Thursday, August 29, 2019

Local Bridge Decoration

July 1, 2019

It's an old railway bridge abutment along side a rails-to-trails path. Someone got busy with spray paint last week. I like it.

 And less than 2 months later is see some boring functionary had them paint over it. I'm sure he was pressured by some boring Vienna busybody.

What a shame. It made me smile every time I passed it. Silly and informal is nice.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Bealton Flying Circus

I'm not an air show guy. I'm not into old planes. But this past weekend I joined the family at the Bealton Flying Circus and was wowed to find 9 Stearman biplances in perfect flying condition, along with nine enthusiastic pilot, performing stunts, taking folks for rides, and generally showing off their babies.

For those of you that are not into aviation, at all, the Stearman was the primary trainer for the Navy and Army Air Corp during WWII. These are not reproductions. These are museum quality aircraft that still fly an airshow every summer weekend.

After the show--which is a great entertainment for a summer afternoon--you can walk down the line from plane to plane. The pilots know the history and clearly treasure their birds.

Museum quality... but flying every week! And they don't fly them gently.

If you are in the area, check it out. When you stop to realize these planes are all 80 years old, and that none are reproductions, you just have to be impressed.

What they suffer from is an atrocious lack of publicity.

The Bealton Flying Circus

Sunday, August 18, 2019

New Job Has Me Busier Than a One Armed Paper Hanger

My engineering consulting practice evolved into full-time work, and between lingering consulting work, writing, some family stuff, and the new employee rush, I've been too buries to post.

But that doesn't mean I'm not doing sailing stuff. I expect things to settle down soon. Meanwhile...

I've been learning about the challenges of MOB recovery for couples. Every MOB drill I ever read assumes you have a crew of 4-7, and like most sailors, most of my sailing is as a pair. Three old fenders make a dummy.  

I've been experimenting with the effect of yawing on anchor holding. Aggressive yawing can reduce the hold by 80-90%, but even the moderate yawing of most boat reduces holding by 50% or more. So much for nit-picking arguments over anchor type and size, if you can't even hold the boat still.

The F-24 makes an interesting test bed, because I can rig it to yaw through anything between 15-160 degrees by varying bridle and foil positions; she'll either hold still or really dance, depending on the adjustments.