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Everything posted by jimsmith130

  1. RIP Dan. It was always great and interesting flying with you. I hope they have lots of frosting in Heaven. Jim
  2. Really a neat place to tour. This is a huge building. Back in the corner of the first picture (to the left of the American Flag and behind the blue striped wall) is where the F-22 was built. Jim
  3. I would say the A400M is competing more with the C-17 rather than the C-130. Pictures don't do it justice in terms of size and power. Notice the size of the props (17.5 feet diameter) and engine power (~11,000 SHP) below General characteristics Crew: 3 or 4 (2 pilots, 3rd optional, 1 loadmaster) Capacity: 37,000 kg (82,000 lb) 116 fully equipped troops / paratroops, up to 66 stretchers accompanied by 25 medical personnel Length: 45.1 m (148 ft 0 in) Wingspan: 42.4 m (139 ft 1 in) Height: 14.7 m (48 ft 3 in) Empty weight: 76,500 kg (168,654 lb) Max takeoff weight: 141,000 kg (310,852 lb) Max. landing weight: 122,000 kg (268,963 lb) Total internal fuel: 50,500 kg (111,330 lb) Powerplant: 4 × Europrop TP400-D6 turboprop, 8,250 kW (11,060 hp) each Propellers: 8-bladed, 5.3 m (17 ft 5 in) diameter Cruising speed: 780 km/h (480 mph; 420 kn) (Mach 0.68 - 0.72) Initial cruise altitude: at MTOW: 9,000 m (29,000 ft) Range: 3,298 km (2,049 mi; 1,781 nmi) at max payload (long range cruise speed; reserves as per MIL-C-5011A) Range at 30-tonne payload: 4,540 km (2,450 nmi) Range at 20-tonne payload: 6,390 km (3,450 nmi) Ferry range: 8,710 km (5,412 mi; 4,703 nmi) Service ceiling: 11,300 m (37,073 ft) Tactical takeoff distance: 980 m (3,215 ft) (aircraft weight 100 tonnes, soft field, ISA, sea level) Tactical landing distance: 770 m (2,526 ft) (as above) Turning radius (ground): 28.6 m
  4. The Air Force has done a lot of work on this concept. Who knows if it will ever come to fruition. See the link below. Jim http://mikesnead.net/resources-cat.htm
  5. I believe the APN-241s were first installed on the Louisville H2.5s. That was the primary reason for going to the H2.5 unofficial designation. Jim
  6. It was quite common for us to put #3 "on the cuff" when we landed at a field without support. That way you had one of the main requirements for a buddy start met if you were to lose your GTC or APU. Jim
  7. When I was an IP in the Instructor School (mid-90s), we did windmills all the time. We actually had the upgrading IP do them from the right seat. They're fairly safe if you know what you're doing and everyone understands their duties. The hardest part when doing it from the right seat is knowing when you can safely let the left seater come off nose wheel steering. I had a couple of the upgrade IPs have me come off the nose wheel way too early. The look on their face was priceless when they figured out they did not have control of the aircraft. Needless to say, I had to take over real quick when that happened. -Jim
  8. Smitty you are correct, but they forgot to install the FE on the J. Jim
  9. During Desert Storm we had some missions into a dirt (sand) airfield built by the Marines. The field was pretty much in the middle of the desert very near the Iraqi border. There were a lot of heavy Herks going in and out, so the runways got beat up pretty bad. There were some fairly deep and long ruts created by the heavyweight landings. Slowing down was not a problem at all. The Marines did a pretty good job of keeping the airfield open. They actually built two runways. While one was being dinged up by all the heavyweight landings, they were working on the other runway to smooth and compact it. When it was ready they would switch runways. The biggest problem we had was takeoff. Because we were so near the Iraqi border, we landed to the north and took off to the south. That meant we had to takeoff into the same ruts we created during landing. Once you hit the ruts, the aircraft would jerk pretty good one way or the other as it went in and out of the ruts. Made for some fairly memorable takeoffs. -Jim
  10. What I remember is the H3 initially used the generic 1C-130H-1. H3 crews were screaming because their -1s with all the changes and supplements needed for the H3 required at least 2 large binders. It was late 1995 or 1996 when the 1C-130(K)H-1 was finally released. The first Js had been produced by that time, so the next letter in the C-130 -1 lineage would naturally be K. My guess Jim
  11. I went from MAC to ATC back to MAC to USAFE to AMC to ACC and finally back to AMC, so I saw how many of the different commands operated. Herks are in the right place now. AMC has a much better idea of how to use them operationally. But I think the move to ACC (at least for a few years) is paying off. One of the best things ACC did when they had C-130s was to start the Weapons School. Before then, tactics was how do you draw charts for dropping sandbags on Sicily or All-American DZ or how do you fly #3 in a 6-ship. The Weapons School really got the community thinking about how to fly the aircraft, how to work in the system with all the fighters, UAVs, AWACS, etc, and how to operate safely and efficiently in high threat areas. That has paid off in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another of my observations was the C-130 community (and KC-135 community when they joined AMC) were the real leaders in the command (MAC, AMC). I think it has to do with the varied experiences all Herk crews experience and having to operate as squadrons in some fairly remote areas. It often took all the leadership skill one had to get the job done. I'm not sure that same mentality existed in the C-141 or C-5 community.
