What is it about space exploration that is so gripping? Is it the incredible power of the launch or the sheer levels of technical achievement that grip us. I have never ceased to be carried away by it but blanche at the sums that are being spent up there.
The ISS is one such bottomless money pit, even those connected to the project doubt that it will show returns worth the investment, but maybe this is one stepping stone that just has to be made to achieve international co-operation in space. Either way it is a staggering achievement.
Thanks again Masterspy.
A year of change, fear, conflict and… iconic images. Masterspy has dropped some photos my way from what looks like an aircraft manufacturers archive. I have managed to find the source, and what a source it is. There are plenty of them and they reek of their era. These rare colour pictures show typical but posed scenes from the manufacturing war effort in the USA.
Aren’t you just fascinated by large radials!
Pilots are expensive, some are very expensive. The temptation to use assets such as these to the limit of their capacity for work must be irresistible for companies looking for ever greater productivity to enhance their bottom line. What interests me and others, my mates to be frank, is where exactly does the line lie between sensible utilization and flagrant disregard for the welfare of the individuals being exploited. A powerful word and not one I use at the extreme of its meaning, but exploiting assetts has become a bit of a fine art… here and there.
Now there’s a title to conjure with. With the industrial strife that is running our way I need to consider my next job if things don’t work out. A common line of flight deck conversational banter in the small hours seems to be, ‘What would you do if this job went t*ts up or you lost your license?’
Another one from a friend on the internet. I just couldn’t resist posting this story, when I compare Bill’s quiet day at the office with ours he leaves me full of admiration for the test pilots role. See what you think…
By Bill Weaver
Chief Test Pilot, Lockheed
Jim Zwayer, a Lockheed flight-test specialist, and I were evaluating systems on an SR-71 Blackbird test from Edwards. We also were investigating procedures designed to reduce trim drag and improve high-Mach cruise performance The latter involved flying with the center-of-gravity (CG) located further aft than normal, reducing the Blackbird’s longitudinal stability.
We took off from Edwards at 11:20 a.m. and completed the mission’s first leg without incident. After refueling from a KC-135 tanker, we turned eastbound, accelerated to a Mach 3.2 cruise speed and climbed to 78,000 ft., our initial cruise-climb altitude.
Strange isn’t it, you can ream your way through pages of images looking for that indefinable something that makes an image bounce off page at you. I couldn’t tell you what it is, I could try but I might leave you vacant unless you knew what I was talking about. Professionals shoot thousands of images and turn out tens that they are happy with if they are lucky. Some will never get that shot – the composition that moves the heart or stirs the soul.
I am no photographer, I snap away hoping for a decent outcome. Very occasionally I come across a sight that is just not to be missed and if I’m lucky, I catch it. I love photographs that evoke the spirit of the subject they are catching, the transient moment that I can identify with, or the majesty of fine engineering. Perhaps you do too?
Long haul flying with large time zone transits can be debilitating; more so if you are making an effort to enjoy yourself in the process and who wouldn’t want to do that? Most people seem to have a preference, some like going East, others West. With my airline if you are really senior, you go South where the winters are summers and the wine and steak are exquisite. The time change is tiny too.
“But how do you cope with it,” is often the question posed by those who deal with the problem as a nomadic business sufferer.
AAR means Air to Air Refueling of course. Here is what looks like a Spanish Air Force C130 refueling one of their prospective EH101′s of the South coast of the UK. Dorset by the look of it. More pictures from ‘Superspy’.
These pictures don’t require much in the way of explanation, do they? The photographer/loadmaster must have been roped in, otherwise he may well have been sucked in. Nasty….
I guess we all contemplate what it would be like working for another carrier, one that is substantially different to the one we currently fly for. Reading snippets from Southwest, I can’t help but admit to a secret longing to work for a company where conventions are broken and there isn’t a constant battle raging to keep the company’s hands out of your pockets.
Southwest has a model which is intriguing, Ryanair’s wunderkind O’Leary went to visit Herb Kelleher and returned to Ireland with his ‘unique’ version. I rather think he might have produced a more pleasing translation but that is for those in that highly successful airline to judge with their cheers or their feet.
This is a difficult trick to pull with sincerity, but wouldn’t I love to see just a bit of it on my home turf. Cool Mr Kelly, give Willie a call and lend him your ‘Alice band’.