BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Friday - August 15, 2014

Because I Can’t Be There

Flying together in this weekend’s 4 day Eastbourne International Airshow, east of Brighton. In England.

The famous Victorian era Eastbourne pier is visible in one shot; the pier just suffered a major fire the other week.

I have no idea where the planes are flying out of. Lydd Airport perhaps? Somewhere close by with a moderate size runway and not a lot of other traffic.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/15/2014 at 08:51 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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Betting The Future On A FLiNG

Shell Petroleum is building the largest ship the world has ever known. It’s the first of it’s kind, one of many to come, so naturally they named it the Prelude. The ship is so large that you could fit our biggest aircraft carrier inside the thing with ease. It’s so large that the construction of even little pieces of it make international news. It is so large that it’s existence will change the military strategies of nations in the area. Yet it’s massive engines will likely be used only twice. Once to sail the ship out to sea, and then 25 years later, to sail her back. Welcome to the future ... and talk about “offshoring” your assets!



FLNG Turret For Prelude Moves Towards Korea

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The largest piece of the turret for Shell’s Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility has set sail from Dubai for the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, South Korea, where the facility is under construction, informs Shell.

The turret is part of a mooring system designed to ensure Prelude FLNG can operate safely in the most extreme weather conditions. At almost 100 metres high, it is the largest in the world.

The turret will run through the front of the facility and connect to giant chains that will keep it moored securely over the Prelude gas field. The turret mooring system will allow the facility to turn slowly in the wind and with currents – ensuring it can remain safely at its location through the most powerful cyclones.

“Prelude FLNG combines our many years of experience in shipping and in managing complex LNG and offshore projects. It’s great to see our innovative designs and technologies become a reality as we reach significant project milestones like this,” Matthias Bichsel, Projects & Technology Director at Shell said.

“Designed in Monaco, built in Dubai, shipped to South Korea and for use off Australia, the turret is an example of the truly global nature of this project.”

100 meters tall. And really, it’s basically just a hose swivel.

This is going to be one damn big ship. No. It is going to be the biggest thing afloat ever built by the hand of man. By far. A 600,000 ton ship. 600,000 tons!!! 1601 feet long; nearly half a kilometer; 88 meters longer than the biggest container ship. 243 feet wide; 74 meters; 3 meters wider than the wingspan of a 747. That’s a whole lot of boat!

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Horry Clap!

FLNG (or FLiNG) means Floating Liquified Natural Gas. The ship is going to be a factory. It will be positioned right over the undersea gas fields, take in what the wells produce, and process that to make what we call natural gas. That gas will then be offloaded onto LNG ships and sent around the world. Prelude is expected to produce 3.6 million metric tons of LNG per year. Which means Shell is going to make billions.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/15/2014 at 08:47 AM   
Filed Under: • Big BusinessOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Pricesplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Thursday - August 14, 2014

Once In My Lifetime

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Two Lancasters To Tour UK Air Shows



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8 Merlins, 10,240 horsepower on the runway

No longer is there an airworthy Avro Lancaster in the Americas. On Friday morning, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s MK. X Lancaster landed in England, ending what is being described as an epic adventure across the Atlantic Ocean that began Monday. Arrival festivities at Royal Air Force Coningsby airport were slightly dampened by soggy weather that kept the world’s only other airworthy Lancaster from greeting the Canadians in the air. Not to be deterred, RAF fighters escorted the Lanc in at about 2 p.m. local time. The Canadian bomber will take part in numerous airshows over the next six weeks in the United Kingdom along with the RAF-owned Lancaster. The last leg of the trip across the North Atlantic was a 5.5-hour flight from Iceland.

Considered by many to be the most famous Allied bomber of the Second World War, the Avro Lancaster had flying characteristics that allowed it to be tossed around like a fighter and operational performance only exceeded by the later developed Boeing B-29. Equipped with four 1145-HP Rolls-Royce Merlin X engines, versions carried bomb loads as high as 22,000 pounds.

...

The plane was set to fly out of Hamilton Monday morning, but an engine failure kept it on the ground for the next 24 hours. On Tuesday, all four engines fired perfectly, and the bomber successfully made its way to Goose Bay, Labrador.

Wednesday morning, the plane flew to Keflavik and spent Thursday in Iceland with a side trip to Reykjavik, setting the stage for the last leg today, a 5 ½ hour flight to Coningsby.

