The Focke-Wulf FW 190

Designed by Kurt Tank the Focke-Wulf 190 was a nasty surprise to the RAF in September 1941. Only a little over 200 were completed in 1941, but in 1942 1,850 were built, which amounted to about 40% of German single seat fighter production.

Powered by a BMW 14-cylinder twin row air cooled radial engine that put out 1,760 hp, the FW 190 had excellent handling qualities and gave the early FW 190A models a clear superiority over the RAF’s Spitfire Mk V. Many German aces   flew  the FW 190. Georg-Peter Eder, who spent a lot of time in the cockpit of the FW 190, ran up 78 confirmed victories plus 40 probables. 36 of his confirmed kills were 4-engine bombers. He himself was shot down 17 times and wounded 14 times. Intercepting the American heavy bomber “streams” was dangerous work indeed.

Eder started  flying  the Bf 109 early in the war like so many of the top German aces and later transitioned to the FW 190. Many of the 107(!) Luftwaffe aces to score over 100 confirmed victories  flew  both types and many also  flew  other types as well, such as the Me 262 jet fighter. An example would be Gunther Rall, the 3rd highest scoring ace of the War (275 victories). Between 1939 and 1945, Rall  flew  the Bf 109 (his personal favorite), the FW 190, the “long nose” FW 190D and the Me 262 jet. He also had the opportunity to  fly  captured Allied fighters, including several versions of the Spitfire, the P-38, P-47 and P-51. His favorite allied fighter was the Spitfire, by the way.

The 190A was known as a “pilots airplane”, meaning she was a sweet ship to  fly , light and easy on the controls (unlike the Bf 109, which was a handful). The FW 190s speed, climb, dive and roll rate were superior to the Spitfire Mk V. The FW pilot benefited from a canopy with an fine all-around view. There was also excellent armor protection for the pilot. The FW 190 had a wide-track landing gear, which made it much less prone to ground loops than the Bf 109 and it could absorb more battle damage.

The FW 190 was also more heavily armed than the Spitfire (or the ME 109). Typical armament was two 7.9mm machine guns in the upper engine cowling, two Mauser 20mm cannon in the wing roots (each of which could fire 700 rounds per minute, much faster than the equivalent British cannon), plus two more slower firing (450 rounds per minute) Oerlikon 20mm cannon farther out in the wings.

Mass production began with the FW 190A-1 and A-2 models, of which about 528 were built. These used the 1,600 hp BMW 801C-1 and C-2 radial engines. Armament was two cowl mounted 8mm machine guns, two wing root mounted 8mm MG and two wing mounted 20mm cannon.

The early 1942 FW 190 model was the A-3. This used the BMW 801D-2 radial engine used by all subsequent FW 190 A-series fighters. The wing root MG was replaced by 20mm cannon in the A-3 and this change was also carried over in subsequent 190s. Later in 1942, the FW 190A-4 model fighter came along, which had a methanol-water injection system for the engine which boosted power to 2,100 HP for a 10 minute period on demand and substantially improved performance at the lower altitudes. This model also introduced an improved radio. Top speed was 416 MPH at 21,000 feet. Other A-4 models included tropical, night fighter and fighter-bomber versions that had fuselage racks for 550 lb. or 1100 lb. bombs. There was also an extended range version with racks under the wings and fuselage for drop tanks or munitions.

The FW 190A-8 of 1944 became the most numerous of the A-series 109’s. The equivalent “G” series to the FW 190A-8 was the FW 190G-8, the last of the FW 190G series. The G-8 was what we would call a multi-role fighter, for while designed primarily for close air support of ground troops it served in both the close support and general purpose fighter roles. Power came from a BMW 801-D2 radial that produced 1,800 horsepower. Internal armament remained two cowl mounted 13mm machine guns and two 20mm cannon mounted in the wing roots.

The basic BMW radial engine had clearly reached its maximum performance limits. What was needed was a new power plant to keep the FW 190 competitive with the latest Allied fighters. Experiments mating the FW 190 airframe with liquid-cooled Daimler Benz and Junkers inverted Vee engines had started back in 1941 as a means to improve high altitude performance. By early 1944 the experiments were successful and the FW 190D (or “Dora”) was the result.

The FW 190D used the standard Focke-Wulf 190 wings and tail plane with an extended rear fuselage and a longer and heavier Junkers Jumo 213A-1 inverted V12 engine. An annular radiator was designed that made the Dora resemble a radial engine fighter, but the long nose and the row of six exhaust stacks on each side of the lower cowl gave away the type’s V-12 powerplant.

The new engine developed 2,240 war emergency HP with water-methanol injection. In August 1944 the first production version, the FW 190D-9, joined the Luftwaffe. The D-9’s top speed was 357 mph at sea level and 426 mph at 21,650 feet. Climb to 19,685 feet took 7.1 minutes. The range on internal fuel was 520 miles. Underwing racks allowed carrying two 66-gallon drop tanks or two 550-pound bombs. Internal armament remained two wing mounted 20mm cannon and two cowl mounted 13mm MG. Altogether just short of 700 FW 190D models were produced before the end of the war.

These “long nose” models were reportedly more of a handful to  fly  than the radial engine 190s, but they still handled fairly well. And they kept the Focke-Wulf right up there in performance with the best allied fighters until the end of the war. In the hands of a good pilot the long nose FW 190D interceptor was serious and deadly competition for the P-51D Mustang, the Allies premier escort fighter.

In all, nearly 20,000 FW 190 aircraft of all types were completed by the end of the war and the type was used by the air forces of Turkey, France (as the NC 900) and various of Germany’s allies as well as the Luftwaffe.

Source by Michael Russell

Flying Above the Challenges


Decades ago CNN ran a very thought provoking advert on its television network. The advert depicted a typical small family at home. The children were playing in the house, the mother was cooking and the tired father was reading the newspaper. All seemed normal and mundane except for two things- the house was small and to complicate matters there was a gigantic elephant in the house. It was quite evident from outside that the elephant was making things difficult for them as they had to continuously negotiate their way around it, and the small size of the house was not helping matters. However, the family continued to act as if the elephant did not exist, a classic example of pretending that an abnormal situation is normal. This advert was all about alcoholism and how although it was ravaging families like a huge elephant in the house, most families were pretending that it was non existent. How do you respond when you have a huge elephant in the house?

In this issue we are not focusing on alcoholism but on problems. In a sense, almost everyone and every organization have his or its elephant in the house in the form of a problem that simply refuses to away. Although the severity of the adversity and the exact nature of problem differ between situations, most people have one or more. It is unhealthy to pretend, like the family in the advert that the problem does not exist because problems do not go away by simply wishing they did not exist. Problems are there to be resolved and the first step towards resolving any problem is to have a healthy perspective about a problem. To help us with this perspective it is helpful to consider the word P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. as an acronym.

P stands for PERSPECTIVE. The challenge that you face is not as important as how you perceive it. It is all a matter of perspective. What happens in life is not as important as how you respond to it. Most people are not defeated by opponents or problems but they defeat themselves by adopting wrong perspectives of the problem. Perspectives are all about seeing, and what matters is not what actually exists but what you see with your mind’s eye about the situation. Faced with challenges some see opportunities but some see opportunities. If you see a threat, a psychosis of fear is created and this will paralyze and eventually consume you. If you see an opportunity you are likely to capitalize on it and this will empower you.

R stands for RESISTANCE. Every problem gives you two options-to resist or to capitulate. William Shakespeare put it well when he said “take arms against your problems and by resistance conquer them.” There is no problem that can resist sustained and relentless efforts at finding creative breakthrough. No problem remains the same after an onslaught of action. It is far better to try and fail, than to capitulate without a fight. All people grow and mature and become more creative as they serious engage their challenges.

O stands for OPPORTUNITIES. Embedded in every problem is an opportunity. Some opportunities are more difficult to identify than others but all the same they exist. Every seed has an opportunity to become a plant, but every seed also faces the challenge of pushing through the soil before it can bud. Winners seek for opportunities in their problems, but losers look for problems with their opportunities. The choice is always with the individual.

B stands for Blessings. Problems are blessings in disguise. The challenge is for you to see through the disguise.

L is for LESSONS. We can learn something new from our problems and from those of others. Every problem brings with it a lesson and if the lesson is not properly mastered the problem tends to recur. For example, if you do not learn from your financial predicaments chances are that you will move from one predicament to another. Instead of being fearful of your problems be excited and thrilled by the lessons that you stand to gain. Problems are for a season but the lessons to be learnt are for a lifetime. They will stand you in good stead in the future.

E is for two things- EXPERIENCE and EASE. Problems give us valuable experience. Although we may never write this kind of experience on our C.Vs, it makes us streetwise. All our professions are a calling to problem solving and all products exist to solve human problems and needs. The experience that we gain in solving these problems and needs is what makes us more valuable to our customers and the society in general. The experience that we gain now makes our future problems easier to solve because the problems that we face today have certain things in common with the some of the problems that we will face tomorrow.

M is for two things MESSAGES and MAGNITUDE. Every problem brings with it a message, and often the message can be summarized by the phrase, “A stitch in time saves nine.” Every problem is warning that unless action is taken dire consequences will follow some day. Problems go through a metamorphosis. There is a stage in the progression of a problem when it is big enough in magnitude to be identified, but small enough to be easily solved. This is the best time for an intervention. If this opportunity is missed, the cost of solving the problem escalates.

S is for SIZE. Every problem has a size. However, what is important is not the size of the problem but the size of the determination to solve the problem that a man has. In a fight the size of the fighter is not as critical as the size of the fight in the heart of the fighter. The size of the problems that you face and solve is an indication of your greatness. Great men achieve greatness by continuously solving mega size problems. There is no other path to greatness.

There is a solution, in fact more than one solution, to every problem. Get a good perspective and get started.

Source by George Chingarande

Same Time, Same Place, Same Level – Chapter 17

Navigation, the art of getting lost – A taxiway will do…

Sometimes controllers get their share of uninvited visitors, too. This time it was a Sunday and the observation terrace was crowded by people, some of them waiting for flights due in later, others just there to watch for the fun of it. Well, they were in for more fun than they had bargained for.

Quite unknown to the aerodrome controllers, high above in the skies a fully armed fighter on routine patrol duty was in trouble. Not in big trouble mind you, just enough to loose all his navigation capability and his communication with the ground. As his fuel state deteriorated rapidly, the poor guy started descending, no doubt searching for one of the “secret” military fields the location of which only he was supposed to know. As he popped out from the solid cloud cover, he saw a field, which happened to Budapest’s international airport. He took this to be the military field, no doubt because he wanted to see a military field so much…

The first thing the tower controllers noticed had been a small something landing on the runway and before they had time to recover from their shock, there he was, rockets hanging from both wings, gallantly taxiing in. With the visitors’ cameras clicking happily at him, the fighter bloke finally woke up to where he was and making a U-turn, he took off again right from the taxiway, with his afterburner providing a unique theme for the amateur photographers on the terrace.

The controllers did call their military colleagues, but they insisted all their fighters were accounted for.

When you trust your eyes instead of the ILS

When an aircraft reaches the end of its trip, coming off the airways she is vectored by controllers in the confines of the Terminal Maneuvering Area, or TMA, until the pilots pick up the signals from the ILS, the Instrument Landing System. This device helps the pilot in   flying  to the landing runway on a precisely defined electronic course and glide slope. At most places you can trust the ILS with your life, but there are a few ILS’s in the world, well known to pilots using those fields, which just can’t seem to do their job properly. Siting difficulties and sometimes sloppy maintenance are usually behind this.  Flying  a certain airlines back in the 70s, one could have the good fortune of watching how pilots got around this problem, with a little help from rice farmers, at a busy Far Eastern field.

The bio-localizer…

The 747 was on the middle leg of its long haul from Europe to Australia, and the invitation to the cockpit had been gladly accepted. There had been nothing unusual in the series of radar vectors, and the altitude assigned for ILS intercept, 2000 feet, also sounded familiar. Visibility had been less than ideal, with a late afternoon haze hiding most of the rice paddies below. Guided by expert hands, the big bird gracefully lined up on the extended runway centerline. Things started looking a bit strange, however, when instead of the gentle glide down along the glide slope, the co-pilot brought us steeply down to 1000 feet and then further to a little more than 500 feet above the ground. There, he leveled out and we happily motored along with the by now extended landing gear all but getting wet. It was patently apparent that they had done this before. The captain even had time to explain to me that this was one of “those” ILS installations, but fortunately one of the canals feeding the rice paddies was extending precisely on the approach course and it was safer to  fly  along that than the wandering ILS beam… With only flat ground all around, one could always descend below the haze until the friendly canal could be eyeballed right to the runway.

The sight of a Boeing 747 configured for landing, in level flight at 500 feet must be a majestic one, though it apparently left the peasants working the paddies quite unconcerned. “Oh, its not the first time they have seen this…”-explained the captain.

Who is  flying  this ship?

Remember, this was written many years before 9/11 and all that followed in security. Good old innocent times…

There are parts of the world, where, if you stray from your assigned airway, you are likely to meet a spectacular display by the friendly local air force. Interception is the name of the game and its uselessness in most cases is only surpassed by the costs of such an exercise. International co-operation not withstanding, the breed of uniformed men convinced that war will be brought to them by an unarmed Cessna will be with us for a long time to come.

The star of this particular event had indeed been a Cessna, registered in Norway. It was dark by the time they crossed the Hungarian state border and for the first few miles the flight progressed uneventfully. The required reports were made by a strong male voice and he sounded like someone who knows what he is doing. This self assurance was also apparent a few minutes later, when they turned due South-East onto a direct course to Budapest Airport. The trouble was, they had not been instructed to make this turn. Furthermore, their new heading took them outside the airway and towards an area where our uniformed friends had some of their toys “hidden” on the ground.

The radar controller handling the flight interfered almost immediately and with a few vectors steered the little plane back on course. The pilot took his clue and immediately claimed to be having some problem with the aircraft’s directional system. No problem, the controller countered, we will help you down.

This would have been the end of the story, had it not been one of the worse days for the man in charge of the air defense system. For reasons clear only to himself, he concluded that this was the ENEMY  flying  up there and promptly sent two of his fighters to investigate. He would not believe the controllers’ word that it was just a small, harmless bird with a bit of a hardware problem.

The next thing the controllers knew, the Cessna pilot started complaining bitterly about two jets almost knocking him out of the sky, and for a second time, too! Of course, the difference in speed made any kind of identification by the fighter boys impossible and they had radioed this to their boss after the second pass and before, low on fuel, they returned to base.

This apparent failure only made the big man more furious. What? His multi million beauties are not able to identify an intruder plodding along at a snail’s pace? Scandal, he roared, not least in an effort to cover up his frustration at not really comprehending how superior technology could fail so miserably. Of course, like most others of his kind, he was a political appointee, more at home in party meetings than aviation. With little else left that he could do, he telephoned the ATC supervisor, demanding a full report, including a signed “confession” by the crew of the offending aircraft. He also insisted that the “confession” be obtained in the presence of a representative of the armed forces… Fortunately, in view of the lateness of the our, he could not persuade any of his superiors to rush to the airport, so in the end he had agreed to make do with a lieutenant from the border police permanently stationed at the field. The lieutenant was sleepy, bored and he spoke only Hungarian.

Three people, the approach control duty supervisor, the sleepy border police officer and and a controller went to meet the crew in the arrival hall. Anxious to get this nonsense over and done with quickly, already having made up their minds what would go into the report (well, blaming the incident on faulty instruments, of course), they were quite unprepared for the sight that awaited them. There was this tall businessman type guy and next to him the most stunning Scandinavian beauty they had ever set their eyes on. Not wanting to be rough on them in the first place, they quickly turned the de-briefing session into an amiable chat. But the crew of the small plane was really frightened! It took several cups of strong coffee and about half an hour before they could speak without stammering.

While the supervisor addressed himself to the man, the lieutenant, fully awake now, kept his eyes riveted on the girl, who sat quietly while her husband related their story. They had made a mistake in setting their compass, all right. On the other hand, they did not look the spook-in-the-sky type (what does one look like anyway?). In the end, as per their original idea, the Hungarians suggested instrument failure as the cause of the incident. Obviously relieved, the man vigorously agreed. Their goodwill was also rewarded by a dazzling smile from the girl, who that far had not uttered a word.

As the man signed the report, the controller had a nagging feeling that something was wrong. He could not really pin it down, but the way the man told his story, it sounded a bit like he had been a spectator rather than a participant in the events of the preceding hour. Almost as an afterthought, and without any real authority to do so, the controller asked to see his pilot’s license.

