Let’s say you have an award-winning punkin’ chunkin’ air cannon and a mobile home. What do you do? If you’re Chunkin’ Under da Influence, you throw some dogs on the BBQ and test fire your punkin’ chunkin’ air cannon at the mobile home. Seems perfectly logical to me. Hit the jump for the video!
Continue reading Punkin’ vs. Mobile Home
When I say Human Fly, you probably conjure an image in your head of Brundlefly, from that hit film named, appropriately enough, The Fly. Instead, what we have here is a throwback to the early days of barnstorming, a fellow who thought it would be a good idea to ride around on the back of a DC-8. Even better, what was the real drama of those barnstormers? Not so much that they were flying, I would say, or hanging on to a wing while someone else flew, but that they did those things close to the ground, where the crowds could see.
So where do you find a pilot willing to aviate your modern airliner down low to the ground for your Human Fly stunt? Well, if is the year 1975, you find a fellow by the name of Clay Lacy, an air racer and all around airplane aficionado to be your huckleberry. Thanks to Clay Lacy Aviation and airpigz.com, we can take a look at video footage of the adventures of these gentlemen. Hit the jump and enjoy!
Continue reading Human Fly
The General Services Administration is one of those large, nebulous government agencies. In fact, it is responsible for basically all of the supply and transportation for the federal government. When it has equipment that has been removed from service it auctions it. These are those famous government auctions you hear about someone buying 50,000 vacuum tubes for $1 from. Well, this auction will cost you a bit more to enter (a $50,000 deposit is required to bid), but you could walk away with a piece of history — Air Force One.
Continue reading Buy Air Force One!
When your average air traveler climbs aboard a commercial airliner, he probably gives very little thought to just how that plane is going to navigate from point A to point B. He gets in, wedges into his seat, and tries to maintain some semblance of privacy, perhaps interrupted only by a brief interlude to partake of his tiny cup of soda. Eventually, the plane thumps to the ground and he calmly shuffles on his way. GPS, inertial navigation, instrument landing systems, autopilots, he doesn’t really care what got used, just whether the plane was on time so he can make his connecting flight.
Once, when commercial aviation was a little less common place, and instrument navigational aids were in their early stages, it seems that at least some travelers showed a bit more interest in this brave new world of air travel. A radio navigation system was illustrated by a Parker Brothers board game, “Flying the Beam,” introduced in 1941. The radio beacon was represented on the board, and the object was to move your rubber DC-3 game pieces and be the first to land safely at the destination airfield. The images you see here are of the game on exhibit at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
Continue reading Flying the Beam
Let’s play spot the differences! This is a shot of Jimmy Doolittle racing a Geebee in the 1932 Cleveland National Air Races. And so is the one below. Who can see the differences?
Images via airpigz.com and csudigitalhumanities.org.
We love the SR-71 here at Atomic Toasters Galactic Command. As well we should. It’s damn sexy. Twenty three years ago yesterday, the SR-71 was first retired from the US Air Force, before pulling a Michael Jordan. It had one last record-setting flight.
Continue reading Flight Plan
The Cold War era was often terrifying for those of us who lived through it. But today, from the comfort of a world gone berserk in a somewhat less M.A.D. way, we can sit back and cogitate over the functional beauty of some of the weapons systems designed to rain fiery death on civilian populations. Continue reading Mirage IV