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US Herk

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Posts posted by US Herk

  1. Wasn't it back in the early-mid '90s that they changed it around the first time? Seems like I remember pay days going from the end of the month to the first of the month so they could skip Sep 30th and pay on Oct 1st to push a whole paycheck into the next fiscal year. Is this just them switching that back?

  2. The purpose of the dual float control is that it allows the tank to take fuel almost regardless of aircraft attitude, i.e. a nose up or nose down situation which would cause a normal shutoff valve to close; it still shuts off but the second valve should be in the airspace and still allow refueling. There is a physical location separation between the two valves.

    And any wing up-bending when you're styoopidly heavy...

  3. Would've been a good alternative to being BRAC'd other than the high-demand, low-density nature of the Senior Scout mission. Besides, there are other units that take up that mission anyway.

    A huge waste of money de-modding from Combat Talon config....rather them set in the desert...at least we can dream of them being reactivated... ;)

  4. I'm sure that Fritz, with his first-hand experience, is a far better informed person than I am. I do see where even using the (apparently old) construct of only using MAFFS when the situation exceeds commercial assets could well become a death spiral the commercial outfits. This is speculation on my part, but seems reasonable given the perspective gained by Fritz's post: Once the commercial fleet was grounded (mostly due to the H&P incidents of '02), the commercial fleet capacity was far more quickly exceeded and MAFFS called in sooner and more frequently than previous to '02. If USFS continued to meet need in that manner, where is the incentive to pay any more than they were?

    Still, it smells like a union argument! ;) Haha!

    I researched USFS contracts, specifically for DC-3/C-47 operations, a few years ago. The SEAT program looks like a lucrative way for a fellow with a spray plane to earn some pretty good money in the off-season - at least based on my limited understanding of it. But even DC-3/C-47 non-firefighting operations (ie - trash haul & smoke jumping) is practically non-viable due to the maintenance documentation requirements in place now. As I understand it now, effectively, you have to be able to prove the maintenance history of the aircraft back to origin. This means, all logs back to manufacture - something all but impossible with the overwhelming majority of military surplus aircraft like the bombers of old and even the venerable & well-proven DC-3.

  5. So, what you are saying is, you want to finish putting the commercial aerial fire fighting companies out of business to support further government waste and bureaucracy? You actually want to see the aerial fire fighting industry further decimated?

    There was an entire commercial industry that until 2002 - 2004 had that job and was wiped out.

    What happened? It would take more space than available here to explain it. Those who were part of the industry at the time know all too well.

    Every time a MAFFS C-130 takes off it robs the private sector of the resources to survive and government incentive to fix a failed program.

    You sound like a union man, Fritz! ;)

    I don't pretend to know all the details surrounding the downfall of the commercial firefighting companies, but I do believe that the loss of the C-130A model & the Privateer by Hawkins & Powers in '02 was the beginning of the end. The lack of maintenance records and the subsequent demands of USFS for maintenance documentation for aircraft used in aerial firefighting probably was the steepening of the death spiral and the end of the legacy WWII-Korea era planes being used. I used to love watching those old radial-engined bombers w/jet-assisted takeoff operate - nothing like it!

    However, while I'm happy to be proven incorrect on the beginning of the end and the precipitating events, I don't see how outfitting military units with MAFFS puts anyone out of business...

    USFS contracts are lucrative deals, to be sure. To be paid $5K to sit "alert" for a weekend in your Thrush ag-sprayer full of water/retardant for spot brush fires or $25K for a month + $500/hr for a DC-3 for smoke jumpers (older contracts available via a bit of googling), I can see where the private companies don't want the military involved.

    But the Air National Guard and Reserves are just such a force - they come in after hurricanes and hand out water, help clean & rebuild. They come in after floods and do the same. Why are these natural disasters any different? Why are forest fires special? It's because they're more predictable than hurricanes or floods and people bet large sums of money that there will be fires they can go fight and an industry springs up around it.

    Follow the money.

