Monday, June 30, 2008

Bush Flying

While immersing myself in the usual aviation research, I found this from the Centennial Of Flight website...

Bush Flying

"The terms “bush pilot” and “bush flying” evoke images of the golden age of aviation—swashbuckling pilots with flowing silk scarves skillfully maneuvering a vintage aircraft into the most inhospitable regions on Earth. In this case, unlike many legends, these romantic images are very close to reality—bush flying is one of the last vestiges of aviation's early roots and is still relied on by many isolated communities to provide a vital lifeline. In the Canadian and Alaskan wilderness, where landing strips were few and widely scattered, most planes had to be adaptable to skis and floats, taking advantage of frozen rivers and lakes in the winter, then switching to floats in the summer months. Many fixed-gear aircraft also relied on tough, over-sized tires to handle the problems of landing on the rocky banks of streams and rivers, and to compensate for soft and spongy ground.

Alaska, Australia, and the barren northern territories of Canada are the locales most commonly associated with bush flying, although its impact extends equally to the rain forests of South America and the jungles of Africa. Mail, medicine, food supplies and dry goods, cargo, and human interaction are just a few of the precious commodities delivered by bush flying pilots.

Veteran Canadian bush pilot C.H. "Punch" Dickins, in a 1962 speech, concisely defined bush flying as “a pilot and mechanic, who are ready and willing to take any kind of a load to any destination, on or off the map, within the limits of their aircraft, and the financial resources of the customer.” Dickins' idealistic definition also touched upon the day-to-day hardships faced by bush pilots the world over—scarcity of satisfactory landing strips, dynamic and often challenging weather conditions, inadequate radio communications, erratic work loads and often insufficient cash flow, and the unknowns of satisfying a customer never before seen by flying to a location never before visited.

In the years following World War I, seasoned American and Canadian combat pilots, enamored with the thrill and freedom of flight, soon turned their attentions to peacetime pursuits that would permit them to earn a living from their flying skills. Some turned to the lucrative barnstorming circuit, others to the practicality of crop-dusting, while the most adventurous were drawn to bush flying...."

Bush Flying

Short Take Off and Landings (STOL)

Thanks again to fellow RCAF pilot Bela Lubezki for the tip on these amazing YouTube aviation related videos.

Greatest Air Battles (PART 3 OF 10)

The Three Zs Of EDF

Originally uploaded by Zoe Connolly
Three powerful women take charge in defending Extropia

(This was quite a lagfest for my computer memory and video card. I really had to act fast, but the resulting frame-rate of 1 made it hard to setup the right snapshot.)

Greatest Air Battles (PART 2 OF 10)

Flickr: Extropia Defense Force (EDF)

Yes, it's yet another SecondLife Flickr Group! This time it's for the EDF...

Flickr: Extropia Defense Force (EDF)

The Extropia Defense Force, also known as EDF, is headquartered at Skies Of Tomorrow in the Independent State of Extropia. It is responsible for defending the airspace, land and sea of that new and great nation, Extropia.

Flickr: Extropia Defense Force (EDF)

Zoetrope Cryotank - EDF test pilot.

Originally uploaded by Zoe Connolly
Zoetrope Cryotank - Extropia Defense Force (EDF) test pilot.

Zoetrope was badly injured during a test flight where a catastrophic failure brought her aircraft down. Extropia Doctors gave her bionic implants, replacing her left arm and both eyes.

After a difficult recovery, the dauntless Miss Cryotank returned to the flight line where she still volunteers for test flight duty for the EDF.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The B-47 StratoJet

When no one was looking, I rezzed my 1950s era B-47 bomber at my aerodrome in Victorian era Caledon. OMG I love this plane! I can't resist!

This fine aircraft was built in SecondLife by RL Pilot - Bancos Milestone.

Zoetrope Dreamscape develops a rash

My alts are just like me (Zoe Connolly) in shape, but I alter then slightly with different skin, hair, and clothing. All are involved in my main activity - Aviation. Some have different groups in their profile, different missions, and even slightly different online personae.

Meet my alt Zoetrope Dreamscape (ZD). ZD can be seen in Caledon, New Babbage, New Toulouse, and Extropia at various times of the week. She's my homage to Bessie Coleman in SL. She's a fearless pilot and explorer....and she's gorgeous!

