Mittwoch, 14. Januar 2015

Boeing X-32 JSF - Italeri 1:72

The Boeing X-32 was a concept demonstrator aircraft in the Joint Strike Fighter contest. It lost to the Lockheed Martin X-35 demonstrator which was further developed into the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

 In 1993, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched the Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter project (CALF). The project's purpose was to develop a stealth-enabled design to replace all of United States Department of Defense lighter weight fighter and attack aircraft, including the F-16 Fighting Falcon, McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, and vertical/short takeoff / vertical landing (V/STOL) AV-8B Harrier II. Around the same time the Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) project was started. In 1994, the U.S. Congress ordered the two to be merged into the Joint Strike Fighter Program.
Many companies took part in the first phase of this project, which involved drafting concept aircraft designs for submission to the Department of Defense. On 16 November 1996, Boeing and Lockheed Martin were awarded contracts for them to produce two of their concept demonstrator aircraft (CDA) each. Under the contract, these fighters were required to demonstrate conventional take-off and landing (CTOL), carrier take-off and landing (CV version), and short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL). They were also expected to include ground demonstrations of a production representative aircraft's systems, such as the Preferred Weapon System Concept (PWSC).
One major departure from previous projects was the prohibition of the companies from using their own money to finance development. Each was awarded $750 million to produce their two aircraft – including avionics, software and hardware. This limitation promoted the adoption of low cost manufacturing and assembly techniques, and also prevented either Boeing or Lockheed Martin from bankrupting themselves in an effort to win such an important contest.

Designing the X-32

Boeing's strategy for a competitive advantage was to offer substantially lower manufacturing and life-cycle costs by minimizing variations between the different JSF versions. The X-32 therefore was designed around a large one piece carbon fiber composite delta wing. The wing was trapezoidal, spanning 9.15 meters, with a 55-degree leading edge sweep and could hold up to 20,000 pounds of fuel. The purpose of the high sweep angle was to allow for a thick wing section to be used while still providing limited transonic drag, and to provide a good angle for wing-installed antenna equipment. The wing would prove a challenge to fabricate.
The compete-on-cost strategy also led Boeing to pick a direct-lift thrust vectoring system, for the Marines' short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) requirement, as this would only necessitate the addition of a thrust vectoring module around the main engine. However, this choice required the engine to be mounted directly behind the cockpit, and moved the center of gravity forward from its usual position in jet fighters (at the rear of the airplane) to enable a neutral-attitude hover. Boeing had proposed, in the 1960s, a similar supersonic fighter with a mid-center-of-gravity mounted engine with vectored thrust nozzles, but this never proceeded beyond pictures published in Aviation Week. By comparison, the Lockheed entry looked like, if anything, a smaller version of the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter. The Boeing in-house nickname of the X-32 was the "Monica". Yet another effect of the selection of the direct-lift system was the large chin-mounted air intake, akin to the Vought F-8 Crusader and LTV A-7 Corsair II. This was required to feed sufficient air to the main engine (to provide the thrust necessary to hover) during the zero horizontal velocity phase, when it could not exploit ram-air pressure. A knock on effect of this large intake, was the potential direct visibility of the compressor blades to radar. Mitigation possibilities included variable baffles designed to block incoming radar without adversely affecting airflow.

Design changes

The two X-32 prototypes featured a delta wing design. However, eight months into construction of the prototypes, the JSF's maneuverability and payload requirements were refined at the request of the Navy and Boeing's delta wing design fell short of the new targets. Engineers altered the aircraft's design with a conventional tail (narrowly beating out a Pelikan tail) that reduced weight and improved agility, but it was too late to change the prototypes. It was judged that they would be sufficient to demonstrate Boeing's technology.

Flight testing

Due to the heavy delta wing design of the prototypes, Boeing demonstrated STOVL and supersonic flight in separate configurations, with the STOVL configuration requiring that some parts be removed from the fighter. The company promised that their conventional tail design for production models would not require separate configurations. By contrast, the Lockheed Martin X-35 prototypes were capable of transitioning between their STOVL and supersonic configurations in mid-flight.
The first flight of the X-32A (designed for CTOL and carrier trials) took place on 18 September 2000, from Boeing's Palmdale plant to Edwards Air Force Base. The X-32B demonstrated STOVL flight, first flying in March 2001. The X-32 achieved STOVL flight in much the same way as the AV-8B Harrier II with thrust vectoring of the jet and fan exhaust. The Lockheed Martin team used a riskier alternative, a shaft-driven lift fan powered by the main engine which was designed to generate more thrust than possible with only direct exhaust gases. A successful design would have greater payload, and thus longer range than a simple thrust vectored turbofan.
Flight testing of both companies' aircraft continued until July 2001.

