At Defcon 2 or higher, meaning that nuclear war was the next step, or that an attack was imminent, the Looking Glass pilots were required to wear an eye patch over one eye. If a nuclear explosion took place near enough to blind them with the flash, then they still had one good eye to fly the plane.
Many years ago, an older lady told me about her husband having been present for the first and last underwater nuclear tests as regular crew on a Navy ship. For the first test, everybody was ordered to go up on deck and stand facing the detonation. For the last, everybody was ordered to go up on deck and stand facing away from the detonation. That was the only difference for him.
The unarmed Turbinlite aircraft illuminated enemy bombers so they could be attacked by other aircraft.
Well, that was the goal anyway. My (mis)understanding is that there were several attrition losses during the tricky co-ordination of the Havoc and the night fighters, but actual shootdowns consisted of one Heinkel 111 and one friendly fire incident at the expense of a homeward-bound Shorts Stirling (fortunately the latter made a good landing, supposedly followed by a frank and open exchange of views between its crew and their tormentors).
The experiment was pursued enthusiastically but briefly, retired in favor of better radars that could be carried by a night fighter.
@ttyymmnn Eastern Airlines is another one of those zombie trademarks that's been shuffled around and revived a few times, not as badly as Pan Am, but, still.
There was a new Eastern Airlines that operated as a division of Swift Air from 2015-2017 as a charter airline, using the same logo and livery as the original, then another Eastern Airlines in operation from 2018-present as a rebranding of the former Dynamic Airways International, in which Swift Air was the controlling shareholder. They're a small, scheduled low cost carrier primarily serving a few Caribbean destinations, and also added cargo services in 2021 under the Eastern Air Cargo name, and use a totally new livery and logo.
@CB I mean that's mostly right. There were some helicopters zipping around at the end of WWII, but they were slow, short ranged, couldn't carry much, and were fragile even from a helicopter perspective. By the Korean War, you had some helicopters that were more useful, but it wasn't really until the age of jet turbine powered helicopters in the 60s that they became practical for a broad range of roles. The definitive helicopter, the UH-1 (Iroquois officially, and Huey to the populace) first flew in 1956, but wasn't operational until 1959.
@BaconSandwich Well you have torpedoes obviously. I suspect in the air, travelling at supersonic speeds generates enough noise that hearing nearby targets becomes impossible. And of course you certainly can't do any sort of active sonar (echolocation) at supersonic speeds since you'd fly past your pings before they even reached the taarget.
the first jet-powered presidential aircraft, with tail number SAM (Special Air Mission) 26000 and SAM 27000.
SAM970 (pictured!) would disagree with that statement.
SAM970/971/972 were not officially reserved exclusively for presidential travel like later Air Force Ones, but they were purchased and outfitted with the intention that would be Ike's and later presidents' travel, and served in that role.
Ike took advantage of his new jets with a trip to West Germany, the UK, and France in late August/early September 1959, followed by an 11 nation trip through Europe, Asia and North Africa in December. He flew to South America, Europe, and East Asia the following year.
Backed by the power of jets, he visited roughly three times as many countries in his last two years as he did in his first six, and at much greater distances (his only previous destinations outside of North America as President were Switzerland and France, though he had also visited South Korea as President-Elect).
@Ad-absurdum-per-aspera also, they had a several decades long package deal, where if you sailed one way on Queen Elizabeth 2 at full price, you could return on Concorde at half price, I guess the Soviets could have done the same thing by twinning the Tu-144 with Aleksandr Pushkin, but I'm not sure there would have been enough takers
@ttyymmnn it wasn't a catapult, there was no propulsive assistance other than some from gravity, as it was somewhat downhill (as downhill as they could get on a fairly flat area). It was a wooden cradle mounted to a dolly that rode along a wooden rail. The Brazilian claim is because the Wright Flyer required some fixed infrastructure on the ground to do it's take off roll, but that's kind of an arbitrary definition of an aircraft, if you ask me.
At one point, the Germans were really sensitive about pointing out that Count von Zeppelin achieved controlled, powered flight in 1900, but hydrogen assistance means that doesn't count
They believed that the problems of aerodynamic wings and sufficiently powerful engines were surmountable, and they focused on developing a system of control that would govern movement of the airplane in three axes of flight: roll, pitch and yaw.
And they had a wind tunnel to test different airfoil shapes and the effects and control of the three axes. Here is a replica.
At the time there were other wanna be aviators trying to get there first. Not sure how many others took as serious an engineering approach as did the Wrights. I believe they flew first because they were the first to use an aeronautical engineering approach.
@ttyymmnn That was a great read! I actually saw an RAF A400M a week ago. Well, i heard it but England had to be covered in thick clouds. I checked on flight radar and it flew right over my school and was only 4000ft above the ground. Very cool but very disappointed!
@ttyymmnn Yes, double mamba driving counter-rotating props through a single - presumably absurdly complicated - gearbox. Crazy design. Apparently it was in aid of being able to improve loitering time by shutting down one turbine and feathering one prop, without suffering the control asymmetry of a conventional twin setup.
Another reason for bombing at 5000 feet was that it allowed better cooling for the fire prone B29 engines. At that point, they were commonly losing planes to engine fires. In fact the joke was that Curtiss Wright killed more bomber pilots than the Japanese......
@ttyymmnn XP980 was restored to her unpainted test markings before being remanded to the Fleet Air Arm museum, which I like:
24/02/1963 - first flight at Dunsfold
16/11/1963 - made a heavy landing
25/11/1963 - flew again following repairs
11/02/1965 - to Bircham Newton 10/03/1965 - to Dunsfold via RAF West Raynham
14/07/1965 - grounded
30/12/1965 - next recorded flight
27/01/1966 - last flight from Dunsfold To A&AEE for trials, damaged during practice forced landing, used for spares recovery
1970 - moved to Tarrant Rushton
03/1970 - used by Flight Refuelling as ground experimental vehicle/barrier trials
03/1971 - wing returned to Boscombe Down, replaced with wing from Harrier GR1 XV751 1972 - to RAE Bedford for pilotless crash barrier trials
09/1973 - to 71MU at RAF Bicester for conversion to display exhibit (not carried out) * ?/?/? - to RAF Gaydon for grounds handling training
06/11/1974 - to Bitteswell
08/1975 - to RAE Bedford for Sea Harrier restraining hook trials
08/1977 - to Tarrant Rushton for Drone braking tests as part of the Sea Vixen D3 programme
09/10/1980 - to School of Aircraft Handling at RNAS Culdrose for dummy deck training and allocated A2700 with engine E4754
1981 - repainted to look like a Sea Harrier
09/03/1989 - moved to FAAM to be part of VSTOL Exhibition 13/11/1999 - moved to the Cobham Hall store
On display in FAA Museum in Hall 4/Leading Edge Exhibition
@ttyymmnn Fun fact: Albuquerque's general aviation airport is named Double Eagle. The Abruzzo family has long been based in Albuquerque, and were of course instrumental in the history of ballooning and the ABQ International Balloon Festival.
It always tripped me out how the early carrier jets landed with their canopy open. Of course, were were not at all far removed from WWII, when canopies were left open to make it easier to get out in case of an accident or water landing. These were still the days before reliable of zero-zero ejection seats.
@ttyymmnn I can't imagine the coal mine is going to last much longer without significant reimagining (it was closed for some sort of renovation when I was there a year ago). It's is certainly too "rah rah coal!" given what we now know about climate change, and probably not very representative of how a modern coal mine works either. The museum does seem to have a lot of space that isn't actually open to public and while that may be closed collections and offices, it suggests they do have room to modernize exhibits as they need to.
The Obama Library is going up a few blocks south, so when that opens, it will probably help draw additional tourists down to MSI as well.
@ttyymmnn -- The 777x is going to win in the medium to long term simply by virtue of being alone in that space with A380 production over. In the short term, though... yeah, that job is a lot easier for a keyboard CEO like me than the real thing. Lots of fine calculations in a low margin business that has a number of externalities beyond your control and it still comes down to a gamble.
One of the factors is probably customer expectations of frequency in various areas.
The most surprising thing I saw last night was an A340, which I'd thought was pretty much gone from passenger service. Edelweiss was employing it for those who want to see the Seychelles by the SEZshore. They bought a fifth one from Swiss just this year. So there's a whole airline I'd never thought of, which (in a complicated relationship with Swiss, under the corporate umbrella of Lufthansa) seems to mostly take holiday-makers to places that have substantially nicer winters than Central Europe.
The point, I guess, is that you can make money with unlikely things if you know your market and find the right market niche (and, I guess, lose money with seemingly safe choices if you blow either of those things...)
Yes, I remember the story. It was all over the news here in Atlanta, as the destination. One of the passengers described the event and that one of the flight attendants came running aft assuring everyone, its okay, its okay, and the passengers replying no, no it's not.
If I recall correctly the two fatalities were 2 of 3 in that row from the same family. The surviving family member had to witness / participate in the tragic event.
@ttyymmnn -- Indeed, it seems to have more in common with Convair's contemporary fighters than with anything the US had tried to use as a strategic bomber. Tricky to fly, too. I recall reading somewhere that its pilots went through fighter lead-in training to accustom themselves to supersonic work, high approach and landing speeds, and a "hot" airplane in general.
There were two other crew and they were busy. Shoveling fuel back and forth to achieve the desired center of gravity, which was quite a bit different for subsonic and supersonic flight, was among the chores whose automation was not entirely reliably automated.
It used a lot of fuel, too, and even with an unusually good ratio of dry weight to maximum takeoff weight, it could only carry so much of the stuff. By this time SAC had a growing KC-135 fleet, but even so, B-58's staging to forward bases would have been a sign to have a bug-out plan and keep your fingers crossed about favorable mutations.
Was there any interest in changing the [Brabazon] design to accommodate row upon row of seats?
Apparently not. Would there even have been that much demand for what would have been essentially a jumbo jet in that era?
It's an interesting what-if. I'd guess that demand might have become sufficient to fill that many seats as transatlantic aviation came of age in the slightly postwar era. However, I further speculate that such a plane was ahead of the engine technology of the day (see also Convair's dreams of a passenger version of the XC-99, or the military airlifter version for that matter, which was based on the general idea of the B-36).
The right number of engines and right size of airframe that would bring pressurized comfort (though not dining rooms) to that market turned out to be the DC-6 and the Connie, and Bristol's turboprop Britannia.
I read it again too. I've been to that show at Fort Worth Alliance. It's a great show, and I think I may have seen a P-3 there. I think our years living in Norfolk have given me an affinity for Naval aviation.
I don't know the exact quote, but I understand that Truman once said that he didn't care who got credit as long as things got done. Letting Nimitz get credit in Japan and Marshall in Europe went a long way to quickly rebuilding economies while keeping egos from getting in the way. That concept seemed to finally hit a wall with MacArthur.