I'm not following. If you're a soldier that's how you hold your weapon when its out:
The low level guys guarding planes probably didn't have the autonomy to put their weapons away while guarding. This is SOP for a lot of military activities. Your weapon is out and held at the ready. Any other position invites liability as you can't get up to aim quickly enough in a firefight.
"The lifespan of the airplane is 8000 flying hours, 2000 takeoff-landings or 25 calendar years."
A 1980s 747 could expect 100,000 hours or more. I'd be interested in learning what exactly is so different about this plane to create such a vast disparity in reliability. Was it built, like with the Tu-144, using massive single billets?
This bird is so special purpose that, from what I understand, it's primary purpose was to transport the Soviet Union's Buran spacecraft (an attempted Soviet version of U.S. Space Shuttle).
And the Buran was no "attempt". It was a working shuttle that flew to space and was in many ways superior to shuttle. It just didn't make economic sense, nor did shuttle imho.
The Tu-144 "Concordski", THAT was a true attempted copy woefully lacking in many many areas.
It was designed to be a manned spacecraft that never put a man in space, by any reasonable logic it was a failed attempt.
> It just didn't make economic sense
And exactly what part of the space race made economic sense? The Apollo program alone was something like $150b fixed for inflation.
The Buran looks like more central planning failures from an incompetent regime on its way out. Please stop making excuses for Soviet leadership. They clearly dropped the ball after a few early successes in the space race. By the 70s the Soviet program was in tatters and a joke and by the 80s the Shuttle did incredible things that the capsule based approach simple couldn't do (repairing hubble, etc). Obviously, the cost estimates of the shuttle were lower than real cost, but I can't think of any major project where that wasn't true. Now that we are motivated to do more than LEO, the Shuttle was retired for a capsule based approach that is a private and public partnership between NASA and companies like SpaceX who are showing us how cheap rockets can be.
Its unfair to compare failed test projects, which were also fairly uninspired copies, like the Buran and the N1 to workhorses like the Saturn V and the Shuttle. The Russiophilia around here is pretty high and unfairly so. The Russians deserve credit for their early successes but they were not able to keep them up and oddball projects like mounting 50 cal guns on space stations or launching (and failing thankfully) space based weapons platforms (Polyus) should lead to their criticism, as well as their uninspired 70s and 80s failures and pathetic attempts at cloning western successes like the Concorde or the Shuttle.
I'd rather live in a world where the Shuttle, Apollo missions, robotic missions, and Hubble were real and did amazing things, as opposed to being told by some single-party government stooge that its "too expensive" and cancelled. Thankfully I do live in that world and we have the space science and achievements to prove it. What a wonderful program NASA has been. Its a shame it gets hand wringing and criticism from geeks while the largely dysfunctional later-day Soviet program gets all accolades and excuses.
It was 1st and foremost designed to compete with the shuttle politically. It was a "we could do it too" project. And at that time it did some things even better -- it accomplished the first space shuttle fully automated landing.
> by any reasonable logic it was a failed attempt.
What does that say about the Shuttle program then? Even a backward bureaucratic and crusty old Soviet system realized it did not make sense to develop it further. It was too wasteful. Yet NASA continued on for years sinking billions into it finally to scrap it.
> By the 70s the Soviet program was in tatters and a joke and by the 80s the Shuttle did incredible things that the capsule based approach simple couldn't do (repairing hubble, etc).
But it also killed 2 full shuttle crews and eventually got scrapped. Yet guess what is still flying humans into Space? Yap, the crusty old 70's Soviet machines. How's that for irony.
> The Russiophilia around here is pretty high and unfairly so
I see so, you do have an agenda. Who said it was Russiophillia. I didn't hear anyone praising the Soviet government. I read about awesome large cargo planes and space shuttles with automated landing system. You don't agree with some point and all of the sudden it is because the other side has some "-phillia"
> 70s and 80s failures and pathetic attempts at cloning western successes like the Concorde or the Shuttle.
Wait, you do know this is 2015, right? If this was 1999, you could still be calling both of those projects successes. You do know they both got scrapped...
