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About XB-70A

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    "Bad Hombre"

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  • Location TFFG : N18°6.03' W63°2.93'

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  1. I laugh while reading it. It seems so impossible indeed! But to be honest there was two other cars behind me. And you're totally right, it was on the upper Selmon Expressway. Despite having a SunPass I usually took the Adamo Drive, but yesterday it was so busy that the Expressway was the best choice to evade it.
  2. I decided to leave a bit the small shuttles and to go back to the launcher. There is one I want to build since the beginning but I never found any force (and powerful enough computer) to make it... so I finally decided to realize a compact version of it. Let me introduce you... (drum roll) Mini Zenit-3SL Long and difficult to build! At a time I simply stop to have attention to some details... But it finally work. The whole vessel can be drove at 60 m/s without any problems while the maximum on the sea is more than 25 m/s. Its endurance gives it the possibility to reach a pole. As it was an inaugural flight I decided to maintain a heading of 45 for about a hour. A small fuel tank gives the possibility to start the engines and let them burn half a second before lift off. Climbing smoothly under the thrust of four Thud engines. Then the rest was extremely "trite" : First stage separation at 01 min 43 sec. The second stage then realized a perfect performance with its 3.3 km/s of impulsion available. And a lot of possibilities were still available after the circularization maneuver at 1000 km, the ComSat having more than 3.6 km/s for its part. Crazy but much more fun than what I expected.
  3. Some closer views of the piece : The 76 mm round was able to reach an altitude of more than 30 000 feet, nearly 10 km, at its maximum elevation. Most of the pieces are present and you can even seat down here if you want! The Louisiana gas ship entering into the port while two tugboats were taking care of the maneuvers. It firstly surprise me not by the size of the ship in this part of the port but by the fact that the Louisiana was registered in Jacksonville (Florida) so in the U.S.A! Not in a tax haven like the Bahamas, Liberia or the Marshall Islands as usual. I simply could not retain myself from sitting down at the gun... Two close view of the bow anchor mechanism and its gears. We are now leaving the bow for the stern. Here we can see the vessel became a disco ship with purple lights. A panoramic view of the rear section with typical Floridian weather... which means sun and thunder clouds. OH YES!!! FOR SURVIVAL! Then after 20 seconds of break to cool down a bit we restart our walk to reach the stern with its particular smoking area. Next step? The stern cannons! Other views of a 3 inch/50 cal dual purpose canon. Waiting for enemy aircraft! This second piece actually was in a better state than the bow one. Much more pieces still being present, like this complete AA sight. And now let's go to the biggest artillery piece of the ship... The stern 127 mm/5 inch artillery gun. A small turn around of this really famous cannon. Target insight! Distance 200 yards! (Should make a great BOOM) Different instruments of aim. Generator for mechanical assistance in aiming. Of course realizing the aiming just by human force would have required huge efforts from multiple crew sailors. Artillery sights. The phone having a pitiful lens only a panoramic view was able to take a picture of the whole gun, alas. Hercules gave us some company. Strangely with everything deployed at such an altitude. Time to go downstairs once again! Next will be a visit of the inside and the different crew compartments.
