A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Default Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Ok, there is a scene in this anime where the main character alucard is ramming a
    Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. An advanced, long-range strategic reconnaissance aircraft, capable of Mach 3 and an altitude of eighty-five thousand feet
    into a aircraft carrier. My question is, what would the results be of this? From the video clip its clear he is probably dive bombing from maximum height with the engines going full blast, so im not sure if his impact speed is still mach 3 or if gravity assist is making it go even higher. Is that kind of a result accurate? Or would the jet just basically vaporize on contact and only do moderate damage to the ship itself? Or would it effectively destroy the ship? Im pretty dang certain there wouldnt be remains recognizable as a jet afterwards though.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    It would certainly make a hole in the flight deck. Explosion of the plane itself would not be that big (unless there was ammo nearby waiting to be loaded).

    Serious damage, but probably not a sinking. Remember Kamakaze pilots at the end of WW2 would crash loaded dive bombers onto carriers (which were arguably tougher back then). Seldom (not never but seldom) would one bomber sink a ship.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Not exactly an analogous situation, but ramming an F-4 Phantom into a reinforced concrete wall at over 400mph results in the f-4 essentially disintegrating on impact with minimal damage to the wall.

    The title of the video is a touch misleading, as the jet was on a rocket sled and filled with water to simulate full weight, not under its own power.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomandtish View Post
    It would certainly make a hole in the flight deck. Explosion of the plane itself would not be that big (unless there was ammo nearby waiting to be loaded).

    Serious damage, but probably not a sinking. Remember Kamakaze pilots at the end of WW2 would crash loaded dive bombers onto carriers (which were arguably tougher back then). Seldom (not never but seldom) would one bomber sink a ship.
    True, but I wasnt sure if it being a modern jet made of less flimsy materials traveling WAY faster would make up the difference in damage. In the series he DID sail the heavily damaged vessel up a major river so it seems like it was a fairly realistic rendition of damage dealt.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    True, but I wasnt sure if it being a modern jet made of less flimsy materials traveling WAY faster would make up the difference in damage. In the series he DID sail the heavily damaged vessel up a major river so it seems like it was a fairly realistic rendition of damage dealt.
    SR-71 is actually almost as old as F4, but is significantly heavier as its own mas twice that high while the maximal start mass almost three times that of F4. With so high velocities type of materials does not play much of a role - it will all be pulverized anyway.

    That F4 against wall test was done at 480 mph, which is about 0.63 Mach and with 3.2 Mach being a typical flight speed of SR-71 I can easily see it doing at least 3.5 Mach during a full-powered dive. This gives us almost 5.56 times more speed, which translates to a factor of 31 for the impact energy. Combining that with the mass difference we are looking at 60 to 90 more energy than in that F4 test. Considering that no part of a ship will have the same resilience as a thick reinforced concrete block, we are indeed looking at serious damage. That giant fireball suggests the plane was full of fuel, so the deck-wide fire might also be justified.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    True, but I wasnt sure if it being a modern jet made of less flimsy materials traveling WAY faster would make up the difference in damage. In the series he DID sail the heavily damaged vessel up a major river so it seems like it was a fairly realistic rendition of damage dealt.
    Modern military aircraft arent made for durability. The aim is not to get hit in the first place (by being light and maneuverable). They are notoriously made out of flimsy material prone to deforming. Eg by standing around fueled up for too long.

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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    In the series he DID sail the heavily damaged vessel up a major river so it seems like it was a fairly realistic rendition of damage dealt.
    Course, he is one of the more powerful vampires out there, backed by the souls of thousands he has taken; the ship could be full of holes under the waterline and still float because of his sheer power.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    In the series he DID sail the heavily damaged vessel up a major river so it seems like it was a fairly realistic rendition of damage dealt.
    No one should sail an aircraft carrier up a river. Those things are really, really big.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post

