Weekly Roundup: The Day They Dropped A Nuke On Savannah Edition

Today the clone and I visited the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum near Savannah, GA, in the company of said clone’s grandfather. Having been thoroughly spoiled at an early age by the Wright-Patterson AFB Museum in Dayton, OH, which is either the second-best air museum in the world or the very best depending on how you like the Smithsonian’s politics, John was slightly confounded by a facility with a total of four aircraft under its roof. The Mighty Eighth Museum has a lovingly restored B-17 displayed with a decent P-51 and a ratty-looking Bf109, but Wright-Pat has all of that plus pretty much every other significant plane that flew over Europe back then.

To be fair, the Savannah museum isn’t really about the planes; it’s about the people who flew them. A detailed tribute to the Greatest Generation, the place is faithfully manned by expert staff who can tell harrowing tales of collapsed wings and frostbite amputations that verged on the commonplace. Furthermore, there’s a garden outside with a gently decaying example of a plane that was once ubiquitous above this country but is now almost gone from memory: the Boeing B-47 Stratojet.

Which is a shame, because there are plenty of reasons to remember the Stratojet, not the least of which is this: it once dropped a Mark 15 nuclear bomb on Savannah.

As the old joke goes, the B-47 was both good and original; the good parts were not original, and the original parts were not good. Left to their own devices, Boeing would have made this a straight-wing jet plane, kind of a B-17 Flying Fortress with fewer crewmembers. Happily for them, an Allied scientific group got a look at some German facilities in 1945. A Boeing engineer embedded with the group noticed the swept-wing concepts being developed by German scientists and sent some notes back to the States.

Loaded up with six Allison (yes, that Allison, meaning GM) J35 jet engines, the B-47 was perhaps one of history’s fastest subsonic aircraft and certainly almost without peer when it rolled out in 1947. Designed around the nuclear bomb from the start, the B-47 used a bizarre “bicycle” landing-gear setup with two tandem wheels in a row, balanced by tiny outriggers on the wing. This arrangement made it almost impossible to take off conventionally so the “Stratojet” was pre-positioned in takeoff/landing attitude.

The B-47’s service history was one of massive production (over 2,000 examples built) combined with nontrivial problems. At altitude, the plane wanted to stall. Takeoffs and landings were fraught with difficulty, with fully-loaded missions often requiring the use of rocket assist at takeoff. The plane had considerable service needs. It had a tendency to kill crew. An after-the-fact maintenance campaign to reduce (but not eliminate) wing failure involved jamming a big aluminum tube through the wing and fuselage.

From what I can tell, it wasn’t widely advertised at the time, but a couple of B-47s were shot down by MiGs while poking around the edges of the Soviet Union, particularly after their speed advantage was eliminated. The most worrisome B-47 incident, however, occurred near the end of the plane’s service life, in 1958. You can read the summary here but it goes something like this:

A B-47 carrying a Mark 15 nuclear bomb had a mid-air collision with an F-86 Sabre fighter plane at two in the morning. The Sabre pilot ejected. After falling more than 10,000 feet through the sky, the B-47 pilot regained control. A few attempts were made to land the plane; they were unsuccessful. It was decided to jettison the bomb and try again. The final attempt was successful, with all three crewmembers surviving.

A nine-week attempt to locate the bomb outside Tybee Island in Georgia failed utterly, after which everyone agreed to forget about it. Most sources agree that the bomb was carrying a lead dummy device in place of the primary fission material. However, it is also possible that the bomb was upgraded to Mark 2 specification in 1956, which would have made such a swap impossible. In any event, as a two-stage fission/fusion bomb, the Mark 15 always had some fissionable uranium in it, even when deactivated.

It is believed that the Mark 15 is probably buried in the seabed and should not be disturbed, which sounds like a good idea to me.

As B-52 production ramped up, the B-47 was unceremoniously scrapped as quickly as possible, with a few converted to various reconnaissance and/or test purposes. A surprising number of them can be found in static display around the country, but none of them can fly. In general, however, the B-47 has disappeared from the public memory. It existed more or less between wars and never did anything particularly praiseworthy.

