Airborne Awesomosity

A Plane In Every Garage – The Ercoupe

Now Think About That With Modern Americans

Just Remember The Useful Load is 511 Pounds With Two People AND Fuel

Making the claim of the safest plane in the skies in the late forties is rather risky but that is what this designer did and it lead to six thousand copies of the aircraft being produced.  How do you make this claim?  You use linked controls and have  no rudder pedals in the aircraft. So follow along as we talk about the odd story of the ERCoupe and it’s modern revival.

 

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Airborne Awesomosity

Saturday Morning Commercial

Most every company uses some for of advertising, but certainly not all ads and commercials are created equally. Sometimes it is the high level of creativity of the ad itself, but sometimes, every now and then, it is simply that the product being advertised is just so crazy awesome there really is no […]

Airborne Awesomosity

The Blimp is Dead: Long Live the Zeppelin!

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On March 14, Goodyear announced the completion of its newest “blimp”, and the craft had her maiden flight March 18. To sort of celebrate the occasion, Goodyear has released a time lapse of the ship’s construction, which you can find conveniently located after the jump. But as for the real question, why is “blimp” in quotes, well, let’s have it straight from the horse’s mouth:

“Assembly of the new blimp began in March 2013 at Goodyear’s Wingfoot Lake hangar. An international team of engineers and technicians from Goodyear and Germany’s ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik worked side by side to complete the build project. Parts such as the tail fins and gondola were built in Germany and shipped to the U.S. for assembly. The balloon-like body of the airship – the “envelope” – is made of polyester with an innovative film from DuPont™ called Tedlar®, surrounding a semi-rigid internal structure, which differentiates this airship from previous Goodyear blimps.” (Goodyear)

Semi-rigid? That’s no blimp! But, well, I don’t suppose it is technically a Zeppelin either, since they are more so full rigid. So, semi-blimp? Bleppelin? Zeppelimp?
Continue reading The Blimp is Dead: Long Live the Zeppelin!

Airborne Awesomosity

Less Than Three the DC-3

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The Douglas DC-3 is certainly iconic, and as a kid into all things mechanical–planes, trains, and automobiles!–the DC-3 was my favorite plane. I might have been a little weird. But, that appreciation continues, and so any time I find a sweet image or video, I of course want to share. So here is some intense Gooney Bird flat-hatting, enjoy!

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Airborne Awesomosity

Dassault’s Canarded Killer

Armée_de_l'Air_Rafale

In the mid-1970s, France’s air force and navy both wanted to upgrade their fighter jets. Instead of developing their own, they decided to team up with several other European countries to help share costs. Nobody could agree on requirements, how much of the plane would be built in what country, and what color the needles on the gages should be. So, France wound up going it alone. The result is the Dassault Rafale, which has the distinction of being one of the few European aircraft developed and built almost completely in a single country. It’s decidedly French, and quite beautiful.

Hit the jump to watch a video.

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Airborne Awesomosity

The Flying Veyron

Bugatti 100P

The 1930s were quite the time to be alive. The world was still reeling from the 1929 stock market crash and ensuing financial calamity. It was on the brink of war as Germany disregarded the Treat of Versailles and began militarizing, while to the south Italy was saber rattling because it wanted to be a world power again and not just “that country shaped like a boot”. In the middle of all this mayhem, and to some extent because of it, the airplane went from a slow, deadly device barely suitable for cropdusting to a specimen of motorized performance.

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Airborne Awesomosity

And I’m free, I’m free fallin’

[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYw4meRWGd4[/youtube]

Hit play, grab a hold of something solid, and wonder at the spirit of insanity adventure that would compel a man such as Felix Baumgartner to do such a thing.

[Video Credit: GoPro]

Airborne Awesomosity

Strange Bedfellows

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In an odd twist of history, the first squadron of fighters formed for the air defense of the newly minted country of Israel were essentially surplus Nazi Messerschmitts. As the country was forming and moving towards independence, they found themselves the subject of an international arms embargo and were having a hard time getting in on the fire sales of WWII surplus hardware. The only deal they could find was with Czechoslovakia, buying Avia S-199s. The S-199 was a Bf-109 mated somewhat unfortunately to a Junkers Jumo 211 F engine and propeller from the Heinkel He 111 bomber, all leftovers from the German occupation. A few S-199s were built initially with the same Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine as the Bf-109, but after a warehouse explosion destroyed most a the remaining stock of engines, the semi-suitable replacement had to be found.

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Airborne Awesomosity

Finally, A Flying Bicycle.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEPryYsN1wY[/youtube]

Here at Atomic Toasters, we follow a rigorous schedule to make sure that all news that reaches you is old news.

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Airborne Awesomosity

On a Float!

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In the late 1940s, one of many US Air Force research projects was being conducted by the EDO company, attempting to modify an aircraft such that it could be operated from ice and snow as well as from water. The testbed was a Grumman OA-9 Goose, modified with a hydro-ski configuration consisting of 4 parts, a main ski, tail ski, and two wing float skis. The concept worked, but was only beachable with the use of a bulky cradle. The flight tests also demonstrated that the primary hydro-ski was the only component required for a successful aquatic takeoff, and this fact attracted US Navy interest in further research and development, to explore the hydro-ski as a means to improve the rough water handling of seaplanes.

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