Author Topic: May (2017)  (Read 1072 times)

Vermin King

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Re: May (2017)
« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2017, 12:48:25 PM »
May 29, 1951 Excalibur III Transpolar Flight



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Pan American World Airways Captain Charles F. Blair, Jr., flew his modified North American Aviation P-51C-10-NT Mustang, Excalibur III (USAAF serial number 44-10947, civil registration N1202) from Bardufoss, Norway to Fairbanks, Alaska, via the North Pole. He flew the 3,260 miles (5,246.5 kilometers) non-stop in 10 hours, 27 minutes.

After departing Bardufoss at 3:58 p.m., Captain Blair flew north along the E. 20° meridian until crossing the North Pole at an altitude of 22,000 feet (6,706 meters), then south along the W. 160° meridian until reaching N. 70° latitude, and then southeast to Fairbanks.

During the transpolar flight, the Mustang was subjected to air temperatures as low as -25 °F. (-31.6 °C.).

Captain Blair navigated by using a system of pre-plotted sun lines calculated by Captain Phillip Van Horns Weems, U.S. Navy (Ret.), as a magnetic compass was useless near the Pole and there were no radio navigation aids available. Captain Blair was awarded the Harmon Trophy for this flight.

Charles Blair was commissioned in the United States Naval Reserve in 1931. During World War II, Blair served as a transport pilot in the U.S. Navy and rose to the rank of captain. He resigned from the Navy in 1952 and the following year accepted a commission in the U.S. Air Force Reserve with the rank of colonel. In 1959 he was promoted to brigadier general. While serving as a reserve officer, Charlie Blair continued his civilian career as an airline pilot for United Airlines, American Overseas Airlines, and then with Pan American. By the time of his record-setting flight, Captain Blair had already made more that 400 transatlantic crossings. He was married to actress Maureen O’Hara.

Excalibur III was a Dallas, Texas-built P-51C. After World War II it was purchased by Paul Mantz, given civil registration NX1202 and named Blaze of Noon. Mantz flew it to win the 1946 and 1947 Bendix Trophy Races. He set several speed records with the Mustang before selling it to Blair, who also set several speed records. To increase the Mustang’s range for these long-distance flights, Mantz had removed the standard 90-gallon pressure-molded Firestone self-sealing tanks from each wing and converted the entire wing to a fuel tank (what is known as a “wet wing.”)

On 31 January 1951, Blair flew Excalibur III from New York to London in 7 hours, 48 minutes.

In 1953, Charles Blair donated Excalibur III to the Smithsonian Institution. Today, completely restored, it is on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
... This Day in Aviation

You can find Dave's model of the Excalibur III at http://www.papermodelshop.com/html/p51_mustang_other.html



And that gets me through Memorial Day ... whew
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Vermin King

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Re: May (2017)
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2017, 11:48:29 AM »
May 30, 1908 Mel Blanc Born



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Melvin Jerome "Mel" Blanc (May 30, 1908 – July 10, 1989) was an American voice actor and comedian. Although he began his more than six-decade-long career performing in radio, Blanc is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros. as the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote, the Tasmanian Devil and many of the other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical short films, during the golden age of American animation.

He later worked for Hanna-Barbera's television productions, most notably as the voices of Barney Rubble in The Flintstones and Mr. Spacely in The Jetsons. Blanc was also a regular performer on The Jack Benny Program in both its radio and television formats (among various other radio and TV programs), and was the original voice of Woody Woodpecker for Universal Pictures.

Having earned the nickname "The Man of a Thousand Voices", Blanc is regarded as one of the most influential people in the voice acting industry.
...Wikipedia

Several models to choose from, but my favorite is TAZ,  http://www.paper-replika.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5592%3Alooney-tunes-tasmanian-devil-papercraft&catid=131%3Aanime-cartoon&Itemid=200144&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Paper-replikacomFeedNews+%28Paper-replika.com+Feed+News%29


There are no strangers in this world ...
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Vermin King

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Re: May (2017)
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2017, 12:11:15 PM »
Okay, I don't remember hearing this before, but in 1593, Christopher Marlowe (one of the guys who may have written some of the works attributed to Shakespeare) was stabbed and killed in a bar brawl after being released from prison for possible treason.

I may have mentioned it before, but in my study of Shakespeare's life, there are huge gaps where little is known, and he had considerable influence with the crown, even before he became famous.  He had considerable 'working' knowledge of things that shouldn't have been in his experience.  The Tempest comes to mind, where he had a lot of details about how a ship was operated, especially during a storm.  So I was thinking that a TV show or movie could be done, based on Shakespeare actually being a spy for Queen Elizabeth I.  It wouldn't be as far-fetched as some of the movies that are out there.  And from what I've learned about Marlowe today, even less 'out there'.  There is considerable evidence that Marlowe acted as a spy for Queen Elizabeth, before his fall from favor.  Treasonous documents were found in his rooms, and when his roommate was tortured and killed, it came out that these were Marlowe's.  Collecting treasonous documents as evidence would be natural for a spy, which is possibly why the queen had him released ... maybe.  It was the queen who ordered him released.  Who knows.

I wish I had the discipline to be a writer.  I think this would be fun.  I wonder if it could be a novel.  Then maybe someone would buy the rights to turn it into a movie or series.  Then I could retire to building paper models.  Shakespeare, in the Queen's Service
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Vermin King

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Re: May (2017)
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2017, 01:38:33 PM »
May 31, 1859  Big Ben First Sounds



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The famous tower clock known as Big Ben, located at the top of the 320-foot-high St. Stephen’s Tower, rings out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, for the first time on this day in 1859.

After a fire destroyed much of the Palace of Westminster–the headquarters of the British Parliament–in October 1834, a standout feature of the design for the new palace was a large clock atop a tower. The royal astronomer, Sir George Airy, wanted the clock to have pinpoint accuracy, including twice-a-day checks with the Royal Greenwich Observatory. While many clockmakers dismissed this goal as impossible, Airy counted on the help of Edmund Beckett Denison, a formidable barrister known for his expertise in horology, or the science of measuring time.

Denison’s design, built by the company E.J. Dent& Co., was completed in 1854; five years later, St. Stephen’s Tower itself was finished. Weighing in at more than 13 tons, its massive bell was dragged to the tower through the streets of London by a team of 16 horses, to the cheers of onlookers. Once it was installed, Big Ben struck its first chimes on May 31, 1859. Just two months later, however, the heavy striker designed by Denison cracked the bell. Three more years passed before a lighter hammer was added and the clock went into service again. The bell was rotated so that the hammer would strike another surface, but the crack was never repaired.

The name “Big Ben” originally just applied to the bell but later came to refer to the clock itself. Two main stories exist about how Big Ben got its name. Many claim it was named after the famously long-winded Sir Benjamin Hall, the London commissioner of works at the time it was built. Another famous story argues that the bell was named for the popular heavyweight boxer Benjamin Caunt, because it was the largest of its kind.

Even after an incendiary bomb destroyed the chamber of the House of Commons during the Second World War, St. Stephen’s Tower survived, and Big Ben continued to function. Its famously accurate timekeeping is regulated by a stack of coins placed on the clock’s huge pendulum, ensuring a steady movement of the clock hands at all times. At night, all four of the clock’s faces, each one 23 feet across, are illuminated. A light above Big Ben is also lit to let the public know when Parliament is in session.
...History.com

I wish I could find the site where I found the info that I paraphrased in 2014.  A bit more interesting

You can find your own Westminster Palace at http://cp.c-ij.com/en/contents/CNT-0010399/index.html
There are no strangers in this world ...
Only people I haven't embarrassed ... yet