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North American XB-70

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Donald McKelvy
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I don't understand the connection XB-70 Guy. By the way, if you are referring to Han Solo's starship it is spelled Millennium Falcon.
 

Steve Pace

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It's just a joke because of the unique angle that it was photographed at and excuse my bad spelling.
 

Just call me Ray

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You know what, I'm going to reply to this with the most useful, appropriate thing I can think of:



what is this i dont even
 

mz

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Notice how completely old and outdated the whole surrounding world looks in that rear photo...
 

Sundog

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Was the last photo taken at Wright Pat? It's interesting to see an Argosy in the background.
 

overscan

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Renamed topic to be more descriptive of its contents :)
 

Steve Pace

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Wright-Patterson after its last flight to there from Edwards in Feb 1969.
 

JohnR

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How did the escape capsule work - in particular how did it avoid dismembering the crew member? How similar was the ejection capsule on the F111?

I have always been haunted by the story in the early to mid eighties of the RAF Lighting pilot being when the guillotine on his ejection seat misfired and instead of cutting his seat straps took his head off.

Regards.
 

Apollo Leader

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JohnR said:
How did the escape capsule work - in particular how did it avoid dismembering the crew member? How similar was the ejection capsule on the F111?

I have always been haunted by the story in the early to mid eighties of the RAF Lighting pilot being when the guillotine on his ejection seat misfired and instead of cutting his seat straps took his head off.

Regards.
Regarding the the Lightning pilot, yikes!

As for the XB-70's escape capsule, in the one case where it was used (in the collision of XB-70 #2 and an F-104), pilot Al White got his one arm caught in the closing capsule shell and dislocated it when he tried to pull himself free.
 

Steve Pace

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Correction: White successfully encapsulated himself but made a very hard landing because only two of three 'chutes deployed and the ablative bladder wasn't as advertised. His resulting back injury was severe enough to end his flying career (couldn't pass a physical). He said, as far as he knew, co-pilot Cross didn't do anything to save himself - didn't begin the first step to encapsulate. -Steve Pace (two B-70 books, two B-70 articles)
 

F-14D

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JohnR said:
How did the escape capsule work - in particular how did it avoid dismembering the crew member? How similar was the ejection capsule on the F111?


Regards.
Note also that on the XB-70, the enclosure just encapsulated the crewmember and seat, whereas in the F-111 the entire crew compartment was ejected intact. It's worthy of note that the B-1A was originally designed with a crew compartment that separated intact similar to the F-111. This was abandoned early on when it was determined that conventional ejection seats actually gave a better chance of survivable than ejecting the whole compartment. The first three B-`As were too far along to make the change, but the fourth -1A, and all the Bs used regular ejection seats.
 

F-14D

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XB-70 Guy said:
Correction: White successfully encapsulated himself but made a very hard landing because only two of three 'chutes deployed and the ablative bladder wasn't as advertised. His resulting back injury was severe enough to end his flying career (couldn't pass a physical). He said, as far as he knew, co-pilot Cross didn't do anything to save himself - didn't begin the first step to encapsulate. -Steve Pace (two B-70 books, two B-70 articles)
You know, what I had always heard was that when the seat moved into the capsule his elbow was too far out and got trapped when the hood closed. The ejection sequence was not completely automatic and he had to pull the handles after being inside the capsule, which meant he had to free his elbow or he could lose his arm in the ejection. He did, and then successfully ejected. The airbag for landing, I thought, had to be triggered manually (seems like an oversight in design there?) and with all the drama, confusion and disorientation Al White didn't perform that step. That, plus the failure of one of the 'chutes meant he landed so hard his rear formed an impression in the seat, resulting in the injuries described above.

Later analysis showed that for whatever reason, Major Cross waited too long to initiate escape. The spin had built up g-forces to the extent that they exceeded the ability of the retraction mechanism to pull the seat into his capsule, tragically resulting in his being trapped in the aircraft and lost.

Come to think of it, these accounts aren't inconsistent.
 

Stargazer2006

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Great find. Was the honeycomb used all over the airplane, or only in specific areas?
 

Steve Pace

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All over - it's called stainless steel honeycomb sandwich.
 

Justo Miranda

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JohnR said:
How did the escape capsule work - in particular how did it avoid dismembering the crew member? How similar was the ejection capsule on the F111?

I have always been haunted by the story in the early to mid eighties of the RAF Lighting pilot being when the guillotine on his ejection seat misfired and instead of cutting his seat straps took his head off.

Regards.
Additional info here
 

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RAJ47

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Check this out.
http://sobchak.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/cutaway-north-american-xb-70-valkyrie/
 

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Woody

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Can anybody tell me why the XB-70 had so many separated elevon segments?

Cheers, Woody
 

RAJ47

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Plz check page #6.
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/pdf/87763main_H-554.pdf
 

Tailspin Turtle

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Edwards AFB was a great place to be in 1966 when I was assigned there as a junior flight test engineer for McAir: lifting body "flights", XV-15 landings, XC-142 hovers, YF-12 engine starts (more impressive than you'd think), a crash every other month. (The crash discussed above had occurred a few months before my arrival.) The XB-70 made an impression, too. The first time I saw it was from afar one evening, with it parked in a hangar. It didn't look very big, since it was proportioned like a fighter, nobody was around it, and the hangar turned out to be very, very big. A month or so later, I got to walk up close to it at an Edwards open house, and it turned out to be huge. I vaguely remember that I could reach up and just barely touch the belly.

The survivor was flying one day when I was driving in, with a new pilot being checked out. On this particular flight, he was doing touch and goes on the big Edwards runway. What made it more impressive was that there was a B-58 piloted by one of the B-70 pilots flying close chase on the inside of the closed circuits, not touching down.
 

Woody

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RAJ47 said:
Plz check page #6.
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/pdf/87763main_H-554.pdf
Very interesting paper - thanks. But apart from explaining that the 4 outer segments (2 on each wing) were attached to the folding portion of the wing and explaining mathematical expressions for the various factors measured, I can't see where it explains the reason for multiply segmented nature of the elevons.

Cheers, Woody
 

SOC

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Wasn't that some sort of official art having to do with revealing the aircraft's chosen nickname?
 

Steve Pace

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I think so. It's the depiction of a Valkyrie on her steed deciding the outcome of battle.
 

Rudolph

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sirs........ the xb-70 looked like a good aircraft, but heres my question..aprox. how many 750 or 1000 lb. bombs could she carry?????????
 

Firefly 2

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Rudolph said:
sirs........ the xb-70 looked like a good aircraft, but heres my question..aprox. how many 750 or 1000 lb. bombs could she carry?????????
It might be an amateur's guess but I would say none. It just wasn't configured for conventional armament, and then there is the problem of conventional bombing at high supersonic cruising speeds. It just doesn't seem very practical to me.

Wouter
 

Michel Van

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Rudolph said:
sirs........ the xb-70 looked like a good aircraft, but heres my question..aprox. how many 750 or 1000 lb. bombs could she carry?????????
B-70 was design to drop 14 Nuclear Bombs from high altitude of 70,000 ft (21,300 m)
 

sferrin

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Firefly 2 said:
Rudolph said:
sirs........ the xb-70 looked like a good aircraft, but heres my question..aprox. how many 750 or 1000 lb. bombs could she carry?????????
It might be an amateur's guess but I would say none. It just wasn't configured for conventional armament, and then there is the problem of conventional bombing at high supersonic cruising speeds. It just doesn't seem very practical to me.

Wouter
Other than accuracy (yeah, I know, not a minor thing) why would a conventional bomb be any harder to drop than a nuke? On the other hand, it would be a pretty expensive way to deliver unguided conventional bombs and you can't really loiter at Mach 3 so it wouldn't even be useful as a bomb truck. Now if you had a swath of targets you needed to take out in one pass (say, to break up an attack across the Taiwan Strait) it would be just the trick. 25,000lbs of SDBs dropped at Mach 3. . .
 
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