  4. Hi all, Today was my last in the Clearwater area before moving to Melbourne, FL, tomorrow. And to take advantage of this I decided to drive to Tampa : The reason? There is a museum here I wanted to visit since a long time... the S.S American Victory! Docked on the Ybor channel, the ship is a general cargo from the Victory class, heir of the much more famous Liberty ships. Built in California in 1945 the ship is the 792nd of its class which counted 875 units. The work started in March and she was launch in May, entering into service on the 20th June 1945. Arriving nearly at the end of the War she was however immediately deployed in the Philippines. Following the end of the conflict she was re-assigned to civil merchant shipping until 1950 when the Korean War started. She then served for three years before being devoted once again to the civil. She finally was deactivated in 1969 and place into reserve. Nearly thirty passed before an association saved her from disassembling at the last moment. They renovate her for more than two millions, transfer her to Tampa and she still is operational to this date, realizing about two trips every years with members of the association. Now, let's go aboard! A traditional and cracking foot bridge to welcome you. Some short stories and different ships models or ammunition are exposed in the welcoming area. Here a destroyer from the Clemson class. The entrance is costing $10. Which is not so much for such a historic piece. O.K let's start! The inboard temperature just is normal for such an old ship, which means terrible. Some fans are present to help the peoples but do not expect any A.C units in most of the ship. Mmmmh and this delicious smell of oil everywhere! You really feel like you still are aboard a living and operational ship! A good example of how "hybrid" the ship was at the date she was placed out of service. A mix of old and outdated stuff with more much modern ones. One deck lower is situated one of the loading area, inaccessible, alas. Let's go up to discover an impressive stock of life jacket, all of them being mark of 80... not so great to stay alive for hours. A bit of light in the darkness. And more important... some fresh air! A view of the ship's bridge. We will go inside later. For now let's walk to the bow. Where we can discover a 76 mm/3 inch dual purpose canon. My local time being 24:25 it's time for me to take a break but I will share the end of the visit tomorrow.
  5. I finally came back home and had some free time to play a bit. Let me introduce you... The Doom Chaser! Able to carry five crazy kerbonauts and to change from an orbital orbit to a perfectly 90 degrees one with its more than 3 km/s of impulsion available. Kicked by a Mainsail and four Thud for a good enough maneuverability the main stage also benefits from the support of four Thumper combined in two. Having one of the most suicidal best control ever, the Doom Chaser only require some knowledge and courage... and some craziness too. The main stage separation occurred around 40 km and at a speed of 1400 m/s, all the controls being finally soft after having passed 10 km. Hopefully the second stage was here to help. And it even had the perfect amount of fuel to place the Ap at 1000 km before the Doom Chaser finalizes the polar circularization by itself. Powered by dual Terrier the craft got a trust-to-weight ration of about 0.77 at max weight but still is able to surprise. The next step was to place the orbiter on a perfect equatorial orbit which required 2.1 km/s of impulsion... not so much! Despite a not-so-bad TWR, the X-24A still needed around four minutes to realize the maneuver but... It made it perfectly, benefiting of 862 m/s still available. Enough to reduce the Pe to 300 km, circularize then deorbit. Starting to deorbit after nearly four hours of flight. It could have been realize sooner but I preferred to get the support of Kerbol for the best brightness during the landing. A maneuver which was not so "easy" as the fuel finally was nearly over with just 2 seconds of burn remaining (...). Here you can enjoy a beautiful plasma which is not able to cover the whole wing... Th reentry appeared to be a bit stressful for the Doom Chaser as it reached 6 g for about five seconds before going down. Then the problems started... despite the craft being empty it, of course, was a true flying brick. Loosing speed dangerously fast it also was extremely hard to fly as the controls were sensitive and way too much! The vertical surface also is way too short for such a small and compact craft. Whatever we kept on! Aaaaaarg, stressful seconds!!!.. but as usual Da Jeb' was enjoying it even if he was near to pass away... But he made it!.. once again... Well... the Doom Chaser really deserved its name as it is terrible to control in the atmosphere. The launch already being a bit hard, the landing for its part simply is rough. But the re-entry clearly was super easy, the craft keeping an excellent angle without any interventions.
