Afterburners

A couple night ago A friend and I were looking up atbthe sky above
Whidbey Island. It was late dusk but still enough light to see a
contrail forming behind a jet that was way high. Then, to our
astonishment, two big glowing lights appeared behind the jet and the
contrail disappeared. It traveled that way until out of sight. I think
we must have been seeing afterburners. It was cool.
ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
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| A couple night ago A friend and I were looking up atbthe sky above | Whidbey Island. It was late dusk but still enough light to see a | contrail forming behind a jet that was way high. Then, to our | astonishment, two big glowing lights appeared behind the jet and the | contrail disappeared. It traveled that way until out of sight. I think | we must have been seeing afterburners. It was cool. | ERS
When I was stationed in Japan some time ago, while RF-4B's were still in use (RF-4B being a F-4 modified to do recon duty) I used to go out to the end of the runway on the perimeter road after work in the evening and be there when they took off for their patrols. You could see them light off the afterburners halfway down the runway but wouldn't hear it until they passed less than 100 feet overhead. Quite the rush! The pressure wave that hit you at the same time the sound did is very hard to describe, but it naturally takes your breath away, not just in the sheer display of incredible fuel guzzling raw power. At the time F-4's, along with EA-6B's, were the loudest thing in the Navy/Marine Corps fleet, and it was a trip being up close. The EA-6B's were about as loud, but not nearly as fast, so you didn't get quite the same effect.
Reply to
carl mciver
F-4...Proof that with enough power, you can make a brick fly!
Reply to
Tom Gardner
I am an old Phantom II Phixer myself. Great old airplane....Worked on RF-4C, F4-D, F4-Cs.....They were an awesome aircraft for night time takeoffs for sure. They would hit that runway on takeoff roll and you could see each stage of the AB kick in, then they started to rotate, and thos ehuge long flames from the tailpipe would still be scorching the runway a long ways back.....
IMHO they were the neatest airplane the Thunderbirds flew......lots of smoke and noise and their size making seeing and hearing them very easy.
We later transitioned to F-16C's and from a pilots perspective it was a vast improvement, but from a mechanics point it was a nightmare and was a never ending chore keeping the FMC rate up. You can never see daylight with F-16's but there was always light at the end of the tunnel in the old F-4 days. The F-4 was a good all around airplane, not economoical though for fuel, but the F-16 burns almost as much fuel but its only a great airplane for pilots and not most mechanic types. Heck the pilot has little to do as the computers do it all for him anymore.....
============================================== Put some color in your cheeks...garden naked! "The original frugal ponder" ~~~~ } ~~~~~~ } ~~~~~~~ }
Reply to
Roy
What always amazed me was the number of maintenance hours per flight hour. Can you imagine if it was like that for cars?
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Eric's just north of Seattle, maybe it was one of those damn Blue Angels that have been clogging up traffic. When I was a kid they did NOT close highways because of the Blue Angels! What a nightmare.
Tom, you're right but a car can't fly in kick your ass and be gone within a couple of seconds the way a modern fighter aircraft can. :-)
GWE
Tom Gardner wrote:
Reply to
Grant Erwin
I was down at the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton here in the UK a couple of months ago and got to look over one of the prototype Concordes. The wing is sufficiently low for you to be able to stick your head more or less into the rear of the Olympus engines. I was looking at this strange ring of what looked like standard half-inch (15mm over here) copper pipe with holes drilled in it when it occurred to me that this thing was an afterburner. Looked as if it had been installed by a plumber.
jd
Reply to
John Daragon
I think that the F-104 takes that prize. We went to a museum a while back and my daughter asked me where the rest of the wing was. :-)
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX
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Reply to
Wayne Cook
Starfighters rule.... truely a "manned missile" The ultimate in the concept of wrapping a bit of sheet metal around a real big engine...and let 'er rip.
al in colorado
ps...But NOTHING ....absolutely NOTHING is as impressive as being near an SR-71 Blackbird when the "Sled-Driver" slips the sticks into full AB.
Reply to
accunlmtd
Hmmm ... I wonder why the contrail disappeared. With all that much more fuel being burned and water vapor being created, I would think that the contrail would get even bigger. Anybody know? Bob
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
In the early '70's, me and the buds used to go down to Boeing Field, sneak in next to 13R (31L), get drunk and wait for 747s to land. We were Less than 50' off the runway in the scrub. VERY impressive. JR Dweller in the cellar
Eric R Snow wrote:
Reply to
JR North
I beleive there are still a fair number of Starfighters in use around the world with small air forces.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Well, I had a Fiat once..
