Six years ago, in episode 150, Jochen Liske of ESO told us about the Extremely Large Telescope that is currently being built in Chile. This episode is a continuation (which is why this is a kind of bonus episode labelled as 150.5) in which Thomas Pfrommer tells us about how to control the optical path of this monster telescope: the 39 meter, 798-segment main mirror, plus the four additional mirrors involved in bringing the light to a stable and sharp focus. I recorded this episode mainly to fill in some “gaps” I needed for the book chapter on telescopes.
The F-14 Tomcat is one of the most iconic fighters, certainly among its generation. In this episode we talk with Nick Pirnia about the aircraft’s development and history as well as about flying it with former pilot Okie Nance. The aircraft is also available in the DCS flight simulator and the third part of this episode is a conversation with the development team from Heatblur about how to implement the F-14 in DCS; if you haven’t yet, check out some of their videos, this thing looks unbelievably realistic!
An important consequence of the warming of the planet due to climate change is that the frequency and/or severity of extreme weather events will increase. But how can we tell whether a particular event can be attributed to the changing climate? Would it have happened in “normal” climate as well, and if so, how would the event have been different? This aspect of climate science is called attribution science, and the guest of this episode, Friederike Otto is a pioneer in the field.
When I was in Bordeaux with the DLR to report about their science campaign in September, I also talked to the team from AirZeroG/Novespace about the technical and aviation aspects of parabolic flights. These interviews are in this episode. I chat with Jean-François Clervoy about the history of the company, with Eric Delesalle about piloting the parabolas, with Hervé Normand about the reasons for the potential sickness, and with Nicolas Barbotin about cabin safety. At the end of the episode I also provide some details about the technical problem that prevented parabolas during my own flight with the A-310 ZeroG.
Marija Jovanovich is a pilot for the Royal Australian Air Force where she has been flying the P-3 Orion. We discuss the aircraft, the missions, and some anecdotes. Marija then also attended the USAF Experimental Test Pilot School, and we talk a bit about the experience of flying a wide range of different aircraft.