Charles « Chuck » YEAGER – 71 years ago !

THE RIGHT STUFF  / L’ETOFFE des HEROS

Supersonic aircraft X-1 in flight
Photo: NASA

Captain Charles « Chuck » YEAGER broke the sound barrier with the help of his friend Jack RIDLEY on a 14th of October 1947 – He did it 71 years ago!

Brigadier General Charles Chuck Yeager next to his X-1 aircraft

(U. S. Air Force illustration/Mike Carabajal)

Supersonic aircraft X-1
Photo: NASA

Supersonic aircraft X-1 pre-flight inspection

Photo: U.S.Air Force Link

XLR-11 ROCKET POWERED AIRCRAFT

Birth of Manned Rocket Research Airplanes: 1946 to 1975

The first reliable, effective rocket engine that would provide boost for experimental research aircraft was produced by four members of the American Rocket Society (ARS) who combined forces to form Reaction Motors Incorporated (RMI) (Rockaway, New Jersey) for developing the Experimental Liquid Rocket (XLR-11) rocket motor. The XLR-11 engine had four separate rocket chambers. Each chamber provided 1500 lb of rated thrust and could be operated independently as a means of throttling thrust in quarters, up to 6000 pounds. The XLR-11 possessed remarkable longevity, powering an impressive fleet of rocket aircraft for more than a quarter of a century (1946 to 1975). This fleet of vehicles were the first rocket aircraft devoted solely to high performance experimental flight research. They were not constrained by military or commercial demands and ranged from being the first to break the sound barrier (XS-1), to the first to reach Mach 2.0 (D-558-II [fig. 5]), to the first to exceed the X-2 Mach 3.2 record (X-15 with two XLR-11 engines).

D-558-II airplane on Rogers lakebed

Figure 5. The D-558-II airplane on Rogers lakebed.

The X-1E – Early Development of Energy Management

Design efforts to extend aircraft performance produced increased wing loadings, W/S, and decreased lift-to-drag ratios, L/D. These design changes were beneficial in reducing drag to achieve supersonic and hypersonic speeds, but were also detrimental in that they reduced the area of the maneuvering footprint and presented difficulties in the approach and landing.

As L/D values decreased, the glide slope angle and the rate of descent increased, making it more difficult for pilots to estimate distances and times required for acceptable landings. The X-1E (fig. 6) was modified with a low-aspect-ratio wing having a thickness-to-chord ratio of four percent – the only aircraft of the X-1/D-558 series to have sufficiently low L/D values to require unique energy management techniques. This X-1E was the first to experiment with approach patterns designed to give
the pilot more time in the traffic pattern to manage energy.

The landing pattern was approached in a conventional manner except that altitudes and speeds were somewhat higher than for
powered aircraft. The initial reference point was established at 12,000 ft (mean sea level) on a downwind heading (180 deg remaining to turn). The downwind leg was offset some four miles from the centerline of the landing runway. On downwind, abeam the touchdown point, landing gear and partial flaps were deployed at a speed of 240 knots. Full flaps were usually deployed on the final approach. At the initial reference point the pilot had almost three minutes until touchdown – additional time for handling increased speeds and sink rates.7,8

X-1 supersonic aircraft on Lakebed

Figure 6. The X-1E airplane on Rogers lakebed.

X-1E supersonic aircraft under B-29 Mothership

Secret declassified USAF pilot Charles Chuck Yeager after breaking the sound barrier on X-1

Report from www.archives.gov

X-1 supersonic aircraft instrument panel

(Text from the NASA at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/home/index.html)

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UNE AUTRE HISTOIRE DE L’AVIATION DISPONIBLE EN EBOOK

Livre une autre histoire de l'aviation chapitre 7 merveilleux fous volants dans leurs drôles de machinesÇa y est! Plus d’un an après la sortie du livre papier Une autre histoire de l’aviation, la version ebook est enfin sortie chez Kindle et elle est aussi téléchargeable sur tablettes et téléphones portables à cette adresse: https://www.amazon.fr/Autre-Histoire-lAviation-lIndre-Loire-ebook/dp/B01MZ1LMXE/ . Non seulement vous pouvez prêter ce livre numérique à un ami pendant 14 jours mais vous pouvez le lire directement si vous avez souscrit à l’abonnement Kindle. Ce livre étonnant, riche en surprises comporte 333 illustrations. Il nécessitait une mise en page retravaillée pour les besoins du numérique, ainsi que des modifications dans une version enrichies. De nombreuses annotations apparaissent en notes de bas de page, une table des matières au début et à la fin du livre permettent d’aller directement aux parties de votre choix et l’index a été supprimé car les liseuses et tablettes permettent de trouver ce que vous cherchez.