The sight of a scorpion crawling out from beneath the report sheets would certainly have had less of an effect on the poor guy. Then they knew it. It was the girl who had been  flying  all along, hubby never having progressed beyond driving a car and operating the radio while she was  flying  their plane. This gallant show had been put on to protect his wife…

Well, gallantry and air traffic control go hand in hand and the Hungarians were even more pleased with having decided earlier to bend the rules a little…

Source by Steve Zerkowitz

Pursuits of the Mind

Looking up at the exposed joists of the new extension, Don allowed himself a feint smile of satisfaction at the quality of his workmanship – his workmanship. Some small level of comfort rose in his breast and for a brief moment the usually unrelenting bouts of deep depression subsided and he found himself gazing round the two-story unit at the task that he had achieved single-handedly.

Between dark, thunder-filled clouds, the suns rays occasionally penetrated the dormer window on the floor above, lighting up the rafters with a golden-brilliant hue. Don could just make out the shape of a birds nest, tucked into the wedge of joist and roof spar. By the noise emanating from the vicinity of the nest, it was obvious that before long, a new generation of starlings would be heading for the unglazed window and a style of freedom that man had dreamt of for centuries.

A shroud of dark grey tints spread across the horizon, and drizzle began to fall incessantly, accompanied by the sound of distant thunder. Don studied the overcast sky, letting his imagination run free to design whatever intrigue appealed to him: on the wing – yes – on the wing and   flying  high above and away from all those troubled emotions – emotions he knew that he just could not handle any more.

And as one of the young birds  flew  out of the nest in the rafter and out onto the dormer window ledge for its very first flight of freedom, Don suddenly felt a pang of envy. He watched with fascination as the young bird launched its self into the adventure of its life-time; and he followed its flight path to the top of the young birch tree in his rear garden which over-looked open countryside.

With glazed eyes and deep thoughts he was captivated by this young life-force and marvelled as it took off again to some unknown destination. And suddenly he found himself  flying  high above the storm clouds, his body racing over sun-lit valleys and chalk escarpments – and moors, where none of the ravages of mankind could be seem. The freshness of the moist wind on his face was invigorating and his body felt light and strong and eager to test the capabilities of his  flying  skills.

But in the far recesses of his abandoned mind, there lurked darker, more sinister forces, bent on depriving him of his temporary euphoria; bent on driving the scars of lifes’ tragedies yet further into the putrid flesh of some deathly obscenities.

His flight faltered, but the warmth of the sun drove him on, invigorating his soul with warm rays of hope -with expectations of eternal peace and tranquility. Higher he  flew  until he rose above the last wisp of cloud so that nothing lay between him and natures life – source.

Vitalizing rays spread before him in pastel shades, rising to infinity as they pierced the golden globe – the way ahead reminiscent of some vast, man-made escalator, inviting, challenging, a test to the pioneering spirit of mans’ creative soul. Thus, spurred on by the proximity of his destination, wings thrashed harder, and faster, as if in anticipation of the rewards of his endeavour.

Yet, for all his effort, the sun seemed to slip further and further from his sight – and images of impending doom drifted in and out of his sub-conscious frame of mind, threatening the essence of the hopes and aspirations he so desired; and it seemed that his last chance of salvation was slipping from his grasp, never to appear again.

Looking back, over a bedraggled wing, the earth seemed far away, hazy – and the sun was now setting fast. Panic stabbed at his breast: below ruffled feathers, cloud formations drew closer at an alarming pace. He was no longer beating tired wings; nor was he gliding in the manner that such creatures do. He seemed to have lost the mastery of flight.

More than that, he had lost control over the intrigues of his own imagination, his mind involuntarily encroaching on lifes’ painful and wretched memories. Too many bad memories to think about. Greyness reached out to entrap his soul; eyes focussed once more on the view through the extension window – on the drizzle that still fell relentlessly.

Images and ideas came to mind: Darwins’ concept on evolution and the natural progression of man. Concepts of survival seemed just as valid in the city as in the jungle. Now though, the scars – and the evolutionary changes were psychological – not physical. Don looked up at the birds nest once more and noticed that sunlight was at last once again penetrating the dusky recesses of the upper floor.

Yet he felt compelled to obey the Darwinian concept – survival of the fittest – his own battle having come almost to an end. The fight for survival had been crushed from a once-stout heart and he had nothing left to offer.

Don kicked the chair away – just at the same moment that thoughts came flooding back to him, of happier times with his wife and children. The rope bit deeply into his neck; and as he began to loose consciousness, a surge of regret caused him to thrash out in the hope of finding the chair again with his feet.

The light was fading fast; and Don imagined that once more he was on the wing to natures life-source.

Source by Cliff Marsh

Efficacy – Solving The Insoluble Problems

What do you do on the day that your life or your business asks you a question to which you have no answer? What do you do when you come to the end of the road, before you have arrived at your desired destination or you arrive at a safe that contains treasure but you have no keys with which to unlock it? What do you do when you know with absolute certainty what you want to achieve, but you do not know how to achieve it?

Simply put, what do you do on the day that life demands of you a solution and you have none, and you desire to enter into the big league but the door is closed? Efficacy is the ability to make things happen, but what do you do when you want to make things happen but you do not know how?

Sometimes life is like a cryptic puzzle which offers a great prize to the winner. The prize is known, but the solution is no where to be found. No matter how philosophical or complex humanity may become, there comes a time when each one of us faces a problem that defies solution. This is the time in which the loser’s dream goes up in smoke, but the winner’s star begins to shine ever so bright.

