Archive for the ‘flight’ Category

Two Navy Blue Angels Guilty of Misconduct; Flight Shows Go On

November 9, 2008

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A pilot and a support officer for the Navy’s elite Blue Angels aerial demonstration have been found guilty of having an inappropriate relationship.

The Marine pilot and the Navy officer were sentenced Friday morning in an administrative disciplinary hearing at the Naval Air Training Command in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Navy is not releasing the officers’ names or their punishments because it says the information is protected under privacy regulations.

Blue Angels Commander Capt. Kevin Mannix removed both officers from the team last week. Since the announcement, a six-member demonstration has performed without its Number Four jet, flown by Marine Major Clint Harris.

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Members of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels precision flying team perform ...

As In Combat: Flight Crews Carry On

More than 10,000 people showed up at Kennedy Space Center to watch the Blue Angels Saturday. The Space and Air Show quickly sold out and caused Traffic problems in the area.

 

Viewers told Channel 9 they waited in traffic for hours before reaching the KSC Visitors Complex. Once there, some were turned away even though they had purchased tickets in advance. According to a KSC spokesperson, there was simply not enough room for everyone.

Read the rest from KFTV 9:
http://www.wftv.com/news/17940045/detail.
html?rss=orlc&psp=news

Celebrating Flight and Aircraft In the Temple of the Wild Blue Yonder

November 1, 2008

THE first thing visitors encounter in the main display area of the Udvar-Hazy Center, the National Air and Space Museum annex near Dulles airport in the Virginia countryside, is a huge black spy plane.

By Henry Fountain
The New York Times
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It’s an SR-71A Blackbird, the ultimate hot-rod aircraft, one of about 30 built at the Lockheed Skunk Works in California in the 1960s. This one last flew in 1990, traveling the 2,300 miles between Los Angeles and Washington in 1 hour 4 minutes 20 seconds — a transcontinental blur.

But now it’s at a standstill, giving visitors the chance to appreciate its outrageousness. There are the two massive engines on short, stubby wings; the tiny cockpit where the two-man crew was shoehorned in wearing bulky pressure suits; and the sweeping titanium fuselage that was built so loosely, to allow for expansion in the heat of supersonic flight, that the fuel tanks that made up the bulk of the plane routinely leaked, losing as much as 600 pounds of fuel taxiing to the runway.

 
Planes, including a Boeing 307, above, are ready for inspection.  Photo by Andrew Councill for The New York Times

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., is about air and space, yes, but as the Blackbird shows, it’s also about frozen time. More than 150 aircraft and spacecraft that in their day were among the swiftest or slowest, most graceful or ungainly, most useful or useless, sit on the floor and hang among the catwalks of this giant hangar of a museum as if plucked from the sky.

For Washington visitors whose encounters with the Air and Space Museum have been limited to the original 1976 building some 30 miles away on the National Mall, the Udvar-Hazy Center, which opened in 2003 and is named for a major donor, an aviation industry executive, can be quite a different experience. There are fewer “name” aircraft like the Spirit of St. Louis to gawk at, no moon rocks to touch, and while as in the Mall building there can be hordes of schoolchildren, their noise tends to dissipate in the cavernous arched structure. Over all, with more than twice the exhibition space and about one-fifth the visitors, the Virginia museum has a quieter, more worshipful feel.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/31/travel/escapes/31air.html

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.jpg

Shuttle Launched: Most Americans Yawn

February 8, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
February 8, 2008

The U.S. space shuttle Atlantis blasted into orbit Thursday with Europe’s gift to the international space station, a $2 billion science lab named Columbus.

The lab is filled with racks for experiments and research euipment and has fixtures on its exterior to host research exposed to the vacuum of space.  The lab represents the latest international addition to a facility already made of structures from the United States, Russia and Canada.

“It shows that there is a real partnership between communities,” NASA Administrator Mike Griffin said.

Space Shuttle Atlantis
Atlantis before the launch of
STS-115, August 29, 2006.

The launch followed a two month delay due to problems with fuel guages.

Yet this terrific national and international achievement of nations working together to venture into space and even live there seemed to be overlooked by most Americans.
art.shuttle.atlantis.launch.jpg

Atlantis blasts off February 7, 2008 on its way to the international space station to deliver a science lab.

The Fox News Channel televised the launch live, but viewers of other networks blissfully watched normal programming.  NBC aired Ellen Degeneris and ABC and CBS featured soap operas.

The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams did cover the shuttle mission: for exactly 28 seconds.The Washington Post editions of February 8 featured a picture with a caption — but no article and no crew names.

One was reminded of the scene in the Tom Hanks movie “Apollo 13” when the networks ignored a TV feed from space.
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off Thursday afternoon Feb. ... 
The shuttle launch on February 7, 2008

Americans seemed to yawn.

But this shuttle mission, like each and every one of them, is a technological marvel and a wonder of experimentation and scientific achievement.  And men (and women) risk their lives in this process: high drama indeed.
The crew of space shuttle Atlantis departs their quarters for ...
The brave crew of space shuttle Atlantis departs their quarters for the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida February 7, 2008. Clockwise from left are Pilot Alan Poindexter, Leland Melvin, Stanley Love, France’s Leopold Eyharts, Germany’s Hans Schlegel, Rex Walheim and Mission Commander Stephen Frick. Mission STS-122 will take Atlantis to the International Space Station.
REUTERS/Steve Nesius (UNITED STATES)  

The two billion dollar science lab inside Atlantis is Columbus. Columbus, built by Europeans, will join the U.S. lab, Destiny, which was launched aboard Atlantis exactly seven years ago.

