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Willy
03-24-2007, 06:47 PM
Youtube never ceases to amaze me with the diversity of videos on it's site,everytime I go there to search for a specific video I find ten more to look at.
Just the other day while looking for something completely unrelated I stumbled upon this incredible video of an F-15 that suffered an unbelievable amount of damage during a midair collision and still was able land safely.

Here's the link.......(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrzouWEOfV4&NR (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrzouWEOfV4&NR))

TGTool
03-24-2007, 08:11 PM
That is incredible in more ways than one! Besides the aircraft being able to stay airborne and then land, where did the pilot pull the idea from to engage the afterburner to recover from the spin? Like in the scene from "When Harry Met Sally" -- I want whatever he's got.

Wareagle
03-24-2007, 10:20 PM
Take a wing off of the aircraft, and then be able to land it in one piece is an amazing feat. That took some massive guts, or stupidity, to land the aircraft at that speed, too.

Afterburner? If truth be known, and just my guess, the pilot probably grabbed the wrong (in this case the correct) lever when the accident happened, and was just lucky that the airplane started flying again. If one were to look at the flight manual for the F-15, odds are there isn't an emergency procedure written to deal with a mid-air collision (with exception of bail the heck out).

Evan
03-24-2007, 10:58 PM
Increasing airspeed is a well known technique to deal with a flat spin. It doesn't always work though and isn't always an option. The Grumman Yankee and Traveller are both susceptible to flat spinning and you don't have the option of bailing out either. The recovery is to put the nose down. I have flown both. Practice spins are not permitted.

Bailing out isn't a very attractive option, especially in a spin. Injuries are common up to and including death. Most pilots will try to fly the plane until it's only seconds before it's too late.

JRouche
03-24-2007, 11:27 PM
Yeah, the Eagle is a flyin tank. Killed the A-4.... All the rest, just luck, an ejection would have been the correct procedure. JRouche

Carl
03-25-2007, 01:13 AM
The engine(s) is/are everything when it comes to jet fighter planes. As the old F-104 Starfighter pilots knew, when the engine quits you get the hell out cause she aint no glider! More like an elevator with a snapped cable and no brakes.

Rex
03-26-2007, 03:33 PM
There's an old saying in the road-racing crowd:

"When in doubt, accelerate".

Jim Caudill
03-26-2007, 04:45 PM
No doubt an incredible situation. The pilot was probably responding to how the aircraft "felt" and utilized afterburner on one side only to counteract the severe yaw he was experiencing. As was stated, neither he nor his chase plane, could see how bad the damage was due to the cloud of fuel coming from the side of the plane. Personally, I would have been scared of the streaming fuel cloud igniting and prematurely ending the flight - and my life. In those situations, you just do whatever you think you can and if the aircraft reponds, you keep working with it. I had 3 undocumented, unanticpiated, no book solution, type of emergencies when flying C-130's. Sometimes you don't know what happened until hours after you land and sometimes it is months before you find out. Others in my squadron lost their lives due to lightning strikes, and an engine falling off the plane. Both occurred in Turkey (1980 and 1982). I experienced uncommanded flight inputs in pitch, yaw, and roll on different occassions. The rudder went "stop to stop" and the yaw actually shook off the aft end of one of the nacelles and engine exhaust. It was said that if our fuel load would have been different, we would have likely destroyed the wings due to fuel sloshing. I had the ailerons roll and "freeze up", which left us going around in circles for a long time while maintenance folks on the ground tried to come up with a solution. They didn't, we did (by the grace of God). I could go on....

The after-landing picture shows the position of the nozzles indicating he was using a lot of differential thrust. The right nozzle is way open indicating it was probably in afterburner, whereas the left was closed down - indicating it was not.

ckelloug
03-26-2007, 05:32 PM
I think that besides a gutsy pilot, the miracle was made possible by the fact that the flybywire system had extremely wide band feedback controllers controlling the control surfaces. In a conversation I had with a national guard pilot at an airshow many years ago, he told of one of the elevons falling off of his plane and not even noticing until he landed. The flight computers on this plane were able to compensate with other controls.

Most modern fighter planes are completely unstable aerodynamically and the stability is achieved with high speed control loops kind of like the ones that keep your mill spinning at the right speed with a VFD only more complicated. If there is enough margin in the control loop and enough other control surfaces, it's amazing what can be done to compensate for a problem by a controller that just knows what the plane is supposed to be doing and keeps adjusting things until it is doing it. All in the blink of an eye.

NASA developed a system that uses similar control loops to fly an airliner with no control surface inputs at all using differential thrust. It isn't exactly as responsive as the correctly functioning controls but it worked well enough to land the airliner without the flight controls during many tests.

Negative feedback control is your friend. Go PID controller.

Evan
03-26-2007, 08:04 PM
The F-15 doesn't have a true Fly-By-Wire system. It has an analog Stability Augmentation System that electronically changes mechanical advantages in the controls but cannot fly the plane. The F-15 specs called for the plane to be able to be hand flown in all mission conditions without electronic augmentation.

Paul F
04-02-2007, 04:30 PM
Dredging this topic up from a few pages ago... Just saw it.

I watched part of a show about the F-15, and they showed this exact incident.

They also interviewed the pilot.

As it turns out, after the collision, he recovered control, and proceeded to land. Another pilot followed him in, but didn't comment.

After the busted up F-15 came to a stop, the other pilot said (and they had a recording...), " You're not gonna BELIEVE what you just landed with! Dude... look at your wing..."...

The reply? (expletive beep)

In the interview, the pilot admitted that had he not been so focused on his instruments and controlling the plane... and had he LOOKED at the damage, he would have ejected right then and there... since there was "abolutely no way I'd have beleived that there was ANY chance of flying and landing with no wing".

Their last comment was that the manufacturer wanted the plane back to run some aerodynamic tests on... they didn't beleive it was possible either!

Paul F.

pntrbl
04-02-2007, 07:19 PM
I've never flown a plane but I can relate "hitting the afterburner" to motorsports in a couple of different ways. On a dirttrack when the back end's coming around and you've done all you can do with the steering wheel ..... ya might as well punch it. Sometimes the forward shot from the back wheels will make the fronts bite and you'll get away with it.

It's not the most reliable way of getting around a corner but you'll sure look like a hero doing it!

If that doesn't work it still helps you get a better shot at a quick 360. Mash it.

The other is dirtbikes. Hitting an obstacle with the gas on is way better than just running into it. That don't work at all.

SP

BillH
04-02-2007, 08:06 PM
Well if you guys like Youtube videos, I have some I uploaded, couple of me flying a level D boeing 757 into JFK, a couple more I filmed while riding in a PBY catalina... Yes, I've been having some fun lately!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8Q-Tnlt1gE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpY7wJ-_FxI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlfNdw2O0bI

Boomer
04-02-2007, 08:06 PM
They must not have had any file footage of an A-4, sure looks like an F-100 to me.

Fasttrack
04-02-2007, 08:34 PM
Impressive!

john hobdeclipe
04-02-2007, 09:10 PM
A few weeks ago we had a thread about an F16 ejection, which turned out not to be an F16, but the video was impressive all the same. In that same thread, RINGER gave us this link to an aviation video collection.
http://www.alexisparkinn.com/aviation_videos.htm

If you'll go to this site and click on the "military" link, then scroll down you'll fine the F15 video that includes the interview with the pilot.

But before you do that, watch this video, also from the same collection. Sit back and enjoy the ride. (My sister swears she has flown in a C130 with these guys before!)
http://www.alexisparkinn.com/photogallery/Videos/2006-2-21_Digital_Airline_Racers.wmv