Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: View of south hangar, including B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay”, a glimpse of the Air France Concorde, and many others

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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: View of south hangar, including B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay”, a glimpse of the Air France Concorde, and many others
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Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay":

Boeing’s B-29 Superfortress was the most sophisticated propeller-driven bomber of World War II and the first bomber to house its crew in pressurized compartments. Although designed to fight in the European theater, the B-29 found its niche on the other side of the globe. In the Pacific, B-29s delivered a variety of aerial weapons: conventional bombs, incendiary bombs, mines, and two nuclear weapons.

On August 6, 1945, this Martin-built B-29-45-MO dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, Bockscar (on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio) dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. Enola Gay flew as the advance weather reconnaissance aircraft that day. A third B-29, The Great Artiste, flew as an observation aircraft on both missions.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Boeing Aircraft Co.
Martin Co., Omaha, Nebr.

Date:
1945

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 900 x 3020cm, 32580kg, 4300cm (29ft 6 5/16in. x 99ft 1in., 71825.9lb., 141ft 15/16in.)

Materials:
Polished overall aluminum finish

Physical Description:
Four-engine heavy bomber with semi-monoqoque fuselage and high-aspect ratio wings. Polished aluminum finish overall, standard late-World War II Army Air Forces insignia on wings and aft fuselage and serial number on vertical fin; 509th Composite Group markings painted in black; "Enola Gay" in black, block letters on lower left nose.

No, Zlata is not a grafetti artist
the pick up artist

Image by Alaskan Dude
We planned to have a group shoot at a local lake in Anchorage, Alaska in May 2010. About 10 minutes before the shoot the wind picked up and it started pouring. The other models didn’t show but Zlata was already there and we were in a mood to shoot so we went to our favorite underpass in Spenard – it’s usually covered with grafetti and looks grungy.

This was our first chance to shoot with Zlata – wow – what a blast! She has an incredible attitude, poise, confidence, is fun to shoot with, and also has the blackest hair that I’ve ever seen. Hopefully I’ll have another chance or two dozen to shoot with this lovely young lass.

The Ground Rushes Up
the pick up artist

Image by Bill Gracey
Taken at the Lakeside rodeo

If you enjoy rodeo images, please check out my Lakeside Rodeo set
www.flickr.com/photos/9422878@N08/sets/72157600750485146/

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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Space Shuttle Enterprise (view of main engines from starboard side)

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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Space Shuttle Enterprise (view of main engines from starboard side)
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Image by Chris Devers
See more photos of this, and the Wikipedia article.

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

Manufacturer:
Rockwell International Corporation

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 57 ft. tall x 122 ft. long x 78 ft. wing span, 150,000 lb.
(1737.36 x 3718.57 x 2377.44cm, 68039.6kg)

Materials:
Aluminum airframe and body with some fiberglass features; payload bay doors are graphite epoxy composite; thermal tiles are simulated (polyurethane foam) except for test samples of actual tiles and thermal blankets.

The first Space Shuttle orbiter, "Enterprise," is a full-scale test vehicle used for flights in the atmosphere and tests on the ground; it is not equipped for spaceflight. Although the airframe and flight control elements are like those of the Shuttles flown in space, this vehicle has no propulsion system and only simulated thermal tiles because these features were not needed for atmospheric and ground tests. "Enterprise" was rolled out at Rockwell International’s assembly facility in Palmdale, California, in 1976. In 1977, it entered service for a nine-month-long approach-and-landing test flight program. Thereafter it was used for vibration tests and fit checks at NASA centers, and it also appeared in the 1983 Paris Air Show and the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. In 1985, NASA transferred "Enterprise" to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration

• • •

Quoting from Wikipedia | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

The Space Shuttle Enterprise (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-101) was the first Space Shuttle orbiter. It was built for NASA as part of the Space Shuttle program to perform test flights in the atmosphere. It was constructed without engines or a functional heat shield, and was therefore not capable of spaceflight.

Originally, Enterprise had been intended to be refitted for orbital flight, which would have made it the second space shuttle to fly after Columbia. However, during the construction of Columbia, details of the final design changed, particularly with regard to the weight of the fuselage and wings. Refitting Enterprise for spaceflight would have involved dismantling the orbiter and returning the sections to subcontractors across the country. As this was an expensive proposition, it was determined to be less costly to build Challenger around a body frame (STA-099) that had been created as a test article. Similarly, Enterprise was considered for refit to replace Challenger after the latter was destroyed, but Endeavour was built from structural spares instead.

Service

Construction began on the first orbiter on June 4, 1974. Designated OV-101, it was originally planned to be named Constitution and unveiled on Constitution Day, September 17, 1976. A write-in campaign by Trekkies to President Gerald Ford asked that the orbiter be named after the Starship Enterprise, featured on the television show Star Trek. Although Ford did not mention the campaign, the president—who during World War II had served on the aircraft carrier USS Monterey (CVL-26) that served with USS Enterprise (CV-6)—said that he was "partial to the name" and overrode NASA officials.

The design of OV-101 was not the same as that planned for OV-102, the first flight model; the tail was constructed differently, and it did not have the interfaces to mount OMS pods. A large number of subsystems—ranging from main engines to radar equipment—were not installed on this vehicle, but the capacity to add them in the future was retained. Instead of a thermal protection system, its surface was primarily fiberglass.

In mid-1976, the orbiter was used for ground vibration tests, allowing engineers to compare data from an actual flight vehicle with theoretical models.

On September 17, 1976, Enterprise was rolled out of Rockwell’s plant at Palmdale, California. In recognition of its fictional namesake, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and most of the principal cast of the original series of Star Trek were on hand at the dedication ceremony.

Approach and landing tests (ALT)

Main article: Approach and Landing Tests

On January 31, 1977, it was taken by road to Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, to begin operational testing.

While at NASA Dryden, Enterprise was used by NASA for a variety of ground and flight tests intended to validate aspects of the shuttle program. The initial nine-month testing period was referred to by the acronym ALT, for "Approach and Landing Test". These tests included a maiden "flight" on February 18, 1977 atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) to measure structural loads and ground handling and braking characteristics of the mated system. Ground tests of all orbiter subsystems were carried out to verify functionality prior to atmospheric flight.

The mated Enterprise/SCA combination was then subjected to five test flights with Enterprise unmanned and unactivated. The purpose of these test flights was to measure the flight characteristics of the mated combination. These tests were followed with three test flights with Enterprise manned to test the shuttle flight control systems.

Enterprise underwent five free flights where the craft separated from the SCA and was landed under astronaut control. These tests verified the flight characteristics of the orbiter design and were carried out under several aerodynamic and weight configurations. On the fifth and final glider flight, pilot-induced oscillation problems were revealed, which had to be addressed before the first orbital launch occurred.

On August 12, 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise flew on its own for the first time.

Preparation for STS-1

Following the ALT program, Enterprise was ferried among several NASA facilities to configure the craft for vibration testing. In June 1979, it was mated with an external tank and solid rocket boosters (known as a boilerplate configuration) and tested in a launch configuration at Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A.

Retirement

With the completion of critical testing, Enterprise was partially disassembled to allow certain components to be reused in other shuttles, then underwent an international tour visiting France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S. states of California, Alabama, and Louisiana (during the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition). It was also used to fit-check the never-used shuttle launch pad at Vandenberg AFB, California. Finally, on November 18, 1985, Enterprise was ferried to Washington, D.C., where it became property of the Smithsonian Institution.

Post-Challenger

After the Challenger disaster, NASA considered using Enterprise as a replacement. However refitting the shuttle with all of the necessary equipment needed for it to be used in space was considered, but instead it was decided to use spares constructed at the same time as Discovery and Atlantis to build Endeavour.

Post-Columbia

In 2003, after the breakup of Columbia during re-entry, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board conducted tests at Southwest Research Institute, which used an air gun to shoot foam blocks of similar size, mass and speed to that which struck Columbia at a test structure which mechanically replicated the orbiter wing leading edge. They removed a fiberglass panel from Enterprise’s wing to perform analysis of the material and attached it to the test structure, then shot a foam block at it. While the panel was not broken as a result of the test, the impact was enough to permanently deform a seal. As the reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) panel on Columbia was 2.5 times weaker, this suggested that the RCC leading edge would have been shattered. Additional tests on the fiberglass were canceled in order not to risk damaging the test apparatus, and a panel from Discovery was tested to determine the effects of the foam on a similarly-aged RCC leading edge. On July 7, 2003, a foam impact test created a hole 41 cm by 42.5 cm (16.1 inches by 16.7 inches) in the protective RCC panel. The tests clearly demonstrated that a foam impact of the type Columbia sustained could seriously breach the protective RCC panels on the wing leading edge.

The board determined that the probable cause of the accident was that the foam impact caused a breach of a reinforced carbon-carbon panel along the leading edge of Columbia’s left wing, allowing hot gases generated during re-entry to enter the wing and cause structural collapse. This caused Columbia to spin out of control, breaking up with the loss of the entire crew.

Museum exhibit

Enterprise was stored at the Smithsonian’s hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport before it was restored and moved to the newly built Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum‘s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport, where it has been the centerpiece of the space collection. On April 12, 2011, NASA announced that Space Shuttle Discovery, the most traveled orbiter in the fleet, will be added to the collection once the Shuttle fleet is retired. When that happens, Enterprise will be moved to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City, to a newly constructed hangar adjacent to the museum. In preparation for the anticipated relocation, engineers evaluated the vehicle in early 2010 and determined that it was safe to fly on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft once again.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird port panorama (Bowlus 1-S-2100 Senior Albatross “Falcon” & Boeing P-26A Peashooter overhead)
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Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Bowlus 1-S-2100 Senior Albatross "Falcon":

Hawley Bowlus developed the Senior Albatross series from a design he called the Bowlus Super Sailplane. In Germany, designers and pilots led the world in the building and flying of high-performance gliders, and Bowlus was strongly influenced by their work. He and German glider pioneer, Martin Schempp, taught courses in aircraft design and construction at the Curtiss-Wright Technical Institute in Glendale, California. The two instructors led a group of students that built the Super Sailplane in 1932. The Super’ served as a prototype for the Senior Albatross.

In May 1934, Warren E. Eaton acquired the Senior Albatross now preserved at NASM from Hawley Bowlus. Eaton joined the U. S. Army Air Service and flew SPAD XIII fighters (see NASM collection) in the 103rd Aero Squadron, 3rd Pursuit Group, at Issoudon, France, from August 27, 1918, to the Armistice. He was credited with downing one enemy aircraft in aerial combat. After the war, Eaton founded the Soaring Society of America and became that organization’s first president.

Gift of Mrs. Genevieve J. Eaton.

Manufacturer:

Bowlus-Dupont Sailplane Company

Date:
1933 Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions:
Wingspan: 18.8 m (61 ft 9 in)
Length: 7.2 m (23 ft 7 in)
Height: 1.6 m (5 ft 4 in)
Weight: Empty, 153 kg (340 lb)
Gross, 236 kg (520 lb)

Materials:
Originally skinned with mahogany and covered with lightweight cotton "glider cloth," then covered with a shellac-based varnish. In 2000, restorers removed original fabric and shellac coating, recovered with Grade A cotton fabric followed by several coats of nitrate dope, then lemon shellac, finishing with several coats of Johnson Wax. Physical Description:Monoplane glider with strut-braced, gull-type wing mounted high on monocoque fuselage; wooden construction with steel and aluminum fittings and controls; fuselage and wing leading edge covered with mahogany plywood. Fuselage skin applied over laminated Spruce bulkheads. Landing gear consists of single-wheel and …. [size?] tire mounted beneath forward fuselage, spring-steel tail skid beneath rudder.

Cockpit covered with hood made from laminated Spruce bulkheads and covered with Mahogany plywood. Circular openings cut into hood on either side of pilot’s head. Instrumentation: altimeter, airspeed, variometer plus a bank-and-turn indicator powered by low-speed venturi tube installed on retractable mount beneath right wingroot.

Areas aft of wing spar and all control surfaces covered with glider cloth. Cloth is doped directly onto ribs and plywood skin without stitching for smooth finish. Constant-chord wing from fuselage to mid-span, tapered profile from mid-span to wingtip; constant-chord,
split-trailing edge flaps and high-aspect ratio ailerons. A Gö 549 airfoil is used at the wing root, becoming symmetrical at the tip.

All-flying elevator mounted on duraluminum torque-tube, rudder hinged to box-beam post, both surfaces built up from Spruce and covered with glider cloth.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Boeing P-26A Peashooter:

The Boeing P-26A of the mid-to-late 1930s introduced the concept of the high-performance, all-metal monoplane fighter design, which would become standard during World War II. A radical departure from wood-and-fabric biplanes, the Peashooter nonetheless retained an open cockpit, fixed landing gear, and external wing bracing.

Most P-26As stationed overseas were eventually sold to the Philippines or assigned to the Panama Canal Department Air Force, a branch of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Several went to China and one to Spain. This one was based at Selfridge Field in Michigan and Fairfield Air Depot in Ohio between its acceptance by the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1934 and its transfer to the Canal Zone in 1938. It was given to Guatemala in 1942 and flew in the Guatemalan air force until 1954. Guatemala donated it to the Smithsonian in 1957.

Gift of the Guatemalan Air Force, Republic of Guatemala

Manufacturer:
Boeing Aircraft Co.

Date:
1934

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Wingspan: 8.5 m (27 ft 11 in)
Length:7.3 m (23 ft 11 in)
Height:3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)
Weight, empty:996 kg (2,196 lb)
Weight, gross:1,334 kg (2,935 lb)
Top speed:377 km/h (234 mph)
Engine:Pratt & Whitney R-1340-27, 600 hp
Armament:two .30 cal. M2 Browning aircraft machine guns

• • • • •

See more photos of this, and the Wikipedia article.

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird:

No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated globally in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity than the SR-71, the world’s fastest jet-propelled aircraft. The Blackbird’s performance and operational achievements placed it at the pinnacle of aviation technology developments during the Cold War.

This Blackbird accrued about 2,800 hours of flight time during 24 years of active service with the U.S. Air Force. On its last flight, March 6, 1990, Lt. Col. Ed Yielding and Lt. Col. Joseph Vida set a speed record by flying from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 20 seconds, averaging 3,418 kilometers (2,124 miles) per hour. At the flight’s conclusion, they landed at Washington-Dulles International Airport and turned the airplane over to the Smithsonian.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

Designer:
Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson

Date:
1964

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 55ft 7in. x 107ft 5in., 169998.5lb. (5.638m x 16.942m x 32.741m, 77110.8kg)
Other: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 107ft 5in. x 55ft 7in. (5.638m x 32.741m x 16.942m)

Materials:
Titanium

Physical Description:
Twin-engine, two-seat, supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft; airframe constructed largley of titanium and its alloys; vertical tail fins are constructed of a composite (laminated plastic-type material) to reduce radar cross-section; Pratt and Whitney J58 (JT11D-20B) turbojet engines feature large inlet shock cones.

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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Air France Concorde, with Bell XV-15 TRRA Tilt Rotor test plane in foreground

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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Air France Concorde, with Bell XV-15 TRRA Tilt Rotor test plane in foreground
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Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Bell XV-15 TRRA (Tilt Rotor Research Aircraft), Ship 2:

The XV-15 Tilt Rotor technology demonstrator was the culmination of efforts begun in the early 1950s to produce an aircraft that could takeoff, land, and hover like a helicopter, but with the speed of an airplane. The rotor pylons tilt from vertical to horizontal to eliminate the speed barriers imposed on conventional helicopters by retreating-blade stall and allowed the XV-15 to operate at speeds of 550 kph (345 mph TAS).

This is the second of the two XV-15s built by Bell under a joint NASA/US Army program. It served from 1979 through 2003, demonstrating operations under a wide range of conditions and logged 700 hours in testing. Its success encouraged Bell and the US Marine Corps to develop a scaled-up Tilt Rotor, the MV-22, as a replacement for Marine transport helicopters. In association with Agusta Aerospace, Bell also developed the Model 609 civil Tilt Rotor with experience gained from the XV-15 program.

Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Manufacturer:
Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.

Dimensions:
Wingspan:9.80 m (32 ft 2 in)
Proprotor Diameter:7.62 m (25 ft)
Length:12.83 m (42 ft 1 in)
Height:3.86 m (12 ft 8 in)
Weight, empty: 4,574 kg (10,083 lb)
Weight, gross: 6,804 kg (15,000 lb)

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Concorde, Fox Alpha, Air France:

The first supersonic airliner to enter service, the Concorde flew thousands of passengers across the Atlantic at twice the speed of sound for over 25 years. Designed and built by Aérospatiale of France and the British Aviation Corporation, the graceful Concorde was a stunning technological achievement that could not overcome serious economic problems.

In 1976 Air France and British Airways jointly inaugurated Concorde service to destinations around the globe. Carrying up to 100 passengers in great comfort, the Concorde catered to first class passengers for whom speed was critical. It could cross the Atlantic in fewer than four hours – half the time of a conventional jet airliner. However its high operating costs resulted in very high fares that limited the number of passengers who could afford to fly it. These problems and a shrinking market eventually forced the reduction of service until all Concordes were retired in 2003.

In 1989, Air France signed a letter of agreement to donate a Concorde to the National Air and Space Museum upon the aircraft’s retirement. On June 12, 2003, Air France honored that agreement, donating Concorde F-BVFA to the Museum upon the completion of its last flight. This aircraft was the first Air France Concorde to open service to Rio de Janeiro, Washington, D.C., and New York and had flown 17,824 hours.

Gift of Air France.

Manufacturer:
Societe Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale
British Aircraft Corporation

Dimensions:
Wingspan: 25.56 m (83 ft 10 in)
Length: 61.66 m (202 ft 3 in)
Height: 11.3 m (37 ft 1 in)
Weight, empty: 79,265 kg (174,750 lb)
Weight, gross: 181,435 kg (400,000 lb)
Top speed: 2,179 km/h (1350 mph)
Engine: Four Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 Mk 602, 17,259 kg (38,050 lb) thrust each
Manufacturer: Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale, Paris, France, and British Aircraft Corporation, London, United Kingdom

Physical Description:
Aircaft Serial Number: 205. Including four (4) engines, bearing respectively the serial number: CBE066, CBE062, CBE086 and CBE085.
Also included, aircraft plaque: "AIR FRANCE Lorsque viendra le jour d’exposer Concorde dans un musee, la Smithsonian Institution a dores et deja choisi, pour le Musee de l’Air et de l’Espace de Washington, un appariel portant le couleurs d’Air France."

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird port panorama (P-40 Warhawk & Bowlus 1-S-2100 Senior Albatross “Falcon” overhead)
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Image by Chris Devers
See more photos of this, and the Wikipedia article.

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Kittyhawk IA):

Whether known as the Warhawk, Tomahawk, or Kittyhawk, the Curtiss P-40 proved to be a successful, versatile fighter during the first half of World War II. The shark-mouthed Tomahawks that Gen. Claire Chennault’s "Flying Tigers" flew in China against the Japanese remain among the most popular airplanes of the war. P-40E pilot Lt. Boyd D. Wagner became the first American ace of World War II when he shot down six Japanese aircraft in the Philippines in mid-December 1941.

Curtiss-Wright built this airplane as Model 87-A3 and delivered it to Canada as a Kittyhawk I in 1941. It served until 1946 in No. 111 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. U.S. Air Force personnel at Andrews Air Force Base restored it in 1975 to represent an aircraft of the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, 14th Air Force.

Donated by the Exchange Club in Memory of Kellis Forbes.

Manufacturer:
Curtiss Aircraft Company

Date:
1939

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 330 x 970cm, 2686kg, 1140cm (10ft 9 15/16in. x 31ft 9 7/8in., 5921.6lb., 37ft 4 13/16in.)

Materials:
All-metal, semi-monocoque

Physical Description:
Single engine, single seat, fighter aircraft.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Bowlus 1-S-2100 Senior Albatross "Falcon":

Hawley Bowlus developed the Senior Albatross series from a design he called the Bowlus Super Sailplane. In Germany, designers and pilots led the world in the building and flying of high-performance gliders, and Bowlus was strongly influenced by their work. He and German glider pioneer, Martin Schempp, taught courses in aircraft design and construction at the Curtiss-Wright Technical Institute in Glendale, California. The two instructors led a group of students that built the Super Sailplane in 1932. The Super’ served as a prototype for the Senior Albatross.

In May 1934, Warren E. Eaton acquired the Senior Albatross now preserved at NASM from Hawley Bowlus. Eaton joined the U. S. Army Air Service and flew SPAD XIII fighters (see NASM collection) in the 103rd Aero Squadron, 3rd Pursuit Group, at Issoudon, France, from August 27, 1918, to the Armistice. He was credited with downing one enemy aircraft in aerial combat. After the war, Eaton founded the Soaring Society of America and became that organization’s first president.

Gift of Mrs. Genevieve J. Eaton.

Manufacturer:
Bowlus-Dupont Sailplane Company

Date:
1933

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Wingspan: 18.8 m (61 ft 9 in)
Length: 7.2 m (23 ft 7 in)
Height: 1.6 m (5 ft 4 in)
Weight: Empty, 153 kg (340 lb)
Gross, 236 kg (520 lb)

Materials:
Originally skinned with mahogany and covered with lightweight cotton "glider cloth," then covered with a shellac-based varnish. In 2000, restorers removed original fabric and shellac coating, recovered with Grade A cotton fabric followed by several coats of nitrate dope, then lemon shellac, finishing with several coats of Johnson Wax.

Physical Description:
Monoplane glider with strut-braced, gull-type wing mounted high on monocoque fuselage; wooden construction with steel and aluminum fittings and controls; fuselage and wing leading edge covered with mahogany plywood. Fuselage skin applied over laminated Spruce bulkheads. Landing gear consists of single-wheel and …. [size?] tire mounted beneath forward fuselage, spring-steel tail skid beneath rudder.

Cockpit covered with hood made from laminated Spruce bulkheads and covered with Mahogany plywood. Circular openings cut into hood on either side of pilot’s head. Instrumentation: altimeter, airspeed, variometer plus a bank-and-turn indicator powered by low-speed venturi tube installed on retractable mount beneath right wingroot.

Areas aft of wing spar and all control surfaces covered with glider cloth. Cloth is doped directly onto ribs and plywood skin without stitching for smooth finish. Constant-chord wing from fuselage to mid-span, tapered profile from mid-span to wingtip; constant-chord,
split-trailing edge flaps and high-aspect ratio ailerons. A Gö 549 airfoil is used at the wing root, becoming symmetrical at the tip.

All-flying elevator mounted on duraluminum torque-tube, rudder hinged to box-beam post, both surfaces built up from Spruce and covered with glider cloth.

• • • • •

See more photos of this, and the Wikipedia article.

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird:

No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated globally in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity than the SR-71, the world’s fastest jet-propelled aircraft. The Blackbird’s performance and operational achievements placed it at the pinnacle of aviation technology developments during the Cold War.

This Blackbird accrued about 2,800 hours of flight time during 24 years of active service with the U.S. Air Force. On its last flight, March 6, 1990, Lt. Col. Ed Yielding and Lt. Col. Joseph Vida set a speed record by flying from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 20 seconds, averaging 3,418 kilometers (2,124 miles) per hour. At the flight’s conclusion, they landed at Washington-Dulles International Airport and turned the airplane over to the Smithsonian.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

Designer:
Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson

Date:
1964

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 55ft 7in. x 107ft 5in., 169998.5lb. (5.638m x 16.942m x 32.741m, 77110.8kg)
Other: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 107ft 5in. x 55ft 7in. (5.638m x 32.741m x 16.942m)

Materials:
Titanium

Physical Description:
Twin-engine, two-seat, supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft; airframe constructed largley of titanium and its alloys; vertical tail fins are constructed of a composite (laminated plastic-type material) to reduce radar cross-section; Pratt and Whitney J58 (JT11D-20B) turbojet engines feature large inlet shock cones.

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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay” panorama

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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay” panorama
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Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed P-38J-10-LO Lightning :

In the P-38 Lockheed engineer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson and his team of designers created one of the most successful twin-engine fighters ever flown by any nation. From 1942 to 1945, U. S. Army Air Forces pilots flew P-38s over Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific, and from the frozen Aleutian Islands to the sun-baked deserts of North Africa. Lightning pilots in the Pacific theater downed more Japanese aircraft than pilots flying any other Allied warplane.

Maj. Richard I. Bong, America’s leading fighter ace, flew this P-38J-10-LO on April 16, 1945, at Wright Field, Ohio, to evaluate an experimental method of interconnecting the movement of the throttle and propeller control levers. However, his right engine exploded in flight before he could conduct the experiment.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Lockheed Aircraft Company

Date:
1943

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 390 x 1170cm, 6345kg, 1580cm (12ft 9 9/16in. x 38ft 4 5/8in., 13988.2lb., 51ft 10 1/16in.)

Materials:
All-metal

Physical Description:
Twin-tail boom and twin-engine fighter; tricycle landing gear.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay":

Boeing’s B-29 Superfortress was the most sophisticated propeller-driven bomber of World War II and the first bomber to house its crew in pressurized compartments. Although designed to fight in the European theater, the B-29 found its niche on the other side of the globe. In the Pacific, B-29s delivered a variety of aerial weapons: conventional bombs, incendiary bombs, mines, and two nuclear weapons.

On August 6, 1945, this Martin-built B-29-45-MO dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, Bockscar (on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio) dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. Enola Gay flew as the advance weather reconnaissance aircraft that day. A third B-29, The Great Artiste, flew as an observation aircraft on both missions.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Boeing Aircraft Co.
Martin Co., Omaha, Nebr.

Date:
1945

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 900 x 3020cm, 32580kg, 4300cm (29ft 6 5/16in. x 99ft 1in., 71825.9lb., 141ft 15/16in.)

Materials:
Polished overall aluminum finish

Physical Description:
Four-engine heavy bomber with semi-monoqoque fuselage and high-aspect ratio wings. Polished aluminum finish overall, standard late-World War II Army Air Forces insignia on wings and aft fuselage and serial number on vertical fin; 509th Composite Group markings painted in black; "Enola Gay" in black, block letters on lower left nose.

accidents with steamships in Bristol
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Image by brizzle born and bred
image above: 2007 MV Balmoral in Cumberland Basin, Bristol Harbour.

(copyright Information Description=MV Balmoral in Cumberland Basin, Bristol Harbour Source=self-made Date=8 Sept 2007 Author= Rodw)

Mv Balmoral was still looking ship shape and Bristol fashion and it was hard to believe that she was indeed 60 years old and had started her life as an Isle of Wight ferry.

www.lifestoriesandmemories.co.uk/84/4/story/MV-Balmoral.asp

Steamships Bristol

Although coal to fuel them pushed up costs, steamers were useful where a short and regular service was needed, such as for the mail or for wealthy passengers. One of the first companies to invest in steamers for the mail service was an Irish stage-coach firm. Later this firm became part of the famous P&O shipping company. These first steamships, which used paddle-wheels, had an advantage over sailing ships because they were not held up when winds were in the wrong direction or if there was no wind at all. They were also very easy to manoeuvre in narrow waters such as canals or rivers.

Britain was a world leader in steamship production.

The early steamers weren’t pure steamships at all, but wooden-hulled hybrids.

There have been several collisions and other accidents with steamships in Bristol.

1850 As the steamship Red Rover waited at the entrance to the Cumberland Lock in the Floating Harbour, it suddenly exploded, sending up a huge cloud of steam. As the steam slowly cleared, a scene of great carnage was revealed to horrified onlookers. The boat carried almost fifty passengers, who were blown skywards, along with fragments of the ship. Now they were in the water, most struggling and screaming, a few ominously still.

Numerous small boats were launched to go to their aid and vehicles were commandeered to transport them to the Infirmary. An inquest was opened the following day at the Commercial Hotel, Hotwells Road.

By the time the proceedings terminated some days later, the dead were listed as William Brewer (41), Charles Keating (26), William Cooper (23), Isaac West, Robert Pavey, Henry Starr (21), Samuel Jefferies (28), Eliza Fulford (28) and her daughters Susan (8) and Mary Ann (6), Thomas Venn (2) and William Nicholas. Several more people were said to be in a hopeless condition.

The last named was the engineer aboard the ill-fated steam ship and witnesses at the inquest stated that, shortly before the explosion, he turned off the safety valve, causing a build-up of steam pressure. However, other witnesses were equally certain that the cause of the explosion was not excess pressure, but a lack of water in the boiler.

The Red Rover was quite an old, slow ship and some felt that it was not fit for use as a passenger ferry. The owner, Mr Anderson, was on board with his wife at the time of the explosion – both survived and Anderson was later to tell the inquest that the boiler had very recently been repaired, although the inquest jury questioned the quality of the repair work. By chance, the ship had been thoroughly inspected by an engineer on behalf of someone who was contemplating buying it and he told the inquest that it seemed in good order.

The inquest jury eventually recorded verdicts of ‘accidental deaths’ on all of the victims, adding that they believed Mr Anderson bore some responsibility for the tragedy. When coroner Mr J.B. Grindon asked if they wanted to return a verdict of manslaughter against Anderson, they unanimously said that they did not.

1898 A fire broke out on board the steamer Xema, which was moored in Bristol Docks, and cabin boy William Hawkins was trapped by the flames. The crew tried to get to him through a porthole and then cut a hole in the deck, but Hawkins had roasted in the furnace-like heat by the time his rescuers reached him. Once the fire was extinguished, the body of another crew member, Daniel Kidney, was found in the steering gear house.

The fire originated in a paraffin storage locker, which was located very close to a steam pipe. At the subsequent inquest, the jury returned two verdicts of ‘accidental death’, recommending that flammable substances should be stored away from steam pipes and commending all those who battled in vain to save sixteen-year-old Hawkins.

1859 The Porto Novo returned from Africa with a cargo of palm oil, bar wood, ebony, coconuts and beeswax. As the ship was being unloaded in Bristol Harbour, labourers James Quick and Robert Muffin accidentally dropped a candle, which ignited some spilled gunpowder in the hold. Both badly burned, they were taken to the General Hospital, while their colleagues set about dealing with the fire resulting from the explosion.

At first it was only a small blaze and the men were confident of extinguishing it. However, as the flames made contact with the highly flammable cargo, the fire burned out of control, defying their efforts to douse it with water. Eventually a message was sent to the fire brigade for assistance. By the time the fire brigade arrived, there was little hope of controlling the conflagration, which was now threatening other ships. Consequently the harbour master gave orders for all surrounding ships to be moved and decided to scuttle the Porto Novo, in the hope of saving some of her cargo.

Holes were cut in the side of the ship but, as well as being highly flammable, her cargo was also very buoyant and she refused to sink. Fed by the palm oil and beeswax, the fire burned so furiously that the entire city was illuminated. Eventually, the fire waned sufficiently for men to cut off the ship’s masts in the hope that this would sink her.

The fire burned for more than twelve hours before it was finally brought under control and the ship was completely destroyed. Although the cargo was insured, the ship itself was only partially covered, resulting in huge financial losses for its African owners.

1855 Hill’s Bridge (aka Bath Bridge), which spanned the canal between Bath Parade and Totterdown, was a large, cast-iron single arch, built by the Colebrookedale Iron Works in 1805. In 1808, a defect in the stonework on which it rested caused its collapse, resulting in several deaths and injuries and, on 20 March 1855, there was another equally serious accident, when a coke barge, John, hit the ironwork.

The bridge quivered violently for a few moments before collapsing, throwing carts, gigs and pedestrians into the canal. Although several people swam to safety, it was thought that many more had drowned, imprisoned in the mass of tangled ironwork.

There was great difficulty in determining the exact number of casualties and fatalities, since nobody knew precisely how many people were on the bridge at the time of the disaster. As an added complication, it was believed that bodies were washed out to sea by the changing tides.

Missing and presumed dead were carter William Bevan and William Cooksley, who was last seen talking to Gwynne Thomas at one end of the bridge. When the barge struck, Cooksley was plunged into the water, while Thomas miraculously remained safe on the side of the bridge. By 11 April, Cooksley’s body was the only one to have been recovered.

At the inquest on his death, held by coroner Mr J.B. Grindon, fourteen of the fifteen jury men were satisfied with a verdict of ‘accidental death’. The fifteenth held out for a charge of ‘culpable negligence’ against barge captain John Domican, who was arrested immediately after the incident. (Domican had always insisted that a strong tide had accidentally pulled the barge into the bridge support.) The coroner accepted the majority verdict and there is no evidence that Domican was ever charged.

1854 Coroner Mr H.S. Wasbrough held an inquest at Bedminster police station on the death of nineteen-year-old Edwin Doddrell. On 29 August, Edwin and his friend Henry William Keey (or Kesy) hired a boat to row around the harbour, as they had done many times before.

As they rowed towards Hotwells, Henry noticed the steamboat, Lincolnshire, apparently moored in the centre of the harbour, but, as the boys drew nearer lie realised that Lincolnshire was moving very slowly towards them. Henry remarked on this to Edwin, telling him to row harder so that they would miss the steamer. Instead of doing so, Edwin stood up in the boat and turned round to look. Henry shouted at him to sit down and row but Edwin lost one of his oars.

Suddenly, the Lincolnshire collided with the rowing boat, tipping both boys into the water. Henry began to swim for shore, losing sight of Edwin.

The Lincolnshire lowered a boat to look for him and a group of boys in a rowing boat joined in the search, but to no avail. As it began to get dark, Henry climbed into the Lincolnshire’s boat and was taken to the water police, who found Edwin’s body at half-past ten that night.

At the inquest, the Captain of the Lincolnshire, William Rees, stated that he had seen something in front of his steamer and sounded his whistle. The rowing boat then steered straight across his bows and, although he immediately went into reverse, it was too late to avoid a collision.

The inquest jury returned a verdict of ‘accidental death’.

1866 As the steam tug Black Eagle towed a Norwegian barge at Hotwells, her boiler suddenly exploded, showering homes on St Vincent’s Parade with debris. Although the damage to property was extensive, there were no lives lost on shore but the five- man crew of the Black Eagle perished in the disaster.

Some persons in the Hotwell Road saw large pieces of the boiler rise to a height above that of the floor of the Suspension Bridge, and afterwards a portion of the boiler weighing 4 cwt. was found in Mr. G. Stacey’s garden, Prince’s Buildings, at an altitude of nearly 300 feet above the deck of the tug. The windows of houses in St. Vincent’s Parade were smashed by the explosion.

The roof of No. 7 was cut through, and the chimney-stacks were knocked over. This house and No. 8 (Mr. Leonard Bruton’s) suffered most damage. A good deal of injury was also done to the dockmaster’s residence, and the wonder was that nobody in or near these houses was hurt.

There were some remarkable escapes. The body of the captain of the Black Eagle (William
Woodman) was immediately found on the bank of the river. There was a large wound in his head. The mate (James Livings) and the engineer (George Ledger) were discovered killed on the boat. Four others were blown into the water and drowned, the body of one of the crew William Huish being picked up in the river at Sea Mills several days after.

The boat was refloated on the third day after the accident. The owner (Mr. Strong, of Cardiff)
was at a loss to account for the explosion. The tug was but five and the boiler only three years old. It had been tested to nearly twice the normal pressure upon it. Bristol engineers suggested that the explosion was due to a sudden inrush of water into an almost empty red-hot boiler. In this way steam would have been generated to an amount that no safety-valve could take off.

At the coroner’s inquest the Chief Engineer to the Board of Trade (Mr. Galloway) was present, and he favoured the theory that a sudden increase of steam caused the explosion. This, of course, was an accident in no way reflecting on the safety of the port.

The bodies of William Huish, Daniel Woodman, George Ledger and James Livings were recovered and, at the time of Huish’s inquest, the body of the fifth crew member was still missing. (It was also rumoured that a woman and child had been on board at the time of the explosion.) The sole survivor of the disaster was a small black and tan terrier, who swam to the Somerset bank of the Avon.

It was the second boiler explosion on the boat, the previous one near Cardiff in 1859 resulting in the deaths of eight crew members. Thus the boiler was relatively new and, although many theories were advanced, the cause of the explosion was never conclusively determined.

On November 10th, 1851, the Demerara was wrecked in the Avon through careless navigation. She was a new paddle steamer just turned out of the hands of Mr. William Patterson, in whose yard the Great Western had been built. The Demerara was the largest ship, save the Great Britain, that up to that time had left stocks, her registered tonnage being about three thousand. She had been built to the order of the West India Mail Steamship Company, and was launched on September 27th.

On the day of the disaster she left Cumberland Basin in tow of a Glasgow tug to go to the Clyde to be fitted with engines. She was late on the tide, which had begun to ebb. The tug was started at the dangerously high speed of seven or eight miles an hour, in the hope of making up for lost tide.

Mr. Patterson, who was aboard the Demerara, was alarmed, and spoke urgently to the pilot. Speed was then reduced, but not sufficiently, and soon after passing the Round Point the bow of the new boat heavily struck the rocks on the Gloucestershire bank. The strong ebb tide swung the ship across the Avon. The tide left her, and she settled down, rivets starting and the deck twisting.

Here was not only damage to the ship, but a blocking of the port as effectual as any that had occurred during the past century or two. Therefore almost superhuman salvage efforts were made on the next tide, and the ship was eventually removed to the side of the river, in front of Egelstaff’s quarry, so that the navigation was free.

This was done " at night," says Latimer, " amidst the blaze of tar barrels and torches, presenting a remarkable spectacle to thousands of persons who had assembled " to watch the proceedings of the large body of workmen engaged.

It was thought to repair the ship where she lay, but unhappily she was not properly secured, and about an hour later she broke from her moorings, and was again carried across the river, where she lay until the morning tide, and suffered more damage.

Eventually she was refloated, and was taken back to dock. Exaggerated reports of the damage were widespread. The ship, insured for her full cost (48,000), was abandoned by underwriters as a total wreck, value 15,000. She was, however, repaired, sold on July 13th for 5,600, and again in September, 1859, for 200 less. By that time she had become the British Empire, being converted into a sailing ship. In June, 1858, Mr. Patterson was obliged to consult his creditors, and it was then stated that he had lost 5,900 by the Demerara, in addition to heavy losses on other ships he had built. Mr. Patterson had world-wide fame as the builder of such ships as the Great Western, the Great Britain and Severn (for the Oriental Co.), the Royal Charter and the Demerara itself. He also built the first of the naval steamers, the Dasher ; and many gunboats and mortar-boats. He had a share of the orders for gunboats given out hurriedly by the Government for use in the Crimean War. The Earnest, Escort, Hardy, Havoc, and Highlander were built in Mr. Patterson’s and Messrs. Charles Hill & Sons’ yards at that time.

And while some contractors elsewhere turned out rotten boats, those built at Bristol were fully up to specification. Material and labour, However, rose in price, and it was said at the time of his failure that Mr. Patterson had since 1850 lost 21,000 by building gunboats. The total liabilities were 8,498, of which 5,177 were unsecured. The Demerara’s figure-head, " the left-handed giant," as it has been called, from the manner in which it is holding its spear, stands on a bracket outside a corner house in Quay Street, and has been preserved there for many years.

German steamer, Kron Prinz, on Wednesday, April 1st, 1874

But the next to be recorded was one which again seriously damaged the reputation of Bristol in that respect for a long time. This was the wreck of the German steamer, Kron Prinz, on Wednesday, April 1st, 1874, and occurring as it did soon after a large sum had been spent on works of river improvement, sanctioned by the Corporation’s Act of 1865, the mishap was particularly annoying to the Docks Committee and their officers. There was a natural disposition to attribute it to a want of caution on the part of those in charge of the ship, which, it was said, should have had a second tug.

The Kron Prinz was from Sulina, with 7,000 quarters of barley for Messrs. R. & H. Adams, and came up the river at high water. When near the Horseshoe Point she struck the right bank, and could not be moved. She lay a few hundred yards below Sea Mills Station, and, fortunately, in a position that did not block the river. But it was not until Tuesday morning, April 21st, three weeks after going aground, that the vessel could be refloated. About half her cargo was immediately washed out by the action of the tide, and afterwards, to lighten the ship, many men were engaged in removing the rest of the grain, which had become mixed with mud as the result of successive tides going over the hull.

The river bank was strewn with barley for a considerable distance. At midnight on the 20th April a large gang of men from Messrs. Charles Hill and Sons’ shipbuilding yard, Wapping, under the direction of Mr. W. Patterson, the firm’s acting manager, left Cumberland Basin to make a final effort to refloat the ship. Great preparations had been made on board. The hatches were caulked down, the masts and funnel removed, and huge hawsers had been fixed, reaching high up over the railway into Shirehampton Park. Several tugs were at hand, and in all about 120 shipwrights, riggers and labourers were engaged. After several hours’ laborious work, and with the help of the tide, the ship was righted, and slid down into the bed of the river.

There had been daily crowds of people to see the wreck, but when she was floated many thousands of spectators visited the river banks. Numbers looked on from the Suspension Bridge, and one of these, in a communication to the Times and Mirror, said he saw the Demerara across the river, but the sight was not so dreary as that of the dismantled Kron Prinz, because, although the Demerara broke her back, she remained almost upright, and therefore suggested hope, " but for the floating and denuded hulk, side uppermost, and shorn of all its accessories that suggested life, upon which I looked down from the Suspension Bridge, there was no hope." The damage was estimated at £34,000.

www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/2062469489/

(scource Bristol Records Office. Bristol Journal, Bristol Mercury, The Times, Western Mail, A Grim Almanac of Bristol by Nicola Sly The History Press)

Bristol Channel Shipping Accidents

www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/3978899095/

www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/3978899169/

www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/3979543226/

LOL… is this an Explore/Scout April Fool’s Joke?
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Image by colorblindPICASO
1. Shoe shopping really is a tough exercise for Sarah. Years of shunning girlyness really comes back to haunt you when presented with those ridiculously small sandal buckles., 2. While waiting for the train Sarah broke into toe stretches to get ready for the day of walking barefoot. My pedometer averaged 8 miles plus per day. My feet hurt just typing that., 3. Sarah contemplates the questionable choices she’s made in life: investing in rare comic book posters instead of the market, eating that truck stop vending machine egg salad sandwich, dating a guy who takes pictures during dinner…, 4. The look I get each time I innocently joke that I may have traded our convention passes for tickets to Six Flags. Sarah has NO sense of humor about those things., 5. "Uh yeah hi, is my stylist in? Great, could you ask her if ‘mango cherry breeze’ or ‘island mist essence’ would be better for my hair?", 6. So easy to use, even a bodiless pair of shins and feet can do it! You could save 15 hours or more with Roomba., 7. Sarah swinging at her old elementary school. She suddenly stopped when she realized she chased down and beat-up her kindergarten crush in that grass and dirt. I wish I could say times have changed…, 8. Sales people on Wednesday night: "Welcome to ‘Shirts ‘R Us! How can I help you?!?" Sunday night: "No we don’t have that in small. Ask me again and I’ll strangle you with this metal hanger.",

9. I give Sarah the camera, thinking maybe she’ll take picture of me. Nope, one picture of her feet on the dashboard then hits the power button. Flickr would be a much different place if Sarah was contagious!, 10. Note that the "Heavenly glow" is not an out of focus, over exposure, over processing on my old camera’s part, rather a metaphysical expression of Sarah’s joy at finding the self she needs to expand her Transformer’s collection., 11. Wrapping Christmas presents is a serious operation. This is generally as close as I want to get to the action. Not because I’m lazy. But because one wrong move and I could find myself under the tree with a bow on my head…., 12. To throw her enemies off her track, Sarah often changes her hair color with a mere thought., 13. "The dress looks sexy Hon. Shall I go ahead and clear out some room in my pockets for your keys and wallet?", 14. Ok… you have GOT to hear the story of why my Girlfriend is dancing. I can’t give it up here, she’s too shy for me to say it. So you’ll have to click on the picture and read the full description for the story. But it involves Sarah,…, 15. Dating Tip #37: When your girlfriend comes into your office, kicks off her flip-flop, puts her foot up on your lapboard, and randomly says "So, what’s up?" There is a pretty good chance she isn’t just making conversation., 16. There is no case of my sore feet that Sarah can’t help out by making me take 4 flights of stairs. I know, she walked around the convention for the whole week barefoot and I’m complaining… but hey… it is just what I do!,

17. NOW IN 3D! “The last thing Sarah’s punching bag sees before it is kicked to the ground” Playing in selected cities this summer., 18. I know what this looks like, but Sarah is not in fact physically repelled by kitchenware., 19. This is either the most boring game of Chicken known to dog or the most improbable "staring game" ever played., 20. "What do you mean you want to hang something on the walls?!? You never mentioned that when we first met! You should have said something before now!", 21. They really shouldn’t put those mini power polls so close to a swing set. When people like my girlfriend swing barefoot splinter danger is at an all-time high. She finally learned her lesson though.=), 22. Bottle opening continues. Does this look like a road construction crew to anyone?, 23. A date w/ a geek 03: In my continuing series of observations on the opposite sex I have to point out the "Winter on the top, summer with the feet" approach to Sarah’s attire. You think THIS is weird, try laying under a blanket with her!, 24. I think the secret is out… She wore her 80s TMNT hoodie to my parent’s house. My family knows I’m dating a geek.=),

25. "Welcome back to Wheel of Fortune. The category is ‘Before and After.’" "Pat, I’d like to solve the puzzle: ‘Bare Foot Ball’", 26. The start of a "small" water change. A big one before the hurricane was more like 30 buckets. It is a wonder Sarah and I didn’t look like He-Man action figures just from lugging buckets., 27. You might want to sit down for this. I have several pictures of Sarah wearing both a skirt AND pantyhose! Still no purse, bra, or makeup… but she gets girl points for that right?=), 28. More evidence for why I should have been kept away from Aperture Priority and different F stops before I got a DSLR., 29. Frustrated with English, Sarah breaks into a mime routine to remind me to take out the trash., 30. My girlfriend uses her super powers to mess with my camera more than fight for truth, justice, and the American way. In this case she chose to phase in right by me as I took this shot., 31. So it costs 5 bucks for a large bottle of water at a football game in a town with a dramatic EXCESS of water at least once a year. By that standard, how much would stadium water cost in a desert?, 32. Sarah frowns when she realizes all the really GOOD toys are on the top shelf. Oh the joys of being three and a half feet tall. I guess going barefoot all the time doesn’t help either…,

33. Are 1980s brown loafers REALLY back in style now? Wow… you learn so much from visiting a college campus. I am NOT getting my Members Only Jacket back out of storage. NO! BAD FASHION DESIGNERS!, 34. "Hey Chuck… this broad wants a super hero shirt… do we have any of those in the back?", 35. She’s lost in thought; I’m lost on the map!, 36. Rare footage of a geek/tom boy at the Houston Galleria parking garage. Her species is usually repelled by girl things like shopping. This is indeed a truly rare capture!, 37. *SIGH* Sarah sure spends a lot of time getting pedicures. Something tells me mud and gook are part of the cause for that!, 38. Sarah calmly explains the details of Oan Power Batteries and the Green Lantern Corps. I don’t think anyone at these parties knows she is a geek. I mean… how would they know? Really?, 39. Sarah getting Rock Band ready to go. She would have been much quicker with this, but she was a bit thrown off by the pinkish Wii-mote cover. Pink is her kryptonite., 40. Walking down the sidewalk on our way home from getting the pizza.,

41. As usual the dogs go to Sarah for comfort and relief from their costumes. Is this the same phenomena as hostages bonding with their captors? One more question for dog psychologists to tackle., 42. You know you are officially a couple when your girlfriend comes over to help you move into a new apartment…. not to be nice or to help out, but to make sure you leave enough room on your shelves for her stuff!, 43. A date w/ a geek 02: When you are going out on a date with a geek, you can’t leave for a night out without checking email. SEXY! Geek girlfriend…=), 44. A shot of Sarah I and leaving to run some errands, her begrudgingly allowing a photo, while I fumble for my car keys. We live a complicated life, particularly in terms of sentence structure., 45. Hm… three dogs are sitting in a row as commanded… must be pancake time., 46. Even with her mom walking right beside her, Sarah callously steps on a crack and breaks her mother’s back. She is SOOO inconsiderate!, 47. I thought I might have to reboot her. She just kept staring at herself in those sandals. Guess she’s not used to being tall. The air IS thinner up here., 48. Known for her patience with frustrating tasks, Sarah is often put on bottle opening duty. That went well!,

49. How many girlfriends would let all these model kit parts, paint, and tools stay on the kitchen table like this? Uh… maybe this one since it is HERS! I think I should get to move more of my bachelor pad stuff in from the garage., 50. And so it beings anew… The mad rush to collect all 5 covers of the 1983 special edition Batman comic., 51. Sarah putting on a brave face during last minute Christmas shopping a few years ago. Really… she did great. Only two people died and JC Penny finally lifted the ban on her concealed sword. Life is good., 52. Girls are weird. This was shot last November (probably pretty cold out). Sarah is wearing like 5 layers of shirts on top, but she has on shorts and is barefoot. How is it that much warmer below her hips?!?, 53. Sarah doing her impression of a hood ornament. It is either that or the scene in Titanic at the front of the ship. Either way, she’s doing her majestic posing best!, 54. Khaos is pretty sure the leash wants to eat her. Meanwhile, for the first time, Pokey discovers Sarah paints her toe nails. Getting ready for a walk is complicated when you are a dog., 55. She got a flat tire., 56. Not shockingly the geek crowd doesn’t really make use of the smoking porches. But they do make a good place for a quieter phone call spot.,

57. Still annoyed from our football team’s performance the day before, Sarah started randomly demonstrating the proper procedure for signaling a "fair catch.", 58. Legend has it that Elvis Presley wrote "Blue suede shoes" because men would notice they were standing next to him at urinals in public bathrooms. They would turn to say something and forget what they were doing…, 59. Sarah might be able to survive on cherries and cold cereal alone., 60. "Hon, I know your glasses make you look nerdy, but you’re not even CLOSE to that pin!", 61. As with the busses, on certain Saturdays in College Station, all crowds point to one destination. Well, assuming those crowds are dressed somewhat the same way as us., 62. This is a game!, 63. When your tastes lean toward comic books and other "boy" things, you have to get creative when shopping for shirts. But rather than learning to sew and screen-print, Sarah spends a lot of time in the boy’s section of the store., 64. Dirty feet are an obvious outcome of going barefoot all day. A surprising outcome: how much Sarah likes to terrorize me by randomly touching me with her feet. My girlfriend is an odd bird…,

65. Restaurant tables really should come with camera tri-pods installed. This self portrait sort of looks like I’m trying to get someone else into the picture., 66. “This is going to be one of those weeks at work… do you think people would be able to smell tequila through this lid?”, 67. Sarah before an Aggie football game. She’s a non-conformist. See? She’s NOT wearing maroon pants!, 68. It is a long walk to the nosebleed section of Kyle Field. We only made it because we traded for a bottle of oxygen at the first base camp (located just below the first deck ramp)., 69. "Hey Charlie, what is that up there?" "No idea Zoe, but I want it." "Me too, now how do we get it?" "Not sure, it’s pretty high. Let’s give the humans puppy dog eyes." "WHAT? No way, KITTEN eyes!" "Puppy dog eyes!", 70. The boot-up cycle for this model of girlfriend is quite slow. There is a full minute of silent blinking. That is followed by 4 or 5 minutes of aimless walking around/bumping into things., 71. "Measure twice, cut onc… wait, MEASURE?!?" Yeah… Sarah is more of a "wing it" kind of girl., 72. It really doesn’t matter what position they are in, or what they are doing. A Cavalier is always willing to look up and pose. Now… how do I train Sarah to do that…

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