Thursday, May 21, 2015

Just When You Think...

Okay, yesterday I was all melancholy and out of sorts.

Well, Monday was cloudy and rainy and the warmer weather apparently decided to take a day or two off. Tuesday's post reflected the weather and my mood.

Call me gloomy Gus.

The Nuke called, "Really Dad, a sad post? Snap out of it old man."

Well Wednesday, though cool, was pretty nice. A lot of haze out over the Atlantic but from where I was sitting the weather was sweet.

So I dragged the new camera out back after work, the gardens have undergone an amazing transition in the past month. Though the tulips and daffodils have gone, the bleeding hearts (the flower, not the you-know-whats), the lilacs, wisteria and phlox are dominating the color palette. It's pretty, smells good too.

So today things are good. I trust it's a trend!

We'll get back to the history lessons soon. (Stop groaning!)

No, Hank's Oyster Bar is not in my back yard. It's in Alexandria and a good place to eat.

I really need to get out there when the sun is higher.

Bleeding hearts, lilac and lupins.
Phlox by the pond. (Not by the pound... Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
As night falls, how about a song?

Or two?

Go Beatles!


  1. 1840 miles to the west it's been cool and rainy too, with even an inch of snow last night. However, the lilacs, western wallflowers, hoods phlox and nuttalls violet are blooming like mad across the prairie.

    Meanwhile all the bleeding hearts (not the flower) are insisting that this 4th rainiest spring since 1893 is a sure sign that racists have caused a massive drought which will kill everyone unless deer leeder pardons bwadwey manning...

    The juxtaposition of natural beauty and full up human mendacity is breathtaking. My cows just look at me and shake their heads.

    1. OBTW, I was reading a book of RAF stories (out of the blue too) and one featured an exploding "equipment turbine" in an F-4M. The writer described the turbine as providing avionics cooling and located just outboard of the pilot's left foot, spinning at 40,000 rpm. He hinted that similar failures in US Phantoms had amputated pilot feet. Ring any bells?

    2. The human mendacity bit is why I seldom, if ever, turn the TV on. Haven't bought a newspaper in years.

      But spring is a time to enjoy, that's for sure.

    3. As to the "equipment turbine" near the pilot's left foot, news to me, perhaps Juvat knows of this.

      As for avionics cooling, on the ground we pumped air in from our Dash-6 cart (which drove the utility hydraulic system as well) or an air conditioning unit. I think in the air cooling was provided by natural means.

      Time to break out the schematics and cutaway diagrams in the Dash-1!

    4. 1999 miles to the southwest, I woke to a balmy 62 degrees. My wife informs me that I slept through a thunderstorm warning and flash flood warning on the weather radio as well as a spectacular light and sound show performed throughout much of the night. The pasture is a gorgeous green color which is unusual since usually by now it's a pale shade of green heading towards brown. Got up (well rested) and fed the horses pondering the difference a day makes. Yesterday morning, it was a very humid 80 degrees heading for a high of 90. So humid that by the time I walked to the barn and back, I was wringing wet.
      All that having been said, overnight thunderstorms are usually cause for alarm in the IT world. So, with trepidation, I answered the phone which was ringing as I came in my office. "Juvat, I locked my account, can you help me?" It's going to be a glorious day.

      Regarding turbines, If you look at this picture where the AF 251 is on the nose, there's an inlet. There's an identical one on the other side. IIRC those are for avionics cooling, but I don't recall anything about a turbine in there, much less any emergency procedures for turbine failure. Page 2-3 of the F-4E Dash 1 refers to the "refrigeration intakes" at a point in the exterior preflight that would be around the nose of the aircraft, so I'm pretty sure that's what we're talking about. I didn't see anything in the Emergency Procedure section, so it might just have been "if you can't do anything about it, it's better not to know."

    5. Sounds like a nice day down there, I'm in a lab with no windows so right now I have no idea what the weather looks like. Though when I came to work it was gorgeous.

      Yes, those two inlets, just aft of the radome, are present on the C and the D as well. I'm pretty sure that's what cooled the system in flight. Didn't know they were called "refrigeration unit intakes," which might lead you to believe that there was a "refrigeration unit" somewhere.

      I'm clueless as to anything being outboard of the pilot's left foot other than a great big old wiring harness. Of course, there is so much stuff crammed into that fuselage that it wouldn't surprise me. Heh, there is so much stuff in an F-4 that if you pulled ALL of the panels off the jet, you might find Jimmy Hoffa in there.

      Who knows?

    6. When in doubt, always default to glorious day setting!

      Have the story open on my kindle. This was 1987, and the event happened on a translant back to blighty following a Red Flag exercise. The jet was an F-4M/FGR.2 from 19 Squadron. The author said the Equipment Cooling Turbine is located "somewhere forward of [the pilot's] left knee. Engine bleed air is compressed, routed through a cooling heat exchanger (behind the inlet?) and exhausted through a turbine which "drives the whole thing round at a rumoured 40,000 rpm. Apocryphal stories of the early days of the Phantom told of pilots losing their lower left leg when the turbine blew up..."

      RAF phantoms had an armoured steel shroud on the inboard side of the turbine.

    7. The turbine is mentioned in section 4 of the F-4E Dash-1. On page 4-4 it mentions what to do if you get a "cabin turbine overspeed" light. But it's neither a Caution nor a Warning, i.e. not a boldface thing. But it's in there.

      As a Weapons Control Systems guy I never heard of it. From what little I read, there's a system to cool the equipment in the nose and another to cool the equipment in the cockpit (to include the crew I reckon) I didn't linger long enough to read the whole section.

    8. There is an Emergency Procedure. Page 3-47 under Warning Lights has what to do for an Cabin Turbine overspeed. Basically, shut off the bleed air and slow down.

      Of course there's a refrigeration unit in the jet! How else would we chill Aircrew recreational beverages?

    9. I can't imagine where a turbine would be. We had an F4D make it back to Phu Cat with flak damage to the left side of the nose back to the cockpit. Took out the Target Intercept Computer, the modulator and part of the left instrument panel and some of the wiring. As part of my 3 level training I got to help rebuild not just the radar but the cabling to the instrument panel. I don't remember anything that looked like a turbine in that area of the plane.

    10. It exists in the E but I haven't had a chance to dig through the C or the D Dash-1. I mean there is something, I just don't think it's on the left near the pilot's feet.

      And Russ you've dug around in there more that I. I yield (again) to your vast knowledge of Phantom Phixing!

    11. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there wasn't a turbine, I'm just not sure where it could be. And
      also, being a 3-level, it's very possible I could have worked around it and not even realized what it
      was. I was learning the ropes on a very fascinating aircraft and as you already know, there was a
      lot to learn!!

    12. I'm at the point now where I "know" there was a turbine (it's mentioned in the Dash-1) but I don't know where it was on the C or the D.

      Research continues. Sporadically. You know how that goes...

  2. Good post, good pics. Glad you're feeling a little more upbeat, but I can understand how you feel about
    rainy days, I'm the same. But I have to say that Spring days when the sun's out and everything is in bloom
    are might nice!!

    1. The Sun always helps.

      Unless you're in the middle of the desert at high noon. But for New England it's a true statement.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. "Unless you're in the middle of the desert at high noon" hmm.., you've got a point. But it's a dry heat!

  3. Hear in the drought-ridden North State, 2900+ miles to the WSW, we added 0.09 inches of precipitation to the meager measurement received thus far since January 1.
    Usually it is still somewhat green at this time of year, but Mother Nature has seen fit to give us the black and tan look early.
    At least the temps have cooled to "average."

    1. We had a lot of precipitation this past winter, everything is green. We'll see how hot it gets this summer.

  4. Just sniffing those lilacs would HAVE to make a person feel better. Absolutely gorgeous gardens...Wisteria? Color me jealous; we live so deeply in the woods that we can't grow Wisteria. We do have Lilacs ... and they are beautiful ... but bit the fountain of bounty that you have. ***sniff***

    1. Thanks Kris. The Missus Herself did a lot of work to get the backyard looking like it does.

      The lilacs are fairly new, I think this is the first year they've really blossomed fully.

  5. Riding the motorcycle lately I've had the opportunity to enjoy the lilacs. You owe it to yourself to avail yourself of this show while it lasts, since you live here anyway. I'll send you a wx report from the Vineyard to lift your spirits (plenty of which will be consumed there).


    1. Oh I shall brother, I shall.

      That's the (ahem) spirit!


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