Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
474218
Topic Author
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

Total In Flight Simulator

Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:01 am

Some of you may have never seen the aircraft below.

It was called the TIFS (Total In Flight Simulator) and was built by Tex Johnson (of rolling the 707 fame) Incorporated in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. TJI shared a hanger with Aerospacelines that built the Guppies. I worked on TIFS from February to June 1969, my first job after getting out of the Air Force. The Convair fuselage was shortened, note that the forward entry door is gone in the photos below, a Boeing 707 nose was added along with side force surfaces on the wings. When the airframe modifications were complete the aircraft was taken to Cornell University where computes were installed that would mimic the handling of a 707. Things like engine outs could be exhibited by using the side-force surfaces.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Peter de Groot



While visiting a relative earlier in the week I came across some pictures I took in April 1969 while the TIFS was undergoing modification. How they ended up in a photo album of my sister and what happened to the rest of the pictures will remain a mystery.

Sorry about the photo quality but they were taken with my Petri 35 mm viewfinder camera and then I had to scan 42 year old prints.







One of the parts I installed was the external longeron that ran from the 707 to the Convair, it is visible in all three photos.
 
N49WA
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:06 pm

RE: Total In Flight Simulator

Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:13 am

Great post and photos, thanks! I recall seeing photos of the Convair with a different "experimental" nose on it, but this the first I've seen with the 707.
 
dw747400
Posts: 1100
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 8:24 am

RE: Total In Flight Simulator

Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:25 am

Great find and thanks for sharing.

One question--by 1969 the 707 was already well established in service. What sort of testing/training were they doing in the FITS that could not be done in an actual 707?
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20806
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: Total In Flight Simulator

Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:31 am

Quoting N49WA (Reply 1):
Great post and photos, thanks! I recall seeing photos of the Convair with a different "experimental" nose on it, but this the first I've seen with the 707.

The TIFS had two interchangeable noses.
 
User avatar
DL_Mech
Posts: 2713
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 7:48 am

RE: Total In Flight Simulator

Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:36 pm

Hard to believe that this airplane would be converted back to CV-580 configuration later......



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Richard Vandervord

 
PGNCS
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:07 am

RE: Total In Flight Simulator

Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:12 pm

474218:

Thank you so much for this fascinating post. I had never heard of this project and found it most enlightening.

Great photos, too!
 
474218
Topic Author
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

RE: Total In Flight Simulator

Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:16 pm

Quoting N49WA (Reply 1):
Great post and photos, thanks! I recall seeing photos of the Convair with a different "experimental" nose on it, but this the first I've seen with the 707.
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 3):
The TIFS had two interchangeable noses.

That was the USAF aircraft this was a different aircraft.

Quoting dw747400 (Reply 2):
What sort of testing/training were they doing in the FITS that could not be done in an actual 707?

The theory was that the Convair was much less expensive to operate and and operation aircraft out of service. Remember in the 1969 "simulators" were not as advanced as those used today.

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 4):
Hard to believe that this airplane would be converted back to CV-580 configuration later......

That is the theory?

From what I know and have researched:

The USAF TIFS started life as a C-131B s/n 245 (53-7793) it was converted to the TIFS configuration (I can not find who did the conversion) and became the only NC-131H. It is currently in the USAF museum at Wright Patterson.

The civilian TIFS started life as a 440 s/n 466. The Boeing 707 nose came from BOAC that exploded and burned at LHR in April 1968.

There are many pictures on the web of the USAF TIFS but few of the Civilian TIFS but one picture does prove they were two different aircraft. The C-131 had a large cargo door aft of the wing (no windows) in the August 21 1969 edition of Flight International there is a picture of the civilian TIFS and while the picture is of the left side widows can be seen on both sides of the aircraft.

The two people that were most involved Tex Johnston and Van Shepard (President and Vice President of Tex Johnston Inc) have passed on.

There is a sentence in the Airways Magazine article about the 707 nose the states the 580 was reverted to a standard configuration in the 1970's. I would think that would have been as big a job as installing the 707 nose?

I worked on the TIFS less that six months. I quit the day they started taxi tests and it was 42 years ago so I could be completely wrong on everything. But if the USAF TIFS and the civilian TIFS are the same aircraft many more modifications were carried out?

If anyone knows more I would love to hear it.
 
474218
Topic Author
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

RE: Total In Flight Simulator

Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:38 pm

Here is a good photo of the USAF TIFS, the differences between it and the 707 nose of the civilian TIFS is clearly visible.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Wayne Dippold

 
dw747400
Posts: 1100
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 8:24 am

RE: Total In Flight Simulator

Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:05 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 6):
The theory was that the Convair was much less expensive to operate and and operation aircraft out of service.

The complexity of the system, cost of conversion, etc all suggest to me the FITS wouldn't be as much of a cost saver as you'd think. The fact only the one civil unit was built seems to support that, but that could also be because simulator technology caught up before FITS took hold...
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: Total In Flight Simulator

Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:36 pm

Wow, great photos and first-hand info. Thanks for sharing.  
 
SlamClick
Posts: 9576
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:09 am

RE: Total In Flight Simulator

Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:16 pm

I saw this aircraft several times at Santa Barbara. On one occasion I was given a tour of the Clenet works in the hangar and stuck my head inside the "Boeing" entry door. More than anything else I was struck by how cramped the B-707 flight deck was - and I was flying a Twin Beech at the time.
 
User avatar
Jetlagged
Posts: 2564
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 3:00 pm

RE: Total In Flight Simulator

Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:23 pm

A slightly different form of inflight simulator. This Beagle Bassett CC2 has variable stability so it can be used demonstrate the effects on handling characteristics to trainee test pilots at ETPS Boscombe Down.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Rick Ingham

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BlueberryWheats and 20 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos