Tech Friday: Trying Perplexity.AI for better assistance

| June 14, 2024

After chatting with Brenda’s sisters and brother-in-laws about booking flights for a trip together, I mentioned that I was partial to Southwest Airlines. My brother-in-laws are both Delta fliers … and have a long history of booking business travel with the major airlines — I did feel as if I were ruffling feathers (text updates […]

A leftover Spring 2024 Vacation photo from Delray Beach, FL

| May 7, 2024

The sunsets across rural Ohio never really get old. I’ve driven home to Cincinnati this time of evening more times than I care to remember while coming home from NE Ohio … but those days are now behind me. This time it was returning from a spring vacation in April and I realized that there […]

How far in advance should you book air travel? #tidbit

| April 16, 2024

Last week when reading and posting about Berkshire Hathaway investments and Warren Buffett from Kiplinger, I also snipped a “Best Time to Book a Flight” sidebar.

Pilots and Planes: Smithsonian on Capt. David McCampbell, World War II aviation and the Grumman Hellcat

| February 24, 2024

A few of the history oriented books I read in 2023 were about World War II Naval Aviation in the Pacific … after the previous years studying Navy and US Marine battles. As much as I enjoyed the books by several aviators who flew Corsairs (1, 2, 3, 4) … I really enjoyed reading last […]

Who doesn’t enjoy looking up and seeing the Goodyear Blimp?

| February 4, 2024

Years ago while regularly making my weekly drive to and from NE Ohio and through Akron, I often saw Goodyear blimps like the “Spirit of Akron” hanging over the interstate and city. Most of us know the blimp either for their aerial coverage of sporting events or watching them leisurely pass along beachfronts — often […]

Social media Triple Tail Thursday aviation tweets

| January 14, 2024

Aviation has been a hobby of mine for a long time, even though I no longer fly airplanes or spend time homebuilding an airplane or being active in my local EAA Chapter (Hm, I’m missing our chapter meeting today). I do still enjoy the social connection with aviation friends on Twitter/X.com … one that posts […]

Tuesday Filler: Interesting sizes of the Boeing aircraft family

| November 21, 2023

Archive: Memories from our October 2023 beachy vacation

| October 29, 2023

Before the photos from our October 2023 vacation to Florida are buried too deep on my phone, I’ll use this weekend post as is an excuse to archive them. Brenda and I had great weather for most of our vacation and enjoy many days walking on Delray Beach. She has recovered from hip surgery impressively […]

Books: “Once They Were Eagles” by Frank E. Walton

| September 12, 2023

Occasionally when a good book is finished, it leave you wanting it to continue and hoping for more. That is the case with Frank E. Walton’s book “Once They Were Eagles.” It is the second book in the pile that I’m reading focused on the infamous World War II era’s VMF-214 better remembered at the […]

About the book “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and Gregory Boyington

| September 3, 2023

In August I finished up an excellent 1958 autobiography by Gregory “Pappy” Boyington titled “Baa Baa Black Sheep” … mentioned previously. He was a United States Marine Corps fighter pilot who commanded the VMF-214 Black Sheep Squadron during World War II. The book tells the story of Boyington’s early life, his training as a pilot, […]

Earl’s Sinclair Gas and Auto Service Station – Toledo Ohio #TBT

| August 24, 2023

While visiting with my extended family at my Uncle Sonny’s Celebration of Life earlier this month, a few of us exchanged phone numbers so we could better stay in touch. My cousin Dan forwarded a paper that highlighted my Grandfather Corbett’s Sinclair gas station and Earl’s Auto Service in South Toledo. It was interesting to […]

Would you feel comfortable flying on this plane?

| August 2, 2023

Not my photo, but I’m not sure how comfortable the average passenger flying this “budget” airline (???) are when seeing the tape on the wing? Also while sitting on the back porch a little Praying Mantis came to visit (video below).

Books: “Baa Baa Black Sheep” by Gregory ‘Pappy’ Boyington

| August 1, 2023

There are plenty of books on my Kindle, in my “ebook pile” and “printed paper” book pile to read, but most of them are not particularly enjoyable “to me” to read. They either arouse political anger and frustration in the direction our country is being lead … or personal improvement books that “I interpret” as […]

Airtravel in the US: The skies aren’t getting much friendlier

| May 13, 2023

Which airline do you fly most often? We had a bad experience last summer on AirCanada and probably won’t ever flight with them again … on the other hand, we fly Southwest all the time and thankfully didn’t fly during their “meltdown (click charts for larger).” Even after the December 2022 flightmare by Southwest Airlines, […]

Filler Post: How fast is fast when it comes to #aviation

| April 20, 2023

When it comes to fast aircraft, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is the one most of us know about. In a social media Twitter mention last week, Massimo posted this photo and link. The SR-71 Blackbird was so fast that, if attacked by surface-to-air missiles, it simply flew higher, faster, and in a slightly different direction […]

Archiving a few WWII B-26 Marauder videos

| February 9, 2023

Here are a couple of B-26 Martin Marauder YouTube videos to archive (saved to personal cloud too) due to my interest in aviation and military history … but also because my late father-in-law serving as navigator on “this beautiful ship” in World War II (I can still hear him saying that). 

Learning the phonetic alphabet at a young age

| November 16, 2022

While talking with an aviation (and space) acquaintance on Twitter earlier this week, I mentioned that while playing “old-school” Battleship with my granddaughter, that I was teaching her the phonetic alphabet (military, aviation, nautical, amateur radio, etc). Thankfully while playing the game, we only made it to “K” since the grid on the game only […]

Remembering Lt. Frederick Howard on this Veterans Day

| November 11, 2022

Although there are many who serve or served our country we can think about on this Veterans Day, I’ve opted to reflect on my late father-in-law, Frederick Howard, who navigated B-26 bombers over Europe in World War II. He was definitely part of the “Greatest Generation” and volunteered immediately when he came of age and […]

Music Monday: An aviation photo triggered a memory of a funky boombox McDonalds commercial from years ago

| October 31, 2022

It doesn’t get any odder than seeing a “very low” fly-by photo from a fellow aviation enthusiast Ron Eisele on Twitter and having it trigger a “how low can you go” McDonalds commercial from way back when??? It’s probably not an appropriate Music Monday, but the music well is dry today … so I’m using […]

Idioms: The whole – or full – nine – six – yards phrase

| October 30, 2022

Although the meme floating around social networks (the one at the bottom of this post) is probably not correct, I enjoyed it enough to do a little digging. Personally I’ve always thought that “the whole (or full) nine (six) yards” had to do with the innings in a baseball game (old article below), so I […]

With the first freeze in SW Ohio … I’d rather be on the beach

| October 19, 2022

There was a leftover beach flyover video on my phone from our late September – early October Florida vacation so with a private family post creating registered only viewing and the first real cold weather of the season, this makes for an envious filler. I’m looking forward to warm weather and the beach again. Why […]

Imagine learning to operate the Lockheed F-117 #aviation

| October 4, 2022

The Lockheed F-117 was one of the most specialized and sophisticated aircraft to ever enter USAF service. Purpose built to defeat radars, it was all square and flat, a fact, reflected in the aircraft’s boxy cockpit. (@realairpower1)

The relatively new way to stow bags in airline overhead bins

| September 25, 2022

Finding enough overhead bin space for carry-on luggage is a problem for a lot of travelers who dislike checking bags, waiting at the carousel … or even worse, dealing with lost luggage. More and more airlines have or are updating their overhead bins to accommodate more carry-on luggage, but travelers have been slow to catch […]

