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Open Roads Forum  >  Around the Campfire

 > Saw This Flying Around Palmdale, Ca Yesterday

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msmith1199

Central, CA

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Posted: 02/18/12 10:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ol Bombero-JC wrote:

msmith1199 wrote:

Yes that shot was at Edwards at the last air show they had there. I think it was Oct 2010? Or was it 2009? I don't remember but it was the one where Chuck Yeager went up in the F-16 and broke the sound barrier for probably his last time ever.


Yeager did his various "last sound barrier" flights in 1997 and 2002 flying F-15s (his favorite). Don't know if he had "backseaters" for those flights or not,but he definitely did for the 60th anniversary (2007) of his 1947 breaking of the sound barrier - which was in an F-16 with his buddy Maj.Gen.Joe Engle.

The occasion was the AF ball at Edwards.
After the sound barrier pass by the 2 F-16s and 2 T-38s, the four plane flight landed in front of hundreds of guests in formal attire (dress blues, tuxes, & gowns) - - the pilots then clipped bow ties on their flight suits and went to the celebration.

Very cool.

clicky

Living legend. Think he will be 89 this year.

~


The one I saw was in Oct 2009. Yeager was in the backseat of an F-16 and they said it would likely be his last time. Of course they left it open to happen again.


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msmith1199

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Posted: 02/18/12 10:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Mad Norsky wrote:

The real shame of the whole deal, in my opinion, is they never let Yeager into space as an astronaut.

The Right Stuff???? Man, I cannot think of anyone who had more of the "Right Stuff" than Yeager. Well, maybe Ted Williams, RIP. Many remember Williams as the Boston Red Sox slugger, but he was also John Glenns wingman over Korea.


My understanding is he was one of the first ones asked and he turned it down.

msmith1199

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Posted: 02/19/12 06:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Mad Norsky wrote:

msmith1199 wrote:

The Mad Norsky wrote:

The real shame of the whole deal, in my opinion, is they never let Yeager into space as an astronaut.

The Right Stuff???? Man, I cannot think of anyone who had more of the "Right Stuff" than Yeager. Well, maybe Ted Williams, RIP. Many remember Williams as the Boston Red Sox slugger, but he was also John Glenns wingman over Korea.


My understanding is he was one of the first ones asked and he turned it down.



Well then I've been educated. Honestly, I was going by what they showed in the movie the "Right Stuff" and I really should have realized that was a mistake.

Thanks


Maybe somebody who knows for sure can say, because I'm just going by what I've been told. In the Right Stuff movie I don't think they really showed him being asked, but when they came looking for Astronauts he made it clear it wasn't for him. But who knows how accurate the movie is. I've been meaning to read Chuck's book. I'm sure he talks about it in there.

The Mad Norsky

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Posted: 02/19/12 12:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

msmith1199 wrote:

The Mad Norsky wrote:

The real shame of the whole deal, in my opinion, is they never let Yeager into space as an astronaut.

The Right Stuff???? Man, I cannot think of anyone who had more of the "Right Stuff" than Yeager. Well, maybe Ted Williams, RIP. Many remember Williams as the Boston Red Sox slugger, but he was also John Glenns wingman over Korea.


My understanding is he was one of the first ones asked and he turned it down.



Well then I've been educated. Honestly, I was going by what they showed in the movie the "Right Stuff" and I really should have realized that was a mistake.

Thanks

AstroRig57

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Posted: 02/21/12 02:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have read Yeager, I have it sitting in my lap right now.

Yeager was not eligible for selection as an astronaut because he did not have a college degree. Ironically, many of the AF schools and "colleges" from which Yeager graduated now hand out Masters and Phd degrees.

It's doubtful that Yeager ever would have opted for the NASA Astronaut corps had he even been offered the chance. Yeager was (is) a fighter pilot at heart and, as the "spam in a can" quote alludes, he did not feel the astronauts, at least in the initial years of the Mercury program, were really pilots. The context of that quote can be found below.

However, Yeager was the first commandant of the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School which trained astronauts for both the USAF and NASA. Yeager wanted to go into space, but he wanted to FLY there, and not be launched on a ballistic missile.

Some of the graduates of Yeager's school went on to be NASA astronauts, others stayed with the Air Force hoping to be astronauts in the Air Force's own space program.

Yeager, with his fame and recognition, was used to pitch the Air Force's space program to the politicians in Washington. In regards to the Air Force's space program Yeager said, (paraphrased)

"No blue suiter wanted to surrender space to NASA, and the Air Force backed me to the hilt. In seven or eight years, we hoped to have manned labs in orbit, experimenting with lasers and particle beam weapons, and be ready to fly the X-20, the Dyna-Soar, a lifting body airplane that was the forerunner of the space shuttle. Our graduates would be in the cockpits.

As a veteran test pilot, I couldn't wait to fly weightless. To me, the promise of the Space Age was even more exciting then the transition from propellers to jets....

....NASA's Mercury astronauts had been chosen before our school geared up. But, over the next six years, the space agency recruited thirty eight of our graduates to their corps of astronauts. Because we had the most advanced test pilot school going, NASA relied heavily on our recommendations. But, some of our guys turned them down flat. They came back from their interviews in Houston and told me, "Colonel, we're overqualified for their program. All we get to do is take a ride like one of those damned chimps they sent up. We don't want to get involved because everything is controlled from the ground and there is nothing to fly."....

....But as time went on, NASA made their program more and more attractive to recruits. They were in a tough spot, needing outstanding pilots who were little more than spam in a can....

....So, they sold their program like one of those fly-by-night land developers selling tracts in the desert. For signing up, a guy got a free expensive house, donated by a local Realtor in Houston, and a cut of a lucrative contract with Time-Life. The glamor, splash, and money made it attractive to some pilots. The guys came back from their interviews and told me, "All the talk in Houston is about how much money we are going to make."

My attitude was they shouldn't get a dime for being selected to the space program, especially when the risks involved weren't half as great as some of the research flying done at Edwards over the years. It rubbed me wrong and I said so...."


Ultimately, and as we all know, they basically took the space program from the Air Force and gave it all to NASA. Yeager alludes to the fact that we had continued with space plane research beyond the X-15, and continued with that line of research at the time, we would have been far more technologically advanced in regard to the space plane and shuttle like designs than what we have today.

BTW, Yeager made five flights in the NASA M2-F1 "lifting body", or "flying bathtub" that was the early predecessor to the space shuttle design.

* This post was edited 02/21/12 02:45am by AstroRig57 *


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AKsilvereagle

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Posted: 02/19/12 04:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I briefly met Lt. Col. Haas Jones (NFL QB Bert Jones' brother) during an air show at Buckley Air Nat'l Guard base...got to stand within one inch of the F-16 Thunderbird Jets inside the hangar.

The best jet takeoff I seen (out of Eielson AFB) was four F-15's going vertical - fast.

First one disappeared in 9 seconds, second one disappeared in 7, third one in 6, and the last one vanished in 5 seconds...guess they are capable of flying faster vertical than horizontal.

The only time I visited Travis AFB was in 1981, thought it was neat seeing a C-5 taking off every minute.

Since the A-10 was mentioned, seen them a lot flying over my house during sorties and exercising flying manuvers.... I also had the opportunity to witness a livefire event seeing a Maverick Missile being fired from an A-10 a long time ago, which hit it's target - a tank 8 miles away.....heard the sound 12 seconds or so later.

The A-10 is one of the best air to ground support aircraft for it's versitile capabilities of flying or perhaps gliding at slower speeds and presenting a harder target to hit because of it's design....these planes are still capable of flying around that sustain some form of damage.

I was told the edges of the SR-71 aircraft's body where it flares out are razor sharp.

I am not sure if I seen a B-2 or a F-117 but it was only for a half second as it was approaching towards the Eielson Runway ...the aircraft had reached the treeline out of my view, but whatever it was sounded wicked.


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msmith1199

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Posted: 02/22/12 08:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So the Right Stuff was accurate!

And the flying telescope is a fairly new addition to NASA. NASA did have a modified C-141 that flew this mission for many many years. I knew several guys that were in my Air Force Reserve C-141 squadron that flew the NASA C-141. It was based out of Moffett Field which isn't far from Travis. They would fly it over to Travis and contract with the Air Force for maintanance on it. When the Air Force retired out all the C-141's NASA retired their's also and got this 747. I think it is also based out of Moffett.

The Mad Norsky

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Posted: 02/22/12 05:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think it would be NASA's flying observatory. Open door on the side is where the telescope is located.

I recall reading how they followed a total eclipse a few years back as it tracked across the US. This plane was surely in high demand for that event.

The Mad Norsky

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Posted: 02/21/12 03:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AstroRig57:

thank you. IIRC, that is what was said in the movie "The Right Stuff" also, and the reason I posted previously on this.

Now I'm re-educated. Heads starting to spin, I wouldn't have made a good test pilot.

Interesting to wonder the old "what if" about some of Yeager's statements. Not that I agree with all, the militarization of space, other than maybe building an asteroid deflection armamant of some kind, is something I do not like. But to progress in technology past the old X-15 and work in that kind of area is really something lacking in US efforts until recent flights by the Air Force. A lot of wasted years.


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AstroRig57

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Posted: 02/22/12 04:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Speaking of flying around Palmdale, who has seen this flying around...and who knows what it is?

I've been in it twice...and our whole astronomy club got a tour of it. Lately, it seems almost every time we do a public outreach astronomy event in the Antelope Valley, it flies over...almost on cue.




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