

Underseer

Contributor
I'm an Air Force brat and grew up on Air Force bases. I used to be able to tell the specific kind of aircraft just from the sound (e.g. C-5 vs C-141). Not anymore.
 

wally

New member
Here is a plane I worked on when I was an airman in LRAFB

I fly little airplanes for fun and have worked on Boeing Douglas, Airbus, Sabreliner, Gulfstream before I retired. I still like airplanes.
 

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whollygoats

Banned
Here is a plane I worked on when I was an airman in LRAFB

I fly little airplanes for fun and have worked on Boeing Douglas, Airbus, Sabreliner, Gulfstream before I retired. I still like airplanes.

Welcome, wally.

They retired that number before I graduated from high school, so I'm guessing you've got years on me.

What kind of work did you do?
 

wally

New member
Welcome, wally.

They retired that number before I graduated from high school, so I'm guessing you've got years on me.

What kind of work did you do?

Thanks, I have been hanging around here enjoying reading the topics for years but never post much.

In the USAF I was an electronics/radio tech. Later, after college I managed to work as an aircraft engineer. I didn't do much actual working on the big planes but I did get to climb around on and in them helping the mechanics from time to time.

So now I work on and sometimes fly my Cessna and Pitts Biplane whenever my wife and kids don't need me to help with more important stuff.
Wally
 

Shake

Senior Member
I'm an Air Force brat and grew up on Air Force bases. I used to be able to tell the specific kind of aircraft just from the sound (e.g. C-5 vs C-141). Not anymore.

I'd bet that you can still distinguish a C-130 from a C-141.

Well, the incessant drone of the props on a C-130 is kind of hard to forget. When you see a Galaxy hanging in the sky, you wonder how those little engines manage to keep it up. Then, if you get to see it up close, you realize those engines really aren't tiny, but they do look that way from a distance. It's just a ginormous plane!

Nice pic there, Wally! I'm younger than goats, but like you am a USAF veteran, having worked on radios, radars, and general avionics. I got to work on the C-17 shortly after its rollout in Charleston, SC.
 

Worldtraveller

Veteran Member
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvKCKYuQdRU[/youtube]

How about with a smaller, twin-engine Alenia C-27J Spartan?

Great ghost of Bob Hoover!

Make sure your cargo load is secured before takeoff.

Legend has it Bob Hoover was called in to one of the Boeing executive's office and given an official ass chewing....along with a raise. ;)

- - - Updated - - -

I'm an Air Force brat and grew up on Air Force bases. I used to be able to tell the specific kind of aircraft just from the sound (e.g. C-5 vs C-141). Not anymore.
I can still pick out a lot of military aircraft by sound, but many use the same engines that are so similar as to not really be able to tell by the sound alone. The A-10s flying around Tucson are pretty easy to pick out, though. :D
 

whollygoats

Banned
During my recent pilgrimage to Skara Brae, I included a stop at Duxford and some fun in sun activities.

19224763_1772883619393595_3555901677736989976_n.jpg


This is my photo of the de Havilland DH 89 Dragon Rapide that took me and seven others on a flight from Duxford over London.

19275073_1772883999393557_341645585819840218_n.jpg


View of Whittlesford Parkway, where I was staying in a stifling garret in a 13th century roadhouse inn, from the Dragon.

Then, when I got back from the Dragon flight, I booked in to a twenty minute flight in this Tiger Moth (a de Havilland DH 82),

19224912_1772889439393013_6355160419990887121_n.jpg


where I got to do the whole 'rube on a barnstorm' routine, including take the stick for a few minutes. What a kick!
 

Worldtraveller

Veteran Member
So right now, the Pima Air Museum and the local air force base have some kind of deal going where they brought in an F-22, and a whole bunch of classic warbirds (so far, I've seen 2 P-51s, a P-47, a B-17, and a P-38). They are doing slow photo circles around the city, but I haven't been able to catch any pictures since I never have my camera on me when I need it (or I was driving and couldn't get a pic in time). Pretty cool. Unfortunately, the planes are all at the base, and no civilians can go see them. :(
 

whollygoats

Banned
My second day at Duxford, the staff dragged one of their Lancasters out on to the tarmac and started the engines. It was a thrill for the visitors (it was Father's Day, so lots of dads were being treated that day), but I got the impression the vendors' ground staff wasn't thrilled, because the engines left a pall of exhaust smoke and fumes all along the apron, where the vendors had their open-air facilities.

28471483_2063213030360651_6473116142524061197_n.jpg
28575811_2063216513693636_124251506353795414_n.jpg


It was a huge heatwave the week I was in Cambridgeshire (temps > 30°C) and me running around in the full sun on an entirely unshaded tarmac was contraindicated. Luckily, the main hall for the static exhibits, the American hall at the opposite end of the museum collection of buildings, and the entry/gift shop are all air conditioned, so I was able to hustle between buildings. But there are six or eight separate buildings, not all open to the public at one time, but renovations which are in process, and regular maintenance, can be observed from a respectful distance, but often close enough to touch. The big passenger airline craft have a spot on the apron immediately next to the tarmac between the major exhibit buildings, along with the Classic Wings' office and barnstorming HQ.
 

Worldtraveller

Veteran Member
Nice. Love the Lancaster, but it's no B-17. ;)

I wish I had a better lens, but these were taken with my new camera (Nikon D3300 with the standard lens). The planes have been literally flying right over my house, but I haven't been able to catch them with the camera until now. I just got up on the roof and waited for them to come by.

https://postimg.org/gallery/15abuv4sm/
 
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