…no, not those.

First up — Hustler Love:

Hustler low level

Hustler Low Level

Over in the comments section for the Flightdeck Friday we did some time back (for VALOUR-IT), one of our visitors (blog author of Mostly Flying) left this very interesting commentary:

As a young lieutenant in 1967 I had control of SAGE air defence radars across Washington, Montana, the Dakotas, and Canada during an exercise called “Snowtime.” I was in charge of ECCM at the Great Falls SAGE Direction Center.

We thought we were in pretty good shape because of the frequency diversity in radars we enjoyed. Sitting near the base I had an FPS-24 operating at 200MHZ and there was an FPS-35 a little north operating at 300 MHz. We knew from previous experience with the B-52s at Minot and Grand Forks that they didn’t have the jamming gear to touch those radars. So, we had them peaked and tweaked and were accepting all the data they could process down two phone lines. (1200 baud x 2 if memory serves)

We watched the Buffs take off out of Minot and head north before they turned around. Even down low, we picked them up pretty well because of the high terrain and, frankly, really good radars! They were about to reach the CAP line when poof, everything went white.

We jumped radar frequencies, fiddled with receivers and antennas, and did all the things that you do, but we were having a hard time. At the debriefing, the word came out. Two B-58s, one low and one high, had taken us down across three states. Poof. Better jammers and antennas than the buffs.

An interesting lesson in the power of that bird.

Interesting indeed – we had our own encounter with Buffs a couple of decades later  – it was plainly obvious their defensive systems had substantially improved…

Pic of the Day:

TR heads for TRW's

TR heads for TRW's

080724-N-7241L-002 ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 24, 2008) The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) prepares for flight operations under stormy skies. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is participating in Joint Task Force Exercise “Operation Brimstone” off the Atlantic coast . U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Laird (Released)

So, all that oceanpointed and TR is locked in the only rainshower around?  What gives?

Well – to launch and reover aircraft you need wind over the deck – the more (up to a point) the better. Ideally, you don’t want to have to make it all yourself as you end up with axial winds (winds down the centerline of the deck vice down the angle):



which is no fun for the landing evolution. So you go looking for natural wind and as it happens, the closer you get to rain showers, the greater the wind owing to the outflow effect:

Illustration of outflow effect

The Outflow Effect

As rain falls from the cloud in greater volume, wind increases which, of course, is what the carrier seeks.  A simple explanation to be sure and there are many additional issues that would need to be addressed.  Still, a good bet when the front end called back asking for the ship’s location (especialy when playing EMCON) was to pass “Look for the only rain cloud”  – and there she’d be…

Have a great weekend y’all…

1 Comment

  1. Looking at the pictures of the TR heading in to the storm reminds me of many a day during work ups on the Truman when there one and only cloud in the sky. What did we do? Head straight for it. It was useful to give the planes a free wash, yet during flight ops when all of us workers are up top, it sucks big time. You get soaking wet, walk off the deck and then down into a full power A/C space which begins to to cause you shake from hypothermia. Loads of fun 🙄 .

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