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Plane Guard

19 October 2018

4 Aug 2018 while an F/A-18C Hornet prepares to land on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) the guided missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) provides plane guard duty—U.S. Navy photo/Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Alexander C. Kubitza


High α

17 October 2018

Israeli F-35 Adir “Mighty One”—Israeli Air Force image

Israeli F-35 Adir “Mighty One”—Israeli Air Force image

U.S. Air Force Maj. Paul ‘Loco’ Lopez, F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team commander and pilot, in a high G pull upIsraeli F-35 Adir—U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Areca T. Bell

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off—U.S. Air Force/Sr Airman Javier Alvarez

Space Shuttle: Developing an Icon—1972–2013 by Dennis R. Jenkins

15 October 2018

Space Shuttle: Developing an Icon—1972–2013, Dennis R. Jenkins, 2016, ISBN 978-1-58007-249-6, 1557 pp. (in total)

I learned about this Space Shuttle publication from aviation historian, author and wreckchaser Nick Veronico (place his name into the search window to find many of his books reviewed in this blog) and I cannot thank him enough as this is the reference to have regarding America’s Space Shuttle Program—from design to the program to a synopsis of each mission with deep coverage of the Columbia and the Discovery disasters (where so many lives were lost).

Jenkins logically segregates the Space Shuttle history into three components, each with descriptive chapters, and they are:

  • Volume I—Setting the Stage (509 pp.)
  • Volume II—Technical Description (519 pp.)
  • Volume III—The Flight Campaign (519 pp.)

Jenkins captures the program’s history, accomplishments and shortfalls objectively and accurately. Importantly the discussion process is documented during strategic design steps as well as orbital insertions (it was fascinating to read how not attaining a planned launch velocity by a few hundred feet per second resulted in a lower orbit by so many miles until corrected by an orbit burn of so much thrust for so many seconds). Reading of the Columbia and the Discovery losses of their crews as well as the ships brought back painful recollections of seeing the events live on TV. Jenkins’s description and explanation of events is superb and illustrates the bravery of NASA’s flight crews as well as the extraordinarily deep expertise of the agency—though NASA’s upper management may have had their feet held closer to the fire, but Jenkins (to his credit) only writes the facts of the program which is the value of this set as it is an entirely objective story told well. The drawing and images are things to behold and are often educational in their own right.

The citations and indexing could hardly be more complete. This is truly a unique work and a treatise on NASA’s famed Space Transport System (STS) which is better known as the Space Shuttle. That it is produced among the highest of production values and kept together in its three-volume slipcase adds to the presentation as well as the importance of the information and knowledge captured within the 1500+ pages of compact, concise and pleasant verse.

Space Shuttle: Developing an Icon—1972–2013 by Dennis R. Jenkins

Space Shuttle: Developing an Icon (note the yellow pull ribbon, a great aid in retrieving the books from the slipcase) —1972–2013 by Dennis R. Jenkins

Space Shuttle: Developing an Icon (the three volume sets en echelon)—1972–2013 by Dennis R. Jenkins

Space Shuttle: Developing an Icon—1972–2013 by Dennis R. Jenkins


Pathogen Protocol

14 October 2018

Pathogen Protocol, Darren D. Beyer, 2018, ISBN 978-0997336617, 348 pp.

Pathogen Protocol by Darren D. Beyer

This a fast paced, innovative and imaginative science fiction novel revealing humanity’s greatest secret. A myriad of historical actions occur as the portion of the universe involved is suffering war, politics and powerful economic forces intertwining in complex though realistic ways. Beginning with the cover art by Stephan Youll (Game of Thrones book artist) Beyer catapults readers into the characters and equipment he sees in his clever imagination for the future.

Not getting the reader laden by numbers Beyer introduces scientific principles that are used or must be addressed for  future deep space travel. The skimmers, for example, seemingly defy gravity but at a certain cost. Or a future sensor technology utilizing gravity waves with their subtle complex interactions that can only be sussed out by plausibly humans. All very interesting as these are taken into account in sound tactical decisions of the protagonists as well as their foes.

Pathogen Protocol is the second book in Beyer’s Anghazi Series and the third one cannot be released too soon.


Hawker Osprey I

14 October 2018


A Hawker Osprey I fighter/reconnaissance floatplane of 407 Flight, HMS Exeter, pictured in 1933. The Hawker Osprey was a naval version of the Hawker Hart light bomber, converted to act as a Fleet Spotter/Reconnaissance aircraft. The fuselage had to be strengthened to allow for catapult launches from capital ships and the undercarriage was modified so that it could easily take either wheels or floats. Folding wings completed the carrier-borne modifications. The Osprey entered service late in 1932 and withdrawn from front line service in 1938 though performing second line duties until 1940—Crown copyright

B-17F after a water landing

12 October 2018

A B-17F after a successful forced landing—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

A B-17F after a successful forced landing—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

de Haviland Mosquito FB.VIs in a World War II attack

10 October 2018

World War II combat image of de Haviland Mosquito FB.VIs of 248 Squadron attacking a German ‘M’ Class minesweeper and two trawler-type auxiliaries in the mouth of the Gironde River, off Royan, France, on 12 August 1944. Bombs can be seen straddling the vessel, which later blew up. From mid-1942 to mid-1943, Mosquito bombers flew high-speed, medium or low-altitude daylight missions against factories, railways and other pinpoint targets in Germany and German-occupied Europe—Crown copyright