Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Archive for the tag “military topics”

747s, B-52s, and F-35Cs

747 cargo aircraft taking off from Denver airport on 8-22-20. Photo by James Ulvog.

Background articles on:

  • Jumbo jet that opened up international travel to the masses reaching end of production run
  • Background on why B-52 has been around for 50 years and will still be in service after other heavy bombers have long since retired
  • New F-35C deploying to the fleet

9/8/20 – Wall Street Journal – The Jumbo Jet Was the Pinnacle of Air Luxury – Now It’s Days Are Numbered – Boeing will shut its 747 production line in 2022 when the last of the already ordered freighters is completed. Airbus will close its A380 super jumbo line in 2021 when the last dozen planes are finished. The double-decker A380 was designed as the peer-to-peer competitor to the 747.

Article has lots of fun stats on both planes. I will provide some of the fun detail:

The 747 was the revolutionary jumbo jet. It opened up international travel to the masses. It was a major part of the rapid expansion in air travel.

The 747 debuted in 1969. The A380 in 2000 with first commercial flight in 2007.

747 cargo aircraft taking off from Denver airport. Photo by James Ulvog.

Over 50 years there have been 1,556 747s produced. Forecast for the A380 had been 1,200 planes but only 242 have been delivered.

Seating capacity:

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UH-1 Huey gunship.

Photo by James Ulvog.

The UH-1 Huey has been used by the U.S. military for decades.

Photo by James Ulvog.

For your viewing pleasure, check out these photos of the restored aircraft on the flight deck of the Midway Museum.

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A-4 Skyhawk.

Photo by James Ulvog.

The A-4 Skyhawk was an attack aircraft used by the Navy during the Vietnam war. For your viewing pleasure, check out these photos of the restored aircraft on the flight deck of the Midway Museum.

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F9F Panther.

Photo by James Ulvog.

The F9F Panther was the first carrier based jet fighter to see combat in the Korean War.

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Bombers and fighters.

Two B-52 Stratofortresses fly over Royal Air Force Station Fairford, United Kingdom, Aug. 22, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eugene Oliver)

More background on the U.S. bomber forces and some info on prices for new fighters. Oh, some really nice photos too, courtesy of the U.S.A.F.

6/24/20 – Popular Science – Inside a training mission with a B-52 bomber, the aircraft that will not die. Author goes along on a training flight, weaving together history of the B-52, description of future structure of manned bomber force, and tale of the flight.

Fun read. Check it out.

Some interesting tidbits:

Every four years each B-52 goes through a massive maintenance routine which takes 40,000 hours of labor and replaces about 3,000 parts. This extensive maintenance along with major upgrades means the B-52 fleet is likely to stay in use until the year 2050.

Current inventory of the manned bomber fleet:

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MQ-1B Predator on display at March Field Air Museum.

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

The March Field Air Museum has an MQ-1B Predator on static display. A few pictures of the drone for your viewing pleasure:

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

Narrative on the placard:

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Airplane Photos: B-17G on display at March Field Air Museum.

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.


B-17G Starduster, #44-6393, is on static display at the March Field Air Museum. For your viewing pleasure here are photos of the magnificent plane as it appeared in June 2020.

This is my tiny tribute to all those who fought to end actual fascism 80 years ago, especially the hundreds of thousands who never came home.

For a better view, click on any picture.

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

The placard reads:

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Airplane pictures: F-4s on display at March Field Air Museum.


March Field Air Museum has three, count ’em, three of the magnificent F-4 Phantom fighter jets on static display. Two of the three have gorgeous paint jobs, while one is looking a bit more ragged. All three a delight.

For your visual enjoyment, join me on a walk-around of the aircraft.

All photos by James Ulvog. Read more…

Airplane photos: B-29 Superfortress on display at March Field Air Museum.

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

March Field Air Museum has a B-29A Superfortress on static display.  For your viewing pleasure, join me for a walking tour around the plane:

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.


Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

Placard reads:

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B61 gravity bomb casing on display at March Field Air Museum.

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

March Field Air Museum has the casing of a B61 gravity nuclear bomb. Here are a few photos of the weapon along with a description.

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The horrible effects of nuclear weapons.

For years I’ve been looking for a table that illustrates the horrid effects of nuclear weapons. Have not seen anything that matched what I had in mind.

My poking around for information on this current series of nukes has led me to many places on the good ol’ net. After looking at several articles, I thought to check on Wikipedia. Guess what? Found a reasonable approximation of what I have been wanting.


The lesson from this data for those on active duty is that nuclear safety is imperative.

The lesson for the rest of us is that we and our leaders must strive to make sure nuclear weapons are never used.


The Wikipedia article is Effects of nuclear explosions.

The following table is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The original author is not visible, so I cannot give further attribution.

In short version, that means I can use the information, modify it, adapt it, share it, or distribute it, even commercially if so desired.

The requirement of doing so is that anything created from this data must be shared with others under the same license.

So, the information in this blog post, but only this specific blog post, may be used by anyone under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


The frightening effects of nuclear weapons:

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Rough guess on first strike capacity in 1990.

A Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile successfully launches at 1 a.m. Nov. 5 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The missile was configured with a National Nuclear Security Administration test assembly in which a single unarmed re-entry vehicle traveled approximately 4,190 miles to their pre-determined targets near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

Did the Soviet Union, that now dead Evil Empire, have a first strike capability against US nuclear forces in 1990?

Did the US have first strike capability?

Let’s ponder those questions.

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Airplane photos: B-17 Flying Fortress

Now for a breathtaking break from the negative news on the evaporating economy and fading freedoms. (Ugg. So sorry for the awful alliteration!)


Delightful photos of the B-17 Flying Fortress, workhorse of the U.S. during World War II. All photos courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.

Incredible view from the underside of a formation on its way to Germany:

OVER GERMANY — B-17 Flying Fortresses from the 398th Bombardment Group fly a bombing run to Neumunster, Germany, on April 8, 1945. On May 8, Germany surrendered, and Victory in Europe Day was declared. (Courtesy photo from U.S. Air Force)


The classic photo of B-17s with their escorts overhead.

B-17 -1940s — B-17 Flying Fortresses (Courtesy U.S. Air Force).

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French nuclear weapon inventory in 2019.

070723-N-6524M-004 by cryogenic666 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Mediterranean Sea (July 23, 2007)– A French Rafale M combat aircraft performs a catapult-assisted launch from the flight deck of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). The Rafale is the first French aircraft to both launch and recover on an American carrier. U.S Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brandon Morris. Image released by LT Mark C. Jones, PAO CVN 65.

For an overview of France’s nuclear weapons consider the document French nuclear forces, 2019 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Their preferred citation is: Hans M. Kristensen & Matt Korda (2019) French nuclear forces, 2019, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 75:1, 51-55, DOI: 10.1080/00963402.2019.1556003.

The bulk of their nuclear inventory is submarine based with a small number of land-based fighters and a smaller number of carrier-based fighters.


France’s defense policy is their nuclear weapons are for “legitimate self-defense.”  They have not adopted a no-first-use policy and reserve the right for a limited strike as a “final warning” that they will defend themselves.


France has four Triomphant-class nuclear powered submarines. One of these SSBNs is always on patrol, a second is getting ready to go on patrol, another has returned from patrol, and the final one is in maintenance. Article says each sub patrol is approximately 70 days.

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Alert status and comparison of US and Soviet strategic arsenals in 1990.

A B-1B Lancer deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., prepares for a mission at Andersen AFB, Guam, Nov. 16, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Gerald R. Willis)

Previous posts listed the strategic nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. in 1990.

This discussion will compare the total inventories and then calculate my wild guesses for weapons on daily alert.

Full disclosure: Back in the bad old days of the Cold War, I was a tiny little cog in the ICBM forces listed below.

Here is a comparison of total inventory for each country:

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