Category SUPERPLANES John Gabriel Navarra

Commercial Aircraft

Today the airline industry is large and varied. If you want to fly nonstop from New York to San Francisco, you can make a reservation on any of a number of domestic com­mercial airline flights. An around-the-world tour is ar­ranged through an international commercial airline.

Much of the success of an airline stems from the careful selection of the aircraft it uses. Other things being equal, airline passengers favor the airline that gets them there first. Speed is one of the factors in attracting passengers. There is a constant race among the airlines to be the first with newer, larger, and faster planes.

The design of an airliner evolves slowly. It is usually a compromise between what several airlines want. The pres­ent realities also play an important part in the design of a commercial airliner. For example, the sudden jump in the cost of jet fuel has made a lot of the aircraft currently flying too costly. And other aircraft are too noisy to meet the new environmental rules! The airliner of the future must be quiet and it must be economical to fly.

SPACE SHUTTLE

The space-shuttle orbiter Enterprise left the ground for the first time on the morning of February 18, 1977. The craft shown below was riding piggyback atop a modified Boeing 747. This first flight lasted two and one-half hours. The 747 carried the shuttle to a height of 16,000 feet to test the stability of the vehicle.

SPACE SHUTTLE

The shuttle is a true space-transportation system. It con­sists of two stages: a booster for launch from earth, and an airplane-like manned reusable orbiter for flight into space where it will conduct its missions. The orbiter is designed to be flown back to the earth and to land at a conven­tionally sized airstrip.

SPACE SHUTTLE
The shuttle will lift off vertically as shown in the lower picture on the opposite page. Two solid-propellant booster rockets will fire in parallel with three liquid-propelled rocket engines of the orbiter. After burnout, the solid rocket will be jettisoned and parachuted to the ocean where it will be recovered.

The orbiter is equipped with a delta wing. A crew of four is responsible for the operation of the orbiter. The or – biter’s cargo compartment is 15 feet in diameter and 60 feet long. This craft will carry payloads of 65,000 pounds into space. The payload can consist of either people or cargo.

The orbiter will make space operations less complex and less costly. It will also encourage greater participation in space flight. Scientists and engineers, for example, will be able to go into orbit to check on their experiments. In the upper picture opposite, the manipulator arm of the orbiter is extended to retrieve a satellite.

When the orbiter completes a mission in space, its pilots will fire its rockets to slow it down. Then they will direct the orbiter so it re-enters the earth’s atmosphere. The or­biter will be flown through the atmosphere and landed like an airplane on a jet-sized airstrip. Each orbiter is designed to be reused up to a hundred times.

SPACE SHUTTLE

SPACE SHUTTLE

A BRIEF HISTORY

Scheduled commercial aviation began on April 6, 1926. On that historic day, the small Swallow biplane—shown in the photo below—lifted into the air at Pasco, Washington, and flew toward Elko, Nevada, 487 miles away. The cargo on board was sixty-four pounds of mail.

Interest in flying was high in the 1920s. People wanted to go along as passengers on the mail planes. The only space available for a passenger, however, was in the open cockpit along with the mail sacks!

The first airplane designed for passengers had a forward cabin. But the pilot flew in an open cockpit. Passengers are in the process of boarding the Boeing 40B-4 shown in the upper photo opposite. There was space for four passengers in the forward cabin area between the wings. The Boeing 40B-4 was in service in 1926. It soared along at 110 miles per hour.

A BRIEF HISTORY
The forerunner of the all-metal airliner was the sleek

A BRIEF HISTORY

A BRIEF HISTORY
Boeing Monomail. This single-engine plane had cabin space for passengers just forward of the open cockpit. The Monomail—shown in the lower photo on page n— had re­tractable landing gear.

By 1930, the Boeing 80A, a tri-engine plane, was the last word in comfort. It featured cushioned seats and wide windows. Twelve passengers traveled in relative comfort between San Francisco and Chicago on the flight shown in the photo above.

In the photo, the Boeing 80A is flying just north of Chicago’s Loop. The Chicago of today is quite different from the Chicago of 1930. But some familiar landmarks can be seen in the photo. In the background at the upper left you can see the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower.

The first Douglas DC-3 was flown on December 17, 0.935. The DC-3 became the workhouse of the airlines. It was the first airliner capable of earning a profit carrying only passengers. The industry put these planes into service as fast as they could be produced. More than 10,000 DC – 3s were built and about 1,000 are still in service through­out the world.

A BRIEF HISTORY
The DC-3 shown below was designed for twenty-one passengers. It has a wingspan of 95 feet and a length of almost 65 feet. A maximum speed of 230 miles per hour is developed at 9,000 feet. The DC-3’s cruising speed is 155 miles per hour. It has a range of 1,300 miles and a service ceiling of 29,000 feet.

WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE

In the Atlantic Ocean, the job of flying into the most vio­lent weather in the world is assigned to flying weathermen of the U. S. Air Force. These men are known as hurricane hunters. They fly Lockheed WC-130 Hercules aircraft.

The WC-130 shown in the photograph is on the ground at Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico. The aircraft is a four-engine turboprop that can cruise at 350 miles per hour. The “W” denotes that it has been weather modified. This means that it is packed with special weather instru­ments.

WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE
Data for altitudes below the flight level are obtained by an instrument called a dropsonde, which is a collection of weather-sensing instruments in a small case. The drop­sonde being prepared in the lower photo opposite will be dropped from the WC-130 by parachute. The instrument readings are radioed back to the aircraft by a small trans­mitter in the dropsonde.

WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE
The WP-3D Orion shown above is a weather plane op­erated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis­tration. Special weather-radar units are housed in its nose, in the large black blister below the fuselage, and in the tail. The WP-3D operates effectively from sea level to

30,0 feet. It can loiter at speeds between 200 and 260 miles per hour. Top speed for the WP-3D is about 460 miles per hour.

THE JET AGE

Air transportation was revolutionized when jet aircraft re­placed piston-driven planes. The graceful French Caravelle with twin engines mounted aft made its first flight in 1955. On July 14, 1961, the speedy Caravelle—shown in the photo below—was the first two-engined jet to enter service within the United States. It was used on short-to-medium – range flights—especially the Chicago to New York run.

THE JET AGE
A return to American built tri-motor aircraft was made when Boeing introduced its 727. The three powerful fanjet

engines of the Boeing 727 are nestled at the rear of the airplane. This sleek 6oo-mile-per-hour jet can carry from 96 to 113 passengers on short-to-medium-range flights.

Three other entries in the tri-motor class can be seen

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THE JET AGE

on page 16. They are Lockheed’s L-1011 Tristar, the Hawker Siddeley Trident, and the Douglas DC-10. The Tristar—shown in the lower right photo—is capable of car­rying more than 250 passengers. The DC-10, called an airbus, is a fat-fuselage plane that is 20 feet wide. The

THE JET AGE

THE JET AGE

THE JET AGEairbus—shown in the lower left photo—can cruise at 600 miles per hour and carry more than 300 passengers for dis­tances of 3,000 miles. The Trident—shown in the upper photo on page 16—is a large-capacity, short-range aircraft. The British Trident can carry up to 180 passengers over a range of 1,500 miles.

On long hauls, the workhorse jets of the 1960s were the Boeing 707s and the Douglas DC-8s. But fuel and other operating costs skyrocketed during the 1970s. And as a re­sult, airlines found that they needed to fill more than 60 percent of the seats on these planes just to break even. In the competitive market of today, especially on international flights, it is difficult for these older aircraft—the DC-8 shown above, for example—to make money for their oper­ators.

In order to hold costs down and increase profits, the air­lines have turned to the jumbo jets. The long-haul work­horse of today is the Boeing 747. It is an aircraft that is very efficient.

The 747 can carry up to 490 passengers. The 231-foot – long craft cruises at 625 miles per hour, and it has a range of more than 5,000 miles. The 747 can weigh up to 712,000 pounds at takeoff.

The 747 s cabin is 20 feet wide and nearly 186 feet long. It is partitioned into five sections, which gives a passenger the feeling of being seated in a small theater. Movies are shown on screens in each section.

