Bye-bye, Boing Boing!

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

And so ends my guestblogging stint here on Boing Boing. Thank you so much to Xeni, David, Cory, and Mark for having me! It was a delight, an honor, and a thrill.

I leave you with this awesome video created by Lieutenant Commander Spencer Abbot, who shot this footage from the cockpit of an F/A-18 Hornet with a fiber optic camera stuck to his helmet.

This is a video of a Navy F/A-18 Hornet tanking from Air Force KC-10's and KC-135's (the KC-135 is particularly challenging-- pilots call it the "Iron Maiden"). In turbulent weather, especially at night, tanking can be even tougher than landing on the ship. The basket is heavy, and it can damage the plane if it strikes it, to include shattering the canopy. One can only imagine the amusement of the tanker crews (to whom we're very grateful) as they watch us flail around on a bumpy day.

More videos here, including "an amazing low-level through the Cascades that pilots call 'The Million-Dollar Ride.'"

As for me, you can find me here. Thanks, Boingers!

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  1. I can never remember (keep straight) Navy ranks. Lt. Commander is the equivalent of what?

  2. see ya later, sooner on your blog. thanks for what you done here, contributions not gone unnoticed, cranked our left ear.maybe this time next year you will roast the p.o.t.u.s.

  3. Most humans can’t get their hands on a water pump and a few solar panels, but for some reason amazing machines like this are on their way to the scrap yard so we can spend billions to replace them with F-22’s and the Joint Strikefighters.

  4. Ciao bye, Ms. Breslin! I always enjoy your perspectives & hope to read more in the future.

  5. The refueling video is pretty funny, until you realize he’s probably en-route to bomb another Afghan wedding party.

    Also: I’ve got some absolutely hilarious video of a bayonette thrust. Looks just like … you know.

  6. Redshirt77, “Most humans can’t get their hands on a water pump and a few solar panels, but for some reason amazing machines like this are on their way to the scrap yard so we can spend billions to replace them with F-22’s and the Joint Strikefighters.”

    Figure out a way to kill with water pumps and solar panels, set up a lobby group to line the right pockets and it’s as good as done.

    It does seem a little obscene to have your citizens going bankrupt or dying over medical expenses while dropping 65 billion on the F-22 program.

    Cool plane though. Maybe Canada can buy one, just for airshows.

  7. The tanker is a KC-10, the military version the DC-10, not a KC-135, which is a military version of the Boeing 707. Note the three engines on the tanker in the video, rather than the four on a KC-135.

  8. While my father was alive, my parents did quite a bit of travelling as space-available passengers on military flights. One of their favorite weekend trips was to hitch a ride on an Air Force Reserve KC-10 accompanying F-15Es [usually] from Seymour Johnson AFB to air shows in Canada or the UK. The pilots would use these trips as an opportunity to practice mid-air refueling, and the boom operator would often invite one of my folks to observe the runs. (It’s hard to tell from the video clip, but there’s a refueling operator’s station at the rear of the plane that features a wide “picture window” that offers an unparalleled view.) As a result, my family’s home videos now include hours of footage of various US fighter planes from a rarely seen perspective.

  9. As the intro says, it is both kinds of tanker. The views from trying to hook up are all of the KC-135 except the last, the view of the F-18 and the tanker are all of the KC-10

  10. I was an aircrewman in S3-A Vikings in the mid 1980s, and we did quite a bit of tanking (I was a passive participant in that endeavor). We routinely acted as the “sponge,” taking on excess fuel from tanker aircraft that were too heavy to land, as we had the ability to land heavier than the tankers. (At the time A6s and A7s served as carrier-borne tankers).

    I tried plugging in a couple of years ago as they were preparing to deactivate the simulators before retiring the Vikings, and it was tough. I never did manage to connect.

    There’s a photo floating around on the ‘net of an S3-B that lost its radome, supposedly the result of hitting the basket. In fact, the person occupying the right co-pilot’s seat is SUPPOSEDLY an old Navy pal of mine that went on to earn a commission.

  11. #11 The KC-135 is not the military version of the Boeing 707. The KC-135 first flew well over a year before the 707 even took flight. Both the 707 and the KC-135 were offshoots of the Boeing 367-80.

    #10 Canada has quite a few F/A-18s. But, they call them CF-18s.

  12. Anon, “#10 Canada has quite a few F/A-18s. But, they call them CF-18s.”

    That they do, though about half of the total purchase are in storage and are being cannibalized for parts. They also seem to be developing stress fractures faster then expected–likely our charming weather.

    All of that aside, I was joking about buying a solitary F-22, just for air shows.

  13. Anon, “#10 Canada has quite a few F/A-18s. But, they call them CF-18s.”

    That they do, though about half of the total purchase are in storage and are being cannibalized for parts. They also seem to be developing stress fractures faster then expected–likely our charming weather.

    All of that aside, I was joking about buying a solitary F-22, just for air shows.

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