Tag Archives: Jerry Dixon

Watch The Test Launch of the SpaceX FALCON HEAVY Rocket

Thanks to our Aviation News Scout Jerry Dixon and SpaceX for this latest news release.

Following its first test launch, Falcon Heavy is now the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)—a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.

Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9. Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.

The above launch video is 34:18 in length, so if you don’t have the time to watch the entire film, simply fast forward to about 21:00 minutes so see the actual lift off itself.  Notice the innovative way that the rockets are saved for further deployments by returning them safely back to earth on their own landing pads right at Cape Canaveral.  We are clearly now beginning to bear witness to the great cost savings to the taxpayers achieved by permitting private industry to compete – and run – these heretofore exclusively government run operations.

Near Century Old Film of Fighter Ace – The Red Baron

You’re at this FASF site because of your interest in U.S. History and that of American Aviation, so you don’t want to miss this rare footage from a short German film made during the Word War I.

This short (less than six minutes) movie clip was just posted online. We’ve never seen anything quite like it.  A unique film from 1917 of Baron Manfred Von Richthofen, the Famous “Red Baron.” You’ll find it’s an up close and personal peek at this unique early airman as he readies for combat over the bloody fields of France. Notice his apparent good humor and cavalierly confident attitude, as he climbs into his flight suit in preparation for another air sortie – one which could easily end in his death.

Have you ever wondered how he was tagged with this famous nickname, “The Red Baron?”  The answer is simple:  His airplane was painted bright red.  At a time when 15-20 “kills” were considered exceptional, Von Richthofen actually gained his super hero status by shooting down some 80 enemy aircraft, all British except for one French Aircraft.  Since this film is so ancient, there is no sound track, so you won’t need to turn up your sound.  This extraordinary elitist blue-blooded pilot became the subject of many romanticized myths, primarily composed and propagated by his German military superiors.  Hardly did the American Comic Strip, “Snoopy” and it’s frequent depictions of the Red Baron, even come close to the real man, who was not only very complex, but who also suffered serious bouts of depression after his many victorious battles.  In reality, this brave fighter ace considered his work all too serious and certainly not fun.  Above all, he did not find killing the enemy to be any sort of worthwhile or pleasant sport.

Notice the Baron’s ground crew as they ready the fighter for the starting procedure and add squirts of oil into each of the cylinders of the rotary engine (unlike later radial engines after the war, the Fokker Tri-Plane’s entire engine whiled about, rather than the engine simply causing the propeller to spin as in conventional engines of today).

This video is courtesy, once again, of our FASF member and Aviation News Scout, Jerry Dixon, former U. S. Marine Corps Fighter Pilot.