Well...Today I downloaded the latest Second Life Release Candidate 1.20.11 (90229) and logged-in as Zoetrope D, only to discover that ZD had developed a nasty rash.

Hmmm. I switched to a Caucasian skin. No rash. Very curious. Are there any other Black/African-American avatars suffering the same affliction?

Any theories on this?

Berlin Blockade and the Berlin Airlift

Berlin Blockade and the Berlin Airlift

The Berlin Blockade (June 24, 1948May 11, 1949) was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. During the multinational occupation of post-World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the three Western powers' railroad and street access to the western sectors of Berlin that they had been controlling. The crisis abated after the Western powers bypassed the blockade by establishing the Berlin Airlift.

Berlin Blockade and the Berlin Airlift

Berlin Airlift Monument in Berlin-Tempelhof, displaying the names of the 39 British and 31 American pilots who lost their lives during the operation. Similar monuments can be found at the military airfield Wietzenbruch near the former RAF Celle and at Rhein-Main Air Base.
Berlin Airlift Monument in Berlin-Tempelhof, displaying the names of the 39 British and 31 American pilots who lost their lives during the operation. Similar monuments can be found at the military airfield Wietzenbruch near the former RAF Celle and at Rhein-Main Air Base.
Berlin Airlift Monument in Berlin-Tempelhof with inscription "They gave their lives for the freedom of Berlin in service for the Berlin Airlift 1948/49".
Berlin Airlift Monument in Berlin-Tempelhof with inscription "They gave their lives for the freedom of Berlin in service for the Berlin Airlift 1948/49".

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

History of the Predictive Text Swearing

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Teaser from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.

The Guild - Episode 1: Wake-Up Call

Cyd Sherman's online gaming addiction brings more than she bargains for...

The Guild - Episode 2: Zaboo'd

The Guild - Episode 3: The Macro Problem

Ace of Aces!

Phineas Messmer and I discuss his idea for a new dogfight tournament "Ace of Aces!" More information on this soon.

Eladrienne and Kheph777 NPIRL Build Blowed-up real good

Let's go destroying builds on NPIRL! Yay!

Crap Mariner is on hand for the destruction. Roll the tape!

That thar build got blowed-up real good!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The X-15

A brief history of the X-15 research aricraft is told with three "archival" films created....with Orbiter Space Flight Simulator.

Dryden's 60 Years of Flight Research: The X-15 Era

Sunday, June 22, 2008

B-47 Demonstration

This is a demonstration of Bancos Milestone's latest SecondLife® Aircraft.

Milestone's new B-47 StratoJet. I was heard to say "Holy Nekos!" and "OMGOMGOMG!" when I saw this warbird at Balsa Airport in SL.

Zabrina McMahon of the Extropia Defense Force demos the engines and flight of this early Jet Bomber.

Test Video with music

DISCLAIMER: This is another test video. I was finally able to add music to a series of clips. This is UNEDITED and only a test for adding a music track to video. I ran out of clips before the end of the song, but hey...I'm still learning.

The Benny Goodman big band playing Sing Sing Sing, featuring Gene Krupa at the end. We get the added benefit of hearing Mr. Harry James play a trumpet solo.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

RCAF Special Dogfight Weekend...June 21 and 22

Royal Caledon Air Force (RCAF) News

This weekend we'll experience dogfighting in 1920s and 30s aircraft. This period in aircraft history is known as "The Golden Age of Aviation" and many such SL planes can be found with TCS.

We will start at our usual time of 10:00 AM SL time on Saturday and Sunday.

Pilot Roll Call Location: Skies of Tomorrow in the nation of Extropia

Members of the Extropia Defense Force (EDF) are most welcome to participate in this exercise with the Royal Caledon Air Force

Friday, June 20, 2008

OODA Loop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

OODA Loop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"....The OODA Loop is a concept originated by military strategist Col. John Boyd of the United States Air Force. Its main outline consists of four overlapping and interacting processes: Observe, Orient, Decide and Act.

