This is a US Navy diving suit from the early 1900s. The diver was supplied with this canvas suit, brass “hard hat”, weighted belts and boots, and a knife. That’s it. Air came via a hand-operated bellows pump on the deck of the boat and a hose connected to the helmet. Divers with [...]
I have this vague recollection rattling around in my head from when I was but a wee lad. Our family was over at someone’s house for a backyard barbecue type lunch get together that happened to be on the same day as an airshow. These folks lived near enough to whatever airfield that the show was out of that parts of the show could be seen from the back yard, and while the details of where/when all this happened are fairly fuzzy, and I am sure I was quite young, I distinctly remember being able to see the Blue Angels. Perhaps this was one of the events that instilled a love for aviation from early on, as our vantage point was situated such that when the Blues would depart from the center of the show, and turn and regroup, it was right over our heads.
This great old home video is from a show in 1970 at Suffolk County AFB, Long Island, New York–now named Francis S. Gabreski Airport, located near Westhampton, NY. While I am not aged enough to have ever seen the Blue Angels flying the F-4s (1969-1974), the video made me remember again watching that show back years ago. It is a little grainy, and there is no sound, but fire up the way-back machine and take a look!
Continue reading F-4J Phantom II on Super 8mm
The Iowa dwarfs the shipyard cranes that inspired the Starwars AT-AT transports on a last night of rest before her final journey
(UPDATE: The tow has been delayed on a day-by-day basis due to a storms system off the California coast that would make the tow dangerous)
This afternoon (20MAY2012) at 12Pm PST (DELAYED), the last Battleship USS Iowa BB-61 is scheduled to depart her temporary berth in the Richmond California shipyard and begin making her way south enroute to her new home at the Port of Los Angeles to become a floating museum.
This marks what may well become her last voyage at sea for the old warrior, and possibly the last “at-sea” for a battleship of any kind.
AND, thanks to the power of the intertubes and the kind people at PacificBattleship.com you can track the Iowa in real time on her voyage! Continue reading Track and watch the USS Iowa on her final voyage!
Fresh on the heels of yesterday’s USS Iowa Post, comes this period training film on the loading and firing of the Iowa class’s massive 16 inch/50 cal Mk7 gun. Here you will see the inner workings of the turret, as well as projectile and powder-bag handling. This may come in handy someday if you suddenly find yourself on a re-commissioned WWII battleship.
Hey, it could happen. You gotta be prepared.
Below is a cutaway diagram of the major parts and general arrangement. It’s kind of like an angry flaming iceberg, where you only see a small part above the surface… if you can call 3 gigantic 16 inch diameter 66 foot long guns “small”. Continue reading Battleship, 16 Inch Gun Training Film
20 years ago today several thousand Naval Aviators woke up with hangovers and said “Holy crap, thank god Facebook hasn’t been invented yet.”
The week of 8-12 September was the 35th annual symposium of the “Tailhook” association, which refers to a retractable hook underneath the tail of Naval aircraft, allowing them to catch an arresting wire on the flightdeck and stop quickly. Tailhook was formed in 1956 by active duty naval aviators as a non-profit fraternal organization supporting “the interests of sea-based aviation, with emphasis on aircraft carriers.”
At the time little known outside the “bird-farms” of the US Navy, I myself only heard mention of it in passing while hanging out in CATCC (Carrier air Traffic Control Center) on the USS Midway while stationed in Yokosuka Japan that fateful summer of 1991.
What followed would change everything. Continue reading What happens in Vegas, can sink a navy
I’m on a bit of a military kick. Probably because much of our technology has its roots in the military. That computer you are reading this post on and the intertubes that transport it to your monitor both hearken back to military needs. So does the Landing Craft Air Cushion.
Continue reading I Can’t Drive 55: The LCAC
Not a sight you want to see in your rear-view mirror. Mostly because it would mean you were driving in the ocean.
If he were still alive, today would be Chester Nimitz’ 126th birthday. And he’d probably be very tired, but he’d still be in active duty. For those who are unaware, Nimitz [...]