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Old 10-09-2019, 10:34 PM   #81
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Ain't this fun?

Jim, you are indeed getting warm about the last mystery pic being stealth! But no, the plane in the foreground of the XB-70 is not the celebrated SR-71, but the original intercepter version of that plane, the YF-12A, as Tom so astutely observed (you can tell by looking closely at the nose, the chime does not extend as far around as it does on the sled) Great job, Tom! Huzzah!

I'm going to guess the Russian fighter is the Sukhoi Su-17, doesn't quite look like the more common Mig 15 or 17.

So, I'll give you guys one more hint on the mystery prototype stealth plane pictured above, one I'm sure will give it away to you guys...

This airframe is one of just two built to win the USAF's ATF competition, but ultimately lost to the plane pictured below. And if you ever read the story of its development, testing and heartbreak of those who worked so hard on it, only to loose in the end, it would make you cry. From reports I've seen, the mystery plane was more stealthy, a wee bit faster, but not quite as nimble in the air. There is also speculation that it lost due in part to political considerations for the other company(ies). Still, the winning aircraft here below has lots of fans.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:27 PM   #82
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So my mystery plane is actually a Mig-21. I was shocked at how small that thing is. I mean, think of a mini-pickup truck compared to a 3/4 ton. Mig-21 compared to an F4. F4 is huge in comparison.

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Old 10-10-2019, 06:48 PM   #83
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Now, your picture in post #81 is the F-22. I have a bit of an advantage on that one, 'cause it was built nearby in the Lockheed plant in Marietta, Ga. Ok, the plant is technically owned by the US Air Force, but I digress. A buddy of mine actually helped build those things.

The F-22 won out over another Advanced Technology Fighter in the USAF "fly off" competition. That's the plane that we are looking at the stern of in your first Pic. What threw me off was the fact that the vertical stabilizers are much further out on the horizontal stabilizers....maybe on the end of the wing. If memory serves, that plane was called the F-23 and was built by McDonnel-Douglas (of F-15 fame).

I think I remember that, at the time, Lockheed, known for building giant transport aircraft, had not recently built a fighter.

Memory is fallible, so 'xcuse me if I got some of it wrong.

Great thread. Another reason to like shiny metal things.

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Old 10-10-2019, 10:55 PM   #84
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Ding Ding Ding, we have a winner! Congrats, Jim -- it is indeed the YF-23, a remarkable plane by all accounts, but evidently the brass liked the YF-22 better. The YF-22 pictured above is the actual prototype, evidently the production model has smaller vertical stabilizers, among other tweaks.

I've attached the full shot here for all to see. Incidentally, the main contractor for the 23 was Northrop. Don't remember if this was before or after they merged with Grumman. Lockheed was the prime contractor for the 22, along with Boeing. So many mergers of all the WWII companies, I believe we are now down to these two?

So your mystery plane is a Mig after all -- seems like the Mikoyan and Sukhoi bureaus are aways copying each other, when they're not copying us.

Wonder if there is a Ruskie Airstream knock-off.
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:39 AM   #85
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Chinese knock-offs of Russian jets crashing

Not sure if Russia is making copies of Airstreams but they're on the other end with China making copies of their Sukhoi jets - and it's not going well for the Chinese...

https://taskandpurpose.com/china-j-15-fighter-jets
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:43 AM   #86
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Russian campers

So, on this tangent, searched the innerpipes and found this:



So, evidently the Russkies didn't copy Airstream after all. Volkswagen, however...

BTW, the article above seems to implicate the homegrown Chinese engines, and perhaps the Chinese software as the most likely culprits. Russians do know how to build reliable engines. Some A&Ps have told me that Russian aircraft are like tractors; you can leave them in a barn for a year, then just start them right up. American aircraft however require much more...attention.

Reminds me of the story of how Americans spent millions of dollars to develop a pen that would write in Zero-G. The Russians? They used a pencil.
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:51 AM   #87
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Yes, exactly!

You’re spot on about the pencil! Years ago I read the book “MiG Pilot” about a Russian pilot who defected with his MiG. When the US government disassembled the plane they found rust on the wings and other non-wear surfaces but inside the engines were titanium wear-rings. Simple, inexpensive solution.

The Russians demanded the return of their property and eventually did get it back - in crates!

Check it out if you haven’t read it already - great story!
https://www.amazon.com/Mig-Pilot-Fin.../dp/0380538687
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:23 AM   #88
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SKYGUYSCOTT,

From an AOPA article on the Starship;
Today five Starships remain airworthy. At Addison Airport north of Dallas, you might see two working Starships; brothers Raj and Suresh Narayanan operate them for their business, Aerospace Quality Research and Development (AQRD), and personal travel. Flying examples also are based in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Germany. (Ownership of a sixth potentially airworthy Starship in Mexico is unclear.)

