Prepa PLS Anglais – Aviation English

Posts Tagged Fuel

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 This special fuel could drip and leak abundantly as the airframe made up of titanium was retracted while taxiing, and became airtight only when it got its operating shape while flying very fast and very high because of the air density, and surrounding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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SOLUTIONS TO SAVE JET FUEL

Here is a video shot from the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, where new energy-efficient airplanes could be designed. Researchers work on designs for viable commercial aircraft which could leave a low to zero carbon footprint.

In order to save jet fuel, they look at new concepts, processes, and designs that could be lighter. They try to reduce drag, and they try to increase the propulsive efficiency. For this purpose, they try to get rid of metallic airframes, and parts as often as possible.

For instance NASA has a newer composite 10 percent lighter than carbon fiber composite. This advanced material is called “Pultruded rod stitched efficient unitized structure” or PRSEUS.

The new sleeker designs look like large wings without any traditional tube-shaped fuselage in the central part since it is blended with the wings. These futuristic designs are more fuel efficient as the more lift the plane has, the less it consumes fuel.

The researchers also look at new energy sources as it is showed in this video, and in the end there is further information about the NextGen project which could save fuel too, thanks to this new form of air traffic management:

 

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Russian hockey team perish in plane crash

RIA NovostiYak-42 plane crash. The cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder of the ill-fated plane are yet to be recovered.Poor quality fuel possible cause of Yak-42 crash – aviation source

02:15 08/09/2011 Poor quality of aviation fuel could be one of possible reasons for why the Yak-42 plane crashed in Central Russia on Wednesday, killing more than 40 people.>>

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JUMBO JET EMERGENCY LANDING

The incident happened at Dallas Airport on Sunday 24 July 2011. An American Airlines Boeing 777-200 apparently had an engine fire just after takeoff, and was forced to make a U-turn and dump fuel before performing an emergency landing. You can hear the pilot’s voice in the video hereafter as well as a part of the transcript:


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Sukhoi Su-35BM vs Eurofighter Typhoon

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Air Traffic Control – Interesting voice communications with scripts

Caution: As far as this video is concerned, it would be well advised not to use some of the phrases heard on its soundtrack during an FCL 1.200/1.028 speaking examination…

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