I got to fly a T-6 Texan through combat maneuvers

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
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Last week I had the amazing opportunity to fly the T-6 Texan and take it through quite a few aerobatic maneuvers.

For those of you not familiar with the Texan it was used in WWII as a trainer and if you were a pilot in WWII chances were that you trained initially in the Texan. It was used in many smaller conflicts as a combat aircraft and used as a forward air controller in the Vietnam war. There are more Texans flying than any other WWII aircraft so its quite common to see them at airshows




It was a pretty cool little airport. We just parked behind the hanger and walked in for a minimum of paperwork. Our planes were already outside waiting

[URL=http://smg.photobucket.com/user/exterous/media/IMAG0279.jpg.html][/URL]

What followed was a comprehensive evaluation of my qualifications to pilot the plane:
"Have you ever flown before?"
"Nope - first time."
"Ok - climb aboard!"

The safety procedures were a tad different from your typical commercial flight and I needed to be strapped into a parachute. My pilot also went over all the steps I would need to accomplish should I want to bail out of the plane.



After a brief explanation of the myriad of buttons, knobs, levers and the big stick thingie we started our taxi:

(Click on the image to play the video)


The taxi was relatively short and it wasn't long before we were in the air. The initial turbulence was a bit unnerving as a sudden drop in altitude in a Texan feels a bit more substantial than one in say a 747-Anything

It smoothed out as we approached 6,000 ft and my nerves settled a bit. The adrenaline did spike again though as he started walking me through advanced flight maneuvers like 'Level flying' and 'Gentle turns'. Seriously. Given that it was my first time flying a plane I was pretty tense.

The process would be as follows: My pilot Sean would do the maneuver and I would feel his movements in my set of controls. Then he would turn it over to me to duplicate.

Sean: "Do this this this now wait for this now turn and do this. Ready? GO!"
Me: "Uhhhhhh................."

Sean was great though and talked me through it all. As long as I could play along with Simon er.. Sean Says I could do this. Granted the first time I banked right when instructed to bank left but I quickly started getting the hang of things.

The program was great as he slowly increased the difficult as we progressed. I suspect this is also for his benefit as it likely cuts down on how often vomit needs to be cleaned out of the plane. I had kept breakfast to a minimum of dry toast but I can appreciate his caution

Before I knew it we were going through loops, barrel rolls, 1/2 cubans, immelmanns and split S'es. I am rather proud to say that of the group of us I was able to get through the most maneuvers and even had some time to put together some amateurish combinations. Only one of us had to make use of the Barf Bag

I am not sure what sort of bandwidth this will use of my hosting sites allowed allocation but I did get the in-plane video and edited out some snippets of my flying for upload. Talking with Sean and a couple of other flight companies nearby it seems that aerobatics are a bit rough on cameras so high quality recordings are hard to find for recreational flying:

Cuban:


Immelmann:


Combo:


Overall it was an amazing experience and definitely one that will stay with me. I was more than a bit drained at the end of our hour long flight but it was awesome. I flew almost the entire time and really only stopped close to landing. I will say that as we were approaching the airport I finally relaxed my hand from the stick and I definitely noticed some soreness. Apparently I hadn't relaxed it at all during the flight.

Did I mention it was awesome? Because it was.

All of it.

Awesome.
 

mmntech

Lifer
Sep 20, 2007
17,504
12
0
Nice. There's a guy around here that has a Harvard, which is the RAF/RCAF variant. I've only ever flow a Cessna 150 myself. They give rides in the Texans at one of the local airshows but the tickets are quite expensive.
 

twinrider1

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2003
4,096
64
91
The T-6 Texan, built in Ohio, by West Virginians.
That was the saying around here (North American Aviation, Columbus)
Must've been an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing.
 

Mutilator

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2000
3,516
10
81
Ahh, Stallion 51. Definitely on my list of to-dos as a pilot. Particularly the P51 (TF-51).

Bet that was quite a shock to the system having never flown before hehe. :D

There's also something similar out in Vegas where you have dogfights I believe. Would also be a cool experience.
 

JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
11,737
890
126
Would love to try it but I don't even do well on roller coasters.
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,539
260
126
Went up for a ride in a B-25. Really gives you a feeling of flying by seats of your pants those guys must have went through. And that's with the US having some of the most structurally sound and armored planes. After peering out through the real gunner slot, no idea has those in a ball gunner position could do anything but puke the entire flight.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
20,390
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Pretty awesome. That's about as close to flying a WWII fighter as most people could get.

