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B-17 Crash

Old 5th Oct 2019, 14:24
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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F900, the passenger-carrying "business model" is fairly standard here in the States and is the primary reason that many (most?) of the larger warbirds are in operable condition. Paying passengers make it feasible for the aircraft to tour the country, in turn allowing large numbers of people (of all ages) to tour the planes and see them in flight. The benefits of that might be hard to measure but are, I believe, worthwhile. A surely incomplete list of aircraft available for rides includes: B-29s, B-24s, B-17s, B-25s, Ford Trimotors, Beech 18s, as well as Dauntless, Avenger, Helldiver, P-51s, P-40, various trainers, etc.
That the accident claimed lives is tragic, and we can assume that it will happen again at some point in the future, but what happens in between is magical. Should any additional restrictions emerge because of this accident, I hope that they are well thought out and not merely a knee-jerk reaction.

Boeing B-29 Superfortress NX529B Fifi by Mark Carlisle, on Flickr


Consolidated B-24 Liberator N24927 "Diamond Lil" by Mark Carlisle, on Flickr


Bomber Gaggle by Mark Carlisle, on Flickr


Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress NL93012 by Mark Carlisle, on Flickr


Ford Trimotor NC8407 by Mark Carlisle, on Flickr


Boeing B-29 Superfortress NX529B Fifi by Mark Carlisle, on Flickr
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 18:50
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Chug,
Take your point about Spitfire, etc, rebuilds but it is not the engineering standards that worry me. It is the aircraft themselves, their design limitations, their systems and engines. No amount of meticulous restoration can alter the fact that performance and reliability are determined by technology that is over half a century out of date.
Chug, The Spitfire is a metal construction alloy skin nailed to an alloy frame, something that is used in metal aircraft to the present day, there are the odd thing that ten no longer used I will give you that, such as air operated drum brakes, Piston engines are what they are, a reliable engine, take the Griffon that is proven in over 70 years of operation and used in a myriad types including the Spitfire. Dont be fooled a lot of Spits are more or less new builds.
The Spitfires control system is cable operated and is actually safer than a civilian puddle jumper such as a Cessna or Piper fresh out of the factory, being a military aircraft the majority have dual control cable circuits for built in redundancy, you seem to think that just because something was built 70 years ago it has no relevance today.
Ever flown in a Cessna 152 or a Piper Tomahawk? many have and still do today being hauled around the sky behind a Lycoming 0-235, that engine first ran in 1941 and is still in production for a myriad of aircraft.
Take the C-46 commando, The DC-3 still used the world over, some converted to turboprops, they would still be used in the UK as freighters if probably for one thing, and possibly the one thing that may bring an end to large piston aircraft, a readily available supply of Avgas of sufficient rating.
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 20:46
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CUTiger78 View Post
I find it a bit troubling that the "flight engineer" only held a student pilot certificate.
from other forums the third crew member would mostly serve as an escort in the rear compartment, helping passengers get situated, answer questions, move them around so they could experience different positions etc. A true flight engineer has not been needed for decades aboard these B-17s. You don’t need to be troubled by it.
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Old 5th Oct 2019, 22:19
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Nutty, I most certainly do think that these aircraft have a relevance today. In every theatre around the world they defeated tyranny and assured the liberty that we all enjoy today, whether taken for granted or not. But sooner or later time has to be called on their continued operation. Again, I fully accept your assurances about the technical excellence of them being restored to even higher standards than when they emerged from the factory. Though if Castle Bromwich was still churning out Spits to the same specs as in the war what chance they would get a CofA for the civil register? Nil I'd suggest, restored vintage ones being allowed on it as special cases.

I suggest that the main difficulties lie with the larger ME types. There are immediately handling issues that the SE types aren't affected by. Add to that pilots who have to learn the arcane challenges of tail draggers and of course the enormous operating costs (not the least of which is insurance) when the sheer necessity of paying passengers becomes very apparent.

Another anecdote springs to mind. The OC BBMF (as was) emphasised the importance of feedback from visiting veterans. Recalling the trouble they were having in trying to three point the Lanc in a crosswind, one of them said, "Why try? Just wheel it on, keep straight with the rudders until effectiveness falls off with decreasing speed, and only then lower the tail and the (locked) tailwheel. That's what we did". To which I might add, so did we on the Hastings! Somehow though the corporate memory had forgotten it over the intervening years.

