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theoretical airwolf #3772
19/06/10 04:22 AM
19/06/10 04:22 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 54
united states
airwolf987654321 Offline OP
Redwolf Pilot
airwolf987654321  Offline OP
Redwolf Pilot
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 54
united states
does anyone besides me think that a real airwolf is theoretically possible i mean it is something like a jet powered autogyro

Re: theoretical airwolf [Re: airwolf987654321] #3773
19/06/10 12:19 PM
19/06/10 12:19 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 85
Wichita KS
cbjordan Offline
Redwolf Pilot
cbjordan  Offline
Redwolf Pilot
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 85
Wichita KS
sorry to dampen your idea, but aerodynamicly it won't work.
Problem 1 Blade Bending and oscillation
At higher speeds the blades bend and vibrate. Eventually you reach the point where the blade will actually bend so much it either A shatters or B hits the Airframee of the airframe. Such as what happened with that AH-56 Cheyenne twice.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AH-56_Cheyenne

Problem 2 Retreating Blade Stall.
Retreating blade stall is a hazardous flight condition in helicopters and other rotary wing aircraft, where the rotor blade rotating away from the direction of flight stalls. The stall is due to low relative airspeed and/or excessive angle of attack (or AOA). Retreating blade stall is the primary limiting factor of a helicopter's airspeed, and the reason even the fastest helicopters can only fly slightly faster than 200 knots.

The whole Idea behind how Airwolf works is that when the Turbo's are lite the rotor Disengages and the Lady fly's off of what lift is left from the Blades and from the Lifting Body of the airframe itself, as Marlene implies in the 1st Episode. While this could work (in theory) she'd be a straight line speed machine, if she' turned or changed flight attitude, she'd lose lift, fall down go Boom.

As much as I love Airwolf, I know as a Aircraft Maintainer, she can only do what she does, cause Stringfellow and Dom are flying her, and the FX department ignores flight rules. wink



I.Y.A.M.Y.A.S.
Pilots without Maintainers are Just Pedestrians with Sunglasses and a Cool Jacket.
Re: theoretical airwolf [Re: cbjordan] #3774
19/06/10 07:25 PM
19/06/10 07:25 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 54
united states
airwolf987654321 Offline OP
Redwolf Pilot
airwolf987654321  Offline OP
Redwolf Pilot
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 54
united states
true but you may be forgetting that the stub wings and lifting body do the work of making sure she can be controlled in flight at mach one besides i think an autogyro has be used to test some concepts to begin with i mean i know they used a plane as one of the first to test helicopter blades you see there is a plane autogyro and it was to test the helicopter concept of flight even though the blades were unpowered


Re: theoretical airwolf [Re: airwolf987654321] #3775
21/06/10 02:00 PM
21/06/10 02:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 85
Wichita KS
cbjordan Offline
Redwolf Pilot
cbjordan  Offline
Redwolf Pilot
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 85
Wichita KS
Yeah Autogyros work great, but you'd still run into the same issues. Trust me if they got get it to work they could there is a BIG HUGE demand for a High Speed Craft capable of VTOL. The best we've come up with so far is the V-22 Osprey and it is in my opinion a machine that is GREAT at killing US Marine, but useless in it's intended role, but that's another discussion laugh


I.Y.A.M.Y.A.S.
Pilots without Maintainers are Just Pedestrians with Sunglasses and a Cool Jacket.
Re: theoretical airwolf [Re: cbjordan] #3777
21/06/10 09:48 PM
21/06/10 09:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 445
Cape Coral, Florida
Mike Offline

Global Moderator
Mike  Offline

Global Moderator
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 445
Cape Coral, Florida
I'm going to have to agree with cbjordan on all the points that he raises. Even if they spun the main rotor down to zero and could somehow lock it in place, the atmospheric pressure at the sort of rates we're talking about would be enormous, and would likely bend or break the blades off the head, and goodness knows what it would do to the head and swash plate assembly.

However, let's look at this from a somewhat different scenario.

Helos aren't much good above 200 knots, as discussed above. Even if they were, there's a reason fighter jets are built the way they are -- you need highly minimized drag and cross-sections to withstand wind load. To that end, on fixed-wing aircraft, in order to allow them to be stable at higher speeds, you have to thin the wings down and tweak their shapes significantly.

The landing gear pods on the port and starboard sides of Airwolf, along with the weapons pods, are far too tall in cross-section to ever allow stability at those sorts of speeds. So whatever lift you naturally get by introducing a horizontal surface would be compromised by the supersonic turbulence you'd get from the craft as depicted.

So then, if we just assume the turbos would be used to decrease reaction and response time and get Airwolf to it's V-NE (Velocity - Never Exceed) of perhaps 200 knots and a bit, that's as much as could likely be asked of them. Even assuming this was realistic (remember the issues cbjordan raised about blade stall and all that) what's the point of Airwolf getting to 200-ish knots quicker when the opponent is nearly any kind of fixed-wing modern aircraft? All of them have nominal rates greater than Airwolf's V-NE. Missiles themselves don't travel that slow.

Another issue altogether to be raised (and I worked this out a number of years ago) is Airwolf's range in reality is extremely limited. Even allowing for mid-air refuels, you'd have to refuel it so many times to fly it from Valley of the Gods to, heck, even Washington -- let alone Russia, or Central or South America -- that you might just as well use more conventional means + a EA-6B Prowler and/or a E-3 Sentry or E-2 Hawkeye.

