Wednesday, October 25, 2006

There is wireless internet at the airport we landed in this morning, which is unexpected and delightful. So I took some pics and a couple of videos and here they are.

There was a Canadian Forces Hercules doing touch-and-goes at the airport, so I got a few shots of it. They are pretty freakin' cool.

Here's a video of a touch n go:

I wandered around the local hangars and came upon some crop spraying aircraft. They were pretty interesting to look at, and I took a few pics. Some of them had old radial engines and some had new turbine engines. The largest one was a monster - it holds 6,000lbs of pesticide (or flame retardant spray when it doubles as a fire-fighting airplane) and it's gross takeoff weight.

Here's a video of a hangar tour I did, followed by some pics.

This beast is the one that has a heavier gross weight than our jets. It'll take off at 16,000 lbs and we are only good to 14,500. I spoke to the owner and he said they paid 1.1 million bucks for it.

I climbed up and took a look at the instrument panel. I wouldn't want to fly this puppy in IFR weather :) The big display in the middle and the panel on the right side are GPS units that allow the pilot to set up a track across crop fields and then fly a very precise pattern so as to spray all the crops without missing any and without spraying the same crops twice. In practise the pilot sets up the coordinates of the field, and then the GPS display has a series of lights that illuminate laterally, telling the pilot to slide left or right along the field, should they start to drift.

This is a crop sprayer biplane. I had no idea.

This airport is a bit chilly, around -5 celsius right now. And piston engines are cranky in the cold, so this airplane has a preheater going, pushing warm air through the engine shroud for an hour or two before they light it up to go flying.

More crop duster airplanes. Ugly, but cool. Like Keith Richards, but with less heroin, and better mileage.

More to come as the day isn't over.


E said...

We were on a hold at this mysterious unnamed airport for four hours. We went to get lunch and when we returned your plane was parked next to ours. World small enough for you?

Traveller said...

I spent more time than I care to remember about military C-130s. My previous home base was the home for the C-130. I got real familiar with load and unloading them.

I really like the Herc, but on my last deployment we were the evacuation point for all Human Remains heading home. Almost the only reason a C-130 would stop at our location was to drop off another one. You came to dread the sound of their engines.

Soaring Student said...

Rut roh. You took video footage of a military plane. Beware of the men in the dark helicopters -- they can't be too careful you know. Especially after Aviatrix released the Top Secret information of how to drive a fuel truck.

Thanks for the video footage.