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Test PilotTest Pilot

GENERAL Unless contraindicated by the pilot’s operating handbook, what are the first and immediate steps that should be taken by a pilot who experiences an in-flight engine fire? At what altitude is a passenger required to use supplemental oxygen in a nonpressurized aircraft? From reader Alasdair Halleron: What was the first jet-powered airliner to fly in the United States? From reader Charles Baumann: In the early days of jets, several Soviet jet fighters had a prominent, vertical, white stripe in the center of the instrument panel. What was its purpose? From reader Mike Piccola: Who was first to conceive and sketch a parachute? From reader Richard Wilsher: Name the four different types of aircraft that have each given 50 years of continuous service to the military branch to which it was originally assigned.

GENERAL

  1. Unless contraindicated by the pilot’s operating handbook, what are the first and immediate steps that should be taken by a pilot who experiences an in-flight engine fire?
  2. At what altitude is a passenger required to use supplemental oxygen in a nonpressurized aircraft?
  3. From reader Alasdair Halleron: What was the first jet-powered airliner to fly in the United States?
  4. From reader Charles Baumann: In the early days of jets, several Soviet jet fighters had a prominent, vertical, white stripe in the center of the instrument panel. What was its purpose?
  5. From reader Mike Piccola: Who was first to conceive and sketch a parachute?
  6. From reader Richard Wilsher: Name the four different types of aircraft that have each given 50 years of continuous service to the military branch to which it was originally assigned.
  7. From reader Jon Apfelbaum: What is or was the world’s most produced helicopter?
  8. From reader John Posson: Why do wingtip vortices descend from the wings of an airplane (instead of rise or remain at the same altitude)?

MULTIPLE CHOICE

  1. From reader Bill Olsen: A pilot is cruising VFR at an altitude of more than 3,000 feet agl while maintaining a magnetic course of 150 degrees. Everything else being equal, most conflicting traffic will approach his airplane from
    a. the right.
    b. the left.
    c. approximately straight ahead.
    d. This cannot be determined from the information given.
  2. When an airplane reaches its absolute ceiling,
    a. VX is greater than VY.
    b. VY is greater than VX.
    c. VX is identical to VY.
    d. the airplane is on the verge of a stall.
  3. From reader George Shanks: The current world speed record for a propeller-driven, piston-powered seaplane was established in 1931 and is
    a. 298 mph.
    b. 348 mph.
    c. 398 mph.
    d. 448 mph.

TRUE OR FALSE

  1. From reader John Schmidt: A major advantage of a nuclear-powered airplane is that it would have incredible range and endurance. The “N’ in the designation, “Convair NB-36 Peacemaker,” indicates that the enormous bomber had nuclear power.
  2. From reader Jerry Griggs: Hermann Göring, Nazi Reichsmarschall and Commander of the German Luftwaffe during World War II, had a nephew who was a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force and flew 48 bombing missions against Nazi Germany and occupied Europe.
  3. From reader Gerald McKibben: The Wright Brothers’ first powered flight was first reported in a journal titled Gleanings in Bee Culture.

Test Pilot Answers

  1. He should turn off the fuel supply to the engine, place the mixture control in Idle Cutoff, and accept the resultant forced landing. A restart should not be attempted even if the fire extinguishes.
  2. Passengers are not required to use oxygen at any altitude, but oxygen must be provided to them at cabin pressure altitudes above 15,000 feet.
  3. A prototype Avro Canada C.102 Jetliner was first when it flew mail from Canada to New York during a test flight in early 1950 thus beating the British de Havilland Comet to the United States. Despite early promise, the C.102 was never produced.
  4. If the pilot was to become disoriented or the aircraft was to go out of control during aggressive maneuvering, the pilot was advised to “cover the stripe with the control stick.” This would help to regain control by neutralizing the ailerons and reducing the angle of attack.
  5. Leonardo da Vinci sketched the design in a notebook in 1483 and wrote that a man using such a device made from gummed linen could jump from any great height without injury.
  6. English Electric Canberra, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Tupolev Tu-95 Bear, and Lockheed C-130 Hercules.
  7. The Mil Mi-8 twin-turbine helicopter entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1967 and has been in production ever since. Thus far more than 17,000 have been made.
  8. The vortices are influenced by (interact with) downwash from the wing.
  9. (a) Threatening traffic on magnetic courses of between 0 and 149 degrees would come from the right. There likely would be more of these than threatening traffic on courses of between 151 and 179 degrees coming from the left.
  10. (c) VX increases with altitude and VY decreases. They become equal at the absolute ceiling, and this is the only airspeed at which altitude can be maintained. Any increase or decrease in airspeed at the absolute altitude would result in descent.
  11. (d) The Italian Macchi Castoldi MC-72 floatplane was powered by a pair of 3,100-horsepower, V-12 Fiat engines (one behind the other) turning contra-rotating propellers.
  12. True. The NB-36 made 47 flights between 1955 and 1957. The on-board nuclear reactor was used to test and collect data regarding the feasibility of a sustained nuclear reaction on a moving platform. It was not used to power the airplane. Flying alongside the NB-36 was a Boeing C-97 transport carrying a platoon of armed Marines ready to parachute down and surround the test aircraft in case it crashed.
  13. True. Werner Göering was born and raised in Salt Lake City, given an extensive background check, and assigned to the 303rd Bombardment Group of the 8th Air Force in England. His only reluctance occurred when he had to bomb Cologne, where his grandmother lived.
  14. True. Beekeeper A.I. Root was in the right place at the right time and became fascinated with what “the two Ohio boys were up to.” He wrote three accounts of the Wrights’ accomplishments in his obscure journal in 1904 and 1905.

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