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Old 01-06-2008, 01:55 AM   #11
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Re: Happy New Year!!! Any Resolutions?

OH MAN DO I LOVE THAT CADILLAC! that is so awsome we have a lake here on the island and my neibor and i had a 455 jet boat iye had a lot of fast cars but the jet boats are the most exicting horsepower by far live it love it tim
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:57 AM   #12
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Re: Happy New Year!!! Any Resolutions?

elliot wheres the 455?
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Old 01-06-2008, 02:53 AM   #13
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Re: Happy New Year!!! Any Resolutions?

ShortBus, do you have that guys E-mail address? I'll send him a message too and encourage him to come here. We need more members on this forum period. If you ever have mechanical problems with your bus, make sure you ask here first. Maintenance isn't as daunting as it seems. I am totally self taught as far as automotive maintenance. I was an aircraft mechanic for over 9 years before I changed jobs. Anyways, the people here can help you troubleshoot. I have been driving for about 14 years now and have never taken a vehicle to a mechanic for anything. I drive beaters too. When I have a problem, I figure it out and fix it myself.

I wouldn't worry too much about being street legal as far as paint or the stop sign or whatever. 99% of the cops out there have probably never come across a school bus that is privately owned. As long as it's insured, that's the biggest thing. When I got my bus, I drove it to work one night. I took about 25 people to IHOP at 3am. The bus was still yellow, had the stop sign and flashing lights at the time too. You're also not allowed to have more than 11 people in the bus without a CDL. I had 25. I was stopped by the cops on base twice before I painted. I guess that a school bus rolling around an Air Force base at 2am is a bit suspicious. I never had any trouble from them other than a lot of questions.

I will probably buy a short bus about a year from now. Of course, if I find one that's a good deal like yours before then, I'll pick it up! I saw one driving around the other day with a for sale sign on it. It didn't have a phone number and the guy wouldn't stop despite my efforts to flag him down! I guess he didn't want to sell it that bad. My wife finally made me give up the chase.

The Air Force is pretty safe relatively. There are thousands of Air Force people in Iraq right now. How often do you hear about one of them getting killed? Pretty rare. You may remember hearing about the B-2 bombers that flew from Missouri, to Kosovo and back non stop to drop the first bombs. Right before that, I got a call early in the morning and was told that I needed to be ready to go in 4 hours and they couldn't tell me where I was going or how long I'd be gone. We left and headed for Europe. NOBODY knew what was going on. Only that we were going to be refueling another aircraft. I worked on the KC-10 at the time hence the screen name. The KC-10 is a huge three engine mid air refueling and cargo airplane. The only thing bigger is the C-5. The KC-10 can weigh 593,000 pounds at take off. Anyways, we went to Sicily and waited for a while and left again. We were flying in the middle of the night. I was sitting back in the refueling pod with the boom operator. He didn't even know what was going on. We had a pretty good idea and we knew what was going on when a B-2 bomber pulled up. We were his last refuel before he went into Kosovo. By the time we got back, it was already on the news. Very cool.

Later, I went to Kosovo when Bill Clinton went there right after the conflict ended. We were supposed to only be there for about 4 hours, but wound up staying for about three days. It was pretty uncomfortable, but a rewarding trip. We hauled some presidential support vehicles over there. Anyways, we slept on the plane or out on the ramp the whole time. There was still quite a bit of gunfire and bombs going off. We didn't have much food or water for three days. But there were some British troops there and they really hooked us up. I don't know where they got all that crap, but they fed us and everything. Great folks. On the last day, Bill Clinton shook all of our hands. Later, we went back and helped bring the refugees to Ft. Dix in New Jersey. You may remember hearing about that. There were thousands of them staying there. I was stationed at McGuire AFB at the time which is on Ft. Dix. Right across from where they were staying is the Army parade grounds. I brought one of my RC airplanes out there one day and flew it. I had about two thousand people watching it and cheering and screaming. I don't think they had ever seen one. That was a fun time!

I've flown over Iraq several times. That was before we went back in there. We were refueling fighters and bombers that were dropping bombs in Iraq. I could see explosions and gunfire in the distance. Now, I'm on the AWACS. Most of the time, we're above 30,000 feet flying orbits. The guys in the back of the plane can see what's going on a long ways away. The Russians and some other countries have aircraft that are specifically designed to track down and destroy AWACS. Fortunately, none of them are mad at us at the moment. We have quite a few counter measures for things like that anyways.

Most of the time, we go to pretty nice places! I've spent most of my time in the Middle East just outside of Dubai. Ever seen Dubai on TV? Yeah... it's nice. I've been all over Europe, Japan, Thailand, India, Diego Garcia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Egypt, Iceland, Hawaii, etc.

I love the Air Force. It's been very good to me and my family. Free health care, free education, paid to travel, the best training in the world, and I am able to provide a nice comfortable living for myself and my family. I got my bachelors degree and didn't pay one cent for it. I can't say enough positive things about the Air Force.

Here's a KC-10. This thing is huge. The engines are so big, and I can stand inside the intake with my arms straight up over my head. I'm 6'1".


This is the AWACS. Not as big as the KC-10. It's a 707 airframe. They're about $500 million each.


Here's the Flight Engineer panel on the KC-10. This one is pretty simple. It's the easiest plane to FE on.