JSF competition

 On 26 October 2001, the Department of Defense announced that the Lockheed Martin X-35 won the JSF competition. The X-35 would be developed into the production F-35 Lightning II.
The loss of the JSF contract to Lockheed Martin in 2001 was a major blow to Boeing, as it represented the most important international fighter aircraft project since the Lightweight Fighter competition of the 1960s and 1970s, which had led to the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18 Hornet. At the time, the production run of the JSF was estimated at anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000. Prior to the awarding of the contract, many lawmakers pushed the idea of retaining the losing competitor as a sub-contractor, however the "winner takes all" principle was not changed. Nonetheless, Boeing views its work on the X-32 as a strategic investment, yielding important technologies which it has been able to adopt in the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and other studies.
eing X-32A was transferred to the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Its condition had deteriorated due to sitting outside for several years following the end of the JSF competition. The X-32B was transferred to the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum in St. Mary's County, Maryland in 2005. It was undergoing restoration at the museum's restoration facility in June 2009, and is now on display.
 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Donnerstag, 8. Januar 2015

Eurocopter EC-135 - Revell 1/72

The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) EC135 is a twin-engine civil helicopter produced by Eurocopter, widely used amongst police and ambulance services and for executive transport. It is capable of flight under instrument flight rules (IFR) and is outfitted with digital flight controls. It entered service in 1996; over a thousand aircraft have been produced to date.

 Deliveries started on 1 August 1996, when two helicopters (0005 and 0006) were handed over to Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht. The 100th EC135 was handed over to the Bavarian police force in June 1999; by which point the worldwide fleet had accumulated approximately 30,000 flight hours.
The world fleet leader in aircraft hours for this type is G-NESV (s/n 0067) operated by Cleveland Police Air Operations Unit based at Durham Tees Valley Airport, UK. This aircraft was originally delivered to the North East Air Support Unit in April 1999, and by 2009 it had clocked up almost 12,000 hours.
In 2011, Eurocopter announced that a total of 1000 EC135 helicopters had been delivered to customers worldwide, roughly 15 years following the start of production.
In 2009, the EC135 was the first aircraft selected for offshore wind support in the UK after the Civil Aviation Authority approved helicopter operations to the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm. The EC135 has also been used for this purpose in Denmark, supporting the Horns Rev offshore wind farm where over 10,000 successful personnel transfers have taken place.
In 2013, it was reported that the EC135 was currently providing roughly 25% of the world's total emergency medic services flights, and that over 500 EC135s have been delivered to in an aeromedical configuration.
In October 2014, the Australian Department of Defence announced that the EC135 would be procured as the primary training platform for both the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy. A total of 13 EC135 trainers have been procured by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, they have been designed as the TH-135.
In December 2014, the first production EC135 T3 formally entered service with Aiut Alpin Dolomites, a mountain rescue operator based in Italy.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pilatus PC-6 Porter - classic planes 1/72

The Pilatus PC-6 Porter is a single-engined Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) utility aircraft designed by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. First flown in 1959, the PC-6 continues in production at Pilatus Flugzeugwerke in Stans, Switzerland. It has been built in both piston engine and turboprop powered versions and was produced for a time by Fairchild Hiller in the United States.

 The first prototype made its maiden flight on 4 May 1959 powered by a 254 kW (340 shp) piston engine. The first Turbo Porter, powered by a turboprop, flew in 1961. The Turbo Porter received an engine upgrade in 1963, which increased its power to its present value of 410 kW (550 shp).
The Porter was also manufactured under license by Fairchild Hiller in the United States during the early 1970s for operations during the Vietnam War. It received the designation AU-23A Peacemaker for service with the U.S. Air Force and UV-20 Chiricahua for service with the U.S. Army. The Peacemaker was fitted with a side-firing 20mm XM-197 Gatling cannon, four wing pylons and a centre fuselage station for external ordnance, but proved to be troublesome in service; all aircraft were returned to the U.S. for storage after one year of operations.

The PC-6 is noted for its Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) performance on almost any type of terrain - it can take off within a distance of 640 feet (195 m) and land within a distance of 427 feet (130 m) while carrying a payload of 2,646 lbs (1,200 kg). Thanks to its STOL performance, the PC-6 holds the world record for highest landing by a fixed-wing aircraft, at 18,865 feet (5,750 m), on the Dhaulagiri glacier in Nepal.
Due to these characteristics, they are frequently used to access short grass mountaintop airstrips in the highlands of Papua Province (Indonesia) and Papua New Guinea.

 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia