Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 24, 2011 - 04:49pm PT
I've noticed that a lot of us on the Taco also enjoy tossing themselves out of airplanes or off of various fixed objects, or taking some damned cool airplane rides to get to various destinations all over the world.
So, here's the thread to put up your skydiving, BASE and airplane pics. I will even kick it off with a pic of my first skydive, taken in Sept. of 93. And yes, detractors, I know it's a shitty exit :p
I had been working at the DZ for a year and a half at this point, waiting to turn 18. For my reward, I was the first out on the demo load for my own first jump class. :-\
By sheer luck, I stood up the landing about 5 feet in front of them haha.
Looking forward to some awesome pictures in this thread!
Ah, so that was YOU stinking up Dawse's greasy 3? :D That is indeed an enviable skill. I have to say tho, if you can stink out a tailgater that well, then you were indeed a master of the gas. Awesome story.
We had a grumpy old pilot once that hated farters. He kicked one guy out the door about 2 miles short of the spot after warning him several times.
Reilly, awesome shot of the Mars. I spent a couple years fighting wildland fires, and my favorite runs of the day was when the old PB4-Y would come in the line up - this was before they lost that one in Montana and they stopped flying them.
Reilly, I did miss that thread. Thanks for linking it in! I'd say that Chino and Evergreen have the best old flyin iron anywhere.
And that MiG-15 ...well if it flies like a Chevy, it would be one of the old trucks with no power steering haha. I used to work for a company that imported them. Built like a tank though, could land anywhere.
My first sky dive was out of the DC-3 at Perris Valley in 1980. I was a little thing back then barely weighed over 100 lbs and the rig was heavy, old military junk-the belly wart reserve on front and the huge round canopy packed in its container on back.
I was number 8 out the door, wanted to go first, figured the quicker I got out the less time I would have to deal with my anxiety. All I remember, was when I threw myself out was not being prepared for the blast coming off those huge radial engines, there went any style that we were taught earlier in the day.
My next jump was out of a Cargo Beech 18, had to sit in the door way and shove off, that was interesting. The more interesting aircraft were the Cessna's, crawling out, handover hand on the strut finally letting the feet dangle in the wind and just letting go....... fun!
I need to see if I can figure out how to scan pictures.
And Trundle, I used to work with your boss I believe. Looks like you're working with Simon Wade, by the email address. I used to pack his tandem rig for a while, I used to work at Skydive Las Vegas when Michael still owned it. Good times!
And yes, the flying wing is the one at the grand Canyon base of the Chino museum. They also have part of a B29 hidden in the back yard.
I will get some more pics up in the morning. Keep em coming, all!
You da man! I knew I recognized those twin shark fins of the Vampire.
I just couldn't bring it out of the subconscious. :-)
I have been to Reno but these shots are from this year's Chino show - way
better than Reno IMHO.
The 22 ship grand finale was beyond awesome - a combined 60,000 HP!
OK, here's some trivia shots.
The only commercial airliner with counter-rotating turbo-props.
A Tupelov 114 which used to sit at the entrance to Dushanbe International.
Donini didn't answer me whether it is still there. Grrrr.
The most highly produced commercial aircraft in history, period - Antonov-2.
They should use the Buddy Lee jeans slogan - Can't bust 'em!
I got some hours in those things and they are the shiz! One takeoff was so
epic - overloaded, density altitude of a good 10K, etc. Weight and balance?
Fuggetabout it! I was sitting in the middle front pax seat holding the cockpit
door open with my foot (the latch was busted) so I could keep an eye on those
clowns. The clowns were good and it was an E-ticket ride. As they horsed
it off the dirt strip the stall horn was blaring like a brass band. The #2
casually sticks his head back into the cabin and says, "Pass as much baggage
forward as possible!" HaHaHaHa! Alacrity was the byword! It took a good
4 or 5 minutes before that damn horn quit.
Akbar - my homie the ramp agent proudly showing the USSA "I Ski" bumper sticker I gave him
My father was the ship photographer on a carrier during WWII in the Pacific. I know he had a whole trunk full of photos, but these are a few he digitized and put on carriers website before he passed away.
I don't know anything about the recon rig, all I know is my dad developed the recon photos. I did recall seeing some before and after bombing photos of a small island.
There are a whole lot of questions I shoulda woulda coulda but didn't ask my dad before he passed away. I really should have asked him some details about his climbing in Yosemite in the 50's. It would have at least been nice to have known what routes he'd climbed, and to go and climb them myself. But from the time I found out he had cancer to the last time I visited him was a little over 2 months, and there were a host of emotions running through me that kinda blocked out putting down a thorough list of questions. Such is life.
I did six jumps at a DZ just over the Alabama line from Pensacola back in '72 (only the last one where I pulled). It was a run by some of the Navy team and I mostly remember a) being stunned by how fast the plane disappeared, and b) that I no idea what was what during the first couple of jumps.
Just got this from my bro-in-law (a J3 is a Piper Cub). And 121.5 is the
universal guard/emergency frequency.
Yesterday I departed Minneapolis and was flying home to Toronto while monitoring 121.5 like I always do.
We heard an excited mayday call about an aircraft ditching in the water but did not answer because, as I expected, there were soon many joining in as well as the loud ELT signal. The original caller had given a call sign and described the aircraft as a J3 and his location but it seemed like he was somehow observing the ditching so I was a bit confused. We could see Lake Winnebago clearly as it was just to the right of our route but we were too high to spot anything on the southern end.
When we arrived in Toronto my F/O googled it on his cell phone and we were surprised to see it was already on the internet. Some divers had pulled two bodies from the plane. It was very sad to contemplate that others had gotten up in the morning with the rest of us and had gone flying on a beautiful day as we had but ended up drowning in 6 feet of water.
Margaret Young and Jim Richardson loading the Cessna 180 in Palo Alto for winter climbing in the Wind Rivers in 1963
1946 Luscombe 8A, my first airplane in 1981
Kaman Husky UH-43B, my first helicopter
logging time in a private A-4 SkyHawk, 670 MPH
logging time in a private T-28B
logging flight time with Laura Mullen
first skydive 1966 on a Double-L; other owned rigs include a T-10 TU with a 24' belly reserve; Para-Commander in custom-made container, StratoStar in a SST Racer, Comet in a Streamlite; Diablo in a Javelin container
I have to ask about the trip back from the Pacific on the Kardashan after the war. Did the crew get double rations? Your dad's site and the ship's site on the battles in the pacific are the best description of actions I have seen.
At the risk of being called a touron, here's a vimeo link to a tandem skydive I took my son on for his 19th birthday. Going out the door of that plane was an excellent adrenaline rush. The action doesn't start until about 3 minutes in if you want to skip the fluff. The freefall was from ~14k to about 4k ft. Ass kicking and highly recommended.
I have fond memories of HP doing great work for the Bureau of Land Management out of Fairbanks with this & their other PB4Y-2's dropping retardant low and close to the fire line in the tundra of Interior Alaska. You could see the pilots smiling & having a great time 'AT WORK'!
The PB4Y-2 is the Navy sub chasing version of the Army Air Corps' B-24 bomber.
HP PB4Y-2s were the best. I love radials. Then a wing came off HP C-130 Tanker 130, a wing came off HP PB4Y-2 Tanker 123, and that was the end of Hawkens & Powers (plus a few other retardent operators).
Hawkins & Powers PB4Y-2 Tanker 121 over Hayman Fire June 2002
Thanks for all the great additions while I was away!
I used to have some great PB4-Y shots that I took while working fires in Northern Nevada for the 02 season, but they got lost. *sadface* I used to love it when the old radials came coughing down the line. No one else in my crew was an airplane geek though so they didn't get it.
Here's the ultimate radial firefighter - the Martin Mars seaplane. Our nice
neighbors in BC sent it down to help fight the SoCal Station fire, for a price,
as it well should be. This crappy pic (heavily cropped to boot) through
the thick smoke shows it 5000' above lining up its run on the Mt Wilson
area which as far as I heard was the only area of the fire it worked. It
was rather limited in this fire as the nearest body of water with a long
enough straight run to scoop was Lake Elsinore about 70 miles away so that
meant it could make only one drop per hour.
yeah there are a few vertical areas in the 400ft range. according to wiki (take that for what it is worth) the rock is not very good for climbing but you could probably get a bunch of FA's on it. I don't know enough about BASE to judge the landing areas they look not great but It would depend on your glide rate or your chute. If that is the right term not sure, but if you had enough forward opening speed you can probably land in flat areas.
oh and for the record most of this info is from what I remember from going there a few years back. There is a trail going up to Guadalupe peak. From there you have to go through some slightly off trail rough areas for around a half mile or mile. I didn't have pants and the time so I didn't try it so I have no idea about the best jump ledges. I also didn't know how to climb at the time so I don't really personally know the rock conditions for climbing. Next time i go I am going to try and bring some climbing equipment and see if I can find any reasonable lines with decent protection. Then again I just started climbing so I might not have a clue what I am talking about.
General aviation groups aren't happy, and who can blame them? "There can be no legitimate reason for a government agency to facilitate the monitoring of wholly private activity by anyone with an internet connection," said Ed Bolen, head of the National Business Aviation Association.
But under LaHood's policy, Big Brother will be watching. And so will anyone else who wants to.
I'm really getting tired of the violations and the scrapping of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
First pic is a repro F.E 8, WW1 British, originally powered with a 9cyl pusher like this?
Armed with .303, I think.
Third pic is a restored J-1, used locally along the southern ME coast for mail/supplies. Repowered with a period but not original engine (upgraded from 90ish HP to 130?)
Check out the wood! and it has leather wearpatches for the cable rigging. Pretty cool.
Middle pic is two repros, I'm pretty sure. Sopwith and maybe a Spad?
They were also flying a Waco UBF-2 (uncommon version, apparently) and a Stearman.
And while it wasn't out that day, they have a BEAUTIFUL repro Etrich Taube that I'd like to see aloft.
I haven't been able to locate many of my airplane shots. They may have gone into that hole in the sky where pictures go after a computer crash. I hope not, but I will keep looking.
To add some humor to the thread, here is a "handy cam" video of one of the loudest tandem students ever. Good thing I packed the main right, because I think the instructor was too busy laughing to deal with much...
I remember seeing one in flight when I was on a commercial flight out of Reno, this was over 20 years ago now.
The captain came on to tell us one was passing our nose. Most planes, you can see them for a while, but this momma went out of sight in a few scant seconds. Never seen anything move that fast before or since.
The Blackbird was truly a aviation triumph. The pictured bird is probably the one owned by NASA, the only two seater still in operation.
I had the 6 o'clock high position on a SR-71 once. I had him dead to rights.
Course he was parked at the Palmdale Skunk Works and I was on final approach to
Lancaster. It was pretty cool though. Actually, there were six of them
there! I never have a camera with me at the right time. They must have
been changeing out their 8-tracks.
My climbing partner for many years worked for ........... when the SR-71 was still a black project.
The SR-71 had a celestial navigation system that was almost as accurate as GPS and worked by tracking three stars thru telescopes that fed an analog computer. Drum controler logic. Really an amazing piece of hardware.
Then there was the story about the C-5 full of Coors that was flown from Colorado to Florida "in support of the SR-71"
I was lucky enough to be in Mesa for Halloween a couple years ago, and spent a good 45 minutes crawling around in Sentimental Journey with practically no one around. Loved every minute of it, they have a great museum there.
TGT, that was a really cool bit of info about the SR-71, thanks for sharing!
Ontheedge - those bambi buckets make me nervous. Had a pilot either bump a release or had the hook fail on a fire north of Reno many years back. It hit about 15ft from our team. Scary shite man. Was like a bomb went off.
Ron, I used to work at Minden for Tony Sabino. I think I heard about that story! Talk about a close one.
We had a similar incident at Stead when we were drop testing a new round chute that the DZO had developed. Except in this case, it was attached to a body weight dummy, and it took the right side horizontal and elevator off like a hot knife through butter. Surprisingly, the pilot managed to land it.
A friend of mine figured he'd make some easy money and build time by scattering
ashes at sea from a 172. He wasn't so dumb as to discount the effects of
negative pressure so he put the ashes in a large trash bag. He had the theory
down pretty well but the devil was in the details and the execution. Uh, it
took hours with the FBO's shop vac to cleanse his conscience. No, he didn't
tell the family as he did scatter the ashes over the ocean, right?
This story was updated on Sept. 18 at 2:45 p.m. ET.
CHANTILLY, Va. – Twenty-five years after their top-secret, Cold War-era missions ended, two clandestine American satellite programs were declassified Saturday (Sept. 17) with the unveiling of three of the United States' most closely guarded assets: the KH-7 GAMBIT, the KH-8 GAMBIT 3 and the KH-9 HEXAGON spy satellites.
The vintage National Reconnaissance Office satellites were displayed to the public Saturday in a one-day-only exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport, Va. The three spacecraft were the centerpiece of the NRO's invitation-only, 50th Anniversary Gala celebration held at the center last evening.
Saturday's spysat unveiling was attended by a number of jubilant NRO veterans who developed and refined the classified spacecraft and its components for decades in secret, finally able to show their wives and families what they actually did 'at the office' for so many years. Both of the newly declassified satellite systems, GAMBIT and HEXAGON, followed the U.S. military's frontrunner spy satellite system CORONA, which was declassified in 1995. [See photos of the declassified U.S. spy satellites]
Big spy satellites revealed
The KH-9 HEXAGON, often referred to by its popular nickname "Big Bird," lived up to its legendary expectations. As large as a school bus, the KH-9 HEXAGON carried 60 miles of high resolution photographic film for space surveillance missions.
Military space historian Dwayne A. Day was exuberant after his first look at the KH-9 HEXAGON.
"This was some bad-ass technology," Day told SPACE.com. "The Russians didn't have anything like it."
Day, co-editor of "Eye in the Sky: The Story of the CoronaSpy Satellites," noted that "it took the Soviets on average five to 10 years to catch up during the Cold War, and in many cases they never really matched American capabilities."
Phil Pressel, designer of the HEXAGON's panoramic 'optical bar' imaging cameras, agreed with Day's assessment.
"This is still the most complicated system we've ever put into orbit …Period."
The HEXAGON's twin optical bar panoramic mirror cameras rotated as the swept back and forth as the satellite flew over Earth, a process that intelligence officials referred to as "mowing the lawn."
Each 6-inch wide frame of HEXAGON film capturing a wide swath of terrain covering 370 nautical miles — the distance from Cincinnati to Washington — on each pass over the former Soviet Union and China. The satellites had a resolution of about 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to nearly 1 meter), according to the NRO. [10 Ways the Government Watches You]
According to documents released by the NRO, each HEXAGON satellite mission lasted about 124 days, with the satellite launching four film return capsules that could send its photos back to Earth. An aircraft would catch the return capsule in mid-air by snagging its parachute following the canister's re-entry.
In a fascinating footnote, the film bucket from the first KH-9 HEXAGON sank to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in spring 1972 after Air Force recovery aircraft failed to snag the bucket's parachute.
The film inside the protective bucket reported contained high resolution photographs of the Soviet Union's submarine bases and missile silos. In a daredevil feat of clandestine ingenuity, the U.S. Navy's Deep Submergence Vehicle Trieste II succeeded in grasping the bucket from a depth of 3 miles below the ocean.
Hubble vs. HEXAGON
Former International Space Station flight controller Rob Landis, now technical manager in the advanced projects office at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, drove more than three hours to see the veil lifted from these legendary spacecraft.
Landis, who also worked on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope program, noticed some distinct similarities between Hubble and the huge KH-9 HEXAGON reconnaissance satellite.
"I see a lot of Hubble heritage in this spacecraft, most notably in terms of spacecraft size," Landis said. "Once the space shuttle design was settled upon, the design of Hubble — at the time it was called the Large Space Telescope — was set upon. I can imagine that there may have been a convergence or confluence of the designs. The Hubble’s primary mirror is 2.4 meters [7.9 feet] in diameter and the spacecraft is 14 feet in diameter. Both vehicles (KH-9 and Hubble) would fit into the shuttle's cargo bay lengthwise, the KH-9 being longer than Hubble [60 feet]; both would also fit on a Titan-class launch vehicle."
The 'convergence or confluence' theory was confirmed later in the day by a former spacecraft designer, who declined to be named but is familiar with both programs, who confided unequivocally: "The space shuttle's payload bay was sized to accommodate the KH-9." [Infographic: NASA's Space Shuttle from Top to Bottom]
The NRO launched 20 KH-9 HEXAGON satellites from California's Vandenberg AFB from June 1971 to April 1986.
The HEXAGON's final launch in April 1986 — just months after the space shuttle Challenger explosion — also met with disaster as the spy satellite's Titan 34D booster erupted into a massive fireball just seconds after liftoff, crippling the NRO's orbital reconnaissance capabilities for many months.
The spy satellite GAMBIT
Before the first HEXAGON spy satellite systems ever launched, the NRO's GAMBIT series of reconnaissance craft flew several space missions aimed at providing surveillance over specific targets around the world.
The satellite program's initial system, GAMBIT 1, first launched in 1963 carrying a KH-7 camera system that included a "77-inch focal length camera for providing specific information on scientific and technical capabilities that threatened the nation," according to an NRO description. A second GAMBIT satellite system, which first launched aboard GAMBIT 3 in 1966, included a175-inch focal length camera. [Related: Anatomy of a Spy Satellite]
The GAMBIT 1 series satellite has a resolution similar to the HEXAGON series, about 2 to 3 feet, but the follow-up GAMBIT 3 system had an improved resolution of better than 2 feet, NRO documents reveal.
The GAMBIT satellite program was active from July 1963 to April 1984. Both satellites were huge and launched out of Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The satellite series' initial version was 15 feet (4.5 m) long and 5 feet (1.5 m) wide, and weighed about 1,154 pounds (523 kilograms). The GAMBIT 3 satellite was the same width but longer, stretching nearly 29 feet (9 m) long, not counting its Agena D rocket upper stage. It weighed about 4,130 pounds (1,873 kg).
Unlike the follow-up HEXAGON satellites, the GAMBIT series were designed for extremely short missions.
The GAMBIT 1 craft had an average mission life of about 6 1/2 days. A total of 38 missions were launched, though 10 of them were deemed failures, according to NRO documents.
The GAMBIT 3 series satellites had missions that averaged about 31 days. In all, 54 of the satellites were launched, with four failures recorded.
Like the CORONA and HEXAGON programs, the GAMBIT series of satellites returned their film to Earth in re-entry capsules that were then snatched up by recovery aircraft. GAMBIT 1 carried about 3,000 feet (914 meters) of film, while GAMBIT 3 was packed with 12,241 feet (3,731 meters) of film, NRO records show.
The behemoth HEXAGON was launched with 60 miles (320,000 feet) of film!
HEXAGON and GAMBIT 3 team up
During a media briefing, NRO officials confirmed to SPACE.com that the KH-8 GAMBIT 3 and KH-9 HEXAGON were later operated in tandem, teaming-up to photograph areas of military significance in both the former Soviet Union and China.
The KH-9 would image a wide swath of terrain, later scrutinized by imagery analysts on the ground for so-called ‘targets of opportunity.' Once these potential targets were identified, a KH-8 would then be maneuvered to photograph the location in much higher resolution.
"During the era of these satellites — the GAMBIT and the HEXAGON — there was a Director of Central Intelligence committee known as the 'Committee on Imagery Requirements and Exploitation' that was responsible for that type of planning," confirmed the NRO's Robert McDonald, Director of the Center for the Study of National Reconnaissance.
NASA's Rob Landis was both blunt and philosophical in his emotions over the declassification of the GAMBIT and HEXAGON programs.
"You have to give credit to leaders like President Eisenhower who had the vision to initiate reconnaissance spacecraft, beginning with the CORONA and Discoverer programs," Landis said. "He was of the generation who wanted no more surprises, no more Pearl Harbors."
"Frankly, I think that GAMBIT and HEXAGON helped prevent World War III."
Editor's note: This story was updated on Sept. 19 to correct the name of Phil Pressel, who designed the HEXAGON spy satellite camera system.
Have to say that I'm not much of an F35 fan yet. It's an interesting concept, but it seems to me that the ducting system is really complicated and could be very prone to damage in a combat situation. I'm also a dual engine fan as far as combat airframes go.
I haven't studied it a whole lot yet though, so I don't know what backup systems or protection is in place.
The centennial celebration of Orville Wright's historic, world record glider flight on October 24, 1911 of 9 minutes and 45 seconds heralding the arrival of modern soaring.
Almost a century ago, on October 24, 1911, Orville Wright soared for 9 minutes and 45 seconds in Kitty Hawk, a record that held for almost 10 years, and started the sport and science of modern soaring as we know it today.
I bungee-jumped about 15 years ago and it scared the hell out of me. I'm thinking of getting into skydiving, and I figure it's less scary on account that one doesn't really feel the sensation of falling, with the frame of reference so far away.
Tragically my brother, Dave, was killed a couple weekends ago in Maine when his Cessna went down. Flying was his passion. We suspect it was a frame stall as he was flying low and slow and banking. He flew out of Greenville, Maine.
Be careful all you pilots out there. Just like climbing it only takes a moment for it all to change. He was a damn good pilot but one poor decision plus another... you know how it goes.
Don't mean to bring the thread down. I got to fly with Dave countless times and it is truly a special passion. We shared a bond; my climbing and his flying. I always enjoyed the hell out of being up there with him.
Very sorry about the loss of your brother Finn, that's a heavy blow. Reassuring that you shared a good bond and times, and that at least he was doing what he loved.
Ditto on your comment to pilots. Often more sketch as all the cockpit management in the world is second to mechanical failure.
As good as we perform in the world aloft, we're never more than a move from checkmate.
Regards to you and family.
Here is a story with a happy ending for those of us who are also skydivers, smokejumpers, pilots, or all of the above.
This is the story as told by the Extraordinarily Talented and Lucky Hawkins & Powers C-119 pilot (& skydiver), Ed Dugan:
A friend (who was still working as a Fairbanks BLM smokejumper in 1981) had a silkscreen made of the picture of the distressed HP Tanker 138 (as seen in the story by Ed), and printed it on T-shirts with the caption 'C-119 in Slow Flight'. I think the Bros bought that run out.
Here is a BEFORE of a Hawkins and Powers C-119 (sister HP Tanker 136):
1842: The Aerial Steam Carriage of William Samuel Henson and John Stringfellow was patented, but was never successful, although a steam-powered model was flown in 1848.
1852: Henri Giffard flies a 3 horsepower (2 kW) steam-powered dirigible over Paris; it was the first powered aircraft.
1874: Félix du Temple flies a steam powered aluminium Monoplane off a downhill run. While it did not achieve level flight, it was the first manned heavier-than-air powered flight.
1894: Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim (inventor of the Maxim Gun) built and tested a large steam powered aircraft. The machine generated sufficient lift and thrust to break free of the test track and fly but was never operated as a piloted aircraft.
1899: Gustave Whitehead built and flew a steam powered airplane in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Stoker/passenger Louis Darvarich was injured when the plane crashed into an upper story of an apartment building. He later flew steam aircraft in Hartford, Connecticut, and was visited by one of the Wright brothers well before 1903. However, this flight has never been verified satisfactorily; there are no photographs, news stories, or other media from 1899 to confirm it. Likewise, the supposed visit of the Wright brothers to Whitehead is apocryphal; other than affidavits taken over thirty years after the fact, there is no evidence the visit ever happened. Mainstream aviation historians remain unconvinced of the Whitehead claims.
1902: Louis Gagnon flew a steam helicopter in Rossland, British Columbia, called the "Flying Steam Shovel". Control problems caused a crash.
1920 The Bristol Tramp would have been a steam powered aeroplane but the turbine was over powered and the construction of a reliable boiler and condenser circuit was problematic.
1930s: George D. Besler and William J. Besler's prototype steam biplane, based on a Travel Air 2000, flew several times at Oakland airport. It was powered by a two-cylinder, 150 hp (110 kW) reciprocating engine designed by the Doble Steam Motors Company and Besler weighing about 500 lbs. and was capable of STOL operation due to the ease of reversing the thrust.
1944: A steam-powered version of the Messerschmitt Me 264a was hypothesized but never constructed. This was meant to be powered by a steam turbine developing over 6,000 horsepower (4,500 kW) while driving a 5.3 meter (17' 6") diameter propeller. The fuel would have been a mixture of powdered coal and petroleum. It seems that the steam turbines would have had an SFC of 190 gr/hp/hr. The main considered advantages to this powerplant were consistent power at all altitudes and low maintenance.
1960s: Conceptual drawings were made for Don Johnson of Thermodynamic Systems Inc. Newport Beach, CA of an engine. It was to be in installed in a Hughes 300 helicopter. The steam engine was a compact cylindrical double-acting uniflow [similar in layout to the Dyna-Cam Aero engine], but never prototyped by Controlled Steam Dynamics, Inc. ~~~ wikipedia
TGT, part of what took so long to get Fifi back in the air, was a complete redesign of the ducting and exhaust systems, for that very reason. That's part of what caused the problem on that bird as well.
Nice jumps. You know after you guys BASE, and free-fall for a few seconds, you are just low performing paraglider pilots. Lol.
There was a jumpable BASE parachute/paraglider developed, and it worked. You guys should be going the distance cross-country once you're under canopy and riding the thermals. You could top land and do it again!!!
Packed my first chute today.
It was a reserve, so what's that tell yah...
-Yes it was a crappy job that barely made it into the container.
-No it will never get used, because...
-No, it will never leave the shop (just a beater, practice canopy)
-Yes I am stoked just the same
@Trundlebum; You say you packed your first chute ever, so you are taking a rigging coarse with out having packed and jumped a main canopy, that must mean you dont have you A-license yet because that is one of the requirements...
I thought you need to have a few license before you could become a rigger...
Personally I'd like to know that the rigger who packed my reserve has had a few thousand jumps with a couple reserve rides in there for the experience.
"Sgt. Scratch was born in Saskatchewan , July 7, 1919, and enlisted in the RCAF in Edmonton , as R60973 AC2 on July 20, 1940. He earned his wings as a Sergeant Pilot and flew with that rank for a long time. He flew Liberators from Gander , Newfoundland , as a co-pilot on anti-submarine patrols. Scratch was good at his job and was eventually raised to commissioned rank.
As a Flying Officer and with many hours to his credit, Scratch wanted to fly as aircrfaft commander, however, RCAF officials considered that, as he was slight in build, and had suffered ankle injuries in the past, he would not have the strength to control a Liberator in an emergency.
Sgt. Scratch wanted more action but was unsuccessful in getting an overseas posting. He became very depressed. One evening, June 19. 1944, in the mess, he entered into a debate about one man being able to take off, fly, and land, a Liberator. Scratch left the mess, went down to the hangar, fired up a Liberator, and took off. He shot up the American base at Argentia, and the base at Gander . When some fighters approached him to order him to land, they found him occupying, and rotating the mid-upper gun turret, with the aircraft on autopilot. The guns were fully armed and operational. When he returned to base he was placed under arrest, later court marshalled, and dishonorably discharged.
Mr. Scratch returned to Edmonton , Al berta , and went directly to the RCAF recruiting office where he was accepted back into the RCAF as a Sergeant Pilot. He was posted to No. 5 OTU, Boundary Bay . 5 OTU was training aircrew on Liberators for service against Japan . The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was winding down and many of the pilots were senior aircrew from Training Command. Again Sgt. Scratch found himself flying second pilot to officers with far less experience than himself. The training started on B-25 Mitchell aircraft and advanced to Liberators. When his experience and flying skills were not recognized, Sgt. Scratch again became frustrated.
On December 5, 1944, Sgt. Scratch attempted to take off, unauthorized, in a Liberator, Due to the fact that there was no official flying that night, the field was in darkness and the control tower un-manned, Scratch mistook a roadway for the runway and crashed into a wooden bridge wiping out the undercarriage. Undaunted, he returned to the hangar and signed out a B-25 Mitchell and took off.
Scratch flew down to Seattle, Washington, area and beat up the Seattle airport causing many aborted take offs. The Americans sent up fighter aircraft to bring the Mitchell down however, Scratch returned to Canada , disrupting and grounding flights at the Vancouver airport. He then flew around the Hotel Vancouver, well below the roof level and down Granville Street .
The following is an eye witness report by Norman Green. “7:00 hrs. December 6, 1944, while it was still dark, I was in the mess hall when it was shaken, and dishes fell to the floor as a result of an aeroplane flying low overhead. The same pass shook WDs out of their bunks.
As usual that morning at 8:00 hrs., 1200 airmen and airwomen, all ranks (I among them), formed up on the tarmac in front of the control tower for CO’s inspection. Just as the parade was about to be called to attention a B-25 Mitchell bomber came across the field at zero altitude, and pulled up sharply in a steep climb over the heads of the assembled airmen, just clearing the tower. Within seconds, 1,200 men and women were flat on the ground. The Mitchell then made several 25 ft. passes over the field. Group Captain Bradshaw dismissed the parade and ordered everyone to quarters.
Over the next two hours we witnessed an almost unbelievable demonstration of flying, much of it with the B-25’s wings vertical to the ground, below roof top level, defying gravity. We were continually diving into ditches to avoid being hit by a wingtip coming down a station road. He flew it straight and level, vertically with the wing tip only six feet above the ground without losing altitude, defying all logic, and the law of physics.”
After an hour of this, three P-40 Kittyhawks from Pat Bay Station arrived on the scene, fully armed, with orders to shoot the B25 down if it left the area of the station. They tried to get on his tail but could not stay with him in his tight turns below rooftop level. After two hours of this, Sgt. Scratch flew over a corner of the field and circled one spot vertically, with the Kittyhawks joining in like may pole dancers.
Sgt Scratch then climbed to 2,000 feet and wagged his wings as he crossed the field, boxed in by the fighters. When they were clear of the station, the Kittyhawks signaled Sgt. Scratch to land. He nodded his head, gave them the thumbs down sign, rolled over, pulled back on his controls, and, aiming at an uninhabited spot on Tillbury Island in the Fraser River , dived into it. The shattered red taillight lens was later located dead centre between the points of impact of the engines.”
Al l in all, a remarkable story, but further on in the forum where this account was published, someone named JDK put into workd very eloquently what my thoughts were about this psychopath: “I've always rather liked the saying that 'the superior pilot is one who uses his superior judgment to avoid using his superior skill'. Unless there's bits we don't know, Sgt Scratch was a disgrace with a few remarkable skills. As a military airman, wrecking several aircraft (and worse) simply because he wanted to do another job than allocated in wartime was utterly selfish and short-sighted. Flying skill to the extent of suicide while wasting government equipment and hazarding the lives of your fellow airmen hardly sounds like 'a superb pilot' to me.
Makes a good bar tale though. And his ghost walks the corridors to this day...”
One of the most celebrated images of a low pass is this shot of F-14 Tomcat driver Captain Dale “Snort” Snodgrass making a curving pass alongside USS America. Many web-wags have stated that this was unauthorized, dangerous or that it even was a photo of a Tomcat about to crash. However, Snodgrass explained: "It's not risky at all with practice. It was my opening pass in a Tomcat tactical demonstration at sea. I started from the starboard rear quarter of the carrier, slightly below flight deck level. Airspeed was about 270 kts with the wings swept forward. I selected afterburner at about a half-mile out, and the aircraft accelerated to about 315 kts. As I approached the fantail, I rolled into an 85-degree bank and did a hard 5-6G turn, finishing about 10-20 degrees off of the boat's axis. Microseconds after this photo was taken, after rolling wings-level at an altitude slightly above the flight deck, I pulled vertical with a quarter-roll to the left, ending with an Immelman roll-out 90 degrees and continued with the remainder of the demo. It was a dramatic and, in my opinion, a very cool way to start a carrier demo as first performed by a great fighter pilot, Ed "Hunack" Andrews, who commanded VF-84 in 1980-1988.
A B-52 slides down the port side of USS Ranger (CV-61) in its typical nose down cruise attitude. Though it looks like it, this is not photoshopped. It happened in early 1990 in the Persian Gulf, while U.S. carriers and B-52s were holding joint exercises. Two B-52s called the carrier Ranger and asked if they could do a fly-by, and the carrier air controller said yes. When the B-52s reported they were 9 kilometers out, the carrier controller said he didn't see them. The B-52s told the carrier folks to look down. The paint job on the B-52 made it hard to see from above, but as it got closer, the sailors could make it out, and the water the B-52's engines were causing to spray out. It's very, very rare for a USAF aircraft to do a fly-by below the flight deck of a carrier. But B-52s had been practicing low level flights for years, to penetrate under Soviet radar. In this case, the B-52 pilots asked the carrier controller if they would like the bombers to come around again. The carrier guys said yes, and a lot more sailors had their cameras out this time. Photo was taken from the plane guard helicopter
Is that Hetch Hetchy? I gotta try and get my bro-in-law to break open his
photo vault. When he was driving F-111's they would go down to Greece for
'exercises'. Yeah, right, drinking exercises. Oh, they would go out during
the day but that was just to determine who would be buying that night. And
you ask how was that determined? Easy - each right-seater brought his video
camera and they would video each other. Doing what you ask? Duh, who was
kicking up the biggest rooster tail! "And how big is big, Johnny?" Well,
a 90,000 pound airplane flying Mach .9 at 50' AGL makes a really big roostertail!
The pics I've seen I would guess 100'! WOO-HOO!
In 2009, a Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet crew got permission for a low-level demonstration flight as part of the opening ceremony for a speedboat race on the Detroit River , This is what it looked like for Motor City residents. Officials waived rules to allow the Navy flyers to swoop under 100ft along the waterway. One resident said, "I couldn't believe how low they flew and how close they came to our building. I'm sure the pilot waved at me." Photo: AP/The Detroit News, Steve Perez. Originally spotted at the Daily Mail.
The Human Fly, a stunt man by the name of Rick Rojatt, makes a low pass on top of a DC-8 flown by the legendary Clay Lacy in front of the grandstands between events at the 1976 California National Air Races at Mojave. The aircraft is ex-Japan Airlines JA8002. It was owned and operated by American Jet Industries in 1976.
Wow, Karen, talk about collectables! That must be yours cause it sure can't
belong to any flight school! :-)
I'm sure you've heard all the slanderous comments about Swifts almost all of
which are unfounded I'm sure. However, it sure does look like it would
love to ground-loop and I've also heard you don't want more than about a
10 kt cross wind to land in. True?
So was this your proud daughter's first solo or first tail-dragger solo?
Judging by the size of her smile I'm going with first solo, period. KOOL!
Two more questions:
Was yours built in the first half of the last century?
And why did they put the 'steering' wheels on upside down? :-)
I just went back and caught up with the thread:
Woootah for your daughter, way cool !
Hank, I surely appreciate the positive 'tude. Thanks it gets my stoke up!
Make sure you're sewing skills are also getting trained.
I am a very accomplished sew'r, seamer, stitcher or what ever you want to call it. I am hesitant to say "I am a Blah,blahblah..." about most things. But I can and do use with pride, the statement "I am a sail maker".
My first 9-5 job at 17 was making sails at the same loft where my father was working and retired from. It was at the time the largest loft in the world. I have made 12 meter sails in Marblehead and I have jumped my own sailboard sails at Ho'okipa Maui.
Sewing I can do!
My trapping/tack'n pack'n leave something to be desired still yet,
but I'm getting it :)
@Trundlebum; You say... you are taking a rigging coarse with out having packed and jumped a main canopy, that must mean you dont have your A-license yet
TRUE/Right you are !
because that is one of the requirements...
FALSE/Not true, incorrect.
I thought you need to have a few license before you could become a rigger...
No offence, but now your assuming.
The only requirements for an F.A.A Senior Rigger certification are:
F.A.A Senior Rigger certification
FAR Part 65, Certification;Airman Other Than
crew Members, provides for the issuance of
two parachute rigger certificates: (1)senior parachute rigger
and (2) master parachute rigger. FAR Part 65 also
provides for four type ratings; (1) seat, (2) back,
(3) chest, and (4) lap. Each senior parachute rigger
applicant must meet the requirements for at least one
rating, and a master parachute rigger applicant must
meet the requirements for at least two ratings to be
issued a certificate.
FAR Section 65.113 states:
(A) To be eligible for a parachute rigger certificate a person must-
(1) Be at least 18 years of age;
(2) Be able to read, write, speak and
understand the English language.
(3) Comply with the sections of this subpart
that apply to the certificate and type rating
In a nut shell the requirements to train, test and get certified as a senior rigger are:
1. Be over 18
2. Be fluent in English
3. Log at least twenty pack jobs for each of your rating type.
4. Pass an F.A.A administered written test
5. Pass an oral and 'Hands on' practical test
It is possible to become an acknowledged, experienced (civil) Master Parachute Rigger with out your feet ever leaving the ground except to get in and out of bed.
I am not sure but I think military riggers are required to jump at least every 90 days. But that is largely due to the fact that Military riggers are first and foremost 'AirBorne' div trained.
That does not apply in civilian regulations.
I am not defending any thoughts, or opinions one way or another.
I understand the desire to know:
"...that the rigger who packed my reserve has had a few thousand jumps with a couple reserve rides..."
However a few considerations are in order:
You don't have to be Alex Honnold to manufacture biners at Black Diamond!
The (skydiving)parachute rigging industry is very well regulated. It is a pretty smooth system of checks and balances. No rigger, that wants to keep his license is going to perform duties beyond the privileges of his certification.
As a Senior rigger I can do minor repairs, supervise the packing of mains, pack reserves etc.
I CAN NOT as a senior rigger, do major repairs or mod's to any canopy, harness or container.
I can however do any of the aforementioned work, under the supervision of a master rigger. At that point my work is then essentially his responsibility and I assure you he/she will see to it that it meets their work quality standards.
It is a little spooky to think that somebody that has as little as a one week course and 20 pack jobs just may have packed your reserve, but it doesn't really work quite that simply.
Just the same...
I climb in my own harness. At times I have worn a Black Diamond harness, which was probably sewn by some gal in the Philippines that perhaps has never even seen a cliff let alone been on a technical rock climb.
In three years from now I hope to pass my Master riggers certification.
By then I may not have a single jump...
Or I may already be a proficient skydiver and BASE jumper who knows?
Either way I am going to continue to pursue the rigging industry, be it
parachute, entertainment, yachting or industrial rope access.
I however have hopes that in three years from now I will be proficiently jumping my own gear, my own main, harness and container ;)
I found out this afternoon that I might be ballast on a tandem jump on Saturday
(but that would spoil my record of rigging with no jumps LOL)
Wishing everybody, safe and happy landings through out the New Year !
@Trundlebum; You say... you are taking a rigging coarse with out having packed and jumped a main canopy, that must mean you dont have your A-license yet
TRUE/Right you are !
because that is one of the requirements...
FALSE/Not true, incorrect.
Yeah Hank, I know it's not required to be a skydiver to be a rigger. Theres a few people at my DZ that have like 2 skydives. It's weird but yeah you don't have to jump to pack. And it's like opposite for reserves, most skydivers can't pack their reserves but can pack their main everytime.
Reilly, yes the Swift is privately owned (her father) but I have no idea on the cross-wind issue, or when built, sorry!
Actually, she has never flown anything but tail draggers! She got her private in a Cessna 170 and also flies a Cessna 140 (see my avatar pic of the 170). She has completed all the requirements for her instrument and commercial and will attain those soon, I'm proud of her:)
Her dad collects vintage airplanes (Cessna 195, has 2 170's, 3 140', a North American Navion, the Swift, Beech 18, Seabee, and various "projects", i.e., Howard dga-15). Whew....he is obsessed to say the least!
Lastly, before we were divorced I earned my Private in the 140, needless to say, tail draggers are quite fun to fly.
edit to add: my avatar pic is of her flying the 170!
This video is fresh (for the public). It was made just six weeks ago in the Atlantic, just off Newport News (Hampton Roads), Virginia.
These are the latest sea trials of the F-35B on the USS Wasp. They were very successful, with 74 VL's and STO's in a three week period. The media and the program critics had predicted that we would burn holes in the deck and wash sailors overboard. Neither of which happened. You will notice a sailor standing on the bow of the ship as the jet rotates. That was an intentional part of the sea trials.
The USS Wasp is an amphibious assault ship designed to embark a Marine Expeditionary Unit. It is capable of simultaneously supporting rotary and fixed wing STOVL aircraft and amphibious landing craft operations. For this test deployment the USS Wasp was outfitted with special instrumentation to support and measure the unique operating environment as the F-35B conducted short takeoffs and vertical landings.
No catapult...... No hook ............
The shape and scope of warfare – worldwide – just changed.
Oct 4, 2011 - 05:39pm PT
I bungee-jumped about 15 years ago and it scared the hell out of me. I'm thinking of getting into skydiving, and I figure it's less scary on account that one doesn't really feel the sensation of falling, with the frame of reference so far away.
ms5441, there is no sensation of falling skydiving, only if you jump from say a hot air balloon or a helicopter. The forward speed of an aircraft prevents one from feeling it, what you get to feel is an awesome sensation of the wind and a 60 second free fall is amazing. Think of how it feels when you put your hand out of a car window while traveling fast, that is how it feels except a lot cooler-going terminal velocity is almost cushion like.
Hank you probably can explain it better:)
Reilly, he wants a DC-3. Have you ever flown one? It is a hoot, heavy on the controls like a big lumbering giant. Story for you, years ago when Perris Valley still used DC-3's, my ex and I took one up for a flight just the two of us. We spaced out not knowing the ladder was still in the doorway, so the office radios us up to report this. Well, my ex tells me to fly it while he puts on a parachute to go in the back to pull it inside. It seemed like he took forever, when I noticed the air speed was getting a bit low, at that time (really no experience flying) but I knew enough to lower the nose to gain speed. My ex got back in time, thank goodness since I think the 3 was getting ready to stall. Crazy.
Another thrill was taking off in it on that short runway at Perris. Full power was applied while feet on the brakes, when he would let go of the brakes it would shake like crazy, the sound was incredible, the whole experience was just plain fun! Miss that. Oh, the guys often did low fly-bys after dropping off the sunset loads, screaming by you could see the fire coming out of the engines, the 3's were called the fire breathing dragons.
Lastly, I live under the final approach by Long Beach airport and every time that Catalina DC-3 flies over I practically get ..., lol, use your imagination!
Let me know when he gets his DC-3 so I can get a divorce. Not only have I
not flown one I've not even flown in one! From what I hear you were in no
danger of stalling it - all it would have done was mush and nose over on its
What I really want is a PBY. I went through one that was for sale about
15 years ago. The dood had pimped it out BAD! We're talking tuck-and-rool
white leather setees under the blisters, a chef-worthy galley, and a couple
of Ritz Carlton staterooms! Oh yeah, and he had these big-azzed speakers
installed on the underside of the wings so he could fly over some idyllic
bay and hail the natives.
"I say my good people, might I land in yer lagoon and have a palaver?"
it's not hard to love a dc-3. departed in one from a dirt strip outside cabo san lucas back in '75. we walked along the runway to the terminal taking note of the tires marking the edge. each one had a several plies revealed by wear. i suppose those were the ones that didn't get carted off and remounted. still it was unsettling to realize that they were in use with three out of four plies exposed. surely things have changed since the airport is paved now. it might have lights!
how about a little love for the c-46 ... curtis-wright commando.
this outfit made regular fuel deliveries in their less pampered one of these to our village along the yukon. as the weather guy i would host the crew in my office while the truck was off unloading a third of what they brought.
their coveralls were basicly saturated with polished diesel grime seasoned with aged urine which i assumed resulted from inflight relief out some hole air was rushing into. i'm not sure since i never took them up on the standing offer to ride along. anyway, we've all learned some empathy for the condition, though for the sake of the office upholstery, i provided each a trash can to park on.
must be a couple of relief holes ... i dunno
pretty lax these guys. when the (non-explosive rated) pump would catch fire under the belly they would gather round and casually kick snow on it.
on one (luckily summer) occasion they called from twenty miles out and i provided the full airport advisory which included the obvious showers in the vicinity. when they announced three mile final for straight in runway 24, i gave them a windcheck since things had gotten gusty. before long i was startled to hear them roaring by at midfield, tail up fully loaded with 2k ft of gravel remaining.
a lot of dust and commotion down that end. i looked at my instruments and the wind had reversed direction in that short time. i was mortified but very relieved to see them back taxi. one can presume a microburst like condition existed where a column of descending air hits the ground and blows out in every direction. as it passes directly overhead one can watch the windsock swing right around, and that's what i should have been doing.
an unexpected downwind landing only barely phased these guys,
but that was cold water out past the threshold
Karen, I've changed my mind. I'm not gonna get a PBY. It's gonna be an
Ekranoplan or nuthin'! I know it doesn't look real sleek but you don't
wanna be in its way especially seeing as how it could only fly a maximum
of 60' off the deck! But it could haul a boatload of vodka at 300 kts!
PS: Loved the BASE segment in Front Range Freaks. That was right about the time I was just getting interested in BASE. That and having Frank G's video and Will Ox's Baffin footage were all part of getting me psyched to learn.
HANK! I almost spit my yogurt! That rooskie 'tard is clearly the frontrunner
in this year's Darwin Award race. But Hollywood needs to find that chick
who was doing the Exorcist moaning track in the background.
That thing looks more like a Hollywood set design.
Yeah, those Rooskies like to think big. Talk about drag! Whazzup with those
gear housings, or whatever you wanna call them? No wonder the designer
was shot by Stalin.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Nice shots, Tom! Yeah, a friend got sequenced into LAX a little too tightly
one night flying the night bank checks. All looked good until about
50' when the vortex slid sideways into his path and his Navajo turned turtle.
He survived, barely, but that was the end of his flying career.
Sadly he had survived a previous crash, of which he was blameless (he was
dead-heading-yeah,ironic,eh?), that really should have killed him. I say
sadly because to have survived the first he should have been allowed by
the powers that be to enjoy his true passion. What was more sad was
that the second crash occurred before new rules about landing spacing
were adopted by the FAA. As I recall he had no idea how close he was to
the jet ahead of him.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ BREAKING NEWS!
A former former Cal quarterback just launched a paper airplane on a 227' flight! Who needs real airplanes?
THX for posting the Blue Angels link! Also, THX for all the great photos!The wake turbulence photo says it better than anything a CFI could ever tell a noob or wannabee pilot about the dangers there.
I've had occasion to follow a C-17 in the pattern; when told by ATC "to be aware of wake turbulence," my response was to say "extending downwind for wake turbulence avoidance." I then extended downwind for about 2 miles before turning base. I missed all the thrills that way.
Still messin around with my Go-Pro, shot this last week flying home after going to Chico for some In-N-Out... 2hr flight compressed into 9min kinda cool as the sun sets and landing with no landing light.
Adventure Kite Surfer fights off Red Sea Sharks with a his knife while floating for 2 days during a failed attempt to set a crossing record of the body of water.
Saudi Coast Guard rescued him after tracking his emergency radio beacon.
We got to get more paragliding represented in this thread . . . It's incredible what you can do and how far you can go on thermals, ridge lift, convergence, and evening magic lift . . .
Fusion Nuclear Reactions safely 93 million miles away ---> full EM spectrum sent towards Earth --> sun-light heats the ground ---> ground heats the air immediatley above it ---> convection and differences of air pressure (wind) thoughout the lower atmosphere boundary layer ---> essentially free energy to travel 100s, even potentially 1000s of miles on just nylon canopies and string. Incredible really.
The incredible journeys to be done via XC flying on a paraglider have really just begun. Vol Bivouc all the way, doing traverses across massive mountain ranges, circumnavigations and triangles through massive mountain ranges, and flat-land flying for 1000s of miles. Climbing and paragliding. Nothing really like it. It's a dream come true.
Tom your posting some great stuff.
That shot of the Shuttle coming out above the clouds is fantastic.
I love those shots of cloud and vapor illuminating the massive tip vortices off the big jets. It is a wonderful, visual representation of the airflow kinda like that fighter jet pic where the wings are almost entirely engulfed in condensation.
Great pic and stories folks, keep'm coming !
K I will now stop playing hookie and go back to work.
I have two Icaraus, 330, tandem mains to reline and a third to deline :)
Just a guess here, but I suspect the shot of the shuttle is one taken while the vehicle was still on the launch pad, sitting shrouded in low lying fog? The orientation is too vertical for in-flight, since it has a pretty aggressive attitude change as it begins tilting over on it's back for orbital entry. The astronauts wind up flying the beast head down, towards the Earth once orbit is achieved.
Thats my home strip in Corvallis, the same one landed at. The owner of the FBO really makes his money off of owning Honey Bucket porto-pots. So its great, that one in the video is one of the cleanest ones I've seen! Corvallis is a great airport, not much traffic, big runway, lots of IAPs, was/is a great place to learn.
Missing balloon pilot saved others before crashing
FITZGERALD, Ga. (AP) — Authorities searched Sunday for a hot air balloon pilot from North Carolina who went missing in the South Georgia woods when his balloon crashed during a weekend thunderstorm.
Ben Hill County Sheriff Bobby McLemore said 63-year-old Edward Ristaino of Cornelius, N.C., was taking five skydivers into the air Friday evening during a festival in Fitzgerald, Ga., when a storm hit.
Ristaino told the skydivers to jump from the balloon. None were injured.
"He saved our lives," Jessica Wesnofske, 30, one of the skydivers, told The Charlotte Observer. "Another minute, we would have been in the storm with him."
Erin Daly, whose brother was one of the skydivers, called Ristaino a hero who saved lives.
The sheriff said strong winds then forced the balloon up to about 18,000 feet before it collapsed in a downdraft and plummeted to the ground.
Authorities have not found the balloon. Ristaino, who had nearly two decades experience flying hot air balloons, had brief radio contact with authorities.
"He told them he was in trouble," the sheriff told The Associated Press on Sunday evening. "He didn't think he was going to make it."
McLemore said the pilot was reading off his altitude readings as he fell, in an apparent effort to assist any search. The sheriff said crews would resume a ground and air search of the mostly wooded area on Monday morning.
I'm so glad that in addition to all the private money being spent now the
government sees fit to waste more time on this to expunge the collective
guilt over a mediocre pilot who was clueless about navigation and radios.
While she had, no doubt, watched he dear husband land many times this is
a more impressive feat in light of her losing an engine which can make
a twin considerably more tricky to fly. To me the most remarkable thing
is that the poor thing had the composure to do so.
April 15, 2012
Lost Squadron Of Pickled Spitfires Found
By Russ Niles, Editor-in-Chief
Aviation historians and warbird enthusiasts are drooling at the discovery of at least 12 and maybe as many 20 perfectly preserved brand-new Spitfire Mark 14s buried in Myanmar, which was formerly Burma. Thanks to the tenacity (and apparently considerable diplomatic skills) of British farmer David Cundall, the lost squadron of pristine fighters was found where they were buried by U.S. troops in 1945 when it became clear they wouldn't be needed in the final days of the Second World War. At least a dozen of the aircraft, one of the latest variants with their 2,035-horsepower Roll Royce Griffon engines replacing the 1,200-1,500-horsepower Merlins in earlier models, were buried without ever being removed from their original packing crates. It's possible another eight were also buried after the war ended. After spending 15 years and $200,000 of his own money, Cundall was rewarded with visual proof of the magnitude of his discovery. "We sent a borehole down and used a camera to look at the crates," he told the Telegraph. "They seemed to be in good condition."
The aircraft were declared surplus when they arrived in Burma because the Japanese were in retreat by then and carrier-based Seafires were getting all the action. They were ordered buried in their original crates, waxed, swaddled in grease paper and their joints tarred against the elements. Cundall found some of the soldiers who buried the planes by placing ads in magazines and was able to narrow down the search before using ground-penetrating radar to confirm the burial site. The next obstacles to recovery are political. Myanmar's former military junta was under a variety of sanctions, among them an international convention that prevented the transfer of military goods to and from the country. Recent political reforms have led to the lifting of that ban effective April 23. Cundall will also need the permission of the new Myanmar government to unearth the treasure. He helped his own cause by making numerous trips to the country and earning the trust of government officials. British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to seal the deal with Myanmar President Thein Sein during a visit.
In spite of missing the Todd Gordon fest in Joshua Tree today, life was still good!
My damaged airplane was finally fixed last week, and Wednesday my CFI signed me off for my High Performance Airplane logbook endorsement. And today, I made my first solo flight in the "Rainbow Bird." I had another pilot in the right seat, but I was flying as PIC (pilot in command). Brian was a CFI candidate, waiting for HIS checkride with the FAA Designated Examiner, and wanted a chance to ride in the airplane as an observer. Yep. We had fun.
Finally some good pictures:
Piper PA 28-236 "Dakota" on the ramp at Atlantic Aviation, Casper, WY.
Brokedownclimber and N84602, on the ramp in Casper.
Even though it looks very sleek and racy, it isn't a speed machine; it's my flying SUV and a heavy load hauler. Normal cruise speed in normal flying conditions is 137 KIAS, and 146 KIAS is about the top speed in calm air. (That's 158 and 168 mph, respectively)
SWEET! Now you just have to keep idiots away from it and keep the shiny side up.
But you knew that although I don't think you have "Keep idiots away" on the checklist. :-)
Don't feel bad. My bro-in-law was in a part of Canada that they tell a lot
of jokes about. It was a couple months ago and he landed as a big blizzard
was rolling in. He had an early departure the next morning so he went out
to the airport to make sure the ground crew got the plane prepped properly
and on time. He saw a mechanic on a stepladder holding an 18' flex duct that
was hooked up to a 'Herman Nelson' to pre-heat the engine. A 'Herman Nelson
is one of those giant propane heaters that looks like a small jet engine.
Andrew went up to the mechanic and asked him how long he had been heating
the engine. He got a rather vague reply. Andrew informed the guy that he
could probably speed up the operation if he would make sure the flex duct
was actually connected to the heater. There, now you know a true-life 'Newfie' joke!
Mind you this was a union mechanic. ;-)
Apr 26, 2012 - 11:21pm PT
Asteroid Mining Plans Revealed by Planetary Resources, Inc. (with video)
"Planetary Resources, Inc. announced today its plan to mine Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) for raw materials, ranging from water to precious metals. Through the development of cost-effective exploration technologies, the company is poised to initiate prospecting missions targeting resource-rich asteroids that are easily accessible."
Resource extraction from asteroids will deliver multiple benefits to humanity and grow to be valued at tens of billions of dollars annually. The effort will tap into the high concentration of precious metals found on asteroids and provide a sustainable supply to the ever-growing population on Earth.
A single 500-meter platinum-rich asteroid contains the equivalent of all the Platinum Group Metals mined in history. "Many of the scarce metals and minerals on Earth are in near-infinite quantities in space. As access to these materials increases, not only will the cost of everything from microelectronics to energy storage be reduced, but new applications for these abundant elements will result in important and novel applications," said Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc.
Additionally, water-rich NEAs will serve as "stepping stones" for deep space exploration, providing space-sourced fuel and water to orbiting depots. Accessing water resources in space will revolutionize exploration and make space travel dramatically more economical.
"Water is perhaps the most valuable resource in space. Accessing a water-rich asteroid will greatly enable the large-scale exploration of the solar system. In addition to supporting life, water will also be separated into oxygen and hydrogen for breathable air and rocket propellant," said Eric Anderson, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc.
Of the approximately 9,000 known NEAs, there are more than 1,500 that are energetically as easy to reach as the Moon. The capability to characterize NEAs is on the critical path for Planetary Resources. To that end, the company has developed the first line in its family of deep-space prospecting spacecraft, the Arkyd-100 Series. The spacecraft will be used in low-Earth orbit and ultimately help prioritize the first several NEA targets for the company's follow-on Arkyd-300 Series NEA swarm expeditions.