  12. Click on the USAF Training.wav link in the oops site.
  13. Great stuff, but there is an outstanding explanation of the C-130 nav system contained in the site as well. http://www.micom.net/oops/USAF%20Training.wav
  14. Reminds me of my days at Pope. The running joke was: Question: What do you call 5 C-130s flying in formation around the Fayetteville/Ft Bragg area? Answer: A Pope 12-ship
  15. One of the problems the A/D has is where do they draw the instructors from for the E/H school house. The only non-J A/D units will be at Little Rock and Yokota (if they don't transition to the J) plus a couple of Active Associate units. They could pull every instructor from those units and still not have enough to fill the school house. So the Guard/Reserve are pretty much forced to do their own training. The only question is where. The Rock just happens to have the ATS and simulator space to support the mission. It's not necessarily the best solution, but really the only choice for the time being.
  16. I think the Air Force will be buying Js for a long time. Look at the C-17. Both the Air Force and President have been trying to close down that line for years, but it never fails that another 10 or 12 are added to the budget every year. Congress kept the C-130 line open for a long time with adds to the Air Force's budget. I don't think they will let the line close down anytime soon as long as there are Es, H1s, and maybe even some H2s (some are now over 30 years old) still flying and the herk force is being kept busy like they are today.
  17. The AF didn't have a lot of configuration control with the H2 line. They had good intentions though. Their plan was to get the best new options available on new aircraft and then retrofit the older aircraft. They were able to get new equipment, but the retrofit plan just didn't happen. The H3 came along not on purpose, but because there were just so many differences at that point they just couldn't call it an H2 anymore.
  18. Cobham bought both Sergeant Fletcher and FRL a couple of years ago.
  19. When I was at Pope, I had the opportunity to do a Saturday Fun Jump for the 82nd. We didn't have great weather that day and ended up flying a NS IMC AWADS drop. CCT was pretty emphatic the first pass over on how great a drop it was with a PI. We racetracked to get the rest of the troops out and dropped 2 miles short (same aircraft, same nav, same equipment). But that was the nature of AWADS with the ASN-24 in the early 80s. It was very complicated and very unreliable. If you had an experienced Nav, you might have a chance if you had problems. But if you had a young inexperienced Nav, forget about it.
  20. Muff, It was certainly not my intent to "dis" anyone in my last post. As a matter of fact, I am truly amazed at the innovation and dedication of the crews in Viet Nam. They just used different acronyms for their innovations (i.e. LAPES, GRADS, AWADS, etc). Operations at hell holes like An Loc & Khe Sahn proved the dedication of the crews. The culture of the Herc community always has been (and still is) "do what you gotta do to get the job done." If you are getting shot at too much when flying low and close to the action then try to get out of harms way, but if that doesn't get the job done then you have to go back to where you can get the job done. Unfortunately, results from high altitude drops are very inconsitent. And it has nothing to do with the crew. The crew can fly to the exact release spot at the perfect speed/heading and the load can be rigged perfectly, but when the load exits the aircraft it is completely ballistic (except with JPADS) and subject to the whims of the wind gods. If you did a good job at guessing what the winds would be on the way down, you might get a good drop. Some crews were better than others, but I still think it's tough to be consistently accurate. Jim
  21. If you hit a soccer field from 10,000 ft, I'll tell you it was luck. There are way too many variables from dropping that high to have any accuracy at all. When we were dropping at 15,000-20,000' in Bosnia, we were lucky to get within 1/2 mile of DZ. And that's with an AWADS bird. Inconsistant winds and bad airdrop algorithms were only part of the problem. They are using JPADS (Joint Precision Airdrop System) today with really good results, but one of the big issues is cost. The steering mechanism is fairly expensive and there is no guarentee you'll ever get it back for additional drops. That's why they are looking at lower cost ways to drop from higher altitudes. Jim
  22. When asked how many C-130s are needed the combatant commanders standard answers have always been something like, "I don't know how many we need, but when I need them, I want a lot of them." This article which just came out in Defense News last week kind of proves that point. Combatant Commanders Want C-130s for Afghanistan By KATE BRANNEN Following a successful demonstration in Iraq, commanders in Afghanistan are going to request more C-130 aircraft to be used for time-sensitive, mission-critical cargo delivery, the U.S. Army's top logistician said. "We're about to get a request for it," Lt. Gen. Mitchell Stevenson, deputy chief of staff for logistics, said March 17. After the 2010 budget decision transferred the Joint Cargo Aircraft and its mission to the Air Force, the Army and the Air Force wrote a new concept of employment for how the aircraft would be operated now that it would no longer be in the Army's inventory. Last year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates pledged that the Army would not suffer in terms of support because of the decision, "and the Air Force would be just as responsive as if we owned the aircraft ourselves," Stevenson said. That new concept of employment was tested in Iraq, using the C-130 as a surrogate for the Joint Cargo Aircraft, last October through December. "It worked just like we wanted it to," Stevenson said. After the demo, the Army told commanders in Afghanistan that it could relieve some of the burden being placed on CH-47 Chinook helicopters, which are seeing record use in theater, by providing more C-130s, Stevenson said. "The last I checked, the Air Force has about 400 C-130s and we have less than 50 in Southwest Asia today," he added. During a video teleconference about a week ago, commanders in Afghanistan said that the idea made sense to them and they are going to send a request through U.S. Central Command, Stevenson said. Once a request is received, the approval could happen in a matter of weeks, he said. "Then the question would be how quickly can the aircraft be called up," Stevenson said. "We're talking about probably reserve crews - Air Guard crews - because the Air Force doesn't have a lot of active-component C-130 capability. So they'll have to notify the unit that they're being called up." In Afghanistan, the Army spends just under $8 million a month on contractor fixed-wing and rotary-wing air support. The introduction of more C-130s is intended to bring that cost down. "That's exactly why we proposed it, because we're interested in doing two things: saving a little bit of money and taking a load off of CH-47s," Stevenson said.
  23. Enter the Dragon Spear: Air Force Special Operations Command is currently fielding four MC-130W Combat Spear special-mission aircraft that are modified with a precision strike package (PSP) that gives them a gunship-like attack capability, Adm. Eric Olson, head of US Special Operations Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday. Converting these aircraft, which are henceforth dubbed Dragon Spears, is one means of quickly bolstering AFSOC's aging gunship fleet that is continually in high demand in Southwest Asia. Olson said ongoing improvements for these modified MC-130Ws include sensor upgrades, the integration of a standoff precision-guided munitions system and supporting 30 mm gun, a new sensor operator console as well as new communication equipment and flight deck hardware. The PSP is modular and scalable so it could be integrated on to other airframes, he noted.
  24. In today's world, there is no base that is worse than the others. You will get your share of action no matter where you go. Pope was a great place to start out for me. There was lots of flying time and a lot of great places to go. I'm not sure how it is with the Active Associate unit now. I went to Rhein Main in the early 90s (when it was still open) thinking I was going to the Rhein Main flying club (lots of good embassy runs and training weeks in great places), but after Desert Shield/Storm, Provide Comfort and two plus years flying in the Balkans, I was burned out and ready to go. The school house at Little Rock ended up being a great place to go after that.
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