Saturday, December 31, 2011

Eric Palmer blog: A-29 Super Tucano selected by USAF

Eric Palmer blog: A-29 Super Tucano selected by USAF: The A-29 Super Tucano has been selected for the USAF light air support mission.

UPDATE: January 5, 2011: The USAF has sent out a stop order on the recent contract awarded to Embraer due to legal action brought forth by Hawker Beechcraft. Check out the details in the link below.

1. "Air Force stops Jacksonville military plane contract" by Sarah Mueller. January 4, 2011. ( ).

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Victoria Principal is Future Virgin Galactic tourist!

Best known for her role as Pamela Ewing on the TV drama show "Dallas" from 1978 to 1987, Ms Victoria Principal will also be one of the future space tourists for Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space tour service.

Now 61 years old, Victoria Principal is in training so that she can make the space trip. No date has been given yet as to when the first tourists will take flight.

In the article, the news about her being a future space tourist took second place to the news that she would not be a part of the big Dallas reboot to take place on TNT in the summer of 2012. The other actors of that series that will be reprising their roles. Larry Hagman as JR Ewing, Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing. Linda Grey will also be returning to the series as well.

The show will now focus on their children - now all grown up. Jessie Metcalfe will be playing Bobby and Pam Ewing's son Christopher.

1. Daily Mail. "As Dallas gets a reboot, original cast member Victoria Principal, 61 , proves that some classics really don't get old..." by Amelia Proud. December 26, 2011. ( images are from same article.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

To every one who has visited this and my other blogs, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Paul Allen's new Stratolaunch Systems Endeavour

Billionaire Paul Allen and Burt Rutan announched a new venture for manned space travel. It will be the largest aircraft ever built based off of the carrier/space booster plan profile that the White Knight/SpaceShipOne was.

Broken down, you have the giant carrier aircraft which will built by Rutan's Scale Composites. The other part of the system is the multi-stage booster to be built by Elon Musk's SpaceX. The Mating and integration system that can handle up to 490,000 pounds will be built by Dynetics.

Quote: Stratolaunch Systems will bring airport-like operations to the launch of commercial and government payloads and, eventually, human missions. Plans call for a first flight within five years. The air-launch-to-orbit system will mean lower costs, greater safety, and more flexibility and responsiveness than is possible today with ground-based systems. Stratolaunch's quick turnaround between launches will enable new orbital missions as well as break the logjam of missions queued up for launch facilities and a chance at space. Rutan, who has joined Stratolaunch Systems as a board member, said he was thrilled to be back working with Allen. "Paul and I pioneered private space travel with SpaceShipOne, which led to Virgin Galactic's commercial suborbital SpaceShipTwo Program. end quote.

The new carrier aircraft if huge. It will have a wingspan of 380 feet which is longer than that of a football field. Quoting Burt Rutan: "You should never show this airplane, or a model of it, without right next to it, showing a plane that we know how big it is, like a little 747." end quote.

The carrier will have six turbofn engines - the type use of Boeing 747s. It will have a take-off weight of 1.2 million pounds and it will need a runway of 12,000 feet long to get off the ground. More than likely, it will have to take off from the Space Shuttle runway at the Kennedy Space Center.

Initially, Stratolaunch Systems will focus on cargo flights, but human flights quote: "will follow after safety, reliability, and operability are demonstrated."

First flight should take place before the end of the decade. Also, if you have problems viewing the video, just click on it to watch it on YouTube.

1. NSS Blog. "Stratolaunch Systems: New Space Launch System Announced by Paul Allen" December 13, 2011. (
2. "Paul Allen's Stratolaunch: Grand plan for next-gen space travel" by Daniel Terdiman. December 13, 2011. ( image from article.
3. Stratolaunch website (
4. New Space "Paul Allen to unveil Stratolaunch Systems today" December 13, 2011. (

UFO Seen Over Moscow Protest Rally

A recent daytime UFO sighting of what appears to this blogger to be of a helicopter-like drone, was seen at a political protest rally in Bolotnaya Square; in the Russian Capital of Moscow this month.

The video link here ( ) and some of the screen captures were posted online by the Daily Mail recently. Poor picture quality and the videos taken by two individuals that the Daily Mail was able to reach are of poor quality too.

I am guessing both videos were taken by cellphone cameras. Hint to future video takers. Cellphone cameras do have a ZOOM in function if you will just take the time when you have your UFO moment to use it!

In the pictures, the object appears to have legs or other blade-like objects sticking out from the central body. Witnesses to this sighting state that they did not hear any rotor blade or engine sounds from this object.

The protesters were voicing their opposition to Vladimir Putin's United Russia party's contentious victory in elections the week before when the UFO sighting took place. And those present became more concern with the UFO instead of the main reason they were there.

1. Daily Mail. "Russian protesters distracted during Moscow demo against Putin... by 'UFO' flying over Kremlin" By Chris Parsons. December 13, 2011. ( ). images from same article.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

70 Years After The World Changed for America!

This day marks the 70th Anniversary of the Japanese attack on the US military in the Hawaiian Islands and Pearl Harbor specifically.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta will be placing a wreath at the Navy Memorial today. In a message released yesterday, Panetta said, Pearl Harbor survivors represent the best of America and serve as role models for the current generation that responded to another deadly surprise attack.

In another quote by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta: "In the memories of that day, we continue to draw determination and conviction to protect our freedoms, to sacrifice for our fellow citizens, and to serve a purpose larger than self. You, the survivors of Pearl Harbor and of the war that followed, embody this conviction, this determination to raise high the torch of freedom and sacrifice.”

The generation that live and fought through those times are dying off now. But their stories are legend. Every future Pearl Harbor remembrance becomes even more poignant with the passage of time.

1. Eavesdropping by John Eaves(
2. US DOD. "Panetta to Honor Pearl Harbor Dead, Salutes Attack Survivors" by Jim Garamone. December 6, 2011. (
3. Personal photo from 2007 trip to Hawaii.