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Supercruise - What is it?

Supercruise is a term that describes sustained supersonic flight without the use of afterburners, hence the name super (supersonic) cruise (cruising).

The first plane that could supercruise was the English Electric Lightning introduced in 1954. From then on, many other planes had this feature.

Some of them include: the F-22 Raptor, the SR-71 Blackbird, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Su-35BM, the JAS 39 Gripen, and the Concorde.

F-35 vs F-22

The F-22 and F-35, the newest planes in the US military's arsenal. Both are similar in appearances and capabilities. Both are the product of multi-billion dollar projects and both cost millions dollars. However, which is the better plane?


F-22 Raptor (Air-to-Air)

F-35 Lighting II (Air-to-Ground)


Yes (Mach 1.8)


V/STOL (takeoff vertically)


Yes (One version)



Not as good

Top Speed

Mach 2.25

Mach 1.6

Service ceiling

65 000 ft.

60 000 ft.









Not as good

Operate on Carriers?




US $150 million

US $96 million







Vectored thrusting

Yes (more maneuverable)


Avionics (equipment like radar)


Not as good

Surviving a 33 000 ft. fall without a parachute!

Vesna Vulovic, a former Serbian flight attendant, survived a 33 000 ft. fall on January 26, 1972, without a parachute when a bomb blew up a DC-9 of Yugoslavia's JAT airline (JAT Flight 364). Vesna was 22-years old. She currently holds the world record, according to the Guinness Book of Records, for surviving the highest fall without a parachute. It was exactly 10 160 m (33 333 feet).

The Crash...

The bomb, planted by the terrorist group Ustashe, detonated over the city of Srbska-Kamenica. The DC-9, which had 28 passengers on board, was torn apart by the explosions and the wreckage fell through the air for about three minutes before landing on a snow covered mountain side.

How she survived...

The snow apparently softened the impact and lucky Vesna recieved immediate aid by a German named Bruno Henke. Even better, her rescuer was a World War II medic!

Also, another factor that possibly aided in her survival was her low blood pressure which caused her to pass out quickly and saved her heart from bursting.


At the hospital, the doctors concluded that Vesna had:
  • broken both her legs
  • broken her skull (which was also hemorrhaging)
  • three crushed vertebrae (sections of backbone
Vesna was paralyzed from the waist down and she could not remember anything about the incident and everything one month after - due to amnesia.


However, movement of both a Vesna's legs were restored with a little bit of surgery and patience. By September of the same year, she was fit for work and was given a desk job at the same airline company (apparently to avoid publicity).

Interesting Facts...
  • Vesna was not supposed to be on the flight. Her schedule was mixed up with another stewardess with the same name.
  • The first thing Vesna asked for when she came to was a cigarette.

Vesna Vulovic

This article was created with information from Damn Interesting

EDIT: so apparently there is a chance (emphasis on chance) this might have been a fabricated story to cover up a mistake. Two investigative journalists from Prague claims that the plane Vulovic was on might have been mistaken for an enemy plane by a fighter plane from the Czechoslovakian Air Force and the shot down plane fell and broke up at a much lower altitude than previously claimed. Guardian

Tragic B-2 Crash

On February 23rd, 2008, the Spirit of Kansas, 89-0127, crashed on the runway shortly after takeoff from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. This was the first ever crash of a B-2 bomber and one of the most costly aviation accidents ever (total loss was estimated at US$1.4 billion).

The good news is, the two officer crewmen survived after safely ejecting from the plane before it crashed. Also, there were no munitions on board.


An investigation into the accident found out that heavy rains caused water to enter the plane's skin-flush air-data sensors, which distorted the angle of attack and yaw data the sensors were feeding the computerized flight-control system. As a result, the flight-control system, using false data, made the disastrous correction during the B-2 takeoff.


Following the crash, a B-2 that was already flying was called down and the 19 other bombers were grounded until the initial investigation was complete.

Because the B-2 were grounded, 6 B-52s of the 96th Bomb Squadron, 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana were deployed.

Big or Small? (A380 vs 787)

Boeing and Airbus have been head-to-head in trying to dominate the commercial airliner market since 2001 (year Airbus SAS was established). Since then, both airliner manufacturers have pumped out thousands of planes and many new designs. The two most recent ones are the A380 "behemoth" from Airbus and the B787 Dreamliner "slick and fast" from Boeing. Both planes boast better fuel efficiency and lower operating costs but exactly which is better?

  • 49% more seating than the Boeing 747 and 4 times more than the Boeing 787
  • Expensive ($280 million)
  • More entertainment (bars and Jacuzzis)
  • The larger area of the A380 is possibility for many airlines to incorporate shops, arcades, and restaurants to make travelling much more enjoyable
  • Can be used to carry heavy cargo
  • More people one trip = less fuel (more fuel used per trip but less trips)
  • Very quiet

  • Fast and slick (means you get there faster)
  • Cheap
  • Less entertainment
  • Airports do not have to redesign to accommodate the 787
  • Lighter weight = less fuel (less fuel used per trip but more trips)
  • Very quiet
  • Pressurized for lower altitude and high humidity (sited from)
Specifications... (A380)

