Cannon Airplane Patch is in the news today, sorta:
MC-130J Takes First Flight: The Air Force's first MC-130J Combat Shadow II aircraft completed its maiden flight, taking to the skies from Lockheed Martin's aircraft plant in Marietta, Ga. The April 20 flight came less than one month after the aircraft rolled off the Marietta assembly line. It is now undergoing a series of flight tests prior to its scheduled delivery in September to Cannon AFB, N.M. This airframe is the first of a new fleet of MC-130Js that Lockheed is building for Air Force Special Operations Command to replace existing MC-130P Combat Shadows that are already decades old. The new aircraft will support covert infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces. AFSOC plans to have the first unit of MC-130Js ready for use in 2012. Lockheed is already under contract to build 15 MC-130Js. (Lockheed release)
It's pretty tough to tell the various C-130 variants apart just by lookin' at 'em, the notable exception bein' the latest C-130s with their new eight-blade high-tech propellers. And the gunships, of course. The Wiki has a good discussion on the various SpecOps C-130 variants here. (click the pic for much larger)
It's gettin' close to that time o' year when I'm entertained in the late evenings by Cannon's C-130s orbiting lazily overhead as we take our after-dinner cigar and whiskey on the verandah. The birds are there all year, of course, but I'm not.
A couple o' items from The Guardian's viral vids list... first, this "train in Thailand" bit that's been around for a while:
And then there's the glories of socialized medicine...
Heh. I'm thinkin' ALL vampires have stinky breath. But I don't really wanna know.
Your hockey update... The Kings are out; Tampa Bay forces yet another Game Seven by beating the Flightless Birds rather handily last night. I'd be more than disappointed if I were a Kings fan as this was the closest series in the first round, so far. By that I mean three of the four Kings losses happened in overtime. Hockey is a game of inches, both literally and figuratively.
So... the West's second round will be set after tonight's game in Vancouver. If Vancouver wins the Wings get the Sharks and the associated killer travel schedule; if Chicago wins the Wings keep home ice and get the Preds in the second round. Home ice would be nice but I really don't care who wins tonight; I'm just here for the show. At the moment.