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JFK is Breaking Ground on a New Terminal One

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Few US cities need their airports renovated more desperately than New York does. Its three primary airports have terminal facilities that may have been world-class decades ago, but are congested messes today. Fortunately the powers that be got the memo and are using this decade to get JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia back into shape. The LaGuardia work is well underway, with large parts of a shiny new terminal B already open. And recently, a project at JFK hit a major milestone.

An aerial rendered view of the planned New Terminal One – Photo: PANYNJ

A consortium of airlines, funding partners, project management companies, and other partners are breaking ground this month on JFK’s New Terminal One (NTO). It will cover the footprint of the current terminal one (a smattering of mostly international airlines), Delta’s terminal two, and the footprint of the demolished terminal three. For an overview of the overall planned terminal changes at JFK this CrankyFlier story from our friend Brett does a great job.

The press release lists AirFrance/KLM, LOT, and Etihad as anchor airlines for the new terminal. We’d have thought JFK’s major redevelopment could allow alliance partners to colocate. But AF/KLM’s major US partner is Delta over in terminal four, Etihad has a smattering of codeshare partners all over the place, and LOT is in the Star Alliance. So NTO may work like the current terminal one, as a grab-bag of miscellaneous airlines.

Inside the New Terminal One headhouse – Photo: PANYNJ

As for the terminal design, it will have a large headhouse and two piers with a total of 23 gates. Presumably most gates will be designed for long-haul aircraft. From the renderings it looks fresh, spacious, and *really* into letting you know that you’re in NYC.

The project will break ground this summer, with the first phase planned to open in 2026 and completion slated for 2030. So yes, you’ll have a while to wait before you can walk through the New Terminal One yourself. And there will probably be plenty of construction-related hassles for passengers passing through terminals one and two between now and then. For now, here’s some cool renderings of the final product.

The globe and route map outside the terminal is a nice touch. Hopefully the globe is a screen that can automatically update with new routes. Otherwise there’s going to be a very cranky maintenance guy climbing a ladder to adjust the string lights each time a new route launches.

SENIOR CORRESPONDENT – NEW YORK, NY. Manu got his private pilot license in high school, setting the tone for his interest in all things aviation. He earned his frequent flyer credentials working as a journalist, and is now a medical resident in New York City. He enjoys writing about air travel from a millennial’s perspective.

https://www.airlinereporter.com

The golden state to Oshkosh in a 1941 Stearman

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I have actually been participating in the yearly Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for many years. Lots of have actually been attending it given that its beginning in 1954, as well as have actually never ever missed out on a year. In 1994 I was lucky to fly to Oshkosh with my pal Royce Clifford, and also in her 1941 Stearman. The journey took 4 days from Gillespie Field in San Diego, California. Royce quipped “It’s a Disneyland for pilots!” a day after getting here (it was her very first time also). It has a lot taking place as well as the convention is extremely advised to any person associated with air travel

The very first leg, Saturday, was to Yuma, AZ. Temperature level upon touchdown was 110 levels, which triggered the 1939 Dodge brakes to secure after landing when using brakes throughout a turn off the path. This is normal of these sorts of brakes. There we were, stuck on the path. Thankfully there is greater than one path at Yuma and also we really did not bind any kind of air website traffic.

Stearman on rampStearman on ramp

Fly a biplane from California to Wisconsin? Naturally! Royce acted swiftly, as she understood the regimen. She leapt out as well as made a change with a screwdriver she maintained onboard, hence releasing the secured brakes. We refueled, flew another leg to Tuscan, Arizona, and also stopped. Electrical storms and also disturbance were along our recommended course. Increasing at 5:30 on Sunday, we impended by dawn. We landed at Deming as well as Los Cruces, New Mexico, for gas. We after that outlined our following leg that was about and also in between 2 limited locations that lay over the White Sands National Park. This remained in order to go across the Southern Rocky Mountains at one of the most affordable factors feasible, Alamogordo at 8,500 ft. A friend, one that has actually restored as well as flown lots of antique planes consisting of 2 Stearmans, intelligently encouraged we take the southerly course. The thickness elevation we would certainly come across in Northern Arizona that time of year more than likely would end up being a concern (Royce’s Stearman has the 220 HP engine).

After our departure from Los Cruces, Royce left the navigating to me. As we were running north up the passage in between both limited locations, I observed on the graph that we needed to come down to 500 AGL to go under an industry of the limited location. We went to 4000 feet MSL.

A fast descent was started and also we turned off our transponder. Upon getting to Alamogordo, New Mexico, we transformed eastern in the direction of the hills. The 220 horse power radial engine lumbered the Stearman up over the yearn tree-covered mountainside.

Royce trusted me as I remained to lead her along a towering roadway (Highway 82) from the pole position, considering that it was simpler for me to see. Winds were tranquil as well as we appeared to drift over Cloudcroft, a hill town at 9000 ft. Then we flew over by an observatory. Twenty mins later on we were flying over the high desert of New Mexico.

We landed at Roswell, New Mexico, for lunch as well as gas, and after that flew the last leg of the day to Amarillo, Texas. Royce prepared to garage the Stearman since extreme electrical storms with hailstorm were anticipated that night.

RainRain

Weather is an individual experience in an open cabin aircraft. We removed from Amarillo Monday at 7:15 and also reached 5500 ft. It was quite weather completely to Wichita, Kansas. We did run into a damaged cumulus layer at 4500 ft. We picked to fly over it considering that our location, Wichita, was clear. As we flew VFR over the top, Royce understood that we would certainly not have adequate gas to last us to Wichita. When she trusted me to compute the range as well as gas, I had actually made a blunder. Whoops– very first time for whatever I expect. Royce saw a big break in the cloudy and also gradually we circled around down. Under the overcast at 1500 feet AGL, we needed to draw away to the closest flight terminal simply to be risk-free. Which one as well as where? At that elevation it would certainly not be simple to identify it. Say thanks to benefits for the portable GPS.

Royce situated the closest flight terminal, West Woodward, Oklahoma. General practitioners showed instructions to guide magnetic heading 220 levels for 33 mins. As we tracked along the training course, it was clear that the batteries in the GPS were ending up being worn down as well as the display screen was fading. Royce’s auto mechanic (we believed) had actually linked a different electric resource from the plane’s electric system, yet it was apparent that it had not been benefiting some factor. Royce transformed the GPS off to protect what power was left.

We continued heading. 10 mins later on, she transformed it back on, as well as with a momentary rise of power, the GPS allow us understand West Woodward was dead in advance, 18 mins away. When we flew over the community as well as after that over the airport terminal as well as landed, around 15 mins passed. I never ever asked Royce precisely just how much gas was left onboard however I’m wishing there was greater than 30 mins.

When we went into the FBO was to acquire several AA batteries, the initial point we did. Royce inspected the oil as well as identified the Stearman required 2 quarts. She allowed the line young boy understand. Not long after, he returned to allow us understand that the channel he was utilizing to put the oil unclothed his hand and also down right into the oil storage tank. He had actually utilized a channel that was smaller sized than the opening. He claimed he may need to drain pipes all the oil to obtain it out, and after that included he would certainly attempt to fish it out with some pinchers on completion of a lengthy cable within a lengthy cord.

“That’s 8 gallons of oil,” Royce really patiently educated him. We informed him we would certainly go discover lunch and also would certainly be back later on. Ideally already he would certainly have the trouble repaired. We ended up being a little uncertain.

StearmanStearman

The Stearman smile. We drove a politeness cars and truck to a coffee shop called Sourdoughs. It disregarded to be a prominent and also individually possessed dining establishment. Everybody was truly pleasant– something I such as concerning Oklahoma. A lot of the sandwiches were offered on sourdough bread that had actually been baked each early morning by Frank, the proprietor of Sourdoughs. A regional press reporter that was having lunch at a table near us heard us speaking about our journey with Irene, Frank’s other half. The press reporter presented herself as Helen Mossman, from The Woodward News. If she can do a post on us for the paper, she asked. We gladly concurred as well as welcomed her back to the airport terminal to see the aircraft as well as take images. When we obtained back to the flight terminal, the line young boy was functioning on angling the channel out of the oil container. He revealed us just how he was doing it: he utilized a flashlight to see down right into the storage tank, after that took place to obtain really fortunate when he got the channel as it drifted by. We can simply hardly see it under the surface area of the oil. Extremely smart technique total I believed.

After the meeting as well as some pictures, we sustained up, removed as well as gone to Atchison, Kansas. The complying with day we made the front web page.

When we landed at Amelia Earhart Airport in Atchison, our following quit, we sustained up again and also cleared up right into a motel. Later on, after supper, Royce and also I strolled trip of the community. With sales brochure in hand, we walked by lots of historic homes, a lot of with a completely various building design from the following.

Very early Tuesday early morning brought a fast excursion of Amelia Earhart’s native home and after that a see to the International Forest of Friendship, among the highlights of the journey. The “woodland” is snuggled on a mild incline neglecting Lake Warnock, on the borders of community. It is a park with trees from all 50 states as well as 35 nations. Because of the tough environment, several of the trees were making out much better than others. Each year the community has a massive occasion commemorating Amelia’s birthday celebration, and also several pilots along with various other factors to aeronautics are sworn in right into the Forest of Friendship yearly.

We flew 3 legs that mid-day to Oshkosh without picking up an actual lunch, simply a substantial cinnamon roll from Sourdoughs. The last leg of our journey was from Cedar Rapids, where we picked up gas. When auto parking we began having a radio issue … so we believed. I submitted our trip strategy to Oshkosh. The area shut at 8:30 pm, as well as sundown was 8:45. We was because of remove by 6 if we intended to make it the airport terminal shut for the night.

RiverRiver

Lots of terrific taking in the sights over the Midwest. After engine beginning, Royce activated the radios. I could not hear her however she can hear me. She had not been able to send to anybody. Possibilities were slim we would certainly make it to Oshkosh prior to the area shut if we really did not take off by 6. After a number of efforts, Royce closed down the engine as well as stood, stating in disappointment, “Well, I presume we’re not going!”

To which I responded, “Maybe it’s your headset. Allow’s switch over.” Certainly, it was her headset. That was something I had actually found out and also kept in mind from ground institution.

