27 April 2007

Jet man loses wing

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Jet man loses wing
By Helen Massy-Beresford

Originally set for March, the presentation of the JetMan strap-on jet pack to the international press has suffered a series of setbacks. The latest postponement follows damage to the wing during a test flight in Spain and subsequent bad weather.

The incident took place on Tuesday when Rossy jumped out of an aircraft that had taken off from Bex aerodrome in Switzerland.

“Yves vainly tried to recover the control of his flight, then dropped his wing, was able to open his parachute and finally landed safe and sound. Unfortunately his wing ended up damaged in a field,” says Rossy’s communications office.

Rossy is undeterred: “Such incidents are part of the risks of pioneering projects. And the adventure shall go on!”

The presentation has been postponed indefinitely while Rossy analyses what went wrong and repairs the wing. Rossy has been working on a version capable of vertical climb, take-off, and aerobatics since the maiden flight of the Jet-Man jet pack in 2004.

Rossy, who now flies Airbus aircraft for Swiss International Airlines, formerly served as a fighter pilot in the Swiss Air Force.

This guy is NUTZ huh...but what a rush that would be!!

26 April 2007

UAV Guide thanks to FAS.org

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I will be the first to tell you that I am not 100% keen on UAVs. There is no substitute for a pilot in an aircraft and doing the flying him/her self. There is no substitute for the situational awareness of actually being in the aircraft. I can not imagine replacing a close air support aircraft like an A-10 with a CUAV...there is just too much to see. and what is next? replacing a C-130 with a UAV? I could not imagine flying that thing behind a screen...there is just so much to smell and feel in that aircraft.
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UAVs have been with us for decades...from the old Ryan's Firebees (BQM-34 series) launched from old DC-130s to the big-mamma D-21 launched from the SR-71 (M-21)mothership.

Where UAVs shine in my book...keeping the ground troops out of harms way while collecting recon. Thank God for these little guys...
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FAS.ORG's Posting of the UAV ROADMAP 2005

This is a nice little guide for those of us who are interested in learning a bit more about these little (and some not so little) things.

Killer Herc: technology demo program for DoD

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What do you do with an old RC-130 from the mid 50's? You paint her up and slap come cool stuff on her!! back in 2002/3, The Killer Herc program was to demonstrate the likelihood of using UAVs launched from the AC-130 to hunt out and target the enemy while the AC-130 stays away. They also fitted the RC-130 with hellfire missiles (why such a puny little missile?)

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The AC-130Us we were told were hardwired for a missile rack in the outer hard points where the AC-130H and AC-130Us carried their IRCM pods, I do not know if this was ever fitted or missiles ever test fired from an AC-130U, I doubt it.

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International Air Response spit shined good ol' 57-0512 (a very low time RC-130A) that they received from the Rhode Island ANG at Quonset State back in 1989 and was used for parts...but in 2002 they gave her a beautiful paint job and registered her as N118TG.

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It is no doubt that from this test that the AC-130H and AC-130Us will get their stand off weapons...though not a SENTRY UAV and a rack of Hellfires...but this test proved that what was needed could be done.

The AC-130U will be fitted with two MK44 30MM Bushmasters and the M102 105MM
and will be getting the GBU-44/B Viper Strike though, I do not believe there is plans to integrate a UAV (especially the size of the SENTRY) onto the AC-130...but who knows, there is talk of adopting a version of the 120MM Mortar to replace the old 105Mike Mike.



24 April 2007

Picking the worst to be first... USAF CSAR-X

The USAF needs to replace its old, slow, small Combat Search and Rescue Helicopters. The average age for the aircraft are just a hair under 25 years old and from the start, they were not a great fit for the job. They are slow, and they have shorter legs than a freak show midget So, what can replace it?
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Congress wants to give then the worst possible choice...the HH-47. you know, the shithook... the wondernothing. It seams that the ones in charge of overseeing the competition were not interested in what the mission was.

The Boeing HH-47 costs more and doesn't meet the requirements for consideration, but that's not all. The aircraft is, simply put, not a good fit for the search and rescue mission. And this is where Congress has gotten involved. In February, Air Force chief of staff General Michael Moseley told a Congressional hearing that "the Chinook would have not been his first choice, but that the Air Force would make it work," according to the Hill. And later told reporters that "I am not sure [the HH-47] is the one that I would have picked, but I am not the guy that picks

The CH/MH-47s have been in the news recently because of so many of them going down in Afghanistan. they are worked hard in the high altitudes and they are so slow and so large that they make for easy targets.

