Sunday, October 30, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
|The Steam Powered Golden Flying Gunship "The Osprey" Over New York - Photo Art by Chris Lord|
This composite is my one attempt to emulate the style of the Steampunk genre. It was created from images of an Osprey helicopter and parts of a turn of the century steam powered battle cruiser, The Cruiser Olympia, found at Penn Landing on the river in Philadelphia.
|Return of the Gunships - Photo Chris Lord|
Other examples of steampunk contain alternative history-style presentations of such technology as lighter-than-air airships, analog computers, or such digital mechanical computers as Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace's Analytical engine.
Various modern utilitarian objects have been modded by individual artisans into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical "steampunk" style, and a number of visual and musical artists have been described as steampunk.
|Over New York City|
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
|The Blades - Photo Chris Lord|
The team flies on four Extra 300 LP aircrafts painted in light blue and black colors. Until the April 2010 the teams' aircrafts were painted in orange-black livery. All planes are equipped with white smoke generators.
Including the five full-time display pilots, there are eight ex-RAF, fully-qualified commercial pilots, who fly passengers during The Blades' corporate flying events.
Blade 1 for 2010 is Myles Garland. A former RAF Harrier pilot and Red Arrows 'synchro lead', this is Myles' second season as the Team Leader following 3 seasons as a wingman and solo pilot. Chris Carder, Andy Offer and Dave Slow share the Blade 2 slot, thus allowing some spare time to concentrate on the other expanding areas of business within 2Excel Aviation, the parent company of The Blades. Blade 3 is Andy Evans and Blade 4 (solo pilot) is Mark 'Cutty' Cutmore. Both Andy and Cutty were RAF Jaguar pilots, Red Arrows and advisors to the Saudi Arabian National Aerobatic Team "Saudi Hawks".
The Blades aerobatic team was founded in 2005 by Chris Norton OBE DFC and Andy Offer OBE. They both left distinguished careers in the Royal Air Force as Wing Commanders to create a unique, aviation-based communications business.
Team's displays have been watched by more than 18 million people at over 150 venues across UK, Europe and the Middle East. Display highlights have included the Cannes International Advertising Festival, Her Majesty The Queen's 80th Birthday Celebrations at Balmoral, the opening of the Bahrain Financial Harbour and the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The Blades have also created bespoke corporate events for many of the UK's leading companies, flying over 1,000 passengers in close formation aerobatic flights.
|Viper: The Unofficial Nickname - Photo Chris Lord|
Electric Jet: Obvious nickname for the first fly-by-wire aircraft to go into production.
Lawn Dart: Caused by a higher number of mishaps experienced in the early years.
Midnight Falcon: "Marketing" name used by General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin for the F-16C to highlight its day/night all-weather capabilities.
Desert Falcon: "Marketing" name used by General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin for the F-16 block 60.
Sweet Sixteen: No explanation needed.
The F-16 is often referred to as the "Viper", a nickname especially popular with people involved with the F-16. Before "Fighting Falcon" was selected as official name, pilots at Hill AFB, the first F-16 base, came up with a number of proposals, including "Viper". Lt. Col. Pat "Gums" McAdoo, USAF Ret., one of the first F-16 pilots at Hill AFB, recalls the origin of the name "F-16 Viper": At end of runway, the F-16 did resemble a cobra or something as it approached you. However, I think Northrop had already taken that name for the YF-17. We all voted, and Viper came in really high. Seems there was a series on TV that had 'colonial Vipers' flying off of Battlestar Galactica (a term later used for the Eagle). In any case, the Generals didn't want a plane 'named after some snake'!
Falcon was a good name, and it fit in with the motif that the Eagle had created. Sort of a little brother, but still a 'Bird of Prey'. In fact, GD had a great promo out in late 70's called "Bird of Prey", and it used the Falcon as the real world model. Even when F-16 Fighting Falcon became the official name, Viper stuck around and became the unofficial nickname for the F-16. The name "Viper" is even officially used for the Joe Bill Dreyden "Semper Viper" award, which is awarded for excellent airmanship by F-16 pilots.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
|F-16 in Dutch Livery - Photo Chris Lord|
Ever wondered about the origin of the name "F-16 Fighting Falcon"? Or is it F-16 Viper? And what is wrong with F16? This article provides a short overview of the official designation and names for the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and some of the commonly used nicknames. F-16 Fighting Falcon, not F16 Fighting Falcon
The US Tri-Service Designation System for aircraft defines a standard notation for aircraft models. In its basic form, it consists of: a capital letter denoting the basic mission (e.g. 'F' for fighter, 'A' for attack) a mandatory dash '-' plus the design number (e.g. 14, 15, 16, 117, 130). According to this standard, F-16 is the only correct designation for the Fighting Falcon. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for (non-aviation) publications to incorrectly use F16 Fighting Falcon or even f16 Fighting Falcon.
The name "Fighting Falcon"
USAF F-16A block 10 #79-0290 at the Naming Ceremony at Hill AFB, Utah wearing a large 'Fighting Falcon' badge behind the cockpit. The U.S. Air Force officially named the F-16 "Fighting Falcon" on July 21st, 1980, during a ceremony at Hill AFB in Utah (the home of the first F-16 unit). At the ceremony F-16A #79-0290 sported a special logo painted by Salt Lake City artists Matt and Mark Waki. Four years earlier, in 1976, the Department of the Air Force had organized a "Name-the-Plane Contest" for the F-16 at MacDill AFB in Florida. The winning entry was submitted by TSgt. Joseph A. Kurdell, the Photo Sensor Shop Supervisor for the 1st TFW A&E sqn. On May 11th, 1976, TSgt. Kurdell received an official letter from the Department of the Air Force, congratulating him for submitting the prize-winning entry in the "Name-the-Plane Contest", winning him a free dinner at the MacDill NCO Mess. TSgt. Joseph Kurdell explains where he got the inspiration for the name: "Prior to being stationed at MacDill AFB, Tampa, Florida and after a short tour in Korea, I was teaching at the Photographic Engineering School at Lowery Air Force Base in Colorado. Being in the vicinity of the Air Force Academy, my family and I used to visit there quite often especially during their football seasons. As you probably know the Falcon (the bird species) is the school mascot, so this is where I got the idea from when given the opportunity to name an aircraft. " The name "Fighting Falcon" also helped distinguish the F-16 from the "Falcon" series of business jets from French manufacturer Dassault.
In the early 90's the Lockheed Company acquired the Fort Worth Division of the General Dynamics Corporation, thus the right to produce and sell the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Lockheed then merged with Martin Marietta in the middle 90's to make Lockheed Martin, or Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems (a.k.a. LMTAS). So that's why the General Dynamics F-16 became the Lockheed Martin F-16 or LMTAS F-16. Nowadays it's simply referred to as LM (Lockheed-Martin).
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
|F-16 Fighting Falcon - Photo Chris Lord|
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,400 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976. Although no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, improved versions are still being built for export customers. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation, which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta.
The Fighting Falcon is a dogfighter with numerous innovations including a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while maneuvering, a seat reclined 30 degrees to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot, and the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system that makes it a highly nimble aircraft. The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and has 11 hardpoints for mounting weapons, and other mission equipment. Although the F-16's official name is "Fighting Falcon", it is known to its pilots as the "Viper", due to it resembling a viper snake and after the Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper starfighter.
In addition to active duty US Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, and Air National Guard units, the aircraft is also used by the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy. The F-16 has also been procured to serve in the air forces of 25 other nations.
- Photo Chris Lord