The much bigger Japanese lab Kibo, or Hope, will require three shuttle flights to get off the ground, beginning in March.

Atlantis’ commander, Stephen Frick, and his U.S., German and French crew will reach the space station on Saturday and begin installing Columbus the very next day. Three spacewalks are planned during the flight, scheduled to last 11 or, more likely, 12 days.

“We’re looking forward to doing our part to bring it up to Peggy Whitson and her crew on the international space station, and start its good work and many, many years of science,” Frick said before launch.

Besides Columbus, Atlantis will drop off a new space station resident, French Air Force Gen. Leopold Eyharts, who will swap places with NASA astronaut Daniel Tani and get Columbus working. Tani will return to Earth aboard the shuttle, ending a mission of nearly four months.

Eyharts will move into the space station for a little more than a month, replacing NASA astronaut Daniel Tani. He plans to help continue setting up and activating the Columbus module, Europe’s primary contribution to the space station.

The astronauts awoke Friday to “Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel, a dedication to French Air Force Gen. Leopold Eyharts from his wife and family.

Eyharts greeted his loved ones in English and French, saying, “I know it has been a somehow hard day for them and I want to thank them.”

The space shuttle Atlantis flies above a cloud on its way into ...
The space shuttle Atlantis flies above a cloud on its way into orbit following liftoff Thursday afternoon Feb. 7, 2008 at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) 

Some of the technological wonder of NASA was on display Friday morning.  The NASA TV channel and MS NBC broadcast an interview with International Space Station (ISS) crewmembers Peggy Whitson and Daniel Tani.

Astronaut Tani’s Mother died while he was aboard the ISS and NASA sent to him an audio and visual feed of her funeral service.

To NASA’s relief, all four fuel gauges in Atlantis’ external fuel tank worked properly during the final stage of the countdown. The gauges failed back in December because of a faulty connector, and NASA redesigned the part to fix the problem, which had been plaguing the shuttles for three years.

NASA was anxious to get Atlantis flying as soon as possible to keep alive its hopes of achieving six launches this year. The space agency faces a 2010 deadline for finishing the station and retiring the shuttles. That equates to four or five shuttle flights a year between now and then, something NASA Administrator Michael Griffin considers achievable.
Space shuttle Atlantis soars above clouds after liftoff from ... 

“Today we are opening a new chapter for ESA,” said Jean-Jacques Dordain, the European Space Agency director general yesterday. “Just as Columbus discovered the New World, with Columbus, we are discovering a whole new world.”
 

Space shuttle Atlantis STS-122 commander Stephen Frick, front ...
Space shuttle Atlantis STS-122 commander Stephen Frick, front row right, pilot Alan Poindexter, left. Second row, mission specialist Rex Walheim, right, mission specialist Leland Melvin, left. Third row, European Space Agency astronaut Hans Schlegel of Germany, right, mission specialist Stanley Love and last row, European Space Agency astronaut Leopold Eyharts of France , obscured, are seen on their way to pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Thursday Feb. 7, 2008. Atlantis is scheduled to launch Thursday afternoon on a 11-day mission to deliver Columbus, a laboratory module built by the European Space Agency.
(AP Photo/Terry Renna)

Atlantis is scheduled to remain operational until 2010, but is not currently scheduled for any missions beyond 2008.
Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy ... 

As More Take a Chance On Fleeing North Korea, Routes for All Budgets

November 18, 2007

By Blain Harden
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, November 18, 2007; Page A01

SEOUL — Brokers here are busily selling what they call “planned escapes” from North Korea.
Given enough money, the brokers say, they can now get just about anyone out of the dictatorial Stalinist state that human rights activists call the world’s largest prison.

A low-budget escape through China via Thailand to Seoul, which requires treacherous river crossings, arduous travel on foot and several miserable weeks in a Thai immigration jail, can cost less than $2,000, according to four brokers here.

A first-class defection, complete with a forged Chinese passport and an airplane ticket from Beijing to Seoul, goes for more than $10,000. From start to finish, it can take as little as three weeks.

Read the rest:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/17/AR2007111701699.html?hpid=topnews

The Blue Angels: A Symbol of U.S. Navy Pride

October 9, 2007

Felicia Benamon
American Chronicle 

The U.S. Navy’s flight exhibition squadron, the Blue Angels, is a rare treat to behold. They are a fine example of the precision, discipline, and sheer guts exhibited by our military. Spectators are able to see the fine skills of the Blue Angels when they fly in to cities and towns across America and in some parts of the world to do air shows. Growing up in the military as a Navy brat, I attended many air shows where the Blue Angels performed. They are inspiring!

The Blue Angels are representative of the U.S. Navy, but they are a HUGE credit to our military as a whole. They are the best exhibition team in the world…who else could fly 36 inches apart wingtip to wingtip? They exhibit VERY impressive and outrageous (in a good sense) flying skills.

Read the rest:
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=39660