Jun 182014

A ticket to ride XCOR’s suborbital Lynx spaceplane: $10. The hitch: it’s a lottery.

Ticket to Rise

This seems like a decent enough idea to me. Spaceflight is *waaaay* beyond the means of regular folks, but as the success of lotteries across the country shows, people are more than willing to cough up a handful of bucks for a vanishingly small chance of winning.

This is a way to fund charities as well. You can choose from a list of charities that your money will go to, including dubious but well-known organizations like PETA and a bunch of charities I’ve never heard of, like “Girl Tank” (which turns out to be neither of the two things that immediately sprang to mind), and the somehow awesome-sounding “Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.” Sadly, the list of charities seems kinda newagey (at least one of ’em is all about “transcendental meditation”); I’d be happier if there was an organization organizing a “nuclear reactor for every neighborhood” or “end poverty by assassinating tyrants and theocrats and instilling capitalism” or some such, but hey, cheap space flight!

There are a half dozen or so different donation amounts, from $10 to $1000, with five lotto tickets per dollar donated. Maybe it’s just my browser, but the website seems kinda squirrely to navigate.

 Posted by at 9:28 am
Mar 072014

Some years back I took this photo out an airplane window. Where is it? Ten bucks of download-credit to whoever comments first with the correct answer *AND* who correctly points out what is in this photo of greatest interest to *me.*


 Posted by at 12:20 am
Nov 152011

XCOR Aerospace and the Southwest Research Institute will award a research flight on board the XCOR Lynx suborbital spaceplane to one paid registrant at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference. This conference will be held February 27-29, 2012, in Palo Alto, California.

The contest rules are HERE.

I bet these guys are going to be in the running:

Of course, they’d better keep an eye out for someone trying to game the system…

 Posted by at 5:03 pm
Sep 222011

This (68 megabyte ZIP folder of jpg images) package contains diagrams to be used in the construction of accurate display models of the B-47. Includes:

1) Boeing drawing 23-2305, “Boeing B-47E Model Drawings 1/100 Scale,” 9000X5432 pixels, dated 1956

2) Boeing drawing 14-5068, “Boeing XB-47 Stratojet Model Drawing,” 13408X8412 pixels, dated 1947

Also included are halfsize and quartersize version for easier viewing and printing.

Air Drawing 57 can be downloaded for $$4.50.



 Posted by at 5:29 pm
Aug 212011

Five bucks in downloads to the first person to correctly ID these:

Only $5 because I imagine there are a few people who’ll recognize ’em right off. You might not recognize them… but if you are a reader of this blog, chances are you *want* to recognize them.

 Posted by at 6:51 pm
Aug 202011

After looking over the responses (blogpost comments & emails) to my recent call for help regarding advertising, a few things *kinda* stand out:

1: The bulk of advertising suggestions are for web advertising rather than magazine

2: My website sucks in terms of layout and accessibility

3: I should sign up for Facebook and/or Tumblr and/or Twitter and use social media to Get The Word Out.

OK. Taking them in order:

1: I still think print ads make sense… I suspect there’s a disconnect between people who read magazines and people who surf the web. Shrug.

2: Yes, indeed it sucks. It’s the very lamest in late 1990’s web scribbling technique. So, here’s what I’m proposing… yet another contest. One hundred dollars ($100.00) in downloads- cuz I’ve got stuff more than I have money – to whoever cobbles together a set of webpages to replace the current pages. What I guess I’d need is a new front page and a page replicating the Drawings & Documents and/or the APR pages. These pages would need to include everything the current pages do… all the data, and of course they’d need to be able to be updated *by* *me.* As for the individual product pages, I’m planning on switching to linking to individual blog posts for each product, as demonstrated by my recent posting of a number of the Air Drawing sets. I’ll add the submissions to my website, and, assuming that I get a number of good ones, I’ll let all y’all decide which is the best layout.

3: Meh. I suppose I gotta. I’ve avoided Facebook for all the reasons laid out on the “South Park” episode, and I’ve always seen Twitter as being basically this:

But… I guess I’ll break down and sign up for ’em. Several suggestions were to set up some sort of group or something, and dump a bunch of aerospace images on it with links back to up-ship.com/blog, and hope that they go viral. Well, I guess it’s worth a shot.

But if I get sucked into some horrible vortex of time-wastage…

 Posted by at 8:08 pm
Jul 202011

Here’s another contest: ten dollars in download-credit to whoever correctly ID’s this chart. What’s the X-axis, what’s the Y-axis?

Here’s a hint: I suspect most regular readers of this blog will cackle like saddened criminally insane supervillains when you figure it out.

 Posted by at 10:49 pm
Jul 192011

The Super-Hustler was a Convair design for a three-stage manned vehicle capable of Mach 4. The first stage was a Convair B-58 bomber; the second stage was an unmanned and expendable ramjet powered booster; the third stage was a two-man, one- or two-engined ramjet vehicle that could do recon, bombardment or both.

The design got fairly far along, including detailed design drawings and mockups. The cockpit mockup was an important item, as it helped the engineers to determine the feasibility of the concept. Due to the high speeds and relatively small size of the vehicle, it was not practical to equip it with a conventional canopy which would provide useful forward vision. This would of course be a serious issue during landing, so the design was fitted with a television camera in the extreme nose.

Several photos of the Super Hustler cockpit mockup have come to light. Below are three that show the instruments in some detail, while still managing to be really quite awful in quality.

 Posted by at 11:58 am
Jul 132011

Here’s a contest: tell me just what the hell this is. Because I honestly don’t know. All I know is that it *appears* to be a turboprop design, and clearly it’s a biplane. The photos are dated August 1944 1949 and are purported to have been taken at the David Taylor Model Basin near D.C.

At a guess it’s a design for carrier-based plane; the biplane arrangement allows for shorter wings that don’t need to be folded. The pilots visibility kinda sucks, though, so I’m guessing it’s a strike plane, not a dogfighter. It definitely has a real Skyshark vibe about it.

What do you win if you correctly identify this? Respect.

 Posted by at 10:20 pm