Economy seating is nine abreast with two aisles. Each aisle is 20 inches wide, which is sufficient to permit passen­gers to move about. First-class seating is four abreast with one center aisle. There are six galleys for preparing and serving food, and there are twelve lavatories for the con­venience of the passengers.

The 747 s wingspan is 195 feet. A single wing on this giant jet weighs 28,000 pounds. And the wing area of 5,500 feet is larger than a basketball court!

A 747 carries its own weather radar system. The on­board radar allows a pilot to detect a storm up to 300 miles away. The pilot can use the radar to study the storm and plot a safe course.

The Boeing 747 is equipped with two special naviga­tional systems. The systems are self-contained and do not rely on outside radio or radar signals. This unique naviga­tional equipment makes the jet’s exact position available to the pilot at all times. When the special navigation equip­ment is connected to the autopilot, the system automat­ically steers the aircraft.

THE JET AGE

THE JET AGE

THE JET AGE

THE JET AGE

EARTH AND SKY SURVEY

A variety of aircraft have been modified and are used by governmental agencies and private corporations to make observations of the land, ocean, and sky. A broad range of photographic and other sensing equipment is carried by these survey aircraft. The altitude at which the survey is to be made determines the kind of aircraft that is used.

U-2S and WB-57FS are used by NASA and the Air Force for high-altitude surveys. A WB-57F is shown in the photo on the opposite page. It flies survey missions at

60,0 feet and above. This high-altitude aircraft is equipped with a variety of long – and short-focal-length camera systems.

A high-altitude aerial photograph of the New York met­ropolitan region is shown on the opposite page. This photo was taken by a NASA aircraft. The river at the upper left of the photo is the Passaic River. The Passaic flows through the city of Newark, New Jersey. The Hackensack River is to the right of the Passaic River in the photo. The Passaic and the Hackensack rivers flow into Newark Bay. The cities of Bayonne and Jersey City are on the peninsula that borders Newark Bay. Manhattan Island has the Hud­son River on its left and the East River on its right. The Hudson and East rivers flow into Upper New York Bay. The island in Upper New York Bay off the tip of Manhat-

EARTH AND SKY SURVEY

EARTH AND SKY SURVEY
tan is Governor s Island. The bridge in the lower left of the photo is the Verrazano Bridge, which runs from Staten Island on the left to Brooklyn on the right.

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules, which is used by the Air Force in weather reconnaissance, is a very versatile plane. The C-130 shown above has been modified by NASA for use in its survey program. This plane, called Earth Survey 2, flies medium-altitude missions.

The Lockheed Starlifter shown in the upper photo on the opposite page has been modified by NASA to carry an infrared telescope. The C-141 is cruising with its telescope port open. The high-flying telescope allows astronomical observations that are not possible at the earth’s surface.

The Zapata Corporation conducts aerial fishery surveys with two Cessna Skymaster 337 aircraft. A special low – light-level camera is mounted in the pod beneath the fuse­lage. The plane in the lower photo on page 75 is flying along the Pacific Coast of Baja California. The aircraft is used to assist anchovy fishing vessels.

EARTH AND SKY SURVEY

EARTH AND SKY SURVEY

AIRPORTS

An airport complex consists of runways, taxiways, terminal buildings, service areas, hangars, landing aids, and access roads. The aerial view of New York’s La Guardia Airport on the opposite page shows all the parts that make up an airport.

At the top of the photograph, two of La Guardia’s run­ways project on piles over the water of Flushing Bay. Hangars at the left – and right-hand edge of the photo flank the passenger terminal.

A huge five-level parking garage, which accommodates almost 3,000 cars, is in the foreground of the photo. Two passageways connect the parking facility with the central passenger terminal.

La Guardia Airport has a 150-foot-high control tower. The tower is located in the westernmost arcade of the pas­senger terminal at the left of the aerial photo. The control tower—designed in the shape of a flared urn—has twelve working levels.

The success of the airlines in the 1960s caused many problems on the ground: Airport facilities throughout the country were inadequate for the traffic. In the late 1960s, for example, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport was handling 600,000 takeoffs and landings a year—more than one a

minute. Airports serving other major cities also found it difficult to accommodate all the aircraft landing and taking off. During periods of bad weather the problems multi­plied. There were long delays on the ground and in the air!

New and larger airports were built throughout the United States to solve the problems of handling commer­cial flights. Most plans to avoid airport crowding recognize the need to establish a system of airports in and around, major cities. New York City—a city hemmed in by other urban areas—has such a system.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey oper­ates Newark Airport, Kennedy International Airport, and La Guardia Airport. Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, which is used for business and private aircraft, serves as a reliever airport. In other words, Teterboro is used to re­duce congestion at the three primary airports. A second reliever airport is operated at Farmingdale, New York.

Newark Airport is located on 2,300 acres of land be­tween the New Jersey Turnpike and U. S. Route 1. The basic plan of the airport can be seen in the aerial photo on the opposite page. The central passenger area consists of three terminal units. Three jet parking areas are attached to each terminal unit. Two of the terminal units with their six jet parking areas were in full operation when this photo was taken. Only two of the jet parking areas at the third terminal unit had been built at this time.

Runways are the areas on which airplanes make their takeoff roll. A runway is also the area on which a landing airplane touches down. The major runways at Newark Air­port are clearly visible in the photo.

Note the two parallel runways just below the six jet parking areas at Newark. These runways stretch for 8,200

feet from left to right across the photo. Can you see that the right-hand end of each of these runways is marked with the number 22?

A runway is marked to the nearest 10 degrees of the compass heading on which it is laid out. The last zero of the compass heading is omitted. Thus, the number 22 on a runway stands for a compass heading of 220 degrees. This means that a plane approaching these parallel runways from the right of the photo is on a heading of 220 degrees. The opposite ends of these runways are marked with the number 4, designating a compass heading of 40 degrees.

There is a third runway at Newark Airport. This third runway, located at the right of the unfinished terminal unit, is numbered 29 at the one end and 11 at the other end. An airplane approaching this runway from the bottom of the photo is on a heading of 290 degrees.

AIR SAFETY

The control tower—standing high above all the other buildings—is an important center of activity at any airport. Rising 177 feet from airfield level, the control tower at Dulles International Airport—shown in the photo below— consists of a concrete shaft. Two stories in the upper sec­tion are used for radar and electronic equipment. The glass-enclosed room on top of the tower is called the cab.

AIR SAFETY

Workers in the tower are called air-traffic controllers. It is their job to direct planes in and around the airport. Large panes of glass in the cab give air-traffic controllers an unobstructed view of the runways and field. The con­troller in the cab—shown in the photo on page 25—is giv­ing directions to a pilot by radio. He is telling the pilot which runway to use.

AIR SAFETY

An air-traffc controller clears the pilot for takeoff. The pilot heads the plane down the runway and into the wind. The engines roar as they thrust the plane forward. Slowly the air flowing past the wings lifts the plane from the ground. Then the pilot points the nose up to gain altitude.

A controller in the tower notes the time the plane took off. This information is sent to the Air Route Traffic Con­trol Center in the area. There are twenty-one centers across the United States.

Each Air Traffic Control Center has a layout that is sim­ilar to the one shown in the photo on page 27. It is the job of the controllers at these centers to keep track of a plane from its takeoff to its landing. The controller shown in the photo on page 26 is using equipment that electronically writes an aircraft’s altitude and identity on the radar dis – p! ay.

AIR SAFETY

The fundamental element in air-traffic control is separa­tion. This means that aircraft are separated laterally, longi­tudinally, and vertically. The lateral or side-by-side separa­tion is maintained by routing aircraft over several parallel airways. The longitudinal or lengthwise separation on an airway is maintained by having a minimum flying time of ten minutes between an aircraft and the one following. Vertical separation is achieved by assigning different alti­tudes to aircraft on the same airway.

Below 18,000 feet, an aircraft on a heading between о degrees and 179 degrees is assigned an odd thousand-foot altitude. For example, an airplane flying eastward on a heading of 90 degrees may be assigned to an altitude of

5,0 feet. On the other hand, an aircraft flying on a head­ing of 180 degrees to 359 degrees is assigned an even thousand-foot altitude. This means that a plane moving

westward on a heading of 270 degrees could be assigned an altitude of 6,000 feet.

