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allardjd

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Everything posted by allardjd

  1. Mut, That was fantastic. What a great theme! I appreciated the Meigs flyby as I've always had a soft spot for that field and resented it's demise in a political play. The flashback screens were amazing. I'd forgotten how cheesy they were and how far we've come. The foreground buildings shown in the shot are, left to right, Soldier Field (home of the Chicago Bears), the Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium (the domed one). The interior surface of the dome is the screen upon which the planetarium sky views are projected. The hill on the Planetarium end of the causeway was not there originally, though may be now since the field was converted to parkland. They probably built it from runway and taxiway rubble. Jumping in on the McDonald's theme (we call it Scotch food), the C-5 Galaxy and the C-141 Starlifter were affectionately known as Big Mac and the Quarter Pounder, respectively. If anyone's hung a similar tag on the C-17 I haven't heard it yet. Anyway, wonderful leg. It just keeps getting better and better. John
  2. Mut, You do indeed have a piston + jet bird. I suspect they did it in the Neptune to try to make them carrier capable and probably also to get them off conventional runways with as large a fuel load as possible. They routinely flew these on some very long ASW patrol missions. At one time one flew from somewhere in Australia to the central US un-refueled, obviously rigged with a lot of non-standard auxillary fuel tanks. It held the record for many years until the Rutan Voyager trumped it. I've seen a photo of a Neptune taking off from a carrier, but it was using RATO bottles and making its own IFR conditions behind it. There were two more piston + jet aircraft listed in the reference I found by accident. One came from your part of the world. John
  3. New shots of the latest arrival...a Lockheed Neptune. The Navy referred to them as P2. They were replaced in the long-range ASW patrol role by the other AC type you see in the background, the P3 Orion, which still serves with the USN and flies daily from Jacksonville FL, about 100 miles NE of here. Not sure what made me think this was the same livery as the Orions. Obviously a different company and different livery altogether. This is the Montana state flag. Jets plus radials…very unusual in the aviation world. Anyone give any thought to the trivia question above? Note the “RESTRICTED
  4. Thanks. That helped a lot. John
  5. Yes, I'm a Floridian now, approaching four years here after a lifetime in frigid Michigan. Best thing I ever did, except possibly convincing my wife that I was worth taking a chance on... There are wildfires in Florida every spring, but this has been a bad year, the worse since 1998. Scrub and low lying vegetation is the problem. The state has an ongoing program of controlled burns to try to keep it down, but budget shortages, tree huggers and the NIMBY folks (Not In My Back Yard) tend to limit it far below the level required. One in a hundred controlled burns gets out of control and the anti-everything people use that as ammunition to argue against doing it at all. Florida has a very predictable annual dry season from about February through mid-June. Everything looks green and lush, but the humidity is low, the ground is dry and fires (often from lightning) propogate like....well, like wildfire. The firefighters have done a great job, and though there have been evacuations, few if any buildings have been lost. That's not always the case, particularly in the western US. Soon this will pass and the hurricane season will be upon us, another opportunity for the media to sensationalize nature. Unfortunately, that particular natural phenomenon doesn't bring any local aviation activity. John
  6. Please excuse my ignorance. That's not the same as plugging in to a 10/100 Ethernet connector I suspect....? I'm dealing with a nearly four year old laptop and don't have an awful lot of hardware expertise or recent experience. It's a 2.85 GHz P4, but is landlocked with 500 Mb of RAM (maxed out), a 40 Gb disc and a very archaic video card. On the plus side, it still runs business applications and everything else I use admirably, but just barely manages FS9. I often see frame rates in single digits, sometimes 1.0. It seems that if you're not in the business or a real hardware afficianado, this stuff soon runs away from wherever you happen to be. Thanks, John
  7. What's needed on the PC end to connect a Firewire external drive? John
  8. A new player has appeared - a Lockheed P2 Neptune, with two big old radial engines and a pair of turbojets - two turning and two burning, as they say. Took a couple of pics with the wife's cell phone and they're lousy - too lousy to post. I should know better than to go by the airport without a camera. Will try to make my way there again tomorrow with a real camera and get some shots. The new arrival is in the same orange and white Aero Union livery as the Orions pictured in the original post. Anyone up for an aviation trivia question? Name some aircraft that had both piston engines and jets simultaneously. I found a reference today by accident. It's a surprisingly short list and we've seen one here in this forum. John
  9. allardjd

    On this day...

    Ahhh, Maggie Thatcher....now there's a real man! She's very well regarded on this side of the ocean, as is Tony Blair. Though I believe their domestic political leanings are quite different, both were perceived here to be capable and dependable allies of the US. One of my three heroes is Winston Churchill, but he's another story...in six volumes. John
  10. Sorry, Fred, :poster_oops: ...too subtle for me. John
  11. Martyn, Tip for flying in the Chicago area.... If there are so many runways you can't tell which is your's, it's O'Hare. If the runway's too short, it's Midway. If there's no runway, it's Meigs. :rofl John
  12. Cab fare from O'Hare to Midway will be about a million bucks, and go via South Bend Indiana with a middle eastern cab driver who speaks 3.5 words of English, but with a bad accent. He will, however be fluent in the exchange rate of Pounds Sterling and Euros to US dollars, only microseconds behind any change in bank rates. The number of visas, drivers's licenses and green cards in his posession will be zero, except those that are forgeries, which he will gladly sell in any quantity you care to name. John
  13. There are no hills like that near Midway. John
  14. Nice aircraft, nice shots. I've always liked that plane. That flight brings back memories. Your destination is about 40 miles from where I lived and had my career (and learned to fly), before relocating to sunny Florida. John
  15. Camera is a rather dated Sony Mavica, but is set to 640 X 480. It does have a 16X digital zoom, at the expense of quality. This is the model that can use either a memory stick or a 1.4MB floppy (really!!). It's old, but serviceable. It is capable of about 1.3 MP, but since I knew I'd be posting, set it down to a lower resolution. John
  16. I thought some of you may be interested in seeing this. Though summer wildfires are an annual ordeal in the US, Florida doesn't get center stage too often. Mostly the fires are a major problem in the West. This year is an exception and Florida is having the worst year since 1998. Our summer rains don't usually begin until mid-June, so we have a month of the fire season remaining. Ocala airport has been pressed into service as a temporary tanker base for some of the aircraft fighting the wildfires rampant in Florida. There are something around 240 active fires. One particularly large one is about 100 miles north, having begun in Georgia and spread south into FL. Authorities are trying to keep it from crossing I-10, a major E-W freeway in the north part of the state. These tankers are flying in support of that effort. Ocala was chosen because it is relatively close, but mainly because it has a 5000+ foot runway, an ILS, a VOR on the field and has relatively little traffic, and a large ramp area that's not used much (unless Travolta's 707 is parked there). The smoke from the fires can be severe. We had visibility less than a half mile for a few hours a couple of days ago, and the nearest fires are over forty miles from us. Thus the ILS here was probably an important factor in choosing KOCF. The US Forest Service has set up a mobile facility for mixing and loading the retardant chemical. These may be once in a lifetime photo op for me, as this hasn't been this severe here in nine years, and it's just chance that my local airport was selected as a base. So far the Lockheed K3's are the only type I've seen, but will keep my ear to the ground for others if they appear. These are all 640 X 480 shots, some at extreme zoom, and are short on artistic content or editing. Downwind leg Connecting a hose. I couldn't tell if this was from the retardant mixing station of from the fuel tanker. Mixing tanks and portable pumps Good size reference. These are big aircraft. Mixing retardant The pumpkin, a water holding tank. Pre-staged skids of retardant Gulag view 00 arriving One loading, one arriving
  17. I would be interested, however have never done a multi-player session. Have joined VATSIM and have been reading up on it, but haven't downloaded Squawkbox or any other required software. If I'm understanding you correctly, this will not be done under Vatsim, correct? What do I need? If this is an impediment to anyone/everyone else enjoying this, I'll sit it out with no bruised feelings. John
  18. Someone (Churchill?) once said that Britain and the US are two people separated by a common language.
  19. Tell me more... I'm having similar symptoms and the PC seems warmer than I recall in the past. At times FS9 is just barely usable and I often have to "throttle back" on the traffic setting. Do you access the BIOS by interrupting the boot process? I know there's some hot-key info on a screen that shows up briefly during a cold boot, but have never had any reason to explore it. John
  20. Very cool, Dave. I enjoyed it all. Sounds like a busy, busy day. John
  21. Very well done, Dave. Though I don't have any first-hand experience with it, I remember reading an article that said taxiing real-world turboprops involves going in and out of beta range to control ground speed, saving wear and tear on the brakes. Anyway, that was a very entertaining posting. Going to look at the rest now. John
  22. Fred, I enjoyed that a lot, though maybe not as much as you. Thanks for a great trip. I understand they will be beefing up the security at Juneau soon, as they're worried about a terrorist attack against the high-value dogsled factory and the nearby blubber works. As for the young lady flashing you, they don't mess with people up there who are hardy enough to disrobe in that weather, however briefly. Besides which, most everyone goes armed. After the famous Ididerod dogsled race was won by a woman two years running, there was a T-shirt making the rounds which said, "Alaska - home of beautiful dogs and fast women!" John
  23. allardjd

    Spitfire Edit

    It looks very much like natural lighting to me. The sun is low at his 7 or 8 o'clock and the whole starboard side is in shadow. The top of the left wing is well lighted as it would be. The ground still has good lighting, though if there were any trees visible, they'd be casting long shadows. Looks great from this side of the ocean, Mut. I think you nailed it. :good I presume he got the guy who did this to him before setting out for home? John
  24. allardjd

    Aussie Etiquette

    Europeans heighten threat levels (Reuters: London, May 2, 2007, 0905 GMT) The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz began in 1940 and tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued "A Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666. NOTE: I cut this out of an article a friend sent. It had much less flattering paragraphs about several other European entities that I feared might be offensive, so I left them out. I hope no one is bothered by this part. I read it as a testament to Britain's general unflappability. John
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