A fascinating video clip has emerged of a Russian pilot (who was wearing a personal video recorder on his chest) ejecting from his damaged Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft, after it was hit by Ukrainian anti-aircraft fire. A tip o’ the hat to The Aviationist for publishing the video. All the action happens in… Continue reading So that’s what it’s like to eject from a burning aircraft…
A tweet from Ukraine shows a helicopter demonstrating what it means to fly “nap-of-the-earth” – over a highway, with vehicles. Click the image for a larger view. You’ll find a video clip of the incident in this tweet. I imagine that must have given a number of drivers a hair-raising experience . . .… Continue reading I’ve heard of “Nap-of-the-earth” flying, but “Nap-of-the-semi”???
NASA has retired its Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), after eight years of operations. Data from its missions will continue to be analyzed for years to come. From the start of its development in 1996, SOFIA required engineering ingenuity. A Boeing 747SP jetliner had to be modified to carry the 38,000-pound, 100-inch (more… Continue reading Farewell to a little-known aircraft that turned into a scientific wonder
I was struck by this photograph, which appeared recently at Daily Timewaster. It shows models of three Northrop “flying wing” designs: the piston-engined YB-35, a later jet-propelled version called the YB-49, and the contemporary B-2 Spirit. Click the image for a larger view. The 120-degree angle of the wing sweep, precisely one-third of a… Continue reading A technological visionary
The Silicon Graybeard argues that they’re a major factor in the problems the SLS is currently experiencing – particularly in the prototype’s fuel system. The persistent issues that have been arising with trying to fuel Artemis I for its maiden flight are drawing attention to an awkward conclusion. Either the contractors for Artemis and whoever… Continue reading Is NASA’s Space Launch System doomed because of obsolete components?
I was amazed to see this photograph of a Russian Antonov An-24 passenger aircraft, which “contacted the ground with its left wing” while landing at Ust-Kut airport in Siberia today. Clickit to biggit. There’s no weather information available about conditions at the time. I can only presume that gusting winds, probably including cross-winds, had… Continue reading That’s about as close as you can get to a plane crash without having one…
Readers may remember that ten years ago, I published an article about a South African Air Force C-47 transport that was hit by a SA-7 missile over what was then South West Africa (today Namibia) during the Border War. Despite severe damage to the aircraft, the pilot managed to land it safely, and all… Continue reading More about that missile-versus-C-47 encounter
This must be embarrassing for the Russian armed forces . . . if not career-ending for some of them. Russia took delivery on a handful of advanced Su-34M fighter bombers late last month, and one has already been shot down over Ukraine. It wasn’t Ukrainian forces who managed to down the twin-seat jet, however…… Continue reading Own goal
A couple of weeks ago we heard the remarkable news that the pilot of a Cessna Caravan light aircraft had passed out in mid-air, leaving a passenger who knew nothing about flying at all to land the plane with the advice and guidance of an air traffic controller on the ground. It was almost… Continue reading Remember that pilot who passed out in mid-air? This is what happened to him.
We’ve spoken in the past about wake turbulence: “a disturbance in the atmosphere that forms behind an aircraft as it passes through the air. It includes various components, the most important of which are wingtip vortices and jetwash.” Some sources refer to it as wake vortex. The sole example of the world’s biggest operational… Continue reading A superb illustration of wake turbulence from the world’s biggest aircraft