Category Archives: planes

Tulsa Air and Space Museum

The Tulsa Air and Space Museum was a nice find.  A retired American Airlines MD-80 is parked outside, and an F-14 Tomcat is among the aircraft inside.

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The museum pays homage to Oklahoma aviators and astronauts, including a large display about Wiley Post, Will Rogers, and their ill-fated flight in Alaska.  Another display described the last B-24 built at the Douglas plant in Tulsa, the “Tulsamerican”, which later went down in the Adriatic. Art deco pieces of the old airport building are preserved, as well as a couple of old Spartan airplanes. Oklahoma astronauts include Apollo 10 and Apollo-Soyuz commander Thomas Stafford, Skylab astronauts Owen Garriott and William Pogue, and Shuttle astronauts Shannon Lucid and John Herrington.

Mr. RFH liked this, the Jumo 004 turbojet engine for the Me-262.
Jumo

The kids liked the interactive displays and the knowledgeable docent.
mini me
back

Last but not least was the planetarium, which had a number of shows. I liked this display, an Eagle project made of a couple of thousand Rubik’s Cubes.
2000 rubiks

They also had up-to-date stargazer news, including the rendezvous with the Dawn mission to Ceres, the solar eclipse earlier in March, and updates on the James Webb Space Telescope.

On the same road, not far from the museum is Evelyn’s Soul Food Restaurant. This was a nice place to have lunch then return to the museum.

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Almost there… Doc rolls out.

You know FiFi, the only flightworthy B-29 Superfortress in the world. Well, with a little bit of luck, Doc will be airborne this year. And today was Doc’s rollout after a stunning 300,000 man-hours of restorations. Doc still has a ways to go before she’s flightworthy, but the progress has been terrific.

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FiFi!

Currently the only flying B-29, FiFi has been in my neighborhood all week. Sadly, the press of our domestic duties has kept us from visiting the Palm Springs Air Museum to have a closer look. On the other hand, we’ve had a chance to see her in her element a few times in the last few days.

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Jag-YOU-ar

We’ve long admired a great many British aircraft, and disdained oh so many French aircraft. Which puts us in a bind, because we want to really like the Jaguar, but it’s half British, and half French.  By the 1960s, the costs of developing a tactical aircraft were so high that smaller nations struggling to maintain a realistic aviation industry decided to partner up with other nations in bilateral and joint projects. There’s a long, long, long list of projects that failed, for technical reasons, budgetary reasons, inability to decide on work share, and diverging tactical requirements. But a few programs have actually worked out pretty well. The Panavia Tornado comes to mind, as well as its successor the Typho0n. Among the earliest successful joint programs was a partnership between BAC and Breguet to form SEPECAT, a joint company that designed and built the Jaguar, a supersonic light strike/ground attack aircraft that served Britain and France from the early 1970s through well into the 21st Century.

The Jag is a single seat* twin engine supersonic low/medium altitude jet that was used primarily in three roles:

  1. Nuclear strike
  2. Close Air Support
  3. Tactical Reconnaissance

In spite of its sleek lines, what the Jag wasn’t was a fighter. While it could carry Sidewinder (or similar) short range air to air missiles, that was more a matter of self defense. It didn’t even have radar. Instead, it had a respectable (for its day) navigation/attack system to guide it to its target.

And to be honest, it really wasn’t supersonic, either. That is, with no external stores, and given time and altitude, sure, it could break the sound barrier. But down low, and carrying its normal war load, no way. But it was pretty fast down low, which was the whole point.

There are four wing stations for external store under the wings. There are also two wing stations over the  wing, rather unusually, where the Sidewinders were carried. There is also a centerline station. Typically, the Jag would carry two drop tanks under the wings, a chaff dispenser on one wing and a jammer pod on the other, and a couple of 1000lb bombs on the centerline.

In addition to service with the RAF and the French AF, the Jag has had respectable overseas sales, especially in India, but also in Oman, Ecuador, and Nigeria.

Grab a cup of coffee. This is a fairly interesting look at life in an RAF Jag squadron. At around the 15 minute mark, there’s some spectacular low level flying in what I suspect is Star Wars Canyon in Oman.

The French Navy also looked at a carrier capable version, but the word is that it was somewhat awful around the boat.

*There are also two-seat operational trainer variants that retain combat capability.

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Steam Powered Airplanes

In the first third of the 20th Century, steam engineering was, in many ways, far more advanced than internal combustion engineering. Of course, steam power was a much more mature technology at the time. It makes some sense then that someone would attempt to use it to power another new technology, one very dependent on reliable power, the airplane.

Of course, the rapid improvements in conventional gasoline powerplants for airplanes left the steam powered aircraft as little more than an odd footnote in history.

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Israeli News Report: Obama Threatened to Shoot Down IAF Iran Strike

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From Israelnationalnews.com via Drudge.

The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.

Not for the first time, Carter-era National Security Advisor (and anti-Semite/anti-Israel) Zbigniew Brzezinski advised shooting down Israeli aircraft to prevent them from striking the nuclear facilities of a mortal enemy that has vowed the destruction of the Jewish state.  It appears, if this report is true, that Obama actually agreed to such a notion.

Israel is far from a perfect ally, and they can be a thorn in the side of America even at the best of times.  But they are the only western-style free democracy in the Middle East.  They are also a valuable friend.  Conversely, Iran is an oppressive theocracy that has promised the destruction not only of Israel but of the United States, as well.  They are a destabilizing force in a strategic region, hostile to American interests and to those of our allies.

That Obama chose to heed the advice of the National Security Advisor of a pathetic weakling of a President speaks volumes (though Obama makes Jimmy Carter look like Bismarck). That he chose to make such a strong threat against an ally rather than our myriad Islamic fundamentalist enemies is positively thunderous.  Obama hates American power and influence, just as he does that of Israel and the UK.  He is an Islamist sympathizer and a statist communist, just as Rudy Giuliani had the courage to say publicly.   Obama is positively hot for a deal with Iran that would cede to them the ability to develop nuclear weapons, which they have promised to use against Israel.

The notion that the US would threaten an ally who wanted to strike Iran would seem preposterous under any other President.  I don’t know if it is true now, either, but such a thing is much more plausible with an anti-American, anti-Western communist in the White House.

What would have been the effect if Ronald Reagan had made a similar threat and stifled the Osirak strike?  Or George W. Bush had threatened Israel into canceling the attack on Syria’s nuclear facility in 2007?

There are 600+ days left of this malignant cabal of anti-American ultra-liberals in the Executive Branch.  One hopes there remains something resembling the United States of America on Inauguration Day, 2017.  And that our credibility and relationships with our allies around the world have not been irreparably damaged.  On Tuesday I will listen to Benjamin Netanyahu carefully.  I hope others do, too.

 

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So Let’s Let ‘Em Have Nukes!

…what a great idea.

After all, just because they conduct naval maneuvers to practice sinking US warships is no reason to think they are hostile toward the United States.

Just like threatening to wipe Israel off the map is no indicator of any latent dislike of our ally.  More diplomatic success for our anti-American President.

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Filed under Air Force, army, Around the web, Artillery, Defense, doctrine, guns, history, Iran, islam, israel, leadership, missiles, navy, nuclear weapons, obama, planes, Politics, ships, stupid, Uncategorized, war, weapons