On a different note, it has yet to be explained how Dom and String could travel the approximately 660 miles from Van Nuys Airport to Monument Valley quick enough to respond to immediate crises and do so without the U.S. Government, which was actively seeking to locate Airwolf, successfully monitoring them as they drove there. (This isn't even getting into 1980s U.S. Federal Government surveillance capabilities, which very much to the credit of Louis F. Vipperman and Don Bellisario were touched on and strongly hinted at in the Season 1 episode To Snare A Wolf.)

Anyhow...


Mike

“The only thing we have to fear is Season 4 itself!”
Re: theoretical airwolf [Re: cbjordan] #3779
22/06/10 04:29 AM
22/06/10 04:29 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 85
Wichita KS
cbjordan Offline
Redwolf Pilot
cbjordan  Offline
Redwolf Pilot
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 85
Wichita KS
now that I think of it. Check out the Bell helo page on wikipedia you can see some of the Expermentals they used to try and get a Faster Helo


I.Y.A.M.Y.A.S.
Pilots without Maintainers are Just Pedestrians with Sunglasses and a Cool Jacket.
Re: theoretical airwolf [Re: Mike] #3851
10/09/10 02:10 AM
10/09/10 02:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2
Canada
G
Gracchus Offline
Little Wolf
Gracchus  Offline
Little Wolf
G
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2
Canada
Mike's Reply regarding whether an aircraft such as Airwolf is possible is quite thorough, and his technical knowledge seems extensive. This said, a supersonic helicopter is indeed possible (sort of).

I seem to remember an article from a Popular Mechanics magazine (yeah, I know...this is not the most reliable source), never-the-less they published an issue in the early 1990s describing research into a helicopter that could transition into a fixed wing craft by stopping and locking its rotor blades once it obtained a speed sufficient for its fixed wings to generate sufficient lift.

The project was initiated by the US Navy, who I can only guess where looking for an aircraft with both greater speed and range, yet still able to hover. I suspect it would have been used to detect, and possibly attack submarines.

There are reference to the project in other, more reliable publications (International Defense Review, Science et Vie) however these did not describe the technology, nor provide illustrations as the Popular Mechanics article did.

All this said, the helicopter (even if it were able to achieve super-sonic speed) would not have had any other of the many Airwolf capabilities, (armaments, electronics, armor,...). Lets face it, such an aircraft is still just fantasy.

By the way, just joined this site after picking up a Airwolf season on DVD (this is my first post!). Man the acting was bad, but the helicopter sequences are just as good as I remember them. Its also a treat to see this site with all its members.

Wasn't Airwolf the coolest looking thing ever?

Theoretical airwolf [Re: Mike] #3854
14/09/10 04:35 PM
14/09/10 04:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,063
Northern Ireland, UK
Mark J.Cairns Offline
The Alpha Wolf
Mark J.Cairns  Offline
The Alpha Wolf
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,063
Northern Ireland, UK
Originally Posted by Mike
I'm going to have to agree with cbjordan on all the points that he raises. Even if they spun the main rotor down to zero and could somehow lock it in place, the atmospheric pressure at the sort of rates we're talking about would be enormous, and would likely bend or break the blades off the head, and goodness knows what it would do to the head and swash plate assembly.

However, let's look at this from a somewhat different scenario.

Helos aren't much good above 200 knots, as discussed above. Even if they were, there's a reason fighter jets are built the way they are -- you need highly minimized drag and cross-sections to withstand wind load. To that end, on fixed-wing aircraft, in order to allow them to be stable at higher speeds, you have to thin the wings down and tweak their shapes significantly.

The landing gear pods on the port and starboard sides of Airwolf, along with the weapons pods, are far too tall in cross-section to ever allow stability at those sorts of speeds. So whatever lift you naturally get by introducing a horizontal surface would be compromised by the supersonic turbulence you'd get from the craft as depicted.

So then, if we just assume the turbos would be used to decrease reaction and response time and get Airwolf to it's V-NE (Velocity - Never Exceed) of perhaps 200 knots and a bit, that's as much as could likely be asked of them. Even assuming this was realistic (remember the issues cbjordan raised about blade stall and all that) what's the point of Airwolf getting to 200-ish knots quicker when the opponent is nearly any kind of fixed-wing modern aircraft? All of them have nominal rates greater than Airwolf's V-NE. Missiles themselves don't travel that slow.

Another issue altogether to be raised (and I worked this out a number of years ago) is Airwolf's range in reality is extremely limited. Even allowing for mid-air refuels, you'd have to refuel it so many times to fly it from Valley of the Gods to, heck, even Washington -- let alone Russia, or Central or South America -- that you might just as well use more conventional means + a EA-6B Prowler and/or a E-3 Sentry or E-2 Hawkeye.

On a different note, it has yet to be explained how Dom and String could travel the approximately 660 miles from Van Nuys Airport to Monument Valley quick enough to respond to immediate crises and do so without the U.S. Government, which was actively seeking to locate Airwolf, successfully monitoring them as they drove there. (This isn't even getting into 1980s U.S. Federal Government surveillance capabilities, which very much to the credit of Louis F. Vipperman and Don Bellisario were touched on and strongly hinted at in the Season 1 episode To Snare A Wolf.)

Anyhow...


Thing is though in the show it wasn't Monument Valley, it was the fictional "Valley Of The Gods", which I suppose was meant to exist in and around the North / North East of the Los Angeles area (I'd say in reality, closer to 'Red Rock Canyon' in the Mojave Desert (where we show the 'AIRWOLF THEMES PROMO MOVIE' and where they shot the Pilot episode's first take-off to Red Star Control.

As for a theoretical Airwolf... did the F-35 fighter not put that out of business?


Mark J.Cairns
Producer, Airwolf Themes CD soundtracks

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