The accompanying diagram shows a decision cycle known as the Boyd cycle, or the OODA loop. It has become an important concept in both business and military strategy. According to John Boyd, decision-making occurs in a cycle of observe-orient-decide-act. An entity (either an individual or an organization) that can process this cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent, can thereby "get inside" the opponent's decision cycle and gain a military or business advantage.

John Boyd developed the concept to explain how to direct one's energies to defeat an enemy and survive. Boyd emphasized that "the loop" is actually a set of interacting loops that are to be kept in continuous operation during combat. He also indicated that the phase of the battle has an important bearing on the ideal allocation of one's energies.

Boyd’s diagram shows that all decisions are based on observations of the evolving situation tempered with implicit filtering of the problem being addressed. These observations are the raw information on which decisions and actions are based...."

OODA Loop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yankee Air Museum and a few photo essays

My Facebook friend Jon Stevens of the Yankee Air Museum sent me a very nice B-17 Photo essay.

Here's a reminder of an upcoming WW2 era show in Michigan: Chrysler Jeep Superstores Thunder Over Michigan - Air Show - Yankee Air Museum

More terrific photo essays:

Red Tail Project held a fund raising event as a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen on June 6th, 2007

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.

On the grounds of the Minnesota state capitol, the largest group of 80-year-olds ever to assemble was underway. Above them, a squadron of bombers, fighters and trainers from WWII, rumbled across the skies.

ZOMG! This one looks soooo much fun! 2007 Hangar Dance

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Announcing the formation of EDF : The Extropia Defense Force

Take heart citizens!

The Extropia Defense Force is here to protect and defend our airspace!

The Extropia Defense Force (EDF) is currently headquartered at our main runway facility in Skies of Tomorrow. The EDF is responsible for defending the air and space of the Independent State of Extropia. We cover Extropia Aviation and Space Travel from WW2 Era aircraft to the present and beyond....

This group will also facilitate air-ground and air-air chatter within Extropia.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The de Havilland Mosquito and Operation Jericho

de Havilland Mosquito - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The de Havilland Mosquito was a British combat aircraft that excelled in a number of roles during the Second World War. Originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber, uses of the Mosquito included: low to medium altitude daytime tactical bomber, high altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike and photo reconnaissance aircraft. It was also used as the basis for a single-seat heavy fighter, the de Havilland Hornet. It served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and many other air forces both in the Second World War and postwar (see Operators below). The Mosquito was known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews[1] and was also known as "The Wooden Wonder" or "The Timber Terror" as the bulk of the aircraft was made of laminated plywood.[2]

de Havilland Mosquito - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Operation Jericho - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Operation Jericho was a low-level World War II bombing raid by Allied aircraft on Amiens Prison in German-occupied France on 18 February 1944. The object of the raid was to free French Resistance and political prisoners, 120 of whom were to be executed the following day.

Mosquito bombers succeeded in breaching the walls and buildings of the prison, as well as destroying guards' barracks. Of the 717 prisoners, 102 were killed, 74 wounded, and 258 escaped, including 79 Resistance and political prisoners, although two thirds were recaptured.[1] One of the inmates was also privy to sensitive information concerning Operation Overlord.

Operation Jericho - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Special Thanks to New Babbage citizen and RCAF pilot Bela Lubezki
for the Wikipedia link to this classic warbird.

Monday, June 16, 2008

World War Timewarp

Another excellent Video from Vidal Tripsa...

She posted this description of her YouTube Video: "Bizarre happenings on the Grid have zapped half a dozen fighter jets from the steampunk nation of Caledon and brought them to the Second Skies aerodrome on Tomorrow Isle, Extropia. The Dirac Sea was our venue for this World War themed dogfight, and this video hopefully does the awesome Royal Caledon Air Force pilots some justice.

Dedicated to Zoe Connolly, not only for leading the air force but for helping me compile this footage and letting me spectate in the first place.

The ill-fitting music, twenty years ahead of its time, is by Jack Hylton. The tracks are 'Deep Night', 'Little Boy Blues' and 'Blue Skies Are Around The Corner'...."

Compilation of Google Earth Flight Sim Videos

A Compilation of Google Earth Flight Simulator Videos. Sunday 15 June 2008. For most of this video I had 3D Buildings activated....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ning Blog » Blogging the metaverse on Second Life Bloggers

Holy Nekos!

