Get a room full of bureaucrats together and ask them to design a plane.

Aces Flying High

On the far side of the outdoor air park at the Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow you will find a very unusual oddity in aviation history. There you will see a bizarre looking jet powered twin boom biplane that could well have been inspired by Frank Herbert’s tales of Dune!

What is it? This large and ungainly looking aircraft is a PZL M-15 Belphegor Ag-plane, designed and built in Poland in the 1970’s. Designed for utilitarian, practical purpose rather than beauty!

PZL M-15 Belphegor Ag-plane at the Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow PZL M-15 Belphegor Ag-plane at the Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow (August 2017)

In the early 1970’s the Soviet Union were looking into jet powered agricultural aircraft for crop spraying and crop dusting. The Polish aviation industry were invited to be involved in this project. The intention was to be able to cover large agricultural areas more quickly and efficiently than traditional Ag-planes such as the Antonov…

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Posted by: Gregoryno6 | May 4, 2018

When you don’t find what you’re looking for

… and instead find something you didn’t know was waiting to be found.

TWO shipwrecks discovered off the West Australian coast during the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been identified as 19th century merchant sailing vessels that were carrying cargoes of coal.

No plane, but two old ships… so I guess it wasn’t a complete waste.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | May 4, 2018

Two stones for one bird, as it were.

Dropped in at Planet for a Mothers Day card, and had the good fotune to find not only this year’s but also next’s maternal offering.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | May 4, 2018

Twuck Fitter.

Could have happened to anyone!

“Although there are no indications of any security breach, Twitter is advising its more than 330 million users to change their passwords as soon as possible.
The company discovered a bug that caused many account keys to be stored in readable text on Twitter’s internal computers, rather than having them encrypted.”

But hold on to that fleeting flash of skepticism. Twitter has form as a stifler of views – and users – it deems unaceeptable. Users who supported Trump were locked out of their accounts and stripped of followers in February.

A former employee disputed the claims then that it was gosh sorry all just a terrible mistake. Now it’s revealed that user details are stored in plain text; as easy to read as the phone book. And again it’s jeez we screwed this up too we are honestly so damn sorry.


Posted by: Gregoryno6 | May 3, 2018

Remember the ‘campfire’ scene in Blazing Saddles?

You’d never expect to see anything like that in a Batman movie, would you?

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | May 2, 2018

Dave and Blaire and Rucka and Candace.

Does that remind you of an old movie title?

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 30, 2018

Getting excited by the L-word. (No, the OTHER L-word.)

Generally speaking, I’ve found Linkedin to be Facebook in a suit and tie. But when I get a message that I’ve appeared in 17 searches this week, it does give me a little bit of a tingle.
Pity none of those searchers are looking for a semi-qualified overweight spreadsheet slave. Not in so many words, anyhow.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 25, 2018

ANZAC Day 2018: Remembering sacrifice.

Peter Badcoe was born in Adelaide in 1934. Upon leaving school he joined the state government’s public service as a clerk. From the few photos to be found of him, Badcoe embodies the archetype of a government minion: round face, glasses, and a slightly disapproving expression.

Apperances can deceive. Major Peter Badcoe was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross in 1967.

The London Gazette printed the citation for his award on October 17. It read in part:

The QUEEN has been graciously pleased on the advice of Her Majesty’s Australian Ministers to approve the posthumous award of the VICTORIA CROSS to:

Major PETER JOHN BADCOE (41400), Royal Australian Infantry Corps.

On 23rd February 1967 he was acting as an Advisor to a Regional Force Company in support of a Sector operation in Phu Thu District. He monitored a radio transmission which stated that the Subsector Adviser, a United States Army Officer, had been killed and that his body was within 50 metres of an enemy machine gun position; further, the United States Medical Adviser had been wounded and was in immediate danger from the enemy. Major BADCOE with complete disregard for his own safety moved alone across 600 metres of fire-swept ground and reached the wounded Adviser, attended to him and ensured his future safety. He then organised a force of one platoon and led them towards the enemy post. His personal leadership, words of encouragement, and actions in the face of hostile enemy fire forced the platoon to successfully assault the enemy position and capture it, where he personally killed the machine gunners directly in front of him. He then picked up the body of the dead officer and ran back to the Command post over open ground still covered by enemy fire.

