Tag Archives: airplane

Flower and Plane Watching at the Stellenbosch Flying Club (2016-09-03) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 21 SEP 2016

With Chantelle and Tarryn treating her mom to a surprise high tea at the Mount Nelson (in celebration of Cheryl’s birthday), the girls and I were left to our own devices – and ordered to kill time until a big family birthday braai get together come that evening.

So the kids and I did what I currently enjoy doing the most – we hit the road and went exploring.

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Apart from the two interesting finds that we did make on the day, the first being Vredenhof Organic Estate in Somerset West, and the second being the Jan Marais Nature Reserve in Stellenbosch, the most colourful of the lot was our small detour to the Stellenbosch Flying Club to do a bit of plane watching.

You see, an unexpected bonus lay in wait for us: the airstrip had been transformed into a colourful wild flower display, thanks to Spring being currently in the air!

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Jessica decided that she was quite content to rest and watch planes from the comfort of the car (parked under a nice and shady tree), so it was just Emily and myself then that happily wandered about the grounds, admiring the blooming flowers and excitedly watching the odd plane take off and come back in again for landing.

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It was an absolutely gorgeous day out, and we spotted quite a few people relaxing at the clubhouse restaurant. (Interesting fact: with over 600 members and 160 aircraft based on the airfield, Stellenbosch is now considered one of the biggest Flying Clubs in South Africa).

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Much to Emily’s annoyance, I paid far too much attention to the historic De Havilland Vampire on display, but it couldn’t really be helped – this is after all the plane that for all intent and purpose ushered in the jet age for the South African Air Force (SAAF) back in the day.

Anyway, the point is that this was a rather nice, quick and rewarding stop on a day which in the end was going to turn out to be quite a long one indeed!

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Oh, seeing as access to the flying club is open to the general public, I’ve gone and added this map in case you also want to head out that way and watch some planes – or grab an introductory flight lesson like I did last year! ;)

Related Link: Stellenbosch Flying Club | Facebook

How does an Airplane Black Box (Flight Recorder) Work? Science, Technology & Curiosity 20 JUN 2016

No one is 100% sure why we refer to airplane flight recorders as black boxes – considering the fact that they are almost always painted bright orange! It could be that maybe the name comes from the fact that after an accident, the box is usually blackened thanks to the fire damage, or perhaps it simply took on the engineering term for an input device which given some inputs, does some magic internally and then spits out something else.

However, despite the media’s preference for calling this device a black box, it is more correct to call it a flight recorder – after all, that’s how the aviation industry refers to it in the first place!

bright orange flight recorder airplane black box

Anyway, the media team over at Vox have put together a nice video explaining just how these data recorders are put together, as well as what data they store:

So, with cockpit audio recordings as well as numerous airplane instrument readouts stored, it is no wonder that flight recorders are so invaluable to investigators following an air disaster!

Related Link: Vox | YouTube

Military Aircraft: American Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor (2005) Military Aircraft 30 JUL 2013

The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation super-maneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22. Program partner Boeing Defense, Space & Security provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.

The aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 during the years prior to formally entering USAF service in December 2005 as the F-22A. Despite a protracted and costly development period, the United States Air Force considers the F-22 a critical component of U.S. tactical air power, and claims that the aircraft is unmatched by any known or projected fighter

american Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor flying over snowy mountains

Related Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-22_Raptor