Very nice news!

Ning Blog » Blogging the metaverse on Second Life Bloggers

Discovered this today...

Ning features SL Bloggers Ning on their own news Blog.

"Second Life Bloggers is a place for those who just can’t get enough of the virtual world. On top of keeping engaged in their 3-D lives, members aspire to blog “the metaverse one post at a time” on their network...."

Ning Blog » Blogging the metaverse on Second Life Bloggers

Air Combat Weekend....June 14th and 15th

This weekend we return to WorldWarOne/Steampunk dogfighting...

We will start at our usual time of 10:00 AM SL time on Saturday June 14th and Sunday the 15th.

Pilot Roll Call Location: Connolly Aerodrome in Caledon Penzance.

Google Earth Flight Simulator

Here's something to do when Second Life® is offline...

Google Earth Blog: Flight Simulator Mode in Google Earth 4.2 (Or higher)

This is a little Google Earth Easter Egg in 4.2, and already enabled in version 4.3.

More Google Earth Flight Simulator Information....

Google Earth Blog: Google Earth Flight Simulator Tips

Google Earth Blog: Flight Simulator HUD Display Guide, and an Advanced Tip

Flight Simulator Keyboard Controls - Google Earth User Guide

Google Earth Blog: How to Get 3D Buildings in Google Earth 4.3 Flight Simulator

Google Earth Blog: Swiss Alps "Fighter" Tour in Google Earth

Flight dynamics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's all about Pitch, Roll and Yaw, y'all!

Flight dynamics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"....Flight dynamics is the science of air and space vehicle orientation and control in three dimensions. The three critical flight dynamics parameters are the angles of rotation in three dimensions about the vehicle's center of mass, known as pitch, roll and yaw (See Tait-Bryan rotations for an explanation).

Aerospace engineers develop control systems for a vehicle's orientation (attitude) about it's center of mass. The control systems include actuators, which exert forces in various directions, and generate rotational forces or moments about the aerodynamic center of the aircraft, and thus rotate the aircraft in pitch, roll, or yaw. For example, a pitching moment is a vertical force applied at a distance forward or aft from the aerodynamic center of the aircraft, causing the aircraft to pitch up or down.

Roll, pitch and yaw refer to rotations about the respective axes starting from a defined equilibrium state. The equilibrium roll angle is known as wings level or zero bank angle, equivalent to a level heeling angle on a ship. Yaw and Pitch is known as 'heading'. The equilibrium pitch angle in submarine and airship parlance is know as 'trim', but in aircraft, this usually refers to angle of attack, rather than orientation. However, common usage ignores this distinction between equilibrium and dynamic cases.

The most common aeronautical convention defines the roll as acting about the longitudinal axis, positive with the starboard wing down. The yaw is about the vertical body axis, positive with the nose to starboard. Pitch is about an axis perpendicular to the longitudinal plane of symmetry, positive nose up...."

Flight dynamics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bob Hoover Tribute

Converting Energy....

Special Thanks to Aleister Kronos
for sending me the link to this YouTube/MSFlightSim2004 tribute to pilot Bob Hoover.

Tour of Connolly Aerodrome

A tour of Connolly Aerodrome in Caledon Penzance (Second Life®)

Stopped engine aerobatics

A clip from an old BBC documentary featuring a WW2 veteran and a twin engine aircraft...

Special Thanks to New Babbage citizen and RCAF pilot Bela Lubezki
for the link to this YouTube gem.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes

Aviation History Biography....

Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes

"Pancho Barnes--air racer, record setter, daredevil, and all-around free spirit--was one of the most respected fliers of the Golden Age of Flight, not just because she was a woman but also because she was a fine pilot. Barnes was an extremely colorful, flamboyant, and headstrong individual who left her mark wherever she went. She broke many stereotypes about women, not only as pilots, but also as simple mild-mannered creatures. She was famous for her salty language and dirty jokes. According to one contemporary, "she did not have a single inhibition." For Pancho, flight was necessary "to keep from exploding. It acts as a safety valve so far as I am concerned." She also claimed that flying was "a panacea for too many social duties, too much home management, too much everything conventional."

Pancho was born Florence Leontine Lowe to a wealthy family on July 22, 1901. Wanting for nothing, she grew up in a huge mansion in San Marino, California, and attended the area's finest private schools. Her father, an avid sportsman, encouraged her to appreciate the great outdoors and Florence became an accomplished equestrian. Florence's grandfather, Thaddeus Lowe, also influenced her early development. He had started the nation's first military air unit, the Army of the Potomac's balloon corps, during the American Civil War...."

"....[Barnes's ranch near] Edwards Air Force Base, home of the world's fastest experimental test planes and pilots, [....] proved a fine place for pilots to party until all hours. Horses were available for riding, and Barnes built a restaurant and bar, a coffee house, a dance hall, a swimming pool, a motel, and even a private airstrip. For Edward's pilots, Pancho's place became a home. Eventually, it became known as the "Happy Bottom Riding Club," referring to the happy horseback riders who relaxed there.

In 1952, Pancho's party finally came to end. Edwards needed room to expand its runways onto Pancho's land, and her civilian guests' planes were encroaching on Edward's air space. Although Pancho sued Edwards to retain her property, an unexplained fire broke out on the ranch and ended the dispute...."

Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes

LOLCat Bible Translation Project - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Zoe Connolly iz praysin da Ceiling Cat....

LOLCat Bible Translation Project - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The LOLCat Bible Translation Project is a wiki-based website set up in July 2007 by Martin Grondin, where editors aim to translate the entire Bible into "lolspeak", the pidgin popularized by the LOLcat Internet phenomenon.[1] As with any wiki, the project relies on its contributors to translate passages. As of March 27, 2008, approximately 61% of the text has been translated, and Grondin has stated that he hopes the entire New Testament will be complete by the end of 2008.[2]

The style of writing employed by translators varies, but the most devoted contributors have been described as those who utilize as many gags and themes used in the different lolcat images. Certain words and phrases have a common equivalent used; God, for instance, is portrayed as "Ceiling Cat",[2], Satan is portrayed as "Basement Cat", and people portrayed as kitties ("kittehs").

Sample of style (sourced from chapters deemed by the site to be of "Final Draft" quality):

15 Okays den. Kittehs, u keeps praysin da Ceiling Cat, and tells othar kittehs u frindz wit him. 16 Dont furget! U gotta do niec tings fur othar kittehs, and share ur cheezburgers and stufz wit kittehz who have nun. Dis maeks Ceiling Cat real happys.
- Hebrews 13:15-16 [3]
16So liek teh Ceiling Cat lieks teh ppl lots and he sez 'Oh hai I givez u me only kitteh and ifs u beleevs in him u wont evr diez no moar, k?
- John 3:16 [4]
LOLCat Bible Translation Project - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

GoogleEarth TestShot Using SpaceNavigator

This is the first video capture using my new 3D Connexion Space Navigator PE. The subject here is Google Earth and the music is John Barry's "007 and Counting" - a track from the James Bond Movie "Diamonds Are Forever"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Skies of Tomorrow

A video from Vidal Tripsa...

Her Comments about the video from YouTube: "A quickly-gathered montage of footage from a day in Skies of Tomorrow, Extropia's island aerodrome. The video was shot by myself and stars visiting pilots, including aviatrix Zoe Connolly.

The soundtrack is a favourite gem, the theme tune for the 1939 World's Fair by George and Ira Gershwin. Sorry it doesn't match the length of the video. I didn't plan this one!"

The AvaStar: Flying high in Second Life

Coyne Nagy of The Avastar IMed me today with news of my Avastar-Of-The-Week article....

The AvaStar: Flying high in Second Life

"...AVIATRIX Zoe Connolly is the leader of the Royal Caledon Air Force and creator of both the internet and in-world versions of the Second Life Bloggers community.

Zoe Connolly in Second Life
SENSE OF STYLE: Zoe is justifiably proud of how she looks...."

The AvaStar: Flying high in Second Life

Monday, June 9, 2008

June 8th RCAF WW2 Era Dogfight - Skies Of Tomorrow in Extropia (part 2)

Dogfights - Video Clips

Dogfights - Video Clips

Fighter Tactics....

