It Would Have Been bloody

Revealed: How the Soviets Planned To Go To War with America’s Navy

I joined the Army in 1979 and back then we were fully expecting to go to war with the Soviet Bear.  We knew that we had better equipment, men, and training but they had more of everything, except aircraft carriers, and as so often been said “quantity has a quality all its own” The Soviet Army planned to overwhelm the US and NATO forces in Germany with swarms of armor regardless of the cost.  It looks like the Soviet navy had the same idea.

…a young second lieutenant…fresh from the air college, asked the senior navigator of the regiment, an old major: “Sir, tell me why we have a detailed flight plan to the target over the vast ocean, but only a rough dot-and-dash line across Hokkaido Island on way back?”

“Son,” answered the major calmly, “if your crew manages to get the plane back out of the sky over the carrier by any means, on half a wing broken by a Phoenix (ed. note: the name of a missile carried by the US Navy’s F-14 fighters) and a screaming prayer, no matter whether it’s somewhere over Hokkaido or directly through the moon, it’ll be the greatest possible thing in your entire life!”

Real Pilots

No Automation, One Shot at Landing: It’s Really Hard to Fly SpaceShipTwo

Virgin Galactic’s spaceship, meant to eventually take wealthy passengers on brief rides into space, crashed during a test flight over southern California on Friday morning. One of its two pilots was killed, the other suffered serious injuries and remains hospitalized.

It’s a major setback for the space tourism effort, and a loss for the aerospace community. The deceased pilot, who has not been named, was like all his colleagues among the best on the planet. Virgin Galactic only hires the best, guys who tested planes for the Air Force or flew missions for NASA. The talent pool is limited because it has to be: Flying SpaceShipTwo is damn difficult.    More:

While the recent crash of Spaceship Two was tragic with the loss of the pilot I’m sure there will be no shortage of highly experienced men willing to take his place.  Men like know that the price you pay to fly high performance aircraft and cutting edge technology can sometimes be high.