The winner sees problems, including the difficult ones that defy solution, as opportunities. The loser on the other hand sees problems as threats. The winner asks himself the question, what opportunities lie in this challenge and how can I derive maximum benefit from the situation. Faced with identical circumstances the loser asks himself, “How can I avoid this threat?” The winner engages challenges, but the loser disengages from them. The winner is that person who will relentlessly seek for ways to make things happen regardless of the situation. To him set backs are temporary inconveniences. To make things happen it is imperative that we remain seized with the desire to find a solution. So how do winners make things happen?

In 1849 the world faced a problem that defied solution. The challenge was how to build a bridge over the Niagara Falls. The engineers knew what needed to be done, but no one knew how to do it? They knew that to build the bridge they first needed to get a line over the canyon from one side to the other. The problem was that it was deemed to be technically impossible at the time. They could not use boats because the boats would fall over the gorge. The plane had not been invented. The commonest method at that time was the bow and arrow method of throwing the line across the bridge. However the distance was too long at the Niagara Falls.

The solution came from one efficacious engineer called Charles Ellet. Charles had seen boys   fly  kites over long distances. He sponsored a kite  flying  contest and offered a handsome prize to the first boy who would  fly  his kite across the gorge and let it go low enough to allow someone on the other side to grab the string. Sure enough one boy pulled off the incredible stunt. Thus the kite was used to pull first the cord, then a rope, and then steel cables. By repeating this process, the foundations upon which the suspension bridge was built were laid. Things had been made to happen. What lessons did Charles bequeath upon us?

Firstly and most importantly, Ellet taught us that things can be made to happen. Anything is achievable to the one who dedicates himself to it. While every engineer was expounding on why it was impossible to build the bridge, he was actively seeking for a way to do it.

Secondly, Ellet’s success is a lesson in the value of co-operative effort and synergy. Ellet knew what needed to be done but he did not know how to do it. The kite boy knew how to  fly  kites, but did not know how to build bridges. By combining their efforts and expertise they together triumphed. This is the great lesson. Achievement is rarely a solo flight. Winners do not just seek for ways to make things happen, they also seek for people who can make things happen. In the face of problems that defy solutions life punishes the lone ranger and favors the team player.

The unwise seek to do all things by themselves, and arrogate all the glory to themselves.

Unfortunately, they often fail. The wise know that problems that defy solution only persist in the absence of adequate knowledge and effort. Knowledge and effort are the keys to making things happen. All winners like Ellet are smart enough to know that they can not know everything that is potentially knowable. Sometimes the knowledge to unlock your path to glory lies in the expertise that someone else has. Where possible winners do things themselves but often they win by working through people. It is forgivable not to know how to make things happen, but it is a curse not to make an effort to find someone who knows how. When a problem persists often it is because the answer lies beyond your current area of expertise, but not necessarily beyond everyone’s expertise. The solution may not even be found in your industry but in methods used in a completely different industry. The link between kites and bridge construction is not obvious and that is where other people like me come in.

Winners look beyond the common boundaries in their pursuit of answers, and they are also willing to look for and pay people who have the skills that they do not have. This week make a catalogue of challenges that have been defying solutions and seek not just for ways of making things happen, but also for people who can make them happen. Go ahead and make your success happen.

Source by George Chingarande

Best Accessories for Drones

Aerial photography has been developing rapidly in the past 3 years. If you have followed this trend and purchased a camera drone, you are about to have a lot of fun. But after a spending a while with the drone you’ll realise they do not look like the AMAZING photos you have seen on Instagram. Don’t be surprised, because many of those photos were probably shot using some extra accessories. All photographers depend on additional accessories to make their life easier and to take their photography and video footage one step further. Rest assured, you can do it as well. Listed below are among the most useful drone accessories I’ve had the chance to use and test. These accessories can assist you with enhancing your overall drone experience, improving video quality, flight adventure and safety.

1) Additional Propellers and Propeller Guards: Propellers (also known as fans or blades) are the most fragile part of a drone. You should always have extra propellers with you when you are going out to fly your drone. If you crash your drone propellers are the first parts that will get torn apart. I’ve got enough drone experience, and I’ve had over 20 different drones. But even I crashed initially when I first received my DJI Phantom 2. Prop guards are yet another story. They are not necessary, but they come in handy if you fly indoors or hovering in limited spaces. During the past six months, I have used propeller guards only once or twice, but a majority of people use them day-to-day. If you’re crashing your drone often and breaking your propellers a lot, then you should definitely get prop guards.

2) Additional Battery: Drone technology have come a long way in the past few years. The latest DJI Phantom 4 Pro offers 30 minutes flight time according to their website. For the majority of non-commercial drone pilots, this will never be enough. Considering the time spent on flying up and landing, you will have 20 minutes for recording footage. So make sure to purchase an additional battery pack or even more to get a reliable backup anytime you need. If you own the Phantom 4 Pro, you may want to want to upgrade to the quick battery charger instead of the one that comes with the package. It’s going to charge the P4 Pro battery in 40 minutes instead of 65 minutes on the regular charger.

3) Additional Battery Charger: Additional battery power makes much more flight time possible, nonetheless they also need to be charged. Once you have 2 or even more batteries and each and every battery requires sixty minutes to charge, the waiting time period can rapidly increase to hours with extra batteries sitting down idle. So it’s best to purchase additional battery charger or better yet, you might want to get the multi-charger, that allows you to charge your batteries simultaneously.

4) Vehicle Battery Charger: When you’re away from on a road trip and also the only electrical power source you have may be the auto’s battery, That’s why it is important to get a car battery charger for your drone. So if you have 1, 2 or maybe 3 electric batteries, even then when you’re out on trips, you’re most likely to use up all your power juice at some point, so what you certainly require is the ability to charge your batteries when you’re not anywhere in close proximity to a mains power point.

5) Tablet Or iPad: Controlling a drone whilst handling it along with the online video feed from the smartphone, it gets uncomfortable, to say the least. The display is too small to get a distinct look at what is happening up there. So you better buy a trusted tablet PC which has a display large enough to provide a reliable video clip feed. Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tablet or some other equivalent tablets with enough processor speed are generally great possibilities based on your financial budget.

6) ND Filter: To manage the amount of light that goes into your camera lens, and manage tiny shakes, while increasing motion blur, getting an ND Filter is a smart choice. ND filters really are a must, in my opinion, they make the video on Phantom series drones look more cinematic and are they great because they increase no considerable weight to your drone’s gimbal. The new gimbal on the P4 Pro is extremely light and fragile, I also would wait to include any weight to the front of that camera lens.

7) GPS Tracking device: When flying your drone in remote areas, like mountains, or on the sea, it’s going to be very hard to find your drone if you ever crash it. A drone GPS tracker attached to the legs of your drone might come in handy when you go on a mission to rescue your drone. Using the GPS tracking app on your smartphone, you will be able to locate your drone on your smartphone’s maps, with an accuracy of up to 2 meters.

8) Storage Space: Additional electric batteries will not be any practical when you lack sufficient space to store the footage you record. The default 16 gigabytes micro SD card that is included with DJI Phantom 4 pro could only store about 50 minutes of video footage. Consider buying 64 Gb micro SD card if you do not wish to transfer the video clips to your PC after each 2 flights.

9) Backpack or Travel Case: If you are planning on taking your drone along your journeys, camping, bicycling or road trip you will realise the default packaging that comes with drones will not last for very long and not comfortable to carry along, to say the least. To get a more comfortable and safe solution, get a specifically created drone backpack or travel case; you will find loads of available options. In my opinion, hard-shell backpacks are the most functional and steady backpacks for the value.

Photography and videography tools have always depended on accessories and so do drones. You should consider spending on accessories if you are trying to shoot amazing drone videos.

Source by Ekim Sari

How To Get Unstuck

Getting Unstuck

That which does not kill us only makes us stronger!

A woman was out walking in the forest when she happened across a branch with a cocoon attached to it. Thinking how interesting it would be to see a butterfly emerge and   fly  away, she snipped off the branch and brought it home and put it in a safe, warm place, and waited for the butterfly to appear. After several days, a small hole appeared and a head started to appear from the cocoon. Slowly, it emerged, and then it seemed to get stuck. For hours, it struggled and wriggled and strained against the hole, trying desperately to break free.

Seeing the struggle, and impatient to see the butterfly break free, the young woman gently pried open the hole giving the butterfly more room to struggle free: In a few moments, out wriggled a butterfly with shrivelled wings and a swollen abdomen. Unable to  fly  without its wings, the butterfly crawled around a few days, and then died, never having felt the freedom of flight.

What the woman, in her impatience, never understood was that the butterfly’s struggle for freedom from the cocoon was what it needed to force the fluid from it’s abdomen into it’s wings so that it would be ready for flight. Getting out of the cocoon had to be difficult, if not the butterfly would not have had the strength to  fly .

A few months ago, I had been like that butterfly.

I had found that my work load had been increasing, I had many projects on the go and I was stuck in a place that seemed to keep me bound with no sign of release. Struggle as I did, it seemed as if I was getting nowhere… except more and more behind.

Feeling sorry for myself, I almost felt like giving up.

I started to complain to whoever would listen, and I was becoming more negative about many things.

Then one day, almost as if I was waking up from a dream, I felt like I couldn’t stand it any more, I absolutely HAD to do something or I felt like I would suffocate in my own pool of problems. I said “This is it. If I don’t make some forward movement today, I will revisit my vision and readjust my direction in life and make some changes. I simply cannot live in my self-created bondage. I have to break free.

If it means doing something drastic, then I have to do it.”

I was resolved, I was determined, and I was focused to do anything that I could to get out of the rut that I had found myself in, and move forward with my life. I had reached the point of no return where going back was not an option, and moving forward was my only choice.

And then, as it often does when we make up our minds to change, clarity settled on me and I made some adjustments on my attitude and my actions and I was able to get results. I needed that struggle to develop the abilities, or wings, if you may, that I needed to break free and  fly .

Many of us have challenges that seem to trap us in our own cocoons. We struggle, and fight to break free, but it seems as if the more we struggle, the more entangled we become. Sometimes, if we have been struggling for long enough, we seem to give up and accept the fact that we are trapped: all of the fight gone, we just lie there and wait for our demise. Some people call this a rut or a cage or a dead end job, but call it what you will, it IS a trap, and whether we realize it or not, it is one that we choose to remain in.

7 signs that you may be stuck in your cocoon:

  1. You have a hard time telling what day it is… and what’s more you just don’t care anymore. Life seems to be a never ending day of drudgery.
  2. You have no enthusiasm or important goals for your life. You don’t get excited about much anymore.
  3. You look more forward to what’s on TV tonight, than spending time with the important people in your life.
  4. You find yourself playing the victim. You are a chronic criticizer and complainer.
  5. You are quick to anger, and slow to forgive.
  6. You are happy with being just average… and you don’t care.
  7. You find yourself laying awake at night worrying about the same things that you worried about the day, week, month or year before.

Freeing yourself is nothing more than a choice. “Yeah, sure” you may be saying, “That’s easy for you to say, but how do you do it?”

