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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:19 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:03 pm
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Location: Guildford, UK
sandiapaul wrote:
Here is the report on the Gettysburg boiler explosion:
https://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-stud ... IR9605.pdf


Thank you for that.


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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:07 pm
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Location: The beautiful piney woods of East Texas
I'm just leaving this here for viewing. Incredible.



https://youtu.be/ICr3PQbGTYE


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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:57 am 

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Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Um, yeah. Incredible. So is this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9LTOnQaYfc

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:05 am 

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That's why the guy from ten90 Systems calls Blumenthal 'Near Miss Dick'.

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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:56 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
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Location: Back in NE Ohio
I cross-posted the clip of the Senator almost getting hit by the Amtrak train to the comments about the story on his call for more regulation of historic aircraft.


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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:55 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
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Location: B'more Maryland
It's not just vintage aircraft that can have losses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2lH7YBqZo0

(that's a video of an F-117 crashing at an airshow)

But again, here's the question that I think is most important and that people are ignoring, mostly because it's uncomfortable.

Is it worth operating these irreplaceable artifacts in a potentially destructive way just for our amusement?

"Sorry kids, we don't have any more B17s to show you because we crashed them while showing off for our friends"

I know it's not quite the same, that there ARE a number in static preservation, but now there's one less one that can still be around in 100 years from now. And why? So that a handful of people can "experience what it was like"?

It's the reason why I'm becoming a big believer in creating replicas for consumption purposes.


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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
To that end:

Has any serious effort or proposal been made to replicate, semi-faithfully (old designs, new technology/material/techniques/machinery, etc.), any of the old "war birds" for specifically this reason--have something that can give the public the experiences and spectacles while retiring gracefully the originals to museums before the wings snap off from fatigue?

Or does this make replicating a PRR T1 or NYC Hudson look cheap by comparison?

I'm aware that a few "fighters" are out there that are/were adapted planes that were pieced together for such films as Tora! Tora! Tora! and air shows, but I'm not aware of any bombers, etc. It seems to me that this should be the long-term mission of the likes of the Commemorative Air Force. Or maybe it already is and I just didn't get the memo.......


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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:47 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
With all due respect, the operational B-17s (and many other vintage airplanes) are operated for educational purposes, not self entertainment. Offering rides is a way of sustaining the operations. Flying B-17s allow people who might not otherwise have an opportunity to visit a museum with a B-17 to see one and they function as a goodwill ambassador of military aviation to a public with a growing detachment from military or national service.

Here's the scoop on civil aviation in the United States as it is now. There is a pilot shortage and it's only expected to get worse due to a global shortage of pilots. Similarly, we have a shortage of certified aviation mechanics, which is only forecast to get worse. We need more young people to start in the industry. Few commercial pilots or mechanics joining the airlines have military experience-most now go through aviation academies that are running full bore to grind out as many pilots and mechanics as they can.

Building a replica of a B-17 probably is not within the realm of possibility. If building replicas was feasible, it would have already been done. The cost of tooling, jigs, material and labor would make the budget for building a new T1 or Hudson look like lunch money. None of the original jigs or tooling survives to my knowledge. All of that would have to be replicated. The cost of material would be minor compared to the labor cost. You would need several certified mechanics, each costing anywhere from $50 to $75 an hour (estimated). Then there's the cost of testing parts and certification.

As for metal fatigue, it is far cheaper to fly an original B-17 and replace the wing or wing spars than building a new replica. Wing repair or replacement is a fairly common process. Same with changing out individual airframe parts. The A-10 is flying proof of that. USAF determined that the wing box was experiencing fatigue that would limit the operational life of the A10s. The answer was simply to build new wing boxes and replace worn airframe part with new material.

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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
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Location: B'more Maryland
Alan Walker wrote:
With all due respect, the operational B-17s (and many other vintage airplanes) are operated for educational purposes, not self entertainment. Offering rides is a way of sustaining the operations. Flying B-17s allow people who might not otherwise have an opportunity to visit a museum with a B-17 to see one and they function as a goodwill ambassador of military aviation to a public with a growing detachment from military or national service.


I'm not so sure that educational aspect passes muster though.

We don't empty out art galleries to bring the pieces to schools. We don't empty out museums to bring the artifacts to local libraries. Should we continue to risk lives and irreplaceable objects to, essentially, do the same thing?

I also think that there are far more sustainable ways of combating the detachment from service. For example, I think it'd be a WHOLE lot easier and probably more relevant to people to bring a Stryker or kitted out humvee to an event to show them what modern service is like.


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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:36 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:20 pm
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Blumenthal is such a Dick!


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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:54 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
I'm not so sure that educational aspect passes muster though.

We don't empty out art galleries to bring the pieces to schools. We don't empty out museums to bring the artifacts to local libraries. Should we continue to risk lives and posting.php?mode=quote&f=1&p=296122#irreplaceable objects to, essentially, do the same thing?



Actually, we have done that in the past and many museums do take exhibits and artifacts to the people. Many museums have traveling exhibits that present priceless artifacts to the public. As for aviation history, it appears to me that you are unfamiliar with the Collings Foundation and their mission.

From their website, "The Collings Foundation is a non-profit, Educational Foundation (501(c)3), founded in 1979. The purpose of the Foundation is to organize and support “living history” events and the preservation, exhibition and interaction of historical artifacts that enable Americans to learn more about their heritage through direct participation. The original focus of the Foundation was transportation-related events such as antique car rallies, hill climbs, carriage and sleigh rides, and a winter ice-cutting festival in the Stow, MA area. During the mid-eighties, these activities were broadened to include aviation-related events such as air shows, barnstorming, historical reunions, and joint museum displays on a nationwide level." There is nothing more educational than seeing an artifact in the environment in which it was intended to operate.

So, should we continue running all steam locomotives since we know that operating one produces wear and tear on the historical fabric of the artifact? I would argue against that as much as I will argue against ill informed, knee jerk reactions to any vintage aircraft restriction. True, there are certain artifacts that should not be operated due to their historical significance. Those are the exception to the rule.

There are plenty of well maintained, older aircraft that I would fly on any day. It might surprise you to know that the majority of small civil aircraft in the United States are twenty to thirty years old or older. For airlines, here's the average fleet age of a few US carriers:

Allegiant Airlines: 22.0 years

American Airlines: 11.7 years

Delta Airlines: 17.0 years

United Airlines: 13.6 years

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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:26 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm
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I would guess that it would cost far more to get a new build B-17 certified than it would be to actually build one.


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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:10 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
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Location: Ipswich, UK
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
To that end:

Has any serious effort or proposal been made to replicate, semi-faithfully (old designs, new technology/material/techniques/machinery, etc.), any of the old "war birds" for specifically this reason--have something that can give the public the experiences and spectacles while retiring gracefully the originals to museums before the wings snap off from fatigue?

.


There have been a few "new build" fighters, eg Flug Werk FW190's and the ME262 jets that were constructed in the USA a few years back. I certainly never thought I'd be able to watch an ME262 flying again, something I managed to see at the 2006 Berlin airshow.
In addition, a number of the historic aircraft "restorations" nowadays are mainly newly constructed airframes which incorporate some original parts.

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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:27 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
When Flug Werks was building the FW190 kits, they were selling for $775,000 per unit. That's just the material cost for a small airplane minus cost of assembly. Apparently it was not a profitable project as Flug Werks attempted to sell the rights and tooling. Multiply that by four and you probably have a decent rough estimate of the minimum that it would take to build one B-17 replica.

When considering whether to develop or build a replica airplane kit, the manufacturer has to consider that they most likely will have a very limited customer base. That is greatly limited if the aircraft being replicated is a high performance plane, such as a P-51 or FW190. You can assume that there will be accidents. Also, owners have to consider the marketability of completed aircraft if the manufacturer closes-very common. Also, certain replicas are just as dangerous or more so than the originals.

Here in the US, Papa 51 Ltd. manufactured a 3/4 scale P-51D kit with a modern Falconer racing engine. That was Falconer's only venture into aviation engines, as their engine quickly developed a reputation as dangerously unreliable (which it is). Out of all of the aircraft completed (37), approximately half have been written off in operational accidents (several of those being fatal). My father's plane was one of the non-fatal accidents. That occurred several years ago and was ultimately determined to be the result of a electrical failure. The airplane was a write off (over half a million dollars) but Dad walked away with only minor injuries. Of course, the owners of such aircraft do not assume that they will recoup any of their investment-the liability of reselling the airplanes is very high. Had the plane not crashed, we most likely would have donated the aircraft to a museum but only after having the airframe rendered permanently unairworthy.

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 Post subject: Re: (OT, sort of) B-17 crash in Conecticut
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:15 pm
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Location: Tualatin, Oregon
11 years ago I took a ride on the Nine-O-Nine. It was one of the most awesome experiences in my life. But it isn't just the people paying for the rides who are experiencing these aircraft. It's everyone who sees them in the air and hears them in flight. When I lived in San Jose my house was on the flight path when they were giving rides out of Moffett Field. Every time I heard those big radials I would go out and watch it fly over. I wasn't alone. My neighbors also got a kick out of seeing the Nine-O-Nine and B-24 "Witchcraft" fly over.

Seeing and experiencing planes in the air is as important as seeing a steam locomotive moving under it's own steam. A plane sitting in a museum is worthy of a few minutes of viewing. That same plane in the air can keep thousands of people mesmerized for as long as it's visible. Only by seeing a plane in the air can you really appreciate how cool it really is and why it's worthy of preservation.

The people and organizations operating these planes are not like the barnstormers of old. They spend a lot of time and money on inspections and maintenance. Sure there has been some accidents. But these planes have also flown thousands of hours safely. No-one, especially the pilots, want to fly an unsafe aircraft. If there is any question they are quickly grounded until the issue if fixed. In most cases these planes are maintained to a higher standard than when they were flown in the war.

I hope the government will not do a knee-jerk reaction and make unreasonable rules making it impossible for these flights to continue. That would be the real tragedy.

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