Parvusimperator’s Open gun has indeed finally come in, so all we have to do is find a match which doesn’t fall on a holiday weekend.
The Continental loadout post from yesterday is a new Soapbox game, as you might have guessed from the achievements at the bottom. Mine should land tomorrow.
Headline Link: The Long Way Round
- The story of Pan-Am’s California Clipper – En route to New Zealand at the outbreak of the Second World War, one of Pan-Am’s twelve Boeing 314 flying boats found itself cut off from its South Pacific island-hopping route. Short on fuel, spare parts, and friendly bases, its intrepid crew had to make their way back to American shores the hard way.
Has this been turned into a movie? If not, why not? Who do I call about that?
- Cold launch is great until it isn’t
- Russia’s defense industry falls on hard times
- But Russia’s defense spending hasn’t fallen as far as it seems – The argument is that for a defense buyer like Russia, which buys from Russian manufacturers in rubles, purchasing power parity is a much better rubric than a conversion to US$. By that measure, Russia is still the third-largest defense spender in the world.
- Big Army wants a Chinook replacement – After many happy years of service, perhaps it’s time. Then again, the Chinook is the definition of Just Works.
- Will the J-20 be ready this year? – This guy says yes.
- The case for small airlift… – … ignores the existence of large helicopters.
- F-22s and F-35s having trouble meeting 80% readiness goals – Fancy planes always have that issue.
- Doing better than V-22s, anyway – Sorry about the paywalled article. I can’t read the whole thing either.
- Iron Dome knocks down some Palestinian rockets – It’s a pretty sensational system, Iron Dome.
- Zumwalts to get missile armament – On the one hand, hooray, they’re useful! On the other hand, I’m going to miss that classic twin-turret silhouette.
- LockMart concept art shows an F-35 carrying HAWCs – That’s a hypersonic cruise missile, if you aren’t up on the lingo (like I wasn’t until just now), whose acronym is straight from military science fiction.
- Other services expressing interest in the T-X – A modern trainer is on everyone’s shopping list, but only the Air Force had the clarity of purpose to buy one.
- But not in a sixth-generation joint fighter
- Navy watch stations apparently have built-in chatrooms? – As someone with a chatroom on his daily watch station, I have to say, it’s not great for focus.
- India’s artificial reef construction program continues – But really, they actually launched one of their Project 75 submarines.
- Chinese war plans still pay close attention to Taiwan – Not that I thought they’d stopped, but even so, it’s worth the reminder that the PLA sees capturing Taiwan as one of its major objectives.
- Speaking of which, here are some satellite photos of China’s Type 002 carrier in initial production – I love that we have commercial imaging satellites out there for the amateur spies and think tanks to play with.
- Pratt & Whitney’s F135 seems like a success story – You hear a lot about problems with F-35s, but very little about problems with their engines.
- The F-35 will probably never be cheap to fly – $35,000 an hour is the expected floor. I wonder what an F-15EX flight hour costs. … $27,000 an hour. Jane’s rates the Gripen at $4,700 per hour and the F-16 at about $7,000 per hour, as of 2012.
- US military depots are in bad shape – Some are undermanned or underfunded. Some are just poorly designed.
Science and Technology
- A NASA supplier provided faulty aluminum for decades, which caused mission failures in 2009 and 2011
- Apple continues to fight right-to-repair laws – Joke’s on them. With my magnifying nerd goggles, offset tweezer, and hot-air rework station, I feel like I can fix just about anything.
- Dassault’s Falcon 8X bizjet sets a new Santa Monica to Teterboro record – four hours, twenty-eight minutes. That’s a pretty solid transcontinental run by any non-supersonic standard.
- Ukrainian Ivan Deerski firmware is growing in popularity in the US – Because John Deere is engaged in what amounts to theft, using their software to brick fair-and-square-purchased farm equipment if the actual owners replace parts or do any repair work whatsoever.
Abusing Web Services
- A URL shortener which uses only AWS Lambda – ‘Only’ also excludes any data storage.
- A chat client implemented entirely in CSS
- A rebel pictured in Venezuela had an AR-57 upper – Does that mean he’s an American plant? Or just a Venezuelan firearms enthusiast?
- The NYT writes on Remington’s bankruptcy – I’m as ruthless a capitalist as the next guy, but there’s something fundamentally scuzzy about the leveraged buyout crowd. Also, the parts of the article about guns are crap, because it’s the NYT, but at least the parts about finance are interesting.
- “The problem with insulin costs is that the government will shoot anyone who tries to make cheap insulin” – This is Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex poking gentle fun at a common libertarian framing of taxation, but he does so in service of a broadly libertarian point on the production of generic drugs.
- Sports Illustrated takes you inside the collapse of the AAF – Pour one out.
I don’t think Big Navy has actually committed to ripping out the AGS on the Zumwalt to install more VLS yet. LRLAP is a shitshow, but we don’t actually have the missiles to make a Zumwalt a credible anti-ship platform with LRASM not yet ready for the VLS. I guess the Navy might be hedging against a failure of the railgun program to deliver in time by proposing additional VLS instead.
And godspeed to the people of Venezuela who yearn to be free.
In late-breaking news, a story came across my desk today about how one of India’s new boomers, INS Arihant, was out of service for ten months because her engineering spaces flooded while she was tied up dockside.
India’s artificial reef program: needlessly cruel slander? Or funny because it’s true? In their defense, Arihant has since gone on patrol.
Apparently someone forgot to close a hatch. Reminds me a little of disgruntled dockyard worker Casey Fury, who knocked out an LA class SSN with a burning rag.