Charlie's Diary

[ Site Index] [ Feedback ]


Sun, 21 Mar 2004

Odd sights in the sky

Yesterday afternoon I was working in my study when I heard loud aircraft noise, at low altitude -- growing very fast, dopplering, then fading away, like a military overflight rather than an airliner.

I live very close to a densely populated city centre, so military overflights at low altitude are unusual; and most airliners detour round the city, so that if anything goes wrong on final approach or takeoff they fall in the Firth of Forth (rather than taking out a tenement block or two).

Anyway, today Feorag and I went out for lunch. On our way home, at precisely 3pm, I heard loud engines, and looked up just in time to see a pair of Tornado F3s in close formation coming towards us. They were flying along the line of Leith Walk, north to south, at an altitude of about five hundred feet. No ferry tanks, not sure if there were any missiles (as F3s carry them in semi-recessed bays under the fuselage, rather than on the wing), but I'm pretty certain they were the air defense version rather than bombers. They were doing something like 150-250 miles per hour, flying straight towards the city centre.

A point to note: there are no air shows today. Another point: this is controlled airspace. The RAF does not routinely fly fighter patrols over British cities at such low altitudes: an engine flame-out would almost certainly leave a smoking hole in a densely crowded residental area. In fact, the flight line they were following would have been flat-out illegal at an air show.

What's going on?

[Discuss 9/11]



posted at: 15:26 | path: /wartime | permanent link to this entry

specials:

Is SF About to Go Blind? -- Popular Science article by Greg Mone
Unwirer -- an experiment in weblog mediated collaborative fiction
Inside the MIT Media Lab -- what it's like to spend a a day wandering around the Media Lab
"Nothing like this will be built again" -- inside a nuclear reactor complex


Quick links:

RSS Feed (Moved!)

Who am I?

Contact me


Buy my books: (FAQ)

Missile Gap
Via Subterranean Press (US HC -- due Jan, 2007)

The Jennifer Morgue
Via Golden Gryphon (US HC -- due Nov, 2006)

Glasshouse
Via Amazon.com (US HC -- due June 30, 2006)

The Clan Corporate
Via Amazon.com (US HC -- out now)

Accelerando
Via Amazon.com (US HC)
Via Amazon.com (US PB -- due June 27, 2006)
Via Amazon.co.uk (UK HC)
Via Amazon.co.uk (UK PB)
Free download

The Hidden Family
Via Amazon.com (US HC)
Via Amazon.com (US PB)

The Family Trade
Via Amazon.com (US HC)
Via Amazon.com (US PB)

Iron Sunrise
Via Amazon.com (US HC)
Via Amazon.com (US PB)
Via Amazon.co.uk (UK HC)
Via Amazon.co.uk (UK PB)

The Atrocity Archives
Via Amazon.com (Trade PB)
Via Amazon.co.uk (Trade PB)
Via Golden Gryphon (HC)
Via Amazon.com (HC)
Via Amazon.co.uk (HC)

Singularity Sky
Via Amazon.com (US HC)
Via Amazon.com (US PB)
Via Amazon.com (US ebook)
Via Amazon.co.uk (UK HC)
Via Amazon.co.uk (UK PB)

Toast
Via Amazon.com
Via Amazon.co.uk


Some webby stuff I'm reading:


Engadget ]
Gizmodo ]
The Memory Hole ]
Boing!Boing! ]
Futurismic ]
Walter Jon Williams ]
Making Light (TNH) ]
Crooked Timber ]
Junius (Chris Bertram) ]
Baghdad Burning (Riverbend) ]
Bruce Sterling ]
Ian McDonald ]
Amygdala (Gary Farber) ]
Cyborg Democracy ]
Body and Soul (Jeanne d'Arc)  ]
Atrios ]
The Sideshow (Avedon Carol) ]
This Modern World (Tom Tomorrow) ]
Jesus's General ]
Mick Farren ]
Early days of a Better Nation (Ken MacLeod) ]
Respectful of Otters (Rivka) ]
Tangent Online ]
Grouse Today ]
Hacktivismo ]
Terra Nova ]
Whatever (John Scalzi) ]
GNXP ]
Justine Larbalestier ]
Yankee Fog ]
The Law west of Ealing Broadway ]
Cough the Lot ]
The Yorkshire Ranter ]
Newshog ]
Kung Fu Monkey ]
S1ngularity ]
Pagan Prattle ]
Gwyneth Jones ]
Calpundit ]
Lenin's Tomb ]
Progressive Gold ]
Kathryn Cramer ]
Halfway down the Danube ]
Fistful of Euros ]
Orcinus ]
Shrillblog ]
Steve Gilliard ]
Frankenstein Journal (Chris Lawson) ]
The Panda's Thumb ]
Martin Wisse ]
Kuro5hin ]
Advogato ]
Talking Points Memo ]
The Register ]
Cryptome ]
Juan Cole: Informed comment ]
Global Guerillas (John Robb) ]
Shadow of the Hegemon (Demosthenes) ]
Simon Bisson's Journal ]
Max Sawicky's weblog ]
Guy Kewney's mobile campaign ]
Hitherby Dragons ]
Counterspin Central ]
MetaFilter ]
NTKnow ]
Encyclopaedia Astronautica ]
Fafblog ]
BBC News (Scotland) ]
Pravda ]
Meerkat open wire service ]
Warren Ellis ]
Brad DeLong ]
Hullabaloo (Digby) ]
Jeff Vail ]
The Whiskey Bar (Billmon) ]
Groupthink Central (Yuval Rubinstein) ]
Unmedia (Aziz Poonawalla) ]
Rebecca's Pocket (Rebecca Blood) ]


Older stuff:

June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
(I screwed the pooch in respect of the blosxom entry datestamps on March 28th, 2002, so everything before then shows up as being from the same time)



[ Site Index] [ Feedback ]


Powered by Blosxom!