Prepa PLS Anglais – Aviation English

Archive for category PLS 4 / SLP 4

U.S. DEFENSE – Sequestration Cuts Looming

As explained in the video here below, the U.S. military could undergo the most dangerous budgetary cuts ever.

As far as the Air Force is concerned, the 5th-generation fighter aircraft programs had widely been questioned already as a RAND study issued in 2008 (then withdrawn, following the Australian press statements about the JSF war game results), and the umpteen glitches encountered on the F-35 Lightning II shocked the public opinion. Not to mention the F-22 Raptor – its 67-billion-dollar program is questioned too as this amount of money, for instance, would be enough to finance the French defense budget for two years.

The F-22 air supremacy stealth fighter had numerous problems – Flight control software errors, OBOGS (On-Board Oxygen Generating System) investigated after U.S. pilots reported dizziness; and “Raptor cough“, MADL (Multifunction Advanced Data Link) has been delayed, the U.S. 5th generation fighterjets – either JSF or RAPTOR – cannot outperform the 4.5-generation Dassault RAFALE multirole fighter aircraft in DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training), and so on. It is the taxpayers who must pay for this.

What will happen? Nobody knows. Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense, has already stated that “full sequestration would be devastating to DoD and the defense industry.” The US military power could become a “paper tiger unable to keep up with potential adversaries.” He added later, and – “In effect, it invites aggression.”

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Mach-3 SR-71 Blackbird’s HOT COCKPIT

Blackbird onboard USS Intrepid – Photo © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.fr

As you may have heard, the mythical Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was a strategic reconnaissance aircraft able to fly at more than Mach 3 – Mach 3.3 ie around 3,500 km/h; or 1,900 kts; and at a maximum flight level of… FL 850 or 26 kilometers high!

The Blackbird indeed had a unique flight envelope with a particular doghouse plot (since she could not exceed 3.5 G), and an exceptionnal coffin corner limited by her CIT – Compressor Inlet Temperature of 427°C maximum.

This aircraft was also unique for her engines were two J58 ramjets fuelled by JP-7 especially refined for extreme flying purpose. This special fuel could drip and leak abundantly as the airframe made up of titanium was retracted while taxiing, and became airtight only when it got its operating shape while flying very fast and very high because of the air density, and surrounding pressure plus the heating caused by the air friction at such speeds. In short, the whole structure considerably expanded when airborne.

The irony – I heard it on the grapevine, or read it somewhere on the web – that titanium which turned into dark blue while flying (SR-71s probably deserved those unofficial other nicknames “Bluebird”, or “Habu” viper) was “imported” from… USSR!

Pilots must have taken significant risks inherent in flying such an aircraft as mentioned in this previous post. These pilots used to fly over the USSR to take strategic reconnaissance photographs during the Cold war. They wore pressurized spacesuits so that their blood could not boil in case of decompression or ejection at such altitudes.

The Blackbird travelled faster than a rifle bullet, and the air friction could have melt aluminum-skinned aircraft. At Mach 3.2, fuel cycled behind the chine surface in order to cool the aircraft! The inner windshield temperature could reach 120°C even though a heavy-duty cooling system was on a full function. On landing, the outside temperature of the canopy could reach 300°C, and it must have been far beyond on the fuselage, and wing surfaces while flying at high speeds. The pilot could feel the heat behind his protective gloves as mentioned in the video interview below:

 

Special thanks to Xavier Cotton for the Blackbird photos. Please, visit his website on http://passiondesavions.blogspot.fr

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RAMP AGENT about his JOB

When you pull your suitcase off the baggage carousel, you cannot see those who took care of it. They sort out a tremendous amount of bags and packs every day.

They drive tugs or pushback tractors, performing aircraft towings, and push-backs thanks to a tow bar. They load bulk cargo, and passenger baggage thanks to belt loaders, and they load ULD (Unit Load Device) pallets as well.

Maybe you wonder who these people are. Let us listen to one of these ramp agents also called “Fleet service clerks“; “Fleet service agents“; or “Baggage handlers“.

Video:

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RENO AIR RACES CRASH – Pilot Tried to Avoid Bleachers

74-year-old Jimmy Leeward, a movie stunt pilot was flying a P-51 Mustang called “Galloping Ghost” for the Reno Air Race yesterday September 16, 2011.

On the video you can see that shortly after lifting-up to reach the middle part of a loop, the aircraft dived towards the bleachers, and crashed very close to them. According to the news, 3 died, and 54 would have been injured, 12 of which in severe conditions. A Mayday emergency call would have been heard a few seconds before the accident.

The Reno Air Races have been cancelled even if the families insisted on letting the airshow go on. Some videos on the Internet show how violent the impact was. The area has been cordoned off as the NTSB is still investigating, as well as FAA officials were on the spot, and a mass-casualty situation has been reported.

Jimmy Leeward would have tried to dodge the bleachers as his P-51 was going down. The famous pilot would have saved hundreds of potential casualties before he died, according to this eyewitness account:

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9/11 ATC communications revealed 10 years after

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Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2011

Here is a very interesting publication issued by the U.S. Department of Defense for public release. This report must be worth reading for SLP/PLS 4444 training as the PRC’s stakes and strategy are well explained as well as the prospective, and involvements. (click on the book below):

Books and publications

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