Saturday, December 3, 2016

Pima Air Museum Revisit

It's cold!  Yesterday was overcast, so it felt really cold.  We wimped out on riding or hiking.  Jim still has the virus which will not leave him, so we decided to take a day off.  We went to the Pima Air Museum.  We were last there in March of 2015 at which time we were very surprised at how much new stuff they had.  This year they had a new hanger, but not so many new planes.  

This is a P-51.  It was the most successful fighter in WWII. It was built by North American Aviation in response to British requests for prototypes within a 120 day window.  The original version was under powered, but with the addition of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine it became an excellent plane.

We walked through the hangars and then outside.  This is a B52A.  He was used at Edwards AFB in some of the test programs.  This is the oldest B52 in existence. 

This is the second 787 Boeing produced.  It never went in to commercial service, and was only used for flight test.

It is just a lovely airplane.  I love the curve of the wings.

Note the size of the engines. 

The development of the 787 was a radical departure for the Boeing Company.  Prior to the Dreamliner, all design was kept in house.  In order to get the board of directors to approve the new plane, about 60% was outsourced to risk sharing partners.  Here is one article on the subject.
So the Dreamliner’s advocates came up with a development strategy that was supposed to be cheaper and quicker than the traditional approach: outsourcing. And Boeing didn’t outsource just the manufacturing of parts; it turned over the design, the engineering, and the manufacture of entire sections of the plane to some fifty “strategic partners.” Boeing itself ended up building less than forty per cent of the plane.
It did not go well.  The collaborative design software chosen for use by all of the partners was not a total success.  The parts of the airplane from other vendors were supposed to arrive "stuffed" with all of their wiring and tubes and etc. and line up perfectly in final assembly and snap together in three days.  Boeing ended up buying several vendors so they could enforce standards and hope to have a shot of making it work.  Eventually it did work and it's in service.  You can read more here.

Here we have a Convair B36.  Look at the engines.  There are six giant piston driven engines on it.  It was in service 1947 to 1959 as a long range strategic bomber in Strategic Air Command.  Given the number of moving parts in the engines, it's a miracle it ever flew.

This is a Fairey Gannet, a British airborne early warning radar airplane for fleet defense.  It looks like a hedge hog with all of those propellers.

This is such a cool looking little plane.  It's a McDonnell Banshee photo reconnaissance airplane.

If you have any interest at all in planes, go to this museum.  Get the two day pass so you can read all the exhibits and look at all of the planes without having your head explode.

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