Archive for July 2010
Major U.S. involvement in the Vietnam conflict lasted from 1965-1972. One of the main misunderstandings about the Vietnam War is the scale of the U.S. war effort. 48,000 U.S. military personnel were killed and 300,000 wounded. But what is astonishing about the Vietnam War was the magnitude of the U.S. air campaign. It was bigger than the U.S. bombing campaign in World War II. The nation of Laos has the dubious distinction of being the most heavily bombed country in the history of the world. The Ho Chi Minh Trail snaked through that country. This trail was bombed continuously for 5 years. Here are some facts that are truly amazing.
All told, the U.S. Air Force flew 5.25 million sorties over South Vietnam, North Vietnam, northern and southern Laos, and Cambodia, losing 2,251 aircraft: 1,737 to hostile action, and 514 to operational causes. 110 of the losses were helicopters and the rest fixed-wing. A ratio of roughly 0.4 losses per 1,000 sorties compared favorably with a 2.0 rate in Korea and the 9.7 figure during World War II. During the U.S. bombing campaign in Europe during WW II there were 754,818 sorties flown.♦
Total U.S. bomb tonnage dropped during:
World War II = 2,057,244 tons
Vietnam War = 7,078,032 tons (3-1/2 times WWII
Bomb tonnage dropped during the Vietnam War amounted to
1,000 lbs. for every man, woman and child in Vietnam.
Losses of selected aircraft.
B-52 Stratofortress– –31 total, 17 in combat
U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom II– –445 total, 382 in combat
U.S. Navy F-4 Phantom –138 total, 75 in combat
U.S. Marine Corps F-4 Phantom –95 lost, 72 combat
F-100 Super Sabre– –243 total, 198 in combat
F-105D Thunderchief– –335 total, 283 in combat
The U.S. Army lost 5,086 helicopters including 3,000 Hueys.
If you think Nickelback, Smashing Pumpkins, Limp Bizkit and The Bare Naked Ladies are funny mindless band names, you haven’t heard anything yet. The mind altering drugs these characters were on when they thought up these names either revved up the creative juices or blocked stimulation to the cerebral cortex vortex.
The List in alphabetical order:
Anus the Menace
Blood Sledge Electric Death Chickens
Bondage A Go Go
Cap’n Crunch and the Cereal Killers
Crappy the Clown and the Punch Drunk Monkies
Dick Duck and the Dorks
Disgruntled Postal Workers
Dow Jones and the Industrials
Drunken Ugly Basement Brothers
Fat Welfare Moms On Dust
50 Naked Midgets
The Fred Mertz Experience
The French are from Hell
The Gaza Strippers
Electric Al and the Poison Dart Frog McNuggets
Fearless Iranians From Hell
The Hostile Amish
Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program
Lesbian Dopeheads on Mopeds
The Morning Shakes
Organic Condom Mazda Drugs
Porn on the Cob
Squirrel Nut Zippers
Super Sonic Soul Pimps
The Whip-M-Out Girl’s
Willie Nelson Mandela
Zombies Under Stress
Zombina & The Skeletones
Zorro and the Blue Footballs
The Chinese are a very innovative people. They are known for many inventions. They invented gunpowder, printing, paper and the compass to name a few. Now they have come up with a completely novel innovation. Painting pets to look like other animals. The unsuspecting canine below is an example of this latest craze in the land of the Great Wall.♦
And the word craze is very appropriate. Sometimes the Chinese do very crazy things. One such crazy thing is this Chinese description of domestic marital relations.♦
I’m not exactly sure what to make of the intended logic behind that.
