He took off that day. It was 115 years ago, two years before the Wrights. Gustav Weisskopf had changed his name into Gustave Whitehead before building his aeroplane whose name was the « Condor », or number 21. Gustave was a German immigrant from Leutershausen in Bavaria, where a splendid museum https://www.weisskopf.de commemorates the feats of the brilliant inventor.
Two replicas of his plane #21 flew in 1986 in the U.S.A., and in 1997 in Germany. Several books have been written about Gustave Whitehead so far. Susan O’Dwyer Brinchman published the latest one last year. Her searching follows her father’s, Major William J. O’Dwyer, a retired U.S. Air Force Reserve officer who had found early Whitehead’s photos in an attic, in 1963, and researched Whitehead for the next 45 years, interviewing many witnesses. Susan worked with him during the later decades and recently, has found even more. She explains why Whitehead must have been the first in the world to perform a steerable, propelled without catapult, heavier-than-air flight. She shares an extensive FAQ and lots of resources on her website here: http://gustavewhitehead.info/gustave-whitehead-resources/ which are quite compelling. You can order her book Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight on Amazon or get a signed one by clicking on the cover here below:
General English represents around 70% of aviation English. So, it can be helpful to listen to some general English once in a while. This American English video is not that tough for ICAO level 5 or SLP 3333 speakers but it is a bit fast and full of slang. Therefore, it could be difficult to understand. However, and as it is funny, it is worth watching:
TRANSCRIPT AND EXPLANATIONS:
VOICE: Pete is a mustache virgin, but lately he has been second-guessing his choices. Pete n’a pas de moustache, mais dernièrement, il a remis ses choix en question. THE BOSS: We are still on for duck hunting? Ça tient toujours pour la chasse au canard? WAYNE: That is the plan, Boss Man. Absolument, chef. BOSS: Hit me back, stache attack. Rappelle-moi, moustache-attaque. (stache attack, between Mars-attack and stache salute. Stache salute signifie un respect que les sans-moustaches portent aux moustachus) PETE: I like shooting ducks. Cela me plaît de tirer sur des canards. THE BOSS: I’m not sure you’re cut out for it. Je ne suis pas certain que tu sois taillé pour cela. VOICE: I know what you’re thinking, Pete – The stached get all the breaks. Je sais à quoi tu penses, Pete: les moustachus ont tous les avantages. But one does not move to stached one on a whim. Mais on ne passe pas à la moustache sur un coup de tête. You wanna be the lord of the lip, you do it right or you don’t do it at all. Tu veux être le seigneur de la lèvre, tu t’y prends correctement, sinon ne fais rien. Are we clear? Good, man. Now take these simple nuggets of wisdom as gospel: Est-ce clair? Bien! Maintenant, considère ces pures pépites de sagesse comme parole d’évangile: First things first. You can’t just grow a mustache. Commençons par le début. Tu ne sais tout simplement pas comment te laisser pousser la moustache. Waiting for it to get to the good looking stage takes way too long. Attendre que cela ait bonne allure prends beaucoup trop de temps. And it is a tad creepy in its incubation phase. Best to grow out a beard first. Et puis, elle a un peu de quoi faire peur (a tad: un peu) dans sa phase d’incubation. Mieux vaut d’abord se laisser pousser la barbe. Hold back the mustache for its official debut. Ne te presse pas pour l’apparition officielle de ta moustache. Quick side rule: Petite règle en apparté: It’ll be pretty clear if you have the chops for facial hair during the beard stage. Ce sera bien net si tu des favoris lorsque tu porteras la barbe. If you look like a Yeti with a hormone disorder, you may want to consider a different way to get in touch with your manhood. Si tu as l’air d’un yéti avec des troubles hormonaux, il est peut-être préférable que tu reconsidères ta façon d’aborder ta virilité. Once your little friend has fully matured, you may not immediately recognize yourself in the mirror. Il se peut que tu ne te reconnaisses pas dans la glace lorsque ton compagnon pileux sera arrivé à maturation. That’s because this baby is more than just hair. It’s attitude. C’est parceque cette merveille est plus qu’une chevelure. C’est une attitude. Embrace that. Comprends bien cela. Care to live the life of a big game hunter? Envie de mener la vie d’un chasseur de gros gibier? Wanna ride your new hog into the sunset? Envie de rouler sur ta nouvelle Harley Davidson au crépuscule? Wanna sell antique cars to Italian businessmen? Envie de vendre des voitures anciennes à des hommes d’affaire italiens? Those bristles under your nose open the door to a lifestyle the stacheless could never pull off. Ces poils sous ton nez ouvrent la porte sur un mode de vie que les sans moustaches ne pourraient pas imaginer. Now, Pete, you may be eager to show off your new accessory. Maintenant, Pete, il se peut que tu brûles d’envie d’épater la gallerie avec ton complice. Better to let your new look That’s because this baby. Mieux vaut laisser ton nouveau look parler de lui-même. THE BOSS Nice duds, Tex! How about you come visit my ranch this weekend? Chouettes fringues, Texan! Et si tu passais à mon ranch ce weekend? (a Tex is a tall man, often attractive, a little weird with a sense of humor and usually good at guitar)(attention: duds, ce sont aussi des UXO, unexploded device or munition, aussi toute personne qui a quelquechose qui cloche et enfin tout appareil qui ne fonctionne pas correctement) WAYNE I like horses. J’aime les chevaux. THE BOSS Good for you, Wayne… Good for you. Tant mieux pour toi, Wayne… Tant mieux pour toi. KENNY The stache has spoken. Until next time, enjoy being a man who gets the tough things done. La moustache a parlé. Jusqu’à la prochaine occasion, réjouis-toi de faire partie des durs.
Do you remember that some fighter pilots could safely eject from underwater back in 1965? Could it be survived? One may wonder but a few ejections were reported. The transcript is below the video. Look at that canopy, it looks like it came from an F-8 Crusader:
If your aircraft has provision for underwater ejection, you have a ready-made, secondary escape route. Succesful underwater ejections can be made from any aircraft attitude – nose down, tail down, and inverted.
Escape by this method requires no preparation other than that recommended for normal seat ejection. There should be at least ten feet of water above you before you can safely eject. Never eject from the surface. With present systems, the chute cannot open with a zero-zero situation (which means at a height of 0 and at a speed of 0). The effect of free-falling 80 feet to water is little different than falling 80 feet to concrete. True, some lucky ones have lived to tell about it. But it is one hell of a gamble.
When you eject through the canopy underwater, the seat breaks through clearing the way for your body. Because water resistance imposes terrific forces on your head and neck, it is vital to hold the face curtain tight against your head for support. The forces of ejection might cause a momentary blackout. Immediately upon collecting your wits, disconnect yourself from the seat by pulling the emergency release handle breaking your restraints. Now, separate yourself from the seat. This is difficult. You will have to kick and swim violently even though you are disconnected.
If your chute gets hung up on the seat, do not waste time trying to clear it. Release your riser fittings and swim clear off the chute. Do not inflate flotation equipment until clear of the seat. Remember, surface slowly, exhaling as you go. Remove your oxygen mask.