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Non sequitur – cockpit fetish September 19, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, fun, silliness.

My dad has remarked to me a number of times that I am a very eclectic person.  I have all kinds of interests in all kinds of things.  One thing that has always fascinated me is the extremely esoteric subject of aircraft cockpits – or, really, the instrument panels.  Especially, military or space related aircraft instrument panels.  I know, it’s pretty weird.  My special freak out side of this, is that I especially love photos of the cockpits at night, with all the lights on.  I don’t know why. I just do.  For instance, when I found this photo of an F-111D cockpit at night, with all systems working, all the lights on – and more than that, HUGE! – my little heart went pitter pat:

One of my frustrations in this area has been the utter lack of good photos or (haha!) video of what these panels looked like in NASA spacecraft like the Gemini, Apollo CSM, and especially the Apollo Lunar Module with all the lights off, save for the backlighting of the displays on the panel.  I’ve never found good photos of this.  Until now, with this little photo which comes so tantalizingly close.

Dang the overhead flood switch!  It’s set to bright, you can see it!  Bah! And this photo doesn’t even get the whole panel, but most of it.

I know, I have many problems. I don’t know why you people read me.  But I’m not the only one.  There are whole groups of cockpit fetish people like me.  This guy here even restores very complex, modern aircraft instrument panels, such as those from the F-4D-31-MC Phantom II.  He produces beautiful work:

There, if you were ever wondering how you jettison the  nuke off your F-4D, or how to ripple release the bombs on your stbd wing pylon, now you know.  Back from before the days when computers started doing everything!  You actually had to have skill.   Think about trying to find and set some of these knobs and switches at night, in a combat, with people shooting at you, while your trying to line up on the target – wow, that took effort.  No HUD, not computer to aim the bomb for you (and no dang GPS to make it ridiculously easy, just pickle and leave).  Wow, those guys had to know what they were doing.

Soon, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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