19 September, 2012

Profile 71: FINISHED - LGM-30F Minuteman II missile

The missile above is the LGM-30F, "Minuteman II" ICBM.

And it is...amazing. No. Not just amazing. It's OMG!

What?  Not getting the vibe? Hearing crickets chirp in the background?

I get it.  No one cares.

But have another look. Please?  Have another peek at the poor Minuteman II ICBM.  Imagine the big guy, setting in the cold silo, waiting in the black for his tragic, suicidal run to Russia...

Still don't care? I get that, too.  Hell, I'll be blunt - until recently, the only missiles I thought about at all where the $15 ones that my kids launched and subsequently lost.

But since I did this missile's younger brother, the sleeker, slightly-taller LGM-30G "Minuteman III," I've come to see the ICBM as an amazingly ironic device - able to keep peace via a deafening roar.

Here.  Recognize what we're dealing with...

     Fact:  The LGM-30F had a range of 7,000 miles.
               That's the distance between Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
    Fact:  The LGM-30F flew at 15,000 miles per hour.
              That's Los Angeles to New York in less than 15 minutes.
    Fact:  The LGM-30F hit supersonic speed BEFORE it cleared the silo!
               That's 0-750mph in about 80 feet.

     Fact:   At it's maximum, 450 LGM-30Fs were "on alert."
                And those are just Minuteman IIs.  There were others, too.

     And  - Fact:  The LGM-30F was accurate on an Olympic level.
                Check the map below.

Ok.  Have another look.   This time, unpack all the facts above and replace them with the one supreme piece of knowledge...

         Fact:  The LGM-30F was designed, built, maintained and operated
                   by people.  And not "ordinary" people.  These people don't
                   can't make mistakes.

Stick with me - I've got at least 5 more missiles to do.  We're going to learn more about the missiles themselves but most importantly, we're going to learn about "those people" in charge with the care and feeding of these ironic birds: The Missileers.

Next up - the GIGANTIC Titan II!

16 September, 2012

PROFILES 71-77: BEGINNING - The Missileer Project

To regular readers - I have a little explaining to do.

You've noticed that this isn't an "airplane." It's a missile. And not the kind that people launch at Cub Scout meetings - this is the kind that turns modern man back into a caveman. At least that's what some people think. No one knows actually because they've never been used.*

This is - in the common vernacular - "A nuke."

Gawd-forbid, right?

Anyway - formally, their names are Atlas, Titan, Minuteman, Peacekeeper, Trident...and I'm going to draw them as part of a "crowd-funded" project that I'm calling, "The Missileers - the Warriors that Didn't."

There will be at least 7, maybe 9 depending upon and I'll be posting their progress here; sharing stories of the Missileers, their Missiles and documenting this incredible aspect of human history.

Hopefully, I'll be done in 6-9 weeks. In the meantime, I hope this is as interesting to you as it is to me! And - if you want a Nuke to hang on your wall, click on the RocketHub logo at the top left of this blog and show your support. Who knows? The more people that put "The End of the World As We Know It" on the wall, more ridiculous the idea will become.

In the meantime, I'm half-way into the Minuteman II (above), finished with the Minuteman III (below) and eyeing the Titan II next.

3...2...1.... DUCK AND COVER!