Well, Happy Fourth of July, America! Wake up early and take in the sights before the fireworks later tonight!
Oh, a little perspective may be in order here. too:
This from NASA’s Earth Observatory:
There have been many images of the full disc of Earth from space—a view often referred to as “the Blue Marble”—but few have looked quite like this. Using natural-color images from the Visible/Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the recently launched Suomi-NPP satellite, a NASA scientist has compiled a new view showing the Arctic and high latitudes.
Ocean scientist Norman Kuring of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center pieced together this composite image of Europe, Asia, North Africa, and the entire Arctic. It was compiled from 15 satellite passes made by Suomi-NPP on May 26, 2012. The spacecraft circles the Earth from pole to pole at an altitude of 824 kilometers (512 miles), so it takes multiple passes to gather enough data to show an entire hemisphere without gaps in the view.
Kuring stitched the image swaths together and then set up this view looking down from 70 degrees North, 60 degrees East. (That is, the view is artificial, as the satellite does not see the full disc at one time.) He was able to show the Arctic in this image because northern hemisphere spring spreads enough sunlight over the North Pole to allow a natural-light view.
VIIRS is a scanning radiometer that acquires data in 22 spectral bands, covering visible, near-infrared, and thermal infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. It was designed to extend and improve upon the measurements of land masses, oceans, ice, and the atmosphere made over the past two decades by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS).
And if that’s not enough, let’s take in a few new scenery and livery files to keep you busy today…but first, a little news:
- Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean 75 years ago, but her memory lives on, especially in her hometown of Atchison, Kan. The search for an answer to Earhart’s fate also continues as a team this week began tracking down another lead near a small Pacific island. The Christian Science Monitor/The Associated Press
- Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier is upsizing its line of jets, including its Learjet line. Most of the public’s attention is on Bombardier’s C-Series aircraft, with which the company hopes to challenge giants Boeing and Airbus in the commercial aircraft market. However, at the same time, Learjet is building bigger, faster and more powerful aircraft for the business jet market. Business & Commercial Aviation
- Albuquerque International Sunport in New Mexico has retired its oldest worker: 17-35, the airport’s 73-year-old north-south runway. The runway handled all types of military and civilian aircraft during its service. But it has fallen into disrepair and generated noise complaints in recent years, leading airport officials to close it down. KOB-TV (Albuquerque, N.M.)
- Eurocopter’s latest concept aircraft looks like something James Bond would use, writes blogger Kenneth Kesner. The X3 is a hybrid of helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft, with an overhead rotor and two front-facing propellers. The unusual design gives the aircraft a high-speed advantage, with a top speed approaching 267 mph, compared to a Blackhawk helicopter’s maximum of 183 mph. The Huntsville Times (Ala.)/blog
- Civil Air Patrol pilots who participated in this year’s Mountain Fury pilot training event in North Carolina last week got a refresher course in mountain flying. About 15 pilots took part in the training, says Capt. Clint Parker of Asheville’s CAP unit. “They’re given a flight plan to fly and taught flying techniques to use in the mountains,” Parker said. Each pilot got about two hours of flight time during the exercise. Times-News (Hendersonville, N.C.)
- The Central Kitsap School District in Washington state will install flight simulators in four schools in an effort to help build students’ skills in math and science. The simulators come with software to teach students to solve math and science problems as they simulate piloting an aircraft. “I’m looking forward to exploiting some innovative, different ways to teach math and science,” said Superintendent Greg Lynch. Kitsap Sun (Kitsap Peninsula, Wash.)
- Earn a tailwheel endorsement, fly a warbird, transition to a glass cockpit aircraft, go up in a hot air balloon, or just get back into flying during AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., in October. The desert mountain scenery promises to be spectacular, so take advantage of flight training opportunities at nearby Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport. AOPA will be providing free transportation from Palm Springs to Jacqueline Cochran Regional. AOPA Online.
Livery painters? How about some inspiration…of the Olympian variety? Well, BA has two new ones out there for you to set your brushes to!
And beside that sweet looking BA, here are a few more good ones to keep you busy:
Can’t wait for Peter’s 380 Malaysia, eh? Well…okay, on with the show!
It seems the desire to turn biz-jets into RJs is still alive and well, and here we have a brilliant little SAS paint to drive the point home. This is of course for dden’s equally brilliant ACF, one of the very best files in XP – in case you’ve missed it somehow. Assuming you haven’t, this paint ought to make your C300 feel a little more at home whilst puttering around Scandinavia…you know, like on our Q-Flight routes!
Anyway, a sweet file night or day, and highly recommended for the land on the midnight sun. Enlarge the image to find the subtle twilight detailing…or just download the file and look at it in daylight all you want!
Marsilg revised his three recent efforts for Samen’s A332 today, all Star Alliance paints for the following carriers (and click to download):
Again, decent execution makes these worthwhile, despite the lack of LIT tail textures.
DwarfG presents Wales, Alaska, population 152, along with it’s thriving metropolitan airport – PAIW, in this rambunctious little OSX scenery for XP9 or 10, and a Winter World variant is included for those with XP9.xx and Tom Curtis’s Winter World package installed.
Scheduled limousine service, er, subsidized air transport, for these 152 people is maintained by Bering Air Alaska as well as Frontier Flying Service (which is NOT affiliated with Frontier Airlines, BTW), both providing service to Nome, Alaska. Guess it beats walking. Or sledding.
The Winter World variant is appropriately bleak and featureless, and the (gray) gravel runway is difficult to spot on the mottled (gray) tundra. Because the Winter World variant is a v9 only airport, lighting levels on the runway are blisteringly unrealistic – so finding it is a snap when the lights are on.
The town is modeled completely, BTW. About 50 houses (as per the 2000 census), as a matter of fact, can be found in the real metropolis, and while I didn’t count the houses in the file, it looks about right. I’d imagine nights up there are a little – lonely.
This is a relatively simple OSX airport, but with the inclusion of this Winter World variant we thought it worth taking a look at. Yes, it’s simple, and yes, we’ve all seen these buildings a million times before…but location is everything, isn’t it? If you need this one for training in the area, well, here it be! If not? Well…you know, why not?
So, Happy Fourth again, and thanks for comin’ along. We’ll see you again soon. – Chip