Thatch Weave, Rolling Scissors, Compressability, High Yo-Yo Maneuver, The Lagging Maneuver, The Split S

Dogfights - Video Clips

June 8th RCAF WW2 Era Dogfight - Skies Of Tomorrow in Extropia (part 1)

During the weekend of June 7th and 8th, The Royal Caledon Air Force gathered in Extropia's Skies of Tomorrow sim and engaged in WW2 Era combat over sims Dirac Sea and Future Current.

Here are a few snapshots showing Vidal "Trip" Tripsa flying her P-40 from THI. Trip attempts to evade the formidable Jessicas Falls who is flying Darsh Lucero's P-51 Mustang....

The photographs and video I have from the weekend do not do the events justice. I've never seen anything like this in SL before. Many times the sky was filled with airplanes in battle and it gave me a taste for what air combat may have looked like during World War Two. I had the feeling of being inside an episode of History Channels Dogfights TV series.

June 8th RCAF Dogfight

Raw Footage of Sunday June 8 2008 Royal Caledon Air Force WW2 Era Dogfight in the Independent City-State of Extropia in SecondLife.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tuskegee Airmen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tuskegee Airmen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Color poster of a Tuskegee Airman
Color poster of a Tuskegee Airman

Prior to the Tuskegee Airmen, no U.S. military pilots had been black. A series of legislative moves by the United States Congress in 1941 forced the Army Air Corps to form an all-black combat unit, despite the War Department's reluctance. In an effort to eliminate the unit before it could begin, the War Department set up a system to accept only those with a level of flight experience or higher education that they expected would be hard to fill. This policy backfired when the Air Corps received an abundance of applications from men who qualified even under these restrictive specifications.

The U.S. Army Air Corps had established the Psychological Research Unit 1 at Maxwell Army Air Field, Alabama, and other units around the country for aviation cadet training, which included the identification, selection, education, and training of pilots, navigators and bombardiers. Psychologists employed in these research studies and training programs used some of the first standardized tests to quantify IQ, dexterity, and leadership qualities in order to select and train the right personnel for the right role (bombardier, pilot, navigator). The Air Corps determined that the same existing programs would be used for all units, including all-black units. At Tuskegee, this effort would continue with the selection and training of the Tuskegee Airmen.

The 332nd Fighter Group attends a briefing in Italy in 1945.
The 332nd Fighter Group attends a briefing in Italy in 1945.

Tuskegee Airmen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Great Aviation Quotes: High Flight by John Magee

While researching aviation quotes, I found this webpage of a famous poem....

Great Aviation Quotes: High Flight by John Magee

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

During the desperate days of the Battle of Britain, hundreds of Americans crossed the border into Canada to enlist with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Knowingly breaking the law, but with the tacit approval of the then still officially neutral United States Government, they volunteered to fight the Nazis.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr., was one such American. Born in Shanghai, China, in 1922 to an English mother and a Scotch-Irish-American father, Magee was 18 years old when he entered flight training. Within the year, he was sent to England and posted to the newly formed No 412 Fighter Squadron, RCAF, which was activated at Digby, England, on 30 June 1941. He was qualified on and flew the Supermarine Spitfire.

Flying fighter sweeps over France and air defense over England against the German Luftwaffe, he rose to the rank of Pilot Officer.

On 3 September 1941, Magee flew a high altitude (30,000 feet) test flight in a newer model of the Spitfire V. As he orbited and climbed upward, he was struck with the inspiration of a poem — "To touch the face of God."

Once back on the ground, he wrote a letter to his parents. In it he commented, "I am enclosing a verse I wrote the other day. It started at 30,000 feet, and was finished soon after I landed." On the back of the letter, he jotted down his poem, 'High Flight'.

Just three months later, on 11 December 1941 (and only three days after the US entered the war), Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., was killed. The Spitfire V he was flying, VZ-H, collided with an Oxford Trainer from Cranwell Airfield flown by one Ernest Aubrey. The mid-air happened over the village of Roxholm which lies between RAF Cranwell and RAF Digby, in the county of Lincolnshire at about 400 feet AGL at 11:30. John was descending in the clouds. At the enquiry a farmer testified that he saw the Spitfire pilot struggle to push back the canopy. The pilot, he said, finally stood up to jump from the plane. John, however, was too close to the ground for his parachute to open. He died instantly. He was 19 years old.

