Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Versunkene Kunst & Raum (Chicago)

Starting this years first journey is the Chicago Institute of Art. If you have been, then you know. If you have not, then you need to go. There are so many items on display. From amazing sculpture, to the stunning paintings, and everything in between. Seriously, there is something for everyone. Before I delve into pictures and maybe ramblings, I have to say that I am seriously disappointing that the two works they have from Leonardo Da Vinci are still not on display. I would seriously do almost anything to see them...

However, since I am me and not everyone, I have my other favorites... As seen below:






This is possibly the most apropos face on a statue with no hands...


An absolute favorite of mine: Allegory of Death, by Clement-Auguste Andrieux. This was done in 1860, on woven paper, with pen/ink, chalk, and watercolor. Basically, this guy is awesome. Look his shit up.


I don't think I have to give introduction to the following... However, in case it is needed, just look up the artist, as their other works needs to be seen.

Renoir's "Near the Lake."


My absolute favorite Monet, "Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare."


Van Gogh's "The drinkers."


And what I can only assume is everyone else's favorite painting by him...


I am not a huge fan of Cezanne, but I do like the way his signature looks.


And me standing sadly by the "Petite Creuse River."
Back-story: Many years ago, I was scolded by a security guard and, subsequently, an art teacher for touching the damned thing... Now things beep when you get too close. I mean, I wasn't going to jack the thing...



Now we move onto the "Museum of Science & Industry."

This is a bike. A bike made from a ton of my favorite materials (Carbon Fiber, Titanium, & Aluminum).


 A map of Mars, thanks to NASA.


Planes, Trains, and... People...


An insulating tile off the space shuttle.


Unterseeboot 505:









Items recovered from the 505:
Code book


A "dial" from an Enigma machine. Brilliant engineering does not begin to describe these machines.


Luft Kompressor


A stopwatch used to time torpedoes.


And to finish things off, we go to my favorite subject: Space

Seeing that I am a fool for segments of machines that can tell a whole story, I am continuing with my typical style of photography here... On a more poignant note: While I was taking pictures, dreaming of space, a great American astronaut (and the last man on the moon) died. Rest in peace Gene Cernan. He was able to live a dream that is unimaginable for most.

This is the inside (control panel) of Mercury space craft (Aurora 7).


Some details of Frank Borman's suit worn during the "Apollo 8" mission flight.





The Apollo 8 capsule door:


Same door, but with the latching mechanics.



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Dayton, Ohio...

Since I was laid off, I figured I needed to get away from everything in life and just go decompress a bit. What better way to do that than to take a trip to the greatest place on Earth? And no... Not a goddamned Disney... I am talking anyplace with a Blackbird.

In the case of this blog post, I am in Dayton, Ohio. You know, because of the whole Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and the National Air Force Museum. As it turns out, they have a couple of Blackbirds. To be exact, they have an SR-71A and a YF-12.

Before I post up the awesome stuff, here is some of Dayton that I shot... Hooray... Boring...






Also, in case anyone has ever wondered, it is illegal to be on a dam. Who knew?

With the scenic stuff out of the way, we can now delve into the fun stuff. And really, what better way to start than with "Bockscar?" You know, the plane that dropped the second bomb ("Fat Man" - the orange thing in the second picture).




Not only are these goggles stylish, they also had a purpose. That purpose was to protect the crew's eyes' from the blast (light) radiation from when the nuclear weapon detonated.


Now for some miscellaneous photos. Yes, I find components to be more interesting than the whole of the plane. Deal with it.



This is a range/trajectory computer for firing an AA gun as seen in the picture after (German).




This is a recovered engine. I cannot remember where it was recovered from.




Inside a bomb-bay, with the arming trigger for bombs.




Inside of another bomb-bay.


Ah, the wonderful devices that I find so much beauty in: Nuclear weapons.



Oh, yeah. That is just a GAU-8 from the A-10. Fun fact for you and your kids: The A-10 is the ONLY aircraft ever designed around a gun. As in, the aircraft is just a secondary role to the gun. Incidentally, this was the first time I was asked to not touch the aircraft...




Ah, and here we have some space stuff.







And now back to the planes.


This odd fellow is known as "Tacit Blue." If you care to learn about Stealth aircraft, then look it up.


A sexy, but never realized YF-23. This should have gone into production... The widow maker is that sexy,




I also had the honor of walking through a few Air Force Ones'. The surreal walk is something that has to be experienced for yourself.


As you might be aware, this was the AF1 that John F. Kennedy flew while president. It was also where LBJ was sworn into office. And finally, it was the plane that carried Kennedy's casket. The seats you see on the right were removed to accommodate the casket. It was strange to know that I was walking in the same footsteps as our presidents, and also the tragedy and history that came with the plane.



And now we are onto the R&D section.  That giant ass white spike looking jet is the XB-70 Valkyrie. At a staggering 200 feet long, it was a high speed, nuclear bomber... With 6 massive engines.


We all know what the F-117 is...




Oh, the Blackbirds are coming...

The first is the SR-71A that I have taken photos of on my last trip. With that in mind, I wanted to show some of the details with the plane.




This adorable little bastard is the D21 drone. It was an experimental craft, that was deployed from the M-21 (an A-12 [SR-71 to keep things simple]). Just do a search on it. Or, if you are in Seattle, you can see the only surviving M-21.



Hmm... That SR-71 sure looks different than the other SR-71. Yes... Yes it does. That is all due to the fact that this is not an SR-71, or A-12, or M-21. No, this my friends is a YF-12. Basically it is the interceptor/fighter version that was proposed by Lockheed.

For as cool as I find this plane, it was an exercise in futility. There are many reasons it was not a success like the SR was, but one cool thing we got from it was the Pheonix missile system. At the time, we did not have a missile that could shoot at the speeds the YF-12 flies.

There are many unique features that this version has, but I do not want to sit here and write a book. There are many, many great articles and websites devoted to the plane. For now, enjoy the pictures.