Cool Surface Grinding Aluminum images

A handful of good surface grinding aluminum photos I discovered:

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Space Shuttle Enterprise (starboard full view, aft)

Image by Chris Devers

See far more images of this, and the Wikipedia write-up.

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

Manufacturer:
Rockwell International Corporation

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 57 ft. tall x 122 ft. long x 78 ft. wing span, 150,000 lb.
(1737.36 x 3718.57 x 2377.44cm, 68039.6kg)

Components:
Aluminum airframe and physique with some fiberglass features payload bay doors are graphite epoxy composite thermal tiles are simulated (polyurethane foam) except for test samples of actual tiles and thermal blankets.

The 1st Space Shuttle orbiter, &quotEnterprise,&quot is a full-scale test vehicle utilised for flights in the atmosphere and tests on the ground it is not equipped for spaceflight. Although the airframe and flight control components are like those of the Shuttles flown in space, this car has no propulsion method and only simulated thermal tiles because these features have been not needed for atmospheric and ground tests. &quotEnterprise&quot was rolled out at Rockwell International’s assembly facility in Palmdale, California, in 1976. In 1977, it entered service for a nine-month-extended method-and-landing test flight program. Thereafter it was utilized for vibration tests and fit checks at NASA centers, and it also appeared in the 1983 Paris Air Show and the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. In 1985, NASA transferred &quotEnterprise&quot to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration

• • •

Quoting from Wikipedia | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

The Space Shuttle Enterprise (NASA Orbiter Automobile Designation: OV-101) was the first Space Shuttle orbiter. It was built for NASA as component of the Space Shuttle plan to perform test flights in the atmosphere. It was constructed with no engines or a functional heat shield, and was therefore not capable of spaceflight.

Initially, Enterprise had been intended to be refitted for orbital flight, which would have produced it the second space shuttle to fly soon after Columbia. Nevertheless, throughout the construction of Columbia, information of the final design and style changed, especially with regard to the weight of the fuselage and wings. Refitting Enterprise for spaceflight would have involved dismantling the orbiter and returning the sections to subcontractors across the nation. As this was an expensive proposition, it was determined to be significantly less costly to construct Challenger around a body frame (STA-099) that had been developed as a test article. Similarly, Enterprise was regarded as for refit to replace Challenger right after the latter was destroyed, but Endeavour was built from structural spares as an alternative.

Service

Building started on the initial orbiter on June 4, 1974. Designated OV-101, it was originally planned to be named Constitution and unveiled on Constitution Day, September 17, 1976. A write-in campaign by Trekkies to President Gerald Ford asked that the orbiter be named following the Starship Enterprise, featured on the tv show Star Trek. Despite the fact that Ford did not mention the campaign, the president—who throughout Globe War II had served on the aircraft carrier USS&nbspMonterey&nbsp(CVL-26) that served with USS&nbspEnterprise&nbsp(CV-6)—said that he was &quotpartial to the name&quot and overrode NASA officials.

The style of OV-101 was not the exact same as that planned for OV-102, the initial flight model the tail was constructed differently, and it did not have the interfaces to mount OMS pods. A massive quantity of subsystems—ranging from main engines to radar equipment—were not installed on this vehicle, but the capacity to add them in the future was retained. Rather of a thermal protection technique, its surface was primarily fiberglass.

In mid-1976, the orbiter was utilised for ground vibration tests, permitting engineers to evaluate information from an actual flight automobile with theoretical models.

On September 17, 1976, Enterprise was rolled out of Rockwell’s plant at Palmdale, California. In recognition of its fictional namesake, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and most of the principal cast of the original series of Star Trek had been on hand at the dedication ceremony.

Strategy and landing tests (ALT)

Main article: Strategy and Landing Tests

On January 31, 1977, it was taken by road to Dryden Flight Study Center at Edwards Air Force Base, to commence operational testing.

While at NASA Dryden, Enterprise was utilized by NASA for a variety of ground and flight tests intended to validate aspects of the shuttle system. The initial nine-month testing period was referred to by the acronym ALT, for &quotApproach and Landing Test&quot. These tests integrated a maiden &quotflight&quot on February 18, 1977 atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) to measure structural loads and ground handling and braking traits of the mated method. Ground tests of all orbiter subsystems had been carried out to confirm functionality prior to atmospheric flight.

The mated Enterprise/SCA combination was then subjected to 5 test flights with Enterprise unmanned and unactivated. The objective of these test flights was to measure the flight qualities of the mated mixture. These tests had been followed with three test flights with Enterprise manned to test the shuttle flight manage systems.

Enterprise underwent five totally free flights where the craft separated from the SCA and was landed beneath astronaut manage. These tests verified the flight qualities of the orbiter design and were carried out under a number of aerodynamic and weight configurations. On the fifth and final glider flight, pilot-induced oscillation difficulties had been revealed, which had to be addressed before the first orbital launch occurred.

On August 12, 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise flew on its personal for the 1st time.

Preparation for STS-1

Following the ALT plan, Enterprise was ferried among a number of NASA facilities to configure the craft for vibration testing. In June 1979, it was mated with an external tank and solid rocket boosters (known as a boilerplate configuration) and tested in a launch configuration at Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A.

Retirement

With the completion of vital testing, Enterprise was partially disassembled to let certain elements to be reused in other shuttles, then underwent an international tour going to France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S. states of California, Alabama, and Louisiana (during the 1984 Louisiana Globe Exposition). It was also employed to match-verify the never ever-employed shuttle launch pad at Vandenberg AFB, California. Finally, on November 18, 1985, Enterprise was ferried to Washington, D.C., exactly where it became property of the Smithsonian Institution.

Post-Challenger

Right after the Challenger disaster, NASA regarded making use of Enterprise as a replacement. However refitting the shuttle with all of the essential equipment needed for it to be utilised in space was regarded as, but as an alternative it was decided to use spares constructed at the same time as Discovery and Atlantis to develop Endeavour.

Post-Columbia

In 2003, right after the breakup of Columbia in the course of re-entry, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board performed tests at Southwest Research Institute, which employed an air gun to shoot foam blocks of similar size, mass and speed to that which struck Columbia at a test structure which mechanically replicated the orbiter wing leading edge. They removed a fiberglass panel from Enterprise’s wing to perform analysis of the material and attached it to the test structure, then shot a foam block at it. Although the panel was not broken as a result of the test, the influence was enough to permanently deform a seal. As the reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) panel on Columbia was 2.5 times weaker, this recommended that the RCC major edge would have been shattered. Additional tests on the fiberglass had been canceled in order not to threat damaging the test apparatus, and a panel from Discovery was tested to decide the effects of the foam on a similarly-aged RCC leading edge. On July 7, 2003, a foam effect test produced a hole 41&nbspcm by 42.five&nbspcm (16.1&nbspinches by 16.7&nbspinches) in the protective RCC panel. The tests clearly demonstrated that a foam impact of the variety Columbia sustained could seriously breach the protective RCC panels on the wing major edge.

The board determined that the probable lead to of the accident was that the foam influence triggered a breach of a reinforced carbon-carbon panel along the top edge of Columbia’s left wing, permitting hot gases generated in the course of re-entry to enter the wing and cause structural collapse. This brought on Columbia to spin out of handle, breaking up with the loss of the complete crew.

Museum exhibit

Enterprise was stored at the Smithsonian’s hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport prior to it was restored and moved to the newly constructed Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum‘s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport, where it has been the centerpiece of the space collection. On April 12, 2011, NASA announced that Space Shuttle Discovery, the most traveled orbiter in the fleet, will be added to the collection once the Shuttle fleet is retired. When that happens, Enterprise will be moved to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City, to a newly constructed hangar adjacent to the museum. In preparation for the anticipated relocation, engineers evaluated the automobile in early 2010 and determined that it was protected to fly on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft once once more.

Nice Surface Grinding Aluminum photos

Check out these surface grinding aluminum photos:

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Space Shuttle Enterprise (port complete view)

Image by Chris Devers
See more pictures of this, and the Wikipedia post.

Specifics, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

Manufacturer:
Rockwell International Corporation

Nation of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
General: 57 ft. tall x 122 ft. extended x 78 ft. wing span, 150,000 lb.
(1737.36 x 3718.57 x 2377.44cm, 68039.6kg)

Supplies:
Aluminum airframe and physique with some fiberglass functions payload bay doors are graphite epoxy composite thermal tiles are simulated (polyurethane foam) except for test samples of actual tiles and thermal blankets.

The 1st Space Shuttle orbiter, &quotEnterprise,&quot is a full-scale test car utilized for flights in the atmosphere and tests on the ground it is not equipped for spaceflight. Despite the fact that the airframe and flight handle elements are like those of the Shuttles flown in space, this vehicle has no propulsion method and only simulated thermal tiles since these attributes have been not needed for atmospheric and ground tests. &quotEnterprise&quot was rolled out at Rockwell International’s assembly facility in Palmdale, California, in 1976. In 1977, it entered service for a nine-month-extended approach-and-landing test flight plan. Thereafter it was utilised for vibration tests and fit checks at NASA centers, and it also appeared in the 1983 Paris Air Show and the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. In 1985, NASA transferred &quotEnterprise&quot to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration

• • •

Quoting from Wikipedia | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

The Space Shuttle Enterprise (NASA Orbiter Automobile Designation: OV-101) was the 1st Space Shuttle orbiter. It was built for NASA as part of the Space Shuttle system to execute test flights in the atmosphere. It was constructed without having engines or a functional heat shield, and was consequently not capable of spaceflight.

Originally, Enterprise had been intended to be refitted for orbital flight, which would have produced it the second space shuttle to fly after Columbia. Nevertheless, during the building of Columbia, information of the final design changed, especially with regard to the weight of the fuselage and wings. Refitting Enterprise for spaceflight would have involved dismantling the orbiter and returning the sections to subcontractors across the nation. As this was an expensive proposition, it was determined to be significantly less pricey to construct Challenger about a physique frame (STA-099) that had been developed as a test post. Similarly, Enterprise was regarded for refit to replace Challenger soon after the latter was destroyed, but Endeavour was built from structural spares as an alternative.

Service

Construction began on the 1st orbiter on June four, 1974. Designated OV-101, it was initially planned to be named Constitution and unveiled on Constitution Day, September 17, 1976. A create-in campaign by Trekkies to President Gerald Ford asked that the orbiter be named following the Starship Enterprise, featured on the tv show Star Trek. Although Ford did not mention the campaign, the president—who for the duration of World War II had served on the aircraft carrier USS&nbspMonterey&nbsp(CVL-26) that served with USS&nbspEnterprise&nbsp(CV-six)—said that he was &quotpartial to the name&quot and overrode NASA officials.

The design and style of OV-101 was not the identical as that planned for OV-102, the initial flight model the tail was constructed differently, and it did not have the interfaces to mount OMS pods. A huge quantity of subsystems—ranging from main engines to radar equipment—were not installed on this car, but the capacity to add them in the future was retained. As an alternative of a thermal protection system, its surface was mainly fiberglass.

In mid-1976, the orbiter was employed for ground vibration tests, allowing engineers to examine data from an actual flight car with theoretical models.

On September 17, 1976, Enterprise was rolled out of Rockwell’s plant at Palmdale, California. In recognition of its fictional namesake, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and most of the principal cast of the original series of Star Trek had been on hand at the dedication ceremony.

Strategy and landing tests (ALT)

Major report: Strategy and Landing Tests

On January 31, 1977, it was taken by road to Dryden Flight Investigation Center at Edwards Air Force Base, to begin operational testing.

Although at NASA Dryden, Enterprise was used by NASA for a variety of ground and flight tests intended to validate elements of the shuttle plan. The initial nine-month testing period was referred to by the acronym ALT, for &quotApproach and Landing Test&quot. These tests integrated a maiden &quotflight&quot on February 18, 1977 atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) to measure structural loads and ground handling and braking characteristics of the mated system. Ground tests of all orbiter subsystems had been carried out to confirm functionality prior to atmospheric flight.

The mated Enterprise/SCA combination was then subjected to five test flights with Enterprise unmanned and unactivated. The goal of these test flights was to measure the flight characteristics of the mated mixture. These tests were followed with three test flights with Enterprise manned to test the shuttle flight handle systems.

Enterprise underwent 5 free of charge flights where the craft separated from the SCA and was landed below astronaut manage. These tests verified the flight characteristics of the orbiter design and style and were carried out below many aerodynamic and weight configurations. On the fifth and final glider flight, pilot-induced oscillation difficulties have been revealed, which had to be addressed just before the very first orbital launch occurred.

On August 12, 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise flew on its own for the 1st time.

