The Aviation Thread [Contains Lots of Awesome Pictures]

Blayde

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Actually they operate two, A7-MAB and A7-MAA, the first one is used more to transport horses for the royal stables than troops but both are air force planes, only one was painted though :p
 

Ramseus

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They aren't military planes though, and they aren't dressed up as United Airlines planes or something.
 

Viper007Bond

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Explanation: It is the tallest rocket in active use. The Delta IV Heavy is the largest of the Delta series, packing the punch of three rocket boosters instead of the usual one. The resulting rocket, the most powerful in use by the US Air Force, is capable of lifting over 23,000 kilograms into low Earth orbit, comparable to NASA's Space Shuttle. Pictured above is the second launch of the Delta IV Heavy from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA in 2007, and the first night launch. Complex service towers are visible to each side of the soaring rocket. The rocket successfully lifted a reconnaissance satellite to low Earth orbit. The Delta IV Heavy has since completed several more successful lift-offs, while its next launch is currently planned from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, USA, next month.
 

KaJuN

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Out of boredom I think I'm going to start highlighting awesome aircrafts from the past that are often forgotten or overlooked. There's a lot of cool stuff out there and for the most part they stay in the shadows of stuff like the SR-71 and X-15 and the like.

Up first, the Convair B-58 Hustler:



The USAF's first supersonic bomber. It's awesome to me because it had a top speed of over 1,300mph and used advanced technologies like a delta wing and honeycomb skin panels...in 1956. Over it's ten year service life it set 19 speed and altitude records and won five aviation trophies.

But the coolest part has to be the ejection system.



When the supersonic B-58 Hustler entered service in 1961, it had individual ejection seats for its three crew members. However, ejection at speeds above 665 mph was extremely hazardous. To improve ejection survivability, the Stanley Aircraft Corp. developed a high-speed high-altitude capsule ejection system that would allow safe ejection at supersonic speed. The capsule was adopted for retrofit beginning in late 1962, making the B-58 the first USAF aircraft with a capsule ejection system. It was effective throughout the flight envelope up to 70,000 feet and twice the speed of sound.

The capsule has airtight clam shell doors and independent pressurization and oxygen supply systems, with survival gear packed inside. Raising a handgrip activated the restraint system harness securing the occupant inside and closed the capsule doors. The crew member could continue the ejection procedure and be catapulted upward by a rocket out of the aircraft by squeezing an ejection trigger or could remain encapsulated in the event of cabin pressure or oxygen loss until the aircraft reached a lower altitude. The pilot's capsule contained a control stick and other controls necessary to fly the aircraft while encapsulated. After ejection, a parachute lowered the capsule and shock absorbers eased the impact of the capsule on touchdown. The capsule floated if it landed on water and additional flotation cells could be manually inflated to provide stability on water, turning the capsule into a life raft.
http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=2691
 

Labcoatguy

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"Obscure wonders" is a common thread for a lot of Cold War era Convair planes. Exhibit B, the B-36 Peacemaker:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-36
Wider wingspan than the B-52 that followed it, and initially powered by six 28-cylinder Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major engines. These were twin-spark engines so there were a total of 336 spark plugs to deal with, and on top of that they were twin-charged and used four-barrel carburettors. They added the jet engines later for better top speed, as if those six huge propellers weren't enough. Bigass mofo, and because of that it was used for crazy experiments like:
In May 1946, the Air Force began the Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft (NEPA) project which was followed in May 1951 by the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion (ANP) program. The ANP program required that Convair modify two B-36s under the MX-1589 project. One of the modified B-36s studied shielding requirements for an airborne reactor to determine whether a nuclear aircraft was feasible. The Nuclear Test Aircraft (NTA) was a B-36H-20-CF (serial number 51-5712) that had been damaged in a tornado at Carswell AFB on 1 September 1952. This aircraft, designated the XB-36H (and later NB-36H), was modified to carry a 1 MW, air-cooled nuclear reactor in the aft bomb bay, with a four-ton lead disc shield installed in the middle of the aircraft between the 1,000-kilowatt reactor and the cockpit. A number of large air intake and exhaust holes were installed in the sides and bottom of the aircraft's rear fuselage to cool the reactor in flight. On the ground, a crane would be utilized to remove the 35,000 pound reactor from the aircraft. To protect the crew, the highly-modified cockpit was encased in lead and rubber, with a 1-foot-thick (30 cm) leaded glass windshield. The reactor was operational but did not power the aircraft; its sole purpose was to investigate the effect of radiation on aircraft systems. Between 1955 and 1957, the NB-36H completed 47 test flights and 215 hours of flight time, during 89 of which the reactor was critical.
 
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Blind_Io

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My favorite shot of the B-58 Hustler.



In related news, be very careful using the word "Hustler" in any GIS.
 

SpitfireMK461

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The USAF's first supersonic bomber. It's awesome to me because it had a top speed of over 1,300mph and used advanced technologies like a delta wing and honeycomb skin panels...in 1956. Over it's ten year service life it set 19 speed and altitude records and won five aviation trophies.
An aerospace professor of mine at school was one of the engineers to design that plane. He used it to tell us a story about how a journalist catching a single photo of it would have been enough to tell the Russians everything important about its performance.
 

Chaos

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And it's being replaced by... guess what! The F-35! Yay.......
 

janstett

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Well worth 45 minutes of viewing, for those who are not that into the detailed camera views, start viewing from the 30 minute mark onwards for some awesome shots.
I could have sworn this was available up to 720p at first, but I came back to it a few days later and it's 480p max. This is also so good I'd like to keep it -- is there a HQ version somewhere?
 

KaJuN

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King air fever:

Enter Derek in 3...2...1...

Also, Kingairs are ridiculously loud. I can be standing next to a C-130 with all four engines running and still hear the King taxiing by over all that racket.
 

nsx_23

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I have King Air fever because I've been working so much on them lately along with the Beechcraft 1900D.
 
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