Category SUPERPLANES John Gabriel Navarra

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.

STRAIGHT UP AND AWAY

The length of a runway limits the kinds of planes that can land at an airport. Airlines have been searching for ways to get around this problem. One answer is to use aircraft that can take off and land vertically.

The vertical takeoff and landing machines are known as VTOL airplanes. A VTOL does not need a runway. It can hover like a helicopter. And it can fly like a regular air­plane.

STRAIGHT UP AND AWAY
The X-22A is a VTOL aircraft. It has four huge ducted fans. Four jet engines provide the power to drive the seven-foot-diameter propellers. The fans can be tilted. They can be tilted vertically or horizontally.

STRAIGHT UP AND AWAY

During takeoff the fans of the X-22A are tilted ver­tically. The thrust is directed downward. The downward thrust causes the plane to be lifted straight up.

As the X-22A rises, the pilot begins tilting the fans hori­zontally. In the photograph on the opposite page, the fans are being tilted from a vertical to a horizontal position. The plane moves forward with the fans in a horizontal po­sition.

The X-22A basically is a research craft. It is 40 feet long and 20 feet high. The X-22A has two wings. A fan is fixed to the end of each wing. The long wing—located just for­ward of the vertical stabilizer—has a span of 39 feet. The shorter wing is mounted just behind the cockpit.

STRAIGHT UP AND AWAY
The Vertol 76 shown above is a VTOL that has a tilt­wing. With the wings in the position shown in the photo­graph, the propellers are used as rotary wings for takeoff. The wings and engines tilt to a horizontal position to pro­vide thrust and lift for conventional flight.

STRAIGHT UP AND AWAY
The Hawker Siddeley Harrier shown below is a British fighter used by the Royal Air Force. It has a speed of Mach 1,25 and operates above 50,000 feet. The Harrier looks like a regular jet but it is a VTOL. There is a thrust – deflection nozzle inside its engine. The nozzle is used to direct the exhaust power of its engine downward for takeoff and landing and to the rear for horizontal flight.

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.

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

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

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.

Military Aircraft

The aircraft developed and used by our armed forces are the vehicles of aerial warfare. The function for which an aircraft is designed dictates its size, shape, speed, range, weight, and its operational altitude. Our armed forces have a need for many different kinds of aircraft.

The easiest way to classify military aircraft is by the job that they are designed to perform. There are, for example, aircraft used for training, observing, fighting, bombing, trans­porting, rescuing, and air refueling. In the sections that follow you will find some examples of modern military fighter, bomber, transport, and reconnaissance aircraft.

Another important part of military aviation is the devel­opment of new aircraft. It takes a lot of money, time, and patience to develop a new idea that eventually becomes an operational aircraft. In the next few pages you will find a description of three experimental aircraft that have been used to good advantage by our armed forces.

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

THE EXPERIMENTALS

The United States Government approved a Research Air­plane Program in 1944. The first in the series of pure research aircraft, the X-i, was launched in 1946. The “X” in the name of the plane means experimental.

The X-15, shown in the photos, is a small rocket-pow­ered aircraft. On June 8, 1959, the X-15 made its first flight after being dropped from the protective wing of a B-52. In a decade of flight that ended in 1969, the X-15 reached heights and speeds that are still unmatched by any other aircraft. The X-15, f°r example, reached a peak altitude of more than sixty-seven miles. And on October 3, 1967, an X-15 was flown at a speed of 4,520 miles per hour, which is the equivalent of Mach 6.7.

At heights of sixty-seven miles, the X-15 was traveling above the effective atmosphere. Thus, the X-15 collected information on flights in air and space. By flying to the frontiers of space, the X-15 tested the effects of weight­lessness on human pilots. The X-15 research program also demonstrated the ability of human pilots to fly high-pow­ered aircraft with great accuracy.

THE EXPERIMENTALS

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THE EXPERIMENTALSTHE EXPERIMENTALSTHE EXPERIMENTALSTHE EXPERIMENTALS

THE EXPERIMENTALS
Another research superplane, the XB-70, is shown taking off from Edwards Air Force Base in California. Two of these planes were developed and built for the Air Force. The XB-7o’s delta wing has a span of 105 feet. The fuse­lage is 185 feet long and 30 feet high.

The XB-70 has a long, pencil-like nose. Stubby horizon­tal stabilizers are located on each side of the plane just behind the cockpit. In the photo you can see the shadow cast by a stabilizer. The shadow reaches to and below the E in the word FORCE.

The delta wings of the XB-70 extend all the way to the tail section of the plane. Twin vertical stabilizers rise from the rear of the wings. Below the wings the exhaust pipes of the plane’s six engines can be seen.

The XB-70 has a range of 7,500 miles. It was designed to fly above 70,000 feet at speeds of 2,000 miles per hour, which is equivalent to Mach 3. The plane was used exten­sively to study the stability, control, and handling charac­teristics of large supersonic aircraft.

The YF-12A is shown in the photo below. This plane is an experimental long-range interceptor that was nicknamed the Blackbird, It was developed for defense against supersonic bombers and airborne missile launchers. The Blackbird flies above 80,000 feet at a speed of Mach 3, which is more than

2,0 miles per hour.

The Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are using the YF-12A in a joint research program. An important part of the program is concerned with flight management and air-traffic control. The researchers are studying the ability of the plane to maintain a precise altitude at supersonic speeds.

RECONNAISSANCE

The original function of military aircraft was recon­naissance, that is, observation of enemy territory and posi­tions to gather information. Most observation aircraft are of comparatively light weight and small size. They carry one or two observers and sufficient communication equip­ment to report their observations.

A Lockheed U-2 is shown in the photo on the opposite page. This aircraft is a subsonic turbojet that flies very – high-altitude reconnaissance missions. The plane is used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the United States Air Force (USAF). The wing size and its placement give the U-2 the appearance of a powered glider.

There is a large air intake at the wing root on each side of the plane. These air intakes make the U-2 look like a twin-engined plane. But both intakes feed into a single en­gine. The U-2 cruises at about 450 miles per hour. It has a maximum speed of 528 miles per hour.

The U-2 has a wingspan of 80 feet. The plane is almost 50 feet long and stands 13 feet high at the tail. It is a light airplane for its size and weighs less than 16,000 pounds at takeoff. The U-2 has a range of more than 4,000 miles, and it can operate at altitudes of 70,000 feet.

The U-2 was involved in a major international incident in i960: On May 1, a U-2 operated by the Central Intelli­gence Agency entered Russian air space from the direction of West Pakistan. A Russian surface-to-air missile inter­cepted the U-2 at an altitude of 68,000 feet. The U-2 was shot down about 1,000 miles east of Moscow. This incident involving the U-2 was responsible for some difficult times in the United States-Russian relations during the early 1960s.