Preparation for STS-1

Following the ALT plan, Enterprise was ferried among several NASA facilities to configure the craft for vibration testing. In June 1979, it was mated with an external tank and strong rocket boosters (known as a boilerplate configuration) and tested in a launch configuration at Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A.

Retirement

With the completion of critical testing, Enterprise was partially disassembled to permit certain components to be reused in other shuttles, then underwent an international tour going to France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S. states of California, Alabama, and Louisiana (throughout the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition). It was also utilised to match-check the in no way-utilised shuttle launch pad at Vandenberg AFB, California. Finally, on November 18, 1985, Enterprise was ferried to Washington, D.C., where it became house of the Smithsonian Institution.

Post-Challenger

Soon after the Challenger disaster, NASA deemed using Enterprise as a replacement. However refitting the shuttle with all of the needed equipment needed for it to be utilized in space was regarded, but rather it was decided to use spares constructed at the same time as Discovery and Atlantis to develop Endeavour.

Post-Columbia

In 2003, right after the breakup of Columbia for the duration of re-entry, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board carried out tests at Southwest Investigation Institute, which utilized an air gun to shoot foam blocks of equivalent size, mass and speed to that which struck Columbia at a test structure which mechanically replicated the orbiter wing major edge. They removed a fiberglass panel from Enterprise’s wing to perform evaluation of the material and attached it to the test structure, then shot a foam block at it. Although the panel was not broken as a outcome of the test, the influence was adequate to permanently deform a seal. As the reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) panel on Columbia was 2.five occasions weaker, this recommended that the RCC major edge would have been shattered. Added tests on the fiberglass were canceled in order not to risk damaging the test apparatus, and a panel from Discovery was tested to determine the effects of the foam on a similarly-aged RCC leading edge. On July 7, 2003, a foam effect test designed a hole 41&nbspcm by 42.five&nbspcm (16.1&nbspinches by 16.7&nbspinches) in the protective RCC panel. The tests clearly demonstrated that a foam effect of the kind Columbia sustained could seriously breach the protective RCC panels on the wing leading edge.

The board determined that the probable lead to of the accident was that the foam influence caused a breach of a reinforced carbon-carbon panel along the leading edge of Columbia’s left wing, permitting hot gases generated for the duration of re-entry to enter the wing and lead to structural collapse. This brought on Columbia to spin out of handle, breaking up with the loss of the entire crew.

Museum exhibit

Enterprise was stored at the Smithsonian’s hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport ahead of it was restored and moved to the newly constructed Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum‘s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport, where it has been the centerpiece of the space collection. On April 12, 2011, NASA announced that Space Shuttle Discovery, the most traveled orbiter in the fleet, will be added to the collection once the Shuttle fleet is retired. When that happens, Enterprise will be moved to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City, to a newly constructed hangar adjacent to the museum. In preparation for the anticipated relocation, engineers evaluated the automobile in early 2010 and determined that it was safe to fly on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft after once more.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Space Shuttle Enterprise (interior of nose landing gear bay)

Image by Chris Devers
See a lot more images of this, and the Wikipedia article.

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

Manufacturer:
Rockwell International Corporation

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 57 ft. tall x 122 ft. extended x 78 ft. wing span, 150,000 lb.
(1737.36 x 3718.57 x 2377.44cm, 68039.6kg)

Components:
Aluminum airframe and body with some fiberglass characteristics payload bay doors are graphite epoxy composite thermal tiles are simulated (polyurethane foam) except for test samples of actual tiles and thermal blankets.

The initial Space Shuttle orbiter, &quotEnterprise,&quot is a complete-scale test automobile utilised for flights in the atmosphere and tests on the ground it is not equipped for spaceflight. Despite the fact that the airframe and flight manage components are like those of the Shuttles flown in space, this car has no propulsion method and only simulated thermal tiles since these characteristics were not needed for atmospheric and ground tests. &quotEnterprise&quot was rolled out at Rockwell International’s assembly facility in Palmdale, California, in 1976. In 1977, it entered service for a nine-month-long approach-and-landing test flight program. Thereafter it was employed for vibration tests and match checks at NASA centers, and it also appeared in the 1983 Paris Air Show and the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. In 1985, NASA transferred &quotEnterprise&quot to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration

• • •

Quoting from Wikipedia | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

The Space Shuttle Enterprise (NASA Orbiter Car Designation: OV-101) was the very first Space Shuttle orbiter. It was built for NASA as portion of the Space Shuttle program to carry out test flights in the atmosphere. It was constructed without having engines or a functional heat shield, and was as a result not capable of spaceflight.

Originally, Enterprise had been intended to be refitted for orbital flight, which would have produced it the second space shuttle to fly right after Columbia. Nonetheless, for the duration of the construction of Columbia, information of the final style changed, especially with regard to the weight of the fuselage and wings. Refitting Enterprise for spaceflight would have involved dismantling the orbiter and returning the sections to subcontractors across the nation. As this was an expensive proposition, it was determined to be less costly to develop Challenger around a body frame (STA-099) that had been produced as a test report. Similarly, Enterprise was regarded as for refit to replace Challenger following the latter was destroyed, but Endeavour was constructed from structural spares rather.

Service

Building began on the 1st orbiter on June four, 1974. Designated OV-101, it was initially planned to be named Constitution and unveiled on Constitution Day, September 17, 1976. A write-in campaign by Trekkies to President Gerald Ford asked that the orbiter be named following the Starship Enterprise, featured on the tv show Star Trek. Even though Ford did not mention the campaign, the president—who during Planet War II had served on the aircraft carrier USS&nbspMonterey&nbsp(CVL-26) that served with USS&nbspEnterprise&nbsp(CV-six)—said that he was &quotpartial to the name&quot and overrode NASA officials.

The design of OV-101 was not the exact same as that planned for OV-102, the first flight model the tail was constructed differently, and it did not have the interfaces to mount OMS pods. A huge number of subsystems—ranging from principal engines to radar equipment—were not installed on this vehicle, but the capacity to add them in the future was retained. As an alternative of a thermal protection technique, its surface was mainly fiberglass.

In mid-1976, the orbiter was utilized for ground vibration tests, permitting engineers to compare data from an actual flight car with theoretical models.

On September 17, 1976, Enterprise was rolled out of Rockwell’s plant at Palmdale, California. In recognition of its fictional namesake, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and most of the principal cast of the original series of Star Trek had been on hand at the dedication ceremony.

Approach and landing tests (ALT)

Main write-up: Method and Landing Tests

On January 31, 1977, it was taken by road to Dryden Flight Investigation Center at Edwards Air Force Base, to begin operational testing.

Although at NASA Dryden, Enterprise was utilised by NASA for a selection of ground and flight tests intended to validate elements of the shuttle program. The initial nine-month testing period was referred to by the acronym ALT, for &quotApproach and Landing Test&quot. These tests integrated a maiden &quotflight&quot on February 18, 1977 atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) to measure structural loads and ground handling and braking traits of the mated program. Ground tests of all orbiter subsystems had been carried out to confirm functionality prior to atmospheric flight.

The mated Enterprise/SCA combination was then subjected to five test flights with Enterprise unmanned and unactivated. The objective of these test flights was to measure the flight traits of the mated mixture. These tests had been followed with 3 test flights with Enterprise manned to test the shuttle flight handle systems.

Enterprise underwent 5 free flights where the craft separated from the SCA and was landed beneath astronaut handle. These tests verified the flight traits of the orbiter design and have been carried out under numerous aerodynamic and weight configurations. On the fifth and final glider flight, pilot-induced oscillation problems have been revealed, which had to be addressed ahead of the 1st orbital launch occurred.

On August 12, 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise flew on its own for the initial time.

Preparation for STS-1

Following the ALT plan, Enterprise was ferried among many NASA facilities to configure the craft for vibration testing. In June 1979, it was mated with an external tank and solid rocket boosters (identified as a boilerplate configuration) and tested in a launch configuration at Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A.

Retirement

With the completion of crucial testing, Enterprise was partially disassembled to enable certain components to be reused in other shuttles, then underwent an international tour going to France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S. states of California, Alabama, and Louisiana (for the duration of the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition). It was also utilized to match-check the by no means-utilized shuttle launch pad at Vandenberg AFB, California. Lastly, on November 18, 1985, Enterprise was ferried to Washington, D.C., where it became home of the Smithsonian Institution.

Post-Challenger

Right after the Challenger disaster, NASA regarded as using Enterprise as a replacement. However refitting the shuttle with all of the required gear required for it to be employed in space was regarded as, but instead it was decided to use spares constructed at the identical time as Discovery and Atlantis to construct Endeavour.

Post-Columbia

In 2003, following the breakup of Columbia in the course of re-entry, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board performed tests at Southwest Investigation Institute, which used an air gun to shoot foam blocks of equivalent size, mass and speed to that which struck Columbia at a test structure which mechanically replicated the orbiter wing top edge. They removed a fiberglass panel from Enterprise’s wing to execute analysis of the material and attached it to the test structure, then shot a foam block at it. Although the panel was not broken as a result of the test, the effect was adequate to permanently deform a seal. As the reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) panel on Columbia was two.5 times weaker, this suggested that the RCC top edge would have been shattered. Additional tests on the fiberglass had been canceled in order not to danger damaging the test apparatus, and a panel from Discovery was tested to figure out the effects of the foam on a similarly-aged RCC top edge. On July 7, 2003, a foam influence test produced a hole 41&nbspcm by 42.five&nbspcm (16.1&nbspinches by 16.7&nbspinches) in the protective RCC panel. The tests clearly demonstrated that a foam effect of the kind Columbia sustained could seriously breach the protective RCC panels on the wing leading edge.

The board determined that the probable lead to of the accident was that the foam effect caused a breach of a reinforced carbon-carbon panel along the leading edge of Columbia’s left wing, allowing hot gases generated in the course of re-entry to enter the wing and lead to structural collapse. This caused Columbia to spin out of manage, breaking up with the loss of the complete crew.

Museum exhibit

Enterprise was stored at the Smithsonian’s hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport before it was restored and moved to the newly built Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum‘s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport, exactly where it has been the centerpiece of the space collection. On April 12, 2011, NASA announced that Space Shuttle Discovery, the most traveled orbiter in the fleet, will be added to the collection when the Shuttle fleet is retired. When that takes place, Enterprise will be moved to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City, to a newly constructed hangar adjacent to the museum. In preparation for the anticipated relocation, engineers evaluated the vehicle in early 2010 and determined that it was secure to fly on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft as soon as again.

Nice Surface Grinding Aluminum pictures

Nice Surface Grinding Aluminum pictures

A few nice surface grinding aluminum images I found:

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: main hall panorama (F-4 Corsair, et al)

Image by Chris Devers
See more photos of this, and the Wikipedia article.

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Vought F4U-1D Corsair:

By V-J Day, September 2, 1945, Corsair pilots had amassed an 11:1 kill ratio against enemy aircraft. The aircraft’s distinctive inverted gull-wing design allowed ground clearance for the huge, three-bladed Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller, which spanned more than 4 meters (13 feet). The Pratt and Whitney R-2800 radial engine and Hydromatic propeller was the largest and one of the most powerful engine-propeller combinations ever flown on a fighter aircraft.

Charles Lindbergh flew bombing missions in a Corsair with Marine Air Group 31 against Japanese strongholds in the Pacific in 1944. This airplane is painted in the colors and markings of the Corsair Sun Setter, a Marine close-support fighter assigned to the USS Essex in July 1944.

Transferred from the United States Navy.

Manufacturer:
Vought Aircraft Company

Date:
1940

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 460 x 1020cm, 4037kg, 1250cm (15ft 1 1/8in. x 33ft 5 9/16in., 8900lb., 41ft 1/8in.)

Materials:
All metal with fabric-covered wings behind the main spar.

Physical Description:
R-2800 radial air-cooled engine with 1,850 horsepower, turned a three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller with solid aluminum blades spanning 13 feet 1 inch; wing bent gull-shaped on both sides of the fuselage.

Long Description:
On February 1, 1938, the United States Navy Bureau of Aeronautics requested proposals from American aircraft manufacturers for a new carrier-based fighter airplane. During April, the Vought Aircraft Corporation responded with two designs and one of them, powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine, won the competition in June. Less than a year later, Vought test pilot Lyman A. Bullard, Jr., first flew the Vought XF4U-1 prototype on May 29, 1940. At that time, the largest engine driving the biggest propeller ever flown on a fighter aircraft propelled Bullard on this test flight. The R-2800 radial air-cooled engine developed 1,850 horsepower and it turned a three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller with solid aluminum blades spanning 13 feet 1 inch.

The airplane Bullard flew also had another striking feature, a wing bent gull-shaped on both sides of the fuselage. This arrangement gave additional ground clearance for the propeller and reduced drag at the wing-to-fuselage joint. Ironically for a 644-kph (400 mph) airplane, Vought covered the wing with fabric behind the main spar, a practice the company also followed on the OS2U Kingfisher (see NASM collection).

When naval air strategists had crafted the requirements for the new fighter, the need for speed had overridden all other performance goals. With this in mind, the Bureau of Aeronautics selected the most powerful air-cooled engine available, the R-2800. Vought assembled a team, lead by chief designer Rex Biesel, to design the best airframe around this powerful engine. The group included project engineer Frank Albright, aerodynamics engineer Paul Baker, and propulsion engineer James Shoemaker. Biesel and his team succeeded in building a very fast fighter but when they redesigned the prototype for production, they were forced to make an unfortunate compromise.

The Navy requested heavier armament for production Corsairs and Biesel redesigned each outboard folding wing panel to carry three .50 caliber machine guns. These guns displaced fuel tanks installed in each wing leading edge. To replace this lost capacity, an 897-liter (237 gal) fuselage tank was installed between the cockpit and the engine. To maintain the speedy and narrow fuselage profile, Biesel could not stack the cockpit on top of the tank, so he moved it nearly three feet aft. Now the wing completely blocked the pilot’s line of sight during the most critical stages of landing. The early Corsair also had a vicious stall, powerful torque and propeller effects at slow speed, a short tail wheel strut, main gear struts that often bounced the airplane at touchdown, and cowl flap actuators that leaked oil onto the windshield. These difficulties, combined with the lack of cockpit visibility, made the airplane nearly impossible to land on the tiny deck of an aircraft carrier. Navy pilots soon nicknamed the F4U the ‘ensign eliminator’ for its tendency to kill these inexperienced aviators. The Navy refused to clear the F4U for carrier operations until late in 1944, more than seven years after the project started.

This flaw did not deter the Navy from accepting Corsairs because Navy and Marine pilots sorely needed an improved fighter to replace the Grumman F4F Wildcat (see NASM collection). By New Year’s Eve, 1942, the service owned 178 F4U-1 airplanes. Early in 1943, the Navy decided to divert all Corsairs to land-based United States Marine Corps squadrons and fill Navy carrier-based units with the Grumman F6F Hellcat (see NASM collection). At its best speed of 612 kph (380 mph) at 6,992 m (23,000 ft), the Hellcat was about 24 kph (15 mph) slower than the Corsair but it was a joy to fly aboard the carrier. The F6F filled in splendidly until improvements to the F4U qualified it for carrier operations. Meanwhile, the Marines on Guadalcanal took their Corsairs into combat and engaged the enemy for the first time on February 14, 1943, six months before Hellcat pilots on that battle-scared island first encountered enemy aircraft.

The F4U had an immediate impact on the Pacific air war. Pilots could use the Corsair’s speed and firepower to engage the more maneuverable Japanese airplanes only when the advantage favored the Americans. Unprotected by armor or self-sealing fuel tanks, no Japanese fighter or bomber could withstand for more than a few seconds the concentrated volley from the six .50 caliber machine guns carried by a Corsair. Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington assumed command of Marine Corsair squadron VMF-214, nicknamed the ‘Black Sheep’ squadron, on September 7, 1943. During less than 5 months of action, Boyington received credit for downing 28 enemy aircraft. Enemy aircraft shot him down on January 3, 1944, but he survived the war in a Japanese prison camp.

In May and June 1944, Charles A. Lindbergh flew Corsair missions with Marine pilots at Green Island and Emirau. On September 3, 1944, Lindbergh demonstrated the F4U’s bomb hauling capacity by flying a Corsair from Marine Air Group 31 carrying three bombs each weighing 450 kg (1,000 lb). He dropped this load on enemy positions at Wotje Atoll. On the September 8, Lindbergh dropped the first 900-kg (2,000 lb) bomb during an attack on the atoll. For the finale five days later, the Atlantic flyer delivered a 900-kg (2,000 lb) bomb and two 450-kg (1,000 lb) bombs. Lindbergh went ahead and flew these missions after the commander of MAG-31 informed him that if he was forced down and captured, the Japanese would almost certainly execute him.

As of V-J Day, September 2, 1945, the Navy credited Corsair pilots with destroying 2,140 enemy aircraft in aerial combat. The Navy and Marines lost 189 F4Us in combat and 1,435 Corsairs in non-combat accidents. Beginning on February 13, 1942, Marine and Navy pilots flew 64,051 operational sorties, 54,470 from runways and 9,581 from carrier decks. During the war, the British Royal Navy accepted 2,012 Corsairs and the Royal New Zealand Air Force accepted 364. The demand was so great that the Goodyear Aircraft Corporation and the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation also produced the F4U.

Corsairs returned to Navy carrier decks and Marine airfields during the Korean War. On September 10, 1952, Captain Jesse Folmar of Marine Fighter Squadron VMF-312 destroyed a MiG-15 in aerial combat over the west coast of Korea. However, F4U pilots did not have many air-to-air encounters over Korea. Their primary mission was to support Allied ground units along the battlefront.

After the World War II, civilian pilots adapted the speedy bent-wing bird from Vought to fly in competitive air races. They preferred modified versions of the F2G-1 and -2 originally built by Goodyear. Corsairs won the prestigious Thompson Trophy twice. In 1952, Vought manufactured 94 F4U-7s for the French Navy, and these aircraft saw action over Indochina but this order marked the end of Corsair production. In production longer than any other U.S. fighter to see service in World War II, Vought, Goodyear, and Brewster built a total of 12,582 F4Us.

The United States Navy donated an F4U-1D to the National Air and Space Museum in September 1960. Vought delivered this Corsair, Bureau of Aeronautics serial number 50375, to the Navy on April 26, 1944. By October, pilots of VF-10 were flying it but in November, the airplane was transferred to VF-89 at Naval Air Station Atlantic City. It remained there as the squadron moved to NAS Oceana and NAS Norfolk. During February 1945, the Navy withdrew the airplane from active service and transferred it to a pool of surplus aircraft stored at Quantico, Virginia. In 1980, NASM craftsmen restored the F4U-1D in the colors and markings of a Corsair named "Sun Setter," a fighter assigned to Marine Fighter Squadron VMF-114 when that unit served aboard the "USS Essex" in July 1944.

• • •

Quoting from Wikipedia | Vought F4U Corsair:

The Chance Vought F4U Corsair was a carrier-capable fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War. Demand for the aircraft soon overwhelmed Vought’s manufacturing capability, resulting in production by Goodyear and Brewster: Goodyear-built Corsairs were designated FG and Brewster-built aircraft F3A. From the first prototype delivery to the U.S. Navy in 1940, to final delivery in 1953 to the French, 12,571 F4U Corsairs were manufactured by Vought, in 16 separate models, in the longest production run of any piston-engined fighter in U.S. history (1942–1953).

The Corsair served in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, Fleet Air Arm and the Royal New Zealand Air Force, as well as the French Navy Aeronavale and other, smaller, air forces until the 1960s. It quickly became the most capable carrier-based fighter-bomber of World War II. Some Japanese pilots regarded it as the most formidable American fighter of World War II, and the U.S. Navy counted an 11:1 kill ratio with the F4U Corsair.

F4U-1D (Corsair Mk IV): Built in parallel with the F4U-1C, but was introduced in April 1944. It had the new -8W water-injection engine. This change gave the aircraft up to 250 hp (190 kW) more power, which, in turn, increased performance. Speed, for example, was boosted from 417 miles per hour (671 km/h) to 425 miles per hour (684 km/h). Because of the U.S. Navy’s need for fighter-bombers, it had a payload of rockets double the -1A’s, as well as twin-rack plumbing for an additional belly drop tank. Such modifications necessitated the need for rocket tabs (attached to fully metal-plated underwing surfaces) and bomb pylons to be bolted on the fighter, however, causing extra drag. Additionally, the role of fighter-bombing was a new task for the Corsair and the wing fuel cells proved too vulnerable and were removed.[] The extra fuel carried by the two drop tanks would still allow the aircraft to fly relatively long missions despite the heavy, un-aerodynamic load. The regular armament of six machine guns were implemented as well. The canopies of most -1Ds had their struts removed along with their metal caps, which were used — at one point — as a measure to prevent the canopies’ glass from cracking as they moved along the fuselage spines of the fighters.[] Also, the clear-view style "Malcolm Hood" canopy used initially on Supermarine Spitfire and P-51C Mustang aircraft was adopted as standard equipment for the -1D model, and all later F4U production aircraft. Additional production was carried out by Goodyear (FG-1D) and Brewster (F3A-1D). In Fleet Air Arm service, the latter was known as the Corsair III, and both had their wingtips clipped by 8" per wing to allow storage in the lower hangars of British carriers.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Air France Concorde

Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Concorde, Fox Alpha, Air France:

The first supersonic airliner to enter service, the Concorde flew thousands of passengers across the Atlantic at twice the speed of sound for over 25 years. Designed and built by Aérospatiale of France and the British Aviation Corporation, the graceful Concorde was a stunning technological achievement that could not overcome serious economic problems.

In 1976 Air France and British Airways jointly inaugurated Concorde service to destinations around the globe. Carrying up to 100 passengers in great comfort, the Concorde catered to first class passengers for whom speed was critical. It could cross the Atlantic in fewer than four hours – half the time of a conventional jet airliner. However its high operating costs resulted in very high fares that limited the number of passengers who could afford to fly it. These problems and a shrinking market eventually forced the reduction of service until all Concordes were retired in 2003.

In 1989, Air France signed a letter of agreement to donate a Concorde to the National Air and Space Museum upon the aircraft’s retirement. On June 12, 2003, Air France honored that agreement, donating Concorde F-BVFA to the Museum upon the completion of its last flight. This aircraft was the first Air France Concorde to open service to Rio de Janeiro, Washington, D.C., and New York and had flown 17,824 hours.

Gift of Air France.

Manufacturer:
Societe Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale
British Aircraft Corporation

Dimensions:
Wingspan: 25.56 m (83 ft 10 in)
Length: 61.66 m (202 ft 3 in)
Height: 11.3 m (37 ft 1 in)
Weight, empty: 79,265 kg (174,750 lb)
Weight, gross: 181,435 kg (400,000 lb)
Top speed: 2,179 km/h (1350 mph)
Engine: Four Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 Mk 602, 17,259 kg (38,050 lb) thrust each
Manufacturer: Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale, Paris, France, and British Aircraft Corporation, London, United Kingdom

Physical Description:
Aircaft Serial Number: 205. Including four (4) engines, bearing respectively the serial number: CBE066, CBE062, CBE086 and CBE085.
Also included, aircraft plaque: "AIR FRANCE Lorsque viendra le jour d’exposer Concorde dans un musee, la Smithsonian Institution a dores et deja choisi, pour le Musee de l’Air et de l’Espace de Washington, un appariel portant le couleurs d’Air France."

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: SR-71 Blackbird top view panorama

Image by Chris Devers
See more photos of this, and the Wikipedia article.

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird:

No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated globally in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity than the SR-71, the world’s fastest jet-propelled aircraft. The Blackbird’s performance and operational achievements placed it at the pinnacle of aviation technology developments during the Cold War.

This Blackbird accrued about 2,800 hours of flight time during 24 years of active service with the U.S. Air Force. On its last flight, March 6, 1990, Lt. Col. Ed Yielding and Lt. Col. Joseph Vida set a speed record by flying from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 20 seconds, averaging 3,418 kilometers (2,124 miles) per hour. At the flight’s conclusion, they landed at Washington-Dulles International Airport and turned the airplane over to the Smithsonian.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

Designer:
Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson

Date:
1964

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 55ft 7in. x 107ft 5in., 169998.5lb. (5.638m x 16.942m x 32.741m, 77110.8kg)
Other: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 107ft 5in. x 55ft 7in. (5.638m x 32.741m x 16.942m)

Materials:
Titanium

Physical Description:
Twin-engine, two-seat, supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft; airframe constructed largley of titanium and its alloys; vertical tail fins are constructed of a composite (laminated plastic-type material) to reduce radar cross-section; Pratt and Whitney J58 (JT11D-20B) turbojet engines feature large inlet shock cones.

Long Description:
No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity than the SR-71 Blackbird. It is the fastest aircraft propelled by air-breathing engines. The Blackbird’s performance and operational achievements placed it at the pinnacle of aviation technology developments during the Cold War. The airplane was conceived when tensions with communist Eastern Europe reached levels approaching a full-blown crisis in the mid-1950s. U.S. military commanders desperately needed accurate assessments of Soviet worldwide military deployments, particularly near the Iron Curtain. Lockheed Aircraft Corporation’s subsonic U-2 (see NASM collection) reconnaissance aircraft was an able platform but the U. S. Air Force recognized that this relatively slow aircraft was already vulnerable to Soviet interceptors. They also understood that the rapid development of surface-to-air missile systems could put U-2 pilots at grave risk. The danger proved reality when a U-2 was shot down by a surface to air missile over the Soviet Union in 1960.

Lockheed’s first proposal for a new high speed, high altitude, reconnaissance aircraft, to be capable of avoiding interceptors and missiles, centered on a design propelled by liquid hydrogen. This proved to be impracticable because of considerable fuel consumption. Lockheed then reconfigured the design for conventional fuels. This was feasible and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), already flying the Lockheed U-2, issued a production contract for an aircraft designated the A-12. Lockheed’s clandestine ‘Skunk Works’ division (headed by the gifted design engineer Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson) designed the A-12 to cruise at Mach 3.2 and fly well above 18,288 m (60,000 feet). To meet these challenging requirements, Lockheed engineers overcame many daunting technical challenges. Flying more than three times the speed of sound generates 316° C (600° F) temperatures on external aircraft surfaces, which are enough to melt conventional aluminum airframes. The design team chose to make the jet’s external skin of titanium alloy to which shielded the internal aluminum airframe. Two conventional, but very powerful, afterburning turbine engines propelled this remarkable aircraft. These power plants had to operate across a huge speed envelope in flight, from a takeoff speed of 334 kph (207 mph) to more than 3,540 kph (2,200 mph). To prevent supersonic shock waves from moving inside the engine intake causing flameouts, Johnson’s team had to design a complex air intake and bypass system for the engines.

Skunk Works engineers also optimized the A-12 cross-section design to exhibit a low radar profile. Lockheed hoped to achieve this by carefully shaping the airframe to reflect as little transmitted radar energy (radio waves) as possible, and by application of special paint designed to absorb, rather than reflect, those waves. This treatment became one of the first applications of stealth technology, but it never completely met the design goals.

Test pilot Lou Schalk flew the single-seat A-12 on April 24, 1962, after he became airborne accidentally during high-speed taxi trials. The airplane showed great promise but it needed considerable technical refinement before the CIA could fly the first operational sortie on May 31, 1967 – a surveillance flight over North Vietnam. A-12s, flown by CIA pilots, operated as part of the Air Force’s 1129th Special Activities Squadron under the "Oxcart" program. While Lockheed continued to refine the A-12, the U. S. Air Force ordered an interceptor version of the aircraft designated the YF-12A. The Skunk Works, however, proposed a "specific mission" version configured to conduct post-nuclear strike reconnaissance. This system evolved into the USAF’s familiar SR-71.

Lockheed built fifteen A-12s, including a special two-seat trainer version. Two A-12s were modified to carry a special reconnaissance drone, designated D-21. The modified A-12s were redesignated M-21s. These were designed to take off with the D-21 drone, powered by a Marquart ramjet engine mounted on a pylon between the rudders. The M-21 then hauled the drone aloft and launched it at speeds high enough to ignite the drone’s ramjet motor. Lockheed also built three YF-12As but this type never went into production. Two of the YF-12As crashed during testing. Only one survives and is on display at the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio. The aft section of one of the "written off" YF-12As which was later used along with an SR-71A static test airframe to manufacture the sole SR-71C trainer. One SR-71 was lent to NASA and designated YF-12C. Including the SR-71C and two SR-71B pilot trainers, Lockheed constructed thirty-two Blackbirds. The first SR-71 flew on December 22, 1964. Because of extreme operational costs, military strategists decided that the more capable USAF SR-71s should replace the CIA’s A-12s. These were retired in 1968 after only one year of operational missions, mostly over southeast Asia. The Air Force’s 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (part of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing) took over the missions, flying the SR-71 beginning in the spring of 1968.

After the Air Force began to operate the SR-71, it acquired the official name Blackbird– for the special black paint that covered the airplane. This paint was formulated to absorb radar signals, to radiate some of the tremendous airframe heat generated by air friction, and to camouflage the aircraft against the dark sky at high altitudes.

Experience gained from the A-12 program convinced the Air Force that flying the SR-71 safely required two crew members, a pilot and a Reconnaissance Systems Officer (RSO). The RSO operated with the wide array of monitoring and defensive systems installed on the airplane. This equipment included a sophisticated Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) system that could jam most acquisition and targeting radar. In addition to an array of advanced, high-resolution cameras, the aircraft could also carry equipment designed to record the strength, frequency, and wavelength of signals emitted by communications and sensor devices such as radar. The SR-71 was designed to fly deep into hostile territory, avoiding interception with its tremendous speed and high altitude. It could operate safely at a maximum speed of Mach 3.3 at an altitude more than sixteen miles, or 25,908 m (85,000 ft), above the earth. The crew had to wear pressure suits similar to those worn by astronauts. These suits were required to protect the crew in the event of sudden cabin pressure loss while at operating altitudes.

To climb and cruise at supersonic speeds, the Blackbird’s Pratt & Whitney J-58 engines were designed to operate continuously in afterburner. While this would appear to dictate high fuel flows, the Blackbird actually achieved its best "gas mileage," in terms of air nautical miles per pound of fuel burned, during the Mach 3+ cruise. A typical Blackbird reconnaissance flight might require several aerial refueling operations from an airborne tanker. Each time the SR-71 refueled, the crew had to descend to the tanker’s altitude, usually about 6,000 m to 9,000 m (20,000 to 30,000 ft), and slow the airplane to subsonic speeds. As velocity decreased, so did frictional heat. This cooling effect caused the aircraft’s skin panels to shrink considerably, and those covering the fuel tanks contracted so much that fuel leaked, forming a distinctive vapor trail as the tanker topped off the Blackbird. As soon as the tanks were filled, the jet’s crew disconnected from the tanker, relit the afterburners, and again climbed to high altitude.

Air Force pilots flew the SR-71 from Kadena AB, Japan, throughout its operational career but other bases hosted Blackbird operations, too. The 9th SRW occasionally deployed from Beale AFB, California, to other locations to carryout operational missions. Cuban missions were flown directly from Beale. The SR-71 did not begin to operate in Europe until 1974, and then only temporarily. In 1982, when the U.S. Air Force based two aircraft at Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall to fly monitoring mission in Eastern Europe.

When the SR-71 became operational, orbiting reconnaissance satellites had already replaced manned aircraft to gather intelligence from sites deep within Soviet territory. Satellites could not cover every geopolitical hotspot so the Blackbird remained a vital tool for global intelligence gathering. On many occasions, pilots and RSOs flying the SR-71 provided information that proved vital in formulating successful U. S. foreign policy. Blackbird crews provided important intelligence about the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and its aftermath, and pre- and post-strike imagery of the 1986 raid conducted by American air forces on Libya. In 1987, Kadena-based SR-71 crews flew a number of missions over the Persian Gulf, revealing Iranian Silkworm missile batteries that threatened commercial shipping and American escort vessels.

As the performance of space-based surveillance systems grew, along with the effectiveness of ground-based air defense networks, the Air Force started to lose enthusiasm for the expensive program and the 9th SRW ceased SR-71 operations in January 1990. Despite protests by military leaders, Congress revived the program in 1995. Continued wrangling over operating budgets, however, soon led to final termination. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration retained two SR-71As and the one SR-71B for high-speed research projects and flew these airplanes until 1999.

On March 6, 1990, the service career of one Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird ended with a record-setting flight. This special airplane bore Air Force serial number 64-17972. Lt. Col. Ed Yeilding and his RSO, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Vida, flew this aircraft from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. in 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 20 seconds, averaging a speed of 3,418 kph (2,124 mph). At the conclusion of the flight, ‘972 landed at Dulles International Airport and taxied into the custody of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. At that time, Lt. Col. Vida had logged 1,392.7 hours of flight time in Blackbirds, more than that of any other crewman.

This particular SR-71 was also flown by Tom Alison, a former National Air and Space Museum’s Chief of Collections Management. Flying with Detachment 1 at Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Alison logged more than a dozen ‘972 operational sorties. The aircraft spent twenty-four years in active Air Force service and accrued a total of 2,801.1 hours of flight time.

Wingspan: 55’7"
Length: 107’5"
Height: 18’6"
Weight: 170,000 Lbs

Reference and Further Reading:

Crickmore, Paul F. Lockheed SR-71: The Secret Missions Exposed. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 1996.

Francillon, Rene J. Lockheed Aircraft Since 1913. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1987.

Johnson, Clarence L. Kelly: More Than My Share of It All. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985.

Miller, Jay. Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works. Leicester, U.K.: Midland Counties Publishing Ltd., 1995.

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird curatorial file, Aeronautics Division, National Air and Space Museum.

DAD, 11-11-01

Lastest Surface Grinding Aluminum News

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FROM PLANET EARTH

Image by jurvetson
On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 took flight to the moon. In the days that preceded the launch, the U.S. scrambled to pull together the messages from Earth that would be left behind on the moon. This is the Apollo Goodwill Disc, and it was engineered to last lengthy following the U.S. flag was destroyed.

This silicon disc includes etched letters (scanned and reduced 200x) from the leaders of the world’s nations. This is one of the discs created by Sprague and retained by a Sprague manager a second resides in the Smithsonian, and a third rests on the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility, deposited there by Buzz Aldrin.

(Does anybody know if other builds remain intact? A Sprague press release says that of the handful of discs made, a single was given to President Nixon and 1 to President Johnson).

It is a tricky topic matter for photography. I wanted to capture the angle-dependendent iridescence of the semiconductor thin films. The overhead light source reflects off the leather seat cushion, revealing the shift from green to purple that happens at oblique angles.

This comes from the early days of the semiconductor market, when Apollo consumed 50% of international production, and wafers had been just 2” wide (the ultimate disc was cropped around the 1.5” metallized ring and placed in a aluminum case).

The notion of using lithographic thin films to produce a extended-term option to microfiche was novel at the time, earning Sprague a patent (#3,607,347). I used those techniques to develop a multi-colored Devo hat on a chip I designed at HP in 1988.

The story of the rushed creation of the disc is fascinating, as are the messages embedded in this interplanetary time capsule.

The notion started in June, 1969, and it was a politically charged project, in the midst of the Cold War and the Vietnam War. On June 27, NASA telephoned the state division, and got the unprecedented permission to make contact with the foreign chiefs of state to deposit a message on the moon. This was 19 days before launch. They had been asked to compose and send typed and scribed letters to the U.S. (they came by telegram and mail).

But NASA did not know how they would shop the messages so that they could last thousands of years in the harsh temperatures, solar radiation, and cosmic rays on the lunar surface. So they approached the supplier of some of the most sophisticated technologies on Apollo – the nascent semiconductor business.

Sprague manufactured 53,000 components on the Apollo 11 spacecraft and many much more for the ground assistance equipment. The engineers chose silicon for the storage medium since of the density of storage and the stability of silicon more than temperature in a vacuum.

“Crash course is an understatement. We had practically no time to put this together!”
— John Sprague, head of the semiconductor division

NASA officials delivered the goodwill letters on the July 4 vacation, and Sprague finished the first printing on July 5 at three a.m. Each and every letter was photographed, and optically reduced to the point where every single letter was ¼ the width of a hair. The image was transferred to a glass photomask which was then employed to image the silicon, considerably like the early days of IC manufacturing.

“It was a rush to get it accomplished. We slept on lab benches for two days in a row.”
— Ray Carswell, Sprague Engineer

Nevertheless, on July 9, the business was asked to commence over and develop a new disc with eight added messages. It was completed and sent to Houston at 3:30 a.m. on July 11, five days prior to launch.

In the comments under are some of the messages that caught my eye, such as the Vatican and Estonia (recognized in spite of their Soviet occupation at the time).

The letters had been written independently at a historic epoch in exploration abroad and conflict at home. Most of them reference God or peace on Earth.

“The Silicon disc represents a historic time when many nations looked beyond their variations to come with each other to accomplish this historic first.”
Charlie Duke, Apollo 16 moonwalker

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Build Your Own Beautiful Flat-Pack Chair
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T/CCI&#39s CNC Machining division is respected for high precision big format such as metal turning milling drilling and assembly. With solutions that range from style to assembly T/CCI is a complete service manufacturing partner to a lot of massive firms …
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