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Flightline Friday: Airbus to cancel further A380 production December 19, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Flightline Friday.
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Boeing always said it was a white elephant.  The A380 was begun in a period when the airline industry was fat with cash and the hub and spoke model was at its peak.  But few people want to travel in a 700 seat cattle car.  And the hub and spoke model is increasingly breaking down, the point to point model being preferred by passengers.  After making about 200, mostly for Emirates Airlines (and don’t think there wasn’t a ton of cash under the table to make that happen), lagging sales and an inability to make a profit on each plane produced (they have to be sold for less than cost) is prompting Airbus to contemplate cancelling the A380 program:

Despite these luxuries, sales of new A380s have been dismal. Not a single A380 has been ordered by a passenger airline so far in 2014. (The sole new buyer this year was Dublin-based leasing company Amedeo, which has yet to line up a single carrier to take any of the 20 jets it ordered.)

The dearth of orders for the seven-year-old plane led Airbus Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhelm on Dec. 10 to raise the prospect of discontinuing the A380 as soon as 2018. Wilhelm’s remarks at an investor meeting in London riled customers who bet on the big plane. The next day, Airbus backtracked. Fabrice Brégier, who leads its airliner unit, told investors that upgrades to the A380—more fuel-efficient engines and a stretch version capable of carrying 1,000 passengers—will happen “one day.”

Despite such optimism, there could be financial turbulence ahead for the A380. Airbus will break even on the plane in 2015, 2016, and 2017, [that only means they won’t lose money on each plane they build. It does not address the massive development cost of the A380, which will never, ever be recouped] but that outlook doesn’t hold for 2018, forcing the company to either spend heavily to improve the economics of its engines or discontinue the program, Wilhelm said.

I will state straight up, I’ve never liked Airbus. I don’t like their planes.  They feel rickety and cold.  Airbus would never be able to compete with Boeing if the European countries did not front 80-90% of their development costs.  Labor costs in Europe are simply too high, and their employees love ludicrous benefits too much, for them to be even remotely competitive without giant subisidies. And Airbus’ argument that Boeing’s defense contracts count as a similar subsidy are ludicrous.  The two units, commercial and defense, are completely separate at Boeing.  And development costs for military projects are rarely a source of fat profits (those come in production).

What ticks me off, is that a great company like McDonnell Douglas was forced out of the commercial airplane business partly due to their own unwillingness to seriously invest in their product, but mostly because of unfair subsidized competition from Airbus.  No Airbus, and McAir is still around.

The A380 was begun because Europe wanted to trump the US in having the biggest airliner.  There was no other reason for the program, no real economic justiication (again, Airbus would lose tens of billions on the project were that money not covered by member governments), it was always about having the biggest you know what on the planet.

And now, I’m out of time.

Hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them onto you December 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, blogfoolery, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, scandals, secularism, silliness, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition.
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I am ripping this video off from Fr. Blake lock, stock, and barrel.  He deserves a complimentary hit.

It’s a video of photos of old churches, old liturgies, old Sacraments, old devotions from all over the world.  The pre-conciliar world, that is:

I already what know what Dismas is going to say.  Should I even make a comparison?

No, it’s not quite a fair comparison. The worst of post-conciliar abuses against what was standard faire before.

Still, after seeing the latter, this is me:

GAME OVER, MAN!

GAME OVER, MAN!

 

This s— ain’t fair!  And I was getting short!

I’m not even original in this regard.  Great gag, Mr. Bougis.

Now for some soothing music

Speaking of getting short – almost time for my glorious annual Christmas break.  I will blog sporadically at best from tomorrow 12/19 through the Epiphany.  I’ll try to jump on and soothe your jones from time to time if I possibly can.

