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Tar Devil
09-11-2003, 01:14 PM
Imagine this... a Waco UPF7, modified with a P&W R985 on the nose and, strapped between the landing gear, a General Electric CJ610 turbojet. Perhaps you've seen Jimmy Franklin's show before, but it was new territory for me.

Those of us enamored with things aeronautical are engrained to certain conditional responses. For example a large biplane - even one with 450 radial HP on the nose - typically is unwieldy and slow, loosing airspeed as it progresses up the front side of a loop. What I noticed with this hybrid was a direct correlation between the volume of noise and the morphed eccentric behavior of that monster. As I watched the big black plane arching upwards the human experience begged the question, "Why is that large airplane accelerating through that loop?" A cool, rational, calculated answer would be, "Because the combined thrust of the P&W and GE powerplants insanely exceeds the weight of a 1942 vintage Waco biplane."

So for the remainder of the performance I was forced to ignore traditional sensory expectations to revel in the sight of an ordinarily cumbersome beast behaving more sprightly than, say, a modern Christen Eagle. In fact if the Eagle could talk it would moan, "Gee, I wish I could accelerate vertically from ground level through six thousand feet!" And the big black plane would sneer, "You gnat! You're not big enough for ONE of my engines! Hah!! In fact, long before my master retarded my thrust lever to descend, those thrilled humans would have completely lost site of your tiny, stubby wings!" Drooping in humiliation, the Eagle sagged to the rear of the flight line.

Down came the beast, with no more sound than a lightly whining turbojet and the zing of taunt flying wires in the wind. At an altitude of between 5 and 10 feet AGL the airplane leveled, the whine transcended to a vicious roar and it whipped 180 degrees, snapped inverted, pushed to vertical and rose to about 500 feet - and hung there... for a long time, belching noise and smoke. The pilot stretched and yawned, finally said "Break's over" and reduced the flow of Jet-A, allowing prop wash to push the tail around in a hammerhead turn. Returning to his working altitude of under a dozen feet, the jet engine came to life again and the oddity went ripping down the runway doing a four point roll. A quick (lightning fast quick) turn-around and he was coming back doing roll after roll after roll while traveling at speeds akin to sleek looking things with pointed noses.

The rest is a blur... and not necessarily because I'm getting old and forgetful. When things pass before you in rapid progression your retention level is appreciably affected. But I was happy for the experience... and green with envy when the man repeated the performance an hour later, this time with his 22 year old son flapping his arms atop the upper wing.

http://www.franklinairshow.com/PICTURES/kyle010lg.jpg

Later,

Phil

[ 09-11-2003, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: Tar Devil ]

NormMessinger
09-11-2003, 08:33 PM
WWHHOOOOOEEEEEE!!!

TimH
09-11-2003, 10:45 PM
Too slow for me. I like the idea of the guy who strapped a JADO unit to his Chevy Caprice better ;)