Category Archives: History

End Of An Aviation Era

The last commercial transport has rolled off the assembly line in southern California. There’s still a large aerospace industry there, but no more manufacturing, at least for transports.

Very few of the facilities that were built during the war to build airplanes still do so, if they exist at all. I remember when I worked in Downey at the old Consolidated-Vultee (which later became Convair) plant that was later purchased by North American (and became the space division during Apollo), you could still walk out in the back parking lot and see the lines from the old runway where the “Valiants” and other aircraft would roll out of the factory and take off over the dairy farms and orange groves. It’s all suburbia now, and the plant is being converted to film studios and other uses.

The Midnight Ride

Two hundred and thirty one years ago today, Paul Revere protected the right to bear arms, making his famous ride to warn the countryside around Boston that the British were marching to confiscate their guns (tomorrow will be the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord). It’s ironic to note that that city now has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. Perhaps it’s time for another revolution up there.

Natural Jamming

Well, you learn something new every day (more, if you’re lucky, and work at it).

Here’s an interesting story for WW II buffs. There were several reasons that Operation Market Garden was a failure, but this is one that I’d never heard before. The troops didn’t get properly reinforced because they couldn’t communicate with radios, due to high concentrations of iron in the ground around Arnhem. It’s the old story of “for want of a nail.” If they’d had satellite phones, the war might have ended months earlier (and the Battle of the Bulge been prevented).