Shutdown

Shutdown: The Boy Who Could Fly

The only problem with rocket packs is that they burn out way too fast.

Image via ufunk.net.

Airborne Awesomosity

Bears in the Air

B-58-Bear-Ejection-Seat

It seems safe to say that around these parts many of us enjoy and appreciate the unique features of the Convair B-58. One such interesting feature was the development of a survivable supersonic ejection seat. The early versions of the plane had standard ejection seats, but there were many questions as to whether an aircrew member would live through an ejection at supersonic speeds, especially at very high altitudes. Convair worked with the Stanley Aircraft Corporation to develop ejection pods that would jettison the crew in completely self contained pods.

B-58-Ejection-Sled B-58-Ground-Ejection
A high speed sled was built for seat testing, as well as ground test launches, but how better to test the survival pods at the edges of their rated limits than to simply test them in flight? Of course, then the problem becomes, who do you put into the seat to ensure you get viable data? The answer–bears.

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Airborne Awesomosity

Pull Up!

In this day and age of technology, how often do you see an image on the internet and immediately say to yourself–“That’s clearly a Photoshop. I  can tell from the pixels and from seeing quite a few shops in my time.” This photo is just such an image, and let me just tell you, when I hear that in my head the voice has a British accent, which annoys me. (No, I don’t know why either one of those things happens, and it isn’t really relevant to this tale.) Well, this photo turns out to not be a fake–unless of course it is such an elaborate hoax so as to have fake source web pages. So let’s call it 90% truthiness, and find out more!

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