Showing posts with label Blast from the past. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blast from the past. Show all posts

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blast from the past...the "Original" BlackHawk...S-67.

Back in the late 60's the US Army and Marines had to opportunity to have a work horse of a helicopter...the original Black Hawk, the S-67.  Stats from Wikipedia...

Specifications (S-67 Blackhawk)

Data from Illustrated Encyclopedia of Helicopters,[3] Attack Helicopter Evaluation[15]
General characteristics
  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: Up to 8 troops[citation needed]
  • Payload: 8,000 lb (3,600 kg)
  • Length: 74 ft 2 in (22.6 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 62 ft (18.9 m)
  • Height: 15 ft (4.57 m)
  • Airfoil: NACA 0012 Mod
  • Empty weight: 12,525 lb (5,681 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 24,272 lb (11,010 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2× T58-GE-5 turboshaft engine, 1,500 shp (1,100 kW) each
  • Rotor system: 5 blades on main rotor, 5 blades on tail rotor
  • Fuselage length: 64 ft 1 in (19.5 m)
  • Fuselage height: 16 ft 3 in (4.95 m)
  • Stub wing span: 27 ft 4 in (8.33 m)

My recent "Blasts from the past" have focused on helicopter projects because as usual, we're getting fawning press about the X-3, and criticism of the US helicopter industry which has in the past (and is presently) cutting edge in every way.

The problem is that the US government in general and the US military in particular are sticking to outdated technology and attempting to wring more performance out of physics limited designs.

Currently Piaseki has cutting edge technology ready to insert into our legacy airframes and it is left to rot.

We have had ducted fan concepts, pusher concepts, compound helicopter concepts and more, yet we're sticking to models that have little performance improvements since the 70's!

Nothing is wrong with innovation in the US...the X-3 is a joke when compared to even past attempts.  The joke is the Department of Defense that complains about industry and thinking that industry is going to jump when they've been burned before.

Blast from the past....D-2022 Ducted Assault Transport.

The Bell Aero Systems D-2022 Ducted Assault Transport is another 'blast from the past' that never even made it to mock up stage.

Its a shame.

Blast from the past...XH-51A

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Blast from the past...Sea Apache.

I get asked occasionally why no Sea Apache?  The US Marine Corps is famous for 'not reinventing the wheel'....if a weapon system is applicable to Marine Corps use and works then its easier, simpler and more cost effective to procure that system.

Assuming of course that it meets Marine Corps doctrine.

The proposed Sea Apache unfortunately did not meet those requirements and was never pursued.  Luckily Aviastar has a wonderful article on the concept and its worth a read.(all pics are from Aviastar)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Blast from the past...Convair Kingfish.

via Wikipedia...
After cancellation of the B-58B in mid-1959, Convair turned to a completely new design, similar to their earlier entry in name only. The new "Kingfish" design had much in common with the Convair F-106 Delta Dart, using a classic delta wing layout like most of Convair's products. It differed in having two of the J58 engines buried in the rear fuselage, and twin vertical surfaces at the rear. The intakes and exhausts were arranged to reduce radar cross section, and the entire aircraft had the same sort of angular appearance as the later Lockheed F-117. The leading edges of the wings and intakes continued to use pyroceram, while other portions used a variety of materials selected for low radar reflection, including fiberglass. The new engines reduced the cruise speed to Mach 3.2 compared to the "Fish"'s Mach 4.2, but range was increased to about 3,400 nm (6,300 km).
In August 1959 the teams met again to present their latest designs. Lockheed had produced an aircraft similar to the "Kingfish", the A-11, but it was more "conventional" in layout. Although the A-11 had somewhat better performance than "Kingfish", the panel generally preferred Convair's design due to its much lower RCS. Johnson expressed skepticism of Convair's claimed RCS, and complained that they had given up performance to achieve it: "Convair have promised reduced radar cross section on an airplane the size of A-12. They are doing this, in my view, with total disregard for aerodynamics, inlet and afterburner performance."
In the end it was not performance that decided the outcome; during the U-2 project Lockheed had proven its ability to design advanced aircraft in secret, on-time, and under-budget. In contrast, Convair had massive cost overruns with the B-58 and no secure facility similar to the Skunk Works. Lockheed promised to lower the RCS in a modified version of the A-11 known as the A-12, and that sealed the deal. The A-12 entered service with the CIA in the 1960s, and was slightly modified to become the Air Force's SR-71.
Another tantalizing 'what if' we had gone this way airplane...