Above 18,000 feet, the same system of odd and even thousand-foot altitude assignments is used. The assigned altitudes above 18,000 feet are called flight levels, how­ever. An altitude of 19,000 feet is referred to as Flight Level 190. An aircraft flying at 29,000 feet is at Flight Level 290.

AIR SAFETY
Two sets of rules control the movement of all aircraft in the United States. These federal regulations are known as Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). VFR means that the earth’s surface is clearly visi­ble and the pilot can fly the plane by referring to land­marks. When visibility is poor and weather conditions are producing problems, the pilot controls and directs the air­craft by referring to instruments within the cockpit. Under these conditions, the pilot uses IFR. The prevailing weather over most of the United States and the need to fly along designated airways limit VFR flying.

CARGO OPERATIONS

Cargo is the goods or merchandise carried in a ship, air­plane, or other vehicle. The very first scheduled commer­cial airline flights were set up to carry mail. So cargo has been carried by air since airlines first began operating.

The carrying of cargo did not become a major part of commercial aviation until the 1950s, however. In fact, the first all-cargo air routes were established only in 1949.

Today the world s largest all-cargo airline is the Flying Tiger Line. The first cargo plane used by this company was the Budd Conestoga shown in the photo below. The first cargo carried by the Flying Tiger Line was a plane­load of fresh grapes that was shipped from California to Georgia.

CARGO OPERATIONS
The Conestoga was an all-stainless-steel, rear-loading, twin-engine aircraft. It was capable of carrying 7,000 pounds of cargo over a distance of 500 miles. This rather

CARGO OPERATIONS

cumbersome-looking aircraft had a cruise speed of 150 miles per hour.

The Douglas C-47 shown in the photo above was the cargo version of the famed DC-3. The C-47 was a good re­liable plane. Its performance as a cargo aircraft was better than the Budd Conestoga because it could carry 7,500 pounds of freight over a range of 600 miles at 150 miles per hour. An airline that used the C-47 had a slight com­petitive edge over one that used the Conestoga.

CARGO OPERATIONS

The C-54 was the first of the four-engine airfreighters. In the photo below, cargo is being moved into a C-54 along an airfreight dock at Burbank, California. Flying at 210 miles per hour, a C-54 could carry 20,000 pounds of cargo over a 2,000-mile range. In the late 1940s, a fleet of C-54S flew from the United States to Tokyo on an eight – flight-per-day schedule for almost a year to supply the American Occupation Forces in Japan.

CARGO OPERATIONS

The Lockheed Super H Constellation is shown above. This plane was put into service in 1957. It could airlift.

43,0 pounds of freight at 300 miles per hour. The Super H Constellation had the first true coast-to-coast nonstop range of 2,500 miles. Transcontinental airfreight schedules were revolutionized by this plane.

The design of cargo aircraft evolved along with the growth of the freight business. And in 1961, the first tur­bine-powered airfreighter, Canadair CL-44, shown below, was placed in service. The CL-44S unique swing-tail de­sign permitted straight-in loading of up to 65,000 pounds of freight. This airfreighter cruised at 375 miles per hour over a range of 3,000 miles.

CARGO OPERATIONS

The DC8-63 was the first of the jumbo-jet airfreighters. This sleek giant—shown at the top of the opposite page – carries a payload of 110,000 pounds at 550 miles per hour over a 3,000-mile range. Today major markets of the United States and Asia are linked by these huge air­freighters.

CARGO OPERATIONS

There is a continuing need for greater cargo capacity in world-wide airfreight operations. Wide-bodied aircraft like the Boeing 747 have large volume capacities. Boeing has built some 747s to carry freight.

CARGO OPERATIONS

The Flying Tiger Line uses some of Boeing s awesome giants to carry cargo to world-wide markets. The 747 air­freighter and its interior are shown below. This giant can carry 200,000 pounds of cargo at 575 miles per hour over a 3,500-mile range.

