Parked up on the ramp at Renton was what appeared to me to be a de Havilland Canada Beaver on floats. However, it looked different to every other Beaver I have seen. This one seemed to have a fun that was cut right down. Initially I figured it needed a repair but then I realized that there was a large dorsal extension to the fin. This would compensate to some extent to the missing top but whether it is a good configuration, I can’t say. It didn’t look good to me but it looked airworthy so maybe it flies fine? Has anyone seen more about this and can share with me some of the history?
There have been quite a few Raptor posts recently. I guess seeing a bunch of them at Nellis triggered a few things of interest to me. One was as I looked at the jets after they had passed me by on their approach. A few years ago, the F-22 fleet was grounded by some issues with the oxygen system. Like most modern jets, the F-22 doesn’t carry bottled oxygen but instead generates it onboard for the pilot. There were some issues with the oxygen being generated that resulted in pilots feeling unwell and, potentially, losing awareness of what they were doing. As you can image, this is not a good thing in a fast jet and was believed to have contributed to loss of an aircraft with its pilot!
A backup oxygen system was implemented to provide the pilots with something in the event that they felt symptoms of the problem recurring. Not so much of a solution as a fallback plan. As I looked at the jets, I saw green tanks behind the ejection seat. These are pretty big tanks and seem rather unsubtle in the way that something that has been added after the fact often is. I wonder whether these are the spare tanks for the pilots to breathe should the onboard generation system cease to be reliable.
The F-22 Raptor has a complex coating system on the skin of the airframe that is part of the overall approach to stealth. Normally, they look pretty well finished in order to preserve the performance of the system (although I have spotted a few jets with the green primer showing through worn finishes). However, one or two of the jets that were at Red Flag had what almost looked like a panel missing from the spine of the jet. Looking a bit closer, I think the panel had been replaced and the finishing of the surfaces around the work remained to be done. It did look a bit of a mess though. Checking some of the other jets, they also show this panel in a slightly different color. Perhaps they have all been undergoing a modification program in this area?
We took a ferry from Anacortes as part of our vacation. We had some time in hand so stopped for lunch in the town and then took a wander around afterwards. The center of town is right near the shipyards and they seemed to be pretty busy. What particularly caught my eye was this huge boat that appeared to have undergone a process to stretch it and add some new structure. Seeing something this size sitting up on the ground is impressive when you are level with the bottom of the hull!