Reply to
JohnM
I was on board the USS ENTERPRISE during the Viet-Nam war. One miserably hot night in the Tonkin Gulf, a sailor found a "cool" place to sleep. Most of the flight deck is surrounded by catwalks. But the areas where there are no catwalks are protected by safety nets to catch people who fall off the edge of the flight deck and save them from a rather unpleasant swim. One such area is the forward edge of the deck. Our hero slipped down over the deck edge and sacked out in the net. He was sleeping real good when, about 2 AM, the ship started to launch F-4's. Other than the afterburners giving him a haircut that exceeded Marine Corps specs, he didn't end up toooo much the worse for wear....
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Foster
| | I was on board the USS ENTERPRISE during the Viet-Nam war. One miserably | hot night in the Tonkin Gulf, a sailor found a "cool" place to sleep. Most | of the flight deck is surrounded by catwalks. But the areas where there are | no catwalks are protected by safety nets to catch people who fall off the | edge of the flight deck and save them from a rather unpleasant swim. One | such area is the forward edge of the deck. Our hero slipped down over the | deck edge and sacked out in the net. He was sleeping real good when, about | 2 AM, the ship started to launch F-4's. Other than the afterburners giving | him a haircut that exceeded Marine Corps specs, he didn't end up toooo much | the worse for wear.... | | Jerry
Oh, dat's funny rot there fer sure! Thanks for the laugh. I wonder if they could smell the burning hair over the rest of the flight deck since the ship was turned into the wind? Just thinking about _that_ makes me laugh again!
Reply to
carl mciver
."
While on a tincan in that era that plane guarded those bird farms I remember the ABs on launch-pretty impressive sight for a farm kid. I remember while on the bridge one night on the 12 to 4 the ood getting via semaphore the order for plane guard and having to remember which way to manuver in the dark (no running lights) in a 8 ship formation without getting runover... that collage kid was sweating bullets but did fine.. We could hardly keep up on launch with a nuke carrier man they were fast.
DE
Reply to
DE
There was a "Wings" or such show featuring the 104s and they looked so natural with the big German Iron Cross on them. The show stated that many were still flying but I don't know when it was shot. Still, one of my favorite aircraft! Got a ride in an Ardvark when I was young, a friend of the family designed the crew module.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Are you talking about Hawker Hunter XL614/N614XL, that crashed in PA in 2003? See
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(you might have to stitch that link together, story at the bottom of the page, or just google "hawker hunter" xl614)
I thought that plane was destroyed. I know the former owner, who sold it in 2002 (I think). He doesn't talk about it. He also owned another Hunter, a single seater, sold at/about the same time.
Reply to
Ron DeBlock
Nope It was aircraft 745, which was originally a single seat that we had removed the forward cockpit section from and installed a 2 seat (side by side) cockpit section on, to convert if from a F Mk 50 (fighter) to a T Mk 8...(trainer) .It happened in 1998 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Pilots name wa John Childress. Plane essentially flamed out on approach duruiing a series of touch and goes and some other low altitude manuvers the pilot wa doing, and came in as a pancake landing......IIRC there really was minimal damage overall to the aircraft, and it was his delay in ejecting and reliance on his training (trust your instruments etc) that cost him his life..... His drouge chute on his canopy was deployed but the seat never left the aircraft as he pulled too late. He was a teriffic pilot, and at one time flew as a member of the Thunderbird's, as well as later being the OIC in charge of the USAF demostration team in F4's. The USAF demonstration team is not the same thing as a Thunderbird member, as its usually one pilot that takes a single ship to a base to demo its capability to a new gaining unit to get their adrenalin pumping etc......He used to be regular USAF, then joined the Alabama Air NAtional guard as a Recce and later a fighter pilot, in addition to being a Captain for either Delta or American Airlines, and later on he was transferred by the ALA NAt Guard to a position in Washington DC as a National Guard Liason Officer to the USAF, where he still moon lighted as a commercial airlines captain as well as chielf pilot for the company that bought the aircraft from Northern Lights when it went out of Business.
The link detaining all investigation of this accident is below. The aircraft you mentioned also at one time belonged to Northern Lights and was acquired later on after acft 745 IIRC and it came from Ruwanda S.A . Air Force IIRC....
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============================================== Put some color in your cheeks...garden naked! "The original frugal ponder" ~~~~ } ~~~~~~ } ~~~~~~~ }
Reply to
Roy
The aircraft I mentioned was a two-seater, I'm nearly positive that the seats were tandem (one behind the other), not side-by-side. I was in the thing, and I can't remember for sure (gettin' old, I guess). Dunno if it was built that way or converted.
The guy that owned the Hunters is British, and had flown for the RAF in Africa. He kept them at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton airport in PA before he sold them. Some guys get the really cool toys, though I imagine they weren't cheap (I didn't ask what they cost).
Reply to
Ron DeBlock

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