Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Help with Military Fast-Plane Question
Old 08-03-2014, 05:33 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,197
Help with Military Fast-Plane Question

I'm working on a subplot for my book.

Here's the scenario: Present day. An EMP-like phenomenon has wiped out all electronics from the east coast to Nevada. California is OK.

The military in CA needs to get a message to DC ASAP, and can't do it via radio (duh), so they want to send the fastest plane from CA to DC. Which option do you like best?

Option 1: The SR-71 has been retired, but they find one (from mothballs) and send it.

Option 2: Lookheed has a secret SR-72 prototype, and they send it, although it has major bugs.

Option 3: Those other options are too ridiculous, just send a B1 bomber.

I want the mission to have some major problems, such as a fuel problem. Consider this: all the GPS satellites are out of commission, and the plane would arrive in DC when it's dark. No lights on the ground.

So, how would the pilot navigate in that situation? Would it be possible? Perhaps dead reckoning from the last known visual landmark? Finding a dark airport impossible? Remember that all electronics on the ground are kaput.

Finally, what are some typical kinds of military SNAFUs that could threaten a mission like that?

Thanks for the help,

Al
__________________

__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-03-2014, 06:14 PM   #2
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Raleigh
Posts: 5
Look up project Aurora.
__________________

__________________
retirein15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 06:32 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Finding a dark airport impossible? Remember that all electronics on the ground are kaput.
What's the weather and phase of the moon? Cloud cover? Low ceiling? Fog? Snow and ice?
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 07:08 PM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
bjorn2bwild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Western US
Posts: 690
How did the electronics on these high tech aircraft survive the EMP?
Is it possible to generate a morse code signal through the existing transmission lines?
Oops, I see Ca is OK.
PS - the message could be dropped from the plane into the center of the Pentagon. No need to land the plane.
__________________
How's it going to end..............
bjorn2bwild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 07:12 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
If all NAVAIDS, satellites, and electronics are really down, it might be smart to send a plane with a sextant port and a navigator who still knows how to use a sextant, or a ground mapping radar and a crew proficient enough to use it, or an INS that is very good. The plane would also need its own weather radar and would need a crew trained to land on a blacked-out runway. Bomber crews could do the nav and weather avoidance autonomously, but I don't know if the blacked out landing would be an easily found skill among that set. A special-ops C-17 crew with NVGs could do all of it under the right conditions, and also take some encrypted HF radios (is the ionosphere still there?) and gensets to leave behind on the east coast to help re-establish comms. But, not really speedy. (approx Mach 0.75). Here's a page from someone who may or may not know what they are talking about.

Going with anything really exotic (a prototype, something out of mothballs, etc) is gonna have a major hokey factor. Assuming this is a no-fail mission, you want a plan that uses standard equipment and standard training. Having CA still in play opens some interesting possibilities. The USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB keeps some interesting planes around to fly, so you have the option of using some oddball aircraft, but I think something as "routine" as possible is far more realistic.


Obviously, you are in a very esoteric area here. I'm fairly sure that the national command authority has specially EMP-hardened equipment that is kept unhooked from everything to be sure comms can always be set up.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 07:18 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustic23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,624
F-22, and I believe most modern military AC are hardened against EMP. A pilot should be able to visual nav from CA to DC. I am not sure about range. Might have to find a place to refuel. But clearly one of the fastest around, i.e. supercruise supersonic without burner. Should be an F-22 or two at Edwards.

Added: quick search shows about 1,800 mil range with 800 km range in supercruise. So refuel, normal flight, no supercruise. The time to refuel would eat up any time gained by supercruise.
__________________
If it is after 5:00 when I post I reserve the right to disavow anything I posted.
Rustic23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 07:28 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 331
Hate to throw a wrench in your story, but why would the GPS satellites be out of commission? They are hardened against these situations plus, due to their orbit, only a handful are overhead at any given time. The majority of the constellation would continue working.

Personally I agree with samclem - have a spec ops crew do this if you really need it to be a plane. I recommend an AC-130 or MC-130 crew, however. Spec Ops don't have dedicated C-17s. They aren't stationed in CA but you could certainly have them participating in an exercise in CA at the time of the EMP. Make sure they were on the ground though...if an aircraft is airborne in CA and an EMP affects NV, it might affect the aircraft. C-130 variants are known for experiencing problems so there's no stretch there.
__________________
FI by 2024 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 07:39 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
It would be really good to be able to make it in one hop. Will the fuel trucks/hydrants enroute be operational? Start carts/AGE? Can you tell them you are coming, or will the plane be an unexpected drop-in? Every time you shut down, there's a chance all the systems won't come back up on restart.

Also, if the folks at the departure airfield can't talk to the folks at the distant end, they really won't know about the security situation. They can't know, for sure, where they'll actually land, and where they'll go next. So, the plane would carry its own security team to help keep the riff-raff away from the airplane.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 07:45 PM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
Hams.

Some amateur radio operator is going to drag a BC-348/375, AN/ARC-8 or some such vacuum tube beast out of the basement, hook the dynamoter to a couple car batteries, and be on the air. This is the sort of radio used on the B-29 that dropped the "Little Boy" atomic bomb.

An EMP-like phenomena strong enough to damage that gear won't leave much in the way of people, either.


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 07:51 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
Hams.

Some amateur radio operator is going to drag a BC-348/375, AN/ARC-8 or some such vacuum tube beast out of the basement, hook the dynamoter to a couple car batteries, and be on the air.
Sounds much better.

Though, if T-Al's "EMP-like" disturbance is roiling the ionosphere on a continuous basis (e.g. like super sunspots), HF would also not work, right? I'm trying to guess what these intelligent aliens of his might be up to.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 07:53 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,272
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
Hams.

Some amateur radio operator is going to drag a BC-348/375, AN/ARC-8 or some such vacuum tube beast out of the basement, hook the dynamoter to a couple car batteries, and be on the air. This is the sort of radio used on the B-29 that dropped the "Little Boy" atomic bomb.

An EMP-like phenomena strong enough to damage that gear won't leave much in the way of people, either.


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
+1 There are 'rad hardened' semiconductors, but AFAIK, there are no 'rad hardened' tubes - no point in it.

You could always call on this hero (or Jack Bauer):

-ERD50
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Dr Strangelove - Kong riding bomb.jpg (6.1 KB, 192 views)
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 08:23 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
dtbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Madison
Posts: 752
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
If all NAVAIDS, satellites, and electronics are really down, it might be smart to send a plane with a sextant port and a navigator who still knows how to use a sextant,
Even when I knew how to use a sextant, I was lucky if I got to within 50 miles of where I actually was. Doubt if it would be much use to find a runway in the dark LOL!!
__________________
Wild Bill shoulda taken more out of his IRA when he could have. . . .
dtbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 08:26 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
gromit's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Sounds much better.

Though, if T-Al's "EMP-like" disturbance is roiling the ionosphere on a continuous basis (e.g. like super sunspots), HF would also not work, right? I'm trying to guess what these intelligent aliens of his might be up to.
I think the aliens must've been influenced by some of those "Best Places to Retire" articles and decided to come check it out.
__________________
gromit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 08:30 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtbach View Post
Even when I knew how to use a sextant, I was lucky if I got to within 50 miles of where I actually was. Doubt if it would be much use to find a runway in the dark LOL!!
You find the runway with the mapping radar. If the weather is bad, you could then use an airborne radar approach (ARA) to get through the clouds to the runway without any help from the ground. The sextant is for overwater use. I'm assuming we're not sure where this plane will be going next. The stars will always be there (or we've got bigger trouble).

Hams: If the EMP has destroyed the computers, then it might all be manual Morse, which could make for a good, fun detail.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 08:56 PM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Sounds much better.

Though, if T-Al's "EMP-like" disturbance is roiling the ionosphere on a continuous basis (e.g. like super sunspots), HF would also not work, right? I'm trying to guess what these intelligent aliens of his might be up to.
They could be pulling a 'reverse HAARP' sort of trick, using immense pulses of high frequency radio to both produce their EMP effect, and screw up radio communications, by, for example, ionizing the D layer of the ionosphere. That would absorb radio waves that would normally span the country or globe. Then the hams would have to resort to groundwave relays every 50-200 miles. (Hams used to do this. The big ham radio association is ARRL, the American Radio Relay League. 'Traffic nets' still meet daily on the air, just in case... EMP would knock most of the fancy solid state rigs off the air, leaving it to the Old Timers to resurrect their vacuum tube gear and eventually re-establish communications. There, Al. Have a subplot on me. ;-) )
__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 09:33 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 189
Just to add to the stack of ideas...inertial navigation systems are self-contained and most modern mission computers use the inertials as their basis for position which is then updated and refined by GPS or ground NAVAIDs. I concur with the point that the GPS satellites should still be OK, though the system can be degraded by localized jamming and interference. Smaller, fast aircraft would need to air refuel. Larger aircraft (C-17 comes to mind) could make the trip and get back out of the area by beginning with a full fuel load.

Combine highly accurate modern inertial nav units...GPS updated or not...with NVG qualified crewmembers and an appropriately equipped aircraft for blacked-out landings and the mission should work. Best of luck with your writing.
__________________
Greg V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 09:35 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,197
Great ideas, I've got a lot to play with.

So a tube ham radio is totally immune to EMP?

It's EMP-Like, and it's caused by an extraterrestrial, so I can make it as effective or specific as I want ("Sci-Fiction as REW says).

I love the idea of getting some old sailor guy, "hanging out the window" of a supersonic jet trying to get a fix on a star. Then the clouds move in.

I figure that with all lights out, it will be just like being over the ocean.

Yes, no one knows that a plane is coming. The people in the blacked out area don't even know whether the entire planet or just a small area is affected. But maybe they will hear the plane going over and light some oil drums on the runway.

This will be a good scene--so much that can go wrong!
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 10:56 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,609
I have hung out the window of an airborne B-17. The windspeed is such that one would need a helmet and/or goggles tightly fastened to their head in order to do anything that involved seeing something.
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2014, 09:54 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustic23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,624
This is more than I ever wanted t know about EMP, but the last few pages are a good read of what life in the U.S. might be like.

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/cst/bugs_ch12.pdf
__________________
If it is after 5:00 when I post I reserve the right to disavow anything I posted.
Rustic23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2014, 10:34 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,197
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
So a tube ham radio is totally immune to EMP?
Perhaps it is not immune:

MYTH: Gear that uses vacuum tubes is EMP proof.
FACT: Sadly, no. There was vacuum tube equipment that was damaged in the 1962 tests.

http://www.thepreparednesspodcast.com/emp-myths/
__________________

__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help choose military charities receiving donations from "The Military Guide" sales Nords Other topics 18 01-05-2011 06:07 PM
Help! Education Needed Fast! Heavenly2222 FIRE and Money 8 04-04-2008 08:30 AM
Need to get smart FAST; help w/sales charge LERDELY Hi, I am... 7 03-11-2007 07:41 PM
Fast question for he electricians Gpax7 Other topics 6 06-04-2006 01:07 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:13 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.