That being said, it’s worth noting how quickly it was conceived, built, and put into use. The fact that it used a German wing and a fighter-jet engine doesn’t mean it was easy to follow such a schedule. In the modern era, where programs like the F-35 and B-21 are measured in terms of halting, uncertain decades, it’s perhaps appropriate to ask what’s changed, and what’s been lost. Certainly the fundamental, motivating idea of America is nothing like it was in 1945. Will there ever be a Museum Of The Mighty Keyboard Warriors to celebrate the folx who oversaw the gradual but extremely effective removal of that fundamental idea? Will the museum of the future instead contain a narrative of how those people were removed from the public discourse along with their enervating delusions? Or will the last remaining Stratojets endure past the existence of the country that created them, until they are essentially Sphinxes, found objects with no story left alive to tell?

* * *

For Hagerty, I wrote about the unlikely future of the electric vehicle.

72 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: The Day They Dropped A Nuke On Savannah Edition”

  1. AvatarNewbie Jeff

    “Takeoffs and landings were fraught with difficulty…”

    There’s a great part in Yeager’s autobiography where he’s test flying the prototype B-47… he was flying with his commanding officer in the back, who was apparently laughing at Yeager having such a hard time getting the airplane slowed down for landing. Yeager said it was one of the most aerodynamically clean aircraft he’d ever flown… If it gave Yeager a hard time, you know that it must have been a beast.

    Reply
  2. Avatartoly arutunoff

    then there was the flying wing which had more political problems than aerodynamic ones. it was difficult to maintain without continual pitching; so somebody said let’s just make a thin telescoping tail boom to extend after takeoff…oh but then it wouldn’t be a flying wing…the fact that macnamara had them all cut up is the best evidence of its political/$$$ threat to other aircraft raft manufacturers

    Reply
    • Avatar-Nate

      Not quite _all_ were cut up for scrap…..

      There’s a Northrup flying wing based out in Chino, Ca., I’ve taken the time to watch the pre flight and subsequent take off, it’s an amazing thing to watch .

      The 5 gallon oil leak buckets hung underneath each (radial) engine gave me pause though .

      Damned electric cars, I know they’re great if you never go far, that’s what troubles me about them : when they’re forced down our throats they’ll say “but if you need to go further you can ride the train or ride the bus !” ~ as if either goes anyplace remote where many (me anyway) like to go to be alone .

      -Nate

      Reply
  3. AvatarJohn C.

    I am glad you visited the mighty eighth museum near Savannah, where I live. Up till recent days, they had actual greatest generation veterans who would tell you stories. They. had a video game where you played the guy in the B-17 gun turret shooting at the passing Messerschmitts. An old hero comes over and reminds to aim a little ahead of the fighters, to account for his speed like we used to do. Imagine the emotion and the dichotomy of him versus you.

    They also had a Me 163 Komet rocket fighter. Imagine being up there in that, knowing it barely lands and Germany has lost, still trying to hit a few bombers and save citizens in your cities. How do we compare heroes like that to what we have now?

    Reply
    • AvatarDisinterested-Observer

      I visited the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico a while ago. A man who had landed on Iwo was talking to the visitors in front of the Iwo exhibit. I got the impression that he did so regularly. It was humbling, to put it mildly.

      Reply
  4. Avatarstingray65

    The fact that only about 5 years separated the development of the Boeing Stratocruiser Tom posted a few days ago and this B-47 is amazing. The Stratocruiser was faster than most WWII fighter planes (P-51s in the Pacific could barely keep up with the B-29s they were supposedly escorting), but the B-47 was faster than any jet fighter until the century series of super-sonics and from what I have heard was nearly as maneuverable as well. I believe a problem with the B-47 was it was one of the first planes designed to have a highly flexible wing, which is a reason for the training wheel type supports on the wing tips, and this eventually led to metal fatigue on the main wing spar that is ultimately what led to their retirement.

    Given the terrific speed of technological progress back in those days (almost all of it the product of privileged white males), it isn’t any wonder that futurists were predicting that we would all be enjoying flying cars and interplanetary travel by now. Kind of disappointing that instead we are currently using our “diversity is our strength” to revert to the power sources of the Roman Empire – can wood fueled iPhones be far behind?

