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Author Topic: USAF Thunderbirds  (Read 15272 times)

Offline F-111 C/C

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USAF Thunderbirds
« on: April 18, 2011, 05:43:20 AM »
Went to an Airshow today and the Thunderbirds were the Demo team finale and about 4 manuevers into the show, #4 had to land IFE. They suspended the show while one of the opposing solos lead him in and he landed without incident and was met by all the Fire Support. The five other planes just kind of flew around in the distance for about 15 minutes until they cleared #4 off the runway and then they attempted to resume the show sans one aircraft but it was kind of lame for the rest of the show. Kind of hard doing all the "Diamond Formation" stuff with only three planes. I know as well as anybody about planes breaking but in the 30+ years watching them (T-birds, Blue Angels, Red Arrows, Snow Birds, etc.) I can't ever remember anything like that happening.
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Offline shawn a

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Re: USAF Thunderbirds
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 07:09:28 AM »
The show announcer didn't say anything about the reason?
At Salinas one year, the Snowbirds had one of their planes hit a bird, so it landed for a checkup. Then they resumed the show.

Offline F-111 C/C

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Re: USAF Thunderbirds
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 03:38:58 PM »
No she just calmly said that #4 had a problem making necessary for him to land then she went on for a while about the pilot's training to handle situations like this and how they were following the proper procedures to have him land safely. It must have been serious enough for him to shut down at the end of the runway and need to be towed off. Most IFEs they err on the side of caution but can usually taxi back into the chocks no problem.
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Offline shawn a

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Re: USAF Thunderbirds
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 07:02:44 AM »
I imagine their maintenance is top-notch, but don't they fly some of the oldest F-16s?, or did they switch to-C models?

Offline F-111 C/C

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Re: USAF Thunderbirds
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2011, 02:16:15 PM »
Yeah they're flying Block 52s now but I believe they're pretty stripped down to just NAV stuff they need to perform.
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Offline Ramon

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Re: USAF Thunderbirds
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2011, 12:17:32 AM »
During a display of the USN Blue Angels at Leeuwarden, the Netherlands in 2006. One of the F-18's punctured a tire during take-off, the aircraft calmly returned to base with arrestor hook deployed. Made a arrested landing at the beginning of the runway, pilot got out of the aircraft, got into a van and was dropped at the spare aircraft. In the meantime the "punctured" F-18 was pulled from the runway, and 10 minutes later the spare F-18 was already in take-off. After this the show continued as planned. With this action the Blues showed to me that they are a real professional display team with balls, and keeping in mind that the show has to go on. Instead of cancelling the whole display, or flying a display with less aircraft as planned.

Just my humble opinion.
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Re: USAF Thunderbirds
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2011, 03:41:12 AM »
TB, well I'd imagine, somewhere on the web somebody must have posted more info on that IFE.

Regarding the BA at EHLW, I'd rather had them fly with one less aircraft, as I remember it took ages because the runway needed to be swept first, and then the spare had to hook up with the remainder of the formation. Looking at my photos, it took 40 minutes altogether. I can't remember if something was supposed to fly after them, but if there was, it was cancelled. Nevertheless I was happy the show did go on, and the display was amazing (but next day had better weather, and no puncture).

I always have this picture to remember it, a very lucky shot of the puncture happening, excuse me if I've already posted this:
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Offline Ramon

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Re: USAF Thunderbirds
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2011, 01:34:43 PM »
TB, well I'd imagine, somewhere on the web somebody must have posted more info on that IFE.

Regarding the BA at EHLW, I'd rather had them fly with one less aircraft, as I remember it took ages because the runway needed to be swept first, and then the spare had to hook up with the remainder of the formation. Looking at my photos, it took 40 minutes altogether. I can't remember if something was supposed to fly after them, but if there was, it was cancelled. Nevertheless I was happy the show did go on, and the display was amazing (but next day had better weather, and no puncture).

I always have this picture to remember it, a very lucky shot of the puncture happening, excuse me if I've already posted this:

Hey Niels,

In my mind it was only a short time the BA F-18 was again in take-off, but you have photographic evidence, and can recall the exact time. The Blues was the final display of that day, but I was happy they took the time to get the spare into the air. It makes the show so much nicer and larger with more "bugs" in the air.

Regards, Ramon  :) 
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Re: USAF Thunderbirds
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2011, 05:03:23 PM »
@ Ramon
Yeah it was the last act for the day, looking at Saturday there was nothing that followed them and it also ended around 1630 hrs. I thought last display had always been 1630-1700 hrs, but apparently that's only in recent years. So nvm, glad they got the spare up.

@ F-111 C/C
I found some comments on the web. It was a hydraulic failure, it apparently landed without brakes (but runway was long enough to manage without hook/cable), and someone said there was a large puddle of hydraulic fluids under the jet. So that explains the emergency services and towing.

Would the wheelbrakes still be fine if it was the airbrake?
 
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 05:11:32 PM by Webmaster »
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Offline F-111 C/C

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Re: USAF Thunderbirds
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2011, 06:24:49 PM »
Thanks Niels! That does explain everything.
Your airbrake joke reminds me of Bugs Bunny using the "airbrake" and stopping the plane about 5 feet from the ground then jumping out. If only. :P
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Re: USAF Thunderbirds
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2011, 08:54:43 PM »
Hehe, don't know that one, but there's also Hot Shots ;)

It was not a joke though.  :-[ I'm not a mechanical guy. If there's an issue with the hydraulics, would that mean both type of brakes have issues? Or are they completely seperate circuits?
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Offline F-111 C/C

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Re: USAF Thunderbirds
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2011, 09:26:38 PM »
Sorry, I thought you were kidding.:embarassed:
Modern aircraft have multiple and redundant Hydraulic systems that allowed him to land safely despite having a leak. I assume the F-18 airbrake would be a separate system than the wheel brakes. Flight controls are in the Primary system and peripheral systems are in the Secondary system. Emergency procedures allow for systems to be isolated in the event of a leak or failure. These systems operate at 3000+ psi and can empty the system quickly if not isolated.
Wars are won by carrying the 'heavy iron' downtown!

 



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