Aug 312016

China and Ukraine agree to restart An-225 production

China will be building them based on the Ukrainian design, presumably with Chinese engines and equipment. The question is: why? What ginormous payloads do the Chinese think they’ll need modernized Mriyas for? The An-225 was designed to carry the Soviet “Buran” space shuttle orbiter on its back… *perhaps* the Chinese are thinking of doing the same thing. Feel free to speculate.

The article suggests the Chinese believe that the first of an unspecified number of new AN-225’s will fly in 2019… only three years away. That’ll be a neat trick, unless the Chinese have been working away at this for a while, or are going to work themselves to death to get it done, or are going to half-ass certain aspects of the process. I wouldn’t bet against any of those.

 Posted by at 3:45 pm
Aug 302016

In the previous installment I worked out what I think the diameter of the individual modules is on the very large Lockheed Space station in this piece of art:

At the time I devoted my efforts to diameter and just kinda half-assed the module length. Now behold, in this latest installment of Don’t You Have Anything Better To Do Theater as I work out the module length with greater precision and less guesswork, using image processing programs (specifically Paint Shop Pro) and CAD programs (specifically Rhino 3D).

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 3:15 pm
Aug 302016

News out of Germany:

Far-Right blamed as entrance to mosque in Germany bricked up

The small northern German town of Parchim has only 150 Muslims and no dedicated mosque, so they meet in a transformer station. But someone bricked-up the entrance to said “mosque” with cinderblocks, and added a number of flyers explaining why. Terrible, just terrible. I mean, look at this:

Whatever happened to craftsmanship? To taking pride in doing a quality job? For the love of God, Montressor, learn basic bricklaying.

The fliers included things like quotes from Turkish president Erdogan: “The mosques are our barracks, the minarets our bayonets, the faithful our soldiers”. Left unexplored in the article is *why* the “far right” might take issue with sentiments such as that.

 Posted by at 11:41 am
Aug 292016

Military hardware design programs often have code names that are random or nearly so, so you can’t figure out what they are if you overhear them. Concepts like “Have Blue” or “Copper Canyon” or “Science Dawn” or even “Silver Bug” are pretty opaque. But every now and then there are concepts like Avro Canada’s 1960 idea for a truck capable of carrying and launching two Minuteman ICBMs: “Big Wheel.” For once, the name matched the product.


One wonders what sort of career these might have had in the Monster Truck circuit after they became obsolete.

This is a document I scored off ebay a little while back; it arrived and I’ve scanned it and will include it in the very next APR Patreon catalog. If you’d like a copy, a monthly contribution of as little as $4 will get you the full-rez 300 dpi scan of each months reward documents and diagrams… currently, three documents, one large-format diagram or piece of artwork. That’s a buck an item. Give the APR Patreon a look.

bigwheel layout

 Posted by at 7:26 pm
Aug 292016

Some hours ago, when it was only slightly after midnight, I went outside to check on some things and noticed that the air was *really* dusty. I noticed this artistic imprint in the dust on the back window of my car:

WP_20160828_025 WP_20160828_024

It’s now just about 5:30 AM, the cars are starting to zip by carrying people to their jobs. Let it never be said that I don’t put in the hours to get my work done. But I suspect it might be about time to crash.

 Posted by at 5:26 am