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Boeing 737... Bomber?

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posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 05:57 AM
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Waynos-I wonder why you would think it will take a major re-engineering. Normal cabin altitude in a passenger airliner is 10,000 feet. Oxygen is only required over 12,000 feet. Are you saying a torpedo launch will be done from higher altitudes than that? Even if it was, it would not be a big problem to bulkhead off an area between stations. We're talking about a luggage compartment/fuel tank section of the airframe.




posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 09:32 AM
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I'm only really going on what I've read of the Comets transformation into the Nimrod and applying it across to the Boeing. It may not be the case with the 737 but I read that cutting into the structure of a pressurised cabin, ie to create a weapons bay which would need to be unpressurised so it could be opened at any altitude, can create potential weak spots where stress fractures would become more likely to form when the aircraft was flying at altitude and that such structures are best left unaltered. Nothing to do with where the torps are dropped from but more what might happen during the life of the airframe. This was why a secondary fuselage featured on the Nimrod and, I assumed, why the MMA carries its weapons externally.

I belive, rightly or wrongly, that in order for the MMA to carry its weapons under the cabin floor and be able to release them in flight, the whole dynamic of the pressurisede area would have to be redefined to exclude this area, hence my assumption that it would be a major job.

Of course the way that the pressure cabin is designed in the 737 might bear no relation to how it was designed on the Comet which was the first of its kind.



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 02:43 PM
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Originally posted by engineer
Waynos-I wonder why you would think it will take a major re-engineering. Normal cabin altitude in a passenger airliner is 10,000 feet. Oxygen is only required over 12,000 feet. Are you saying a torpedo launch will be done from higher altitudes than that? Even if it was, it would not be a big problem to bulkhead off an area between stations. We're talking about a luggage compartment/fuel tank section of the airframe.


You are correct about the pressurisation of the cabin, its held at below 10,000 feet, whereas on the 737 the oxygen masks deploy at 14,000ft. The issue here is that the structural makeup of pretty much all passenger aircraft is designed around the fact that the cabin is essentially a pressure vessel. The aircraft gains much of its structural integrity from the internal pressures being exterted equally outward in every direction, and this is one of the reasons that baggage holds are pressurised to the same level as the passenger cabins when in flight, even if the baggage holds are empty. This adds costs to the aircraft in that you are maintaining pressure in a place that essentially doesnt require it, but if they didnt, then you would end up with a much heavier aircraft due to the strenghtened cabin floor that would need to be installed. Remember that a circular construct has inherently more strength than any other shape.

The 737 would require a fairly major internal structure change to accomodate any internal ordnance bays, in order to strengthen the surrounding cabin to take the extra stresses that the missing supporting struts would place on it. Im not saying it cant be done, but it would add considerable weight to the aircraft. This would need to be done even if you depressurised the cabin each time you wanted to deploy anything from the bay.

That said, this is a cool conversion, and the pics posted here look great



posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 04:59 PM
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RP,
I was referring to the flight crew. FAA regs (IIRC) require oxygen for anything over 12,500, or over 12,000 for longer than 30 minutes.

Anyway, I will try to get over to BFI with my cam. If the MMA is still sitting there, I will try to snap some shots of the belly.



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