Part of the official letter to his parents read, "Your son's funeral took place at Scopwick Cemetery, near Digby Aerodrome, at 2:30 P.M. on Saturday, 13th December, 1941, the service being conducted by Flight Lieutenant S. K. Belton, the Canadian padre of this Station. He was accorded full Service Honors, the coffin being carried by pilots of his own Squadron."

Great Aviation Quotes: High Flight by John Magee

Friday, June 6, 2008

Vote Zoe 2008 - The most tolerant of all candidates

Zoe Connolly vs John McCain and Barack Obama

A Connolly Administration would be the most tolerant and inclusive White House administration in American History. In addition to the appointments of Asians, Hispanics, African-Americans and Women, I'll include Tinies and Furries to cabinet level positions. Can either of my opponents promise this?


Voting for Zoe is a vote for change

Zoe vs Obama and McCain

How can voting for another politician be a vote for change?

A vote for an avatar from a virtual world is a vote for real change!

Here are more thoughts about change...

Change, change, change, and change.

I have some change in my purse.

There may be some change under the seat cushions.

Does this make my ass look fat? Should I change?

Vote Zoe 2008, Commercial # 1 (3 Reasons)

Zoe vs John McCain

I'm younger than John McCain. Way way younger!

I was first rezzed in the virtual world of Second Life on January 21, 2007.

Zoe vs Barack Obama

I have experience running a virtual air force. And even though the Royal Caledon Air Force is virtual, that's *still* far more military experience than Obama has in Real Life.

Zoe vs McCain and Obama

I look better in a dress. More eye candy for America and the World!

Paid for by the Zoe Connolly for President 2008 Campaign Committee in Caledon Penzance

McBama No! Zoe Yes!

Zoe Connolly 2008

This 2008 Campaign season is a series of historic firsts with the first viable African-American and Female candidates for President of the United States (POTUS).

But if we look beyond these exciting events and look to the issues, we see a few problems with Obama, Clinton, and McCain.

On the Democratic Party side, Barack Obama makes countless voters swoon over well crafted but empty speeches about change and Hillary Clinton - now mostly despised within the party - drops from the race for nomination.

Meanwhile John McCain disappoints conservatives within the Republican Party by turning his back on their movement. The media-darling Maverick Republican now treated like all other Republicans because he dared to run against Democrats for the Presidency.

I believe there is a third approach that will gain support among Tolerant Progressive Conservative Libertarian Transhumanist Christian Agnostic Buddhist Pro-Military Gun-Owners with Low-Carbon Footprints. In the next few weeks I will outline my vision for America's Future.

I hereby announce today.... My name is Zoe Connolly and I'm running for President Of The United States. I am the first female avatar from a virtual world to run for the US Presidency.

So if neither candidate excites you, don't sit this one out, vote for Zoe Connolly as a write-in candidate. It's better than voting none-of-the-above. And I'm way hotter than Hillary.

Paid for by the Zoe Connolly for President 2008 Campaign Committee in Caledon Penzance

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Otto Lilienthal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In a recent comment, Bela included a quote from Otto Lilienthal. For any aviation enthusiast or student of Victorian history, his biography is worth a look....

Otto Lilienthal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Otto Lilienthal (born 23 May 1848 in Anklam, Province of Pomerania – died 10 August 1896 in Berlin) was a pioneer of human aviation who became known as the German "Glider King". He was the first person to make repeated successful gliding flights. He followed an experimental approach first established earlier in the century by Sir George Cayley. Newspapers and magazines in many countries published photographs of Lilienthal gliding, favorably influencing public and scientific opinion about the possibility of flying machines becoming practical reality after ages of idle fantasy and unscientific tinkering.

"To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. But to fly is everything."

A quote from Wilbur Wright....

"Of all the men who attacked the flying problem in the 19th century, Otto Lilienthal was easily the most important. ... It is true that attempts at gliding had been made hundreds of years before him, and that in the nineteenth century, Cayley, Spencer, Wenham, Mouillard, and many others were reported to have made feeble attempts to glide, but their failures were so complete that nothing of value resulted."

—Wilbur Wright

Otto Lilienthal

Otto Lilienthal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia