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STT757
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Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Wed Feb 05, 2003 12:28 pm

I just saw it and they will probably re-air it, amazing documentary about the X plane competition.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/xplanes/
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CV990A
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RE: Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Wed Feb 05, 2003 12:51 pm

Just as good, it's being followed by the Kee Bird story... Looks like PBS is a winner tonight...
Kittens Give Morbo Gas
 
sharpnfuzzy
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RE: Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Wed Feb 05, 2003 12:55 pm

Yup, I watched it. It was really good, too bad they didn't make it a several part documentary... like the one they had about the 777.
 
CcrlR
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RE: Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Wed Feb 05, 2003 12:57 pm

I just saw it. It was cool. I liked the one about Air Force One and the 777 too.
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
 
planelover
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RE: Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Wed Feb 05, 2003 1:20 pm

It was awesome! I only saw the first half though. Taped the rest and that b-29 thing after it. It was really good. From what I hear, Boeing and Lockheed woudn't allow NOVA to leave the buildings with the tape during the filming. They locked them up in a vault.  Nuts I agree though, it would have been better if it was longer.

I havn't seen the episode on the 777. Hope they will run a rerun soon.

Have fun all.  Smile
PL
 
sharpnfuzzy
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RE: Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Thu Feb 06, 2003 1:55 am

Hey... does anyone think that asthetics had anything to do with the final descision?.. I mean the Boeing plane was ugly! I could just imagine enemy pilots scratching their heads trying to figure out what the hell the thing shooting at them is.
 
cloudy
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RE: Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Thu Feb 06, 2003 8:50 am

From what I've heard, there were two reasons.

1. Lockheeds version was allot closer to being a production design than Boeing's was. Lockheeds X plane was closer to the actual warfighting machine and so possed fewer risks of overruns, etc. This was no doubt the deciding factor.

2. Lockheed used more advanced tech for its lift-fan and ended up with a simpler, easier to maintain system with no need for either a second engine or Harrier-style thrust vectoring. Plus they ended up with more margin for weight growth than Boeing had. Until now - the geared lift fan has not been tried. Lockheed took a big gamble and won.

Usually, you have to make a choice between what's most advanced and whats most ready for production. In this case, Lockheed won on both counts. Once the lift-fan gamble was won - the case was closed. Boeing hadn't taken enough risks and so lost out big. There may be a lesson here for the commercial market....

Anyway......Aesthetics may have played a role. Boeing's design is actually more conservative than Lockheed's in some ways. It was Lockheed that took the biggest design risks. Yet it looks more wierd - and so APPEARS to be more risky. It is impossible for people to totally shake first impressions from their minds.
 
Night_Flight
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RE: Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Thu Feb 06, 2003 9:30 am

The program was great! Set your VCR's to record this hit.

It showed the pro's and con's of each aircraft, shared a little technical data, and followed the aircraft through the flight testing. They are the only planes able to hover, takeoff and land vertically and able to easily go supersonic.

It is curious that this information is not classified even thought the aircraft were X-planes.

-Night_Flight-
Remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous?
 
desertjets
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RE: Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Thu Feb 06, 2003 12:29 pm

What night was this supposed to air, Tuesday or Wednesday... b/c both of the PBS stations I get here weren't airing them. Which I suppose was a good thing b/c it would have torn me away from Enterprise.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
cloudy
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RE: Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Fri Feb 07, 2003 10:35 am

I watched the whole program and I must admit I was incorrect.
The Lockheed bird does use thrust vectoring to some degree, though not to the extent that Boeing's does.

Also, Lockheeds "Lift Fan" is more complex and risky than Boeing's pure Harrier style model. The trade off is that it saves weight, is less hard on the surfaces it lands on, has less risk of ingesting it's own hot air (something that I am doing now - I am now eating the hot air I gave off with my last post  Smile ), and
it allows you to put the engine in a better place (The rear).

Despite the fact that Lockheed chose a more risky path to meeting the STOVL requirement, they managed to put out a bird much closer to a production version. They also had higher weight margins than Boeing's entry. This impressed the military, apparently.
 
soontobepilot
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RE: Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Fri Feb 07, 2003 11:25 am

Anyone know when the next showing of any of the PBS airplane shows are? I want to tape a bunch of them.

Also, is Dicovery Wings worth getting, and how do you go about getting it?

Thanks,
-soontobepilot
 
flybulldog
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RE: Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Fri Feb 07, 2003 11:54 am

I don't think they replay the PBS shows very often - they want you to buy the VCR tapes. If you check your library, they may have a copy of the tapes.

I think you'll find that most of us here like the Discovery Wings channel. There's usually about 4 hours a week of very interesting shows repeated very often throughout the week. The biggest complaint is that there are too many shows repeated during the week.
 
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HA_DC9
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RE: Battle Of The X Planes On PBS Tonight

Fri Feb 07, 2003 2:10 pm

The show about the 777 s really good. I bought the 3 tape VHS version for about $40 at my local Borders store. I bought the set a few years ago, but I think the set is still available in retail.

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