Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Full Scale Horten 229 Flying Wing Built

Northrop Grumman Corporation and the National Geographic Channel and the San Diego Air and Space Museum teamed up to build a full scale World War Two era Horten 229 Flying Wing. One of the "wonder" weapons the Third Reich was trying to build to turn their losses into victories again. It was too little, too late for World War Two. This recreation is to be unveiled as part of the Museum's World War II Gallery on June 24th.

The Documentary entitled "Hitler's Stealth Fighter". In one of the top-secret facilities in Germany as that nation felled under the Allied advance, American troops discovered a advanced jet-propelled unlike anything ever seen before. The flying wing design now known as the Horten 229. Unknowingly, the design was what we now know as Stealth technology.

Northrop Grumman aeronautical engineers along with National Geographic Channel personnel worked from original plans and prototype to reconstruct a full-scale replica of the jet and determine what it's stealth capabilities would actually have been.

Building the Horten was a modern day challenge-even using old time-tested materials and techniques to build it. Then once it was completed, the flying wing was trucked out to the Mojave Desert and set up on top of a 5-story pylon on the Northrop Grumman test range. All sorts of radar were aimed at the Horten 229 and the test results recorded. And for more details, you will have to watch that program "Hitler's Stealth Fighter" on June 28, 9pm EST/PST.

Ref. San Diego Air and Space Organization (
National (

Friday, June 19, 2009

Commerical Spaceport America Groundbreaking Took Place Today

Ground breaking at the New Mexico commercial spaceport near the town of Truth or Consequences took place today. This is the $198 million dolar project, funded by the New Mexico state governement for commercial companies to have access to space. The facility will be known by the name of Spaceport America.

Gov. Bill Richards was in attendance. "After all of the hard work to get this project off the ground, it is gratifying to see Spaceport America finally become a reality."

Sir Richard Branson's space tourism company known as Virgin Galactic will be based at this location. Virgin Galactic will offer suborbital space flights costing $200,000 a ride. Virgin Galactic's President Will Whitehorn said that the company has taken in 300 advanced bookings. First planned spaceflights will began hopefully in two years.
Ref., "New Mexico breaks ground on commercial spaceport." by Tim Gaynor, June 19, 2009. (

Thursday, June 18, 2009

F-22 Saved From the Budget Ax!

The fiscal 2010 budget for the Pentagon moved through the House Armed Services Committee, where the lawmakers approved a $550 billion defense bill to keep Lockheed Martin's F-22 Raptor program going on for another two years.

The fighter jocks where all upset and up in arms over the fact that their 5th generation plaything was going to be cut. A last minute amendment provided $368.8 million towards the purchase of 12 of the fighter jets in fiscal year 2011. Measure passed by a 31-30 vote.

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) told reporters, "It does send a message that we do want to keep the production line open. And does give us the chance to fight again. Rep. Bishop was the sponsor of the bill.

This was a slap in the face to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who decided to cut more than 50 weapon systems in his 2010 defense budget proposal. Gates was wanting to just get four more Raptors and then shut the production line down. Instead, he was planning on a multiyear procurement of Navy fighter jets and buying just one type of jet engine(the one used in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)). He also wanted to stop research into the developement of a new bomber.

The committee did add the money for purchase of the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter and the EA-18G Growler. It also granted the Navy the authority to sign a multiyear contract. They pulled funding from the JSF to do this.

One of the key reasons that this vote went the way it did was a letter sent out to Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) by General John Corley, the current commander of the USAF Air Combat Command, who wrote that a "fleet of 187 F-22s puts execution of our current national military strategy at high risk in the near-to midterm."

The F-22 survival still must pass senate approval when the Senate Armed Services Commitee meets to mark up its own defense spending bill. It might provide for 20 F-22s in 2009, four in 2010, and 12 in 2011. Critics are correct in pointing out that this is an inefficient way of going about building a fighter plane.

Pratt & Whitney has to ward off somehow a upcoming battle on the hill about the House support to have another company come in to build an alternative second engine for the JSF. Rep Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) - chairman of the Armed Services Air and Land Forces Subcommittee summed things up this way.

"Being tied to one engine is too high an operational risk to take." He told reporters that 90 percent of the US airfleet of JSFs would be powered by the P&W engine.

Still on the cutting room floor is the Airborne Laser, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, and the Multiple Kill Vehicle.

Ref., "Defense cuts rolled back in House" by Jen Dimascio, June 18, 2009 (

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First Look at Warp Ship Designs

Article by Ian O'Neill who interviewed Dr. Richard Obousy who had develope some concept designs for what a theoretical starship/warpship would look like.

Now, the physics behind the Warpship are purely theoretical. Dark Energy is still not understood or even harnessed. A warpship would need vast amounts of energy to generate a "warp field."

Dark Energy is the energy theorized to permeate throughout the entire universe. Cosmologists think that it was a part of the reason for the rapid expansion of the universe after the Big Bang 13.73 billion years ago. Example in the article given as a balloon inflating. On the 2-dimensional surface of the balloon, it is stretching in the inflation process. In 3-dimensional space, that action is propelling the galaxies away from one another.

