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Old 11-10-2014, 12:18 PM   #1
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Well, not really. I've been swamped at work lately so haven't been doing a lot of car stuff. Fortunately, my work involves airplanes. I'm still burning up my carbon credits!

Last week went to Wichita to do some avionics work with Textron on their #1 Scorpion prototype. Some pixs:

The Scorpion:




My ride. This is a Beechcraft Baron parked and dripping oil in the Cessna flight test hangar. Had to laugh! Textron recently bought Beech from Raytheon, so the techs, test pilots and I had fun calling it a Cessna Baron.


This is what I do:


Wheeeeeee!!!!!




Kansas:




The Scorpion test pilots are old Navy Hornet types too. It was fun to talk about the old days and how great we were. LOL.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:36 PM   #2
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Haha, that's Kansas alright. Look at those roads!

Cool stuff!
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:36 PM   #3
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Then I flew to Pensacola to visit my folks and go to the Blue Angels homecoming airshow. Saw some cool stuff.

Matching Piper Twin Comanche and Austin Healey. Both beautiful:




Silver-haired chrome-dome.


A-4 Skyhawk. I LOVE this airplane. This is the Miata of Naval Aviation. Simple, small and quick. Flies like a dream. When used as an aggressor and flown by someone old and treacherous, it would regularly spank young hotshots in F-14s and F/A-18s (that part of the movie "TopGun" was accurate). Reminds me of well-driven Miatas beating up Mustangs, Vettes and Porsches on track.




This aircraft is painted up as a Rampager (VA-83). The Rampagers saw action in North Vietnam first flying these and then A-7s. I joined the Rampagers when they transitioned from A-7s to F/A-18s and went with them to the Red Sea for Gulf I. The squadron always deployed on either Forrestal or (usually) Saratoga during these decades. Both of these ships are now being dismantled in Brownsville, but VFA-83 lives on!
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Last edited by hornetball; 11-10-2014 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:57 PM   #4
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The A-4 is totally the Navy's Miata! I always get a chuckle seeing pictures of them being dwarfed on deck by F-4s and A-5's.

Is the Scorpion a new trainer jet?
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:07 PM   #5
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The Scorpion is a big gamble by Textron. They're betting that a low-cost of operation jet that can do low-threat environment ISR and limited strike missions has a market in the current tight-budget environment. Could be a trainer too. This is prototype #1. I hope they sell some because then I'll sell equipment!

Home - Textron AirLand

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textron_AirLand_Scorpion
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:22 PM   #6
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Wow, the cost difference sure sounds huge. Hopefully its a big hit. Great looking aircraft too.
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:25 PM   #7
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Does it have an internal bomb bay? What is with the widely spaced engines?

Also it looks like it should have variable sweep wings, almost like an F14 had a baby with an F18.
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:41 PM   #8
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It has hardpoints. Non-stealth (low-threat environment, which is most theaters these days).

Between the engines is a huge pod area. The idea is that the pods can be quickly swapped out to hold different electronic packages for different missions.

It's a really simple aircraft so should keep costs down. Textron built this thing in less than a year (we were scrambling) and got it to the Farnborough airshow. It made it there and the FA-35 didn't. Press had a field day with that.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:42 PM   #9
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And I thought taking a ride in the red car would be a good time...
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:42 PM   #10
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Embarassing Tomcats with a low-tech A-4 or passing Vettes and GT-3s with a Miata. Really similar experiences. Brings on that smile that's really hard to hide.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:07 PM   #11
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Nice to see pics of your real specialty, Rick! Looks like a blast!

Is that GoPro in the pics yours or the pilots, or is it what they use for video acquisition in the prototype?
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:41 PM   #12
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Textron is using the GoPro for data acquisition. Prototype is heavily instrumented (as you might imagine).
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
Embarassing Tomcats with a low-tech A-4 or passing Vettes and GT-3s with a Miata. Really similar experiences. Brings on that smile that's really hard to hide.
Isn't the tomcat a really lousy dogfighter? If you start at the tomcat's standoff range, and still beat him, then that's impressive. If you are already in close with the A4, you better win.

I say this as an electrical engineer with only a passing familiarity with aircraft design and only reading about air combat.
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Old 11-11-2014, 02:07 PM   #14
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I always found that the Tomcats had three issues:

1. Size. They're friggin' huge. You can see them forever.

2. 1 person too many. They used to say that having an extra set of eyes was a benefit. But remember, the guy in the backseat is sitting there because his eyes aren't that good. And splitting the responsibility meant that some pilots got lazy about looking.

3. Complex, unreliable systems. They were "leadnose" pretty often.

The jet itself was pretty nice. Fast. Good power. With the wings forward could turn well.

The standoff range wasn't a factor. Outside of WWIII, rules of engagement never let you use the capability.

All that said, what I was really trying to convey is that the A-4 is just plain fun to fly. Like a Miata. If the Navy were to dangle the metaphorical keys to an A-4 or an F/A-18 in front of me for a joyride this afternoon, I'd take the A-4.
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:09 PM   #15
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Never talk badly about F-14's!

The only thing I ever wanted to be growing up was an F-14 pilot. They were retired the year I graduated high school
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilicharger665 View Post
Never talk badly about F-14's!
Tomkitties were always everyone's favorite jet to watch at night on the PLAT camera. Something exciting happened every night.

They were also a constant presence in my HUD tapes.

LOLOLOLOL!!!



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