Browsing: December 21

A Brief History On December 21, 1970, one of the great naval fighter jets made its debut flight when an F-14 Tomcat first took to the air.  The US Navy had been considering a long range fleet defense fighter since the 1950’s, and had considered the Air Force General Dynamics F-111 swing wing fighter/bomber as a candidate, but problems trying to adapt that airplane for aircraft carrier use mandated a different plan.  The results gave us one of the greatest fighter planes, land or sea, ever made. Digging Deeper Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation had a great history with the US…

A Brief History On December 21, 2018, at 5:23 pm (EST), the Northern half of the world will experience its annual Winter Solstice, so Happy Solstice Everybody!!!  This astronomical event marks the time each year when the Sun is at its lowest “excursion,” meaning the tilt of the Earth in relation to the Sun puts the direct rays of sunlight at the Tropic of Cancer, a line of latitude a little more than 23 degrees South of the Equator.  In the Southern Hemisphere, this event is their Summer Solstice. Digging Deeper The Winter Solstice marks the first day of Winter…

A Brief History On December 21, 2017, the American public awaits another hard to define movie when Downsizing opens across the country tomorrow.   Called a science fiction-comedy-drama, to properly describe the film you would have to include the term “romance,” even if the plot takes a while to get there.  This Paramount Pictures release starring Matt Damon has already been named by the National Board of Review as one of the Top 10 Films of 2017. Digging Deeper Along with the star power of Matt Damon, Downsizing also features actors you know such as Christoph Waltz and Kristen Wiig, as…

A Brief History On December 21, 1990, one of the greatest contributors to American military technology and perhaps the greatest airplane designer of all time passed away quietly in Burbank, California at the age of 80.  Born in a small Michigan town to poor Swedish parents, Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson was an enthusiastic student and showed a glimpse of the future when he designed his first airplane at the age of 13! Digging Deeper Education at Flint Junior College and the University of Michigan followed, where he was awarded a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering. At Michigan Johnson realized a…

A Brief History On December 21, 1936,  the Nazi German concept of a “schnellbomber” (fast bomber) that could outrun most fighter planes took to the air when the prototype Junkers Ju-88 made its first flight, achieving a remarkable (for the time) speed of 360 mph. Digging Deeper Modifications to the requirement for the Ju-88 centered on the insistence of the Nazi regime that the plane be capable of dive bombing instead of merely acting as a level bomber, thereby necessitating greatly strengthening the wings and structure, adding weight to the plane.  The crew was increased to 4, further increasing weight…

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