    That F4 against wall test was done at 480 mph, which is about 0.63 Mach and with 3.2 Mach being a typical flight speed of SR-71 I can easily see it doing at least 3.5 Mach during a full-powered dive.
    I can't see that speed at all. The SR-71 achieves its speed at altitude where the air is much thinner, at sea level its top speed is probably barely above mach one, and I don't think its engines at full thrust in a dive will add much to that, it might get closer to mach 2 than mach 1.0, but I doubt it would achieve mach 2. Beside which, as mentioned elsewhere, mach speed changes with temperature and thus altitude.
    Last edited by halfeye; 2021-10-21 at 09:42 AM.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    True, but I wasnt sure if it being a modern jet made of less flimsy materials traveling WAY faster would make up the difference in damage. In the series he DID sail the heavily damaged vessel up a major river so it seems like it was a fairly realistic rendition of damage dealt.
    The SR-71 isn't modern and it's not built out of flimsy material, its' the closest thing to a flying brick that exists. It's also a very very odd plane, it's fuel tanks leak when it starts because they had to account for the the metal expansion caused by it's high cruising speed heating it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rydiro View Post
    Modern military aircraft arent made for durability. The aim is not to get hit in the first place (by being light and maneuverable). They are notoriously made out of flimsy material prone to deforming. Eg by standing around fueled up for too long.
    Except the funny thing is the SR-71 was built specifically for durability and is 92% titanium. A metal the US didn't have in the amounts needed and so a whole lot of CIA shenanigans ensue to import it from the Soviet Union.


    Would nearly 70 tons of titanium brick hitting a carrier at at least the the speed of sound do damage? Yea I think it would. Does this in any way compare to the Japanese kamikazes? No, not really.

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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    So I worked out the energy to 480325434.741 Joules, or .48 gigajoules, or a fraction of a standard missile. "The tonne of TNT is a unit of energy defined by that convention to be 4.184 gigajoules, which is the approximate energy released in the detonation of a metric ton of TNT."

    It would not sink an aircraft carrier.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    So I worked out the energy to 480,325,434.741 Joules, or .48 gigajoules, or a fraction of a standard missile. "The tonne of TNT is a unit of energy defined by that convention to be 4.184 gigajoules, which is the approximate energy released in the detonation of a metric ton of TNT."

    It would not sink an aircraft carrier.
    What figures are you using for the calculations?
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Aircraft carrier flight decks are also really tough in general, and the real HMS Eagle (like many Royal Navy carriers) had a specifically armored deck. The show seems accurate enough here (though why this matters is a bit strange for *this* series!)

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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    Ok, there is a scene in this anime where the main character alucard is ramming a into a aircraft carrier. My question is, what would the results be of this? From the video clip its clear he is probably dive bombing from maximum height with the engines going full blast, so im not sure if his impact speed is still mach 3 or if gravity assist is making it go even higher. Is that kind of a result accurate? Or would the jet just basically vaporize on contact and only do moderate damage to the ship itself? Or would it effectively destroy the ship? Im pretty dang certain there wouldnt be remains recognizable as a jet afterwards though.
    Terminal velocity isn't even Mach 1, and turning radius gets to be something of a problem at those speeds, so diving is unlikely to make much of a difference.

    Hellsing is...very much about aesthetics, not practicality, though. It's close enough to make things look cool, but definitely isn't taking a simulationist approach.

    But hey, let's kill some catgirls. At mach 3, the 60,000 libs of the Blackbird are gonna result in 28,004,792.9 m kg/s of impact force. That's going to make a mess. That said, Alucard is specifically making the ship move afterwards via magic, so...eh? Even if it would be disabling, that doesn't prevent the scene. His whole shtick is that if he's there, well, he's going to be insanely ridiculous and pretty much unstoppable.

    Also, for pedantry, they are known to have hit at *least* mach 3.2 and probably more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rydiro View Post
    Modern military aircraft arent made for durability. The aim is not to get hit in the first place (by being light and maneuverable). They are notoriously made out of flimsy material prone to deforming. Eg by standing around fueled up for too long.
    The Blackbird is something of an exception, being made insanely durable just to survive its ridiculously extreme performance characteristics. Even the panels are of a titanium alloy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Aircraft carrier flight decks are also really tough in general, and the real HMS Eagle (like many Royal Navy carriers) had a specifically armored deck. The show seems accurate enough here (though why this matters is a bit strange for *this* series!)
    Armor penetration is governed primarily by speed, anything moving that fast will absolutely destroy armor. Density is the secondary factor, and even there, it's a pretty solid bird.

    I do agree that it doesn't really matter, but I would expect complete penetration out the bottom of the hull if at absolute maximum speed. Which may not be the case here, because of various details. Alucard isn't caring about Guinness records here, he's just making a mess.

