Monday, August 31, 2015

Douglas 1906A Proposal

Scan0001 A photo article from Aviation Week on the  proposed Douglas 1906A Turboprop fleet resupply project, dated April 8, 1957.

The Douglas 1906A project was designed for fleet aerial resupply and U.S. Marine light assault duties. It was to have four Lycoming T55 turboprops. The wing span was to be 102 ft. 5 in. and the length 88 ft. 2 in.

This is a little known proposal; but, there is a good discussion on it at the Secret Projects website.

Click here to view article

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Douglas C-132

Scan0002 Scan0005 

A photo article from Aviation Week on the  proposed Douglas C-132 project, dated April 8, 1957. I have included a few more drawings that I had.

From Wikipedia: The Douglas C-132 was a proposed transport aircraft, based on the company's C-124 Globemaster II. Design studies began in 1951 but the project was cancelled in 1957 by the USAF.

Click here for article and additional info

Additional web sources are here and here

A very detailed article is available from Scott Lowther at Aerospace Products Review

Saturday, August 29, 2015

RF-4B NATOPS Flight Manual - Earlier Copy

Untitled 2 An earlier copy of the Navair 01-245FDC-1 RF-4B NATOPS Flight Manual, this one is dated December 15 1965. This document contains all the operating and performance data for the RF-4B Phantom II aircraft.

Click here to download the manual in PDF form

Click here for a later copy

Friday, August 28, 2015

Missouri Air National Guard F-100D and F-100F

Untitled 1 Some Missouri Air National Guard F-100D and “F” photos that I took while on a tour of the the 131st Tactical Fighter Wing’s facility at Lambert airport in St. Louis, Mo. Note that these photos are before the red tail banner was applied. The photos are very poor; but, as I continue to say – any photo is better than no photo!

Click here to view photos

Click here for lots of good Mo ANG F-100 photos

Click here for a F-100 Camouflage and Markings post

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Westinghouse Jet Engine Progress Booklet

Scan0001 An interesting booklet by the Westinghouse Corp extolling the features of their jet engines. Undated; but, appears to be from the early 1950’s. Many photos and illustrations. Of course I like page 4 and 6 for the McAir products!

Click here to download the booklet in PDF form

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR1 at McAir

Scan0000Scan0001 I got an inquiry from a reader asking about the Harrier GR1 visit to McAir on July 31 1970 that I ran a photo of in the McAir Building #42 story.

He wants any details and if this early visit was the basis for future collaboration on Harrier II. As I remember, this was a meet and greet for our people to see the Harrier up close. This was during early negotiations for McAir to build the Harrier in the US.

I found a photo of the aircraft in hover and several of it on our ramp from a modeling article by Dick Powers. I included a couple of photos sent to me by Hawker Siddeley of the Kestrel FGA.1,during Tri-partite Evaluation Squadron evaluation.

Click here to view photos

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

AIM-95 Agile Missile

Lt_Ayers_and_prototype_AIM-95_1970 Since we have been talking about the AIM-82 and AIM-95, here is some additional info from Ron Hinkel via Mark Nankivil on how the AIM-9L took over the AIM-82/95 role:

“AIM-9L Background #1 - Way Back
In following the recent postings about Sidewinders, and the Aim-9L in particular, it is time I share what I know on how that came about. What I know and think about this subject comes from my assignment as Air Weapons Officer at Naval Weapons Station, China Lake from the fall of 1973 to summer 1976. Air weapons included Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground. Naturally, Sidewinder projects fell under air-to-air, so I can tell you today that I was there when it was being decided as to what the off-boresight limit and other parameters were to be developed in that missile. IMHO, as good as the -9L was, we, the Navy, gave up too much all-aspect air-to-air weapons capability to accommodate the USAF's lack of success. I'll let you judge later.
Recall the environment of the times; early 70's. Navy performance with F-8s and F-4's getting some Mig kills. AF frustrations with guys in the saddle only to have their Sidewinders go stupid or miss when they should have hit. This was the era of Pirate and the others teaching Navy tactics to them and the start of Top Gun. Now comes a big thrust by USAF brass to stop the embarrassment. Their arguments were that they needed a better Sidewinder, bought so many more missiles than the Navy, and for that they should be given a larger say as to what the next version would be. So they threw money at the project and DoD accepted, even giving them project Management control. The PM at China Lake for the AIM-9L was a LTCOL USAF. I know because I got to shoot one of the development missiles that did not kill the target. The recorded data showed the missile launch to be right in the designed test parameters, but that a circuit failed some where in the weapon system. Obviously, that flaw was fixed as your reported good results in the fleet show.

AIM-9L Background #2 - The Off-Boresight Battle
ACEVAL/AIMVAL Did any of you participate in this 1974-75 Air Farce forced "flyoff to determine what off-boresight capability the next joint missle should have?" In my duty as Air Weapons Officer, I was the Navy operational tech rep to the initial planning and evaluation with NAVWEPSCEN China Lake as the technical folks. China Lake and I were pushing for the 45 degree capability already proven available to our satisfaction and originally planned for the -9L by the Navy. The AF whose mentality at the time, if you recall, was based upon an F-4 with a gun pod, of course, disputed this. That, of course, turned it into a real fighter that could stay with the Migs. What they really wanted was an AIM-9B with minimal off-boresight, but one that worked. So the flyoff went on and the result was a compromise. I think that the AIM-9L off-boresight was set at one half of the 45 degrees and a head on capability was also required. That also had some effect on lowering the off-boresight angle because it was perceived that you had to be closer to head on for the missile performance to catch the guy if he turned away at launch. That does make sense, but I say perceived in that I don't recall if there was any real engineering quality data gathered during these flights to support the operational portion of this decision. Help us if you know something different out there. Technically, you have to remember that all Sidewinders, including the -9L, were fin controlled. That reduced all Sidewinder turning ability two ways. The missile had to go forward for a while to pick up speed before it could turn and the size of the fins were limited because the missile had to fit on the aircraft.

AIM-9L Background #3 - The Problem of Off-Boresight Capability
The issue of off-boresight capability was not, IMHO, fully understood completely by even the good guy Navy operators in the ACEVAL/AIMVAL decision loop. Frustrated as we were at China Lake at the time that was somewhat understandable because the whole thing was a humongous political football. And, its awful hard to see how really close the technology is to what you want without having at least some of the system in your hands trying it operationally. Then, having to fight for it in a David and Goliath scenario. They were in a tough position. Eventually, Navy Washington showed us all the real decision. They wanted the Air Force's money, so we were all told to sit down and shut up which we did. It has become even more understandable from your comments about the uncertainty and flux in training, tactics, Top Gun, etc. going on in the fleet.
The problem with off-boresight capability is that it goes against the grain of our training, our weapons to date, and our inherent instinct to best the other guy. We need to show him we are superior to him by getting behind him in the perfect firing so that he can't get away and blasting him out of the sky. Funny, when you think about it. How gallant is slipping up behind some unawares guy just motoring back to base and letting him have it. Not necessarily superior because it was Smiling Jack and he had the performance aircraft to kick your ass, if he had seen you. Further, I don't recall hearing any WWII ace say something like, "I got 123 kills, really 140, but I don't count those where the guy obviously didn't see me."
Yes, those individual kills win battles, especially a lot of them. But wars are won by attrition. That is reducing the number of enemy aircraft faster than he does yours. If I recall correctly, top gun was created in order to improve the kill ratio of Navy F-8s and F-4s to third world Migs. It is particularly important when one side or both have a fixed or limited supply of assets to draw from. IMHO, in the case of an aircraft carrier, a lot faster. What off-boresight capability gives you is a lesser need both air space and aircraft performance wise to be in the position to achieve your kills and very much less exposure to your being in position to be killed.
AIM-9L Background #4 - The Off-Boresight Capability we could Have Had (Agile)
I turned up at China Lake Naval Weapons Center as the newly appointed Air Weapons Officer and Agile Project Pilot in October 1973. The AIM-95 Agile was an air-to-air missile being developed as an advanced replacement for the AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile. The Navy intended it for the F-14. The US Air Force was developing the AIM-82 missile to equip the F-15 Eagle at the same time. Since both missiles were more or less identical in their role, it was decided to abandon the AIM-82 in favor of the Agile.
The Agile was equipped with a sophisticated, high tech (at the time), Gallium-arsenide infrared band seeker by Hughes. The seeker head had a large off-boresight capability (0 to +/- 165 degrees practical) lock-on capability. The pilot targeted it by using a Helmet Mounted Sight (HMS). A solid-state missile rocket engine was used to provide the go power. Control was achieved by thrust vectoring giving it superior turning capability over the Sidewinder. This combination of greatly improved IR sensor, large off-boresight acquisition and thrust vectoring control would allow Agile to be fired at targets which were not directly ahead•thus making it far easier to achieve a firing position. Did it ever,
I must have flown 20 or 30 test flights with the Agile seeker on F-4s. It was amazing in its ability to detect targets and lock on and track the target aircraft to all angles. Hughes did a fantastic job. The helmet mounted sight to acquire targets worked beautifully. I could climb, dive, stay level, roll inverted, zoom climb or dive, keep my speed up approaching the target or slow to simulate 1 vs. 1 turning and that seeker would lock on as soon as I put the sight on it and pressed the button. What made it even more outstanding was its ability to discriminate the target with a high sun caused hot white cloud background? I easily acquired the target aircraft at off-boresight angles of 0 to about 170 degrees. Now don't restrict your visualization of this to the plane of the wings. You have the whole half cone above you, and you could look down; essentially, wherever you could look you could acquire and shoot a launch and leave Agile. The easier acquisitions occurred when you didn't have to stretch your neck to make them; like between 30 degrees off the nose to about 135 degrees. Tactics, oh yeah! How about this idea? You are about to enter a many on many situation in deuce formation. You both keep the speed up or accelerate, if necessary. You pull up through the fur ball shoot two on the way up. Pull over the top, and shoot two on the way down and run like hell. Eight kills without not much chance of your getting hit. I mean it was going to be that good, I think.
The official line is: The AIM-95A was developed to a point where flight tests were carried out including test firing at China Lake (Not true, to my knowledge) and inclusion in the ACEVAL/AIMVAL Joint Test & Evaluation conducted with both the F-14 and F-15 at Nellis AFB in 1975-78. AIMVAL analysis results indicating limited utility of higher high boresight capability and high cost resulted in opinion that it was no longer regarded as affordable and the project was cancelled in 1975. Instead both the Air Force and Navy developed an improved version of the Sidewinder for use. Although this was intended to be an interim solution, in fact the AIM-9 continues in service today.
The Soviet Union did embark on development of an advanced high boresight SRM with thrust vectoring and subsequently fielded the AA-11/R-73 Archer on the MiG-29 in 1985. NATO learned about their performance due to the German reunification and efforts began to match or exceed the R-73's performance with the IRIS-T, AIM-9X and MICA IR programs.
Author's Note:  "If these used thrust vectoring it was Agile again. If not, how could they compete?"
Ron Hinkel
2 August 2015”

Wikipedia has a good write-up on the AIM-95 here

Another good article on AIM-82/95 is here

Monday, August 24, 2015

F-15 Full Scale Mockup Question (AIM-82) Update

Scan1206[2]Untitled 3 

Ron Hinkel reports that: (I turned up at China Lake Naval Weapons Center as the newly appointed Air Weapons Officer and Agile Project Pilot in October 1973. The AIM-95 Agile was an air-to-air missile being developed as an advanced replacement for the AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile. The Navy intended it for the F-14. The US Air Force was developing the AIM-82 missile to equip the F-15 Eagle at the same time. Since both missiles were more or less identical in their role, it was decided to abandon the AIM-82 in favor of the Agile.)”

Jack Abercrombie reports that the program had been canceled in 1970. “The Chicago Tribune in Sep 1970 reported the cancellation of the AIM-82: . To my recollection, MCAIR never did any wind tunnel testing of the AIM-82/F-15 configuration.”

Untitled 4

Click here to see original post

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ling-Temco-Vought A-7 Corsair II

Scan0010 While digging through my archives, I found these photos of A-7’s sent to me by LTV. I added a couple of good 3-views also.

Click here to view

Saturday, August 22, 2015

F-15 Eagle Recon and Sensor Pod

Sensor Pod Sensor Pod 1 Another item that was flight tested on an F-15 was a all purpose centerline recon pod for sensors and cameras. This is an article from the McAir “Team Talk” magazine on this subject.

Similar themed chin pod posts are here and here

Click here for a larger copy of the article

Friday, August 21, 2015

F/A-18E/F Configuration Baseline Report

Untitled 2 McDonnell Douglas Corp report # 91B0220, dated April 2,1991. This report defines the F/A-18E/F configuration baseline for the new version. It shows the upgrades and benefits of this “new” aircraft. It is an impressive document!
Due to some drawings being too faint to read in the above copy, I have made a 300DPI copy. Warning, this is a MUCH larger PDF (133MB)!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

F-15 Eagle Origins & Development 1964-1972

Untitled 2b While discussing another matter, Jack Abercrombie sent me this report from the Office of Air Force History. It is the account of the Air Force’s efforts to acquire a new air superiority fighter which became the F-15 Eagle. I thought that it would make a fine post!

The abstract, in part, reads like this:“This study traces the evolution of the F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter from its beginning in 1964 through the aircraft's first flight in July 1972. It examines the military. technological. economic and political influences on the weapon system
acquisition process. ….The story ends with air superiority reaffirmed as a major mission.”

Click here to view the report

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

F-4 Phantom II Development

Scan1714a One of the best side view/development illustrations on the F-4 from F4H-1 to F-4K/M that I have seen. (I would love to credit this chart; but, I don’t know where I got it.)

Click here to view a larger copy

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

F4H-1/F-110 Phantom II Air Progress Article

Scan-140730-0021   0022 A two page article from the Fall 1962 Air Progress magazine. It has a nice cut-away drawing of a F4H-1/F-110 aircraft. (For convenience, I stitched together the two pages.)

Click here to view article

Monday, August 17, 2015

McAir Building #42

!cid_ii_14e8eb10c55c7a8d Ben Dunbar wrote me last month about his obsession with the old McDonnell Aircraft Building #42 in St. Louis, where he currently works:

“I have worked as a mechanic at Trans States Airlines/GoJet Airlines here in St. Louis for the past ten years. We happen to occupy and comply with our scheduled maintenance out of the old McDonnell building 42. I have spent countless hours researching this building online and at the Missouri History library and research center. I have dug up every photo and article openly available to me.I've already created 6 large sized posters that are hung in the hangar, proudly documenting building 42's history with articles and pictures, but I am always on the lookout for more (Can't seem to get enough, call it an obsessive hobby)”

I spent several years in this bldg. while I was in Flight Test and remember it fondly! I love it when someone has an “obsession” with anything to do with aviation and buildings certainly qualify. Can anyone help Ben with his quest?

The last three photos show current operations in the building.

Click here to view photos and info

Sunday, August 16, 2015

F-18 Hornet Exhaust Nozzle Chevrons

Untitled 1 The F-18 Hornet program NAVAIR office explored the use of exhaust nozzle chevrons to reduce engine noise in this low-key program.

The NAVAIR report says: “Commercial jetliners with large high by-pass fan jet engines have achieved very significant jet noise reduction over the years. Unfortunately the thrust, weight. and size requirements peculiar to naval carrier aircraft preclude the use of this technology. Until very recently, the Navy's response to jet noise was focused exclusively on hearing protection. However. even the best ANR systems available do not provide adequate hearing protection. This gap in noise exposure must first be addressed at the source—the jet engine nozzle.”

Credit: Navy Currents Magazine

Click here to view photos

Click here to download the NAVAIR report in PDF form

Saturday, August 15, 2015

F-4 Phantom II Pin and Ink Drawings #2

F-4B 151461 TMcGovern Artwork This time, Pin and Ink drawings from the wonderful aviation artist, Tim McGovern. Credit: Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum

 Click here to view drawings

Friday, August 14, 2015

F-4 Phantom II Pin and Ink Drawings #1

F-4D Jim Stovall Artwork More of the pin and ink drawings that I love (Especially F-4’s)! Drawings from the great aviation artist Jim Stovall. Credit: Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum

Click here to view drawings

Thursday, August 13, 2015

F-15 Full Scale Mockup Photo Question (AIM-82)

Scan1206 A excellent question from Leszek has come in concerning my post on "F-15 Full Scale Mockup Photos". The question is was there “any info on what are those 2 small AIM's on front right fuselage station?” I have looked at this photo for over 40 years, saw this mockup many times, and never noticed that there where two missiles on the forward right side of the mock up! Jack Abercrombie and Mark Nankivil both agree that this was probably the notional concept of the proposed AIM-82 short range missile. I hope to have more info in a few days.

