Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Posts tagged “plane

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Aerial view of Stockholm before 1934

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Winston Churchill’s one-man pressure chamber, used on his personal plane during WWII. It had ash trays, a telephone and an air-circulation system.

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Winston Churchill was susceptible to pneumonia and the long cold flights weren’t good for his health (none of Churchill’s planes were pressurized). He would wear an oxygen mask on some occasions (even when he slept). Sometime in 1942 they did build a pressure chamber for him, but they couldn’t get it into his plane without dissembling the tail section. The contraption was rejected out of hand – thus never used.

(Source)


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From his mount a German horseman views an early airplane at Tempelhofer Feld (Tempelhof’s Airfield) Berlin; ca. 1900s

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B-57B observing a nuclear test during Operation Redwing, Bikini Atoll; ca. July 12th 1958

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Looks like a gorgeous sunset. Only man made….

Here is a video of the shot. It was the fifth largest nuclear shot by the US ever, at 9.3 megatons. It really does look like a sunrise/set (only at 1000x speed).

(I recently read Command and Control, would recommend it, covers a lot of the insanity regarding nuclear weapons. Apparently, up until the 80’s they were surprisingly easy to to set off, none of the PAL stuff you see in movies these days. Right after World War Twi they were still trying to figure out how to work nuclear war into scenario planning, it leads to a lot of crazy phrases like “limited nuclear war” or “progressive escalation” in terms of how to use the weapons not just against the soviets but also against weaker world powers. I think the USA did get a bit of a God complex for a bit, but once the cold war started it balanced it out to a more muted insanity and paranoia as they realized that just about any major power could drop a nuke and it might just set off the rest of the world, intentional or not…)


A crewman on a British biplane prepares to drop a bomb from the rear cockpit during WWI.

When released, the propeller on the rear of the bomb would spin and turn an internal screw which armed the bomb at a safe distance from the aircraft.

When released, the propeller on the rear of the bomb would spin and turn an internal screw which armed the bomb at a safe distance from the aircraft.


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Convair Model 118 ConvAirCar takes a test flight in California in November 1947.

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The handling dynamics in the air would be interesting to say the least…

“The Convair Model 118 ConvAirCar (also known as the Hall Flying Automobile) was a prototype flying car of which two were built. Intended for mainstream consumers, two prototypes were built and flown. The first prototype was lost after a safe, but damaging, low fuel incident. Subsequently, the second prototype was rebuilt from the damaged aircraft and flown. By that time, little enthusiasm remained for the project and the program ended shortly thereafter.” (Source)


Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182 Going Down over San Diego after Colliding with Another Plane, 1978.

Reading the transcript of this, the last thing said was "Ma, I love ya" by an unknown person (probably the captain). That almost brought me to tears.

Reading the transcript of this, the last thing said was “Ma, I love ya” by an unknown person (probably the captain). That almost brought me to tears.

144 dead including 2 in the Cessna, 7 on the ground (2 children). With a reported impact speed of 300 mph, the Boeing 727 crashed into the North Park residential neighborhood of San Diego, CA.

Kind of a heartbreaking photo, knowing the outcome and reading the radio transcripts.

Photos of the plane in the air were taken by photographer Hans Wendt who was attending a press event. (A local news cameraman captured the fall of the Cessna on film, but I could not locate the footage.)

*Not only did no one survive, nobody made it intact.

“The accident was notable for the carnage it created. Only a few of the bodies were found recognizable and intact. First responders on the scene found pieces of bodies scattered throughout the area, including on rooftops and against trees, and gore splattered on walls.” (Source)

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A 14 year old boy falls out of the wheel-well of an airliner as it takes off, 1970

A 14-year old stowaway, Keith Sapsford, falls 200 feet to his death from the landing gear bay. From Ask the Pilot:

I recalled a remarkable photograph I’d seen as a teenager depicting a young boy falling to his death from the landing gear bay of a Japan Air Lines DC-8. The picture would have been taken in the late 1960s or early ’70s. I remembered it vividly, but hadn’t seen it in more than 20 years. After much searching, I’ve finally managed to locate a copy online, viewable here. As the caption explains, John Gilpin, an amateur photographer, was trying out a new camera lens at the airport in Sydney, Australia, when he unwittingly captured the deadly fall of 14-year-old Keith Sapsford, who had sneaked into the undercarriage well in hopes of reaching Japan.

See here as well.