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Link Posted: 5/12/2022 11:21:11 AM EDT
[#1]
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Originally Posted By Mach:
such drama.

I had the Eagle at 1.8 at 55,000 feet

there was no drama, it just went fast like it is supposed to do, no shaking, no noises, just going fast.

PSA. Bailing out at 600 knots or mach 2 isn't going to make much of a difference, your pretty much dead no matter what, same if you hit the ground, or the thing comes apart.

It's a risky game, either enjoy it or get the fuck out.
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And there you have it.

Link Posted: 5/12/2022 11:27:01 AM EDT
[#2]
I can totally relate to this and I think my own personal experience mirrors this F-16 pilots.   My first car I owned was a 1978 Toyota Corolla, new to me in 1982/83 time period.  4 speed, 4 cyl, manual choke.  I think I was the 2nd or 3rd owner and previous owners had augmented its already faded flat battleship grey paint job with some strategically placed body filler/RAM like stealth coating.   The end result was a car that had incredible handling, top end speed potential and massive acceleration capability when needed.  I remember one time getting it up to about 80-85 mph...after about a 5 mile running start....and the shaking & wind noise/buffeting sounds very similar to that the F-16 pilot experienced at 1.5 Mach.   I'd be happy to recreate in a Toyota Corolla Driving Simulator for analysis, but for some reason I'm not able to locate one.  Help a bro out?


Not my car, but one of similar age, advanced aerodynamics kit (developed by Lockheed Skunkworks is what I was told) and performance tires.   What you can't see is the killer (~80 HP engine).

Link Posted: 5/12/2022 11:32:01 AM EDT
[#3]
Anybody remember TAC Attack? They did a story, probably 20+ years ago, about a 1Lt who decided to see exactly how high his F-16 would climb. He got pretty close to the edge of space and started back down when he started losing control surface authority. It was his last ride...did a very expensive amount of damage to the motor.

Tried searching with no joy. I know it happened, I was taking Human Factors with ERU at the time, and did a summary on it for the course.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 11:37:13 AM EDT
[#4]
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Originally Posted By Boomer:


Just for the record, I don’t doubt that you went that fast.

It just reminded me, and apparently several others, of that story from Brian Schul.
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Brian was at Reno in 2003 autographing and selling copies of Sled Driver. I stupidly didn't find the time to wander over to his booth.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 11:39:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Hesperus] [#5]
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Originally Posted By Osprey61:
Anybody remember TAC Attack? They did a story, probably 20+ years ago, about a 1Lt who decided to see exactly how high his F-16 would climb. He got pretty close to the edge of space and started back down when he started losing control surface authority. It was his last ride...did a very expensive amount of damage to the motor.

Tried searching with no joy. I know it happened, I was taking Human Factors with ERU at the time, and did a summary on it for the course.
View Quote


I've heard a similar story. It sounded a bit odd. They didn't push the machinery hard enough to damage anything though.

Basically a routine patrol flight got canceled. You had 2 F-16s that had just come off a tanker, the flight lead decided to try to dock his plane to the ISS. They got really high until the wingman said that they were above the Armstrong Limit at which point the lead cut his afterburner and they went home.

The wingman told me it looked and felt really weird up there.

The F-16 is not a suitable aircraft for flying at those altitudes. Single engine and the wing is small.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 11:42:07 AM EDT
[#6]
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Originally Posted By madcap3k:


I’ve heard the same thing from a radar operator on a carrier.  Vietnam era.
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Originally Posted By madcap3k:
Originally Posted By JDennis:



My brother is retired from the Navy and last year when we were out on his sail boat, he said pretty much every performance number on a ship or aircraft is complete BS. Still wouldn't tell me the goods on a few ships and jets I asked about.  Did tell me that if he told me what a carrier could do in calm seas vs what is reported, I wouldn't believe him.


I’ve heard the same thing from a radar operator on a carrier.  Vietnam era.



Had an uncle that retired as a Master chief on the Saratoga. He did the electronic warfare stuff. He said when he first went in (57) that when going to the Indian Ocean, the carrier would head out from PH with a few escorts and the rest of the battle group would head out later and catch them.

But when the carriers went nuke, the group would head out first and the carrier would then head out and run them down.

He also said that the attack subs never really cranked it up to 11 because when they did, the satellites could track them from their heat signature. He didn't say how fast they were but he said a carrier couldn't outrun them if they decided they wanted it.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 11:50:02 AM EDT
[#7]
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Originally Posted By 549:


Brian was at Reno in 2003 autographing and selling copies of Sled Driver. I stupidly didn't find the time to wander over to his booth.
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Originally Posted By 549:
Originally Posted By Boomer:


Just for the record, I don’t doubt that you went that fast.

It just reminded me, and apparently several others, of that story from Brian Schul.


Brian was at Reno in 2003 autographing and selling copies of Sled Driver. I stupidly didn't find the time to wander over to his booth.


He shows up most every year.  They have a booth behind the grandstands.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 11:52:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 549] [#8]
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Originally Posted By cb4017:


He shows up most every year.  They have a booth behind the grandstands.
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Good to know. I'd really like to get back out there again. After being a yearly thing for me, it's been years.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 11:53:48 AM EDT
[#9]
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Originally Posted By cb4017:


@FlyNavy75

I posted a couple over on the A-6 thread:  A-6 Thread

I'll dig through my box of old pics and see what I have that's worth scanning.  All I had in those days was a crappy little 110 camera.
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Cool man, after some time I’ve grown nostalgic towards Big E.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 11:55:27 AM EDT
[#10]
Has the Navy came up with a plan or timeline for the Big E's disposal?
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 11:57:32 AM EDT
[#11]
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Originally Posted By 549:
Has the Navy came up with a plan or timeline for the Big E's disposal?
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I believe that the reactors have been ripped out by now. The plan is to use as much steel from the old Enterprise as possible in the new Enterprise.

A member here is (for all intents and purposes) married to the woman who wrote the contract to decommission that ship.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:03:02 PM EDT
[#12]
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Originally Posted By cb4017:


I do know the lowly USS Forrestal could put distance on a Soviet Kresta Cruiser with a shaft locked due to a bearing casualty.  Sure made the ship shake though.
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Originally Posted By cb4017:
Originally Posted By Sherminator:

I remember reading somewhere that CVNs could push well over 40kts, enough to outrun Akulas that might hunt them. No idea if it's actually true, but wouldn't surprise me too much


I do know the lowly USS Forrestal could put distance on a Soviet Kresta Cruiser with a shaft locked due to a bearing casualty.  Sure made the ship shake though.


http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-028.php

Saw SINS data on Nimitz before RICOH show above “officially” announced numbers but below the fantasy 40. Flank run with stern squat and lots of vibration.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:03:09 PM EDT
[#13]
Meh, I do Mach 87 every day! Smooth as glass.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:04:08 PM EDT
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By L_JE:
Yeah, the embedded heating element is more of a general and commercial aviation thing.  Fighters accomplish this via the less elegant and far more deafening use of forced-air.  The F-15 even has some defog nozzles on the outside of the canopy; I'm not an F-15 guy, so I don't know.
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The ECS is crazy loud in a viper. You can hear it over the motor at idle on the ground during ground runs.

During flight the wind noise in general is insane on all fighters. The only way to experience that is to do it. Games and videos don’t convey it.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:05:17 PM EDT
[#15]
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Originally Posted By NukeThemTillTheyGlow:
I can totally relate to this and I think my own personal experience mirrors this F-16 pilots.   My first car I owned was a 1978 Toyota Corolla, new to me in 1982/83 time period.  4 speed, 4 cyl, manual choke.  I think I was the 2nd or 3rd owner and previous owners had augmented its already faded flat battleship grey paint job with some strategically placed body filler/RAM like stealth coating.   The end result was a car that had incredible handling, top end speed potential and massive acceleration capability when needed.  I remember one time getting it up to about 80-85 mph...after about a 5 mile running start....and the shaking & wind noise/buffeting sounds very similar to that the F-16 pilot experienced at 1.5 Mach.   I'd be happy to recreate in a Toyota Corolla Driving Simulator for analysis, but for some reason I'm not able to locate one.  Help a bro out?


Not my car, but one of similar age, advanced aerodynamics kit (developed by Lockheed Skunkworks is what I was told) and performance tires.   What you can't see is the killer (~80 HP engine).
http://images.mautofied.com/adphotos/10087160_200773018971.JPG
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I drove a 79 for a while when I was getting my Mach 1 redone.

That was one tough little ride. We would take it "Rootin" in the woods at night. We beat the shit out of that car for a year and it never failed us.

The only thing I broke was the speedometer cable when running over saplings. Sold it for 125 bucks
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:07:06 PM EDT
[#16]
Putting some numbers to this...

This table is the stagnation temperature as a function of Standard Day altitude and Mach number.  This is the temperature the leading edges and front portion of the canopy will see.  This is also the engine fan face temperature as well as the temperature of any air brought into the aircraft to cool subsystem components like the primary hx and air cycle refrigeration pack hx.



This next table is an approximation of wall temperatures in regions that are more parallel to the incident airflow.  It's geometry dependent, but this is a decent general approximation.  This would be representative of the temperatures seen mid wing, or along most of the canopy surface, etc.



Even if his aircraft had the fuel to hang out at 2M, 36kft indefinitely, the resultant inside canopy temperature would be indistinguishable from the temperature of the canopy defog air coming from the ECS.

[Beginning around Mach 4, chemical interactions and thermal radiation are such that the simplified formulas used to generate these tables will start to overestimate the temperatures, substantially so for hypersonic and reentry velocities, so don't extrapolate.]
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:09:11 PM EDT
[#17]

Sometimes low and fast is kind of cool....


Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:14:00 PM EDT
[#18]
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Originally Posted By Patriot328:


Sometimes low and fast is kind of cool....


https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/22804/f-4_between_the_hangars-788677.jpg
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I bet that was loud
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:14:06 PM EDT
[#19]
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Originally Posted By Patriot328:


Sometimes low and fast is kind of cool....


https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/22804/f-4_between_the_hangars-788677.jpg
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What is the story on that? I haven't seen that photo before.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:17:42 PM EDT
[#20]
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Originally Posted By crownvic96:


What is the story on that? I haven't seen that photo before.
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Originally Posted By crownvic96:


What is the story on that? I haven't seen that photo before.

Originally Posted By xd341:
I bet that was loud

Originally Posted By crownvic96:


What is the story on that? I haven't seen that photo before.



It's been a while (and obviously that picture is old), but it had to do with a British pilot on his fini flight IIRC.

Actually, here is the quote supposedly explaining the photo:

"Traditionally, on leaving overhaul at Saint Athan, aircraft would do a fly-by for the benefit of the groundcrew who had worked on it. The pilot of this particular Phantom FG1, a retiring Wing Commander, was chatting to a member of the ground crew the day before the departure flight. He said he was going to fly between the hangars and that the guy should be ready with a camera to record the event. It was due to be his last flight, so he was going to do something 'special'. The groundcrew weren't too convinced of the pilot's claim, but stood around as usual anyway watching as the F4 took off, destination Leuchars. As the photo shows, the pilot was not joking, you can see the afterburner diamonds quite clearly in front of the hangar. You can also see personnel standing underneath it. The recently tuned Speys allegedly shook a man working in the roof of one of the hangars enough for him to fall and break his leg. These hangars are set east to west, about 75 yards apart, and you can estimate the height from the length of the Phantom. Immediately after the event, the pilot was contacted by the tower and was instructed in no uncertain terms to 'return and land immediately'. As I am told, he did so and was given a severe rollicking. I don't know what action was taken, but it was his last flight in any case. What a way to go out, I wonder if it ranks as one of the shortest logged emergency-free Phantom flights?

This story is not exaggerated  - I don't know the original photographer, but the picture was taken on an ordinary instamatic camera, and then a blow-up was made. The original is, as a favour, temporarily in the possession of the current Station Commander at St Athan who is an ex-F4 jockey. From the enlargement I have made the Phantom as XV575. The aircraft was scrapped in September 1991, but its legacy has to be this photograph."
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:21:19 PM EDT
[#21]
I got an F-4 up to 1.7 and couldn’t touch the canopy.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:25:09 PM EDT
[#22]
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Originally Posted By Osprey61:
Anybody remember TAC Attack? They did a story, probably 20+ years ago, about a 1Lt who decided to see exactly how high his F-16 would climb. He got pretty close to the edge of space and started back down when he started losing control surface authority. It was his last ride...did a very expensive amount of damage to the motor.

