Your favorite aircraft

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Your favorite aircraft

#1  Postby Kytescall » Mar 07, 2010 4:47 am

I had a thread like this a while back in RD.net, but why not again?

My top 5 (for purely arbitrary asthetic reasons):

SAAB J 35 Draken:
A Swedish fighter that first flew in 1955, last flew (in Austrian service) in 2005. Because the Swedish knew that if they got into a fight with the Soviet Union strategically important sites will be quickly overwhelmed, this, like many Swedish weapons, is designed for guerrilla warfare. Specifically this means that it is designed to take off from public roads, with the ability to be refuelled and rearmed within ten minutes.
The double-delta wing design reduces drag while still enabling a high degree of maneuverability. Plus it just looks so stylish.

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Boeing Bird of Prey:
An American advanced stealth technology demonstrator from the 1990s. In order to reduce costs, they used an off-the shelf engine originally made by Pratt & Whitney Canada for civilian buisness jets, with hydraulic contols instead of a fly-by-wire system, and with many other components cannibalized from a wide veriety of aircraft.
It has no numerical designation (e.g. "X-##") due to its covert nature. As deceptively simple as it is, I think it's the most futuristic looking thing ever flown. It wants to fly in space.

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Dassault Rafale:
Modern French "omnirole" fighter. Originally the French were in on the Eurofighter project, but when there were disagreements about the new fighter's characteristics (the French needed a very multirole, carrier-compatible fighter), and about who would build what (the French wanted one of their own companies to design the engines), they split off and decided to design their own fighter. The resulting aircraft is supposed to be extremely versatile, hence the term "omnirole" instead of the usual "multirole". The Rafale single-handedly replaced no less than 5 different aircraft in French military service.
Personally, I like canard-delta wing designs, and the Rafale is definitely the most attractive of the canrad-deltas.

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Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback:
A new strike fighter, the Russian equivalent of the F-15E Strike Eagle: It is essentially designed to perform airstrikes, but with the capability to defend itself against enemy fighters. As a result, the Su-34 is based on the Su-27 Flanker series of air superiority fighters. Its large tail (I think called a 'stinger') houses various countermeasures and a rear-facing radar, said to be capable of directing missiles toward persuing enemies. For budgetary reasons, it has the same engines used in the baseline Su-27, which is fine except the Su-34 is substantially heavier, meaning its current performance doesn't live up to the design's potential.
I like it because it has a very unusual look to it.

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Vought XF5U:
Nicknamed the "Flying Flapjack", this was an experimental US Navy fighter from WWII. Apparently this design was very promising, being capable of very low speeds (for short takeoff & landing), and very high speeds. It had two engines, but a unique system of gears alowed both propellers to be driven by a single one, in case one of the engines was damaged. It was also capable of tilting its propellers up and down to assist in maneuvering, like a propeller equivalent of thrust vectoring.
Because you need the popellers to cancel out the wingtip vortices which cause a lot of drag, the design only flies if you use a prop engine. So when the US Navy began taking an interest in jet engines, the project was cancelled.
Although an earlier tech demonstrator, the Vought V-173, did fly, the XF5U itself did not. Unfortunately the XF5U prototypes were destroyed, but they were so tough that it took a wrecking ball to do it.
Personally, I have a problem with the nickname. "Flying Flapjack"? Looking at the thing I'd rather call it "Turtle" or "Scarab" or something. Maybe those aren't awesome names but it's better than calling it a pancake.

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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#2  Postby wonka08 » Mar 07, 2010 5:14 am

Glad to see another person on these forums who loves fighter jets! My dad works for Boeing so I have taken an interest in them as well!


F22 Raptor (Just for it's dominance of the skies)


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Su-37

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MiG 29

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B-2 Spirit Bomber

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Eurofighter Typhoon

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Cheers :cheers:
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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#3  Postby Kytescall » Mar 07, 2010 5:30 am

I've always thought that the "gills" on the MiG-29 gave the thing a shark-like quality.

:cheers:
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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#4  Postby wonka08 » Mar 07, 2010 7:26 am

Kytescall wrote:I've always thought that the "gills" on the MiG-29 gave the thing a shark-like quality.


:think: hmm never thought of that before. I'll have to take a look at that Vought XF5U. Never heard of it until now
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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#5  Postby Kytescall » Mar 08, 2010 3:00 am

Here's another thing you might not have heard of...

