the sexiest aircraft

Hveem wrote:


This is troll bait, but I can't resist.
You fellows are philistines, with your big jets.
AH-56 Cheyenne- a pretty aircraft with a mean streak.
DeHavilind Vampire- for lovers of the exotic
OV-1 Mohawk- now _there's_ a piece of tail. Widowmaker, of course, but captivating.
Grumman Widgeon- You have to love a beach babe.
I have to face it. I'm aeronautically promiscuous.
Kevin Gallimore
-
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says...

Hughes H-1
http://www.wrightools.com/hughes /
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BD-10. JR Dweller in the cellar
Hveem wrote:

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JR North wrote:

Are you familiar with the history of the BD-10? It is pretty bloody!
It killed a very close friend of Jim Bede's, and another test pilot. There were two crashses, both related to serious design defects and totally inadequate engineering.
I think it was the first accident, was due to the torque tube that coupled the two flap drives together to one motor failing such that the flaps were left assymetric.
I think it was the second accident that was due to the twin vertical stabilizers not being pointed right into the flow, which was slightly diverging at that location. (McDonnell-Douglas had very similar problems with the F-15.) But, the structure holding the fin onto the fuselage was found to fail at 80% of the rated design load, a negative safety factor. After one fin let go, the unbalanced yawing force made the plane unflyable. At that point, any sane person would wonder how many MORE design errors were lurking in there, waiting to kill the very unwise 3rd test pilot.
I was REALLY interested in this aircraft, when the project started, but things wend from bad, to worse, to tragic.
There were other problems they worked through before the fatal accidents, like the nose gear clevis breaking apart on the first taxi test. That should have been a wakeup call to everybody that this thing needed an outside engineering review.
Jon
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Approximately as unreliable, dangerous, and unstable as any of the sexy women I have known. Therefore....:) Besides, doesn't mean it's not sexy. JR Dweller in the cellar BTW: good footage of a BD-10 in action in James Bond-Octopussy Jon Elson wrote:

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Oops... I meant BD5-J, not BD-10. JR Dweller in the cellar
JR North wrote:

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Lessee.... http://www.bd5.com/bd5.htm
JR North wrote:

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On Fri, 13 Jan 2006 23:08:40 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm, JR

No, it was the shorter-winged BD-5A that was the squirrely one. As I read it, the rest had longer wings and much more stability.
--- Chaos, panic, and disorder--my work here is done. http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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But if Elson is right, and it's hard for me to believe, it was a very badly engineered aircraft. Any aircraft without flap asymmetry protection is an accident waiting to happen. Been working on them for 38 years now, and I've never encountered one without flap asymmetry lockout. Something that stupid just can't be sexy from where I'm sitting. I guess you can get away with it on the type of thing that Bede built. I sure wouldn't have flown in it.
Garrett Fulton
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gfulton wrote:

It was a TOTAL disaster from beginning to end. The structural engineering was apparently done on the back of an envelope. I have all the company newsletters, which detail some of the early goofs. When the nose gear broke up on the first taxi test, and they had to admit it was bad engineering, I started to wonder what was going wrong. I've read the NTSB brief synopsis of the two accidents, just look under type BD-10, they should pop up. There was a site that had a complete post-mortem on the 2nd accident, where they took a production rear section and tested it to failure with the traditional hydraulic test rig. (Why didn't anybody do a SINGLE structural test on the plane BEFORE it flew? Huh?) They showed it failed at 80% of the design stress.
Here are a few Google hits on the search string "BD-10 crash"
http://www.aircraftdesigns.com/flutter-analysis.html
Apparently, people are STILL trying to make it work : http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id 030310X00313&key=1
http://www.lancair.net/flutter.html
Some pix : http://w1.rob.com/pix/BD10
When Bede was starting up the project I thought seriously of quitting my job and volunteering to set up their flight test instrumentation. Glad I didn't do that, as they would have laughed me out of the place. Their idea of flight dynamics testing was to strike the stick at ever increasing airspeeds, and hope they would notice a poorly damped vibration and stop to fix the problem. The dreaded "thump" test, abandoned in the 1940's as way too unscientific. And, apparently, one of the accidents was caused by a flutter problem, too. I'm not sure where the vertical stabilizer strength fit into all this, or whether that was a false direction. But, still, anything that fails at less that the DESIGN load is really scary.
Jon
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Jim Bede's BD-10 really was a nice looking aircraft but as we all know it suffered engineering problems. I would also place it as the sexiest aircraft.
A fellow named Burt Rutan who used to work with Jim Bede, decided to venture out on his own and produced several very interesting aircraft. If any man on this earth was to win the famous X-Prize for getting into outer space without being funded by a government, I knew Rutan could do it. His White Knight and SpaceShipOne made headlines all across the country. Rutan is one heck of an engineer. Back in the 70's, he designed and flew a little aircraft called the Quickie into Oshkosh for the annual flyin. What most folks didn't know is that he flew it 2500 miles on $25 worth of fuel. It got approximately 104 mpg. That is quite the engineering feat. Rutan produced the Long EZ and many other beautiful aircraft. Rutan gets my vote for the best aircraft engineer in my lifetime.
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Burt's right up there, I agree, but you've gotta include Kelly Johnson in the same league. Kelly designed the P-38 in the late 30's, and the SR-71 in the 60's. That 's quite a career. Along with Harry Miller (Miller FWD Indy cars, Offenhauser engine), he's one of my engineering heros.
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Bob (Chief Pilot, White Knuckle Airways)


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There's also Kelly's British counterpart: Barnes Wallace.
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Barnes Wallace had a great career, but he wasn't an aircraft designer. His bouncing bombs and earthquake bombs were both big successes, but I don't believe he ever designed an airplane. R. J Mitchell, however, WAS a great aircraft designer. His Schneider Trophy planes were beautiful, and led directly to the Spitfire.
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Bob (Chief Pilot, White Knuckle Airways)


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Try the Wellington and the Wellesley (among others).
He was Vickers' chief aircraft designer at the time.
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Sorry, I stand corrected. I read his biography years ago, but didn't recall any association with Vickers.
BTW, for those of you who are Mosquito and Spitfire fans, have a look at this: http://www.alexisparkinn.com/photogallery/Videos/2006-merlins.mpeg (warning - large file). When I first saw this, I thought, wow, there are FOUR airworthy Mosquitos somewhere. I then went back to the original link and saw that these are computer generated! Completely fooled me. The story on this video simulation is at: http://www.angel.ne.jp/~tochy/ . Pretty amazing.
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Bob (Chief Pilot, White Knuckle Airways)


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Bob,
You might want to re-read Paul Brickhill's "The Dam Busters" also. <G>
His bomb work was only a part-time effort, undertaken during lunch breaks and in his "off time".
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I re-read it about ten years ago. Still a good read. I read it the first time in the 60's (damn, giving away my age again).
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Bob (Chief Pilot, White Knuckle Airways)


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<chuckling>
I last re-read it last week (for the umpteenth time). <G>
Don't worry about the Vintage Factor: I still remember the Blue Angels performing in F6Fs at the Corpus Christi NAS Airshow. [I wound up with a terrific sunburn that day.]
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In addition to the Wellington and the Wellesley bombers of WW2, you may be more familiar with 2 of his later designs: the Harrier and the Concords. <G>
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