  6. All my pleasure I don't know if there is any models fan here but those are the last shot I took here before leaving : The frigate HMCS Halifax (FFH 330) which was the lead ship of her class. Commissioned in 92 she still is in service today. The RMS Empress of Ireland. Pretty sell knew in Canada for its sinking in the Saint Laurent with a Norwegian bulk cargo on the 29th May 1914. But most of the world did not gave so much attention to her disappearance and the investigation following as just a month later Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo... and everybody knows what quickly followed. My second favorite liner ever after the SS Normandie, the SS United States, which still has the Blue Riband of the fastest liner ever built. But as you can see the model, alas, was surrounded of glass. This make every profile pictures impossible without getting reflects or the vertical wood covering it. I'm not totally sure about the ship on the right, it could be the destroyer USS The Sullivans. The Scharnhorst battlecruiser from the Kriegsmarine. Probably one of the most precise of all in the collection with the HMCS Halifax. The precision gave to the 280 and 150 mm turrets were impressive ! Now, as the official war ensign of the Kriegsmarine with its swastika is present at the front of the ship I don't know if they had the right to be on the forum. If not, could one of the moderator erase them? Or I could do it immediately too.
  7. Just awesome! To be honest this was one of the most beautiful day in my life and it gives me the need to look at others one as soon as possible. I would love to go for the launch of TDRS-M with the Atlas V/401 in two days but as she's always launched from Cape Canaveral the closest location I found for and which is not costing "too much" is still pretty far from the launch complex. After nearly two years in Florida I would say it's a nice destination fro any vacancies. You can find a lot of thing to visit and to do nearly everywhere, the only problem being... the food. Not that it is disgusting or badly prepared, not at all, but it is generally very rich and fat. The kind of food you could take just one time during the day and be full until the next day.
  8. I finally came back to my house studio today and it's time to complete the visit. So here comes the icebraker Enerst Lapointe : Named after a politician and Minister of Justice from Québec city, the Lapointe was launched in 1939 and became fully operational two years later. Again a little turn around can be realized : Old but still charming. As you can see the ship suffer a lot from the Northern Atlantic terrible conditions during its 37 years of hard but loyal service. Transferred in 1980 the Lapointe now is enjoying the rest it clearly deserved. Now it was time to visit or rather to explore the vessel a bit more. Welcome on the foredeck with a close view of the icebreaker main anchor chains. We then came back inside to keep on the exploration : The table appeared to be the reserved not only for the officers during their diners but also to talk about the operations. Another Chef kingdom. I found it was fun to catch this. One of the "guest" reserved cabins. With a vomit emergency exit available. We could immediately think that is the Captain room but none at all. This place was reserved to special and/or important guest. With its own sink and leather sofa. Another guest room but already a bit less "class" than the first two. At this time I already was amazed by the huge presence of wood on board. And it only was the beginning! Anyway, now it was the time to go back outside: On the way to the rear deck and to find... The beautiful and original wheel of the ship. And its cable connecting it to the rudder. We will look at it later, inside the ship. And it already was the time to return inside. We now were in the bridge of the vessel with a look at one of its engine order telegraph, dedicated to the port and starboard screws control for precise maneuvers. The navigation and weather radar screen. It gives a strange impression, just like if it was a future creation in another from the past. The post of the Radio-Navigator with an impressively precise map of the Saint-Laurent river. The name of Cap-aux-Oies appearing at the right bottom of the map is concerning a cape actually located at the top right of the map, just at the North-East of the island, which is called the Île aux Coudres. An inside view of the foredeck with the museum main building on the right. We can imagine the courage of these men who fought against the rough and terrible natural elements. Here is the main engine order telegraph. Another radar screen. The range selector indicated options going from 2-3 miles to 24 miles. Ok, let's leave the bridge to go to the upper deck : Still beautiful. One of the ship's original arks is visible here. We now are entering the Captain's cabin! A world map of National Geographic from 1977! As you can see, if the Captain was not living in the "rough" conditions of his crew, he also did not enjoy the luxury of