September 26, 2009
This a needed entry as to the pure enjoyment of it all on our class field trip:
I have been flying a little but not too much as Test Pilot School has been rather time consuming however i have been flying a lot of cool military jets. We just completed our class field trip which went to Houston to Johnson Space center got a great tour there then went to Vegas for 2 days to fly the HU-16 Albatross off Lake Meade let me tell you flying boats are freakin awesome. We then headed down to Edwards AFB and flew 2 different gliders at Tehachapi (DG-1000 , SGS-233A). We then did Simulated Space Shuttle approaches in the T-38C 23K ft to 100 feet in 7 miles deck angles were like 20-30 deg at 300 knots pretty awesome. Then we all got flights in the F-16D which comprised of an unrestricted climb at 550 KTS at the end of the runway up to 23K ft (insane to say the least) We also did a 500 ft 550 kt low level through mountains just south of Yosemite again indescribable. Followed by 5 different types of High AOA departures (tail slides, roll coupled, pitch coupled fun shit) and topped it off with a supersonic run to Mach 1.59. That jet is freakin cool. While we were up at Edwards we visited Scaled Composites and saw Space Ship 2 and White Knight 2. The whole scaled composites facility was amazing the staff was really fun to talk to really invigorates me and they were intrigued with what I have done on my Pitts. We also spent 5 hours touring the Lockeed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale, CA which was very cool as well. We finished it all off with the Society of Experimental Test Pilots Symposium in Anaheim, CA All in all a great trip loads of good flying in 5 different aircraft in 5 days for a ten day trip thats not bad.
February 26, 2009
Sorry Folks but Test Pilot School has gotten crazy lately with a Calculus Test, Airborne Systems Test, Dynamics Test and 5 Difficiency Reports coming due all in one week. I haven’t flown in a few weeks as it has been cold here and the winds have been whiping.
I also haven’t gotten to fly very much for school yet the pilots are still getting their NATOPS Qualifications completed in the T-38 and the T-6A so until that happens the chance of getting on the schedule is slim. I did however finally get my T-38C Introduction flight a few weeks ago. One thing to say about that aircraft is that it is every bit of a lawn dart. Final approach is flown absoultly no slower than 160 Knots they are mostly flown at 170 to 175 knots depending on weight. Shit happens fast at that speed. 5 mile final approaches happen in 2 minutes on the nut no time for mistakes.
The most interesting data point yet I did was asked to do a loop in the T-38 we started at 7K ft and 500 Knots and a 5 g pull holding the resultant AOA. The top of the loop was at 17,000 Ft and we finished off right back again at 7,000 ft! yes folks it takes 10,000 feet to do a properly executed loop without over g’ing the aircraft.
We also went Super Sonic 1.05 Mach to be exact. That sounds exciting but to tell the truth I wouldn’t have even known I done it with out looking at the Mach gage in the cockpit. There really isn’t much if any decernable difference between sub sonic and super sonic flight in that aircraft no shockwaves no buffet, nothing at all.
The jet rolls pretty good but doesn’t roll much better then a hot Pitts S-2C or Extra. It has nothing on the Edge 540 or Giles.
The climb out from the airport was pretty exciting as we went from 4500 feet to 41,000 feet in a few minutes. I want to remember something like 3 minutes with after burn clicked in. Oh and by the way we climbed no slower than .87 Mach and spent most of the time at .95-.97 mach.
I will keep you updated as time allows. Right now I am pretty busy but I will fill you in with some more flight info hopefully soon. Some upcoming flights will be in the C-12(King Air 200), and U-6 (Dehav – Beaver) for Handling Qualities Demo