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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by sihnfahl View Post
    What figures are you using for the calculations?
    Foot lbs from a 70 ton object going mach 3 converted to joules so it can be compared to large explosives.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Foot lbs from a 70 ton object going mach 3 converted to joules so it can be compared to large explosives.
    So using KE=1/2mv2?

    Using a -71's gross weight of 68,946 kg, and mach 3 (1029.6 m/s) yields KE = 34473 * 1060076.2 = 36,544,006,842.6 J of KE.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    No one should sail an aircraft carrier up a river. Those things are really, really big.
    It's not often done with carriers because they are vulnerable on a river (they can't maneuver out of the way) and they mostly can't develop the speed needed to launch aircraft, but they can on quite a few rivers. They have been sailing through the Suez canal, and a lot of rivers are bigger than that. And if it's damaged it might be a safe spot, if for instance the army can place a whole bunch of SAMs around it.

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    I can't see that speed at all. The SR-71 achieves its speed at altitude where the air is much thinner, at sea level its top speed is probably barely above mach one, and I don't think its engines at full thrust in a dive will add much to that, it might get closer to mach 2 than mach 1.0, but I doubt it would achieve mach 2. Beside which, as mentioned elsewhere, mach speed changes with temperature and thus altitude.
    If the SR-71 starts at altitude and speed and then dives down, it can achieve mach 3.2. They can let a boeing 747 go through the sound barrier by doing a dive like that (although it won't ever reach mach 3.2 as the wings break off a lot sooner) And mach 3.2 is only the highest speed that they told us about. It's quite possible it could go faster. The limiting factor is the speed at which the airframe would disintegrate on it's own (most likely by the wings that let go). And if you know what damage a micro-meteorite can do to a satellite (or the ISS), it's possible for a larger but slower plane to seriously damage a carrier.

    Also concerning the fireball, it's most likely not due to the fuel in the SR-71, as it's fuel was quite special and it had to be chemically started. It also leaked while standing still, a the high speed deformed the airframe so the fuel tanks weren't fully sealed as they would break at speed. Now as soon as the plane reached a certain speed, the deformation would seal the tanks. It can be that the crashing SR-71 hit the carrier's fuel bunkers (even nuclear carriers carry a lot of fuel for their air wing and their conventional escorts) or the bomb and missile magazines. If that happens you can get a very big fireball and most likely a sinking carrier.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by farothel View Post
    If the SR-71 starts at altitude and speed and then dives down, it can achieve mach 3.2. They can let a boeing 747 go through the sound barrier by doing a dive like that (although it won't ever reach mach 3.2 as the wings break off a lot sooner)
    The SR-71 could reach that speed in level flight high up (or indeed perhaps the diving and disintegrating Boeing). Coming down the air gets thicker, and warmer, so kmph/mach goes up, meaning even if it maintained the kmph (which I absolutely deny and dispute), the mach number would go down dramatically as it came down. I suspect that Tyndmyr is correct that the terminal velocity of a nose first SR-71 is below mach one at sea level (I think it would possibly be below mach 0.5), but that's with the engines off and no KE, with those I suspect the highest it might get up to would be mach 1.5, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was mach 1.3.

    It can be that the crashing SR-71 hit the carrier's fuel bunkers (even nuclear carriers carry a lot of fuel for their air wing and their conventional escorts) or the bomb and missile magazines. If that happens you can get a very big fireball and most likely a sinking carrier.
    Hitting magazines or bunkers is critical for any warship, but with a relatively small impactor and original explosion, the odds are low, of course in fiction it all happens at the speed of plot, so anything goes, but I thought this thread was about what was likely.
    Last edited by halfeye; 2021-10-22 at 06:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    I suspect that Tyndmyr is correct that the terminal velocity of a nose first SR-71 is below mach one at sea level (I think it would possibly be below mach 0.5), but that's with the engines off and no KE, with those I suspect the highest it might get up to would be mach 1.5, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was mach 1.3.
    That was someone else's claim. I suspect that it would pass through that much altitude so quickly that speed would barely alter at all. The more difficult part is turning it enough to go straight down. Arc of turn at those speeds is kind of insane.

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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    That was someone else's claim. I suspect that it would pass through that much altitude so quickly that speed would barely alter at all.
    That much altitude (85,000 ft) is 26 km, you can lose a heck of a lot of speed in 26km.

