This magnificent F-1 rocket engine is on display in front of the Infinity Science Center in Hancock County, Mississippi. Infinity is located across the highway from NASA Stennis Space Center, where they tested these beasts during the Apollo days. Beside the enormous F-1 stands an H-1 engine, which produced eight times less thrust (shown in final photo).

     During testing, five F-1 engines, each producing 1.5 million pounds of thrust, roared to life, liquefying the ground with its acoustic shock wave surrounding the B-2 test stand at Stennis. Eventually, five of these engines would carry the Saturn V rocket (shown in a previous post, click here to view) for the first 150 seconds of its journey, guzzling fifteen tons of fuel per second. I once heard that these engines got an average fuel mileage of two inches per gallon.

     The F-1 uses an RP-1 (refined kerosene, similar to jet fuel) as its fuel, and a LOX (liquid oxygen) oxidizer. It is currently the most powerful liquid fuel rocket engine in existence. There have been more powerful solid fuel engines, and liquid fuel engine clusters.

     The engine was designed by Rocketdyne, first for the Air Force, who wanted a large engine such as this. Later, the Air Force dropped the program after a testing phase, but NASA restarted the F-1 development for use with their space program.

     Incredible problems were overcome during the development of this engine. Notably, a condition called combustion instability. During combustion instability, the gasses in the combustion chamber began to spin at an incredible two thousand cycles per second, creating hot spots in the chamber structure, which eventually cause the engine to fail catastrophically, (e.g. explode). The problem was overcome, after months of research and thousands of man hours, by redesigning the injector plate (shown in the third photo) numerous times, until the problem mostly went away.

     Amazingly, the operational life of the F-1 may live on. A team is currently firing an original F-1 at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (a facility which I covered in a previous post, click here to view), familiarizing themselves with it’s characteristics, and will be modifying the design for possible use with the final evolution of the future NASA SLS rocket. This modified engine will be called the F-1B, and will produce 1.8 million pounds of thrust, which is far more than the original. I’ve covered the first first flight-ready component of the SLS booster in a previous post (click here to view).


I dunno… History determines the winner.
But there’s one thing I can say for certain.
Heroes really do exist.
We’ve just seen one… and now…
He’s coming home.

- AWACS “SkyEye”, Independent States Allied Forces. 
September 26, 2005

Probably the most revered of all aces to ever grace the skies of Strangereal, at least as far as Project Aces are concerned, Mobius One and his ISAF F-22A Raptor are iconic to say the least.

Aside from being the playable character in a dedicated arcade section of Ace Combat 5, Mobius 1 has made numerous cameo appearances in “Ace of Aces” type missions in other Ace Combat games.


Demon Lord

Hurray, managed to unlock Cipher (and Pixy’s) skins for the PC version of Assault Horizon. Quite a challenge given how dead multiplayer is.
…and the fact I abhor player vs player in Ace Combat… 

In my opinion the greatest ace that ever took to the skies of Strangereal,

Using just a ‘lowly’ F-15C Eagle, Cipher took on the entire might of the Belkan Air Force, downing numerous legendary squadrons and even his former wingman in the vastly superior Morgan.

You can find the full-size 1080p version on my Steam account!


F♯ A♯ ∞ LP (Three different front cover: Train, Water tower, Highway Lights)

by godspeed you black emperor!

F# A# ∞ was recorded at the original Hotel2Tango in spring 1997 on a rented 16-track tape deck and supplemented with various field recordings. In the preceding year, the band had taken shape as a quasi-orchestral outfit involving most of the players that would go on to make three more records and tour the world many times. This is the first recorded document of Godspeed as a large band and is soaring, fragile, awkward, heartbreaking stuff. Constellation released a vinyl-only pressing of 500 copies in August 1997, with LP jackets hand made by the label, the band, and various local artisans. It has since gone through dozens of re-presses, with virtually all of the original packaging elements preserved. The opening monologue on Side One (“Dead Flag Blues”) is taken from Incomplete Movie About Jail, an unfinished film by Efrim.

Release date: 14 August 1997
Running time: 34:00

LP jacket made from 80lb. burgundy textured uncoated cardstock with blind embossed front cover text. Three different front cover images (train, water tower, highway lights) are hand-glued on the front cover (original first run of 500 featured black and white darkroom prints; subsequent editions are offset printed). Back covers are individually hand-drawn with illuminated cross icon and catalogue number and are hand-stamped with Constellation logo; all in silver ink. Inserts include a penny crushed on Montreal railroad tracks, blueprint album graphic and notes, credit sheet and reproduction of an early GY!BE show handbill - all placed inside a plain manila envelope (original first run of 500 featured acetone transfers hand-printed on each envelope). Additional 8"x8" insert card of train locomotive image silkscreened in various colours on various recycled papers over the years.

