Friday Linkzookery – 01 Jun 2007

Inspector ignored TB case warning
Border Agent ignored instructions and warnings about Andrew Speaker, also known as Tuberculosis Man, and let him in from Canada. But hey, the Homeland is secure.

Old Is the New New: Crane Chopper Revival?
David Axe on Joint Heavy Lift.

Night Vision Blowback?
Gen II NV for Afghan forces? Good? Bad?

Onboard a B-17 bomber above Seattle
Lots of pics.

How Joseph Wilson made fools of the Democrats
For all the Plamegate coverage about how Rove was dishing out Bushite payback, we never seem to hear a whole lot about what Wilson actually reported from Niger.

Much more below…

This was supposed to be in last week’s Linkzookery but somehow got zookered up.

Jane’s Reserved Seat

Crashed Chopper Had Dropped Off Troops
Ooof. 30-40 82nd Division troops had just hit the ground before a CH-47 went down in Hemland province, Afghanistan.

Bush’s Immigration Stance is Seriously Hurting RNC Fundraising
Whoa. Suddenly something that might make the GOP leadership sit up and take notice.

Stryker Unit Ready for Diyala Operations
After narrowly escaping the protesters in Tacoma, the brigade is finally settling in. The “surge” takes time, folks.

Peshmerga Women Steal the Show at Iraqi Handover Ceremonies
7 of 18 Iraqi Provinces now control the security and governmental operations in their region. How many Americans do you suppose know that?

Tehran’s Secret ‘Department 9000’
Part of the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Not on our side.

Rules of Engagement – VBIED
A split second to decide in Ramadi.

Russia to Build New Aircraft Carrier
We’ll see.

Biodefense Blues
As I noted earlier, at least the Homeland is secure…

Ambulance Chasers go High Tech

More MRAPs: 1,200 MaxxPro MPVs from Navistar

China’s unmanned aerial combat vehicle “Anjian” to be displayed in Paris
Photos of a model.

Someone Claiming to be a Retired Colonel Seeks to Shut MilBlogger Down?
Why is it that there never seems to be a shortage of jackasses?

No horses allowed

Myths about immigration
This is illegal immigration we’re talking about here, folks. That means it’s different from legal immigration. Don’t act dumb and pretend that they’re the same thing. (Oh, and check this while you’re at it.

NASA gives ‘go’ to June 8 shuttle launch
Hail damage pushed flight back three months. The rest of the year’s schedule was jacked up, though it seems that flights by other shuttles shouldn’t have been affected all that much.

What’s Up, Dock?
Servicing space telescopes. You know MO loves that stuff.

“Battlestar” gets grounded by Sci Fi

A snap decision: Must 787 tests break the wing?
Though breaking wings during stress testing is normal, it’s not required if the wing reaches requirements.

Man claims film of Loch Ness monster
Couldn’t find it on YouTube, though it apparently was shown on BBC Scotland. Meanwhile, here’s a commericial (I love the “Shoot it! Shoooot it!” at the end) and recent footage of a wrecked barge in the loch.


  1. The X-22A is the back-to-the-future design they need. The ducted fans provide the same lift in a smaller size than the unducted rotors. They can also provide lift in the horizontal position.

  2. I always liked the design of the CH-54 Tahre (Skycrane) and never understood why they did not further develop it like they did the Chinook and others. If you look at the history of the CH-47 or CH-53, they increased engine horsepower and, in the case of the CH-53E, added a 3rd engine. I am sure they could give the CH-54 modern engines and get it back to the forefront of heavy lifting.

