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Old 08-18-09, 06:24 AM   #1
RubenX 
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Why I gave up my dream

I'm watching "Speed and Angels" on Hulu. The first few scenes reminded me of my long lost dream... becoming a fighter pilot. It was all a could think about since I was a kid till the end of high school. But I just wanted to fly, I didn't wanted to fight. I knew there was a possibility I'll have to drop bombs on people someday. So I let it go....

and that about it...
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Old 08-18-09, 07:22 AM   #2
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Funny...I wanted to do the same thing and decided against it for the same reason.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:07 AM   #3
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I wanted to fly fighters since I was six years old. After doing it for 20 plus years, it's been a hell of a good time and I don't have too many complaints.

For future reference, this upcoming year, the United States Air Force is going to train more UAV (Predator, Un-manned aerial vehicle) pilots than fighter and bomber pilots combined.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:10 AM   #4
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I wanted to fly fighters since I was six years old. After doing it for 20 plus years, it's been a hell of a good time and I don't have too many complaints.

For future reference, this upcoming year, the United States Air Force is going to train more UAV (Predator, Un-manned aerial vehicle) pilots than fighter and bomber pilots combined.
First, thanks for your service.

Second,eEver flown in Operation Red Flag? Watched the movie about ORF while touring the Lexington in Corpus Christi this spring. Looked incredibly intense.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:36 AM   #5
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First, thanks for your service.

Second,eEver flown in Operation Red Flag? Watched the movie about ORF while touring the Lexington in Corpus Christi this spring. Looked incredibly intense.
Most of those type exercises start "easy" and get more complex as you progress. Red Flags vary by emphasis such as air-to-air, air-to-ground, Search and Rescue, or just a little bit of everything. The level of disclosure of certain technologies/abilities mean some are US only, some are US plus close friends like the UK and Austrailia, and then some are almost anyone who can get a couple jets to Vegas. And who doesn't want to go to Vegas?

Everything is scored and debriefed in detail. If you screwed it up, you will be highlighted in front of God and everybody. Little weight is given to rank or position if you dorked up something.

It is a cool gig. Lots of great people on the ground and in the air. Very challenging to say the least but the parties (not near as wild as they used to be) do help in the stress relief.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:39 AM   #6
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One of my good friends since 3rd grade always said he wanted to fly. Lot of people made fun of him throughout school. He didn't care. Now he flies the Super Hornet and is pretty much the man. I love talking to him but he speaks in acronyms so it can be confusing. Very proud of him.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:48 AM   #7
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I have, or had two friends who lived their dream of flying jets.

Michael Ayotte lost his life when his A-10 went down on a training mission over Lousiania.

Lt. Glennon Kersgieter lost his life when his Hornet crashed after a night launch from the Abraham Lincoln.

Living your dream can have a high cost, and freedom is not free.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:53 AM   #8
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I devoured books about fighters and fighter pilots when I was a kid and gorged myself on combat sims. Don't even know how many times i read Chuck Yeager's autobiography. I could recognize the silhouettes of pretty much any American, British or Soviet fighter, and was in heaven at airshows. But a combination of colour blindness, losing a leg and coming from a country without much in the way of fighter power (a comment on our equipment, absolutely not on the personnel) kind put a damper on my plans

Will G, I'm not even American, but a big to you.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:27 AM   #9
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Wow, I wasn't expecting any replies... happy to see more foosters that like fighter airplanes.

jsharr - Yeah, I watched the film this morning... helluva movie! loved it.

gbcb - I also devoured every book about the topic that I could lay my hands on. At 14 I started on the Civil Air Patrol just to learn more about aviation. A year later I was teaching aviation history @ my squadron... from the Montgolfier Brothers to the Space Shuttle. At one point (before Airbus started making all planes so darn similar) I could visually identify every single flying thing that went above me.

@ 15 I started taking flying lessons. I started working on a supermarket after school just to afford them. I took ground school too, passed with perfect grade. I wanted to have my private pilot license to speed up the process of becoming a fighter pilot.

Oh, and one more thing. The F-16 Falcon is THE sexiest fighter plane ever made...period. The Eagles are too big, the Tomcats look too heavy, the Hornets look **** (nothing wrong with actual **** ppl, but a fighting jet should look more manly IMHO) and everything else belongs to a museum. I was the happiest kid on the block the day my local AFNG replaced the A-7 with Falcons. Falcons = Sexiness.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:41 AM   #10
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It was my dream since very early in my childhood also. Do to some personal issues I missed the opportunity to become one. Now I am a bus-driver of the sky in a CRJ-200. At least I get to fly a plane that uses the same jets as an A-10...
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Old 08-18-09, 10:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Will G View Post
I wanted to fly fighters since I was six years old. After doing it for 20 plus years, it's been a hell of a good time and I don't have too many complaints.

For future reference, this upcoming year, the United States Air Force is going to train more UAV (Predator, Un-manned aerial vehicle) pilots than fighter and bomber pilots combined.
Yes, thank you for your service - awesome

I never had the dream until it was too late,.. then more than anything I wish I was flying and serving my country protecting those on the ground. You guys are amazing.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:54 AM   #12
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My best friend's good high school friend wanted to be an astronaut, and he got as far as being a fighter pilot and getting put through appropriate grad school, closer than anyone else I've known, when some physical thing came up and he washed out (can't remember if it was vision or his back). He talked about how easy it was to get lost flying over the desert 'cause you're going so fast and it doesn't take long to wind up really far from where you thought you were.
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Old 08-18-09, 11:21 AM   #13
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Yeah, I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but the Phila school district and the AirForce killed it for me, kinda glad though as it opened my eyes to a lot of things I would have been blinded to if I had "lived my dream."
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Old 08-18-09, 11:44 AM   #14
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There is something about watching the horizon twist around in the video that makes me wonder why and how I strayed from my childhood dream of being Maverick, hitting the brakes and she'll fly right by.

Now my feet/wheels are planted firmly on the ground...
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Old 08-18-09, 03:18 PM   #15
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It was my dream since very early in my childhood also. Do to some personal issues I missed the opportunity to become one. Now I am a bus-driver of the sky in a CRJ-200. At least I get to fly a plane that uses the same jets as an A-10...
Actually, you use a better motor than the A-10. The A-10's GE TF-34 uses an analog fuel control system, the CRJ's GE CF-34 uses digital. Therefore, much more power out of the high bypass fan. The installed TF-34 only cranks 9.9 thousand pounds until brake release and then your thrust available starts dropping with increase in speed and altitude. (Not sure what max gross on a CRJ is but a Hawg is in the neighborhood of 50K lbs.) I think I heard GE quote 14.4K thrust on the CF. GE said they could install the CF with no sheet metal or motor mount adjustments, de-rate it to 10K, and produce 10K all the way up to Flight Level 270. All for the low, low price of about $1B for about 400 jets. Yes, that is a B. So, that will never happen.
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Old 08-18-09, 03:24 PM   #16
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Actually, you use a better motor than the A-10. The A-10's GE TF-34 uses an analog fuel control system, the CRJ's GE CF-34 uses digital. Therefore, much more power out of the high bypass fan. The installed TF-34 only cranks 9.9 thousand pounds until brake release and then your thrust available starts dropping with increase in speed and altitude. (Not sure what max gross on a CRJ is but a Hawg is in the neighborhood of 50K lbs.) I think I heard GE quote 14.4K thrust on the CF. GE said they could install the CF with no sheet metal or motor mount adjustments, de-rate it to 10K, and produce 10K all the way up to Flight Level 270. All for the low, low price of about $1B for about 400 jets. Yes, that is a B. So, that will never happen.
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Old 08-18-09, 03:30 PM   #17
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Watched the A10s do live fire at Ft. Irwin back in the day.Most awesome display of firepower I've ever seen and I was in an armor unit.
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Old 08-18-09, 03:45 PM   #18
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I dreamed of flying until I was told you need an aircraft to do so. That's about when I started swimming.
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Old 08-18-09, 03:46 PM   #19
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Oh, and one more thing. The F-16 Falcon is THE sexiest fighter plane ever made...period. The Eagles are too big, the Tomcats look too heavy, the Hornets look **** (nothing wrong with actual **** ppl, but a fighting jet should look more manly IMHO) and everything else belongs to a museum. I was the happiest kid on the block the day my local AFNG replaced the A-7 with Falcons. Falcons = Sexiness.
Not sure I'd agree with that. The F-4 was a pretty damn nice looking jet. The Viper is nice... but a bit delicate from my perspective (carrier aviation).

I've got a couple thousand hours in one of the ugliest planes around, the Prowler (it grows on you, though... really!). And rides in the A6, A7, F5, F15, F16 and F18, with stick time in all except the A6, since there's no stick in the right seat. Almost got an F4 ride, but there were security clearance issues.

I've flown (and been shot at) in combat, seen planes crash right in front of me and had friends killed in crashes. I have 341 carrier arrested landings, or "traps".
I've been over Mach 1 at 30,000' and 500 knots at 200'. I'll take the 200' everytime! Even at half that speed! What a rush!

It's a fun, exciting, scary, sad and rewarding profession. I've been places and have seen and experienced things few others have.

