Just before four o’clock on the afternoon of May 31, 1916 a British naval force commanded by Vice Admiral David Beatty confronts a squadron of German ships, led by Admiral Franz von Hipper, some 75 miles off the Danish coast. The two squadrons opened fire on each other simultaneously, beginning the opening phase of the greatest naval battle of World War I, the Battle of Jutland.
After the Battle of Dogger Bank in January 1915, the German navy chose not to confront the numerically superior British Royal Navy in a major battle for more than a year, preferring to rest the bulk of its strategy at sea on its lethal U-boat submarines. In May 1916, however, with the majority of the British Grand Fleet anchored far away, at Scapa Flow, off the northern coast of Scotland, the commander of the German High Seas Fleet, Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer, believed the time was right to resume attacks on the British coastline. Confident that his communications were securely coded, Scheer ordered 19 U-boat submarines to position themselves for a raid on the North Sea coastal city of Sunderland while using air reconnaissance crafts to keep an eye on the British fleet s movement from Scapa Flow. Bad weather hampered the airships, however, and Scheer called off the raid, instead ordering his fleet.
The Battle of Jutland ( Battle of the Skagerrak, as it was known to the Germans) engaged a total of 100,000 men aboard 250 ships over the course of 72 hours. The Germans, giddy from the glory of Scheer s brilliant escape, claimed it as a victory for their High Seas Fleet. At first the British press agreed, but the truth was not so clear-cut. The German navy lost 11 ships, including a battleship and a battle cruiser, and suffered 3,058 casualties; the British sustained heavier losses, with 14 ships sunk, including three battle cruisers, and 6,784 casualties. The German High Seas Fleet would make no further attempts to break the Allied blockade or to engage the Grand Fleet for the remainder of World War I.
Lego Enthusiast Ryan McNaught has taken his passion for building in plastic a step further than most by constructing a painstakingly accurate replica of a Qantas A380; built from over 35,000 individual Lego bricks at a cost of over $5000.
The aircraft includes cast of crew and passengers from aviation-related films such as Passenger 57, Snakes on a Plane, Castaway, Alive and Flying High. He’s also included ground crew, luggage trains and the Qantas choir.
Models of Indiana Jones and Star Wars’ Yoda can be spied and there’s even a scene from cult Hollywood film Snakes on a Plane. A diminutive version of Samuel L. Jackson’s character from the surprise hit movie is shown battling red and green serpents in the bowels of the plane.
“Most of the designs came off the internet and I had to adapt the scale of the Airbus because your average Lego man is quite fat for his height,” McNaught said.
McNaught’s model took top prize at Australia’s premier Lego convention, Brickvention, and he’s now set to travel to Chicago in the USA in June to display the model at the Lego nerd-fest Brickworld where it will be available for public viewing alongside hundreds of other Lego models.
The service’s acting director of air warfare spoke to reporters because he wanted to “completely dispel the rumor that the Navy is soft on F-35C.
The F-35C is the aircraft-carrier version of the joint strike fighter. The F-35A model is for the Air Force, and the F-35B will be a vertical take-off and landing model for the Marines.
The FA-18E and FA-18F Super Hornets are great airplanes, Manazir said, but they do not have the capabilities that the F-35C’s will bring to the Navy. Delays in the joint strike fighter program and the cost increases associated with them caused some supposition that the Navy would turn to the FA-18s, he added.
The Navy has had the F-35C on its horizon for more than a decade, the admiral said. In that time, the FA-18′s capabilities have grown, with the latest aircraft – the E, F and G models – reaching the fourth-generation airframe’s limits. “We need to move into the F-35C to realize our vision of tactical air coming off of carriers,” he said.
“We’re completely committed to the F-35C,” he added, noting that staying with the Super Hornet would put the United States at a disadvantage against a near-peer competitor.
Still, the admiral said, the Super Hornet program is not ending, just yet. The Navy wants to buy 124 of the aircraft through fiscal 2013 to bring its number of Super Hornetsto 515. Beginning in fiscal 2016, he said, aircraft carriers will deploy with a mix of Super Hornets and F-35C’s.
The X-51A WaveRider hypersonic vehicle, powered by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s scramjet engine, successfully made an aviation history May 26 by making the longest-ever supersonic combustion ramjet-powered flight.
The more than 200 second burn by the X-51‘s Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne-built air breathing scramjet engine accelerated the vehicle to Mach 6. The previous longest scramjet burn in a flight test was 12 seconds in a NASA X-43.
During its first flight, the unmanned WaveRider vehicle was carried beneath a U.S. Air Force B-52 and dropped from an altitude of about 50,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean off southern California. A solid rocket booster fired and propelled the cruiser to greater than Mach 4.5, creating the supersonic environment necessary to operate the engine.
The booster was then jettisoned and the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne SJY61 scramjet engine ignited, initially on gaseous ethylene fuel. Next the engine transitioned to JP-7 jet fuel, the same fuel once carried by the SR-71 Blackbird before its retirement.
“This first flight was the culmination of a six-year effort by a small, but very talented AFRL, DARPA and industry development team,” said Mr. Charlie Brink, X-51A program manager with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He believes the X-51A program will provide knowledge required to develop the game changing technologies needed for future access to space and hypersonic weapon applications.
Ninety-seven year old Marge Mitchell felt like a kid again when she got her birthday wish on Saturday – go flying one more time.
Plainview Soroptimist Club President Janice Posey said Mitchell shared her desire to fly again at a birthday party that club members threw for her back on Feb. 11.”She mentioned if she had one wish she would use it to be able to fly one more time,” Posey said. “She said that would be a dream come true.”
So Posey and other members of the club, of which Mitchell became a charter member in 1981, set out to make it happen. They got in touch with Tim Hardage, owner of Rocket Aviation, who was more than happy to do the honors – free of charge.
“I could hardly stand it,” Mitchell said upon hearing the news. “I think I came up out of the chair with a great ‘Hallelujah!’ ”
Mitchell is no stranger to flying. She got her pilot’s license in 1950 and spent the next 50 or so years flying across the United States and even a few other countries.
She not only flew airplanes but sold and raced them, too.
Mitchell participated in cross-country races – such as Powder Puff Races and Sky Lady Derbies – from 1964-76, flying from California to New York or from Oregon to Florida, even once venturing into Nicaragua.
“I flew 3,000 miles or more every summer,” she recalled.
Once she even got to fly a T-37 jet trainer at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock. The T-37 is a small, economical twin-engine jet trainer-attack type aircraft which flew for decades as a primary trainer for the United States Air Force and in the air forces of several other nations.
Decked out in one of the dresses she used to wear while racing, Mitchell arrived at Plainview-Hale County Airport at 11 a.m. Saturday ready to take flight once again. Although she had to fight some strong winds while crawling into Dr. John Garvish’s Bellanca Super Viking, Mitchell looked very much at home seated next to Hardage.
After arriving back on the ground, Mitchell was thrilled.
“I loved every minute of it. It was a great thrill to get to sit there in that airplane and get to hang onto the wheel,” Mitchell said. “An awful lot of memories came back”
Mitchell thanked everyone who had a hand in Saturday’s experience and would not mind flying again.
We have all seen the amazing USS Harry S. Truman in Lego, but have you seen theSpace Shuttle Atlantis in Lego? Lego has been one of our favorite childhood toys but who said Lego are just for kids? Since Lego began producing plastic bricks, the Lego Group has released thousands of sets themed around a variety of topics, like the new “Atlantis“. Other Examples include town and city, space, robots, pirates, trains, racers, vikings, castles, bionicle, dinosaurs, holiday locations, scuba diving and undersea exploration, the wild west, the Arctic, airports and miners.
I was browsing random NASA pictures and look what I have stumbled upon:
Investigators recovered the digital flight data recorder Tuesday of the Air India flight that crashed and killed 158 people in southern India over the weekend, police said.
The device, which indicates the plane’s speed, angle and landing approach, could provide clues about India’s deadliest air accident in 14 years. The Boeing 737-800 flight from Dubai to the Indian city of Mangalore overshot a hilltop runway, crashed and plunged over a cliff Saturday. Officials said human error may have been to blame.
