If you look up ‘awesome’ in the dictionary it says ‘watch this video’. HD video of Felix Baumgartner’s 24 mile high parachute jump.
A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost.
He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”
The woman below replied, “You are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”
“You must be an engineer,” said the balloonist.
“I am,” replied the woman, “How did you know?”
“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I am still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help so far.”
The woman below responded, “You must be in management.”
“I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”
“Well,” said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you are going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault!”
The Gazette and ThisIsBristol.com have both ran stories on the restoration of Pegasus House, the Grade II listed art deco building in Filton which once housed the Bristol Aeroplane Company. That restoration is now complete with the Duke of Gloucester taking part in the official ceremony yesterday to mark the completion.
Designed by Austen Hall and inaugurated in 1936 as headquarters of the Bristol Aeroplane Company, Pegasus House once housed hundreds of aircraft personnel (mostly draughtsmen), but only founder Sir George, the directors and their guests (including various royals along with Winston Churchill and Hollywood star Cary Grant) could use the imposing A38 front entrance and the ornate, specially commissioned, black and gold iron gates.
According to a local historian, the basement housed the wages and accounts offices, the ground floor contained the directors’ rooms, the first floor held the conference room (with a high ceiling and five tall window bays containing 10 plaster of Paris murals depicting the natural history of flight), the second floor had a projector and cinema room and the third floor was used as an exclusive director’s dining room.
However, the building had been left derelict for nearly two decades when it was damaged by two fires, the damp and repeatedly vandalized by squatters, but then Airbus decided to restore it to its former glory. Renovation work began 18 months ago and now the restored building forms part of the manufacturer’s £70 million Airbus Aerospace Park.
A total of 300 employees will be based at Pegasus House and they are scheduled to move in over the weekend with another 2,500 engineers are set to work from Barnwell House on the site when it officially reopens in December.
Most of the property’s stunning art deco features were preserved, including the 1930s reliefs, marble flooring, columns and most special of all – the three story art deco stained glass window covering one of the large façades. The window was designed to illuminate the building with natural light and depicts the depicts the history of the company. It was specially commissioned and designed by Jan Juta who was famous for his work with stained glass.
In addition, the floor mosaic in the main lobby representing the signs of the zodiac was also restored. Apparently, the Zodiac was the company’s very first aircraft, but it was “no good and never actually went into production” according to Sir George White, whose great-grandfather had started the company.
The Vintage Everyday blog has put together this very cool collection of very vintage British aviation posters from the 1920s and the 1930s:
- “Aim towards the Enemy.” – Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher
- “Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground.” – USAF
- “When the enemy is in range, so are you.” – Infantry Journal
- “It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.” – U.S. Air Force Manual
- “Tracers work both ways.” – U.S. Army Ordnance
- “If you see a bomb technician running, follow him.” – USAF
- “You’ve never been lost until you’ve been lost at Mach 3.” – Paul F. Crickmore (test pilot)
- “The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.”
- “Blue water Navy truism: There are more planes in the ocean than submarines in the sky.” – From an old carrier sailor
- “There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime.” – Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ.
Near the end of August, a 93-year-old widower named Tom Lackey broke his own record to become the world’s oldest wing walker. The former builder from the West Midlands broke his old record by being tied to the top of a 1943 Boeing Stearman biplane which flew at an altitude of about 1,000ft from Castle Kennedy, near Stranraer, Scotland to Derry, Northern Ireland.
(Picture: Charles McQuillan/PA)
Tom had completed his first wing walk 13 years ago at the age of 85 after the death of his wife, Isobel, who had served in the Royal Air Force. He was recognized by Guinness World Records in 2005 as the oldest person on top of an aircraft that looped the loop.
Since taking up wing walking, Tom has raked in over £1 million for charity and was even named Fundraiser of the Year at the Mirror’s 2011 Pride of Britain Awards.
However, Tom’s last one-hour-21-minute stunt was his hardest due to the wind pressure on top of the biplane e.g. just try keeping your head above the sunroof of your car while going 75 to 80 mph!
In these first two video, Tom talks about how he got into wing walking at the age of 85:
Finally, this next video tells a little bit more about Tom’s latest record breaking wing walking exploit: