By lex, on January 18th, 2012
Sometimes you really have to look to be sure you’re pressing the right button:
Passengers flying over the Atlantic reacted in horror when a recorded message told them on two occasions that their plane could be about to crash.
Many of those who were awake and heard the announcement began screaming. The plane was cruising at about 35,000ft at the time.
Cabin staff quickly reassured passengers that the message had been played by accident.
That must have been reassuring.
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By lex, on September 15th, 2006
Unlike the Brits, and other, more civilized services, ours is a “dry navy” while at sea – no drinking. Our tee-totaling Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels shut down the officer’s wine messes in 1914, and from that point on it’s been bottles over the side and “farewell to all that.” We even named a ship after him, if you can believe it.
By Lex, on August 13, 2010
Credit where it’s due, SecDef Gates does not forbear to go where angels fear to tread:
Posted on October 13, 2006
It was a long flight out to the ship, three hours strapped down in a COD, facing backwards. It was worth it all though, because I’m back at sea again and loving it, frankly. It isn’t just the gentle lift and roll of a warship in the open ocean, nor is it the familiar sights and smells: the fighters in tension on the cat, screaming to be released; the all-pervading flight deck smell of grease and JP; the ringing of the ship’s bells as the watch is relieved; the always-different faces that somehow seem as familiar as those of your own family – people you’ve never met but instantly know; the way that the sky and sea frolic in the distance, the way both of them seem to tease you, always running on before, always just out of reach no matter how fast you chase after them. Those things are good and precious and there is deep, abiding magic in them, but there is more.
By Lex , on July 25, 2006
Just like the cicadas, every 17 years or so, someone smoking a pipe and wearing a tweed jacket will come out with the bold proposition that maybe it’s time for the US Navy to buy smaller, or fewer, or no aircraft carriers. This year, it was former Carter-era CIA director Stansfield Turner, joined now by US Rep Roscoe Bartlett, R-MD.
Admiral Turner wrote an article in the July issue of the Naval Institute Proceedings, entitled: “Do We Need Carriers?”
Turner argues that other, cheaper ships, equipped with large stocks of computer and satellite-guided missiles, could deliver as much combat power as a carrier without risk to pilots and other airmen.
“All weapons systems have their day and we move on,” Turner said in an interview. He worries that “military people have a tendency to stay with what’s tried, true and proven” without fully studying alternatives, he added.
By lex, on November 14th, 2011
Few things are as uninteresting to the non-golfer – or to the avid golfer, for that matter – than the details of someone else’s day on the links. I will spare you, therefore, the story of my thunderous drives, precision wedges and deft putting strokes, the ones that took me to the relatively pedestrian score of 84 (with two penalty strokes on 17 for an out-of-b0unds tee shot that veered wildly left and I’m practically certain that a flaw in the wind took it).
Not even going to mention it.
Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carriers, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, History, Lex, Naval Aviation, Naval History, Neptunus Lex, Vietnam
By Whisper, on March 6th, 2011
Aviation photography has been a hobby of mine for over 15 years now. I truly got the bug in 2003 when the photo lab on Enterprise loaned me a Nikon D100 to take for a spin over Afghanistan and later Iraq. Earlier this year, on the occasion of a short form flight physical, my family was kind enough to throw some cash on the fire and upgrade my old Canon 10D to a 60D. I hope to make you the beneficiary of this gift as well.
I decided to take my new toy up to the flight deck during a rain storm off the Florida coast last month. Hiding in the thirty knot rain shadow behind the nose of an E-2C Hawkeye parked along the foul line, I watched the day Case III recovery. There are a hundred different things to point out in the photo above, at least one of which I did not notice when composing it.
By lex, on October 9th, 2009
Occn’l Reader Peter finds a lovely photo of the Super Sh!t Hot, World Famous Golden Dragon CAG jet departing off Cat 3 (click on the pic for higher).
One of the first aircraft systems lectures I gave as a junior officer was on the FA-18 landing gear. The trailing axle lever arm assembly that you see fully extended on the port main landing gear and partly extended on the starboard is actually quite an elegant (albeit complicated) design that allows for compact stowage at low relative weight compared to older carrier designs.
Carrier landings impose tremendous stresses on aircraft landing gear, which is why tactical naval aircraft tend to have such robust landing assemblies compared to their USAF counterparts. The FA-18 axle lever arm allows for a rolling transfer of landing and take-off loads, and requires a somewhat articulated series of trailing and planing links to ensure that the gear extend and lock down properly.
The axle lever arm and planing link (in particular) were initially “under-engineered”, however. The first is milled from a solid block of titanium, and is on its third generation, having demonstrated an unfortunate tendency prior to redesign to shear after a few hundred arrested landings, while a planing link failure (which prevents the main landing tire from aligning with the aircraft’s longitudinal axis) resulted in one of the first Hornet fatalities.
Thanks for the pic, Pete!
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