Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Odds and Ends

Courtesy of Charissa Perry
 Busy weekend.  This shot of a V-22 was taken near Prosser, Washington yesterday, April 18.  No idea why  parts are apparently glowing apart from the light of the setting sun.  Apparently, last week, the V-22s came into Yakima International Airport and did some practice landings and a short demonstration for local residents.  I, unfortunately, was not in attendance.  Thanks to Charissa Perry for yet another wonderful photo!

There must have been some pretty large maneuvers going on at Yakima Training Center, since, on the way back from Seattle, we saw many Strykers (of all types: 105mm toting, APC type and sporting mounts for the 40mm grenade launcher), Humvees, various trucks, and several 155mm M198s.  As we drove by the center on I-82, there were still many vehicles and tents and communications devices set up near the freeway.

Through a happy accident, I managed to find myself at Boeing Field for a few minutes yesterday.
 There were several AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control) aircraft sitting on the tarmac fitting out.  The one above is one meant for the Royal Australian Air Force, one of six planned.  Below is one meant for the Republic of Korea.  They are called "Wedgetails" by some because they are part of Project Wedgetail.  You can find some more info on them here.
 This one is meant for the Turkish Air Force.
There was an E-3 AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control System), this one from back in 1974.
 I could not make out the tail number of the one next to it, though.  Below is the 757 used in testing the avionics for the F-22.
As usual, your information and photos are welcome.  Just e-mail washingtonwreckchasing@charter.net

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Osprey, Times Two

My sister saw the Osprey today.  She got photos.  Later in the afternoon they (two) flew by our house.  I managed to get outside without killing myself, but they were past the point of prime picture taking. and this is what I got.  One thing I noticed was a unique rhythmic drone.  Everyone I spoke to also complained of just how loud they were and how the windows shook when the Osprey went over.  We were farther off their flight track and did not get that phenomena.  Another thing was the relatively slow speed at which the rotors?  propellers?  move.  Most photos managed to freeze them.

 My sister, on the other hand, apparently lives right under their flight path.  She got three completely AWESOME PHOTOS!!!!!  I want to thank Charissa Perry for her donation of photos to this blog.  As you can see from her photos they were flying remarkably low.  She was also very quick with her camera, because I SAW how fast they flew.
Photo Courtesy of Charissa Perry

Photo Courtesy of Charissa Perry

Photo Courtesy of Charissa Perry
 This last is an enlargement of one of my photos...nothing compared to Mrs. Perry's.

Osprey in Washington State?

According to a relatively reliable source (and by that, I mean a relative: My sister) there are V-22 Ospreys flying in South Central Washington (Prosser area)!  If anyone has any corroborating information, along with where they are operating from, and where they are going, I would appreciate ANY news!  I will attempt to post photos as soon as I get some!  An Osprey is the ambitious mating of a helicopter and an airplane.  This gawky looking aircraft is faster than a helicopter, but has the VTOL capabilities of a helicopter.  They are the product of over thirty years development, probably more.  As far as I know, the USMC is the only operator at this time, but I am notoriously unreliable!

Here is what an MV-22 looks like (I borrowed this photo from Military-Today).

Other sitings recently include a pair of F-18s, a C-130, a C-17, and a P-3, all in the Yakima area.  If you are in Washington State and would like to contribute sitings, feel free to leave a comment, I welcome it.

There are certain places where activity is expected, for instance, Whidbey NAS, McChord AFB, and Fairchild AFB, however, recently Fairchild moved many of its assets to Moses Lake, at Grant County International Airport.  One would expect C-17s, KC-135s, and EG-18Gs from those places.  Portland International hosts ANG F-15s.  Other aircraft would likely be transient.

Take, for example, this C-130 that passed over my house tonight.  Where the heck is he from and why didn't he fly lower, so I could get a better picture?  Here are my pictures.

That is much too small to see detail.  Try this:

This is obviously a C-130, but what model?  Have a look at the lumps and bumps. 

  So, what is it?  Is it an MC-130?  The picture below is an MC-130 (borrowed from the USAF).

It doesn't seem to have the requisite lumps amidships, though, how about this next one?
The lumps on the side seem too large, but at least they are there, but this one is missing the lump on the nose, hanging down.  It seems like a FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) turret.  I am leaning toward an MC-130 that has some sort of sensor or antennae in that amidships position.  What do you think??

So, let's have some comments, folks!  Update me!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shuttle, Go/No Go? NOOOOO!!!!

Unfortunately, the Shuttle will NOT be coming to Washington State.  The decision was made and the four shuttles will go, one each, to the Udvar-Hay part of the Smithsonian, The Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and, the most disappointing to me, the California Science Center in Los Angeles.  Actually, two of those are disappointing.

The Intrepid is an aircraft carrier, that shuttle will NOT fit on a hangar deck.  I assume they plan on housing it in some shore based facility.  Still, so close to the water's edge, makes me nervous for a national treasure.  New York in not a large island, so the facility will likely bring a huge price tag and being on the other end of the country, I will not be visiting it often.  (This last point is the one that I REALLY think NASA should have taken into account.)

As for the California Science Center, well, I've never heard of it until today.  Honestly, I assumed each state had one, but California's was not one I'd really heard of before.

But let's look at the map, shall we?  Shouldn't the shuttles be spread out more?  Maybe one in each corner of the US?  Or maybe one in the middle, say...the USAF Museum in Ohio?  Or something closer to absolute center like Kansas or Nebraska?  Obviously, NASA was determined to reach the largest masses of people, but the WEST COAST is growing.  Give us a chance.  Washington could have housed an orbiter in style.

You can see more here, on the NASA site.  And here you can read at "A Field Guide To American Spacecraft" from last week, this fellow works for NASA and he thought Seattle had a fair chance, too.

Fingers Crossed for a Seattle Shuttle!

Nasa decides where to display the Space Shuttles, as they retire, TODAY!  So, this afternoon we will know if Seattle's Boeing Museum of Flight gets one! We can only hope!  See here: