Cable Up F16's?????

youngflyer

Well-Known Member
When I was flying some patterns at KSYR, the controllers was using an odd phrase when clearing the f16s for landing. He stated "Cobra XXX, the cable is now up". What does this mean?
 

aloft

New Member
They don't have thrust reversers either, so those tiny brakes are their sole means of slowing down. And sometimes, that's not enough--which is where the cable comes into play. The pilot simply drops a tailhook like those on Navy aircraft--only not quite as beefy, since it's rarely used. Hook catches cable, airplane comes to a stop.
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
They don't have thrust reversers either, so those tiny brakes are their sole means of slowing down. And sometimes, that's not enough--which is where the cable comes into play. The pilot simply drops a tailhook like those on Navy aircraft--only not quite as beefy, since it's rarely used. Hook catches cable, airplane comes to a stop.
That doesn't sound fun, of course, they typically get fairly long runways.
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
It's not an ordinary event to take the cable in a USAF fighter. It's either an emergency or a boffed landing that causes you to do that.
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
You still gotta practice doing it though, right?
No. I've never practiced a cable engagement.

It's actually a fairly dangerous maneuver for the jet and time/effort consuming for the airfield which the barrier is on.

For the airplane, if you don't engage the cable right in the center of the runway, or if the hydraulic brakes that manage the out-take of the cable malfunction, the jet can turn sideways or even flip over while it is decelerating.

For the airfield, a "practice" cable engagement would close the runway for 20-30 minutes while they tug the jet out of the cable, re-set the cable, and do a FOD sweep. Plus, it would put unnecessary strain on the cable and brake system, which is not intended to be frequently used.
 

Cptnchia

Dissatisfied Customer
No. I've never practiced a cable engagement.

It's actually a fairly dangerous maneuver for the jet and time/effort consuming for the airfield which the barrier is on.
When my dad was in the AF back in the 50's, he was part of an experiment to operate AF planes off of carriers. They took some F-100s and rigged a hook on them. His flight was able to trap aboard the boat, but the contraption which was rigged to attach the nose gear to the catapult was so shady that the AF pilots refused to take off because they felt the nose would be ripped off the airplane. Eventually some Navy pilots flew the planes back.
 

///AMG

Well-Known Member
When my dad was in the AF back in the 50's, he was part of an experiment to operate AF planes off of carriers. They took some F-100s and rigged a hook on them. His flight was able to trap aboard the boat, but the contraption which was rigged to attach the nose gear to the catapult was so shady that the AF pilots refused to take off because they felt the nose would be ripped off the airplane. Eventually some Navy pilots flew the planes back.
Have any links to info about this? I've never heard that story before....sounds like it would have been pretty crazy
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
Fighters eat up tires like nobody's business.


When my dad was in the AF back in the 50's, he was part of an experiment to operate AF planes off of carriers. They took some F-100s and rigged a hook on them. His flight was able to trap aboard the boat, but the contraption which was rigged to attach the nose gear to the catapult was so shady that the AF pilots refused to take off because they felt the nose would be ripped off the airplane. Eventually some Navy pilots flew the planes back.
The only cases of USAF airplanes I've ever heard of on a carrier was the U-2. They were craned onboard, and took off for some special mission over China.

Very few (if any) USAF aircraft could take the impact of traping onboard the boat without a complete redesign. Some Navy airplanes were launched by a "bridel" instead of the nosewheel. Theoretically this could be done, but it's just not praticall.

A few ANG squadrons were asigned the A-7 operating off of land bases after they were retired fromthe Navy.

The Navy bought some F-16s for adversary training, and they wore them out in a remarkablly short time.
 

bunk22

Well-Known Member
The only cases of USAF airplanes I've ever heard of on a carrier was the U-2. They were craned onboard, and took off for some special mission over China.

Very few (if any) USAF aircraft could take the impact of traping onboard the boat without a complete redesign. Some Navy airplanes were launched by a "bridel" instead of the nosewheel. Theoretically this could be done, but it's just not praticall.
Well, here's another USAF aircraft on a carrier:







The C-130 wasn't taking traps or cat shots but the pilot wento into reverse while airborne to land. Peformed a deck launch for takeoff.

The Navy bought some F-16s for adversary training, and they wore them out in a remarkablly short time.
Don't think that had anything to do with runway traps. I'm sure you know that but in a topic on traps, strange to bring up I thought.
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
The Navy bought some F-16s for adversary training, and they wore them out in a remarkablly short time.
The F-16Ns were not used in any carrier ops -- they were "worn out" flying DACT ops. There was nothing particular about how the Navy flew them that wore them out any faster than how the USAF flies them.

The truth to the story is that F-16Ns "wore out" at the same rate that USAF F-16s have worn out, too. The difference is that the Navy ultimately chose not to fix the cracks, but retire the aircraft instead.

There were many reasons for this; cost of the repair, cost of operating a small and specialized fleet, and other political factors.

Here's the writeup from Aviation Week about the initial groundings. Obviously, it was after this that the decision to retire the entire fleet was made.

The U.S. Navy has grounded eight of its General Dynamics F-16N fighters due to structural cracking in the center fuselage area.

Cracks have been found in the F-16N's center fuselage carry-through bulkhead at fuselage station (FS) 341 and in the "fuel shelf" between the upper and lower bulkhead structures at FS 325, 341 and 357. The aircraft have two to six cracks with lengths less than 0.030 inches.

Several U.S. Air Force F-16s - including those flown by the Thunderbirds demonstration team - have experienced upper skin cracking around access panel cutouts.

No other F-16 users have grounded their aircraft for safety reasons related to cracking. There also have been no flight limits placed on F-16A/B models, including the Thunderbirds.

A philosophy difference between Navy and Air Force design criteria explains why the Navy's F-16Ns are grounded, while USAF F-16s continue to fly with similar structural cracking. Although the fighter was designed to Air Force "durability criteria", the Navy is maintaining its F-16Ns according to a fatigue-based concept that automatically grounds an aircraft if structural cracking is detected.
 

Cptnchia

Dissatisfied Customer
The only cases of USAF airplanes I've ever heard of on a carrier was the U-2. They were craned onboard, and took off for some special mission over China.
Ever hear of "Hick Hopping? This is where you find a farmer driving down a long straight country road. You basically do two touch and gos, one behind the truck, hop over the truck, then do another one in front of the truck. They used to do it with F-86s. This was old school military, where as long as no one got killed, command looked the other way. The stories about stuff they did when he gets together with his old AF buddies will sometimes make you cringe. A lot of stuff they did no one "Officially" talks about.

He flew P-51s to F-104s, and his first squadron commander was Chuck Yeager. Like I said, old school.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
Well, here's another USAF aircraft on a carrier:



The C-130 wasn't taking traps or cat shots but the pilot wento into reverse while airborne to land. Peformed a deck launch for takeoff.
Abtually that was a Navy C-130 flown by Navy test pilots.

The "Supper COD" program was an experiment that worked fine, but had several "real world" drawbacks. Mainly the fact that if the C-130 ever broke onboard, it would foul the entire deck. The only solution would be to push it over the side.
 

bunk22

Well-Known Member
Abtually that was a Navy C-130 flown by Navy test pilots.

The "Supper COD" program was an experiment that worked fine, but had several "real world" drawbacks. Mainly the fact that if the C-130 ever broke onboard, it would foul the entire deck. The only solution would be to push it over the side.
I know what the test program was about. I'm pretty familiar with carrier operation, having flown COD's for 8+ years. I posted the pics due to your previous comment.

The only cases of USAF airplanes I've ever heard of on a carrier was the U-2. They were craned onboard, and took off for some special mission over China.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
I know what the test program was about. I'm pretty familiar with carrier operation, having flown COD's for 8+ years. I posted the pics due to your previous comment.
My bad. I didn't read who posted closely enough.

Wasn't that a USN C-130 with Navy pilots involved in those tests? Obviously if a Navy C-130 can do it, then a USAF Herc could too (I think there was an episode of JAG where they did that).

I saw pics of the U-2s on board a carrier on the internet once. Their wingspan took up the whole foward deck.
 
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