Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Left base to 06 at MDY

Tom Kaye served in maintenance at Midway for two years. He worked many a C-133. Here's a shot he found while cleaning out some stuff.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Really big turboprop

You thought the C-133 was big! How about the KC-132, with a TOGW of 469,395 pounds. You take off from George AFB for Hickam, along with a gaggle of F-100s deploying to Vietnam. With 110,000 lbs of transferable fuel, you can drag the fighters all the way to Wake Island. Refueling is done at 450 knots at 30,000'. This is what four 15,000 shp turboprop engines will do for you.

I have a new report that tells what this airplane might have been like, along with a gorgeous 36 x 72 1:72 scale drawing. 150 pages are a Douglas report prepared for an AF visit to the Tulsa mock-up. Another section is the C-132 chapter from Remembering an Unsung Giant. A second chapter is a history of air refueling into the Fifties. It concludes with some alternative history that assumes USAF bought 150 C/KC-132s, along with the C-133s. I specify the production schedule of 3 airplanes per month, bases of assignment, training establishment and units. It is probably the most C-132 information that has ever been available outside the halls of Douglas Aircraft Co.

Contact me if you are interested at firstfleet@aol.com.

Cal Taylor

Cal's website (click on the following black title link & scroll down to Upcoming Publications) says the price for his, C/KC-132 Report, is $60 + $4 S&H.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

X-47B Unmanned Stealth Bomber

Thanks to Bill Neely for another great YouTube link.....

The evil geniuses at Northrop Grumman successfully completed the first flight of its X-47B unmanned stealth bomber a few days ago at Edwards Air Force Base in Edwards, California. In the air for a full twenty-nine minutes, the tailless, fighter-sized UAV flew to 5,000 feet and completed several racetrack-type patterns, before landing safely at 2:38 pm PST. The aircraft will continue to undergo tests at Edwards AFB before heading to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, later this year. The ultimate goal is to get this bad boy taking off and landing on US Navy carriers. Carrier trials are currently slated for sometime in 2013.

Here's the link to the video:
X-47B Unmanned Stealth Bomber

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter 2010/11, List & Book V

I. James Madison by Jack N. Rakove

II. The Law by Frederic Bastiat

III. Present at the Creation by Dean Acheson

IV. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

V. The Math Book by Clifford A. Pickover

This text was given to me as a Christmas gift from my daughter-in-law who has a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from John Hopkins University. She knew I would like it as I graduated with a B.S. in Math in 1959 and soon entered the USAF. Those were the times before Sputnik had its full effect upon the Mathematics curriculum, even though it was beginning to be felt.

I did not realize the full effect of the changes until I left the USAF, some six years later, for graduate school. There, I quickly realized that the concepts that were advanced math while I was an undergraduate had been taken into the classrooms of elementary and high schools; set theory being a good example. A graduate degree in Math was simply out of the question and I quickly changed to Statistics, and Information Systems Analysis, which is now Computer Science. But, I have maintained an interest in math, especially the history of Math.

As one reviewer has written about The Math Book, the author, “…reveals the magic and mystery behind some of the most significant mathematical milestones … beginning in 150 million B.C. and ending with the latest….”. What I really like is that the text is chronologically organized and presented along with a striking full-color image for each milestone. Even though it may seem at first to be a long catalogue of isolated concepts with little connection, it turns out they are fully linked as the great Mathematicians add to the knowledge of mankind, and build upon the work of their predecessors.

The first milestone is dated as 150 million B.C. and is the “Ant Odometer”, explaining how ants are able to travel great distances and return exactly to their nest. The last entry or milestone is dated 2007 and is the “Mathematical Universe Hypothesis” that states, “…our physical reality is a mathematical structure and that our universe…is mathematics”. All in all, there are 250 of the most intriguing milestones one can imagine generally presented in two pages each.

One of my favorites is the “Hairy Ball Theorem”; and its implication holds an answer to my life’s search stating, “… some where on the Earth’s surface... the horizontal wind speed must be zero, no matter how windy it is at other locations”. I want to find that beach in order to escape the winters of Delaware as all C-133 crew members remember how chilling the wind could be on the flight line as it rolled off the Ocean. I am experiencing those cold winds as I write this (20’ F and 12’ WC), so I am even more determined to find that sweet spot of serenity, calmness, and luxurious winter warmth that exists somewhere on this earth!

Reading about the magic of mathematics is reading about a subject that pervades our lives, in fact may be our lives, which we do not understand, but may be the way we communicate with intelligent alien races; and, that are curiosities of great value to the average reader. And, that curiosity, I would suggest, lives in all of us, and The Math Book may help satisfy our “… perpetual state of wonder about the nature of the mind, the limits of thought, and our place in this vast cosmos”.

Since there are 250 milestones in this history of mathematics and my intention is to read just a few per week, I will budget about a year to complete this particular reading. Enjoy!

Richard Spencer

39th ATS, DAFB, 1962-1965

Book Reviews to Come:

VI. Before the Dawn by Shimazaki Toson and translated by W.E. Naff

VII. Leviathan by Hobbes

VIII. The Berlin Airlift

IX. Sacred Fire