Here’s the simple way to free yourself from your cocoon.

Write a vision for your life and carefully consider and visualize to following questions. Remember that the size of your question determines the size of your results:

  1. What do I really want to create in my life? What do I want my life to look like? What do I want to be doing ten years from now that energizes me? Who do I want to be with who will complete me? What do I want my spiritual life to be like? What do I want my financial life to be like? Etc.
  2. When do I want my results to happen?
  3. What resources do I need to generate action?
  4. Why is achieving these things important to me?
  5. Who is responsible for my success in life?

Remember that if you don’t have a vision for your life, someone else does and it may not be what you want it to be. You have to take back control, but your results will happen much better and faster if you create a vision that is so big that it forces you to include others in the completion of it. This will get you in action, and provide momentum for success.

So, don’t be afraid of getting stuck in your cocoon. That snag may be just what you need to find a better way or a stronger ability within yourself. Just don’t give up and stop struggling. Only the weak do that. Kick a little harder, push a little stronger, pray a little louder but keep moving, and when you do, you will find yourself one day with wings to  fly  you through the challenges that once kept you bound.

Make this your best week ever.

Source by Paul Kearley

Tips on Drone Insurance

Why UAV Insurance?

Almost everything is insured. Our life, our houses, our vehicles and many more things which we value. The increase in drones, especially among the civilians has given the need to add drones in the list of insured items. If you are conducting business and earning money using drones, it is a wise idea to get your drone(s) insured. Even if you are not earning money and plan to earn in the future, even then it is a good idea to get insured. This will help you prevent paying out of pocket in the event an accident occurs.

Getting drones insured would also be good for your business. Your clients would feel secure and would want to do business with you. This would retain your clients as well as help in bringing new clients.

We all know that the applications of drone use have increased vastly from it’s original military use. Now, people are using drones for commercial use as well as individual purposes. In the near future, you will frequently see drones flying above you. With the increase in the number of drones, accidents are bound to happen. They could crash in a building, in another drone or worse, in a plane. Even now, pilots have reported about 25 near misses with drones. If this is the rate now, imagine what future rates will be?

Moreover, with the stealth nature of drones, many people might get offended when your drone hovers above their house or their office. They could then slap a lawsuit of invasion of privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union has even asked for rules concerning drone use to prevent the society into becoming a ‘surveillance society’. If this is the level of concern now, imagine what it will be in the future.

Types of UAV Insurance:

As of now, if you are not a commercial drone user, homeowner insurance would suffice. The catch is, however, that the drone must be flown over your own property and/or away from the public.

If you are a commercial user of drones, no matter how big your operations are, you will need to get your UAVs insured.

The amount of insurance depends on the use and the country in which it is being insured.

Drone Insurance:

Getting drone insurance is not that easy. You have to prove that you are serious about drone use. You have to prove that you have some sort of expertise in drone flying. This could include copies of operating manuals, records of sale and purchase of drones and drone parts and also proof of training.

Insurance Operations:

The majority of the insurance companies insure drones for the following operations only:

· Agriculture

· Archaeology

· Construction

· Emergency response

· Environment evaluation and monitoring

· Knowledge and information gathering

· Law enforcement

· Movies and documentaries

· Security

· Shipping and maritime

· Sites protection and surveillance

· Traffic patrol and assistance

· Transportation maintenance

Type of accidents covered:

Following are the accidents covered currently with various UAV insurance plans:

· Loss of drone

· Partial or complete damage of drone

· War

· Hijacking

· Terrorism

· Personal injury

· Fire

Cost of Insurance:

Drone insurance is basically split in two parts: liability and hull damage. In the liability type, these are the damages claimed by the third parties whereas hull damage is the damage related to your own drone. Generally, insurance policy for a liability goes up to $ 1 million while for hull damage it can go to $1500 per year. These are general quotes and specific ones may vary from company to company and drone to drone. Some companies provide insurance for liability only while other for hull damage and some for both.

Requirements of Insurance Brokers:

Insurance brokers also have some requirements. Generally, they would need the number of flying hours of the drone. The flying hours should normally be between 50 and 100. The drone owners are also required, in some cases, to hold the FAA 333 exemption. FAA 333 Exemption is a certificate issued by the Secretary of Transportation to operate in the National Airspace System. The insurance brokers also want to know whether the drone is owned or leased. They are curious as to whether the drone is able to automatically store the flight data etc. Lastly, they want to know the areas the drone has been flying and will fly in the future. They also check the website and last but not the least, want to know if any sort of training or certifications have been taken vis-à-vis drones.

Getting Insured:

When getting insured, first decide which company you want to go with. For that, you have to get quotes from several companies. And to get a quote from a company, you need to go to their website and fill out the quote form. The form will ask several questions related to the information about the owner, the type of coverage and the cost of equipment, operational locations and number of hours flown, training levels and number of previous accidents etc. After the form is filled, the particular company replies back with the quote. Once you have several quotes from several companies, you are better able to judge and you can apply to the company of your choice.

Insurance Companies:

Following is the list of some insurance companies who deal with drones. The list does not include all of the companies and might not include the best ones, but they are sufficient:

· Aerial Park


· Avion Insurance

· Avalon Risk Management

· Coverdrone

· Driessen Assuadeuren

· Harpenau Insurance Agency

· Sky Smith

· Sutton James Incorporated

· Unmanned Risk Management

So, this was a modest effort to inform you about how to go about getting your drone insured. In recap, those who want to just fly over their homes or clear of public and for recreational purposes do not need to get any type of drone insurance, as homeowner insurance will be sufficient. Those using UAVs for commercial purposes really need to get their drones insured and should consider getting their drones insured right now. Who knows with the passage of times maybe the laws pertaining to drone insurance will get much clearer and conformed across the insurance industry.

Source by Victor Holman

Tap Away Your Fears

In my workshops we use energy techniques that involve tapping with your fingers on the ends of the energy meridians on your face, upper body, and hands. I would like to tell you why we do.

For more than forty years I had a fear of heights that kept me from hiking in the mountains with my husband Jim and our kids, made me very nervous about flying, and super cautious when climbing stairs. My family loves to be at the tallest place, looking out at whatever they can see from there. Although I tried many times to join them in climbing the forest tower stairs or surveying Disney World from the highest places they could find, the shaking knees, upset stomach, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breathe kept me from doing so.

Ten years or so ago I attended a conference in Keystone, Colorado. The day before the conference I had my worst experience ever with my fear of heights. We went to Seven Falls outside of Colorado Springs. I love waterfalls and wanted desperately to climb the open wooden stairs to the top to see all the falls. I got up about 30 steps and had so much fear that I wasn’t ever sure I would make it back down. I had visions of them having to get a crane to lift me off the side of the mountain. And although it was very embarrassing I went down on my seat like little kids do.

I was sure I would never make it to the top of any mountain. The next day at the conference Jack Canfield (of author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books) introduced the 300 or so participants to what he called the 5 Minute Phobia Cure. He asked us to think about a phobic experience that we had had and he had us tap on our face and hand as we named and imaged our fear. It seemed like a very strange thing to do, but I tried it. We had rated our fears on a 1-10 scale before the exercise- mine was a 10 as I recalled the experience at Seven Falls. After we had tapped for a minute or so we rated our fears again. To my amazement it seemed as though it had gone away totally. I couldn’t believe it. When the session ended an hour or so later I exclaimed to my husband, who had not attended the session, “Take me someplace high!”

He looked at me as though I had flipped out, and after I told him about the “Phobia cure” he was sure of it. But he did as I asked and he watched in amazement as I leaned over the railing and looked down the mountains from the highest place we could find. And it was true! The fear was totally gone. And to this day it has not returned. My nervousness with flying is also gone – I even go up with Jim in his little Ultralight airplane. Since that time I have helped many others get over their fear of heights and flying, and even test anxiety. This process is called Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT.

A couple of months ago we went back to Colorado and back to Seven Springs. I climbed to the top without any hesitation. It felt so good to be free of the fears. Although you can learn to do the tapping and tap on your own, for many issues there seems to be even greater benefit in tapping with a group or a skilled therapist. I tap for all kinds of things, and some disappear immediately while others require repeated tapping sessions. It feels so good to be free of fears and phobias.

Source by Lorna Minewiser

Finding the Best Drones for Kids

When it comes to finding the best drones and the best drones for kids, there are so many choices available it’s extremely difficult to pick out just one that can be considered the best drone. It just makes sense to attempt to find the drone that is the best fit for what you need it to do. The best drones for kids are going to be the ones that can really take a beating and keep on flying. Durability is going to be a priority when shopping for drones for kids.

Building and flying remote controlled aircraft has always been a very rewarding and enjoyable hobby for people of all ages.

Flying drones has become much more appealing as of late because of the advances that have been made in speed and durability and the quality of the hd cameras that are now being installed on the remote controlled aircraft.

The best drones pretty much all come with high-definition video cameras mounted on them these days. This allows the pilot to actually see where the drone is going just as if he were sitting in the cockpit at the controls.

Drones and quadcopters are tons of fun and easy to fly. Your first flight can be a little bumpy, but by the time you have taken off and landed a few times you will get the hang of it and be doing flips and flying upside down in no time at all.

One of the biggest and best advantages of learning to fly drones is the fact that you don’t have to find a runway to take off from or land on. You can actually fly a drone inside your house.

However, you still need to fly responsibly. One should always keep the aircraft away from airports and stay well away from regular aircraft, as a drone can cause serious havoc if it comes close to a regular plane.

When I first began building and flying remote controlled aircraft it was kind of difficult finding a place to fly. The only place available at the time was a grass runway that was owned and maintained by a modeling club. I had to join the club and pay membership dues.

I also had to join the AMA (American Modelers Association) and have my transmitters inspected and certified for use at the club field.

Finding a good place to fly was kind of a hassle. I needed a run way that was at least 200 feet long and about fifty feet wide.

This presents a problem if you don’t live in a rural area. Winter made things a little bit more simple because I had built ski’s that I could attach to the landing gear of whatever fixed wing plane I was flying.

The snow didn’t have to be real deep, just deep enough to make the landing area smooth and somewhat flat.

Transporting the plane itself was a challenge also. The planes had large wingspans and were really quite large. You could not just set one in the back seat of the car, I needed a truck to haul the plane and the wings and all of the equipment that was needed to make repairs, as well as the fuel for the motors.

This all probably sounds like a serious pain, but it was actually a lot of fun, and still is today. I still enjoy building and flying the large scale model kits.

The model kits themselves are not really all that expensive.

The radio gear and the motors are the expensive parts. I have seen some modelers that have well over a thousand dollars wrapped up in just one of the large-scale models that have multiple engines.

Radio controlled helicopters were much more difficult to fly. These required hours of practice to get to a point where you were proficient and not breaking something every time you tried to get it off the ground. Still a great source of fun, but frustrating at times. Now, with the tech. advances that have been made, owning and flying a rotary wing aircraft is much easier and way more affordable.

With the development of drones and quadcopters, none of that stuff is necessary anymore and the learning curve has been shortened substantially.

Source by Robert Hanselman