Monday, December 27, 2010

Da' Blues

Thought I'd share a few shots I took at a recent Blue Angels performance. This was actually a practice show. If you look closely, you'll see two dual-seat #7s in the formation. I've seen them fly with a two seater before during practice, but this is the first time I've seen two of them at once.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Alaska C-17 Lost, Updated

The Air Force has released its report on the loss of C-17A 00-0173, back on June 28. They determined that pilot error was the prime cause, with contributing factors of a lack of oversight and leadership.

They have also released a video shot of the aircraft while it was doing its practice routine for the airshow. It cuts off just before the moment of impact. One has a morbid thought ... when did they realize they were going to go in?

This video looks pretty much like the official C-17 demos I have seen at airshows. Unless the pilot did something I'm not seeing, this is pretty much an indictment of the official USAF demo of that aircraft.
Document, Photo, and video via US Air Force

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Iranian Super Fighter Spotted

A clandestine, long range spy photo of the new Iranian Super Fighter, the T-URd, seen practicing an intercept of a USAF F-22 Raptor.

You can see how the Iranian President is correct when he states that arms produced by his country are superior to anything the Great Satan can come up with. This jet powered, afterburning monster can run circles around the inferior F-22.
Update - OK, from the underwhelming response, I guess the photo is not clear in what it shows. Here's something that might explain it a bit more .... (is that jet exhaust, or results of a bad burrito?)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The USS Ft. Worth

The USS Ft. Worth, LCS-3, will be christened this weekend by Rep. Kay Grainger (R-TX). Ms. Grainger's district includes Ft. Worth, a city she used to be mayor of. This is the first Navy ship to bear the name of the city, which is the 17th largest in the US. Ft. Worth has a long history of supporting the military (Bell Helicopter is located in the county, AF Plant 4 (Consolidated/General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin is a major defense production facility on the west side of the city, co-located with Carswell AFB/NAS Ft. Worth.)

The Ft. Worth is the third ship of the Littoral Combat Ship class. These ships are designed for close in fighting in coastal waters, closer to land than traditional Navy ships. The ships are modular, being able to switch mission specific equipment in and out depending upon its tasking.

The vessel is being constructed at Marionette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin. It was designed by Lockheed-Martin. In an odd twist, one of her first commanding officers will be a man who was born at Carswell AFB in Ft. Worth, and grew up near the city. The ship will be homeported in San Diego after is is completed in early 2012.

The LCS series of ships actually contains two very different platforms. LCS-1 and LCS-3 look like conventional ships, while LCS-2 is a tri-maran platform.

Photos credit US Navy
Here is some video of the sea trials for LCS-2, the USS Independence. She is the Ft. Worth's predecessor. Wild looking ship!

Update - Lockheed-Martin announced it has received a $3.6 billion contract form the US Navy to build 10 more LCS class ships over the next 5 years. The will be built inthe same Wisconsin shipyard the USS Ft. Worth is currently being finished at. I did not see a breakdown on how many would be LCS-2 type vs. how many LCS-3 type.