Linked List: July 2019

Another Great Day at Sea

Geoff Dyer, accompanied by “The Snapper” (Chris Steele-Perkins), chronicles his time aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier. A laugh-out-loud book.

Index of WW2 Aircraft Manuals

My favorite find so far: A wonderfully-illustrated IL-2 flight manual, and an English translation in the same thread.

Get Off My Plane!

Stories about “air rage" witnessed by an experienced airline pilot.

I grew up in the era when airline travel was something special. We dressed for the event, were on our best behavior, and felt like it was something to be enjoyed and cherished (not simply endured like nowadays).

Stick and Rudder

An explanation of the art of flying, by Wolfgang Langewiesche, published in 1944.

Pilot Physiology Modelling Coming to IL-2 Sturmovik

From developer diary entry 227:

An advanced model of pilot physiology that includes complex fatigue modeling that takes into account G-overload fatigue, overload frequency, alternation of positive and negative overloads, wounds, having a G-suit, lack of oxygen and oxygen supply system. The model will also simulate a loss of consciousness and ability to control an aircraft after experiencing too sharp or too severe overloads. The algorithms it is using are based on the research of various institutes. The introduction of this model is likely to change the flow of air combat, especially in multiplayer. However, those who find it too difficult and unfamiliar will be able to switch it off as realism option (it will also be a server setting).

This is an interesting development that I look forward to test. I seem to remember that test pilot Stepan Anastovich Mikoyan mentioned waiting for a maneuvering plane’s pilot to get tired, though I can’t find the link.

The view distance for airplanes and ships, a ten-fold increase to 100km, is also a welcome change, and the P-38 is looking beautiful.

Adirondacks Wilderness Via Floatplane

If I piloted real airplanes, flying light aircraft such as Cessna Stationairs for places like Helms Aero Service or Payne’s Air Service would be a dream job.

Planet Hunter

From Wolf Alice’s second album, Visions of a Life.

Sequel to Top Gun Maverick

Making Eagle Dynamics, Heatblur, the U.S. Navy, and Tom Cruise, volleyball, and fast mover fans happy.

Not expecting much from the plot writing, but if the flight cinematography is as good as in the first film I will be satisfied.

Real Pilot’s Instructions on Flying a Virtual Spitfire

Requiem, responding to a comment on his video about takeoff and landing in a Spitfire MK.IX in IL-2 Sturmovik:

Colin Delaney thank you very much! To answer your question yes I fly professionally and am incredibly lucky to do so. It’s quite a story how I went from a flight simmer to real life pilot. Previously I was a flight instructor for single engine, multi engine, and instrument training but currently I’m an airline pilot flying the CRJ-900 in the USA. I try to approach these videos with my flight instructor and gamer hat on to make them as understandable as possible, plus I have them peer reviewed by other real life pilots (with airline / fighter jet experience) before releasing them too. If its good enough to make it past that review then I’m happy for you guys to see it :-)

Would love to hear that story Here it is — a wonderful story of human kindness — thank you for the link, Requiem! See Requiem’s video on common landing errors and how to fix them (this time flying a P-51 in DCS), one of a series of succinct, informative virtual flight lessons.

JFK’s Moon Speech

Paul Burka, on John F. Kennedy’s speech 1962 speech announcing the goal to land on the moon before the end of the decade:

It is a great speech, one that encapsulates all of recorded history and seeks to set it in the history of our own time. Unlike today’s politicians, Kennedy spoke to our best impulses as a nation, not our worst.

Kerbal Space Program On Sale

The game that helped the author of xkcd and Thing Explainer understand orbital mechanics can be bought for $10, until July 24.

A Breathtaking Pace

John F. Kennedy:

No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man’s recorded history in a time span of but a half century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them. Then, about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only five years ago, man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than two years ago. The printing press came this year, and then less than two months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power.

Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month, electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now, if America’s new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.

Holy mackerel, nothing went wrong!

Michael Collins, the astronaut who orbited the moon aboard Apollo 11 command module Columbia while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface:

That’s unusual; all those little bits and pieces — pieces of machinery here, that little bit of it up over there — all the things that could have gone wrong. The flight to the moon and back is a long and fragile daisy chain. Any tiny break in the chain and and the whole venture is screwed…

…I just couldn’t believe that our equipment, down to the last little nut and bolt, that there wasn’t something, somewhere in it that had been overlooked, something that was going to malfunction and when it went wrong, something we might or might not be able to cope with.

So I salute the designers, engineers, the mechanics and the maintenance people, all of them who made that equipment so reliable.

Neil Armstrong’s Photo Legacy

There is only one photograph of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, and in it, he has his back to the camera.

But there is also a high definition scan from Apollo 11’s on-board motion picture (film) footage, showing Neil’s face while on the lunar surface, made for Andrew Chaikin and Victoria Kohl’s wonderful book, Voices From The Moon: Apollo Astronauts Describe Their Lunar Experiences.

Apollo 11 in Real Time

Follow a replay of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission in real time. The launch, 50 years ago, is in just over t-minus 10 minutes.

Don’t Always Listen to the So-Called Experts

Margaret Hamilton, who led the team that created the onboard flight software for the Apollo missions, including Apollo 11:

Often in the evening or at weekends I would bring my young daughter, Lauren, into work with me. One day, she was with me when I was doing a simulation of a mission to the moon. She liked to imitate me – playing astronaut. She started hitting keys and all of a sudden, the simulation started. Then she pressed other keys and the simulation crashed. She had selected a program which was supposed to be run prior to launch – when she was already “on the way” to the moon. The computer had so little space, it had wiped the navigation data taking her to the moon. I thought: my God – this could inadvertently happen in a real mission. I suggested a program change to prevent a prelaunch program being selected during flight. But the higher-ups at MIT and Nasa said the astronauts were too well trained to make such a mistake. Midcourse on the very next mission – Apollo 8 – one of the astronauts on board accidentally did exactly what Lauren had done. The Lauren bug! It created much havoc and required the mission to be reconfigured. After that, they let me put the program change in, all right.

Instruments of Change 2. Khaen / Violin Duo

Jaron Lanier & Barbara Higbie, from Lanier’s Instruments of Change album. Music, like an airplane, is an instrument of change. Both can transport you to a different place.

Life Lessons Learned in Mission Control

NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz:

You’ve got the skills. You’ve got the knowledge. You’ve got the love, and you’re capable of moving forward and making a great life for yourself.

Project Apollo Archive

High-resolution Apollo imagery scanned by NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Spitfire Suprise Low Pass

I have always loved the flying and camera work in this video, pulling away from the speaker slowly, to reveal the approaching airplane, flying so low it is still hidden in camouflage with the English landscape, and given away by a bit of dust it kicks up from the ground that makes you realize its frighteningly low altitude and high speed as the plane comes straight at the viewer and camera crew, from behind the speaker, who shares our reaction!

The Spitfire in the video was flown by RAF pilot and Red Arrows aerobatics display team founding member Ray Hannah.

Tutorial Videos for Flight Simulators

Shamrock One Five over at Stormbirds lists some good channels. My favorite is the irreverent Laobi.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Insightful commentary about the new Microsoft Flight Simulator trailer by wordsmith and simulated flying expert Tim Stone over at my favorite website about video games, Rock Paper Shotgun.