Who knew? Prairie dogs used the Bernoulli principle

| September 24, 2022

In order to ensure sufficient oxygen within their burrow, prairie dogs use the Bernoulli’s principle. One of the entrances is built with a raised mound of dirt, while the other is not. This determines different wind velocities and different pressures. (Massimo – @Rainmaker1973) Bernoulli flow and viscous entrainment were identified by the researchers as the […]

A little tested and untested advice for flying on @SouthwestAir

| September 14, 2022

Read an interesting Washington Post article (PDF ReaderView archive) this past week discussing Southwest Airlines “open seating policy” and challenges in landing preferred seating without paying a premium – although, “the only way to guarantee an early boarding position is to pay,” wrote James Bikales. Still some of us make a game of trying to […]

Taylor now gets to fly drones as part of his planning job

| March 3, 2022

Admit it, you’re a bit envious of those who get to fly drones as a part of their job? Taking Taylor out for his birthday in 2021 As someone who has enjoy everything aviation their entire life, I’m a bit jealous my son is now a licensed commercial drone pilot … just a I am […]

Time Life Books: The Epic of Flight #TBT

| December 2, 2021

The Time-Life series books have never been something I’ve collected, but I’ve enjoyed looking at them as I would an old set of encyclopedias. There is something fascinating about the photos and history that can distract for hours. An aviation friend included a “poster” from the 1982 series earlier this week which did the same […]

Embarrassing Ohio “First in Flight” License plate blunder

| October 24, 2021

When your state takes pride in home of the Wright Brother’s and their “First in Flight” Wright B Flyer, you’ve got to at least get the flying direction correct.  (Thanks for the link, Drew!)  Ohio had to change the design of its new license plate because of an error discovered after it had already had […]

The Red Stewart Airshow and EAA284 Fly-in/Pancake Breakfast

| September 2, 2021

Since I post the flyer and announcement over at my local EAA284 (Experimental Aircraft Association) website, I’ll double up and add it to my blog as usual too. Join us for the Red Stewart Airfield 24th Annual Airshow September 4, 2021 starting at 5pm and the EAA Chapter 284 Taildragger Fly-In/Pancake Breakfast Sunday September 5, 2021 […]

Music Monday: The Coasters, “Yakety Yak” and an aviation tweet

| August 16, 2021

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The F-16 Agile Falcon variant precursor to the Mitsubishi F-2

| July 21, 2021

My brother Ron spent his career as a civilian with the USAF and much of it was spent year working with F-16 modifications. He was a cog in the bureaucratic gears dealing with the many upgrades and decade long modification cycles. I saw this 60/40 international joint partnership model in a photo discussed by my […]

WW2 Aviation History: Why are F4U-1 Corsairs so taped up?

| June 12, 2021

Well talking to Taylor at his birthday dinner, I mentioned someone posted a photo of a WW2 Vought F4U Corsair and asked about the “stripes” … or duct tape … on the cowl in front of the pilot. The answer from a HistoryNet.com researcher below is a great aviation tidbit for those with a curious […]

Music Monday: The Who – “I Can See For Miles” triggered by an astronaut Alan Shepard memory

| May 10, 2021

The Who was never at the top of my music listening list, but like all who grew up in the 1960-70’s era, we all knew the music. This past Wednesday was the 60th anniversary of Alan Shepard‘s flight into space and as a boy who grew up mesmerized by our NASA space program (still am) […]

Experimenting with a Magnetohydrodynamic Drive demo

| April 13, 2021

You can take the boy out of school, but you can’t take school (and learning) out of the boy ( or older man at this point). Over the weekend, I was talking to Brenda about how I’ve been following the NASA feed (tweet below) and waiting for the helicopter to take flight on Mars. The […]

Remembering a couple 1970s TV shows and commercials

| November 24, 2020

A car enthusiast’s off-topic “Today’s Useless Tweet” got me thinking about old television shows that I enjoyed while growing up. I’m sure almost everyone my age flirts with nostalgia and can go on indefinitely with memories of their youth? His Banacek share (good show) and the George Peppard memory, which for me will always be […]

What is so appealing about the P-51 Mustang? #aviation

| April 18, 2020

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is one of the most celebrated Allied fighter planes of WW II. It continues to have wide-spread aviation enthusiasm to this day … and one look (and listen – volume up!) will have you understanding why it is so admired.

Watching the Boeing 777X first flight today

| January 25, 2020

EDIT – A Boeing 777X airliner lifts off for its first flight at Paine Field on January 25, 2020 in Everett, Washington. Getty images – Stephen Brashear The new Boeing 777X enters the next phase of its rigorous test program. Based on the most successful twin-aisle airplane ever, the Boeing 777, and with advanced technologies […]

Archive: Found a short Sonex airplane project video for #TBT

| December 26, 2019

While sifting through a few old .MP4 files, I found one of my first iPhone 5 test video clips from 2012 and it had a bit of footage of my Sonex airplane project (posted a few photos back then) that I was working on a year before selling it. It was shortly before I sold […]

TSA air travel rules continue to frustrate pocketknife people

| December 11, 2019

Pocketknives have been part of my life since I was a 5 year old … yes, you heard that right, FIVE YEARS OLD. My grandfather gave me my first 1-inch semi-toy pocketknife when my family was still living on Spencer Street in Toledo – which means I was likely still only 4 (it was a […]

So you want to be a aerospace engineer? Get inspired.

| August 28, 2019

The 22nd Annual Red Stewart Airfield Airshow for 2019 and our 52nd EAA284 Taildragger Fly-In and pancake breakfast

| August 26, 2019

Although our local EAA chapter’s EAA284.org Fly-In and Sunday’s pancake breakfast was questionable this year if there wasn’t an airshow on Saturday, the Stewarts were able to gather the pilots together for the Red Stewart Airfield 22nd Annual Airshow. The weekend is always well attended and appreciated by the community and those who enjoy aviation […]

How big is the Antonov An-225 Mriya? Total payload 559,580 lb.

| April 7, 2019

The Antonov An-225 is one big aircraft … a strategic airlifter built in the Soviet Union in 1985 with a first flight in 1988 with the designed purpose of airlifting Energia rocket’s boosters and the Buran orbiter for the Soviet space program in the 1980s.

Creative bindery guy sets his machine up to fold paper airplanes

| February 27, 2019

Since printing presses (and bindery equipment) is in my DNA, I can’t help but have a soft spot for this guy tweaking his equipment to spit out paper airplanes. Personally I would rather … and remember many-a-late nights … calculating $$$ as our sheet-fed offset presses mesmerizingly crank out piles of paper. 🙂    

Sooner or later a close call with a drone will be too close

| January 25, 2019

As more and more federal employees decide they aren’t going to continue to work without a paycheck, the focus has shifted to the unpaid in the Coast Guard, TSA and Air Traffic Control. Air travel has now moved front and center as the “shutdown-standoff” continues (the Senate is at least negotiating). Flyers are feeling it […]

BMW water injection and how it works to make +50 hp

| January 17, 2019

One of my favorite YouTube channels is Engineering Explained and in this video car guru and mechanical engineer Jason Fenske explains just how BMW used water injection to increase power at full throttle and high manifold pressures. Great stuff. And if this kind of "automotive engineering stuff" interests you and you like aviation like me, […]

Aviation progress is poised to take-off

| January 4, 2019

Aviation has bogged in the last few decades, but with computer assisted quadrotors, private space ventures and renewed supersonic travel … perhaps the next couple decades with be inspirational? Supersonic jets may be about to make a comeback – Reinventing Concorde

Air Force One “like” replicate being moved by barge

| October 1, 2018

Air Force One is parked at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County. Want to board? Run for the highest office in the land or join the White House press corps. Or, for a slightly easier route, visit National Harbor as of Oct. 19, when what’s billed as an “identical model of the president’s aircraft” […]

Red Stewart Airfield 21st Annual Airshow and EAA chapter 284’s Taildragger Fly-In Pancake Breakfast at 40I on Sept 1 – 2 2018

| August 25, 2018

This Labor Day weekend is the annual Stewart Airshow and our EAA chapter’s fly-in and pancake breakfast. If you enjoy aviation and mostly vintage aircraft flying in and out of a well cared for grass airstrip, this outing is for you. The gathering in Waynesville Ohio is always an enjoyable community time and is fun […]

Book and photo of WW2 bombs drop from a B-26 over Germany

| August 17, 2018

While monitoring a military history Twitter feed, decided to add this “bomb bay view” photo from the World War II bomber group my father-in-law flew with. He was the navigator for the 394th Bomb Group of Martin Marauder B-26s and flew nearly 50 bombing missions over Germany. They were known as the “Bridge Busters.” (Read […]

Does a Lockeed SR-71 Blackbird call AAA for a tow?

| June 28, 2018

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird The SR-71 was designed for flight at over Mach 3 with a flight crew of two in tandem cockpits, with the pilot in the forward cockpit and the reconnaissance systems officer operating the surveillance systems and equipment from the rear cockpit, and directing navigation on the mission flight path. The SR-71 was […]

Just in case Kim Jong Un is misleading us again

| June 13, 2018

Just an impressive photo for North Korea to sleep on (and me to include on my blog) … and just in case Kim Jong Un is having second thoughts regarding his historic handshake and agreement with President Trump at the Singapore Summit. Let’s hope we are all on the same page and that hardliners in […]

Who really wants to fly ALONE with a 1-year old?

| March 11, 2018

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Try the “Revenue Management” tip when frequent flying

| February 25, 2018

For frequent long distance flyers, give this airline reservation travel tip a try … We have never bought an upper-class seat; if ever we’ve flown anywhere up front, we’ve used miles to upgrade from economy. If you want to do that, call reservations and drop the name “revenue management.” The reason is that revenue management’s […]

The flight of MH17 – National Geographic #video

| February 22, 2018

Previously I’ve detailed a bit about the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and some of what I have learned … here is a National Geographic channel video that summarizes what we know in 44 minutes.

Drones on boats, a good idea?

| January 29, 2018

My friend Jeff is planning on ordering a DJI Mavic Pro this weekend. I sent him a recent article that has him pondering models. Jokingly I sent him this ani.gif suggesting he let me borrow it when I head to the boat … to which he replied, “Sure, if you put down a $1000 deposit. […]

Once in a while I can still find a super cheap flight on Southwest

| January 3, 2018

Before sending another check to the guy I have doing some bottom work on Encore, I really need to inspect the work. I don’t want him to stop working, but I don’t want bottom paint slapped on the new epoxy fiberglass repair before double checking the layers, fairing and keel work and epoxy barrier coats […]

Red Stewart 20th Annual Airshow Labor Day Weekend 2017

| July 22, 2017

Along with the Red Stewart Airfield airshow and night airshow on Saturday September 2, 2017, my EAA284 Chapter will be serving up a pancake breakfast for those camping over or flying in on Sunday morning September 3rd. Always a great time.

Stratolaunch emerges from the hanger

| June 3, 2017

Stratolaunch, cited as the "world’s largest plane," has been under construction for four years, but is finally ready to come out of the hanger. The plane has a wingspan larger than a football field and according to the design firm Stratolaunch Systems, is designed to carry rockets into the stratosphere before firing the payload into […]

Looking back a few years to when I started to blog

| April 28, 2017

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World War I surveillance DRONE – or pigeon photography

| February 5, 2017

Homing pigeons were outfitted with lightweight cameras in WWI with time-delayed shutters for aerial reconnaissance photography, likely the first "drones."  They were used very effective as messenger pigeons prior to wireless radio and effectively in communicating behind enemy lines in World War II. Interestingly the Swiss Army continued they military pigeons until it was disbanded […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog