Category Archives: Video

Looking For The Word…

…to describe the action of puckering your lips, blowing, emitting vowel-like sounds in your throat, all while simultaneously flicking your finger rapidly up & down across the lips to make “bur-burbeling” sounds.

You all know what I’m talking about. It’s a universal thing, we learn it as we’re pre-verbal infants, from the Australian outback to the strollers of Central Park. If you have no pride or self-respect and are willing to record yourself doing it and then putting that video clip out on the internet for all the world to see, it’s this:

For the record, Siri was no help, although she was hilarious. In particular, the first answer returned was profound!

So, that. THAT sound or noise or action or thing.

What’s that called?

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Filed under Paul, Photography, Video

Really – Smoky, Cloudy Sun Over Ramp Pano – Plus Video

Yesterday I said it was self-explanatory, only to push the “Publish” button instead of the “Save Draft” button before I could actually upload and insert the aforementioned panoramic photo. Which is:

The picture I had uploaded was very nice, but it wasn’t the one advertised. This is.

Enlarge it for the detail, you’ll see that not only did we have the smoke, the clouds, the sun, and so on, but we had a whole bunch of guests on site. They got to see our P-51 Mustang do a couple of passes. Because you deserve the best, here’s a gorgeous, high-speed pass with a great high-speed break and 180° climbing turn. Listen to her whistle!

Finest kind! Watching this and hearing that Merlin engine purr is one of the reasons I do all of this work for the CAF SoCal Wing.

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Panorama, Photography, Video

Birthday Present For FedEx

I wasn’t privvy to many details, but from what I heard there was some sort of anniversary or birthday party that FedEx was throwing for itself down at their LAX facility. That facility sits atop what was once one of the primary North American Aviation factories during World War II, back when LAX was known as Mines Field.

We happen to have two magnificent examples of that particular North American factory, our P-51 Mustang and our PBJ bomber.

They asked if we might be able to send those two aircraft down for the party. To the best of my knowledge we’ve never had our planes at LAX before, nor are there many that ever go in there with the big aluminium tubes from the airlines. So we went.

It was a nice day for flying in SoCal. (Not that I got to leave the ground – someone had to pay the bills today.)

It’s great to have our P-51 flying again after being down over a year with a complete engine rebuild, and the PBJ is going strong and hitting her stride after her first flight last year following a 23-year full restoration.

Coming soon to an airshow near you, especially if you’re on the West Coast or in SoCal. If nothing else if you’re in SoCal, the 2017 Wings Over Camarillo airshow will be at our home base on August 19th and 20th. Come out and see our facilities and planes! (I will not be there for the first time in years – it’s a total solar eclipse weekend for me.)

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Filed under Photography, Flying, CAF, Airshows, Video

Gary Gopher

From yesterday’s groundbreaking:

I was glad to see the little guy. I figured if he wasn’t too nervous to come out, if his little gopher senses weren’t all a tingle, there probably weren’t any rattlesnakes in the immediate vicinity.

It didn’t occur to me until just now that he might be thinking the exact same thing about us…

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Filed under Critters, Habitat For Humanity, Video

Not A Once In A Lifetime Thing Any More

As mentioned yesterday, Space X just launched out of Florida on Friday and  then was going to try to launch out of California today, an unprecedented feat for a private space company, and one which even NASA the Air Force and their subcontractors don’t try.

So yeah, they succeeded. Brilliantly. Ten new Iridium satellites were delivered perfectly into their proper orbits – and the booster was recovered safely, landing on the Pacific Ocean based barge, “Just Read The Instructions.” Go ahead, watch the video that Mr. Musk links to and tell me that it’s not impressive as hell.

Going out of Vandenberg, a two-hour drive north of us, on a Sunday afternoon, one would think it would be a perfect opportunity to go see a launch. You can’t get on the base, but there are viewing spots in the Lompoc area where you can get a pretty good view.

Here’s a video that my friend Kate Squires posted on FaceBook. I just love the “ripping” sound you get at about 1:05 as the noise hits you:

I had commitments that kept me from going, but it’s not even a bad thing – BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO DO IT AGAIN. Soon. And then do it again. And again.

A launch used to be something that was almost unique unless you worked for NASA or the Air Force or a subcontractor or lived in the area. For guys like me with a “normal” job and a need to travel to see a launch, it was a destination and something to be planned out. It was a big freakin’ deal. A given launch might not be a true “once in a lifetime” opportunity (well, maybe Apollo 11, or the first shuttle flight, or the last shuttle flight…) but it was definitely not an every day occurrence.

