A&E #12 : May the 4th. Be With You- A Look At Aviation and Aerospace in Star Wars

First off I would like to apologize for this being a day later than normal, yesterday I was moving out of my dorm for the summer. Today is May 4, also known as Star Wars Day. ‘May the 4th. be with you’ has been shared millions of times across social media today, so to go along with the theme we will be looking at some of the many ships and flying craft from Star Wars.

 

 

 

T-65 X-Wing

The X-Wing is a Starfighter used by the Rebellion. It carries a pilot and has an external port for an astromech droid. The X-Wing first appeared in A New Hope, released in 1977.

 

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/T-65_X-wing_starfighter

 

 

Munificent Class Star Frigate

The Munificent Class frigate is a large frigate used by the Seperatists. Ships such as these were seen primarily in The Clone Wars animated series.

 

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Munificent-class_star_frigate

 

 

Venator Class Star Destroyer

The Star Destroyer is a large capital ship whose design has been used by many groups in Star Wars. Many of these ships are often spotted around yet-to-be-blown-up Death Stars.

 

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Venator-class_Star_Destroyer

 

 

Executer Class Super Star Destroyer (Dreadnought)

While many ships in the genre are all called super star destroyers, the Executer Class is the most well known. The most famous of these ships was known as the Arc Hammer.

 

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Executor-class_Star_Dreadnought/Legends

 

 

Whether as small as a car or as big as a city, ships in Star Wars are all elegantly designed, and focus on being sleek and aerodynamic, even though ships in the vacuum of space don’t need to worry about too much about aerodynamics (perhaps they do when going through hyperspace, who knows?). Since its first movie’s release in 1977 Star Wars has been inspiring people about Aerospace Engineering, and will continue to do so for years to come.

All of the pictures used in today’s article are directly from my own Kerbal Space Program gameplay. If you would like to see more models from KSP whether from a mod or made by me please comment below.

Want to see more aviation related content? Head over to https://www.globalair.com/ and check out the beautiful aircraft for sale as well as other aviation related blogs. Fly safe and May the 4th. be with you!

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The Calvin L. Carrithers Aviation Scholarship

Do you love aviation (if not you’re probably lost on the internet)? Are you about to start/are already in college? Like scholarships? If you answered yes to all then the Calvin L. Carrithers Aviation Scholarship is for you! What are the requirements if you win the scholarship? You must have a major dealing with aviation in some way.

So Jared, what do I do if I receive the scholarship? Glad you asked, just blog once per week about your current experiences in aviation or aviation related news and content. Each entry must be between 200 and 500 words minimum, and you decide what to write about.

This past year I was lucky enough to be one of the four recipients for the scholarship, and I have to say it helped out tremendously. I would like to thank GlobalAir.com as well as the Carrithers for selecting me and my fellow recipients, as well as our curator Miss Lydia Wiff. I have learned a great deal this year through my blog, and it has helped me do better on term papers (what joy huh?). All joking aside this process truly has helped my writing, made writing enjoyable, and helped me have the confidence to reach out in new ways to expand my presence in the aviation community. If you would like to apply for this amazing scholarship go to https://www.globalair.com/scholarships/

 

Want to see more aviation related content? Head on over to https://www.globalair.com/ and check out other aviation blogs as well as the beautiful aircraft for sale. Fly safe and have fun!

A&E #11: North Korea’s Paper Tigers?

As many uninformed people are running around afraid of WWIII starting, those of us who remain informed know that North Korea would stand no chance in a war with the U.S., but just how weak are they? Last Friday Kim Jong-un held a parade in honor of his grandfather; in the parade were some of the North’s truck mounted missiles on display for the world to see, but what the world saw wasn’t on Kim Jong’s mind. Many of the rockets appear to be poorly constructed and cheap, as if they were fake stand-ins to make their arsenal appear larger. One picture that has many believing these rockets are fake or cheap mockups came from a BBC broadcast covering the parade. See for yourself and decide.

Photo from metro.co.uk Notice anything weird about the nosecones on that rocket’s booster???

Apparently Kim has been playing too much Kerbal Space Program and feels like a real rocket scientist, yet the nosecones were still put on wrong. As the number of Jong’s rocket testing grows so does the stockpiles of the local junk metal businesses; as some are afraid of the North Korean’s capabilities those of us who pay attention know that the people in the biggest danger are the ones near their launch facilities. We have yet to hear anything from the high-ups at Estes, but we are sure to hear soon that they can confirm launching rockets higher than Kim Jong’s Inter-County Ballistic Missiles. Jong is predicted to be taking the advice of a coyote and buying all of his supplies from a company called ACME.

In all seriousness no one wants to have another Korean War, but rest assured Kim Jong-un’s paper tigers are no threat to the United States. Even if he did have a successful launch it would have to fly over or near our ally Japan, who have vowed to shoot down anything Kim launches (if it doesn’t self-destruct first). If Japan could not shoot the rocket down we have systems in place to make sure that no missiles could hit the US, ensuring our safety and a swift end to an unnecessary war.

Want to see more aviation related content? Head on over to https://www.globalair.com/ and check out more aviation blogs as well as the beautiful aircraft for sale. Fly safe and have fun!

A&E #10: The United Debacle

Rule #1 about United Fight Club: Don’t talk about United Fight Club.

As I am sure everyone knows what I am talking about, the United debacle, I will move ahead with this. First of all, how did any of the United employees involved in this situation allow it to happen? I believe that it was bound to happen eventually, as the company’s bad business practices have been flawed for years. The company, as many other airlines, has made a bad habit of overbooking flights. What adds to the problem is how the company prioritizes employee traveling, specifically their handling of how they solve the overbooking. Rather than ask if anyone can wait until the next flight or better yet making the employees take another flight, they decide to ‘voluntarily’ force paying customers off of the flight.

 

Note: I waited until the end of the week to post this because of the nature of the content. As this story is already confusing, there has to be a deeper story, so therefore I am withholding more insight until the time when more information has been brought to life.

 

Want to see more aviation related content? Head on over to https://www.globalair.com/ and check out the beautiful aircraft for sale as well as the other aviation blogs. Fly safe and have fun!

A&E #9: Buzz is back at it!

As many of you have probably already seen, former astronaut and Air Force retiree Buzz Aldrin flew with the Thunderbirds on April 2. This sortee makes him the oldest person to hitch a ride with the Air Force’s flight demonstration team.

Photo from The Drive

Check out The Drive’s story on Buzz’s flight here at http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/8882/buzz-aldrin-blasts-off-with-the-usaf-thunderbirds-for-a-record-flight I am glad to see that Buzz is still doing what he loves to do; it would be one of the coolest things on Earth to be a Thunderbird, but to get to be the Thunderbird who flies around with Buzz Aldrin! Every young aviator’s dream would be to meet someone like Buzz, and to get to fly him around over Launchpad 39A and the Cape would be one of the greatest privileges. Buzz keeps busy constantly, as he is now working to inspire people and raise interest on going to Mars. I would recommend that you follow Buzz on Facebook, as he and others post nearly every day on what he has going on. This man never rests it seems like, and at 87 years old he is still going strong. His history is strong, including being a fighter pilot, the second man on the moon, and many other accomplishments, and through his recent escapades he shows that his history is going to keep expanding. Could he become the oldest person to travel to Mars? Time will only tell, and if he puts his mind to it, who’ll tell him no?

Want more aviation related content? Head on over to https://www.globalair.com/ and check out the beautiful aircraft for sale! Fly safe and have fun!

Aviation and Exploration #8: Circular Runways- Gained Development or Wasted Research

Over the past week there has been much talk surrounding circular runways. If you have yet to see about this, here is the link: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39284294  . This video was published by BBC several days ago, and many people have been talking about it, but why? As soon as I saw it the only thing that popped into my mind was the difficulties this would bring to aviation.

Photo from YouTube

I immediately began to question the authenticity of the video and the research it was covering when one of the first claims was that circular runways will be greener and less noisy. Obviously whoever was behind the video has nothing to do with aviation, as the ‘aircraft are noisy’ concern is sure to get you into an argument with some pilots. People build their home right beside an airport and then try to have it shut down (as seen in Santa Monica), because apparently commercial travel and business commerce are less important than a bloke who bought useless real estate. Also, how would landing on a crooked hill while turning be greener? Nowadays if you slap on a label for something and claim it is green or will help the environment people immediately accept the product as is, no questions asked. This is what they are attempting to do here, say it’ll be greener and the uninformed populous will swallow it hook, line, and sinker. It takes much more than giving your idea the hipster seal of approval in order to convince the aviation community, because we know what works. Things may look good on paper in a liberal arts classroom in the Netherlands, but that doesn’t mean it will work in real life. The video shows Henk Hesselink, the man behind this theory, as he attempts to explain how his years of ‘research’ might be used. Included in this rigmarole is a quick shot of he and a few other colleagues ‘hard at work’  messing about with a cheeky little flight simulator, and one major red flag is immediately raised in my head. Why didn’t they show any shots of pilots attempting to land on this new runway? After rolling through a few shots from the flight sim cockpit which show pixelated rolling hills and quaint little blocky fields, they began giving more propaganda as words over the shots; not once is a landing shown. This immediately tells to me either a.) it is too difficult to land on a NASCAR-like runway OR b.) using the graphics of a Nintendo 64 on their simulator wasn’t good enough for actual data and they spent all their money on a big arcade game (meaning that for those years of research they’ve been loafing around and getting paid for it). Also, using a simulator is fine and good, but it cannot accurately simulate every eventuality of a real cockpit, meaning everything on this project up to this point has been guesswork (reminds you of grade school science fair doesn’t it). All of this, and we haven’t even gotten to the real problems.

As far as how practical a circular runway could be, it doesn’t look promising. Imagine this: you are now on approach, it is getting dark so you head toward a mothership of landing lights, trying to figure out which one you should pick to land by (they’re all the same it’s hard to tell where each marker is for your hunk of the runway (they want to land three at a time, so make sure not to land on anyone)). After choosing what part of the mothership you wish to land on you set up an approach that looks like Burt Reynolds landing in the street while drunk in The Cannonball Run. After the Cannonball theme song runs through your head for a while you remember you have to land on a banking runway as if you are Dale Earnhardt driving in a race. While landing on the slope you get a short crosswind burst and prepare to say goodbye to the inboard wing (happens in Kerbal Space Program all the time, no big deal). Even if you do manage to set it down hopefully the side-loading on the gear don’t snap them off. After they break like toothpicks you can come skidding down the embankment like you’re in the ‘Big One’ at Daytona and end up wingless and gearless in the infield. Look on the bright side, while the mothership crew is hosing your plane down with foam to make sure it doesn’t burst into flames atleast you’ll get to use the slide.

I know, I know. It’s satire. But you understand my point, just because the idea can be talked up and has a sticker placed on it saying eco-friendly doesn’t mean it’s automatically a revolutionarily good idea. Here’s another link, http://www.avgeekery.com/dont-be-fooled-10-reasons-why-circular-runways-are-a-bad-idea/ it’s Avgeekery’s thoughts on the matter; check it out they go in-depth into some of the real mechanical issues surrounding landing on the Daytona International Mothership, or whatever they will end up calling it.

 

Want more aviation related content? Head over to https://www.globalair.com/ and check out more aviation blogs as well as the many beautiful aircraft for sale. Fly safe and have fun!

 

Sadie’s Science Corner #5: Spring and Flying

Spring Break is nearly upon us, and the weather’s looking great! I cannot wait to get outdoors and have some fun in the spring air. Over spring break I hope to work on some of my model aircraft and hopefully get one in the air (that is if the wind ever lays down). I love spring, and it is a great time for aviation. Keep a lookout for any airshows in your area, as I would recommend everyone going to a spring show, or even a local fly-in. For larger airshows you can check the Thunderbirds’ and Blue Angels’ schedules, available online (links below).

Thunderbirds Air Show Schedule 2017: http://afthunderbirds.com/site/show-season/

Blue Angels Air Show Schedule 2017: http://www.milavia.net/airshows/calendar/schedule-2017-blue-angels.html

 

So far it looks to be a fun packed year for airshows across the country! Also, if you are into model aircraft airshows there are many throughout the nation, including the famous Joe Nall and the up-and-coming Flite Fest. Finally, with better weather comes more aviation related crashes, so if you are flying, make sure to enjoy the view but also keep in mind situational awareness. Whether full scale or model flying, safety is the number one concern on everyone’s list, so just keep a level head and fly safe. Sometimes pilots in good weather conditions focus too much on the scenery and too little on their plane, which can become a bad situation, even with models.

 

Want to see more aviation related content? Head on over to https://www.globalair.com/ and check out the aviation blogs as well as some of the many beautiful aircraft for sale. Fly safe and have fun!

Opportunities and Who You Are

First of all I apologize for missing last week, as I came down with the flu. Last Tuesday, however, I had one of the biggest opportunities so far in my career. The previous night I attended a seminar given by Gulfstream about possible co-op positions. We were allowed to turn in resumes if we wanted, and were told to keep our phones on that night just incase we were of the few they wanted to interview. At 10 pm my phone rang, and I had an interview with Gulfstream, an industry leader in the private aviation world! On Tuesday came my interview, and although being nervous I feel as if I did all I could. Unfortunately a few days later I received an email saying that I had not been picked, and the next day I had gotten sick. ‘Nothing’s been going for me’ I thought, and on top of piling up work and not wanting to fall behind I found myself questioning why I was putting myself through all of this. Most people don’t like school work to begin with, much less adding on being sick, and I will admit I was really hating school. As I have began to get better and get my work caught up (mostly haha it never ends) I was able to realize that I was beginning to see the truth, I didn’t like it because I was sick and tired of it (literally and figuratively). This wasn’t about school it was about my own performance, and not getting that job had in a way discouraged me, and being sick for a week didn’t help. During a few day’s recovery I was able to sit back and realize I wasn’t tired of school, it was the same as it had been and I was the same that I had been. So what if I hadn’t of gotten the co-op, I was still me, and aviation, and school (no matter how much things make me dislike it) still mattered. People will always associate me with flying, and it will always be who I am. I was reminded of this when friends sent me pictures of airplanes they saw during their day without me even having to ask. People knew aviation would cheer me up, and that it would bring me back to focus.