Chris Lewicki, President and Chief Engineer, said "Our mission is not only to expand the world's resource base, but we want to increase people's access to, and understanding of, our planet and solar system by developing capable and cost-efficient systems."
"The promise of Planetary Resources is to apply commercial innovation to space exploration. They are developing cost-effective, production-line spacecraft that will visit near-Earth asteroids in rapid succession, increasing our scientific knowledge of these bodies and enabling the economic development of the resources they contain," said Tom Jones, Ph.D., veteran NASA astronaut, planetary scientist and Planetary Resources, Inc. advisor.
Planetary Resources is financed by industry-launching visionaries, including Google CEO Larry Page and Ross Perot, Jr., Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group, who are committed to expanding the world's resource base so that humanity can continue to grow and prosper:
Eric E. Schmidt, Ph.D., Executive Chairman of Google, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Planetary Resources, Inc. investor: "The pursuit of resources drove the discovery of America and opened the West. The same drivers still hold true for opening the space frontier. Expanding the resource base for humanity is important for our future."
Ram Shriram, Founder of Sherpalo, Google Board of Directors founding member and Planetary Resources, Inc. investor: "I see the same potential in Planetary Resources as I did in the early days of Google."
Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., Chairman of Intentional Software Corporation and Planetary Resources, Inc. investor: "The commercialization of space began with communications satellites and is developing for human spaceflight. The next logical step is to begin the innovative development of resources from space. I'm proud to be part of this effort."
The company's advisors include film maker and explorer James Cameron; General T. Michael Moseley (Ret.); Sara Seager, Ph.D.; Mark Sykes, Ph.D.; and David Vaskevitch.
Founded in 2009 by Eric Anderson and Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., Planetary Resources, Inc. is establishing a new paradigm for resource utilization that will bring the solar system within humanity's economic sphere of influence by enabling low-cost robotic exploration and eventual commercial development of asteroids. For more information, please visit www.PlanetaryResources.com.
In 1970 or 1971, part of our search team was detailed to descend the gully shown near the left side of the photo and we found the wreckage half-way down. The fuselage but no wings, no engines, and I don't remember about the tail. Schmitz was the leader of this group. He can vouch for it. I am certain he must remember it. It involved tragedy.
Another "must visit" air and space museum is in McMinnville, Oregon: the Evergreen Air and Space Museum. It's the home of the Spruce Goose, world's largest all wood airplane. It's a really huge bird. Many other outstanding aircraft there as well.
It seems that they just can't fix the F-22's O2 system so now pilots are
refusing to fly it! Are you kidding me? I can't believe the AF is even
admitting this although I guess they must have some reason other than just
being up front and open.
Seventy-six types of unregulated micro-organisms have been detected on the International Space Station (ISS). Though many are harmless, some are already capable of causing severe damage. And no one knows how they will mutate in space.
“We had these problems on the old MIR space station, now we have them on the ISS. The microflora is attacking the station. These organisms corrode metals and polymers and can cause equipment to fail,” Anatoly Grigoryev, the vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Interfax news agency.
Despite extensive precautions, most of the microbes are accidentally brought to the space station with various cargoes.
One of the early Russian crews also carelessly released a fungus that was later allowed to spread.
Of particular concern is the Zarya – the first ISS module launched into space in 1998.
But the crew is also in potential peril.
“Uncontrolled multiplication of bacteria can cause infectious diseases among the crew,” said Grigoryev.
Surprisingly common problem
As stations grow older, microbe contaminations get worse.
On the predecessor of the ISS, the Russian MIR (Peace), there were 90 different micro-organisms in 1990, four years after its launch. By the time it was decommissioned in 2001, the number had risen to 140.
In the relatively sterile and temperature-controlled environs of the station, bacteria were allowed to spread easily.
Micro-organisms also evolved and became highly aggressive. Cosmonauts reported corroded illuminator glass, holes in the metallic casing of the control panel, and exposed leads, the insulation of which had been eaten away.
The ISS is expected to be in operation at least until 2020.
Russian scientists also believe that particularly resilient bacteria can survive for years in extreme conditions on the outside of the station, as several experiments have proved.
Whether their mutations could be dangerous if these are allowed to escape is not clear.
Currently, Russian cosmonauts are wiping down surfaces in their modules with anti-bacterial liquids, but it is not possible to reach all contaminated areas by hand. Russian scientists are planning to deliver a powerful anti-bacterial UV lamp in one of the next shipments to combat the growing problem.
Great to see this thread is still coming up with some great posts and pics - keep it up!
I remember riding right seat in a Tw#tter during Diamond Quest at SkyDance...this was back in 93 I think.
Pilot was letting me fly, and as I was getting in the pattern he tells me "Put in 10deg of flaps, but you will have to correct for it..." boy he wasnt kidding...felt like I was going to have to shove the wheel into the panel to keep the nose down. Figured out real quick how those things used to fly in and stop so damn short in Alaska :D
Here are some aviation-related photos from my distant past....
Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School, Pensacola, Florida
I hated my D.I. (drill instructor)
God damn Marines
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Sierra Ledge Rat, call sign "BAD DOG"
Sierra Ledge Rat on his combat jet on the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. John F. Kennedy.
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
My centurion patches - 100 traps each
My centurion patches - 100 arrested landings on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Kitty Hawk and 100 arrested landings on the U.S.S. John F. kennedy
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Back when I was a jet pilot flight instructor and I still had a full head of hair. Dig the cool Ray Bans. Still in my ejection seat harness and "speed jeans" (G-suit)
Sierra Ledge Rat
Call sign "Bad Dog"
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Flying over Mount Baker, great way to scout routes
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Gentleman, start your engines!
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Suckers! Tomcats on the fantail, sucking everyone else's fumes.
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Waiting behind an A-7 Corsair and the jet blast deflector for my turn on the catapult
Zero to 150 m.p.h. in 2.5 seconds
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
F-14 Tomcat in full after-burner for launch
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Mass air strike: A-6 Intruders, A-7 Corsairs and EA-6B Prowlers
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
F-14 intercepting a Russian Bear bomber
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Rolling into the upwind leg, in formation, heading for the break
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
1-2-3 down and locked
"On centerline, slightly high, 3/4-mile, call the ball"
"604, Prowler Ball, 8-point-oh"
.....................................................Who is Roger Ball?
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
In the beginning: I get paid to do this? (:
In the end: You can't pay me enough for this dangerous sh#t ):
I flew a navigation exercise yesterday from Casper, WY. to Chadron, NE as part of the requirement towards my Commercial certificate. I spotted some rock outcrops in the Sandhills region of Western Nebraska that looked interesting, but my photographic efforst were fruitless. Nevertheless, my first experiment in aerial photograpy is shown below:
View from 9,500 feet; 6,000 feet agl (above ground level). Rocks in distance.
I generally fly as high as possible for maximum glide distance; in the event of an engine failure I might make it to a good landing site. It does nothing, however, for photography of--maybe- 30' high boulders.
Total time aloft yesterday: 5.2 hours; two separate flights.
It seems to be lost to history that the X-37 was originally a NASA project to provide an economical alternative for the Space Shuttle. The X-37A sat unappreciated, neglected and unfunded for years in a hanger at NASA Dryden; where I had it all to myself to examine in detail. I was trying to get people interested in equipping it for solo piloted missions for asteroid exploration. However at the time it was a NASA career-kiss-of-death to mention asteroid missions. Then the Air Force decided to stick it on top of an Atlas and declare it top secret; and its NASA genesis now appears forgotten.
What a bummer to crash in the middle of the desert.
Does anyone else remember that old movie about the bomber crew that crashes in the desert? Their ghosts spend their days playing baseball until some explorer or something finds the wreckage. They find the bodies and send them home, letting the ghosts find their peace. They disappear from the screen one by one, except for one whose body does not get found. He's left there alone forever. Depressing movie!
On a side note - if you want to read how effed up the Indian aviation industry
is then here ya go...
I wouldn't fly with these clowns
Nosewheel landings? Are you kidding me?
years ago I managed a rather large project for Pepsi for security lighting upgrades for every facility in N. America. In a meeting someone asked the director of security, (an ex secret service guy)what his biggest concern was.
It was employees flying on then Russian airliners that have an unnerving habit of falling out of the sky. Back then, about one a month.
There's a big Airshow in Moreno Valley/Riverside this weekend at March ARB. Thunderbirds are performing (7 of them plus a spare were practicing today and probably will be tomorrow, got a pretty good show myself about an hour ago), B52, C17, KC135, lots of other aircraft performing and several static displays.
More info on the March ARB airshow this weekend. Today a load of stuff arrived, T-birds are out there right now practicing.
Arrived today: F-18, C5, KC10, A10, B25, P36, F-86 Sabre, AV-8 Harrier (this thing is badass), and a whole lot more. F/A-18 doing a slow pass was ridiculous and that C5 is probably bigger than most of our houses. Watching a Harrier hover and rotate, then back up is mind boggling.
Russia now has #1 fighter plane in the world... SU-30MK -Vectored Thrust with Canards.
The maneuverability of this plane is incredible.
This plane would be nearly impossible to defeat in a dogfight.
As you watch this airplane, look at the canards moving along side of, and just below the canopy rail. The "canards" are the small wings forward of the main wings. The smoke and contrails provide a sense of the
actual flight path, sometimes in reverse direction.
This video is of an in-flight demonstration flown by the Russian's
The fighter can stall from high speed, stopping forward motion in seconds. (full stall). Then it demonstrates an ability to descend tail first without causing a compressor stall.
It can also recover from a flat spin in less than a minute. These maneuver
capabilities don't exist in any other aircraft in the world today.
We don't know which nations will soon be flying the SU-30MK, hopefully China isn't one of them.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Note: Friends worked with advanced aircraft flight control systems and concepts for many years as an extension of stability control and means of control...
Canards and vectored thrust were among many concepts examined to extend our fighter aircraft performance. Neither our current nor our next generation aircraft now poised for funding & production can in any way match the performance of this Russian aircraft NOW FLYING in any near combat situation.
Somehow the bankrupt Russian aircraft industry has out produced our complex politically tainted aerospace industry with this technology marvel. Scratch any ideas of close in air-to-air combat with this aircraft in the future.
Take a look at the video with the sound up. This aircraft is of concern to U.S and NATO planners. Maximize your screen for best viewing.
Jack, Le Tour de Grass! Boy, grass strips in Oregon don't get overused, eh?
What, four months of flyin' and 8 months of hard muddin'?
Man, don't like a wall of trees at the TO end, but maybe that's just me. ;-)
Coolest airplane I ever rode in: Helio Stallion. I'm not sure if there are any left. You could fill it full of lead and take off in 200 feet. It was Air America's version of a Pilatus Porter on steroids.
Funnest: I gave an airshow pilot a free tandem and he took me up for 45 minutes in a Christen Eagle (sic). It was basically a 2 seat Pitts biplane.
Within 15 minutes I cold do a decent roll, keeping the nose flat. You could do anything in that airplane.
5 gees kind of makes you grunt, but 2 negative gees makes you feel like your eyes are going to pop out. Negative gees are extremely uncomfortable.
"SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon: According to this morning's IMMT (ISS Mission Management Team) meeting, "the vehicle is performing nominally and all planned demonstration objectives have been successfully completed to date. There are currently no known issues that would prevent proceeding with the planned ISS fly-under demonstration, currently scheduled for early tomorrow morning. During the fly-under, Dragon will briefly approach to within 2.5 km of the ISS to perform another series of demonstration objectives."
Thursday, May 24 (Flight Day 3): Live NASA Television coverage from NASA's Johnson Space Center mission control in Houston as the Dragon spacecraft performs its flyby of the International Space Station to test its systems begins at 2:30 a.m. EDT and will continue until the Dragon passes the vicinity of the station. A news briefing will be held at 10 a.m. following the activities.
Friday, May 25 (Flight Day 4): Live coverage of the rendezvous and berthing of the Dragon spacecraft to the station begins at 2 a.m. and will continue through the capture and berthing of the Dragon to the station's Harmony node. A news briefing will be held at 1 p.m. after Dragon is secured to the station.
Saturday, May 26 (Flight Day 5): Live coverage of the hatch opening and entry of the Dragon spacecraft begins at 5:30 a.m. and will include a crew news conference at 11:25 a.m. NASA TV also will provide live coverage of the departure and reentry of the Dragon spacecraft once a date is determined.
Nice one, Hank... I was just about to post the same vid. I like how Mikey tried to come in and help, realized it wasn't going to happen and bailed. I'm sure Bill fired the tandem master after that one.
We recently had some WWII bombers come through town. I pulled my son from school to check them out. He is too young to understand the horror of it all, but I wanted him to see these planes.
I've always thought that being a ball turret gunner would have been especially terrifying. Imagine being 18 years old, probably never having been in an airplane before and being made to crawl inside this and having fighters swooping up at you? These gunners apparently had the worst rates of survival among bomber crews.
This is looking forward to where the bombadier and nose gunner sat.
Maning the top turret.
It was really cool crawling through these planes. It was kind of intense seeing vets checking them out. I'm guessing some had not been in a B-17 or a B-24 since WWII!
Once my son got impatient working our way through a plane because this super old guy was touching everything and was having a hard time with the small spaces- obviously the guy had flown bombing missions. My son is 7 so doesn't get it all, but I told him to shut his mouth and be respectful.
Interesting and more intense morning than I anticipated.
this morning's arriving traffic at the International Space Station
i participated in the early planning meetings for this mission, briefing them on how to interface with ISS communication and control systems, briefed them on my SimStation Project and how to interact with Houston Mission Control, acted as a technical reviewer for all their planning documents submitted to NASA, acted as adviser on parachute recovery operations, and was a NASA observer for the first test firing of their operational configuration of nine Merlin main engines
meanwhile back in the NASA barn, we spent five years of our lives designing the Orion and Ares launch vehicle, and this is where it is right now:
Orion in the Vertical Assembly Building (with no more Saturns or Shuttles to clutter up the place)
Considering how much $$$ and effort was expended on the Ares I and Ares V, the abandonment of what was becoming a successful flight test program was utterly supid. Of course the present administration would rather spend the NASA budget on more failed "social engineering" programs. I'm a supporter of Dr. Robert Zubrin's "Mars Direct" concept, by the way.
Skip the Moon, and go straight for the Gusto: MARS!
It's been a very slow Saturday morning here in Wyoming; totally foggy and rainy! No climbing, no flying, but the internet surfing is great. I just went back through all this thread and enjoyed everything. A few comments:
Jack Herer-I just noticed that you fly out of CVO, Corvallis. I began my flight training at S12, Albany, 5 years ago. I've visited Corvallis umpteen times in a C-152, N25899. I've visited a fair number of airports in NW Oregon myself: McMinnville, Tillamook, Independence, Salem, Lebanon, Hillsboro, and Cottage Grove.
Tom-I particularly loved the U-2 footage and the 70,000 feet! I've been to 51,000 feet onboard a C-135 back in 1964, and the curvature of the Earth is distinctly visible from that altitude, as well.
did something come undone when they were fighting to get out the door?
No, nothing came undone. She was curled in a ball when the instructor exited, forcing her leg loops to slide down towards her knees. They could have been a bit loose but this wouldn't have happened if she wasn't fighting, sitting down and curled up like that. The tandem instructor shouldn't have exited the plane, he should have gone back to the seats and let others go and try to calm her down. If that didn't work they should have gone down with the plane.
I'm not a tandem instructor but have seen ten's of thousands gearing up, exiting, landing, etc. This is just my observations.
I haven't tandem skydived. I did static line to free-fall progression.
But I can't help but think that once a paying (or non-paying) passenger has second thoughts sitting in the door about taking "The Long Lonely Leap," isn't an instructor obligated to stop and back-up? How can he just fight over this decision and jump anyway? Seems unethical and morally wrong.
Also seems the tandem harness needs to be redesigned so no passenger can back-out of a harness or wiggle out no matter what they do.
My buckle-less "Thin Redline" paragliding harness is very difficult to get into, and when you have everything secured properly, I'm not coming out in any direction. In case of a water landing I will have to cut my way out with a cutaway knife.
Man that was a scary video to watch. I thought she was going to plummet sans harness, instructor, and parachute. Yikes!!!
Yeah Ron, I know what you mean. They sent a whole load down once at the Couch Freaks Boogie a few years back because of too many clouds. I was GRIPPED! Thought we were going to crash.
Usually, on an observer ride they dive the plane for about 10k' because they make more money the faster they can pick up more jumpers. Pretty thrilling but quite scary if you don't know it's coming, ha haa.
I love Bill's comment on the Yahoo report: "This happened a long time ago and everything worked as advertised," said Parachute Center owner Bill Dause in a statement to ABC News. "No one got hurt or injured."
Too funny! No wonder he's been in a bad mood lately.
Definitely, but then so are climbing, motorcycle riding, skydiving, adventurous chicks in general. My lady's cousin flew either F-14s or f-16s. The pictures are pretty cool.
I could never fly and especially couldn't pilot high performance jets with my motion sickness propensity.
As for grandma, she survived and wasn't even that butthurt about it.
But of course all of the comments on the video say to sue.
The instructor probably didn't tighten the harness too much because
she was not some hot chick he wanted to grind against I'm thinking.
Any tandem instructors want to comment on that?
Hank, they can't pull the plug on the video. It's gone viral, so there are
way too many copies out there now.
El Cap, you're the late one. I edited it out already! ;-) I thought there would be more discussion about it, so didn't look above this page at first.
I saw a vid of her interview on CNN. She's all happy and looking forward to
doing something else on her bucket list like riding in a race car. Hope she
didn't mean a NASCAR car. Aint got no passenger seat in them things.
"The U.S. government's secret space program has decided to give NASA two telescopes as big as, and even more powerful than, the Hubble Space Telescope. Designed for surveillance, the telescopes from the National Reconnaissance Office were no longer needed for spy missions and can now be used to study the heavens. They have 2.4-meter (7.9 feet) mirrors, just like the Hubble. They also have an additional feature that the civilian space telescopes lack: A maneuverable secondary mirror that makes it possible to obtain more focused images. These telescopes will have 100 times the resolving power of the Hubble, according to David Spergel, a Princeton astrophysicist and co-chair of the National Academies advisory panel on astronomy and astrophysics."
Secret mission accomplished: America's mysterious space plane to land after a YEAR in orbit - and no one knows what it did up there
The X-37B has been circling the Earth at 17,000mph and was due to land in California in December
Mission of highly classified robotic plane extended for unknown reasons
Will now land in mid- to late-June
Mystery Mini Space Shuttle X-37B Lands in California
The mysterious unmanned mini-space shuttle on a classified mission has finally returned to earth.
It landed early Saturday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California after weather conditions kept pushing back landing attempts the last few days.
The Air Force's X-37B, is an unmanned reusable spacecraft built by Boeing that has spent more than a year on a classified mission in space.
Measuring 29 feet in length and having a 15-foot wingspan, the unmanned reusable X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle looks like a miniature version of NASA's now retired space shuttles.
The spacecraft landed at Vandenberg at 5:48am PDT after having spent 469 days in orbit.
The craft went into orbit on March 5, 2011, but as was the case during its first launch in 2010, very little has been known about its mission or what payloads it might be carrying because its missions are classified.
That has led to speculation that the spacecraft is involved in intelligence gathering operations or the testing of new technologies.
In keeping with the scarce mission details for the X-37B, all the Air Force would say in a statement Saturday wais that the spacecraft had "conducted on-orbit experiments" during its mission.
Lt. Col. Tom McIntyre, the X-37B program manager said, "With the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet, the X-37B OTV program brings a singular capability to space technology development." He added, "The return capability allows the Air Force to test new technologies without the same risk commitment faced by other programs. We're proud of the entire team's successful efforts to bring this mission to an outstanding conclusion."
Even the initial announcement about an upcoming landing details kept the details vague. A May 30 Air Force statement said the spacecraft would return to earth in the "early- to mid-June time frame."
Designed to stay in extended Earth orbits, the X-37B remained in orbit for 224 days during its maiden mission in 2010.
This mission kept it in orbit more than twice as long this time around.
An Air Force statement announcing Saturday's landing says the X37B will launch again later this fall aboard an Atlas V booster.
"A Brazilian airline says one of its female pilots tossed a passenger off a flight because he was making sexist comments about women flying planes.
"Trip Airlines says in a Tuesday statement the pilot ejected the man before takeoff as he made loud, sexist comments upon learning the pilot was a woman. The jet continued on to the state of Goias after a one-hour delay...."
Still working on my own UAV's, we have been asked to use a quad-copter for a video inspection of a roof, if it works out we can begin getting paid. Both of these videos were recorded on the ground from the video feed coming from the airplane, it also carries a nice HD camera for viewing later.
TGT, interesting that. When I lived up there in '84 or so a Herc or a KC-135
crashed outside Valdez. It was during a typical lengthy winter storm and by
the end of the storm they couldn't find the wreckage. They notified everybody
in SC Alaska they were going to send a Blackbird up from Beale to look for
it with its side-scan radar. They also warned the residents north of Anchorage,
that would be us, that due to the Blackbird's 135 mile turning radius we would
get a double pass, which we did. It did pinpoint the wreckage but it wasn't
until late summer that they could safely access it.
Apollo Moon Landing Flags Still Standing, Photos Reveal
An enduring question ever since the manned moon landings of the 1960s has been: Are the flags planted by the astronauts still standing?
Now, lunar scientists say the verdict is in from the latest photos of the moon taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC): Most do, in fact, still stand.
"From the LROC images it is now certain that the American flags are still standing and casting shadows at all of the sites, except Apollo 11," LROC principal investigator Mark Robinson wrote in a recent blog post. "Astronaut Buzz Aldrin reported that the flag was blown over by the exhaust from the ascent engine during liftoff of Apollo 11, and it looks like he was correct!"
Each of the six manned Apollo missions that landed on the moon planted an American flag in the lunar dirt.
Scientists have examined images of the Apollo landing sites before for signs of the flags, and seen hints of what might be shadows cast by the flags. However, this wasn't considered strong evidence that the flags were still standing. Now, researchers have examined photos taken of the same spots at various points in the day, and observed shadows circling the point where the flag is thought to be. [Video: Moon Photos Prove Apollo Flags Still Stand]
Robinson calls these photos "convincing."
"Personally I was a bit surprised that the flags survived the harsh ultraviolet light and temperatures of the lunar surface, but they did," Robinson wrote. "What they look like is another question (badly faded?)."
Most scientists had assumed the flags hadn't survived more than four decades of harsh conditions on the moon.
"Intuitively, experts mostly think it highly unlikely the Apollo flags could have endured the 42 years of exposure to vacuum, about 500 temperature swings from 242 F during the day to -280 F during the night, micrometeorites, radiation and ultraviolet light, some thinking the flags have all but disintegrated under such an assault of the environment," scientist James Fincannon, of the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, wrote in the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal.
In recent years, photos from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have also shown other unprecedented details of the Apollo landing sites, such as views of the lunar landers, rovers, scientific instruments left behind on the surface, and even the astronauts' boot prints. These details are visible in photos snapped by the probe while it was skimming just 15 miles (24 kilometers) above the moon's surface.
LRO launched in June 2009, and first captured close-up images of the Apollo landing sites in July of that year. The $504 million car-size spacecraft is currently on an extended mission through at least September 2012.
Follow Clara Moskowitz on Twitter @ClaraMoskowitz or SPACE.com @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook & Google+.
Photos: New Views of Apollo Moon Landing Sites
Driving on the Moon: Photos of NASA's Lunar Cars
NASA's 17 Apollo Moon Missions in Pictures
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New Private Space Plane Has NASA Roots - Space.com.
Sierra Nevada Corporation, SpaceDev's new Dream Chaser, evolved from NASA HL-20, and Soviet BOR-4, and what might have been
We're spreading rumors about a old yet new Russian Space Plane on your Spacevidcast for April 28th, 2010.It seems that unmanned space planes are all the rage these days. The Air Force recently launched their X-37B and last Friday Russia hinted that they may revive one of their long dead space plane programs. The Russian Multipurpose Aerospace System or MAKS is an innovative space plane that had its development frozen in 1991. In response to the US Air Force's recent launch of the X-37B, the Russian aerospace designer Vladimir Skorodelov has said that this could spur Russia to restart their own defunct Space Plane program.The Russian Shuttle is much like the X-37B, about the same size, same style, it is unmanned and can't get to orbit on its own. Back when it was designed in the 80's the Russian shuttle would launch aboard an An-225 airplane carrier, much like Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnight carrier. Unlike Virgin Galactic the MAKS vehicle will sit atop the airplane, not below it.The interesting thing about MAKS is that there is both an unmanned and manned configuration of the vehicle. Actually, there are three versions of MAKS on the table: MAKS-OS which is the manned orbital plane. MAKS-T which is designed to inject heavy payloads in to orbit. And finally MAKS-M which is a completely reusable unmanned space plane.
Decades ago Russia (or Soviet Union) and the US could have had small, relatively low-cost, reusable lifting body vehicles launched on expendable boosters and capable of taking 3 or 4 people to orbit. In the US such a vehicle could have been sold as a compliment/backup to the Shuttle, especially after Challenger, for support of the planned space station. Subsequent development of a reusable booster would have resulted in a fully reusable system by now. Woulda, coulda, shoulda....
What you see here is what had to be the first space shuttle ever. Twenty two years before first Russian space shuttle “Buran” or 10 years before the first American shuttle Soviets projected and built manned spaceship aircraft that could land from the orbit by itself. It had space only for one pilot and was more rather a proof of concept for the spacecraft that can land as a normal plane. It is not very clear these days if this one had any successful launches and landings just because all the projects was classified, but still there are photos of it now and then.
From SPIRAL to MAKS
The SPIRAL Orbital Plane and the BOR-4 and BOR-5 Flying Models
General Mikoyan S.A.
The paper tells about the SPIRAL system and flight tests of its analogue. It is explained the usage of the BOR-4 model of the SPIRAL Orbiter for creation of the BURAN orbiter’s Heat Protection. Problems, course of tests of the BOR-4 and BOR-5 flying models and main results are described.
Since the middle of 1960s in the Design Bureau, headed by General Designer Mikoyan A.I., it has been developing the SPIRAL aerospace system, consisted of an orbital manned plane with a rocket booster and a hypersonic booster-plane.
The Head Designer under this project was Dr. Lozino-Lozinsky G.E. Among leaders were Mr.: Seletsky Ya.I., Dementyev G.P., Voinov L.P. and Samsonov E.A. and later, at the stage of production and tests, also Mr.: Shuster P.A. and Blokhin Y.D.
The SPIRAL orbital plane is a single-seat aircraft of a lifting body configuration with fuselage nose of big radius. The 50* sweep wings with the noses of little radius had longitudinal axis of rotation and before transition to the atmospheric flight should have been deflected up thus excluding their direct flow by heated stream when flying through plasma formation leg.
When a velocity decreased approximately down to value M = 2, the wings opened and the angle of attack decreased down to usual plane’s values. The angular attitude control of the plane in orbit should have been ensured by means of the low-thrust jet control engines (RCS) and in the atmosphere dense layers – by means of the elevons, rudder and balancing flap.
An undercarriage of the plane was retractable, four-legs with round skis – ‘plates’. The rear skis were equipped with ‘knifes’ to provide stability at landing run.
During testing and on the first phase of usage, before creation of the carrier-plane it was supposed that the orbital plane would be injected into an orbit by means of a ballistic rocket. The orbital plane should have glided on the legs of atmospheric descent and landing on the airdrome, but the turbo-jet engine should have been used to define landing approach.
The subsonic piloted prototype of the SPIRAL orbital plane (105 Vehicle) was developed to test the landing approach and landing legs as well as to determine the aerodynamic and controllability characteristics.
To test taxiing and hop flight (flight at low height) the skis front legs were exchanged for the wheel ones.
The 105 Vehicle has been slung beneath a fuselage of the TU-95 (specially modified) bomber and then it should have been uncoupled at 5500-meters altitude above the airdrome. The first flight took place on 27-th October, 1977 and in 1978 additional five flights were fulfilled. The flights were performed by the test pilots from Mikoyan design bureau Mr.: Fastovets A.G., Ostapenko P. and pilot from the Air Force scientific research institute Mr. Uryadov V.E.
The government resolution draft about creation of the SPIRAL orbiter plane has never been signed due to negative decision made by the Minister of Defense Mr. Grechko A.A. though the signatures of all interested commanders-in-chief of different armed forces as well as the Ministers of Defense industries were presented. All works were conducted in accordance with decision of the Ministry of the Aircraft Industry.
The major participants of the SPIRAL project from the Mikoyan design bureau and its department placed in Dubna city as well as some participants of this project from other organizations have passed to NPO MOLNIYA Scientific & Industrial Enterprise which was specially-organized for creation of the reusable space vehicle in 1976. NPO MOLNIYA under the direction of Dr. Lozino-Lozinsky G.E included the Bisnovat M.R design bureau, the Potopalov A.V. design bureau and the Myasischev V.M. Experimental Machine-Building (EMZ) plant.
The General Designer of NPO ENERGIA – the major system designer in spite of the intentions and preliminary developmental works of the NPO MOLNIYA, based on the SPIRAL project, has decided to use the configuration similar to the American Shuttle, excluding the main engine (ME) replaced to the rocket-launcher. By the decision of the Ministry of the Aircraft Industry all works on the SPIRAL project was stopped.
The experience resulted from the works on the SPIRAL project was used in the development of the BURAN orbiter and the ideas of the SPIRAL project have been enhanced further in new projects of the aerospace systems.
Now the SPIRAL analogue is presented in the Air Force museum in Monino, near Moscow.
The BOR-4 Flying Orbital Model
The BOR-4 flying model was designed during studies on the SPIRAL project. It was the orbiter’s prototype on 2:1 scale. It was used for experimental launches into an orbit for the interest of SPIRAL project development. The previous models (BOR-2 and BOR-3) of less dimensions were used to research the aerodynamic characteristics, heat exchange and elements of the Thermal Protection System (TPS) at altitudes up to 100 km and velocity up to M = 13.
During development of reusable space vehicle BURAN in NPO MOLNIYA the BOR-4 flying model was supposed to be used for the heat protection test. So, for the first time before BURAN Orbiter’s flight the BOR-4 model allowed to test capacity for work of the materials and the construction elements of TPS in real descent through atmosphere along the trajectory similar to the trajectory BURAN. Such decision was made because the outlines of model nose was equal to BURAN Orbiter’s nose outlines, including the ventral fuselage (Figure 1).
The BOR-4 model was equipped with the heat protection in accordance with the heat protection of the BURAN vehicle (above the panels of usual ablation TPS of the original project left for emergency). The general surface consisted of panels made on the base of a quartz fiber. On the top surface of the body a flexible TPS on the basis of nonwoven fabric of organic fiber was used. The nose cowling was made from carbon-carbonic composite material.
The BOR-4 model was equipped with remote telemetric system. The information has been received from 150 thermocouples located generally on a duralumin sheathing of model under the heat protection panels. Besides, several dozens of temperature and pressure sensors were built in as well as thermal indicator paint and melting indicators.
The information from accelerometers, rate sensors, pressure sensors and position sensors of wing panels was also transmitted into the telemetric system. The information was recorded on the board and transmitted in packets when pass through two special measuring ships and when descend also to the on-ground receiving station.
The BOR-4 model weight is approximately 1450 kg. The model was being injected into an orbit by a K-65M-RB5 ballistic rocket and fulfilled the Earth single-orbit flight at 225 km altitude. It was controlled by micro jet engines (RCS) in accordance with a program of on-board autonomous control system, which was receiving information from the inertial navigation system.
The wing panels of the BOR-4 model as well as the SPIRAL plane wing panels could deflect up. At that, the angle of deflection (the angle of dihedral) of the wing panels determined the angle of attack when the model was self-balanced during upper-air flight. When the BOR-4 model was located under the rocket nose cone, the wing panels were completely folded. After separation, they were transferred into a position which ensured the model’s balancing in the atmosphere at 60…70 km altitude and with 57* angle of attack in the first flight and 52…54* in the following flights. In vacuum the model was controlled by eight micro jet engines of angular orientation. The differential deflection from balance position was used for the roll control.
After braking, gliding at the upper-air and passing through a plasma formation zone, at approximately 30-km altitude the model was being forced by the control system into a tight spiral. This was done to decrease the flight velocity, and then (at approximately 7500-m altitude) a parachute was being developed to provide an alighting on water with 7-8 m/s vertical velocity.
The first model copy with TPS made of ablation materials was launched into sub-orbital trajectory to test the whole system. This flight was done from the Kapustin Yar test range in the Balkhash lake direction on the 5-th December, 1980.
The first orbital flight of the model (KOSMOS 1374 satellite) took place on the 4-th June, 1982. The second launch (KOSMOS 1445) was on the 16-th March, 1983. The third launch (KOSMOS 1517) – on the 27-th December, 1983 and the fourth launch (KOSMOS 1616) – on the 19-th December, 1984. The tests confirmed efficiency of TPS as well as considerable heat decrease due to the catalytic neutrality of the surface. It allowed to decrease cover thickness and as a result a total mass of the BURAN orbiter. The received real characteristics have confirmed adequacy of technique used for recalculation of results received in a wind tunnel for nature conditions.
The planned launch of the fifth BOR-4 orbital model became unnecessary.
In the first two flights the model alighted on water in the Indian Ocean approximately 900 km to the west from Australia and after searching one were being lifted aboard. During the next two flights alighting on water took place in the Black Sea to the west of Sevastopol. The ships of USSR Navy performed the searching and evacuation. One of the model alighted on water in the Black Sea was not found.
The BOR-4 orbital model was created in the Flight-Research Institute (Ministry of Aircraft Industry) under the leaders of Dr. Utkin V.V., Shogin U.N. and Fedorovich F.F. on the basis of the existing original project. Manufacturing model with gluing of heat protection panels was done in the TUSHINSKY Machine Building Plant under the leader of Mr. Zverev I.K. and Vostrikov M.N..
The Deputy Chief Designer of the BOR-4 model from NPO MOLNIYA was Mr. Mikoyan S.A., the leading designer was Mr. Gress V.U.
In the creation of the model from NPO MOLNIYA took part Mr.: Ezhov V.P., Rozanov I.G., Mikrukov I.F. and other.
The BOR-5 Sub-Orbital Flying Model
To receive the experimental aerodynamic characteristics during development of the BURAN space vehicle, the BOR-5 flying model was designed. It presented geometrically similar copy of the BURAN reusable space vehicle made in the 8:1 scale.
The model weight was approximately 1450 kg.
The model development and tests were the parts of general program on BURAN creation.
The BOR-5 purposes were:
to determine major aerodynamic characteristics in real flight conditions at high velocities;
to determine aerodynamic coefficients, lift-to-drag ratio, balancing characteristics, roll, pitch stability and to compare them with calculated characteristics;
to investigate pressure distribution along model surface;
to determine heat loads;
to determine acoustic loads;
to check adequacy of techniques for calculation of aerodynamic characteristics.
The launch of the model into sub-orbit was being fulfilled by the K65M-RB5 ballistic rocket from the launch pad located in the Kapustin Yar test range in Balkhash lake direction. The rocket with the model was being approaching maximal altitude, approximately 210 km, and after separation the model continued its way along ballistic trajectory with approximately 5 km/s velocity. In atmosphere, from approximately 50 km altitude the model flight was being done with programmed variation of bank angle and angle of attack at trajectory, chosen to provide optimal dependence Reynolds number from Mach number corresponded to the flight path of the BURAN space vehicle. It demanded greater indicated speed - from approximately 1070 km/h in the beginning of test leg to 850 km/h in the end (while maximum speed of the BURAN orbiter on this leg is 650 km/h).
As a result the temperature on the vehicle’s surface was greater on 1000 degrees than for the full-scale BURAN vehicle. That’s why the heat protection of quartz tiles similar to the protection of the BURAN orbiter could not be used there. On the model ablation heat protection was made of materials on the basis of mineral fiberglass plastic and the nose cone was made of tungsten-molybdenum alloy. The radioparent heat protection material (fiberglass plastic with silica filling) was tested too.
The model’s programmed control was performed by the on-board autonomous control system, which was receiving information from inertial navigation system.
On sub-orbital trajectory the model angular orientation of the model was ensured by micro jet engines and after upper-air descending the model was controlled by plane-like control surfaces, which for the first time were used in our country at such great velocity and such great kinetic heating of material.
The flight range of the BOR-5 model from starting point to landing was approximately 2000 km. At 7…8-km altitude the on-board program control system forced the model by means of rudders into the tight spiral for decreasing of the flight velocity. And at approximately 3-km altitude the parachute was being developed to provide landing with 7*8 m/s vertical speed (Figure 2).
The on-board telemetry system recorded all information internally and then transmitted it to the Earth for analyzing of aerodynamic characteristics. The information was received from several accelerometers, rate and acceleration sensors, free gyroscopes, pressure indicators, ailerons and rudder deviation sensors and sensor for measuring hinge moment on rudders. Besides, the information was transmitted from temperature thermocouples, calorimetric sensors and other temperature sensors.
The thermal indicator paint and the melting indicators were also used.
From 1984 five launchings have been fulfilled:
501 model – on 6th July, 1984;
502 model - on 17th April , 1985;
503 model - on 27th December, 1986;
504 model - on 27th August, 1987;
505 model – on 22nd June, 1988.
The first two launching were performed in accordance with a program of flight-design tests of launcher rocket specially modified for the BOR-5 model. They included tests of model system functionality.
During the first launching the separation of the model from rocket launcher didn’t appear because of electrical failure and they fell down together while the second launching was absolutely successful.
Three launching according to the program of the BOR-5 model test appeared to be successful, were passed and they provided specialists with the full amount of data needed. The actual lift-to-drag ratio of the model appeared to be greater than calculated one.
The BOR-5 model was designed in NPO MOLNIYA under the direction of Deputy Chief Designer Dr. Samsonov E.A. The leading designers were Mr. Bogov U.P. and then Grachev I.G.. The construction design was made under the direction of Mr. Kavunovsky N.P. by Mr.: Chistov V.A., Khorev D.M., Glotov V.I., Mendzilo V.V., Frolkov V.M., Kiryanov I.V and other.
The models were produced on the Myasischev V.M. Experimental Machine-Building Plant under the direction of Mr.: I.M. Lipkin I.M. and Tvorogov N.G..
The BOR-4 and BOR-5 models were equipped with autopilots with a computer and on-board measure system. These systems were produced by the Flight Research Institute (Ministry of Aircraft Industry) under the leaderships of Dr. Vladychin G.P., Dr. Kondratov A.A., Dr. Fedorovich A.A., Mr. Khanov I.K. and Tishenko V.V.
documentation, work, book, scientific study, political analysis, buran, energiya, spiral, USSR
Figure 2. The scheme of the BOR-5 model’s sub-orbital flight
The tests of both model versions (BOR-4 and BOR-5) were performed by the representatives of LII under the direction of Dr. Vladychin G.P. and Dr. Kondratov A.A. The specialists of the Military-Research Institute, NPO MOLNIYA and other organization under general supervision of the State Commission, headed by the first Deputy Director of GUKOS, General of aviation, Mr. Titov G.S. also took part in testing.
The application of orbital and sub-orbital flying models for the confirmation by experimental data of the heat protection efficiency and reliability of aerodynamic calculation became a news in developing of the aerospace systems (ASSs) and was fulfilled for the first time in the world. Such models will find the application in further researches of aerospace systems (ASS).
The tests results of the BOR-4 flying model were used not only in the BURAN program, but also in development of the MAKS Multipurpose aerospace system with the AN-225 MRIA subsonic carrier aircraft. The orbital plane in this system as well as the SPIRAL plane and BOR-4 experimental plane have identical aerodynamic scheme ‘lifting body’ with deflected wing panels.
Wide experience of experimental researches in natural conditions of the BOR-5 model’s orbital and sub-orbital flight and SPIRAL analogue’s launching allowed to choose a well-founded aerodynamic configuration of orbital plane of the MAKS advanced system. In the nearest future this system will allow to decrease the cost of space missions and open new possibilities for fulfilling different tasks due to the advantages of air launch from the subsonic carrier-plane.
Want to soar like an eagle? Then go with a parasail or a hang glider. But for those who dream of screaming through the air like a superhero, there's the Skyray - a solid, triangular, carbon-fiber contraption that lets skydivers shoot above the clouds at 186 mph for two exhilarating minutes. That's quadruple the air time of the usual free fall and almost twice the speed of the world's fastest bird, the spine-tailed swift.
Nearly ready for mass production, the 9-pound Skyray is the brainchild of Munich-based inventor Alban Geissler, who has designed earthbound objects from hot rods to hot-water pumps. His innovation: delta wings, like those on an F-102 fighter jet. Instead of sticking out perpendicular to the body, the Skyray's wings are angled back, eliminating the need for a stabilizing tail and making any kind of spin - the fatal flaw of many a wing suit - impossible. When the high-speed joyride is over, the jumper pulls a rip cord and parachutes in for landing - wings still attached.
Geissler had never skydived before he came up with his invention, and since then he's managed just 25 jumps. (His girlfriend gets jealous when he flirts with death.) So he turns to Christoph Aarns, part owner of Dädalus, one of Germany's four drop zones. Aarns has a wife and two kids and is obsessed with safety. For playing guinea pig, Aarns gets 10 percent of Geissler's company, Freesky, and, of course, he can take a Skyray out whenever he likes. (Geissler has recently added a second test flier, Patrick Barton.)
