Cygnus resupply vehicle docks with ISS

The first Orbital Sciences Corporation commercial supply vehicle Cygnus has successfully docked with the International Space Station. Named Spaceship G. David Low in memory of the late NASA astronaut and Orbital Sciences Corporation executive, the vehicle was launched on September 18 from Wallops Island on an Antares rocket.

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Image credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation

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Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

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Image credit: NASA TV

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SR-71 cockpit checkout

Last flight of the VC-10

The VC-10, a British airliner turned RAF tanker, has flown it’s last flight.

Book review – B-17G Flying Fortress Walk Around

B-17G Flying Fortress Walk Around
David Doyle
Squadron Signal Publishing
2011

What it’s about:

A detailed walk around of one of the most renowned warplanes in history, well illustrated with photographs.

What I liked about the book:

  • The captions do a great job of explaining what is in the photographs, including variations of the B-17G and additions to the restored aircraft which depart from the wartime configuration.
  • Plenty of technical detail.
  • Photographic coverage of nearly every airworthy B-17 remaining.

What could have been done better:

  • The lighting for some of the interior photos is mediocre. In fairness, photographing the interior of aircraft is difficult, and the extensive use of supplemental lighting such as flashes introduces its own problems: hot spots (reflections) and harsh shadows. In no case are the photographs unusable.

Summary:

Squadron Signal and prolific author David Doyle have done it again, with a fine book at a good price. The companion volume in the In Action series B-17 Flying Fortress in Action is an excellent purchase to make to accompany this book. For less than $40, you can have a detailed understanding of this important aircraft of World War II.

Rating:

5 stars out of a possible 5.

First QF-16 flight without an onboard pilot

The first Boeing QF-16 flight without an onboard pilot took place on September 19 at Tyndall AFB.

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Video of flight

Rosie is still riveting

Elinor Otto is still building airplanes, 70 years later.

Just another day at the office for a 93-year-old “Rosie the Riveter” who stepped into a San Diego County factory in 1942 — and is still working on the assembly line today.

Otto is something of a legend among her co-workers on the state’s last large military aircraft production line. And her legend is growing: She was recently honored when Long Beach opened Rosie the Riveter Park next to the site of the former Douglas Aircraft Co. plant, where women worked during World War II.

AEHF-3 launch

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched the third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-3) satellite onboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on September 18.

The Atlas V rocket flew in the 531 vehicle configuration with a five-meter fairing, three solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.

The Lockheed Martin AEHF is a joint service satellite communications system that will provide survivable, global, secure, protected, and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea and air assets. The AEHF system is the follow-on to the Milstar system, augmenting, improving and expanding the Department of Defense’s Military Satellite Communications architecture.

Workers prepare the Air Force's third Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite for launch Sept. 12, 2013, near Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The space vehicle was encapsulated into its fairing Aug. 27, 2013, before being mated to an Atlas V rocket. Image credit: Lockheed Martin

Workers prepare the Air Force’s third Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite for launch Sept. 12, 2013, near Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The space vehicle was encapsulated into its fairing Aug. 27, 2013, before being mated to an Atlas V rocket.
Image credit: Lockheed Martin

Image credit: United Launch Alliance

 

Photo of the week

An F-15C Eagle prepares to refuel with a KC-135R Stratotanker Sept. 12, 2013, en route to the Arctic Challenge Exercise in Ørland, Norway. The F-15C in coordination with fighters from other nations provided the air-to-air attack element in many of the scenarios during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Christopher Mesnard)

An F-15C Eagle prepares to refuel with a KC-135R Stratotanker Sept. 12, 2013, en route to the Arctic Challenge Exercise in Ørland, Norway. The F-15C in coordination with fighters from other nations provided the air-to-air attack element in many of the scenarios during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Christopher Mesnard)

Two aviation adventures

Around the word in 25 days

The great arctic air adventure

Boeing 787-9 first flight

The Boeing 787-9 had its first flight on September 17, 2013, taking off from Paine Field and landing at Boeing Field. The crew consisted of pilots Mike Bryan and Randy Neville.