Touch – Roll – Touch with an F-104? Impossible!

Discussion under the video:

Thekenemy: According to my old Dutch teacher who was a ground crew member for the Belgian Starfighters, the idea was to do this as close to the ground as possible. He claims to have witnessed a horrible crash where the pilot for some reason ejected during this manoeuvre and got launched into the ground. This must have been Cpt. Susse Jacobs. I don’t know whether these f-104’s ejected upwards or downwards. Some internet research suggest there might be footage of this crash, but I can’t find it.

Allessandro Martens: It was indeed Susse Jacobs, who replaced Ongena after his retirement, who was killed while ejecting after a badly performed roll-touch-roll. The downwards ejecting seats were only installed in the early models of the F-104 and owned by the USAF. The rest, wisely, ejected upwards. I have no idea if there’s a video of Jacobs tragic ending. Ciao Alex

Click the YouTube link in the video to see entire conversation.


Ending Phone Solicitation – Gorilla Style

One time a couple years ago, some wind damaged our building roof. We got estimates from several companies. We selected one of them and they did the job. Over the next few weeks, we got calls back from the other vendors asking what we had done. We told “Star Roofing” that we had chosen another contractor and the job was completed. In a reasonable world, you’d expect this business to invest no further sales efforts into customer with a repaired roof. However…….

Over the last two years since the repair, we’ve received solicitation calls from “Star Roofing” numbering in the 30’s. Each time asking them to remove us from the list, our roof is fine. Yet, they just keep calling and calling and calling. It’s a terrific waste of money and time to be interrupted many times. Each interruption could lead to an error, or at the very least the person that answered the phone has to find their spot again to continue the project they were working on. Over time, our conversation and tone grew more and more insistent they they never call again. We even tried begging. After each call, there is another disruption in the office while somebody laments to others, “Can you believe those dumb SOB’s called us again”… So, time for a new tactic….

I instructed everyone in the office; whomever answered the next unwelcome “Star Roofing” call to please invite them out. A couple more calls came and in the irritation of the moment, my strategy was forgotten and replaced by the well practiced “Please don’t call use anymore and remove us from your list” was employed. Then finally, somebody remembered our plan under the duress of yet another phone solicitation. “Come on out they said”………

A few minutes later, we get a call from the solicitors supervisor asking some question about our roof. Of course, to prevent phone solicitors from padding their paychecks by claiming appointments that are not real, the supervisor must verify that it’s a real appointment. I don’t know what the solicitor gets paid, but lets assume it’s $20. Probably not far off. The company then provides the leads to the company that hired them at some sort of profit. So, lets say “Star Roofing” might have had to pay $35 for the verified sales appointment. Imagine all the paperwork involved and costs of this visit.

After not showing up one day, they called then next, we’ll be out in an hour or two. We’re in Dayton, they mention they are driving from Cincinnati. I’m pretty sure this sales call is going to make an impression on them. Sure enough, about an hour later, the 50-60 mile trip is complete and the salesman arrives……

I introduce myself while shaking his hand. “Let me tell you why you’re here. We’ve been trying to get off your phone solicitation list for 2 years. We’ve done the Christian thing and asked nicely many times, the calls continue…We’ve insisted in not to nice tones “never call us again” and still the calls continue. After 2 years of this torture, let me tell you what we are going to do. We’re going to invite you out every time you call.”

The salesperson was gracious and understood our irritation. Never apologized, however I thought he handled the situation respectfully. Mike (person has has fielded most of their calls) asked if anything will be done about the calls as he is exiting the building. He replies “I’ll never be back here again.” to which Mike says “So that means you won’t be stopping the calls?” At that point he’s so uncomfortable hiding is embarrassment and anger for the waste of his time that he just heads on out the door…….

Rather obviously this incident isn’t going to go unreported. About 20 minutes later we get a call from “Start Roofing” office. An angry manager of some sort is giving Mike the “what-fore” on the phone. I can only hear one part of the conversation and it’s things like “maybe you should be in better control of your business” and “what do you think it does to your reputation..” and “Why do you have to be such and ass-hole” and etc. After Mike gets off the phone he told me the manager said he was going to put us on speed dial. What a professional approach he is taking in representing his company. Needless to say, I’m fairly certain, we won’t be hearing from this roofing company again. After paying the phone soliciting company, paying the salesman, paying for fuel and wasting all their time, I’m pretty sure we made an impression.

Don’t be afraid to use gorilla tactics to get action when your being ignored. It does not mater if it’s a business or government institution. If they won’t cooperate, don’t just lay back and take it.

My name is Dave Thacker and I’m doing something about it.

PS:The companies name was altered. It’s not my point to hurt anybody, just to end the ringing phone. (And perhaps suggest a little confident action goes a long way) 😉


Yet Another Flying Car

Mizar Star; A flying Pinto
I was watching Top Gear UK (my favorite show) when it was mentioned a Flying Pinto was inspiration for Scaramanga’s flying AMC Matador used in The Man With The Golden Gun.

A company designed a flying car called the Mizar around a Ford Pinto and a the wings, tail and pusher engine of a Cessna Skymaster.

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Here is the promo video for this intrepid product:

The designer Smolinski and his associate, Harold Blake, were killed in the resulting fiery crash. See the wiki page HERE. It’s reported there were 2 completed and 3 others under construction. I wonder if under some dusty cover somewhere there is another the Mizar Air Car?

Blogsite with more information and newspaper clippings: The Flying Pinto That Killed It’s Inventor

Mizar flying car makes a famous list: TIMES’s List of 50 Worst Inventions Ever. Funny thing is the Pinto is listed twice, once with the Mizar and once all by itself.

The Aircraft/Car dream has been attempted many times, maybe you remember the Moller Skycar. Like so many others, it offered great promise to investors yet is reported to have never done anything but tethered hover tests in 2003. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against this or any other concept. In fact, I have some “kook in the garage” sketches of my own ideas for a garage-able flying car. I don’t doubt any nut-crackers* sincerity here, just recognizing the useful and acceptable shape of a car isn’t a very friendly shape for an aircraft.

Moller Skycar Tests:

Story: Is Moller on the Ropes?

A link to Moller International is not provided as my computer warned me of a virus threat when i tried to visit it.

nut-cracker; In this context, person with sincere desire to solve a difficult problem.


Today I Was Thinking Of The F-104

I’ve often thought of a bucketlist project of making a slow indoor flyer out of the worlds most improbable subjet, the F-104 Starfighter. There is this problem of driving past one every day on the way into Radical RC.

Capt. Joseph B. Jordan, flying a Lockheed F-104C Starfighter set a new altitude record when he reached 103,395.5 ft over the Edwards AFB. Flight Test Center California. During this flight, Capt. Jordan reached 98,424 ft 930,000 m) in only 15 minutes 4.92 seconds. This was the first aircraft taking off on its own power to reach the 30,000 m and 100,000 ft altitudes.

Great Planes Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

Sounds Of The F-104 Starfighter

The Vikings” F 104G Starfighter German Navy’s Demo Team

Starfighter Start Up