MAKS 2013

It was interesting to see Russian technology and maybe more important, philosophy when it comes to airplanes. Ont thing is clear, there is no shortage of innovation in Russia, and even if things looks inferior at first glance, there is more than meets the eye. A lot more.

Some, not so good, pictures from MAKS:

T-50 with some contrails.

SU-34 gave a good show:

Rafale opted for Speed in the lousy weather on sunday (low ceiling):

Big nose SU-35 at static display:

...and that were almost the only pictures that turned out good from my visit to MAKS (lended a camera and missed some important settings...) well.  Next time...


Miles M-52, amazing innovation from a small company

I bought this book, it's a quite interesting piece about one odd but quite interesting aircraft project that could have been ten years ahead of its time, if it had been pushed trough developement. There are some sour grapes from the writers about the fact that they were not funded to continue development, right or not. It would have been a remarkable aircraft and I guess that the technichal problems would have been overcomed and that it could have revolusionzed airplane design for centuries, but it never happened.

Nice book anyway. Worth the money.


Canard or Tail?

This is a flaming subject among many Aerospace engineers and, though I can’t say I’ve got a definite answer to the question witch is best, some people have a clear view. This link is an article written by one who has seen the benefits of the Canard-Delta configuration. I tend to believe that both configurations can be made to work just fine, so it’s more a matter of taste and witch part of the envelope that your requirements focus on.


Viggen for USMC?

I have thought about this for a while, and with a few exceptions, I think that the Viggen would have been the perfect airplane for the US Marines.
Swedish Air force realized that if a war breaks out, the airfield is the first and highest priority target. If the enemy is superior, like for instance the USSR, the chances of defending the airfields are small. Therefore the SWAF came to the conclusion that they needed an airplane that could do without the big, vulnerable airfields.

During the conceptual phase there were thoughts about doing a VTOL airplane, but it was soon realized that the compromises were too severe to make the airplane useful. A STOL airplane on the other hand had almost no compromises at all, especially if the design were a close coupled canard.
I won't go in to detail about the design here, but long story short the Viggen is an airplane that can take off and land at less that 800 m of a standard road, it can be refueled and re armed by conscripts on a road base in less than 10 min. The service team is packed in to a few Trucks that can move around between different locations to avoid attacks from the enemies.

So what about the marines?
Viggen USMC drawing,  I think it is made by the signature "Zactoman".

Well the marines want to have a close support airplane, which can operate from small, unprepared airfields, with a minimum logistic footprint.
Viggen ticks those boxes, however, the "unprepared" is a matter of interpretation.
What the Viggen can't do in its current configuration is to fly off a ship; it would need some modifications both to the airplane and to the ship.

The marines choose the Harrier as their CAS airplane, and it has been successful in its role. Still, if things would have been different and the Marines had chosen the Viggen back in the sixties I think they would have been pleased with the choice.


F-35 doing the Cobra manouver

OK, so I'm pulling your leg a little, it's actually the most beautiful F-35, the J35 Draken that's doing the cobra. Still, enjoy the movie.

For some reason youtube have removed the embed function, so you have to click at the link to see it.



British Humour

*Updated with new link*
You must love the British humour. OK, you don’t HAVE to, but I do.


Blog recommendation

If you can read Swedish, I can recommend this blog.
It’s an ex military pilot from the SWAF that writes about the Swedish defence in general. And some more stuff related to his interests.

In this post he gives us his thinking about the Indian MMRCA competition, where the down select is between the Eurofighter and the Rafale.
His thoughts are that he would be very surprised if the Eurofighter was selected, due to it’s low maturity in the A2G arena. And the long list of technical and reliability problems.

And, the cost for each flight hour, that is about 30 000 Euros! Gripen, in his words, are about 30 000 Sek, witch equals to about 3200 Euros.

Gripen is a bargain, I must say.

(3200 Euros is around $4150)