Flying a 1938 Schulgleiter SG38 glider

Posted by ted @ 2:09 am, June 10th, 2014

Very cool, and just a little bit terrifying!



Found on [Sploid]

Helicopters and Explosions Woohoo!

Posted by ted @ 1:05 pm, December 10th, 2011


They are using¬† “Implosive Connectors” to make power line connections on the new towers along I-94 in Minnesota. A small explosive charge is evenly distributed around an aluminum sleeve and when it is detonated it uniformly compresses the sleeve down onto the cable inside.

How cool is that? And they don’t want you to watch? oh come on, it is like a frikkin James Bond movie along the interstate!

I never did see any helicopters on the day I drove by, but the company does have a video of the process, and other helicopter line work on their website :

Implosive connectors and helicopter line work


Kiddo the Airship Cat

Posted by ted @ 12:30 pm, October 8th, 2011

Kiddo the Airship Cat

In 1910 airman Walter Wellman and five companions attempted to cross the Atlantic Ocean in the airship America. He was also accompanied by his cat Kiddo. Unfortunately once they were underway Kiddo decided he was not so fond of flying and started causing trouble by meowing, crying and running around ‘like a squirrel in a cage.’ The airship America was the first aircraft to be carry radio equipment and the first engineer, Melvin Vaniman, was so annoyed by the antics of Kiddo that he was moved to make the first in-flight radio transmission to a secretary back on land.

The historic first message read:, “Roy, come and get this goddam cat!”

A plan was formed to lower the cat in a canvas bag to motorboat beneath the airship. An attempt was made, but failed because the seas were too rough for the boat to catch the bag, so it was pulled back up again and Kiddo was forced to continue the journey. Luckily Kiddo became more comfortable and settled down to become an excellent flying companion. Navigator Murray Simon wrote that he was ‘more useful than any barometer.’ And that ‘You must never cross the Atlantic in an airship without a cat.’ He slept comfortably in a lifeboat and seemed to only become agitated when he sensed there was weather trouble ahead.

Unfortunately the weather and other problems forced the crew to give up on the crossing before it was complete. They were forced to ditch the airship and all take to the lifeboat. The crew, including Kiddo, were later rescued by the steamship RMS Trent. Simon reminded the crew that it had been a good idea to bring a cat, as they have nine lives!

Upon their return to New York Kiddo achieved celebrity status in a display in Gimbels Department store in a guilded cage with soft cushions.

The airship America, although failing to complete the Atlantic crossing, had set several new records by staying aloft for almost 72 hours and traveling over 1000 miles.

Kiddo retired from aviation to live with Walter Wellman’s daughter.

I found this story along with a lot other entertaining information on famous cats at Purr-n-Fur UK

A Very Different View of Wind Turbines

Posted by ted @ 8:58 pm, February 22nd, 2011

Here is an amazing video of someone playing chicken with giant wind turbines with a RC plane with a pilot-view camera in it. Amazing stunt, which I am guessing the wind turbine company would not appreciate at all, though I wouldn’t think he would be capable of actually hurting one with his little plane. Some of the close misses made me gasp…

Playing Chicken with a Wind Turbine FPV from aaron_gx on Vimeo.


Very Cool Jetski powered Jetpack Video

Posted by ted @ 11:19 am, January 31st, 2009

This guy has redirected the water output from a jetski through nozzles on a jetpack. This is an amazingly awesome idea that I am surprised no one else had come up with yet (or had they?). I think you could do the same thing on land using a firehose or some other high pressure water source. This video makes it look like SO MUCH FUN, a jet pack that doesn’t run out in 30 seconds. Who cares if you can only go 25 feet high or so.

[ Reddit via Crunchgear]

High Voltage Power Line Maintenance by Helicopter

Posted by ted @ 2:00 pm, January 20th, 2009

Here is another video of some amazing maintenance workers / daredevils.¬† These men maintenance live high voltage power lines from a helicopter using a fire retardant “hot suit” made with metal fibers to act as a Faraday cage. Once they clamp on the line, their body, and the entire helicopter, are raised to the same electrical potential as the wire – 500 thousand volts. They remain safe as long as there is no path to ground. Even without the high voltage, just stepping off a hovering helicopter on to a little seat on the top of a pair of relatively thin wires strung high over the ground is quite a bold feat in itself. Nice mellow video, pleasant music and the guy has a sense of humor about it.

“I don’t give two hoots and a holler about flying inside a helicopter. Put me outside, that’s where I want to be. On a magic carpet.”

glumbert – High Power Job

via [BoingBoing]

Video reported to be from Straight Up: Helicopters in Action.

Helicopter Used for Wind Turbine Maintenance

Posted by ted @ 4:14 pm, January 6th, 2009

Here is an interesting video showing a Eurocopter EC135 being used for maintenance operations on giant offshore wind turbines in the UK. Gives a good perspective on the massive size of these turbines. Around here they work on land based turbines by just opening the door at their base and climbing up a bunch of stairs. These guys in the video appear to be part mechanic, part coast guard helicopter rescue diver. Considering how often these things usually need maintenance (at least monthly I believe) this looks like it could get expensive fast and reveals a potential downside to the otherwise excellent idea of offshore turbines which I have always believed in. Enjoy the video, although I recommend muting the poorly chosen soundtrack.

From Flight Global via Gizmodo