Friday, June 06, 2008

Want to see more than a billion dollars go up in smoke? How about from 2 different angles? Read on...

The second plane in this video, a B-2 bomber operated by the US Air Force went boom on takeoff in Guam. Apparently the air data computers got a little confused as to the difference between up and down.

Apparently the crew didn't turn on the pitot heat before calibrating their air data computers, and moisture in the units made the computers chuck a fit, sending the plan into the ground. The crew both ejected and lived, though the f/o suffered a spinal compression fracture, which I'm sure isn't much fun.

Nothing $1.2 billion more won't fix.

That same amount would provide $50,000 university scholarships to 24,000 people. It seems like an incredible waste of money for a single airplane, but I guess I just have my priorities wrong.

The video is a bit jerky and annoying, but it's certainly interesting viewing.



Here's a second angle that cuts out right as the wing hits the ground...



More on the story here:

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123101727

9 comments:

Aviatrix said...

I can vouch for the non-funness of the compression fracture. At least he has a better story to tell about getting his.

zb said...

... and if you spend the equivalent money of $50,000 university scholarships to 24,000 people not on $50,000 university scholarships to 24,000 people but on a fancy little airplane, you would expect to get electronics that are built in a way that makes them robust against a little moisture. Being required to run the heat seems like a pretty strange workaround. (How long exactly do you have to run the heat to be really sure all the moisture is gone? Might there not be corrosion while the moisture is around? Might this corrosion not leave conductive material on the electronics that remain even when the moisture is heated away?)

John said...

One would think if moisture could cause that they would make pitot heat automatic...

yyz-ramp-rat said...

Amazing what they could do if they stopped spending so much money on the military down there and, instead, spent it on other things (such as education and healthcare).

Anonymous said...

And yet somehow we still manage to lead the world economy. Crazy!!

Sulako said...

"Anonymous said...
And yet somehow we still manage to lead the world economy. Crazy!!"


Umm... have you checked the news lately?

Anonymous said...

Yes a recession would seem to fly counter to what I said and if we were the only one taking a bath than I would concede the point. That being said we aren't and to the statement by Mr. YYZ Ramp Rat to infer that we would be better off without spending the money we do on our military is flat out wrong. We are the successful country we are in part because of the money we have and continue to spend on our military. Whether you like it or not everyone has to have someone to call when something goes wrong and we tend to get more calls than most.

I have really enjoyed reading your blog Sulako but are you in the proper industry to cast stones about waste in another country?

Sulako said...

"I have really enjoyed reading your blog Sulako but are you in the proper industry to cast stones about waste in another country?"

I try not to get too involved in politics on my blog, but I have to add one little thing. Then I'm done...

In your eyes, what industry would I have to be in to be allowed to say that spending 1.2 billion dollars on a single airplane is wasteful?

Do you know that the US govt's ENTIRE budget for renewable energy source (solar, wind, biomass) research in 2007 was just under 1.2 billion? The source for energy R&D expenditures is from the National Council for Science and the Environment. The US Department of Energy has requested 1.24 billion in 2008.

For the price of a single airplane that is designed to kill people...

Anonymous said...

We can have our differences in opinion and after all this is your blog and I am just a visitor.So in your words I will post this and be done with it.

It is really easy for a country to not spend money on their defense when they have a neighbor who is physically connected that does spend so much. If you want to look at spending comparisons we do spend allot on defense and many neighboring countries are probably thankful for that.

We also spend allot on research and development 1.3 Times more than Canada as a % of GDP, we also spend more on Education 1.2% as a % of GDP. We have a lower unemployement rate and a 13.8% greater GDP per capita and to head it off yes you may have National Healthcare but that is a different debate alltogether.

No we are not perfect and neither am I, but I also don't stand in judgement about another country's spending on "Wasteful" things when I am paid by an industry that is a leading the world in burning through our natural resources.

Take a step off the soapbox.