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View Diary: How Airliners Work - Weight and Balance (160 comments)

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  •  Great Diary, as always! (0+ / 0-)

    With respect to this subject, and specifically to the fuel, which I can't wait to read about in that future diary, the co-pilot on a B-52's main job was to "keep the d**n plane level", IIRC. All of the knobs on his front panel were controlling fuel pumps, crossover valves, feed valves and I forget what else.
     As far as your tag line is concerned, where'd that come from?  I was at Red Flag back in about '78 (wow, that makes me old, huh?) and remember watching a Buff come screaming over the mountains and dropping to  about 100' off the deck to do a mock bombing run on the concrete pad we were calling home. I didn't see it coming and it scared the crap out of me! The next time I was ready for it and got to enjoy it a little; still awe inspiring, though.

    •  Major Kong should answer this... (3+ / 0-)

      ... but I'll butt in since this has been up for most of a day now.

      The tagline (as does Major Kong's nom de plume) comes from a great Kubrick film, "Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb". A very black, very funny comedy, written by Terry Southern, with Peter Sellers (playing multiple roles), Slim Pickens, George C. Scott (who, as General Buck Turgidson, uttered MK's tagline), Sterling Hayden, and James Earl Jones.

      Here is the IMDB entry for it. 8.6/10 stars, and a lot of great quotes. Also, listen for the names; they're priceless.

      "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room."

    •  He had the fuel panel (3+ / 0-)

      The fuel panel was in front of the copilot (I couldn't reach it if I wanted to) and had IIRC 12 fuel tanks plus all the the associated valves for the air-refueling manifold.

      The B-52 and KC-135 didn't have flight engineers like airliners of that time period did. They were designed for the Aircraft Commander to fly and the copilot to act as flight engineer.

      I got pretty comfortable at 100 feet. It actually rode like a Cadillac down that low because it was in ground effect.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Thu May 09, 2013 at 04:10:28 AM PDT

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      •  A friend flew F-4's in VietNam... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...and he described flying the aircraft in ground effect over the ocean at about 350 or 400 kts, the altimeter in the aircraft had a different set of lines on the face as it got closer to "0"...

        He described using the shock wave and gigantic rooster-tail to capsize NVA patrol boats....

        The rooster tail was a sight to behold, from above it looks like a cross between a slot car and a cigarette boat ocean-racer on acid, the tail would go up a couple hundred feet in the air and race across the water like a cartoon, the plane being nearly invisible compared to the giant rooster tail...

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

        by leftykook on Thu May 09, 2013 at 08:45:00 AM PDT

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        •  ??? (1+ / 0-)
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          Here are some low-altitude shock waves, and plenty of prandtl-glauert singularities, but not much by way of rooster tails, even from an F-18 blue angel on a dozen feet or so above the water. :-(

          •  Great vid link (0+ / 0-)

            The aircraft shown do not appear to be flying much faster than 200 or 250 kts and not quite as low as "Bob" described in his hangar tales.

            One of the passes looks like it's disturbing the water pretty substantially in spite of the restrained speed being used, tho there's little evidence of a rooster tail, giant or otherwise (keep in mind that "Bob" is an aviator for catssake)...

            Someone sent me a link a few years ago of a Navy fighter doing a supersonic flyby of a carrier out at sea, at about flight deck height above the water, and that vid is much more dramatic than these images...

            "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

            by leftykook on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:35:20 AM PDT

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