> I'd rather live in a world where the Shuttle, Apollo missions, robotic missions, and Hubble were real and did amazing things,
So you are living in a fantasy world. Because except the Hubble, all those programs have ended and you are living in the world where space technology built by "single party stoogies" is taking humans in into space.
> Its a shame it gets hand wringing and criticism from geeks while the largely dysfunctional later-day Soviet program gets all accolades and excuses.
Because they are living in the real world and you are living in a fantasy world powered by retro futuristic dreams.
> They clearly dropped the ball after a few early successes in the space race.
Not true - even in 90's when designing ISS Russian experience with space stations was one of the reasons to invite them to the project.
> By the 70s the Soviet program was in tatters and a joke
Presumably while continuing space stations program with ever increasing capabilities and flight times? Or have you heard about VEGA interplanetary automatic project - admittedly in 80's?
> by the 80s the Shuttle did incredible things that the capsule based approach simple couldn't do (repairing hubble, etc)
Have you heard about reviving Salyut-7 using Soyuz spacecraft? Dzhanibekov-Savinykh flight?
> Obviously, the cost estimates of the shuttle were lower than real cost, but I can't think of any major project where that wasn't true.
But Shuttle was particularly bad miss by costs, wasn't it?
> the Shuttle was retired for a capsule based approach that is a private and public partnership
I'd agree - but note how many years NASA pays to Roscosmos for flying astronauts to ISS and back. Shuttle was retired rather for safety reasons.
> between NASA and companies like SpaceX who are showing us how cheap rockets can be
Which also might be an attempt to reach Russian low cost figures by other means?
> Its unfair to compare failed test projects, which were also fairly uninspired copies, like the Buran and the N1 to workhorses like the Saturn V and the Shuttle.
Here you're clearly missing the mark. N1 wasn't a copy of anything whatsoever. All-kerosene 5-stages stack? Record (bigger than Saturn-5) liftoff thrust? Number of separate engines? Spherical tanks? Not that Buran was particularly uninspired - for one, Energia was capable of flying even without Buran, for another, Buran used kerosine-LOX as main orbital fuel - with advantages both in efficiency and toxicity over Shuttle.
> The Russiophilia around here is pretty high and unfairly so.
You might be right here - it's highly subjective - but you have to admit USSR had plenty of original achievements.
> oddball projects like mounting 50 cal guns on space stations
If you'd analyze carefully, you'll see that those were mostly perfect rational decisions given information which was available at the time. Sense of oddity can be explained by incomplete review.
> pathetic attempts at cloning western successes like the Concorde
That one I don't get at all. How Tu-144, which flew before Concorde, be a copy of Concorde?
There are better sources, go look them up.
>If you'd analyze carefully you'll see that those were mostly perfect rational decisions
This was Soviet thuggery at best. There is no rational reason to put guns in space. Their attempts to militarize space against treaties they signed shouldn't be applauded by apologists like yourself. It doesn't make sense, it was a provocation and "fuck you" to manned spaceflight because Soviets wanted to take the cold war to space. Thankfully their corruption and incomptence made it a non-issue when they failed with Polyus and were too broke to try again.
Its incredible the revisionism here. The USSR has gone from a proper evil empire to a wonderful utopia thanks to space nerds who think the US is the worst government in history. I just hope this USSR fetishism is a temporary fad for attention, like all fads. I think the bullshit has gotten thicker as HN Russophiles try to pretend Putin is a legitimate leader and his war crimes in Ukraine are, per usual, "the west's fault."
Lets call a spade here a spade. The USSR's space program became a pig with lipstick on it towards the seventies and never recovered. All the excuses about how wonderful the Buran was (which put as many men into space as my own personal space program) is ridiculous. Lets give kudos to real achievements. Lets give real NASA projects which were successful half the credit HN space nerds give failed soviet copies. Thanks.
>Not true - even in 90's when designing ISS Russian experience with space stations was one of the reasons to invite them to the project.
