Apr 302013

The 747 was reportedly carrying armored vehicles. It looks likely that one of them broke loose in the hold, and rolled aft, sending the CG of the aircraft unrecoverably far aft. The 747 pitches almost straight up, wallows drunkenly, then pitches forward and rolls. Presumably the loose armored vehicle rolled forward, which allow the pilot to regain some measure of control… far too late to do anything. There is one NSFW utterance… and *only* one. I would have used more, but that’s just me.

Cargo cutting loose on takeoff is pretty much a cargomasters worst nightmare. This video points out why.

[youtube uIjO0sKBDDw]

 Posted by at 8:29 pm
Apr 302013

Test runs of vellum cyanotype blueprinting using 18X24 sheets. V-2 overview and V-2 engine. These are *almost* exactly what a vintage blueprint would look and feel like. They are not perfectly flat… but then, I’ve never encountered a vintage blueprint that was actually flat. The vast majority I’ve seen were actually folded; these were rolled.

v-2 blueprint 3 v-2 blueprint 2 v-2 blueprint 1 v-2 chamber blueprint 2 v-2 chamber blueprint 1

 Posted by at 6:19 pm
Apr 302013

28,000 Rivers Disappeared in China: What Happened?

In short:

1) How do you define a river? If the definition changes, then how many rivers you have can change

2) Climate change… less rain/snow = less water to fill rivers, so some will simply go away (or be defined down to creeks or streams or some such)

3) Rather importantly… China’s rampant industrial growth is drinking down whole rivers and turning them into crappy consumer products, smog and steam.

 Posted by at 3:27 pm
Apr 292013

A 1959 Bell Aerospace design for a Tri Service (Army, Marines, USAF) VTOL troop transport using vectorable ducted fans. This obviously led to the X-22 design. The fuselage was much like that of transport helicopters like the Chinook, boxy and unaerodynamic, but the propulsion system would provide considerably higher forward velocity.

A chart of Bell VTOL designs is HERE.

 Posted by at 8:18 pm
Apr 292013

And it went supersonic:

First powered flight success for SpaceShipTwo



XCOR Congratulates Virgin Galactic on First Powered Flight of SpaceShipTwo

XCOR Aerospace sends our warmest and heartfelt congratulations to our friends and colleagues at Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites on their successful first powered flight of the SpaceshipTwo (SS2) suborbital space plane.

We applaud their exceptional team on taking the next step in the greatest journey the human race has ever known.  We look forward to meeting them there, above the clouds, where the adventure has only just begun.

 Posted by at 6:47 pm
Apr 272013

Back in grade school there was a book that I was fond of… that I’ve been looking for ever since. It was, I’m pretty sure, a NASA publication from the early 1960’s on building model spacecraft and launch vehicles. One of the models was this early “Nova” design:

Does anyone know what book I’m referring to?

 Posted by at 6:05 pm
Apr 272013

I just ran both of the 1/72 Saturn V cyanotypes. I can now confirm that even though there was some discontinuity in the paper, making dye absorption a bit uneven, the process works, the frame works, an the results are pretty spectacular. I can also confirm that in both runs, I put the friggen transparency in upside down, producing mirror images of the blueprints. Aaaarrrrrrgh.



 Posted by at 10:30 am
Apr 272013

Yesterday news broke that a chunk of jetliner landing gear had been found wedged between two buildings in lower Manhattan. Today speculation has arisen that the landing gear didn’t just land there, but in fact was hidden there; it’s in an unlikely location, and apparently still has rope wrapped around part of it. But why would it have been hidden there? Well, consider the location: it was wedged between 51 Park Place and 50 Murray Street. “51 Park Place” might be better known as the “Ground Zero Mosque.”

The more political-correctness-mined have complained about the monicker “Ground Zero Mosque.” Tellingly, the original name was “Cordoba House.” The Caliphate of Cordoba was the name of the portion of Christian Spain that Muslim invaders conquered a thousand years ago. Cordoba House was named after the Caliphate; the planers claimed that this was because Cordoba was an example of peaceful co-existence among religions, but other have pointed out that that Cordoba is a symbol of Muslim conquest of and domination over other religions. And “Ground Zero,” despite the protestations of many, is a perfectly valid description… 51 Park Place wasn’t simply in the vicinity of the 9/11 attack, it actually *was* part of ground zero. According to Wiki:

During the attacks, the then-five-story building at 45–47 Park Place, between West Broadway and Church Street, was severely damaged. When United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center, part of the plane’s landing gear, engine and fuselage came out the north side of the tower and crashed through the roof of 45–47 Park Place, and through two of its floors. The plane parts destroyed three floor beams, and severely compromised the building’s internal structure.

If the building not only got struck by airplane parts but got substantially *trashed* by airplane parts, it seems reasonable to conclude that the building was an important part of the event.

So, why might the landing gear have been hidden? Speculating… if the landing gear was discovered a few years after 9/11, when the Ground Zero Islamic Victory Celebration Mega Mosque was causing a public ruckus, having the discovery made public would have been bad PR. Better to simply make it disappear.

 Posted by at 9:40 am