Browsing: Inventions

A Brief History On May 29, 1945, the Consolidated B-32 Dominator, an American heavy bomber, made its first combat flight.  First flown in 1942 and on active duty in January of 1945, the B-32 was an alternative to the Boeing B-29 Superfortress in case the B-29 did not work. Digging Deeper A development based on the B-24 Liberator, the B-32 used the same engines as the B-29 and had retractable gun turrets bristling with 10 .50 caliber machine guns for defense.  Also proposed were rear facing 20 mm cannons in the engine nacelles.  The pressurized cabin never worked, a major…

Read More

A Brief History On May 23, 1939, the submarine USS Squalus demonstrated the dangers faced by submarine sailors even in peacetime.  Squalus was commissioned in March of 1939, with a length of 310 feet and a normal crew of five officers and 54 enlisted men. Digging Deeper With four bow torpedo tubes and four more aft, Squalus was a formidable warrior, boasting a 3-inch gun and four machine guns.  After completing a series of test dives, Squalus once again dove on May 23, 1939, and suffered the catastrophic failure of her fresh air intake valve, partly flooding the sub, drowning 26 men…

Read More

A Brief History On May 21, 2005, Six Flags Great Adventure became home to the tallest roller coaster in the world.  Called Kingda Ka, the 456 foot tall steel ride eclipsed Ohio’s Cedar Point’s Top Thrill Dragster for the height crown, and boasted a top speed of 128 miles per hour to boot! Digging Deeper The world of roller coasters is not stagnant, and the title of the fastest coaster today is held by Formula Rossa in Abu Dhabi, with a top speed of 149 MPH!  At 1.29 miles, Formula Rossa is the second longest coaster, beaten by Steel Dragon’s…

Read More

A Brief History On May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off on his non-stop, solo trans-Atlantic flight, a flight into aviation history.  Five years later, in 1932, Amelia Earhart took off on her flight as the first female pilot to fly non-stop solo across the Atlantic. Digging Deeper Numerous great aviation milestones have been achieved, including around the world flights, solar powered flights, altitude and speed records, and other great feats of aviation skill and technology.  We wonder what the next great aviation milestones are going to be, or even should be, and we nominate a few of those here:…

Read More

A Brief History On May 17, 1983, the US government was obligated to release information due to a newspaper’s Freedom of Information Act request about the largest Mercury pollution source in history, the Oak Ridge, Tennessee, home of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex, nuclear facilities first constructed during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project. Digging Deeper The site of the second self-sustaining atomic pile reactor in the world, Plutonium was produced there from Uranium to make atom bombs.  From 1950 to 1963, 11 million kilos of Mercury were used for isotope separation,…

Read More