C-97 Still Losing Engines!

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • C-97 Still Losing Engines!

    I got this pic and the accompanying write up off Facebook. C-97's still eating engines...

    "On Tuesday, June 4, the C-97 “Angel of Deliverance” was returning to Reading, PA from Hagerstown, MD to participate in the annual Mid Atlantic Air Museum World War II Weekend event. At a point 20 miles southwest of Reading, the number two engine suffered a catastrophic internal failure and had to be shut down and feathered. While a routine Three engine landing was made at Reading, we are now left in need of a replacement engine. There are a few out there, finding a airworthy replacement may be difficult. We are looking at a cost of around $300,000 dollars.This amount will not only help us obtain a replacement R-4360-59B engine, but a meaningful supply of spares which will secure the airplane’s future for a long time to come. Find out how to help by visiting our website at www.spiritoffreedom.org. You can also donate directly via PayPal to Airlift48@aol.com.
    The Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation is a 501 c 3 tax exempt charitable organization."

  • #2
    Originally posted by A. Niemyer View Post
    I got this pic and the accompanying write up off Facebook. C-97's still eating engines...

    “looking at a cost of around $300,000 dollars."
    Hi Andy,
    My first gig in the USAF working on KC-97s back in 1963/64. I too, like Randy, have a warm spot for the beast. Would love to see and hear one flying but I think Randy and I would both agree the historical significance of the type isn’t worthy of the outrageous expenditure required to keep a 97 operational.

    Regards,
    Tom Charlton (who can still hear the brakes squealing in the night out on the SAC flight line)
    "The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Tom Charlton View Post
      ........a warm spot for the beast.........who can still hear the brakes squealing in the night out on the SAC flight line)
      Chuckle, Tom, hereabouts same-oh! At Offutt we had 5 of the VC-97 versions, Gen. LeMay's bird was "593" and Bobby Watson was his pilot. You mentioned those brakes screaming - later at the MN ANG we had 10 of the A models (ANG-MATS) that'd been formerly at Travis AFB ("Suisan Slew") and we'd stay inside the ops building until we'd hear a 97 coming back to the ramp for crew change. Not a whole lotta time in the 97s, 2600 hours +_, can still recall the water's condensation after a long trans-ocean crossing and having it run down the longeron after all that time at cruise and dribble all over your head and shoulders when we'd start down to land at Honolulu or the Azores. Good ole bird, IIRC only feathered a couple "corncobs" (R-4360s).

      BTW, Tim Chopp is the guy who's there at B.A.F. with "Angel of Deliverancc". Also have a C-54/R5D.

      best, randy


      Comment


      • #4
        Andy, was this the 97 rehab’d at Floyd Bennet Field and flown out a year or so Ago?

        Comment


        • #5
          Glad you asked, John, I had the same question.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by John Tucci View Post
            Andy, was this the 97 rehab’d at Floyd Bennet Field and flown out a year or so Ago?
            Yes, it is. If anyone remembers Jason Pence, he's deep into the C-97, planning on qualifying as Flight Engineer.

            He was a big help to us at Reading last weekend.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by John Tucci View Post
              Andy, was this the 97 rehab’d at Floyd Bennet Field and flown out a year or so Ago?
              John,
              Yes, it is! Hopefully they'll get the donations sufficient to replace that engine and get all the spares they need.

              Best,
              Andy

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks all. I was privileged to visit it several times while being refurbished at Floyd Bennet. Sadly, I missed its departure.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bruce Gorrell View Post

                  Yes, it is. If anyone remembers Jason Pence, he's deep into the C-97, planning on qualifying as Flight Engineer.

                  He was a big help to us at Reading last weekend.
                  Hi Bruce & all, thanks for the kind words. Just glad to be in the right place at the right time & able to help. I sure do love the Belle, and its obvious she's getting a lot of love & attention with y'all.

                  As far as the C-97: Yes, we shelled #2 pretty spectacularly. Drained the sump and got "pieces with part numbers". Half dozen pieces of a piston ring, and a chunk of piston in addition to enough metal shavings in the screen to fill a styro coffee cup.

                  Yes, we are probably more than a little crazy to be operating such a great big complex airplane, on a "non-profit budget"... but couldn't the same be said about when Randy & co brought FiFi out of China Lake all those years ago?

                  The 300k figure is to buy the 2 best/closest to airworthy -97s out of Greybull. That gets us 8 engines that are 1) known good and 2) with logs and papers. Also 8 props, and a full spares package. Basically parting out Tanker 97 and the other one. We (Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation) believe this package will enable us to operate the C-97 well into the future. Except for a couple of Reno Unlimited racers and the Super Corsair, we are the very LAST ones (foolish enough) to be operating the R-4360 engine in flight. I happen to think that it is important to show the public an operational example (or 4!!) of the apex of piston engine development.

                  We welcome any & all donations to this cause, whether monetary; prayers for our sanity; or just good thoughts our way. We are, of course, a 501C3.

                  Personally, it was running into Bruce at WW2 weekend that prompted me to rejoin the 'sig. Good to be back amongst friends.

