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View Diary: Historic Preservation, of a Sort (18 comments)

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  •  I spent 16.5 hours in one once (4+ / 0-)
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    xaxnar, RiveroftheWest, leftykook, Jay C

    You really didn't get out of the seat much except to use the urinal. That involved unstrapping and then working your way down the ladder to the Navigator's compartment.

    The weapons bay is small because bombs are very dense. We'd fit 27,000 pounds of bombs in there (the rest were under the wings).

    27,000 pounds of cargo, depending on what it was, would take up a lot more space. That's why cargo planes are very spacious. They tend to max out on bulk before they max out on weight. If you tried to fill all that empty space with bombs you'd hit your max weight long before you filled it up and the rest would be wasted space.

    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 Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:58:19 PM PDT

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    •  That also explains the main gear. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Jay C

      It looks like something capable of supporting Big Boy - the Steam Engine, not the restaurant.

      It must be fun trundling down the runway with a full load of those bombs, for a given value of fun.

      Assuming for some reason they couldn't dropped somewhere on a target, did they have to be jettisoned before landing? I think that was a  standard practice for WW 2 bombers when weather would cause them to abort a bombing mission after they'd taken off.

      There's a big difference between takeoff weight and landing weight in practice, because it's one thing for a plane to take off at a given weight when it's going down the runway and lifting off, whereas a landing actually involves dropping down onto the runway. Dead weight plus the momentum = not good.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:11:48 PM PDT

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      •  We could land with them (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, leftykook, RiveroftheWest

        The only problem was if one of them "hung" after being released. Then you didn't know if it was going to come loose.

        Most of the weight of the aircraft was fuel. If we had a problem after takeoff we'd had to fly around for 5 hours until we'd burned off enough fuel to get down to landing weight. There was no provision for fuel dumping.

        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 Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 07:09:36 AM PDT

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    •  Our bird could haul between 70 and 90 thousand... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, xaxnar

      ...seems to me that the Buff can pick up as much, so lots of weight under the wings, eh?

      Did you have something like fake bombs or custom weights to carry so you could practice air refueling at a heavy weight?  We had concrete "pet rocks" we'd load to get the weight up for A/R trainers, the plane handled very differently empty vs loaded, I assume the Buff did too...

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

      by leftykook on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:40:31 PM PDT

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      •  Most of the weight was fuel (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, leftykook, RiveroftheWest

        We'd normally take off with 280,000 pounds of fuel on board.

        Air refueling at heavy weights was difficult in a G-model. Especially if you had the added drag of bombs under the wings.

        I've been throttles to the firewall and still falling off the boom. Sometimes the tanker would have to "toboggan" and start a shallow descent so that we could stay on.

        We might take on 100,000 pounds from the tanker so we'd be on the boom for 20 minutes.

        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 Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 07:12:54 AM PDT

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        •  Our max fuel load was a lot less... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar, Major Kong, RiveroftheWest

          ....like maybe 155K at the most. The max weight (war ops limits) was 347K and the operating weight roughly 150K...

          I don't think they hadda problem keeping up with the tanker, but the plane would accerate or decelerate very differently at heavy weights, which made it more difficult to pull up to the boom, pull in too fast, it doesnt slow down quickly enuf....

          On the Heavy refuel trainers, they'd blast off with about 40K fuel aboard and take on nearly 100K and it took about twenty minutes with the pilot sweating bullets...These trainers were the only mission we'd have a navigator aboard (I think we only had a few assigned to the wing) and one night the nav sitting in the jump seat made the mistake of grabbing the pilot's seat-this would move the seat a quarter-inch and cause the pilot to move the wheel enuf to make the plane porpoise a little bit before he got it reined in! "Keep yer hands off my seat, dammit!"

          The only reason I was aboard for these trainers was because they hadda have someone to jettison the pet rocks if necessary, which meant I'd preflight, load the rocks, then sit in an extra seat and read a book, then crap out in the bunk (there were four of them in a -141)... One night I was asleep in the bunk when they practiced an emergency break-away and they forgot to wake me up and warn me---the resultant "broken elevator" ride was pretty sporty, it flung me against the top of the fuselage and pinned me there for a few seconds...fortunately the space where the bunk was located was fairly small and protected, so it was just heart-in-mouth scary...

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

          by leftykook on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 11:30:34 AM PDT

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