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Thread: Braniff Convair yes Piper Cub no

  1. #11
    I know you guys think I have weird links and jumps but my follow on to this because of the Convair electical bus drop out was following news about Constant Speed Drives and thus If you read this you will eventually find "Harry Stonecipher" and "McDonnell-Douglas." OK I am reluctant to go to Northwest Flight 255 which is a forensic analysis presented by "Jack McDonnell", someone I met in the mid-1970's related to Engineering owning it's own Digital VAX. Here the link is to TI KLIXON circuit breaker.

  2. #12
    A caution that the DFDR on flight 255 was not a Sundstrand
    The recorder aboard the Northwest jet, Flight 255, was made by Fairchild Weston Systems Inc. of Sarasota, Fla., one of three manufacturers of such instruments, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said. according to the New York Times. I am still looking for the TV footage of the reproduction of that trajectory data that was created on a computer display and shown shortly after the event.

  3. #13
    Not everything is on the CVR or DFDR. I was showing my father an article in Air & Space Smithsonian about the old kind of FDR's that used a smoke covered glass disk and turned on the TV to see the news of PanAm Lockerbie. My father had been a teacher and the news of falling into a schoolyard especially affected him. Robert Mueller is mentioned as leading the US part of the investigation.

  4. #14
    While it would nice to be a veteran, even a combat veteran and even an employee of Boeing for a long time after and now retired with two nice pensions, I am not those things so I need to bring up the Convair part of this thread a bit. My maternal grandparents lived in and my grandfather ran a general store and was a partner in a hardware store that sold gasoline and owned farms in upstate New York where the Van Fleet era Consolidated aircraft in my era had been.

    I did make one flight on a TWWA Convair jet. One day returning from St. Louis to Los Angeles the aircraft scheduled to take me to LAX was not up. As I looked out the air terminal window I could see a "hangar queen" Convair 880 being dragged out of the hangar. Soon mechanics were swarming over changing all (!) the tires and working on the nacelles and then trying to get what looked like sheet metal that had been wadded into a ball and then straightened and curved to close around the GE commercial version of the J-79. Once again prudence demanded I change my ticket. I now had time to consider the drag of this bird that looked like it had flown through a hail storm and how that affected it's situation awareness and potential path. Flying into LAX the wind was off shore at evening and as we were on final coming in off the engine perhaps when the autopilot was disconnected it did a cross between a snap roll and a lateral jerk that I identified as a "whifferdill." This was the only time in my years of flying I experienced the certainty that it was unrecoverable as it dropped.

    Some years after my Braniff Convair flight I worked in a building across from what had been the Vultee Aircraft Headquarters in Downey, California and was then occupied by North American's Space and Information division and was building the Apollo Space capsules. Remember that Jerry Vultee and his wife crashed in one of his products and unlike Benny Howard and his wife did not survive. I had crashed in the desert in the dark of night with two acquaintances who did not want to go home with their new motorcycles. They wanted to ride on the private property of Willow springs Raceway. (IR did not work out in the nose of the F-4B and C but the B-52 was rapidly moving to IR and away from ground mapping radar.)

    Consolidated plus Vultee was a merged entity and it was in my era in San Diego and also in Fort Worth, Texas where the Aeroproducts propeller equipped P-51 "Mustangs" had been built that Paul Poberezny flew through WW-II and on into his EAA career. My next flight in a Convair was a Frontier Airlines 580 modified with Allison T-56 turboprops to an AIAA Fighter Aircraft Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico where the dinner speaker was Kelly Johnson. The next tie is kind of over the seat backs in a bar in Eglin AFB's nearby civilian airport as a former Convair engineer is regaling me with tales of how he designed the B-58 Flight Control System and I missed my flight on a F-27 turboprop to White Settlement where the F-51's had been made and caught the next only to miss my connection to LAX until the next morning.

    Convair won the light weight fighter (LWF) prototype flyoff. Ed Heinnemann designed the F-16 prototype which went into production at Fort Worth. I became directly connected to it when I left Douglas Aircraft, merged with McDonnell since 1969, in 1978 to go to Michigan and then New York before being called to United Technologies, Government Products division, Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida where the F-100 augmented turbofan engine for the F-16 was supported.

    I actually met the F-16 at Edwards AFB where it was undergoing some tests in 1980. In the middle of July ther it was out on the flight ramp outside the Engine Intermediate Maintenance facility where several former PWA engineers were being converted into Field Service Representatives by taking apart and reassembling an F-100 (2) which would later be a ground asset in Saudi Arabia to train mechanics. The engineer who became one of the reps at Convair Fort Worth and I became friends and took a flight one day in a Grumman trainer from Lancaster to Mojave to look in on Scaled Composites, which was closed and had a few large junk radials on it's front porch slab. (2800's?) Later I took this individual to the Rosamond Glider Port several times to get flight lessons. I think my last contact with Convair was the F-111F Flight Manual which the responsible engineers put on my desk with the recently published "Properties of Products of Combustion", which was done on the PWA computers and was like Keenan and Keynes "Properties of Saturated Steam" I had used as a student in undergraduate Engineering Thermodynamics.

    There is one more piece, "Six Pack" tactics which the F-106 "Delta Dart" drivers had made up as their contribution to Dissimilar Aircraft Combat Tactics (DACT) in contradiction of the Combat Hassle library which had been moved from Joint Task force 2 at Eglin to Nellis. I spent several hours with F-106 drivers at Miramar and at Nellis but never really matched the programmed SAGE/BUIC analog computed intercept in it's weapon system computer with a coding on a TI-42 with it's "rock" memory. Bombers were easier than super cruisers and Stealth.

    The GE F-110 was programmed into the F-16 while I was at Palm Beach.

    Much of what constrained me to Convair was the TFX that became the F-111 that was supposed to show that microminiaturized electronics allowed joint use of one design by all services. I accepted a job as an Operations Analyst in 1965, a profession that had begun with Navy Anti-submarine warfare in WW-II. The later System Analyst profession was more hardware but still very "Whizz Kid" combining cost accounting with effectiveness measurement not just specifications and using things like flow diagrams to tie it all together.
    Last edited by 2ndsegment; 05-07-2020 at 11:46 AM.

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