Dec 312011

Sometimes people just do insist upon flaunting what they got that I ain’t.

What the world clearly needs is an Occupy The Airfields movement that can redistribute an airplane my way.

 Posted by at 9:27 pm
Dec 312011

I found a stash of Aerospace Project Review issues from the original run. There may be a few more floating around, but not many and no more have been produced since these came out prior to 2005 or so. I found:

One (1) copy of issue V5N1, covering the Republic XF-103 and the Boeing Advanced Multipurpose Large Launch Vehicle. $10 plus postage.

Nine (9) One copy of issue V5N5, covering the Convair NX-2, the Spacejet concept, the Martin Model 262 VTOL fighter, Mach 3-4 supersonic transport, and a number of high speed rotorcraft. $10 each plus postage.

Seven (7) copy of issue V5N6, covering German WWII space efforts, X-Wing aircraft designs, Boeing WS-110A concepts and Dash-On-Warning designs. $20 each plus postage.

If you are interested in any or all of these, just comment your interest below. If you want 2 issues, it’s 10% off; if you want 3 or more, it’s 15% off.  You can get all of them, if you comment in time…

US orders will ship via Media Mail.

 Posted by at 7:30 pm
Dec 312011

Boeing is unsurprisingly interested in expanding the utilization of their X-37 program. One concept that has been studied is the X-37C, which is a 165% scaleup of the X-37B designed for cargo and passenger transport to and from the ISS. It would be launched as a payload atop something like the Lockheed Martin Atlas V.

As a passenger transport, it could carry up to seven crewmembers.  This would make it an adequate replacement for the Space Shuttle which could, in theory, transport fifty or more (using a payload bay passenger module) but never carried more than 7. As a cargo carrier, it would be of minimal value; the Atlas V launch vehicle could transport a far larger payload sans X-37C.

 Posted by at 4:00 am
Dec 312011

Mars visitors Basiago and Stillings confirm Barack Obama traveled to Mars

Two former participants in the CIA’s Mars visitation program of the early 1980’s have confirmed that U.S. President Barack H. Obama was enrolled in their Mars training class in 1980 and was among the young Americans from the program who they later encountered on the Martian surface after reaching Mars via “jump room.”

Hard to tell satire from crazy these days.

 Posted by at 3:27 am
Dec 292011

In the 1970’s Martin Marietta hoped to follow up the X-24A and X-24B with the X-24C. Vaguely similar to the X-24B in shape, it would be an all-new rocket powered hypersonic lifting body research vehicle. Air launched from under the wing of a B-52, the X-24C could be equipped with a number of experimental modules, including internal weapons bays (to test the dynamics of weapon ejection at hypersonic speeds) to scramjet engines.

Lockheed studied a very similar series of vehicles, also (unofficially) calling them “X-24C.” None were built.

 Posted by at 11:27 pm
Dec 292011


Brainless and faceless fish discovered

It has a spinal cord, but no distinct brain.  Its need for thinkin’-smarts is probably pretty minimal, but it does demonstrate that the brain is not necessarily the required organ that people generally expect. Alien biology that is otherwise similar to terrestrial might develop advanced beings that have their brains distributed throughout their bodies, or contained within skeletal elements such as a thickened spinal column, or something else. Seems to me that a distinct brain, in a nicely compact roughly spherical form, would be the design most capable of fast and efficient thinking… but who says that thinking as fast as we do on Earth is necessary everywhere?

See photos of this rather primitive critter here:

 Posted by at 7:24 pm
Dec 292011

US Army unveils 1.8 gigapixel camera helicopter drone

Neat! The camera would have 147 times the resolution of my Nikon D5000. If it has the same aspect ratio as my camera, it would produce images 52,056X34,574 pixels. If printed out at 300 DPI, it would make a poster  173X115 inches (4.4X2.9 meters for those of you who are dependent upon the metric system) in size.

Yowza. Somehow I suspect that I could neither afford nor comfortably *carry* this camera. But in ten years… who knows. The 2021 equivalent of a disposable cel phone might well have a sensor with more resolution than this (married, no doubt, to rather crappy optics… sure, the pictures suck, but at least they’re big).

The carrier aircraft will be the Boeing A160 Hummingbird unmanned helicopter.

 Posted by at 7:09 pm
Dec 292011

A few years ago, the anti-whaling activist group “Sea Shepherd” got themselves a highly advanced carbon-fiber boat that looked like something out of science fiction. They promptly decided to run it under the bow of a *steel*-hulled Japanese whaling boat… and discovered that carbon fiber is the wrong thing to make a demolition derby vehicle out of. It sank, taking a whole lot of investment to the bottom of the Pacific.

So, they got themselves an even bigger boat, built along similar lines. Instead of carbon fiber, it was made from fiberglass.

It just got whacked by a rogue wave. And guess what: it turns out fiberglass is the wrong thing to make a vehicle out of if you are going to slam a mountain of water into it. One of the pontoons is “severely damaged” and the hull is cracked, and the crack is widening. The other Sea Shepherd ships are 20 hours away from a rescue.

Sea Shepherd anti-whaling ship severely damaged by wave

Stupid hippies.

This is one of those situations, like the Iran-Iraq war, where you want *both* sides to lose. The Japanese really need to stop whaling, and their claims that they are doing so for “scientific research” are obvious bullcrap. But Sea Shepherd… ye gods. They get themselves a pile of money, and what do they do with it? Instead of spending it on a *good* ship, they buy a *cool* ship, apparently thinking that the unusual lines of the vessel will intimidate the Japanese. Look, dude, these are *Japanese.* They thought it would be a neat idea to weld themselves into hastily constructed solid-rocket-powered flying bombs. They built a nuclear reactor on a fault line near a coast known for tsunamis. They’ve been attacked by Godzilla dozens of times. They eat sea creatures that *sharks* would turn their noses up at. They think tentacle porn is awesome. So the likelihood that Japanese whalers are going to be intimidated by an easily shattered Klingon Battlecruiser on pontoons is patently ludicrous.

 Posted by at 10:24 am
Dec 292011

In 2008, one Hiroyuki Joho decided to cross the train tacks at the Chicago Metra station… without paying sufficient attention to his surroundings. He got clocked by an Amtrac train going about 70 miles per hour. Apparently he asploded; a big chunk of him flew a hundred feet, where that chunk plowed into one Gayane Zokhrabov, breaking her leg and wrist and injuring her shoulder.

It should go without saying that Mr. Joho is deceased.

But being dead does not stop lawsuits. So, Mr. Joho’s estate is being sued for damages. That’ll teach him.

 Posted by at 9:58 am
Dec 292011

So, the Egyptian protestors changed their government. What does that mean for the Egyptian tourism industry, an important part of the economy? Hmmm…

Will Islamist Politicians Hamper Egyptian Tourism?

Short form: the Muslim Brotherhood welcomes foreign tourists. A few details, though:

1) No booze

2) Sexually segregated beaches

3) No revealing beachwear

About 80% of Egypts tourists have been Europeans; 75% of the foreign tourists go to Egypt not for the pyramids and other “cultural” things, but for the beaches. So… a majority of the average foreign tourist to Egypt will find things different and unpleasant. The claim being made by the Muslim Brotherhood is that by making things more dull, bland and backwards, tourists from the Muslim world will come swarming in and replace the European infidels.


 Posted by at 9:43 am