Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


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Monday, 1 September 2008

Form and Function: More Stealth

Image Source: Here

A while ago, I wrote about the retirement of America's F117A "Stealth" fighter-bomber aircraft, under the title "Time is Stealthy". Having had a look at pictures and video of various new stealthy aircraft I have come to the conclusion that the F117A will go down in aviation history as unique. Apart from the black finish, to me it is the extraordinary angular shape that makes it difficult to imagine a more sinister-looking aeroplane, although I suppose that the B2 bomber comes very close indeed:

Image source: Here

Ever since I was a small child, I have always found advanced military hardware fascinating and indeed almost irresistible, despite its terrible purpose. Now, the angular shape of the F117A was no accident (!), but it still makes me wonder if the manufacturers of these extraordinary craft are apt to factor in a "sinister" appearance in their design briefs. Consider the newly-announced "Killer-Bee" UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) from Raytheon:

Image Source: Here

Shades of "War of the Worlds" isn't it? It is said that a fierce marketing battle is likely to develop between Boeing which produces a successful operational UAV and Raytheon which claims that its "Killer-Bee" is a better performer. I wonder if its terrifying appearance will have a sub-conscious effect on the Air Force staff?

Well, to close this piece, here's a video starring the F117A and three well-drilled individuals, an aerobatic team (not in the F117A!) and some organ music from J.S.Bach, the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor, so beloved of horror film directors.

Until the next time

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