Monday, October 24, 2011

DT, Winslow Wheeler and 'Manufacturing' Problems

Defense Tech is 'moderating' a comment of mine I tried to post on this thread. The last time they did this my comment disappeared into the Ether. I suspect it is an administrative thing where they don't like a .com, or an acronym vs. malevolence (how petty would it be otherwise?), but no matter-- I saved a draft first. I tried to post:

Stop the presses! Winslow Wheeler has discovered that the entire logistics support package for the F-35B was not prepositioned on the Wasp. Someone tell Winslow that the WASP is cruising about 80 miles from F-35B home base in Pax River and that this is NOT a supportability test. Then ask him exactly DoubleU Tee Eff is his point?  I would also suggest the unattributed 'author' of this piece refer to earlier articles that note the 2 weeks was the shortest(!) expected period expected for this round of shipboard trials and that the WASP was booked for much longer. Are 'we' now beating up programs for accomplishing tasks slightly slower than the fastest possible time?
And this is what I got:

Update at 2005 Hrs: My guess is is that ol' Winslow Wheeler just couldn't let positive news get out on the F-35 without a little caviling. This fey attempt at shaping the budget battlefield is pathetic in light of the real story:

Bloomberg: The F-35B short-take off and vertical landing version finished three weeks of tests on the Marine amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, achieving “all planned flight envelope test points,” Joseph DellaVedova, a spokesman for the Joint Strike Fighter program, said in an e-mail. “We’ve been pleased with the initial sea trials” and the aircraft “performed to predictions.”

Update 25October2011: Eventually my comment appeared at DT sometime today with the original time tag from last night.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

AR Project: It Has Begun

As I've noted elsewhere, I've never been a huge fan of the AR-15/M-16 family of rifles. Not because of the issues (largely mythical or self-inflicted) surrounding the AR, but because my experience was only with full-stocked M-16s on active duty. Aside from the fact that we qualified on some pretty worn-out armory queens every year, I never liked how the M-16 'fit' me. My attitude towards the ARs started changing some when a friend stuck behind the Moron Curtain in the People's Republic of Kalifornia let me try on his custom AR with an adjustable stock. Hey! - for once it didn't feel like I was holding a 2x4.
I couldn't rationalize buying/building one though just to have a .223, and I already have (almost) enough rifles in the larger calibers for hunting so I couldn't see shelling out the bucks for one.
Then the .300 Blackout round came to town. Suddenly, I could have a rifle to take to the range all year and shoot on the 'cheap' and just either swap out the barrel or more likely the 'upper' and take the same weapon hunting.
So today I went shopping for a 'lower' at the Ft Worth Gun Show. I had a goal to get a populated Mil-Spec 'lower' for under $200. I succeeded thanks to the folks at the SOG Armory table. I also got quite a few leads on the rest of the parts that I'll need as I go along.
No hurries and no worries on this build. I'm not looking to create the UberAR, just a useful one. Anyway, my deer rifle for this year is re-stocked, re-scoped, all 'snapped in' and Good to Go.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

F-35B: an 'Audacious Display'

Dave Majumdar with Defense News reports:
"In an audacious display of confidence, the U.S. Marine Corps and the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program office demonstrated short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) tests of the F-35B Lightning II to reporters onboard the amphibious assault ship Wasp on Oct. 18."

 Sorry Ladies!
Audacious? I suppose in some people's minds. I'd say the opening of the article smokes the 'no news is bad news' angle I've read in the comments at other sites. The rest of the article pretty much debunks darned near every negative speculation I've heard or read about the plane on the 'major' websites and their peanut galleries.  Oh! What shall we EVER fret over next?

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Or: How I flew on C-130B 57-0526 to the very end and lived to tell the tale.
Going through the web looking for planes I flew on, tested, or supported-- and C-130B S/N 57-0526 at the Hill AFB Museum came up on the search engine.

   I have mixed feelings about this bird, which had a pretty unusual history-- even before my unit flew it. On the one hand, over the years it always got us home. On the other hand, I’m lucky it didn’t kill me and the rest of the crew in the end. I flew on the last test missions the bird ever flew, and then we flew it back to Hill AFB from Edwards AFB. After we brought it home it went into heavy depot maintenance. It never really came out, though it took a while for the powers that be to decide to pull it from service permanently.
   We took the plane to Eddy because we had done yet another modification to the plane and successful Performance and Flying Quality (P&FQ) testing was necessary before we would be allowed to use it under anything but the most benign flight conditions. I was Safety Observer and Flight Test Engineer in the 'backend'. My palletized crew station was positioned at the left paratroop door where I would have an unobstructed view of the ‘tufted’ shape we had hanging on an outer pylon, normally used to launch ‘stuff’. There was also a very large turret-shaped blister that was to be a camera fairing installed above and behind my station. My job was to run the backend test cards and observe and note the tuft behaviors as well as any unusual buffeting or other evidence of turbulent flows at all the different test points. I seem to remember two days of preparation and one very long flying day to hit all our test points. The reason we had to go to Eddy is that was where the Pacer aircraft were (A-37 on this mission). It was supposedly less hassle for us to go down to the Flight Test Center and coordinate use of the Pacers and crews than vice versa.     
   The ‘downside of this arrangement was that our (the 6510th) Wing Commander required us to use a local (Eddy) Test Pilot instead of one of our own on the reasoning that the local pilot would be most familiar with the local airspace, The fact that our test pilots flew down to Edwards (our parent organization) nearly every week seemed to escape the logic of the Wing King. The day of the mission we flew innumerable "Tower Fly Bys" (No top Gun BS: just like this video only slower and tighter) at different airspeeds while cinetheodolites tracked us on the ground, then we moved to higher altitudes for the ‘fun’ stuff. At varying airspeeds we followed the test card that took us through (among other things) Max Q rudder kicks, and other maximum control deflections to test the effect of the stability of the aircraft with those new large and unusual shapes glommed on to the left side. I dutifully recorded my observations (which probably helped me from getting airsick) throughout the mission. The rest of the backend of the C-130 was empty, as the Loadmaster had the good sense to sit up on the flight deck during most of the gyrating. As my station was just in front of the ramp, I was getting wild rides left and right and up and down as the pilot intentionally tried to add in energy and make the deviations as wide as possible before releasing the controls and observe the natural damping effects of the design return the plane to a stable flight condition. So far, it was a pretty long and boring mission.
   We returned to base, and when we entered the pattern, I could see the B-2 (in those days it was deep in flight test) beginning to move out onto the taxiway from its South Base facilities. Our ‘local’ test pilot landed a little longer than he wanted to, but no problem right? Heck, Edwards has one of the longest paved runways in the world! Except this runway was only as long as the turnoff the local Golden Arm wanted to make, and he leaned on the brakes- Hard. I’m on headset of course, and all I hear in short succession is our Pilot calling our ‘Easy!’, then ‘Load!’ The Loadmaster immediately chimes back “I’m on it”. He swings down off the flight deck and checks the inside of each wheel well using his gloved hand pressing against each side. The Load looks at me shaking his head and tells the flight deck. “Yeah we've got hot brakes”.
   The pilot informs the tower and then we sit and wait right where we are lest a fire breaks out. We have to wait for enough time to pass to be safe enough for the Fire Crews who come up to clear us for a taxi in. The B-2 in the meantime, turns around and goes right back to South Base because its mucho-expensive range-time window will close before he will get there. We eventually taxi in and are ‘welcomed’ by our superiors with the question: “How in the hell does a C-130 get hot brakes on a 15000 foot runway?” The ‘local boy’ has to do the Mea Culpa.
   We blast out for home later (I think it was the next day), and the next week C-130B 57-0526 goes into the depot, conveniently for us right there at Hill (Depot was moved from Kelly to Hill during the early BRAC rounds). I don’t think the plane was even finished in the teardown during the next week when we get word that the plane will never fly again for fear that the entire tail will fall off. There was "massive" hidden corrosion all around the bulkhead immediately aft of the paratroop doors (where my crew station was and where the ramp attaches). They told us it is the most severe case that had ever been seen. And I got to spend the week before as part of a crew trying to make it come apart.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Fort Worth A Total Bust So Far

