he just saw this picture and said that would have been soooo much easier then just walking! LOL Its a really sucky part of the job he
He’s correct, because the guys in the pictures are not American! It’s a European NATO airstrip!
What’s really “sucky” is FOD on Soviet type airstrips in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are so cracked and overtaken with grass and weeds, that
it’s almost impossible to spot debris.
Soviets/Russians did often use street sweeper vacs for quick runs in order to remove larger chunks, but since all of their front line/tactical
aircraft incorporate strict unprepared airstrip operation requirements, they can take off and land from dirt roads and any type of paved surfaces long
and straight enough.
Currently being the only dedicated front-line fighter, MiG-29 is the only fighter which uses a system that allow it to be fully operational from
unprepared airstrips, and that includes maintenance.
On take of main air intakes close with protective grates, and air fed through upper air intake inlets which not only protect the compressor blades
from debris, but literally help to raise the front end entire airframe which increases the effeteness of the lifting body and allow for the engines to
literally push the plane into the air.
To this day Fulcrum enjoys the shortest takeoff run, simply because being a front-line fighter, scrambling is its very purpose.
I’m not going into comparisons between the Falcon and the Fulcrum, because comparing them to each other is like comparing apples to oranges.
One evolved from a cheap stop gap alternative into a capable multi-role platform, while another was designed and used as a dedicated front-line
fighter, comparing them directly is utterly useless, because by their very nature they have entirely different roles.
General understanding of Fulcrums maintenance by Western techs differs from Russian techs entirely.
Soviet/Russian philosophy for front line fighters did not change much since WWII, and that means that front line equipment gets very little
operational time between rotations for complete overhauls, while Western gear is fully serviced and generally have much longer service life.
That’s why Fulcrums engines can be swapped out with in half an hour, but attempting to service them in the field is utterly unrealistic. They
simply exhaust their service life, and are rotated back to the manufacturer for recycling, so there are no worries about FODs at all.
In WWII Soviet front line fighters generally flew only 50 hours before becoming “hand me downs”, and that’s why they generally did not even have
They flew them hard, they flew them to fight a war, and that’s what it’s all about.
Same philosophy works to this day. Easy of manufacture allows them to produce in mass thus keeping up high rotation rate, which completely eliminates
an entire logistical nightmare of on-site maintenance, which becomes completely impossible to carry out effective as soon as it’s touched by enemy
When WWII VVS fought with Luftwaffe in Kuban, generals on both sides said that it’s not the pilots that won the skies, it’s the ground crews that
kept their birds flying.
While Germans performed complete maintenance/rebuilding of complex and high tech engines, Russians were simply swapping out entire nits for
new/rebuilt ones received from the factories.
When it’s winter and when enemy artillery is pounding your airfield, attempting to rebuild a Daimler-Benz V-12 that’s built like a Swiss watch is
just a tad more difficult then simply swapping it for a new one, and that’s what Russians did.
While they always kept replacement engines in reserve and used them when they were needed, when they did have time their techs did rebuild engines on
the ground, and had a much easier time doing it.
Same thing to this day and American philosophy also stayed the same by deploying full maintenance crews with air wings flying delicate aircraft that
can’t handle the elements while having to operate from pristine paved airstrips.
A simple example; Taiwan is one of the nations that runs F-16s, and when they were hit by mud slides, one spilled on the airstrip from which their
F-16s were operating from.
All flights were grounded until the mud dried out the strip was completely moped up, all while Chinese air force did not stop its flights.
Back in May of 1999 a single seater Falcon disappeared in eastern Taiwan during a routine training mission, since no communication from the pilot was
recorder and no distress signal was sent catastrophic engine failure is suspected, and since maintenance log books were clean, it was unofficially
written of to FOD.
A chip on the compressor blade can result in immediate explosion of the turbine, or a micro fractures can gradually expand until catastrophic failure
and that expansion can take hours.
Here’s another interesting bit of history. Back in WWII when rains turned all dirt airstrips into mud swamps, Russians attached winter skies to
some of their light Yaks, unloaded all of the ammo to lighten up as much as possible, dragged them out on the strips with tractors and actually ran
resonance flights deep into German held territory simply because Luftwaffe could not get off the ground to challenge them.
As history shows, FOD = inability to function when it counts.