And like many other orphaned aircraft, it’s up to the community of owners to keep the remaining Starships flying. Fortunately, these owners are up to the challenge.

In 2004, Colorado Starship owner Robert Scherer bought the Starship parts inventory—160,000 parts, originally valued at $38 million—from Raytheon for pennies on the dollar. Twelve tractor-trailer loads filled a warehouse.

The Narayanans put the Starship on AQRD’s repair station certificate, and can perform all maintenance and repairs on the aircraft. For example, when Rockwell Collins stopped supporting its AMS 850 avionics—also used in early Lear 60s and the Beechjet 400—Raj designed and certified a replacement database. “The database is produced in two 1.4-megabyte floppy disks,” he explained. Memory chips on the aircraft are limited to 3 MB. “The Starship’s like a TI-99 [Texas Instruments calculator from the early 1980s] from a computing perspective.”
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:27 AM   #89
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That's great news, wish them all the best! Such a beautiful aircraft doesn't deserve to go down without a fight.
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:02 PM   #90
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Thanks for the pics, Skyguy .... fly Navy !
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:14 AM   #91
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Last few USAF museum pics for now

Here are a few more pics of planes mentioned in this thread that are on display at the National Museum of the USAF, plus some faves. You probably know most of them.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:26 PM   #92
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Well, let's see....

1. F8?
2. 2 P51's slung together. Did they call that the P-81? Can't remember.
3. F86, tremendous kill rate in Korea.
4. Several early Ballistic missiles.
5. X15 (noticing a trend here)
6. X24 (lifting body?) Wildly unstable as I recall.
7. That thing they found at Roswell
8. American Space Shuttle flight deck mock-up.

This thread has been a helluvalot of fun. Many thanks to all!

Headed to Ft Walton Beach area for Thanksgiving week. The Air Force Armaments Museum is at Eglin AFB and open to the public for free. That's where my pics came from earlier in this thread. The Navel Aviation museum is near there at Pensacola. If you haven't been there, put it in your bucket list if you like shiny things that poke holes in the clouds. Maybe I can get there and post some mystery pics in a few weeks.

Keep looking up!

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Old 10-16-2019, 09:24 PM   #93
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1. A-7
2. F-82
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:11 PM   #94
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You guys are so good.

Yes, the first pic is of the A7 which was built by Vought (try to sort out that company's history, it was merged and married more often than Elizabeth Taylor) which also did the F-8, a Navy plane from which the A-7 was was derived for the Navy, but the Air Force used and improved, the improvements which the Navy liked and appropriated.

The twin mustang is indeed the F-82, but ironically was never as wildly successful as the P-51 which was in service for far longer.

The Sabre needs no explanation, and the one here is nicely displayed next to a Mig 15. Elsewhere in the museum, they have one with the skin removed so you can see the guts and bones of this thing -- pretty awesome.

The missiles include the Atlas and Titan ICBMs, along with a missile command trainer which will look familiar to fans of the movie War Games. Did you know the computers used in those things were never updated and ran a flavor of FORTRAN that surprisingly few programmers know anymore? Apparently vacuum tube electronics and punch cards were still on the front lines of thermo-nuclear deterrence well into the 1990s.

The X-planes have been my favs since I can remember. The shot of the X-15 also shows two other of my fav planes in the background. This museum was one of my favorite places on the entire planet when I was like 12, and probably still is. (silly, huh)

The flying saucer test vehicle isn't alien, it's Canadian, which isn't really quite the same thing. But it was built for the USAF.

If the Columbia disaster hadn't happened, one of the shuttles likely would have ended up here eventually as the USAF had a major hand in the design, testing, funding and use of the shuttle on several missions. They even planned on launching some out of SLC-6 (slick 6) in out in CA, but after spending millions building their own USAF shuttle launch pad out there, it was never used. The USAF museam wanted one of the shuttles here, but they went elsewhere and NASA gave them one of the training mock-ups, to which the museum added a mock cargo bay and tail/engine section.

Glad you guys liked the thread -- seems like there are many connections with aviation and Airstream.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:44 AM   #95
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The flying saucer was indeed Canadian, built for the USAF by the Avro company; the very same company that built the most advanced interceptor of its time, the Avro Arrow.
The saucer proved to be too unstable in flight for a pilot to control without the assistance of modern day computer flight controllers.
The Chinese have just built a phototype helicopter that has a very similar shape, called the Shark.

Avro had some of the best engineers in the world, most went on to help the US land on the moon with the Apollo missions after Avro closed down.

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PS The very best F86 varients, were the Canadair Mark V and Mark VI with the Orenda engine. They were the most powerful F86's built.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:08 AM   #96
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The very best F86 varients, were the Canadair Mark V and Mark VI with the Orenda engine. They were the most powerful F86's built.
Same for the T-33. The best and most powerful were the ones made in Canada.
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:26 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Jim & Susan View Post
The Navel Aviation museum is near there at Pensacola. If you haven't been there, put it in your bucket list if you like shiny things that poke holes in the clouds. Maybe I can get there and post some mystery pics in a few weeks.

Keep looking up!

Jim
Yes, please do, Jim -- sounds like fun.

Scuttlebutt I always heard was USAF had the better planes but the Navy had the better pilots. I'm sure someone disagrees...

Also heard that the F/A-18 was no replacement for the Tomcat, but budgets were tight. And, did you know the 18 was an upgraded version of the YF-17 which lost to the YF-16 in the light fighter competition back in the 70s.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:09 PM   #98
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On the flight line...

Navy pilots get launched off a postage-stamp sided flight deck on a rolling and pitching boat. They fly their mission, the have to make a precision landing, catching an arresting cable on that same pitching and rolling boat, often in the dark, flying an airplane built by the lowest bidder.

I’d say at minimum, they are either much better pilots, or certain parts of their anatomy are much larger than their peers in the Air Force.

There, I’ve said it.

Watched hundreds of launches and traps plus a few situations that got downright “Charlie foxtrot,” hairy and/fatal from “Vulture’s Roost” on board USS Ranger, CVA-61 during a rather prolonged undeclared war.

I’m a charter member of the Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club as well. Those that were there know exactly what I’m talking about.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:00 AM   #99
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I found this topic by accident this evening and thoroughly enjoyed it. For the record, my first planes that I fell in love with were the P-38 and the Corsair. The Beech Stagger-wing followed. Thy were all models I made when I was young.

When I was seven years old my father and I watched Sputnik through telescope. My father provided me with a large photograph of the first X-15 being dropped, looking straight down at the desert. It hung on my bedroom wall for years. My dad was a lawyer and amongst other clients he was a corporate lawyer for Northrop.

I have been quite fortunate to be in the company of some great pilots and gotten some great rides. My first shot was a Citabria at the age of ten…what a lot of fun. A few years later I did family day on the USS Yorktown. SLO Croft adopted me and strapped me into a net so I could watch planes being trapped, including Phantoms.

Another few years later I was doing SAR work in Yosemite and got a lot of helo rides. The pilots were exceptional and seeing Yosemite from a helicopter was always fun. (Except for my first rescue in a two-seater Bell and having to land on top of Sentinal Rock. At seven thousand feet the Bell was less than adequate.). Mostly we rode Huey’s and that was a lot of fun.

Several years later I met Brian and learned a lot about the SR-71. For example, after shutting down the engines, the exhausts were coated with a ceramic material that you could put your hand on and not get burned. That technology was developed in 1959!

Another great experience was a cross-country flight in a Lear. At 52,000 feet the world looks quite different. And Teeterboro is a lesson in how the 1% live. Napa to Teeterboro and back. I also got to fly in a Lear that had belonged to Imelda Marcos. It had the original power plant and climbed at 6,000 feet a minute as I recall. A rocket ship…

In the late nineties I was staying an hour north of London. Sitting in the back yard one day I heard a Merlin. Seconds later a Spit flew directly over me at less than a hundred feet. The house I was staying in was in a closed airspace so this was different, the Spit performed directly over me for the next 45 minutes. It turned out the Lord and Lady next door were celebrating his birthday and he had been a senior officer in the Brit Air Force.

The magic of flight still intrigues me. I used to go to the Reno Air Races and had friends that were flying there, some of them were Oshkosh folk. I have flown in a B-29 and been in a Zero. The miracles of flight and what I have had the pleasure of experiencing are still magic moments for me. Thank you all…

oh, and I did get to meet Chuck Yeager…
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:45 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Navy pilots get launched off a postage-stamp sided flight deck on a rolling and pitching boat. They fly their mission, the have to make a precision landing, catching an arresting cable on that same pitching and rolling boat, often in the dark, flying an airplane built by the lowest bidder.

I’d say at minimum, they are either much better pilots, or certain parts of their anatomy are much larger than their peers in the Air Force.

There, I’ve said it.

Watched hundreds of launches and traps plus a few situations that got downright “Charlie foxtrot,” hairy and/fatal from “Vulture’s Roost” on board USS Ranger, CVA-61 during a rather prolonged undeclared war.

I’m a charter member of the Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club as well. Those that were there know exactly what I’m talking about.


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