27 May 2010

The Horten 229

The Smithsonian Museum is restoring a Horten 229.The Horten 229 was a single seat jet fighter designed by the Horten brothers, Walter and Reimar, for the German Luftwaffe in World War Two. Three prototypes were built. The Ho IX V1 was an non-powered glider. The Ho IX V2 was a jet powered version and first flown on 2 February, 1945.

Ho IX V3 was to be the production version and was captured by American forces. Designated the H0-229 it is the only remaining airframe in existence. It is this aircraft that the Smithsonian is restoring.

When completed, the Ho-229 will look something like this:

The aircraft pictured above is a REPLICA of a Ho-229, built by the Northrop Corporation.

More info and pictures here.

24 May 2010

Crash and Burn

19 May 2010

The History of Crew Chiefs

A Crew Chief is responsible for the day to day condition of the aircraft assigned to them. The best crew chiefs are assigned to fighter squadrons. Real crew chiefs have nothing what so ever to do with NASCAR. Why would they? Crew chiefs that fuck up really bad or show no talent work on helicopters or (GOD FORBID!) cargo aircraft.

Crew chiefs own their jet and if a pilot is really polite and not running late, the Crew Chief will allow the pilot to fly "his" aircraft. Pilots spend most of their time drinking and fucking off doing whatever pilots do between their occasional visits to the jet. Crew Chiefs live with their jet. They stay with their jet in blazing hot days, rain, snow, through the night, during air raids and mortar attacks. Crew chiefs make Postal Workers look like pussies.

Read on Sports Fans.

15 May 2010

Shuttle Fini Flights

The Shuttle Atlantis blasted off for the last time yesterday for a planned 12 day mission (STS-132).
There are two remaining flights in the program. Discovery (STS133) will fly on or about 16 September, 2010. Endeavor (STS134) will be the last Shuttle in orbit in mid November, 2010.

I got to see Enterprise at an Edwards AFB air show back in 1977. During the entire course of the program I am sad to report that I never got the chance to see a Shuttle launch nor landing. Damn.Enterprise Roll Out, Edwards AFB, 1977.

06 May 2010

UFO Alert

Before you start calling MUFON, you might want to know about the Bullet 580. The 235 foot airship is scheduled to make it's first flight later this month.

E-Green acquired airship builder 21st Century Airships, which holds patents for Bullet 580 technologies and designs, including a system of bags that hold helium for lighter-than-air lift and an inner hull that is filled with ambient air.

The eight million dollar Bullet 580 is designed to lift payloads weighing up to 15000 pounds. With a top speed of 80 mph, it will also be able to reach 20,000 feet for surveillance operations.

The first flight will be from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.