airforce 1's

I ain't never been so confused in my life...

Y'all. So I’m walking back from class and some man in his early 30’s with some baggy ass clothes from Nelly’s “Airforce 1’s” music video shoot taps my shoulder like, “ Ma'am lemme holla at you for a sec?” I played dumb and was like, “oh, I already registered to vote last week.” He follows me and says, “the fuck? Ion care if you voting or not I’m just tryna see if you interested in joining my team.” I automatically lose interest. He like, “look just hear me out, you got a head scarf on, you look like one of them woke ass girls always on social media talm bout “support your black businesses and shit here’s a great way to start.” I’m like, “touché…what’s up?” This nigga says, “ard look I got this lucrative business of men and women who work together to help each other reach their climax point through physical taction and body positivity.” At this point I’m lost cause wtf kind of lucrative business is this and where his hood niggas ass accent go? This nigga goes on…“you’re probably wondering how you make money.
My production team and I observe you guys and film each moment and we put it out for customers to observe and use for their personal or shared use with friends. You’re guaranteed $5,000 for your first session should you agree. If you think it’s not for you and can’t further in any more videos, all you have to say is no and you still walk away with the $5,000 and we just keep your first session for sale.” He’s caught my attention but I still don’t know what tf this shit is. So I ask, “wait is this like a psychological reality tv show?” He’s like “almost…think of it more as an intimate interaction between the two sexes.” “Like porn my nigga?” He’s like, “yes but we don’t call it that anymore because it devalues our worth.” I’m like “nigga you used all those big ass words to describe shooting a porno film? nah I’m good.” As I’m turning to walk away this nigga says, “here’s my card, think about it, pray on it and hmu when you ready….” I’ve never been so confused in life. Did this nigga really just tell me to pray on shooting a porno? Lmaoooo

2

Gotha Bomber

These aircraft could fly at 15,000 feet, above contemporary fighter’s maximum height.  With a range of 800 km (500 miles) and a bomb load of up to 500 kg (1,100 lb), the Gothas were designed to carry out attacks across the channel against Britain.

The planes were slow, ungainly, and notoriously difficult to take off and land in. English home front artillery was largely ineffective and british fighter planes had trouble reaching the altitude where the Gotha flew. 

The Germans hoped to cause widespread panic and even uprising with these raids.  In this they failed, but the raids tied down a large number of aircraft, anti-aircraft guns and personnel that otherwise could have been used directly on the Western Front.  The need for a coordinated air defence was one of the major reasons for the formation of the RAF in April of 1918.

One of the conditions of the armistice was that the German would hand over all their night bombers.  When the British saw how few of these aircraft there actually were they initially suspected the Germans of hiding some of them.

The seeming invincibility of the bombers, especially in 1917, had a great influence on British military thinking well into the Second World War, for it was here that the British concept that “The heavy bomber will always get through” was born.

4

Avia S-199

During WWII, Germany had taken Czech territory and was using industry in Bohemia to supply the war effort. The Avia factory in Letňany (now Prague) had supplied material support, contributing to the Me262 production under the name S-92, and had been tooled to produce Bf109-G aircraft for the Luftwaffe. The aircraft production didn’t reach full operation until after WWII, but nonetheless, Avia had produced 21 Bf-109-G6′s to-spec which they called the S-99, as well as 23 training aircraft, the CS-99. But, quickly, Avia found themselves running out of the DB-605 engines which the powerful Bf109-G drew its performance from. Quickly, the Czech engineers managed to kludge their way to success and retrofit Junkers Jumo 211F engines and propellers to the Bf-109G airframe. These engines were intended for the He-111 Bomber, and did not give the kind of performance that could compare to the CS-99/BF-109G series aircraft. Thusly, this new hybrid was given a new designation.

The S-199, as it is now called, was a single-engine, water-cooled aircraft capable of a maximum speed of 649km/h. Its armament was to use two 13mm machine guns in the engine cowling, as well as wing-mounted Mg-151/20s in the wing roots, as the Jumo 211F had no provision for a single, nose-mounted cannon. The extra weight and modifications needed to the airframe, combined with the underwhelming engine performance led to the aircraft having characteristics described as “difficult.” Eventually, the Czech pilots who operated it would give it the name “Mezek”, meaning “Mule”, presumably because of its stubborn temperament.

But the truly interesting story of this aircraft comes from its usage in the Israeli war of independence. At the time, there was a large arms embargo placed on Israel, despite the fact that surrounding Arab states had made it public that they intended to march on Israel as soon as British forces pulled from the area once Israel was declared to be an autonomous state. The two factors made for a dire situation for the budding nation, and resulted in a rather wonderful smuggling scheme with the help of the nation of Panama and a handful of veteran pilots from WWII. This story is covered in detail in the documentary Above and Beyond, which I strongly recommend as it’s a wonderful story.

The first flight of this aircraft under Israeli usage was a ground attack run on an Egyptian armor column. 4 aircraft sortied, flying to decimate the newly-demoralized Egyptian forces who had, until now, been nearly uncontested. Though casualties were low on the Egyptian side, and one Israeli aircraft was downed as the interrupter mechanism on one aircraft had malfunctioned, this began the story of the IAF and greatly shifted the tide of the war. The Israelis appreciated it, despite being a poorly-constructed aircraft, and eventually named it the Sakeen, meaning “Knife”, though more usually it was simply referred to as “Messerschmitt” given the basis of the aircraft.

A group of people stand outside the Bedford Hotel on Southampton Row to watch at men at work beside a large crater. The damage was caused by a 50 kilogram bomb during a Gotha raid on the night of 24 - 25 September 1917.