-Those Fantastic Flying Machines-


Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.— Socrates


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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Heritage Flight

Hawks of Romania Extra 330SC YR-EXA

UPS - United Parcel Service Douglas DC-8-73F N840UP

Qatar Amiri Flight Airbus A340-200 A7-HHK

Friday, October 19, 2012

US Air Force's was trying to build flying saucers

Declassified: US Air Force's Flying Saucer Schematics

Check out the schematics for "Project 1794," a could-have-been flying saucer from the '50s.

by Jon Fox

You read that right: sixty years ago, the US military was trying to build flying saucers. As in UFOs. A collection of recently declassified files discovered at the National Archives, including schematic diagrams and project development documents, show a disc-shaped aircraft remarkably similar in design to popular science fiction images from the same era.

Designated "Project 1794," the Air Force's flying saucer was supposed to be capable of vertical takeoff, reaching speeds between Mach 3 and Mach 4 and sustaining altitudes up to 100,000 feet. Sound dangerous? The authors of the Final Development Summary for the project disagreed:

"It is concluded that the stabilization and control of the aircraft in the manner proposed … is feasible, and the aircraft can be designed to have satisfactory handling through the whole flight range from ground cushion to supersonic flight at a very high altitude."

The 18- to 24-month cost estimate was just $3.2 million (about $26.6 million today); or, in US military terms, "chump change."

The documents offer no clear evidence that Project 1794 was carried to the prototype stage before the project lost funding in 1960. (We'll let the tin-foil hats and boring realists argue that one out in the comments). But if anyone wants to dig up the full schematics and 3D-print a scaled-down version of this thing, feel free to send a review unit to IGN.


El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 777-200ER 4X-ECD

Thursday, October 11, 2012

C-5 Galaxies in the Boneyard

Retired C-5 Galaxies and other out-of-service military aircraft sit in the Air Force's aircraft boneyard in the Arizona desert as the sun sets, Sept. 26, 2012. The boneyard, run by the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, is on the grounds of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson. (Air Force photo by Val Gempis) — with Rath R Robertson.

Engine Removal on Boeing 737

A journey like no other for the shuttle Endeavour

Spaceflight Now

A journey like no other for the shuttle Endeavour -- a two-day, round-the-clock trek through the city streets of Los Angeles -- begins late Thursday night and continues along 12 miles of urban jungle through Saturday evening to the retired spaceship's new home at the California Science Center.

FULL STORY: http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts134/121010preview/

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

UAVs position to autonomously refuel in flight during DARPA demo

UAVs position to autonomously refuel in flight during DARPA demo
Mon, 2012-10-08 09:17 AM
By: Mark Rockwell

UAV refueling

Two modified RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles successfully demonstrated technology that allows unmanned vehicles to be automatically refueled in-flight, an important step in conducting surveillance and combat duties, said the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency on Oct. 5.

Currently global military aviation relies on a key enabler – aerial refueling. Fighters, bombers, reconnaissance and transport aircraft use “flying gas stations” to go the extra mile, it said. Increasingly, it said UAVs are conducting combat and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations, but the aircraft aren’t designed to be refueled in flight.

DARPA said it teamed up with NASA in 2007 to show high-performance aircraft can easily perform automated refueling from conventional tankers, but many unmanned aircraft can’t match the speed, altitude and performance of the current tanker fleet. The 2007 demonstration also required a pilot on board to set conditions and monitor safety during autonomous refueling operations, it said.

On Oct 5, DARPA’s two-year Autonomous High-Altitude Refueling (AHR) program, which concluded Sep. 30, explored the ability to safely conduct fully autonomous refueling of UAVs in challenging high-altitude flight conditions. During its final test flight, two modified Global Hawk aircraft flew in close formation, 100 feet or less between refueling probe and receiver drogue, for the majority of a 2.5-hour engagement at 44,800 feet, said the agency.

The manuever demonstrated for the first time that High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) class aircraft can safely and autonomously operate under in-flight refueling conditions, it said. The flight was the ninth test and the first time the aircraft flew close enough to measure the full aerodynamic and control interactions, it added. Flight data was analyzed over the past few months and fed back into simulations to verify system safety and performance through contact and fuel transfer–including the effects of turns and gusts up to 20 knots, it said.

According to the agency, since HALE aircraft are designed for endurance at the expense of control authority, the program started with the expectation that only one of six attempts would achieve positive contact (17 percent). The final analysis, however, showed 60 percetn of the attempts would achieve contact, it said. Multiple autonomous breakaway contingencies were successfully triggered well in advance of potentially hazardous conditions, it said. Fuel systems were also fully integrated and ground tested, demonstrating a novel “reverse-flow” approach with the tanker in trail, said DARPA, opening up valuable trade space for future developers to choose between various fixed and modular implementations of proven probe and drogue hardware.

“The goal of this demonstration was to create the expectation that future HALE aircraft will be refueled in flight,” said Jim McCormick, DARPA Program Manager. “Such designs should be more affordable to own and operate across a range of mission profiles than systems built to satisfy the most stressing case without refueling. The lessons from AHR certainly extend beyond the HALE flight regime, and insights into non-traditional tanker concepts may offer further operational advantages.”

RC 737 Flaps and Spoilers (Windrider)

The Airbus A300-600ST (Super Transporter) or Beluga

Friday, October 05, 2012

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

Thunderbirds F-16s

SHARP as a knife's edge!! The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perfect the Opposing Knife-Edge Pass during the Wings Over McConnell air show at McConnell Air Force Base in KS, Sept. 29th. Way to go Maj J.R. Williams, Thunderbird 5, Lead Solo pilot and Captain Blaine Jones, Thunderbird 6, Opposing Solo pilot!

(photo: Staff Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., USAF)

Antonov Design Bureau Antonov An-225 Mriya UR-82060