Inspiration is for amateurs

Thanks to Tim Ferris for this quote today:
“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will, through work, bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea’.” -Chuck Close, American artist who achieved fame as a photorealist through massive-scale portraits

Sim time

Haven’t had time to fly this week, but simulator time keeps your head in the game. You become what you think about…

 

Detecting spins in small aircraft

Here are three spins. The first I intentionally recovered poorly. The other two were more “textbook” recoveries.

Spin Graph
This is just the graph of the slip/skid sensors.
Interesting that there is a clear pattern and threshold.
The goal here is to detect and give enough warning to a pilot to avoid and intervene on an impending unintentional spin entry.

Checking things off of bucket lists

I am BONE tired. Spent the last 5 days (aka 2 months) helping hundreds of people check things off of their bucket lists.

There are stories to be written down, but for now how about a beer and lots of pictures?

Little blue lights

0816162041_HDR.jpg In the Navy I spent quite a bit of time on the night shift. I never get tired of blue taxi lights…

Detecting and predicting loss of control in flight

I’m currently working on detecting loss of control (LOC) on an overshoot of base to final. Using data models in X-Plane which depending on the aircraft model is known to be pretty accurate (there’s a certified commercial version suitable for flight training). Not practical to do this in an actual airplane for obvious reasons like crashing and fireballs.

Anyway, here’s a screenshot of data gathering. I’m collecting about 50 data points 10 times per second. I’m feeding this into a learning algorithm to teach it to predict the actions which may lead to an accelerated stall and/or spin. 

 

Next step is to move the pitot/AOA probe to the other wing and see what difference this makes.

First Flight for “Doc”

For the first time since 1956, the B-29 known as Doc took to the sky on a sunny morning in Wichita, Kansas. This video includes highlights from footage captured during first flight. More information at http://www.b-29doc.com

I must have all of the maps

I am a somewhat reluctant weekend companion for Julie when it comes to antique and old stuff stores.

I dragged my feet for much of the morning doing my normal “don’t poke the bear routine” (why she puts up with me is anyone’s guess). Then we got to “Scavengers” which is a new place for us.

The first room was the usual, dressers with potential, desks that need to be stripped and sanded. You know, fun stuff. Just fun stuff for people who aren’t me.

Then I turn the corner and step into the very old warehouse. There are rows and rows of these drawers with names of states on the front of them. Okay, these are cool, they’d make cool storage. I wonder how much they are and open one.

Each drawer had at least two inches of US Geological Survey maps Ranging from 1965 to 1991 in many of the states in the Union.

Okay, this is more my thing. I set out on a search through the pretty disorganized collection. A quick query to the owner and he says that they bought the whole collection and they don’t print these on paper any more.

Now I have a mission.

Meanwhile, Julie is watching me run around looking for ladders, sweating a lot (crap it was hot in there), and rummaging through stacks of old paper.

Then I found what I was looking for.

Hartford Michigan (from 1981) and Coloma Michigan (from 1970).

This is a really long story to point out that THESE PLACES SOMETIMES HAVE MAPS..

I really like maps.

THESE MAPS ARE NOW MINE.

The end.

Retirement for an EA-6B

Attended a retirement for a Marine Prowler today. She’ll be permanently on display at Hickory Airport. Was great to share some memories with friends and family and hear the roar of a pair of J-52s one last time. Love love love this airplane.

Why didn’t anyone tell me about “Four Chord Song”?

I don’t know people, maybe I need better friends. Somehow in 2011 I missed this and it’s the best thing ever.