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313670.  Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:00 am Reply with quote

Tell me more of what you earthlings call "humour"

Molly Cule
313767.  Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:05 am Reply with quote

Possible GI for Flight is

That Lindberg was at the 67th/80 something/100 something person to fly over the Atlantic - depending on what website you choose! I am sure one of you knows the right info.

A - The first flight was made as a joint effort between many people in 1919 in an NC-4 flying boat - there were copious landings, changes of crew and repairs over twenty-four days.

The trip was made in response to a competition, set up by Alfred, Lord Northcliffe, publisher of the London Daily Mail, who had offered a prize in 1913 of fifty thousand dollars to the first aviator to cross the Atlantic. In the original rules, the plane making the Atlantic crossing was allowed to land on the water along the way, could be refueled in the Azores, and even towed for repairs, as long as the flight continued from the point of touch down. The Daily Mail then changed these rules but the US Navy decided to try it anyway for scientific interest. The trip got most publicity from he most extensive reporting on the operation was filed by a Yale undergraduate for the Yale Graphic. Named, Juan Terry Trippe, he would later become the creator of Pan American Airways.

The NC4 trip as eclipsed weeks later by a two-man crossing by Alcock and Brown between Newfoundland and Ireland.

Lindberg was the first to fly non-stop and solo.

During Lindberg's flight the biggest problem he encountered was staying awake, he had to keep pinching himself and - apparently opening the side window to let in blasts of cold air to keep himself awake. He had not slept in 24 hours when he took off. He had been on his way to watch a Broadway show when the weatherman has given him the all clear to take off.

Molly Cule
315877.  Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:27 am Reply with quote

notes for iceland ravens

The US army has over a thousand ravens to show troops what lies ahead. It is a portable spy plane that comes in parts that can be snapped together in 10 mins for a birdís eye view of earth. You throw it into the air to launch it then fly it remotely or let it fly itself using GPS.
s - science museum

image here -

326901.  Tue Apr 29, 2008 4:19 am Reply with quote

The first person to make repeated succesful flights was Otto Lilienthal. The German was cited by the Wright Brothers as their inspiration for persuing flying machines.

Lilienthal died in 1896 when he fell from one of his gliders and broke his back; his supposed last words were:

small sacrifices must be made

s: EBR, wik

327259.  Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:52 am Reply with quote

Lilienthal studied bird flight and published Bird Flight as the Basis for Aviation - the work that influenced the Wright Bros. He made over 2000 flights in a six year period. At the time of his death he was designing a carbonic acid gas engine to give his gliders power to flap their wings like birds.

Another pioneer of the period was Sir Hiram Maxim. He actually made an aircraft powered by TWO steam engines turning 18 foot diameter propellors and weighing 3.5 tonnes! Once he had ascertained that the machine could lift itself off the ground, he considered his work complete and gave up in 1894.

Octave Chanute refined Lilienthal's designs, in particular adding bracing struts to the wings. He was a consultant to the Wright Bros.

Samuel Pierpont Langley, a great aerodynamic theorist, designed a powered plane he called the Aerodrome with a 52 HP engine weighing only 125 pounds. Apparently the only reason he failed to beat the Wrights was that his launch catapult failed.

332698.  Thu May 08, 2008 9:15 am Reply with quote

Brilliant article here about how to land a plane if the pilot collapses. Not useful for us, I should think, but fascinating nonetheless.


Actually, maybe this is good annual material.

332733.  Thu May 08, 2008 10:08 am Reply with quote

There was book that was a big hit about 5 years ago, about how to deal with various kinds of crisis, of which this was one. Don't remember what it was called.

332753.  Thu May 08, 2008 10:52 am Reply with quote

Was it called "Oh Fuck The Pilot's Dead (and Other Games for Boys)"?

332776.  Thu May 08, 2008 11:28 am Reply with quote

A friend who was being flown with his family in a small plane in Africa was sitting up front in the co-pilot seat when he noticed that the pilot had passed out. He gingerly took hold of the steering column and, not wanting to alarm his young children, quietly drew his wife's attention to the state of the pilot. She reacted by pulling a bottle of water from her handbag and emptying it over the pilot (which luckily had the desired effect). Her daughter who was sitting next to here and had little idea of what was going on, just said "Oh mummy, you're so embarrassing!". I imagine that this was the right thing to do as I imagine that the ensuing laughter did a lot to defuse the situation.

333275.  Fri May 09, 2008 7:55 am Reply with quote

The secret US Air Force test range near Groom Lake, Nevada is no longer called "Area 51". Apparantly it's now called "homey airport".


349053.  Sat May 31, 2008 9:45 am Reply with quote

Wiki article on "lawnchair larry", a guy who attached helium balloons to a patio chair and flew over LA in 1982.

He intended to fly around 100 feet in the air, but ended up at an altitude of 16,000 feet. He shot some balloons to descend, but landed on a power line causing a 20 minute blackout.

He was immediately arrested by waiting members of the Long Beach Police Department; when asked by a reporter why he had done it, Walters replied, "A man can't just sit around."

349063.  Sat May 31, 2008 10:02 am Reply with quote

Jimmy Carr used that in one of the QI Quickies - according to Wiki, the one which went with the Engineering show - although he didn't get the story quite right.

We were duly taken to task over the matter in post 285046.

349066.  Sat May 31, 2008 10:08 am Reply with quote

Pay attention at the back there, Egg.

350316.  Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:35 am Reply with quote

Over 100 homeless people live at Heathrow - according to the *ahem* Daily Mail. They disguise themselves as weary passengers waiting for a delayed flight by carrying an item of luggage around.

Trust me, it's there, you don't need to sully your internet history by visitin the Daily Mail website.

439894.  Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:20 am Reply with quote

Further to the Flash's fact about penguins "flying" through the water - it turns out that the way they swim is more like the way that insects fly.

[Researchers] found that by slightly corkscrewing their flapping wings, penguins achieve a 20 percent increase in thrust, or push forward. This is because more surface area of the wing is being used to generate force. [...] using the same dynamic principles as fruit flies and other winged insects use in the air,"


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