Saturday 19 August 2017

Navigate to Eclipse 2017 USA with ReallySimpleMovingMap

Are you planning to view the Total Solar Eclipse in the USA on 21 August 2017? If so, here's the trajectory in the web-browser version of ReallySimpleMovingMap. Just drive/hike/etc(!) until your real-time location marker hits the line!  You can also load the eclipse trajectory via the iOS or Android App version of ReallySimpleMovingMap. In the App, click Shapes, check Show Shapes on map, click ...from Cloud, select Eclipse 2017 USA from the available Shape Groups from Cloud, and confirm OK to load. Note: this requires you to have logged-in to the App.

The trajectory data is reproduced courtesy of NASA, who have published a GoogleMaps version of the trajectory here, showing the exact times of the eclipse along the trajectory (obtained by clicking anywhere on the trajectory).  Use ReallySimpleMovingMap to help you navigate to the precise location, then check the NASA map to get the timings.

Saturday 5 August 2017

RAF Henlow "100" Bulldog & Chipmunk Flyby

I recently had the pleasure in participating with my Bulldog in the RAF Henlow "100" (centenary) flyby. Together with 10 Chipmunks, we flew over the base in the shape of "1 0 0" (viewed from the ground). Here are a collection of photos and videos from the event. I'll add more materials if/when I receive them e.g., the photos from the official "camera ship" and from the official photographer on the ground.

At one point, due to thunderstorms preventing aircraft from getting through to Henlow in the days leading up the the flyby, we thought we would not have enough aircraft for "1 0 0" so we were aiming to resort to "Plan B" which would have replaced "1 0 0" with "C" (for the classically-educated). However, the storms cleared, and on the day, we had 11 aircraft: 10 Chipmunks and my lone Bulldog, enabling 4 aircraft for each "0" and three for the "1". My Bulldog's position was lead aircraft in the "box" formation of 4 aircraft in the outermost "0" i.e., the front/centre of the "0". It's always more challenging with mixed types: the Bulldog wants to climb at 80kts, the Chipmunks at 70kts. Even with "inter" flap, the Bulldog was on the verge of stalling when climbing at 70 kts -- the stall-waning horn chirping away is quite a distraction when climbing-out, low over the perimeter trees and hedges, having survived the bumpy formation takeoff run along the grass runway. In the end, we compromised on 75 kts which was far more comfortable.

Anyway, here are the pics so far. Videos to be added later (once processed).


Training flight #1

Training flight #2

The "1 0 0"

The "Royal Chipmunk"

RAF Henlow -- Isle of Man connection