French Navy fighters and their pilots at play

The YouTube channel Chasse Embarquée hosts numerous videos of French Navy Rafale fighters aboard the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.  Here’s the latest in their series, released just a few days ago.  It contains some of the best air-to-air photography I’ve seen for a long time. Looks like French fighter pilots enjoy themselves just as much as any other nation’s. Peter

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B-2’s and U-2’s at play in England

The USAF has sent three B-2 stealth bombers to England for exercises, along with a U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft.  Courtesy of The Aviationist and photographer Daffyd Phillips, here’s a high-resolution video clip of the aircraft taking off and landing over there.  It includes some of the closest, clearest shots of the B-2 I’ve yet seen. Note the U-2 “chase car” that follows the aircraft during takeoff and landing.  It’s a vital part of the support crew.  Details at the link. Peter

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Another interesting Russian aviation video

Yesterday we had a look at the “blended wing body” Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber.  This morning, here’s a Russian Mikoyan MiG-31 interceptor training with an Ilyushin Il-38 anti-submarine aircraft.  They’re flying over the Kamchatka Peninsula, which has some spectacular scenery. Sadly for Russia, her Air Force is reliant on far too many old designs.  The Il-38 first flew in the 1960’s, and the MiG-31 in the 1970’s.  Their systems have been modernized since then, but their basic design is well and truly outdated.  Russia currently can’t afford to replace them, either.  (That’s no grounds to sneer, of course:  the USAF has the same problem.  In 2015,

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Great air-to-air footage of F-16’s at play

Courtesy of The Aviationist, we find this video clip of two F-16 fighters in the skies over Arizona. The video below was filmed by Swedish aerial specialist, Peter Degerfeldt at Blue Sky Aerial, from a Sabreliner 65, a “High Veocity Aerial Platform” capable to film up to 45,000 feet and Mach 0.82 with a GSS Cinema Pro. The GSS is a camera system for high velocity that can shoot stabilized footage in 5 axis up to 400 knots. The wireless system allows remote control of any camera and lens suspended in the Gyro and transmission of the HD picture back to the

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Politics and censorship: as always, follow the money

Two incidents – one local, one international – have confirmed yet again the ancient and time-honored truth:  if you want to know who or what is behind something, follow the money.  Even if it isn’t immediately visible, the financial story tells the real story, if you can only uncover it. The first incident involves Attorney-General Barr.  You may recall that last weekend, over a thousand former Justice Department prosecutors and employees signed an open letter calling on him to resign because of his various and sundry misdeeds.  The Federalist, doing its usual good job of digging deeper, uncovers the real motivation for

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More F-4 Phantoms at work and at play

This year the Japan Air Self-Defense Force will be retiring the last of its F-4 Phantom aircraft.  It’s one of the last Air Forces to operate the veteran type, which was a mainstay of the Vietnam War in the 1960’s.  It’s always had a reputation as a demanding aircraft to fly, but one that repays piloting skill with superb performance. A Japanese videographer has produced a couple of fascinating videos of the JASDF’s Phantoms over the past year or so.  We’ve seen them in these pages.  Here’s his latest offering, filmed in slow motion at very high resolution. It’s amazing to think that the F-4 first flew

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The Panama Canal, faster than usual

Courtesy of Old Salt Blog, here’s a time-lapse video of a passage through the Panama Canal.  The trip lasts 11 hours, but the video takes less than 7 minutes – much more palatable in our high-speed world!  Note the “locomotives” on either side of the ship, hauling it through the locks.  They’re partly visible from time to time, as in the video ‘cover image’ below, on the right of the ship’s bow. The digging of the Panama Canal remains one of the great adventure stories of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  It advanced not only navigation, but also medicine,

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Fascinating!

A friend sent me this photograph of octopus eggs, with the baby octopii clearly visible inside the egg sac.  I don’t know where it first appeared.  Click the image for a larger view. I’ve never seen so clear a view of those baby critters, although I’ve run (or swum) into them on the coast of South Africa many times.  One variety used to inhabit tidal rock pools, and if you stuck your foot in the water, clad in a tennis shoe, they’d zoom out from their hiding-places in crevices in the rocks and try to tackle your foot, thinking it

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Sunset over the Northern plains

Courtesy of Daily Timewaster, here’s a beautiful time-lapse video of sunset over Bowdon, North Dakota, in 2017.  The videographer, Mike Olbinski, writes: We were chasing northeast of Bismarck, North Dakota and as storms were dying out, we decided to go for a lone cell on the backside of a line of storms. We knew it had a hail core on it and we were hoping that we might get some nice sunset color at least on the storm as it moved past us, and hopefully some lightning bolts. But we had no idea what we were about to encounter. The clouds

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F-4 Phantoms at play in the dusk

Some months ago I put up a video clip of Japanese Air Force F-4 Phantom aircraft, filmed in slow motion at and around the Hyakuri airfield.  Now a companion video has emerged of the last two squadrons of Japanese Phantoms, filmed at dusk and during the twilight hours, also in slow motion. The Aviationist notes: All the remaining F-4 Phantoms of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force are stationed at Hyakuri Base … a fighter squadron, the 301 Hikotai, and a reconnaissance squadron, the 501 Hikotai. The 501 Reconnaissance squadron is scheduled to cease operations and become a fighter unit in March 2020

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