Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
Early Aircraft Projects / Re: Early Flying Car Designs
« Last post by steelpillow on Today at 03:00:25 am »
An early flying car was the Whitehead No.21 of 1901, more notorious for its controversial challenge to the Wright Flyer as the first heavier-than-air machine to fly under its own power. It had two engines, with the road wheels driven by one and the propeller by the other. On takeoff both were coupled together to drive the propeller. The wings were collapsible with radial "bat-wing" ribs supporting a fabric surface and were folded back alongside the fuselage for road travel. It seems to have had a patent wing-warping system for flight control, powered by compressed air.

Sadly there is so much sound and fury on both sides of the who-flew-first debate that it is difficult to say whether it did actually fly, or even hop. The best I can determine, it could certainly chunter down the road, most probably hop into an assisted glide and may even have sustained flight, but the flight control system did not work and Whitehead said that he barely avoided crashing into an obstacle by leaning hard over to one side.

His No.22, which he built in 1902, had a rudder and twin propellers with differential power control, and was claimed to have flown full circle.

John Brown came across the Whitehead machines while researching the history of flying cars at the Smithsonian. His flying car website is at but from the look of it he seems to have dropped his flying car research when the first-to-fly furore erupted, not least because the site does not mention Whitehead. For that we have to suffer the battle-weariness of his (a useful resource from the opposite side of the debate is on Carrol Grey's web site at ). I wonder if that research monograph will ever get published.
Postwar Aircraft Projects / Re: Embraer KC-390 concepts
« Last post by ouroboros on Today at 01:57:34 am »
Pretty spiffy lowrider tow frame thing used for the rollout. I guess it's an electric tow tug?
Postwar Aircraft Projects / Re: Armstrong Whitworth AWP.22 M Wing SST
« Last post by zebedee on Today at 01:51:49 am »
You got to my flickr page before me Paul...  ;) 

Its my own fault... I've been meaning to post it and 'some other stuff' for ages... :)

Aerospace / Re: Tigerfish Aviation - Retractable Pontoons
« Last post by ouroboros on Today at 12:55:20 am »
The stealthy <snerk> SOF insertion flying wing seaplane and the torpedo dropping/sonar dipping Global Hawk are a nice touch...
who is the publisher - Schiffer ?
The Bar / Re: Low Oil Prices Impact On Russia - Cold War Redux?
« Last post by CJGibson on Yesterday at 11:24:59 pm »
BBC2's Newsnight had an interview with Gary Kasparov and discussion with Michael Sandel on Russia and Putin.

Starts at 18:00 minute in.

Early Aircraft Projects / Re: Japanese Projects before 1945
« Last post by blackkite on Yesterday at 10:49:16 pm »
Hi! Nakajima E12N.

The first, in June 1937, the Navy proposed that companies Nakajima and Aichi, in accordance with the issued specification 12-Shi to design and build a runnable twin catapult seaplane Scout. In addition to the functions of the razvedchika prektiruemyj specification 12-Shi seaplane was to be able to perform diving operations with anti-ship 250-kg bomb at an angle of 60°.

Design work on a new plane in the company of Nakajima began in the summer of 1937, under the leadership of Sinroku Inoue (Inoue Shinroku). To enable additional features dive-bombing Aichi and Nakajima took dvuhpoplavkovuű configuration oblegčavšuű suspension of the bomb. Nakajima was the feature of the development of a mechanism to move the bomb that moves it in front of the sbrosmo out of the ometaniâ screws. To decrease drag in the bottom of the fuselage recess was taken to contain half of the bombs.

Two prototypes with full metal construction were collected in the summer of 1938 a year. The planes were low-wing monoplane with a tapered wing and two floats, podderživavšimisâ conventional N-shaped Struts and diagonal. Two large slotted wing flap was a new feature, adding boarding lift forces and launches from a catapult.

Thanks to the applied design features aircraft iml significant advantage in features compared to the previous sea plane-Scout, that is created by sea plane-Scout Nakajima type 95 (Dave). However, this aircraft lacked the expected Fleet management and sustainability. As a result, these aircraft, known as E12N1, is not interested in the fleet, who stopped in their preferences on competitor Nakajima-Aichi E12A1. The company has considerable confidence in Aichi to E12A1, suggesting that his development as a triple plane. This aircraft became the triple intelligence seaplane type 0 (Aichi E13A1), received from the Allied code Jake and Nakajima E12N1 became the last sea plane-Scout.
Although the Phantom was unquestionably Phabulous, here would be little value to the USN in developing a Super Phantom using Spey.  Although its higher thrust did benefit the F-4 down low, the increased drag at medium and high altitudes negated the gains and the J79 Phantoms actually outperformed the Spey ones in those situations.  Plus, you're adding a whole new engine not used anywhere else in the US to the supportability and logistics chain.

The A-7D used the Allison TF41, an Americanized Spey. Are you thinking more along the lines of a Strike Phantom procurement leading to no A-7D?

Just adding thrust without updating other systems, improving maintainability (there was a reason that one of its nicknames was "The Beast")and making aerodynamic and fuselage changes to take advantage of the thrust would mean you'd end up with simply a noisier Phantom.   Making those changes would be very expensive.

I was thinking the F-4K design could be used as the basis for the design. Also, modernizing an existing design tends to be cheaper and quicker to develop than a fresh sheet design, and allows some existing machinery and competencies to be reused. I don't know how difficult it would be to improve maintainability, but I think cockpit ergonomics might not be as difficult to improve. McDonnell Douglas could use research developed for the F-15 program to assist in that effort.

Not to be overlooked is the reality that some members of Congress  would use work on a Super Phantom as a rationale for killing the far superior F-14.

I suppose that could be a risk. After all, the Phantom started as a fighter/interceptor and only later was moved into more strike oriented roles as newer fighter/interceptors entered service. I don't know if the Phantom could be modified to use the AWG-9/Phoenix combination though, although I think the F-4L would was proposed as a Spey powered AWG-9/Phoenix missile variant.

USAF faces a similar situation; they didn't want too much more development going into the F-4 lest that be used as an excuse to kill the F-15.

The F-15 is far more maneuverable than the F-4, although perhaps the USAF could push for an improved F-15 baseline design featuring canards and 2D thrust vectoring. The Super/Strike Phantom could lead to a better Eagle.

As an alternative to the Congressionally imposed Hornet, a better and probably cheaper choice would have been to continue with the F-14 into the original F-14B & C series (If they could have gotten the F401 to work) and move forward with the A-7X, the latter aircraft discussed elsewhere in this forum.

Reading up on the F-14, it looks like the program was derailed for about twenty years. The F-14D sounds like what the F-14B/C were supposed to be sometime in the 1970s. I didn't know that the TF30 was only supposed to be an interim engine, but it explains why something that posed so many headaches during the F-111 program was selected for the F-14. It was only intended as an early/pre-production engine.

The A-7X is quite interesting too, but I haven't been able to find much about its avionics fit and how it would have performed in aerial combat.

As far as exports go, of the aircraft listed there was no export interest, except for a country with Australia's needs, for the F-111.

It's rumored that the Shah inquired about purchasing the F-111 sometime in the late 1960s/early 1970s, but was told to ask again later due to the problems the program was having. Of course, there was also the British order to replace the cancelled TSR-2 that was itself canceled.

It wasn't that other nations couldn't afford the F-14, it's that except for Iran (where we wanted the Shah's cash to overcome a funding shortfall early in the Tomcat program), we wouldn't allow any other nation to buy the F-14.

Canada, Germany, and Japan gave the F-14 serious consideration in the 1970s. The United Kingdom probably could have purchased the F-14 as well, although the Panavia Tornado was a vital program for the British aerospace industry.

In any case, it would become an issue of cost vs. benefit for vastly reworking the F-4.  A princely sum would be needed to produce a true Super Phantom and who would fund that?  And of course Dassault was out there with a whole family of modern Mirages which might be cheaper to buy and operate than a vastly updated Phantom. 

Boeing partnered with Pratt for a Super Phantom powered by two PW1120s (which would have been a much better choice than the Spey), but abandoned it early in the program when they saw what it would cost and how small the market would be.  Similarly, Israel built and flew a prototype of their Super Phantom 2000 using the PW1120 but abandoned it because of the cost, a withdrawl of support by MDD and the fact that they could buy F15s and -16s which gave them more bang for the buck.

That's why I was thinking more late 1960s/early 1970s for the program. While the historical Super Phantom proposals were interesting, the airframes were beginning to show their age by the time the 1980s proposals were made, and they would have been more along the lines of interim options.

The last American F-4 was produced in 1979 though, so it's more unusual that there was essentially a design freeze on the Phantom during a period of rapid development in avionics, engines, and other technologies. McDonnell Douglas might have been able to sale new aircraft and/or upgrade packages if it had developed them as an official manufacturer upgrade in the 1970s.
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10