We were well on our method not long after. Royce opened our trip strategy, and also all the method to Oshkosh we skirted a number of shower, yet we had the ability to fly a rather straight line or else. I interacted back to Royce with composed notes and also had the ability to hear her sending.

The sunlight was obtaining closer to the perspective. As it passed behind the virga clouds distant, it forecasted gold sunbeams, which cleaned over the farmland and also villages. Photographers call that time of day, the hr prior to sundown as well as the hr after dawn, the magic hr. I recognize why.

According to the EAA Convention VFR Procedures, we were to report over the community of Ripon, 10 miles southwest of Oshkosh. Getting to Ripon at 8:22, we made our record. The web traffic controllers being in the area listed below with field glasses advised us to continue. They educated us if we can deficient to Oshkosh in 8 mins, we would certainly need to land elsewhere.

Swiftly I wrote Royce a note as well as simply for favorable motivation. It checked out, “Say of course, we can make it.” (I still have all the notes.)

8 mins later on we were provided directions to get in touch with the tower– it was 8:30. Fortunately they approved us as well as we landed at 8:35. Wing pedestrians directed us to Antique/Classic vehicle parking. An additional EAA volunteer in a golf cart kindly welcomed us as well as offered us a flight to our camping site.

While Royce as well as I were cleaning the dew off the wings the following early morning, a guy with his women buddy were strolling by checking out all the aircrafts. He claimed to us, “Boy some individual have to have guaranteed you women the moon to the gloss that plane.” In shock I claimed “What?!” After the guy duplicated himself, Royce reacted, “There are various other opportunities.” In as wonderful an intonation as I can invoke, I included, “This is Royce’s airplane as well as we flew it below from San Diego.” The appearance of humiliation after that came by his face. His friend delicately bopped him on the head with a paper she was lugging. Most of us after that giggled.

Our arrival was complied with by a week of enjoyable and also a number of fly-outs. Oh as well as a brand-new headset for Royce.

Patty’s initial trip in a light plane remained in a Cessna 172 at the age of 10. Her papa desired her as well as her sis to experience the distinction from flying in an airplane, so he took them to a close-by dust strip flight terminal in Mahopac, New York. Later on, when she was 16, she soloed a Cessna 152 at Stormville Airport in Dutchess County, New York. After transferring to San Diego, she made her personal certification as well as later on her glider A badge in 2000 at Williams Gliderport. Patty’s preferred aircrafts are standards, having actually logged 400 of her 800 hrs in a two-seat Luscombe 8F. For paying attention enjoyment, she produces songs collections from aeronautics signature tune she comes across, and also serendipitously.
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Super Hornet Blown Off Flight Deck Of USS Truman In Mediterranean Sea

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Super Hornet Truman
File photo of an F/A-18F Super Hornet on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class E. T. Miller/Released)

A U.S. Navy Super Hornet blew off deck due to very bad weather.

A Super Hornet belonging to Carrier Air Wing 1 aboard USS Truman sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, blew off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier last week, the U.S. Navy said in a statement released on Sunday July 10, 2022.

The mishap is not related to the aircraft going overboard and occurred as the U.S. flattop was conducting a replenishment-at-sea, which was safely terminated through established procedures when it was hit by “an unexpected brief period of intense winds and heavy rains Friday morning” Stars and Stripes reported. No one was aboard the F/A-18E or F (the exact variant has not been disclosed). One sailor was injured due to the heavy weather but in stable condition and anticipated to make a full recovery, U.S. 6th Fleet said.

The incident is at least bizarre: while aircraft can go overboard during routing flight operations at sea, they shouldn’t be blown off the deck by weather. In fact, when rough seas or heavy weather is anticipated, aircraft and anything else that could potentially move, like tractors, carts, etc, are chained down when they are not used, so that they don’t fall from the flight deck. In the past, some aircraft have also been blown off the deck by the jet blast of other aircraft (for this reason carriers are equipped with JBDs – Jet Blast Deflectors – normally raised behind the catapult so that the exhaust from a departing jet does not hit and endanger flight deck crew or other aircraft), as happened on Apr. 18, 1995, when a VF-21 F-14 Tomcat was blown off the flight deck of USS Independence (CV-62) by another Tomcat that was about to depart. Pilot and RIO successfully ejected from the aircraft and were rescued.

Another similar incident happened in the 1970s to an F-14 on USS Kennedy: on Sept. 14, 1976, during a cruise off the Orkney Islands the Tomcat BuNo 159588 went out of control while taxiing, rolled off the deck and fell into the sea. The crew safely ejected before the Tomcat went over the edge. Unlike the USS Independence incident, in this case the plane ended up intact on the ocean floor. Since they were concerned that the Soviets might recover the Tomcat and learn valuable secrets (especially about the Phoenix missile), the U.S. Navy launched a recovery operation: the lost F-14 was recovered two months later.

Back to the incident in the Med Sea on Jul. 8, 2022, a decision as to whether the Super Hornet airframe will be recovered has not been made yet, said Cmdr. Richlyn Ivey, a spokeswoman for U.S. 6th Fleet, according to Stars and Stripes.

The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) was deployed to the 6th Fleet AOR (Area Of Responsibility) in December and ordered to stay in the Mediterranean Sea region rather than move on to the Middle East as initially planned amid raising tension with Russia for the situation in Ukraine. From the Adriatic Sea, the carrier’s Air Wing has taken part in “Neptune Strike 2022” and in a three carrier exercise during which HSTCSG integrated with the French carrier Charles de Gaulle’s (R 91) Task Force 473 and Italian carrier ITS Cavour (C-550) strike groups.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the USS Truman has operated in the Mediterranean Sea supporting NATO enhanced air policing over Eastern Europe and also deploying some of its embarked assets to forward operating locations in the region.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

Happy BIRTHDAY to the (Second) Greatest Album of All Time.

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IT WAS DECEMBER 30th, 1984, and Hüsker Dü were in from Minnesota again. They’d just wrapped up a show at a small auditorium in Concord, Massachusetts, and a small group of us were backstage* talking to guitarist Bob Mould and drummer Grant Hart — the band’s co-vocalists and songwriters. A brand new album was due to hit the stores in only a week or two, and we all wanted to know: what was it going to sound like?

Zen Arcade had come out that past summer, and the indie rock world was still trying to absorb it. “Experimental” isn’t quite the right word, but Zen had played fast and loose with the boundaries of what punk rock, for lack of a better term, was supposed to sound like, bringing in acoustic guitar, piano, and a range of psychedelic effects. The upcoming project, it stood to reason, would take things ever further, would it not? Somebody — maybe it was me — brought this up.

“No way!” laughed Hart.

“Not at all,” added Mould. “This album is more like Land Speed Record than Zen Arcade!”

Land Speed, from way back in 1981, was a thrashy collection of quasi-hardcore songs played at nearly supersonic speed. Mould was being tongue-in-cheek — the album wouldn’t sound anything like Land Speed — but just the same he was dropping a hint: this wouldn’t be a record for the squeamish.

It was called New Day Rising — a remarkable fifteen-song LP that would wake the country from its winter freeze in January of ’85. There is nothing subtle or subdued about this album. There are no touchy-feely instrumentals, no acoustic time-outs — enjoyable as those things were on Zen. Sure, the melodies and catchy choruses are there beneath it all, in typical Hüsker fashion, but New Day Rising is ferocious from start to finish; forty fearless minutes of unstoppable energy.

I’m not going to argue that Zen Arcade isn’t the better or more important album. It’s all the things the pundits have called it from the start: monumental, groundbreaking, a reevaluation of everything we thought punk rock could or should be. It’s a masterpiece. But almost too much of one, moody and broody at times, and a little too — what’s the way to put it? — serious-sounding. New Day is the brasher and looser album, with Mould and Hart clearing out the pipes, with nothing left to prove and absolutely hitting their strides. It is, if nothing else, the most supremely confident-sounding album of all time.

And it’s made all the more so through a daring, some might say controversial sound mix. There’s a very particular sound to this album — a treble-heavy mix that is like nothing before or since, in which every note is enveloped in a fuzzy, fizzing, needles-pegged curtain of sound. Many people — including the band members themselves, reportedly — have always rued this peculiar mix, but to me it’s the ideal vehicle for the group’s sound. Here is the “Hüsker buzz,” as I call it, naked and cranked to eleven. (What I wouldn’t give to hear some of the cuts from Zen Arcade or Flip Your Wig** remixed like this.) The style is “hot” in soundboard lingo, but to me the music has a crystalline, sub-zero quality to it: it sounds like ice. The songs are as melodically solid as any top-40 hits of the time, but all whipped up in a great Minnesota blizzard.

First time listeners will know exactly what I mean within the first ten seconds of the title cut. “New Day Rising,” the song, begins with a lead-in of anxious drumming — Hart pounding away, as if to say “Let’s this this fucking thing started!” — and then comes the crescendo, a guitar-blast crashing over you in a great squalling wave: equally furious and melodic; chaotic yet strangely orchestral. It’s a breathtaking opening and the perfect pace-setter for the rest of the record. (Robert “Addicted to Love” Palmer once found it a compelling enough song to cover.)

Next up Hart’s “Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill.” There’s something sour and menacing and vaguely out of tune about this song that for years I could never get past. Until one day it hit me: it’s supposed to be like that. Hart takes the all the nicety and sing-songy pleasures of “It’s Not Funny Anymore” or “Pink Turns to Blue” — songs that are almost too easy to like — and twists and bends and sets fire to it. Between the second and third stanzas, Mould comes in with a guitar solo that tears the rest of it — along with your eardrums — to pieces. It’s a haunting, mesmerizing, and a little bit frightening three minutes.

And we use the term “solo” loosely here, because never is there a single musician, or a single instrument, alone on this record. Every moment of it is layered in overlapping rushes of sound.