the guest room. We we pretty impressed by the simplicity of his cabin. Some stuff given by the Captains Robert Marchand (1941-67), François Breton (1976-78) and Émile Lavoie who was the last of all, serving from 1978 to the decommissioning. Let's go outside once again! One better view of the museum entrance from the upper deck. I tried to take a global picture, but my 2007 dated camera I used at this time wasn't able to imitate a wide-angle lens (sigh). It now was the time to go inside the boat! The stairs were so small. I can't imagine how many of these guys just fell from here during hard weather. The sailors dinning table. An order. Globally it should be : Canadian Coast Guards Ministry of Transports Sailor no.4 EMERGENCY STATION Your firefighting station is : bring an extinguisher. Your post for abandoning ship is the vessel : Number 2... Port side. Your function are : reach winch. ALERT SIGNAL At least seven short tones followed by a prolonged tone of the whistle or siren of the ship, complete by the ringing of the alarm bell. As soon as you hear the warning signal, put on your life-jacket and, unless reversed instructions, go to your ship abandonment station. Know what your duties and positions are; carefully read the role you have. Well, you have enough of clean locations and rooms? Let's go deeper! In the ship entrails! @carmenara I just hope you will enjoy it. Aaaah, a smell of rust and oil! WELCOME in the machinery territory! The generators section. Let's go even deeper! One of the two boilers with one of its cruise "small tubes" opened. Mmmh, how beautiful! 5 806 675 revolutions at the time of the decommissioning. Another pressure gauge. But this one suffer a lot. We then kept on traveling to reach the rudder section. Keeping on walking. Here we are! The rudder main command. A closer view at the oil and how "small" the mechanism is. One last picture, of crushed tomatoes cans, before leaving the ship. As you can see the brand mark "Heinz" was already invading the world in the 70's being even in a ship of the Canadian Coast Guard. See you Ernest. It was great to visit you.
  9. Absolutely. Translated by the words "Bras d'Or" would be "Gold Arm". The problem being than in French "Bras" could indeed concern an "Arm", bodily talking, or an "Inlet" / "Branch of river", geographically talking. The second possibility finely being the most logical here.
  10. Absolutely beautiful. With the kids and the sole adult walking on the dune I felt like we were in Mad Max 3.
  11. Today was extremely particular to me and for a good reason. Just a day before I went for an umpteenth time to Melbourne in Florida for professional reasons and at the end of the day decided to "explore" a bit the region and to go to Playalinda Beach : Entering the holy place. Arrrrg. I could read at this time than the beach only was accessible by paying for a pass. $1 as a pedestrian/cyclist or $10 with a car... having only 5 on me I decided to park the car and kept on walking... Only to discover there was no service today! Ha haaaa, on the road agaaaiiiiinnnnnn!!!... at a max of 35 mph, but on the road again. I quickly found one of the "official" parking reserved to the swimmers, surfers... and launches addicted peoples. One panoramic view of the parking lot and the launch complex 39A and B plus the V.A.B... And one of the beach itself. A beautiful one which remembered me those of the Caribbean islands. A closer view of my stagecoach. Yep, a simple 210 hp Optima but which never betrayed me since I'm with her. Then it already was the time to leave as the beach was closing at 20.00... at least that's what I thought. I was supposed to drive back to Tampa after an appointment around 14.00 today but it was advanced to 10.00 this morning and ended just before 11.00. I looked once again to the expected launch departure time of the Dragon CRS-12 flight... mmmh one hour of driving if I'm respecting the speed... mmmh nearly nobody is respecting the speed... mmmh I never seen a real launch by myself... mmmh I'm dreaming of it for years and years.... mmmh... LET'S GO!!! Back to the beach! With one fan proudly waiting for the launch. The first parking lot was totally full and three later I found the sole place remaining in! And fifteen minutes later... Falcon 9 1.2 was lifting off with Dragon! WOOOHOOOOoooo. Such a wonderful melody! Like a 30/45 second long thunder! I waited about two minutes and after seeing that the first stage was shut down decided to leave as a lot of peoples were doing the same (and I really have to be at Tampa four hours later). But just when I was on the way back I'd seen a lot of fans looking for the stage at the North-East, where the launcher was before burning back. And, suddenly, I've seen it descending back through the clouds at an impressive speed and lightning its engine once again to brake. Simply impressive! If there is only one thing I regret, it's to have forgotten my camera in Clearwater, the pictures taken with my phone got terrible quality at the best. But this is a day I will never forget for sure!