Early Flightline Friday – yes, the A-10 can operate from dirt strips December 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society.
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A recent Air Combat Command news article showed A-10s of the 74th FS, 23rd FG operating in a major exercise with the 1st Armored Division (the only full armored division remaining in the US inventory) at Fort Bliss.  All models were upgraded A-10Cs, which have new wings and a large number of improvements to their avionics.  USAF spent several billions upgrading the A-10 fleet to the C model, and then the top brass threatened to retire the entire fleet.  That caused great consternation in the Army and in Congress, and the issue of the retirement remains in doubt at present.  I do have to say, if USAF did want to retire the A-10, they chose an idiotic time to do so, just after all that money had been spent upgrading the fleet to serve for another two decades.  Having said that, I am not one of those fervent A-10 partisans who view the type as sacrosanct and simply above criticism.  A-10s are very good in low-threat environments, but in a conflict against a peer adversary like China or Russia, they would not last long, or at the very least, would require severe attrition of the adversaries air defenses before they could be deployed with anything like a reasonable loss rate.  BTW, back in the days of the Cold War, one reason why the A-10 fleet was so large (over 700 a/c deployed) was because it was known hundreds would be lost in any Central Front war in Europe.  That’s sort of the paradigm with “low-cost” aircraft, sure you can buy lots of them, but in many scenarios you’re going to lose lots of them, too.

Nevertheless, I think after the investment made the A-10 fleet should be kept around for some time to come.

Interesting photos below of A-10s operating from dirt airstrips.  The A-10 is the only tactical aircraft in the Air Force that has that capability.

A-10 overflying M106A6 "Paladin" self-propelled 155mm gun. Both types are nearly 50 years old.

A-10 overflying M106A6 “Paladin” self-propelled 155mm gun. Both types are nearly 50 years old.

Many upgrades visible here.  Pilot is wearing the Joint Helmet Mounted Cuing System which allows him to point his head at what he wants to shoot at and......shoot.  AN/AAS-28(V) Litening II targeting pod on the outer starboard pylon.  Two Mavericks.  Some 25lb practice bombs.

Many upgrades visible here. Pilot is wearing the Joint Helmet Mounted Cuing System which allows him to point his head at what he wants to shoot at and……shoot. AN/AAS-28(V) Litening II targeting pod on the outer starboard pylon. Two Mavericks. Some 25lb practice bombs.

A-10s coming in to land

A-10s coming in to land

A-10 has split flaps that open nearly 90 deg to act like enormous dive breaks.  Work great for landing.

A-10 has split flaps that open nearly 90 deg to act like enormous dive breaks. Work great for landing.

PR shot

PR shot

A couple final thoughts.  If you talked to most officers and airmen, you would find them to be firm supporters of the A-10.  You would probably also hear a great deal of exasperation regarding the decisions the senior brass make, not just on the A-10, but many other programs, as well.  USAF is, it must be said, dominated by a certain fighter mafia that has it’s core in the F-15/F-22 communities, takes care of its own, and dominates senior leadership.  Bomber, tanker, and cargo pilots (in that order) are definitely seen as second-class citizens.  So there is a fair amount of resentment towards that clique, their dominance at the upper echelons of command, and for the (frequently bad) decisions they make.  It’s really wrong to say “the Air Force is just a bunch of fighter pilots who don’t give a darn about the troops on the ground.”  By and large, that statement is completely false as it applies to the rank and file, and even many field-grade and above officers, but it does apply, to varying degrees, to the senior leadership. When the chips are down, they will seek to protect what they see as USAF’s core mission – gaining and maintaining air supremacy – at the expense of just about anything else.  That is why former CoS Gen. T. Michael Mosely (an F-15 pilot) and former Secretary Wynne fell on their swords and resigned rather than sign on to the gutting of the F-22 force (an act that will forever shame Robert Gates record as SecDef).

And now USAF is stuck acquiring an F-35 with aerodynamic and flight characteristics not much improved on an F-100 (the avionics will be amazing, if they ever work) that will cost even more than the F-22.

Great plan, Gates.

It’s my five year blogoversary! December 10, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, blogfoolery, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, North Deanery, silliness.
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This wonderful, magical, transformative, leadership-oriented, heretic-stompin’, butt-kicking, Saint- making blog is now five years old, today.  I know there are some long time readers but I can’t think of many who have been around more than about 4 years.  Anybody remember the early early days?  I recall how for a long time I thought getting 100 views (let alone individual readers) in a day was a a big deal. Not so much anymore.  Thanks to you all, I now get more like 2,000 individual readers a day.  That’s tiny compared to blogs like Rorate and Fr. Z, but not too bad for a blog with such a strong and, I’ll say it, extreme point of view.

Today is crazy, I had a meeting to go to for our farm in Kansas (the meeting was not in McKinney as I was told, it was near Guenther (pronounced “Gunner”) – for those of you not from Dallas, that’s waaaaaay out there) and I’ve got a real long design review most of the afternoon.  I had some good stuff for today but may not get to much of it.

I wanted to make this post not so much to toot my own horn but to thank all of you who have found some value in my inane prattlings.  I never really thought this blog would attract so many readers.  I set an all time record some time back with almost 11,000 in a day.  It’s a bit different crowd – I’ve certainly changed a great deal over the past five years – but I hope and pray all those changes have been for the better and reveal a greater understanding and practice of the Faith on my part.  As for all my many mistakes, I thank you for being patient with me and putting up with them.  I thank you also for putting up with my very dry and wry sense of humor, which some mistake as being mean or cynical.

The focus of the blog has also changed a great deal.  In the beginning, it was about 50% on local muckraking matters, but a year or two of that quickly revealed I could point out problems till I was blue in the face and it would make no difference. Even more, I came to realize the crisis in the Faith was much less about one bad diocese, but the entire Church as an institution going wildly astray.  So now I write much more about universal concerns, but do still try to cover some local items, especially on the pro-life front.

I would probably write even if I was still down there with 20 or 30 readers a day, like it was in the beginning, but knowing that others find some merit in what I write is gratifying.  Thank you all for the past five years.

Flightline Friday: “There is a Way” December 5, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, Glory, non squitur, silliness, Society, Victory.
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When the Vietnam War began in earnest with the kickoff of Rolling Thunder on March 2, 1965 (my mother’s 29th birthday), it is fair to say that the United States Air Force was not entirely prepared for this kind of conventional, counter-insurgent, limited kind of war.  For the previous 20 years, USAF had been designed and trained, more and more as the years went by, to fight a strictly nuclear war in Europe and against the USSR.  There were huge fleets of strategic bombers filling the wings of SAC.  Tactical aircraft were designed to fly fast and low one way missions into Eastern Europe to drop nuclear bombs.  It was thought that missiles had rendered the days of the conventional dogfight over.  Most aircraft were not designed for close-in, air-to-air combat.  Nor did they have sensors (mostly because the technology did not exist, but also as a result of a contrary concept of operations) capable of targeting pinpoint targets.  The conventional capabilities were not much more capable than those used in Korea, only the volume of fire that could be delivered had improved (and in that regard, by an order of magnitude).  The revolution in military affairs driven by the microprocessor was still several years away.  There were no smart bombs.  The vast majority of aircraft thrown into battle either had none, or very inadequate, electronic countermeasures to deal with the known threat: radar-guided surface-to-air missiles and radar directed AAA.

So as the US became more and more bogged down in this seemingly endless conventional conflict, they were hamstrung almost as much by their own inadequate equipment as they were by the hideous, infinitely frustrating and idiotic rules of engagement enforced by the McNamara “whiz kid” civilians running the show in the Johnson Administration Department of Defense.  Limitations in technology combined with ludicrously onerous rules of engagement combined to make Rolling Thunder an utter failure.

As combat ground on, USAF quickly found itself facing a shortage of qualified pilots to fly the primary strike aircraft used throughout the first 4 years of the war, the great Republic F-105 Thunderchief, or “Thud.”  883 Thuds were produced, of which almost half – 385 – were lost in combat in Southeast Asia.  Losses were so high that for a good long period in 1966 and 1967, it was judged statistically impossible for a given pilot to complete his tour, which required 100 “counters,” or missions over North Vietnam (missions elsewhere did not count toward his 100 mission total).  As more and more pilots were lost, and even those who survived were excused another combat tour in the Thud, USAF began to run low on qualified pilots.  We still took air defense seriously at that time, and there were many pilots in SAC and other organizations who could be trained, so USAF began transferring pilots from these other organizations into the F-105 replacement training squadrons and sending them to combat over North Vietnam.