The third cut is Mould’s “I Apologize.” This is arguably the best song he ever wrote, perhaps outclassed only by “Eight Miles High” or “Chartered Trips,” from side one of Zen Arcade. Here is the song Green Day and its ilk only wish they could have made: immensely poppy and immensely powerful, without the slightest hint of heavy metal pretension. And is it just me, or you can you almost hear Michael Stipe singing this one? The chorus is uncannily infectious in the style of the old REM songs of this same era. It’s as if you took a song like “South Central Rain” and split every atom of it: all that sweet Georgia lilac exploded into a sort of nuclear ice storm. (Putting Hüsker Dü and REM in the same sentence might seem incongruous, but it’s not by accident that they once toured together.)   Listen to “I Apologize” here. Don’t skip the final fifteen seconds, and play it loud!

Further along is one of the great sleepers in the Hüsker Dü canon: Mould’s “Perfect Example.” This is the record’s only true “slow” moment — the band’s idea of a tearjerker. It closes out side one, sung by Mould in a kind of passive-aggressive whisper, with Hart (barefoot no doubt, as he always played) double-thumping the bass drum in perfect synchronicity to a human heartbeat. The song clashes to a close on the word “perfect.” Had the album ended right there, already it’d be a classic. Except that’s only the first side.

Only two of the cuts on side two belong to Hart, but both are unforgettable. These would be “Terms of Psychic Warfare” and “Books About UFOs.” Together with “I Apologize,” they are among the small batch of what I call The Great Lost Pop Songs of the 1980s.   Listen to “Terms of Psychic Warfare” here, and don’t be stingy with the volume.

Deafening as it is (Mould’s solo will leave you with a lifelong case of tinnitus), “Books About UFOs” is irresistibly melodic and catchy. The track is backed with piano, and the effect is perfect: almost as if the song were written for piano from the start. “For all the speed and clamor of their music,” the music journalist Michael Azerrad once wrote, “Hüsker Dü was perhaps the first post-hardcore band of its generation to write songs that could withstand the classic acid test of being played on acoustic guitar.” That’s an excellent point, but the heck with that, I want to hear Grant playing an all piano version of “Books About UFOs.”

“I’d also recorded a slide guitar on ‘Girl Who lives on Heaven Hill,’” Grant Hart remembers. “But when I showed up after that session, Spot [the album’s co-engineer] and Bob issued an ultimatum: either the piano goes from ‘UFOs’ or the guitar goes from ‘Heaven Hill.’ After stating my case, which was ‘what does one have to do with the other?’ I relented and said if one had to go, let it be the slide guitar. Bob responded,’we already erased it.’”

To the end, Grant, who passed away in 2016, held some strong resentment against the way Spot, who’d been sent to Minneapolis from Los Angeles by SST Records to oversee the project, handled his duties. Spot shared the engineering tasks with the band members and their longtime collaborator Steve Fjelstad, but as Hart once explained it, “SST decided that we were not to be the masters of our own destiny, and sent Spot to babysit/spy/sabotage our record. He did not give Steve Fjelstad the respect he deserved, treating him as an assistant.”

“Another thing I remember,” said Hart, “was not being allowed to make my own choices as far as re-doing vocals that I thought I could better. On ‘Heaven Hill’ you could hear the sound of some lumber, that had in been in the booth during remodeling, falling to the floor!”

Well, all of that aside, it’s tough to have too much issue with the finished product.

The album comes to an end with the charging, spiraling, sonic immolation of Bob Mould’s “Plans I Make.” Fasten your seatbelts for this one. It’s not the jammy, psychedelic marathon of “Reoccurring Dreams,” the 14-minute instrumental that closes Zen Arcade, but it’s a wringer, an earsplitter that, when it finally crunches to its conclusion, leaves the listener with no choice but to sit spellbound for a time.

If it seems like only yesterday that I was writing about the 30th anniversary of Zen Arcade, which had been released in June of 1984. It’s fascinating testament to Hüsker Dü’s talent and tireless work ethic that two such brilliant albums could have been released within a mere seven months of each other. And these were bookended, I should add, by two other highly impressive records — Metal Circus and Flip Your Wig, from October of ’83 and September of ’85 respectively. A spectacular four-record punch in a span of under two years.

And if forced to choose, I’d say New Day Rising sits the pinnacle of that run. This is Hüsker Dü at the very peak of its career, and one of the finest moments in the whole history of what used to be called underground rock.

Hüsker Dü circa 1985. Greg Norton, Grant Hart, Bob Mould.

Hüsker Dü circa 1985. Greg Norton, Grant Hart, Bob Mould.

Meanwhile, unless I’ve missed something, none of the big music magazines or websites have given New Day Rising so much as a mention on its 30 or 35th birthdays (or on its 20th or 25th for that matter). The same can be said of most of the best albums of the 1980s, it’s true, but here the snub is particularly acute. Indeed, do music fans have any sense of what the 1980s truly were like? This was the richest and most innovative period in the whole history of independent music, but rarely is it acknowledged as such. As popular culture has it, serious rock skipped the 80s entirely.

When pundits do take the decade seriously, we tend to see the same names over and over. It’s both frustrating and unjustified that Hüsker Dü never developed the same posthumous cachet that others of their era did. Like the Replacements, for example, or Sonic Youth. Hüsker Dü could run circles around either of those two, but never became “cool” in quite the same way.

I suppose it’s due to a total absence of what you might call sex appeal? To say that Hüsker Dü never cultivated any sort of image, in the usual manner of rock bands, is putting it mildly. For one, they never looked the part. These were big, sweaty, chain-smoking guys who, it often seemed, hadn’t shaved or showered in a while. Norton, trimmest and most dapper of the threesome, wore a handlebar mustache many years before such things were trendy among hipsters. It wasn’t cool; it was odd. And not until their eighth and final album that the band include a photo of itself on an album cover (the scratched-out images on Zen Arcade notwithstanding).

This modesty, for lack of a better description, was for some of us a part of what made Hüsker Dü so special. But it has hurt them, I think, in the long run.

The idea that the Replacements (much as I loved their debut album, which I consider the best garage-rock record of all time, and which includes a shout-out called “Somethin’to Dü”) were in any way a better or more influential band than Hüsker Dü is too absurd to entertain. Meanwhile the beatification of Sonic Youth, maybe the most overrated outfit of the last forty years, goes on and on. Not long ago Kim Gordon got a profile in the New Yorker. I’m still waiting for one of the writers there to devote a story to Bob Mould.

Or better yet, to Grant Hart. Twenty-five years, more or less, that’s how long it took me, to realize that it was Grant, not Bob, who was the more indispensable songwriter and who leaves the richer legacy. In the old days it was trendy to claim that Grant was the real genius behind Hüsker Dü. You’d be at a party and some asshole would say, “Those guys would be nothing without that drummer.” I’d always scoff that off. The mechanics of the band, for one, made it difficult to accept: Grant was the drummer, after all, and drummers are never the stars. Meanwhile there was Bob, right at the front of the stage with that iconic Flying-V. But those assholes were on to something.

That shouldn’t be an insult to Mould. Not any more than saying Lennon was a better songwriter than McCartney. Both were brilliant. But when I flip through the Hüsker canon, I can’t help giving Hart the edge. There’s a soulfulness to his songs sets them apart. They’re not necessarily “better” so much as they resonate in a different and deeper way. On New Day Rising, Mould gave us “I Apologize” and “Celebrated Summer.” But Hart gave us “Terms of Psychic Warfare” and “Books About UFOs.” On earlier records it was “It’s Not Funny Anymore,” “Diane,” “Pink Turns to Blue,” the list goes on. Hart’s “She’s a Woman (And Now He is a Man”) from the often intolerable Warehouse album is, to me, a classic sleeper and the most under-appreciated Hüsker song of them all.

His solo work, too, was at least as robust as that of Mould. Songs like “The Main” and “The Last Days of Pompeii” are as good or better than anything Mould has given us post-Hüsker. But while Mould went on to some notoriety and commercial success, Hart labored in comparative obscurity. This was always irritating and unfair.

But Grant, maybe, was all right with this. “I have always based my movements on those of fugitives or criminals,” he once said to me. “The less attention you attract, the freer you remain! I wish to be an artist, not a celebrity.”

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Now and Zen. The Greatest Album of All Time Turns 30

POSTSCRIPT, ASTERISKS AND MISCELLANY…

Grant Hart died in September, 2017. A few years ago, filmmaker Gorman Bechard released a movie about him. “Every Everything” is 93 minutes of Grant — and only Grant — proving himself to be one of the more oddly captivating storytellers you’ll ever have the pleasure of listening to.

Bechard had previously interviewed Grant for “Color Me Obsessed,” his film about The Replacements, and was taken with him. “Grant is one of the most influential musicians ever,” said Bechard at the time. “Beyond that, he’s as smart and funny as anyone on the planet.”

You may not be familiar with Hart, but he was among the most important songwriters of our time, and “Every Everything” is a brave and absolutely necessary tribute to one of the unsung heroes of modern music. Click the picture for more info…

Every Everything

— Grant Hart was responsible for much of the band’s artwork and iconography over the years. He once gave me the backstory of New Day Rising cover photograph — the picture of the wading retrievers and the sunrise (or is it actually a sunset?):

“One night I pawned Spot off on somebody. He had been staying at my parents house and causing some problems there. I went to buy a bag of pot and when I got to my dealer’s house there was a tow-truck stealing a Vespa scooter. I told the people inside what was going on and a pretty woman said it was hers. ‘Oh shit!’ she said, ‘I don’t have enough money to get it out of impound.’ I didn’t know her, but I figured that if I helped her I might get a ride on her Vespa 200e, which was the fastest Vespa at that time. It cost about $150 to free the bike, and we went for a ride. As time and the record went on, I spent a lot of time with this woman, Kristen. She was a habitué of one of Minneapolis’s beaches — a hidden beach on Cedar Lake. She and I eventually shot the photo for the cover there. We also ended up having a son together, Karl.”

— The greatest concert I ever attended was an impromptu Husker show at a place called Harvey Wheeler Hall, in Concord, Massachusetts. It was a last-minute gig arranged by David Savoy, a Concord native who also was the band’s manager at the time (and whose suicide a few years later was partly responsible for its breakup). There was no stage; the band set up on the floor of what, in my memory, was a simple classroom. There were fewer than a hundred people there, and we stood or sat cross-legged. The set ended when Grant cut his finger on a cracked drumstick during a cover of the Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride.” My best friend at the time, Mark McKay (who later became the drummer for the post-hardcore band Slapshot), gave him a band-aid. When it was over we went backstage, as it were, and chatted a while with the band.

