Airborne Awesomosity, Military-Grade Awesome

AT-9 Jeep: Deliberately Being Difficult

This AT-9 is part of the National Air Force Museum collection. (U.S. Air Force photo)

As our nation watched World War II escalate in Europe, America’s armed forces felt more urgency to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. would be drawn into the conflict. The Army Air Forces were procuring an expanding arsenal of larger, more powerful and harder to handle bombers. This meant that training requirements for pilots increased, too.

Cessna responded to this need with the AT-17/AT-8 Bobcat, a fairly conventional advanced trainer (“AT”) based on their new civillian T-50 twin. Curtiss-Wright, however, developed the AT-9, a purpose-built, all-metal, twin-engined advanced military trainer that went into service just months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was notable for being notoriously hard to fly and land, and deliberately so. It was also, in my opinion, one of the absolute coolest-looking planes to come out of the WWII era.
Continue reading AT-9 Jeep: Deliberately Being Difficult

Airborne Awesomosity, Neutrinos with Syrup

Bathroom Break

Leaving on a multi-prop plane…

The iPhone has some cool tricks.  Below are videos of one that I heard about and got to try out on my trip to Nova Scotia. Click the links below for a quick video of the strange lovechild of aviation and Apple.

Magic appearing propeller

Corkscrew […]

Airborne Awesomosity, Startup

Startup: Fuel From Above

Mid-Air Refueling, June 27, 1923.

Yesterday we got a little sidetracked in celebrating Sparky’s awesome accomplishment, but it was a significant milestone for those of us who marvel at aviation technology and things in general that whirr and beep and have blinky lights. Yesterday, June 27th, was the 88th anniversary of the first […]


Startup: Like a Hot Knife Through Buttah

I can see the tie-in with lingerie already!

This sinister looking tool is a tri-roller bit. It, and its immediate predecessor, is responsible for much of the technology of both movie-making and long-distance flight, and can claim to be responsible for many medical advances. Women can thank it for advances in lingerie design. The city of Las Vegas owes its growth from the seedy den of crime bosses and underworld figures to a flashy, exotic family-friendly gaming center to these bits as well.

Continue reading Startup: Like a Hot Knife Through Buttah