PILOT ESCAPING THROUGH UNDERWATER EJECTION

Do you remember that some fighter pilots could safely eject from underwater back in 1965? Could it be survived? One may wonder but a few ejections were reported. The transcript is below the video. Look at that canopy, it looks like it came from an F-8 Crusader:

TRANSCRIPT:

If your aircraft has provision for underwater ejection, you have a ready-made, secondary escape route. Succesful underwater ejections can be made from any aircraft attitude – nose down, tail down, and inverted.

Escape by this method requires no preparation other than that recommended for normal seat ejection. There should be at least ten feet of water above you before you can safely eject. Never eject from the surface. With present systems, the chute cannot open with a zero-zero situation (which means at a height of 0 and at a speed of 0). The effect of free-falling 80 feet to water is little different than falling 80 feet to concrete. True, some lucky ones have lived to tell about it. But it is one hell of a gamble.

When you eject through the canopy underwater, the seat breaks through clearing the way for your body. Because water resistance imposes terrific forces on your head and neck, it is vital to hold the face curtain tight against your head for support. The forces of ejection might cause a momentary blackout. Immediately upon collecting your wits, disconnect yourself from the seat by pulling the emergency release handle breaking your restraints. Now, separate yourself from the seat. This is difficult. You will have to kick and swim violently even though you are disconnected.

If your chute gets hung up on the seat, do not waste time trying to clear it. Release your riser fittings and swim clear off the chute. Do not inflate flotation equipment until clear of the seat. Remember, surface slowly, exhaling as you go. Remove your oxygen mask.

BLACK SHEEP’S DEN – L’ANTRE DES TÊTES BRÛLÉES

There are some really nice aviator pubs and restaurants throughout the world, in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, New-York, in London, Farnborough, Gloucestershire, Paris, Le Bourget. Some only bear the name ‘aviator’ or another one relating to aviation.

AVIATORS BAR
Bar LES TETES BRULEES, 20 Rue Verdière, La Rochelle

While strolling down a street during the summer holidays, I stumbled upon a bar totally dedicated to pilots and aircraft in La Rochelle, France last summer. It was a bit busy on a sunny Saturday afternoon when I saw this sign « LES TÊTES BRÛLÉES » and a shield over the street corner on which I could make out a black sheep. Just above was an inverted-gull-shaped aircraft outline. The picture of a bull terrier on the awning could ring a bell too. This one wore sunglasses – there must be some fun in there, I mused. « Might it be Pappy Boyington’s den? » I wondered.

Some customers let us in and we were standing engrossed with the aviation world as if it were a dream. Flight suits and flight uniforms were hanging over tables. The bar – where laughter, grins and giggles are the norm – was surrounded with badges, aviation artifacts, aircraft and pilots photos up on the walls. There were aircraft models in a showcase, and several of them hanging all over the place. Some souvenirs were dedicated to naval aviation. It looked like a small – though dense – aviation hall of fame. There was a black sign above the bar featuring a short text in white letters, which said:

IN   WORLD   WAR  II ,

MARINE   CORPS   MAJOR

GREG   « PAPPY »   BOYINGTON

COMMANDED   A   SQUADRON

OF   FIGHTER   PILOTS ,   THEY

WERE   A   COLLECTION   OF

MISFITS   AND  SCREWBALLS

WHO   BECAME   THE   TERRORS

OF   THE   SOUTH   PACIFIC .

THEY   WERE   KNOWN   AS   THE

BLACK   SHEEP .

Sure, it rings a bell! This is the introductory text to the famous series « Baa Baa Black Sheep » about the brave VMA-214 pilots who operated from the Solomon Islands during the WW2, in the Pacific War. I could have heard the theme song from « The Whiffenpoof Song » turned into a drunk-voice, exhausted-though-happy chorus:

WE ARE POOR LITTLE LAMBS,

WHO HAVE LOST OUR WAY.

BAA! BAA! BAA!

Click off and listen:

AVIATORS PUBThe black sheep shield outside, the F4U Corsairs inside and this sign you cannot miss when you enter the pub make you breathe aviation history. Everything, even the lavatory walls covered with aviation slang graffiti, are very well in unison with the local atmosphere. Each conversation is focused on flying, pilots, aircraft, and of course fun!

There is a sort of an alcove in the back room made up of genuine airplane seats, artifacts, stickers and photos. You can even drink aviation. Even though Les Têtes Brûlées is not a POL depot you can be served a Kerosene, a great cocktail always served with a grin from the waiters. Jérôme, the boss, seem to be widely known in the aviation community, far beyond La Rochelle. Whoever they are. Pilots, flight attendants, crew members, engineers, aerospace lovers, they all know the Black Sheep’s den. Aviation geeks, this is a place where you have got to go for you can expect a nice welcome.

Click HERE to go to « Bar Les Têtes Brûlées »

Why Vought F4U Corsair « WHISTLING DEATH »?

EN FRANÇAIS:

Il y a dans le monde un bon nombre de bars et restaurants consacrés à l’aviation et quelquefois à l’aérospatiale: en Alabama, Géorgie, Caroline du Nord, New-York, à Londres, Farnborough, dans le Gloucestershire, à Paris, Le Bourget. Il y en a qui ne portent que le nom « aviateur » ou d’autres qui rappellent l’aviation ou l’espace.

Alors que je flânais dans une rue pendant les vacances d’été à la Rochelle, je suis tombé tout à fait par hasard sur un bar entièrement dédié aux pilotes et aux avions. C’était assez animé en ce samedi après-midi ensoleillé lorsque je vis l’enseigne « LES TÊTES BRÛLÉES » surplombant le coin de la rue, sur laquelle on pouvait distinguer un mouton noir.  Juste au dessus, la silhouette d’un avion aux ailes en W. L’image d’un chien bull-terrier sur l’auvent en terrasse me rappelait déjà quelque chose… Ce chien portait des lunettes de soleil – on doit bien s’amuser là dedans, songeai-je. Et voici ce que je me demandais soudain: « Se pourrait-il que cette échoppe soit une des antres de Pappy Boyington? »

Des clients devant le bar nous firent entrer et nous sommes restés un moment debouts, captivés par cet univers de l’aviation, comme si c’était en rêve. Des combinaisons de vol et uniformes de personnels navigants étaient suspendus au-dessus des tables. Le bar, où fou-rires, sourires et ricanements semblent de rigueur, était décorés d’insignes, de pièces de collection d’aviation, de photos d’avions et de pilotes qui tapissaient les murs. Il y avait des maquettes d’avion dans une vitrine, et plusieurs qui pendaient un peu partout. Des souvenirs évoquaient l’Aéronavale. Cela ressemblait à un petit, quoique dense, temple de l’aviation. Pour l’accueil, au dessus du bar est affiché un panneau noir rappelant une célèbre séries TV américaine en lettres capitales blanches, traduites de l’anglais:

PENDANT LA DEUXIEME GUERRE MONDIALE,

LE COMMANDANT DES MARINES

GREG « PAPPY » BOYINGTON ÉTAIT

À LA TÊTE D’UNE ESCADRILLE

DE PILOTES DE CHASSE. CELLE-CI

ÉTAIT COMPOSÉE DE MARGINAUX

ET D’AVENTURIERS QUI DEVINRENT

LES TERREURS DU PACIFIQUE SUD

ON LES CONNAISSAIT SOUS LE NOM

DE « BLACK SHEEP » (MOUTON(S) NOIR(S))

Bien sûr que cela vous dit quelque chose! Il s’agit du générique de la célèbre série « Les Têtes Brûlées » qui retraçait la saga des courageux pilotes de chasse de l’escadron VMA-214 qui opéraient depuis les Îles Salomon pendant la seconde guerre mondiale. J’aurais pu même entendre la mélodie tirée de « The Whiffenpoof Song » transformée en un refrain à l’eau de vie entonné par des voix de soiffards épuisés:

NOUS SOMMES DE PAUVRES PETITS AGNEAUX,

QUI SE SONT ÉGARÉS.

BÊÊ! BÊÊ! BÊÊ!

Le mouton noir et cet insigne à l’extérieur qu’on ne peut pas manquer et les Chance Vought F4U Corsairs à l’intérieur, font que cet endroit, dès qu’on y met les pieds, respire l’histoire de l’aviation pour votre bonheur. Tout, même les murs des toilettes, est couvert de graffitis du jargon de l’aéronautique à l’unisson avec l’atmosphère des lieux. Chaque bribe de conversation est tournée vers le vol, les pilotes et les avions et bien sûr on s’y amuse beaucoup!

