-Those Fantastic Flying Machines-


Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.— Socrates


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Monday, May 31, 2010

1942 Northrop Flying Wing

1942 Northrop Flying Wing

1942 Northrop Flying Wing

The Northrop N9MB flying wing was a 1/3 scale test aircraft for the Northrop XB-35 flying wing. The first of four N9MB flying wings took flight in 1942 and allowed pilots to get used to flying the radical design while also gathering critical flight data for the XB-35's design. The Northrop experience with flying wings would culminate with the B-2 Spirit in 1989.

This N9MB was fully restored by the Chino Planes of Fame Museum and was flown at the Museum's airshow this May (5/16/10).
--Keith Breazeal

Daredevil Floats to France

May 29, 2010
Daredevil Floats to France
Jonathan Trappe became the first person to drift across the English Channel using helium balloons (video). The 36-year-old daredevil made the 22-mile crossing in a chair attached to a bundle of 54 colorful, industrial-strength balloons. Once over France, Trappe cut away a few of the balloons in order to descend. See The Telegraph for more pioneers who found novel ways to cross the Channel.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fedex MD11- N306FE

Courtesy of: vector1771 (Hangar71.com)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Air Force's Hypersonic X-51 WaveRider Ready For First Test Flight

X-51 WaveRider The X-51A WaveRider, a wingless scramjet, will make its first hypersonic test flight Tuesday over the Pacific Ocean. Air Force Research Laboratory
The military’s new wingless plane is set to make its first hypersonic test flight Tuesday, after it is released from a B-52 bomber off the California coast.
The X-51A WaveRider, which sort of resembles a shark, will fly for about five minutes, powered by a scramjet engine. It should reach about Mach 6 and transmit data to ground stations before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, according to the Air Force Research Laboratory.
The longest previous hypersonic scramjet flight test, performed by a NASA X-43 in 2004, was faster, but lasted only about 10 seconds and used hydrogen fuel. The X-51 uses JP-7 jet fuel, the same juice that powered the SR-71 Blackbird.
The WaveRider is basically wingless — it has some little fins on its side — so it is designed to ride its own shockwave, hence the name. The flight will test the SJ61 scramjet engine, built by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, as well as the craft's thermal protection systems, airframe and engine integration. Tuesday’s flight will be the third time a WaveRider has been aloft, but in the past it had remained attached to a B-52. This time, the bomber will drop the craft and a solid rocket booster will accelerate it to about Mach 4.5. Then the scramjet engine, which uses the same fuel as the SR-71 Blackbird, will push the X-51A to Mach 6 as it climbs to about 70,000 feet. Scramjets can burn atmospheric oxygen, so they don’t need to carry huge, heavy fuel tanks.
The X-51A program could pave the way to hypersonic weapons and future access to space, the Air Force says.