A really interesting design - I can't wait for them to finish it (if ever - it's only reached this stage after 10 years); hope it works!
Your Blogmeister (me, standing) taking cover from the Egyptian sun with family under a Beaufighter TFX in RAF Ismailia, c.1952
The U.S. Navy is set to test its next generation transport hovercraft. Designed to ferry Marine Corps vehicles, supplies, and other equipment to shore in a hurry, the Ship to Shore Connector (SSC) will replace older Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) hovercraft. SSCs can travel at speeds of 35 knots while carrying M1A1 Abrams tanks.
In the early 1950s, after the invention of the atom bomb, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps planners came to a grim conclusion: the amphibious warfare tactics that were so successful during World War II had now been upended. A single nuclear weapon could easily wipe out an entire invasion fleet. Fleets would have to operate dispersed over a greater geographical area with vehicles that shuttle troops and equipment from ship to shore moving faster to make up the difference.
One outgrowth of this requirement was the Marine Corps’ adoption of the helicopter. A second was the adoption of the LCAC. A hovercraft powered by four gas turbine engines, the LCAC could depart an amphibious ship anchored ten miles off an enemy coastline and deliver cargo to shore in fifteen minutes. The LCAC was nearly four times faster than the Landing Craft, Utility that preceded it.
The new Ship to Shore Connector, or SSC, replaces the older LCACs that entered Navy service in the 1980s. The two vehicles are outwardly very similar: a flat-bottomed craft with 1,600 square feet of cargo space, flanked by two sets of gas turbine engines and driven by a pilothouse. A ramp in the front allows vehicles and forklifts to drive directly into the cargo space, then directly off again. The hovercraft can move off the ship, into the water, and then up and over the beach if necessary. According to Textron, the SSC can land on more than 80 percent of the world’s shorelines.
Despite the similarities, the SSC includes several improvements. The new hovercraft can carry up to 74 tons, an improvement over the 60 tons the LCAC could carry. That’s enough to carry the M1A1 Abrams tank, the heaviest vehicle in the Marine Corps inventory. The newer hovercraft can also be fitted with an enclosed personnel transport module to carry up to 180 people or 54 casualty litters.
The SSC is fitted with four new Rolls Royce MT7 gas turbine engines that deliver a total of 24,640 shaft horsepower (18.4 megawatts), driving the vehicle to speeds up to 35 knots in Sea State 3. The MT7 shares a common engine core with the Rolls Royce AE 1107C-Liberty aircraft engine that powers the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor. The rubber air skirt is designed to reduce drag and overall craft weight. Finally, the entire craft is made of aluminum to resist corrosion in salt water environments.
The U.S. Navy plans to eventually purchase 72 SSCs, plus one SSC for testing purposes. According to U.S. Naval Institute News, deliveries were set to begin in 2019 and the first vehicles were supposed to achieve initial operational capability in 2020.
Source: Naval Today
Multiple people were killed and several were injured on 2nd October when a B-17 “Flying Fortress” crashed just outside Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., at 9:45 a.m. in the morning. According to officials, the World War II-era plane, dubbed Nine-O-Nine crashed during an emergency landing.
In a press briefing, state public safety Commissioner James Rovella confirmed that there were 10 passengers and three crew aboard the flight. One person on the ground was injured when the bomber struck a hangar that contained de-icing equipment. The cause of the crash is currently unknown. Audio transmissions between the pilot and air traffic control prior to the crash suggest that there may have been an issue with the number four engine
Nine-O-Nine, the B-17 bomber involved in the tragic crash, was built too late to serve in World War II, but was later rebuilt to resemble the original Nine O Nine, a veteran of the bomber campaign over Europe. The aircraft had a long post-war career, including a stint as a target in nuclear tests, before a lengthy rebuilding process restored her to flying condition. The bomber did have a close call in 1987, when a landing mishap severely damaged the aircraft.
The original Nine-O-Nine was a Boeing B-17G “Flying Fortress” bomber. Nearly 13,000 B-17s were built over the course of World War II, serving in both the Pacific and European theatres. Each four-engine bomber had a crew of ten, a top speed of 287 miles an hour, and could carry a payload of 4,500 bombs on a long distance bombing mission.
The B-17G was assigned to the 323rd Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group. Nine-O-Nine was part of the legendary Eighth Air Force, or “Mighty Eighth,” a bomber force that struck strategic targets across Germany and occupied Europe. The aircraft’s name came from its serial number, the last three digits of which were 909. The airplane’s nose art depicted a Revolutionary War soldier holding a telescope and riding a bomb.
The Nine-O-Nine was assigned to the Eighth Air Force on February 25, 1944. By April 1945 she had flown 140 missions without a mission abort, which according to Airplanes of the Past “is believed to be the Eighth Air Force record for most missions.” Nine-O-Nine also never lost a crewman as a casualty. The bomber made eighteen trips to Berlin, flew 1,129 hours, and dropped 2,810 tons of bombs.
But the bomber was dismantled after the war, and the second Nine-O-Nine was built at Long Beach, California, by the Douglas Aircraft Company and accepted for U.S. Army Air Force service in April 1945. The plane, serial number #44-83575, never saw combat but was converted to a SB-17G search and rescue aircraft in 1951 and served in Puerto Rico. The aircraft later served as part of the Military Air Transport Service, the precursor to the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command.
In 1952, retired from U.S. military service, the aircraft was renamed “Miss Yucca” and parked on a nuclear test range in Nevada. There she was subjected to three different nuclear explosions to test the effects of nuclear weapons on aircraft. After a 13-year “cooling down period” to allow radiation to subside, the bomber was sold as scrap to the Aircraft Specialties Company, which began a lengthy restoration. The bomber then served twenty years as a forest fire water bomber, dropping water and borate on forest fires.
In 1986 the bomber was sold to the Collings Foundation, which restored the plane to wartime condition as Nine-O-Nine. In 1987 the bomber was involved in a serious crash, which the Foundation described as follows:
In August 1987, while performing at an airshow in western Pennsylvania, “Nine-O-Nine” was caught by a severe crosswind moments after touchdown. The right wing lifted in the air, finally coming down too far down the runway. Despite the efforts of her crew, she rolled off the end of the runway, crashed through a chain link fence, sheared off a power pole and roared down a 100-foot ravine to a thundering stop. The landing gear sheared off, the chin turret was smashed and pushed into the nose; the Plexiglas nose was shattered; bomb bay doors, fuselage, fuselage, ball turret, wing and nacelles all took a tremendous beating. Engines and propellers were also torn form their mounts. Fortunately, there were no fatalities to the crew or riders although there were injuries.
Following the crash Nine-O-Nine was restored for a third time, stopping at over 1,200 locations before the October 2, 2019 accident, where tragically seven people lost their lives. A full investigation is still ongoing to determine what caused the crash.
From Air International Magazine, May 1986 - a reminder that jargon is great for those in the know but confuses everyone else.
An informal grouping beside a BOAC York on the tarmac of the recently renamed RAF Heston in 1946. Just behind the York can be seen what looks like the tailplane of a Dassault Flaman. However, the Flaman didn't come on stream until a few years later. What other aeroplane has a similar tailplane?