Friday, May 16, 2008

Not Flying In Circles

Several weeks ago, I went to Airfest 2008 at Macdill Air Force Base. I've been reticent in posting any pictures from that event, but I stumbled across one today that I thought was worth sharing. The photo above shows a WWII B-25 bomber flying by, in what must have been a common sight on the back in the day, but it's not something you see much of anymore. What makes this photo a little unique and worth sharing is the fact that the prop on the right side of the plane (to your left) is not blurry. It's in as good a focus as the rest of the picture. Look close and you'll see that the left prop is blurred by it's motion (the blade tips are moving at close to the speed of sound). What's going on here? Well, as the pilot made this particular pass, the RH engine was shut off. If you look really, really close, you can also see that the blades on the prop have been feathered so that they point into the oncoming air. This lowers the wind resistance and keeps the engine from being forced to turn over. I always figured the plane would be impossible to control with an engine on only one side, but I guess I was wrong. Learn something new every day. Check the photo below for the same plane on a different pass, and you can see that the prop is again in motion after he restarted that engine.

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