While not all my marbles are out of the bag, apparently my covert mission while undercover with the Barbie Brigade has been somewhat compromised, so to speak.
Not only has the big guy caught on to my game, but also we are losing a portion of our fabulous fleet of flying fortresses–namely the venerable C-130 Hercules do-it-all able aircraft.
All I can say is that my mission has involved intelligence functions of a higher level, including the creation of mission reports that are distributed worldwide.
As to the flying fleet, these massive movers of payloads have been around since the early 50’s. Hell, that’s probably before many of you were even born.
If you want to learn more about an amazing juncture of engineering, construction and function, I suggest you bone up on this multipurpose plane that has seen more of the world than even my virtual travel buddies Killing Batteries and Nomadic Matt.
One of the more recognized uses of this aerial workhorse is for search and rescue missions and has saved many a life of wayward mariner.
The model variants of this plane run the alphabet from “A” to “J” so far.
It has been bought by numerous countries far and wide; some still our friends and some, not so much.
This plane is the largest aircraft to have ever landed and taken off from an aircraft carrier–and without use of the arresting cable, no less–which is a sight to behold.
One not so subtle version of this plane is used with the Navy Blue Angels air shows, especially when flown with the jet-assisted take-off system (JATO’s).
Compared to the agile and maneuverable fighters this lumbering giant with it’s tail on fire, is without a doubt an impressive display of airborne action.
Among many specialized applications of this aircraft, one of the more unusual has to be the famous Fulton recovery system. If you saw the 1965 James Bond movie, Thunderball, you may recall a scene–at the end, as I remember–where our boy James and his lady-du jour get snagged up by a plane equipped with, what was known as, the “skyhook.”
The system consists of a V-shaped yoke on the nose of the C-130 with someone–or something–harnessed into a long, strong line that extends up into the sky connected to a self-inflating floating balloon.
The idea is that the plane flies low and slow, scoops the person up, and then reels them into the plane.
The testing took some time and went through a number of iterations.
First came the inanimate weights, followed by some dummy (no really, they used a dummy).
Then finally they decided to try hoisting a pig because, as the story goes, the pigs have a nervous system similar to humans.
As far as I could tell, no one asked the pig.
And I am not sure who should be more insulted at this point.
This dizzying display of a pig rotisseriezing–with the only heat generated by one mad-hot pig–resulted in,
“It arrived on board undamaged but in a disoriented state.
But what followed I could not have made up even on one of my best recreational pharmaceutical-fueled nights,
“Once it recovered, it attacked the crew.
What did they think would happen with a pig who, one minute is grazing along fat dumb and happy, and the next gets jerked up and spun like a top while skimming the surface at 200km/h?
Maybe they were expecting the pig would give everyone little, wet piggy kisses?
But back to Barbie. (Doesn’t it always end with a woman?). She and her posse got to go on leave and all we got was this lousy postcard.
One way or another, I should be outta here soon so rather than only one post per week, you will go back to getting multiple weak posts.