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wickedpenguin

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  1. I work as an ATC in Pensacola, so I'm working T-45s daily. They're a lot of fun, and loud. I realize that structurally the Goshawk is significantly different from the standard Hawk (more robust landing gear, arresting hook, etc.) so I don't expect a different model. I was just curious if there will be a US Navy T-45 paint scheme included. No model mods. Just paint. They're just so ubiquitous here on US Gulf Coast, it might make a nice selling point too. Here's a vid I shot years ago of one of them taking off:
  2. Here are shots I took of the desert-painted F/A-18 that was basing out of here (Pensacola) in February. Note that it has "Marines" written on the left side and "Navy"on the right.
  3. F-18C. We had eight Top Gun birds base out of our airport a couple of months back. The aggressors weren't painted in the above color. Most were in a haze gray, but one was in a brown, desert-style look.
  4. I'm an ATC and work a lot of helos on a daily basis. Our Class C airport has a dedicated parking ramp for helicopters to keep them away from noise-sensitive areas. This ramp is north of and adjacent to our east-west runway 08/26, separated from it by a wide parallel taxiway, Bravo. All of the smaller helos--Bell 206s, EC-135s, UH-72s, UH-1s, HH-65s, Robinsons, etc.--are capable of departing from the ramp directly. Even so, they rarely do max performance takeoffs straight up. They'll generally request a south takeoff, crossing over Bravo and 08/26 to build translational lift. About half will request to taxi out to Bravo for an east or west takeoff. Some will do a running start to the north from the south end of the ramp and do a quick climb to top the fence separating the ramp from the terminal parking lot. It all depends on the wind, weather, ramp congestion, and their company/training requirements. Anything larger than a UH-1 is not allowed to depart from the ramp due to rotorwash, unless the ramp is absolutely empty. You can imagine something like a CH-53 generates hurricane force winds. I've seen even the small helos blow engine covers and such off other parked helos, creating FOD hazards. The big helos--UH-60s, H-3s, H-53s, H-46s, H-47s--are asked if they prefer either taxiway Bravo or a runway for takeoff/landing. When they arrive, they'll generally hover- or air-taxi along Bravo to the ramp entrance, and then wheel-taxi in and out of the ramp. We don't give V-22 Ospreys that option. They're always taken to a runway. We give them a wide berth, because they take time to get up and get down, in my experience. They of course wheel taxi in and out. Helicopters are pretty fun to work. We have a lot more flexibility with them over fixed wing planes. For example, say I have a helicopter shooting a VOR approach to runway 08, on a mile final and requesting a low approach, and an airliner ready to depart our intersecting runway 17. If the helo was a fixed-wing instead, I'd have to wait for him to roll through the runway intersection before I could clear the airliner. With the helo? "Runway 8, on the numbers, cleared to land. Traffic will be a Boeing 737 departing runway 17. I'll call your go." He'll set down on the runway numbers, I'll launch the air carrier, and I'll clear the helo for takeoff once the Boeing is clear. Now, I know that helo did want a low approach, not a landing. Often times, I'll use that landing clearance only as a "paper stop": i.e. I don't really intend for him to land, but I'm legally required to protect the airliner's departure. If the helicopter's still airborne or on final by the time the air carrier is rolling through the intersection, I'll reclear him for his requested low approach.
  5. Just a few days after that incident, I shot this vid of P-51B "Betty Jane" taxiing into Pensacola. It was returning from a paid flight. Such a beautiful machine. This one's owned by the Collings Foundation and visiting PNS with its bomber brethren: a B-17 and a B-24. http://www.facebook.com/v/3435645447639 The topper? To my left while I was filming this was a spry elderly gentleman who flew the D models in WWII, escorting B-17s during the last six months of the war--and battled ME-262s. Mind = blown. :pilotfly:
  6. For the new pilots, mastering this bird is such a rewarding experience. One of my favorite maneuvers is I guess what you'd call a fast stop. I'll be screaming along at max speed, then dump the collective (no rotor strikes, please!) and haul the nose back until near vertical. Essentially I'm air braking using the wings' and airframe's drag. As the speed falls to zero I lower the nose and pull in some collective to keep from sinking. After a little practice I could do it without losing or gaining altitude. I know it's nothing like Frazer's videos, but hey, I'm having fun and I'm in control of the helo. :) One other practice technique I use is hover taxiing around the airport taxiways at about two feet off the ground, with the landing gear raised. I'll go inside hangars, maneuver around parked vehicles, etc. It really hones my feel for the aircraft.
  7. For some real road-runway action, what we need is DCS: Gripen! :D
  8. There are now two privately owned SU-27s in the United States, in perfect flying condition. http://www.prideaircraft.com/flanker.htm Here the video of the first post-restoration flight of N131SU (the first of the two): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4lE6HcBPxw Man, would I kill to take RIDE in one of those, much less own one! I definitely wouldn't want to be paying the fuel bill, though.
  9. Lots of friendly fire incidents in this thread. I've had tons of my own - and it's embarrassing! It really makes me wonder how smart of a move Kamov made building a single seat helo. Sure, all the systems are very automated and all, but that can only take things so far when trying to both observe key details and fly the helo. Having read Ed Macy's book, it's so clear that you really need two people in a combat helo cockpit: one to see the forest, the other to see the trees. In the KA-50, the Shkval is just one of many instruments you need to scan. In the other helos, the pilot can be racking the bird around in tight turns and high speed passes, monitoring his instruments and the general environment, while the gunner can focus only on his sensors and target identification. Mind you, it makes the KA-50 an awesome challenge to master, but still, it can get frustrating when you kill a friendly because you didn't look hard enough or kill yourself because your eyes were on the Shkval instead of the power lines quickly approaching. It's a tough balance. My stupid incident? Flew forty kilometers deep into enemy territory on an online mission, got into the target area... only to inadvertently smack a factory smokestack as I flew over a town at high speed. The smokestack had lined up perfectly with a road behind it. "Hey, that road's getting wide real quick... s***! Pull up!" THWACK. No explosion? No Christmas carol of alarms and blinking lights? I got into a hover and did a damage assessment. Everything checked out... except my Shkval. I successfully broke the only targeting sensor on the helo and I was facing off against AAA and armor. Rockets and guns wouldn't do. Sheepish, I had to fly back all forty kilometers with my tail between my legs and swap out for a new helo.
  10. I was surprised too - the F-35 (according to Wikipedia) will carry 2000 lbs. more than the A-10. That's of course taking into account use of external stores, and is most likely the lighter F-35A model, since the B version has all the extra VTOL hardware and the C version is strengthened for carrier ops. That argument goes both ways. Insurgents don't usually have large, radar guided missile or gun batteries. The biggest guided anti-aircraft weapon you're likely to face are heat-seeking portable SAMs. While external stores will trash the F-35's radar stealth, they don't affect the plane's lower IR signature. And MANPADs still haven't arrived at the level of platform-based IR seekers. I was just reading that the MiG-35 has an IRST seeker so good it can track the difference between the ambient air temperature and the friction heat on an inbound missile's nose. If MANPADs get to that point, all that supercruise-generated heat will become a problem. Still, there's not much that can protect against manually aimed guns. If you've got a good enough gunner - or throw enough flak in the same general direction - you will get a hit. Just ask survivors of the WWII U.S. 8th Air Force. And when those shells hit, I'd rather be in that A-10s titanium bathtub than in an F-35's "glass" cockpit. :)
  11. Yeap - that's the plan. I'm certain that the F-35 will be far better in terms of situational awareness via datalink, time-to-target speed, total weapons payload, and of course less vulnerable to radar / IR detection. However, I don't believe it will be nearly as good in terms of loiter time, and absolutely cannot compete in terms of damage survivability and maintainability.
  12. I was working a radar sector today when I noticed a group of fast-moving targets just outside my airspace, six of them in all. Curious, I looked them up and found out they were a gaggle of six A-10s. I won't state the callsign, but let's just say it was very apropo for an airplane built around a big freaking gun. As they were going across, I was also working a law enforcement aircraft who was chasing a suspect on the move. A crazy idea came to mind: what if, when it comes time to retire the A-10s from the Air Force inventory, they get sent to U.S. Customs, the Coast Guard, or the DEA? That would strike a little fear into the cartels, dontcha think? I'd like to see a go-fast boat deal with a little 30mm depleted uranium up the stern. :P
  13. LiveATC is the shizzle. You guys might want to check out http://www.atcmonitor.com/ too. It's Altanta Center and TRACON only, but it also has radar feeds as well (links on the left side of the site). My TRACON used to be on LiveATC - Pensacola Approach (KPNS) - but the guy who sponsored the feed moved. When I started training there I used to go back into the archives and listen to myself in the archives to do self-critiques. I've also heard a bunch of my ATC friends from around the country on there. The last time I flew out of Miami, I listened to the tower taxi us around the airport and clear us for take off. I had downloaded a web radio app for my cell phone which could play the LiveATC MP3 streams. I ignored the "Turn off all security devices" warning and just played it through my headphones. They say there's *supposed* to be a 5 minute delay for security reasons, but that's bull. As we're holding short of the runway, I heard the tower say, "American 123, hold short runway eight right, traffic landing runway eight right, company Triple-7, short final." Ten seconds later I see the American Boeing 777 touch down. Once he exited the runway, we were cleared for takeoff.
  14. As a real world air traffic controller, I really don't see how having a flyable AWACS would be truly workable. You'd have to have a heck of a group of pilots on that server with top notch phraseology. I'm not saying that's impossible - there's some really professional squadrons out there - but it would be rather complicated. Also, on a radar tech side, you'd have to simulate terrain masking, attenuation, primary vs. secondary radar, and other aspects. If you want to do online ATC, get yourself a copy of Microsoft Flight Sim X, a headset, and play online. You can setup a server where you can act as tower or approach controller. It's a lot of fun if you get the right group of pilots on your server.
  15. I'd buy that, rig an auto-engine in the troop compartment, and use it as my runabout car. Think your Hummer H2 is big and bad, eh, soccer mom/man needing penile extension? I'll be picking up my groceries and running my errands in Soviet Cold War style. Bank and McDonalds drive thrus may be a tight squeeze though. But when I want to actually fly somewhere, I prefer to do it at Mach 2 and with a seat in the back for the missus. I sure wouldn't mind a little MiG-21 parked in the ol' garage: http://www.controller.com/listingsdetail/aircraft-for-sale/MIKOYAN-MIG-21-UM/1973-MIKOYAN-MIG-21-UM/1150503.htm BTW, they used to have another, single seat flyable MiG-21 listed on there for $100,000 with a spare engine. To put that deal into perspective, a brand new little Cessna 172 costs about $200,000. EDIT: Or... if you just won the big lottery, you play Lock On FOR REAL with your very own Su-27: http://www.controller.com/listingsdetail/aircraft-for-sale/SUKHOI-SU-27/1990-SUKHOI-SU-27/1160633.htm
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