Archive for the 'Wild Blue Yonder' Category

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (IL-28 “Beagle”)

April 16, 2006

This week’s entry is the first Russian jet bomber, the Ilyushin IL-28 (nicknamed the “Beagle” in NATO jargon):
(Images found here and here).


Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (SAAB 37 Viggen)

April 2, 2006

Swedish planes are a lot sexier than their cars, if not their women. The Saab 37 Viggen is no exception, although I think it looks better from the top or bottom than in profile:
Saab 37 Takeoff.jpg
Saab AJSH-37 Viggen.jpg
Images found here and here.
(Incidentally, the word viggen means thunderbolt, particularly one issued from Thor’s warhammer, Mj√∂lner).

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (F-14 Tomcat)

March 26, 2006

(Images found here and here).
After more than 30 years of distinguished service to the US Navy, the last two squadrons of F-14 Tomcats ended their final combat deployments about two weeks ago. A couple of nice articles about this milestone event can be found here and here.
Check out this nice tribute video, too:

Q: Why is this awesome war machine being retired without (according to many) an adequate replacement (the Super Hornet lacks the range and power of the F-14)?
A: Maintenance expenses and age (the two are related).
Check out this comment from a former jet mechanic, giving a hint of the issues he (and other mechs) would face. Note also his love for the plane:

Posted Thu 16 March 2006 16:17
Thu 16 March 2006 16:17
As a retired Jet Mech. (AD1), last serving with the Tophatters of VF-14 at NAS Oceana in 1995, I am left with a sentimental lump in my throat as an era of Naval Aviation comes to a close. As labor intensive as they were, it was a proud sight and feeling to witness the awesome vibration and thunder on the TF-30 turbofans as the throttles were advanced to zone five behind the JBD’s. Call it a labor of love I supose but intense it was. It was a nightmare for the hazmat P.O. trying to keep up with the constant mess of leaking hydraulic fluid and JP-5 under the engines forward fixed cowlings. As physics would prove, anything that was that fast and could turn on a dime and endured massive G- forces would naturally leak fluid from somewhere. A chapter in Naval Aviation to be admired and cherished for many years to come. Good-bye my friend!!

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (F-22 Raptor)

March 19, 2006

The F-22 Raptor (all images via FAS):
F-22 Front Angle.jpg

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (B-47 Stratojet)

October 9, 2005

America’s first swept-wing multi-engine jet bomber, the Boeing B-47 Stratojet:
Rocket-assisted takeoff:

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (XFV-1)

October 2, 2005

We return, briefly perhaps, after an extended hiatus…
The unconventional, tail-sitting Lockheed XFV-1 was the prototype for a proposed U.S. Navy vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) point-defense interceptor. Designed to take off vertically, transition into conventional wings-level flight and then transition back to the vertical for landing, the airplane was powered by a 5,850 horsepower turboprop engine driving a pair of huge, three-bladed contra-rotating propellers. Fitted with a temporary undercarriage, the XFV-1 was first flown in a conventional mode at Edwards on June 16, 1954. Although, while in flight, it did demonstrate successful transitions from conventional into the vertical mode and back, its engine lacked sufficient power to guarantee safe VTOL operations and the whole concept of tail-sitting aircraft was soon abandoned in favor of designs employing vectored jet thrust.
– Photo and text via Edwards AFB

RIP, Marta Bohn-Meyer

September 27, 2005

Test pilot Marta Bohn-Meyer died last week in a crash of an aerobatic plane in Oklahoma.
Sadly ironic that she would die in a little single-engine prop plane after a career that included flying one of NASA’s SR-71s at three times the speed of sound in high altitude tests at Dryden Flight Research Center in California.

Seventh Moscow International Air Show

August 16, 2005

I know that I have been remiss in posting the regular Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake around here, and for that I apologize.
I hope to get some decent images from the reports on the just-opened MAKS 2005 (the seventh annual International Aviation and Space Salon in Moscow).
Here are several articles to get up to speed on the events for the coming week.
Just one little pic so far — the new MiG29OVT, the first twin engine jet fighter to employ multiaxis (versus 2D) thrust vectoring. At least according to this article, from which I grabbed the pic.

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (The Red Arrows)

July 10, 2005

As a tribute to our good friends in the UK who have suffered much this week, this week’s cheesecake serving features some images of the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows aerobatic team:
Red Arrows.jpg
Red Arrows 1.jpg
Red Arrows 2.jpg

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (B-36 Peacemaker)

July 3, 2005

Made only in Texas.
Part prop, part jet.
All badass.
The B-36 Peacemaker:
For an idea of just how frickin’ big this plane was, check out this side-by-side photo, which makes the B-29 bomber look like a toy:
(Image found here).
Neat story describing the experience of a low flyover.
Loads of interesting history here. (Double-take: Nuclear propulsion testbed?)
Even more history here.