Tried searching with no joy. I know it happened, I was taking Human Factors with ERU at the time, and did a summary on it for the course.
View Quote


My dad was an F-16 pilot. One of the guys he flew earned the call sign "Lunar". I'm sure you can guess how that happened.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:35:42 PM EDT
[#23]
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Originally Posted By DougFresh:


Dude I have no idea what you’re talking about but it’s airframe heating and friction on canopy that limits some aircraft. It’s a well-known concept and I’ve read about other planes having windows heat up too hot to touch at speed. What would anything happen to do with an engine cause the canopy to heat up?
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OhDisGonBeeGuud
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:48:38 PM EDT
[#24]
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Originally Posted By Patriot328:





It's been a while (and obviously that picture is old), but it had to do with a British pilot on his fini flight IIRC.

Actually, here is the quote supposedly explaining the photo:

"Traditionally, on leaving overhaul at Saint Athan, aircraft would do a fly-by for the benefit of the groundcrew who had worked on it. The pilot of this particular Phantom FG1, a retiring Wing Commander, was chatting to a member of the ground crew the day before the departure flight. He said he was going to fly between the hangars and that the guy should be ready with a camera to record the event. It was due to be his last flight, so he was going to do something 'special'. The groundcrew weren't too convinced of the pilot's claim, but stood around as usual anyway watching as the F4 took off, destination Leuchars. As the photo shows, the pilot was not joking, you can see the afterburner diamonds quite clearly in front of the hangar. You can also see personnel standing underneath it. The recently tuned Speys allegedly shook a man working in the roof of one of the hangars enough for him to fall and break his leg. These hangars are set east to west, about 75 yards apart, and you can estimate the height from the length of the Phantom. Immediately after the event, the pilot was contacted by the tower and was instructed in no uncertain terms to 'return and land immediately'. As I am told, he did so and was given a severe rollicking. I don't know what action was taken, but it was his last flight in any case. What a way to go out, I wonder if it ranks as one of the shortest logged emergency-free Phantom flights?

This story is not exaggerated  - I don't know the original photographer, but the picture was taken on an ordinary instamatic camera, and then a blow-up was made. The original is, as a favour, temporarily in the possession of the current Station Commander at St Athan who is an ex-F4 jockey. From the enlargement I have made the Phantom as XV575. The aircraft was scrapped in September 1991, but its legacy has to be this photograph."
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We were doing engine start on an AWACS at Kangaroo '89 when the Aussies did a low, mach+ fly-over, in burner, in two F-111s. It sounded exactly like an explosion, we never saw it coming. The entire US ground crew was...on the ground. The Australians laughed themselves sick, but it was one of the dumbest stunts I'd ever witnessed.

They also depaneled half the aircraft one night and put orange kangaroo stickers everywhere. Not a single entry in the forms. Good guys, but damned if they didn't run half out of control.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:53:47 PM EDT
[#25]
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Originally Posted By Osprey61:
He got pretty close to the edge of space
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The Karman Line is at 300,000 feet, and there's no possible way an F-16 went anywhere near that short of of being strapped to a Falcon 9.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 12:58:59 PM EDT
[#26]
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Originally Posted By Hesperus:
I've heard a similar story. It sounded a bit odd. They didn't push the machinery hard enough to damage anything though.

Basically a routine patrol flight got canceled. You had 2 F-16s that had just come off a tanker, the flight lead decided to try to dock his plane to the ISS. They got really high until the wingman said that they were above the Armstrong Limit at which point the lead cut his afterburner and they went home.

The wingman told me it looked and felt really weird up there.

The F-16 is not a suitable aircraft for flying at those altitudes. Single engine and the wing is small.
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The weirdest part of being up above 50K in a fighter with a DEEC/FADEC, is that when you try and come out of afterburner, the engine controller says "no".

Yes, sometimes at night on NVGs pilots can misperceive celestial objects (Venus, especially, but sometimes satellites depending on how fast they are traveling) as other aircraft. I have tried to rejoin on what I thought was my flight lead more than once only to figure out after a minute or two that the radar wasn't showing anything where I was looking, and I didn't seem to be making any progress in closing the distance with Venus.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 1:07:45 PM EDT
[#27]
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Originally Posted By MudEagle:
The weirdest part of being up above 50K in a fighter with a DEEC/FADEC, is that when you try and come out of afterburner, the engine controller says "no".
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Link Posted: 5/12/2022 1:19:54 PM EDT
[#28]
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Originally Posted By T45IP2SWA:


http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-028.php

Saw SINS data on Nimitz before RICOH show above “officially” announced numbers but below the fantasy 40. Flank run with stern squat and lots of vibration.
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Interesting article. I've always heard the Big E was faster than the Nimitz class due to a sleeker hull.

IIRC, I believe that a member here once claimed that the Midway fastest carrier.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 1:24:11 PM EDT
[#29]
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Originally Posted By MudEagle:

The Karman Line is at 300,000 feet, and there's no possible way an F-16 went anywhere near that short of of being strapped to a Falcon 9.
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Figuratively, of course. I do remember the article saying he looped over when the controls became increasingly unresponsive, presumably because the air had become so thin.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 1:27:40 PM EDT
[#30]
0.1445073 in a Cessna 152
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 1:33:45 PM EDT
[#31]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MudEagle:

The weirdest part of being up above 50K in a fighter with a DEEC/FADEC, is that when you try and come out of afterburner, the engine controller says "no".

Yes, sometimes at night on NVGs pilots can misperceive celestial objects (Venus, especially, but sometimes satellites depending on how fast they are traveling) as other aircraft. I have tried to rejoin on what I thought was my flight lead more than once only to figure out after a minute or two that the radar wasn't showing anything where I was looking, and I didn't seem to be making any progress in closing the distance with Venus.
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I've been hearing a lot of funny rejoin stories lately. Pilots trying to rejoin on chaff, an American reconnaissance plane mistaking a Russian bomber for a tanker.

Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:05:09 PM EDT
[#32]
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Originally Posted By Kilroytheknifesnob:

Not one, but two huge nuclear reactors on tap? I bet it’s hella fast.
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The Enterprise had 8 nuke plants on it.  I bet she could scoot right along!!!
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:09:24 PM EDT
[#33]
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Originally Posted By treemydawg:




The Enterprise had 8 nuke plants on it.  I bet she could scoot right along!!!
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Plus it had elevators!
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:09:28 PM EDT
[#34]
Nice... happy to be part of team making components. Still.

I've done mach .163 on my motorcycle...
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:13:13 PM EDT
[#35]
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Originally Posted By FlyNavy75:

Still can't believe they drove away from that.
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500lb GBU?
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:13:21 PM EDT
[#36]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Hesperus:


I've heard a similar story. It sounded a bit odd. They didn't push the machinery hard enough to damage anything though.

Basically a routine patrol flight got canceled. You had 2 F-16s that had just come off a tanker, the flight lead decided to try to dock his plane to the ISS. They got really high until the wingman said that they were above the Armstrong Limit at which point the lead cut his afterburner and they went home.

The wingman told me it looked and felt really weird up there.

The F-16 is not a suitable aircraft for flying at those altitudes. Single engine and the wing is small.
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Originally Posted By Hesperus:
Originally Posted By Osprey61:
Anybody remember TAC Attack? They did a story, probably 20+ years ago, about a 1Lt who decided to see exactly how high his F-16 would climb. He got pretty close to the edge of space and started back down when he started losing control surface authority. It was his last ride...did a very expensive amount of damage to the motor.

Tried searching with no joy. I know it happened, I was taking Human Factors with ERU at the time, and did a summary on it for the course.


I've heard a similar story. It sounded a bit odd. They didn't push the machinery hard enough to damage anything though.

Basically a routine patrol flight got canceled. You had 2 F-16s that had just come off a tanker, the flight lead decided to try to dock his plane to the ISS. They got really high until the wingman said that they were above the Armstrong Limit at which point the lead cut his afterburner and they went home.

The wingman told me it looked and felt really weird up there.

The F-16 is not a suitable aircraft for flying at those altitudes. Single engine and the wing is small.

Without pressure suits? Bullshit.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:14:28 PM EDT
[#37]
He was running out of fuel but speeding up? What’s the reason to do that?
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:15:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Hesperus] [#38]
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Originally Posted By Birddog1911:

Without pressure suits? Bullshit.
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That was exactly why they stopped climbing. The other guy said that they were either above or getting close to the Armstrong Line without pressure suits.

Been awhile since I heard the story. I think they topped out around 53,000 feet.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:17:09 PM EDT
[#39]
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:19:08 PM EDT
[#40]
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Originally Posted By L_JE:
If a Mig-23 canopy is failing, it's probably because it's trying to distance itself from that repulsive, depressing, teal-green cockpit.  The fucking thing is like trying to gaze through the Eiffel Tower.  I'm trying to think how they could fuck that up, but I keep circling back to the work "Soviet".

Fuck it I know.
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The weird soft green interiors of Soviet jets was researched to be a supposedly calming color. Apparently not for you.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:21:18 PM EDT
[#41]
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Originally Posted By PhantomDrvr:


Yeah this was the part of the story that didn't ring true for me.  No fighter pilot is intentionally going to get to such a low fuel state AND keep the aircraft in afterburner.  That's total theatrical BS but if true the guy should have his wings ripped off.

I got to Mach 2 in an RF-4C (slick configuration) over the Pacific in 1987.  I actually did it several times.  The first time we climbed the jet up to 53000 feet (max for the F-4 was supposed to be 55K and we were wallowing around and couldn't push the altitude any further) and we were in full afterburner for 15 minutes before we pushed the nose over.  The jet was at around 1.6 Mach when we started the dive and we pushed over to 45 nose low.  We went through Mach 2 at around 29000 feet but the aircraft was shuddering petty badly and we experienced a violent jolt at one point (turned out we had ripped a piece of the underbelly paneling off the jet - my Squadron CO was not pleased).

We decided to rethink our strategy because pointing the aircraft at the ground didn't seem to be the best way to do things.  We rememebered that in F-4 flight training that an aircraft will max accelerate under unloaded/Zero-G conditions.  Our next attempt we got to 53K altitude and when we were at 1.6M and the aircraft would not accelerate any more we gently pushed the nose over until we were at Zero-G and we were light in the seat.  This resulted in max acceleration in a gentle arc instead of a suicide run for the ground!

The jet broke Mach 2 aound 40K feet (no shuddering this time) and top speed on that flight according to the Mach meter was 2.2M.  After that just about all the guys in my squadron made their own successful attempts at breaking Mach 2.  We even had special patches made up to commemorate the feat that we wore for a while until the commander told us to stop wearing them.  Good times.  The F-4 was a beast!
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Fucking awesome
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:31:07 PM EDT
[#42]
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Originally Posted By PhantomDrvr:


Yeah this was the part of the story that didn't ring true for me.  No fighter pilot is intentionally going to get to such a low fuel state AND keep the aircraft in afterburner.  That's total theatrical BS but if true the guy should have his wings ripped off.

I got to Mach 2 in an RF-4C (slick configuration) over the Pacific in 1987.  I actually did it several times.  The first time we climbed the jet up to 53000 feet (max for the F-4 was supposed to be 55K and we were wallowing around and couldn't push the altitude any further) and we were in full afterburner for 15 minutes before we pushed the nose over.  The jet was at around 1.6 Mach when we started the dive and we pushed over to 45º nose low.  We went through Mach 2 at around 29000 feet but the aircraft was shuddering petty badly and we experienced a violent jolt at one point (turned out we had ripped a piece of the underbelly paneling off the jet - my Squadron CO was not pleased).

We decided to rethink our strategy because pointing the aircraft at the ground didn't seem to be the best way to do things.  We rememebered that in F-4 flight training that an aircraft will max accelerate under unloaded/Zero-G conditions.  Our next attempt we got to 53K altitude and when we were at 1.6M and the aircraft would not accelerate any more we gently pushed the nose over until we were at Zero-G and we were light in the seat.  This resulted in max acceleration in a gentle arc instead of a suicide run for the ground!

The jet broke Mach 2 aound 40K feet (no shuddering this time) and top speed on that flight according to the Mach meter was 2.2M.  After that just about all the guys in my squadron made their own successful attempts at breaking Mach 2.  We even had special patches made up to commemorate the feat that we wore for a while until the commander told us to stop wearing them.  Good times.  The F-4 was a beast!
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In my next life I want to be a F-4 drivers
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:31:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: RattleCanAR] [#43]
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Originally Posted By MudEagle:

The Karman Line is at 300,000 feet, and there's no possible way an F-16 went anywhere near that short of of being strapped to a Falcon 9.
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Originally Posted By MudEagle:
Originally Posted By Osprey61:
He got pretty close to the edge of space

The Karman Line is at 300,000 feet, and there's no possible way an F-16 went anywhere near that short of of being strapped to a Falcon 9.

I did debrief a Viper pilot once for uncommanded flight control inputs.

Watching the tapes we discovered he was VERY high, pointed up with next to zero airspeed. F16s don’t have RCS thrusters so it wasn’t uncommanded it was no authority because of no airflow over the surfaces.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:33:11 PM EDT
[#44]
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Originally Posted By FlyNavy75:

He’s banned, unfortunately. Good dude seemed to be having a tough time.
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They banned him ?

Fuck. I don’t like this place anymore.
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:36:57 PM EDT
[#45]
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Originally Posted By FlyNavy75:

There was one outside the chow hall at Al Assad without its motors and I could have probably stood up in the bay.
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@FlyNavy75

When were you in Al Assad FlyNavy?  Wonder if you were ever one of the FA-18s that would orbit my Platoon when we were hitting a place.  Good feeling looking up on nods and seeing either you guys or an Air Force AC-130 covering our asses.  
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 2:42:11 PM EDT
[#46]
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Originally Posted By Hesperus:


That was exactly why they stopped climbing. The other guy said that they were either above or getting close to the Armstrong Line without pressure suits.

Been awhile since I heard the story. I think they topped out around 53,000 feet.
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49,009 in a glider without a pressure suit

Bob Harris rides his sailplane to 49k feet
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 3:11:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: castlebravo84] [#47]
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Originally Posted By Birddog1911:

Without pressure suits? Bullshit.
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Originally Posted By Birddog1911:
Originally Posted By Hesperus:
Originally Posted By Osprey61:
Anybody remember TAC Attack? They did a story, probably 20+ years ago, about a 1Lt who decided to see exactly how high his F-16 would climb. He got pretty close to the edge of space and started back down when he started losing control surface authority. It was his last ride...did a very expensive amount of damage to the motor.

Tried searching with no joy. I know it happened, I was taking Human Factors with ERU at the time, and did a summary on it for the course.


I've heard a similar story. It sounded a bit odd. They didn't push the machinery hard enough to damage anything though.

Basically a routine patrol flight got canceled. You had 2 F-16s that had just come off a tanker, the flight lead decided to try to dock his plane to the ISS. They got really high until the wingman said that they were above the Armstrong Limit at which point the lead cut his afterburner and they went home.

The wingman told me it looked and felt really weird up there.

The F-16 is not a suitable aircraft for flying at those altitudes. Single engine and the wing is small.

Without pressure suits? Bullshit.


I guess you could technically do it in an F-16, but you would be breaking all the rules, and if the jet breaks, you die.  This chart stops at 60k, but I doubt the cockpit pressurization just stops working above that.  Better make sure that single engine doesn't quit on you though...


Link Posted: 5/12/2022 9:58:56 PM EDT
[#48]
She’s starting to shimmy!
Link Posted: 5/12/2022 10:07:31 PM EDT
[#49]
I should write a story called, "EOD Guy Describes What It Felt Like To Pick Up the Ejected Dumb Ass Lawn Dart Pilot That Broke His F-16 Fighter...Again.



Link Posted: 5/12/2022 10:17:51 PM EDT
[#50]
"Edge of space" is hyperbole that just needs to go away with respect to air breathers.  

Yes, it gets very dark up there.  Yes, it's eerie up there.  But, no, it's not anywhere near the edge of space.

Addressing a talking point from this article, if there's an issue at 50,000 ft AGL, no, the pilot isn't going to have LOC in a matter of seconds, as stated/implied in the article.  There is more margin than that.  Assuming a single failure depressurization event, an F-16 is recoverable up there.  It's not LOC that's the problem, per se, it's that the plane handles like shit up there; the aircraft lacks handling authority to respond to the IFE in a manner that avoids what is likely a cascade of additional warnings.  It's Ps=0.  Subsystems are taxed.  Pilot is taxed.  The O2 hardens the pilot's physiology to the pressure / partial pressure transients.  It's not a panacea, but it can usually keep the worst effects at arm's length.

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