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October 2008
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corvi [userpic]
Because 'birch perch' doesn't sound so cool

This is the inside of the Spruce Goose from the brand new observation platform, the excusereason xmurf, lilsquishy and I flew down to Evergreen.

(Shot through glass, and in very poor light. You should all go see it yourselves.)

The Spruce Goose is the largest plane in the world, and was built during World War II, when metal was rationed, so the hull and all structural components are made out of laminated birch. Control surfaces are shaped wood or webbed cloth. When they were building it, they nailed panels together. When the resins were dry and the wood shaped, they took the precious nails out.

The world's biggest aircraft is made out of wood, arched and domed like a cathedral, sliced thin as paper and layered in parabolas as strong and subtle as the dawn. Strange and fascinating place, human ingenuity.

Current Mood: impressedimpressed

While we're on about wooden WWII planes, the DeHavilland Mosquito was made of balsawood sandwitched between birch plywood skins. With two crewmembers, it could perform as well as most fighter aircraft, carry as much bomb materiel as a B-17 (that had a crew of SEVEN and went half the speed) and in more direct comparison, could outrun a B-24 bomber (that had half its payload) upside-down on one of its two engines. AND they'd come home from low-level bombing raids, so low-level that they'd have their wingtips knocked off by chimneys or ship masts, and they'd get out a saw, cut off the wingtip, glue a new one on, and go out again when the glue dried. Hughes had very good reason to use wood to design his plane even though the choice of materials is part of what doomed it in the minds of the must-use-exotic-metals designers of the time.

That is really, really cool. I'd love to check it out sometime. I'd actually heard of it, seen pictures; although, not like that, and it's very cool to actually see it and hear about it from someone you know.

By the way, I'm n Seattle now - where are you? :)

I live in University Place, which is about an hour's drive away. I would love to see you, ifwhen you have the time. WHat's your schedule like?

(I am also, right this instant, sick as the proverbial dog, but hope to feel better tommorrow.)

I have no schedule, actually. That I know of, at least. How sick are you? Will you be able to get together tomorrow, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday? I'm terrible with setting things like this up. ;) I did miss a call while out earlier at the Bellevue mall - not sure if it was you or not, but I've reset my ringtone so if you want to give it a go... let me know. Or just call.

And hey, I saw University Place on the map last night when I was trying to orient myself. :)

I screened the ocmment with your phone number on it; figured you probably didn't want that public. I;m available Friday morning and evening, and that's really the best time for me.

Either Friday morning or evening, depending on time, sounds great. What time, and where to meet, are you looking at?

And thanks. :)

Well, Friday evening I'll be in Seattle and available at 6 for sure (and almost certainly 5). I will have a CAR and can thus get to anywhere that's convenient for you. Suggest somewhere, and I'll be there at 6. :) I'm easy to spot - look for someone with white hair, wearing all black.


Sounds good to me. I'm staying with friends in Bellevue as I said, but I can get places. See, but this is where I'm bad, because I still don't know Seattle that well. We could go to Bellevue Mall, or meet somewhere around here at 5 and see what we can find, if you like?

For some reason I'm still a bit nervous about using/getting around via public transit in a strange city (what if I can't find the stop? What if I take the wrong bus and end up lost? etc. etc. etc... I worry too much.)

I might take the bus later this afternoon, though, so that could change. Where do you like to meet people?

Okay, well, I took the bus last night, so that seemed to work. I think we might be taking a ferry ride later, but I'm not sure of the time. You said 5-6, so depending on the time, perhaps we could meet up at the ferry landing or nearby somewhere? I'll have to make absolutely sure of the time, of course.

There are many ferries, at several different piers. If you have moredetails, go ahead and tell me'em; otherwise I'll justcall you when I'm done andsay "Where are you?"

Calling when you're done and saying "Where are you?" sounds like the best bet. I still don't know where I'll be; neither do the rest of the folks I'm with.

We're like that. Not very helpful, is it? ;)

Talk to you soon, then!

If you've been trying to call... my cell phone seems to not be ringing correctly, and the voice messages (which I finally got into) are blank ones, so I can't call you back. According to my watch, however, it's 8:40, which would make it 4:40 here; therefore, not yet five. I'll keep trying to figure this out.