Browsing: June 26

A Brief History On June 26, 1936, the Focke-Wulf Fw 61 made its first flight as the world’s first practical helicopter. Introduced into service with the Luftwaffe soon afterwards, the Fw 61 only had 2 copies built, but was a harbinger of things to come. Attempts to invent practical helicopters had been going on for decades, and in various countries, including contemporaneous with the Fw 61. Company namesake Professor Henrich Focke had invented various flying machines, including auto gyros prior to his collaboration with Gerd Achgelis, but the two engineers decided auto gyros were not quite the end result they…

A Brief History On June 26, 1794, the army of the First Republic of France (the result of the French Revolution) made the first use of balloons in combat at the Battle of Fleurus against the forces of the First Coalition. Digging Deeper The French army under Jean-Baptiste Jourdan had seized upon the new technology pioneered by the French Montgolfier Brothers to create an observation/reconnaissance balloon that could give military commanders and observers much greater fields of view of battlefields and their approaches, a distinct advantage in battle. Originally, the Montgolfier Balloons were of the hot air variety, but French…

A Brief History Once again a fierce debate tears across the land about so-called “common sense gun control.”  Our Founding Fathers wrote in the Federalist Papers that the Government should never have more firepower than the people, and they meant cannons and military muskets, not hunting and target guns.  Today, the rabid anti-gunners show their ignorance of the intent of the Founding Fathers by ignoring their writings on the subject and the context of the times.  Other (European) countries had long denied their public free access to weapons, and this meant swords and the like before guns were common.  (Hence,…

A Brief History On June 26, 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened for traffic.  (See our other article today.)  The seaway opened the Great Lakes to ocean going freighters enhancing the economy of the region and transportation efficiency for the US and Canada.  Unfortunately, it also brought invasive species.  Sometimes invasive species are brought to a new land or water on purpose, other times by accident.  Often times, the introduction of a non-native species has unwanted consequences for their new home and neighbors, be they plant or animal.  Here we list 10 of the most irritating (to us; it is a matter…

A Brief History On June 26, 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened for commerce, bringing ocean going ships access to the Great Lakes.  Consisting of a series of canals and 15 locks to bypass rapids on the river and Niagara Falls between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, work on the system was started in 1954, although other canals had been dug much earlier. Digging Deeper Passing about 50 million tons of cargo per year, the Seaway has had tremendous positive impact on the industry and commerce of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region.  Unfortunately, it has come at an ecological price.  Opening passage…

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