Airborne Awesomosity

All That For Nothing


On February 20, 1947 a Strategic Air Command B-29 took off from Ladd Field near Fairbanks, AK on a secret mission. That mission meant the Kee Bird was to fly north to the geographic north pole then return. With extended range tanks filling its empty bomb bays, it could stay aloft for 26 hours. The mission was expected to last 20 hours.

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Random Data

Ship 7109

On Delta Airlines’ blog they had an interesting post about one of their workhorse Boeing 777-200LR aircraft and a typical 9 days in its life. As you can see from the infographic, it traveled 86,700 miles, went to 9 distinct airports, and carried almost 4,000 passengers. Here’s some more information you may or […]

Airborne Awesomosity

Up In Smoke

Necessity is the mother of awesome.

A while back, skitter wrote quite a post on the Boeing B-47 Stratojet. A huge monster of a Cold War bomber. One of the more unusual things about the B-47 was the Air Force’s insistance on trying to improve its take-off performance with JATO. They also had systems on the B-47’s JATO that would inject water into the rocket exhaust to create a sort of “smokescreen” or, more technically, a steamscreen. Hit the jumps for a video of a B-47 taking off with JATO and steamscreen.

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Airborne Awesomosity

The Boeing B-50 – A Super SuperFortress

The Boeing B-50 Superfortress

[image credit –]

At the beginning of the Cold War there was still a need for new Strategic bombers but no time to wait for development of the new aircraft. Find out how an old design was refitted and would continue to serve its country for more then two decades.


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Airborne Awesomosity

The Boeing XB-38 Watercooled Fortress

Note The Radiator Between the Engines

[image National Air Force Museum]

Towards the end of the war several unusual prototypes made their way off the drafting board.  This modification was yet another example of an aircraft answering a need that didn’t actually exist.


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Airborne Awesomosity

Rolls-Royce Trent 1000: British Humour & Lego Awesome

Rolls-Royce and GE are the two suppliers of engines for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. For the new jet, Rolls-Royce built a new engine in their Trent engine family. The Trent 1000 can provide between 53,000 lb. and 75,000 lb. of thrust depending on the variant and application. It’s an impressive engine.

It also has a bit of a humourous side. You see, the crazy Brits at Rolls purposely scheduled FAA and EASA certification on August 7, 2007. No big deal, right? Except, in Europe they write dates with the day first. Now do you get the joke?

If not, you can still enjoy the Lego awesomeness after the jump.
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Military Surplus

Operation Aphrodite


B-17 drone

Take one war weary B-17, stuff in one pilot and 20,000 pounds of explosives. Then have the pilot bail out and hand the controls over, remotely, to another bomber flying nearby. This was Operation Aphrodite


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Airborne Awesomosity, Military Surplus

What If The B-29 Had Failed, What Were The Backups?


Consolidated B-32 Dominator


The B-29 Superfortress was the most complex aircraft built during the 40’s; because of this the US Air Force wanted some other aircraft as insurance against its failure.

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Airborne Awesomosity

Balls 8

Eight Pratt & Whitney J57-19 turbojet engines come to life. The pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer and others are strapped in to their seats. The first streaks of dawn’s light are showing in the sky over the dry lake bed. The air is still. The behemoth begins to roll, accelerating slowly at first. After […]


Startup: Flying Fortress 101 Edition

It is a safe, comfortable feeling to know that in a pinch, I could hop into pretty much any modern passenger car, truck, or motorcycle and drive it right off the bat. Handy in all sorts of situations – zombie attack, lemur uprising, moonlighting as a valet, casual car theft, or murderous in-laws. […]