— A few years ago, Paul Hilcoff, the curator of the painfully exhaustive Hüsker Dü fan site, mailed me a compact disc recording of that entire concert. I had no idea there was one. What a startling feeling it is to discover, many years on, that a recording exists of one of your most cherished memories. Except, the CD still sits on my bookshelf, as yet unlistened-to. One of these days I’ll summon up the courage to actually play it. Listening to that recording, provided I’ve got the emotional muster, will be the closest I ever get to time travel.

— I once played Frisbee with Bob Mould. June 21, 1984, it was, prior to a show in Easthampton Massachusetts. There were four of us playing: me, Bob, a local Boston fanzine writer named Al Quint, and the aforementioned McKay.

— I once got to meet and shake hands with Bob Mould’s parents. It was that same summer of ’84, in Rhode Island. Mom and dad were touring the country, stopping in on the band’s performances. Bob himself introduced me to them.

— Greg Norton once sat patiently backstage while I peppered him with annoying questions for a fanzine article I was writing.

— It was Grant, though, who was always the friendliest and most approachable of the three. I remember a night, between sets down at The Living Room in Providence, chatting with him in the parking lot. He was snacking on slices of cheese, when a stray dog came ambling over. Grant shared his cheese with the dog, holding up small bits of it, ever higher, making the dog jump for them.

— That was the same show in which Mould, rushing toward the stage for an encore, smashed his head against a ceiling rafter so hard that you could hear it from the parking lot. I have a feeling he remembers that.

GREATEST HITS, MOULD:

1. Eight Miles High (single)
2. Chartered Trips (Zen Arcade)
3. I Apologize (New Day Rising)
4. Gravity (Everything Falls Apart)
5. Crystal (Candy Apple Grey)
6. Real World (Metal Circus)
7. Makes No Sense at All (Flip Your Wig)
8. Celebrated Summer (New Day Rising)
9. Perfect Example (New Day Rising)
10. All This I’ve Done For You (Candy Apple Grey)

GREATEST HITS, HART:

1. Keep Hanging On (Flip Your Wig)
2. Terms of Psychic Warfare (New Day Rising)
3. Pink Turns to Blue (Zen Arcade)
4. Books About UFOs (New Day Rising)
5. It’s Not Funny Anymore (Metal Circus)
6. She’s a Woman [And Now he is a Man] (Warehouse: Songs and Stories)
7. Standing by the Sea (Zen Arcade)
8. Diane (Metal Circus)
9. The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill (New Day Rising)
10. Sunshine Superman (Everything Falls Apart)

Now if you’ve stayed with me this far, chances are you’re a pretty big Hüsker fan who won’t mind if I push things an obsessive step further. For you I present the following addendum. You’ve been warned:

I was looking at some photos of Hüsker Dü in their heyday, circa ’84 or ’85. These guys were, to put it one way, well-fed. Greg always kept himself trim and dapper, but Bob and Grant weren’t going hungry, that’s for sure.

It’s only fair, then, that we should revisit the Hüsker discography, making note of various song titles as they should have appeared. That is, with a gastronomical theme…

There’s little on Land Speed Record or Everything Falls Apart to cook with, so let’s start with Metal Circus. Here, Bob sets the table with “MEAL WORLD,” then takes his place in the “LUNCHLINE.” Grant tells us “I’M NOT HUNGRY ANYMORE,” but later opts for some delicious “STEAK DIANE.”

Zen Arcade is a veritable buffet line of fatty faves: Bob cooks up some “CHARRED TIPS.” Later he orders some “PRIME” down at the “NEWEST EATERY.” He’s got a sweet tooth for “THE BIGGEST PIE.” Alas, it’s a “BROKEN COOKIE, BROKEN HEART.” Grant warns that he’s “NEVER COOKING FOR YOU AGAIN,” yet later we find him “STANDING BY THE STOVE,” dreaming of that moment when “BEEF TURNS TO STEW” (“…waiters placing, gently placing, napkins round her plate.”) This is a very long album, and indigestion sets in by the end of side four, closing with the epic, flatulent jam, “REOCCURRING BEANS.”

Prior to Zen Arcade, you might remember, came the Huskers’ famous 7-inch single — its cover of the Byrds’ — or is it Birds’ — classic, “EGGS PILED HIGH.”

On New Day Rising, Grant tells us about “THE GIRL WHO WORKS AT THE BAR & GRILL,” followed on side two by the sugary “BOOKS ABOUT OREOS.” Bob serves up a “CELEBRATED SUPPER.”

Flip Your Wig is, let’s just say, a little thin, though Grant gives us a cooking lesson with “FLEXIBLE FRYER.”

On Candy Apple Pie… er, Gray … again its Grant with the big appetite. His two meaty singles are, “DON’T WANT TO KNOW IF YOU’RE HUNGRY,” and “HUNGRY SOMEHOW.”

The band’s final course is the delectable double LP: Steakhouse: Songs and Stories. Bob sings of “THESE IMPORTED BEERS,” before going gourmet on the plaintive “BED OF SNAILS.” Alas, he has “NO (DINNER) RESERVATIONS.” Grant snacks on some “CHARITY, CHASTITY, PEANUTS AND COKE,” and reminds us that “YOU CAN COOK AT HOME.”

Happy Birthday to the Greatest Album of All Time.

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HüSKER Dü WERE A TRIO from Minneapolis. Guitarist Bob Mould and drummer Grant Hart sang and wrote the songs. Greg Norton played bass guitar and chipped in on vocals. Before its stormy demise in late 1987, the band would release six full-length albums, two EPs, and a catalog of singles and extras. But the pinnacle of all that output was Zen Arcade, first delivered to stores in July, 1984, by California-based SST records.

I remember the day I bought it. Newbury Comics — the one on Newbury Street — on a midweek afternoon, sunny and hot. I was eighteen years-old.

We knew there was an album coming coming out, but weren’t sure when, exactly, it would hit the racks. In these pre-Internet times, news of such things was always unclear and came sporadically, delivered by college radio or gleaned through your network of friends. Sometimes it was a paper flyer glued to a mailbox or tacked to a record shop bulletin board. Nobody was a bigger Hüsker Dü fan than I was, but this latest album, due in the stores at any moment — I didn’t even know the title.

Suddenly there it was, on a rack up front. It was called Zen Arcade, whatever the heck that meant. I picked it up and, hey, what’s this, it’s a double album! As a teenage punk rocker weaned on Black Flag and Minor Threat, with a rather one-dimensional appreciation for music, the very weight of the thing, together with the heady title and the washed-over, almost Impressionist cover art was intimidating. It seemed so arty and grown-up. It also made me curious. What was this strange record?

What it was, and what it remains almost forty years later, is the greatest indie-rock album of all time — if not, in my extraordinarily biased opinion, the greatest rock album, period.

“The most important and relevant double album to be released since the Beatles’ White Album,” bragged SST’s own press release. There was some confidence for you, to say the least, when you consider the world of underground music in 1984. This was not only an obscure band, but an entire musical domain that existed far below the mainstream waterline. Then as now, the idea of comparing a little-known indie band to the Beatles seemed at best pretentious and at worst totally absurd.

But was it?

Twenty-three songs is a lot of music, but this is one the rare two-record sets that isn’t bogged down by its own overreaching or conceit. The scourge of most double LPs, back when there was such a thing, is they went on for too long — padded with live cuts, covers, and extras (heck even London Calling has its throw-aways). There’s no filler in Zen Arcade. Each and every song, from the shortest (44 seconds) to the longest (14 minutes), belongs exactly in its place.

The album is best savored not as a CD — and for heaven’s sake not as a download — but in the old, cardboard-and-vinyl package. That’s a quintessentially record-snobbish thing to say, but unavoidable in this case, where each of the four sides is a distinct chapter with its own temperature and architecture.

Greg Norton, Grant Hart, and Bob Mould, circa 1984.
SST Records promo picture by Naomi Petersen.

Side one gets going without the slightest fuss, with the snap and kick of Bob Mould’s “Something I Learned Today,” eventually winding down with “Hare Krsna,” a booming, tambourine-backed instrumental (mostly).

The first time I heard “Hare Krsna,” sizzling over the stereo in a Boston area record shop not long after the album’s release, I remember the young clerk furrowing his brow, looking up toward the speakers and saying, “Somebody needs to write a dissertation about this song.” I couldn’t care less if Bob Mould was plagiarizing a Bo Diddley riff; “Hare Krsna” is a mesmerizing, three-and-a-half minute cyclone of melodic chaos that still gives me the chills. Listen to Mould hitting the strings at time 0:44.

Side one alone is unforgettable. And there are three more to go. This is the ultimate workhorse album from the ultimate workhorse band, one so rich with sonic nooks and crannies that an in-depth listen leaves you not only battling tinnitus, but tired. So many changes from fast to slow, hard to soft, love to hate, all in perfect working sequence. And each side-break is a perfectly placed respite. I can’t think of a more brilliantly arranged opus than Zen Arcade. “The closest hardcore punk will ever get to an opera,” wrote David Fricke of Rolling Stone.

Indeed, this is a proverbial concept album — a musical story, in the spirit of the Who’s Tommy, allegedly describing the journey and tribulations of a young man. He leaves home, maybe joins a cult, maybe joins the Army…whatever. Alt-rock historians love reminding us about this, but you’re free to ignore it. The record requires no lyrical narrative to uphold its brilliance.

You’ll find a gamut of effects: acoustic guitar, chairs being thrown, waves breaking, whispers and chants. There’s even the breezy piano of “Monday Will Never be the Same.” (If Ken Burns ever directs a documentary about the history of alt-rock, the tinkling of “Monday” needs to be its backing theme.) Such eclectics are brave, maybe, for what was supposedly a punk album, but they never become maudlin or melodramatic. If you think today’s co-opted rockers are clever with the tempo card, shifting from tough to tender, check out Grant Hart’s “Never Talking to You Again,” a sing-along from side one done entirely in 12-string acoustic. “Heartfelt” is the word that jumps to mind, but it’s not the syrupy strum you’d hear nowadays. The song is biting and sharp — an attack. Ditto for “Standing By the Sea,” with Hart’s cathartic bellows set against bassist Greg Norton’s eerie thrum and the soothe of a crashing surf.

