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View Diary: A wolf in wolf's clothing - not quite a BBMF Chipmunk! (36 comments)

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  •  About that Roundel and the RAF... (3+ / 0-)

    It seems like there may be a bit more going on. One of my regular amusements is the weekly serial adventure dealing with the Airship Flying Cloud R-505. It details the adventures of Captain Roland P. Everett and his crew in His Majesty's airship service in an alternate history set (tongue in cheek) in the Pacific/Australia region in the 1930s.

    Now among other things, Paul Gazis the creator has some merchandise associated with the strip, and as you might expect the RAF roundel is used on the R-505. Imagine his surprise when

    On March 28, 2012… a day that will live in incredulity… the Office of the UK Secretary of State for Defense contacted Zazzle and ordered them to remove merchandise from the Flying Cloud Store because it ‘references the Royal Air Force’. Apparently they objected to the tiny WW-I roundels on the airships....
    Gazis has more at the link above, wondering just what was going on. In a subsequent post, he had a bit more information.
    This business with the Office of the UK Secretary of Defense turns out to be stranger than I thought. Esquire found several links, shown below, that shed interesting light on the affair. It appears that red, white, and blue roundels have been a popular fashion accessory in England for quite some time (remember the Mods, the 1960s, and the Who?). Recognizing this, the Office has been making what can only described as an extremely belated attempt to prevent clothing stores from using this emblem. Their website suggests this is intended to protect the dignity of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, but one of their spokesman rather gave the game away when she ‘admitted the MoD was also interested in the commercial potential of owning the trademark.’
    Again, there's more info at the link. The more you know, the less sense it makes. Which come to think of it, sums up a lot of things on this planet where humans are involved.

    I can highly recommend Flying Cloud R-505. Along with a lot of sly humor, satire, and daring exploits, Paul Gazis works in some fun aeronautical bits too. Try for example this chapter where Captain Everett comes to the aid of a commercial airship crew who have come off the worse with some heavy weather.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 05:48:09 PM PST

    •  The chapter about aiding another.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, ER Doc, subtropolis

      ...airship? Kipling did it decades ago! See, 'With The Night Mail' (I'm a Kipling freak)

      http://www.gutenberg.org/...

      He wrote another airship story, also... 'As Easy As A.B.C.'

      http://www.forgottenfutures.com/...

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 06:38:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fun! But... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shortfinals, subtropolis

        Gazis is writing about airship technology appropriate to the period, so it's interesting to get details about the intricate trade off between lifting gas and ballast, the finicky details in which even the type of rivets used in the frame were selected to minimize weight, and so on.

        Then he'll throw in something like a transporter, for sending down landing parties.

        "Energize!" ordered Captain Everett.

        The Transporter Room was business-like compartment located forward of the cargo bay. One end was dominated by a hoist platform, a drum of cable, and a massive electric winch. The other held a small control stand. Iwamoto, the ship’s engineer, stood by the controls. At his captain’s command, he threw two switches, advanced a lever, and the winch whirred into operation.

        "Oof!" exclaimed Iverson, as the platform lurched downward.

        "Steady there, Lieutenant," said Everett. As usual, he seemed unperturbed by their situation, precarious though it might have seemed. They hung from a slender steel thread hundreds of feet above the coast. Above them, the airship was receding into space. Below them, lines of breakers swept toward the shore. One slip and they’d fall from the platform to their doom.

        "There must be a better way to do this," squeaked Iverson, face pale.

        "I believe that American fellow, Tesla, is working on a system to transform people into radio waves, transmit them through space, and reconstitute them at their destination," said Jenkins, the ship’s signalman. "It’s supposed to be ready in a year or two."

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 07:37:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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