Two of the eight man crew of the Canadian Lancaster which landed at RAF Coningsby this afternoon have spoken of their joy at finally uniting the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s version with their own aircraft.

Co-Pilot Leon Evans said: “We just flew across the Atlantic in a Lancaster, so what about that?

“The weather man from RAF Coningsby was absolutely correct so we came down from the Hebrides over Scotland and down the east of England.

“I wanted to land and have a beer in one of those beautiful pubs but the rest of the guys had other ideas.

Landing video here.

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Dambusters reunited: World’s only two airworthy WWII Lancaster bombers fly together over Britain for the first time in 50 years

Lancaster bombers united on windswept RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire for what will probably be last time
Lancaster Thumper, part of RAF Battle of Britain Memorial flight, joined Canadian Lancaster Vera from Ontario
Two aircraft are expected to visit some 60 air shows and public events across the UK over the next five weeks
Planes had been due to pass over Lincoln Cathedral last Friday, but poor weather caused flight to be postponed
Lancaster bombers most famous for Dambusters raids - attack on German dams with ‘bouncing bombs’ in 1943

Two Second World War Lancaster bombers flew together in the skies over Britain yesterday for the first time in 50 years.

The world’s only two airworthy Lancaster bombers were united on a windswept Lincolnshire airfield for what will probably be one of the last times.

The Lancaster Thumper, which is part of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial flight, joined the Canadian Lancaster Vera from a museum in Ontario.

Leon Evans, chief pilot for the Canadian Lancaster’s historic trip, said: ‘We haven’t had two Lancasters fly together in a display before.

‘It’s pretty unlikely it’ll happen again because these airplanes might run out of airtime. Vera’s getting older and already has about 4,500 hours on her.’

Vera’s journey from Canada took four days, involving stops in Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland before she arrived in Lincolnshire on Friday.

More than 7,377 Lancasters, 430 of which were built in Canada, were made during the Second World War but many that survived were scrapped.

The Avro Lancaster is one of the Second World War’s most-recognisable British aircraft.

It is most famous for the Dambusters raids, which saw 19 Lancasters attack German dams with Sir Barnes Wallis’s ‘bouncing bombs’ in 1943.



Always loved the look of this plane. It’s like a flying brick with gigantic wings and tail stuck on. Who cares if it didn’t go 3 zillion mph; this one had style. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be there to see and hear these wonderful creatures take flight.


more links
http://www.clactonairshow.com/
http://www.warplane.com/lancaster-2014-uk-tour.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Lancaster


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/14/2014 at 09:37 AM   
Filed Under: • HistoryMilitaryplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Monday - July 07, 2014

This Will Wake You Up

One Lap, Isle of Man

37.3 miles in 19.5 minutes


Turn on the speakers, turn off the lights. Start the video and click it to Full Frame. Better yet, port the vid to your big HDTV if you can.

Horry Clap. This one WILL get you up and going.

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He’s only gone and done it again. Just two days after breaking his own Isle of Man TT lap record with a 19m26s lap in his Subaru WRX STI, Mark Higgins has today gone faster again.

The iron-testicled rallyist clocked a time of 19m 15s, shaving 11 seconds from his Wednesday time. Around the Isle of Man’s 37.3-mile course, that equates to an average speed of 117.5mph. That’s astonishing.

“This was a great run when everything came together, and I was able to do a much cleaner lap,” said Higgins after his run. “I am still learning where I can go flat in this car.”

“I am really happy to beat the lap records set by John McGuinness in the Zero Bikes [electric motorbikes], and the sidecar lap record as John was riding me about that!”

Higgins’s WRX STI is a stock US-spec 2015 car, save for an FIA roll cage, race seats and harness, along with toughened springs and dampers, a noisy straight exhaust (for crowd safety, apparently), and Dunlop Direzza tyres.

“I can’t say enough about the WRX STI and how much abuse it has taken,” said Higgins. “We have really ridden it hard over this course for three very fast runs.”

In a barely race prepped Subie, pretty much out of the box??

video source.

Amazing. Too bad they didn’t have a UV filter on the lens. Also too bad that I couldn’t find the motorcycle gyro Helmet Cam video from the bike race there just a couple weeks ago. They go much faster, and they do it while getting utterly horizontal and sideways in the corners. 