Aviation investigators had found the other black box – the cockpit voice recorder – in the wreckage on Sunday. Earlier reports had erroneously said both black boxes were found Sunday, but police later said the second device was found Tuesday.
Police officer Seemant Kumar said that it is intact.
India’s Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said Monday that human error might have caused the weekend crash. Weather conditions and other factors at the time “looked absolutely normal for a regular touchdown and a safe landing,” the minister told the CNN-IBN television news channel.
Saturday’s crash was the deadliest in India since the November 1996 mid-air collision between a Saudi airliner and a Kazakh cargo plane near New Delhi that killed 349 people.
Of the 166 passengers and crew aboard, only eight people survived the crash.
The Armed Forces of Malta has rolled out its new maritime patrol aircraft at Hawker Beechcraft’s facilities in Wichita, Kansas, USA last week. The B200 aircraft, with the serial number (BB2016), is now undergoing flight and systems testing by the company before being flown to Germany.
Once there, Aerodata AG in Braunschweig will fit the aircraft with the Telephonics Corporation’s RDR-1700B maritime surveillance and imaging radar, besides other mission related electronics before being delivered to the AFM’s Air Wing early in February next year.
This belly mounted search radar provides full 360 degree coverage of the marine environments – vastly increasing the AFM’s current capabilities.
The King Air B200 aircraft, being partially financed through the EU External Borders Fund, is a highly successful twin engine turboprop utility aircraft that has been in production in various models since 1972, with over 3,500 of the type now in service all over the world. The AFM’s version of the aircraft features a fully digital cockpit, increased maximum take off weight, and specialized surveillance and communications equipment to perform the maritime patrol mission.
AFM Officers present for the roll out, and who flew in the aircraft during the acceptance flight, reported that the aircraft was a delight to fly and is was a marvel of engineering and technology.
An American Airlines MD-80 was donated to George T. Baker Aviation School Friday, making it one of the only accredited aviation schools in the country to have a commercial airliner on school grounds.
But there was a slight problem.
“Moving the airplane was truly an engineering feat, requiring extensive collaboration between American, Odebrecht and almost a dozen companies and government agencies,” said Peter Dolara, American’s Senior Vice President based in Miami. “It was a tough job, but we couldn’t be more thrilled for the students at George T. Baker, who will get invaluable hands-on experience with a commercial aircraft.
“This is the kind of challenging project we eagerly meet head-on,” said Gilberto Neves, President and CEO of Odebrecht USA. “You can’t just fly an MD-80 into a school parking lot. It takes a lot of planning and careful execution.”
The students at George T. Baker have already gained experience with the MD-80, prepping it for the move by taking off the wing tips and jet engines.
“Thanks to this incredible donation from American Airlines, I can say with confidence that our students are getting some of the best training in the country,” said Principal Sean Gallagan.
Weather permitting, Air Force officials said the X-51A Waverider will make its first hypersonic flight test attempt on May 25 after it is released from a B-52 Stratofortress off the southern coast of California.
The unmanned X-51A is expected to fly autonomously for five minutes, powered by a supersonic combustion scramjet engine, accelerating to about Mach 6 and transmitting vast amounts of data to ground stations before breaking up after splashing down into the Pacific, as planned. There are no plans to recover the flight test vehicle, one of four built.
The X-51 will depart Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. and be carried aloft under the wing of a B-52 belonging to the Air Force Flight Test Center there. It will be released at approximately 50,000 feet over the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range. A solid rocket booster will accelerate the X-51A to approximately Mach 4.5, before being jettisoned.
The May 25 hypersonic test will actually be the third time the X-51 has flown, but in each previous instance it has remained attached to the B-52‘s wing. The first captive carry flight Dec. 9, 2009, verified the B-52‘s high-altitude performance and handling qualities with the X-51 attached and tested communications and telemetry systems. The other flight, intended essentially as a dress rehearsal for the hypersonic flight, took place earlier this year.