The Royal Navy very sensibly doesn't sail Victory or Warrior any more, glorious though that sight would be. They are too venerable, not seaworthy, and the skillsets needed to do that are very much reduced. I would suggest that we are approaching that same state with ME vintage WWII military aircraft. We will have to start thinking of enjoying them on the ground, static or taxying, but not airborne. They are only airworthy because they are said to be, but are they really?

SE types will no doubt suffer many more restrictions for display and operating purposes but should manage to keep flying for longer. Eventually their time will come as well though. Nothing is for ever...
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 10:20
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Happy that these aircraft still fly to entertain in controlled and well regulated conditions, but NOT with 13 passengers, a 76 year old Captain and a 71 year old Co-pilot, that just seems so wrong.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 11:11
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
Nutty, I most certainly do think that these aircraft have a relevance today. In every theatre around the world they defeated tyranny and assured the liberty that we all enjoy today, whether taken for granted or not. But sooner or later time has to be called on their continued operation. Again, I fully accept your assurances about the technical excellence of them being restored to even higher standards than when they emerged from the factory. Though if Castle Bromwich was still churning out Spits to the same specs as in the war what chance they would get a CofA for the civil register? Nil I'd suggest, restored vintage ones being allowed on it as special cases.

I suggest that the main difficulties lie with the larger ME types. There are immediately handling issues that the SE types aren't affected by. Add to that pilots who have to learn the arcane challenges of tail draggers and of course the enormous operating costs (not the least of which is insurance) when the sheer necessity of paying passengers becomes very apparent.

Another anecdote springs to mind. The OC BBMF (as was) emphasised the importance of feedback from visiting veterans. Recalling the trouble they were having in trying to three point the Lanc in a crosswind, one of them said, "Why try? Just wheel it on, keep straight with the rudders until effectiveness falls off with decreasing speed, and only then lower the tail and the (locked) tailwheel. That's what we did". To which I might add, so did we on the Hastings! Somehow though the corporate memory had forgotten it over the intervening years.

The Royal Navy very sensibly doesn't sail Victory or Warrior any more, glorious though that sight would be. They are too venerable, not seaworthy, and the skillsets needed to do that are very much reduced. I would suggest that we are approaching that same state with ME vintage WWII military aircraft. We will have to start thinking of enjoying them on the ground, static or taxying, but not airborne. They are only airworthy because they are said to be, but are they really?

SE types will no doubt suffer many more restrictions for display and operating purposes but should manage to keep flying for longer. Eventually their time will come as well though. Nothing is for ever...
What a miserable post...

The Royal Navy very sensibly doesn't sail Victory or Warrior any more
Maybe not, but the Americans still sail the USS Constitution, launched in 1797...

learn the arcane challenges of tail draggers
You do realise that 'tail draggers' are still in production in various forms all round the world...?
Should we ground them all??
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 12:31
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Nige321 View Post
What a miserable post.


You do realise that 'tail draggers' are still in production in various forms all round the world...?
Should we ground them all??
Well, of course I do. All I'm saying is that the technology and airworthiness inherent in these vintage aircraft means that they do not meet modern Regulatory Standards. Why are they allowed to go on flying then? Pure sentiment, that's why.

When that sentiment starts claiming lives, not only of those who fly them, those who pay to be passengers in them, and innocent bystanders not even attending display venues, someone has to call a halt, or at least heavily restrict such operations.

Miserable? Yes, I agree, but there is an elephant in this room that is potentially much more miserable. It needs to be responsibly and professionally confronted.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 12:42
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Happy that these aircraft still fly to entertain in controlled and well regulated conditions, but NOT with 13 passengers, a 76 year old Captain and a 71 year old Co-pilot, that just seems so wrong.
Think the only way to keep them flying is by carrying paying passengers. It is not cheap to keep those antiques airworthy.
The pilots age was not a factor afaik.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 13:17
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Chug,
There is an inherent risk in everything we do, agreed that flying in a WWII era aeroplane increases the risk but I believe that everyone who OPTS to fly understands that. Definitely not for the 'Snowflake' generation. I'm with Vzlet on this, in that it's tragic but magical and enlightening for many others who wonder why these 'Relics' are still flying.

Nothing is for ever is a nothing but a (Well known) phrase, as has been pointed out, a large proportion of warbirds are virtually new albeit using old technology, however they all have more manhours spent on meticulous maintenance than they ever did operationally.

Ultimately, it's your opinion which you're entitled to, however do take a look at motorcycle accident statistics and you'll see that even with cutting edge technology, people still choose pleasure over (much) higher statistical risks.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 14:19
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Momoe, I've no idea what the accident rate is for motorcycles but logic suggests that it be high as you say, and as often as not caused by other road users rather than by the motorcyclists themselves. They are the most likely casualties of such accidents of course, and presumably accept that increased risk to themselves. Aircraft are inherently more dangerous, not to those who choose to fly them, but to those who do not, witness the tragic toll of the OP tragedy.

The snowflake generation jibe misses the point and I suspect is counter productive anyway. It is more to do with assessing the risk to oneself and to others. Being ancient I learned risk assessment at the cost of many scraped knees and sundry bruises. That I would suggest is where the snowflakes have missed out and hence are left all the more vulnerable to situations that are indeed risky but not perceived as such.

Sorry to have used such a hackneyed phrase for which you have rightly brought me to task. All I would respond with is, if nothing is for ever be unacceptable, when would it be acceptable to ground WWII aircraft; in ten years, twenty, a hundred, never? The accident rate when they were operational was horrendous by modern day standards. RAF Flight Safety was the reaction to the Meteor loss rate in the 50's. The churchyards with rows of CWGC headstones around RAF Bicester bear witness to the Blenheim crews lost while attending the OTU there. All that training for naught before they were even operational. All acceptable as the cost of fighting a war of survival of course, but for mere magic and enlightenment? Not in my book.

May I once again repeat that I am not impugning the restoration and servicing these old timers receive. It is they themselves that are the problem, not the TLC lavished on them. A generation used to rattling off "V1, Rotate, V2" in almost one breath these days needs to know the long pauses between those calls that these veterans impose. Not only is the possibility of an engine failure on a veteran twin so much more likely, but the options open to you before V2 are so much more limited. As you say, just my opinion but others should perhaps consider theirs...
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 02:10
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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When that sentiment starts claiming lives, not only of those who fly them, those who pay to be passengers in them, and innocent bystanders not even attending display venues, someone has to call a halt, or at least heavily restrict such operations
A320, 119 major accidents,36 hull losses, 1,393 fatalities (to August 2019)
B737, 368 major accidents, 184 hull losses, 4,862 fatalities (to November 2013)

We make choices in life cognisant that there are no absolute guarantees.
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 06:40
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Definitely not for the 'Snowflake' generation.
You're 61, Momoe. Your generation is nothing special.
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 07:00
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Warning: Tangent.

Snowflakes.

Whilst I agree that the ‘snowflake’ generation have a few issues I think some people have been believing a bit too much of what they read in the tabloids.

Risk and the adventurous spirit is still there. My kids get covered in mud on an almost daily basis and have lost their fair share of skin from knees and elbows. If you believed the media you’d think all kids spend their days playing computer games and eating junk food.

Generations will always differ but beware of viewing life through rose tinted specs and thinking your own generation has a hegemony on perfection.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled broadcast.

BV
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 07:08
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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If you believed the media you’d think all kids spend their days playing computer games and eating junk food.
If I believed the media I'd think that the 'snowflakes' had spent the best part of the last 20 years fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria.....
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 09:56
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Wink

Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
Snowflakes.

Whilst I agree that the ‘snowflake’ generation have a few issues I think some people have been believing a bit too much of what they read in the tabloids.

Risk and the adventurous spirit is still there. My kids get covered in mud on an almost daily basis and have lost their fair share of skin from knees and elbows. If you believed the media you’d think all kids spend their days playing computer games and eating junk food.

Generations will always differ but beware of viewing life through rose tinted specs and thinking your own generation has a hegemony on perfection.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled broadcast.

BV
Burn the witch, burn him!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 10:26
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Mil-26Man View Post
You're 61, Momoe. Your generation is nothing special.
Nor is yours, mine, or any generation that has posted here, with the exception in my view (though he always demurred at that proposition) of Danny 42C's, RIP. I'm not even sure what defines a generation other than pointless tags such as blitz, baby boomer, cold war, or indeed snowflake. We are all individuals but shaped to a certain extent by our common experiences.

megan, other than that modern aircraft crash and kill just as others have done, what is the point you are making? That life is inherently fraught with danger? In which case assessing that danger, ie risk assessment, is a necessary life skill. The unfortunates who died in those tragedies had places to go, people to meet, things to do. Very few of them went along simply to enjoy the ride I would suggest. Ditto those who drive cars, or chance their arm at Railtrack's unforeseen works above and below ground level. Statistically those you list drew the short straw as the odds were much more in their favour than those lost in this tragedy.
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 11:24
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Nothing is for ever is a nothing but a (Well known) phrase, as has been pointed out, a large proportion of warbirds are virtually new albeit using old technology, however they all have more manhours spent on meticulous maintenance than they ever did operationally.
I wish people would stop going on about old technology, its a metal rivetted structure as used in everything from 737's to the latest aircraft, there is no difference bar stuctural stength for pressurisation and the Spitfire had that, the only really new construction technology of late is Carbon Fibre.

Heck you can even look at glued fuselage and wing structures used on the likes of the BAE 146 and that is using WW2 redux as the adhesives.
http://www.adhesivestoolkit.com/Docs...es/P3r9pt2.pdf

Remember the Comet / Nimrod first flew in 49, a scant 4 years after the war. The Typhoon took 20 years to gestate, you could argue it was out of date when it finally reached operational staus.

As for instrumentation, its only in the last few years electronics have started to take over from steam driven instrumentation and the 737max etc shows how succesfull that has been.

I think we are going to have to differ on this one Chug, I rebuild and repair metal construction aircraft all the time BTW. You are just going to hate the idea of this then

https://www.junkers-f13.com/junkers-f13-relaunch-e
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 11:29
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Forgot to add glad someone mentioned the USS Constellation, I intended too.
The Victory was screwed when they took it out of the water, not only did it allow the hull to dry and shrink, but the hull was designed and was supported over its entire lower surfaces by water, taking it out of water and supporting it in the way they did put enormous strain on the rest of the hull and she literally started to come apart under her own weight, hence why they had to demast her while rectification work on the hull is carried out, had she remained afloat they would not of had these issues.
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 12:16
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Think the only way to keep them flying is by carrying paying passengers. It is not cheap to keep those antiques airworthy.
The pilots age was not a factor afaik.
etudiant,

Not here in the UK they don't. With the exception of the BBMF they are kept flying by the indulgence of fabulously wealthy owners/sponsors, many of whom actually fly them as well.

I accept that the crew age may not be a factor in this case, but I am the same age as that co-pilot (71) and, though I flew RAF Fast jets in my youth, now I would not trust the speed nor the correctness of my reactions in an emergency, as for the 76 year old Captain...

And a B-17 is a bomber, it was never built to carry passengers.
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Old 7th Oct 2019, 13:31
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Nutty, I don't know how many times I have to say this, I don't doubt for a minute the structural soundness of these old War Birds' restoration, nor of their subsequent maintenance. The old technology I speak of is in the various systems that they come with. You enumerated some of them yourself, Pneumatic brake bladders spring to mind. Always a cause for concern on the Hastings I recall. More importantly though is the limited airworthiness that the aircraft come with and which no amount of care and attention can obviate.

We are lucky to have the Victory (and Warrior) wet or dry, and it is thanks to that same spirit that permeates all restoration. For myself, I volunteer at a preserved railway and we are currently restoring to running order an 1890 4 wheeler 5 compartment Third body that spent more of the intervening years being someone's house! When it is finished it will only be allowed to carry fare paying passengers on a preserved railway because it meets in full the requirements of the Rail Regulator. It will have a modern underframe with brakes that meet those requirements. The alarm system ditto. Those are the compromises we have had to make over the authentic Victorian systems. Easy of course compared to vintage aircraft which bring their own inherent limitations no matter what.
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