James May, A Toy’s Story: Glider Across the English Channel

Can a free flight glider with only the aid of an autopilot to keep it on course be successfully flown 22 miles across the English channel? Can they overcome the a bloated idiot government of France trying to stop them? Will it make landfall or crash flaming into the sea???? Are modelers the coolest people on earth or what?


Ekranoplan Big as a Football Field

I have always been very interested in the Ekranoplan platform. Although not much unique ever came from the slaves of communism, this remains one fascinating concept. Could it have been used to deliver thousands of troops to New York or Los Angeles, under radar and at high speed? An Ekranoplan is a fast ship with wings. It’s not a “flying boat“. They are ground effect machines, never taking to the skies. Ground Effect is generally described as limited to a zone no higher than the wingspan of the craft.

History Channel, “Soviets Top Secret Weapons” Starting with the Ekronoplan segment:

History Channels “Soviets Top Secret Weapons” entire episode below:

An amazingly SLOW Radio Control Ekronoplane from Japan:

Is that small electric or 2 stroke power plants? I’m not sure. It sure looks BIG for a model.

A modern Seagull IV WIG:

From Russia, Ride aboard Aquaglide-5:

Promotional Aquaglide-5 video. Great early video inside.

English with the thickest Russian accent you’ve ever tried to decode!

Information sites related to Ground Effect Vehicles:

What is Ground Effect?

The WIG Page – (Wing In Ground Effect)

Most complete info and photo site for various creations: Rada Craft – What Else Is There?

Dark Roasted Blend Blogsite: Ekranoplans Showcase with photo’s of real and concepts.


Balsa Kitchen? Killer RV Upgrades

Who hasn’t at one time or another considered converting a bus or some other service vehicle to an RV. You might enjoy The Travel Channels show Killer RV Upgrades. Find a Grumman Albatros converted to an RV complete with a balsa kitchen. (Chrome users may have to reload this page to view video player.)


Felix Baumgartner: Red Bull Stratos Mission

At this moment I’m watching the Discovery Channels 2 hours of coverage for Felix Baumgartners record atempt. Evidently to set many records including first mach 1 jump, highest jump, highest baloon flight and longest free fall. I’m just wondering why they don’t have some interesting characters to add commentary. Imagine a round table with a pro jumper, NASA astronuat, SR-71 pilot, high altitude expersuch as an Everest climber. What a round table that would be discussing all the problems and technology involved in a record attempt like that.

I hope it is a success. I can’t help but wonder wahy the capsule turns slowly up at such high altitude. There must be an air movement difference from top to bottom of the rig? Looking out, it’s not blue, it’s black form this altitude. That’s pretty high. 104k feet at this moment, over 31 miles. Getting clost, he’s jumping at about 120k.


During free fall Felix seemed to be comoplaning his visor was fogged up. I think he was wanting them to give him more altitude updates. Might have been too high to open the visor at the them time. There was no forthcomming info from MIssion Control, so he popped the chute about 10-15 seconds short of the the free fall record. However, still a super successfull record attempt with many other records sure to be moved up. At this moment, the Capsule is still floating down under it’s chute. I”m sure all this will find it’s way to the Smithsonian soon.

Red Bull Stratos site.

To my question about why the balloon turns in such a thin atmosphere, I’ve thought of my own answer. Depending on the time you were watching, the balloon was rising from 10-20 feet per second. So, in effect it’s rising vertical into a wind of that speed. The balloon being an odd shape would be effected by that much air moving around it. As it got higher and higher, the air got thinner and thinner, the balloon getting more regular in shape (less lumpy more bulb like) the balloon/capsule unit twisted about less and less. So there you go.