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Aviation trivia

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Steve Wilkins

Teaching pigs to dance, one pig at a time.
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Aerodynamics comes from the Greek words: "Aer" meaning air, and "dynamis" meaning power.

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Fuselage is French for "spindleshaped."

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The word "empennage" (for tail assembly) comes from the French word: "empenn" meaning "to feather the arrow."

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A Boeing 707 was fitted with special 20-wheel landing gear for soft-field experiments. With extra wheels mounted adjacent to the normal wheels, the aircraft was operated on ground barely able to support an automobile.

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The North American X-15 made 199 test flights, which lasted from 84 to about 180 seconds. After emptying the fuel tanks it would dead stick back to Edwards Air Force Base in California.

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Speaking from the flight deck of the Hughes HK-1 Hercules (The Spruce Goose), reporter James McNamara of KLAC radio in Los Angeles radioed, "I'm speaking to you from the flight deck of the Howard Hughes 200-ton flying boat. We're in Long Beach Harbor making the last test run of the day. This mighty monster of the skies is up to 50 miles per hour now. Fifty over a choppy sea. Fifty-five. More throttle. Sixty. Sixty-five now. Seventy . . . We're airborne! The plane is in the air. We're flying!"

Some "Spruce Goose" specifications

Engine: Eight Pratt & Whitney R-4360-4A 3,000 hp each.
Accommodations: 700 fully equipped combat troops.
Wingspan: 319 ft. 11 in.
Length: 218 ft. 8 in.
Height: 49 ft. 6 in. (tail tip)
Crew: 18.
Max. takeoff weight: 400,000 lb.
Ceiling: 20,900 ft.
Max. range: 3,500 miles.
Max. speed: 235 mph.
 
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