This is the AWACS FE panel. There's quite a bit of it that you can't see. That's not me by the way. It's a buddy of mine.
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:01 AM   #14
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Re: Happy New Year!!! Any Resolutions?


Quote:
...wheres the 455?
No 455.
Just four guys with strong legs.

It was built by a professional Hollywood movie prop fabricator. The fiberglass body is wafer thin. The frame is assorted round steel tubing, and the drive train is four sets of bicycle pedals, assorted chains and sprockets, and two lawn tractor differensials. Four wheel drive.

The water propulsion, which is missing, was two paddle wheels in the trunk -- notice the water churned up behind the bumper in the photo.

The floor/pontoon was styrofoam wrapped in fiberglass, and shaped (see photo) so it fit around the frame rails, and left room for the pedals. Note the two (actually four) vertical rods. The floor/pontoon lowered for water travel, and retracted for ground clearance on land. This movable pontoon is similar to the one I have been using on "Henry Ford Goes Surfing" -- my model T Ford Kinetic Kontraption.

When I picked it up a couple of days ago, I was able to lift one side of the car off the ground, so I estimate it weighs about 500 lbs as it sits now. I have not even taken it off the trailer yet.
Too many projects! But it was in danger of being destroyed, and I wasn't about to allow that to happen. It used to be in a museum, but they lost the space.
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:29 AM   #15
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Re: Happy New Year!!! Any Resolutions?

Well Elliot, thanks for saving the Caddy from the shredder. On the picture, of it going to the water, I could have sworn that it was the real thing.

Oh well, that's Hollywood for you.

Robert
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:34 AM   #16
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Re: Happy New Year!!! Any Resolutions?

Hey Matt, are they still using Pratts on the AWACS, or did they convert to GEs?

Robert
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:03 AM   #17
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Re: Happy New Year!!! Any Resolutions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roasting8
Hey Matt, are they still using Pratts on the AWACS, or did they convert to GEs?

Robert
Good ol' Pratt's. I hear they're never going to convert. Even if they had plans to do so, that stuff takes years and years to do. The AWACS is the only plane that uses the Pratt's. They retired the C-141 a few years ago and it used the Pratt's too. They salvaged all of those engines and now the Air Force has a ton of them sitting around. They want to have something to use them on. I guess the AWACS is it! There's still some JSTAR's with Pratt's, but they're being converted to GE's. It would be nice if they converted. The GE's are more efficient, more reliable, not as noisy and they're safer. They can take a lot worse beating than the Pratt. They did tests where they shot like 5 frozen turkey's into one of those GE's and it still ran. One live, non frozen goose will take out a Pratt. It sucks when you're taking off and you're at the decision speed on the runway and a bunch of birds start flying up everywhere. Talk about pucker factor! The small birds won't take out an engine, but I start to worry about anything bigger than a seagull. Like Canadian Geese. They like airports and they're huge. Back in the early 90's, an AWACS was taking off in Alaska. Right after they left the runway, they hit a flock of Canadian geese that was scared up by the plane taking off. Birds went into the engines on the right wing and shut the engines down. The plane crashed and killed all 24 people on board.


Losing one engine on takeoff isn't too bad. Losing two is bad. Especially if they're on the same wing. That's difficult to recover from when you're low to the ground. Shortly after that, an AWACS was taking off in Germany, and a bunch of birds started flying off the side of the runway. The crew freaked out and aborted the take off past the decision speed. Decision speed is where you decide to take off or abort. It's pre-determined before you ever start the engines on the ramp. After you reach decision speed and decide to go, you're supposed to take off no matter what happens. These guys aborted and went off the end of the runway into some water and destroyed the aircraft. Everybody survived, but there were some injuries and the plane was destroyed.


They were at least able to salvage a lot of the parts. A couple years ago when I was still doing maintenance, we used the vertical stab off the wrecked NATO AWACS and put it on one of ours that some maintenance guys destroyed by pushing it into a hangar.

95% of all airplane crashes are human error. I hope I never make a bad decision like that!
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:03 AM   #18
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Re: Happy New Year!!! Any Resolutions?

Hi Matt, I remember hearing about the AWACS in Alaska and I used to know some of the people that were on that plane. I was in Saudi Arabia, at the time, and the first thing we tried to do was to find out who was in the plane.

I used to be an old AWACS radar tech and worked in Saudi, as a civilian, teaching them how to maintain their radar.

I remember that the Saudis had all GEs on their tankers (KC-135s look alike) and they also had them on their AWACS. They ordered them from Boeing that way.

I remember the Pratts as being kind of dirty and less of everything compared to the GEs. That's probably why GE has cornered the market.

BTW, do they still have the old APY-1 radar on any of the planes?
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:52 AM   #19
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Re: Happy New Year!!! Any Resolutions?

i resolve to

1. stop smoking (like it really worked in the past, lol)
2. get back into shape (tried last year too)
3. buy a skoolie (nowhere to put it, but maybe i could convince my girlfriends family to let me park it there, they got 3 acres, oh wait i doubt SHE would let me)
4. get a couple more technician cert.'s out of the way.
5. VOTE
6. survive another year!
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unfortunately i fell off the bus. and now i'm not even near the darn road! ;) ;)
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