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/07/2014 at 11:01 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Tuesday - July 01, 2014

Model Identification

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Model Identification: That is a P-47 Thunderbolt, isn’t it?



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Yup. I’m pretty sure. A late model too.




Spot on ... it’s a P47-D.

Yes, indeed. A P-47D-40 “Superbolt” to be precise.


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more P47-D pics.



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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/01/2014 at 10:47 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candyplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Tuesday - May 20, 2014

Driven, Then Driven Away

ZOOM ZOOM? No. But not PUTT PUTT either.

Come Spring, I said over the Winter, I’m getting me a new car. Boy howdy, I want that new Mazda 6. Sexy sexy sexy, and I can get it with a manual.

So today I finally get down to the Mazda dealer and try a few of their cars out. They managed to locate the one Mazda 6 on the lot with a manual transmission, and off we went for a test drive. Wow. My goodness. And never mind.

Coming from a long history of driving tiny little cars, the new generation mid-size Mazda 6 is roomy and smooth riding to us. The clutch is glass smooth, and the transmission shifts gears with all the difficulty of a warm spoon moving through melted butter. Flick, flick, flick, flick. You can barely feel it. This is the nicest manual I’ve ever played with. Gosh. It took me about 1/2 mile to get used to the car, and within a minute it was completely natural. It doesn’t ride or handle like a “big car”; the 6 stays fairly tight and firm, but not too deep into Official Sports Car Land, the way the VW Passats from the mid 2000s did. No, the 6 is comfortable first, sporty second. And it gets great gas mileage. Because it doesn’t have an engine.

No, seriously, it does actually have an engine. But the Mazda 6 is so large, and relatively so heavy, that even the 190hp 4 cylinder engine, which is whisper quiet and very smooth, is barely up to the task. I found myself bouncing the tachometer needle off the rev limited 6000rpm bumper repeatedly. Oh, the car moved along Ok I guess. But I was looking for some of that “Zoom Zoom” the company is based on, and the new Mazda 6 hasn’t got any. It’s a perfectly adequate engine and a well done one, and it helps this good sized car achieve mini-car mpg ratings, and it will be fine for 90% of the driving population looking for a mid-size family hauler that still has a bit of sexy style and some slight pretensions of driving elan.

For now though, I’ll pass. I want more than just slight pretensions of elan. I want medium pretensions. Drop the turbo charged 260hp 2.3 liter in here, or better yet make a practical 2.5 liter turbo tuned to about 300hp and 300 lb/ft of low end torque. Which is exactly what the HO diesel engine gives you, low end torque, but somehow Mazda can’t manage to get it’s little oil burner under the hood and across our borders. And don’t forget the stick. “Zoom zoom” becomes “swish swish” when you swap in the slushbox. Even worse would be killing your entire line by forcing CVTs down every throat, like Nissan is doing. Bad Nissan, bad bad bad. The last iteration of the Mazda 6 had a nice perky little V6 available, which was a much better engine than the lumpy iron boat anchor Ford V6 under the hood in 2003 the last time I took this model out for a drive. Heavier vehicles need more torque, period.

So, the Mazda 6 comes up short on the Goldilocks score of 0-60 times and tire smoking torque.  Short? No, it doesn’t even play that game. No porridge at all. But hey, they’ve got a smaller car, the Mazda 3, that comes with that same engine! And smaller usually means sportier, right, with greater amounts of Zoom Zoom-ery? So you’d think.

I had the salesman bring out a Mazda 3 with the 2.5 liter engine. It’s the same mill as they put in the Mazda 6, and it’s the “big engine” in the 3, the other option being a little 2.0 liter 4 banger. Phooey, I’ve been driving a 2.0 liter 4 banger in my Saturn since 1996. And even though the Mazda engine in this displacement makes 25hp more than my old mill, while pushing a bigger car around faster and getting better mpg ... I want the “zoom zoom”.  So off we go in the Mazda 3, with the 2.5 under the hood.