This was, at best, diplomatic welfare to bring the ex-soviets into the modern world. We didn't need them to launch another armed platform, so we invited them to a peacetime collaboration. We've been trying to turn Russia into a civilized country since 1991. Unfortunately, they keep falling into an annexation obsessed dictatorship. At least we tried. Now the ISS is a political football for them to kick around to provide political cover for their various annexations. If you don't think the early Russian retirement of it isn't a political move, then I've got a bridge to sell you.
Meanwhile, NASA continues to lead the world in space exploration and science both in manned and unmanned missions. I wish it got 1/10th the credit HN'ers give failed Soviet projects.
For starters, recall our reaction when the Soviets put nukes in Cuba. In what world could we expect Russia to stand idly by while a nato naval base was installed on the Crimean peninsula?
The US supported coup of Yanukovych, came with an "impeachment" -- if one were so generous to call it that -- supported by less than 3/4 of the rada, ie not a quorum. This would be like impeaching a sitting US president by vote of 50 senators.
And given the success of the referendum in Crimea -- a reasonably legitimate election -- it's hard to honestly make the case that residents of the peninsula don't support annexation by Russia. The US is reduced to whining about a treaty that, um, we have previously publicly stated we don't consider binding.
If you wish to understand the depth of US meddling in the Ukraine, their finance minister is a longtime US apparatchik with extensive work experience in the US state department named Natalie Jaresko. Natalie -- and this is fucking amazing -- is a US citizen who received her Ukranian citizenship the day of her appointment as Minister of Finance.
And while you're complaining about Russian treaty violations, are you aware the US signed the UN Convention against Torture?
It's amazing how little people think about sustainability when they speak about USSR space program. I mean, yeah, DPRK can do space program, too, but at what cost? What will come out of that space program if there is no market structure to handle spin-offs? What will keep the program going when oppressive govt will collapse, as they always do? There is no market value in such program, and there is no surplus to spend out of curiosity.
It's just plain stupid to ignore a larger picture and look at "achievements" by themselves.
Once. Does that even count as reusable?
Nope. Technology and precision required for fully-automatic landing of such aircraft becomes available only now. That particular landing was remote-controlled by a closely following plane.
And then there's the F22 whose MTBF is, on average, less than 60 minutes.
For perspective, the Canadian Sea King helos are rumored to take 50+ man-hours for every hour in the air, comparable to the C-5 but on a much much smaller airframe.
"When it was introduced, back in 1970, the C-5 Galaxy was the largest plane in the world. It also has the highest operating cost of any US Air Force weapon system, owing to extremely high maintenance demands as well as poor fuel economy. Worse, availability rates routinely hover near 50%."
As for the Sea King, I have often read of maintenance ratios of 30 man hours maintenance per hour of flight but 50 is not surprising, either. By comparison, the fantastic (Hughes) MD-500E has a ~.42 man-hours/flight-hours ratio for the airframe, excluding the engine, and that's a very well sorted ship that's far simpler than the Sikorsky.
Not the engines, but something like a datalink antenna or camera system. If you include little things like tray-tables and seats getting stuck up/down, even the 747 probably has a failure rate measured in hours.
The less than 60 minutes figure came from a 2008 GAO report:
The particular passage:
" The Air Force also budgeted $132 million in fiscal years 2007 and 2008 for reliability and maintainability upgrades, $28 million more than the amount budgeted for fiscal years 2006 and 2007. Despite these efforts, the F-22A continues to operate below its expected reliability rates. A key reliability requirement for the F-22A is a 3-hour mean time between maintenance intervals, which is required by the time the program achieves 100,000 operational flying hours, now projected for fiscal year 2010. Mean time between maintenance is defined as the number of operating hours divided by the number of maintenance actions. Currently, the mean time between maintenance is less than 1 hour, or about half of what was expected by the end of system development in December 2005. There has been no significant change reported regarding the current mean time between maintenance since last year’s review"
Wondering about that value and for the sake of being more accurate, always a good thing, I found a "F-22 Assertions and Facts" document used in the US Senate in 2009 to defend the F-22 program. It has substantially different numbers for the F-22.