Now I'm old and they've taken the toys away and my primary "weapon system" is Powerpoint. Bleh.

There's a slight, very slight, chance I might be able to squeeze one more tour out where I could fly as an instructor in either the Prowler or maybe even the Growler (F/A-18G, the Super Hornet replacement for the Prowler), but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Oh, the Prowler isn't a fighter in the pointy, sexy, fast sense of the word, but it's a tactical plane and the fighters won't go anywhere without us!

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Old 08-18-09, 04:29 PM   #20
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Actually, you use a better motor than the A-10. The A-10's GE TF-34 uses an analog fuel control system, the CRJ's GE CF-34 uses digital. Therefore, much more power out of the high bypass fan. The installed TF-34 only cranks 9.9 thousand pounds until brake release and then your thrust available starts dropping with increase in speed and altitude. (Not sure what max gross on a CRJ is but a Hawg is in the neighborhood of 50K lbs.) I think I heard GE quote 14.4K thrust on the CF. GE said they could install the CF with no sheet metal or motor mount adjustments, de-rate it to 10K, and produce 10K all the way up to Flight Level 270. All for the low, low price of about $1B for about 400 jets. Yes, that is a B. So, that will never happen.
We use the CF34-3 which is one of the oldest of all the CF variations with an annular combustor just like the TF. Max gross for the CRJ is 51k. Thrust is 9k Static @ SL. There's other versions of the CF engine with lower bypass ratios and less stages that produce more thrust, but the one on the CRJ-200 is rated at 9,100. Im pretty sure the CF you're talking about are the latest incarnation of them, CF34-8 and dash 10.

$2.5M per aircraft, $1.74M per engine. . . ouch.

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Old 08-18-09, 06:51 PM   #21
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Start saving and maybe you could live out your dream for a day:

http://aircombat.com/
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Old 08-18-09, 07:57 PM   #22
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We use the CF34-3 which is one of the oldest of all the CF variations with an annular combustor just like the TF. Max gross for the CRJ is 51k. Thrust is 9k Static @ SL. There's other versions of the CF engine with lower bypass ratios and less stages that produce more thrust, but the one on the CRJ-200 is rated at 9,100. Im pretty sure the CF you're talking about are the latest incarnation of them, CF34-8 and dash 10.

$2.5M per aircraft, $1.74M per engine. . . ouch.
Okay, that does sound like the same low powered motor. I can't call it crappy because it has been known to suck down birds, engine parts, plane parts, and assorted high speed weapons fragments and keep running.

Maybe the GE guys were talking the CRJ 700. Whatever it was, we wanted it...BAD!! We didn't want to go any faster but we did want better energy sustainability during high G manuevering and a better climb rate to get out of Shoulder fired SAM envelopes quicker. I think the price tag included installation and a maintenance contract. (Still not as bad as the motors on a F-22 at $10 million a pop.)
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Old 08-18-09, 07:59 PM   #23
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http://aircombat.com/
At $1400/person for 5 or 6 dogfights, that sounds like a bargain!
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Old 08-19-09, 08:35 AM   #24
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Okay, that does sound like the same low powered motor. I can't call it crappy because it has been known to suck down birds, engine parts, plane parts, and assorted high speed weapons fragments and keep running.

Maybe the GE guys were talking the CRJ 700. Whatever it was, we wanted it...BAD!! We didn't want to go any faster but we did want better energy sustainability during high G manuevering and a better climb rate to get out of Shoulder fired SAM envelopes quicker. I think the price tag included installation and a maintenance contract. (Still not as bad as the motors on a F-22 at $10 million a pop.)
Yea, I've had a bird strike myself and the motor didn't even felt it, a couple of damaged vanes but we turned back no problem. But as you said, the digital core on those new CF's is very good. I don't even know why they call it CF34 honestly, is basically a whole different engine. It has 4 less stages on the compressor, but 3 more in the LP part. And is a single stage turbine instead of 4. I hope you guys get that upgrade. Whatever it takes to give you better probabilities to improve performance and have you guys back for another day, is worth the price tag.

Are you an A-10 pilot? I appreciate close air support so much, always thought it would be fun to do strafe missions. Is it true that the recoil of the gun is more than the trust of the engines? That info has been running around here for quite a bit, along with the running joke that A-10's get bird strikes from behind.
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Old 08-19-09, 08:44 AM   #25
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Ruben,

If you can arrange to go into the O-Club at Miramar, or one of the clubs where carrier based fighter pilots frequent, it will take the edge off your sorrow. I respect what those men do as pilots, but wow - talk about culture shock. Never seen a gathering of larger egos anywhere. Obviously, they aren't all like that, but my High School locker room had better decorum.
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