Feb 082015

The next airline trend could be narrower seats

United Airlines is considering introducing an economy section on its long-haul Boeing 777-200 with hink it’ll be cars from here on out.rows of ten seats abreast-instead of the current rows of nine…

And here I was thinking that I might choose to fly on a jetliner at some point in the future.

I used to fly multiple times per year. But the last time I flew was in late 2013, and that was an unusual, not-to-be-repeated circumstance. I don’t know when the last time I flew before *that* was, but at least several years. Thanks to the nuisance of air travel coupled with the limitations of air travel and the increasing physical *pain* of air travel (not only are most airline seat rows far too close for my legs, the last time I flew I managed to catch the plague), I think it’ll be cars from here on out.

 Posted by at 11:52 pm
Feb 062015

In general, I can complete a diagram for the US Aerospace Projects series in anywhere from a handful of hours to a couple man-days, depending on detail and how much 3D work I need to do (the Space Cruiser from US Spacecraft Projects #2 was a chore because a lot of time was spent on 3D modeling). But even at the long end of the bell curve, this would seem to indicate that I should be able to finish a full set of 8 vehicle diagrams in a week or less. But it hasn’t worked out that way; it’s usually quite a bit longer. Why? Because the diagramming is pretty much the *last* stage in the process.

In order to come up with 8 diagrams, I have to decide on 8 vehicles. Sometimes that’s easy, like when I have a known design series that I’m working on (the B-52 & B-59 series in USBP, for example). Sometimes I get obsessed that I have to do some particular design… the Space Cruiser was one such. And then the next step after deciding on which vehicle is collecting the info needed on each one.

In many cases, I have all the info I need. I have a number of Space Cruiser documents I’ve collected over the years, enough to do the project justice. But just because I have a document doesn’t necessarily mean I *remember* that I have the document… or when I do remember it, remember where I put it. I spend quite a while digging for a document on SC that I only halfway vaguely remembered that I had.

And then when I find the documents, there’s the going through them, looking for the relevant and useful bits. Sometimes that’s easy: the whole thing is described in a single AIAA paper that has four pages and one diagram. Limited data means a limited diagram and description on my part. But sometimes the design is buried in *vast* reports, or scattered across a number of presentations. And while there might be thousands of pages, there are only a few pages that are directly valuable. Such as a design I’m digging up now for US Launch Vehicle Projects #1, for which the research stack is the entire box you see here:


FYI: the cardboard box under the plastic box contains a series of GD SSTO reports for future use; the half-filled box behind is a small fraction of my wholly uncatalogued Saturn/Apollo collection.

So if you see me flacking a US “X” P publication and think that I’m just slapping these things together… ah… no. Simple though they may look, they are each the result of a *lot* of work, often based on reports that I gathered ten, fifteen years ago hoping to *someday* find some use for.


Please consider signing up to become a patron. For a pittance per month, you get all kinds of aerospace history goodies.


 Posted by at 5:42 pm
Feb 032015

Russia May Slap Germany With A $4.5 Trillion Lawsuit For Nazi Atrocities

Yeah. That’ll work.

If you want some damned entertaining reading, take a look here:


If’n you don’t read Russian, Chrome will auto-translate, or you could use Google translation. But in short, some Russian politicians are trying this tactic not because they think they’ll actually get a dime out of Germany, but because they’re pissy that Germany is levying sanctions on Russia for is war of conquest in Ukraine.

Can’t wait until the Poles, Finns, Czechs, Hungarians, etc. line up their lawyers to sue Russia for the nightmares the USSR inflicted on ‘em.

 Posted by at 2:56 pm
Feb 012015

Fourth-grader suspended after using magic from ‘The Hobbit’

Little kid saw “The Hobbit,” brought a ring to school and told another kid that said ring could make said other kid “disappear.” SUSPENDED!

the principal said threats to another child’s safety would not be tolerated – whether magical or not.


Anybody else here old enough to remember when “imagination” wasn’t considered something to be *entirely* stamped out in school?

People freaking out about kids using “magic” makes as much sense as people refusing to vaccinate their kids… and should be met with the same response: if you are afraid of vaccinations or magic, you don’t have to send you kid to school. In fact… you’re not allowed to. Go wipe out your *own* gene pool, leave everybody else out of your stupidity.

 Posted by at 2:50 pm
Jan 302015

Russia may declare 1990 reunification illegal

Sergei Naryshkin, speaker of Russian parliament’s lower house, on Wednesday ordered legislators to consider an appeal from a Communist Party deputy to denounce the reunification of Germany as an illegal land grab of East Germany by its western neighbour.



 Posted by at 12:13 am
Jan 292015

Pitbull-Dachshund mix with tiny feet and a huge head sparks adoption frenzy

Don’t even try to figure out how it makes sense, everything about him is perfect. Just appreciate his cute little feet and his ginormous adorable head.

“Perfect.” “Cute.” “Adorable.” What is the critter that merits these descriptors?


Now, this may be a perfectly cromulent little entity… but it is nevertheless the result of Breeding Gone Wrong.

 Posted by at 11:18 pm
Jan 282015

Sky Sharks (2017)

A team of Arctic geologists stumble across an abandoned laboratory in which the Nazis developed an incredible and brutal secret weapon during the final months of WW2. Deep in the ice, they accidentally awake a deadly army of flying zombie sharks ridden by genetically mutated, undead super-humans, who are unleashed into the skies, wreaking their bloodthirsty revenge on any aircraft that takes to the air. An elite task force is assembled to take on this deadly threat and stop the Sky Sharks from conquering the air, but as time runs out, the task force realizes they will have to fight fire with fire, and the stage is set for the greatest flying super-mutant zombie shark air battle the world has ever seen…

Sure. Why not.


 Posted by at 1:29 pm
Jan 252015

So a New Jersey high school physics teacher confiscates a cell phone from a student during class. Guess what happens next. Go on, guess.

Much to my surprise, it seems Lil’ Dickens here is actually facing consequences: he’s been suspended and is facing third-degree aggravated assault charges.

Sixteen is old enough to know better. Sixteen is old enough to face the consequences. Sixteen is old enough to be *permanently* removed from taxpayer funded public education. Horrible jackholes like this have no place in a classroom.

I like this line:

a disciplinary hearing will determine “an appropriate, educational placement” for the rest of the school year.

I have some suggestions:

You know where he *doesn’t* belong? In civilized society.

 Posted by at 2:38 pm