1. SIDE A: nervous, sad, poor
2. SIDE B: bleak, uncertain, beautiful

Aidan (drums), Bruce (drums), Christophe (violin), David (guitar), Efrim (guitar), Mauro (bass), Moya (guitar, banjo), Norsola (cello), Thea (french horn), Thierry (bass).

Recorded and mixed on 16-track reel-to-reel at thee mighty Hotel2Tango in Montreal by the band along with Don and Ian, May 1997.

Buy on: http://cstrecords.com/cst003/


…hungover it’s awful, the sound of trains collapsing back behind of here…outside there are distant birds circling in front of 7 miles of heavy cloud falling down, and from where you’re lying one of those clouds looks like a hanged man leading a blind, indifferent horse…
THIS IS MILE END MY FRIEND, the hollowed out ruins here and a train runs straight through them… We made a record here in mile End; at the mighty HOTEL2TANGO. where the lonesome trains ramble thru the backyard while the wind plays in the trees where nervous birds hide from a kat named Lu, a dog named Wanda… 16 rented tracks moving XX 7.5 inches per second onto ampx456 WITHOUT ANY KEYBOARDS, while don & Ian rode the faders tired-eyed and stoic… The whole thing xxxxxxx recorded under threat of great threat on a 1933 stahltonbahnd maschine and mixed in one awful night by black helicopter… IT ALL HAPPENED IN MAY; winter was just starting to fade then and the money hadn’t run out yet… We’ve been plowing our little field up here for a couple of years now, but the yard is still filled with rocks and dust and sick trees… SO we bide our time, waiting for a purer kick to bloom… & the future is still bleak, uncertain and beautiful… And the van is gassed but the pistons are cracked, and when we close our eyes alls we can see is: open road, telephone poles, a sun that is always setting &a tangled up melody falling down slowly O.K. GOODBYE xoxoxoxoLOVE GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR! mILE eND MONTREALQUEBECCANADA


The car’s on fire and there’s no driver at the wheel
And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
And a dark wind blows
The government is corrupt
And we’re on so many drugs
With the radio on and the curtains drawn
We’re trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
And the machine is bleeding to death
The sun has fallen down
And the billboards are all leering
And the flags are all dead at the top of their poles
It went like this
The buildings tumbled in on themselves
Mothers clutching babies picked through the rubble and pulled out their hair
The skyline was beautiful on fire
All twisted metal stretching upwards
Everything washed in a thin orange haze
I said, “Kiss me, you’re beautiful..
These are truly the last days”
You grabbed my hand and we fell into it
Like a daydream or a fever
We woke up one morning and fell a little further down
For sure it’s the valley of death

I open up my wallet
And it’s full of blood

F#A#∞ - Godspeed You! Black Emperor

This album is the closest musical equivalent of a thriller movie that I have ever heard. Like a blunt object, once beaten over the head repeatedly with action causes film to lose its effect, its excitement. Where both this album and the thriller genre succeed is in subduing outrageous, realizing that a quick jab of the knife will create much more of an impression than constant explosions. Especially when these stabbings of excitement emerge at times unknown to the audience. The element of surprise is even furthered in this album with it’s creation of a false calm. This album has a lulling ability to calm one’s pace to a sluggish march. And yet I noticed my step quickening as the middle of “East Hastings” picked up tempo. It caught me so off guard and filled me with a daze of paranoia causing me to run in the vain attempt to keep up with it’s explosive velocity. Of course this rush of activity bursts into another hush, giving the time to account one’s bruises in a way an action film couldn’t. With these bleak, desolate calms matched with the occasional horrific storm, this album reminded me of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. It truly accomplishes its goal of illustrating an apocalypse of American culture. One aspect of this album which really interested me was that with all of its ebb and flow, it’s difficult to differentiate between what is apocalypse and what is post-apocalyptic. It made me think of how our American culture and its ideals can fade away, and yet we leave the husk of it around because we are unsure if it is fully dead or not. It is always unknown if the Western-influenced instrumentation and melodies are to return. This is an extremely powerful album which is great for walking in an unpopulated night. It is a rare example of an album which is as enjoyable to hear as it is to analyze.