Here are more painted and strangely groomed critters.♦
With a 663.8 billion dollar annual budget the U.S. military is always coming up with new toys. The Hawks in Washington see a commie terrorist snake under every rock. This American paranoia does lead to some interesting weapon systems however. The ships below are a perfect example of this.♦
Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are relatively small surface vessels intended for operations in the littoral zone (close to shore). It is “envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals.” Two ship classes are the first examples of the LCS in the U.S. Navy: the Freedom-class and the Independence-class. LCS designs are slightly smaller than the US Navy’s guided missile frigates, and have been compared to the corvette of international usage. However, the LCS designs add the capabilities of a small assault transport with a flight deck and hangar large enough to base two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters, the capability to recover and launch small boats from a stern ramp, and enough cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with armoured fighting vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility. The standard armament for the LCS are Mk 110 57 mm guns, while modules containing Non-Line-of-Sight Launch Systems are available. It will also be able to launch autonomous air, surface, and underwater vehicles. Although the LCS designs offer less air defense and surface-to-surface capabilities than comparable destroyers, the LCS concept emphasizes speed, flexible mission module space and a shallow draft.
|Class and type:
||Independence-class littoral combat ship
||2,176 tons light, 2,784 tons full, 608 tons deadweight
||127.4 m (418 ft)
||31.6 m (104 ft)
||13 ft (3.96 m)
||2× MTU Friedrichshafen 20V 8000 Series diesel engines, 2x General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, 2x American VULKAN light weight multiple-section carbon fiber propulsion shaftlines, 4x Wärtsilä waterjets, retractable bow-mounted azimuth thruster, 4× diesel generators
||44 knots (51 mph; 81 km/h)
||4,300 nm at 18 knots
||210 metric tons (206 long tons, 231 short tons)
||40 core crew (8 officers, 32 enlisted) plus up to 35 mission crew
- SAAB Sea GIRAFFE 3D air and surface search radar
- Sperry Marine BridgeMaster E navigational radar
- AN/KAX-2 electro-optical sensor with TV and FLIR
- Northrop Grumman ICMS (Integrated Combat Management System)
- ITT Corporation ES-3601 ESM system
- 4× SRBOC decoy launchers for chaff and infrared decoys
- BAE Systems NULKA active radar decoy system
- 1x BAE Systems Mk 110 57 mm gun
- 4× .50-cal guns (2 aft, 2 forward)
- 1x Raytheon SeaRAM CIWS
- Other weapons as part of mission modules
- 2× MH-60R/S Seahawk
- MQ-8 Fire Scout
I was a the Bomber game on Friday night at a very hot Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg. The home football team Bombers blew a decent lead to lose to the hated Toronto Argonauts. Special team mistakes caused the Blue and Gold to lose what was supposed to be a definite win. But in sports nothing is for sure.
The Bomber defence at time couldn’t have stopped a lame tortoise from scoring. The offense was a little better but still wasn’t at all consistent.
Aside from the game the old football barn still has great sight lines and many very thirty fans. The beer consumption was phenomenal. Many people had two $7.50 beers and were drinking like there was no tomorrow. It was hot and humid, maybe this led to the drinking frenzy.
The old stadium is going to be replaced in 2012 by a new building on the U of Manitoba campus. But this old barn does have great sight lines.
The old edifice, built sometime in the middle of the last century, will be missed.
You will be able to drive your Flying Car from Winnipeg to St. Andrews airfield. Take off and fly to Brandon, land at the airport, then drive to the Brandon Shoppers Mall without getting out of the vehicle. The Mall is the only attraction I could think of in Brandon.♣
Late next year, you’ll be able to buy your own flying car — er, “roadable aircraft” — thanks to a thumbs-up from the Federal Aviation Administration. As long as you have $194,000 and a sport pilot license.
The agency approved the Transition plane-car this week, giving it a Light Sport Aircraft rating. The test prototype has been flying for about a year, but plane-maker Terrafugia will unveil its production-class plane next month at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual convention in Oshkosh, Wisc.
The Transition drives like a car, uses normal high-octane gasoline, has front-wheel-drive and even comes with airbags. Its fuel economy is about 30 miles per gallon. But unlike your Prius, it can unfold its wings and fly. You’ll only need a one-third of a mile strip for a runway, meaning you could conceivably use your own street. It is powered by a rear propeller and flies about 115 miles per hour.
The ideal customer is a sport pilot who gets tired of flying to regional regional airports only to have to wait for a cab, rent a car or use public transportation. Now he or she can just fold up the wings and motor on to the next errand.
It won’t be ideal for cargo trips — it only holds about 460 pounds, including fuel and passengers — but for sport pilots on short jaunts, it’s a one-vehicle solution.
