And second?


So Reuters had this headline yesterday:

Russia Builds World’s Largest Helicopter Made Of Horsemeat Sausages

It’s not a tactically deployable helicopter. That fact should relieve everyone worried about the impact it might have on NATO’s NH90 materiel-support quinoa helicopter. It’s just a helicopter made of 120 kilograms of sausage created to mark an anniversary for … I’m not positive. The video suggests it’s the town of Kumertau, which is apparently somewhere in Russia, although because this is an amusing little “people do something silly” article it ignores basic journalism standards like having a clear dateline or providing instructions for people who’ve got a couple pounds of Tofurky kielbasa and an interest in making replica flexible-wing aircraft. Also, no reaction from the people who now hold the record for merely the world’s second- or even third-largest helicopters made of horsemeat sausages? They must think we’re so dazzled by the headline that we’re not interested in more detail. Mind, it is a pretty dazzling headline.

While the prospect of Russian sausage helicopters float around your head, though, why not peek over at my mathematics blog, which had another round of comic strips to talk about recently? If you don’t like that you might also like the A-to-Z challenge I’m doing, in which I take mathematics terms and try to explain them without too many other mathematics terms.

You know, it’s not even a sausage helicopter anybody can eat. That seems disrespectful to the sausage-makers as well as the horses.

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Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

4 thoughts on “And second?”

  1. Kind of curious: had it been the Cold War I suppose there would have been a US response using beef jerky as a structural material, and the Brits would then have leaped into the fray with fish, chips and mushy peas (none actually known for their structural integrity as aircraft components, unfortunately).

    That aside, the Russians always seemed to be keen to build some very large aircraft – the Sikorky Ilya Muromets series of increasingly large passenger biplanes, then the Soviets contributed the ‘Maxim Gorky’, and (in a slightly different universe…) the “Maximum Possibly Gorky” shown here: http://swipelife.com/2010/12/russian-flying-fortresses/

    I suppose the distances of Siberia and national prestige had something to do with it, but the one that captures it for me is Rostislav Alexeyev’s “Ekranoplan”, which I suspect had more to do with being a boat.

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    1. You know, I like the idea of going in with a mushy pea airplane. Come to it, aren’t there a couple of ridiculous-flying-contraption contests that go on in Britain every year? I’m used to now and then seeing a human-interest piece with silly things running off a dock and crashing into the water.

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      1. We have them in New Zealand too – off the Wellington waterfront. Most of them are supremely silly (flying goggles, a swimming cap and flippers held in each hand), but I remember one time the local university’s engineering school got going with what they insisted was a scientific effort with what looked suspiciously like a stock hang-glider. Alas, they didn’t soar off into the blue yonder of the Hutt valley but instead also plopped, unceremoniously, into the briny, pretty much in the same place as everybody else…

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        1. I’m glad to know there are more places doing it. I did go to grad school at an engineering college, so it had a couple of stunts like this for the fun of it, like the egg drop challenge. (The egg’s to be dropped from the top of the eight-storey building and survive intact, with some riotously small set of tools to use.) I never saw it succeed, but then I’m not sure I was ever clear on when the egg drop was being held. It was an undergraduate thing and I was safely tucked in the grad school where nobody could reach me.

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