On November 16, 2017, the crew of a Navy EA-18G Growler jet delighted sixth graders, launched a meme, and pissed off prudes everywhere by drawing a penis in the sky with their engine exhaust over the state of Washington. Their prank caused quite a stir in the Navy, even leading to an "official information dispatch" to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. It's still unknown how much trouble the pilots got themselves into but the Navy Times has just received a copy of the full report thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request. The cockpit transcripts are fantastic. From the Navy Times:
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“You should totally try to draw a penis,” the (pilot's cockpit partner, an electronic warfare office [EWO]) advised.
“I could definitely draw one, that would be easy,” the pilot boasted. “I could basically draw a figure eight and turn around and come back. I’m gonna go down, grab some speed and hopefully get out of the contrail layer so they’re not connected to each other....”
“Balls are going to be a little lopsided,” the pilot advised.
“Balls are complete,” he reported moments later. “I just gotta navigate a little bit over here for the shaft.”
“Which way is the shaft going?” the EWO asked.
“The shaft will go to the left,” the pilot answered.
“It’s gonna be a wide shaft,” the EWO noted.
“I don’t wanna make it just like 3 balls,” the pilot said.
“Let’s do it,” the EWO said. “Oh, the head of that penis is going to be thick.”
There is an abandoned McDonnell Douglas MD87 jetliner parked on the tarmac of Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas airport in Spain. If this is your jetliner, the airport asks that you please move it immediately. Apparently, the plane has been illegally parked for some years. From CNN:
Airport director Elena Mayoral submitted an official notice to the Boletín Oficial del Estado, the official gazette of the Kingdom of Spain, informing the nation of a plane in an "obvious state of abandonment" at the airport...
Under Spanish law, authorities must publish official notices about the plane for three consecutive months and then wait a year to see if the owner comes forward to claim it.
If they do not, the plane will be considered legally abandoned and will be sold off by the state at a public auction.
From El País:
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In 1990, the airplane flew for the first time for Iberia, according to online magazine Preferente.com. Eighteen years later it was acquired by Pronair, a charter airline headquartered in Albacete in Castilla-La Mancha. But the airline, which at one point was flying regularly to China, closed down in just a year due to the increase in fuel prices and the 2008 financial crisis.
Two years later, the plane was acquired by Saicus Air, a Spanish airline based in Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. The airline operated two airplanes from Madrid and up until that point, had been dedicated to transporting cargo. The plane was meant to fly passengers between Spain and the Republic of Guinea Bissau in west Africa.
There's no better way to beat the heat on your next beach vacation than to hold on for dear life while being blown around by the power of a jet engine. Read the rest
A very skilled pilot takes a Saab Gripen fighter jet through its paces, and his audio from the recording indicates just how physically and mentally taxing this kind of flying is. Read the rest
The de Havilland Comet, unveiled in 1952 to great acclaim, was beset with technical problems that grounded the entire fleet by 1954. One of the big design flaws? Square windows. Read the rest
Holy moly, this kerosene-fueled full GFK* body RC speeder has a turbine engine that generates 40.50lbs of thrust at 125,000 rpm, letting it reach speeds over 450 miles per hour.
Perhaps even more impressive is that the pilot is able to maintain control at those speeds. Mindboggling!
* Fun fact: GFK stands for Glasfaserverstärkter Kunststoff, the German name for this type of glass-fiber reinforced component. I had to look it up!
Here's a POV shot of this type of RC jet
• FASTEST RC TURBINE MODEL JET IN ACTION 727KMH 451MPH FLIGHT TRAINING WORLD RECORD TRAINING PART 2 (YouTube / RC MEDIA WORLD) Read the rest
Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on St. Maarten has an extremely short runway (7152 feet) that forces jets to get mighty close to people at Maho Beach.
Photographer Josef Hoflehner has taken some amazing shots of this phenomenon. Read the rest
Britain's Ministry of Defense announced this unmanned fighter jet today, the Tiranus. Named for the Celtic god of bad-assery, it looks markedly more sinister than America's one, itself revealed in May. There's something about that blue-gray hangar ... it reminds me of something.
Photo: Sienar Fleet Systems.
MoD lifts lid on unmanned combat plane prototype [BBC] Read the rest
I've always been fond of VW Beetles, and any real Beetle lover should set aside a special place in their gas-fume-smelling heart for one particular Beetle, the Black Widow
. The Black Widow started life as a 1955 oval-window Beetle, boasting a small stable of 36 horses for power. Then, the kooks over at Turbonique
, makers of some truly bonkers small jet engines for daredevils and other fun-loving loons, put one of their engines in the Bug, along with the VW/jet engine transaxle
they developed. The result was a Beetle that made about 850+hp and weighed about, oh, half of a modern Honda Civic.