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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

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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: October 2017 September 2017 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

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