Marc's Public Blog - Flying


All | Aquariums | Arduino | Btrfs | Cars | Cats | Clubbing | Dining | Diving | Electronics | Exercising | Flying | Hiking | Linux | Linuxha | Museums | Public | Rc | Sciencemuseums | Snow | Solar | Trips

This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with flying, and learning to fly. Something I had been wanting to do for quite a while.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for my experience.
Specifically, I have a page for my Trips to Oshkosh, the mecca for pilots

Table of Content for flying:

More pages: August 2017 April 2017 January 2017 December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999



2015/09/25 Wright Patterson USAF Museum in Dayton, OH
π 2015-09-25 00:00 in Flying
If you don't know where Dayton, OH is, or that the Wright brothers did their subsequent heavier than air controlled flights there (the French actually had an heavier than air airplane that flew before them in 1890, but it only flew 50 meters and wasn't really controllable, so that didn't get saved in history, fair enough), don't feel bad, I had no idea where Dayton was either or that it was where the Wright brothers flew several years.

While there were apparently other fine museums nearby, I didn't fly all the way over there for them, or to learn about the business opportunities of moving my business to Dayton :)

I so ran out of time to go see this. Bummer...
I so ran out of time to go see this. Bummer...


Because of the Wright Brothers legacy, the :Wright Patterson USAF was based there, and in turn the (free) USAF museum was created next to it. Saying that it's big or awesome would be too easy :) It is with the Smithsonian annex in at Washington DC Dulles airport, the best flight museum anywhere as far as I know, and both are worth flying to just to go see them (in the case of Dayton, there isn't really much else to see or do while you're there, but the museum itself is well worth the trip). I flew there on a wednesday and spent all of thursday and friday from open to close, before catching a friday night flight home.
Because I went on the so called presidential tour twice (once to see the presidential airplanes, and had to go back a 2nd time just to see the X-Planes which were so awesome that I had to make a separate page just for them. Those are all due to move in a permanent exposition hall (#4) by 2016. Then, I also went on a 3h backstage tour to see planes being restored, and as a result, the rest of the time was almost not enough to see everying in 2 days. In hindsight, I could have spend 3 days there...

I have a highlight of the pictures below, but here are links of to the full picture galleries:

  • Misc: https://goo.gl/photos/8wyxjYgutTLgqkUK6
  • Early Years: https://goo.gl/photos/bXzd4rBH6PkXghd98
  • World War II: https://goo.gl/photos/Ca8kgNqdBpTaQZLZ6
  • Korea - Southeast Asia: https://goo.gl/photos/z4AAu3bu3vT6jAvj9
  • Cold War: https://goo.gl/photos/wNxjPwT2CE5qUHge8
  • Rockets, ICBMs: https://goo.gl/photos/SCYyMsX8nn6K8hk76
  • Presidential Planes: https://goo.gl/photos/Pad5UkhkjAMuRww6A
  • X-Planes: https://goo.gl/photos/yDQbfBhVAE5NYr9V9
  • Restoration: https://goo.gl/photos/1uLMtysydi8Zqtpr5
  • Historical locations: https://goo.gl/photos/YfD9WRw9G5H1VTAF9
  • Anyway, let's start: nearby, there are a few historical points of interest, including Huffman Prairie where the Wright brothers were testing their planes, but outside of the plaques to read, there isn't that much to see (the prairie is unsurprisingly a bunch of grass :) ):





    Outside the USAF Musuem, there were also a few planes and barracks reconstitutions:










    poor thing, its nose got stung by a bee... (boeing EC-135E, with big radar)
    poor thing, its nose got stung by a bee... (boeing EC-135E, with big radar)


    But let's get back to the museum:


    the 4th hangar in the distance wasn't open yet, but will be in 2016
    the 4th hangar in the distance wasn't open yet, but will be in 2016

    the map might not look big, but it is big
    the map might not look big, but it is big

    I started with the early years hangar:



    I would not want to step in this :)
    I would not want to step in this :)



    that's going to leave a mark ;)
    that's going to leave a mark ;)


    The World War II hangar was next:


    MXy7-K1, a Japanese Kamikaze cruise missile (i.e. the guidance was a human)
    MXy7-K1, a Japanese Kamikaze cruise missile (i.e. the guidance was a human)




    First German Rocket plane
    First German Rocket plane





    shooting inside the prop, nice idea
    shooting inside the prop, nice idea

    The next hall was both the Korea War and Southeast Asia:


    The A-3 lifeboat was a rescue boat that could be dropped from a B29 bomber
    The A-3 lifeboat was a rescue boat that could be dropped from a B29 bomber




    F-94A starfire
    F-94A starfire

    F-82G twin mustang, cool...
    F-82G twin mustang, cool...

