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412 weeks ago @ Atomic Toasters - Japan's Suicidal Rocke... · 0 replies · +3 points

The Germans also developed a piloted V-1 (the Reichenberg). The pilot was officially supposed to be able to bail out before it hit the target, but given that the cockpit was directly in front of the jet intake it would almost certainly have been impossible...

417 weeks ago @ Atomic Toasters - Drone Wars: Playing Th... · 0 replies · +2 points

What you really want for complexity is the uilleann pipes:

They have regulators (which let you play chords) as well as a chanter and drones, and they're played with a bellows so it's possible to speak or sing while playing them...

418 weeks ago @ Atomic Toasters - I Hope The Lights Are ... · 0 replies · +2 points

That's also how we discovered colour-blindness. In 1875, two Swedish express trains collided head-on after the driver of one of them ignored a red stop signal. While the stationmaster who had been signalling was convicted of negligence and jailed, a professor of ophthalmology thought that the problem might have been that the driver wasn't able to tell the difference between stop and go.

While people now think that colour-blindness alone wouldn't have caused the crash, the professor did persuade the railway to let him test their employees for colour-blindness (he had to invent the test) and several of them did turn out to be.

424 weeks ago @ Atomic Toasters - "LEFT FULL RUDDER!" · 0 replies · +2 points

Also the cool old 50s stuff on the British end- Victors and Buccaneers!

439 weeks ago @ Atomic Toasters - Martin-Baker · 0 replies · +1 points

They use that Gloster Meteor in the photo. Yes, that specific one (plus one other), which may be the oldest operational military jets in service if they count.

Note the missing canopy on the back of the cockpit. The Martin-Baker aircraft are based on the Meteor T.7, which was a 2-seat training variant. They use the rear seat to test ejection seats, and the pilot in the front seat stays on board to bring the aircraft back.

445 weeks ago @ Atomic Toasters - FICON - Bringing The F... · 1 reply · +3 points

I heard it from the man himself- Brigadier (then Lt.-Col.) David Chaundler- when he came to give a talk at my high school.

As for feeling sorry for the pilot, or presumably pilots given the length of the trip, it might have been worse than you imagine. In a Hercules, the flight from Ascension Island to the Falklands took 18 hours ONE-WAY. When they got there, the crew of the plan told Lt.-Col. Chaundler that the sea was too rough for him to jump and he would have to stay on board and try to get out again on the next flight. He said that he didn't want to spend another 36 hours in the back of a Hercules, he was two ranks higher than anyone else on board, and he was going to jump...

445 weeks ago @ Atomic Toasters - FICON - Bringing The F... · 3 replies · +2 points

About the jet fighter/prop tanker problem: that happened in reverse during the Falklands War. When Lt.-Col. H Jones was killed in action, his replacement was flown out on an RAF Hercules that had to be refuelled in flight by Victor tankers (converted bombers). The maximum level speed of the Hercules was less than the minimum speed of the Victor, so they had to refuel in a shallow dive.

You may ask how he got there given that the Argentineans still controlled the airport. That's an interesting story in itself- he put on a survival suit, jumped out of the plane with a parachute (he was after all in the Parachute Regiment), landed in the ocean and was picked up by a boat from a nearby frigate. He was then flown to HMS Invincible by the frigate's helicopter, where he was briefed by Admiral Woodward before being flown by another helicopter to the front line...

461 weeks ago @ Atomic Toasters - Lower Than A Snake's B... · 1 reply · +2 points

These got a bit of a reputation at Red Flag...

470 weeks ago @ Atomic Toasters - User Input: Move Fast · 1 reply · +2 points

Volvos have had those for a while- since at least the early 90s (I remember friends' parents' cars having them).

479 weeks ago @ Atomic Toasters - First Rate and Third Rate · 1 reply · +2 points

Well, firstly there's no such place as "Lancastershire", it's spelled Lancashire, though you get the pronunciation right. Secondly, it's not a town, it's a county, as is any place in Britain with "shire" on the end.

Worcestershire (where the sauce comes from), to be fair, is pronounced "woostersher", and Leicestershire is "Lestersher"- but in both those cases the bit before "shire" is also pronounced that way when talking about the cities of Worcester and Leicester (ever been to Worcester, Massachusetts?). "Shire" in place names is NEVER pronounced to rhyme with "tire" unless you're a hobbit- it's always "sher".