Il est en vente à 9,93 € mais il ne vous en coûtera que 2,99 € si vous achetez un livre broché ( 29,96 € avec la nouvelle version revue et enrichie). Un échantillon est consultable ci-dessous, en bas à gauche.

C’est le livre qu’il vous faut si vous souhaitez comprendre en quoi consistait la conquête de l’air depuis l’antiquité jusqu’aux débuts de la guerre aérienne au dessus de Verdun avec le héros tourangeau Maxime Lenoir, le premier double as français mort au combat, le meilleur des aviateurs de Verdun entre juillet et octobre 1916.

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CENTENAIRE DE LA DISPARITION DE GUYNEMER

Gérard Souedet, Toni Giacoia et des visiteurs. Exposition Fondett'Ailes à Fondettes sur le centenaire de la disparition de Guynemer et dédicace du livre Une autre histoire de l'aviation

(Same article in English at the bottom of this page)

L’association Fondett’Ailes a bien fait les choses en ce samedi 30 septembre et dimanche 1er octobre 2017 à Fondettes, près de Tours. L’exposition démarrait avec une présentation de l’icône de l’aéronautique militaire française de la Grande Guerre, le Capitaine Georges Guynemer, l’as aux 53 victoires homologuées. On y découvrait ce jeune homme chétif, au caractère déjà bien trempé. Guynemer venait d’une famille de la bourgeoisie qui descendait de Louis XII. Il n’était pas vraiment destiné à devenir un des plus brillants aviateurs au monde. Cependant l’opiniâtreté du capitaine de l’escadrille des Cigognes le menèrent au firmament de la gloire lorsqu’il fût abattu le 11 septembre 1917 à Poelkappelle. Des maquettes étaient exposées et en particulier celles qui furent frappées du « Vieux Charles » de Guynemer: Morane-Saulnier, Nieuport et SPAD, ainsi que d’autres maquettes d’avions d’époque et d’appareils pilotés par ses victimes. Des extraits de  journaux rapportaient les combats aériens qu’il a livrés des débuts à la fin tragique qui conserve toujours une part de mystère.

L’exposition rendait aussi hommage aux autres grands as de la période 14-18 avec notamment Dorme, Nungesser, Navarre et le héros local Maxime Lenoir. Depuis que le journaliste Didier Lecoq a retrouvé sa trace et que le village de Chargé a commémoré la disparition de l’as tourangeau, meilleur as de Verdun entre juin et octobre 1916, les Tourangeaux, les amateurs de la Grande Guerre et les historiens ont pu découvrir, ou redécouvrir pour certains, « Le Guynemer de la Touraine » grâce à un panneau entièrement consacré à Maxime Lenoir et ses exploits. Des uniformes des aviateurs, masque à gaz et fléchettes étaient présentés et surtout trois pièces de collection spectaculaires: une grande hélice, un appareil de photographie aérienne Gaumont aux dimensions étonnantes et un superbe moteur rotatif Clerget Blin avec ses neuf cylindres, immanquable.

Enfin, le livre Une autre histoire de l’aviation était présenté en dédicace. Vous pouvez consulter l’article de La Nouvelle République ci-dessous ou directement sur ce lien: https://www.lanouvellerepublique.fr/tours/georges-guynemer-as-des-as-cent-ans-apres

Article de la Nouvelle République sur l'exposition de Fondett'Ailes (président Gérard Souedet) à Fondettes, salle Jacques Villeret au centre culturel de l'Aubrière. Centenaire de la disparition du capitaine Georges Guynemer, dédicace du livre Une autre histoire de l'aviation de Toni Giacoia, moteur Clerget Blin

Un grand merci à l’association Fondett’Ailes et son président Gérard Souedet pour leur accueil. Un grand merci aussi à Didier Lecoq, Secrétaire Général à La Nouvelle République, pour son accord et toutes ses informations sur Maxime Lenoir.

IN ENGLISH:

Affiche de l'association Fondett'Ailes pour les 100 ans de la disparition du capitaine Georges Guynemer
Affiche de l’association Fondett’Ailes www.fondett-ailes.fr

The Fondett’Ailes association did well on Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October 2017 in Fondettes, near Tours. The exhibition opened with a presentation of of the WW1 French military aeronautics icon, Captain Georges Guynemer, the ace of 53 approved victories. He was depicted as a young sickly man, who had a temperament that was already very strong. Guynemer came from a bourgeois family that was descended from Louis XII. He wasn’t really destined to become one of the most brilliant aviators in the world. However, the stubbornness of the captain of the Cigognes squadron led him to the firmament of glory when he was shot down at Poelkappelle, Belgium, on September 11, 1917. Models were on display, particularly those of the « Vieux Charles » from Guynemer: Morane-Saulnier, Nieuport and SPAD, as well as other models of aircraft from this era and aircraft flown by his victims. Newspaper clippings reported the dogfights he fought from the beginning to the tragic end which has always kept a part of mystery.

The exhibition also paid tribute to the other great aces of the WW1 period with Dorme, Nungesser, Navarre and the local hero Maxime Lenoir. Since the journalist Didier Lecoq found his trail, and since the village of Chargé commemorated the disappearance of the ace of the Loire Valley – the best ace of Verdun between June and October 1916 – the visitors of the Loire Valley, amateurs of the Great War and historians have discovered, or rediscovered for some, the « Guynemer of Touraine » thanks to a panel entirely dedicated to Maxime Lenoir and his feats. Aviators’ uniforms, gas mask and darts were displayed, and above all three spectacular collector’s pieces were displayed: a large propeller, a Gaumont aerial camera with amazing dimensions and a superb Clerget Blin rotary engine with its nine cylinders, unavoidable.

Last but not least, the book Une Autre Histoire de l’Aviation was presented for book signing.

Many thanks to the association Fondett’Ailes and their chairman Gérard Souedet for their welcome. Many thanks also to Didier Lecoq, Secretary General of La Nouvelle République, for his agreement and all his information on Maxime Lenoir.

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HEROIC GUYNEMER 100 YEARS AGO

Here is a tribute to Captain Georges GUYNEMER who was killed in action on September 11th, 1917. Three months earlier, he fought with Ernst Udet, the ace who came up 2nd after the Red Baron. You can watch hereafter how this dogfight reportedly happened, and how these fighter pilots had the gut to keep honor above all:

Georges Guynemer, French Air Force pilot and WWI ace
Georges Guynemer by « Lucien » – Jebulon https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jebulon

Remember Guynemer’s mottos:

FAIRE FACE (face up to it) was then adopted by the French Air Force Academy (FAFA) as their motto. A few words that well expresse the French pilots’ bravery.

WWI French ace Georges Guynemer used to say:

« Il y a une limite à toute chose, et il faut toujours la dépasser. »

‘Everything has a limit which has always got to be surpassed.’

« Lorsque l’on n’a pas tout donné, on n’a rien donné. »

‘As long as you have not given your all, you have given nothing.’

Loyal to these principles, the French ace took part in several hundreds of aerial combats, crediting 53 victories, maybe 88 victories because the French victory validation system was demanding. He was shot down seven times, and he was admired for he always survived, but that September 11, a hundred years ago. The hero took off once again, dashed to the frontlines, outnumbered by German warplanes in a last dogfighting over Belgium. Then, he fell. Since then, the French Air Force aviators have worn a black tie in sign of mourning.

RIP

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COULD’VE BEEN WORSE !

Dear Friends, I often tell my student pilots that it is wise to hold on before taking off when another aircraft has just taken off. Even two minutes is not enough sometimes because the wake turbulence may move in an unpredictable way – rather sideways – depending on the wind but not only. You can watch a previous post in which a spectacular uncontrolled roll happened: http://airforces.fr/2016/03/06/must-see-weird-takeoff-explained/ I have repeated that over and over – waiting is as wise as safe:

We cannot see clearly what really made the seaplane – assumed to be a French Canadair CL-415 Superscooper water bomber – veer off but it was definitely too close to the previous aircraft. Maybe the pilot wanted to do the right thing by saving time to save more lives. Was it because of the bow wake of the flying boat? Because of the air wake turbulence? A human error? A control failure? Or a combination of several factors? Anyway when you see an aircraft of this size taking off, please wait for two minutes before entering the same path. Fortunately, a pole was clipped, the Canadair was damaged, but it could have been worse.

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