::[ kampungkai ]::

Friday, January 20

Ex-AirForce Guys

Wasn't able to go online for the past week as i was back in hostel. The new semester has started this week, and today i'm home, out from the blardy torturous jail, sitting in a comfortable place i call home.

It was a week of ups and downs. Ups were during classes, and downs were after classes. Let's go for the ups first. I have very good lecturers this semester, having 4 different lecturers teaching 4 subjects namely:

1. Turbine Starting
2. Turbine Fuel & Metering
3. Turbine Overhaul
4. Turbine Lubrication

Out of 4 of them, 3 are ex-AirForce guys, and 1 is a lady (ex-MAS mechanic). In the aviation education world, u will not see professional License Aircraft Engineers (LAE) giving lectures, well even though there are, they r the minority; but alot of ex-AirForce ppl giving lectures. Why? Because LAEs have way higher salary in Airlines companies (MAS, SIA...), so why go for lecturing when the salary is way lower?

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F-14 flying about 10 ft above sea level.

As for AirForce guys, we all know, they are paid very low, rite? So, lecturing is like a very good job promotion to them, and in my institute, 80% of the lecturers are from the AirForce. So, are AirForce planes or fighter jets related to civilian planes? Well, not very to be frank, the basics are the same, but most of the system are different. Fighter jets are built to shoot and to be shot down, civilian planes are built to earn money and definitely not to be shot down haha!

From the sentence that i just said, i shall summarise that our contry's fighter jets are poorly maintained, because there's no point maintaining it, as it's gonna be shot down 1 day haha! and fighter planes' equipments and parts are much more expensive compared to civilian plane. For example, a low category fighter plane can cost the same as a Boeing 737. The fighter plane sits a maximum of 2, and the Boeing 737 sits 144. U get wat i mean?

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F-14. Does this look familiar? remember this scene in TopGun? where Tom Cruise showed the international sign language and snapped a pic?

We learn alot from these AirForce guys, really. It's very fun and interesting to listen to these ppl talk about their experiences. Even though i'm from MAS, and we have got nothing to do with war or jet planes, but u know, they are the AirForce guys, flying at speed of sound(Mach1) or maybe Mach2 (pronounce it as mother=emak's MAK), servicing some high-tech planes, it definitely attracts anyone! And we will be like standard 1 kids listening to Gandalf tell stories, once awhile hearing 'wahhhh' 'ohhhhhh' and 'ah!' lol! funny...

Truthfully, nearly every year, 1 Malaysian fighter jet will crash. If the pilot is lucky, God Bless Him! if not, Rest In Peace. Why are there so many crashes? As i just said, they are poorly maintained. They rather fly the plane even though it is due for maintenance. But we can't blame them u see, the cost is indeed very high, most of the parts are in USD, in addition to our poor AirForce, it's a big burden to them.

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A row of F-18.

Malaysian fighter pilots call most of the old fighter jets "The Flying Coffin"! hahahha... I was laughing away when i heard this. It's like, if u get in that jet, u are queueing up for a death, get it? hahaha! What a waste ya, all these well built, good looking AirForce pilots in sunglasses sitting in a flying coffin? lol!

Every 20 minutes or so going through the text book, we get bored, we get sleepy, and these AF lecturers know us well. He'll turn off the OHP, we will close our books, and our eyes become as big as 50 cents coin, putting 2 ears on alert, waiting for stories from the military! haha!

During these story telling sessions, our class would be like military training u know? The AF lecturer would hold a marker pen in his hand and start off drawing an airfield (airport), then comes some strategy planning, asking us how to combat on-coming jets. He'll draw a '0' for our jets, and 'X' for intruders. Next, he'll teach us to take off the planes from which direction of the runway, depending on the direction of the on-coming intruder.

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B2 Bomber. It comes without a vertical tail, and it's stealth!

The best way to take off is to lift off the ground as short as possible, and turn on the after-burner (some turbo super-duper power thing), shoot 90 degrees into the sky and start the chase, pretty thrilling i should say. In the sky, if there's a dog behind u (not the 4-legged dog ok?), there are ways to counter too like pulling the airbrake (handbrake for cars) to slow down the plane in an instant, letting the dog overshoot u, then put on the super-duper afterburner and chase. For your info, we are not talking about 110km/h like cars, but 900-1500km/h, so imagine the G-force acting on your body.

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Sukhoi

As for the Sukhoi planes(Russian), which Malaysia have, if there's a plane locked on u, and a air-to-air missle is launched on u, no worries! Just pull down the black screen on your helmet and a computer screen will appear inside the helmet, showing some grid and cross-heir in the middle. Can u imagine the situation? So what u need to do, is to guide the missle into a red round spot on the screen and press a button. Walaa, the missle will divert away, amazing huh? These are called super high-tech gadgets. I can't reveal that much info to u as my lecturer revealed to us, cos it's kinda confidential, sorry guys!

All these stuff sounds really fun in the sky, but once they land and engineers take over, engineers will be having a hard time. From all the high gravity manouvers, doing sharp U-turns, flying at X2 speed of sound, the body of the aircraft goes through a lot of stress. If u have a magnifying glass in hand, u will notice alot of hair-line cracks on the wings, no kidding. Just from 1 dog fight in the sky, there will be cracks all around the wings, especially the point where it comes in contact with the fuselage (body).

Man, there's just too many stories to tell and share here. If possible, i'll talk nonstop in person! Haha, now i'm all excited, and i forgotten all about the downs of the week. Nvm, forget bout the downs! Enjoy the weekend and start cleaning your house for Chinese New Year! :P

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