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Ultimate Flight

16 January 2017
Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless II, is seen further away from the confines and safety of his ship than any previous astronaut has ever been. This space first was made possible by the Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU, a nitrogen jet propelled backpack. After a series of test maneuvers inside and above Challenger's payload bay, McCandless went "free-flying" to a distance of 320 feet away from the Orbiter. This stunning orbital panorama view shows McCandless out there amongst the black and blue of Earth and space.

Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless II, using a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), free-flying 320 feet from his Space Shuttle. This is the furthest distance an astronaut has ventured from their ship—NASA image

 

USN Airship Pilot’s Manual for the K-Type

13 January 2017

United States Navy K-Type Airships: Pilot’s Manual, Goodyear Aircraft Corp. Akron Ohio, 1942, Contract Numbers NOs 78121 and NOa(s)-257, 106 pp.

United States Navy K-Type Airships: Pilot's Manual cover page detail

United States Navy K-Type Airships: Pilot’s Manual cover page detail

United States Navy K-Type Airships: Pilot's Manual by the Goodyear Aircraft Corp. Akron Ohio

United States Navy K-Type Airships: Pilot’s Manual by the Goodyear Aircraft Corp. Akron Ohio

Airships, and blimp pilots prefer to call their aircraft airships, fly with effortless ease in a neutrally buoyant state with the earth coasting by instead of the aircraft in movement. Tubing or rafting is a river of air. Marvelous.

The crew must have little to do except navigate and pay attention to the weather.

No.

Not hardly.

Airship crews have calculations, as well as graph interpretations, aplenty to stay atop of in preflight planning and piloting. Blimps are properly called airships and this pilot’s manual is thorough. It is clearly written and is an excellent primer on flight considerations in lighter-than-air flight. Fixed wing pilots would benefit from a read as well as students in math and science—those who are intrigued by application, especially.

The PDF download is free and can be found here, United States Navy K-Type Airships: Pilot’s Manual.

 

K-Type airship—king of patrol and silent predator

12 January 2017

One of the undersung heroes of World War II.

134 of these lighter-than-aircraft were built by Goodyear for anti-submarine patrol duties. Crewed by 9 or 10 and able to remain aloft for nearly two days these aircraft could easily pace with a convoy or simply patrol an area. Silently able to patrol an area giving an enemy submarine no acoustic clue it was near should it desire to surface.

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K-Type blimp—US Navy Archives

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K-Type blimp protecting a WW II convoy—US Navy Archives

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K-Type blimp—US Navy Archives

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K-Type blimp—US Navy Archives

 

ATT DirectTV blimp visit

11 January 2017

I watched this blimp point into a stiff offshore breeze and hold a hover for several minutes near Fisher Island in the vicinity of Miami Beach. Then, quick as you please, the craft was pivoted 90° to starboard presenting its port side (now a giant sail) to the wind which had it body surf to the east at 20–30 mph. An excellent demonstration of the mastery of physics and lighter-than-air flight.

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The ATT DirectTV blimp starboard side—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft image

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The ATT DirectTV blimp orbiting the American Airlines Arena in Miami—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft image

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The ATT DirectTV blimp orbiting the American Airlines Arena in Miami—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft image

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The ATT DirectTV blimp orbiting the American Airlines Arena in Miami—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft image

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The ATT DirectTV blimp orbiting the American Airlines Arena in Miami showing the port side advertisement screen—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft image

Goodyear Blimp visit

10 January 2017
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“Wingfoot One” flies under a silver moon less than 100 feet overhead—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft image

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Its advertising screen on the port side illuminated WIngfoot One is silent when over traffic noise—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft image

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Wingfoot One coming over bows on—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft image

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Goodyear’s Wingfoot One continues to orbit the American Airlines Arena in Miami—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft image

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Goodyear’s Wingfoot One continues to orbit the American Airlines Arena in Miami—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft image

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Goodyear’s Wingfoot One continues to orbit the American Airlines Arena in Miami—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft image

Queen, the Red Arrows and a Vulcan

5 January 2017

Bill Ramsey (accomplished pilot, Red Arrows/Sr Supervisor, Vulcan pilot, The People’s Mosquito/Operations Director) sent this link from the Vulcan to the Sky Trust. The link leads to a beautiful film by Neil Draper showing expert formation flight to Queen’s These Are the Days of Our Lives. Hearing Freddie Mercury’s smooth serenading voice as well as Brian May’s emotive guitar has the heart soaring along with these aircraft.

See and hear the art of aviation which ranks with the best.

Also, crank the volume up to the max during the end credits 😉

Plane Watching

4 January 2017

 

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Bell Twin Huey of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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TAP Portugal Airbus A330—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Venezuelan airline Santa Bárbara Boeing 767—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Air France Airbus A380—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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British Airways Airbus A380—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Drone in the air space of the Miami Seaplane Basin hovering in view of the Arts & Entertainment District of Miami with the Venetian Causeway stretching back to Miami Beach in the background—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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AA Boeing 777—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Miami Seaplanes in flight—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft