Famous Swedish Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft gun used by all sides in World War Two. (Once war came countries which could not get them directly from Sweden manufactured them under license. The gun above is being manned by British troops).
Domestically produced British anti-aircraft manufactured from British designs lacked the effectiveness and versatility of the Bofors 40mm.
A group of Finnish soldiers operating a Bofors gun during the Continuation War, Suulajärvi
This was not a warning German pilots liked hearing over the headphones during air battles over England.
Flames roar from the exhaust of a Spitfire as it starts its engine. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images. August 2015. Courtesy of the Guardian.
spitfires to malta
Arrive in Malta at last. If the Spitfire pilots didn’t keep an eagle eye on their fuel mixture and fly in such a way as to conserve fuel they coulnd’t make it to Malta from their flying off point and over the years a number of them crashed into the Med never to be heard from again.
Brown in an undated photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum
Captain Eric Brown, RN, was a heroic and renowned British Navy test pilot in World War II. Unlike most test pilots, he died at the ripe old age of 97 on 21 February 2016.
He did so many important things in aviation, established so many records and was involved in critical aviation developments for the Allies in World War Two that his obituary in the New York Times takes up a half a page.
It is a fascinating read and a glimpse into the rapidity of aircraft development caused by the Second World War. You can read it here:
IT’S NOISY WHEN AIRCRAFT ENGINES ARE GOING AT HIGH POWER A HUNDRED FEET FROM YOU OR LESS.
According to Purdue University Noise Level Comparisons
*Jet take-off (at 25 meters) is 150 decibels which will usually cause eardrum rupture (without ear protection).
*The noise on an aircraft carrier deck is 140 decibels
*Military jet aircraft take-off from aircraft carrier with afterburner at 50 ft is 130 decibels.
*Oxygen torch is 121 decibels. This causes real pain. More important to know, 120 decibels is 32 times as loud as 70 decibels according to Purdue University’s study (at the link above)
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association:
“Loud noise can be very damaging to hearing. Both the level of noise and the length of time you listen to the noise can put you at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Noise levels are measured in decibels, or dB for short. The higher the decibel level, the louder the noise. Sounds that are louder than 85 dB can cause permanent hearing loss. The hearing system can be injured not only by a loud blast or explosion but also by prolonged exposure to high noise levels.”
Men and women who have been aboard aircraft carriers and other warships in the present day and in the past have told me how loud it is. In all my reading about World War Two, I come across mentions of noise constantly. Partly it was the noise of the guns in World War Two. Men stuffed cotton in their ears and the RN and USN issued various types of earplugs although I’m not sure how effective they were.
In the Royal Navy, men working in the engine room but beeswax in their ears according to the tour guide on the HMS Belfast. He said at full speed the noise in the engine room exceeded 150 decibels which is enough to make you deaf after prolonged exposure.
While she is undergoing her long refit at the Newport News shipyard, sailors are working on noise reduction techniques of different types.
The following is an article from the US Navy by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Blake:
Lincoln Takes on Noise-Induced Hazards
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) — As simple as it may sound, noise is one of the most common health hazards to Sailors in the Navy. Whether serving aboard an aircraft carrier during its Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) or conducting operations in the middle of the Gulf, Sailors are exposed to noise every day.
According to the Navy Safety Center, in 2014 noise-induced hearing loss was the Navy’s number one occupational health expense. The resulting consequences to the Navy from hearing loss include lost time, reduced productivity, military disability settlements and expenses for medical treatment, such as hearing aids.
During RCOH, Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) are taking the lead in minimizing noise-induced hazards. A group of Lincoln Sailors assigned to the Deck Department have been trained to apply a special coating of paint on the bulkheads of some of the ship’s common areas. This paint is designed to reduce noise and vibration within these spaces and will be evaluated for future use.
“The Navy has taken steps forward to reduce noise levels inside the ship in preparation for the arrival of the Joint Strike Fighter squadrons,” said Lt. Cmdr. Scott Dunn, assistant safety officer aboard Lincoln. “The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been working on ways to reduce the impact from flight deck noise on decks below.”
The Lincoln’s noise abatement paint team is leading the way in helping to meet the ONR goals of more noise reduction on board ships.
“One of the ways to provide some noise reduction is to coat structural and joiner bulkheads with a special paint that has been reported to reduce noise levels by about five to seven decibels (dB),” Dunn added. “This is a significant reduction. Based on the way we measure noise, about every three dB doubles the noise level.
ONR (Office of Naval Research) will come out and will determine the effectiveness of the coatings that Lincoln Sailors have applied in a majority of the compartments just below the flight deck.”
The spray the team uses is a sound and vibration dampening paint specifically designed for marine applications.
“It’s more coating than a paint. It has properties that will dampen the vibrations and noise that transmit through metal bulkheads,” said Ens. Joel Newberry, Lincoln’s assistant first lieutenant. “The coating is being applied to living and working spaces that are directly affected by the high-level noise caused by flight deck operations.”
The ensign said he hopes this procedure will help improve living conditions on the ship for the benefit of the crew.
“This procedure helps us make those areas safer and healthier for future Lincoln Sailors,” he added, referencing the decreased noise levels.
Lincoln is currently undergoing RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, Va.
Lincoln is the fifth Nimitz-class ship to undergo RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet, and will continue to be a vital part of the nation’s defense.
F/A-18C Hornets assigned to the Vigilantes of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 fly in formation above the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Official US Navy Photo
AIRCRAFT CARRIERS ARE complicated. They’re floating cities and mobile airbases, housing thousands of sailors and airmen, tens of aircraft, multiple nuclear reactors, and their own hospitals, barbershops, chapels, and zip codes. Carriers support defense and humanitarian efforts worldwide and can travel upwards of 100,000 nautical miles each year. Each United States aircraft carrier—there are 10 in active service—is designed to last 50 years. But the only way they get there is with a massive remodeling effort conducted once in the middle of its lifespan to update its technology and infrastructure.
Because “remodeling” is a term more often applied to home kitchens and bathrooms, the multi-year, multi-billion dollar process of modernizing the ship and readying it for at least two more decades of service is called Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH).
US Navy sailors and shipyard workers work together to update, clean, and restore nearly every square foot of a carrier: They refuel the nuclear reactors, overhaul living spaces, replace catapult systems used to launch aircraft, and repaint the hull, among other things.
In 2013, the ship was placed in drydock in Newport News, Virginia, the same shipyard that laid down its keel in 1984. “We have dozens of shipbuilders that worked on Lincoln during new construction 25 years ago who are working on the RCOH. These shipbuilders have a level of expertise and a bond with the ship that you cannot find anywhere else in the world,” says Bruce Easterson, construction director of Newport News Shipbuilding.”‘
Recreational drone which landed on the White House lawn in January of 2015
Glad someone has been contemplating what damage or disaster would result from a collision between a recreational drone and an airplane. In the recent fires in California, there was an hour or so when the planes dropping fire-retardant chemicals couldn’t take off because of recreational drones.
From the Washington Post
1:32 PM October 19th 2015
By Craig Whitlock
“Federal regulators said Monday that they plan to require recreational drone users to register their aircraft with the government for the first time in an attempt to restore order to U.S. skies, which have been invaded by rogue flying robots.
U.S. officials said they still need to sort out the basic details of the registration system but concluded that they had to take swift action to cope with a surge in sales of inexpensive, simple-to-fly drones that are increasingly interfering with regular air traffic.
“The signal we’re sending today is that when you’re in the national airspace, it’s a very serious matter,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told reporters.
Pilots of passenger planes and other aircraft are reporting more than 100 sightings or close calls with rogue drones a month — a significant increase just in the past year, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
[FAA records detail hundreds of close calls between airplanes and drones] Link
Under FAA guidelines, drone owners are not supposed fly their aircraft above 400 feet or within five miles of an airport without permission. But the rules are widely flouted, and officials have been largely powerless to hunt down rogue drone operators.
Requiring drones to be registered will be of limited use for investigators unless the remote-controlled aircraft crash and a registration number can be found. Most drones are too small to appear on radar and do not carry transponders to broadcast their locations.
But regulators hope that forcing owners — many of whom are aviation novices — to register their drones with the government will at least make them think twice about their responsibility to fly safely and the possibility that they could be held accountable for an accident.”
The remainder of the article along with additional stories and additional links is here: