Feb. 18 is Elm Farm Ollie Day, commemorating the first flight in a plane by a cow. An article posted over at rootsweb.ancestry.com tells us that Elm Farm Ollie (aka Sunnymede Ollie, Nellie Jay, or Sky Queen) is remembered each year at the dairy festival in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin:
Celebrated as a pasteurized legend of the pasture, Ollie has for 60 years remained the star attraction at the Feb. 18 dairy festival held each year at Mount Horeb, Wisc. In addition to having her praises sung in such works as "The Bovine Cantata in B-Flat Major" (from Madame Butterfat) and the stirring "Owed to Ollie," she has been the subject of stories, cartoons and poems. E. D. Thalinger even painted her portrait for posterity.
A 1930 news-wire story provided details about the historic flight:
Will Milk Cow in Air
Claude M. Sterling, of Parks Air college, will pilot Sunnymede Ollie, Guernsey from Bismarck, Missouri, over the city in a tri-motored Ford.
The cow will be fed and milked and the milk parachuted down in paper containers. A quart of milk will be presented to Colonel Lindbergh when he arrives.
Weighing more than 1000 pounds, the cow will be flown to demonstrate the ability of aircraft. Scientific data will be collected on her behavior.
-The Evening Tribune (Albert Lea, Minn.) - Feb. 18, 1930.
I found this image over at the USC Digital Archive. According to the title, it shows the scene at the crash site of an experimental plane in 1951. Text written across the top of the image provides more detail: "Off. Gale Whitacre and crowd with plane James Martin killed in."
My question is, what's the deal with the guy in his underwear? Was he just wandering by and stopped to see what was going on? Was it a particularly hot day? I can't imagine any other reason why he'd be standing around in his tighty-whiteys.
Researchers at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences put on their thinking caps and came up with a revolutionary idea. They call it the "Big Lavatory Concept" or BigLavC for short. Their idea is to take existing airplane toilets and make them jumbo sized, so they'll be easier for overweight and disabled people to use. [news.com.au]
I'm all for bigger toilets, but since there's a limited amount of space in an airplane, if you make the bathroom twice the size, won't that mean you'll end up with fewer bathrooms overall? And thus longer lines for the loo?
But of course, I'm being naive. These big bathrooms will probably only be for first-class passengers. And to make room for them they'll get rid of the economy-class toilets entirely and just hand out buckets.
In 1964, Braniff airlines was looking for a way to differentiate itself from its competitors by adding a touch of glamour and weirdness to its service. So it hired Italian fashion designer Emilio Pucci to design the uniforms of the stewardesses. What he came up with was the plexiglass Bubble Bonnet, aka the Space Bubble Helmet. Its purpose was supposedly to protect the hair of the stewardesses from wind and rain as they crossed the tarmac. Stewardesses complained that it was hard to hear anyone while wearing the things. Read more here and here.
Developed by Goodyear in the 1950s, the Inflatoplane could fit in the trunk of a car, and then be inflated to full size in 10 minutes. The idea was that the air force could drop inflatoplanes to pilots stranded in enemy territory, allowing them to fly themselves to safety. But the project was eventually abandoned because of a series of accidents, and the military's concern that the plane could too easily be shot down. Link: bendbulletin.com