Bombarding the Aircraft Industry
Hello, aircraft fans!
In this edition of the Plane View, we’ll take a look at the most popular short-range aircraft company in North America: Bombardier. Operating mainly from Canada, this company has made one of the most used short range jets (the CRJ700) and one of the best turboprop airliners available (being the Dash-8). It also has created a fine firefighter aircraft.
Back in 1965, Bombardier, along with De Havilland Canada, formed a plan to create a turboprop airliner. They did so, and the result was the Dash-7. It was indeed a major progressive step towards the Dash-8.
Meanwhile, Bombardier teamed up with Canadair design the CL-215/CL-415. Firefighting has always been its main role, and has been used by a number of operators in North America and Europe. It has been used since 1967, which was important as the Grumman G-21 Goose and Consolidated PBY Catalina had both become obsolete.
Again with Canadair, Bombardier created the CL-600 Challenger. It turned out to be a whole series of aircraft, but it had such a small load of only 19 passengers that it was not much more successful than the aircraft that it countered: the LearStar 600. Since 1978, it has not had as many sales, but is indeed a superior aircraft.
By 1983, the 1965 Dash-7 was rather obsolete, so Bombardier again teamed with De Havilland Canada to create the Dash-8. It has been extremely successful, and would have been even more so if the regional jet had been preferred over the regional turboprop. Over 600 have been sold, and the main users are Alaska, Horizon, and Air Canada.
In 1991, Bombardier and Canadair joined to make their most famous aircraft: the CRJ. The entire series has “bombarded” (get it?) the regional jet market. Airlines such as Alaska and Horizon have found it just perfect for regional flights, and the Boeings have put away for the long flights. But a few Boeings still remain in the regional service.
And now, one of Bombardier’s greatest feats: the BD-700 Global Express. Yes, the name is very fitting, as this aircraft can fly at 678 M.P.H. for 7,485 miles with 8 passengers at up to 51,000 feet. It can still fly with up to 19 passengers, but with a shorter range. It was designed to create a new meaning to speed, range, and comfort while on aircraft flights. It is capable of the New York to Tokyo run. And over 70 have been sold already.
The aircraft mentioned are Bombardier’s most successful airplanes. I’m also glad to hear that the Boeing 787 Dreamliners were grounded.
Have a great day!
The Beaver Bites the Floatplane Tree
Hello, aircraft fans!
In this edition of the Plane Crash, you’ll find out about the De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, DHC-3 Single Otter, and the DHC-6 Twin Otter. Also, we’ll take a look at one of Canada’s 50 best managed companies: Harbour Air.
Well, yes, it wasn’t much of a Super Bowl. The best part was when the Superdome had a power failure. And it took THAT to make it any type of game. It almost looks like the referees were taking a nap until they thought that San Francisco needed to be penalized. They were only awake for a call against Baltimore that shouldn’t have been called: When David Akers missed the field goal to end the half- even though he ran into the defender, they still gave it to San Francisco with 00:03 left to play in the 2nd quarter. Well, at least he made it the second time, not that it mattered. Because on the opening kick of the second half, they let the Ravens’ kick returner bring it back for six. At least the 49’ers made it 31-34. Bummer! Of course this is a very early prediction, but I smell a Denver vs. Seattle Super Bowl XLVIII.
Rugged and reliable, the Beaver dominated the float plane market. Let’s take a look at some of the specifications. The Beaver has a crew of one, along with one Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-14B/-16B Wasp Junior radial piston engine rated at 336kW(450hp), and the high-wing configuration. The performance is a maximum speed of 262km/h(163M.P.H.) with a cruise speed of 180km/h(110M.P.H.), a range of 794 miles, and a service ceiling of 3,000m(9,842.52 feet). The dimensions are as follows: a wingspan of 14.63m(48 feet), a length of 9.22m(30ft 3in), and a height of 2.74m(9ft.). It has 6 passenger seats. Twenty-five are used by Harbour Air, which operates out of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and flies to Whistler seasonally, as well as Nanaimo, Vancouver (B.C.), Richmond (B.C.), Maple Bay, Sechelt, Comox, and two of the Gulf Islands. They share Victoria’s Harbour along with Westcoast Air (part of Harbour Air), Kenmore Air, which flies between Victoria and Seattle, and a few other companies.