1. A380-800
  • Cockpit Crew: 2
  • Seating Capacity: 525 (3-class).
  • 644 (2-class).
  • 853 (1-class).
  • Length: 73 m (239 ft. 6 in.).
  • Span: 79.8 m (261 ft. 10 in.).
  • Height: 24.1 m (79 ft. 1 in.).
  • Wheelbase: 30.4 m (99 ft. 8 in.).
  • Outside fuselage width: 7.14 m (23 ft. 6 in.).
  • Cabin width, main deck: 6.60 m (21 ft. 8 in.).
  • Cabin width, upper deck: 5.94 m (19 ft. 6 in.).
  • Wing Area: 845 m2 (9 100 sq. ft.).
  • Operating empty weight: 276 800 kg (610 200 lb.).
  • Maximum take-off weight: 560 000 kg (1 235 000 lb.).
  • Maximum Payload: 90 800 kg (200 000 lb.).
  • Cruising Speed: Mach 0.85.
  • Maximum Cruising Speed: Mach 0.89.
  • Maximum Speed: Mach 0.96.
  • Take-off Run at Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 2 750 m (9 020 ft.).
  • Range at design load: 15 200 km (8 200 nmi.).
  • Service Ceiling: 13 115 m (43 000 ft.).
  • Maximum Fuel Capacity: 310 000 L (81 890 US Gal.).
  • Engines (4x): GP7270 (A380-861).
  • Trent 970/B (A380-841).
  • Trent 972/B (A380-842).

2. A380-800F
  • Cockpit Crew: 2
  • Seating Capacity: 12 couriers
  • Length: 73 m (239 ft 6 in)
  • Span: 79.8 m (261 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 24.1 m (79 ft 1 in)
  • Wheelbase: 30.4 m (99 ft 8 in)
  • Outside fuselage width: 7.14 m (23 ft 6 in)
  • Cabin width, main deck: 6.60 m (21 ft 8 in)
  • Cabin width, upper deck: 5.94 m (19 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 845 m² (9,100 sq ft)
  • Operating empty weight: 252,200 kg (556,000 lb)
  • Maximum take-off weight: 590,000 kg (1,300,000 lb)
  • Maximum payload: 152,400 kg (336,000 lb)
  • Cruising speed: Mach 0.85
  • Maximum cruising speed: Mach 0.89
  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.96
  • Take off run at Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 2,900 m (9,510 ft)
  • Range at design load: 10,400 km (5,600 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 13,115 m (43,000 ft)
  • Maximum fuel capacity: 310,000 L (81,890 US gal),356,000 L (94,000 US gal) option
  • Engines (4 x): GP7277 (A380-863F)Trent 977/B (A380-843F)

Specifications... (787 Dreamliner)


Flight crewTwo
Length186 ft (57 m)206 ft (63 m)
Wingspan170 ft (52 m)197 ft (60 m)208 ft (63 m)
Wing sweepback32.2°
Height55 ft 6 in (16.92 m)
Fuselage height19 ft 5 in (5.91 m)
Fuselage width18 ft 11 in (5.75 m)
Cabin width18 ft (5.49 m)
Cargo capacity4,400 ft³ (124.6 m³) 28 LD35,400 ft³ (152.9 m³) 36 LD3
Empty weight223,000 lb (101,151.1 kg)242,000 lb (109,769.4 kg)254,000 lb (115,212.5 kg)
Maximum takeoff weight364,000 lb (165,107.6 kg)484,000 lb (219,538.7 kg)540,000 lb (244,939.9 kg)
Cruise speedMach 0.85 (903 km/h, 561 mph, 487 knots, at 40,000 ft/12.19 km)
Maximum cruise speedMach 0.89 (945 km/h, 587 mph, 510 knots, at 40,000 ft/12.19 km)
Range, fully loaded (not max payload)2,500 – 3,050 NM
(4,650 – 5,650 km)
7,650 – 8,200 NM
(14,200 – 15,200 km)
8,000 – 8,500 NM
(14,800 – 15,750 km)
Maximum fuel capacity33,528 US gal (126,917 L)36,693 US gal (138,898 L)
Service ceiling43,000 ft (13.1 km)
Engines (2×)General Electric GEnx or Rolls-Royce Trent 1000
Maximum thrust capability53,000 lbf (235.8 kN)64,000 lbf (284.7 kN)70,000 lbf (311.4 kN)

Next Generation Bomber - NEW BOMBER FROM BOEING


The NGB is a new medium bomber under development by the United States Air Force. It was originally projected to enter service in 2018 as a stealth, subsonic, medium range bomber that could replace the Air Force's present bomber fleet. With artist impressions making the plane look like something from Avatar, the NGB is going to be one high-tech plane.


On June 24, 2010, Lt. Gen. Philip Breedlove stated that the "Next Generation Bomber" was dead and that the air force was working on something more affordable.

Then on September 13 of the same year, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said that the US military will remain committed to building a new long range bomber but will take cautious approach to prevent financial disasters from past programs. The Air Force secretary also said that the new bomber will focus more on conventional weapons than nuclear.

Design Goals...

The design goals of the NGB in September 2007 were:

  • Subsonic max speed
  • Combat radius of 2 000+ miles
  • Weapons load of 14 000-28 000 lb
  • Ability to "survive in hostile air space for extended time"
  • Ability to carry nuclear weapons
  • Designed to use new propulsion, C4ISR, and radar technologies
In August 2008, a paper by Northrop Grumman highlighted the following trends and requirements
  • Airfields available for American use have declined since the Cold War
  • Hostile cruise missiles of aircraft could shut down existing airfields
  • Fewer fighter aircraft will be available to escort bomber force
  • Advanced fighter aircraft and surface to air missiles are being made available to potentially hostile states
  • The current USAF bomber force is small and outdated
In June 2010, Gen. Breedlove said that the aircraft would carry a five ton Next Generation Penetrator Munition instead of the 15 ton Massive Ordnance Penetrator.

In summary...

The NGB is going to be a major improvement on the B-2. With increased range, greater range, and stealthier than ever, this is the future of the US bomber fleet (that is, if it ever gets off the drawing board).