One of the group did go up in the P-51

Must've been an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing.

It very much was

Ahh, Stallion 51. Definitely on my list of to-dos as a pilot. Particularly the P51 (TF-51).

Bet that was quite a shock to the system having never flown before hehe. :D

There's also something similar out in Vegas where you have dogfights I believe. Would also be a cool experience.

Stalker! :ninja: A shock is an understatement :p Alright so I was nervous about doing a gentle bank to the left and now you want me to fly upside down?!
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
20,390
3,462
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Would love to try it but I don't even do well on roller coasters.

The experience is quite a bit different and the videos don't come close to doing it justice but the effect on my stomach was definitely more noticeable than being on a roller coaster

http://www.stallion51.com/ (I know the where because of Crazy Horse in the background)

Since they don't list pricing Google comes up with $450 1/2 hour - $750 for a whole hour for the Texan. Which isn't too bad... particularly when you compare it to the $2,350 1/2 hour and $3,150 hour rates for the Mustang. ;)

The Mustang price seems quite high. The guy who did that didn't tell us how much it was but I think it was closer to $2,000 for an hour but $1300 rings a bell too
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,389
1,778
126
A buddy of mine owns a share in one. It's pretty awesome looking.

I'd rather have a share of a 200kt, 4 seater.... :p But that's because I don't have money to waste and would rather travel than fly maneuvers.
 

DainBramaged

Lifer
Jun 19, 2003
23,449
38
91
I am so jealous, dude. There was a B-17 flying overhead last weekend and I wanted to do nothing else but drive right over there and plunk down the $450ish bucks for a ride. I just couldn't find where I left my $450. :(
 

Mutilator

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2000
3,516
10
81
The Mustang price seems quite high. The guy who did that didn't tell us how much it was but I think it was closer to $2,000 for an hour but $1300 rings a bell too

Was he someone you knew or just someone who happened to be there at the same time? I'd love to know how much it actually costs. Cheaper is always better but nothing in aviation is "cheap", particularly things that I'd consider once in a lifetime like that. I'm sure the prices fluctuate for a variety of reasons but I've always seen them north of $2000 for an hour. I couldn't find the prices I remember seeing last year, they were on some review site, the ones I posted were from some what to do in Orlando page. Was just the first ones I saw, but yes they do seem high from everything else I've seen over the years.

If I had more money than sense I'd fly down there, get trained and checked out in the P51 by Lee Lauderback, and then go out and buy my own for $1.5-2 million or so. Yes they really do cost that much.
I need to start playing the lottery... only way my aviation and exotic car dreams will come true lol. ;)
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
20,390
3,462
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Do they charge extra for using the parachute?

I think they would be more concerned about the loss of the plane

I am so jealous, dude. There was a B-17 flying overhead last weekend and I wanted to do nothing else but drive right over there and plunk down the $450ish bucks for a ride. I just couldn't find where I left my $450. :(

Wow - I had no idea that cost that much but that would be quite the experience

Was he someone you knew or just someone who happened to be there at the same time? I'd love to know how much it actually costs. Cheaper is always better but nothing in aviation is "cheap", particularly things that I'd consider once in a lifetime like that. I'm sure the prices fluctuate for a variety of reasons but I've always seen them north of $2000 for an hour. I couldn't find the prices I remember seeing last year, they were on some review site, the ones I posted were from some what to do in Orlando page. Was just the first ones I saw, but yes they do seem high from everything else I've seen over the years.

If I had more money than sense I'd fly down there, get trained and checked out in the P51 by Lee Lauderback, and then go out and buy my own for $1.5-2 million or so. Yes they really do cost that much.
I need to start playing the lottery... only way my aviation and exotic car dreams will come true lol. ;)

Ha @ your expensive tastes. I know the guy and I should see him this weekend so if I remember to ask I will
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
46
91
Anyone else having issues? My monthly bandwidth is definitely getting used up so I would think they are working

it says this person moved or deleted the photo. I don't even see the still photo, just that message.

might be because they are listed as jpgs and not video files?

using firefox - same thing happens in chrome also