Back in ’84, the rock critic Robert Christgau chose Hart’s “Turn On the News,” from side four, as his “song of the year.” Christgau said many flattering things about Hüsker Dü, but that one was the gimmie pick, like saying the Concorde is your favorite airplane. It’s an easy song to like, but an even easier one to outgrow. If the album has a best song, it’s probably Bob Mould’s neo-pscychedelic “Chartered Trips,” the fourth cut off side one. (“Trips” is almost Mould’s single greatest work, topped only by his spectacular rendition of the Byrds’ “Eight Miles High,” released as a single just prior to Zen Arcade.)

Runner-up would be Hart’s “Pink Turns to Blue,” from side three. Officially the credits for this one list both Mould and Hart, but really this is Grant’s piece. He took all the hook and melody of his earlier masterpiece, “It’s Not Funny Anymore,” and sandblasted it into a haunting anthem of love, drugs, and death. The song is simply gorgeous — and a little bit terrifying. Score it ahead of “Chartered Trips” if you want. I’m not going to argue.

Hart, Norton and Mould in September, 1984, in the dressing room at the Channel.   Boston Rock magazine.

“Pink Turns to Blue” follows “One Step at a Time,” a brief piano time-out that, as much as anything else, allows the listener to catch his or her breath. The pregnant pause between the last note of “One Step” and the opening chord of “Pink” is like those one or two seconds between a lightning bolt and a thunderclap, and is one of the record’s strongest moments. It reminds me of the similarly unforgettable transition into “Sweet Jane” on the Velvet Underground’s Loaded album.

Before going further, I’m aware how this favorite songs thing can turn tedious pretty quickly. Grant Hart himself once offered a disclaimer: “People will always embrace different songs for different reasons,” he told me. “A song that might seem terrible filler, serving only to move the story along, will be someone’s favorite on the album. Bob and I were both responsible for those kind of songs.” Of my beloved “Hare Krsna” Grant claims that he was merely “furthering the story without adding much musically.” Hart felt similarly about some of Mould’s thrashier and more “hardcore” material.

To his point, not all of the album is easy to like and, depending on your ear and level of patience, the value of certain songs might not reveal itself for some time. For me it was twenty years before the first four songs from side two (Mould at his most furious) finally clicked. They’d always been so noisy and formless. Suddenly they weren’t. This was partly a context thing, maybe: the album, like wine, getting better not despite its age, but because of it. It took the overall shittiness of music in the 21st century to underscore the greatness of cuts like “Pride” and “The Biggest Lie” — mere footnotes in 1984. They’re awesome songs, at once explosive and subtle, but buried amidst so many other and perhaps better choices, that even the band’s most devoted fans tend to skip them over.

Similarly it was decades before I learned to appreciate “Broken Home, Broken Heart,” the second song on the album, for the gem that it is, tucked anonymously between “Something I Learned Today” and Hart’s “Never Talking to You Again,” with Norton’s bass stealing the show. And that a supposed punk rock album could jump from the fury of “Broken Home” to the acoustic beauty of “Never Talking”, without so much as a flinch, was a watershed in American music.

Though not entirely a surprise. Even at breakneck velocity there always was something ineffably refined and just, well, different about Hüsker Dü. If pressed to explain, one might break out 1982’s Everything Falls Apart EP. Amidst side one’s hypsersonic avalanche is Hart’s cover of Donovan’s 1966 hit, “Sunshine Superman.” Trite, perhaps, on the face of it, until you hear how un-ironic the remake is, without a note’s worth of smirk or parody. This wasn’t a joke. They were serious.

Later, on his solo tours, Bob Mould would often play acoustic versions of cuts like “In a Free Land” or “Celebrated Summer,” and the results were startlingly pretty. That’s just not going to work if you’re Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys or Bad Brains. Or Nirvana. Run even the fastest, noisiest Hüsker song through a centrifuge and something elegant reveals itself.

Concert flyer, Boston, 1984.   Author’s Collection.

With its blend of hippie love and hard rock thunder, Zen Arcade would, in a way, finish the job that the Velvet Underground and even the Beatles had tinkered with earlier. But while the blending of power/pop extremes was nothing new, the Hüskers pulled it off in a way that was never gimmicky (not until their lazy cover of “Love is All Around,” the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme, in 1986), and, most impressively, did so on such terrain –- the American hardcore punk scene –- where nobody expected it or even believed it possible.

“A strenuous refutation of hardcore orthodoxy,” as Michael Azerrad puts it in his book, Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991.Zen Arcade was the final word on the [punk rock] genre, a scorching of musical earth. The album wasn’t only about Hüsker Dü coming of age — it was about an entire musical movement coming of age.”

Zen Arcade is the album Nirvana and its contemporaries only wish they could have made: intelligent, clamorous, and hashing out more torment and passion in four sides than all the grungers and headbangers since. All without a hint of heavy metal pretension: to think anyone could concoct a fourteen-minute bombast of guitar leads and layered distortion — “Reoccurring Dreams,” side four — and have it not come out self-indulgently.

And when the 40-second whine at the end of “Dreams” is at last pinched off, the album burning to a close in a congealed, numbing squeal, the silence that follows is palpable, as dramatic as any of record’s loudest moments. Only then, as your senses regain their composure, is it apparent that your notions of punk rock are changed forever.

But not everybody, however — not even Grant Hart — has openly accepted the album’s deification. Hart once described Zen as the album that fans “tend to wear on their sleeves.” Did he mean people like me? Have I been too sentimentally fond of it for some reason?

“The impact of Zen Arcade on the Zeitgeist is hilarious to me,” said Grant. “Hilarious in the almost alchemical-mechanical way it has been embraced by true music fans and hipster-flipsters alike. When somebody states that Zen is their favorite LP, I get the notion to ask why. As we move further from the time it was released, it seems I get more honest answers.”

My honest answer is that I like it the best because it sounds the best, and by the sum of its parts it is the best. And for the record, Zen Arcade is not my “favorite” Husker Dü LP. New Day Rising is my “favorite” Husker Dü LP. But that’s getting personal. When you look at it objectively, Zen is the better and more profound of the two.

Norton, Hart, Mould. Photo by Daniel Corrigan.

Norton, Hart, Mould.   Photo by Daniel Corrigan.

Hüsker Dü were nothing if not prolific. A mere six months after Zen Arcade came New Day Rising, which woke the country from its winter freeze in January, 1985. These are two best albums of the 1980s, and they appeared within six months of each other!

Eight month’s after that came “Flip Your Wig,” the band’s last album before signing with a major label. Flip suffers from terrible production but is nonetheless memorable, highlighted by Hart’s pièce de résistance, “Keep Hanging On.” Prior to Zen, meanwhile, was Metal Circus, a brilliant seven-song EP from 1983. Together, these four records represent, easily, the most potent 1-2-3-4 punch in the annals of indie music. All released in the astonishing space of less than two years. That’s simply incredible.

In 1986 and 1987, having moved from SST to Warner Brothers, Hüsker Dü released two disappointing and anticlimactic albums,”Candy Apple Gray” and “Warehouse: Songs and Stories.” I’m unsure which of these two records annoys me more, but neither, really, has much place in this conversation. “Candy Apple Grey” does well at the start and finish — I’ve always loved the gothic guitar squall of the opener, “Crystal,” as well as the closer, “All This I’ve Done For You” — but the rest is flyover country, including Bob Mould’s abominable “Too Far Down,” which has to be the ugliest song he ever recorded.

With Warehouse, it’s as if they took Zen Arcade placed it on a table in front of them and said, “Okay how can we ruin this?” Like Zen Arcade, it’s a double LP. Unlike Zen Arcade, it’s bloated with filler. I’ll always love “Back From Somewhere” and “She’s a Woman (and Now He Is a Man),” but the plodding, uninspired likes of “Ice Cold Ice,” “You’re a Soldier,” and too many others, anchor this one at the bottom of the Hüsker canon.

Bob and Grant had their power struggles, but as a songwriting tandem their talents were wonderfully complementary — think Strummer and Jones, or McCartney and Lennon. This was much of what made the band so great. By the time “Warehouse” warbles to a close, clearly this synchronicity is unraveling. Hart, at least, holds his own on this record, while Mould’s songs are overextended and lazy. Depressing as it was, you could say that Hüsker Dü broke up exactly when it needed to.

Meanwhile, unless I’ve missed something, none of the big music magazines or websites gave Zen Arcade so much as a mention on its 20th, 15th, or 30th birthdays. Some years ago Spin awarded it the number four spot on its ranking of the hundred best-ever “alternative” records, and Rolling Stone, in a manic best-of-the-80s list, once gave it lip service at number 33. But what since then? Instead we have bands like Green Day winning Grammys.

Husker Du "Four Seasons" Collage

And do younger music fans have any sense of what the 1980s truly were like? This was the richest and most innovative period in the whole history of independent music, but rarely is it acknowledged as such. As popular culture has it, serious rock music skipped the 80s entirely. When pundits do take the decade seriously, we tend to see the same names over and over. It’s both frustrating and unjustified that Hüsker Dü never developed the same posthumous cachet that others of their era did. Like the Replacements, for example, or Sonic Youth. Hüsker Dü could run circles around either of those two, but never became “cool” in quite the same way.

I suppose it’s due to an absence of what you might call sex appeal. To say that Hüsker Dü never cultivated any sort of image, in the usual manner of rock bands, is putting it mildly. For one, they never looked the part. These were big, sweaty, chain-smoking guys who, it often seemed, hadn’t shaved or showered in a while. Norton, trimmest and most dapper of the threesome, wore a handlebar mustache many years before such things were trendy among hipsters. It wasn’t cool; it was odd. And not until their eighth and final album did the band included a photo of itself on an album cover (the scratched-out images on Zen Arcade notwithstanding). It was a small, back-cover pic that almost feels like an afterthought, or something the record company made them do.

