non-flight of the unPhoenix
September 7, 2009 10:00 PM   Subscribe

Interesting story. On a side note, one can tour around the highways of Saudi Arabia and see all manner of abandoned cars and structures that appear to have been desolate for decades but a closer looks reveals the cars are late 90s vintage. The oppressive heat and sandstorms can make things look like ancient artifacts very quickly.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:12 PM on September 7, 2009

This site has some neat stuff - I like this one: The abandoned acoustic mirrors, Denge, UK .

On the other hand - slow and adtastic.
posted by Artw at 10:22 PM on September 7, 2009

Wow, this thing is crazy. It's a giant eye in a pyramid that fires fucking neutron bombs - crazy Cold War people, WTF?
posted by Artw at 10:35 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah if I had the means, I would totally outfit a PBY Catalina as my luxury flying yacht.

I would fly around the world in it, polished nickel .38 Specials in holsters on each hip, with a black lambswool leather jacket, a leather cap, and sunglasses, defeating syndicates of international criminals and pirates, solving their crimes and saving villagers from oppression.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 10:42 PM on September 7, 2009 [11 favorites]

Philippe Cousteau met his end in a PBY.
posted by bz at 11:04 PM on September 7, 2009

AMARC, or as many of us call it here, The Boneyard, is a short distance from my place. I pass by it and the Pima Air & Space Museum several times a week. If you like this kind of industrial archaeology, and you're ever in Tucson, I highly recommend visiting the air museum. You can get tours of AMARC from there as well. The boneyard is also ringed by private salvage companies, with a variety of old aircraft sitting out in plain view.
posted by azpenguin at 11:19 PM on September 7, 2009

a giant eye in a pyramid that fires fucking neutron bombs

Yeah. Phased-array radar and presumably the building's shape is to make it less vulnerable to a nearby blast. There was some pretty awesome technology developed around then. I'm glad we never had to find out how well it actually worked.

But also, um, double post. Not that I'm complaining.
posted by hattifattener at 11:50 PM on September 7, 2009

So that's where I parked.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:10 AM on September 8, 2009

and I missed the other post, so, thanks.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:11 AM on September 8, 2009

Grmph. That's a good previously but it's not a double, on account of how the site didn't have no Catalinas on it back then.
posted by Artw at 12:24 AM on September 8, 2009

Too bad he didn't keep the machine guns when he refitted it.
posted by Poagao at 2:37 AM on September 8, 2009

From the comments of the Flickr set - the Catalina photos are from 1995. Here's a more recent one.
posted by flashboy at 2:41 AM on September 8, 2009

Catalinas make an ideal base of operations when hunting Deep Ones. I'm just saying.
posted by longbaugh at 5:22 AM on September 8, 2009

Is it out of respect for the dead plane that people don't take those cool propellers, or is it just completely impractical to do so?
posted by orme at 6:12 AM on September 8, 2009

Very neat photographs...although I don't believe the google maps link is showing the right vehicle. That sat photo appears to be a rotary craft, perhaps a UH-60? I'm now hooked into scanning the coastline in search of another aircraft...hah!
posted by samsara at 6:15 AM on September 8, 2009

At the Airventure Museum there is an amazing exhibit of a flying boat.

Someone (an heir of industry I think) made or restored the thing and flew it down to South America. I'm not sure if it was a restored classic or a one-off, but it was a twin engine and I'm pretty sure a biplane. If I recall correctly it had the general form of one of these planes, with amazing esthetics and attention to detail.

Anyway the museum has a section of the fuselage (or more likely a replica of it, with the port side of the rest of the plane attached) with about ten seats inside and a movie screen at the front showing amazing HD footage of this lovely aircraft flying slow and low over the Amazon.

My internet searching for more details came up blank - I might have to call the museum.
posted by exogenous at 6:36 AM on September 8, 2009

ArtW, I have extensive pictures of that site that will be going online by the end of the month.
posted by fake at 6:47 AM on September 8, 2009

Heh, I submitted the info on that Catalina to ArtificialOwl after they made their first appearance on the blue.

samsara, sadly that is the right link. In recent years the wing support has collapsed giving it that rotor craft look from the air.
posted by Tenuki at 8:11 AM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Man, after seeing the Costeaus flying around in those things I really wanted one of those really badly. My folks had a motor home and I thought, peh, I'm going to have a flying home. Though now finding out that Phillipe bought it in one...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 9:46 AM on September 8, 2009

A couple years ago I saw three of these that had been used for bombing forest fires sitting on the tarmac for sale in Moses Lake WA. and all my childhood "Tales from the Gold Monkey" fantasies came rushing back.
Though that was a Grumman Goose and not a Catalina but the Catalina has an ugly allure that made it my favorite seaplane (until I discovered the Dornier Do 24 anyway).
posted by Tenuki at 11:32 AM on September 8, 2009

samsara, sadly that is the right link. In recent years the wing support has collapsed giving it that rotor craft look from the air.

Ah thanks! I noticed the deterioration from the 1995 pics as well from flashboy's link. The rear flaps have also dislodged giving the tail fins that appearance as well. Very neat!
posted by samsara at 11:40 AM on September 8, 2009

Is this it? Looks like a helicopter to me, but is it possible the wings have been moved?
posted by hanoixan at 1:23 PM on September 8, 2009

Yep, see flashboys and tenuki's links hano.
posted by samsara at 7:48 AM on September 9, 2009

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