It is understandable if some of these men, perhaps winding down a 20 year career spent more or less safely guarding the skies of North American from the Russian bomber threat, were less than thrilled at the prospect of being sent into a combat mission they statistically could not survive.  Recruitment became more and more of a problem, and volunteer assignments had to be replaced with forced changes to a reluctant pilot’s career.  This stirred up some amount of bad blood, and USAF moved to counter the problem by, how else in mid-20th century America?, producing a movie highlighting men who had successfully completed their 100 mission tours, and showing the extreme camaraderie and even fun that can only be had in a combat fighter squadron.

This movie is shown below.  It is called “There Is A Way,” and was aimed even more at the internal Air Force audience than it was at bucking up morale among an increasingly distressed civilian population at home.  It is a surprisingly revealing and entertaining view into the challenges these men faced, and their unique responses to performing what was essentially an impossible mission.  While USAF as an institution may not have been fully prepared to fight a conventional war – with some of the most onerous political restrictions ever imposed in the history of warfare – in this difficult jungle environment, these men more than rose to the occasion and performed their mission with true professionalism.  It was filmed at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base with the 388th TFW.

The movie is fairly eclectic.  It shows not only the “glamorous” side of the pilots but also ground crew, staff weenies, flight schedulers, armorers, etc.  I really enjoyed it.

The movie featured some truly notable men, like Ed Rasimus, who eventually settled in Whitesboro, and, I am sorry to say, passed away about a year and a half ago.  He is the one with the very slightly turned up mustache who told the story about being an instructor pilot at Williams flying T-38s while standing in front of a frig early on.  If you knew the story of 1st Lt. Karl Richter who appears @8:05, you might shed a tear, too.  MiG-killer, he is the one who few two 100 mission tours back to back, with no rest period back in the states.  On his 198s mission – two before he was due to go home – Lieutenant Richter was shot down while in combat and fatally injured.  He was a very popular figure in the 388th TFW at Korat.  He flew almost daily combat missions for over a year straight – an unheard length of time to fly combat.  He was only 23 when he died.

Thanks to Zeno’s Warbirds for restoring the color, it looks much better.

Another pretty good movie on the F-105, “The Twenty-Five Hour Day.” It was actually produced by Fairchild-Republic (maker of the F-105) for the Air Force. It’s much more a gung-ho rah-rah type of movie:

This patch was the most coveted item F-105 aircrew could receive, and not too many people earned one, although several earned two and a couple even three.  It was the patch they got after their 100th mission North:

39fe2a5e0

Around the 17 minute mark, there is a pilot being driven along the flightline discussing which aircraft belong to which squadron. He makes a sort of innocent comment about the planes of his squadron – the 421st TFS – being identifiable by a red GCA reflector.  There is a lot of significance in that statement.  GCA means ground control approach, the radar system used to bring aircraft in to land at night or in bad weather, which Southeast Asia has lots of.  The F-105 had a very small radar cross section for its time, mostly because the engine “face” was invisible to radar from most angles.  So, they had to add a large flat plate to provide a good radar reflector for the GCA to pick up the planes at sufficient distance.

Man I love the Thud.  And those Thud drivers loved the tanker pilots.  Many a dangerously injured Thud was saved by a timely tanker rendevouz, and there are tales that a few were even drug home by plugging the tanker into the receptacle and getting pulled to at least over Laos where ejection was a lot less dangerous.

Prayer request December 2, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Virtue.
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My wife has a large family.  Most of her siblings have a good number of kids.  But one of her sisters has 18 children, and that family has some trials.  They are a really good family we just enjoyed visiting over the holiday.  They are a “Yours, Mine, and Ours” situation where a widow and widower came together and they’ve had some more children since.  It is never easy raising such a large family, but this family has some additional challenges and – I’m going out on a bit of a limb here, I was not asked to do this, and I fervently hope they do not mind – prayers would be appreciated. They are in the San Antonio area and finding a good confessor and spiritual direction has not been an easy task.  Even a parish known for its relative orthodoxy in the area……well, perhaps image is not everything. I’ll leave it at that.

Anyway, the husband and wife are such good people, but the way has not always been easy for them.  I know this blog is blessed to have some very strong Catholic readers, people who have a solid prayer life.  And I know I tend to impose myself on you my good readers from time to time with prayer requests, but this one is dearer to my heart than most.  Would you, in your charity, pray for J and F and their family?  I don’t want to go into specifics but a general intention for their spiritual solace and unity would be enough.

Again, I don’t want to too closely identify this family but regular readers will know I’ve been reading Dom Poulet’s A History of the Catholic Church.  J may be interested to know that his family name and locations he is intimate with – Bardstown, Elizabethtown, etc., feature quite prominently in the portion of this book discussing the early history of the Church in this country.  The foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth may be a relative.

May God bless you for your prayers.  Sorry for imposing again, thank you.

Worth a weekend watch: Remnant Forum November 21, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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I am desperately late already.  So just a quick note: the portion of the video I think really bears watching starts around 6 minute mark and centers on what happened to the dossier of perverse priests in the Curia and Diocese of Rome that was such a hot item before Pope Benedict XVI tragically (from my point of view) abdicated.  That dossier has been completely forgotten since Pope Francis was elected, even though Pope Benedict thought it serious enough to famously hand it directly to Pope Francis after he was elected.  What happened to it?  Are we to believe there no longer exists a problem of gravely immoral priests and bishops running a sort of cabal inside the Church?  What of Fr. Darius Oko’s widely read commentary on the dossier?

There is much else besides in the video, not all of which I would say I endorse wholeheartedly but worth watching.  I am posting this because the seeming disappearance of that dossier has been much on my mind, off an on, for many months, I have written to that effect, and I have not seen the lack of attention paid to it mentioned elsewhere.

I’m out.  God bless you, have a wonderful and prayerful Thanksgiving. Think of all the incalculable benefits Our Blessed Lord showers on us through His Church!  It is still His Mystical Body and perfect in that sense!

I really don’t want this post to turn into a commentary or battle on the source. Take it for what it is, the portion I’m most interested in is an interesting and valid comment and worthy of consideration.  Comments will be monitored. I may close them for this post if I feel the need.

Flightline Friday: The Worst Planes Ever November 21, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Flightline Friday, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society.
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I cannot stand aviation writer Bill Gunston.  He has a tendency to develop a fixation with certain topics and then just beat them to death, castigating aircraft and nations for failing to design aircraft according to his sacred shibboleths.  For a long time during the Cold War, Gunston was convinced that any aircraft that couldn’t take and land vertically – like the Harrier, the only product TSR2offered by his home nation of Britain during that time period – was just worth than useless and a damnable waste of taxpayer funds.  This despite the fact that STOVL – short takeoff vertical landing – imposes enormous range, performance, and payload penalties that made STOVL types so badly compromised they were really not fit for most missions.  But because Britain had a STOVL plane, STOVL was the be all and end all. Actually, Gunston’s argument went like this: any WWIII scenario in Europe is bound to be nuclear from the get-go, and planes tied to long runways would be vaporized in the opening moments of the war.  This posited a) a very unlikely bolt from the blue attack, and b), the idea that tactical aviation would matter a whit once ICBMs were flying was ridiculous from the get-go.  But since the Royal Air Force only had tactical aviation, Gunston had to trump it to the skies.

I mention Gunston, because he ties in with another aviation phenomenon I’ve witnessed for a long time: the greatest, bestest, most awesomest planes ever were the ones that never got built, or never entered service.  There is a profound tendency among aviation enthusiasts to latch onto “might have beens” and trumpet them to the skies.  Gunston did just that in an article he wrote on the British Aircraft Corporation TSR.2, a low-level tactical nuclear strike aircraft developed in the early 60s.  As Gunston always does, he draws very negative comparisons between an aircraft that actually did enter service, and performed brilliantly for decades, the American F-111, and the vaporware of the TSR.2.  That is to say, the TSR.2 would have been just infinitely superior to the F-111 and the British politicians that cancelled it were evil scoundrels only looking out for their own narrow interest.  And perhaps they were, but the point is this: the TSR.2, even had it continued, would BAC_TSR2_Cosford-01tsr2-web_1still have been in service test when the F-111 was flying combat missions over North Vietnam in 1968.

And a further point: the F-111 experienced more than its fair share of developmental problems. General Dynamics botched several aspects of the design, but, then again, they also introduced many radical new capabilities that advanced the state of the art a huge amount for the time period in which it was developed. Gunston pretends that the TSR.2 would have had none of these problems, even though it was trying to put in service even more advanced capabilities from a much less mature industrial base. Gunston even notes some severe difficulties with the TSR.2, minor things like exploding engines and landing gear that vibrated so violently on contact with the runway that it would literally blind the pilot by joggling his eyes so hard.  Even from a systemic design standpoint, Gunston noted that the British government, in a cost-saving measure, insisted that the TSR.2 not be equipped with any electronic countermeasures – even flying at Mach 0.9 at 200 ft, doing so would have been near suicidal, as US experience in Vietnam showed.

I don’t want folks to think I have some irrational hatred of the TSR.2. I don’t.  It could have turned out to be a very good aircraft, but only one ever flew, it had some serious problems, and the bgassumption Gunston and other fans of it make that all the extraordinarily advanced avionics (a big advance over the initial version of the F-111A, more akin to the incredibly capable F-111D) would have just been easily and seemlessly incorporated is ludicrous.  The flight envelope had barely even begun to be explored when the project was cancelled, so it’s impossible to say what further problems would have been found even in basic structure and performance. Even when it was cancelled, the RAF had to back off some performance figures like range.  And don’t get me started on British electronics…….by the late 80s, the Foxhunter radar for the Tornado F.2, in development for 15 years, still only had two reliable operating modes: off and standby.  It never worked right.  Assuming very advanced terrain following radar, air data computers, inertial navigation systems, side-looking radar, and other features coming from a very weak industrial base would have magically worked is a mighty grasp.

Another aircraft that was cancelled prematurely and has since become viewed as the GREATEST AIRCRAFT EVAH! (when we all know it’s the Crusader) is the Canadian Avro Arrow CF-105.  This was a late 50s project for what could have been a very nice, reasonably capable long range Mach 2+ interceptor.  It was designed to have long range and shoot down bombers over the barren Canadian arctic wastes.  What followed is quite typical: the Royal Canadian Air Force (then called) kept demanding more and more advanced features, costs began to go up, and eventually the government got cold feet and cancelled the type.  Some Canadians are absolutely deranged about this aircraft – there was a ludicrous movie made in the 90s and starring Dan Akyroyd that claimed

Arrow

Arrow

that the Arrow would have gotten Canada to the moon before the US!  Yes, a Mach 2, 60,000 ft ceiling aircraft is just exactly like a Saturn V!  What a dummy I am to think differently.

Seriously, once again, the Arrow could have been a quite competent aircraft – had its engines met specification (the intended engines hadn’t flown when the program was cancelled), had the fire control system worked, had there been no major problems found (development was, however, pretty smooth), etc.  It would have been one of the best interceptors around had it entered service as intended in the early 60s.  But that doesn’t make it a wunderkind that could outperform an F-15 or, as I have read in various places, still been the world’s greatest military aircraft in the 1990s, almost 40 years after design began.  Please.  Settle down.

As I wrap this point up, I will note this correlation between the odd cases of both the Avro Arrow and the BAC TSR.2 – both were developed by countries that had, a few years before, chosen to embrace very socialistic forms of government.  Both had socialized medicine.  And it was exactly the massive expenditure in those social welfare wealth transfer schemes that so bankrupted the Cf-105_Arrow002state that maintenance of a strong, internal defence production capability became all but impossible. Britain and Canada are today nearly defenseless.  Canada has all of about 40 combat-coded fighters to cover its vast territory, no bombers, no dedicated attack aircraft…….just 66 CF-18s total, only about 40 of which are coded for combat ops at any one time.  Britain once had the most powerful navy in the world, and today is smaller than the US Coast Guard.  Don’t laugh, we’re going to follow them inexorably into this kind of decline, if it is a decline.  The US military is experiencing exactly the same kind of endless budgetary pressures today, pressures that result in endless downsizing and loss of capability, that Britain and Canada experienced starting 50 years ago.

