SR-71 Blackbird/Avro Vulcan

On 1 September 1974 The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird set (and holds) the record for flying from New York to London in the time of 1 hour, 54 minutes and 56.4 seconds at a speed of 1,435.587 miles per hour (2,310.353 km) the Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” was an advanced, long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft. It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and itsSkunk Works division. Clarence “Kelly” Johnson was responsible for many of the design’s innovative concepts. During reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If asurface-to-air missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile.The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents, but none lost to enemy action. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, including Blackbird and Habu. Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft, a record previously held by the YF-12.

601px-XH558_PlanformThe Prototype Avro Vulcan No.698 first flew on August 30 1952, . Now a famous example of British engineering heritage, the Vulcan was designed to carry Britain’s new nuclear deterrent, codenamed “Blue Danube”. Its vast size and large delta wing ensure it is perfectly distinctive today, let alone in 1952, when some thought they’d seen an alien spaceship. It was, indeed, the first large delta wing aircraft (leading directly to Concorde), and featured innovations such as electrically-operated flying controls and an early version of ABS braking. Compared with its Avro Lancaster predecessor, which had first flown just 11 years before the Vulcan prototype climbed into the sky, its speed and agility were astonishing.The plane only entered combat once, and not in its nuclear capacity, when it flew 8,000 miles to Port Stanley Airport on the Falkland Islands in 1982, dropping bombs that prevented Argentina operating its own Mirage III fighters.

Two years later the Vulcans were withdrawn from service and today only one, XH558, still flies. This is owned by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, which returned XH558 to the air in 2007. Since then the charity has managed to display the Vulcan at numerous airshows, which attract up to seven million people (including me) annually. Now Airshow organisers talk about ‘the Vulcan Effect’ and have also described the aircraft as a national treasure.” AVro Vulcan XH558 (civil aircraft registration G-VLCN) The Spirit Of Great Britain is the only airworthy example of the 134 Avro Vulcan V bombers that were operated by the Royal Air Force from 1953 until 1984. Vulcan XH558 served with the RAF between 1960 and 1985 in the bomber, maritimereconnaissance and air-to-air refuelling roles.

XH558, was the twelfth Vulcan B2 built,it first flew in 1960 and was delivered to No. 230 Operational Conversion Unit RAF at RAF Waddington on 1 July 1960. Almost immediately the aircraft moved with 230 OCU to RAF Finningley where the aircraft spent some eight years before returning to Lincolnshire in 1968. Most of its operational service was with the units of the Waddington Wing including No. 50 Squadron RAF. The aircraft was converted to a SR2 Maritime Radar Reconnaissance in 1973 and flew with 27 Sqn, subsequently to the air-to-air refuelling variant K2 in 1982. It was returned to standard B2 configuration in 1985 and was the last Vulcan in service. From 1986 to 1992, it was the RAF’s display aircraft.After service with the Royal Air Force, the aircraft was sold to C.Walton Limited and delivered by air to Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome on 23 March 1993. The aircraft was kept in a serviceable condition and would undertake fast taxi runs along Bruntingthorpe’s main runway. The RAF operated XH558 as a display aircraft from 1986 until 1992, when budget cuts forced its retirement.It is presently operated by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust as a display aircraft, funded entirely by charitable donations and the UK Lottery’s Heritage Fund.It is registered with the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority as G-VLCN but has an exemption to fly in Royal Air Force markings as XH558 and has been flying regularly at various air shows like Duxford, Waddington, Fairford and Cosford.

The Avro Vulcan is an iconic example of British aerospace trchnology at it’s best it is an iconic example of  of intense post-war innovation during a period of intense global tension, that made British aviation technology the envy of the world And was the first successful large delta wing aircraft, leading directly to Concorde and the Space Shuttle, and delivering performance and agility so close to a jet fighter’s that it was given a fighter-style control column in place of the traditional bomber pilot’s yoke. Today that agility allows XH558 to deliver amazing air displays, from accelerating dramatically along the runway, to it’s stunning performance. Vulcan XH558 flies thanks to the generosity of her supporters who give their time and money to supplement the Trust’s commercial income. She would not fly without them.

Sadly At the end of the 2015 flying season, Vulcan XH558 will land for the last time. By then, she will have far exceeded the 250 flying hours promised before her restoration and will have completed significantly more flying hours than any other aircraft of her type.The Vulcan to the Sky trust have done everything possible to see whether another year might be possible. a detailed evaluation of the factors that affect her continued flying life has been conducted, most critically, the way she is flown has been modified in order to extend engine life and minimise fatigue.

The feasibility of XH558’s continued airworthiness  has been evaluated by three expert companies – BAE Systems, Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group and Rolls-Royce, together known as the ‘technical authorities’ – who have collectively decided to cease their support at the end of this flying season. Without that support, under Civil Aviation Authority regulations,  XH558 is prohibited from flying. Although XH558 is believed to be as safe as any aircraft flying today, her structure and systems are already more than ten percent beyond the flying hours of any other Vulcan, and maintaining her superb safety record requires expertise that is increasingly difficult to find. specialists have been brought out of retirement specifically to work on XH558; a solution that is increasingly impractical as the necessary skills and knowledge become distant in their collective memories. It is true that seeing and hearing XH558 overhead is a thrilling experience, but even on the ground, XH558 is fascinating and exciting and will hopefully inspire and educate  a new generations of young people, to learn the engineering and technical skills which built XH558.

Edgar Rice Burroughs

JohnCarterBest known for his creations of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter, American novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs was born September 1, 1875. he produced works in many genres.Aiming his work at the pulps, Burroughs had his first story, Under the Moons of Mars, serialized by Frank Munsey in the February to July 1912 issues of The All-Story —under the name “Norman Bean” as a precaution to protect his reputation. (Under the Moons of Mars inaugurated the Barsoom series. It was first published as a book by A. C. McClurg of Chicago in 1917, entitled A Princess of Mars, after three Barsoom sequels had appeared as serials, and McClurg had published the first four serial Tarzan novels as books.)

Burroughs soon took up writing full-time and by the time the run of Under the Moons of Marshad finished he had completed two novels, including Tarzan of the Apes, which was published from October 1912 and went on to become one of his most successful series. In 1913, Burroughs and Emma had their third and last child, John Coleman Burroughs (1913–1979). Burroughs also wrote popular science fiction and fantasy stories involving Earthly adventurers transported to various planets (notably Barsoom, Burroughs’s fictional name forMars, and Amtor, his fictional name for Venus), lost islands, and into the interior of the hollow earth in his Pellucidar stories, as well as westerns and historical romances. Along with All-Story, many of his stories were published in The Argosy magazine.Tarzan was a cultural sensation when introduced. Burroughs was determined to capitalize on Tarzan’s popularity in every way possible. He planned to exploit Tarzan through several different media including a syndicated Tarzan comic strip, movies and merchandise. Experts in the field advised against this course of action, stating that the different media would just end up competing against each other. Burroughs went ahead, however, and proved the experts wrong — the public wanted Tarzan in whatever fashion he was offered. Tarzan remains one of the most successful fictional characters to this day and is a cultural icon.

Burroughs purchased a large ranch north of Los Angeles, California, which he named “Tarzana.” The citizens of the community that sprang up around the ranch voted to adopt that name when their community, Tarzana, California was formed in 1927. The unincorporated community of Tarzan, Texas, was formally named in 1927 when theUS Postal Service accepted the name, reputedly coming from the popularity of the first (silent) Tarzan of the Apes film, starring Elmo Lincoln, and an early “Tarzan” comic strip.In 1923 Burroughs set up his own company, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and began printing his own books through the 1930s.Burroughs divorced his wife Emma in 1934 and married the former actress Florence Gilbert Dearholt in 1935, the former wife of his friend,Ashton Dearholt, and Burroughs adopted the Dearholts’ two children.

The couple divorced in 1942 At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbour, Burroughs was a resident of Hawaii and, despite being in his late 60s, he applied for permission to become a war correspondent. This permission was granted, and so he became one of the oldest war correspondents for the U.S. during the Second World War. American film director Wes Anderson is Burroughs’ great-grandson. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Burroughs in 2003.After the war ended, Burroughs moved back to Encino, California, where, after many health problems, he sadly died of a heart attack on March 19, 1950, having written almost 80 novels. The Barsoom novels were also adapted into the film John Carter starring Taylor Kitch and Lynn Collins.

Greg Errico (Sly and the Family Stone)

Greg Errico, American drummer and producer (Sly & the Family Stone and Weather Report) was born 1 September 1946. Sly & the Family Stone, played a critical role in the development of soul, funk and psychedelia in the 1960s and 1970s, with songs like “Stand“, “I Want To Take You Higher”, “Sing A Simple Song”, “If You Want Me To Stay“, and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” In 1993, lead singer Sly Stone was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.FunkadelicAlong with James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic,Sly & the Family Stone were pioneers of late 1960s and early ’70s funk. Their fusion of R&B rhythms, infectious melodies, and psychedelia created a new pop/soul/rock hybrid the impact of which has proven lasting and widespread. Motown producer Norman Whitfield, for example, patterned the label’s forays into harder-driving, socially relevant material (such as The Temptations’ “Runaway Child” and “Ball of Confusion”) based on their sound.

The pioneering precedent of Stone’s racial, sexual, and stylistic mix, had a major influence in the 1980s on artists such as Prince and Rick James. Legions of artists from the 1990s forward — including Public Enemy, Fatboy Slim, Beck and many others — mined Stone’s seminal back catalog for hook-laden samples. After a mildly received debut album, A Whole New Thing (1967), Sly & The Family Stone had their first hit single with “Dance to the Music“, which was later included on an album of the same name (1968). Although their third album, Life (also 1968), also suffered from low sales, their fourth album, Stand! (1969), became a runaway success, selling over three million copies and spawning a number one hit single, “Everyday People“. By the summer of 1969, Sly & The Family Stone were one of the biggest names in music, releasing three more top five singles, “Hot Fun in the Summertime” and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” / “Everybody Is a Star”, before the end of the year, and appearing at Woodstock.

SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE -LIFE http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ejWNxNir3mA

Sadly though With the band’s new found fame and success came numerous problems. Relationships within the band were deteriorating; there was friction in particular between the Stone brothers & Bass player Larry Graham. After moving to the Los Angeles area in fall 1969, Stone and his bandmates became heavy users of illegal drugs, As the members became increasingly focused on drug use and partying (Stone carried a violin case filled with illegal drugs wherever he went), recording slowed significantly. Between summer 1969 and fall 1971, the band released only one single, which was one of the first recordings to employ the heavy, funky beats that would be featured in the funk music of the following decade. It showcased Graham’s innovative percussive playing technique of bass “slapping”. During this time Stone’s behavior became increasingly erratic.New material was anticipated in 1970, but with none forthcoming, a Greatest Hits album was released that November. One year later, the band’s fifth album, There’s a Riot Goin’ On, was released. Riot featured a much darker sound as most tracks were recorded with overdubbing as opposed to The Family Stone all playing at the same time as they had done previously. Stone played most of the parts himself and performed more of the lead vocals than usual

