Fog over San Francisco.

fog-fingers_lorenzomontezemolo_2048pxby Lorenzo Montezemolo
San Francisco genuinely is really foggy. It’s not a joke.
The fog rolls in from the Pacific and floats up against the beach, stacking up above Twin Peaks until it drops like an ephemeral avalanche onto the city below … blasting through the Golden Gate as if sprayed from a fire extinguisher, erasing the Bridge, obscuring Alcatraz, turning Berkeley into an overcast Pacific Northwest knockoff even as it leaves Oakland in bright, shining California sunlight.
Lorenzo Montezemolo’s favorite place to experience it is from Mount Tamalpais, which provides a commanding view from just north of the city.
Seen from the summit at 2,576 feet, the fog rolls through in waves to envelop the region like a shroud.
“I think there’s a little bit of Sleepy Hollow to it,” he says.
Montezemolo grew enamored by the city’s ubiquitous fog after moving the Bay Area 18 years ago to work as a network engineer. The fog was particularly thick this August, and he developed something of an obsession.
Each day after work, Montezemolo drove an hour north from San Mateo to Mount Tamalpais State Park to photograph it.
He snapped hundreds of photos, but none quite like this one, made on August 17 during the full moon.
He and a few friends hiked a steep gravel trail to a point about 1,000 feet above the fog.
Montezemolo put his Nikon D810 on tripod and set to work. He used an F8 aperture and a low ISO of 31, together with a six-stop neutral density filter that let him stretch the exposure to three minutes.
Montezemolo’s stunning image shows one of the Bay Area’s most enchanting features, one that rivals that iconic orange bridge for its beauty.
Source: San Francisco’s Iconic Fog Sure Looks Stunning From Above | WIRED

First Class Air Travel in the 1930s.

Flying was very expensive. Most people still rode trains or buses for intercity travel.
Only business travellers and the wealthy could afford to fly. America’s airline industry expanded rapidly, from carrying only 6,000 passengers in 1930 to more than 450,000 by 1934, to 1.2 million by 1938.
Still, only a tiny fraction of the travelling public flew.
The very first aircraft were narrow and long, and the passenger seats were perceived as an innovation, a kind of luxury and an optional extra, like caviar sandwiches with butter.
The first seats were the most common chairs, seat belts were not.
At first, the passengers were sitting right behind the pilot, there was no partitions.
Source: Here’s What First Class Air Travel Looked Like in the 1930s ~ vintage everyday

A History of Big: Massive Aircraft, 1936.

In the history of aircraft, there’s big, really big, and then Hughes H-4 (“Spruce Goose”) big.
Then there’s the ocean-going aircraft above, found on p. 529 in the 1936 volume of Popular Mechanics.
The nameless aircraft would be more than 375′ long and have a wingspan of 550′.
By comparison, an aircraft called the “Stratolaunch” now under construction and designed by Burt Rutan, would have a wingspan of 385′.
The “Spruce Goose” was 319′ wide and 216′ long; the 747-8 was 249’wide and 242′ long; and the Airbus A 380-800 stands 262′ wide and 236′ long.
In short, of planes having flown, this fabulous thing with the 550′ wings would be twice their size.
That said, this giant aircraft was limited not by imagination but by flight of technological fancy.
It was supposed to require a crew of 100, fly at only 12k feet at 300mph, and make it across the Atlantic in 11 hours.
So, the size was certainly awesome by today’s standards; the tech business end of it, not so much.
In any event, the image is quite striking:
Source: JF Ptak Science Books: A History of Big: Massive Aircraft, 1936

The Flying Bum, Bedfordshire.

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Full of gas: The world’s longest aircraft – part airship, plane and helicopter – has been unveiled in Cardington, Bedfordshire.
It will be used for surveillance and aid missions… and resembles something very familiar. The 300ft-long ‘airship’ unveiled in Britain is the world’s longest aircraft.
Known as the HAV304, aircraft is being displayed at a Hangar in Bedfordshire, United Kingdom.
It is 302ft (91m) long making it 60ft (18m) longer than the biggest airliners.
long-aircraft
It can stay in the air for 3 weeks and will be vital to delivering humanitarian aid.
Its funders include Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson.
The aircraft is 70 per cent more environmentally friendly than a cargo plane and doesn’t need a runway to take off.
via HAV304 300ft-long ‘airship’ unveiled in Britain is world’s longest aircraft | Mail Online.

Airship R33, Selby, England, 1919.

pervaya-mirovaya-vojna-3-24-990x718An observer in the tail tip of the English airship R33 on March 6, 1919 in Selby, England. (Bibliotheque nationale de France)
World War I was the first major conflict to see widespread use of powered aircraft — invented barely more than a decade before the fighting began.
Airplanes, along with kites, tethered balloons, and zeppelins gave all major armies a new tactical platform to observe and attack enemy forces from above.

R33shed

via vintage everyday.

The Giffard Dirigible, France 1852.

Giffard-Dirigible

The Giffard Dirigible, flying from Paris to Trappes, 1852.
In France, an engineer named Henri Giffard (1825-82) was leading the way in les ballons dirigeable, French for directable balloons, and from which English adapted the word dirigible.
In 1852, Giffard’s airship made the first recorded successful powered and steerable flight.
The intrepid inventor flew his machine from the Paris Hippodrome to Trappes, a distance of 17 miles (27 km), in roughly 3 hours. The craft proved manoeuvrable, making many navigational turns and performing circles, but the engine wasn’t powerful enough to fly against the wind and failed to make a return journey.
The balloon was 144 feet long (44 m), hydrogen filled, and highly flammable, so the engine exhaust was diverted downwards by a long pipe.
The engine produced 3 hp, drove a propeller, and top speed of the dirigible was 6 mph (9 km).
via Incredible Victorian Inventions & the Roots of Steampunk | Kate Tattersall Adventures.