Wikipedia has this to say on the AIM-82:

In 1969 the US Air Force was developing the F-15 Eagle fighter. Planned as the ultimate air superiority aircraft, the F-15 was intended to be as perfect as possible in every respect. Rather than rely on the existing AIM-9 Sidewinder, it was decided to develop an entirely new short-range air-to-air missile to equip the aircraft. The AIM-82 was to be an all-aspect missile, capable of locking onto the target from any angle—Sidewinders of this period could only achieve a target lock if fired from almost directly behind the target where the heat of the engines provided a large infrared signature to the missile's seeker head. Infra red guidance would give the missile a fire-and-forget capability, allowing the firing aircraft to break contact as soon as it was launched.

In 1970 a development contract was awarded to General Dynamics, Hughes Aircraft and Philco-Ford. Proposals were submitted later that year, but in that September the AIM-82 was canceled. The main reason was the existence of the United States Navy AIM-95 Agile program, which was developing a new short range air-to-air missile for the F-14 Tomcat. Inter-service rivalry aside, there seemed little point in developing two missiles to perform essentially identical roles, so development on the AIM-95 was authorized. Eventually the AIM-95 was also canceled and the AIM-9 was updated to remain in service—and indeed remains in service to this day.”

Several other drawings with the AIM-82 are here

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

F-15 Langley Wind Tunnel Models #2

UnModded TailNotched Tail After running F-15 wind tunnel tests at Langley, ​​the following modifications were made; eliminated the dorsal fins, increased the height of the tail fins and added a snag in the horizontal fins. The first photo shows the original un-modded tail configuration and the second photo shows the modded tail

Click here to view large photos

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

F2H Banshee Miscellaneous Material

Scan3885 As we get to the “bottom of the barrel” on F2H Banshee material (For now), there are always a few things that don’t fit into one category or deserve a post by themselves. Here are a few of those items.

Click here to view items

Monday, August 10, 2015

F2H Banshee Pilots and Flight Handbook Excepts

F2H-1 3V Selected interesting pages from the Banshee Pilots Handbook and Flight Manual, AN 01-245FBA-1, AN 01-245FBB-1 and AN 01-245FBC-1.

Click here to view pages

Sunday, August 9, 2015

F2H Banshee Lithograph

HP Scan0008 A really nice Lithograph drawing of the F2H Banshee series. (Yes, I am a sucker for these drawings!)

Click here to view large image

Saturday, August 8, 2015

F2H Banshee Production and Procurement Chart

Scan2753 A stitched together copy of a F2H  Production and Procurement Chart with company and BuNo’s.

Click here to view a large page

Friday, August 7, 2015

F2H-2P Banshee Photo Recon Equipment Charts

Untitled 1Scan2755Excepts from the 1954 Pilot's Handbook for the F2H-2, 2N,& 2P aircraft showing the nose camera positions and options.

Click here to view charts

Thursday, August 6, 2015

F2H Banshee in McAir Annual Reports

Scan2731 As you might imagine, photos of Banshees appeared many times in the 1950’s McAir Annual Reports. I have gathered a few for you.

Click here to view pages

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

F2H Banshee Article #4

Scan3839  F2H Banshee article written by Dick Powers. Differences between models, Production Summary and Characteristics Summary .

Click here to view article

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

F2H-2 Banshee BuNo #123234 Photo

Untitled 1a I happened to find this interesting early Banshee photo misfiled amongst the William Rudolph Collection of photos. It shows him standing in front of a lineup of new F2H aircraft.

I believe the BuNo is #123234. Which would make it a Marine F2H-2 of VMF-224(WK) at MCAS Cherry Point.

It is interesting in that it doesn’t say “Marines” on the aft section of the aircraft; but, has the Star and Bars there with the number “1” on the nose! Also, no tip tanks.

Note how the markings are placed on these later VMF-224 birds. First photo below from Million Monkey Theater, second photo from Shorpy


Monday, August 3, 2015

F2H Banshee Three-View Drawings Update

Mc_Donnell_F_2_H_Banshee_1 Added 3 new three-view drawings to this post.
See revised post here

Sunday, August 2, 2015

F2H Banshee Article #3

Scan2722Scan2724 F2H Canadian (RCN) Banshee article written by R. Migliardi and G Marshall. Nice summary, photos and drawings. Plus, I added an F2H-3 cockpit details sheet.

Click here to view article

Saturday, August 1, 2015

F2H Banshee Photos #5

xF2H-3s 126348 126485 127509 127534 7F Mark Nankivil sent along these F2H Banshee photos. I posted a few of them before; but, didn’t get them credited.
Credit: The Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum

Click here to view photos Top 50 blog award!