Supplier Honeywell thinks Sequestration is OK; Mystery photo

In a break from major defense contractors, politicians and just about everybody, the CEO of Honeywell thinks Sequestration might be a good thing.

We opined about this on Election Day.

For a switch in topics and our usual stuff, let’s have a little contest. You win nothing except bragging rights.

What is this?

37 comments on “Supplier Honeywell thinks Sequestration is OK; Mystery photo

  1. tail skid (wheel) of a high aspect ratio winged vehicle, something like the voyager round the world airplane is my guess. It could also be a high altitude drone. It has a low deck angle at take off. Look at the angle formed between the tail wheel skid and the tail cone – that is the max rotation angle at lift off. This is just a SWAG, I do not have experience with this vehicle.

    Regards,

    Bruce

  2. It is the nose section of something, but I don’t know what….yet. The “wheel” is a plastic caster, so it is not meant to be dragged on a runway, or support anything heavy. If you look at the wing device attached, you see it is a leading edge, not a trailing edge, it has no moveable control surface. It is also not from any jet aircraft that flies at normal airline speeds, the structure is to light and cannot support anything heavy inside it. Also the “wing” like sructure has a rough leading edge, like a boundry area, but I doubt it is a boundry area. There is a maintenance access panel on it.

    • Since the ‘wing’ appears to go through the center of the tank, it is a perminate fixture. The scratches on the ‘tank’ might be from a ground stand, indicating it is higher off the ground than the height of a man. There is a seam on the ‘tank’ indicating it is not a fuel tank. It is not a wing tank on a Comet-3/4. Hard to tell if the wing is straight or swept. The vertical line of rivets tells me it has an intenal structure for support.

      • My vote, for what it’s worth, is that it’s a reconnaissance pod on a 1950’s era plane. I was thinking either U-2 or Nimrod. It looks similar but doesn’t quite match.

    • As an ex de Havilland student, and with almost 50 years of association with Comet aircraft I just could not get this wrong. The wheel is to ‘protect’ the tank in the event of a belly landing when the aircraft could be supported by the tanks. Normally the wheel was protected by a fairing. The Boeing project to restore the Comet 4c is to be applauded. I wish them well in this project, which I have visited several times during visits to Boeing to certificate aircraft.

  3. First thought was that it was the ‘canoe’ fairing around a trailing-edge flap rail/track; then that it was a tailcone. Appears to be narrower than it is deep. Certainly the (nylon?) wheel — perhaps 4- to 6-inch diameter and apparently not castoring but on a fixed axis — looks intended to provide ground clearance (or mobility), likely at low speed but not very load-bearing (so surely not a tailskid?). Staining suggests that the vehicle is a museum piece. Insufficient detail to see whether it is a wingtip device. Above and to the left of the wheel there appears to be an uncaptioned arrow, possibly an instruction for (maintenance?) handling or removal? Evidently not a Hansa Jet/L-1049/C-124 wingtip tank, so look forward to hearing the answer..

  4. It may be a fairing or tank mounted at the end of a wing – given that the photo is taken from below and it looks like the device is quite close to the corrugated iron wall, meaning that the device isn’t centre-line. So possibly a wing-mounted fairing on an airplane that’s liable to tip to the side on landing; I was thinking along the lines of U-2 or B-52, which have similar fairings on their wings (at least the B-52’s have wheels, too), but looking at both planes this photo doesn’t quite match. Also, it doesn’t look like a swept wing (or if so, at a low angle), so that would also rule out the B-52.

  5. Looks like the tail of an aircraft, however the angles and position of the crazy little wheel don’t seem to support that. Could it be that the wheel, as we see it, is in a stowed position and it can extended further? It seems a seriously sized tailcone, so probably a serious aircraft too, not high speed (?!) probably US made (Scotts week-end trip), an old Lockheed / Douglas / Northrop / Grumman twin prop with a long tail (hence the wheel) to compensate two heavy engines in front / support a serious stabilizer for 1 engine ops?

    • My guess is more the front end of “something” than the rear.
      and more an “endthing” than a “centerthing” to stay with vague terms.

  6. I’m very impressed with the creativity of some posters (quite amused about the hanger stuff). I was also impressed at Reply #3 getting the correct answer so quickly and reply #13 correctly being even more specific.

    It is the “BOAC” Comet IVC in restoration at the Museum of Flight in Everett (WA) http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcorreira/1893187870/, The aircraft actually was operated by Mexicana and the BOAC colors aren’t correct to this particular aircraft. The aircraft has been in restoration for at least a decade.

    http://airchive.com/html/museums/museum-of-flight-restoration-center-everett-wa-2010/filter/D

    I took the “Mystery photo” when I did a piece on it for Airliners or Airways magazine (this long after I’ve forgotten which one). I found the photo in my files when cleaning out stuff.

    Perhaps I’ll do more Mystery photos in the future. Readers are free to submit by email a photo (with the answer and some history) for posting.

    Congratulations, Everyone, for the interesting answers.

    Scott Hamilton

    • Looking again at the hangar door (sorry, Scott), one can appreciate that perhaps a wide-angle lens was used; if so, that could account for why – looking (I suspect [Scott will know]) forward and outboard at the port slipper tank from under the wing – the tank in the mystery photo appears a lot shorter than is apparent in Scott’s and others’ linked images of the whole aircraft.
      Perhaps Comet engineers allowed for slipper-tank scrapes on landing in very strong cross-winds as we’ve all seen evidenced in hairy you-tube landings. (Don’t forget, if it weren’t for Comet over-rotation take-off accidents, which accounted for two of five Comet 1 write-offs before the grounding, we wouldn’t have those always-impressive Vmu demonstrations on You tube…)
      Perhaps the de Havilland mafia that has done such a good job in keeping the name alive can enlighten us?

  7. For those asking what it was for, been answered already:

    John E Humphreys. :
    As an ex de Havilland student, and with almost 50 years of association with Comet aircraft I just could not get this wrong. The wheel is to ‘protect’ the tank in the event of a belly landing when the aircraft could be supported by the tanks. Normally the wheel was protected by a fairing. The Boeing project to restore the Comet 4c is to be applauded. I wish them well in this project, which I have visited several times during visits to Boeing to certificate aircraft.

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