Funny thing. This iteration of the smaller Mazda was so optioned out that it cost more than the moderately optioned but far larger mid-sized Mazda 6. Both cars can push the price sticker into the upper $20s, very low $30s. Which means that a top end Mazda 3 has more swanky bits and gee-gaws than you can even notice. It was sweet. Black leather everything with red stitching. A backup camera on the rear license plate with ranging lines built in made going in reverse a simple joy. Blind spot monitors somehow can tell if you’ve got an idiot hanging out to either side. The sunroof retracts or slides back into the roof, but there’s still plenty of headroom. Shoulder room is at least 3 inches wider than in my Saturn or her Sentra. The power driver’s seat goes quickly from one adjustment to another, and I think it even has power lumbar adjustment. And of course lights, cup holders, and cubbies everywhere.

And then we come to the navigation / communication / entertainment control center. Actually, I’m not going to go there much, but I will say it took me about 20 seconds, no instructions, to learn that the joystick works almost exactly like the mouse on your PC. Flick it left or right to move across the icon groups, then push it in once to select that group. Within a couple seconds, you’ll be able to stream your own music into the stereo, take a phone call, see what your tire pressure or current MPG is, change from the CD playing to the AM radio, etc. It was dead nutz easy to use. Unfortunately, the display screen is begging you to break it. Seriously. It’s a nice size screen, I’m guessing 7-8”. It’s perched on the top of the dashboard, on it’s thin bottom edge, right over a little dent or niche exactly the same shape and size. It looks for all the world like it’s supposed to fold down, or even retract into a slot. You WANT to push it down, closing the thing like the lid on a cigar box. But it isn’t built that way. It doesn’t move at all.  Somewhere else, above the top of the gauge cluster, is a little plastic rectangle. It’s an HUD speedometer, a Heads Up Display like the gunsight on a fighter jet. It doesn’t seem to adjust either, neither by angle or by brightness. And this is the ONLY speedo ... so if you’re not looking at just the right angle, you can’t tell how fast you’re going. BAD BAD BAD BAD Mazda 3. Take 2 ASBOs and go sit in the corner. ( a well designed instrument cluster with analog gauges will put big solid high contrast needles on the tach and the speedo, so that when you’re busily involved in your own personal “zoom zoom” mode, you can tell your speed and RPM nearly by feel: you can read the gauges without having to look. You can not do this with this joke HUD speedo. Honestly, it’s gimcrackery. The one on my mom’s 1998 Pontiac reflects onto the back of the windshield, and is location and brightness adjustable. So this is not even close to new tech. It’s nearly 20 year old tech, so it’s utterly inexcusable to get it wrong here in the 2nd decade of the 21st Century.

Yeah, but what about driving the damn thing Drewwww?? Alright, fine. The new Mazda 3 with the 2.5 engine rides smooth, corners with amazing flatness, seems to be glued to the road even though it has a much higher center of gravity than the smaller cars we’re driving ... and that 190hp engine provides almost all the motive power and torque any normal person will ever use. It goes just fine, thank you very much. It goes pretty damn good actually. Another 25hp and it would actually be fast. And that’s with the automatic transmission, which not only has a manual shift mode, it also has a “sport mode” button, which does something. Not sure what, but it does something. And ... but ... you CAN’T get a manual transmission in the Mazda 3 with the 2.5 engine. Not. For. Sale. W.T.F.??? Seriously, it simply isn’t available. The 2012 had it, the current Mazda 6 has it, it’s a wonderful combination ... and YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE.

Real bottom line: if you want “ZOOM ZOOM” in the new Mazda 3 look elsewhere, or wait for the HO diesel or the Mazdaspeed turbo to arrive ... some year. If you want “Zoom Zoom” you’re SOL. The automatic is really nice, very tight, and shifts on command, but it’s still a hydraulic pump. The best it will give you is “Zoom zoom”. The manual transmission in the Mazda 3 with the smaller engine, or any engine/transmission combination at all in the Mazda 6 won’t even get you “zoom zoom”. 

Mazda has built themselves two sexy, beautiful, snappy handling cars (oh, did I mention that both models have awesome brakes and seem to stop on half a dime?), both with a smooth ride, plenty of space, nifty options, a sense of being very well made ... and pretty small balls. The Mazda 3 needs 200hp and a manual trans, the Mazda 6 needs 250 and any trans. That would make them worthy of the “Zoom Zoom” slogan the company built it’s name on. If either car was equipped with a manual and the HO diesel, both would become racing tanks. TOOORQUE! shift, TOOOORQUE! shift, TOOORQUE! shift, etc. Imagine that: two sports cars where you don’t want the gas engines. Alas, that engine isn’t coming here this year, in any Mazda vehicle.

Most people will never notice the lack of power, because most people are garden slugs, especially behind the wheel. They wouldn’t know what a fun driving experience was if you told them. The ones with money buy BMWs with 300+hp engines (and automatic transmissions), then drive around at 10 under all the time. The ones with less money probably don’t buy cars at all, sporty or not. SUVs and mommyvans, and that suits them just fine.

But I want to enjoy driving, and I don’t have the cash to buy a BMW or an Audi.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/20/2014 at 08:27 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Saturday - May 03, 2014

what’s your vector, victor?

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North, South, East, West, Left, Right work for cars

But for airplanes Up and Down matter too



LAX Air Traffic System Can’t Handle Up and Down

High Altitude Spy Plane Crashes Air Control Computers



So glad to know that billions of that post 9/11 Homeland Security money has been spent bringing our major airports into the 21st Century, giving them the ability to track any and all flying objects.

Because it’s not like U2 spy planes haven’t been flying in and out of Edwards AFB since long before I was even born.

Horry Clap.

A relic from the Cold War appears to have triggered a software glitch at a major air traffic control center in California Wednesday that led to delays and cancellations of hundreds of flights across the country, sources familiar with the incident told NBC News.

On Wednesday at about 2 p.m., according to sources, a U-2 spy plane, the same type of aircraft that flew high-altitude spy missions over Russia 50 years ago, passed through the airspace monitored by the L.A. Air Route Traffic Control Center in Palmdale, Calif. The L.A. Center handles landings and departures at the region’s major airports, including Los Angeles International (LAX), San Diego and Las Vegas.

The computers at the L.A. Center are programmed to keep commercial airliners and other aircraft from colliding with each other. The U-2 was flying at 60,000 feet, but the computers were attempting to keep it from colliding with planes that were actually miles beneath it.

Though the exact technical causes are not known, the spy plane’s altitude and route apparently overloaded a computer system called ERAM [ En Route Automation Modernization ], which generates display data for air-traffic controllers. Back-up computer systems also failed.
...
As a result, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had to stop accepting flights into airspace managed by the L.A. Center, issuing a nationwide ground stop that lasted for about an hour and affected thousands of passengers.

At LAX, one of the nation’s busiest airports, there were 27 cancellations of arriving flights, as well as 212 delays and 27 diversions to other airports. Twenty-three departing flights were cancelled, while 216 were delayed. There were also delays at the airports in Burbank, Long Beach, Ontario and Orange County and at other airports across the Southwestern U.S.

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We could float among the stars together, you and I
For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away
My beautiful, my beautiful U2


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/03/2014 at 05:37 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 09, 2014

a red indian beauty

art on wheels



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Created by Jesse Bassett at the Gasbox in Olmsted Ohio, this customized 1941 Indian Scout is a labor of love ... and the parts bin. An old bike was made new again, but made to look even older ... and somehow a Norton transmission found it’s way on there. Read all about it, plus lots more drool worthy pictures.

Link 1

Link 2

and the actual custom bike shop’s link, Link 3


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Sure, it’s a show bike. But a unique and classy one. And I think you could actually ride this machine, for miles and miles and miles, unlike most of the extreme show bikes out there. Oh, and this one won the trophy. Of course. Everybody loves a classy red.



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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/09/2014 at 11:19 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candyplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Thursday - March 20, 2014

Flight MH370

No, nothing new. No real news; the latest is a goose chase in the far south Indian Ocean, somewhere around Amsterdam Island. The Big Empty. Another 50 - 80 foot bit of flotsam (or is is jetsam? I’m always confused by those two*. Flora and fauna I’ve got figured out) has searchers moving C-130s to far western Australia to make the 5 hour flight to check out some thing in the water.

But I just had a thought.

Various news stories are going on about how Malaysia “didn’t really cooperate” for more than a week, how their “PM withheld data”, how it seems their investigators were slow off the mark to search the pilot’s and co-pilot’s homes.

Well ... in this new, modern, Obama-ish age of American “non-exceptionalism”, why should they? This was a Malaysian plane on a Malaysian flight on a Malaysian airline, from Malaysia to China. So what’s the United States FBI got to do with it, or our FAA, or any of our alphabet government agencies? Who made us Boss Of The World? It’s not like they borrowed the plane from Boeing. They bought it.

Sure, sure, I know we WERE Team America, World Police. Fuck yeah. And that’s what we’ve been for at least 70 years now. But Teh Won is fundamentally changing all of that. We’re now no more important than Finland, or Mozambique. Just ask Putin, right?

And every time I’ve read the Navy News over the past couple years, I’ve seen articles on how the Chinese want to push our gray ships out of the South China Sea, and how the Indonesians aren’t too happy about Uncle Sugar doing any Force Projection over there either. So that corner of the world doesn’t seem to be our bailiwick anymore. Now add in all those defense cut-backs the Dems always make to “balance” the budget by giving the military the shaft ... I’m almost amazed we’re involved in this search / investigation at all. Were we invited? By whom? Are they picking up the tab?  I’m pretty sure I heard there were two or three Americans on board, but that just goes to show. There are two or three Americans on board just about anything.

* Drew’skool, for those that care:

Flotsam is floating wreckage from a ship or of a ship. Jetsam is floating stuff that has fallen off a ship, or been tossed overboard. Jetsam was jettisoned.

Flora is plants. Flora; flowers. Fauna is animals. Like fawns. Oh look, a fawn, aaah. how cute.

Rubble is broken masonry. Detritus ("dee try tus” not “det tra tus") properly is anything dead that used to be alive. Roadkill. But it has come to encompass all kinds of waste material, including rubble.

To “defenestrate” is to throw something out a window. To throw something out a porthole is “littering at sea”. I don’t know if the act has an official word.

Opportunistic Jaws quote, Quint: “Front, bow. Back, stern. If ya don’t get it right, squirt, I throw your ass out the little round window on the side.”


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/20/2014 at 10:10 PM   
Filed Under: • News-Briefsplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Sunday - March 16, 2014

CYBER HIJACK?

Is missing Malaysian jet the world’s first CYBER HIJACK? Chilling new theory claims hackers could use a mobile phone to take over the controls

· Anti-terror expert said plane’s direction could be changed by radio signals
· Speed and altitude could also be changed from device using ‘codes’
· Possibility that it could be made to land using remote control
· Pilot’s friends said he had always been a ‘gadget geek’ at school
By Wills Robinson
A chilling theory suggests the missing Malaysian Airlines plane could have been hijacked using a mobile phone or USB stick.
An anti-terror expert believes the speed, altitude and direction of the aircraft could have been changed, simply by sending radio signals from a small remote device.
A framework of ‘codes’ created by cyber terrorists would also be able to get into the plane’s in-flight entertainment system and override the security software.
It is also believed, once the systems have been successfully hacked, the plane could be landed by remote control.
The theory has emerged as the search for flight MH370 continues to grow, with 25 countries now involved in the rescue effort.
Yesterday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed the plane’s disappearance was the result of a ‘deliberate act’ and could have flown as far as Kazakstan.
Dr Sally Leivesley, a former Home Office official, said: ‘It might well be the world’s first cyber hijack.’

READ MORE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/16/2014 at 08:10 AM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Wednesday - February 26, 2014

TThose crazy Russkis

Weirdest warship ever built?

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A circular warship? You must be joking. Cue Billy Preston.

From 1872 to 1874, Russia built on the Black Sea one of the strangest-looking warships the world had ever seen. Andrei Alexandrovich Popov, the naval officer responsible for the design, wanted an ironclad monitor, which was a common naval design concept. But Popov built one had a circular hull. The Novgorod weighed 2,490 tons and had a diameter of 101 feet. It carried 2 12-inch guns that retracted into an armored turret. The guns sat on a turntable that could move 35 degrees in either direction. The ship had 6 engines, each of which powered 1 propeller. …

… Popov’s ships had a rare design premise—and for good reason. They often floundered even in calm water and rivers, let alone the open sea. Worse, when idling, Novogord and Popov tended to spin in circles. The Czar, however, was fond of the design and ordered the construction of the Livadia, a circular royal yacht. Historian Stanley Sandler jokes that this must have been because the Czar “presumably suffered more from seasickness than dizziness.”

