Aviation MegaThread!!!!

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by EvilGenius, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. KHJPHOTO

    KHJPHOTO Old Man and the Road

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    In 1994 I attended the 50th Anniversay of the Battle of Britain. Below is a film that shows a few of the classic airplanes
    of WWII. Sorry about the "pixilation" for it was stored on a disc and had to be "ripped" to post. At any rate, hope you enjoy.
    Oh, to see more great photos of aircraft please visit my website: khjphotography.com

    Thanks

    LINK:

    http://youtu.be/jMYkXhC-Gps
  2. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    I wonder why the great piston era fighters hold so much more of an attraction than the jet fighters. Arguably from the 50's until the 70's the design and performance of those jets is more interesting than the piston planes, When you look into the aerodynamics and performance considerations of the jets they are really quite remarkable. I suppose the argument could be: 1. Piston fighters were more numerable. 2. They are easier to understand. 3. They fought, close in, with guns and cannons vs point and shoot from distances outside of visual range. 4 The social power of the allied victory using these planes vs the mixed record for fighters since then. 5. The idea that a private pilot could, conceivably, transition to a WWII piston fighter. 7. Jet fighter operating cost are in the .0001 percent club while the WWII planes are merely in the .001 bracket. 8. Better names. (excepting the F101 Voodoo) 9. They are tail wheeled aircraft. 10. They sound better.
  3. KHJPHOTO

    KHJPHOTO Old Man and the Road

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    Romance. Ain't nothin' romantic about a blow torch!
  4. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    Don't think it's because piston engined fighters are more cost accessible.

    Back in the late '90's the Swiss liquidated their fleet of '60's era single engined, sub-sonic Hawker Hunters. Aircraft museums around the world were gifted many of them, the rest wound up on the used aircraft market, complete with spare engines, parts and etc. for about $60k/piece. :huh

    In terms of aviation costs - that's pizza money. Hell, that's cheap if you're into sportscars.

    I don't know much about the cost of jet fuel vs. high performance piston engined fuel or burn rates or etc. but I'd be willing to bet a single turbine Hawker Hunter is a heck of a lot cheaper to fly/maintain/run than a P-51 Mustang.

    :dunno
  5. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    Hawker Hunter's claim to fame...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Hunter_Tower_Bridge_incident

    NFE
  6. Hardware02

    Hardware02 Long timer

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    Why are the piston engined fighters of the WWII era so...AWESOME? Good question...

    Probably a combination of things...

    - they're the pinnacle of aviation technology and performance for their time while still being...visceral;
    - they straddled two eras - their own piston engined fighter era and the early jet age - they were key steps in the development and evolution of aircraft in general IMO;
    - radial piston engines and the big Merlin V-12 engines are just freaking amazing pieces of engineering. Yes, they're out of the realm of the average aircraft owner but they don't seem as unobtainable as any jet aircraft;
    - I've been around countless jet fighters spooling up and launching over the years and yes, it's always cool. But it can't compare to any WWII piston engine when it starts. Those big piston engines make torque, not thrust. There's a cadence to them when they start. They breath. They come to life...again, they're visceral;
    - the sound; and
    - in case you missed it...they're visceral!
  7. koncha

    koncha .

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    I love the F-86. There was a derelict F-86 at a small airport near where I took my first flight in a small aircraft. Here is a picture of it years before when it was at a local park:
    [​IMG]
  8. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    I get the visceral aspect and that's probably "it". I once got a ride in a Sea Fury. Believe me Fury was a very apt name. The piston fighters of the mid to late 40's were probably the epitome of mechanical "modernism". Some of the same argument could be applied to certain styles of architecture, even clothing, of that general era. (Think Chrysler building of the '30's) The high end stuff like that from that era would be so expensive to build these days no one would bother with building or buying it because the price to build exceeds the functionality by many levels.

    Those 50's era jets being so cheap to buy is precisely because they are so expensive to operate. They burn at least 3 times the fuel as a piston, so even while Jet-a (the proverbially available fuel) is nominally cheaper than Avgas, many of the those jets may not use Jet-A, or have restrictions when they use it. That's negated in the pistons because to use full boost on a Merlin I think you need 120+ octane, and actually if I remember correctly I think it may be 140 octane. That stuff is not cheap. (whatever version either of them use). The overhaul cost of a jet, compared, for instance, with a Merlin is many times more expensive. Also, the earlier jets, or military fighter jet engines in general, have fairly short service life, certainly compared with a modern commercial jet engine. Aside from my conjecture, I'd be interested in hearing from people who actually could compare these apple to oranges cost structure.
  9. Trixie

    Trixie No, not that Trixie

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    we should try to enlist someone from The Collings Foundation to join here and share. They have both piston and jet operational military aircraft in use.
  10. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    Rough fuel flows:

    Hawker Hunter, 17,000 ft*, high cruise 7000 lb hr. Low speed cruise, same altitude 4500 lb hr. (* 17,000 is about as high as ATC will let you fly the aircraft not on a IFR flight plan, IE so you could "play")

    North American P51D 8000 ft normal cruise 8,000 ft - 435 lb hr. (at 17,000 ft. it would be about the same since it is super charged)

    The P51D seems a little cheaper to operate here....

    Engines for the Hunter are no longer made, nor probably supported. You buy these cheap spares and hope there's useful life left on them because besides not being supported, they are really really expensive materials in there. The Merlin isn't "made" any more, but there is a cottage industry where people make most of the parts, as needed, certainly not cheap, but not unobtainable.

    The Hunter also has nifty things like de-icing systems and powered controls, fun stuff to keep running. The Hunter still is a very beautiful aircraft....
  11. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    Thanks, Chaz. I had no idea jet turbines used so much fuel.

    :huh
  12. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    Yeah, I over nerded-out there. But the jets, in particular turbo-fan vs turbo jets, have gotten a lot better in fuel consumption but it is still a thirsty proposition all 'round. I suspect the "built" Reno type unlimited piston engines would burn twice what the standard Merlin does. Last "your tax payer dollars at work" department: Military jets in afterburner typically burn 5-7 times more fuel than they do at normal maximum power.
  13. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    Or, for a little progress report, a twin engine Boeing 737-700 with 150 seats will burn about 4900 Lbs per hour at 39,000 ft and be going about 450 knots. The Hawker Hunter, a single engine aircraft, with one seat, would be around 3000 lbs per hour at 40,000 ft, going about 80-100 knots faster. So things have improved somewhat.
  14. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    The new geared turbofans coupled with aerodynamic improvements coming with the 737max and the A320NEO are expected to yield 12-14% improvement in fuel efficiency.
  15. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    Yep, that's huge. I knew an engineer at GE who said everyone would go ape-shit happy when a 2-3% increase in fuel efficiency was obtained. The fans (essentially a propeller) on the high by pass and ultra hig-by pass engines now provide 60-80% of the trust, vs the remainder being from the core, which is what all the old turbojets provided. I once and did 4 instrument approaches, to two nearby airports, with a hold or two, all at low altitudes, in a "pure" turbo jet powered Lear 24 and we were definitely needing to stop for fuel when we were done.
  16. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

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    The built racing engines can burn anywhere from 350 GPH (Merlin) to 550 GPH (R-4360).


    FWIW, the last conversation I had with a P-51 owner included the phrase "$1,500 per hour to operate." That figures in maintenance, insurance, and such. Not a cheap hobby, that's for sure.


    Hey Lornce; the offer still stands. You get yourself down here and we'll go to the Air Races in Reno. I gots me a spare Airhead for you to ride. :deal
  17. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    Thanks, Al. Would love to take you up on your offer some day.

    :thumb
  18. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    $1500 an hour? Not in my territory - lately going to the movies is what I can afford - but that isn't as bad as I'd have thought. That's in the vicinity of a Citation Jet operating cost. My 435 lb hr. quote for the P51D is unmodded engine at cruise, not combat power settings. Aren't the unlimited engines putting out well over 3000 hp? For someone who lives but 200 miles from Reno and who's never been to the races, how much does a day ticket cost? Which day would be best to check it out? Most of its a nice ride for me too.
  19. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer

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    That's about the figure I heard from a friend who has a pair of them. He bought a T-6 because it's so cheap to fly. Cheap for him, but 2 hours in the T-6 blows my entire monthly flying budget.

    Same guy used to have a French trainer jet (can't remember the model) that he'd tow from the hanger to the hold short line because to taxi it that far burnt $600 in fuel.
  20. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    Love my Cessna 152, $89/hr wet.