                  Best
                  Jase

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jase,
                    So glad you’re back and here to tell the tale of the event. Naturally, we’re also all glad to know she got back safely on the ground, it almost goes without saying.

                    Thanks so much for the update; sounds like you all have a plan and a way forward.

                    very best regards,
                    Andy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Jase! Good to have you back home.

                      What is/was the schedule for “Angel” this summer?

                      Regards - TT
                      Last edited by Tom Tyson; 06-23-2019, 08:04.
                      Tom Tyson-A&P

                      Pilots without Mechanics are just Pedestrians with fancy watches . . .
                      ( . . . and Mechanics without Pilots are Unemployed.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As am I, Andy!! In all seriousness, as we all know here, *this* is why we train for emergencies. (This was technically not a declared emergency, but y'all know what I mean). I don't intend to minimize it, certainly shelling one out in flight is a serious situation.... but we *did* have 3 more that were droning along just fine. Also, in contrast to how the USAF & ANG flew these, we were very light. Max takeoff on ours, by the book, is 153k lbs. I know they were regularly flown at weights as high as ~190k with the J47 jets. We are, empty, 80k. BOW is 86k, on this flight we were ~95k. Amusingly, we are so light we aren't even on the Performance Charts. They start at 100k!!

                        I've seen a lot of Keyboard Kommandos online who have been talking smack that we shelled one. Best I can say in response is the following:
                        1) Tim Chopp, BAHF's founder & pilot, has over 14k hours just in heavy piston aircraft, over the last 40 or so years. He is also an A&P, and I have known and worked with him almost 20 years now. To say he takes his duties and responsibilities *seriously* is a total understatement. He is one of the more knowledgeable and cautious pilots I've seen in a quarter century of warbirding. I rank him with Randy, "lil tiger" Fuentes, and Steve Hinton, as pilots I will fly *anything anywhere anytime * with.
                        2) We are operating both the Boeing and the Douglas in strict accordance with the aircraft-specific manuals, as well as the more general stuff, such as Pratt & Whitney's seminal "The Aircraft Engine and its Operation".
                        3) I personally was involved in pulling screens on all 4 engines 1 flight previous to this one... nothing untoward was found.
                        4) ALL operators of the R-4360, whether the airlines, the military, Hawkins and Powers, or Steve Hinton /Planes of Fame; have shelled out engines. It is the nature of the beast. We believe that we will be able to operate for quite some time in a very conservative way (e.g. flying light, and as economically as you can get on a 28 cylinder monster!!).
                        5) The engine that shelled, was put on years ago in Alaska and frankly I'm not sure exactly what its history was.
                        6) It may indeed turn out that the age of the available engines will end up eventually making us unable to continue to operate the C-97. If that happens, *at least by G-d we tried it*. That's more than many other folks can say.

                        Yes, we do have a plan. Actually we had planned all along to purchase the GEY -97's, the timetable has just been moved up significantly. Now all it takes is raising the funds.

                        Best,
                        Jase

                        Originally posted by A. Niemyer View Post
                        Jase,
                        So glad you’re back and here to tell the tale of the event. Naturally, we’re also all glad to know she got back safely on the ground, it almost goes without saying.

                        Thanks so much for the update; sounds like you all have a plan and a way forward.

                        very best regards,
                        Andy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The response from airshow promoters has been really gratifying. We were scheduled for Lancaster PA in August. Depending upon funds, theres a chance we could still make that. 2019 was to have been our "training" year, starting to see what the airplane was going to be like in operations and what kind of support from shows would be like. We had been very pleased up till now with the response from the public, airshows, and the plane itself. Angel has been very "easy" and cooperative, if such adjectives can apply to such a big & complex girl.

                          Ah well, my standard saying applies here in spades: "If it was easy everyone would be doing it"

                          Best
                          Jase

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jase Pence View Post
                            Ah well, my standard saying applies here in spades: "If it was easy everyone would be doing it"
                            Ah-so, concur! You getta chance, say "HI" from me to all those guys that you mentioned earlier, Tim, Fuentes, Steverino. That 153 weight that you mentioned was the figure we used for the transport C-97s in MATS, SAC operated them up around 197 so so on the KC (tanker) version.

                            Only recall shelling a couple of "conrncobs" in the time I flew them, one that stands out most in my memory was once coming back from Saigon. After departing Hawaii for Travis AFB I had to cage #3 about a half hour past ETP (Equal Time Point) and the next several hours boring along with several fighter pilot guys who'd hitched a ride back home with us all sitting in the cockpit with us, all of them staring with wide eyes at that feathered prop just outside our window and an ANG flight crew. Chuckle.

                            BTW concur, sure nice to see'ya here again!

                            best, randy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jase,
                              Thanks for the updates. The -4360's have been doing what they do for a really long time. Sometimes they're great, other times, you're delighted to have the other three. At least they're consistent. Hope the Greybull deal goes through quickly and smoothly; that should hopefully keep things perking along for a while.

                              Very best regards,

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X