Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Photo of the Day - ZEL (Zero Elevation) Site

Ah, the memories of the Cold War. Place a nuke on a jet, place the jet
on a stand, and don't provide wheels... just a rocket motor to get if
off the ground.

If I can find some video of this amazing feat, I'll post it.
Meanwhile, the Holloman ZEL site still stands, minus some copper
cabling.

Photo of the Day - Luther Boles Ranch circa 1950s


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Today in #AirForceHistory - VB-1 Azon Delivery

Today in #AirForceHistory (1944): #FifteenthAirForce made the first
operational delivery of a VB-1 Azon radio-controlled #bomb

Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review - "EW 101: A First Course in Electronic Warfare"

Ew 101: A First Course in Electronic Warfare (Artech House Radar Library)Ew 101: A First Course in Electronic Warfare by David Adamy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Adamy's book series on Electronic Warfare is a good reference to have for those in the EW arena (military/civilian/contractor). EW 101 is a great introduction to topics such as electronic jamming and the holy trinity of electronic attack, electronic support and electronic protection (EA/ES/EP).

The equations are low-level algebra and are good for academic examples (I can't vouch for verification in "real-world" applications)

Only downside is the price - you might feel a bit ripped off from a $100 book. If you're new to the field of EW, its worth the price.


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Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Review - "Images of America: White Sands Missile Range"

White Sands Missile Range (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing))White Sands Missile Range (Images of America by Darren Court
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mr. Darren Court's book on the history of White Sands Missile Range (WSMR, or "whiz-mer") is a great summation of photographic images from the base's history. The first chapter covers Trinity Site and the men and materiel that participated in the first atomic blast in 1945. The photos of the rocketry in the decades after Trinity are amazing. The book's collection of V-2 rockets are one-of-a-kind, drawn from the WSMR museum's own archives. Images from the Nike family also are unique to the book, from the firings at the Red Canyon Range center to the Nike Zeus testing of anti-ballistic missile technology.

If there were any improvements recommended to the book's author, I would have asked for an extended introduction. The historical information summarized in the beginning covers most the base's history... but neglects the advances and launches of the later decades. There are photographs, but the extra page or two of intro would have been welcome, as historical info on WSMR is few and far between books and websites.

Overall, a worthwhile purchase for your space and rocket library.


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Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review - "Images of America: The Royal Air Force over Florida"

The Royal Air Force Over Florida (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing))The Royal Air Force Over Florida (Images of America by Alejandro M. De Quesada Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a fan of Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series, I have specificially sought out titles that have mention of the United States Air Force. When I got this book, "The Royal Air Force over Florida," I didn't quite know what to expect. Whereas other "Images of America/Aviation" titles are long in the images and text, but sometimes short in the story-behind-the-story, Mr. Quesada's book does a wonderful job of telling the story of the Royal Air Force's training in the Sunshine State.

The center of the book, rightfully so, is the story of the RAF's losses during their training in the United States. Twenty-three RAF flying cadets lost their lives from the years of 1941 through 1945. The names, ranks and circumstances of the losses are in the book, as are photos of less somber times - Two of the more humorous photos within are the trainees arriving within the "neutral" United States in mid-1941 (pg 29), met by a galloping Cowgirl, and trainees playing the sport most recognized with their adopted country: baseball (pg 42).

Had I not accidentally ordered the book, I might not have learned about the RAF's triumphs and losses in their Florida training, and understood the ties that bind together the United Kingdom and the United States in times of peace... and war.


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Friday, January 10, 2014

Last(ing) Legacy - Final JB-2 launch

10 January 1949

The JB-2 Loon launch program at HAFB was terminated after successful development of a radio guidance and control system that could control and even skid-land a JB-2 under the control of an airborne or ground transmitter.

[Editor's note: I thought the photo was appropriate - the JB-2 Loon launch ramp with a (typical) storm approaching in the Sacramento Mountains.]

Source: Mindling and Bolton (2009), U.S. Air Force Tactical Missiles, ISBN 978-0-557-00029-6 (via en.wikipedia.org)