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Low-level speed of Cold War aircraft


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3 hours ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

[By the way, do I get extra points for sneaking a Wasp into a discussion about speed at low level?]

Quite a few I'd imagine

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On low level speeds, I thought this interview with Mike Rondot, former Jag pilot, was interesting:

 

http://www.collectair.co.uk/pdf/interview-hr.pdf

 

Skip to the bit concerning the Viggen exchange on page 32 and read from the last paragraph onwards ("Squadron exchanges were a regular occurrence at Coltishall...")

 

Quote:

"They would fly around at Mach 0.95, 650kt give or take a bit, and they trained at 10m. We flew through firebreaks in trees, we flew all over northern Sweden at 30ft, and we never went below 600kt. All of this, I should add, was done under about a 150 to 200ft overcast with no breaks."

 

Jay

 

 

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Low Flying RAN Style

Spot the T-Bird

JI3heen.jpg

 

Crash n Dash on the taxiway

EvkyN7s.jpg

Both taken 26th July 1984, the last flight of an RAN Skyhawk.

 

Happier times

XgFEayk.jpg

 

Shiny new ones hoonin it past the Battlestar

(Yes there is a barrier curled up on the deck and no the aeroplane isn't going to hit it, if you say that your a git!)

 

hRzZpL1.jpg

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4 hours ago, Mountain goat said:

On low level speeds, I thought this interview with Mike Rondot, former Jag pilot, was interesting:

 

http://www.collectair.co.uk/pdf/interview-hr.pdf

 

Skip to the bit concerning the Viggen exchange on page 32 and read from the last paragraph onwards ("Squadron exchanges were a regular occurrence at Coltishall...")

 

Quote:

"They would fly around at Mach 0.95, 650kt give or take a bit, and they trained at 10m. We flew through firebreaks in trees, we flew all over northern Sweden at 30ft, and we never went below 600kt. All of this, I should add, was done under about a 150 to 200ft overcast with no breaks."

 

Jay

 

 

Thank you for the most interesting link. Apart from the Viggens flying at 650 kt at 30ft there is much more interesting stuff to read here.

As a Canberra fan I found it fascinating and sobering to read that the PR9 in 1977 would have had no chance of survival in a real conflict at a max speed of 450 kt.

Also the pic of a Desert Pink Jaguar from 1989 is great.

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Typical NOE speed in my world was ~ 90 knots, while sitting in the back of a Huey or later a Blackhawk.   A bit slower than the jets but we won the record for lowest NOE flying, since many times, we were looking UP at the tree tops.   Fun during the day, scary as hell at night on NVG's.  

 

 

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On 8/22/2020 at 3:19 PM, John B (Sc) said:

Older airframes develop small effects and blemishes which add drag, very often even without stores on machines may have small panels not refitted over pylon attachment points, or have small fastenings left protruding for quick refot of stores.

 

Engines do lose power with time. Blades become slightly eroded, losing the original precise shape, which loses some compression and hence power.   I do not know whether the RB199 suffered this, but many jet engines have tight annular clearances on the fan blades.  Differential heating and cooling between different materials especially when flying through bad weather, may result in loss of annular clearance. The fan blade tips then erode on the inner face of the engine. Some engines had  wear material on the inner faces for that purpose, to sand the fan blade ends down!  When everything cools down to normal operating, the resulting greater clearances mean more air leakage, hence less power.  It used to be referred to as 'centreline closure'; maybe does not occur on modern engines?

 

Happens on Rotary wing still but different environment I guess lower, more prolonged and sat in the hover.Lots of fudges the grubbers could do ....fresh water wash ,soapy comp wash ,turco blast it (throw apricots down the intake ...ground down obs)and the get you home favourite use a thicker pen when plotting engine performance 😀👍

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28 minutes ago, junglierating said:

Happens on Rotary wing still but different environment I guess lower, more prolonged and sat in the hover.Lots of fudges the grubbers could do ....fresh water wash ,soapy comp wash ,turco blast it (throw apricots down the intake ...ground down obs)and the get you home favourite use a thicker pen when plotting engine performance 😀👍

On long maritime SAR missions which involved prolonged hovering in salt-laden atmosphere, if possible we would break off and fly through a rain storm to comp wash the engines.
 

There was a famous early Sea King rescue in 1974 in appalling weather (80 kt winds and mountainous sea), leading to 2 AFCs and 3 AFMs for saving 11 of 19 crew members of the MV Merc Enterprise - where two aircraft ended up in a field en route back to Culdrose because the ECUs had ingested so much salt in over 3 hours of hovering that they started to surge and essentially lost power almost completely.