    Reply
      • Avatar-Nate

        I remember The professor on Gilligan’s Island telling everyone to “stir your coconuts !” .

        I used to have a solar powered pocket radio that only played through a single crystal earphone, I wonder where it went .

        -Nate

        Reply
    • AvatarJMcG

      The Me-262 had its maiden flight 38 years after that of the Wright Flyer. 38 years ago was 1983, which was when The Right Stuff was released.
      It seems as though all of our Right Stuff is long since used up.

      Reply
  5. AvatarSobro

    Regarding recharging, a standard battery cassette exchangeable by robot would be the only foreseeable tech that can replace the ‘my Accord is recharged before I get all the McDonalds’ bags out of the back seat’ scenario.

    Mandated transportation pods or standardized battery locations would facilitate that tech. I just bought a small travel trailer. Of course towing one using an EV would be out of the question but in our Brave New World I’ll only be allowed to “take a trip and never leave the farm”.

    Reply
    • AvatarIce Age

      Mandated. Uh huh.

      Why do things have to be mandated? If they were any good, the public would want them without being ordered to buy them or deprived of alternatives.

      Smartphones replaced flip phones because they were genuinely superior and everybody wanted them. No government had to outlaw flip phones – the existence of smartphones made flip phones undesirable. You can still buy a flip phone, but only grandma and grandpa want one.

      Reply
  6. AvatarLe Frog

    re: the Hagerty article ( which was good! ), I think another hurdle will be getting affordable, clean power options rolled out for vehicles in places like India, China, South America etc: where massive populations are tied into gasoline, pollution is high, and no one can afford to upgrade to new technology

    what we need is something like a Citroen 2CV that runs on water

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      Didn’t in the 90s Chrysler have a prototype that looked a lot like a 2CV with canvas seats and a plastic body. I can’t remember what powered it, an Orbital two stroke?

      Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      The way things are going India and China will be running their industry and cars on reliable 24/7/365 coal and nuclear power, while the Western world will be running on 8 hours per day 5 days per week renewables, as their Green New Deal voting citizens wonder why their taxpayer subsidized Tesla or Leaf isn’t charged up for their morning commute and will be scared to death of catching a virus on the bus.

      Reply
  7. AvataraircooledTOM

    I like your single issue voter comment. I was one for years on the 2A side of things. It’s a happy coincidence that the folks who are similarly motivated on the 2A issue seem to agree with me on lots of other policy priorities (property rights, don’t murder babies, etc)…

    Lots of normies are blissfully ignorant of the coming state sponsored limitations on personal travel. It’s surprising that otherwise we’ll informed folks have no idea about the limitations of current EV technology.

    On the 47… what a cool plane. My late father took me to all kinds of museums like this. I was always fond of the smaller more intimate venues than the huge mega-museums ala Smithsonian. But for me Airshows were the cat’s pajamas. I can’t wait for our collective insanity to wane a bit so they can be a thing again. Side Note- I can’t wait to share this kinda thing with my unborn child.

    Reply
  8. Avatarhank chinaski

    That nuke mishap story echoes with the 1965 Titan II silo fire in Arkansas.

    I’m putting my nickel down on ‘no viable battery solution’ by ’35. The regime will have us melting down our ICE vehicles to make pot iron forges in our backyards. And killing sparrows.

    Reply
  9. AvatarIce Age

    The biggest question of all in the EV debate is the one asked least often: Who controls the energy source that reenergizes the vehicles?

    With ICE vehicles, it’s privately- and state-owned oil refineries. The owner of an ICE-powered car can get gas and diesel from many different sources. With EVs, their energy comes from state-controlled public utilities. Barring the development of some sort of small fusion reactor that can fit in a car and run on water, EVs simply won’t be viable as mass-market transportation.

    Unless your real goal is to limit the mobility of the common man, of course.

    Reply
  10. AvatarIlama

    I have far more faith in the continued improvement in processor fabrication over the next decade than I do battery tech for two reasons; the first being that improved processors are a net positive for the surveillance state, whereas increased ‘civilian’ autonomy via long-range cars is a net negative (this I believe is your closing argument from the article, a cynicism which I share); the second being the simple fact that we have several ‘nanometer’ shrinks left before it becomes untenable to engineer around the issues of quantum tunneling etc. Intel fell so far behind because they got too bold with their transition to 10nm; TSMC has leapfrogged them in manufacturing and, for clients such as apple, is still providing respectable generational increases, albeit nothing resembling the improvements of two decades ago.

    Computers from 2016 run today’s games ‘pretty well’ because at the heart of it most games are still single-thread (whose performance hasn’t changed much in the past 5 years) limited due to the cost/complexity of implementing parallelization to take advantage of multi-thread performance (which has seen massive gains in the past 5 years); to my understanding this applies for much of non-professional ‘office’ software as well.

    With the disclaimer that my job is only tangentially related to programming — I believe that as GHz speeds stagnate and core counts increase, we will hear less about Moore’s law and more about Amdahl’s law. Whereas writing code under Moore’s almost invited the inefficiencies of electron and the like — a sort of technological Jevon’s paradox — coding under Amdahl’s will most likely necessitate a yet unseen emphasis on performance and efficiency of code, which I’m sure our colleagues in Chennai will be more than capable of executing at a higher level than that of homegrown talent such as yourself… right?

    Reply
    • Avatar-Nate

      Huh ~

      I’m not a gamer (ever) but this 15 + year old ACER lap top that SWMBO bought off Home Shopping Network still works fine i can watch movies / videos, mostly I have music playing in the background as I to my tech supports and things .

      the battery died long ago but as long as I plug it in it still works O.K., better than my 3 year old Dell laptop that fried it’s solid state hard drive recently…

      I know some computer heads that still use ancient desk tops, they know how to make them work with modern programs I guess .

      -Nate

      Reply
  11. AvatarJMcG

    I have GOT to get to the Air Force Museum at Wright-Pat. This just might be the year. I’ve gazed longingly at that B-47 on the way to Florida a couple of times. Circumstances have never allowed me to stop.
    The movie Strategic Air Command starring Jimmy Stewart has some great footage of B47s along with the unbelievably huge B36. Maybe not a great movie, but a really good look at a world and a nation that’s long gone.

    Reply
  12. AvatarScottm

    I’m 54 and bought, read, and still have every Omni magazine published. I know, I didn’t have many girfriends in junior high and high school. I remember reading and dreaming of portable modular fission plants that were 5 years away. And commercial fusion was 10 years away. Always and still right around the corner. And what about those ZH articles linked to above? Electricity rationing in the coldest week of the past few years. How you gonna charge the Tesla this week?

    Reply
    • AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

      Texas folks should look to Mexifornia for advice on the charging problems due to “brownouts”. Utilities there have been doing it for several years for various reasons; “it’s hot and y’all are using too much ‘lectricity, wind gonna blow down our ragged ass power lines so shut them off, it’s Tuesday so no ‘lectricity for you, etc”.

      Reply
      • AvatarArk-med

        Texas folks are already experiencing blackouts thanks to the polar vortex. Nat gas and electricity prices are through the roof (currently at at the capped rate of $8.99/kWh). Wind turbines are frozen.

        Reply
  13. AvatarLe Frog

    Isn’t quantum computing supposed to leave our current tech in the dust?

    all this physical traveling is tiresome anyway: humans need to develop the ability to be everywhere, anywhere, and nowhere, all at once. really hook into the fabric of the universe, you know?

    probably not as fun as ripping down some old country lane on a Triumph motorcycle though

    Reply
  14. AvatarEconomist

    Grissom AIr Force Museum here in Indiana has a good selection of fighters and bombers from the 50s and 60s. They have a B-58 Hustler in fantastic shape and an F-4 cockpit indoors that you can sit in and marvel at the complexity.
    I have a soft spot for the planes of that era. They were pushing the envelope of performance so quickly, it is hard to imagine now.

    Reply
  15. AvatarRichard

    This will be another urban v everyone else issues. If you live in a city or a densely populated suburb chances are that anything beyond a glorified golf cart is at best gratuitous. The problem with a glorified golf cart is there is much steel around you which is problematic when you are being t+boned by a 5k lb school run machine. But you could imagine a scenario where, only in cities, speed limits were strictly kept 30 mph or below. At that point you will need less metal, less battery and less everything and will be approaching disposable appliance as transportation. This the newfangled moniker mobility companies. It’s probably the only scenario where autonomous driving will be viable as well.

    That scenario won’t work once you leave the cities but there will be many who will seek to impose it on us.

    Reply
  16. AvatarDan

    Hagerty column is a miss IMO.

    Elephant in the room is that the great reset is the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer even faster than before. The trend line to draw out to 2035 isn’t what a battery will then look like but what a new car buyer will. The top of the market can, and rapidly is, absorbing the EV tax with 2020 batteries. The bottom is dying even without an EV mandate. You want to risk the wrath of Washington to be the last holdout selling cheap gas cars to a customer who is being actively drowned? That’s not bold. It’s stupid.

    As a driver and not a car company I’m not interested in their profits or with miles per second for something that charges in the garage overnight but I am interested in the implications of an electronic vehicle infrastructure and in this political climate they’re pretty awful. Handshake and logging every time you fill up, tiered pricing or outright no drive zones, OTA monitoring, and planned obsolescence for 300 million gas cars that predate this level of control. What could possibly go wrong.

    On the B-47. One noteworthy thing that these did was obviate the need for any attention towards military rocketry, setting up the Soviets to publicly beat us at something and sparking the space race. Beating them back uncovered much of the technological development of the second half of the century, or else covered up the fact that it was actually received from little green men in Roswell, but in any case it indirectly employed both of my parents and made my life better than it would have been otherwise. Bully!

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Playing chicken with the government while you sell cheap products to the proles isn’t exactly a losing game. In fact, it’s so profitable that any number of gun manufacturers have run the risk of sending corporate officers to prison for it… cf. Intratec, Cobray, et al.

      The rest of your post seems spot on to me.

      Reply
  17. AvatarCliffG

    A quick aside on air museums. The Paul Allen estate has closed his marvelous Museum of Flight up here in Everett WA. It was a very nice with some one of a kind aircraft, including a Folke Wolff that they literally cannot afford to fly even though it can. I think it was a a personal fascination for Paul but his inheritors don’t really give a damn about it so it will go away.

    Reply
    • Avatarbenjohnson

      That’s a shame – the working MIG was neet to see. Apparently they had to inform the local militarily bases to not freak out about a Russian flagged fighter tooling around in US airspace. I expect the Computer History Museum will go the same way being tied to the Paul Allen teat.

      Trivia: Paul Allen paid a lot of money to make a few rape-type allegations go away. While covered in the local news, the articles have been mostly memory holed.

      Reply
    • AvatarGianni

      Yeah, that was their Focke Wulf 190 D-13 Dora, powered by a Junkers V-12. Flyable, but the only one to have survived the war intact so it is too rare to fly apparently. They do have a FW 190 A-5 powered by it’s original BMW radial – the only one that does fly that hasn’t been repowered with an Allied engine. It was cool to see it fly with their Bf-109 that ran it’s original Benz V-12.

      Too bad the collection closed before they got their ME-262 flying.

      Reply
      • AvatarJMcG

        I remember reading about some of the restorations done by Paul Allen’s guys back in the 90s. He was such a stickler for authenticity that they had to source varnished cotton insulation for the wiring in a P51.
        Even then I thought that was a bit more than necessary. Anything that makes me less likely to burn to death is ok with me!

        Reply
      • AvatarNoID

        The FW-190 is one of my favorites, along with its high-altitude TA-152 variant.

        I’ve wondered, is there a significant (for private aerospace) market for replica warbirds, the way we in the car community can go out and buy turn-key or rolling copies of some of our favorite sports cars from ages past?

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          There was a firm that announced, and took deposits for, replica Me262 jets.

          They got at least one working item out the door: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_262_Project

          Owning a replica Sturmvogel would be a real hoot, because you could match today’s private-jet times on short hops. Also, think of the sheer human joy involved in taking up a position on the “six” of a G650!

          Reply
          • AvatarGianni

            The replica 262 guys were two hangers down from Paul Allen’s collection at Paine Field in Everett. Allen’s ME-262 is a captured, survivor. He had the Jumo engines restored using modern materials. There’s a video of them being tested on a stand and some photo’s of the plane & engines ready for taxi and then flight testing in 2019, but since Paul’s death, there has been no new info.

        • AvatarJMcG

          There’s a YT channel called Greg’s Airplanes and Automobiles. The gentleman who runs it is an airline pilot. His content on the FW-190 is unsurpassed. He has some on the Dora versions as well. I’m not big on video as a format, but it is truly excellent.

          Reply
  18. AvatarSteveR

    Next time you’re in central California, stop by the air museum at the former Castle AFB in Atwater.

    Castle used to be a B-52 base. It has an 11,800-foot runway, which is rather disorienting from the cockpit of a Cessna. On open-cockpit day once, one of the grizzled old docents looked at me over his reading glasses and growled, “Yeah, and on takeoff we used ALL of it.”

    Reply
    • AvatarJMcG

      That film that Stingray 65 linked above includes a clip of a B52 taking off from an 11,800 foot runway at Westover AFB in Massachusetts. It shows the plane using just about all of it. Those straight turbojets weren’t so hot in the acceleration department.
      I landed a Piper Tomahawk at Atlantic City as a student pilot. They had a C-141 hold short for me as I ambled my way down final at 60 knots. I was reflecting that he was probably burning my gross weight in fuel as he waited.
      Atlantic City has a huge runway too, it was an alternate Shuttle Landing Site when that program was active.

      Reply
  19. Avatarbenjohnson

    On the battery charging front, I don’t see how you can improve DC charging. The cable from the power-supply to the car is already crazy thick as it is. Any thicker and it will cause tweeters to spontaneously generate in order to cash in the copper.

    AC delivery could help – the power-supply would then be in the car and charging ports could be much cheaper to install. Quick! File the patent!

    Toyota may be wise to keep their now brittle toes dipped into the Hydrogen dewar.

    Reply
    • AvatarBenjohnson

      I guess I’m kinda being an idiot – I’ve gotten so used to electrical codes that increasing voltage didn’t seem like an option. The NEEC would have to change however – that’s rather hard.

      Reply
  20. Avatargtem

    I ended up going down a rabbit hole of Cold War Era shootdowns of US reconnaissance aircraft over the Soviet Union, I didn’t realize there were so many besides the famous Powers shootdown.

    Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        No claim was ever made, in period or now. The closest you can come is a few MiG pilots claiming that they scared SR-71s off the edge of Soviet airspace… but as one source says, “There is no evidence that the SR-71 drivers were ever aware of the MiGs.”

        Reply
        • AvatarJohn C.

          We know the Acrid Mig 25 missile was capable of mach 4.5. With the launch platform of the 2.8 mach Mig 25 over and above the 2.2 mach Su-15 Flagon, and the propensity to launch a radar guided shortly after the IR missile, there must have been a few tries at the SR-71. With everybody involved now old and proven to be as courageous as hell, I bet there are some stories.

          Reply
      • AvatarJMcG

        John, do a search for a story using the terms “LA Center SR71 ground speed check.” It’s too long for me to relate, but it’s pretty funny. Have a great day!

        Reply
      • Avatargtem

        Most of the crazy stuff is from the late 40s to mid 50s, the US was using PB4Y-2 Privateers (upgraded B24) as well as RB29/50s, Soviets were still only beginning to build up radar coverage, especially of their arctic northern borders. Man it’s insane to consider what it would be like to be one of the guys flying those “ferret” missions. The US government would basically deny your existence in the event of a shootdown, as would the Soviets: they’d just stick you in a gulag and call it a day, it was an unpleasant admission to say that US planes were penetrating Soviet airspace successfully. Most of the shootdowns were done with cannon-armed Mig 15s and even a few cases of prop-driven La-11 long range interceptors.

        I’m a huge WW2 plane nut and have an okay-ish grasp of cold war stuff, at least as it relates to fighters/bombers in Korea, Vietnam, etc. But this reconnaissance and interceptor stuff in the immediate post-war era is a fascinating niche.

        Reply
        • AvatarJMcG

          You might enjoy a novel called “The Charm School” by Nelson DeMille. It takes as a plot point the fate of some of those captured during reconnaissance missions.

          Reply
        • AvatarJohn C.

          You think of planes like the American F106 Delta Dart, the F101 Voodoo, the Soviet Su 11 Fishpot, or Su 15 Flagon, or even the British Lightning has kind of a waste because though fast, they relied on iffy missiles and ground radar control and were completely useless in cold war proxy wars. If you think of chasing off the other guys snoopers you see more why they were built.

          Reply
  21. Avatarnick d

    Just finished “Raven’s Rock” about nuke planning and survivability – ‘just send it’ was the operating plan for thermonuclear weapons for a solid decade until they got effective command and control infrastructure in place.

    I’ve vacationed at Tybee and am heading there in April 2021. I’ll see what washes up.

    Reply
  22. AvatarEdp

    No one is going to mention Pima air and space museum in Arizona? Right next to the Graveyard?!
    It’s unreal… Had everything from a sr71 to air force 1…

    As to electric cars, I got an etron and it’s spectacular. Being able to fill up at home is a dream, never have to worry about gas. The tech is ready now; I’m enjoying the hell out of my car…

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      Pima is great, but if we are plugging museums, it seems only fair to mention one of the best collections, which is the SAC museum outside Omaha. Supposedly the Interstates around Omaha (home of SAC) were built extra thick to take the weight of a B-52 in an emergency landing.

      https://sacmuseum.org/

      Reply
  23. AvatarDaniel J

    From the Hagerty article,

    I just don’t see software engineers, or companies for that matter, every going back to C or C++. It’s just too easy to hire hacks to knock out Python, Java, or JS. I would figure there would be even more pressure on Intel and other chip manufacturers to make these processors faster.

    I kinda thought we hit a peak in the early 2010’s with semiconductors. Why? I noticed that camera sensor technology was coming to a crawl. Outside of read speed of the sensors, the technology in the last 5 or 6 years hasn’t changed. Camera companies along with cell phone companies are relying on software, not hardware, to improve the quality of pictures.

    To echo some of the other sentiments, I won’t adopt EV until charging gets faster, in home chargers are cheaper, and range gets better, and affordable EVs just don’t suck.

    Reply
  24. Avatarsgeffe

    As we’ve seen, even Peter DeLorenzo at Autoextremist has started drinking the damn EV Kool-Aid!

    Of course, one of his columns before the election, basically an anti-Trump, anti-Republican screed, showed upon which side his bread is buttered!! So it shouldn’t have been a surprise!

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      Yea that has been interesting. He buys a heavily discounted Bolt that GM probably lost $10K+ on and thinks that is the future. I understand that EVs are often fun to drive, but he really seems to have gone off the Green New Deal deep end.

      Reply
  25. Avatarviper32cm

    Fun fact regarding the B-47–its last flight was on June 17, 1986. The flight was to ferry one plane between bases so it could be placed on static display. That particular plane had not flown in twenty years and had served as a radar target in the desert. https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/17-june-1986/

    Less fun fact–we’re loosing the SAC vets from the 50s and 60s. The B-47 association had its last meeting in September 2018.

    https://apnews.com/article/a27bd61f7b824834a5e8f87c5445fa9d
    https://b-47.com/

    The Eight Air Force Museum is worth the visit if you are ever in the area. The last time I was there, they were still in the process of restoring the B-17.

    Reply
  26. AvatarTL

    I got kicked out of the 8th Air Force museum back around 2000. It had apparently closed a half hour before for a private event and I was still wandering around looking at things.

    The Boeing Museum south of Seattle, and the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, OR are both worth seeing if you are in the area.

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  27. Avatartoly arutunoff

    an airforce friend of mine told me–before the f. g. powers incident–that we had a plane flying all over Russia taking pictures; the soviets were complaining daily to our gov’t about it…and he said our response was ‘if we’re doing that, you have the right to shoot it down’, but they couldn’t

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