After Aarns' first flight in 1999, he had a few suggestions for Geissler. "Velcro is not a good idea when you're flying at 200 miles per hour," he says dryly. The wings also had no handles, and Aarns had to eject from the suit after the turbulent ride. A few prototypes later, Aarns is now able to fly the Skyray "instead of it flying me." After squeezing diagonally out the door of a twin-prop plane at 13,500 feet, he dives straight down to pick up speed, then grabs onto the wings' handles and zooms across the horizon. "The Skyray is like a bullet," he says. "It's like an arrow." Bull's-eye.
At first we thought this was a joke—didn't Batman have a pair of wings like this? But no, this Gryphon Single-Man Flying Wing is a parachute system whose 4.9-foot Delta wing has two jet engines on board that can carry a paratrooper 110 miles on a half gallon of jet fuel. The device will be tested in an third quarter of next year, but we'd hate to be the first guy to try it. He'll have to be pretty hefty, too, because the thing weighs 66 pounds.
The mission starts when the brave soul wearing this birdman outfit takes a flying leap out of an airplane at 33,000 feet—hopefully equipped with warm clothes and oxygen—and flies the jet wing wherever he's going until he gets to an altitude of about a mile. At that point, somehow our intrepid hero sheds his wing and opens a parachute, letting that wing dangle below him as he floats to the ground. Better you than me, buddy. Tailwinds. – Charlie White
A parachute system equipped with a 1.5m (4.9ft)-span delta wing and two micro-turbojets which could propel a paratrooper 200km (110nm) from a drop point could be tested from third-quarter 2007.
The wing has aileron- and flap-like control surfaces along its trailing edge, and around 2 litres (0.5USgal) of jet fuel housed in flexible containers in its leading edge. The surfaces would be controlled by the parachutist using handles linked to servomechanisms.
The engines are likely to be built into the wing, which also has a cargo compartment. The turbojets are expected to weigh around 7kg (15.4lb) each and could be model aircraft engines, industrial impellers or a new design. The wing system will weigh approximately 30kg with engines but no cargo.
“We have a lot of interest from special forces. Jumping from 4,000m [13,000ft] with the propelled system you could fly for 200km,” says civilian skydiving instructor and wing-parachute system test pilot Frank Carreras.
A parachutist could jump from up to 33,000ft using the system, with oxygen equipment and thermal clothing. On reaching an altitude of 3,000-5,000ft, the parachute is opened and the wing lowered on a cord to hang several metres below the user.
Carreras has been working for the parachute system’s developers, German electronics and technology companies ESG and Dräger, which originally developed an unpowered version for the German army. Flight testing of this 14kg system is expected to finish by year-end, after which the prototype will be used for marketing. With the unpowered system a soldier could glide for 50km from a 33,000ft jump.
per a phone conversation i had with the inventor, Alban Geisler:
helmet mounted avionics display
fly-by-wire stabilization system
oxygen system and pressure suit
120 mile range with mini jet engines
ripple-fired solid rocket boosters in wing trailing edge for suborbital space flights
Special Parachute and Logistics Consortium (SPELCO), a German venture between two companies, produces a variety of parachute systems, helmets, oxygen supplies, and other gear and services. One of their most interesting products is the Gryphon attack wing, a modular upgrade for parachute systems for use in “high-altitude, high-opening” (HAHO) jump missions, typically carried out by Special Forces. The 6-foot wing gives a glide ratio of 5:1, which means that a drop from 30,000 feet will allow the jumper to glide about 30 miles. SPELCO estimates that this would take around 15 minutes, giving an average speed of about 60 miles an hour.
“All equipment is hidden in a lifting body optimized for stealth, the radar-signature is extremely low,” says the Gryphon data sheet (PDF). “Detection of incoming Gryphon soldiers by airborne or ground radar will be extremely difficult.”
Gryphon has a guidance system and heads-up display navigation. With the addition of small turbojets used in UAVs, range is increased to more than 60 miles.
A top-secret one-man jet-wing that can fly over 150-miles, at low-level NOE (nap-of-the=earth)penetration missions, undetected by even the most sophisticated air defense systems. An independent inventor and commercial airline pilot designed and built a prototype, and the US military Special Operations folks picked up on it very quickly for use as a covert insertion platform for operators. Rumor has it that it has been operational for some time in Iraq, Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan
think what you could do if you are not carrying all that military baggage!
would you like to skydive like this (just make one a little bigger)??:
SkyRay and Gryphon wwere originally designed by Alban Geisler in Munich as a toy for skydivers. Is it such a surprise that this disappeared into the black hole of the military before it could be brought to the open market??
Spelco used to sell the Gryphon from their web page. They still have a picture of it on their home page, but don't list this as one of their products
Love the picture you put in as well Hank, one of my favorites.
I've been doing a lot of wreckchasing this year, searching out old crash sites in the Vegas area. Hopefully I will get motivated one of these days and post all my pics in one place. So far this year I have surveyed the following types:
I had a rare treat at the airport in Casper yesterday afternoon; after flying for 1.6 hours and landing, there was a very rare old airplane on the ramp. It was a 1929 Travel Air biplane, registration number NC689C. I also met the owner in the pilot's lounge, and he described what he was doing here. On the way back home to California from the big fly-in in Oshkosh, WI. I'm planning on stopping at the airport again tomorrow, since he was doing a multiday layover...maybe I can get a few pictures!
The 1929 Travel Air actually put Wichita, KS on the aviation map, since it sold quite well at the time (over 6000 aircraft of all different models). The Travel Air Company was later sold to Curtis-Wright and the airplane continued in production from that company. The original owners and management team were impressive: Clyde Cessna, Floyd Stearman, and Walter Beech. These gentlemen went on to found Cessna, Stearman, and Beech Aircraft (Beechcraft). These 3 companies remained in Wichita, KS, and became the nexus of General Aviation aircraft manufacture to this day. Stearman Aircraft, in particular, produced something of an upgraded and improved version of this airplane that became THE primary trainer for most Army and Navy pilots during W.W. II.
The particular speciman on the ramp at KCPR is one of only 6 airworthy and flyable model 4000 Travel Airs left from a production of over 2000 aircraft.
Really nice shots Perswig..and a Travel Air, a nice thing to see.
I got a rare treat this weekend, a friend of mine that works for Zappos offered us seats on their jet flying from Vegas to Scottsdale, so we jumped on the chance. Was an Embraer Phenom 100 with a full glass Garmin 1000 panel, which I haven't used before and enjoyed getting to play with a little en route.
Rented a car and drove to Sedona for some camping. Quite a nice weekend, and the jet was awesome.
Wow, 400 posts in this thread. Really happy that I chose a topic that has gotten so much attention and great posts - keep up the good work!
AOPA commends President Barack Obama for signing into law the Pilot’s Bill of Rights on Aug. 3. The legislation guarantees pilots under investigation by the FAA expanded protection against enforcement actions via access to investigative reports and air traffic control and flight service recordings, and it also requires the FAA to provide the evidence being used as the basis of enforcement at least 30 days in advance of action.
Jaxa - Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
HTV-3 External Cargo Operations completed aboard ISS
The docked Mission of H-II Transfer Vehicle 3 is progressing on schedule with internal cargo operations being in full swing aboard the complex of ISS and HTV-3. External Cargo activities were completed this week aboard the International Space Station and all procedures were performed successfully.
Operations to remove HTV-3's Exposed Pallet from the Unpressurized Logistics Carrier got underway on August 6, 2012. The HTV Exposed Pallet was removed by Canadarm2 which was grappled to the EP before. JAXA made significant modifications to the Unpressurized Cargo Carrier's Exposed Pallet. HTV-3 uses the Multi-Purpose version of the EP for the first time. In addition, the Exposed Pallet Holding Mechanism was improved and features a simpler design. Being controlled from the ground, the Station's Robotic Arm was commanded to remove the EP, start the procedure to maneuver it to the handoff position and wait for the Japanese Robotic Arm to grapple the Pallet. Working from inside the Japanese Experiment Module, Joe Acaba and Aki Hoshide controlled Kibo's Remote Manipulator System to grapple the Exposed Pallet. The Payload was handed off and the astronauts moved it to its install position at Exposed Facility Unit 10 of the external Exposed facility of the JEM. There, it was installed by using capture latches. With the hardware installed and electrical connections in place, the Japanese Robotic Arm was deactivated overnight.
The following day, Candarm2 picked up the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, Dextre for short, which was used to unberth the ScAN testbed and install it on its permanent location on ExPRESS Logistics Carrier-3 via the Flight Releasable Attachment Mechanism of the Carrier. On August 9, the Crew was involved in external Cargo Operations once again. Acaba and Hoshide worked several hours with the Japanese Arm to unberth the Multi Mission Consolidated Equipment and install it on Exposed Facility Unit 8 on the JEM Exposed Facility, closing capture latches and activating payload heaters to complete the procedure.
Ground Controllers then took over once again, grappling the Exposed Pallet with the Japanese Arm and unberthing it from the Exposed Facility followed by a maneuver to its handoff position at which it was grappled by the Station's Robotic Arm. JEMRMS let go of the EP and SSRMS was left in this position until the crew was ready for EP re-installation on Friday. Working from the Station's Cupola Robotics Work Station, Joe Acaba and Suni Williams completed the EP Re-Installation to place it back inside HTV's Unpressurized Logistics Carrier completing HTV-3 External Cargo Operations.
With the EP back in place, all external activities related to HTV Cargo Operations are complete and the Space Station has received two new external payloads.
Update 2:41 p.m. ET, Aug. 15: The Waverider X-51A test was a failure. The vehicle was launched successfully from a B-52 bomber Tuesday over Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range at about 11:35 a.m. PT. But 16 seconds after launch, “a fault was identified with one of the cruiser control fins.” Then, about 15 seconds after the craft separated from the rocket booster, the cruiser lost control.
“It is unfortunate that a problem with this subsystem caused a termination before we could light the Scramjet engine,” said X-51A Program Manager Charlie Brink via a news release Wednesday. “All our data showed we had created the right conditions for engine ignition and we were very hopeful to meet our test objectives.”
The test is a blow to the Waverider program, but also a setback for the development of hypersonic flight, since the control subsystem responsible for the failure had proven “reliable” in past flights.
According to the release, “Program officials will now begin the process of working through a rigorous evaluation to determine the exact cause of all factors at play.”
One of the four X-51A vehicles is left, but there is no official word as to whether it will actually fly.
A roundtable will be scheduled in two weeks, after officials have analyzed data from the failed test.
Original post: Imagine going from New York to London in less than an hour.
This is a good one - tandem master Brent Buckner at Skydive Las Vegas a few years ago. Guy was screaming so loud he could hear him in free fall and just lost it. Good thing my pack job was solid, cause I think he was laughing too hard to deal with anything.
Speaking of skydiving, I used to jump out of this baby 30 yrs ago (yikes, old). Anyway, really proud of my daughter-that is she in the window-she'll be checked out on this bird this coming weekend!!!! I never dreamed when she earned her pilot's cert. she'd end up flying an old DC-3, cool !
WOW! That is way cool. As you well know you don't fly those babies
with your feet on the floor- you fly it or it'll fly you.
It seems only a few months ago she was flying your ex's little tail dragger.
Now she's gotten her MEL and Commercial?
Now she can go get a job with Buffalo Airways in Northwest Territories, eh?
We used to watch my dad every weekend jump out of a Cesna, back then it was five bucks a jump to 9k'. We had a blast running around the desert near St. George, Utah. I had two brothers and two sisters but it was usually the boys who liked to watch him jump and each of us got a pair of bino's for xmas. We would lay on our backs and watch them exit the plane, freefall and then usually end up miles out in the cactus somewhere, depending on the wind that day. It was our job to locate the jumpers and point out where we thought they landed out in the rolling hills of the desert. Sometimes it would take hours to find them.
One Saturday my mom woke us up yelling, "Boy's, your dad is jumping into the golf course. Let's go surprise him". We jumped in the truck and off we went. It seemed like it was a secret mission, my mom told us maybe they didn't have permits to land there. She wasn't sure why our dad hadn't told us about the jump, as she found out about it from a friend of a friend that was on the load.
We arrived at the golf course on the North side of town and waited around for an hour, or so. Finally, we heard the familiar engine of the Cesna circling above, the sound of it cutting and we quickly located four figures falling through the sky.
"AAahhh, they formed a round 4/way", we exclaimed with excitement. Which didn't happen all that much back in the day, when 100 skydives meant you were an expert at the sport. My dad just upgraded from a round to a square green and blue 7 cell, and we were just getting used to the new colors. Some of the other guys had just bought new gear, as well. So, it was hard to identify who was who.
"There he is", I yelled. "That's dad's colors". I was sure I had studied his colors on the ground well enough to recognize them floating three thousand feet in the air. But, as he got closer to the ground, my confidence wavered.
He didn't have his green jumpsuit on, I thought. Is that him? He has a tan or brownish suit. I scoped the other jumpers. What the hell? They all have tan jumpsuits on. I started to wonder if they formed some kind of skydiving team and ordered all matching suits. COOL!!!
A few minutes later they landed and us boys blasted through the 6th hole towards our dad, excited to hear about the new team he was on. From behind us we hear our mom screeching in the highest voice I'd ever heard.
"KIDS, GET YOUR BUTT'S BACK HERE"
We scoffed, but turned around and obeyed. She had the doors of the truck open and was herding us inside, slammed the doors and peeled on out of there. I looked back just in time to see my dad and three of his friends running across the golf course, with their parachutes wrapped around them like togas and piling into a getaway car.
I was always puzzled by what had happened and when I asked questions, it was a subject that, "we don't talk about". I was seven years old, so it took me a few years to put the pieces together but it was like a light bulb going on when I figured it out... I started an uncontrollable laughing fit.
Awesome story Ammon, and thanks for adding this to the thread. My jaw about hit the desk when I saw that shot in the other thread. Some of the old mods were wild for sure - buy a surplus canopy and tear into it with pinking shears until it worked for you.
That story about the Spit pilot was amazing. Really appreciate that being shared, and that he got back into the air.