    Current guidelines (used when commercially leased planes are maxed out) are sufficient - nobody is stealing food out of the mouths of your children. Using the "keep the military out" mentality, you're doing what one of my old DOs used to say: "you have to show pain to get help" - so you'd have to have hundreds of thousands of acres burn, who knows how many homes, lives, and resources burn, just to prove a point and get the funding you (not you personally, Fritz) desire for the fire fighting industry to be rebuilt. As a homeowner, a father, and someone who has "things" I'd like to keep, I want every available resource fighting fires...and I want it now. I don't care who does it, how they do it, how much it costs or who pays, really. I'd be asking questions about why the military, with this unique capability, IS NOT fighting the fires? Why are they being forced to "wait"?

    *donning my flame retardant suit* (pun intended)

  6. I believe the chart was probably developed using an average bundle weight. This is the missing weight piece that may be catching you up. Also, exit time can vary quite significantly.

    This weight piece is precisely why CRL at ABQ and the way HRT does them varies. W/O getting too specific, HRT typically does them early in a mission with a full load and high overall gross weight, so even at 50% flaps, there is a significant deck angle. ABQ does them at the end of the night on a training sortie with no gas and an overall low gross weight, so 50% flaps has a relatively low deck angle. Speed is the same in both cases, but when you're 145K your deck angle will be higher at 130kts & 50% flaps than if you're 110K and same config/speed. ABQ was having issues with long exit times and whether or not the LM should assist the load or not (and I don't want to get into that and derail your thread here).

    Deck angle will be based on speed, operating weight and center of lift/pressure on the wing. Nothing else really affects it. And while it's true that as your bundles exit, it changes the weight and you have to change another variable to keep the plane from changing the rest of the variables, the change is so small and so quick it is barely noticed through the drop.

    At the end of the day, the flap setting chart is nothing more than over-simplified tab data. If we wanted exactly 6* deck angle, we'd make the FE run a series of spider charts for every single drop...but that's just dumb. This works quite well. I guess you could have another variable in the chart - "weight of bundles to be dropped", but again, what we have works quite well...

    EDIT - after posting & re-reading your post above, another piece is bundle proximity. You don't want the bundles falling onto each other & collapsing chutes. As we add bundles using your example of 130K @ 130Kts, 1-4 bundles going out vs 11-16 bundles going out there's a much higher chance as the forward bundles build more speed on their way to the ramp that they will each get successively closer to each other and raise the risk of impacting each other on exit, or falling into each others' chutes.

    I think the question you're raising ends up having to do as much with bundle exit speed & separation than simply weight and bundles.

  7. Reason #422 why we should fly 50% flaps and pop up about 100-200ft in the last five seconds...AATTC used to teach this method, the Brits still use it, and there's no good reason not to (other than it requires a bit more "hands" from the stick monkeys up front, but that, like landings, can be trained).

  8. I have always thought of it like this. A Assault crew would be someone trained to rotate at actual Refusal with no corrections made for Vmca while a Tactical crew can do an assault take off but has to correct for Vmca.

    Not sure I would agree with this definition. What you are trained to and what your MAJCOM lets you do are two different things. In this case, a max-effort landing/takeoff is the same procedure regardless of the safety pad your MAJCOM mandates. I have rotated as low as 80-ish knots with the RAF and as high as 110+ when Vmca was higher a couple years ago. What I did was all the same, just the speed changed and the risk exposed to.

    Assault = max-effort and all tac-trained USAF guys should be qualified.

  9. For some strange reason, the USAF has decided that max-effort/assault landings are a "tactical" event instead of a "qual" event. From a pilot's perspective, the skill set involved is 100% qual - can you fly the plane? Regardless, even airland-only (non-low-level qualified) guys had to maintain their currencies to keep their assault qual. I remember when the 53rd used to be the 16th and was airland only - some of their guys were assault qualified, and some weren't.

    Assault qualified effectively means you've done a checkride to a zone. AFSOC now implies that you can do it on your qual check, but doesn't come right out and say it. I did one on my qual check once a couple years ago just for grins. Technically, my MSN check that year only required an NVG landing & not an assault landing, but I did an NVG assault anyway.

    Assault = max-effort

  10. The FY2016 aircraft won't be received until the beginning of 2019, to give you an idea. So the MC-130W could still be used by AFSOC for the next 15 years.

    The MC-W was always a BAI-type acquisition once the decision not the turn them into MC-H happened. But last fishbones-type brief I saw had MC-H & MC-W hanging around until at LEAST 2019....probably longer. Regardless, I'll be long gone...

  11. Is this a different system than that crap system they installed in all our HC's years ago, and you had to check out a 3000 dollar pair of bose headsets to use the damn thing.

    Yeah, we got those on the MC-H too. They wired them wrong in the beginning and the microphones were shocking folks on their lips. It was hilarious to watch someone yank a headset off so quickly! ...even after they figured out what they'd done and fixed it, they never worked worth a damn. My home-installed aftermarket ANR worked better.

  12. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't there only 2xE-Model Squadrons left in the AF?

    Has anyone else heard the rumor that the MC's are getting the 8-Bladed Prop and Electronic Valve housing?

    At the time of C-130X (mid-late '90s), there were hundreds of E-models still in the inventory and only a small handful of active duty units with H-models of any variety (Dyess, Elmendorf, & 50th)

    I have heard the rumor that the MCs might get the 8-bladed prop and EVH, but also hear the gunships would get them first. I've also heard that the expense for these things keeps getting in the way of MC-J, so who knows if it will ever happen. At one point, I heard only AC & MC-H would get them. But those sorts of rumors change from week to week - and I haven't heard anything on this front for at least a year...probably won't happen, which is ashame. A huge portion of the resistance comes from folks who think high Vmca speeds are bad....

  13. Original concept for C-130X was to fit all same engines, "zero time" the airframe (notably the wings/wingboxes) to a common config and baseline, and commonalize major systems - so all electrical systems would be the same, all fuel systems would be the same, etc. In '96 dollars, I think it was $8-9M/aircraft (but don't quote me on that) and the recently finished H3 were only running around $25-30M or so (again, don't quote me) - the sales pitch was essentially a new plane for 1/3 cost of a new plane. But when you look at the size of the E/H fleet back then, it suddenly became an enormous price tag and once they started saying "we'll exempt the older E-models, only 68-up" or something like that, it defeated the purpose of commonalization...and the program died a very quiet death.

    NOTE: Above is gross simplification of what occurred, but you get the idea

  14. C-130X has been dead for years. An awesome idea in concept, but dead. AMP doesn't change that and has always been separate from X...but AMP will "commonalize" a big chunk of things and fix most of the commonality issues...at least in the slick community.

  15. Too bad we can't do the same thing with the Herks, not cost effective to stick on new Allison engines and the eight-blade props.
    No, but we could put the 8-bladed props and electronic valve housings on them....

    It was my understanding that the switch from tape to round gages was found to be a player. How much, I don't know.

    Without revealing privileged safety information and flying a plane with tapes and having taught at the schoolhouse and watched guys transition from round dials to tapes, it absolutely IS a factor. It takes a couple hundred hours to get comfortable with new displays like these....

    With the tapes and digital readouts, you have to read the number, make it mean something in your head, remember the last number, figure out what the trend is, apply a correction and begin the loop again. With the analog round dials, you look at the pointer and intuitively know if you're faster or slower than you were (airspeed specific example, but applies across the board)... I try to get guys to use our speed bugs so they can go back to intuitively interpreting their speed vs reading numbers on a display.

    I also flew digital engine stacks with the RAF - they left quite a bit to be desired (especially the torque gauges with their very slow sampling rate - not responsive enough) and much prefer analog round dials.

    After 15+ years flying digital and probably 3500+ hours in them, I still prefer round dials...it's just more intuitive. I could care less about reliability - there are plusses & minuses for each (computers and round dials)...give me easy to read, easy to fly and it frees up more of my tiny brain to think through situations.

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