Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Stanley B-58 Escape Pod

The Stanley B-58 Escape Pod

I thought this was an interesting photo from the Lexican’s F/B page. I remember reading about this pod in this book –
http://www.amazon.com/Flight-Testing-Edwards-Engineers-1946-1975/dp/0971370206/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1356993372&sr=8-10&keywords=edwards+flight+testing

And wondering how they did it.

Still the thought of dropping down in this at Mach 1+ ….

H/T to one of the Lexicans…

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by | December 31, 2012 · 2:43 pm

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The Daily Lex – December 31st

Originally published December 31st, 2011.

Happy New Year, All!

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 140,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

A good start.

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Book Review: Inside the Iron Works: How Grumman’s Glory Days Faded

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This book is written by George M Skurla (a former President of the Grumman Corporation) and William H. Gregory.  Mr Skurla opinions on what happened at Grumman are certainly controversial and strong.

Grumman produced many of the legendary naval aircraft already familiar to readers.

There’s lots of interesting “behind the scenes” details of the F-14 program and the fiscal tool is took on the company. The F-14 Tomcat program was still a financial burden to the company even after the Iranians bought 80 of them in the 1970s. For years Grumman operated at a loss while trying to get the Tomcat into service and maintained properly. The A-6 Intruder program was more a success but Grumman didn’t even bid on the re-winging that Boeing eventually won. They were also unable to sell the improved  A-6F Intruder.

Some of the most successful programs that Grumman Aerospace had were the E-2 Hawkeye and the E-8 JSTARS.

Since before World War 2, the Government, the Navy specifically, had been Grumman’s primary customer. There were numerous attempts at diversification, canoes, aluminum truck bodies, electronics, refrigeration units, solar energy, trash disposal and many many more. The author believes that these attempts were distractions from building airplanes.

There’s some particular angst from the author over the spin-off of Gulfstream after Grumman had produced the relatively successful Gulfstream 1.

All in all a good book for anyone into learning about the “ins-and-outs” of the aerospace industry and Grumman’s internal politics in particular.

The book is available here.

I also found this somewhat average short documentary on the Grumman Corporation:

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Filed under Aeronautical Engineering, Airplanes, Flying, History, Naval Aviation, Navy, Tomcats Forever

The Daily Lex – December 30th

Originally published December 30th, 2010.

QF32

 

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Here’s to the next troop withdrawal

The British Way

A fleeing Taliban, desperate for water, was plodding through the Afghan desert when he saw something far off in the distance. Hoping to find water, he hurried toward the oasis only to find a British soldier selling regimental ties.

The Taliban asked, “Do you have water?”

The soldier replied, “There is no water, the well is dry. Would you like to buy a tie instead? They are only £55.00”

The Taliban shouted, “You idiot infidel! I do not need an over-priced tie. I need water! I should kill you, but I must find water first!”

“OK,” said the soldier, “It does not matter that you do not want to buy a tie and that you hate me. I will show you that I am bigger than that, and that I am a much better human being than you. If you continue over that hill to the east for about two miles, you will find our Sergeant’s Mess. It has all the ice cold water you will need….”

Cursing him, the Taliban staggered away over the hill.

 Several hours later he staggered back, collapsed with dehydration & gasped …. “They won’t let me in without a f*cking tie!”

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