About maintenance ratio:
"The F-22 is required to achieve 12.0 direct maintenance man-hours per flight hour (DMMH/FH) at system maturity, which is defined to be when the F-22 fleet has accumulated 100,000 flight hours. In 2008 the F-22 achieved 18.1 DMMH/FH which then improved to 10.5 DMMH/FH in 2009. It’s important to recognize this metric is to be met at system maturity, which is projected to occur in late 2010. So the F-22 is better than the requirement well before maturity."
About F22 reliability:
"Reliability is measured by Mean Time Between Maintenance(MTBM. One of the F-22 Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) is to have an MTBM of 3.0 hours at system maturity, which is defined to be when the F-22 fleet has accumulated 100,000 flight hours. Through 2008, F-22s averaged 2.0 hours MTBM while the fleet has accumulated 50,000 flight hours. The F-22 is on-track to meet or exceed 3.0 hours of MTBM at system maturity, projected to occur in late 2010, and the latest delivered F-22s, known as Lot 6 jets, are exhibiting an MTBM of 3.2 hours."
Since it was designed as a shuttle transporter, they probably designed for 2000 landings and never cared about really defining safety margins beyond that. After all, 2K seems plenty for even an ambitious shuttle program.
Probably in reality it would be fit for 50.000 flight hours, but no one knows how much, so they implemented huge safety margins - since the USSR was not a market economy, no one really cared about price in such a high-profile project.
And: the Antonow has a max take-off weight of 640 tonnes, the 747-400F of 400t, that would put a lot more strain on materials.
Is he confirming the route with ground features and matching to a map? It looks like a large scope of some sort.
"The aircraft features an IFR compatible, all digital flight deck, which can accommodate six crew including a pilot, co-pilot, navigator, radio operator and two flight engineers. The flight deck is incorporated with automated navigation and flight control systems for quick analysing and servicing."
Horizontal shuttle launch from a Mriya, using the same principle as a Pegasus rocket.
That is surprisingly cheap for such a large plane; compare Boeing's freighter prices:
747 prices have gone way up over time, way past inflation rates comparing newer models to old, but they have also improved fuel economy tremendously.
(also, is that $120 million inflation adjusted? And is it just the cost of modifying the aircraft it is based on, or the cost including the base aircraft?
Also, the lifespan of this whale is 8k hours. The lifespan of a 747 is like 100k hours. This seems more like a research vehicle than any sort of cost-efficient production vehicle. My understanding is that it was designed to transport the failed Soviet space shuttle clone.
Awesome quote :)
I assume that is a typo.
It translates to "emergency rescue..."
My take-away: A380 significantly more impressive plane. It has a max take-off weight that's 90% of the AN-225, but is a similar size, and much much cheaper to fly, with a significantly better range.
When dealing with air cargo dimensions are more important usually than weight. The -225 routinely carries things like railway cars and wind turbine blades. No way you could even think of loading those on a hypothetical A380 cargo version - you need to engineer from the outset for a pivoting nose and/or full size rear ramp. The -225 has both.
> Thst's rather a pointless comparison - the AN-225 is a
> MUCH more capable aircraft.
> When dealing with air cargo dimensions are more
> important usually than weight
> you need to engineer from the outset for a pivoting nose
> and/or full size rear ramp
Outside of the spruce goose its like we handed over the reins of building the behemoths that graced fiction magazinesto them
I was only referring to your poorly thought out A380 vs An-225 statment.
Total apples and oranges. The AN-225 is built like a tank whereas the A380 and 747 are more like coke cans. Not joking. I bet they have mass/volume ratios comparable to aluminum cans.
If A380 is cheaper, why Airbus don't product a freight version of A380? Perhaps a comparison with Airbus Beluga/Boeing Dreamlifter with An-225 would be more interesting.
However, production has been suspended until the A380 production lines have settled with no firm availability date.
So it seems that there is no freight version of the A380 for the time being.
> That article clearly says
>> If A380 is cheaper, why Airbus don't product a freight
>> version of A380?
And it is on a full schedule, but it is so expensive to rent that I'm not sure it's actually booked 24/7 like the smaller Antonov An-124s. It just sits in Kiev a decent amount of time.
The world over, and yes, both Mriya and I, aloft and aground, only accept dc headsets, the David Clark Company, USA.