The USAF operates 102 MH-60s for Combat Search and Rescue missions, many of them over in Afghanistan and Iraq. I will post some videos this week that I took while I was in Kandahar while the MH-60s were scrambling March of 2003...one never returned.

There used to be three other competitors, the US-101 Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
(a Lockheed licenced variant of the European EH-101),

the Sikorsky S-92
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and the piece of crap CV-22

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I am not all that keen on the US-101 (don't get me started on the fact that it will be the next Marine-One as the VH-71 Kestrel) but, you have to give them this, they have three engines and can operate on two. (3X2312 shp) you know my feelings about the CV-22...they are no longer a factor. and the S-92 on paper is a great aircraft and out of the four., she was my pick but, like the HH-47, she also only has tho engines rated at 3000 shp each. I have to give Sikorsky credit, the MH-53 program has been a great one for the USAF...

I feel that if you need to lift something very heavy...or carry lots of troops to the fight in one aircraft, the hh-47 is the right choice...but not for Search and Rescue... too heavy, to old, and not very agile. The downwash from this thing is crazy, and I think it might do more harm for a stranded swimmer or a wounded troop than good...
Icing... the HH-47 (or any variant) is not rated to fly in any icing conditions where as both the s-92 and US-101 are rated to fly in moderate icing conditions.

So how did Boeing end up winning the competition? A KC-X deal maybe?
Don't get me wrong... I am not bashing Boeing on this at all...they are offering what they have. Congress are the idiots who picked it.

It looks like more and more people are hearing about this one and some in Congress are not happy... Looks like the competition is open again... Lets see

I feel if anyone is going to get a contract it should be Sikorsky because of the great helicopters they build...not Boeing because they will build a good tanker aircraft. Lets stop the pork and build the right aircraft for the mission.

Virgin Atlantic to buy 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners...making Boeings 787 the most successful launch ever

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Virgin Atlantic Airways (VA.UL: Quote, Profile, Research) has agreed to buy 24 Boeing (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) 787 Dreamliners, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site on Tuesday.

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The deal, worth $3.6 billion (1.8 billion pounds) at list prices, is expected to be announced later Tuesday, the Journal said, citing unnamed sources.

The orders were previously booked on Boeing's Web site but the buyer had not been identified, the Journal said.

Virgin's Richard Branson and Boeing Chief Executive W. James McNerney are also expected to unveil a partnership to begin testing biofuel in a Virgin-owned Boeing 747 next year, the paper said.

A Boeing representative declined to comment. A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

The 787 is well over the 500 aircraft sold mark and the airplane has not even been built yet. it took just 36 months to reach 500 aircraft sold. The 787 Dreamliner is the most successful program launch in commercial aviation history. Great job Boeing!

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22 April 2007

Troop Talk Radio...you'll hear another side...the real side.

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Give it a listen. Take a look at the page. This is real military service men and women talking about the military and more importantly, the War on Terror. NONE (nope, not even FOX) will give you any of the good news of what is going on in the WAR on Terror. You will hear good and bad because it is the real members talking about what is real to them....but at least you will hear it from them and not some reporter who knows they have to sell..and blood and destruction sells.

None of the radio stations here in my area will give them time so I have to listen online.
Hosted by
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Captain Trip Bellard III born in Texas, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, served as a Captain in the Army and received the Bronze Star for service in Iraq. When he went on R & R, his battalion Commander, LTC Kyle McClelland gave Trip the same advice he gave every soldier: “Tell your story. Make it known what we’re doing. Show the people what you’ve done and the difference you’ve made.” Trip took that advice to heart, and has taken on a new mission: to give his fellow service members a way to express their views to the American public on Troop Talk: Voice of the Troops.

If you want to voice your opinion and thoughts Call in during the LIVE show! Sunday Mornings 8am-Noon EST

Try them out.

20 April 2007

Check it out and become the one of the biggest fans of the four fans of freedom

If you ever wanted to know what it is like to fly on a Tactical C-130....these guys really have captured its spirit.

Ain't got bullets so they got to have balls...

Flying low and slow, kicking ass and taking names...

19 April 2007

C-130 eye candy

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U.S. Special Operations Command celebrates its 20th anniversary

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We all know that Special Operations have been around much longer than 20 Years but as a combined powerhouse of a command she is still young.

My Father was a member of 1st Recon Bn. way back in the day and myself a member of 16th SOW/16th SOS I have a strong tie to the people who put it on the line every day...declared war or not.

After Operation Eagle Claw there was a need of unity and communication. a few years later the dawn of USSOCOM occurred on 16 April 1987.

Keep strong
Keep Vigilant
Keep Prepared

Maintain the Tip of the Spear.
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18 April 2007

KC-X when will you come, and who will you be?

Our air refueling tanker fleet is older than dirt. The KC-135s have been passing gas for 50 years (first flight August 1956, first delivered June 1957)
They still do a great job and I am hard pressed to think of another plane that can do as good of a job. Sure there is the KC-10 but that has been sort of a flop. The KC-10A (DC-10)and now with that aircraft gone from the airlines support for the aircraft is a huge issue...not to mention this. Some aircraft have a very hard time refueling under the large KC-10. The C-130s that have the capability to be on the receiving end of the KC-10 have to dive down and more times then not, it takes three or more connections to fuel up...not only is that in efficient, its unsafe. They are more of a cargo plane than a Tanker.

What is on the table? For right now there are two proposals.
One from Boeing and one from Northrop Grumman (Building an French Airbus)
I do not fully agree with Boeing's offering. They want to give us a tanker version of the 767.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

the 767 is a great aircraft but it is already 25 years old...and if we keep her working as long as the KC-135 then she will be well over 75 years old. C'mon we can do better than that. I understand that a lot of the cost will have been offset because both Japan and Italy are now flying variants of the aircraft. She is already ancient technology. The 777 is too big for the job so I will not even go there. The 787 I think would be a great choice and since she is already in development she would be able to start out much like the old KC-135 did alongside the Boeing 707 (Yes, I understand that they in fact are really different aircraft...but close enough) How would fuel effect the whole composite structure of the 787? I do not know. One thing that Boeing just added to sweeten the deal is the services of Delta TechOps to KC-767 Advanced Tanker Team. These guys (and gals) are top notch in the aviation industry.
Northrop Grumman is trying to pitch the KC-30... (once the KC-330)
this is nothing more than a French built tanker version of the Airbus A330, (MRTT) .
I understand that these too are already flying and will soon be adopted in both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. I have personal feelings that we do not need to be spending so much money on French aircraft...but, on paper, the KC-30 looks a tad better than the KC-767.

I feel we need a totally NEW design NOW.

In the end I want a US company to win...even if it is the KC-767

16 April 2007

So, the MV-22 is going to war...

So, the MV-22 is going to war. I have mixed feelings about this. First, it is time for the Ch-46s to be replaced, they are very old and very tired. The MV-22 is capable of carrying more cargo for a longer distance than the Sea-Knight. The down side? COST! These things are a back breaking $109 Million. That is only $69 Million per aircraft more than what was planned. Don't get me wrong, I do not care how much money is spent to keep our boys (and gals) safe...Therein Lies the Problem. The MV-22B & CV-22 are very unsafe aircraft. I understand that most aircraft have to go through a "growing pains" portion of their development. The v-22 has had one longer than most with too many lives lost. Why have they not fixed the Hydraulic lines bursting in the engine problem. After the crash in December of 2000 you would think they would have that fixed...but guess again, March 28, 2007 another fire in the engine because of a hydraulic leak. The crew was lucky that it happened while they were on the ground and not during flight.

The aircraft can't auto rotate. This means if you loose the engines, there is no way touch the aircraft down softly...how many of our troops will be harmed by this?

There are no side firing weapons to keep the sides safe. The engines are in the way from protecting the aircraft. So, the only defensive guns will be on the tail stinger position. So, who will keep the aircraft safe? Will it always fly with AH-1 cover? The MV-22 is much faster than the AH-1s so then will they have to slow down for the AH-1s or just go without cover? Who will cover the CV-22s from the Air Force? Will they always have the Apache to cover its butt? How about an A-10 every time it takes off. The CV-22 is another thorn in my side. It is set up to replace the MH-53Ms. The CV-22 can not carry as much weight. Can not carry the same special forces equipment and also has no sideward defensive systems. and they will be trying to replace the MH-53s with fewer CV-22s...nice. I understand that the USAF looses a lot of the PaveLows...and because of the nature of the missions that is understandable but are we willing to loose even more v-22s because of the lack of capability?
It has been a nice experiment but it has gone too far. This aircraft is a failure...pull the plug on it.

God Speed Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263

12 April 2007

A needed update to an old friend

Lets face it, the C-130J is a failure. Sure, it is a great plane if you just want to bring cargo from Point A to Point B but it sucks in the dirt, She sucks for Maintenance, she sucks at airdrop. when she does fly into combat she has to bring two MORE pilots as outward looking observers(they have kicked off the Eng. and the Nav. on the J-Model)
Basically, the C-130J is an entirelly differient aircraft with an entirelly differient mission then the old true C-130s (C-130a/b/e/h/h1/h2/h3 types)

There is hope out there though, The C-130AMP has flown (the first aircraft's first flight was back in Sept. 2006) and the second example flew yesterday, this time being Louisville's own 91-2139 and I believe both examples of modded aircraft were originally H2 aircraft.

Why is this important? Because you now have a more modern flight deck to make the pilots happy. It is nice because you need to tape every light source when going on NVGs ...no more mini chem lights the Eng has to spend hours taping up and around instruments just to see the bloody things on Nogs.

So, it looks like if congress gets off their asses and approves this, we will see the much needed wingbox replacement for all C-130s (I will tackle that topic later) as well as a mid-life update. with all the capabilities of the older herks but, without all the stupid crap that the J model tries to bring to the table.

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Let the C-130J try to replace the C-141 (she will fail at that too) and let the real herks fly into combat.

11 April 2007

A new diet........its not what you think.

So, I have this painful disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. Lets just say it is very painful. I have had it now for a few years and the pain has never gotten much better (Even though I am on tons of pain pills) There are a few Docs out there who praise changing your life style with this disease...I do not want to do that.
One diet wants you to become Vegan, um, screw that. I dig my meat.
One wants you to treat it like you had IBS. and use a Low-Starch diet. I can handle that a bit, but I love Italian food...but, I can try that one.

Gluten free crap.

There is even one that says eat as many cashews as I can. (I can eat me some cashews, boy)

Foods to AVOID...anything fried refined starches refined sugar heavy meats, veal coconut, bananas pecans white, green cabbage> dried beans, most peas acetic acid vinegars liquor and beer oatmeal, lentil beans milk and butter high-fat cheeses Kraft "mayonnaise" chips, French fries potato chips, crisps pan, poories, popcorn all rice, esp. fried mein, pancit, soba pizza, pita, paella wheat, scald oats white bread, kulcha haggis, scones bagels, doughnuts yucca root, aubergines spaghetti (all pasta) croissant, crepes macaroni and cheese Communion Host (<---WTF they want to take God out of it huh..Must have been a muslim doc.) all sausages, hog meat pie crust, piroges Sun chips, pepperoni all "-wursts," Spam chapati, paratha, corn all cookies and cakes betel nut, char-sil-bow baklava, lavosh, matzo biscuits, nasi goreng masala dosa, gnocchi cornbread, shortbread baba ganhouje, papad foul madamas, latke crackers, poi, hummus wontons, vareneky corn starch, MSG parsnips, turnips tostadas, corn chips wild rice, potatoes sodium benzoate alum, arrowroot nitrites, nitrates, BHT tap water BHA, polysorbates

Dude, I'm screwed.

I think I'll live in pain thank you.

09 April 2007

Big Boy AC-130U gets new guns...and more.

The AC-130U Spooky is replacing both the 25MM Gatling gun and the old and true 40MM Bofors canon with the 30MM Bushmaster. This is great news for the crews and very bad news for the evildoers. The 30MM has had great success with the Marines and is a great replacement for the USAF's older lead throwers. The 25MM in my opinion never lived up to its big brother's (the A-10's 30MM Gatling) reputation and the crews were having tons of problems with it (I recall a couple of times the gun had shot up #1 engine...never a good thing)

The 30MM will add accuracy and also a more maintenance friendly weapon.

The USAF and AFSOC plans to add the 30MM to the AC-130Hs as well with both aircraft being fully updated by 2010.

The AC-130U will also be adding the GBU-44 glide bomb on the outer hard points where the IRCM pods once were placed.

View the larger image here

05 April 2007

Well, here I am...

I never for the life of me thought I would ever have a Blog. Well, I do now. I do not intend to be cutting edge or controversial. I just intend to be me. Look for more to come.