    First MiG 15 that made it to the US thanks to a defector who brought it
    First MiG 15 that made it to the US thanks to a defector who brought it


    F-86A Sabre
    F-86A Sabre

    F-80C Shooting Star
    F-80C Shooting Star

    F-84E
    F-84E




    F100-F Super Sabre
    F100-F Super Sabre

    RF-101C Voodoo reconnaissance aircraft
    RF-101C Voodoo reconnaissance aircraft

    Nice ammo range...
    Nice ammo range...

    B-26K
    B-26K

    OV-10A Bronco
    OV-10A Bronco

    MiG 17F
    MiG 17F


    MiG 21
    MiG 21

    F-4C Phantom II
    F-4C Phantom II



    They had a few leftover planes they stuck there (not Korea or Asia war related):




    Boeing Bird of Prey was built to test stealth technologies
    Boeing Bird of Prey was built to test stealth technologies

    The F22 is of course a formidable aircraft from later years
    The F22 is of course a formidable aircraft from later years




    The next hall is Cold War:





    B-36J Peacemaker, kind of an ironic name for a bomber :)
    B-36J Peacemaker, kind of an ironic name for a bomber :)





    SM-62 Snark long range nuclear missile
    SM-62 Snark long range nuclear missile


    The RF-86F saber was a reconnaissance plane with fake machine guns stickers to look like it's armed
    The RF-86F saber was a reconnaissance plane with fake machine guns stickers to look like it's armed


    The WB-50D Superfortress
    The WB-50D Superfortress


    TM-61A Matador cruise missile
    TM-61A Matador cruise missile

    CGM-13B Mace replaced the Matador
    CGM-13B Mace replaced the Matador

    B-58A Hustler, the supersonic bomber
    B-58A Hustler, the supersonic bomber

    nice to see how a plane is inside (F-86H Sabre)
    nice to see how a plane is inside (F-86H Sabre)

    RB-47H Stratojet
    RB-47H Stratojet



    F-106
    F-106

    F-15 Eagle
    F-15 Eagle

    RC-4D Phantom II
    RC-4D Phantom II

    F-117A
    F-117A

    F-16A Thunderbird
    F-16A Thunderbird

    X-45A UAV
    X-45A UAV


    They also had a section on the first spy satellites. Before the digital world, they actually took spy pictures on film and would jettison the film so that it fell back on earth with a parachute and would get snagged mid-air by a recovery plane. Not very efficient, but before digital cameras, that was the best that could be done back then. Sure was inventive :)




    these were taken by a U2 though
    these were taken by a U2 though

    Another corner also had a space shuttle trainer:




    The highlight of that room, however, were the B1 and B2 bombers. I had never seen either one up close, and I especially like the sleek look of the B1 (the B2 is an interesting engineering achievement, but it requires so much maintenance to remain stealth that it's not very practical). the B-2 was also very hard to photograph due to its size and where it was stored

    B-1
    B-1




    B-2
    B-2





    The last room had lots of rockets, most of them ICBMs, the multiple generations of intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver nuclear payload across the world. I didn't realize how massive those rockets were, and how some are big enough to deliver small satellites in orbit. It's only when you're standing in front of them that you get a sense of scale:




    [rigimg:1024:5000*/5023*|oh look, more bombs (atomic this time), called "peacekeeper"]



    That was it for the Halls, but I still have pictures from the presidential planes in that temporary hall on the USAF base. As written above, the other side with the X-Planes was totally awesome, and I wrote a separate page just for them:




    And as the last bit, a few pictures of my 3H backstage tour in the restoration hangars




    pulsejet
    pulsejet





    leaving planes outside in bad weather like they get in Ohio, definitely has a toll on them, hence restoration work
    leaving planes outside in bad weather like they get in Ohio, definitely has a toll on them, hence restoration work


    they redesign new pieces from scratch to match the old ones
    they redesign new pieces from scratch to match the old ones



    new blood being brought in
    new blood being brought in

    shooting turrets
    shooting turrets

    And this time, it's really over, way too many pictures, sorry :)
    But if you want more, go to the Museum's web site for a virtual 3D tour

    2015/09/25 X-Planes at the Wright Patterson USAF Museum
    π 2015-09-25 00:00 in Flying
    These X-Planes were so cool, and were so many planes that I never seen or heard about, that they are worth their own page. X Planes are research planes, some end up as production planes, some never do. But just like the research Dassault VTOL Mirage III.V (capable of Mach 2!), even if those planes never went in production, the mere fact that they were able to exist and be the first to achieve something new, was very cool (hell, today's F35 cannot even reach the Mach 2.2 speed from France's 1965 VTOL Mirage III.V ).

    Anyway, the Wright Patterson USAF Museum has an impressive list of flying machines that were cramped in a small hangar waiting to be moved to their 4th exposition hall slated to open in 2016. This was part of the presidential tour, but honestly seeing the presidential planes was a waste of time compared to the other side that had all those X-Planes. I was on a timed 45mn tour and I cried murder when I was told I had to go back on the bus off the secure base, and back to the museum. I signed right up for another tour and went back to the temporary hangar and spent all my time on the X-Plane side.

    There are many other things in that museum, they are in the main page Wright Patterson USAF Museum.

    This XH-26 Jet Jeep uses pulsejets to turn the main rotor. It was demeed too noisy though.
    This XH-26 Jet Jeep uses pulsejets to turn the main rotor. It was demeed too noisy though.

    The avrocar. Is this for real?
    The avrocar. Is this for real?

    Huge turbine in the middle
    Huge turbine in the middle

    XF-85, what a strange beast. A parasite fighter carried by bombers
    XF-85, what a strange beast. A parasite fighter carried by bombers



    NT-33A
    NT-33A

    Tacit Blue tested stealth technology
    Tacit Blue tested stealth technology



    P-75A, dual in line prop, sleek design, but it wasn't successful
    P-75A, dual in line prop, sleek design, but it wasn't successful

    Way before the Osprey, the XV-3, the first tilt rotor aircraft
    Way before the Osprey, the XV-3, the first tilt rotor aircraft


    P-80R Shooting Star
    P-80R Shooting Star


    XV-6A Kestrel, VTOL prototype before the Harrier
    XV-6A Kestrel, VTOL prototype before the Harrier


    XF-91 Thunderceptor, variable incidence wing prototype
    XF-91 Thunderceptor, variable incidence wing prototype

    AQN-34L Firebee jet drone
    AQN-34L Firebee jet drone

    The F-107A has a huge air intake on top
    The F-107A has a huge air intake on top


    The NC-131H was a weird beast, it was designed to feel like other planes for pilot training
    The NC-131H was a weird beast, it was designed to feel like other planes for pilot training

    trainee pilots go in the front, instructors go in the upper rear and can change the plane's characteristics
    trainee pilots go in the front, instructors go in the upper rear and can change the plane's characteristics

    the wings have rudders used to simulate other planes and/or tough crosswind landing conditions
    the wings have rudders used to simulate other planes and/or tough crosswind landing conditions

    Bell X-1B, sound barrier breaker
    Bell X-1B, sound barrier breaker

    North American X-10
    North American X-10

    The X-24A is also a weird beast, used to test gliding conditions back from space (later used by space shuttle)
    The X-24A is also a weird beast, used to test gliding conditions back from space (later used by space shuttle)

    OMG, the Douglas X-3 is pointy, designed to test high speed high altitude conditions in 1952
    OMG, the Douglas X-3 is pointy, designed to test high speed high altitude conditions in 1952



    another pre-space shuttle near-spacecraft, the Martin X-24B
    another pre-space shuttle near-spacecraft, the Martin X-24B


    like baby bird hiding under the mother :)
    like baby bird hiding under the mother :)

    XF-36 tail less plane used to test fly by wire without a tail
    XF-36 tail less plane used to test fly by wire without a tail


    X-29A
    X-29A

    So many planes piled up...
    So many planes piled up...




    cool nose and fat prop
    cool nose and fat prop


    Misssiles and bombs:



    guided bombs
    guided bombs

    the rascal was a supersonic missile with nuclear warhead
    the rascal was a supersonic missile with nuclear warhead

    Some special planes I kept for the end, starting with the YF-12A and its drone:

    The D-21B was meant to be a drone carried on top of the YF-12A which later became the SR71
    The D-21B was meant to be a drone carried on top of the YF-12A which later became the SR71


    I'm not good enough to tell you how the YF-12A differs from the SR71
    I'm not good enough to tell you how the YF-12A differs from the SR71




    The Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23 was a contender for the soon to be F22, but the YF-22, from lockheed won:


    it's a cool looking plane though
    it's a cool looking plane though


    Now, the highlight for me was the XB-70 Valkyrie, which I was not even aware of (shame on me). When I thought that the US had nothing close to the concorde since they cancelled their SST project for cost reasons, the XB-70 was a Mach-3 capable bomber that is quite impressive and not that much smaller than a concorde. Sadly it was cancelled due to lack of strategic need for a Mach-3 bomber, but a couple of prototypes were used for lots of test flights:



    6 engines, just to be sure...
    6 engines, just to be sure...

    many separately actuated tail surfaces, like lots of small elevons
    many separately actuated tail surfaces, like lots of small elevons

    The Darkstar was a high altitude drone:

    long wings indeed...
    long wings indeed...

    The Ryan X-13 Vertijet, VTOL prototype (too complex to be practical though):


    ready for launch :)
    ready for launch :)


    And that was it for the X-Planes stored at the Wright Patterson USAF base. More cool planes than I have ever seen in such a short time. Hopefully they'll look good in their new location in Hangar #4, the new addition to the museum opening next year.


    More pages: August 2017 April 2017 January 2017 December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999