Feb 282018

This is… huh.

The video is nearly 2 years old, but the “EagleRay” started getting some press within the past few weeks.

What Do You Get When You Cross an Airplane With a Submarine?

It seems to be officially aimed at purposes such as wildlife studies. But it seems to me that it could serve a more… energetic purpose, especially if it had some way to lurk for days or weeks then spring into action at a moments notice.

 Posted by at 11:09 pm
Feb 282018

The L-2000 was Lockheed’s entrance into the mid-1960’s FAA contest to design and develop an American supersonic transport. The FAA wanted the US to have an SST substantially better than the Anglo-French Concorde, with up to 250 passengers and a cruise speed of up to Mach 3 (as fast as an SR-71). Interestingly, the Concorde was not expected to be a long0lived design, but rather was simply going to be the *first* SST, a technology demonstrator, a diplomatic endeavor between historic enemies Britain and France, a flying sales brochure for Angle-French industry. And the Tupolev Tu 144 was an attempt to put something, *anything*, into the air first.

In the end, the FAA selected the Boeing 2707 design, ending the L-2000. And after great promise was shown, politics killed the Boeing 2707, ending substantial forward progress in civil aviation. Since then, air flight has gotten cheaper and more efficient, but it has not gotten any faster… and it certainly hasn’t become more comfortable.

This artwork depicts an earlier configuration with a simpler, less elegant shape.

I’ve uploaded the full rez scans to the 2018-02 APR Extras Dropbox folder, available to all current APR Patrons at the $4 level and above. If you are interested in this and a great many other “extras” and monthly aerospace history rewards, please sign up for the APR Patreon. Chances are good that $4/month is far cheaper than your espresso/booze budget!


 Posted by at 10:06 pm
Feb 282018

An Airbus video showing some of the recent designs for autonomous VTOL “air taxis.” Airbus is seemingly pushing a Big Ol’ Quadcopter that carries a People Pod that can also drive around the ground on a separate Big Ol’ Roller Skate Thingie, while Ubr (called out in the video as Bell, but it’s from an Uber video) seems to have a mutant tiltrotor.

Interesting tech. I’ll be interested to see if it pans out… and if so, how long it takes the AI running the system to be declared racist because it’ll refuse to serve certain areas. Areas where whenever it goes it, if it makes it back out at all it does so covered in bullet holes, dents from hurled beer bottles, graffiti and garbage.

 Posted by at 9:35 pm
Feb 282018

The public opinion certainly seems to be that school shootings have become more prevalent in recent years, that schools are more dangerous places. Studies, however, indicate something quite a bit different. The major change, I think, isn’t that school shootings have become more common; rather, its that the media cover them more and social media allows them to be more “immediate.” A study by Northeastern University puts some numbers onto the subject:

Schools are safer than they were in the 90s, and school shootings are not more common than they used to be, researchers say

Things were *not* better during the years when the Clinton “Assault Weapons Ban” was in effect. Columbine, the sort of Ur-School-Shooting, was right smack in the middle of the AWB.

A related story from Northeastern U:

How did the media get the number of school shootings so wrong?

After the Parkland school shooting, the claim hit the press that already in 2018 there had been 18 school shootings in the US. But by any rational definition of “school shooting, there had been no such number. One was a kid who committed suicide in the bathroom. Another was an adult who shot himself in the parking lot of a school that had been shut down for seven months. At least two were shootings in the parking lot hours *after* school. Only eight of the eighteen “school shootings” actually involved injuries.

The author suggests that the cause underlying this sort of bad reporting is a desire to be First with the news coupled with laziness. This is undoubtedly true… but do not discount the importance of simply not giving a damn about the facts when it comes time to promote a political narrative.


 Posted by at 9:59 am
Feb 272018

Rewards have been issued to APR Patreon patrons for February, 2018. This month, the diagram is a 1/40 scale B-52B diagram. Normally the diagrams are sent out at full 300 dpi (with 125 dpi for the $1.25 patrons), but at 300 dpi the diagram is simply Way Too Big at over 40,000 pixels wide. Most image viewing programs will simply go “nope”and refuse to even try to display such images. so this month the image is sent out at 200 dpi (still slightly over 30,000 pixels wide), and 83 dpi for the $1.25 patrons. The 83 dpi version is also included for the higher level patrons for easier viewing.

Also: the documents this month include a United Aircraft paper on advanced future space propulsion systems as seen from 1969, and a January 1953 Douglas Aircraft design study for the DC-8. The CAD diagram this month is the Ganswindt Weltenfahrzeug… a truly terrible design for a spaceship from 1899. Terrible though it may be, it one of the first designs that is clearly in the Project Orion family tree…

If you are interested in helping to preserve (and get copies of) this sort of thing, consider signing up for the APR Patreon.



 Posted by at 2:36 pm
Feb 262018

House Democrats introduce bill prohibiting sale of semi-automatic weapons

The Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 will prohibit the sale, transfer, production, and importation of:

· Semi-automatic rifles and pistols with a military-style feature that can accept a detachable magazine;

· Semi-automatic rifles with a fixed magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds;

· Semi-automatic shotguns with a military-style feature;

· Any ammunition feeding device that can hold more than 10 rounds;

· And 205 specifically-named and listed firearms.


This would basically make everything more modern than a revolver eventually illegal, since “transfers” would be illegal. Which means you could not leave your pistol or hunting rifle to someone in your will.

This is the dream of the civilian enfeeblement movement: the eventual removal of the means of defense from all of the little people. Keep this in mind the next time someone lies to you and says “nobody wants to take your guns:” this bill may not make confiscation plain, but it makes it plain that theydon’t want to let people keep them.

 Posted by at 6:13 pm
Feb 262018

Looks interesting:


I may be wrong, but it sure seems like there has been a recent resurgence of WWII movies. *Specifically,* there seems to be a revival of interest in stories set in and around a Britain that is being threatened with a barbarous invasion, a Britain that is close to standing alone, going its own way, facing doom at the hands of a culture that threatens to swamp and erase it. In this particular case, there is the obvious connection with Eastern Europeans who are also not at all thrilled with the foreign invasion.


 Posted by at 1:04 pm