  3. Lockheed did some transport airplane concepts that were similar to the skycrane. They had an enclosed nose with a flatbed behind it, and a low wing (obviously), with a V tail. They took it to the point of building a static model, which is what I saw. I hope they had some sort of structural pod in mind for mounting on the flat bed. I can’t imagine that thin, backbone structure being capable of handling the torsional or moment loads an airplane fuselage has to with stand. They have a skycrane in good shape at the entrance of the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tuscon. It is an interesting concept, but if speed is a criterion, that design won’t fare well in the competition. If that’s the B-17 I think it is, I had many chances to see it when they first bought it for the Seattle Museum. It was parked outside my building by Boeing Field. It had been used as a crop duster for many years and was flown to Seattle. It didn’t have the chin turret or any guns, but did have a manifold that extended along the trailing edge of the wing. That was 25 years ago.

  4. dfens, I ponied up $400 a couple of years ago and took a 30 minute ride in a B-17 owned by the Collings Foundation, It was well worth it and I got to use the $400 on my itemized expenses for my tax return. If you get the chance to fly on one, take it.

  5. I have a friend at work who has been helping a group restore an F-104. He got at least one ride in it. How cool would that be? It’s hard to imagine they were doing leading edge suction and trailing edge blowing on a supersonic laminar wing in the ’50s and we don’t have anything like that in the 21st Century.

  6. Here is a blog that says the Defense News is reporting the Skunk Works is building an SR-72. They say it will be capable of Mach 6 (which I doubt). It seems fairly obvious to me that the Aurora airplane or airplanes were not successful, otherwise we’d have seen them in the unclassified world by now. Certainly the Chinese shooting down that weather satellite has put a high priority on aircraft reconnaisance once again. I just hope the DoD is not doing something stupid to fill that void. Since much of the void seems to be intellectual, it makes one wonder.

  7. What is it about VTOL that says, let’s see how much money we can milk the US taxpayer for? Check this out from Aerospace Daily today: Democrats on the House Science Committee shouldn’t be so eager to kill funding for a troubled $63 million vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft program that has yet to fly, Rep. Duncan Hunter said June 12. Hunter, senior Republican on the House Armed Services Committee and its former chairman, said that if successful, the duPont Aerospace DP-2 could someday be a faster, bigger, higher-flying replacement for the U.S. Marines’ V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, which is entering service after 22 years of development, $11.3 billion in development costs and crashes that claimed 30 lives. The brainchild of Anthony duPont, a former Pan American World Airways co-pilot who holds eight patents, the DP-2 envisions using vectored thrust to power a business-class jet or troop transport, much like a Harrier jump jet. In 2001, duPont told the Science Committee’s space subcommittee that a three-aircraft program to test DP-2 would cost about $160 million (DAILY, May 10, 2001). So far Congress has appropriated $63 million for three aircraft, which have suffered four mishaps in the past four years – none of them in free flight. ‘There’s been lots of setbacks in the program,’ Hunter conceded, but they ‘pale in comparison to [those suffered by] the V-22 and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.’ Then there’s this from The DP-2 program, funded exclusively through congressional earmarks, has received by one estimate more than $63 million since 1988, and evidently about $33 million from 2000 through 2006. Yet, multiple technical reviews of the DP-2 concept have repeatedly rejected it on its technical merits since 1986 and serious concerns continue to arise about the ability of duPont Aerospace to effectively and safely manage the program. Three DP-2 prototype aircraft have been developed and the DP-2 has suffered from four mishaps from 2003 to 2007. The House Committee on Science & Technology Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics held a hearing on this project in May 2001. During his testimony to the House Committee on Science in May 2001, duPont said the commercial airline industry including Boeing, Lockheed and Grumman did not invest in his concept of the DP-2 aircraft because they were skeptical of his ability to actually achieve success. Six years later, it appears the DP-2 program has accomplished very little. Yet, duPont continues to receive a steady stream of congressional funding. Of course, $63 million is a far cry from the $11 billion wasted on V-22 or I think it was $65 billion spent on F-22 development. F-35 is considerably more still. But when a project is solely funded through Congressional earmarks, it really raises some questions. Not that a program funded via the USAF is automatically on the up and up, but this smacks of old Duke Cunningham and his buddy Jack Abramoff.