Interview – Paul Tibbets, first person to drop atomic bomb

November 8, 2007 at 11:35 pm | Posted in flight, history | Leave a comment
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Paul Tibbets, who piloted the Enola Gay on her mission to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died last week at the age of 92. I found this 8 minute interview with Mr. Tibbets on YouTube. The clip is from the documentary “Atomic Cafe” which was released in 1982 when the Cold War was still quite hot. I’d guess the interview itself is from the mid-sixties.

Take the “graphic images” warning to heart. There are images of Hiroshima wounded mixed in with the interview.

Air Force One trip to San Diego will cost $57,000/hour

October 24, 2007 at 9:17 pm | Posted in flight, travel, unwise | Leave a comment

The president will visit the Southern California fire zone on Thursday. Presidential visits to disaster zones often serve as a White House marketing events as opposed to actually helping those in need. Considering the black eye that the government suffered after its inept Katrina response you know that recovering from this disaster will receive a great deal of attention.

So, what does it cost to bring Bush to San Diego? Well, he will fly. Air Force one costs $57,000 an hour to fly. Call it a six hour trip. That’s a $684,000 round trip. By comparison, the same trip on Southwest will cost $718 if you buy your ticket today and fly tomorrow.

Of course, this figure doesn’t reflect the total cost of the trip. In March of 200o, Clinton toured three countries that required the support of 76 aircraft. The price: $50 million.

My suggestion to all presidents – stay in DC and offer your support by phone and let your actions do the talking.

Sputnik Turns 50

October 2, 2007 at 3:35 pm | Posted in engineering, flight, history, space | Leave a comment

Actually, Sputnik burned up in the atmosphere.  But the Russian satellite’s legacy endures, launching not only the spaceSputnik! race between the US and USSR but also serving a key moment in the Cold War.  Sputnik orbited the Earth every 90 minutes crossing borders without regard for treaties or defenses.  If “they” could launch a satellite what would be next?  A bomb?

Read more about the backstory of Sputnik right here. 

RC Mig 29

September 30, 2007 at 11:55 pm | Posted in engineering, flight | Leave a comment

1/5 Scaled Mig 29 – First Flight – video powered by Metacafe

Google Teams With Ansari X-Prize to Inspire Renewed Lunar Exploration

September 13, 2007 at 10:35 pm | Posted in flight, space | Leave a comment
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Get your lander on the moon by 2012 and win $30 million.  See video for details.

The challenges are varied but I find the idea of mining the Moon a bit creepy.

Track Flights on Google Earth

April 19, 2007 at 4:47 pm | Posted in flight | 1 Comment
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O’Hare ArrivalsSFO arrivalsOnline flight tracking is a great tool and very handy.  To add a visual thrill, try tracking a flight via Google earth. Click on the individual aircraft icon to see speed and altitude.

Or you can watch all flights headed to and from a specific airport. Click the thumbnails to see arrivals screenshots from O’hare and SFO.

See it all at

Leave the flying car at home

April 17, 2007 at 12:00 pm | Posted in flight | Leave a comment

Just strap on some wings.

Hello Kitty Airlines – not a joke

March 26, 2007 at 10:14 pm | Posted in flight, unwise | 1 Comment

Eva Air has rebranded some of its aircraft in full Hello Kitty livery.  Just in time for April Fools?  I’m afraid not.

Here’s the official site: Turn your speakers down…or way up.  Let’s talk about cluttered web design – this is it.

And here is a very enthusiastic blog post about Hello Kitty Air.  Don’t miss the food pics.

Flying car…again

March 22, 2007 at 7:51 am | Posted in flight | 1 Comment
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2007gyrocopter.jpgBelieve me, I’m as thrilled as the next person when it comes to flying cars. My reality: I’m tired of promises- somebody make one so that I can juggle a latte’ while flying at 1500 feet.

The latest offering comes from a European company using the tried and true gyrocopter for the flying bits and and an impressive looking three-wheeled vehicle on the ground.

Details here.

CTRL-ALT-DELETE while flying

February 27, 2007 at 12:42 pm | Posted in flight, tech, unwise | Leave a comment


Rumors are flying (ouch) about some problems experienced by several (11?12?) of the Air Forces ‘ newest fighter, the F-22, while on a long distance flight to Japan. Apparently, the software that runs the aircraft began to reset as the planes crossed the Date Line. Had the aircraft not been accompanied by a tanker to lead them safely to an emergency landing in Hawaii the pilots might have had trouble finding the Islands of Aloha. No computer=no GPS.

Always bring a map. Read the original post on Slashdot.

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