This modesty, for lack of a better description, was for some of us a part of what made Hüsker Dü so special. But it has hurt them, I think, in the long run. (As has the fact that only the band’s final two albums are available on iTunes. But that’s another story.)

The idea that the Replacements (much as I loved their debut album, which I consider the best garage-rock record of all time, and which includes a shout-out called “Somethin’to Dü”) were in any way a better or more influential band than Hüsker Dü is too absurd to entertain. Meanwhile the beatification of Sonic Youth, maybe the most overrated outfit of the last forty years, goes on and on. Not long ago Kim Gordon got a profile in the New Yorker. I’m still waiting for one of the writers there to devote a story to Bob Mould.

Or better yet, to Grant Hart. Twenty-five years, more or less, that’s how long it took me, to realize that it was Grant, not Bob, who was the more indispensable songwriter and who leaves the richer legacy. In the old days it was trendy to claim that Grant was the real genius behind Hüsker Dü. You’d be at a party and some asshole would say, “Those guys would be nothing without that drummer.” I’d always scoff that off. The mechanics of the band, for one, made it difficult to accept: Grant was the drummer, after all, and drummers are never the stars. Meanwhile there was Bob, right at the front of the stage with that iconic Flying-V. But those assholes were on to something.

That shouldn’t be an insult to Mould. Not any more than saying John Lennon was a better songwriter than Paul McCartney. Both were brilliant. But when I flip through the Hüsker canon, I can’t help giving Hart the edge. On New Day Rising, for instance, Mould gave us “I Apologize” and “Celebrated Summer.” But Hart gave us “Terms of Psychic Warfare” and “Books About UFOs,” two of the most electrifying songs of the 80s. “It’s Not Funny Anymore,” “Diane,” “Pink Turns to Blue,” the list goes on. Hart’s “She’s a Woman (And Now He is a Man”) from the often intolerable Warehouse album is, to me, a classic sleeper and the most under-appreciated Hüsker song of them all.

His solo work, too, was at least as robust as that of Mould. Songs like “The Main” and “The Last Days of Pompeii” are as good or better than anything Mould has given us post-Hüsker. But while Mould went on to some notoriety and commercial success, Hart labored in comparative obscurity. This was always irritating and unfair.

But Grant, maybe, was all right with this. “I have always based my movements on those of fugitives or criminals,” he once said to me. “The less attention you attract, the freer you remain! I wish to be an artist, not a celebrity.”

Hüsker Dü in 1986.   Photo by Daniel Corrigan.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE (SECOND) GREATEST ALBUM OF ALL TIME

POSTSCRIPT, ASTERISKS AND MISCELLANY…

Grant Hart died in September, 2017. A few years ago, filmmaker Gorman Bechard released a movie about him. “Every Everything” is 93 minutes of Grant — and only Grant — proving himself to be one of the more oddly captivating storytellers you’ll ever have the pleasure of listening to.

Bechard had previously interviewed Grant for “Color Me Obsessed,” his film about The Replacements, and was taken with him. “Grant is one of the most influential musicians ever,” said Bechard at the time. “Beyond that, he’s as smart and funny as anyone on the planet.”

You may not be familiar with Hart, but he was among the most important songwriters of our time, and “Every Everything” is a brave and absolutely necessary tribute to one of the unsung heroes of modern music. Click the picture for more info…

Every Everything

— The one song I would probably have pruned from Zen Arcade is “Dreams Reoccurring,” the noisy little instrumental from side one. You’ve got the fourteen-minute version later on; do we really need this miniature version too? And the fact that “Indecision Time” isn’t so great either… it creates kind of a dead spot on the first side. In its place I’d have put “Some Kind of Fun,” one of the outtakes.

— The greatest concert I ever attended was an impromptu Husker show at a place called Harvey Wheeler Hall, in Concord, Massachusetts, on December 30th, 1984. It was a last-minute gig arranged by David Savoy, a Concord native who also was the band’s manager at the time (and whose suicide a few years later was partly responsible for its breakup). There was no stage; the band set up on the floor of what, in my memory, was a simple classroom. There were fewer than a hundred people there, and we stood or sat cross-legged. The set ended when Grant cut his finger on a cracked drumstick during a cover of the Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride.” My best friend at the time, Mark McKay (who later became the drummer for the post-hardcore band Slapshot), gave him a band-aid. When it was over we went backstage, as it were, and chatted a while with the band.

— A few years ago, Paul Hilcoff, the curator of the painfully exhaustive Hüsker Dü fan site, mailed me a compact disc recording of that entire concert. I had no idea there was one. What a startling feeling it is to discover, many years on, that a recording exists of one of your most cherished memories. Except, the CD still sits on my bookshelf, as yet unlistened-to. One of these days I’ll summon up the courage to actually play it. Listening to that recording, provided I’ve got the emotional muster, will be the closest I ever get to time travel.

— I once played Frisbee with Bob Mould. June 21, 1984, it was, prior to a show in Easthampton Massachusetts. There were four of us playing: me, Bob, a local Boston fanzine writer named Al Quint, and the aforementioned McKay.

— I once got to meet and shake hands with Bob Mould’s parents. It was that same summer of ’84, in Rhode Island. Mom and dad were touring the country, stopping in on the band’s performances. Bob himself introduced me to them.

— Greg Norton once sat patiently backstage while I peppered him with inane questions for a fanzine article I was writing.

— It was Grant, though, who was always the friendliest and most approachable of the three. I remember a night, between sets down at The Living Room in Providence, chatting with him in the parking lot. He was snacking on slices of cheese, when a stray dog came ambling over. Grant shared his cheese with the dog, holding up small bits of it, ever higher, making the dog jump for them.

— That was the same show in which Mould, rushing toward the stage for an encore, smashed his head against a ceiling rafter so hard that you could hear it from the parking lot. I have a feeling he remembers that.

GREATEST HITS, MOULD:

1. Eight Miles High (single)
2. Chartered Trips (Zen Arcade)
3. I Apologize (New Day Rising)
4. Gravity (Everything Falls Apart)
5. Crystal (Candy Apple Grey)
6. Real World (Metal Circus)
7. Makes No Sense at All (Flip Your Wig)
8. Celebrated Summer (New Day Rising)
9. Perfect Example (New Day Rising)
10. All This I’ve Done For You (Candy Apple Grey)

GREATEST HITS, HART:

1. Keep Hanging On (Flip Your Wig)
2. Terms of Psychic Warfare (New Day Rising)
3. Pink Turns to Blue (Zen Arcade)
4. Books About UFOs (New Day Rising)
5. It’s Not Funny Anymore (Metal Circus)
6. She’s a Woman [And Now he is a Man] (Warehouse: Songs and Stories)
7. Standing by the Sea (Zen Arcade)
8. Diane (Metal Circus)
9. The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill (New Day Rising)
10. Sunshine Superman (Everything Falls Apart)

Now if you’ve stayed with me this far, chances are you’re a pretty big Hüsker fan who won’t mind if I push things an obsessive step further. For you I present the following addendum. You’ve been warned:

I was looking at some photos of Hüsker Dü in their heyday, circa ’84 or ’85. These guys were, to put it one way, well-fed. Greg always kept himself trim and dapper, but Bob and Grant weren’t going hungry, that’s for sure.

It’s only fair, then, that we should revisit the Hüsker discography, making note of various song titles as they should have appeared. That is, with a gastronomical theme…

There’s little on Land Speed Record or Everything Falls Apart to cook with, so let’s start with Metal Circus. Here, Bob sets the table with “MEAL WORLD,” then takes his place in the “LUNCHLINE.” Grant tells us “I’M NOT HUNGRY ANYMORE,” but later opts for some delicious “STEAK DIANE.”

Zen Arcade is a veritable buffet line of fatty faves: Bob cooks up some “CHARRED TIPS.” Later he orders some “PRIME” down at the “NEWEST EATERY.” He’s got a sweet tooth for “THE BIGGEST PIE.” Alas, it’s a “BROKEN COOKIE, BROKEN HEART.” Grant warns that he’s “NEVER COOKING FOR YOU AGAIN,” yet later we find him “STANDING BY THE STOVE,” dreaming of that moment when “BEEF TURNS TO STEW” (“…waiters placing, gently placing, napkins round her plate.”) This is a very long album, and indigestion sets in by the end of side four, closing with the epic, flatulent jam, “REOCCURRING BEANS.”

Prior to Zen Arcade, you might remember, came the Huskers’ famous 7-inch single — its cover of the Byrds’ — or is it Birds’ — classic, “EGGS PILED HIGH.”

On New Day Rising, Grant tells us about “THE GIRL WHO WORKS AT THE BAR & GRILL,” followed on side two by the sugary “BOOKS ABOUT OREOS.” Bob serves up a “CELEBRATED SUPPER.”

Flip Your Wig is, let’s just say, a little thin, though Grant gives us a cooking lesson with “FLEXIBLE FRYER.”

On Candy Apple Pie… er, Gray … again its Grant with the big appetite. His two meaty singles are, “DON’T WANT TO KNOW IF YOU’RE HUNGRY,” and “HUNGRY SOMEHOW.”

The band’s final course is the delectable double LP: Steakhouse: Songs and Stories. Bob sings of “THESE IMPORTED BEERS,” before going gourmet on the plaintive “BED OF SNAILS.” Alas, he has “NO (DINNER) RESERVATIONS.” Grant snacks on some “CHARITY, CHASTITY, PEANUTS AND COKE,” and reminds us that “YOU CAN COOK AT HOME.”

U.S. Air Force Releases Photos Of Mock B61-12 Nuclear Bomb Test Loaded On B-2A Bomber

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A non-nuclear mock B61-12 Joint Test Assembly (JTA) being prepared for test loading inside the B-2A Spirit stealth bomber’s bombs bay. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devan Halstead)

The testing of the new nuclear weapon is continuing with the integration on the Spirit stealth bomber.

The U.S. Air Force recently released on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) website a series of interesting photos from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The photos, taken on June 13, 2022, show a high-fidelity, non-nuclear mock B61-12 Joint Test Assembly (JTA) being prepared for test loading inside the B-2A Spirit stealth bomber’s bombs bay. To our knowledge, these should be the first public photos of the weapon with the Spirit since testing aboard the aircraft has begun few years ago.

The Air Force did not provide many details and did not even mention the name of the bomb, simply stating “the 72nd Test and Evaluation Squadron test loads a new nuclear-capable weapons delivery system for the B-2 Spirit bomber”. The 72nd TES, a geographically separated unit of Eglin AFB’s 53rd Wing based at Whiteman, is in charge of all testing and evaluation of new equipment, software and weapons systems for the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.”

It is not clear what the caption refers to with the term “nuclear-capable weapons delivery system”. The unofficial Nuclear Matters Handbook of the office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters, gives us the following definition:

A nuclear weapon delivery system is the military platform and delivery vehicle by which a nuclear weapon is delivered to its intended target in the event of authorized use (by the President of the United States, who retains sole authority to employ nuclear weapons). Most nuclear weapons have been designed for a specific delivery system, making interoperability potentially challenging.

In addition to the mix of silo-based Minuteman III (MMIII) ICBMs, Trident II D5 Life Extension (LE) SLBMs carried on Ohio-class SSBNs, and B-2A and B-52H nuclear-capable heavy bombers, the U.S. nuclear force includes dual-capable aircraft (DCA), that can carry conventional or nuclear weapons.

Judging by this definition, the weapon delivery system in question should be the B-2A bomber, however the fact that the caption mentions the test loading aboard the aircraft might mean that this system is a new weapon rack inside the bombs bay designed to work with the new B61-12. Available public info states that the Spirit was designed to employ a Bomb Rack Assembly (BRA) for conventional munitions and a Rotary Launcher Assembly (RLA) for the delivery of conventional or nuclear weapons.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80002" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/07/07/usaf-b61-12-tests/b-2_spirit_tests_b61-12_1/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/B-2_Spirit_Tests_B61-12_1.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,571" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="B-2_Spirit_Tests_B61-12_1" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The 72nd Test and Evaluation Squadron test loads a new nuclear-capable weapons delivery system for the B-2 Spirit bomber on June 13, 2022 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The 72nd TES conducts testing and evaluation of new equipment, software and weapons systems for the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devan Halstead)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-4.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-1.jpg” class=”size-large wp-image-80002″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-1.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”394″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-1.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-4.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-5.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-6.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/B-2_Spirit_Tests_B61-12_1.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The 72nd Test and Evaluation Squadron test loads a new nuclear-capable weapons delivery system for the B-2 Spirit bomber on June 13, 2022 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The 72nd TES conducts testing and evaluation of new equipment, software and weapons systems for the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devan Halstead)

The BRA was later upgraded between 2003 and 2006 and became a Smart Bomb Rack Assembly capable of carrying as many as 80 independently targeted, JDAM GPS-guided weapons. So, since the new B61-12 in equipped with a guidance kit, it is possible that also the RLA is now being upgraded to use the new bomb. The new bomb variant will replace the B61-7 and B61-11 currently available for the B-2 fleet.

As we already reported, The B61 entered service 50 years ago and has undergone a Life-Extention Program (LEP) to consolidate and replace four legacy bomb variants, the B61 -3, -4, -7, and -11 mods, into the B61-12. The refurbished B61-12 will allow the retirement of the larger B83, becoming the only remaining gravity delivered nuke in the inventory. The bomb will carry a low-yield nuclear warhead with four yield options, reportedly 0.3 kilotons, 1.5 kilotons, 10 kilotons and 50 kilotons, instead of larger warheads like the models it is replacing (which can reach 400 kilotons depending on the variants).

The 12-foot, 825-pound bomb is designed to be delivered from the air in either ballistic or guided-gravity drop modes, thanks to a new Boeing-built tail assembly that includes an Inertial Navigation System (INS) precision-guidance package and two spin rocket motors that improve the bomb’s stability on its longitudinal axis during the descent. The LEP is said to be increasing the B61’s accuracy so much (with a reported 30 m Circular Error Probability instead of the original 100 m) that it will have the same capability against hardened targets as the much more powerful weapons it is replacing.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80003" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/07/07/usaf-b61-12-tests/b-2_spirit_tests_b61-12_2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/B-2_Spirit_Tests_B61-12_2.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,681" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="B-2_Spirit_Tests_B61-12_2" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Another image of the tests conducted at Whiteman AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devan Halstead)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-7.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-2.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80003″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-2.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”470″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-7.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-8.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-9.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/B-2_Spirit_Tests_B61-12_2.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Another image of the tests conducted at Whiteman AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devan Halstead)

About Stefano D’Urso
Stefano D’Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he’s also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.

Ruby DA40 Accident in Marana, Arizona

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Diamond DA 40 Marana, Arizona Injuries: 1 The solo trainee pilot reported that, while en path to the nontowered flight terminal, she got neighborhood climate as well as reported on the usual website traffic consultatory regularity that she would certainly be getting in the downwind for path 30. An additional pilot in the web traffic pattern reported that they were utilizing path 12, so the trainee transformed the plane 180 ° to get in the downwind for path 12. She included that, throughout the touchdown roll, she used brakes as well as tried to transform straight off the path, however the “rate was still high.” She recognized that she would certainly not have the ability to make the turn, so she tried to transform left back onto the path. Consequently, the aircraft skidded off the path to the right as well as affected a taxiway indicator. The aircraft received considerable damages to the extreme right. The replacement security policeman of the trip college reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failings or breakdowns with the plane that would certainly have prevented typical procedure. The flight terminal’s automated weather condition monitoring terminal reported that, concerning 5 mins prior to the crash, the wind was from 350 ° at 4 knots. The trainee landed the plane on path 12.

Probable reason(s): The pupil pilot’s too much taxi rate throughout a turn from the path to a taxiway, which caused a path adventure as well as accident with a taxiway indicator.

Keep in mind: The record republished below is from the NTSB as well as is published verbatim and also in its full kind.

Just how to enhance your aeronautics choices

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At some time in a pilot’s flying job, typically around 250 hrs, the main obstacle changes from a physical one to a psychological one. When you ultimately understand crosswind touchdowns as well as find out exactly how to utilize all the avionics in your plane, what’s left is the nonstop job of making great choices. Astronaut Frank Borman recommended a proper objective when he stated, “An exceptional pilot utilizes his exceptional judgment to prevent scenarios which need using his remarkable ability.”

The FAA obtained faith on this a couple of years back and also has actually been incorporating what they call “aerial decision-making” right into all components of pilot training, from the Knowledge Test to the Airman Certification Standards. The subject has a phase in the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge as well as a whole Advisory Circular (AIR CONDITIONING 60-22) is committed to it. As you could anticipate, a lot of the FAA’s suggestions promptly declines right into lingo: make use of the PAVE list and also the 5 Ps to educate our SRM as well as CRM techniques, that include RM as well as AM, to keep SA and also avoid CFIT. You understand.

It’s not all phrase soup; the PHAK includes this important fact: “Contrary to preferred viewpoint, great judgment can be educated.” That’s fantastic information, however just how?

Action 1. Play the hand we’re dealt

Pilot in airplanePilot in airplane

You can relocate the controls; can you make the right choices? To start, we must recognize some undesirable truths concerning the human mind as well as just how it runs.

Also an informal evaluation of neuroscience makes clear that , for many of us, excellent decision-making is the exemption as well as not the policy. Our mind is antagonizing all of us the moment, so a great trip possibly implies combating some poor impulses. Think about the adhering to drawbacks. We are not logical animals. Humankind progressed to endure on the savannah of Africa 150,000 years back– a drastically various atmosphere from the cabin of a little aircraft. That implies a lot of our tried and true psychological designs do not function extremely well at 150 knots as well as 10,000 feet, so our “intestine really feel “isn’t constantly credible. We often tend to look for convenience as opposed to ruthlessly seeking the reality, which could assist us rest in the evening however does not aid us assess whether the weather condition up in advance actually is even worse than projection. It’s simply simple effort to examine the truths steadly as well as impartially.

We’re poor at evaluating threat, big or particularly little ones. This appears in lots of components of modern-day life: we are afraid nuclear reactor although coal has actually eliminated much more individuals, and also aircraft collisions obtain all the interest while 40,000 individuals pass away annually in auto accident. Once more, this is not a surprise– Stone Age guy required to bother with possibly dangerous yet uncommon occasions. Is that a darkness or a bear? Evolutionarily, it’s much better to think it’s a bear, yet that does not suggest it actually is. As E. O. Wilson memorably composed, “We have Paleolithic feelings, middle ages establishments and also godlike modern technology.” He had not been discussing pilots, yet it definitely uses.

We have insufficient info. Traveling (as well as life) isn’t chess– there are much a lot of variables to understand all the offered choices as well as logically determine the possibilities each. We certainly need to make informed assumptions based upon pieces of information or prejudiced point of views. That’s not an issue that can be resolved, it’s simply a truth to approve.

We make use of unsafe psychological faster ways. As an outcome of this info overload, we embrace heuristics to arrange via the sound and also choose on the fly. A few of these are great (hot discomfort misbehaves), yet several are not (sugar is constantly excellent). For pilots, verification predisposition and also inspired thinking are the most awful faster ways, considering that they usually lead us to discover just the info that makes us really feel excellent. This is exactly how VFR-into-IMC occurs a lot of the moment: you focus on the one excellent METAR as well as disregard the 20 poor ones.

We battle to give up short-term discomfort for long-term gain. Any person that has actually ever before attempted to stay with a diet regimen understands exactly how real this is. The choice to postpone satisfaction is a rather current growth in human background, so it takes job to remain concentrated on the long-term. When we attempt to extend our gas, we are staying clear of the short-term trouble of touchdown at the expenditure of prospective long-term calamity in the type of a collision.

We craft tales. Our minds enjoy to fit occasions right into a story as well as appoint personalities– it’s exactly how we understand a complex globe. Life is frequently lovely arbitrary so this thinking leads us astray when there is no story to figure out and also background has no arc. We do not be entitled to excellent weather condition and also ATC isn’t bent on obtain us, regardless of just how engaging that tale appears.

