Pacific above, California below. (at San Diego, CA)
So… that was awesome.
I attempted to make a video of the experience but I couldn’t get the suction cup to stick to the window, so I gave up and decided to just live in the moment.
My flight instructor was in control during takeoff, but once we reached our cruising altitude (2,500 feet) I was in control. We were in the air about 35 minutes as I flew over my house, southeast towards Canandaigua Lake, then north up to the Erie Canal, turning west over Fairport, over my parent’s house (where I grew up), towards downtown Rochester, and then back southwest to the airport; he took over again for landing.
I’ve wanted to fly planes ever since I was a kid. I was only 6 years old when Top Gun and Iron Eagle were released. Sure, they’re both super campy with ridiculous cold war era plotlines but none of that mattered to a little kid; I just loved seeing those awesome jets flying around and blowing each other out of the sky. My best childhood friend moved away before the start of 6th grade. I never truly recovered, from a social perspective, and to this day I’m sure a big part of my social anxiety and introversion can be traced back to that event.
It was around that time when the first Gulf War started (just as I was entering middle school) and I was awed by the scenes unfolding on TV every night. I spent hundreds of hours through middle school and into high school building model airplanes. The smell of Testors model cement and paint will always conjure up great memories of time spent in the basement carefully airbrushing wings and missiles and gluing them together. When finished, they’d get strung up with fishing line and hung from my bedroom ceiling. The walls were emblazoned with posters of jets. I devoured aviation magazines and could rattle off facts and specs for dozens of famous military airplanes, both old and new. You could say I was a bit obsessed, and it was largely driven by the fact that I didn’t really have much of a social life. Rather than hanging out with other kids, I was building models and memorizing wingspans and airspeeds and learning the principals of flight.
As high school began, I very seriously envisioned myself enlisting in the Air Force upon graduation and pursing a career in military aviation; I I was frequently talking to recruiters in school (I don’t think local districts even allow recruiters to come into the buildings these days). Then during my junior year I got glasses and the recruiters basically gave me the bird and told me to get lost - anything less than perfect vision was unacceptable. That sucked, but in hindsight it was probably for the best. My obsession and dedication to aviation diminished as my talent and love for music grew, and now, rather than dropping bombs on foreign countries, I get to spend my time making music and posting poop jokes on the internet.. not a bad trade off, I guess.
Apparently 40º with snow showers is not ideal weather for learning to pilot a plane that’s smaller than most SUVs. We’ll try again the same time next Saturday and hope for better conditions.
SR-71 Blackbird (by Steelopus)
Sometimes I take photos.
I love the way this turned out. If you look at any particular point and de-focus your eyes a bit, the Blackbird almost completely disappears.
Is 700mph supersonic near sea level? They really go supersonic?
Negative, but it’s about as close as they can get. (As you know, there is all kinds of complicated math involved with calculating the speed of sound. It varies based on elevation and air conditions.)
I’m fairly certain that the FAA prohibits all supersonic flight in non-military controlled airspace.
Best. Desktop. Ever.
On August 20th 1944, 69 Boeing B-29 Superfortresses of XX Bomber Command were engaged by over a hundred Japanese Army and Navy fighters over Yawata. this was the seventh mission for the B-29s over Japanese soil.
This mission also saw the first instance of a ramming attack over Japan when Sgt Shigeo Nobe, flying a Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (屠龍, “Dragon Slayer”), sliced into the wing of B-29 “GERTRUDE C”, piloted by Lt. Col. Robert Clinkscales. The collision caused the bomber’s wing tank to explode - disintegrating both aircraft and hurling wreckage into the B-29 formation. Nobe and his gunner, Sgt Denzo Tagaki, were killed instantly.
There were no survivors from “GERTRUDE C”, which was named after Lt. Col. Clinkscales mother. Also aboard was “Sally”, his pet spaniel.
“CALAMITY SUE” was named after Capt. Stauffer’s baby, born just before the crew departed from America. Only three crew members survived - 2nd Lt. A. Charles Shott (Flight Engineer), 2nd Lt. Irving Newman (Navigator-Bombardier), and Staff Sgt. Walter Dansby (Radio Operator) bailed out and were captured. The peace declaration saved them from excecution.
(The co-pilot, 1st. Lt. James Wine, bailed out and evaded capture for eleven days. He was shot dead on the early morning of August 31st while attempting to steal a plane from Ashiya Airfield.)
The photograph above was developed from a camera found in the wreckage of the “CALAMITY SUE”, showing the moment of impact on the left.
The NASM Udvar-Hazy Center is fantastic, albeit extremely cramped. It makes it quite challenging to take photos in which your subject isn’t completely lost in the noise or doesn’t have background objects jutting out from all sides.
Photographic challenges aside, Concorde is truly one of the most beautiful machines humans have ever developed.
(Published manually, 21 hours late, because Tumblr’s queue is still completely unreliable.)
I love the way this turned out. If you look at any particular point and defocus a bit, the Blackbird almost completely disappears.
Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.
The most badass thing in this picture isn’t the multi-million dollar Cold War era variable-sweep winged monster.
Kate will kick your ass before breakfast just because you once made fun of civil war reenactments.
Shut ‘er down folks. This meme can get no better.
How would you like to look out the window of your tiny little Cessna 210 to find this monster bearing down on you at nearly twice the speed of sound?
That’s exactly what happened today, twice, as NORAD scrambled F-16s to intercept and escort two small aircraft that violated restricted airspace around President Obama’s visit to Las Vegas. Here’s the story at CNN.
The F-16 has long been my favorite jet. Just look at that sexy girl. She’s fantastic.
New York, N.Y. (AP) - The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating whether a child directed planes from Kennedy Airport’s air traffic control tower.
A child’s voice can be heard on a tape making five transmissions to pilots preparing for takeoff on Feb. 17. The recording was obtained by WFXT-TV in Boston.
In one exchange, the child can be heard saying, “JetBlue 171 contact departure.”
A male voice in the tower says: “That’s what you get, guys, when the kids are out of school.”
The child later clears another plane for takeoff, and says, “Adios, amigo.”
The FAA said in a statement: “Pending the outcome of our investigation, the employees involved in this incident are not controlling air traffic.” It added: “This behavior is not acceptable.”
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
(via 13WHAM. Emphasis mine.)
Jesus, FAA. What crawled up your butts and died? What could be more adorable than a little kid telling pilots “Adios, amigo!” as they are cleared for takeoff? Hell, I think this should become standard procedure! Let’s get a kid in every tower just for this purpose.
Join my new facebook group: One Kid Per Tower (OKPT).