The DHC-3 has similar characteristics to that of the DHC-2, except for a few modifications. The engine is different, now being a Turbine, the cruise speed is 210km/h(130M.P.H.), and the passenger seats number 14, resulting in a longer, more streamlined aircraft. And yes, I have flown on one before. There are 18 in Harbour Air’s fleet.
Lastly, we shall look at the De Havilland DHC-6 Turbine Twin Otter. It has a crew of three, and two 429kW(575hp) Pratt & Whitney R-1860 Hornet radial piston engines. The cruise speed is 320km/h(226 M.P.H.), a range of 1609km(1,000miles), and a service ceiling of 7,620m(25,000ft.) Only four are in Harbour Air’s fleet; actually Westcoast Air’s fleet, but along with 18 passenger seats, this aircraft provides exactly what Harbour Air needs for some of the longer flights, such as the Comox, Vancouver, Richmond, and Sechelt flights. If I knew more about it, I could also tell you if the Turbine Twin Otter also did some of the Whistler flights. Indeed, the Twin Otter is a vital addition to Harbour Air.
To find out more about Harbour Air, just go to: harbourair.com or westcoastair.com. And no, if you are wondering by now, Harbour Air did not pay me to write this blog post. Also, don’t forget that this is my blog post and not a Harbour Air advertisement. For recommendations about films or other things about Harbour Air, please leave a comment. I will get back to you as soon as I am back in my website.
Have a great day!
Hello, aircraft fans!
In this edition of the Plane Crash, you’ll find out about the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, which was one of the greatest aircraft of WWII. Get ready, because as of Super Bowl week, I’m going to be writing a football blog post. So everybody root for San Francisco, and rejoice that the Patriots won’t make it to Super Bowl XLVII. Jack Harbaugh must be pretty darn excited.
On January 20th, 1939, one of the greatest aircraft of all time, had its first test flight. The programme had begun in 1937, due to a USAAC requirement. This aircraft could go an amazing 360 M.P.H. at 20,000 feet, and 290 M.P.H. at sea level. It had a crew number of one, a maximum speed of 414 M.P.H., a range of 2,260 miles, a service ceiling of 44,000 feet, and a weight of 21,600 pounds (loaded). It had an outstanding armament of one 20mm cannon, four 12.7mm machine guns; along with a bomb and rocket load of 4,000 pounds. Despite its superiority, it has always tended to be overshadowed by Republic’s P-47 Thunderbolt and the P-51 Mustang of North American. That is mainly because both other aircraft did best in both theatres of the war, but the P-38 was mainly used in the Pacific Theatre. But there were still those pilots like Robin Olds.
The Lightning was adequately named, for it immediately set speed records. A loopy pilot Lieutenant (later Brigadier General) Benjamin S. Kelsey had logged just 7 hours in the XP-38 when he decided to try to break Howard Hughes’s transcontinental flight time record of seven hours, twenty-eight minutes, and thirty seconds. Kelsey took-off on February 11th, 1939, and the aircraft blazed across the country. But on his descent to Mitchell Army Air Field on Long Island, New York, disaster struck. After seven hours and two minutes of flight, carburetor icing took away both engine’s power, and the aerocraft crashed on a golf course. Kelsey came out splendidly, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. Despite the tragedy, it brought the government’s and the public’s attention to their new 414-M.P.H. fighter.
There were only a few downsides with the P-38, them being maneuverability, engine number, and the two 1063kW (1425hp) Allison V-1710-91 12-cylinder Vee-type unreliable engines. Even though the two engines were crucial to speed, descent had to be started much earlier than in most other aircraft. The Allison engines were hard to operate in cold weather, but the P-38 was still used often flying from Normandy or other Allied bases, including Andover in Hampshire, down to the Deutschland region of Europe.