We have the impression of control. An additional dealing device for a terrifying globe is to act we are in control of occasions, despite the fact that we’re possibly simply along for the trip. As a pilot, we should not think we have control over climate or mechanical systems even if we are thinking of them. While a detailed preflight is great, the cyndrical tube does not understand we truly treatment this time around as well as can not manage an engine failing.

Action 2. Handle our mistaken minds

Afterwards dismaying listing of psychological drawbacks, it might feel like great aerial decision-making is helpless. That would certainly be satisfying unreason with additional unreason. A mindful take a look at the realities (that’s our objective right here) reveals that it is feasible to make clever selections more frequently.

Flight simulatorFlight simulator

One point to exercise in a residence simulator is decision-making. Exercise choosing. This is blindingly evident yet typically neglected. You need to exercise– as well as making a decision is no various than piano or basketball if you desire to obtain much better at something. A terrific area to begin is by maintaining a choice journal to tape just how you come close to significant selections and afterwards track exactly how well you do. This may appear silly, yet if you do not compose it down, you’ll possibly exist to on your own. The bright side is you do not need to be flying daily to do this; you can prepare a trip, make a decision exactly how you would certainly manage it, after that examine problems a couple of hrs later on to see exactly how it ended up. An iPad application or house trip simulator can assist also. Was your go/no-go choice deal with? Are you improving with time? Unless you maintain track, you’ll never ever understand.

Be cynical of your intestine impulse. Like a tool pilot that needs to discover to rely on the tools, we need to discover to rely on the realities, despite just how unpleasant they are. It’s okay to pay attention to your digestive tract, yet constantly verify. As Julia Galef creates in her publication, The Scout Mindset, the objective ought to be to see the globe as it really is, not as you want it were. Below once more, a choice journal might assist: if you uncover that your intestine feeling is commonly incorrect, you may be extra modest in the future.

Make a lot more choices in advance. Pilots are usually a great deal a lot more logical prior to a trip, at 1G as well as no knots, than they remain in the warm of the minute. Capitalize on that even more deliberative frame of mind by utilizing standard procedure to remove the possibility for a negative (as well as hurried) choice. If the option has actually currently been made that circling around methods in the evening are never ever enabled and also all paths should be longer than 3000 feet, the only work in trip is to carry out the strategy. That gets rid of the lure to reduce edges, something the airline companies have actually grasped over the last couple of years, with sensational outcomes.

Be open to upgrading your strategy as problems alter. Since you’ve made an excellent strategy prior to the trip does not suggest you can not respond, simply. Just how to stay clear of the fundamental opposition? Never ever concession on some important policies (e.g., constantly have one hr of gas on board). Next off, keep an equilibrium: you must change your strategy when vital realities transform, out an impulse. When this ability is improved, it comes to be a routine. You’re constantly asking inquiries, coming close to details skeptically, and also consuming concerning your back-up strategy. As Maria Popova magnificently composes, “Allow on your own the unpleasant deluxe of altering your mind.” The option is one-track mind.

Obtain an additional point of view. One means to require on your own to upgrade your strategy is to obtain an outdoors viewpoint, since we are all unavoidably self-indulgent. A trip trainer can be a wonderful choice, however so can virtually any person with a pilot certification– locate somebody you depend on and also make them a casual weather condition briefer or a straightforward co-pilot. Simply discussing a choice with somebody else can typically damage us out of our bubble.

Specify concerning what you regulate. When confronted with tough choices, particularly in trip, it’s crucial to confess what you can as well as can refrain from doing– as one of my trip trainers utilized to claim, “ya obtained ta order off the food selection.” If the crosswind part is 30 knots, you can not alter the wind, regardless of just how much you would certainly such as to. Rather, concentrate on concrete activities you can require to preserve security, like touchdown at an additional flight terminal. One of the initial concerns to respond to in an emergency scenario is not just “what damaged?” Likewise “what can I still do?”

Solid on vision, light on information. This frame of mind helps flying, service, parenting, as well as numerous various other components of life. It’s a pointer to be extremely clear regarding your best objective (like coming to your location) as well as be much less authoritative regarding the specific approach (flying straight, removing at 4pm, addressing 8,000 feet). That maintains your top priorities front as well as facility, while preserving the adaptability to respond to altering situations.

This last factor mean the trick to much better choices. Fail to remember attempting to forecast the future (a helpless job); rather, enhance your capability to respond to unpreventable adjustments. Establish some outright regulations. Find out to choose brand-new info and also evaluate it seriously. Obtain comfy transforming your mind and also remaining adaptable. Be disciplined regarding tracking your progression.

Working with the craft of choice production can be tremendously satisfying as well as result in more secure flying, however it absolutely is difficult– as well as the task is never ever done.

Coming from an air travel family members, John matured in the rear of little aircrafts as well as found out to fly as a teen. Since, he has actually been hooked on anything with wings and also frequently flies a Citabria, a Pilatus PC-12, as well as a Cirrus SR22. He is an ATP as well as additionally holds scores for multiengine, helicopters, gliders, as well as seaplanes. Along with being Editor-in-Chief of Air Facts, John is the President of Sporty’s Pilot Shop, in charge of brand-new item advancement as well as advertising and marketing.
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Poland Procures AW149 Helicopters for Its Land Forces

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AW149
Render of the AW149 in Polish colors. (Image credit: Polish MOD)

The AW149 is the selection made in the Perkoz program.

Head of the Polish MoD, Mariusz Błaszczak, signed a procurement agreement on Jul. 1, 2022, at the PZL-Świdnik facility owned by Leonardo, covering the procurement of AW149 helicopters for the land forces.

The agreement, with a value of PLN 8.25B gross (USD ~1.81B) concerns the delivery of 32 AW149 battlefield support helicopters, while the deliveries would take place between 2023 and 2029. Krzysztof Płatek, spokesman for the Armament Agency, the Polish MoD’s procurement body added, via his Twitter account, that the agreement would also entail establishing relevant industrial potential – domestically.

This procurement concludes the Polish Perkoz helicopter program, aimed initially at replacing the obsolete Mi-2 fleet. Noteworthy, this is a second acquisition that Poland is making at Leonardo’s PZL-Świdnik facility. Previously Warsaw also acquired 4 AW101 maritime helicopters for its Navy.

Let us recall that the original assumption of the Perkoz program was to procure 32 rotary-wing aircraft in three different variants: combat support/advanced airmanship training, command and control version, and reconnaissance/EW variant. The specification published in May 2020 suggested that the aircraft are to be capable of transporting either 5 troops with full kit, or up to 1,000 kilograms of payload. The training requirement means that the helicopters shall have a dual set of controls, while the close support requirement suggests that the helicopter shall be armed.

The MoD claims that the helicopters would receive sensors, guns, and guided and unguided missiles/rockets, as well as a self-protection suite. The guided effectors would also include ATGMs – but it is unclear which missile would be selected for that role. Krzysztof Płatek, spokesman for the Armament Agency suggested that the missile is going to be a Hellfire-class ATGM, without naming a specific effector. Poland could then procure either Hellfires, Spike ATGMs (manufactured locally), or the MBDA UK Brimstone, already selected in the Army’s Ottokar-Brzoza tank destroyer program.

In further tweets, Płatek explains that even though the type of the missile has not been disclosed (as it is confidential), the missile belonging to the same class as the US-made Hellfire shall have a range of at least 8 kilometers. Nonetheless, using the argument that the information on the specific type is confidential, Płatek did not reveal that type.

The Polish helicopter procurement saga continues, following the 2016 cancelation of the Caracal deal. So far the Polish MoD procured minor quantities of S-70i Black Hawk helicopters for the SOF component and AW101s for the Navy. The AW149 would become the third type in service – which departs from the Caracal tender assumptions, where 50 helicopters were to be gathered in a common fleet, across all branches of the military.

About Jacek Siminski
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.

An Emerging Nuclear-Powered Flying Hotel: Your Questions Answered

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One emerging (ha!) aircraft is getting a lot of air time these days. The Sky Cruise, a creation of brilliant CGI artist (and terrible aircraft conceptualizer) Hashem Al-Ghaili, is a concept for a nuclear-powered craft the size of a cruise ship that would fly around with thousands of guests aboard to see the world. And is it ever special. The craft would never land (how it takes off is not addressed), and jets both commercial and private would “dock” with it (again, the details of such a dramatic meet-up are omitted); and ferry passengers back to earth, errr, I mean land.

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But is it even possible? Here are a few big questions that need to be answered.

How much does it weigh? Let’s talk airplanes. The biggest plane ever, the Antonov An-225, weighed in a max takeoff weight of around 1,500,000 (1.5 million) pounds. That’s a lot. To get there, it’s powered by six 50,000-pound-thrust engines. Those are big engines. The Sky Cruise is way bigger than the An-225, and it would weigh at least 100 times more than that, about the size of a small cruise ship or mid-sized (10-stories) brick apartment building. We’re talking 100,000,000 pounds.

How would it ever be able to take off? It wouldn’t. Modern jumbo jets require many thousands of feet of runway to accelerate to 150 mph or so before they can take off. How many hundreds of miles would it take for this behemoth to get airborne? There’s not enough concrete in the world.

How would it stay aloft? It wouldn’t. Aircraft require a goodly percentage of their available thrust to stay level, the heavier they are, the more power required. The proposed “20 nuclear engines” of the Sky Cruise, even if they were rated at an unprecedented 100,000 pounds of thrust apiece, wouldn’t even get the beast moving on the ground.

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How much would it cost to build it? Let’s see, how much does it cost to build a small nuclear power plant? Around $5 billion. And that’s just for the juice? The rest of it? It’s all guess work, because the Sky Cruise is made up stuff to begin with, but a trillion dollars all in, including the support and maintenance and training and development costs, seems a low estimate.

How could anyone afford to operate it? They couldn’t.

When will it first fly? Never, that’s when.

In short, the Sky Cruise, while it’s presented as a product or a project, isn’t either. It’s a far-fetched notion that stands less than a zero percent chance of ever having part one produced. The video is fantastic, but presenting it as anything other than total fantasy is just plain silly and more than a little misleading.

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