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allardjd

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Everything posted by allardjd

  1. Who designed the nose gear strut on that thing, the Little Giant Ladder Co? :nervious: John
  2. Mulletman, I expect there's a Herc in my future, but want to get proficient in the Provider for a while first. ...and I do love radial engines. Joe Ellwood, Thanks. How's ground school going? Like drinking from a fire hose? John
  3. Have been practicing flying the C-123 heavy, at or near max. gross weight of 51,900 lbs, as this is now my JF Cargo Pilot ride of choice. This was a landing on a 4,004 ft runway. The approach was a bit high and fast and I didn't touch down until mid-field or later. Should have gone around, but that's how we learn, and if it wasn't hard, it wouldn't be fun. Anyway, this is where I got it stopped. Plenty of room, I didn't even need the over-run pad. Did need to push back from there to taxi away, however. Pucker Factor meter was deep in the yellow crossing the threshold, with an upward trend. John
  4. How it Came to Happen Tuesday last will be one of the memories of a lifetime. I was privileged to get a chance to tour the facilities of the US Navy's HSL-40 training squadron at NS Mayport FL (near Jacksonville), including a few minutes hands-on in an SH60B Seahawk flight simulator. In short, a raffle ticket whose proceeds were to benefit the USO, won me a place among 16 folks who were to be given a tour and simulator ride. The USO is a civilian, non-profit organization whose purpose is to support and assist the US serviceman at home and abroad, particularly the lower echelons of the enlisted ranks. It seemed a worthwhile cause, and I'd considered the purchase a donation, never expecting to be a winner. Against all odds, my ticket came out of the hat and I was duly informed. After some anxious moments over a possible conflict with jury duty, all was resolved and I was able to go. The Squadron HSL-40, (Helicopter-ASW-Light) the Seawolves, is an SH60B training squadron, qualifying helicopter pilots for service in the fleet. They number about 350 people, including around 40 instructor-pilots. At present, they train about 90 pilots at a time and are in the process of stepping that up to increase the annual throughput. The trainees come and go more or less continuously, not in organized classes. Trainees are already Naval Aviators, fresh from Navy flight training and helicopter training in lighter aircraft, bug smashers, as our tour guide referred to them. This school provides their transition to the SH60B and readies them for service in the fleet. The Bird The SH60B Seahawk is the Naval cousin of the more well known Army Blackhawk. These are typically deployed aboard medium sized Navy ships, cruisers, destroyers and frigates, where they provide a vital element of the ship's ASW capability, though the type may also be present at shore stations and on other vessels. The models we saw were, of course, configured for anti-submarine warfare, though some of the various bits and pieces on the training aircraft were dummies. They're equipped with sono-buoy dispensers, a deployable magnetic anomaly detector and a very capable radar, though they do not presently utilize a dipping sonar. The SH60 is able to carry a small ASW torpedo or a missile, possibly the Harpoon anti-ship missile judging from the size, though this was not discussed. It has about a 3-1/2 hr. endurance time and I didn't see anything resembling a refueling probe. The tour We were treated to the usual military/government hurry-up- and-wait routine at the front gate of the Mayport NS. It seemed that we were indeed expected and pre-authorized, but somehow, the three vehicles in which we arrived were not. (It's true - you can't make this stuff up!) A half-hour delay resulted, and the knot was finally cut by our sponsor, the director of the local USO office, when she arrived. It happens her husband is a Navy 4-striper (Captain) at Mayport. A cell phone call from her quickly resulted in an incoming phone call from who-knows-who to the processing desk and suddenly all obstacles disappeared. After a short ride to the squadron we debarked from our freshly authorized vehicles and were met by the squadron XO (Executive Officer), whose name I did not manage to get. He was a 3-striper, a full Commander. After the obligatory welcome speech, he introduced us to the squadron Public Affairs Officer and left us in his charge. He, the PAO, proved to be an interesting character indeed. Captain Mark Baille (pronounced Bailey) of the Canadian Air Force is an instructor-pilot with HSL-40, midway through a three-year exchange program. Among his collateral duties is a stint as PAO, so he became our tour guide, mentor, monitor and co- pilot for the rest of the day. He proved to be friendly and personable, knowledgeable and so far as I could judge, competent, not only as a tour guide, but, it seems as a chopper driver. I'm sure he'd rather have been flying, but if he harbored any ill feelings about having to squire around a bunch of civilians who didn't know much of anything about helicopters or hockey, he hid it well. If the people-are-authorized-vehicles-are-not ceremony at the base gate was our first taste of military logic for the day, it wasn't the last. All cameras and cell phones had to be surrendered at the security desk before entering the simulator building. This didn't seem too bizarre until after our simulator session, when all were returned and we were permitted to photograph anything and everything in the maintenance hangar and on the flight line, including the innards of partially dissected aircraft. I can only conclude that the simulator technology is more sensitive than the aircraft itself, or perhaps they'd just never gotten round to declassifying the simulator portion. For whatever reason, it was gephotoclikken und schtrobenflaschen verboten while in the vicinity of the simulators. As all the photos are ex-simulator, I'll provide a detailed text description of the simulator portion of the day and follow that with the photos, with brief captions where appropriate. The simulators Captain Baille began by describing the two kinds of simulators used at HSL-40. There are a pair of full motion boxes, one of which he showed us (they were idle, but scheduled for others within minutes). He described them as 1980s technology, saying that the graphics were rather rudimentary, but that the full motion feature made for very realistic and effective training of certain segments of their program. Each of these simulators occupies a good sized room with a high ceiling. The "box" is supported on six hydraulic actuators, attached to the floor in pairs. At each floor attachment, a pair of cylinders form a vee and are attached individually to the bottom of the simulator box (3 floor attachments, six box attachments). Thus, the six cylinders, controlled by the simulator computer and operating in conjunction with one another, create the motion. I marvel at the geometry, as any motion of any cylinder has to happen simultaneously with some motion of all the others, but each different in rate and maybe even direction. Attempting to move a single cylinder only would be impossible, as the other five would "lock" the simulator box in place. If one moves, all have to move, but each differently. As an engineer I couldn't help but be impressed by the control logic that must lie behind that cylinder geometry. It must be like the empennage controls of a V-tail Bonanza, times 3, only worse. The simulator compartment floor is initially about seven or eight feet above the room floor, and is accessed by a catwalk drawbridge, which is folded back when the simulator is started. At initialization, the simulator box rises a few feet from the static position to put the hydraulic actuators near the middle of their range of motion. I'd judge their stroke to be about 5 feet. I didn't see the hydraulic pumps, but heard them later in an adjacent room and they sounded huge. We were told the box could move to actual deck angles of about 45 degrees, though in practice, the attitude of the box isn't necessarily the same as the attitude of the simulated aircraft. The hydraulics provide acceleration in the various axes, the sense of banking, or changing attitude and direction. For instance, a hard sideward yank of the cyclic might cause the feeling of a lurch to one side, but if the pilot of the aircraft then maintains that attitude, the actuators might sneak the box back level slowly enough that the victim, er student might not feel that motion. The magic is all in the computers, and by all accounts the inner ear is soon completely convinced that what the graphics and/or the instruments are displaying is real. The second type of simulator, and the one we were permitted to use and abuse, was of the static type. HSL-40 has several of these, and they are heavily utilized. These are more modern. Captain Baille said that the graphics of these is generations better than the other boxes, and though these didn't have the motion feature, did a better training job on certain kinds of operations. Each type has its own strengths and the Navy uses each for those things it's best at. Since this version was created by a firm in San Diego CA, this simulator starts the student at North Island NAS, and the local scenery is the city of San Diego and the ocean, coastline, desert and mountains that surround it. As most of the training operations are over water, a wide geographical range is not important. Also included, of course, are a wide range of ships, aircraft, and presumably, the odd submarine. So, on to our hands-on time. As I said there were 16 of us, and we had originally been scheduled for an 80 minute window in one simulator. As it turned out, we had less than 45 minutes remaining in our slot when we began, so each of us only got a very few minutes in the left seat. Offsetting that, however, as we queued up for our turn, the three or four immediately behind the current victim were actually in the box, behind the simulator cockpit section, in and around the work station of the "dirty tricks guy", the simulator operator. From that vantage we had a good view of the displays and the panels for ten or twelve minutes before our turn in the seat. Captain Baille took the right seat, and handled the footwork, as he said the pedals were "touchy". In reality, I'm sure he knew that the aviation equivalent of rubbing your stomach and patting your head would be quite enough, without also expecting us to tap our feet at the same time. Each of us in our turn got a chance to fly the simulated Seahawk, pretty much as we wished, but for far too short a time. Of course our range of experience was quite varied, from a couple of private pilot license holders (fixed wing) to "what's a helicopter'. Our host/instructor pilot subtly did what he had to to make each of us look better than we were. No one crashed, though the simulator operator did create a mid-air collision with an AWACS, of all things, just so we could see it. The screen(s) turned red and the display froze for a moment before descending quite quickly to sea level (the only frozen display I saw, and that was intentional - more below). My own turn started on a runway. I lifted off without incident, climbed quickly to several hundred feet, did a standard rate 180, more or less, and began a descent to land again. I really wanted to try a landing. Alas, I was still about thirty seconds from touching down when my time ran out. The descent looked OK, though of course would have been impossibly steep for a fixed wing bird. I guess I'll never know how it would have turned out. I didn't embarrass myself too badly, though in the first minute or so struggled with the control forces of the collective. I commented on it and was tactfully shown a "trigger" on the collective stick that allows you to momentarily release the friction lock when making a control input. My grip was too far back on the stick and I hadn't realized that the trigger was there. Correcting that made all the difference. Now you know why I don't play golf. Had I known it was there I probably would not have pulled it anyway, as I'm sure pulling unidentified trigger-like objects on military aircraft control sticks can have unintended consequences. The simulator cockpit, of course, is a very good simulation of the real thing. The panels, instruments and controls are mainly not glass, except those few that are in the real aircraft. Most everything is a real component screwed into a real panel. The window displays, seven in all including the foot level one on each side, are a 3 dimensionally accurate model of the actual cockpit windows. These are not just flat planar displays set at angles, but are concave from the operators perspective, just as in the real cockpit. Surprisingly, the graphics were not what I'd expected. I'd have to judge them as being on a par with FS98 or possibly even an earlier version of MSFS. Objects were boxy, without much detail and the display seemed to be about 8- color. There were visible horizontal raster lines in the display, though you soon became unaware of them. Having noted that unexpectedly basic level of graphical detail, however, there was a lot to offset it. Recall that these displays are curved as the real windows are, and of course the image projected in each has to be coordinated. The graphics dynamics, if not the detail, was stunning. I can't judge a frame rate, as there didn't seem to be one. The image motion was never less than perfect; smooth and coordinated, no matter what the ham-handed non-rotorheads amongst us did. I never saw a lag, a hesitation or a skip of any kind. The horizon, for instance, regardless of the attitude, was always a dead-straight line across whatever combination of window panels it cut through at the moment. Add to that, all the flight instruments, which were real instruments in a real panel, followed along dutifully. The computer(s) behind this thing were driving a lot more than seven oddly shaped monitors. This thing was magnificent, and if there was a moment of disappointment in the graphic detail, it disappeared very soon after things started moving. Instruments and controls are everywhere you can reach and some places you can't. Between the seats is a raised panel resembling a small refrigerator lying on its back. The top surface is covered from end to end with switches and controls of every description, including the radios, (they have a lot more than I'm used to, UHF, VHF and some others) the weapons panel and a number of the aircraft system sub- panels. Of course the cyclic and collective each has its own set of switches, knobs and buttons attached as well, including that momentary friction lock override that I'd recently become so painfully knowledgeable about. The throttles are in the center overhead, along with the usual assortment of overhead controls. I naively had expected a twist grip on the collective for the throttle, but that's apparently not how it's done these days, if ever it was. The drill is to set the rotor speed desired with the throttle levers and then let the governor try to keep it there as the pilot does his thing with the collective and cyclic. Apparently there are warnings for low rotor speed if the pilot's yanking is asking for more than the turbines can provide, though I suspect he'd have to be asking for a lot. This beast does not appear to be underpowered. We saw at least one simulator for the aircrew, a single enlisted airman who rides in the back. He's referred to as the Sensor Operator. His panel is also quite complex. He's responsible for the sono-buoys, the MAD and a number of other systems. The simulators at HSL-40 operate every day from 0800 to midnight. They are used in conjunction with a large population of real Seahawks, at least two dozen that I saw, and probably more that were out on training flights. The rest of the day Following our time in the simulator, our cameras and cell phones were returned to us and we adjourned to the maintenance hanger nearby. It was medium sized, with one wall open facing the ramp, which was a busy, busy place. There were about six Seahawks in the hangar and four of those were being actively worked on. The work going on appeared to be mainly inspections of one sort or another, as opposed to repairs. (My career involved maintenance, and I'm pretty tuned in to that sort of thing.) I saw no "hangar rash", not a dent or scratch on any of the aircraft, though they were obviously being heavily used and were not air show clean. We were not permitted to step out of the hangar onto the ramp, as there were continuous flight operations and hot refuelings in progress. Aside from that, we had not been properly briefed in FOD procedures (foreign object debris, a BIG DEAL) that were in strict effect beyond the hangar door threshold, nor were we fitted with adequate hearing protection. We did, however have a good view of everything that was going on and the click of camera shutters was almost as loud as the helicopters for a while. After some time, Captain Baille tactfully dragged us kicking and screaming from the hangar and we adjourned to a sumptuous lunch at the base CPO club. CPOs are Chief Petty Officers, the top three enlisted ranks in the Navy. Their quarters on ships are referred to as the Goat Locker. These are the guys who make the Navy run, and they run a mean club. Captain Baille joined us for lunch, but it was clear from his subdued demeanor that he'd never been in there before. We got a peek at the ship basin as we drove by, which brought back some memories. I'd spent a couple months at Mayport in 1968, when my ship was there. Prominently present among some smaller types was the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy, the Big John. One of the last two of the Navy's non-nuclear carriers, she had just been formally decommissioned within the last week and the breaking-up process had begun. A sad, but necessary thing, I guess. I'd seen her in Norfolk during my Navy time in the 60s, when she was brand shining new. And so, as the sun pulls away from the dock, and our ship sinks slowly in the West - no, wait; wrong story. After lunch we departed the base and went back to our separate lives. This was a great experience, one I'll remember and cherish for the rest of my life. It's always moving for me to see the military up close; seeing some of what they do and some of how they do it. These are good, dedicated people doing serious things, and doing them well, mostly for not much money. You didn't have to look very hard to see the sheen of professionalism on most everything. I poked fun at the base entry process, but security at military bases has become serious business and I'm pleased they were treating it as if it were. Whatever country each of us calls home, people like those I saw at Mayport NS help make it possible for all of us to sit home of an evening and fly our simulators and chat on our forums in peace and security, and that's no small thing. It's easily overlooked, but it's vital to us all. I said I wanted to present this like a magazine article. It's turned out more like a novelette. If you bore with me to this point, I hope you enjoyed some of it. The photos are below, and the captions, I hope, mercifully brief. John The photos Captain Baille, Canadian Air Force HSL-40 Squadron Insignia and one of the tools of the trade Maintenance hangar. Note radar antenna beneath. The upper works, un-shrouded Turbine, transmission and rotorhead Same stuff, different angle Accessories group, hydraulic pumps, etc. Even the ceiling lights even look like rotors MAD sensor - this is deployed on a cable and towed behind Feed me! There are two birds stowed here; nearest one is only partially folded Flight line Taxiing A few odds & ends lying around the hangar - obviously inert Tail boom hinge - note the toothed steel dog clutch that connects the drive shaft sections. Radome removed Arriving! Tail feathers Fully folded - rotor blades, elevators, tail boom Turbine Tail rotorhead, shroud removed Main rotor head, folded. When restored, the two holes in the upper left are engaged by the two pins with the small bar between them, upper right. The front office Some of the overhead panel is visible here Safety wiring Folded rotorhead. The door winch is in the foreground. Sono-buoy dispenser, behind sensor operators seat More flight line activity Rotor tips are swept back in the last foot or so - noise reduction? The Big John The ship basin
  5. allardjd

    Digital Clocks

    Once you retire, these things get a lot less important. :dance: I read a great quote once. A man with a watch always knows the time. A man with TWO watches is never sure. John
  6. Had a fantastic experience with the Navy's toys today, and have some photos, though none in the simulator building. I want to write this up like a magazine article and do it right. Hope to post in a day or two. Where's the appropriate place, here or Real World Aviation? The photos are real world, of course; as it happens, none will be of the simulator, even though that's the feature topic. John
  7. I just hope this won't spoil me on Microsoft. This is the high-tech stuff, and you know what they say. It's hard to get 'em back down on the farm after they've been to the big city. After this, I may have to re-enlist. Fortunately, my general distrust for helicopters will probably save me. I'm sure you've heard them all... Airplanes want to fly, helicopters just want to kill you. Helicopters can't fly, they're just so ugly they're repelled by the earth. A helicopter is a collection of aircraft parts flying in loose formation. Helicopters have no visible means of support. If you have an engine failure in a helicopter your choice of landing sites is limited to what you can spit on, however you'll arrive before the spit. And all the rest... After having said all that, by this time tomorrow I'll probaby be a convert. John
  8. Oz?? Is that a reference to the land of Foster's in one quart cans? Never heard that one before. Must be a British thing, eh? Wow! That's quite a trek. Not exactly the express route is it? Sounds like fun though. John
  9. This time it's just good news. I will be able to go to Mayport for the simulator session tomorrow. Will take the camera along and try to get some shots to post, but not sure the Navy is going to allow a camera. We'll see. :dance: John
  10. OK, Smeagol, go for it. Looking forward to seeing Dubai. Normally I'd hold off for the specified 24 hours before making a decision, but I know you've been trying to get in a flight, so I'll "award" this one to you. When you've finished and posted, please allow 24 hours after you post before picking the next pilot. I'm afraid we're cutting Joe Ellwood in Australia, and maybe some others, out of the picture here. John.
  11. Smeagol, Glad you liked it. I had hoped my attempts at humor might make up for the lack of artistic content. What aircraft are you proposing to fly? I certainly hope it has a radial engine, or two...or three or four. :-) Also, I'm in the US and don't know when it's 1600 where you are. Normally we're supposed to have a 24 hour period for others to "offer" flights, so everyone in the various time zones gets their shot. Having said that, it looks like you've been trying to get one in for a day or so. Please let me know what you propose. Dubai sounds interesting. You might see Michael Jackson there. Last I knew he was hiding out as a "guest" of the local Sultan. John
  12. All right, boys and girls, welcome to our flight from Ioannis Kapodistrias, Greece (LGKR), and easy for you to say, to beautiful Incirlik Turkey, also known by the catchy name, LTAG. As you can see our accommodations will be world class and we'll be ready to board you as soon as the eight drums of hydraulic fluid are loaded. Pay no mind to the work gantry and the open cowlings. Any rumors that radial engines leak oil are simply scurrilous propaganda by our closest competitor, Air Bulgaria. #1 running, #2 cranking... Allowing traffic to pass before push-back. Some of our ramp neighbors, courtesy of Traffic 2005. I'd like to introduce our flight crew today. I'm Captain John, and this is... well, we don't know his name or anything much about him, but that is an Air America patch on his jacket. He won't say much. Anyway, he may or may not be moving through the cabin serving beverages and peanuts during our flight, but probably not. Pushing back, at last. Please make sure your seat back is in the upright position and your seat belt is blah, blah, blah, blah.... Waiting our turn, as a Mooney waits in front of us and an Olympic Airlines twin turboprop arrives with much bouncing and smoke -really. The Mooney disappeared into thin air seconds after this was taken. Either AISmooth removed him to facilitate traffic flow, or he somehow knew what was going to happen in about 20 seconds. No! Don't turn there, you crazy Greek! Well, this is a fine kettle of fish. So much for AISmooth facilitating traffic flow. I had to push back about 500 ft. from here, then taxi around him on the grass to get to the runway. Ground Control was NO help. Cleared for takeoff and lined up at last. Wonder how the fuel's holding out. They say the sound these radials make at idle sounds like they're saying, "a gallon of gas, a gallon of gas, a gallon of gas". So, you ask, where are all the dramatic takeoff and climb out shots, with the picturesque view of the airport receding in the background? Well, I was kind'a busy flying this crate, and the bozo next to me doesn't seem to know how to operate anything. This is at 3,700 feet climbing out and is as dramatic as it gets. The visibility was pretty crummy anyway. Ah, Greece! The gently rounded curves of the inimitable Microsoft FS9 standard scenery. You can almost smell the olives and ouzo from up here. We're at 10K, now, even though we filed for 9. I think they know something about the topography that I don't. ...but it is pretty, in places. Glad I'm not walking. Right forward view from the C-123. To the co-pilot, everything looks like a windshield wiper. Wonder why I didn't get one. If it rains, he's flying. More Greek/Microsoft scenery. Rounded or not, it doesn't look like any kind of place for a forced landing. Now that's more like it. Very scenic up ahead. Water, water everywhere, and me with no pontoons. I hope these P&Ws keep turning. The last of Greece.... ...and the beginning of Turkey. Hmmm. Nice looking place. I wonder if Madonna has bought it. Note my window. No wonder I could smell the olives and ouzo. I'm guessing this thing isn't pressurized. Oddly, the Turkish scenery looks a lot like the Greek, only more so. Don't let any Turks or Greeks overhear that! OK, that's as artistic as I get. That sun is really bright. If you look closely you can see the silhouette of the pallet of hydraulic oil drums right through the fuselage. The visibility is getting bad, and NONE of the airports around here have a published ATIS frequency. It didn't last long though. Don't look now, but you've just been mooned. The sun and the moon in the same shot. You don't get that opportunity every flight. Here's the Mediterranean again. Haven't seen if for a while. Can you read the name of the next VOR? Seeing is believing. On our left you can see the baby version of the dreaded cumulus granitus, or the cloud with a rock in it. Vectors to final. Note the approach slope light just visible in the lower left. It's not Incirlik, it's a sucker field (not to be confused with a soccer field) just a few miles off the runway 5 approach end of Incirlik. I wonder if anyone's ever landed there by mistake? Ah, there's the real Incirlik. Ladies and gentlemen, please be sure your seats and tray tables are blah, blah, blah... Off the runway. I know! I know! There are none of those dramatic arrival shots we all love. Someday one of you is going to have to tell me how you manage that in the midst of wrestling with 45,000 lbs of aluminum and the law of gravity. Note the KC-135s. I wonder if they have gas. Probably just jet fuel. I need gas, like about 6,000 lbs. of gas. Oh, well. I'm sure there's a Microsoft gas pump around here somewhere. Look! My big brother's here! Hey, Herc, over here! The grass? They're parking me on the grass? How undignified. It's not like they're short of ramp space or anything. I hope they don't believe those stories about radials leaking oil. I've a good notion not to give them their hydraulic fluid. Well, the story ends here. I hope you enjoyed the flight. Sorry about the beverages and peanuts, but this guy just will not get out of that seat. Anyway, the drums are unloaded, the cowls are open and I've got to get after those oil leaks.
  13. I can do LGRK-LTAG (Incirlik AB, Turkey) today/tonight. I have a new Fairchild C-123 K Provider I need to get some time in. It's a little over 800 miles and I'll do IFR, via airways, with real-world weather and 100% traffic. Expect the screenshots to be a little rough as I'm not all that experienced at switching views to take shots while on departure, etc. Let me know ASAP if you want me to go ahead with this. John
  14. And to you! Have a good one. John
  15. I have Traffic 2005 and the Military 1 PlusPak installed and am pretty pleased overall. The Repaint Assistant utility that comes with it is a great little tool for looking up liveries in the guess-the-airport competitions, but don't tell anyone.... John
  16. Mut, I spent some time trying to ID the liveries of the AC in the background of your runway intersection shot. Two of them are fairly clear. One appears to be BMI, and I thought, "Aha, I'm on to something!" Then I looked them up on the web and it seems they fly just about everywhere. Curses, foiled again! There's one with a blue, white and red horizontal bar layout on the vertical stabilizer and I couldn't find anything to match that one, though my first thought on seeing it was Air France. I couldn't confirm that. It probably wouldn't have helped much anyway. There really wasn't much to go on there. Congrats to David for ID'ing it on such a thin thread. John
