Sunday 12 September 2010

Divisumma, the Star!

A few weeks ago I got an email fom someone saying, in essence, "Can I come round and get some pictures of your Divisumma please?"

I was surprised, especially when I discovered he was coming from Detroit - I would have thought there would be more around than that. He is making a video about architecture for Yale, and had been specifically asked to include some footage of the Divisumma. He'd evidently had trouble finding one in the US but - thanks to this blog - he found mine.

He came by today and spent half an hour or so in the sunshine, shooting very close-up footage of the keyboard and the case. And, when he's finished putting it together, Divisumma will be a movie star!

Monday 6 September 2010

Halfway to Upside Down

When I started this blog it was with the intention of writing regularly about aerobatics - hence the title. But you know how things are... I got involved with learning to fly the heli, which dramatically reduced the amount of acro I fly.

But today I flew the Pitts, and I took my camera with me. It's hard to take pictures of aerobatics while flying solo, I can tell you - trying to fly a tricky manouver left-handed while holding the camera with the right and trying to get it to focus on the right thing.

I did however manage to get a nice picture of a knife-edge. That's when you hold the airplane in a 90 degree bank, which means that the wings aren't providing any lift. So the only way to maintain altitude is to hold a very steep fuselage angle and let the fuselage provide the lift, which means LOTS of top rudder - in the Pitts S2C, full top rudder. Of course the drag is huge, so you slowly lose airspeed and eventually you will fall out of the sky. But you have long enough to take a nice pic, like this one.

Full size photo, and others from the same flight, here.


For years I've got my daily news fix from the BBC news site. It was well arranged and would give instant access to the top world stories and, when I was feeling nostalgic for good ol' blighty, the UK. There were always a few interesting tidbits. And it was free, too.

Then, a few months back, some genius in marketing (I presume) decided that the page needed a New Look. Ever since, I just can't find any news on it. It's not just me, I have a colleague (Iranian) who has exactly the same feeling. Somehow, they just messed it up. I guess all the same news is still there, but it has lost its interest and salience.

Today I signed up for a subscription to The Times (the London one). Goodbye BBC news. I'm sorry to have lost a friend.