SpaceX is well on the way to changing that. We might be a few years away from them having daily launches – but that’s what they’re aiming for.

They’re already talking about landing some of the boosters not back at a big, open landing site a mile or two from the launch pad, but back on the launch pad itself. They’re serious. They’re talking about a day when they have so little refurbishment necessary that they launch, land back on the pad, load the next payload on top, refuel, and launch the same rocket again within 24-hours. At which point they presumably would do it again.

That may be a ways off, simply because the market isn’t there for that yet. But it’s a chicken-and-egg problem. The market isn’t there because no one is designing projects that require hundreds or even thousands of launches because there was no conceivable way to get a thousand launches. But if you could, and if you could get those thousand launches for what it used to cost to get ten launches, and you could use those thousand launches to…

Look at the time! It’s late – we’ll have to continue that thought tomorrow or the next day. But you get the idea.

As for true “once in a lifetime” events, there’s one of those coming up in two months, which we also should talk about in the next day or two.

(I’m such a tease!)



Filed under Astronomy, Space, Video

Bomber Flight Video

​​​Videos from yesterday’s flight in our PBJ bomber. One of the striking things to me was the differences in the sound of the engines in various places.

From the waist gunner’s seat on the starboard side, just aft of the wing. ​​

From just aft of the round (and open!) hole on the starboard side. Listen to the sound of those pistons popping!!


From the tail gunner’s position, looking out the back.

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Video

PBJ Video – Really, Really!

I wish I could upload the full HD version of this. The current generations of iPhones are just freaking awesome in the quality they have. They run rings around what the network studios were using just fifteen years ago – and cost a couple hundred bucks and you carry them in your pocket instead of costing a couple hundred thousand bucks and needing to have them mounted on wheels with two people to move them.

But I digress.

The full video is 1.634 GB, which is about 20% of the disk space I have available on WordPress. I know that I’ll eventually have to expand my disk space, and expand the expense, but by that time it will be a toss-up on whether to stay on the site or to get my own in-house server and install a WordPress system. Either way, I was sort of betting on that happening in five or six years, not five or six months – which is what will happen if I make a habit of uploading full nine-minute HD videos.

I guess if anyone wants to see it badly enough, let me know and we can figure out a way for you to send a memory stick for me to use to send it back to you by snail mail. Or something.

In the meantime, QuickTime is very good about taking 1.634 GB, full resolution, HD videos and converting them to slightly less spectacular quality videos. It defaults to spitting out three versions, the first of which is for a “cell phone”. I don’t know what kind of cell phone they’re talking about but while it’s only a 5.6 MB file it’s also a teeny-tiny image that looks truly shitty on an iPhone, let alone an iPad or a desktop. QuickTime will also automatically generate an “iPhone” version which is moderately compressed, so it gets cut down to 62 MB. That’s way better than 1,633 MB!

The third version is a “desktop” version, weighing in at 94 MB, which I can live with. It’s not half bad, I hope you enjoy it.

A couple of things to note:

  1. Yes, it really is that freaking loud. That’s why the ground crew uses hand signals to communicate with the pilots.
  2. At about the 2:35 mark you’ll hear the engines “sputter” or “miss” for a half second. This isn’t a problem, it’s a routine test of the redundant magnetos that provide the ignition spark. As the pilot switches from “both” to “left,”, then to “right,” there’s a miss but it’s normal. Before flight, you want to make sure that both of them work independently if one fails.
  3. No, the propellers aren’t stopping or going really slow or running backwards. It’s just the “wagon wheel effect” where the rate of the RPM on the engine gets near, at, or a bit over some multiple of the frame rate of the camera.
  4. At the 4:30 mark you’ll see a Ventura County fire & rescue helicopter coming in on the left. Their hangar is the one you can just see on the far right, off in the distance. It’s really quite impressive to see that big Huey variant take off and land.
  5. A lot of the time we spend after the get the engines started is waiting for our turn to get on the taxiway. It was a nice day and there were a lot of other small planes tooling around. This also adds a delay once we get to the runway and have to wait our turn behind all of the planes landing and taking off in front of us. At about the 8:40 mark you can see, as Dan said, there are better than a half-dozen other plaens out there waiting their turn.

Enjoy! And if you’re interested and want to take a ride with us – I know a bunch of guys who can make that happen!


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Filed under CAF, Flying, Video