  17. Mut, I'll defer to someone else, please. I haven't anything but stock FS9 aircraft and I don't think that would provide much of a challenge for anyone. I'll stick to airports though might hazard a cockpit guess when I can. John
  18. If Joe is right about it being a Russian helo, it might very well be a MI-24 Hind. The MI-24 does have the bowed windscreen rails like the one in the photo and most helos don't have "one up" cockpits like that. That's pretty much a feature of helo gunships and I think the Hind does have that cockpit layout. I didn't pick up on the fact that it was a helo until Joe mentioned it, but now that I look closely, you can see the collective. I was thinking it was a late 60s or 70s fighter. I haven't a clue who the developer might be. If this is indeed a Hind, someone else can be the winner when they supply that info. And....I'm not really sure it's a Hind anyway. Lot's of mujahadeen (sp) got chewed up by MI-24s in Afghanistan before the US began supplying them with Stingers. John
  19. Joe, You are a piece of work!!! That was awesome. Obviously you have a fine stable of FS aircraft. I saw the Hornet at work with the Blue Angels at an airshow earlier this year. The aircraft and the folks who fly them are pretty amazing. It was amusing to listen to the announcer repeatedly refer to it as, "...the Boeing FA-18 Hornet." As I'm sure you know, they were actually designed and built by McDonnel-Douglas but Boeing has bought them out. It's a great aircraft, but I'm a little worried that the Navy is asking much of it. The A-6 Intruders are gone. The F-14 Tomcats are gone. The S-3 Vikings are nearly gone. About all they have left on the carriers that can do the work are the Hornets. Hopefully the Joint Strike Fighter will not be delayed and will pick up some of the load soon. Anyway, nice photo show. I'm sure the jarheads were appreciative. John
  20. The Good News I bought a couple of raffle tickets from my brother last week. Here's some of the advertising poop.... "The Military Affinity Group is sponsoring a raffle that will award 3 lucky winners with cockpit time in a SH60B "Seahawk" Helicopter Simulator. This simulator is a full-motion simulator that gives the most realistic flight simulation that modern technology has to offer. The Army version of this helicopter is the more famous "Blackhawk". If you have worked in the CSX HQ for any amount of time, you have seen these helicopters (pictured below) fly up and down the St Johns River almost on a daily basis. Here is your chance to find out what it is like to pilot this type of helicopter in a safe and controlled environment (on the ground). The 3 winners will be given tranportation to & from Mayport on March 20th at 9 a.m. Return will be early to mid afternoon. Tickets are on sale now until March 14th at 12 noon. The 3 winners will be given tranportation to & from Mayport on March 20th at 9 a.m. Return will be early to mid afternoon. Proceeds from the raffle will go to support operations of the Military Affinity Group's efforts to provide assistance to CSX employees who have been called up to active duty service, shipping care packages, providing supplies to residents of the VA Hospitals and Homes in the Northeast Florida area, and financial support for the Northeast Florida USO." This is one of the Navy full-motion simulators at Mayport NAS, just outside Jacksonville FL, about 100 miles from me. Well, my brother just called and I'm one of the winners. The Bad News I've received a summons for jury duty beginning on Monday, March 19th and don't know if I'll be able to go over to Jacksonville for this or not.
  21. Close enough. AYLA is not in FS9. The Lae field in that program is Nadzab, AYNZ, about 15 miles up the road from the city. I think it's the historic one, but wasn't aware of AYLA. Anyway, Lae is the place and there's only one field listed in FS9. As you know by now, this was the departure point for Amelia Earhart's last flight, attempting to reach Howland Island. The rest is history and mystery. Lae was used extensively by the Japanese until mid to late 1943, when they were...well, evicted. There's a photo in Wickopedia of wrecked A6M Zeros next to the runway. Understand your focus on the ETO. That was literally a matter of survival for Britain, and the Pacific was more of a sideshow. With Americans of the era, Pearl Harbor made it personal in the Pacific. Sorry to make this so difficult. That wasn't my intent. I remember your post that was characterized as quite simple because you knew where it was. So it was with this. I didn't intend to frustrate anyone to the point of beating up the sky in a Tornado. Great way to relieve stress, though. John
  22. The aviation pioneer to whom I refer is one of those mentioned by Mut above.
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