  12. Thank you NSEP. I had like to post more during the last days but my sole computer is at home and so far from me now... only the phone could help me but... big fingers + multiple links x phone = madness.
  13. Thank you, you will probably enjoy the icebreaker with its excellent engine room and boiler. Here is an appetizer for waiting before the main diner : Thanks qz'. "Alas", the main subject of the museum are the Bras d'Or and Ernest Lapointe. Once you visited them there is not so much impressive things to do. They also have the JE Bernier II, a small sailing ship on-board which Cpt. Bouvier realize a pretty impressive travel, passing by the Northwest passage, beyond the Arctic Circle. Otherwise there is a nice collection of different old boat and their sail, plus a nice collection of different wood models with a beautiful Canadian frigate in and the battlecruiser Scharnhorst.
  14. This museum is located along the Saint Laurent (St-Lawrence) river, about an hour of driving North-East of Québec city. The collection isn't so "huge" and the museum average number of visitor is around 15 000 per year. But! But the museum had a particular and beautiful piece, an unique model of Canadian engineering which was originally supposed to be produced at a good number... the HMCS Bras d'Or, pennant number FHE 400! Studied at the end of the 50's, the Bras d'Or was the finalisation of more than fifteen years of work looking for the creation of a new type of patrol boats to supervise then fight against the Soviets submarines patrolling near the Canadian Atlantic coast. Lets have a little look around: The front foil was realizing the biggest part of the planing when reaching the convenient speed. A role which was then shared with the main foil. A better view of the cruising propellers while the one dedicated to the high speed phase are covered by the grass. A view of then port side while one of my friend was laying close to compare the size. We then had to wait for fifteen minutes, and... Welcome aboard! One of the five stars room of the crew. The ship used to have about 25 crew members onboard during all its experimental phase but was supposed to had around 10 more during its service. The kingdom of the onboard Chef. One of the sailors and sub-officers table. And the officers one. The paint, alas, is going away. We kept on our visit in the ship's dark corridors until we found... Yes! Another super luxurious installation for the guys! It seems like the museum workers had to ensure it stays closed after having some problems with peoples in the need... We now are going to the engine room. The propulsion was ensured by a single PAXMAN Ventura 16YJCM during the cruise. But the high speed phase was possible by the action of a U.S made Pratt & Whitney FT4A-2, a lowered JT-4A/J75 engine much more knew for its service onboard civil aircraft like the 707, DC-8 or with the military with the legendary F-105, U-2 or the F-106. The engine room. Alas, as you can see, the turbine was removed. As well as the 16 cylinders diesel bloc. But any mechanics lover could enjoy it. The inside visit then was nearly over and it was the time to climb on the main bridge: A whole view from the rear of the ship and a closer one on the turbine exhaust. As you can see a door was open and lead the bridge. Welcome back inside with a close view of the navigator post and its navigation radar screen. The chief engineer post. Any 50's-70's aviation lover will be crazy with it! I probably stayed like five minutes to look at it... Informations panel. Here is a rough translation : The ship should have been equipped with a torpedo tubes system located on each side of the rear main bridge. Originally, the plans specified it would have been Mk32 torpedoes, but the Mk46 were opted instead. The system has been developed but the project was ended before its final installation on the hydrofoil. A (bad) view from the bridge with the East-North-East coast of the Saint Laurent visible. Just like with the hovercraft, the bridge looked like an aircraft cockpit, with dual yokes, task repartitions for the crew, centered engines throttle, etc... Another common point with the hovercraft is the fact that the piloting crew had to own a pilot license. Other views from the left seat. Then I turn my eyes to the port side and discovered we were annoying the tenant of the place... Bad company And I can't deny Bad company Until the day I die... Other views of the opposite coast from the main deck and while we were disembarking. Next step, The visit of the icebreaker Ernest Lapointe.
  15. Non stop from 2001 to 2008, when I lost my XP.