If Dark Energy could be harness, then a future Warpship could manipulate the space-time surrounding it. Quoting the article directly, Dr. Obousy says that, "the extra dimensions as predicted by superstring theory could be shrunk and expanded by the warp drive through manipulation of local dark energy. At the front of the warpship space-time would be compressed, and it would expand behind.

His design for the Warpship was choosen to optimize the manipulation of dark energy (to create the spacetime bubble). However that bubble is created, time inside the craft would remain the same, but forward in the direction of travel, space-time would compressed, and to the rear of the ship, space-time would expand.

Dr. Obousy was concerned about some practical issues that would have to be overcome such as preventing the creation of artificial black holes, as well as a catastrophic warp bubble collapse when the power is switched off.

Four images were included with that article. The last one showed how the warpship would actually be "surfing" on a space-time wave to achieve its faster-than-light-speed travel.

Well, the ships in Star Trek looked better to me personally. But this thing that Dr Obousy has conceived in intriguing to me.

REf. "Introducing The Warpship" image credits Richard Obousy Consulting and Alex Szames Antigravite. June 16, 2009.(

Thursday, June 11, 2009

F-15 Silent Eagle Movie on The DEW Line

You have to see this cgi production of what a upgraded F-15 Eagle would do.  And might I add that if we could upgrade ALL of our F-15 to the F-15SE version, then we can go with the lower production run for the F-22 (as it is currently planned).  Click on the link below to vist that webpage and see that movie.  

I did a quick google search and found a mockup images of the F-15 SE and I used that with this posting.
Ref:  Also found the actual article on DEW Line as well (

Friday, June 5, 2009

AT-802U Air Tractor Arms' its Cropduster into a Gunship!

A cropduster used as a COIN gunship.  The AT-802U.  I spotted this on the Stephen Trimple blog:  The Dewline.

First of all, its made in Texas!  

The company is known as Air Tractor.  They operate out of Olney, Texas.  

I live in West Texas all of my life (so far-49 years and counting).  I've seen these type of planes for what seems like forever to me.  I have a A&P license-but dont' use it anymore.  I thought after I earned that ticket, that my life would improve - it didn't.  I didn't get to work on very many airplanes.  Pan Am's mechanics flooded the market when they went bust.  I even thought taht I would be working on some cropdusters - but that never happened, saddly. But getting back to the AT-802U.

Second, it follows the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!) principle.  These smaller Air Forces need both a trainer and a light attack aircraft.  And this baby does it.  And thats why its heading to Paris and the Great Airshow that they hold there.  Air Tractor even thinks that it can sell some of these babies to the American Air Force.  I like the idea and its thinking outside of the box which is another plus in my book.  However - the current USAF leadership has only fighterjocks on the brain.  If it turns and burns and you can stick the name Stealth on the airframe somewhere - they go batty over it.  

But submit this "Tail-dragger" to this current bunch is a lost cause.  I mean - lets face it!  Trail-draggers went out of style back in the good war.  World War Two for Pete's Sakes!

This is getting off subject, but I have also heard and read here and there that there are problems with the fighter pilot types flying the UAVs.  Like having hard landings and such.  However, put gamers or better yet, folks who know how to fly radio control model airplanes - then the UAVs have a better safety record.  I chalk this up to attitude.  Again, if it turns and burns and you can tagged it with the moniker Stealth or put "Super-Cruise" engines on the damn airframe and charge billions of dollars - then the USAF will be yoru best friend.  

Come up with something following the logic of KISS - Then that item is screwed and will not be approved for purchased by the United States' government.  Try to save the taxpayer some $$ and they turn their sharp noses up in the air and away form good ideas.  

And thats the sad part about all of this.  This Air Tractor gunship MAKES SENSE!  But I am affraid that we will never see the American "Star and Bar" on its fuselage or wings.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

USAF X-37 Project to Fly Next Year

The joint U.S. Air Force and Boeing project known as the X-37B - the unpiloted military space plane, is gearing up for its first flight in January 2010.

It will be launched on top of a Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) from Cape Canaveral, Florida.  Orbit the Earth, then make a auto-pilot landing in California.

The X-37B had its beginings in July 1999 with the Boeing Phantom Works.  In 2002, NASA awarded Boeing a $301 million doalr contract to develope the X-37 flight vehicle. It is a 27.5 feet long and 15 foot wingspan, and weighs five tons. 

The RE-USABLE space plane is a testbed for dozens of technologies in airframe, propulsion, and operation.

Quoting from that article, "Potential new commercial and military reusable space vehicle market applications for these technologies range from on-orbit satellite repair to the next-generation of totally resuable launch vehciles" source is past Boeing-issued briefing material.

My question to the reading public is this... Why not scale this up for manned space operations?  Used the Jupiter Booster design or even the Aries V as the primary booster?
Ref. June 02, 2009, "U.S. Air Force Aims to Launch Space Plane Next Year" by Leonard David. (

Monday, June 1, 2009

Watervliet, New York UFO on May 11, 2009

George Knapp linked this to the Coast to Coast AM website from the Filer's Files.  I think this is one of the best cylinderical UFO photographs ever taken.  Object sighted on May 11, 2009 above Watervliet, New York

The report said that it was hovering at about 500 feet altitude.
Ref. Photos, May 31, 2009, Coast to Coast Am website. (