On 7th March 1967, at approximately 0645 hours, the Sector Reaction Company was deployed to Quang Dien Subsector to counter an attack by the Viet Cong on the Headquarters. Major BADCOE left the Command group after their vehicle broke down and a United States Officer was killed; he joined the Company Headquarters and personally led the company in an attack over open terrain to assault and capture a heavily defended enemy position. In the face of certain death and heavy losses his personal courage and leadership turned certain defeat into victory and prevented the enemy from capturing the District Headquarters.

On 7th April 1967, on an operation in Huong Tra District, Major BADCOE was with the 1st A.R.V.N. Division Reaction Company and some armoured personnel carriers. During the move forward to an objective the company came under heavy small arms fire and withdrew to a cemetery for cover, this left Major BADCOE and his radio operator about 50 metres in front of the leading elements, under heavy mortar fire. Seeing this withdrawal, Major BADCOE ran back to them, moved amongst them and by encouragement and example got them moving forward again. He then set out in front of the company to lead them on; the company stopped again under heavy fire but Major BADCOE continued on to cover and prepared to throw grenades, when he rose to throw, his radio operator pulled him down as heavy small arms fire was being brought to bear on them; he later got up again to throw a grenade and was hit and killed by a burst of machine gun fire. Soon after, friendly artillery fire was called in and the position was assaulted and captured.

Major BADCOE’S conspicuous gallantry and leadership on all these occasions was an inspiration to all, each action, ultimately, was successful, due entirely to his efforts, the final one ending in his death. His valour and leadership were in the highest traditions of the military profession and the Australian Regular Army.

In addition to his Victoria Cross and other Australian honours Major Badcoe was recognised by the United States, which awarded him the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, the Purple Heart, and the Air Medal. The South Vietnamese government awarded him the Wound Medal and the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Gold Star and Silver Star.

Major Peter Badcoe, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, was buried at a miltary cemetery in Malaysia.


Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 25, 2018

ANZAC Day 1918: Remembering victory.

Then came a wild, terrifying roar as waves of Australian infantry from the 15th Brigade rushed the German positions, knowing that men from the 13th Brigade were doing the same on the other side of Villers-Bretonneux. Downing recalled ‘a howling as of demons’ as the Australians surged forward with rifle and bayonet, their “fierce, low growl [as] of tigers scenting blood”. Ordered to take no prisoners, they “killed and killed … there was no quarter on either side”.

ANZAC Day has added significance this year. 2018 marks the centenary of Australian troops driving German forces from the village of Villers-Bretonneux, a few miles from Amiens. The quote above comes from the account of Walter Downing, published in 2002 as To The Last Ridge.

The Germans had had a string of successes through March and April of 1918, and were aiming to push on through Villers-Bretonneux into Amiens and then on to the English Channel. Their men had fought hard, and the British troops in the area had taken the brunt of the battle. But the Australians were given special incentive by General John Monash. On the eve of the battle Monash reminded the men that they would be fighting on the third anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli. He urged the troops to fight for those fallen comrades. Spurred on, the Australians made a victory of the hastily improvised battle plan and crushed the enemy.

The victory at Villers-Bretonneux was the first act in the final defeat of Germany.

General Monash. They named a university after him. I doubt that he’d be impressed.
Print by Bassano, 1918.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 22, 2018

Batman, in London, crosses a street. Safely.

I admire the way all you British children triumph over this danger! Australian children would not be so admirable.

In fact, Bats would freak clean out of his pointy ears if he saw how casual Australians are with street crossing. Is it clear? Yeah? Okay. Let’s go.

Marked crossings and green men are okay if we’re right there at the right moment. But if we’re twenty paces from the lights and there’s a decent break in the traffic, we won’t bother.

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