PARIS AIR SHOW 2009 – Wonderful !

Patrouille de France aerobatics, PAF Blue white red smokes
© SIRPA AIR

 

 

 

Thanks to Nicolas (www.frogetech-blog.com webmaster) who invited me, I went to the Paris Air Show on Saturday June 20th 2009.

I had already attended many meetings, aircraft and blimp presentations, air shows, and exhibitions but it was the first time I had visited the famous Paris Air Show. It was not scheduled, and on the one hand, a little time before the opening, I hesitated a bit for it was a pretty long trip. On the other hand, I thought it was a very good idea to join a few members of the Aero Frogetech social network but it was a little late at that time, therefore there were only two of us.

I learnt only three days before that the aircraft list looked a bit poor since there weren’t any 5th generation fighters announced since the F-22 Raptor presentation – a highlight – was cancelled. As a matter of fact, I was a bit disappointed, actually. At least, frogE-TECH and Prepa PLS Anglais could meet there, which was a highlight indeed!

SEPECAT Jaguar fighter aircraft static display
Jaguar

We entered the Salon du Bourget just after enjoying meeting with each other for the first time. I realised that I shouldn’t be listless by the aircraft list for I discovered – though it wasn’t expected – a 7th-wing Jaguar on the spot as soon as we were about to walk into the halls. Then, everything turned out to be wonderful, and as interesting as ever.

I have been quite impressed by Nicolas’s experience about structures, engines, struts, shock absorbers, Souriau connectors and wirings as well as blisk (or IBR -Integrally Blade Rotor) moulding, and especially about investment castings. The LEISTRITZ GROUP exhibitors kindly explained us the way the fans and blades were cast and made. They told us that the term « blisk » obviously came

Crowd and commercial aircraft, Paris Airshow 2009 Le Bourget
SIAE

from « blade » and « disk ». We learnt interesting information from various exhibitors however flocks of crowd sometimes jammed the paths to the stands, and we got a bit reluctant to remain in front of the brand new engines exhibited at times.

We attended amazing aerobatics carried out by an Italian C-27, a

C-27J Spartan transport aircraft
C-27

medium/small-sized cargo aircraft that well showed how maneuverable it was, really. We then enjoyed the new US DoD fighters’ aerobatics. The F-18 performed magic tricks at low speed and the F-16 turned out to be swifter than usual but it might just be the impression we had.

It might sound jingoistic but the Rafale came up as a climax in this air show as it seemed to be overwhelming any other performance though the crowd followed with more excitement and attention the Patrouille de France, and finally we discovered that the almost-brand-new-plenty-of-clout

Airbus A380 Tail Unit
A380 Tail Unit

Airbus A380 took off along a quite steep path. One might wonder how a so heavy cargo manages to lift this way. Its low speed passages let everybody dumbfounded, and it undoubtedly deserves its airworthiness certification considering the tight turns it performed. Watching this huge cargo – a freak far bigger than a whale – flying so slow, then so swift was unbelievable.

F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft
F-35 Lightning II

We appreciated visiting many stands and taking snapshots of the new Piaggio, a Dakota, rockets, and the F-35 LIGHTNING II !!! Then, we were told that it only was a full-scale model. We couldn’t approach the French Air Force stand for cameramen and people gathered on the spot as the head of the French Air Force, general Abrial was about to welcome the French president.

Everywhere we noticed that « low-consumption and environment-respectful » came as a motto. Nowadays, many aircraft are designed with winglets even on the tail units. 3D-woven fan structures save weight, and enhancements allow airlines to save long-term money as well even if some investments seem quite considerable. Reducing noise looked like an obsession as we could see many jagged exhaust nozzles. Upon assessing the streamlining we guessed that most aircraft are not dedicated to supersonic use anymore as if lowering kerosene consumption was crucial… and that is!

At the end of the show, it was easy to buy the rest of the magazines or souvenirs as they were sold cheaper. We couldn’t regret our coming and the light showers didn’t bother us at all because we were fascinated by the show all the time. Far and large, this Paris Air Show will remain in our memories as a must where we could discover and learn as much as we liked.

Douglas DC-3 aircraft, and Ariane rocket, Paris Airshow 2009 Le Bourget
SIAE

By the way, I do think that this show, dedicated to its 100th anniversary was made on this purpose: aeronautics passion, and I dare say « as usual ».

I think I will write an article later about an amazing engine we found there and a French ambitious team willing to use it in order to win the Reno race in 2010.

Dear readers, I wish you a very good night, thank you very much Nicolas for your invitation, thank you very much indeed.

Photo credits: 1st one (top left corner): SIRPA AIR/Service photo BA 701, other photos: Recce 233 Savoie

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Jim Zwayer and Bill Weaver took off that day – January 25th, 1966 !

USAF SR-71 strategic reconnaissance aircraft

SR71 Blackbird – USAF photo by Tech SGT Michael Haggerty – Source: www.af.mil

This unbelievable test flight happened in 1966, and remained top secret for decades given the constraints of the Cold war at that time. You can read this breath-taking story in browsing into Google. Type – SR-71 Blackbird breakup at Mach 3.18 – (or click on this link, then on the first webpage of the Google list proposed). Plant yourself firmly in an armchair, then you can start to read the most amazing aeronautical report I have ever read!

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F-22As scheduled to deploy to Japan, Guam

USAF F-22 Raptor 5th generation fighter aircraft

(U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Wolfe)

Air Force officials have scheduled to deploy two contingents of F-22A Raptors to the Pacific theater in January 2009 for approximately three months. Current plans call for 12 of the fighters to deploy to Kadena Air Base, Japan, from Langley Air Force Base, Va., and another 12 to deploy to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. The deployments support U.S. Pacific Command’s theater security packages in the Western Pacific.

12/16/2008 – HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii (AFNS)– Air Force officials have scheduled to deploy two contingents of F-22A Raptors to the Pacific theater in January 2009 for approximately three months.

Current plans call for 12 of the fighters to deploy to Kadena Air Base, Japan, from Langley Air Force Base, Va., and another 12 to deploy to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. The deployments support U.S. Pacific Command’s theater security packages in the Western Pacific.

The F-22A is a transformational combat aircraft that can avoid enemy detection, cruises at supersonic speeds, is highly maneuverable, and provides the joint force an unprecedented level of integrated situational awareness.

As part of continuing force posture adjustments to address worldwide requirements, the Defense leaders continue to deploy additional forces throughout the Western Pacific. This is the latest example of the flexibility U.S. forces have to meet their ongoing commitments and security obligations throughout the Pacific region.

Source: U.S. AIR FORCE LINK

 

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DEW and FROST

Dew and frost - C-17 Globemaster III de-icing in Alaska

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Keith Brown

ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska – Members of the 703rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron de-ice a C-17 Globemaster III from the 517th Airlift Squadron before a training mission. Heavy snow and weeks of sub-zero temperatures require extra effort from maintenance crews to keep the aircraft clear of ice and snow. The training mission included dropping Army Airborne Soldiers from Fort Richardson, Alaska, and conducting air drops of training bundles that simulate the Soldier’s equipment. (from AIR FORCE LINK)

DEW

Dew does not actually fall; rather the moisture condenses from air that is in direct contact with the cool surface. During clear, still nights, vegetation often cools by radiation to a temperature at or below the dew point of the adjacent air. Moisture then collects on the leaves just as it does on a pitcher of ice water in a warm room. Heavy dew is often observed on grass and plants when there is none on the pavements or on large, solid objects. These objects absorb so much heat during the day or give up heat so slowly, they may not cool below the dew point of the surrounding air during the night. Another type of dew is white dew. White dew is a deposit of white, frozen dew drops. It first forms as liquid dew, then freezes.

FROST

Frost, or hoarfrost, is formed by the process of sublimation. It is a deposit of ice having a crystalline appearance and generally assumes the form of scales, needles, feathers, or fans. Hoarfrost is the solid equivalent of dew and should not be confused with white dew, which is dew frozen after it forms.

Source: www.tpub.com

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F-35 Lightning II goes Supersonic

F-35 JSF Joint Strike Fighter

U.S. Navy photo: Chief Petty Officer Eric A. Clement

Written on November 15, 2008  8:00 am by Frontier India Strategic and Defence

USA flag billowing The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter flew supersonic for the first time yesterday, achieving another milestone. The aircraft accelerated to Mach 1.05, or about 680 miles per hour. The test validated the F-35 Lightning II’s capability to operate beyond the speed of sound and was accomplished with a full internal load of inert or « dummy » weapons on the one-hour flight.

« The F-35 transitioned from subsonic to supersonic just as our engineers and our computer modeling had predicted, » said Jon Beesley, Lockheed Martin’s chief F-35 test pilot. « I continue to be impressed with the aircraft’s power and strong acceleration, F-35 JSF Joint Strike Fighterand I’m pleased that its precise handling qualities are retained in supersonic flight, even with a payload of 5,400 pounds (2,450 kilograms) in the weapons bays. »

F-35  USAF photo  Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes

Beesley said it was also a significant achievement for a test aircraft to fly supersonic for the first time with the weight of a full internal load of weapons. The milestone was achieved on the 69th flight of F-35 aircraft AA-1. Beesley climbed to 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) and accelerated to Mach 1.05, or about 680 miles per hour, over a rural area in north Texas. The F-35 accomplished four transitions through the sound barrier, spending a total of eight minutes in supersonic flight. The flight was preceded by a high-subsonic mission earlier in the day. Future testing will gradually expand the flight envelope out to the aircraft’s top speed of Mach 1.6, which the F-35 is designed to achieve with a full internal load of weapons.

F-35 AA-1, a conventional takeoff and landing variant (CTOL), and F-35 BF-1, a short takeoff/vertical landing variant (STOVL), together have combined for 83 test flights.

X-35 JSF fighter aircraftThe F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.

X-35 JSF – U.S. Air Force photo

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