The Transition uses normal fuel, making it the greenest plane in the sky, Terrafugia says. And potentially one of the safest — if the weather turns bad, the plane can land and drive home instead.
- Crew: 1 pilot
- Capacity: 2, pilot and passenger
- Payload: 430 lb (200 kg) ()
- Length: 19 ft 2 in (5.8 m) ()
- Wingspan: 27 ft 6 in (8.4 m) ()
- Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.9 m) ()
- Empty weight: 890 lb (400 kg) ()
- Useful load: 430 lb (200 kg) ()
- Max takeoff weight: 1,430 lb (650 kg) ()
- Powerplant: 1× Rotax 912S, 100 hp (75 kW) @ 5800 rpm (max. 5 minutes), 95 hp (71 kW) @ 5500 rpm (continuous) ()
- Propellers: Prince Aircraft Company, four-bladed “P-Tip”
- propeller, 1 per engine
- Cockpit width: 51 in (1.3 m) at the shoulder
- Fuel capacity: 20 US gal (76 L; 17 imp gal)
- Length on road: 18 ft 9 in (5.7 m) with elevator up
- Width on road: 80 in (2.0 m) with wings folded
- Height on road: 6 ft 9 in (2.1 m)
- Front wheel drive on road
- Cruise speed: 100 kts (115 mph or 185 km/h)
- Stall speed: 45 kts (51 mph or 82 km/h)
- Range: In flight 400 nmi (460 mi; 740 km); on road 600 mi (520 nmi; 970 km) ()
- Maximum speed on road: 65 mph (105 km/h)
- Fuel economy in cruise flight: 5 US gal (19 L) per hour
- Fuel economy on road: 30 mpg-US (7.8 L/100 km; 36 mpg-imp)
- Certifications: Both FAA and FMVSS certifications planned
In the 1960’s there was a science fiction TV show called Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. The show centered around the crew aboard a huge nuclear powered submarine named the Seaview. One of the more interesting features of the show was a mini flying sub that was housed in the nose of the Seaview. This little sub could bolt away from the Seaview, propel itself through the water to the surface, and take to the skies. Then land back on the water and go submersible and dock back up with the Seaview.♦
Americans love their high-technology gadgets. And the military is often at the forefront when it comes to developing cutting edge high technology systems. And believe it or not the U.S. military is looking into a real Flying Sub!
Irwin Allen, the creator of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea would be very proud indeed.♦
GUILLEMOTS and gannets do it. Cormorants and kingfishers do it. Even the tiny insect-eating dipper does it. And if a plan by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) succeeds, a remarkable airplane may one day do it too: plunge beneath the waves to stalk its prey, before re-emerging to fly home.
The DARPA plan, announced in October 2008, calls for a stealthy aircraft that can fly low over the sea until it nears its target, which could be an enemy ship, or a coastal site such as a port. It will then alight on the water and transform itself into a submarine that will cruise under water to within striking distance, all without alerting defences.
That, at least, is the plan. The agency is known for taking on brain-twistingly difficult challenges. So what about DARPA’s dipper? Is it a ridiculous dream? “A few years ago I would have said that this is a silly idea,” says Graham Hawkes, an engineer and submarine designer based in San Francisco. “But I don’t think so any more.”
DARPA, which has a $3 billion annual budget, has begun to study proposed designs. In the next year or so it could begin allocating funding to developers. Though the agency itself is unwilling to comment, Hawkes and others working on rival designs have revealed to New Scientist how they would solve the key problems involved in building a plane that can travel under water – or, to put it another way, a flying submarine.
The challenges are huge, not least because planes and submarines are normally poles apart. Aircraft must be as light as possible to minimise the engine power they need to get airborne. Submarines are heavyweights with massive hulls strong enough to resist crushing forces from the surrounding water. Aircraft use lift from their wings to stay aloft, while submarines operate like underwater balloons, adjusting their buoyancy to sink or rise. So how can engineers balance the conflicting demands? Could a craft be designed to dive into the sea like a gannet? And how will it be propelled – is a jet engine the best solution, both above and below the waves?