Saturday December 6, 2008
Some recent email:
I’m a Stanford student and have been reading your blog for a while now, so I thought you might enjoy this video if you haven’t already seen it:
It’s quite well-produced with multiple angles and full audio. Enjoy!
See also this video shot by a United pilot (Capt Walter Bates) on his retirement flight (SYD-SFO, my family and I happened to be on board). From Capt Bates:
I also include a video of our landing in SFO from about 1,000′ altitude on down – that’s Coyote Point Yacht Harbor off to the left at the start of the video. Just before touchdown you hear the automated voice of our radar altimeter calling off 50, 30, and 10 feet above the runway – and that’s calibrated from the bottoms of the first main wheels to touch the pavement. At touchdown my eyes are still nearly 60 feet up. At this point our inertial guidance system is being updated by transmitters on the end of the runway giving us an accuracy of less than 2 feet. With this system we can land with visibility of only 600 feet. We touched down at about 170 mph being over 350,000# lighter than at takeoff and use reverse thrust from the engines and a sophisticated antiskid braking system to get it stopped. All takeoffs and over 99% of landings are done manually. Only in Hollywood do autopilots do so much flying.
The Sydney take-off is also here:
At the start of the takeoff roll on Sydney’s runway 16R we weighed the aircraft limit of 875,000# (the max for the C5 Galaxy is 769,000#). This included nearly 400,000# of fuel (there are 6.7# per gal.). It took over 60 seconds and 2,000# of fuel to accelerate to a speed of 187 knots – about 215 mph – where the 16 main wheels left the runway. We used 11,500′ of the 13,000′ runway…. The takeoff video is of the first 1:54 minutes of the flight. Have the volume up as full audio is included. At the start of the video you hear Sydney tower’s takeoff clearance to us over the cockpit speaker referring to runway 16R. My “93%” and “1.43 EPR” comments refer to the power setting for takeoff – nearly full power. That is 224,000# of thrust that is held for the first 100 seconds and you hear the engines come up clearly. The “80 knots” call identifies the latest time by which takeoff power must be set. The call of “V1” (156 knots) occurred at the precalculated last point where we could abort the takeoff and stop on the runway. After that we’re committed to go though certification and weight limits insure that if the most critical engine (they’re not equally important) were to fail at that point we could still climb away safely. The “VR” call (174 knots) is where we lift the nose about 20 degrees. The “V2” call is when we lift off. You clearly see the marks identifying the approaching opposite end of the runway going by at this point. If the speeds don’t look that fast it is because the camera, and my windshield, are 32 feet above the ground. After liftoff you have a nice view of Botany Bay ahead.