November 11th, 2008


(no subject)

Have recovered enough from brain-mangling illness to sit in a chair and exert pressure on bits of plastic in response to an awful lot of glowing red, green, and blue pieces of plastic. In other words, I'm back in the office.

Doing a chargen writeup last night helped loosen a block on some personal projects I hadn't yet started, which is a good thing. Hopefully I should be able to blast through a couple in the next few days, giving you lot some Æternal Legends style love. We shall see.


So a thread on Tangency made me think of beautiful, beautiful engineering. The Vulcan bomber, the sexiest aircraft ever. The SR-71, the flying equivalent of a glamour model. And the one piece of engineering that's pretty much guaranteed to get me hard: the English Electric Lightning.

The finest description of the Lightning I ever saw was on an old, old Usenet thread. Perhaps this will help share some of the excitement I feel. There used to be a Lightning on the way in to the Gyle when I worked out there, and that was guaranteed to perk me up in a morning.

Anyway. Over to Chris Suslowicz, in the Monastery, with the aircraft:

It's basically a twin engined missile, and the pilot is a sort-of afterthought. Take two Rolls-Royce Avon engines, mount 1 above the other and roll up in stainless steel, add fins^Wwings, convert every available void to a fuel tank, discover there's no room for a cockpit unless the pilot is sitting in the air intake for the top engine. Fit cockpit there.

You end up with a power to mass ratio of around 3:2, a ceiling limited by the oxygen supply to the engines, and a top speed of "Mach 2+" (the '+' was around .3)

Four drawbacks:
Fuel consumption against tankage
Single seat
Limited armament
Maintenance was a problem: any engine work meant dismantling the aircraft.


Enough talk. Plane-porn below the cut!

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