Feb 202018
 

From Those Were The Days… currently on eBay is a truly impressive piece:

Douglas Aircraft Co 1960’s Skeletal Wood Model of the C-5 Cargo Proposal LARGE

The Buy-It-Now price is a substantial fifteen grand. It shows the internal structure of the Douglas proposal of the CX-HLS, what became the C-5, at fairly large scale. More pics after the break.

Computer graphics are great. But they would not compare to seeing something like this set up as part of a sales display. Of course, you can’t exactly email this thing as a PDF…

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:38 pm
Feb 182018
 

A few decades before the “X-Wing” configuration gained a measure of popularity, Hughes Tool Company made a detailed study of a somewhat similar concept, the “rotor/wing.” This was a three-bladed helicopter rotor attached to a large central lifting surface, either a circular disk or a triangular structure. The rotor was not turned the conventional way with a turbine engine turning a drive shaft, but instead the engine exhaust was ducted through the center and then out to nozzles at the tips of the rotors. Jet thrust would spin the rotors without transmitting torque to the rest of the vehicles; as a consequence only a small tail rotor would be needed, just powerful enough to orient the craft at low airspeeds.

A few configurations were produced, most of which looking much the same. Probably the most well known configuration was shown in US VTOL Projects 01. Shown below is a lesser-known configuration designed for anti-submarine use. Normally the configurations included the turbojet engines within the upper fuselage, close to the hub of the rotor, but this one rather bizarrely put the engines on the tail. No obvious means of ducting the exhaust to the rotor is evident, so presumably a third (or even fourth) engine was tucked into the fuselage somewhere.

 

 Posted by at 1:24 am
Feb 172018
 

There are two things at work here:

  1. Toys have in general improved in artistic quality and detail
  2. The target audience back in the day was 10. The target audience remains the same people, who have grown older and generally more wealthy in the intervening decades.

The Vintage Collection Jabba’s Sail Barge (The Khetanna)

Hasbro has set up their own form of Kickstarter. If they can get 5,000 people willing to pony up $500, they will produce this “toy” of the Sail Barge slight over *49* inches in length. If they don’t reach the goal, those who signed up won’t be charged. As with Kickstarter, this seems like a fair way to test the market for something that could either be a winner or a disaster.

I’ve never been a big fan of the Sail Barge, but I hope they do well. If this works, it seems like they might go to the next obvious step and do a proper scale version of the Millennium Falcon. And if that works… a Star Destroyer. That would only be, what, 293 feet long.

Back when Star Wars came out, *I* was the exact target audience and boy howdy did I want one of the die cast Star Destroyers. And man, those original toys were *garbage* compared to what they’re able to produce today.

 

 

 Posted by at 6:12 pm
Feb 152018
 

If you just so happen to look like a world-famous national leader, go ahead and make of it what you will. If you can parlay it into a source of income… lucky you. If you happen to look like a dictator, though, you might give the idea a bit more thought before you go out of your way to look even more like your doppleganger. And more thought still before going to the Olympics and getting in front of said dictators cheerleaders.

Still, as trolling goes this is fairly epic.

This Fake Kim Jong Un Got An Icy Reception From North Korean Cheerleaders

N.Korea cheerleaders’ reaction to Kim Jong Un impersonator http://ift.tt/2EJg1XK 

 

Apparently it’s illegal in North Korea to impersonate Dear Leader. Who knew?

 Posted by at 5:48 pm
Feb 072018
 

Let me know when those who are fighting against the cis white supremacist patriarchal system of engineering can come up with something like this:

Watching those two boosters plummet from the sky and dual land like that? That’s some sci-fi sh!t, right there.

EDIT: And then there’s this one, shot from the ULA Delta IV launch pad at SLC-37. I believe you can see the Apollo 1 launch table in the foreground, which I’ve been to and highly recommend in much the same way I recommend the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in D.C. This video has some subtle sounds that are interesting and important, so crank up the volume to 11.

 

 

 Posted by at 9:45 am
Feb 062018
 

Here’s a shorter video, cropped for your booster-landing pleasure:

And because why not, here’s some recent test flight footage of the Bell V-280 Valor tilt-rotor, complete with some curious blurring of the nacelles for some mysterious reason:

And lest y’all think I’m unfairly focusing too much attention on American achievements today… here’s a map of Europe.

 Posted by at 5:07 pm
Feb 062018
 

SpaceX is currently livestreaming a series of videos being beamed back from the roadster, heading off into space. It’s already a good distance from Earth, with the result being some damn fine images. I do wonder how long this will last. It’s already far further away than I would have thought possible with a  meager GoPro transmitter that they usually use on space launches. Is it battery powered? Does it have solar panels? it would be really interesting to check back in on the roadster every few months to see what the rigors of spaceflight do the the paint and bodywork. Eventually you’d probably see the windshield get pitted, maybe even blown out in meteoroid impacts; the paint trashed by UV and thermal cycling, plastic, fiberglass, rubber, carbon fiber bits turning to mush and fluff.

 

 

 Posted by at 3:39 pm
Feb 042018
 

All I know about the “Black Panther” Marvel property is… shrug. Dunno. Some guy in a magic black suit, leads a high tech nation somewhere in Africa that has somehow gone undetected due to… a cloaking device, or something? Whatever. I’ve seen lots of yapping about how great the movie will be and how evil white folks shouldn’t go on the opening day, rather leaving open all the seats for the masses of black comic book fans who will surely go in record numbers. Eh. Whatever.

But this guy makes the argument that the fundamental features and position of the “Black Panther” character fall directly in line with alt-right positions, such as migrant-free ethno-states, a determination to maintain cultures, borders and gender roles, and so on. Should be interesting to see if that holds in the movie, and, if so, how it gains traction in the current culture.

 Posted by at 7:09 pm