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    • Mike

      Ongoing DDoS Attack causing Forum Slowness   26/04/17

      In case you have missed the announcement, the reason that the forum has been slow at times since the minor version update the other day is due to a Denial of Service attack, brute force attack on our email, and judging by the lag with our FTP response, that too.  If you're feeling like you're experiencing a glitch in the Matrix, you're not wrong.  This is the same MO as the attack in September 2016 that occurred when we transitioned to the new version 4 of the software.  We're currently working with US and UK cyber-crime departments, who specialise in this sort of thing, and we're hopeful that we'll be able to track them down this time by using the accumulated evidence already held.    We are pretty certain that it's a continuation of the same attack last year, only at a reduced intensity to deter people from using the site "because it's terribly slow", rather than taking it down completely, and we're also sure of the motivations of those responsible.  Spite.   Please bear with us in the interim, and wish us luck in dealing with these.... "people".


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About KevinK

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  • Birthday 28/02/52

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  1. One possible use for the extra figures: Of course, there is extra rigging involved.
  2. Wrong scale - all the demand out there is for a 1/24th Brabazon.
  3. How can I say this - but, sorry, Mercury DID have an escape tower. I think you meant Gemini again!! OK, here's a bizarre spacecraft fact. When I was on the Shuttle program, one of the unusual things about the External Tank (ET) was just how light it was for its volume. The thing weighed about 60 000 lb empty, but could hold 20 000 cu ft of LOX and 50 000 cu ft of LH2 and acted as the structural backbone of the Shuttle stack during the ascent. If a Coke can were to be enlarged to the volume of the ET, it would weigh six times the weight of the ET.
  4. No, Adrian is correct - Support Command was initially maintenance, then absorbed Training Command, etc. Air Support Command and its predecessor, Transport Command, contained a rather special large unit, No 38 Group, which was in a sense a self-contained tactical air force, with fighter-bombers (Hunters to Jaguars in that 60s to 70s period) and tactical transports (Beverleys to Herks). It made sense to combine this combat unit with Fighter & Bomber Commands into Strike Command. The 'shiny fleet' (VC-10s, Comets, Britannias, Belfasts) came along as well. Of course, since this time the RAF has contracted to such an extent that the Commands have more or less disappeared and the Groups of today may not 'map' well to their history - today's 38 Group is a support organisation rather than a tactical air force. Kevin
  5. No, they didn't, but the Russian Vostok capsules did, as you state. The later American Gemini was fitted with ejection seats, but they were there for launch abort instead of an escape tower. The reason was that the Titan launch vehicle used N2O4/Hydrazine propellants which (in the event of a catastrophe) give a less-rapid fireball growth than LOX/Kerosene: technically, it's a subsonic deflagration wave rather than a sonic detonation. Ejection seats could keep the astronaut ahead of the fireball. Probably. For the early one-person capsules, the difference was Mercury's water recovery, using an airbag between the spacecraft and the heatshield to cushion the impact. The Russians, recovering on land, had a harder impact. The cosmonauts had the option to use the ejection seat and Gagarin used it.
  6. I've not flown the Harvard, but I did an hour of general handling on a two-stick Spitfire IX. At the time, I had about 400 hr P.1 and was current on the Chipmunk with a lot of aerobatics; I had some Tiger P.1 as well. My honest self-assessment at the time was that I would have needed something like 5 hr on an intermediate type to do a proper conversion and be properly safe on the more powerful aircraft. Of course, at the time there wasn't a serious prospect of doing a type conversion - it was done for the experience of flying a aircraft (PT462) which my Dad had flown operationally on 253 Sqn. The Spit (while I wouldn't want to give the wrong impression) was in some handling respects like a great big Chipmunk but with ten times the power and a lot of torque. An intermediate aircraft would have been useful, but not entirely essential: a direct conversion would be doable, but for a low-time pilot it would doubtless be easier, cheaper and safer to go the Harvard route. I would encourage you to do as you suggest and try the PT-17 (or a Chippie - I've heard there are a few in Canada!) as a 'lead-in' to the Harvard. The J-3's not ideal. Kevin
  7. Me too. The card was charged at noon today - order is "processing" but "Estimated delivery date To Be Confirmed". Soon????
  8. Probably McKinley - that would fit. I really like your 'different time stream', though. I recall reading Michael Flynn's sf story 'In the Country of the Blind' in Analog magazine 25 years ago. He created an alternative history where Charles Babbage's machines were being used in the mid-19th century to forecast and encourage new developments - the story was illustrated by an arresting drawing of Abraham Lincoln at his desk with a Space Shuttle desk model.
  9. What is it about tinned spaghetti and New Zealanders? How did that get to be a part of the basic diet? And, while we're at it, why does the carpeting cover the skirting boards: inquiring minds want to know.
  10. As X-rays weren't discovered until 30 years later, this is unlikely.
  11. Actually, that's not really any different from how it always was. 'If accurate plans are available' - hasn't that always been the desired starting point? Manufacturer's GAs can be famously inaccurate in some cases (Fairey Battle, and especially the Hurricane drawings, as Mr Bentley's detective work showed), so in the case of a largely extinct aircraft like the Hornet or Stirling, there are usually plans out there, and with the various SIGs around the net, it doesn't take long to identify which drawings are good or otherwise. The whole thing hinges on who defines that the plans are accurate.
  12. Rod, I fully agree - it's not a terribly good reason to modify the aircraft if no-one else is having the problem, and all aeroplanes I have spun have characteristics which vary from airframe to airframe. There are so many variables and when we add in variations in spin entry technique, plus (these days) student/instructor emphasis often being put on recovery from the very early stages of a spin, many low--time student pilots won't have had the experience to understand what's going on as the spin varies. Unfortunately, as all my Chipmunk flying was done on UK-registered aircraft, I've not flown one without strakes to compare it. Your last paragraph is absolutely true - my Father told me the same thing. Interestingly, the Tiger itself acquired strakes around 1942. All the best, Kevin
  13. That would have been Robin Thwaites on Arundel St - they were a toy & model shop with a good selection. There was another model shop on Fratton Road in the 1960's, not too far from where Arundel St met Fratton Road - I can't remember the name, but they were very good for flying models. It was possible, if the parents' Saturday shopping could be artfully arranged, to visit both and then make a final stop at Mike Silk's Modeltoys on the way home. You never knew what new thing you were going to find in Modeltoys - I mentioned in a recent Frog thread going in there one day in the '70s and finding a stack of Frog Valiants and Vulcans on the counter. Happy days.
  14. Matchbox was mainstream, and Revell thought enough of the kit to reissue it, so yes - it should be a safe sales success to issue one tooled in this century.
  15. Are you guys still using those traditional Polynesian sailing canoes down there?