Capt. Carlos Espino (call sign “Loko”), foreground, walks towards a B-52 for a training flight out of Barksdale Air Force Base on March 10th. (Rob Verger /)
Just before 9 a.m. on a blue-sky Louisiana morning, a giant gray B-52 bomber gradually lifts off the tarmac with some 190,000 pounds of fuel on board, a trail of dark exhaust behind it.
A few seconds later, there’s a small glitch: One of the aircraft’s landing gear legs—the rear one on the left—decides to stay down. The rest fold up, as they should. The pilots determine that the problem isn’t big enough to scrub the day’s flight, so the bomber pushes on with its training mission, two big wheels hanging down for five hours like an incomplete thought, limiting the plane’s speed and reducing its fuel efficiency. At some point, as planned, the crew refuels from behind an airborne tanker, taking on thousands of more pounds of gas.
That’s the B-52—a beefy old bomber that dates back to the post-World War II years. Though the US military has incorporated sleeker flying machines in recent decades, it’s not retiring what’s known as the “BUFF,” or Big Ugly Fat Fucker, anytime soon. The aircraft that lifted off that March morning from Barksdale Air Force Base in northwestern Louisiana was built by Boeing in Wichita, Kansas, and delivered to the Air Force in early March of 1962. The Cold War-era ship is far older than its two pilots that day: Carlos Espino (call sign “Loko”), 27, and Clint Scott (call sign “Silver”), 34.
Operating the B-52 is like “flying a museum,” Espino says from the left-hand seat in the cockpit just before the mission. “It’s a brick—I would say it’s like wrestling.” He’s a friendly, burly guy, and his squadron, the 20th, are known as the Buccaneers. The patch on his right shoulder shows a pirate throwing a bomb.
“It has a lot of redundant systems,” Espino adds. “So if one system fails, there’s plenty of other systems to back it up.” The most challenging maneuver, he says, is precisely lining the aircraft up with a tanker in the sky to accept more fuel. “At the end of air refueling, you’re literally sweating.”
The plane may be large—its 185-foot wingspan and 159-foot length make it bigger than a 737, and smaller than a 747—but the space for the crew is cozy. Behind and below the cockpit is a small submarine-like compartment, sometimes illuminated in red, where two others sit: radar navigator Rebecca “Ripper” Ronkainen, and aircraft navigator Jacob Tejada, both 28. If anything happens that requires an airborne evacuation from the jet, Ronkainen and Tejada’s ejection seats blast downwards rather than upwards, which is only safe if the plane is more than 250 feet off the deck. Also on board that day is an instructor and weapons systems officer, call sign “Pibber.”
Right behind where Tejada and Ripper work is a urinal. Ideally, no one poops on a B-52, even if the mission drags on for hours. Imodium can help.
Officially called the Stratofortress, or less officially, the Stratosaurus, the B-52 sports a wealth of engines hanging from its big wings. While most airliners rely on two or four engines, the BUFF has eight TF-33 turbofan thrusters. The Air Force is set to replace those engines with new ones, an improvement that could boost the jet’s efficiency by at least 20 percent.
Upgrades like that should help the B-52 fit in a little better with the Air Force’s more modern lineup. Many of the bombers have also been outfitted with a new digital system, though the craft’s cockpit is still very much awash in traditional analog dials. Plus, each BUFF goes through an exhaustive maintenance process every four years that involves some 40,000 hours of labor and around 3,000 swapped parts. The Air Force says it would like to keep the BUFF flying until 2050; it’s a plane they keep investing in because they have it, and because it can do, and
By: Rob Verger
Title: Inside a training mission with a B-52 bomber, the aircraft that will not die
Sourced From: www.popsci.com/story/technology/inside-air-force-b52-training-mission/
Published Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2020 14:08:11 +0000
LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.
This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.
The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.
“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México
Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.
The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000
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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.
Some new developments underway at EXMO:
Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.
EXMO’s new logo
The rationale for the re-brand:
“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding
The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000
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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country.
The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already.
Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.
The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines.
If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.
The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.
The case of Texas
The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.
One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more.
These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.
The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts. Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.
Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures
By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000
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