Geezer
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Questions: Jato T/O With C-130 "Fat Albert"

Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:29 am

I have just been looking at Ian Woodcock's great night shot of the Blue Angel's C-130 "Fat Albert" doing a JATO takeoff;
I have witnessed this a few times at air shows, but never at night. I have a couple of questions about "JATO";

First, I'm assuming a JATO unit is in fact a solid propellant rocket motor, rather than a jet engine; if that's the case, why have they always used the term "JATO", leading people to think it is a "jet", rather than a "rocket" ?

Second, I'm assuming the JATO units are not jettisoned; at least not around airshows; if this is the case, are they re-usable, or are they just "scrapped" ?

Third, was this something that was developed out of necessity, in order to get out smaller air strips with heavy loads, or was it just added to "spice up" the act, ( or a little bit of both ? )


I must say, the first time I saw this performed, I was incredulous: it's just hard to envision a C-130 climbing out like a fighter plane ! But after years of reading about "mishaps" occurring with solid rocket boosters, I'm really surprised they started using this technology at air shows; apparently the technology has "matured" ?

Charley
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zanl188
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RE: Questions: Jato T/O With C-130 "Fat Albert"

Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:29 pm

The term "jet" had a bit different meaning before "jet" engines came on the scene. Quite often was used to refer to rockets. i.e. "Jet Assisted Take Off" (JATO) units were developed by the "Jet Propulsion Lab" (JPL) in Pasadena.

Most of the military C-130s I've worked with over the years have had the provisions for JATO, few of the airframes actually use it.

For example: Check the photo of this Spanish 130. Just forward of the troop door, beneath the back end of the external tank, the fittings for the jato bottles are visible:


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Photo © Adrian U. Monterde



I understand the Blue Angels have or will soon stop the jato routine due to lack of bottles in the supply system.
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HaveBlue
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RE: Questions: Jato T/O With C-130 "Fat Albert"

Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:36 pm

Quoting Geezer (Thread starter):
First, I'm assuming a JATO unit is in fact a solid propellant rocket motor, rather than a jet engine; if that's the case, why have they always used the term "JATO", leading people to think it is a "jet", rather than a "rocket" ?

I think RATO would have been a more appropriate acronymn, but noone asked me...  
Quoting Geezer (Thread starter):
Third, was this something that was developed out of necessity, in order to get out smaller air strips with heavy loads, or was it just added to "spice up" the act, ( or a little bit of both ? )

In military service it was designed to help get the plane in the air either off small strips or more usually in hot and high temps and altitudes where performance would be diminished.

For the Blue Angels its all just for show. Any runway the Blues jets can take off from, an completely empty and lightly fueled C-130 could get off from without JATO. But it sure is pretty!

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 1):
I understand the Blue Angels have or will soon stop the jato routine due to lack of bottles in the supply system.

It is my understanding they have already stopped, as of last airshow season. I've seen Fat Albert do the JATO take off numerous times, most if not all of them being at Jacksonville NAS airshow. This past October they did not do a JATO burn, and I had read before that that 2010 was the last year they'd be performing the JATO t/o due to running out of them.
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kc135topboom
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RE: Questions: Jato T/O With C-130 "Fat Albert"

Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:06 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 1):
Quite often was used to refer to rockets. i.e. "Jet Assisted Take Off" (JATO) units were developed by the "Jet Propulsion Lab" (JPL) in Pasadena.

Actually, the developement of JATO goes back to the German Luftwaffe in WWII. They used JATO on several different aircraft and guilders, but mostly on Ju-87 bombers when they were performing missions other than bombing and recon. The Me-163 Comet was essentially a JATO converted into an airplane fighter.

JPL just improved on the idea, with the help of German Engineers.
 
rwessel
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RE: Questions: Jato T/O With C-130 "Fat Albert"

Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:03 pm

Quoting Geezer (Thread starter):
But after years of reading about "mishaps" occurring with solid rocket boosters, I'm really surprised they started using this technology at air shows; apparently the technology has "matured" ?

Small solids are *very* reliable, pretty much always have been. It's the big ones with (difficult to detect) casting flaws, or difficult to manage field joints, or excessively "optimized" case thicknesses, that cause all the grief.
 
Geezer
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RE: Questions: Jato T/O With C-130 "Fat Albert"

Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:00 am

quote= ZANL188, reply=1

Most of the military C-130s I've worked with over the years have had the provisions for JATO, few of the airframes actually use it.

Thanks for that; I was unaware it had been "built in" to C-130 frames. And yes, I remember the term "jet" being used in relation to any "reaction" engine.

quote= HaveBlue, reply=2 In military service it was designed to help get the plane in the air either off small strips or more usually in hot and high temps and altitudes where performance would be diminished.

Yes, I knew this, but just didn't relate it the use by the Blue Angel Team; and I totally agree, it sure is "spectacular" !



quote= KC135TopBoom, reply=3

Actually, the developement of JATO goes back to the German Luftwaffe in WWII. They used JATO on several different aircraft and guilders, but mostly on Ju-87 bombers when they were performing missions other than bombing and recon. The Me-163 Comet was essentially a JATO converted into an airplane fighter.

I hadn't thought about the term "JATO" in relation to the development of the Me-163 "Komet"; Actually, I have read several books about the Me-163 and the incredibly brave men who flew the thing ! Thing took off like a mortor round, leaving it's baby-buggy wheeled "gear" whizzing across the airfield..........with less than 4 minutes fuel, to find a target, engage, and then start thinking about how to get back on the ground ! Also, I actually had the pleasure of speaking with a WW 2 B-17 pilot at Wright-Pat AFB, who encountered a "Komet", while in a large formation over a target during the war. I grew up near Dayton, and saw many "bizarre" "incidents", having to do with military aviation; also spent a lot of time at the Air Force Museum at Wright -Pat.

Thanks to all for the information !

Charley
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zanl188
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RE: Questions: Jato T/O With C-130 "Fat Albert"

Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:10 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
Actually, the developement of JATO goes back to the German Luftwaffe in WWII. They used JATO on several different aircraft and guilders, but mostly on Ju-87 bombers when they were performing missions other than bombing and recon. The Me-163 Comet was essentially a JATO converted into an airplane fighter.

JPL just improved on the idea, with the help of German Engineers.

Well at the time I suspect the Germans were not terribly cooperative. Safe to say I think that wartime JPL developed JATO without any help from the Luftwaffe.. lol
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LTC8K6
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RE: Questions: Jato T/O With C-130 "Fat Albert"

Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:04 am

"A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet of fluid to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets and pump-jets. In general, most jet engines are internal combustion engines[1] but non-combusting forms also exist."

"A rocket engine, or simply "rocket," is a jet engine[1] that uses only propellant mass for forming its high speed propulsive jet. Rocket engines are reaction engines and obtain thrust in accordance with Newton's third law. Since they need no external material to form their jet, rocket engines can be used for spacecraft propulsion as well as terrestrial uses, such as missiles. Most rocket engines are internal combustion engines, although non combusting forms also exist."
 
kingairta
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RE: Questions: Jato T/O With C-130 "Fat Albert"

Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:38 pm

They can be ejected from the airplane at any time. That job is done by the loadmaster. The handles are on the inside of the fusalage under the insulation blankets. They are ejected from lowest to highest.

I hope Fat Albert is still doing JATO take offs. The Blues will be at KNFW this year and I have a shot at getting a ride.
 
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kanban
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RE: Questions: Jato T/O With C-130 "Fat Albert"

Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:42 pm

maybe they will switch over to the 6 bladed props..
 
Spacepope
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RE: Questions: Jato T/O With C-130 "Fat Albert"

Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:47 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 9):

maybe they will switch over to the 6 bladed props..

Why? The classic hercs are trying to switch to 8 bladed ones.
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kanban
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RE: Questions: Jato T/O With C-130 "Fat Albert"

Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:36 am

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 10):
Why? The classic hercs are trying to switch to 8 bladed ones.

darn short term memory... I was thinking of the new ones and was too lazy to go find the thread.

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