Thursday, January 28, 2010

RA-5C Spoiler-Deflectors

The Vigilante had an unusual set of spoilers and deflectors on each wing which provided roll control and speed braking. Even after buying a nice book on the Viggie, loaded with information and photos, I still only have the spoilers and deflectors about 75% figured out. I believe that when operated as speed brakes these control surfaces worked as shown in the above screen shot. The upper, outermost surface was hinged at the rear and rotated upwards. The lower, outermost surface was hinged at the front and rotated downwards. North American used a similar system in their F-107 project.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The blue tint

I've noticed a lot of blue being added to models lately by FlightGear's rendering system. It's especially troublesome when a shiny surface is painted white, like the wings on this F-104. Any idea how to get rid of the blue?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kent's F-104C

Kent Esbenshade is working on an F-104 model (and several others). I've posted it in the Hangar in the Projects section as a beta release. The model is very nice and close to release. A complication here is that Kent is using the last stable FlightGear, and therefore can't see how it will render in the upcoming version. I'm helping out, but I'm not sure my newish build for linux renders the same as everyone else's newish build. Also, I don't have experience using the chrome shader, so I'm having to learn that at the same time. Can any of you please check out the F-104C and post feedback here? I'm especially interested in rendering/texturing/coloration/lighting issues. Thanks!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Good Reading

I recommend this book if you're in to cold war airplanes. This is a collection of articles written by pilots who flew these airplanes, about flying them. Most of the articles cover things such as training, check-out, starting procedures, airplane quirks, handling qualities, comparisons to similar airplanes, their typical missions, airplane history, etc. Amazon link here.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bronco on the grass

Still pressed for time these days, so I'll post a photo of OV-10 number 825. This photo is from the Battle of Britain Airshow at RAF Abingdon in 1981. I brought this airplane from Germany and had a great time. The Brits introduced me to Flaming Drambuies. I did pretty well at first, but later lost half my mustache.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vigilante at the Midway

The RA-5 is one of my favorites. I took a few photos hoping to find some areas where the model could be improved. The tail end is especially complicated. I STILL can't figure out where the speed brakes are. I guess some combination of wing spoilers was used for this. The current RA-5C model in the hangar has speed brakes aerodynamically but not visually. I may end up having to get the NATOPS flight manual to get the answer.

Monday, January 4, 2010

F9F body flaps

Of all the things I saw on the deck of the Midway, these "body flaps" on the F9F were the most interesting. I'd never thought of it before, but one of the problems with blended wing-body (BWB) airplanes is how do you make up for all the missing flap span? Grumman's answer was body flaps. I assume they were very draggy, which for a carrier airplane is not a bad thing.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Visit to Midway Museum

I'll post photos after I get them developed and digitized. The airplanes on deck are very well prepared. I was especially impressed by the ordnance loads on the airplanes. The A-6 was loaded with 30 Mk-82 bombs! I stupidly forgot to bring a camera along, so I bought a 27-shot throw away camera in the gift shop. I hope the photos turn out OK :)

USS Midway museum website