Monday Morning smile XXXXII – Top gun

 Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a easy time getting out of bed an hour earlier this morning. Welcome to Daylight Savings time. I hope you all had an awesome weekend. I can feel Spring getting closer and closer. Did anyone catch the curling finals last night? No? You missed some great action (and yes, I said that without a trace of sarcasm).

 I flew a CF18 jet fighter on the weekend – well, o.k. I flew a CF18 jet simulator on the weekend. From now on all of you must call me “Maverick” (reference to the movie Top Gun for those of you who don’t know). It was very, very cool. I let the charge with 8 kills. My uncle came with us. He used to engineer jets, other military toys, and flight simulators. He said it was the best fixed simulator that he has ever been in. Of course computer technology has changed a fair bit since he retired in the 90’s. Once the simulator staff found out he once worked on the Avro Arrow they waltzed him around like royalty. (for those of you who haven’t heard of the Avro Arrow, google it).

 The Avro Arrow was to be the world’s best fighter jet in the 1950’s achieving a speed of Mach 3. Alas, the Avro Arrow was cancelled and all plans & prototype planes destroyed in a highly controversial political move. Officially it was a cost saving move, but others suggest a conspiracy that the Americans forced the move as they didn’t want such technology in the market.

 Avro Arrow rollout in 1957.


dilbert jet

Some interesting tidbits on the Canadian Defense Industry through the years…..

(while we thought my Uncle was just another office worker……here’s what here was really doing……)

An unmanned reconnaissance drone circa 1965. Nicknamed “Midge” in the U.K. military (a more boring “AN/USD-501 drone” in the U.S. army). It was mobile launched, took pictures over the target areas and parachuted down for recovery of the pictures. Of course satellites have since made this kind of surveillance merely quaint, but it was heady stuff at the time


 midge1                               peanut

The “Peanut” was an advanced (for the time) Reconnaissance remote piloted vehicle used for battlefield and naval intelligence gathering. It’s small size meant that it was difficult to spot, evaded radar, and hard to shoot down even if spotted.


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