Category Archives: Aircraft

NASA’s Apollo Archive Is Free To Use

(Originally posted on 2015-10-15 as /archives/10563)

The entire NASA Apollo Archive has been uploaded to a Flickr account. The images are public domain, and there’s lots of room for improvements. Have fun post processing those photos.

Maciej Winiarcyk has done the best work so far (that I am aware of). He’s been photostitching digital panoramas of the moon. Here is an example:

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

F4U CORSAIR TAXI BACK Version 2 – CAF HEART OF AMERICA WING 2015 AIRSHOW

(Originally posted: 2016-09-14)

“FG-1D with F4U-5 wings painted like a F4U-1 flown by Archie Donahue,” Jack Cook (quote) Paul Danger Kile (image).

This is the Cavanaugh Air Museum’s Corsair. It lives in Addison Texas. My apartment used to be at the end of its airport’s runway, but I made this image in Kansas. 

If you would like a large print, then click here, or on the image, to go to Redbubble. The native resolution is 4452 x 2504.

f4u-taxi-back-2
F4U Corsair Taxi Back Version 2 – CAF Heart of America Wing 2015 Airshow, Copyright 2015-2016 Paul Danger Kile, All Rights Reserved

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Ballooning with National Champion Pat Cannon

(Originally posted on 2012-02-24 as /archives/7634)

I rode with pilot Pat Cannon during part of the 2001 Highland Village Balloon Festival. Mr. Cannon won the Balloon Federation of America National Championship a number of times, so this was an incredible opportunity to see just how precise balloon piloting can be.

balloon_flame-Edit-512x172

The challenge was to fly a minimum distance, and put a bean bag on a target.

We met at the event’s location for the pre-flight pilot meeting. Balloons are best-piloted during early morning or early evening (the Trey Ratcliff hours), so this was very early in the day.

We participated in the First Flight Ceremony. In my case this involved the pilot saying some words, and pouring champagne on my hair, but I observed other folks participating in another “secret version”. 1%-ers have nothing on balloonists.

We drove to the location, unfolded the balloon, and filled it with hot air (see image above). A number of other pilots followed our chase vehicle, and began their flights from nearby (see image below), but there was nothing special about that location piloting-accuracy-wise. Mr. Cannon chose that location because that’s where he wanted to land at the end of the event. The location chosen was a new development that was under-construction. The roads where there, and were free of debris, but construction had not yet begun on any of the homes. We used one of the roads like a heliport.

balloons-Edit-512x182

Before preparing to take off, he launched a small black helium balloon called a pie-ball (short for pilot-balloon). He used a sextant to follow the pie-ball, and estimated the wind’s speed and direction at various altitudes.

The pilot steers the balloon by choosing a direction, and then going to the altitude who’s wind is blowing in that direction. The balloon requires a certain amount of time to get to any chosen altitude, so the pilot needs to plan for that, and the intervening wind vectors, at each step.

Before leaving the pilot told me that we were going to:

  1. Fly over Lake Lewisville
  2. Make a 90-degree direction-change over the lake
  3. Fly to the target, which was here, and then
  4. Fly back to our starting place.

That’s exactly what he did:

  1. We flew a right-triangle
  2. Mr. Pat Cannon tossed his bean bag within 2-feet of the target’s center and then
  3. We then returned to the chase vehicle. No chasing required.

My legs were shaking during the first half of the trip. I have a fear of heights. Motorcycle riding in bad weather has helped me cure much of that since then.

One amazing thing about ballooning is that you can hear everything on the ground. Your vehicle is travelling at exactly the speed of the wind. Sound is as clear as if their were no wind at all.

People run out of their houses to see the balloon. This is early morning, so they are half-dressed. They notice that the pilot can see them in their nightwear and then run back into their houses.

Boaters were also on the lake to see the balloons. Pat Cannon brought his basket down to visit some boaters. He was able to have the bottom of the basket skim the water, but our feet never got wet, and I never saw any water on the basket floor. Another balloonist attempted to do that too, and his basket immediately laid-down on its side in the water; he, and his passengers got wet.

Are angry landowners a risk when landing? Yes. Pat Cannon told me about a landowner that started shooting his balloon as he flew over the shooter’s property. He was not even trying to land there. Mr. Cannon was well-prepared with the two-way radios that pilot’s use, a GPS, and even a mobile phone. The shooter was surprised when the police arrived at the scene. (Robert Munafo told me that people like to shoot trains too.)

Pilot Pat Cannon is an extremely skilled pilot. He has most of the existing pilot endorsements. He flew helicopters for the US Army during the Vietnam War. He is a FAA safety examiner, and he regularly flies Mitsubishi MU-2s for Turbine Aircraft Services, Inc. where he is a Principal.

