Category Archives: Planes Trains and Automobiles

Ed Force One

A Caravan Race with an F1 twist!

2017 Shelby F150 Super Snake

2017 Shelby F150 Super Snake

Third Option

ARK II

Wonderbug

First Allied Jet Flies

FIRST ALLIED JET FLIES:
May 15, 1941

On May 15, 1941, the jet-propelled Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 aircraft flies successfully over Cranwell, England, in the first test of an Allied aircraft using jet propulsion. The aircraft’s turbojet engine, which produced a powerful thrust of hot air, was devised by Frank Whittle, an English aviation engineer and pilot generally regarded as the father of the jet engine.

Whittle, born in Coventry in 1907, was the son of a mechanic. At the age of 16, he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as an aircraft apprentice at Cranwell and in 1926 passed a medical exam to become a pilot and joined the RAF College. He won a reputation as a daredevil flier and in 1928 wrote a senior thesis entitled Future Developments in Aircraft Design, which discussed the possibilities of rocket propulsion.

From the first Wright brothers flight in 1903 to the first jet flight in 1939, most airplanes were propeller driven. In 1910, the French inventor Henri Coanda built a jet-propelled bi-plane, but it crashed on its maiden flight and never flew again. Coanda’s aircraft attracted little notice, and engineers stuck with propeller technology; even though they realized early on that propellers would never overcome certain inherent limitations, especially in regard to speed.

After graduating from the RAF college, Whittle was posted to a fighter squadron, and in his spare time he worked out the essentials of the modern turbojet engine. A flying instructor, impressed with his propulsion ideas, introduced him to the Air Ministry and a private turbine engineering firm, but both ridiculed Whittle’s ideas as impractical. In 1930, he patented his jet engine concept and in 1936 formed the company Power Jets Ltd. to build and test his invention. In 1937, he tested his first jet engine on the ground. He still received only limited funding and support, and on August 27, 1939, the German Heinkel He 178, designed by Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain, made the first jet flight in history. The German prototype jet was developed independently of Whittle’s efforts.

One week after the flight of the He 178, World War II broke out in Europe, and Whittle’s project got a further lease of life. The Air Ministry commissioned a new jet engine from Power Jets and asked the Gloster Aircraft Company to build an experimental aircraft to accommodate it, specified as E 28/39. On May 15, 1941, the jet-propelled Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 flew, beating out a jet prototype being developed by the same British turbine company that earlier balked at his ideas. In its initial tests, Whittle’s aircraft–flown by the test pilot Gerry Sayer–achieved a top speed of 370 mph at 25,000 feet, faster than the Spitfire or any other conventional propeller-driven machine.

As the Gloster Aircraft Company worked on an operational turbojet aircraft for combat, Whittle aided the Americans in their successful development of a jet prototype. With Whittle’s blessing, the British government took over Power Jets Ltd. in 1944. By this time, Britain’s Gloster Meteor jet aircraft were in service with the RAF, going up against Germany’s jet-powered Messerschmitt Me 262s in the skies over Europe.

Whittle retired from the RAF in 1948 with the rank of air commodore. That year, he was awarded 100,000 pounds by the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors and was knighted. His book Jet: The Story of a Pioneer was published in 1953. In 1977, he became a research professor at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He died in Columbia, Maryland, in 1996.

Lusitania sinks

Lusitania sinks

On the afternoon of May 7, 1915, the British ocean liner Lusitania is torpedoed without warning by a German submarine off the south coast of Ireland. Within 20 minutes, the vessel sank into the Celtic Sea. Of 1,959 passengers and crew, 1,198 people were drowned, including 128 Americans. The attack aroused considerable indignation in the United States, but Germany defended the action, noting that it had issued warnings of its intent to attack all ships, neutral or otherwise, that entered the war zone around Britain.

The Hindenburg Disaster

The Hindenburg Disaster

On May 6,1937, the airship Hindenburg, the largest dirigible ever built and the pride of Nazi Germany, bursts into flames upon touching its mooring mast in Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 36 passengers and crewmembers.

Midlife Crisis

Birth of the Mustang (and the Pony Car)

April 17, 1964: Ford Mustang Starts Galloping

1964: Ford introduces the Mustang at the New York World’s Fair. It becomes an instant hit and an icon that alters the automotive landscape, giving rise to one of the most successful — and most uniquely American — automobile genres: the pony car.

The Ford Mustang was born of the simple idea that putting a back seat in a sports car would be a great idea.

The idea came to Lee Iacocca and Donald Frey in the early 1960s as the country was being overrun by European sports cars. Everywhere you looked you saw Alfa Romeos and MGs and Triumphs that dripped oil. Even French cars that would draw peals of laughter today were popular back then.

The two Ford execs saw a vast market literally rolling before their eyes, and, according to legend, the notion of a sports car with a back seat was one of those “ah-hah” moments. If Ford could dilute the European ethos just a bit by making the cars a bit more practical and a lot more affordable, Iacocca figured, the company would sell a few thousand.

He was right, but boy was he wrong. Ford didn’t sell thousands of them. It sold millions of them.

They sold 22,000 on the first day.

The Mustang was more than a success. It was a phenomenon. Ford sold 1 million in the first 18 months, making the Mustang its most successful launch since the Model A.

The pony car is easy to define. It was small by Detroit standards, with sporty styling. It had a back seat for your kids and a usable trunk for your stuff. And the rear wheels were driven by an engine — ideally a big V-8 — mounted up front where God and Henry Ford intended.

Pony cars may not have had the finesse of a European sports car, but they made up for it with brute force. A small-block V-8 can make up for a multitude of handling deficiencies.

The Mustang was successful like the Beatles were popular. Ford figured it would sell around 100,000 in the first 12 months of production. It sold 10 times that number in the first 18.

That success was not lost on the rest of Detroit, and everyone was cranking out pony cars by 1967. General Motors introduced the Chevrolet Camaro and its kissing cousin, the Pontiac Firebird. Ford offered the more upscale Mercury Cougar. Chrysler released the Challenger. Even AMC — google it, we’ll wait — got into the act with the Javelin.

Everyone had a favorite, and even now loyalists occasionally come to blows over which one was best. Countless bets have been made and races staged in displays of testosterone and bravado that would make Dr. Freud sit down for a cigar and a good long think.

And that was just in the parking lots and streets. Things really got wild when the automakers got in on the act, bringing in drivers like Dan Gurney and George Follmer and Mark Donohue to show who built the best car. The contest grew so heated it gave rise to a pony-car–specific racing series called Trans Am. (The car was named after the series, not the other way around.)

We’re inclined to give the award to the Mustang, if only because Steve McQueen drove a ’68 fastback in the most famous chase scene in cinematic history, that amazing dash through the streets of San Francisco in Bullitt.

The Mustang also gets the nod for sheer longevity. Oh sure, you can get a new Camaro that looks like a vintage Camaro, or a new Dodge Challenger that looks like a vintage Dodge Challenger.

But the Mustang is the only pony car to remain in continuous production since its introduction 45 years ago.

Ford has sold more than 9 million worldwide.

Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic

Titanic

RMS Titanic departing Southampton on 10 April 1912

On April 15th, 1912, RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City and sank, taking over 1500 lives with her.

Wikipedia Link

Magic Helicopter

Perfect frame rate!

1971 De Tomaso Pantera

Corvette Aerowagen

I disagree with the title… this is how to fix one…

Aussie Twin Turbo Chevelle

Incredible Advancement in Automotive Technology

Mid-America Truck Show!

2017 Mid-America Trucking Show  |MARCH 23-25, 2017 |  Louisville, KY at the Kentucky Exposition Center

Mid-America Truck Show

Official Site

Tricked Out Trucks – Japanese Style