Shutdown: Showing the Flag

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I had just dug my way out of a mound of sawdust, broken wood, twisted metal and scattered tools, and I as I lay there gazing up at the sky through what until very recently had been my ceiling, and beyond that, my roof, I thought to myself, “Bloody hell, […]

Airborne Awesomosity

History Repeating

The word is about, there’s something evolving,
whatever may come, the world keeps revolving
They say the next big thing is here,
that the revolution’s near,
but to me it seems quite clear
that it’s all just a little bit of history repeating
–Propellerheads “History Repeating”, 1998

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Airborne Awesomosity

The D-558 Tortoise to the X-1 Hare

This is a Douglas D-558-1 Skystreak. It was built by Douglas Aircraft Company in 1947 for the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). While the Bell X-1 was making all the headlines and being all fast and stuff, the D-558 was slowly making progress giving useful information to researchers.
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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 […]

Prototypes and Experiments, Supersonic Transport Week

Shaping the Sound of Fast

In the early 2000s, NASA Dryden’s flight research team, along with DARPA, studied ways to reduce the intensity of shockwaves. This lead to a nose-job, a glider, and a bunch of microphones in the desert. Continue reading Shaping the Sound of Fast


Leonardo da Vinci and the F/A-18

Leonardo da Vinci was quite the futurist. He conceptualized the helicopter and the airplane. He also developed the method for using water to visualize flow around objects. A concept that is still in use today as evidenced by the photo above of an F/A-18 in NASA Dryden’s water tunnel. Ink is injected through […]