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Mysterious Missing Airplanes #

Mike Johnston at The Online Photographer:

Using the faintest of photographic clues as inspiration, one of history’s greatest treasure hunters may be on the brink of explaining one of the 20th century’s enduring mysteries. Robert Ballard, the man who found the Titanic, is hot on the case of the mysterious disappearance of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, looking for her Lockheed on the slope of an underwater volcanic mountain.

Personal Pictures in IL-2 Sturmovik Cockpits #

Another popular request has been the ability to place a personal picture in the cockpit of your plane. We have now added this capability.

These are the kind of details we need more of in simulations, that help personalize the world and bring it alive for the player.

If you have not played this wonderful flight simulator yet, an “Endless Summer Sale” is now on, with as much as 66% off the base game.

A Spitfire Girl #

The story of Mary Wilkins Ellis, RAF Air Transport Auxiliary WW2 pilot.

On one occasion Mary delivered a Wellington bomber to an airfield, and as she climbed out of the aircraft the RAF ground crew ran over to her and demanded to know where the pilot was! Mary said simply: “I am the pilot!” Unconvinced the men searched the aircraft before they realized a young woman had indeed flown the bomber all by herself.

After the war Mary managed Sandown Airport, an airfield at the Isle of Wight. She died in 2018.

Tacview #

Read and record flight data from popular flight simulators like IL-2 Sturmovik and DCS World. Found via Requiem’s latest video: Defensive Spiral.

Kindness in the Air War #

Nicely animated story of a BF-109’s encounter with a severely damaged B-17, as told in the book A Higher Call.

DCS MB-339 Flight Model Developer Interview #

The Aermacchi MB-339A is a free aircraft for DCS flight simulator that brings the Frecce Tricolore’s flying machine to the digital world. Get it here.

Anemometer #

A device for measuring wind speed.

P-47 Pilot Flies IL-2’s Thunderbolt #

…he flew for hours, I could not get him off the simulator.

Solar Sailing #

A small spacecraft in orbit around Earth has managed to increase the height of its orbit using light from the sun only. Flight by light!

Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye:

Carl Sagan talked about solar sailing when I was in his class in 1977. But the idea goes back at least to 1607, when Johannes Kepler noticed that comet tails must be created by energy from the Sun. The LightSail 2 mission is a game-changer for spaceflight and advancing space exploration.

You may be able to see the spacecraft overhead at dusk or dawn.

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.

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