Jun 302009

For issue V2N5 of Aerospace Projects Review, I am going to run a companion article to Dennis Jenkins’ piece on the Convair Aerospaceplane design. The new article will describe a number of the competing designs, including but not limited to:

Lockheed CL-510

Boeing Model 832/879

Douglas Model 2235

Martin Astroplane

Republic Mach 25

I have drawings galore to illustrate this article, and I will be creating new line drawings as well. But I have nothing really “eye catching.” I haven’t the skills to create good color art, but a lot of other people do… so I’m looking for help here. The best I can do is offer a year’s subscription to APR, along with the eternal glory and possible job offers that may come from having your art published in APR. So if you think you’d like to create artwork (at a minimum, same-scale side views of the above-mentioned six concepts; possibly also isometrics, perspective views, beauty passes, etc.), please send a sample of your previous work to this email address:

Assuming a number of prospective artists sign up (and hey, who wouldn’t?), in a week or so I’ll pick a few of the most promising, and send one the ASP concepts along to see what you can do. And some time after that I’ll boil it down to one or two winners. The winners will have seveal months to complete the art.

 Posted by at 4:25 pm
Jun 302009

Well, so much for that… Yesterday I went down to Ogden and cleaned out my failed bid at income.

Omens only mean something when they come as a surprise. Omens of doom when you’re fully aware that doom is immanent just don’t have the impact. Nevertheless, yesterday as I was leaving town, heading towards Ogden, I noticed that the local emergency departments were going bonkers… police cars, fire trucks and ambulances heading every which way at high speed. Got a few miles south on I-15, and I saw where they were all congregating:


This was the only meaningful photo I took of the incident… photograpy while driving ain’t exactly the safest thing in the world. But as I passed, I couldn’t tell what all the hubbub was about… lots of emergency vehicles, but no wrecks. Finally, *just* as I was passing through, I caught a hint of the source of the trouble: just barely visible off the road to the right was the roof of a large RV. Apparently an RV had gone off the road, and the “ditch” was rather deep (at least 13 or so feet). Judging from the flotsam at the side of the road in the photo above, i’d guess that the RV and another vehicle tangled and went off the side.

 Posted by at 2:10 pm
Jun 302009

I don’t know why in hell it does this, but every now and then the blog software decides that it doesn’t want to allow commenting. I just found that bunch of posts (all of them, apparently) have had commenting disabled. And unfortunately, the only way to re-enable commenting seems to be to do so for each and every post, one at a time. If anyone knows how to to a “blanket allow commenting,” I’d appreciate the info….

UPDATE: Seem it also changed things – without my prompting – so that anyone who wanted to comment had to log in. So, I changed that back. So, if someone could leave a comment and let me know that the system is now functional again…

 Posted by at 12:16 am
Jun 292009

After Meteor Crater were headed to the Grand Canyon (once again, loaded to the gills with German tourists). Can’t hardly go there and *not* take a shipload of photos, so here are a few. Got there in the afternoon, and a cloudy afternoon at that; that makes a mess of photography of places like this.
2009-05-31-pano-1.jpg 2009-05-31-pano-2.jpg  2009-05-31-pano-25.jpg  2009-05-31-pano-26.jpg  2009-05-31-pano-27.jpg


 Posted by at 11:59 pm
Jun 292009

An originally classified report produced at NASA-Ames described in general terms the sort of research vehicle that would be needed in support of the then-current ASP (AeroSpacePlane) program. ASP was a forward thinking but unfortunately far too technically difficult program to develop airbreathing single- or two-stage-to-orbit operational spaceplanes, or “orbital aircraft,” for military purposes. The same basic idea would arise again in the 1980s with the X-30 NASP. Much more on the ASP program and its competitors will be shown in APR issue V2N5 (still working on V2N4).

NASA-Ames envisioned a research aircraft using ACE (Air Cycle Engine) propulsion systems… basically rockets that use air compressed and ducted from an inlet. While initial testing would use turbojets and normal rockets for lower speed flight, by the end of the testing program it was planned to have a fully integrated ACE system. Coupled with external drop-tanks, it was expected that the performance capability of the research plane would be expanded to include orbital flight.

More on this design will be provided in APR V2N5.


 Posted by at 7:44 am
Jun 282009

From the Mail Online:

Parents warned to keep children indoors as Britain faces emergency heatwave warning

Parents were urged to keep babies and young children indoors this week as forecasters predicted temperatures to soar into the nineties.

The mercury could hit a high of 91F (33C) by the middle of the week – and temperatures are expected to remain a warm and sticky 64F (18C) at night.

Really? As high as the nineties? Wow. That’s… well, that’s not that high, really. Are they really freaking out over normal summertime temperatures? What’s next… panicking over keeping children out of the rain, because they might get wet? Making children wear goggles when handling Blu-Tack? Oh, wait….

 Posted by at 1:49 pm
Jun 282009


The shocking picture of a white boy aged 11 being ‘converted’ to Islam by radical preacher

<>OK, I give. What’s shocking here? Is it supposed to be shocking that white people convert to Islam? Or that children do so? Or is it the combo of white and child that makes this shocking? Cuz I’m looking at the photo, and the photo itself doesn’t seem to show anything shocking… the lil’ dumbass ain’t being smacked around or threatened, so far as I can tell.

 Posted by at 1:35 pm
Jun 282009

This could prove quite exciting. From the Sunday Express:

Technology at the time meant Neil Armstrong’s film, recorded using a special lunar camera, went through a series of processes, each of which marked a step down in quality before it hit people’s living rooms.

From the moon, the signal was beamed to the Earth’s closest tracking station at the Parkes Observatory in Australia where, along with other important data, it was recorded on to high-grade magnetic tapes.

From there, the raw images were downsized to American television resolutions by a special scanner in Sydney, heavily compressed so they could be transmitted live, and then relayed to the US via the Intelsat III satellite.

The final loss in quality came when Nasa made its US recording of the event-the one always seen in archive footage-by simply placing a 16mm film camera in front of a television monitor in the US.

However, it is the original magnetic tapes recorded back at the Parkes Observatory in Australia that contained the unadulterated and highest quality images.

To the later horror of researchers and scientists, it was those tapes that went missing.

But now, it seems, they’ve been found and will be shown to the public next month. Woo!

 Posted by at 1:25 pm