. It was also the first major label album to feature a drum machine. The band’s cohesion slowly began to erode, and its sales and popularity began to decline as well. Live bookings for Sly & the Family Stone had also steadily dropped since 1970. The final straw came In January 1975, after the band booked itself at Radio City Music Hall. The famed music hall was only one-eighth occupied, and Stone and company had to scrape together money to return home, Following the Radio City engagement, the band was dissolved.On Sunday, January 14, 2007 Stone made a short guest appearance at a show of The New Family Stone band he supports at the House of Blues. On April 1, 2007, Stone appeared with the Family Stone at the Flamingo Las Vegas Showroom, after George Wallace’s standup act. On July 7, 2007 Stone also made a short appearance with the Family Stone at the San Jose, CA Summerfest. On Labor Day, September 7, 2009, Stone emerged at the 20th annual African Festival of the Arts in Chicago, Ill. He performed a 15 minute set during George Clinton’s Performance. He performed his popular hits along with George Clinton’s band. He left immediately after his short performance. On December 6, 2009, Sly signed a new recording contract with the LA based Cleopatra Records and on August 16, 2011, I’m Back! Family & Friends was released, the first Sly Stone album since 1982′s Ain’t But the One Way. The album features re-recorded versions of Sly & the Family Stone’s greatest hits with guest appearances from Jeff Beck, Ray Manzarek, Bootsy Collins, Ann Wilson, Carmine Appice and Johnny Winter, as well as three previously unreleased songs.

Voyage dans le Lune

Film pioneer Georges Melies’ Classic French silent movie A Trip to the Moon,(voyage dans le Lune) was released in France on 1 September 1902. Directed by Georges Méliès. It is considered one of the first science fiction films and was Inspired by a wide variety of sources. It follows a group of astronomers from the Astonomers Club whose president, Professor Barbenfouillis (“Messybeard” proposes a trip to the Moon. After addressing some dissent, six brave astronomers agree to the plan. They build a space capsule in the shape of a bullet, and construct a huge cannon to shoot it into space. The astronomers embark and their capsule is fired from the cannon with the help of “marines”, most of whom are portrayed as a bevy of beautiful women in sailors’ outfits, while the rest are men. The Man in the Moon watches the capsule as it approaches, and it hits him in the eye. (The image is a visual pun: the phrase dans l’œil, literally “in the eye,” is the French equivalent of the English word “bullseye.”Landing safely on the Moon, the astronomers get out of the capsule and watch the Earth rise in the distance. Exhausted by their journey, the astronomers unroll their blankets and sleep.

As they sleep, a comet passes, the Big Dipper appears with human faces peering out of each star, old Saturn leans out of a window in his ringed planet, and Phoebe, goddess of the Moon, appears seated in a crescent-moon swing. Phoebe calls down a snowfall that awakens the astronomers. They seek shelter in a cavern and discover giant mushrooms. One astronomer opens his umbrella; it promptly takes root and turns into a giant mushroom itself. At this point, a Selenite (an insectoid alien inhabitant of the Moon, named after one of the Greek moon goddesses, Selene) appears, The Selenites arrest the astronomers and bring them to their commander at the Selenite palace. .The astronomers manage tov escape and run back to their capsule while avoiding the pursuing Selenites, A Selenite tries to seize the capsule at the last minute. Astronomer, capsule, and Selenite fall through space and land in an ocean on Earth. The Selenite falls off and the capsule floats back to the surface, where they are rescued by a ship and towed ashore. The final sequence (missing from some American prints of the film) depicts a celebratory parade in honor of the travelers’ return, including the unveiling of a commemorative statue bearing the motto “Labor omnia vincit” (Latin: “work conquers all”)

The film was released by Méliès’s Star Film Company and is numbered 399–411 in its catalogues.Its total length is about 260 meters (roughly 845 feet) of film, which, at Méliès’s preferred projection speed of 12 to 14 frames per second, is about 17 minutes.An internationally popular success at the time of its release, it is the best-known of the hundreds of films made by Méliès, and the moment in which the spaceship lands in the Moon’s eye remains one of the most iconic images in the history of cinema.it waas named one of the 100 greatest films of the 20th century by The Village Voice, ranking at #84,and in 2002 it became the first work designated as a UNESCO World Heritage film. French duo Air were also asked to provide a sound track for a restored colourised version of the film which was released in 2012. The film also inspired the promo video for the Smashing Pumpkin song Tonight Tonight and is mentioned regularly and referenced often in the film Hugo by Martin Scorses which is based on the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznik.

VOYAGE DANS LE LUNE