Il y a un genre d’alcôve dans l’arrière-salle faite d’authentiques sièges d’avions récupérés, de pièces de collection, d’autocollants et de photos. On peut même boire aviation. Même si les Têtes Brûlées n’est pas un dépôt des essences, on peut très bien vous y servir un « KEROSÈNE », un super cocktail toujours accompagné d’un grand sourire du personnel de la maison. Il semble que Jérôme, le patron, soit très connu dans la communauté aéronautique et bien au-delà de La Rochelle. Quels qu’ils soient, pilotes, PNC, membres d’équipage, mécaniciens, passionnés de l’aérospatiale, tous connaissent « l’antre du mouton noir ». Passionnés d’aviation, il faut absolument que vous vous y rendiez parce que vous pouvez être certains qu’on va vous y réserver un très bon accueil.

Cliquez ICI pour vous rendre au bar Les Têtes Brûlées.

SUPERB French Navy RAFALE Video


Make your life a dream,
and this dream a reality.

Fais de ta vie un rêve
et de ce rêve, une réalité.

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry)

Could RAFALE benefit from F-35 glitches?

 

JSF F-35 Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II

The British Harriers were to be replaced by the F-35Cs. Do you remember? You may have learnt from the recent news that the carrier variant of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Joint Strike Fighter – CV JSF (Carrier Vessel variant’s Joint Strike Fighter) – F-35C was unable to catch the wire onboard the aircraft carrier during the latest landing tests.

Strange as it may seem, the F-35C’s designers may have not forecast what would unfold during a test flight while landing on an aircraft carrier:

The arresting hook (tailhook) never engaged the arresting wire as the clearance between the tail hook and the main landing gear’s tyre tread is too short for such a speed. An F-35C Lightning II missing her carrier landing has been reported even though some U.S. officials would have dismissed such information which might result from simulated tests.

Added to that is a software bug which had grounded the CV JSF for 6 days a few month earlier for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft might have encountered wing-folding input while flying!

As a result, the British Ministry of Defence might find a Plan-B solution as these design flaws, and some others which date back to November 2011 are deemed unacceptable for such an expensive fighter aircraft – $139.5 million for the F-35C (CATOBAR – Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery), and $150 million for the F-35B (STOVL – Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing). The latter can land on carriers but she is more expensive, and the JSF program costs have already increased several times.

 

Moreover, the JSF would not be able to fire AMRAAM air-to-air missiles as reported in this video:

 

 

RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 - © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/
RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

And there’s even more: according to a Pentagon study team report, 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35 would have been identified. For instance, the Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) would not work properly…

The British MoD is therefore considering the purchase of either F/A-18E Super Hornets or RAFALEs for the RAF. The French Dassault which has already lost the Swiss NAC tender due to replace the Swiss Air Force’s F-5s, would be proposing a new offer with 18 RAFALEs at a cost deemed lower than the 22 SAAB Gripens’ one according to the Swiss press.

The RAFALE is still in competition with the Eurofighter in the Indian MMRCA tender. the Indian officials are expected to make a decision this week. To be continued… ==> We have just learnt (on January 31, 2012) that the RAFALE has won the MMRCA tender… 🙂

 

Photo 1: © Recce 233 Savoie; Photo 2: © Xavier Cotton – http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

Sea King helicopter blade

Sea King helicopter blade cutaway view
Rotary-wing blade - Figure 1-17 © www.tpub.com

The main rotor or rotary wing on the H-3 has five identical wing blades. Other helicopters may have two, three, or four blades. A typical wing blade is shown in figure 1-17. The rotary-wing blade is made of aluminum alloy, except the steel cuff by which the blade attaches to the rotor hub. The main supporting member of the blade is a hollow, aluminum alloy extruded spar, which forms the leading edge. The steel cuff is bolted to the root end of the spar. Twenty-three individual pockets constructed of aluminum ribs, aluminum channels, and aluminum skin covering are bonded to the aft edge of the spar.

Text and cutaway view: www.tpub.com courtesy