Or: 'Dude! If you are bald or gray ditch the ponytail - you're creeping out the children!
First - I'm not going to dive into the cognitive dissonance required for people to blame 'Wall Street' over the housing bubble bust  or the crap economy the last couple of years,  yet do not Grok the link between the Crony Capitalists and the Socialist-Left Democratic Party--Whom they SHOULD be blaming for most of our problems (with a relatively minor role played by the Quislings of the irritatingly clueless Republican Establishment).  I'm going to write a blurb here about the people involved in this 'Occupy' farce. A farce which I believe that when all is said and done, will be shown to have been blown all out of proportion, and someday someone will admit as having had the express purpose of furthering the Leftist subversion of America.

About 'Occupy Fort Worth'

So few people have showed up for this 'epic fail', the local newspaper was able to put a story up with pictures identifying by name what looked like a significant number of people (who weren't minors) who showed up. Article with photos here.

The cross-section was cliche. They had freshly-minted college grad 'filmmakers', angst-ridden musicians, full-bore vegans, retired 'teachers', and my favorite: Geriatric Hippies. I believe I've made it quite clear what I'm most looking forward to on the Hippie Question.

Geriatric Hippie 'Jack Smith' (If that is his real name)
(Crop of Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison Photo. Find Original Here)

Outside enclaves of idiocy in Dallas, Houston, and most of Austin, Texas has an acute shortage of the type of people who have either the time or inclination to gather and bi*** about how unfair life is. This is true mainly because MOST people understand life IS unfair. From what I can tell of this so called 'movement' to date, it is largely populated by people who made life choices that didn't turn out as well as they thought they should have. Tough. There are some involved who ARE victims of fate, I'm sure - and creating a narrative to explain away misfortune is a human tendency and therefore understandable. Just don't expect the rest of us to buy into whatever story you built around your misfortune to cope with it. I'm more interested in being supportive of friends who are in dire straits and are working through the situation without giving up. My sympathy extends as far as your willingness to help yourself. Can't find a job where you live and there are jobs elsewhere? MOVE. Don't have the skills needed? Get them. I know people that are doing both and they're not wasting time at the park looking for handouts.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Same Old Scum Protest....UAVs?

This time at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.

They're pretty much the same sh**head losers that pop up at all the anti-this-or-that "protests" organized in support of the far left and DNC (but I repeat myself) policies. This time, they got 'maced' trying to penetrate the confines of the museum with their 'protest' paraphernalia. Seems the museum has an exhibit about military unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), and the scum took offense. The museum had to close because some of it got inside, so I wonder how many tourists had their day or vacation ruined because of the petulant little sh**s? Way to build support there morons!

My biggest beef is with the press who 'somehow' fail yet again to mention one of the biggest drivers behind this foolishness: INTERNATIONAL A.N.S.W.E.R.

Who is A.N.S.W.E.R.? Per , they are/are about:

Anti-war front group for the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party
A major organizer of the massive anti-Iraq war rallies of 2002 and 2003
Opposes embargo against Communist Cuba
Supports convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal

...frickin' COMMIES fer crying out loud. How.... 'last century'.

If you jerk any of these 'groups' chains they all go back to the same small set of leftards, whackos, and losers. It is not as if these morons keep it a big secret from the press - all they'd have to do is read the freakin' signs!

But the mainstream media seems to try to downplay the angle to the American public, and you have to pick through the more obscure (read 'local') materials to find any photos showing those signs
(photo WJLA):

 The two on the left want to 'feel' good about themselves and the two on the right just want to get laid. All four are 'tools', in more definitions than one.

You will still be hard pressed to find any references to the groups behind this idiocy in any actual texts of accompanying articles.

The one UAV on exhibit that the losers are probably most upset about is the direct descendant of a development program we (my unit) was involved with in the 1980's, Project Amber:
It was a brilliant design by Abe Karem ( I won't comment on the crowd he hired to build and integrate it.) and I'm proud to have played a very small role in it. The concept's strongest point was a phenomenal endurance that screamed 'surveillance missions'. I also will not comment as to how the follow on design was brought into the world by a privately held company that until that point had nothing to do with aircraft of any type.

One last shot (also from WJLA) of the Smithsonian yesterday. Visitors are leaving the building, having had their time at the museum ruined by the self-absorbed and hopelessly stupid 'activists.'

Dad: I don't know Son, I suppose it could have been human.

I've got a trip to DC coming up. Hope these A**hats have moved on to their next bath by then. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

F-35B Performed First At-Sea Takeoff Today

After slacking off all night. (Just kidding!)

Today,the aviation world is abuzz  over the F-35 landing on the USS WASP yesterday. Solomon at SNAFU! had the first pics and video that I saw (link here and the above photo from same) later in the same day it happened.
Today, Av Week's  ARES blog leads their story on the milestone with "NEW VIDEO UPDATE: F-35B Finally Lands on the Wasp!" .

Also today, Defense News reports the F-35 made the first STOVL takeoff. No video of the event...yet. 10/05 Update! Video here.--lots of takeoff and lamding angles.

But I wonder....will the ARES blog lead the story with "F-35B Finally Takes Off off the Wasp?" Depends on the editorial guidance (again?) I suppose.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Dead Terrorists & Stupid Politicians: Anwar al-Awlaki Edition

Updated and Bumped!
News reports today have now added a third significant 'kill' to the list of 'al-Qaida' operatives:
One "Ibrahim al-Asiri"

"--Top bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri 'killed' in triple hit drone strike Anwar al-Awlaki killed by same unit that took out Osama bin Laden
 --Al-Awlaki first American on 'kill or capture' list
-- Linked to 9/11 hijackers and the Fort Hood shooter
-- Officials say al-Awlaki planned to use WMDs on the U.S.

Read more.

100% confirmation would be nice, but I'll take what we can get.

Original Post:
My wife was going across the TV dial looking for news with details about the good guys winning one and killing Anwar al-Awlaki (earlier video of the loser in action here). Lo and behold! Gary Johnson (s*) was just on Fox News (video) claiming this is the first time we have killed an ‘American Citizen’ instead of giving him ‘due process’. (*Sack of Sh**)

NOT in war, you Effing Idiot!

From the AP Report:
In a significant new blow to al-Qaida, U.S. airstrikes in Yemen on Friday killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an American militant cleric who became a prominent figure in the terror network's most dangerous branch, using his fluent English and Internet savvy to draw recruits for attacks in the United States…..
Blah Blah Blah….‘Civil liberties groups’ have questioned the government's authority to kill an American without trial. Blah Blah Blah….’  
…The 40-year-old al-Awlaki was for years an influential mouthpiece for al-Qaida's ideology of holy war, and his English-language sermons urging attacks on the United States were widely circulated among militants in the West. But U.S. officials say he moved into a direct operational role in organizing such attacks as he hid alongside al-Qaida militants in the rugged mountains of Yemen. Most notably, they believe he was involved in recruiting and preparing a young Nigerian who on Christmas Day 2009 tried to blow up a U.S. airliner heading to Detroit, failing only because he botched the detonation of explosives sewn into his underpants.  
Yemen's Defense Ministry said another American militant was killed in the same strike alongside al-Awlaki — Samir Khan, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani heritage who produced "Inspire," an English-language al-Qaida Web magazine that spread the word on ways to carry out attacks inside the United States. U.S. officials said they believed Khan was in the convoy carrying al-Awlaki that was struck but that they were still trying to confirm his death. U.S. and Yemeni officials said two other militants were also killed in the strike but did not immediately identify them.  
Washington has called al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, as the branch in Yemen is called, the most direct threat to the United States after it plotted that attack and a foiled attempt to mail explosives to synagogues in Chicago.
Good. A traitor who was a key enemy operator and recruiter gets his due on the global battlefield and we get a traitor enemy propagandist as a bonus. Hey! That’s like a ‘50% off all Terrorists’ sale! Yea!
Go Modernity! Boo Dark Ages!

Johnson is one of those ‘Republicans’ who are more correctly described as ‘Business -Friendly libertarians’. Think Ron Paul’… only more self absorbed and insufferable.

Graphic based on October 2008 AP File Photo/Muhammad ud-Deen)