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Not the cold war period, and it's possibly in the process of taking off, but I like to think it's a bit of Sudanese flat-hatting!

What's Sudanese/Arabic for "Maveriiiiiiiiiiiiick"?

 

17903572_1903822246531595_76680125139357

Edited by Blimpyboy
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Wow!

That is an A-5 / MiG-19 derivative, no!?

Cool photo!

Were they imporoved for low/ fast in any way?

The MiG-19 was capable of supersonic flight , but I'd guess at altitude...

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A good clip of French low flying in Chad.

I like how the pilot is still folding his map while at low level (0:50) and where he passes a car at roof level (3:11).

 

 

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This page has some good shots of low flying through the ages (no mention of speed, 'though): http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNews/Stories/tabid/116/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/325/Lower-Than-a-Snakes-Belly-in-a-Wagon-Rut-Redux.aspx

While a few are one-off low fly bys, there are a few piccies of aircraft flying their missions at ultra-low level!

 

 

My favourite has to be the Belgian C-119 on one engine!

LowDown65.jpg

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On 8/26/2020 at 12:10 AM, junglierating said:

Happens on Rotary wing still but different environment I guess lower, more prolonged and sat in the hover.Lots of fudges the grubbers could do ....fresh water wash ,soapy comp wash ,turco blast it (throw apricots down the intake ...ground down obs)and the get you home favourite use a thicker pen when plotting engine performance 😀👍

Cant remember if it was plain Turco or with a dash of Jet Clean B on Westlands finest. Ground up walnut shells for afters.

If at RAAF East Sale one may of accidently on purpose forgotten to take the 5th stage bleed filter out, Caused endless hours of mirth and merriment when the Gazelle decided to spit the

shell residue out, usually several tens of miles out over Bass Straight, the resulting shower of sparks always helped the SAS chappies in back with any constipation issues,

Edited by NAVY870
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We used to use the nutshells / Turco thing on the G6 gas turbines of the County Class DLGs.  Pretty spectacular results emanating from the aft funnel!

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On 8/17/2020 at 1:46 PM, Murph said:

One of my RTU instructors flew the Lightning on an exchange tour.  He talked about one airfield defense mission where he took off, fought directly over the base, and landed running "on fumes".  Total flight time was 18 minutes.

 

Regards,

Murph

One of the long endurance trips, then. Nightmare for the pilot's bladder....

Anyway, I have several good friends who a certain Mr Hussein attempted to kill in 1991.

One of them, a Tornado GR nav, remembers coming off target at 700kts indicated (and climbing); another, an F-111 driver, had to slow down because they were above the release speed for their ordnance. IIRC - this was from a chat 20 years ago - they had M1.03 indicated 

 

As an aside the other participant in the conversation with the 111 driver was a Buccaneer pilot and it went something like this:

 

Bucc Mate: What height were you?

F-111 Mate: 80-100ft

Bucc Mate: Lightweight!

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1 hour ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

We used to use the nutshells / Turco thing on the G6 gas turbines of the County Class DLGs.  Pretty spectacular results emanating from the aft funnel!

Now theres a thing I was just wondering about ships sat in a salt water environment and salt accretion...I'm onboard DIAMOND next week shall ask what they do with their Tynes.

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On 8/25/2020 at 1:57 PM, Doc72 said:

As a Canberra fan I found it fascinating and sobering to read that the PR9 in 1977 would have had no chance of survival in a real conflict at a max speed of 450 kt.

Interesting as that bit doesn't make sense to me.

The PR.9s role was to obtain recce intelligence ahead of a conflict, it did so from an extremely high altitude, which was also it's defence. It might be picked off by a surface to air missile, but it's wasn't really going to be at low-level in a conflict situation.

The more tactical recce Canberra PR.7s I can understand as being at high risk, but I would think recce pod equipped Phantoms, Buccaneers and Jaguars were the better bet for low-level battle scenerio reconnaissance.

 

Talking to people that where there in RAFG, the expectation of survival is shockingly low.

 

 

 

 

 

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 "the get you home favourite use a thicker pen when plotting engine performance"  - nice one 'junglierating' !

 

Interesting that  ground up 'walnut hulls' turn out to be handy stuff for many purposes.

 

I did like the video shot of the FAF MIrage F1 pilot calmly checking his map while hooning at ultra low level; - maybe like the Buccaneer it is effectively 'self stable' at very low altitude because of the air cushion effect. Buccaneer friends used to talk enthusiastically about this. 

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5 hours ago, John B (Sc) said:

maybe like the Buccaneer it is effectively 'self stable' at very low altitude because of the air cushion effect. Buccaneer friends used to talk enthusiastically about this. 


That’s interesting, I did wonder about that - but still frightening to watch (as a prop driver)!

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On 8/25/2020 at 1:57 PM, Doc72 said:

Thank you for the most interesting link. Apart from the Viggens flying at 650 kt at 30ft there is much more interesting stuff to read here.

As a Canberra fan I found it fascinating and sobering to read that the PR9 in 1977 would have had no chance of survival in a real conflict at a max speed of 450 kt.

Also the pic of a Desert Pink Jaguar from 1989 is great.

Great read

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On 8/17/2020 at 3:56 PM, bentwaters81tfw said:

As was said about the Bucc, there were other airframes that could carry more, go faster, go further than a Bucc low down, but not all at once.

A Lightning from brakes off to empty tanks flat out took 15 mins - and halfway to Norway!

Mach 2 up at 50,000 for fifteen minutes is about 320 miles, (which. according to wikipedia is the Lightnings supersonic intercept range) from RAF Leuchars to Norway, that's well over half way, could probably glide the rest! That's amazing! Being a Lincolnshire lad about 10 miles from RAF Binbrook, Lightnings were an almost daily occurrence, they certainly were very fast and low during 'Elder Forest' exercises,  I really miss those days, 

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Well, since no one said that we were talking only fighters, I'd like to toss MY candidate's hat into the ring.  Based on payload (in this case dirty -- center-line payload configuration), range at maximum mission speed (around 700mph), bomb load Varies) and range, I'd like to nominate this guy:  Convair B-58 Hustler

 

Ed

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4 hours ago, TheRealMrEd said:

Well, since no one said that we were talking only fighters, I'd like to toss MY candidate's hat into the ring.  Based on payload (in this case dirty -- center-line payload configuration), range at maximum mission speed (around 700mph), bomb load Varies) and range, I'd like to nominate this guy:  Convair B-58 Hustler

 

Ed

Surely an impressive design. But I thought the reason why the Hustler was retired so soon was exactly because it wasn't well suited to the low-level role. When the SAC switched to low-level, they kept the B-52 (also as a cruise missile carrier), stopped the B-70 program and retired the B-58. The B-70 and B-58 were optimized for high-level. That doesn't mean that the Hustler could fly low, but IMHO it wasn't good at it. 

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On 8/26/2020 at 9:52 AM, 71chally said:

Talking to people that where there in RAFG, the expectation of survival is shockingly low.

 

 

 

 

 

My main concern was making it back home through the NATO SAM belts.

 

Regards,

Murph

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Hi Doc72,

 

While some have stated the the B-58 handled badly at low altitudes, the film I linked to above states that the crew had NO physical, psychological or other issues, albeit that this particular mission was flown mostly between 200 and 500 feet altitude, and that controlling the aircraft was like driving power steering, with g-force limiting and all.  While designed for high altitude, the B-58 could "scoot" with the best, and the sole limiting factor at low altitude was skin temp, in the B-58's case, not to exceed 125 degrees F, or the aluminum honey-combed skin might start to de-bond.  (Wouldn't that really be a failure of the adhesive?)

 

In any event, after the development of high-altitude AA missiles, there was no longer a need for it's original mission, and it was way too expensive to operate to use for a mission that it had not been designed for (overall costs plus maintenance).  The other factor in it's demise was that it since there was little fuel or weapons inside the fuselage, you only had what could be stuck into the mission pod, which resulted in the B-58 having a combat radius of only 1740 miles.  This meany that they would have had to be staged in relatively forward bases in Europe, or we would have needed a boat-load of tankers for refueling! 

 

I was just throwing this plane out there, as the speed records, with various loads and altitudes are there in writing. It actually DID them.  Many of the other aircraft nominated seem to be only theoretical contenders, based on "what if".

 

I will just say this, if I had had to go drop a nuke at low speed during that era, my choice would have been either the B-58 or Thud, hands down!

 

Ed

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11 hours ago, Murph said:

making it back home through the NATO SAM belts.


Hmmm, who is this Sam? And, why does he hate aeroplanes?

🤔

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