SUPERSONIC TRANSPORTS

Sound travels at about 760 miles an hour through the at­mosphere. Aircraft that move faster than sound are said to be supersonic. Today supersonic transports—called SSTs— streak through the sky at more than twice the speed of sound.

The term Mach number is used to report the speed of an airplane. A Mach number is a measure of an aircraft’s speed in relationship to the speed of sound. The speed of sound is given a Mach number of one.

An aircraft moving at twice the speed of sound is said to be flying at Mach 2. A Machmeter is shown in the lower photo on the opposite page. The Machmeter is in the pas­senger cabin of a Concorde—the first SST. The meter indi­cates that the plane is flying at Mach 2.04, which is more than twice the speed of sound.

The Concorde is shown in the upper photo. It can carry 108 passengers with a total payload of 25,000 pounds. Concorde burns somewhat less fuel to fly across the Atlan­tic Ocean than a 747, and it can fly over a range of 4,000 miles. The plane is designed to cruise at Mach 2. The alti­tude at which the Concorde normally flies is between

50,0 and 60,000 feet.

SUPERSONIC TRANSPORTS

The nose of the Concorde is lowered to improve the pilot’s visibility at takeoff and landing. The Concorde’s nose droop can be seen clearly in the photo below taken during a landing at Washington’s Dulles Airport. Dulles Airport is sometimes referred to as “The Airport of the Fu­ture." It was designed to handle aircraft like the Concorde.

The wings of the Concorde have a very special shape. They are shaped like the Greek letter delta, which looks like a triangle. For this reason the Concorde is called a delta-wing SST.

SUPERSONIC TRANSPORTS
A delta-shaped wing gives an SST some advantages. The large surface area of the wing produces a cushion of air

SUPERSONIC TRANSPORTS

below it. The cushion of air makes it impossible to stall the plane while landing. And it allows the pilot to land the plane safely at relatively low speeds. The landing speed of the Concorde is about 180 miles per hour.

An SST can move faster than the speed of sound. When one does, it outraces its own sound and produces a boom. A sonic boom is simply a strong pressure wave. It is pro­duced by two cones. One cone forms at the nose and the other forms at the tail of the SST. A boom carpet, shown in the picture above, spreads across the earth when the cones reach the ground. The width of Concorde’s “boom carpet” is about 50 miles.

A sonic boom is not produced until an aircraft is flying faster than Mach 1, the speed of sound. Thus, at subsonic speeds Concorde is just like any other airliner and it makes no boom. This fact is used to control the boom produced by the Concorde.

On takeoff, the Concorde becomes airborne at a speed around 200 miles per hour. The takeoff speed, of course, depends on the aircraft’s weight and how heavily it is

loaded. Thus the Concorde takes off and lands in a normal manner at low speeds that produce no boom.

The acceleration to supersonic speeds is delayed after takeoff until the plane is safely over the ocean and away from inland and coastal cities. When Concorde approaches a coastal area such as New York, for example, it decel­erates to subsonic speeds. In fact, Concorde begins flying at low speeds over the ocean at least 100 miles from land. The subsonic speeds produce no booms.

At supersonic speeds a plane’s skin gets hot. The heat is generated by the passage of air over the outer surface of the aircraft. A supersonic transport needs an air-condition­ing system to maintain a comfortable temperature in the passenger cabin.

The Concorde has a specially designed air-conditioning system that maintains a uniform cabin temperature. During the landing descent at subsonic speeds, Concorde’s skin cools down. The outer surface is not warm to the touch after the plane lands.

Supersonic transports can reduce the travel time be­tween all major cities in the world. The Concorde travel time between New York and London is three and one-half hours. At present subsonic speeds, New York is seven hours from London. The trip from Los Angeles to Hono­lulu by subsonic jet takes just over five hours. The Con­corde cuts this travel time in half. A trip from San Fran­cisco to Melbourne, Australia, takes almost nineteen hours by subsonic jet. The Concorde puts San Francisco within nine and one-half hours of Melbourne.

SUPERSONIC TRANSPORTS

 

 

SUPERSONIC TRANSPORTS

SUPERSONIC TRANSPORTS