Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let’s slow things down a bit…

It was nice getting back home last night after a long drive from Edwards AFB.  So today, was a bit of a shut down day. 

We took care of domestic duties this morning, and then Judy took in a Fashion Show at the Resort, along with an opportunity to purchase some of the goods!  She did! (and she did pick wisely!)

If you can imagine, I gave up the chance to go to the Fashion Show, opting instead to go for a ride on the motorcycle.  Had a nice tour around Palm Springs!

There are a couple of things I would like to highlight from our tour of Edwards… kind of hard to put everything in on one blog!

Pictured below is the SR-71 Blackbird.  Quite a plane.  The Blackbird design originated in secrecy in the late 1950’s…  It was not until 1976 that President Lyndon Johnson publicly announced the existence of the plane! 

This plane was designed to fly at Mach 3.2, just over three times the speed of sound! More than 2,200 mph at 85,000 feet, now that is moving. 

A lot of high altitude experiments were made with this plane, and it certainly led the way for future aircraft development.

Check out the cones in the front of the jet engines.  They could actually move, and regulated the flow of air over the motors, and acted like a ramjet to give you big performance from the engine.  Problem with this plane was the amount of fuel it burned.


The information gained also led to developments in the Space Shuttle Program.  One thing was clear in the tour, development of one plane, led to the development of a better plane, all through history. 


In this pic of a pic, you can se it taking off with full after burners going.  One interesting thing that came out of the research, was the fact that asbestos was used in construction of the plane.  They found out that this changed the radar signature of the plane, and ended up in the development of the “Stealth” program!


Below is a “Mate-Demate Device”.  This was built for the Space Shuttle in 1976 at a cost of $1.7 million.  It is still in use, and they can service and lift the Shuttle in order to place it on the back of the 747 to fly back to Florida.  It stands about 10 stories high.  There is 3 hoists that can lift a total of 240,000 pounds!  Yes, a shuttle is heavy.


Currently, NASA is working on the next generation of space travel as the Space Shuttle Program is coming to an end.  The Ares 1 is a new launch vehicle, (rocket) that will lift the next generation space craft up to the moon and maybe beyond!  It is being developed here at Edwards!

Got a phone call tonight from John and Pat up in Big Bear, and they report the ski hills are great and are having a blast!  They will come down to earth on Friday, as they check into our Resort!

And a big “Thank You” to all our Readers who have pushed our blog hits to over 25,000!  Thanks!

Till tomorrow…


  1. Great post, John! It was interesting reading about the history of the aircraft developed at Edwards. Pretty incredible stuff! I'm shocked that you didn't go to the fashion show!!

  2. great post..nice pictures of the planes!..come on now we know you really wanted to go to the fashion show!!???...nothing like a day of rest!!..good for you!!!..and congrats on hitting the 25,000 mark!!!

  3. This was a superb tour! Back some years ago in another life, I was fortunate enough to do quite a bit of work with this aircraft. Even today, I still find it facilitating. Thanks for the memories.


  4. I can understand you not wanting to upstage your Edwards Air Force Base tour by following it up with a high end Park Fashion Show. Any fine self respecting & upstandng man would have done exactly the same thing in your shoes.

  5. Ok, how was your day slower? Thanks again for the Edwards AFB postings - very very cool!

  6. I look forward to seeing what other goodies you have here.

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