You may have noticed that certain aircraft have more than one pitot tube. Why?
- CFR Title 14 for Parts 121, 125, and 135 operations (Subpart C, Aircraft and Equipment) require it, for the sake of redundancy during icing conditions (and both must be heated).
- Large aircraft produce greater disturbances in airflow requiring more than one collection point in the airstream
- It is required for all aircraft that require more than one pilot.
Answer: C. It’s a rule in the “FARs” all right, but it’s in Paragraph 1323 of Parts 23 and 25 for airplanes. It says that where duplicate airspeed indicators are required (such as with commuter and transport category airplanes) their respective pitot tubes must be far enough apart so that one bird can’t take them both out. (Parts 27 and 29 for rotorcraft don’t seem to care.) Section 23.1323 of Advisory Circular 23-17A also advises that for Part 135 operations, the minimum acceptable straight-line distance between them is 14 inches. (This might account for a four-pound bird.)
The Two Jackies
Jacqueline Cochran had humble beginnings on (as she called it) “sawdust road”, but eventually she succeeded in life after training as a beautician, and founded a large cosmetics company. She became interested in aviation in large part due to the business motivation of being able to cover more territory, but went on to accomplish many “firsts” for female aviators. She was the winner of the 1938 Bendix Transcontinental Air Race, she was one of the developers of the oxygen mask, and most notably, was the first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound in 1953, in an F-86 Sabre. (She did receive some assistance from a friend of hers who had also shared less than auspicious origins, one Chuck Yeager.) She also organized and led the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, during WWII. However, there was another Jackie with whom she had a long-standing, although informal, rivalry, each one continually trying to outdo the other in the setting of new aviation records. Who was that?
- Major Jacquelyn S. Parker
- Jacqueline Auriol
- Jaclyn Katharine Wright
- Jacqueline Lee Bouvier
Answer: B. Jacqueline Auriol was a decorated French pilot who in 1953 became the second woman to break the sound barrier. She started as a stunt pilot and went on to be a military test pilot, flying more than 100 types of planes. The exact opposite in terms of how she started out in life, she was the daughter of a wealthy shipbuilder and timber importer. In 1938 she married Paul Auriol, the son of Vincent Auriol, a prominent leader in the Socialist party and the former president of France. During World War II, Madame Auriol, by then a mother of two sons, evaded Gestapo agents and assisted the French Resistance. She took up flying in 1947, and started stunt flying. In 1950, she obtained a military license and qualified at the Flight Test Centre at Bretigny, France, as (if you believe the French references) the world’s first woman test pilot. In May 1951, she set a new women’s speed record in a British Vampire jet, flying over 508 mph and beating Jackie Cochran’s previous record, set in a P-51. This began a friendly rivalry between the two ladies, and they traded women’s speed records until 1964. Although she suffered severe injuries during an airplane crash in 1949, she resumed flying in the US and qualified to fly jets. Flying a Dassault Mystere IV on August 3rd, 1953, she became the second woman to break the sound barrier. (After 1959, their competition continued in excess of Mach 2.) Mme. Auriol was also one of the first pilots to fly the supersonic Concorde. Jacquelyn S. Parker (choice A) was the first American woman to become combat qualified in the F-16. Graduating from college at just 17 years of age, she was already a “fast burner”. In 1988, then Captain Parker became the first woman pilot to attend the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB. The name in choice C was intentionally fictitious, and Jacqueline Bouvier, later known as Jackie Kennedy, and then Jackie Kennedy Onassis, was never a pilot.
The Fighter Without A Gun
What fighter airplane had an “F” type designator, but yet carries no guns?
- the Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo
- the Grumman F-13
- the F-117A
- the Fokker F-10
Answer: C. The Brewster Buffalo was the Navy’s first monoplane carrier-based fighter, in 1939, and it had four one-half inch machine guns. (It also flew pretty much like a buffalo.) There never was a Grumman F-13. (Curiously, the Navy’s F-14 would have received this number, but the number 13 was rejected by Grumman and/or the Navy, obviously for superstitious reasons. Since the late 1960s, it has been an unwritten rule that “-13” designators are always skipped.) The Fokker F-10 Trimotor was an airliner, back in 1927, and it enjoyed success up until the widely publicized crash that took the life of football coach Knute Rockne on March 31, 1931. The F-117A is designated as a fighter (subsonic, incidentally) but it has no guns, and usually, no missiles. The reasons are kind of obvious, when you think about it. (It wasn’t the first fighter to dispense with guns, by the way. The YF-102 was the first fighter with an “all missile” armament.) And in case you were wondering about those designators…
Beginning in 1919, the US Army Air Service assigned 15 simple alphanumerical designations to all its aircraft. The basic system, consisting of letters representing its primary design task, followed by a sequential “design” number, was continued by the US Army Air Corps, US Army Air Force, and the newly created branch of the US Air Force, even though the representative letters have significantly changed, several times (such as in 1924, and between 1924 and 1948, when the Army and later the Air Force made further changes). One of these involved dropping the “A” (for attack) and “P” (for pursuit) and instead using “F”, for fighter. (The letter “P” has been used for “patrol, and the “A” has been used as a mission modifier, however.) In 1962, this designation system became mandatory for use by all U.S. military services.