Trivia Testers : Mach One Without Help From Gravity

Question: What was the first aircraft able to break the sound barrier while in level flight?

  1. the F-100 Super Sabre
  2. the F-101 Voodoo
  3. the F-102 Delta Dagger
  4. the F-104 Starfighter

Answer: Number 1. The Supre Sabre, the first of the F-100 series, known by those who flew it as simply ‘the Hun’, was in service mostly in the 1950’s (although it did see action in Vietnam, and the Thunderbirds used it until 1964). It could not exceed Mach 1 at sea level, but its top speed at 35,000 feet was over 850 mph.) It was designed to replace the F-86 Sabre. The F-101 (choice 2) was the first airplane to exceed 1000 mph in level flight. Although there was an F-103 in design, none were built. The F-104 was the real star of the centrury series, performance-wise, reaching over 1400 mph and altitudes over 100,000 feet as early as the late 1950s.

Subject: Who Ya Gonna Call?

True or False: There is actually an FAA procedure to report UFOs.

True! Change Notice 3, July 12 2001, contains paragraph 7-6-4, titled ‘Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) Reports’ which gives telephone, fax, and internet access for the single ‘point of contact’ recognized by the FAA for reporting UFO information: the National Insitute for Discovery Sciences. They keep a national database on anomalous phenomena, and also periodically share these data with the FAA.

Subject: The World’s Biggest Propeller

Question: What is the world’s largest propeller? (This does not include helicopter rotor blades.)

  1. The F4U Corsair had the biggest propeller ever fitted to a fighter, over 13 feet in diameter.
  2. The R.M.S. Titanic’s port and starboard propellers were each 23 feet across.
  3. High altitude propeller-driven aircraft often have larger, slower-moving propellers. The largest of these approach 20 feet in diameter.
  4. There are actually three bladed propellers in excess of 200 feet diameter, tip-to-tip.
  5. A Linke-Hofmann R II built in Breslau, Germany used a 22 ft 7.5 in diameter Garuda propeller. It flew in 1919 and was driven by a 260hp engine at 545rpm.

Answer: It’s number 4. The gigantic airplane propellers slowly spinning (at about 12 to 19 rpm) atop tall, sequoia-sized towers in a few windier parts of the world are actually functioning as windmills, not fans. They are there to generate electricity, and they do so in Megawatt muliples. Their propellers are actually just the same shape as airplane propellers, although they are usually fiberglass composite, and each blade weighs five tons! They do shut down if the wind reaches about 55 mph.