Lockheed L-1049 Constellation and other propeller planes of mid-20th century

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UserNameRequired

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... I spent my 1st 5 years as a Recip Engine mechanic in the Philippines working MAC Enroute. West Virginia and Wyoming AirGuard flew Connies, R4360s on the C-124 was so much easier period !!

Oh, yes COOPER RUN OUT. The R-3350 was notoriously over heading. Between the bottom of the spark plug and the cylinder spark plug port, what is the copper ring, with the appearance of a washer, but actually, it was a gasket. The cylinder would get so damn hot copper would melt migrate down through the threads and caused cylinder failure in turn engine failure.

Compared to the R-4360, the R-3350 was a giant pain in the a** !
Was it easier to change/check spark plugs only on a R-4360 as compared to a R-3350? :)
 

UserNameRequired

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...

I personally have flown on numerous occasions from the base in Northwest Tokyo to just West of Oakland taking off going nearly a hour South near Osaka to get in the jet stream, the normal 11 hour flight was just a little over 8 hours and 5 hours of that the throttles were at Flight Idle. Note we never mission planned using the Jet to push us. Murphy’s Law insist if you do the winds diminish.
...

I am curious how this works? At flight idle, is that enough thrust to keep the Indicated Air Speed (not Ground Speed) high enough not to stall? Or, are their periods of updrafts as well in the Jet that allows one to nose down/idle throttle? Or something else I don't know about?
 
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This thread is very interesting. I never realized recips on commercial and military aircraft were so complex, all of my experience as a student pilot was with the simpler engines on one engine private planes. It's no wonder the move to turbines was so rapid - the speed being the main reason of course - much like how railroads went from steam to Diesel.
 

Mike G

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I am curious how this works? At flight idle, is that enough thrust to keep the Indicated Air Speed (not Ground Speed) high enough not to stall? Or, are their periods of updrafts as well in the Jet that allows one to nose down/idle throttle? Or something else I don't know about?
Think of a boat on a calm lake, what ever speed in put the boat will react nearly true except for the water drag.

the jet streams are large rivers of air movement I have seen as them as high as 284 kt. Take the same boat at the same motor power and go up stream in a river up you will have to over come the down stream flow. In order to Travel at that same rate requires more motor power. Go down stream with the flow it will obviously take less power for the same desired rate.

Engines at flight idle still produce the bleed required for pressurization, anti-ice and air conditioning, the generator and hydraulic pumps are driven by the CSD (constant speed drive). ideally, you’re already at cruise altitude and speed when you enter the jet stream Power is reduce till you hit the targeted cruise M number you wish to fly. So the key is keep the aircraft trimmed and in a high speed jet stream riding the river downstream.These high speeds are rare for long distance most of the time they are short burst. Near the bottom is a very rough ride and ATC will not give that to the commercial guys. Some times it would be too rough and we would fly below The jet. I few the off the West Coast as far West as the East Coast of Africa and to Antarctica to the South for 15 years. On some missions your on both sides of the equator each day. You just learn the WX and how to use it in your favor. Remember the Southern hemisphere seasons are the opposite of ours, The C-141 had over powered engines and at flight idle N1 would be near 70% and we would honk on. Now .82M was as fast as we could go because above .82M the air boundary from the leading edge of the wing would be separated causing the T -Tail to be in a vacuum and effectively stop flying and the airframe would wobble, not good, that could generate a power on stall, very well demonstrated in the simulator annually. Normally we stayed at .767M that was a nice stable platform. The aircraft had high lift wings but the down side with those and the T-Tail we were .6M slower.

Aircraft performance is based on standard day, the up drafts are generally causEd by temperature inversions and I had indications when they were going to happen by a rapid increase in OAT. I won’t knock the commercial guys but will say we were more disciplined with our in-flight logs. Now days all this sh*t is instantly displayed on the 2 TOLD computers in real time, no more slide rule and complicated logs.
 

UserNameRequired

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...

Engines at flight idle still produce the bleed required for pressurization, anti-ice and air conditioning, the generator and hydraulic pumps are driven by the CSD (constant speed drive). ideally, you’re already at cruise altitude and speed when you enter the jet stream Power is reduce till you hit the targeted cruise M number you wish to fly. ...
The C-141 had over powered engines and at flight idle N1 would be near 70% and we would honk on. Now .82M was as fast as we could go because above .82M the air boundary from the leading edge of the wing would be separated causing the T -Tail to be in a vacuum and effectively stop flying and the airframe would wobble, not good, that could generate a power on stall, very well demonstrated in the simulator annually. Normally we stayed at .767M that was a nice stable platform. The aircraft had high lift wings but the down side with those and the T-Tail we were .6M slower.

...
Oh this part helped, I understand what you are saying now! Thanks!
I use ForeFlight for flight planning single engine land, and if you put a plan in it is using the forecast winds at each altitude for heading, computing fuel used, and time in flight, etc. It makes it so easy you get rusty doing it manually.

I think they let us crawl around inside a C-141 at the museum at Dover. I remember it beign a nice aircraft. I was there dropping off my DNA inside the base becasue they wanted it for MIA purposes. They treated me 1st class with a welcome through security and a labeled parking spot up front at their lab plus a tour!🥇
 
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Willbridge

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Post WW II Lockheed made a poor business decision not to move towards commercial jet transports. They were pleased with the Connie. This decision took them out of the large commercial aircraft market. Boeing and Douglas recognize that this was the future of aviation. It should be noted the only jet transports Lockheed built were the C-141, C-5 and The L-1011. In 1959 Department of AF ask for design and bids for 284 aircraft that became the C-141. From a business perspective it was a money loser to Boeing and Douglas. Boeing had a huge backorder of B-52s, KC-135s, B-707s and B-727s, and the B-737 on paper. Douglass had the same back order issues with their D-8 and DC-9 family of jets. Their design teams were busy with B-747 and DC-10. 300 aircraft was the magic number ( and still is ) to break even financially. So without dragging this out Lockheed won the contract by default. I few the C-141A & B for 10,054 hours as a FE, it was a fine fine aircraft. C-5 wasn’t and still isn’t any better than 62% reliable. During the C-5 design and development funding was funneled into the L-1011 design. Again poor business decision by Lockheed, choosing the Rolls-Royce engine when Pratt and Whitney and GE engines were already flight certified. RR was in bankruptcy during the time that delivery was needed and there was a two-year delay on receiving the engines which they lost many orders to the DC-10. With only 250 made and the C-5s total of 131 A models and a 2nd run of 80 some B models all 3 aircraft were below the break even magic numbers. Martin Marietta basic took them over, and other than a few C-130Js a year they are a fighter company in the Aviation division now. Another note. Lockheed notoriously has poorly design flaws in their wing boxes, require major cost in replacement.
My first trip to Europe was in May 1969 in a C-141 from McGuire AFB (Fort Dix) to Frankfurt Rhein/Main. I had the window seat if there had been windows, with ten-abreast seating. The uneventful daylight flight was run by a New Jersey reserve crew on a Saturday. "What did you do on the weekend?" Everyone else that week went on civilian charters with flight attendants.
 

Willbridge

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Living in Portland, Oregon we rarely saw Connies or B-25's. By 1960, though, DC-6's were available for charters. I think this was the Nixon campaign, as seen from the open-air observation deck at the Portland airport. One advantage of the DC-6 was that when PDX was closed by fog, flights could land at Hillsboro or Salem.
1960 Nixon campaign  001.jpg

1960 Nixon campaign  002.jpg
 
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Sometime I will have to dig out short videos my dad took at Logan Airport in Boston in the early 1960s including various prop planes as well as my mother and brother arriving from a trip to London in 1962 in a BOAC Vickers VC-10. These were originally on 8mm film which he years later had transferred to videotape, which I recently had LegacyBox transfer to DVD.
 

basketmaker

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How he connies were flown.


Love this video. The air traffic controller sitting down talking on the microphone is my dad @16:10. He was an air traffic controller/supervisor at Miami International for 30 years. Though the film supposedly is New York/Newark but it is actually Miami.
 

basketmaker

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My first trip to Europe was in May 1969 in a C-141 from McGuire AFB (Fort Dix) to Frankfurt Rhein/Main. I had the window seat if there had been windows, with ten-abreast seating. The uneventful daylight flight was run by a New Jersey reserve crew on a Saturday. "What did you do on the weekend?" Everyone else that week went on civilian charters with flight attendants.
Did the reverse of that trip in '64. Had spent the summer in Augsburg, Germany with my sister and brother-in-law. Somehow when he was separated after his 4 years he managed to get me on a MATS flight as a dependent (I was 12). It was a Connie we flew back on. Though it wasn't uneventful. Weather in and around the New York/New Jersey area was horrendous. McGuire closed and we were diverted to Newark and it closed before we got there so off we went to Idlewild. Low and behold it closed so we wound up at Dover AFB, Delaware. The ride was definitely an "E-ticket" at Disneyworld. All but my sister, 2 flight attendants and I had bad bouts of air sickness. They actually had 2 big hospital buses meet the flight on arrival. Our dad was up there for the World's Fair and he bounced around airport to airport chasing us. Luckily, he was an air traffic controller and would run up to the towers and stay in communications with us. Was a fun trip!
 
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This doesn't have anything to do with props, but I notice a discrepancy in my note above about my brother and mother being on a VC-10 in 1962 since the aircraft allegedly didn't enter commercial service until 1964 according to Wikipedia. I'm pretty sure about the date of their trip as summer of 1962. I'll have to look at that film and see if I can verify the aircraft type.
 

MARC Rider

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My first flight when I was 8 was in a DC-7, Eastern Airlines from Baltimore Friendship (what is now BWI) to Miami. (I returned home on a jet, the Convair 880, on Northeast Airlines.) A few years later, we took a family trip to Florida, and my Dad saved money by booking us on a prop flight (4 hours) vs. a Jet flight (2 hours). Turbulence the whole way, it was like riding a roller coaster. I don't remember the airline, but it might have been United, if they flew from Philadelphia to Miami. I'm not sure what kind of prop planes United was flying in the early 1960s, and I don't remember what we flew.

Another notable trip was a Scout trip to the National Jamboree in 1969, where our local scouting council had a breakdown in making travel arrangements, and a bunch of us were stuck flying home from Spokane, Washington on a DC-4 from a local charter airline, Johnson Flying Services. That was a slow flight, 13 hours to get from Spokane to Philly, with a refueling stop in Rockford, Il. We had some pretty bad turbulence crossing the Rockies, but the rest of the flight, even over the Appalachians, was pretty smooth. We apparently dropped off the radar at one point, which caused some anxiety to parents waiting for us to arrive in Philly. When we got to Philly, the pilot, who had never been east of the Mississippi, was confused about where to take us, and wanted to drop us off at the FBO for general aviation instead of the terminal, where everybody was waiting for us.

My first wife's father was a private pilot, and he flew my then-wife and me up to Maine a couple of times. His first plane (a single engine 4-seater, which I don't remember the model) had limited range, so for our Teterboro - Maine flight, we had to stop in Concord, NH to refuel. Then he decided to fly right over the White Mountains, which were starting to cloud up. That was a bit of a thrill, seeing the ground rise up under you, and then fall off, plus flying in and out of clouds. But we were flying at 7,000 feet, so there was no chance we were going to hit any mountains. Later, he bought a Beechcraft Debonair, which was a bit bigger and faster and had more range, and figured out he could avoid the weather by flying right up the Connecticut River Vally. You'd putter along at 8 -9,000 feet in perfectly clear, smooth weather and see the clouds covering the White Mountains to the east and the Green Mountains to the west. That was in the early 1980s, and was the last time I ever flew in a piston-powered plane, though I took a few prop-jet commuter flights since.
 

33Nicolas

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My first trip to Europe was in May 1969 in a C-141 from McGuire AFB (Fort Dix) to Frankfurt Rhein/Main. I had the window seat if there had been windows, with ten-abreast seating. The uneventful daylight flight was run by a New Jersey reserve crew on a Saturday. "What did you do on the weekend?" Everyone else that week went on civilian charters with flight attendants.
My father flew Connies as well. He said the most impressive sight was watching them start their engines at night. It was a firey display.
 
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The last time I flew in a multi engine prop plane would be in the USAF but the most memorable one in military plane was while I was in Air Force ROTC at Lehigh University in Bethlehem PA. We had a springtime trip down to Florida to tour the Space Center in a Air National Guard 4 engine transport, probably a C118. We left from ABE airport in Allentown PA. During the flight we all got a chance to sit in the pilots seat and fly the plane for a while. We landed at Patrick AF Base near Cape Canaveral and overnighted there. I remember eating breakfast at the Officers Club with a view overlooking the ocean. At that time the space center was at the height of the Apollo program with 9 on the launch pad and 10 and 11 in the VAB. We also toured the Gemini and Mercury sites rusting away in the Florida salt air. Then our flight home to ABE airport.
 
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