BAe P.1208-2:
Well, they never built it. Not even a mock-up to my knowledge. It was loosely a Harrier derivative, having a Pegasus engine with either three or four thrust-vectoring nozzles to achieve STOVL. But the airframe, especially the wing design, is completely different. It was to be a ground attack aircraft, but with an air combat capability superior to that of the Harrier.
It would have been cool, but it got canned for one reason or another.
The P.1208 had several drastically different designs, the most interesting of which is the P.1208-2. It's the top one in the image below (the bottom one is from a different project entirely).

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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#6  Postby Jumbo » Mar 08, 2010 3:17 am

A few in no particular order:

The SE5a:
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Deadly in the hands of some of the famous aces of the first world war. The more famous Sopwith Camel has overshadowed it in the public imagination but the SE5a was one of the few aircraft at the time it flew that was really a match for what it was up against.


The Grumman F6F:
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Im a fan especially of naval aircraft and this one made a large contribution to the war effort over the pacfic. (the pictured aircraft represents perhaps the most famous Hellcat in which Dave McCampbell scored 9 victores in a single sortie with his wingman Ens Roy Rushing scoring 6)

The B17:
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Needs no introduction really. Rugged almost beyond belief. Any plane that can bring its crew home despite looking like this is special.

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close up

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And another example of a fortress that just about got back

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Finally a bit of adifferent one
The North American Aviation X-15
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The fastest plane ever built. (Sure the Shuttle is faster but its not at top speed in the atmosphere)
Mach 6.72 on a good day top speed of 4,519mph was reached. Flights only lasted a few minutes from launch with at most 120 seconds being powered flight. It hurled men upto 67 miles high, 354,000 feet making Joe Walker the 1st civilian in space and the 1st man to go into space twice. Several other pilots earned USAF Astronaut wings. Ironically one of the only X-15 pilots not to qualify for either set was a young aviator by the name of Neil Armstrong.
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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#7  Postby Kytescall » Mar 08, 2010 3:24 am

Jumbo wrote:
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close up

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And another example of a fortress that just about got back

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Jesus Christ. Something must have ran clean into that thing.

Reminds me:

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... Apparently an F-15 can be landed with one wing.


Finally a bit of adifferent one
The North American Aviation X-15
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The fastest plane ever built. (Sure the Shuttle is faster but its not at top speed in the atmosphere).

I think I read that the FAA at least doesn't recognize the Shuttle as an aircraft anyway.
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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#8  Postby Jumbo » Mar 08, 2010 4:03 am

The 1st B17 (Called All American) was almost sliced in two by a collision with a german fighter. the pilot Lieutenant Kenneth R. Bragg flew it for an hour and a half before getting t back to base.

The 2nd is the result of a flak blast which sadly killed 3 of the crew.

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... Apparently an F-15 can be landed with one wing.

Indeed. The wing was lost in a collision with an A4 skyhawk. The pilot Zedi Nedivi had no idea the extent of the damage due to the amount of fuel streaming out. He attempted an arrested landing but due to having to make the attempt at 250kts the tailhook didnt fare so well! It did enough though to help slow the plane down. It was only when he reached back to shake hands with his WSO behind him he saw the missing wing. :shock:
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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#9  Postby Rawnaeris » Mar 08, 2010 4:14 am

F-117 Nighthawk

The first of the true stealth aircrafts. Specially developed shape, paints, and alloys. It really doesn't get cooler to me.

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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#10  Postby Viraldi » Mar 08, 2010 4:16 am

SR-71 BlackBird

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Wikipedia wrote:The Lockheed SR-71 is an advanced, long range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed A-12 and YF-12A aircraft by the Lockheed Skunk Works as a Black project. The SR-71 was unofficially named the Blackbird, and called the Habu by its crews, referring to an Okinawan species of pit viper. Clarence "Kelly" Johnson was responsible for many of the design's innovative concepts. A defensive feature of the aircraft was its high speed and operating altitude, whereby, if a surface-to-air missile launch were detected, standard evasive action was simply to accelerate. The SR-71 line was in service from 1964 to 1998, with 12 of the 32 aircraft being destroyed in accidents, though none were lost to enemy action. Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air breathing manned aircraft, a record previously held by the YF-12.
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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#11  Postby OgreMkV » Mar 08, 2010 4:21 am

Jumbo wrote:The 1st B17 (Called All American) was almost sliced in two by a collision with a german fighter. the pilot Lieutenant Kenneth R. Bragg flew it for an hour and a half before getting t back to base.

The 2nd is the result of a flak blast which sadly killed 3 of the crew.

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... Apparently an F-15 can be landed with one wing.

Indeed. The wing was lost in a collision with an A4 skyhawk. The pilot Zedi Nedivi had no idea the extent of the damage due to the amount of fuel streaming out. He attempted an arrested landing but due to having to make the attempt at 250kts the tailhook didnt fare so well! It did enough though to help slow the plane down. It was only when he reached back to shake hands with his WSO behind him he saw the missing wing. :shock:


ummm... are you talking about the A4 or the F-15? 15s don't have arresting hooks and don't land on carriers.

My personal favorite aircraft...
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The A-10

Tougher than anything so far presented. Able to carry the weight of bombs as the B-17. Able to out maneuver anything but a helicopter. (OK, maybe some poetic license in these.)

Facts:
The main gun and ammunition canister are longer and weigh more than my dad's Grumman Cheetah.
There are doors for the main gear so that a belly landing will have some wheel protection.
Each round of the cannon is about the size of a milk bottle.
The cartridge for each bullet is kept in the aircraft after firing to maintain the trim (pictures where the cartridges are shown falling are for show and not combat.)

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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#12  Postby Kytescall » Mar 08, 2010 5:05 am

OgreMkV wrote:
The A-10

Tougher than anything so far presented. Able to carry the weight of bombs as the B-17. Able to out maneuver anything but a helicopter. (OK, maybe some poetic license in these.)

Facts:
The main gun and ammunition canister are longer and weigh more than my dad's Grumman Cheetah.
There are doors for the main gear so that a belly landing will have some wheel protection.
Each round of the cannon is about the size of a milk bottle.
The cartridge for each bullet is kept in the aircraft after firing to maintain the trim (pictures where the cartridges are shown falling are for show and not combat.)

A flying tank indeed. I heard an odd rumour though that they're thinking about replacing it in about a decade or two ... with an F-35 variant. What?
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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#13  Postby crank » Mar 08, 2010 6:34 am

That A-10, I could put that in my list. It may be slow, but it doesn't really need to give all that much of a shit.


I fell in love with the Bede BD-5 when it first graced the cover of Popular Science, in 1973, I was 15 and still have the copy. It is kit-built, and there is a jet version, the BD-5J, you may recognize it from Octopussy, the James Bond movie.

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18g8g5oJPRc[/youtube]

Then there is the Super Decathalon 8KCAB, not that much of a plane, but a good basic trainer, and I've got about 30 hrs in it. It's stressed for +6/-5, can fly inverted for 2 minutes. Spinning a Cessna 152 is within regulations, but it just ain't the same.

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And just for it's longevity, workhorse nature (there was one back in the 80's that had accumulated over 80,000 hrs!), and the role it's played in bringing so much pleasure to druggies all over, the Douglas DC-3.

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It's war time version lost a wing and it was repaired with one from a DC-2, the famous DC-2 1/2.

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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#14  Postby Guy McNally » Mar 08, 2010 6:54 am

Two of my favorites from the golden age of passenger aircraft.

Lockheed Constellation
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DeHavilland Comet
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Comet in-wing engines
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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#15  Postby crank » Mar 08, 2010 7:09 am

And just for really awesome flight control characteristics, the Grumman X-29, forward swept wing. Without advanced materials and computer control system, the plane would break apart in high speed flight due to its highly unstable configuration.

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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#16  Postby Jumbo » Mar 08, 2010 8:25 am

ummm... are you talking about the A4 or the F-15? 15s don't have arresting hooks and don't land on carriers.

im talking about the F15.

Many non naval aircraft actually do carry tailhooks for making emergency arrested landings on land based airfields. Its just they are not normally used except in dire emergencies because they put strain on the aircraft that it wasnt intended to endure.

On the F15 its stowed between the engines and you can see the hook here:
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The Tornado is another example of a land based aircraft with a tailhook as is the F16 ans the F117.

The A4 in the collision was lost with the pilot making a near immediate ejection.
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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#17  Postby Made of Stars » Mar 08, 2010 12:07 pm

Wot, no Mustang yet...?

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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#18  Postby FACT-MAN-2 » Mar 08, 2010 2:56 pm

Made of Stars wrote:Wot, no Mustang yet...?

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Ah yes, the prettiest one of all! :grin:
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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#19  Postby lordshipmayhem » Mar 08, 2010 4:12 pm

For me, one of the prettiest warbirds of World War II was the P-38.

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Re: Your favorite aircraft

#20  Postby Paul » Mar 08, 2010 10:01 pm

One of my favourites.

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I used to see this one flying regularly when I worked for BAe at Hatfield in the 1980s
Sadly it is no more, destroyed in a crash a few years ago.
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