Photo of the week

The Experimental Aircraft Association’s B-17, also known as “Aluminum Overcast,” banks right above Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Aug. 13, 2015. EAA’s B-17 is painted to resemble B-17G No. 42-102515 of the 398th Bombardment Group (Heavy) that flew from Royal Air Force Nuthampstead, England, during World War II. That aircraft was shot down over Le Manior, France, on Aug. 13, 1944, during its 34th combat mission. Image credit: R. Nial Bradshaw/U. S. Air Force)

The Experimental Aircraft Association’s B-17, also known as “Aluminum Overcast,” banks right above Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Aug. 13, 2015. EAA’s B-17 is painted to resemble B-17G No. 42-102515 of the 398th Bombardment Group (Heavy) that flew from Royal Air Force Nuthampstead, England, during World War II. That aircraft was shot down over Le Manior, France, on Aug. 13, 1944, during its 34th combat mission.
Image credit: R. Nial Bradshaw/U. S. Air Force)

CH-46 Sea Knight retires from US Marine Corps service

After 50 years of service, the US Marine Corps has retired the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter. The CH-46 was replaced by the MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor.

Pratt & Whitney TF33 celebrates its 55th year

The now-antique TF33 turbofan engine just keeps going.

The TF33 and its commercial variant, the JT3D, celebrated its 55th anniversary in June 2015. The JT3D was the first turbofan engine designed and produced by Pratt & Whitney. When it was introduced, the engine had approximately 50 percent more take-off thrust, 25 percent more climbing power and 20 percent greater power at maximum cruise than previous engines.

First introduced on the B-52H Stratofortress, the TF33 continues to serve that fleet today and is also on E-3 Sentry AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System), the E-8 Joint Stars and some special mission aircraft. In addition to the Air Force fleet, the TF33 powers NATO AWACs and KC-135s for Chile. Over the past six decades, it also has powered the C-135, C-141, EC-135, RB-57, E3A, C-135, KC-135, VC-137 and EC-18 ARIA.

Cassini makes final flyby of Dione

A pockmarked, icy landscape looms beneath NASA’s Cassini spacecraft in new images of Saturn’s moon Dione taken during the mission‘s last close approach to the small, icy world. Two of the new images show the surface of Dione at the best resolution ever.

Cassini passed 295 miles (474 kilometers) above Dione‘s surface at 11:33 a.m. PDT (2:33 p.m. EDT) on August 17, 2015. This was the fifth close encounter with Dione during Cassini’s long tour at Saturn. The mission’s closest-ever flyby of Dione was in December 2011, at a distance of 60 miles (100 kilometers).

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Crosswind Images

Jay Beckman of Crosswind Images is an outstanding photographer. Here are two of his galleries:

Air to Air

Oshkosh!

A spectacular video of the Earth and its Moon

A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite captured a unique view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth last month. The series of test images shows the fully illuminated “dark side” of the moon that is never visible from Earth.

DARPA XS-1 spaceplane concept

DARPA is progressing on their XS-1 reusable spaceplane concept.

Are your controls free and correct? How do you know?

Are you sure that your controls free and correct? Larry Brown, in his excellent Fly Like a Fighter column, asks that important question.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 wrap-up

This year’s AirVenture was outstanding, and the perfect weather didn’t hurt.

  • Attendance: Approximately 550,000, with a total attendance increase of approximately 2 percent
  • Total aircraft: More than 10,000 aircraft arriving at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin.
  • Total showplanes: 2,668 (up 1 percent over 2014) – including 1,031 homebuilt aircraft, 976 vintage airplanes, 350 warbirds, 130 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 101 seaplanes, 30 rotorcraft, and 50 aerobatic aircraft.
  • Forums and Workshops: A total of 1,048 sessions attended by more than 75,000 people.
  • Guests registered at International Visitors Tent: 2,299 visitors registered from a record 80 nations.

Highlights

  • F-22
  • F-35
  • B-52
  • F-100 Super Sabre
  • Mosquito
  • Lancaster
  • Goodyear’s Wingfoot One
  • Airbus A350
  • Junkers F13 replica
  • Apollo 13 reunion
  • Burt Rutan

Last year, Lane Wallace had some thoughtful commentary about Oshkosh.

NASA’s superb outreach on the internet

How they did it.

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