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Thread: From my arrival at the Douglas maingate in April 1965.

  1. #1

    From my arrival at the Douglas maingate in April 1965.

    Because a lot of what EAA is about is hands on and I had none of that in Aerospace forms until I was at United/Technologies Government Products Division as Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in 1980 for training in Intermediate Maintenance on an F-100 (2) augmented turbofan engine at Edwards AFB I may try to contact someone who knows about some things long gone like CAB-41 forms that give data for commercial airline monthly costs. Another not so gone is Aircraft Standard Aircraft Characteristics (SAC) charts but then AFM 172-3 estimates of aircraft operational costs all of which led to the acceptance of 8 Douglas Aircraft Long Beach DC-9-30 cargo configured with long range ONA tanks with parts support from Ozark Airlines. As R.C.P. Jackson the Director of Plans and Operations Analysis said about me as I began, "I'm glad we got you. I would be terrified if I knew you were calculating nuclear yields at Los Alamos." My degree is in Physics and as Hal Bauer the director of Human Factors said "beware trying to make a trainer face valid."

  2. #2
    As a courtesy to the storied and just flyin' folks I won't post things on their threads that the general public might go white at. Someone in Marketing came to my desk as I was preparing some statistics on how many airfields in the U.S. are how long. I had a copy of the Enroute supplement supplied to me by the former Chief of Maintenance at Scott AFB where Military Airlift Command Headquarters and the MAC Surgeon General's Headquarters was. The person slipped me a report on Deep Stall involvement in the loss of a prototype of the BAC-1-11 airliner in Great Britain. Like Mary I pondered this in my heart. Then an engineer showed me the modifications to the T-tail stabilizer of the DC-9 which Harold Adams had made. The changes were in some ways simple. He had extended the span of the stabilizer out beyond where the downwash off the engine pylons would pass over it. A few wind tunnel model runs and addition of a few flight test points including flutter and stability at various centers of gravity and to management the DC-9 was more expensive and to airlines a bit more comfortable.

    Maybe a year later as part of the IRAD yearly summary which I got to see in the big conference room Harold Adams was up there with big charts explaining the external ribbing on the A-4 "Skyhawk" and the chem-milled lower wing skin and how much cheaper and less was the manufacturing time. I knew of Harold Adams because he was a partner in a plywood 36 foot catamaran he had designed and had two of built in Japan and shipped back on a cargo ship deck. My first office mate Don Brimley was the partner with Harold.
    Last edited by 2ndsegment; 04-10-2020 at 10:09 AM. Reason: shorter paragraphs

  3. #3
    The original DC-9, the -10 had a blunt leading edge. It also had double slotted trailing edge flaps. The coming -30 which was a fuselage stretch and had the basic rated Pratt & Whitney JT8D-1 had triple-slotted flaps, no-Krueger inboard flaps and leading edge slats. This was like the Boeing 727, the 737 to fly the next year and the later 707-320C.

    A decision was coming on whether to propose the -10 or the -30 to the USAF. I got added to the decision team to meet in W.T. (Bob) Gross's office on the 9th floor of Building 18A 4 floors above my office. Bob had the line positions for future build DC-9's across the street in the big assembly halls. He also had the expected assembly costs as progress was made in manufacturing procedures and experience on the new airplanes. My chart of number of airfields shorter than a given length was because the policy of the surgeon general of MAC was to transport sick or injured soldiers, sailors and airmen from where they were entered into the system to a hospital nearest their home address. This led to over 400 different airfields served every year but only about 50 in common from year to year. The BAC 1-11 was lighter and the advanced wing secondary flight controls on the 737, even the -100 made them able to get out of a small set of fields inaccessible to the DC-9-10.

    The DC-9-10 had a derated engine, the JT-8D-5 of 12500 lb. thrust, not the 14000 lb of the basic shared by the 727 and the 737. There was also a proposed DC-9-20 which had the wing and engines of the -30 but the shorter and lighter fuselage of the -10.It was proposed for Scandinavian Airlines System and Harry Hjorth, the salesman later became my dear friend for saving his similar but unrelated need.
    Last edited by 2ndsegment; 04-10-2020 at 10:11 AM.

  4. #4
    Now a more nagging matter that remains to this day. The JT-8D engine was a turbofan, not a straight jet. In my mind it had been developed from V/STOL work but nobody ever mentioned that to me from engineering. One day landing at St. Louis commercial airfield a 727 with 3 JT-8D-1 engines on final approach realized it was too slow for it's rate of descent and would not reach the threshold of the runway. The pilot pushed the throttles forward but the time to spool up the heavy fan meant it did not create enough thrust in time. It crashed with loss of life.

    Because I was in Military Operations Analysis, I also through the years received deficiency and safety reports on the TF-30 scheduled for the A-7A which was superseding the "Skyhawk" as of the year before I arrived in Long Beach. The activity on the USAF F-111 also involved the TF-30 and later the TF-401 (?) an enlarged version for the Navy F-111B. "compressor stall", "surge margin" these terms floated around as reports of a "bang!" on takeoff attempted to distract me from the wonders of "microminiaturization" in radar technology allowed "commonality."
    Last edited by 2ndsegment; 04-10-2020 at 10:13 AM.

  5. #5
    Product Integrity was what Douglas was offereing not Liability for loss. I was the stuntman if a a 35 foot obstacle for a commercial takeoff or a 50 foot obstacle for a military one had turned into an insurmountable inability to launch or a customer was dissatisfied with the representation made to him had come to haunt the discussion. I met the various salemen who had sold the DC-8 and were now selling the stretched 8 (61 and 63) and the cargo 8 (the 55F). I soon had those flight manuals added to the lonely DC-9-10,-20 and -30 Flight Manuals on my desk top.

    Arvil Gentry of Aero Reseach who had gotten me the NASA computer data of the Appollo stages that flew the first orbits to plot on the hand made giant Mercator projections that Lt.Col. Jim Wright had shown me how to draw on a half sheet of vellum for the Apollo Range Instrumented Aircraft A/RIA had a relation to the DC-9. Arvil had made the Specific Excess Power theory maximum climb rate charts in the DC-9 manual. Later I would learn about Captain John Boyd and his SEP theory of combat maneuverability. That was 4 years off and I wasn't under that manager.
    Last edited by 2ndsegment; 04-10-2020 at 10:18 AM.

  6. #6
    There has to be a major flaw in this escape from wise engineering principles. One of my University of Michigan roomates in a house on Whitmore Lake came out to California and stayed with my new wife and I and I talked to our administrator. The administrator arranged a tour and interviews for my former roommate at Douglas. The DC-9 was flying very successfully. The Utilization rates were in the 9 hours area and Combi freighters could be reconfigured and fly passengers in the day and cargo at night. I had walked through the laboratory and A-4 production building on my way out to building 13 to do the Appollo Lunar Transfer Ellipse tracking mission that led to work for Tulsa plant. The NC-135A was to receive a big Jimmy Durante nose on a KC-135 the engineers thought was an in to a win on the CX-HLS which later became the Lockheed C-5. Aerospace lines had made a Super Pregnant Guppy to haul Saturn 4s to the Cape from Huntington Beach and one day one of the noses had blown in inflight. (just an aside, that was not Douglas work)

    My friend got the job and soon he was telling me about filling the pressure test fuselage with ping-pong balls to test with air to avoid an explosion if a crack developed. In front of Building 35 was a water tank with a test fuselage of a C-133 that was looking for why some had disappeared over the Pacific. The C-133 had turboprops and the Electra and Comet failures were well in mind.

    The DC-10 wing was being tested with million pound jacks and bending and flapping it's wings like a bird. Then one day the shank of one of those jacks broke. Tom took me down to look at how a deep internal crack had propagated and the crystalline look of the failure area spread over a circle about 9 or 10 inches in diameter. The Turk-Hava-Yolari THY DC-10 cargo door failure and the rear bulkhead failure on Mount Fuji of the 747 as well as the C-5 "babylift" rear cargo doors failure were still in the future. It was the "wide body" era and I put on about 100 pounds after a night with no lights motorcycle crash that some friends would not go home and me the stuntman had led them onto Willow Springs Raceway property to satisfy their desire to avoid BLM land that Nixon had closed to all but grazing.

    {Pete Conrad, the astronaut could fly anything and had been the President of Aerospace Lines the Guppy cargo oversize line, he came to Douglas to be VP Military marketing as I was leaving replacing Jack Crosthwaite, who's secretary Robbie, transferred her dislike for me from Sam Geisy's A-4 Program manager's office where I was considered the one to make the Skyhawk break the 1 million dollar flyaway. The "Great Biker" got Pete one day in the high Sierras on a motorcycle.

    I have my own line I have crossed in the Rockies at Silverton and taking off from Boeing Payne Field and threading the ship masts in a LEAR 35 in Microsoft FSX. I have tried to shrink the rhumb lines to a great circle to get from Peking to the Aleutians and avoid USSR and Japan landings to refuel in a 737 with CFM-56 engines. I know the terror of "rising terrain" approaching Tacoma and Kalispell to complete a round-the-world flight. Not real you say?! After coming here I looked up the BEDE jet and -10. I have a sketch of the BEDE-10 as my wall paper. I remember the "Papa" Mustang and the loss of it's builder. Back when I first wanted to join EAA.

    Now looking at the story of the 7/8 Spitfire in SPORT AVIATION I am happy. Reading about the carbon fiber sandwiches of the Brazilian member makes me current. The bankruptcy of Glasair and Lancair are at peace after I flew to Heathrow in a carbon fiber 787 and rode in Chiltern cars with my unlocked cellphone and stayed in Henley-on-Thames at Advent to journey to Stonor house and meet Baron Camoys. My first plan was just to do a round trip in the British Airways 787-9 that had been doing direct flights to London from Austin, Bergstrom. Boeing had online invited me to the 787 rollout three years before the first flight where the lack of titanium fasteners had made the object rolled out a temporary structure.
    Last edited by 2ndsegment; 04-10-2020 at 10:31 AM.

  7. #7
    I need some disambiguation on the word "Douglas" in the way of Wikipedia. Reading "Poberezny" I have just come to camp Douglas in Tomah, Wisconsin. I know Camp McCoy in nearby Sparta, Wisconsin where the 2nd ID left from to go to a secret place in late 1943. (Belfast, Northern Ireland) They ended up in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia at the end of WW-II after D-Day and all that. Some of the origin of EAA is in that Guard era for Paul. There is also a Douglas on the isle of Man. I looked at Pioneer Airport in FSX. Plenty of aircraft parking! The Douglas I mention in this thread had a headquarters at Clover Field in Santa Monica, California. In my comedy you have to know the difference between a potato field, a potato digger, and a potato masher.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    That's an interesting history you have and I enjoyed reading it. However "40 second Boyd" was known for his E-M theory, energy management, and later the OODA loop. He was a successful Major at retirement despite being a pain in the side of some rear echelon bureaucrats and we had a special acronym for those while I served.

    I would recommend reading " The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War" to anyone on this forum.

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