The Skydiving and Aviation Related Photo Thread! (OT)

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TrundleBum

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Oct 8, 2012 - 04:16pm PT


Heal well Ammon-

Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner ready to skydive from edge of space Tuesday morning
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Oct 9, 2012 - 02:10am PT
SCIENTISTS DISCOVER ANCIENT RIVERBED ON MARS

The latest rover mission to Mars, Curiosity, has stumbled upon something quite remarkable. There have been previous findings supporting the theory that liquid water did exist on the red planet at one point in time. But this is the first time that anything quite like this has been found. Curiosity has found what appear to be riverbeds on Mars that are remarkably similar to the ones found on Earth. There is evidence of water erosion as well as river-looking stones cemented into a gravel conglomerate rock. The shape and placement of some of these stones indicates long-distance travel, showing that these rivers were not just there, that they indeed flowed quite freely and were fairly long channels.

Previous research on channels on Mars had hypothesised about the flows that created them. This is the first time researchers have been able to see water-transported gravel on Mars. Rather than speculate about the size of streambed material, scientists can now directly observe it. The riverbed was found between the north rim of Gale Crater and the base of Mount Sharp, an area which was imaged from Mars orbit and therefore allows for further interpretation of the gravel-conglomerate. The imagery from orbit shows that the ancient streambed is part of an alluvial fan. A sedimentary feature made up of, among other things, many channels that have washed material down from the rim. The shape of stones within deposits like this allows geologists to interpret the forming environment. As the stones found are rounded, this indicates long-distance travel from above the rim where a channel named Peace Vallis feeds into the alluvial fan. Read about how alluvial fans form here: http://on.fb.me/QOKhP8. The longer a stone is transported, the more rounded it becomes from abrasion. If the stones were angular shaped, the deposit would be called a breccia and the source would be interpreted to be much closer. There is a range of grain size within the conglomerate, from a grain of sand to a golf ball. Though most of the stones are rounded, some are angular. The size of the stones within the conglomerate shows that they could not have been transported by wind, but must have been transported by water flow.

By looking at the size of the objects that the river was carrying, it is estimated that the water was flowing at just under 1 meter per second, and that this particular ancient river discovered was anywhere between ankle and waist-deep. These discoveries came after investigating two outcrops, given the names "Hottah" and "Link". The Curiosity science team may also decide to examine the chemical compositions of the cement that holds the conglomerate rock together, as well as the stones themselves.

Curiosity’s main destination is the slope of Mount Sharp. Clay and sulphate minerals were detected from orbit; these minerals can be good preservers of carbon-based organic chemicals, which are potential ingredients for life.

The images show the Link outcrop of rocks on Mars (left) compared with similar rocks seen on Earth (right). The image from Mars shows that the gravel fragments within the conglomerate are rounded and up to a few centimetres wide, and highlights a piece of gravel that is about 1 centimetre across. The image from Earth is of a typical sedimentary conglomerate formed of gravel fragments in a stream.


Riverbeds on Mars and Earth
Riverbeds on Mars and Earth
Credit: TomCochrane
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Oct 9, 2012 - 08:32pm PT
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2012/10/satellite-images-capture-cias-secret-bin-laden-training-facility/57771/
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Oct 10, 2012 - 10:48am PT
Tom-

Great stuff, re: Mars!
Karen

Trad climber
So Cal urban sprawl Hell
Oct 10, 2012 - 07:10pm PT
In the need for some aero plane pics.....

Credit: Karen

Credit: Karen

Credit: Karen

Credit: Karen

Credit: Karen

Reno Air Races last month....love the sound of those Rolls Royce Merlin engines!
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 10, 2012 - 07:23pm PT
Thanks for adding those shots Karen!

I worked the Air Races for several years, and was on the team that tore one of the planes in the last picture, Rare Bear, apart when then owner Lyle Shelton blew the motor on it and had to have it trucked home.

I still remember the look on his face when he walked in the hangar and I had a foot long drill bit going into the side of his plane to separate the aft section from the cockpit. Heheh.

Good to see Strega still out there, Bill (Destefani) was always a nice guy to hang around and he could make that thing move for sure. For many years it was a foregone conclusion before the race even started that he or the Bear would win. The first sounds you heard from the pack in the long stretch was either the whine & whistle of the souped up Merlin or the "lub lub lub lub" of the Bear's oversized paddle blades. At the time it ran a Lockheed Constellation modified hub with three chopped blades from a P-3 Orion - I see they have a four blader on there now.

I miss going to the races, hopefully I will get to go again someday before they stop running them.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Oct 10, 2012 - 08:57pm PT
I too, went to the Airshow today...er..Airport today.

My plane was already pulled out to the ramp parking for it's "test flight" with the new avionics, Graphic Engine Monitor, and all new cockpit glass. As I drove in and parked outside the gates, my eye was caught by something other than just another Bizjet: The Canadian Royal Air Force demonstration F 18 Hornet. Woo Hoo, and it was only parked 50 feet away from my bird! So, nosy guy that I am, I asked what it was doing here (Casper, WY) my A & P said it had developed a fuel leak enroute back to Canada from an airshow over the weekend, and landed at Natrona County International Airport for emergency repairs and refueling.

I was initially pi$$ed off that I didn't have my camera along, but the demonstration pilot left some brochures in the pilot's lounge:

Ta da!:

Royal Canadian Air Force Demonstration F 18 Hornet Brochure. This airp...
Royal Canadian Air Force Demonstration F 18 Hornet Brochure. This airplane is beautiful!
Credit: Brokedownclimber


After I flew some laps in the landing pattern with Leroy, the Avionics Shop manager to make sure the GEM and GPS were all functional, I dropped him off and flew several more touch and go landings before calling it a day.

I then noticed that everyone from The FBO was sitting outside as the line crew brought out the GPU (ground power unit) and that the pilot was wearing his helmet onboard the aircraft, and the engines were being started as I crawled out of my plane. Wow! Pretty noisy out there! I then joined the "happy throng" at the outdoor picnic area where all the line guys and A & Ps were congregated to watch the show. Even the office crew was outside waiting for the show, and an F 18 full-power takeoff IS a real show. The pilot held it down on the deck passing our area at about 4,000' and didn't really rotate into a climb until ~ 6,000' feet down the runway. But he then executed a very steep climbing right turn that brought the airplane on a 180 degree heading from the takeoff so we could appreciate just how fast it was moving. It really "made my day!"
Sagebrusher

Sport climber
Iowa
Oct 11, 2012 - 04:35pm PT
Most awesome ever!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Oct 11, 2012 - 04:59pm PT
Credit: Ron Anderson

the cessna O!-A bird dog,,, CLASSIC recon plane- took my very first orientation flight in one of these magnificent lil beasts!
yo

climber
Mudcat Spire
Oct 13, 2012 - 12:44am PT
Credit: yo
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 15, 2012 - 08:35pm PT
CAUTION - Aviation Porn!



Credit: Reilly

I flew over the Skunk Works one day and looked down to see 6 or 7 'Sleds'
waiting to have new cassette decks put into them. That was pretty cool.


Do click on this link if you want to read an excerpt from Sled Driver.
You know you want to - the dood takes his ride beyond Mach 3.5!!!!

Sled Driver
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Oct 15, 2012 - 11:08pm PT


The navigation system uses three telescopes to track stars, is completely analog and about as accurate as a modern GPS system. Every bit as amazing as a Norden bomb sight or the fire control computer on a WWII battleship.

A cart with a big block chevy to start it, (the round bump on the bottom of the engine nacelles is for the starter hookup)

http://www.sr-71.org/blackbird/startercart.php

They have one out at the March AFB museum, I think it's still there. The most impressive thing are the seals on the control surfaces. I don't think there's room for a matchbook cover between them. How that thing went through the kind of thermal expansion it did and still had anything move is really amazing.

Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Oct 15, 2012 - 11:34pm PT
Oh Holy Crap! That's my favorite airplane of all time! What a great link to the book, too!

I've seen only one Blackbird "up close and personal" at the Evergreen Air and Space Museum in McMinnville, OR. What a bird for "bird lovers," just sitting there under the wing of the Howard Hughes "Spruce Goose."
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Oct 16, 2012 - 07:52am PT
I once attended the pre op workup of an SR71 at RAF Mildenhall, met the pilot, listened to the ops brief and then watched the thing light up the sky as it headed off on a dank Autumn day.

Exploited the imagery the next day, All in all an amazing thing to be part of - even if ground based.

Steve
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Oct 16, 2012 - 09:57am PT
I always thought the SR71 had a beautiful but sinister aura about it; for sheer beauty, the F104 Starfighter was in a class by itself.

One thing about the "skunk Works" designs: they were all aesthetic masterpieces, and looked perfect for the roles they were intended to play.

Lockhheed also built the Constellation airliner, which was a beautiful design.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Oct 16, 2012 - 10:56am PT
Functional design - if it looks right, it probably is!

Steve
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 16, 2012 - 10:58am PT
For those that read the excerpt didn't you love the part where he pulls the
throttles back over Sicily and still overshot the tanker at Gibraltar?
"Honest, officer, I guess I just wasn't paying attention."
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Oct 16, 2012 - 11:40am PT
I believe the turn radius on a Blackbird was about 150 nm. Talk about an aerodynamic marvel!
Karen

Trad climber
So Cal urban sprawl Hell
Oct 16, 2012 - 01:10pm PT
Awesome Reilly!!!
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Oct 16, 2012 - 02:43pm PT
A long and winding road: 3.8 billion miles and a trunk full of memories later, NASA's Cassini spacecraft celebrates 15 years since launch. More info: http://1.usa.gov/R1DzHb

This graphic shows Cassini's orbits around the Saturn system.


Credit: TomCochrane
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