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Author Topic: Team Tornado - Life on a Front-line Squadron by the Two Johns  (Read 1779 times)

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Online Frankie

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Team Tornado - Life on a Front-line Squadron by the Two Johns
« on: September 05, 2016, 07:10:10 AM »
Look what came in the mail today.


Hardcover to boot.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 07:11:55 AM by Frankie »

After the Dogs of War are let slip, let us smoke the Pipes Of Peace.

Online Frankie

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Re: Team Tornado - Life on a Front-line Squadron by the Two Johns
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2016, 06:13:01 PM »
In Chapter 7 of this book, John Nichol narrates a close shave upon takeoff. The Tornado is piloted by 'Swirv', with John in the navigator's (WSO) seat. What happens next is hair-raising. Due to an unknown glitch, the Tornado careens down the runway and refuses to lift off. Even at 200 knots with the end of the runway, and certain death approaching, the plane refuses to budge. Then moments later, right at the end of the runway, the plane's wheels lift off the ground and plane barely clears the parameter fence with inches to spare.

I was curious to see if I could re-create this true life scenario with Digital Integration's Tornado. Here's what I did. First, I loaded the Tornado until its combined fuel, plane and weapons weight was the maximum - 61,700 lbs. Which is roughly 30 tonnes(!). The total weight consisted of two hefty JP-233 anti-runway dispensers, two Sidewinder Air-To-Air AIM9L missiles, two ALARM Air-To-Ground anti-radiation missiles, six 1,000 pound General Purpose Bombs (GPB), and nearly 17,000 pounds of aviation fuel.

The Tonka loaded to the full


Interestingly, Wikipedia confirms that this is the maximum takeoff weight. What a pleasant surprise to me, which should be no surprise, given Digital Integration's fame for creating accurate flight simulations.

61,700lbs and no more can she take for takeoff!


Next, once on the runway, I hit the 'Q' key several times until the flaps were totally retracted (up). This meant that there would be totally no curvature on the surface of the wing - no lift would be generated to get the plane off the ground.

Both left and right flaps are up. No lift!

Below is an actual gauge. From the images above and below, we can see that both flaps are up - "no flaps".
An actual Tornado secondary control surfaces gauge


The wings were swept forward at the default, starting and minimum angle of 25 degrees. From the two images above, we can see that the wing sweep is at 25% (a flat white line).

The Tonka's wings are at take-off angle


With that settled, I hit the reheat (afterburners). Once the engines were at 100%, I released the brakes. What I discovered from my experiment was that in these settings, the plane refuses to lift even at 190 knots! As the plane approaches close to 200 knots it starts to vibrate a lot. In fact, the Tonka only lifts off the ground slightly past the 200 knots mark. Which is pretty much what John Nichol and the Pilot "Swirv". experienced.

Amid much vibration, the Tornado finally lifts off the ground at 204 knots


So in conclusion, this 'experiment' with the 23-year old Tornado simulation proves that Dave Marshall and the development team were spot on with the Tornado's lift-off mechanics. What I experienced with the game supports John Nichol's account of the near-fatal takeoff crisis. Kudos to the programmers and designers of Digital Integration's Tornado!

Regards
Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: October 05, 2018, 02:07:58 PM by Frankie »

After the Dogs of War are let slip, let us smoke the Pipes Of Peace.

Offline Longknife

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Re: Team Tornado - Life on a Front-line Squadron by the Two Johns
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2016, 12:53:10 PM »
Thats pretty cool & I bet a fun experiment!

I will have to read that one as well once I am done with Tornado Down.

Offline Tom N

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Re: Team Tornado - Life on a Front-line Squadron by the Two Johns
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2018, 10:54:49 AM »
Runaway!

Sorry, quite splendid topic, but it itched and forced me to do that correction!
And yes, it's a fun thing for copying and trying to take off at the very much last moment.

Online Frankie

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Re: Team Tornado - Life on a Front-line Squadron by the Two Johns
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2018, 02:08:31 PM »
Runway correction carried out. Thanks for pointing out the misspellings.

After the Dogs of War are let slip, let us smoke the Pipes Of Peace.