H/T: Vilmar


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 02/26/2014 at 04:25 PM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryOdd-Strangeplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Thursday - February 20, 2014

On The Cheap

It cost me a small wad to get the exhaust welded up on the Saturn ... new flex pipe, new O2 sensor and bung, a new bracket ... but now the car is quiet again and it will be emissions legal. Matter of fact, the car is now so quiet that I can hear the wear sensors squealing on the front brakes. GRRR. Another damn expensive job, right? Well, not really so much. Went to the auto parts store; set of front pads and 2 new rotors came out to $75. Bazinga! So I did the work myself out in the driveway today while it was warm. And finished up just as it started to rain. Sweet. Saturns used sliding calipers; the whole assembly floats on a bracket that’s bolted to the base of the strut. So it’s pretty much easy on, easy off. 5 minutes if you’re a pro with a lift and air tools, about 50 minutes per wheel if you’re me doing it lying down in the parking lot. Still, it would have cost me over $300 to have the work done. Not bad.

So that should be enough to keep the old clunker going until I can find something new. I love the old 5 speed skateboard, but she’s on her last legs. It’s time. Sad but true. 229,000 miles and I still get 30mpg on the tank, and that’s with the lousy gasahol we get these days.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/20/2014 at 04:56 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Tuesday - February 18, 2014

You Put Your Left Foot In

I Found The New Car I Want

Only One Problem: I have to move to France to buy one

I was going to make this a post about the dearth of manual transmission vehicles for sale in the USA. Sure, you can find one on most stripped down el-cheapo econoboxes. And you can find them on the big-bucks, super powered sports cars. But in between, where the rest of us live? Good luck Chuck.

People complain ... ooh, it would be a bear in traffic, and I’d have bulging muscles in my left leg. Wrong. There hasn’t been a non-hydraulic clutch car for sale in 20 years. It takes hardly any effort to work the left pedal these days. And shifting quickly becomes second nature; working your way through a traffic jam, even one going uphill, is no big deal. Heck, it isn’t even a small deal. It’s dead easy, if you know how to shift gears. What a manual transmission WON’T let you do is zone out behind the wheel. You have to pay attention. You have to be involved. Gee, that’s what makes driving fun, isn’t it? Funny how all the major car companies outside of Germany seem to have forgotten this.

And then there was Mazda. Zoom-zoom.

I am thoroughly in lust with the new Mazda 6. A mid-size car that’s available in the USA as either a 4 door sedan or as a 5 door hatchback, the new “6” has earned rave reviews all over the place, from Consumer Report’s Best Value award to highly positive words at Edmunds.com, Car & Driver, etc. It has unseated the Honda as best car for the money, and initial impressions are that this one is more of an entry level luxury car than “merely” a very well done mid-size family car.

So, great. Can I have it with a warm V6 and a 6 speed stick please? No.

Can I have it with a hot turbo 4 and a 6 speed stick please? No.

Can I have it with a warm 4 banger and a 6 speed stick please? Yes.

Super. Hey, the other car I’ve been looking at is the older Passat wagon. Mini wagons - or “estates” as they’re known in some countries - are really useful vehicles, better than hatchbacks, far more fun to drive than rolly bouncy little SUVs. And since the “estate” is popular in Europe, where everyone knows how to work a clutch, you can often find one with a stick over here. Well, you used to. Not anymore.

So how about it Mazda; can you make me a 6 wagon? With some power? And a manual? Oui, oui, mais seulement si vous êtes en France.

quoi?

Yup, only in France. Nobody else even sells the wagon. And nobody sells the Mazda 6, in any of the 3 body styles, with a V6, or with a turbo 4, or with the peppy 2.5 liter gasoline engine and a 6 speed manual in the higher trim lines. You want fancy, you get an automatic. Period. That sucks.

So there goes that daydream, at least for another year. I looked all around the world, 7 different countries, and it seems that only in France can you get this sleeper:

imageimage

“175 ch (BVM)” is the french way of saying horsepower. Horse Vapor to be exact; and it’s metric horsepower at that. But what that means in American is a 2.2 liter (132 cubic inches) diesel engine that makes 173 hp at 4500 rpm, and gives you 310 lb-ft at 2000 rpm. Which is V8 levels of torque right off of idel, which means this one pulls like a tank as you bort your way through the gears. It’s a sleeper. A mid-size family wagon ( BORING ) in a flashy paint color (très sexy !) that should be pretty zippy. And it still gets 35mpg on the tank. I want one.

Around the world, the Mazda 6 comes with several engines, from 2 to 2.5 liters in gasoline, or 2 to 2.2 liters in diesel. In the UK, Mazda offers you your choice of a medium small rubber band with diesel, and a very small rubber band for petrol. But at least you can get them with a clutch pedal.

The 2.2-liter oil burner is quiet, smooth, and loaded for bear with torque to spare. Available in standard (148 hp at 4500 rpm, 280 lb-ft of torque at 2000 rpm) and High Power versions (173 hp at 4500 rpm, 310 lb-ft at 2000 rpm), we drove the latter. A delight with either the six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission handling cog-changing duties, the stronger diesel does without the extra hassle of an exhaust after-treatment solution to meet European emissions regulations. Shove is available right off idle, and the diesel pulls strongly to its redline. Only in the quietest moments are strains of clatter or injector tick audible; at speed on the highway, the diesel is indistinguishable from its petrol-swilling sibling.

According to Mazda, the 2.2-liter’s compression ratio of 14.0:1 is the world’s lowest in a production diesel engine. This enables the adoption of an all-aluminum block, lighter engine components, and optimized combustion timing. We had only a few hours with the engine, but we came away convinced that it could make a run at dethroning VW’s TDI as the mass-market, family-sedan compression-ignition king. Bring it, Mazda.

The direct-injected 2.5-liter, 16-valve Skyactiv gasoline engine that is confirmed for the States performs with equal aplomb, exploiting its higher-rpm capabilities to produce 189 hp at 5700 rpm. When called on to perform downshifts, the six-speed auto responds smartly and delivers 189 ft-lb of torque at 3250 rpm, hustling the vehicle with relative ease. (We estimate curb weights to ring in at 3200 to 3300 pounds.) Only in the direct shadow of the diesel does the gasoline engine feel a little anemic, and that’s primarily at low rpm.

Ah well. Guess I’ll have to wait another year. So I made an appointment for tomorrow to get the exhaust pipe welded up on my old Saturn. It’s been chugging along like a motorboat for a couple of weeks now, and it’s getting irritating. OTOH, that loud hole is giving me another 4mpg on the highway, using up nearly as little fuel as a brand new Mazda 6, which is a third larger with nearly half again as much power. And that’s the 2.5 gasoline American engine, with a 6 speed manual. Which isn’t available in the top-line versions sold here that have all the cool modern technology bits. And they don’t even sell the wagon here. Yet. Ever? Please??

image

PS - As a somnolent citizen, you have probably been lulled into narcolepsy by the meme that modern automatic transmissions are more cost effective than manuals because they get better gas mileage. In truth, the only time they get better gas mileage is on the EPA’s computer model. In the real world, they do what they can to increase MPG by shifting into high gear and staying there forever. This sucks all the fun out of driving, and turns your car into a putt-putt, no matter how big an engine is under the hood. A manual can get you better mpg than an auto if that’s the way you drive it. What I dislike about them the most is that they’re slow. Manual shift cars are faster off the line and accelerate quicker under normal driving conditions. None of this stoplight grand prix nonsense. I’m talking day to day. Put me in an automatic and I’m suddenly the most impatient driver around. Come on, let’s go already!!! as the auto just sits there sucking up rpm. And these new CVT go-kart transmissions are even worse.

And when push comes to shove, the automatic can never really justify itself from an economic standpoint. The numbers never really add up. Perhaps the convenience you think you’re getting

image


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/18/2014 at 04:45 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Tuesday - November 19, 2013

really serious eye candy

Oh how I do love this kind of thing!

Wish I were one of the lucky monied.  Yeah. I can see spending money on this. Never had model planes like this baby when I was young. Of course, it would not have mattered if they did. I couldn’t own one. 

Watch the video at the link.

The not-so-jumbo jet: Remote-control model Airbus A380 looks so realistic it could be mistaken for the real thing

The remote-controlled plane was filmed flying at an air show in Germany
With an 18ft wingspan it is 14 times smaller than the full-sized Airbus A380
The model plane is powered by jet engines said to cost around £1,800 each

By Victoria Woollaston

It may look and even sound like the real thing, but this Airbus A380 is actually a scaled-down model of the jumbo airliner and is flown using a handheld remote control.

A video has appeared online that shows the plane being flown at an air show and hobbyist event in Germany.

The remote-controlled plane has an 18-foot wingspan, weighs 150lbs and is powered by four jet turbines.


Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/19/2013 at 04:00 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffOUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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