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What we love about Aviation
We gotta get rid of turbines, they are ruining aviation.
We need to go back to big round engines. Anybody can start a turbine, you just need to move a switch from "OFF" to "START," and then remember to move it back to "ON" after a while. My PC is harder to start. Cranking a round engine requires skill, finesse and style. On some planes, the pilots are not even allowed to do it.
Turbines start by whining for a while, then give a small lady-like poot and start whining louder. Round engines give a satisfying rattle-rattle, click-click BANG, more rattles, another BANG, a big macho fart or two, more clicks, a lot of smoke and finally a serious low pitched roar. We like that. It's a guy thing.
When you start a round engine, your mind is engaged and you can concentrate on the flight ahead. Starting a turbine is like flicking on a ceiling fan: Useful, but hardly exciting. Turbines don't break often enough, leading to aircrew boredom, complacency and inattention. A round engine at speed looks and sounds like it's going to blow at any minute. This helps concentrate the mind. Turbines don't have enough control levers to keep a pilot's attention. There's nothing to fiddle with during the flight. Turbines smell like a Boy Scout camp full of Coleman lanterns. Round engines smell like God intended flying machines to smell.
I think I hear the nurse coming down the hall. I gotta go.
Contributed by David Duke
Once the wings go on, they never come off whether they can be seen or not. It fuses to the soul through adversity, fear and adrenaline and no one who has ever worn them with pride, integrity and guts can ever sleep through the "call of the wild" that wafts through the bedroom windows in the deep of the night.
When a good aircrewman leaves the "job" and retires, many are jealous, some are pleased and yet others, who may have already retired, wonder. We wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind, because we already know. We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times. We know in the world of flying, there is a fellowship which lasts long after the flight suits are hung up in the back of the closet. We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life. We also know how the very bearing of a man speaks of what he was and in his heart still is. Because we flew, we envy no man on earth.
Author Unknown--Contributed by Marion Swinford
Ernest Hemingway once wrote of fighter pilots and their planes: "You love a lot of things if you live around them. But there isn't any woman and there isn't any horse, nor any before nor any after, that is as lovely as a great airplane. And men who love them are faithful to them even though they leave them for others. Man has one virginity to lose in fighters, and if it is a lovely airplane he loses it to, there is where his heart will be forever."
EXTERNAL LINK: (11/17/12) Well done video Air-to-air F-15 dogfight practice scenes --Comment from a fighter pilot: "This is without reservation the best video I have ever viewed about air-to-air combat. The producer and photographer were able to show perspective of the entire arena in a way I've never seen. Oh, to be young and crazy again." Video was taken at Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa. --Contributed by Bob Harrison and Scott Ruby
Contrary to popular perception (by the people who do not know history), the United States' assistance to Israel during the war of independence was quite different. Americans were not allowed to join the fight and arms embargo had been established and enforced by the FBI.
At the same time, Arab armies were very well supplied by the same countries who maintained arms embargo against Israel and of course had great advantage in manpower. Watch this video. Contributed by Ernie Halley
(2/28/13)YOUTUBE VIDEO: Sentimental tribute to aviators and aviation: To Those Who Fly & Fight Good music, good scenes---Turn your speakers on. Contributed by Ernie Halley
(2/21/13)EXTERNAL-- Many short videos: Aircraft of all eras Lots of brief video clips, some with sound, some without. Contributed by Ernie Halley
(11/14/12): EXTERNAL Video: Incredible large models of every type of aircraft --This is an amazing show. Share with your aviation friends. They have to work on their landings, however. From SpeakingEagles co-founder Mike Summey.....A KingAir owner and pilot in Ashville, NC. Contributed by George Montgomery
(11/23/13): Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works says the replacement it's proposing for the SR-71 spy plane, the SR-72, is a Mach 6 drone that doesn't need to be stealthy because it's so fast. Aviation Week and Space Technology got an exclusive on the public unveiling of the project, which it quotes a Lockheed Martin spokesperson as saying could be operational within 10 years and since it uses some off-the-shelf technology won't break the defense budget.
"The Skunk Works has been working with Aerojet Rocketdyne for the past seven years to develop a method to integrate an off-the-shelf turbine with a scramjet to power the aircraft from standstill to Mach 6 plus," Brad Leland, portfolio manager for air-breathing hypersonic technologies, told AW&ST.
The drone will launch and recover from conventional runways and use jet engines to get it to Mach 4. A scramjet second stage would get the blended wing aircraft to Mach 6 with a variety of spy gear or weapons. The company said it didn't worry too much about stealth because at more than 4,000 mph the speed itself is the cover. Lockheed Martin said the key to the success of the program is the combination turbine and scramjet engine that supplies the ponies. Leland says the method of making the two vastly different engine technologies work together "is proprietary." The SR-71 Blackbird, a Mach 3 high altitude manned spy plane, was retired in 1998 after a 30-year career.---Contributed by Greg Engler
[Webmaster's Note: This file is one of the most requested from the site. Over 150,000 requests have been made. The following was received by one of the viewers:]
I know the wonderufl pilot who related the story of his experience in that magnificent plane was published 3 years ago, but I just read it today for the first time.
What an inspirition! Thanks so much to him for making me feel I was onboard the thrilling flight over Libya myself. It was a heart-felt beautiful account of a man and his love of a plane and his love of flying.
Orville and Wilbur would be so proud and so thrilled to hear it.
I'm in awe and so thankful for the experience you gave me just from the written word.
I live in Omaha, where we are so lucky to have a Blackbird at our Strategic Aerospace Museum in Gretna, NE. It holds a very high place of honor there. The Blackbird greets you as you enter the building. Suspended up above at an angle, she takes your breath away even in her stillness. You can sense what she is capable of just by setting your eyes on her. I hope generations of people will see what true grandeur is in an SR-71 and come to appreciate that it was done so long ago, but so ahead of its time.