Lockheed surprisingly made the only U.S. fighter that was in production before and after the war. Major Richard I. Bong, the highest-scoring pilot in U.S.A.F. history, shot down a total of 40 aircraft; while Tommy McGuire shot down 38 before being shot down over the Philippines in 1945. Also, the amazing feat of killing Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was flown by P-38s. They flew from Guadalcanal to destroy Yamamoto’s aircraft over Kahili Atoll. Making the 1,100 round-trip was no easy feat. It was truly a WWII classic.
Have a great day!
The North American P-51 Mustang: Classic Aviation
Hi there, aircraft fans! I’ve been sick lately, so that is the cause of the delay. Hope you’ve all had a great start to 2013!
In 1940, the RAF sent the U.S. a request for a fighter. First, they had talked with the president of Curtiss, but they had their hands full with how the P-40 Warhawk was in such high demand. The job was taken on by North American. When the British first got it, they loved the aircraft and hated the Allison engine. After many requests, the North American company finally agreed to stick in the finest engine of the time: the 1112kW (1490hp) Packard Rolls Royce Merlin V-1650-7 Vee-type engine. The RAF then used it extensively, and the pilots loved it. As the fastest fighter of its time, it could fly at up to 505 M.P.H. when diving, and 437 M.P.H. in level flight. In some ways the Supermarine Spitfire was better, as it was more forgiving than the Mustang, but the P-51 still did have some advantages. The P-51 could go 905 miles, and with drop tanks it could go up to 2,080 miles. The armament is as follows: Six 12.7 mm (0.50inch) machine guns, and up to two 454kg(1,000 pound) bombs or six 12.7 cm (5inch) rockets. It could fly up to 41,900 feet, and had a wingspan of 37 feet, a length of 32 feet 3 inches, a height of 12 feet 2 inches, and a loaded weight of 12,100 pounds. The P-51A was designed for the ground-attack role, so it was rarer than some of the other models.
The British already flew the famous Spitfire and Hurricane, splendid for the short-range Battle of Britain, but for long-range bomber escort, they needed a fighter with long range and immense speed. The Hawker Hurricane had a fantastic range of 900 miles, but it could only fly at 322 M.P.H., inferior to the P-51. There are always range-to-armament ratios, as having long range means poor or mediocre armament. That was the story with Supermarine’s Spitfire. It had a small amount of fly time, but for its time had good speed and incredible firepower.
A series of test flights were conducted by pilots Vance Breese, Paul Balfour, and R C “Bob” Chilton. In addition, North American started production of the A-36A Apache (not the helicopter), for dive-bombing and was immensely successful. The RAF pilots preferred a 3-blade propeller, but the USAAC chose the more popular 4-blade configuration. America, the UK, and Canada were the main countries that used the P-51.
The “Football War” occurred between El Salvador and Honduras when the World Cup qualifier match score was disputed. Fortunately for El Salvador, they had Mustangs. But disaster struck when two crashed into each other, two had fuel shortages and one was shot down.
This is the story of an amazing rescue. Mac McKennon was part of one of the perhaps two most daring rescues in WWII. Leading his squadron over Germany in his “Ridge Runner”, he was hit by flak and had to jump out and make use of his parachute. Since hundreds of miles into enemy territory, he decided it was time to become a POW. But his other pilots had a better idea. Lieutenant George Green landed in the field where his confused leader was standing, and the CO decided to get in. Of course, some place-swapping occurred, as the Mustang is only a one-seat fighter. Green had to sit on McKennon’s lap and proceed with the most difficult take-off of his career. Then, the entire squadron flew back to Debden, where they safely landed around three hours later.
There are numerous other splendid Mustang stories, but since I’m not writing a book, I think that I’d better stop while I’m ahead. North American’s P-51 Mustang is truly an aircraft classic.
Have a great day!
Hello, aircraft fans!
This report is on the Attack on Pearl Harbor, due to the recent holiday, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Hope you enjoy reading it!