    The more difficult part is turning it enough to go straight down. Arc of turn at those speeds is kind of insane.
    Yeah, but you can loop over the top and come down from slower but higher, building up to speed as you drop to 85,000 ft, though keeping the engines lit and retaining directional control in atmosphere that thin might be problematic.
    Last edited by halfeye; 2021-10-25 at 03:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    That much altitude (85,000 ft) is 26 km, you can lose a heck of a lot of speed in 26km.
    Eh, traversing that far at that speed is what, 23 seconds?

    At 1.5gs(maximum load factor at 80k feet), your turn radius is 83.5km. At speeds that fast, lots of things become a little bit insane.

    You probably shouldn't be trying to flip it over and burn. It's not really an acrobatic sort of craft, and horrible things might happen. Things like an engine going out end up being really dangerous. Granted, this probably isn't *that* big a concern for Alucard in this situation, so we can postulate pretty much whatever to make the scene work as shown.
    Last edited by Tyndmyr; 2021-10-27 at 05:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    It seems to me the big question is whether the carrier has an armored flight deck, and, if so, whether the plane can penatrate it. If the cv is unarmored, or the plane defeats the armor, then the ship could be in a lot of trouble from progressive and probably very difficult to control fires. In case of deck penetration, the hanger deck and everything in it will be riddled with super hot fragments of steel and titanium, and anything that can burn will burn. This includes liquid jet or missile fuel in any readying aircraft. Actual bombs are generally very stable to heat and impact, so while they may burn they are unlikely to explode. Ammunition for aircraft cannon however can and will cook off, adding the fun of 20mm or 30mm incendiary shells shooting off at random.

    Otherwise the ship is fine as the plane disintegrates on impact with the deck armor, although fragments will kill anybody on deck, and total at least the outer layer of the island superstructure. Some spalling damage to the hanger deck is also possible, depending on if the carrier has a second layer of high tensile steel under the main deck armor. Any planes on the flight deck will also be wrecked, and quite likely burn. However, absent deck penatration, it seems unlikely to me that these fires will spread to deeper, more vital areas of the ship.


    Whether the plane can penatrate a reasonable amount of deck armor is difficult to say. It's going very fast, is quite heavy, and a nearly perpendicular impact angle is a worst case scenario for any armor system. However, it's also nowhere near as dense, rigid, or precisely shaped as a proper armor piercing projectile, and so will start to disintegrate on impact, spreading itself out and reducing pressure rather than punching clean through. My guess is that if we're talking 6 plus inches of good quality armor it can't, but I certainly wouldn't want to bet a carrier on that.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    Whether the plane can penetrate a reasonable amount of deck armor is difficult to say. It's going very fast, is quite heavy, and a nearly perpendicular impact angle is a worst case scenario for any armor system. However, it's also nowhere near as dense, rigid, or precisely shaped as a proper armor piercing projectile, and so will start to disintegrate on impact, spreading itself out and reducing pressure rather than punching clean through. My guess is that if we're talking 6 plus inches of good quality armor it can't, but I certainly wouldn't want to bet a carrier on that.
    This was one of the weaknesses of the kamikaze attacks. While the explosive load of the plane was much larger than a conventional bomb, the slower speed and less dense structure meant that they rarely penetrated deeply on their own, but could cause great damage to less armored superstructure. US WWII carriers also didn't have armored flight decks, though, so they could still get through this fairly easily. Modern carriers do have pretty good armored decks, however.

    There's a famous photo of a battleship or cruiser with heavier side armor that has the imprinted scorch mark of the plane that hit it that's almost a perfect silhouette, but didn't even dent the armor.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    So further digging on aircraft carrier armor suggests that the amount of horizontal
    protection carried at the flight deck level is fairly limited, the US Midway class topping out at 3.5 inches. Information on more modern carriers is, not surprisingly, very limited, but it seems to be less that that. Which isn't surprising, armor is just not a thing on ships anymore.

    At that level of protection, and absent the complex layering system of, say, battleship horizontal armor, it seems very likely to me that the hanger at least would be penatrated, and potentially decks below that as well. The hit is still very high in the ship, and certainly won't penatrate to, let alone through, the botton, so the risk of directly sinking is minimal. But as I said above, the risk of out of control fires is very real, and is something that can easily doom a ship.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Eh, traversing that far at that speed is what, 23 seconds?
    That feels wrong to me (the speed of sound goes up nearer sea level, a sea level mach is different from a 85,000 ft mach, so calculations based on sea level mach will give higher than correct mph results,), but the SR-71 would almost certainly break up in the atmosphere near sea level at that speed.

    At 1.5gs(maximum load factor at 80k feet), your turn radius is 83.5km. At speeds that fast, lots of things become a little bit insane.

    You probably shouldn't be trying to flip it over and burn. It's not really an acrobatic sort of craft, and horrible things might happen.
    When you go up significantly in a plane you lose speed, so you ought to be able to go over the top without pulling a lot of "g", it's just that you might run out of atmosphere to manouver with.

    Things like an engine going out end up being really dangerous.
    Flameout was awkward but recoverable, if you read the wikipedia page.

    Granted, this probably isn't *that* big a concern for Alucard in this situation, so we can postulate pretty much whatever to make the scene work as shown.
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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    So further digging on aircraft carrier armor suggests that the amount of horizontal
    protection carried at the flight deck level is fairly limited, the US Midway class topping out at 3.5 inches. Information on more modern carriers is, not surprisingly, very limited, but it seems to be less that that. Which isn't surprising, armor is just not a thing on ships anymore.
    The ship in the show was one that actually existed - HMS Eagle. She had 4" of deck armor. That's less than you'd find on a battleship (an Iowa-class turret roof is 7") but it isn't nothing. Despite the higher mass and possibly higher speed of an SR-71 impact, the plane will be contacting much more of the armor at once - and the amount of plane in contact with armor would increase dramatically quite rapidly, meaning that it probably wouldn't be that much better than an AP bomb - which could do about 5" of armor. That would give you a penetration to the hangar underneath, but without the bomb's actual warhead detonation.

    The scene in the show has the plane punched in and sticking out vertically, which feels right.

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    Lightbulb Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Apropos of absolutely nothing, but if anyone hasn't heard/read the SR-71 ground speed check story, today is your lucky day. This pilot can tell a story like nobody's business.

    Spoiler: From the book Sled Driver: Flying the World's Fastest Jet, by Brian Schul
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    There were a lot of things we couldn’t do in an SR-71, but we were the fastest guys on the block and loved reminding our fellow aviators of this fact. People often asked us if, because of this fact, it was fun to fly the jet. Fun would not be the first word I would use to describe flying this plane. Intense, maybe. Even cerebral. But there was one day in our Sled experience when we would have to say that it was pure fun to be the fastest guys out there, at least for a moment.

    It occurred when Walt and I were flying our final training sortie. We needed 100 hours in the jet to complete our training and attain Mission Ready status. Somewhere over Colorado we had passed the century mark. We had made the turn in Arizona and the jet was performing flawlessly. My gauges were wired in the front seat and we were starting to feel pretty good about ourselves, not only because we would soon be flying real missions but because we had gained a great deal of confidence in the plane in the past ten months. Ripping across the barren deserts 80,000 feet below us, I could already see the coast of California from the Arizona border. I was, finally, after many humbling months of simulators and study, ahead of the jet.

    I was beginning to feel a bit sorry for Walter in the back seat. There he was, with no really good view of the incredible sights before us, tasked with monitoring four different radios. This was good practice for him for when we began flying real missions, when a priority transmission from headquarters could be vital. It had been difficult, too, for me to relinquish control of the radios, as during my entire flying career I had controlled my own transmissions. But it was part of the division of duties in this plane and I had adjusted to it. I still insisted on talking on the radio while we were on the ground, however. Walt was so good at many things, but he couldn’t match my expertise at sounding smooth on the radios, a skill that had been honed sharply with years in fighter squadrons where the slightest radio miscue was grounds for beheading. He understood that and allowed me that luxury.

    Just to get a sense of what Walt had to contend with, I pulled the radio toggle switches and monitored the frequencies along with him. The predominant radio chatter was from Los Angeles Center, far below us, controlling daily traffic in their sector. While they had us on their scope (albeit briefly), we were in uncontrolled airspace and normally would not talk to them unless we needed to descend into their airspace.

    We listened as the shaky voice of a lone Cessna pilot asked Center for a readout of his ground speed. Center replied: “November Charlie 175, I’m showing you at ninety knots on the ground.”

    Now the thing to understand about Center controllers, was that whether they were talking to a rookie pilot in a Cessna, or to Air Force One, they always spoke in the exact same, calm, deep, professional, tone that made one feel important. I referred to it as the ” Houston Center voice.” I have always felt that after years of seeing documentaries on this country’s space program and listening to the calm and distinct voice of the Houston controllers, that all other controllers since then wanted to sound like that, and that they basically did. And it didn’t matter what sector of the country we would be flying in, it always seemed like the same guy was talking. Over the years that tone of voice had become somewhat of a comforting sound to pilots everywhere. Conversely, over the years, pilots always wanted to ensure that, when transmitting, they sounded like Chuck Yeager, or at least like John Wayne. Better to die than sound bad on the radios.

    Just moments after the Cessna’s inquiry, a Twin Beech piped up on frequency, in a rather superior tone, asking for his ground speed. “I have you at one hundred and twenty-five knots of ground speed.” Boy, I thought, the Beechcraft really must think he is dazzling his Cessna brethren. Then out of the blue, a navy F-18 pilot out of NAS Lemoore came up on frequency. You knew right away it was a Navy jock because he sounded very cool on the radios. “Center, Dusty 52 ground speed check”. Before Center could reply, I’m thinking to myself, hey, Dusty 52 has a ground speed indicator in that million-dollar cockpit, so why is he asking Center for a readout? Then I got it, ol’ Dusty here is making sure that every bug smasher from Mount Whitney to the Mojave knows what true speed is. He’s the fastest dude in the valley today, and he just wants everyone to know how much fun he is having in his new Hornet. And the reply, always with that same, calm, voice, with more distinct alliteration than emotion: “Dusty 52, Center, we have you at 620 on the ground.”

    And I thought to myself, is this a ripe situation, or what? As my hand instinctively reached for the mic button, I had to remind myself that Walt was in control of the radios. Still, I thought, it must be done – in mere seconds we’ll be out of the sector and the opportunity will be lost. That Hornet must die, and die now. I thought about all of our Sim training and how important it was that we developed well as a crew and knew that to jump in on the radios now would destroy the integrity of all that we had worked toward becoming. I was torn.

    Somewhere, 13 miles above Arizona, there was a pilot screaming inside his space helmet. Then, I heard it. The click of the mic button from the back seat. That was the very moment that I knew Walter and I had become a crew. Very professionally, and with no emotion, Walter spoke: “Los Angeles Center, Aspen 20, can you give us a ground speed check?” There was no hesitation, and the replay came as if was an everyday request. “Aspen 20, I show you at one thousand eight hundred and forty-two knots, across the ground.”

    I think it was the forty-two knots that I liked the best, so accurate and proud was Center to deliver that information without hesitation, and you just knew he was smiling. But the precise point at which I knew that Walt and I were going to be really good friends for a long time was when he keyed the mic once again to say, in his most fighter-pilot-like voice: “Ah, Center, much thanks, we’re showing closer to nineteen hundred on the money.”

    For a moment Walter was a god. And we finally heard a little crack in the armor of the Houston Center voice, when L.A.came back with, “Roger that Aspen, Your equipment is probably more accurate than ours. You boys have a good one.”

    It all had lasted for just moments, but in that short, memorable sprint across the southwest, the Navy had been flamed, all mortal airplanes on freq were forced to bow before the King of Speed, and more importantly, Walter and I had crossed the threshold of being a crew. A fine day’s work. We never heard another transmission on that frequency all the way to the coast.

    For just one day, it truly was fun being the fastest guys out there.
    Spoiler: Avatar by always-awesome Cuthalion
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    Spoiler: Come down with fire
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    Spoiler: Lift my spirit higher
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    Spoiler: Someone's screaming my name
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    If anyone has a crayon drawing they would like to put on the Kickstarter Reward Collection Thread, PM me.
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    Only sorcerers/favored souls etc get to always use every spell they know.
    All five of them, that is.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Explosive question from Hellsing Ultimate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Apropos of absolutely nothing, but if anyone hasn't heard/read the SR-71 ground speed check story, today is your lucky day. This pilot can tell a story like nobody's business.

    <Quote From the book Sled Driver>
    Thank-you for that, it is not one I had come across before and a great story.

    There is a story, I don't know how true, of an SR-71 flight across the Atlantic when they had mission control advise them of a necessary course change. They double-checked because what else flies at their altitude and received a confirmation, so they made the course change and then got to watch a Concorde cruise past (only mach 2.05 so not in their speed league at all). This caused the SR-71 pilots to wonder what they were doing sitting there in space suits (to all intents and purposes) while the Concorde was full of people drinking champagne and cocktails...

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