Air-launched Minuteman?!

Another bizarre military project:

[from Ancient and Modern Warfare Facts]

“When the US Air Force made an ICBM go airborne.. (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile)

In the early 1970s, the USAF tested air-launching a Minuteman ICBM from a C-5A Galaxy transport aircraft.

On 24 October 1974, the Space and Missile Systems Organization successfully conducted a test where a C-5A Galaxy aircraft air-dropped the 86,000-pound missile from 20,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean.

The missile fell to 8,000 feet before its rocket engine fired. The 10-second engine burn carried the missile to 20,000 feet again before it dropped into the ocean.

The test proved the feasibility of launching an intercontinental ballistic missile from the air.

It was, however, never deployed operationally because of engineering and security difficulties.

It still looked cool though!


Indoor Autogyro

I saw indoor F/F flying for the first time–other than still photos–back in the ’80’s when the AMA Nationals came to Chenault Field in Lake Charles. I’ve seen and even built small ornithopters, but an indoor autogyro in new.
It’s still amazing that these aircraft can fly so slowly. This one is comfortably circling a living room at less than walking speed.

CAF Demonstration of Corsair Wing Folding

Batman v Superman – Theme Song Battle

Abrams drifting turns

Beehive Instrumentation Project-8: Wired prototype instrumentation board

Assembled and tested a more permanent prototype with soldered wire interconnections on the 74HC4052 mux/demux.

Wired hive instrumentation

Two temperature & humidity sensors shown.  Tested it with the outdoor 120 VAC-to-12VCD power system. Will likely connect the third for reading conditions between the hive body and the insulated enclosure tomorrow.  The fourth sensor shed a through-hole connector while I was trying to desolder and remove the bulky header pins–will have to be replaced.

Also need to reprogram the operating software to use daily logs with the date in the file names to facilitate log management.

Hopefully I can get this in the box tomorrow morning before the outside temperatures drop back below freezing and/or it starts snowing.  The next version should log temperature and humidity outside, between box and enclosure, and under the inner cover or close to the cluster of bees.

The all-foam enclosure stayed put during high winds yesterday, although it was left at an angle. I have a better design in mind, based on this experience.



“Baahubali – The Beginning”

Beehive Instrumentation Project-7: Update

Built and tested multiple HTU21D’s (2 so far) with identical fixed I2C addresses using the 74HC4052 mux/demux. Now building up on a wired prototyping board. I’m also switching to a 12VDC outdoor power, since the drill batteries only last 10-12 hours under sub-arctic conditions. I will hopefully get this to the hive while the current thaw lasts.

Beehive Instrumentation Project-7: Hive Enclosure

Tried out an idea for adding additional insulation and protection to the hive for Winter weather.  Still a “work in progress”, but it seems to be working.

Hive enclosure test 11-13-15

It may be working too well.  Will have to see if the temperature gets back into the ’40’s.  This will all hopefully make better sense when I get more sensors to check outside, inside enclosure, and two positions inside the hive.

Beehive Instrumentation Project-6: Winter measurements

November in Palmer, Alaska and a little snow is on the ground.

back yard 11-4-15

It’s been several months, but it’s time to see what hive conditions are like in colder weather.

The RPi2B has the same programming as before to read the HTU21D-F temperature and humidity sensor. I have added a little insulation to the inner cover to (hopefully) inhibit condensation on the underside of the cover. The hive has a partial screened bottom board and an upper entrance cut into the underside of the inner cover frame.  We want to know if the humidity gets high enough to condense water vapor to liquid.  We also want to know if the bottom-to-top air circulation is chilling the hive too much.

RPi & T-H sensor

Here is a sample of the SSH readings for about the last hour:

Pi T-H 11-4-15

Ambient conditions–per a consumer radio weather system are 30.6 degrees F and 82% relative humidity.  So the temperature under the inner cover is quite a lot warmer than outside the hive.  Humidity is lower than ambient, but creeping up gradually.

Per the dew point calculator at,  a temperature of 45 degrees F and a %RH of 74% yields a dew point of 37 degrees F.

dew point

Which suggests that the hive is reasonably safe for temperature and humidity.

A “manual” log for easier comparisons:



HTU21D-F placed under inner cover of hive

Ambient 30.6 deg F 82% RH
1:55 PM AKT
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ python
Temp: 7.52624511719 degrees C
Temp: 45.5665463867 degrees F
Humid: 71.6901245117 % rH

2:00 PM AKT
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ python
Temp: 7.48334472656 degrees C
Temp: 45.4700205078 degrees F
Humid: 73.3914794922 % rH

Ambient 30.0 deg F 82% RH
2:53 PM AKT
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ python
Temp: 7.2044921875 degrees C
Temp: 44.9680859375 degrees F
Humid: 75.7413330078 % rH