It was said by many men such as General Billy Mitchell that early some Sunday morning, the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor. On December 7th, 1941, disaster struck. American commanders were Husband Kimmel and Walter Short, and the Japanese had Chuichi Nagumo and Isoroku Yamamoto. In the American mobile unit, there were 8 battleships, 8 cruisers, 30 destroyers, 4 submarines, 1 USCG (United States Coast Guard) Cutter, 49 other ships, and 390 aircraft. But the Japanese had 6 aircraft carriers, 2 battleships, 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 9 destroyers, 8 tankers, 23 fleet submarines, 5 midget submarines, and 414 aircraft. The American losses were 4 battleships sunk, 3 battleships damaged, 1 battleship grounded, 2 other ships sunk, 3 cruisers damaged, 3 destroyers damaged, 3 other ships damaged, 188 aircraft destroyed, 159 aircraft damaged, 2,402 killed, and 1,282 wounded. Japan still had major losses: 4 midget submarines sunk, 1 midget submarine grounded, 29 aircraft destroyed, 64 killed, and 1 captured. Of course, that was a 4,065 to 99 casualty ratio. The Japanese used 353 aircraft. Unfortunately for the Japanese, all 5 midget submarines were destroyed.
A Gallup Poll before the attack found that 52% of Americans expected war, 27% did not expect war, and 21% had no opinion. The downside of attacking Pearl Harbor was that none of the American aircraft carriers were in the bay. Due to Japanese expansion into French Indochina, the USA stopped oil exports to Japan in July of 1941. Then, the Japanese planned to take over Dutch East Indies, which was very oil-rich. Japan was forced to either withdraw from China and lose face or take over the European controlled countries of Southeast Asia. On November 26th, 1941, the Japanese Striking Force of the aircraft carriers Akagi, Kaga, Sōryū, Hiryū, Shōkaku, and Zuikaku left northern Japan towards a position northwest of Hawaii. They hoped to use aircraft to attack Pearl Harbor easily, as they had 408 aircraft.
The first of the two waves was to take out all primary targets, with the second finishing them off. At 3:42 AM Hawaiian Time, the American minesweeper Condor spotted a midget submarine periscope west of Pearl Harbor entrance buoy and radioed this to the destroyer Ward. It may have entered the harbor; however, Ward sank a midget submarine at 6:37 AM in the first American shots in the Pacific Theatre. A midget submarine north of Ford Island missed the seaplane tender Curtiss with her first torpedo and then missed the destroyer Monaghan with her other before being sunk by the Monaghan at 8:43 AM. Another midget submarine grounded two times, with one member swimming ashore to become the first prisoner of war from Japan. The boat was captured on December 8th. The USS West Virginia may have been hit by a midget submarine’s torpedo.
Slow, vulnerable torpedo bombers led the first wave, exploiting the first moments of surprise to attack the most important ships present (the battleships), while dive bombers attacked U.S. air bases across Oahu, starting with Hickam Field, the largest, and Wheeler Field, the main U.S. Army Air Force fighter base. The 171 planes in the second wave attacked the Air Corps’ Bellows Field near Kaneohe on the windward side of the island, and Ford Island. The only aerial opposition came from a handful of P-36 Hawks, P-40 Warhawks and some SBD Dauntless dive bombers from the carrier USS Enterprise. Most of the ships had crews that were asleep, so they showed little resistance. The entire attack lasted a stunningly short ninety minutes. Of the 402 American aircraft in Hawaii, 188 were destroyed, and 159 damaged, with 155 of them on the ground. Almost none were actually ready to take off to defend the base. Eight Army Air Corps (Air Force) pilots managed to get airborne during the battle and six were credited with downing at least one Japanese aircraft during the attack, 1st Lt. Lewis M. Sanders, 2nd Lt. Philip M. Rasmussen, 2nd Lt. Kenneth M. Taylor, 2nd Lt. George S. Welch, 2nd Lt. Harry W. Brown, and 2nd Lt. Gordon H. Sterling Jr. Sterling was shot down and killed by friendly fire returning from the fight. Of 33 PBY Catalinas in Hawaii, 24 were destroyed, and six others damaged beyond repair. The three on patrol returned undamaged. Friendly Fire brought down some U.S. planes on top of that, including five from an inbound flight from Enterprise. Japanese attacks on barracks killed additional personnel.
Fifty-five Japanese airmen and nine submariners were killed in the action, and one was captured. Of Japan’s 414 available planes, 29 were lost during the battle, with nine in the first attack wave, and 20 in the second. Another 74 were damaged by antiaircraft fire from the ground. Despite many of the Japanese crewmen’s wishes, a third wave was not carried out.
Here is a list of some of the main aircraft. The Nakajima B5N2 “Kate” torpedo bomber was actually the 2nd most important Japanese aircraft of the fight, only surpassed by the “Betty” bomber.
The Aichi D3A “Val” dive bomber was also important, but many were destroyed later in Kamikaze missions.
But on the American side, the main aircraft were the Curtiss P-36, Curtiss P-40, and the Douglas SBD Dauntless. The Dauntless was one of 4 aircraft that turned the war in the Pacific around, with the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Curtiss P-40, and the Grumman F6f Hellcat. Here are some photos of the American ships after the attack.
The USS Arizona Memorial on the island of Oahu honors lives lost during the attack. Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day , December 7th,is perhaps the largest holiday in the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii is still the largest military disaster on a land to become American.
Have a great day!
Isaiah S. Casey
Today, I’ll be writing about the 2nd standard lightweight airplane of the post-WWII era – the Aeronca Model 7 Champion. I hope you enjoy reading this blog post!
Similar to the Piper J-3 Cub and Super Cub, the Champion was a post-war 1945 Aeronca creation. It was produced in large numbers; in fact, ten-thousand were built. A military variant was the L-16. Despite ending production in 1951, in was incredibly popular during its time. Below are the aircraft specifications.
First Marketed: November 1945
Crew: 1 or 2
Engine: one 48kW (65hp) Continental A-65-8 or A-68-8F flat-four piston engine
Max. Speed: 100m.p.h.
Range: 270 miles
Service Ceiling: 12,600 feet
Wingspan: 35 feet 2 inches
Length: 21 feet 6 inches
Height: 7 feet
Weight: 1,240 pounds maximum take-off weight
War Service: Korean War
Used by: Private pilots, military, agricultural pilots, CAP (Civil Air Patrol)
It was the standard light aircraft used apart from the Piper J-3 Cub for nearly a decade after WWII. Certain companies after 1951 also produced the aeroplane that acquired the manufacturing rights. Not commonly known, this splendid airplane is still an aircraft classic.
Have a great day!
Hello, airplane fans!
The SR-71 Blackbird was the main secret service aircraft in controlling Communism, and was greatly loved by its pilots. It was used mainly during the Cold War. Many air museums will have it, such as Evergreen, The Museum of Flight, National Air and Space Museum, and perhaps Udvar Hazy.
Maker of Aircraft: Lockheed
First Flown: 1964
Flown in Combat?: Vietnam War, Operation Eldorado Canyon, Cold War
Maximum Speed: 2000 m.p.h.
Range: 2,983 miles
Service Ceiling: 80,000 feet
Dimensions: Wingspan 55 feet 7 inches, wing area 1,605 square feet, length 107 feet 5 inches, height 18 feet 6 inches.
Used in Countries: USA, Okinawa, UK
Designated the RS-71 Blackbird, it was called the SR-71 Blackbird after President Lyndon B. Johnson accidentally called it the wrong thing. The aircraft is still often remembered as the main spyplane that helped the U.S. defeat the Soviet Union.
Forty-eight years have passed since it was first flown, and most are still in tip-top shape, despite being retired. Now, the main aircraft patrolling enemy skies are such airplanes as the Global Hawk, and now even satellites are being largely used for such matters. Once thought to be the greatest aircraft invention during the free-spending Reagan years, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is now being forced to go through many changes. One main problem is that the pilots don’t have good enough G-suits, so many were passing out. But many are still patrolling home skies. Other main aerocraft in home skies is the now retiring McDonnell Douglas (later changed to Boeing) F-15 Eagle, the General Dynamics (later Lockheed Martin) F-16 Fighting Falcon (a.k.a. Viper), the McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F-18 Hornet/Super Hornet, and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. Many great airplanes are still in the sky.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions.
Have a great day!