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!

Technostalgia

Something Better: Vacuum Cleaners

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There has been a mild discussion, perhaps debate even, if you will, in the house of Hyco recently. Our semi-acceptable vacuum divested itself of some plastic bits that turned out to be integral to its successful operation. As such, the question of what sort of new vacuum to try has come up again. Bagless vs. bagged, canister vs. upright, expensive vs. cheap and disposable (or expensive and disposable for that matter), etc. It really comes down to the fact that here we live in the future, and yet we are stuck with 100+ year old tech involving a big motor spinning a fan to create suction, and trying to somehow encourage that suction to lift up the dirt and dust from the floor. Why don’t we have something better? Lasers somehow, or a way to electro-statically charge the dirt particles and attract them to a collector, or, I don’t know, dust repellent floors that slope just slightly and drive the dirt down to one side of the room and trapped.

Image via vacuumland.org.

Shutdown

Shutdown: Little Teapot

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Here is my handle, and here is my spout. And here are my four windshields.

Image via carabaas.livejournal.com.

Shutdown

Shutdown: Snow Globes

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In opposite land.

Image via carabaas.livejournal.com.

Free Range Technology

A Nerdy Weekend Filled With Success and Resounding Failure

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This last weekend I decided to tackle a couple of tech projects I’ve been meaning to do for a while. The genesis of all of this was the fact that I have a detached garage with no connection to the innerwebs. Having access to the tubes that carry the World Wide Web while working on a project out there without having to run inside and muck up the desktop’s keyboard with dirty or greasy hands would be quite convenient. So, I developed a plan. As we all know, the best laid plans fall apart as soon as the first shot is fired.

Continue reading A Nerdy Weekend Filled With Success and Resounding Failure

Quixotic Quantum Quandary

Q³: Hold On!

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Welcome once again to Quixotic Quantum Quandary!! Thanks to the mysterious nature of life itself, this feature has been missing (and surely missed, no doubt), but we are back! And mysterious as ever! And by that I do mean of course grainy and close cropped.

I had the experience recently of buying and old Q-Jet carb at a yard sale for $10. Was it, is it worth $10? I am not entirely sure, that seemed somewhat reasonable to me, and I did end up taking it home. I only bring this up because of the nature of the bargaining at said yard sale. There were several folks running the sale, it looked to be a family-got-together-and-cleaned-up-grandma’s-house sort of sale, and so I asked the group what they wanted for that old Q-Jet. Mostly I just got blank stares, so I had to clarify, ‘that old carburetor over there.’ The lady says I need to ask the men, the men say, what do you think it’s worth, or what would I pay, some such as that. So I say that I don’t know, $5 maybe? This resulted in scoffs and comments of it being worth at least $20-30, to which I was not too receptive, being that I don’t actually own a vehicle that could utilize said carb, and, well, I am sort of cheap. We came to an agreement, thanks to one of the fellows running the sale convincing the other guy that since I didn’t need it, and they really didn’t need it, how about $10? The high valuer didn’t ever seem really convinced, so, was this just a clever negotiating tactic, or what? Why ask me what I think it is worth, surely assuming I will lowball, then scoff at my response?! Just give me a starting point with which to begin the negotiations!

Continue reading Q³: Hold On!

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!

Continue reading Less Than Three the DC-3

Covet Thy Neighbours' Swag

Sometimes Free Stuff Isn’t Worth It

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Free stuff is fun, but going out and grabbing someone’s discarded treasures always carries its own bit of risk. You could end up with a stinky couch, or some obsolete electronic device that requires spending semi-excessive amounts of money to make it work. But, there are certainly some things that are worth it! And if you find a good one, share with us this week in the comments!

Our stupendous winner last time was B72, who showed us a fantastic bucket of 14 year old wheat! Which, if it sounds a little to good to be true, it just might be, as he says, “don’t get your hopes up, you don’t get to keep the bucket.” Also, the bucket is described as a “pale”. Is it a pale pail, who can tell? Someone will have to retrieve it and see!

Technostalgia

What Ever Became of…Popcorn?

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Growing up, I did a brief stint in the Cub Scouts. Like any such youth organization, there was yearly fundraising involved, of course in addition to whatever my parents paid for uniforms and enrollment fees. For those that don’t know, the Girl Scouts get cookies, and the Boy Scouts sell popcorn. Now, while these days it is almost entirely premade flavored popcorn, like those giant Christmas tins with mostly caramel, and a little bit of butter and cheese flavors that kids never eat, and it is super stale, but you don’t have to do any work, well, back in my day it was tubs of unpopped kernels of plain popcorn. Instead of the fancy popcorn, you had fancy machines. Ours was the clear upside down bowl that attached to the heading surface, with its rotating stirrer bar, like a see through corn dome. Others used the power of air to shoot out the popping corn, and still others used wizardry such that my small childlike brain did not comprehend. What ever happened to the varying multitude of pop corn popping machines, and the plain popcorn that went along with it?

Images from rackcdn.com, googleuser, etsy, and tqn.com.

Airborne Awesomosity

Dassault’s Canarded Killer

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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.

Continue reading Dassault’s Canarded Killer