20170223_161031

C-17s fly all around my hometown, and my Dad sent me this picture one evening.

 

Want more aviation related content? Head over to https://www.globalair.com/ and check out the blogs and aircraft for sale! Fly safe and have fun!

Buddy’s Aviation History Blog #4: Looking back on October Sky

Yesterday evening I was thinking back to when I used to shoot Estes rockets in the backyard, and I got to thinking about the movie October Sky. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it is a movie based on the teenage years of Homer Hickam Jr. (former NASA engineer) and his passion for rocketry. Together he and his friends build model rockets (some of which get them in trouble) and go on to win the national science fair, where Homer shakes the hand of his favorite scientist Wernher von Braun without realizing who he was. This movie inspired me when I was younger, and it had been several years since I had seen it; I am glad that I decided to watch it.

Photo from IMDb

Photo from IMDb

 

 

Good Aspects of the Movie

1.) It is a true story (you don’t see that in many movies, and when you do the truth is usually stretched)

2.) He went on to become a NASA engineer and served in the Vietnam War (accomplished his dreams)

3.) It reminds us the importance of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams no matter how far fetched they may seem at the time

4.) It shows young adults that their dreams are possible IF they put in the work

5.) It shows how far NASA and science have come even since the 50s (movie setting in late 50s)

 

Things that Could Have Been Improved

1.)  The teenagers accents seemed unrefined/overdone

2.) It would have been cool to see some more of his work at NASA after the movie

 

Overall I would say October Sky is a great movie, and all prospective aerospace engineers should watch it. It shows many good qualities including perseverance, determination, and friendship. Check out the movie, an you’ll be surprised. The movie was released in 1999 and is rated PG.

 

Want more aviation related content? Head over to https://www.globalair.com/ and check out the aviation blogs and the beautiful aircraft for sale. Fly safe and have fun!

An Aviation-Based Spring Break

Spring Break is a great time for friends to hang out and blow off some steam, but rather than just hang out around the house, what if we based our time off around flying? If money was not a factor, what would be the best Spring Break based around flying? This question was posed to myself and several other fellow writers (I will try to share the links to their ideas), and I would love to hear your ideas as well. Please email your ideas to  and we will feature a few of the best closer to Spring Break.

 

The following story is just that, this definitely couldn’t happen this year, but hopefully in a few years!

 

At MSU Spring Break usually lasts five days including the weekend, so there will be plenty of time to get around. A few friends and I could rent an aircraft and fly to the coast (Mississippi). The coast offers many attractions, including fine dining, fishing opportunities, and even the new Margaritaville (where you can see a huge model of a Grumman Goose hanging from the roof near the entrance) and many other large attractions throughout the area.

goose

The next day we fly to Pensacola, Florida. Not only is it a great beach destination, it is also home to the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Team, also known as the Blue Angels. Once arriving we rent a car and drive out through the wildlife park near Pensacola Beach and to a little jut-out known as Fort Pickens. Facing the ocean with clear blue water and right across the bay from the naval air station, Fort Pickens is an amazing location to watch the Blues practice during the week. With jets screaming just feet over the sea wall you get a front row seat to a personal aerial performance. That afternoon we can hit the beach and relax!

fortpickens

On the third morning we head to the National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola. If you have never been you are missing out, I could spend years in that museum! In the museum you can take guided tours or browse at your own leisure. Included in the museum’s artifacts are many aircraft, including four A-4 Skyhawks that the Blues flew years ago, an F4F Wildcat, SBD dive bomber, a blimp, and even an aircraft flown by George H.W. Bush! Part of one of the hangars is made to look like an old aircraft carrier deck. While there you could even check out the library resources which include countless amounts of materials on naval aviation and those who have served.

scootersThat evening could be spent checking out the scenery, including the wildlife preserve and the beautiful city of Pensacola. The fourth day could be spent at the beach or back at the museum to get a look at a few more aircraft you don’t want to miss (I would definitely be heading to the museum), and then it’s back to Mississippi. We refuel on the coast, grab something to eat, and head back to drop everyone off. While flying there and back it is a good opportunity to keep hours up plus some of your friends can experience flying if they never have before. After the aircraft is returned and checks out it’s time to head home and sleep, and to prepare for another day on the job (or campus).

flightdeck

Want more aviation related content? Head over to http://globalair.com/ and check out some other aviation-related blogs as well as the beautiful aircraft for sale. Fly safe and have fun!