And I think that is why those two aircraft have such fervent partisans, and cause such feverish claims to be made about them. They were sort of the last gasp of a once proud nation turned inward and selfish, preferring comfort and ease over greatness and trial.  A harsh assessment to be sure, and I feel the US has made the same choice, just a bit later, but I think there is much psychology at work in the great partisans of these two aircraft types.  Which weren’t the worst planes ever, they were simply untimely victims of nations that turned their back on their duty towards self-preservation.  Both nations have been extremely dependent on the United States ever since to take up the slack from their own abandonment of their defense, but now that the US has chosen the same path, who is their left to turn to?

Late Flightline Friday – CAG bird November 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, silliness, SOD.
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I never got a chance to post Flightline Friday before the weekend. So depending on how you look on this, it being Tuesday, it’s either early or late.

Not much today, I just found a few photos I liked over the weekend.  Most feature a remarkable paint job applied to the “CAG bird” of VFA-81 Sunliners.  The CAG bird is the aircraft in a given squadron nominally reserved to the Commander of the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) to which the squadron is assigned.  Such aircraft get much more elaborate paint jobs.  Some of them are quite spectacular.

You might wonder how “Commander Air Wing” resulted in the acronym “CAG” – that’s because they used to be called Carrier Air Groups and the CAG was the commander of the air group, not air wing. Even after the change, decades ago, everyone continued to call him CAG.

I like the POW/MIA on the inboard sign of the starboard vertical fin.  I also threw in a totally unrelated pic of a Gator in some unique climactic conditions:

From last week

From last week

vfa-81cag_zps49ee9843

That’s a great shark mouth.  The Hornet is a natural for it.

So I guess the Sunliners converted from the F-18C Hornet to the E model recently?  Because the video below from last year has them flying C model Hornets and not the Super Hornet I are dumb. The video was of two squadrons, VFA-94 Mighty Shrikes and VFA-81, the Shrike birds were C models but the Sunliners were E’s:

timthumb

The pic below shows LHD-7 USS Iwo Jima with fog right about flight deck level.  I’m sorry that is just too awesome:

1280px-US_Navy_060115-N-6282K-001_The_amphibious_assault_ship_USS_Iwo_Jima_(LHD_7)_shown_operating_in_dense_fog_in_the_Atlantic_Ocean

Quick weekend thought to discuss November 14, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, persecution, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism.
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I am out of time for the day, work got in the way, but the ruminating on the situation regarding Fr. Rodriguez (and he is not alone), and also the terrible persecution being inflicted on the Franciscans of the Immaculate has caused a question to arise in my mind.  That question is this: there appears to me to be a paradigm growing regarding Summorum Pontificum/Universae Ecclesiae and the TLM, that while it may be permitted by bishops/powers that be/Pope for a priest “raised,” if you will, in the Novus Ordo environment, to offer the TLM on occasion, it most certainly will not be permitted for such priests to offer the TLM exclusively.

That was the nub of the issue with the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the sense by some within and without that sadly afflicted order that many, perhaps most members were “drifting” towards the continuous and exclusive traditional practice of the Faith as represented by offering exclusively the Traditional Mass, praying the Traditional Breviary, looking to Councils prior to VII for enlightenment, etc., etc.  And I can say that is the core of the difficulties Father Rodriguez is experiencing right now, too.

This seems to be to be a growing trend.  As I said, Fr. Rodriguez is not the first priest who has felt called to embrace the Traditional practice of the Faith even though he was ordained and initially was a non-traditional or, if you forgive the clumsy phrase, was a “Novus Ordo priest,” and who has subsequently experienced great difficulties due to that embrace. Fr. Peter Carota experienced similar difficulties.  There are others as well.

Discuss.  Sorry, I may flesh this out more if I get the time, but I must depart for Mass.

 

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