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Corsair Taxi Back – CAF Heart of America Wing 2015 Airshow

(Originally posted: 2016-09-13)

“FG-1D with F4U-5 wings painted like a F4U-1 flown by Archie Donahue,” Jack Cook (quote) Paul Danger Kile (image).

This is the Cavanaugh Air Museum’s Corsair. It lives in Addison Texas. My apartment used to be at the end of its airport’s runway, but I made this image in Kansas.

If you would like a large print, then click here, or on the image, to go to Redbubble. The native resolution is 4334 x 4238.

F4U Corsair Taxi Back - CAF Heart of America Wing 2015 Airshow, Copyright 2015-2016 Paul Danger Kile, All Rights Reserved
F4U Corsair Taxi Back – CAF Heart of America Wing 2015 Airshow, Copyright 2015-2016 Paul Danger Kile, All Rights Reserved

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

F4U Corsair – P51 Mustang – B29 Bomber

(Original post date: 2016-08-30.)

B29 P51 F4U - noise removal - dynamic cont

Click here to purchase image.

CAF Heart of America Wing 2015 Airshow

From Commemorative Air Force

P51 Mustang “Gunfighter”  (details for this exact aircraft)
B29 Superfortress “Fifi” (details for this exact aircraft)

From Cavanaugh Flight Museum

F4U Corsair (details for this exact aircraft)

 

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Air to Air with Justin de Reuck 2014

(Originally published on 2015-04-12 as /archives/10278)

Here is Justin de Reuck’s website.
Here is Justin de Reuck’s Vimeo channel.

I used to take photos from small planes (many times) and a balloon (once). Most of those were lost. What do I miss the most? My images of the Thousand Islands.

What am I afraid of? Heights. How much? Terrified. Did I go up in planes anyway? Regularly. Nothing like this though.

How does he hold the camera when the plane is upside down? They are doing positive-g aerobatics, so it feels the same regardless.

Here’s Tex Johnston doing a positive-g roll in a 707:

Here’s Bob Hoover, poring an ice tea, while simultaneously doing a positive-g maneuver. Amazing:

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Rockwell OV-10 Bronco

What a beautiful, powerful, airplane.

I hate violence, but I love military vehicles. Planes are always cool!

I am currently reading Da Nang Diary: A Forward Air Controller’s Gunsight View of Flying with SOG. The OV-10 Bronco is one of the stars of the story. Here are some cool photos.

I remember my father building a model of this plane. The instructions claimed that it could carry five troops. But Tom Yarborough, who flew the plane, and wrote the book, never said anything like that about that much luggage space, and too much weight in the back of an airplane is dangerous. (Although you can find drawings on the web showing five people back there: four sitting, and one standing. Maybe with no weapons, and no external fuel tanks?)

By USN (Official U.S. Navy photograph [1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Jakub Haun (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Jakub Haun (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Jakub Haun (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Fastest Woman On Earth Attempt -and- Where Will Our Future Pilots Come From?

(Originally posted Aug 1, 2015 on as /archives/10506)

Here’s a video about becoming the fastest woman on Earth

I dig land speed record videos.

What’s with the fighter-pilot-oxygen-mask?

Is it for cooling (not oxygen) like on a racing helmet?

Pilots use oxygen to fly unpressurized planes at high altitudes. Why do that? If there’s a stronger tailwind up there, then they can save time and fuel. I read a story about a check-delivery-pilot that did this, but became oxygen-deprived by mistake. Most military flying requires oxygen masks too.

A commercial pilot is not what many people think it is.

(The rest of this post is USA-centric.)

The people that fly for the airlines, need an Air Transport Pilot License (ATPL). The ATPL requires 750 to 1500 hours (depending on your training) of flying. The people that we usually call “commercial pilots”, are actually ATPs. The commercial pilots license is different.

Where will our future pilots come from?

That check-delivery-story reminded me of my concerns about where the USA will get its future pilots.

How does a pilot get 750 to 1500 hours of experience, which is just one of the requirements for the ATPL?

  • Delivering our checking-acount-checks from bank-to-bank at night. The “Check 21 Act” of 2003, made it legal to send scans of checks. So no more “flying checks”. Two-billion dollars of flights (per year?) are now gone: “poof”.
  • Fly as an airline co-pilot, but now they also need an ATPL (as-of July 15, 2013).
  • As a flight instructor
  • Charters
  • Corporate aviation
  • Plane rental, but that’s expensive; 1500 hours costs $112,500 to $600,000. (at $75 to $400 per hour for small non-turbine planes).
  • The military
  • Etc.

Without check deliveries, and non-ATP co-pilots, where will get enough pilots with enough hours? I have no idea, but it will become a problem without some future change.

For More See:

Republished by Blog Post Promoter