On Sunday, November 4th, 2012 USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) completed her final and 25th cruise of a storied naval service. She was authorized by Congress in 1954 to be the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier and the 8th ship to bear the name USS ENTERPRISE. On January 12th, 1961 USS ENTERPRISE was commissioned into the Fleet. For the next 51 years she would make the distinction of being the 2nd oldest serving ship in the U.S. Navy; the USS CONSTITUTION in Boston Harbor being the oldest.
During those 51 years, USS ENTERPRISE would witness many historic events:
· In October 1962 she would be part of the blockade of Cuba as part of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
· USS ENTERPRISE provided air support to the Vietnam War and numerous deployments in the South China Sea as hostiles on the Korean Peninsula flared up.
· She would be the first aircraft carrier to operate the Navy’s newest fighter, the F-14A Tomcat, during Operation Frequent Wind in 1975 as part of the evacuation of South Vietnam.
· In the 1980’s she continued her service to the country being deployed on WESTPAC cruises during which the 1986 movie “Top Gun” was filmed onboard.
· Returning home in the 1990’s to Newport News Shipyard in Virginia, she would undergo the largest refit on any naval vessel and to extend her service life. Upon completion she was deployed to numerous cruises in the North Arabian Gulf as part of Operation Southern Watch, the enforcement of the no-fly zone of southern Iraq.
· In October 2001, USS ENTERPRISE was of the first aircraft carriers to launch air strikes into Afghanistan at the start of Operation Enduring Freedom.
With her final cruise over USS ENTERPRISE was inactivated from naval service on December 1st, 2012 and scheduled for decommissioning on March 15th, 2013. At the inactivation ceremony the Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, announced proudly the third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier CVN-80 will be the ninth ship bearing the name USS ENTERPRISE, thus carrying on the tradition of the legend “Big E”.
Tamiya models has released a 1/350th scale model of the Big E that is fantastically detailed and big. Click on the picture for more details.
The new Lionel Santa Fe Super Chief Passenger Ready to Run train set with Railsounds. This is the newest version by Lionel of the famous passenger train that was called the “Train of the Stars” that ran from Los Angeles to Chicago. The original train was the first diesel powered all Pullman sleeping car train in America beginning it’s run in 1936 and completing it’s operations in 1971. This is one of the most popular train sets to be produced and is a beauty either around the tree or on the layout.
It is certainly a beauty and with the digital sounds will light up any room with smiles. The set contains the dual motor powered FT diesel loco with a lighted cab interior, die-cast metal trucks, pilot and fuel tank, 2 streamlined passenger coaches and streamlined observation car, enough Fastrack track to make a 40 x 60 inch layout with a minimum curve of O-27 although the size of the trains are Traditional O gauge.
This set is powered by a 80 watt transformer and the digital RailSounds RTR sound system has diesel revving, horn, bell, and user-activated crew dialog scenarios. Some of the details of this set include engineer and conductor figures, interior illumination, flexible diaphragms between the cars, opening doors, die cast metal trucks and detailed interiors, operating headlights and couplers.
As you can tell, we are excited about this train just because it is so cool. And with all Lionel products they are very limited in supply. Don’t ask me why because when you have a winner I would think you would like to make a bunch of them.
Keep on training,
Here is some eye candy for you. Joe Steimann scratch built this beautiful 1/4 scale Winston Eagle turbine powered hydroplane boat. There is not a lot that I can say that is not shown in the pictures. I attached a video to the blog as well showing the boat run. This video was taken by a camera mounted to the fin at the rear of the boat. Pretty cool. The boat is 101 inches long and 43 inches wide and weighs in at 72 pounds. It is powered by a Jetcat SPM5 gas turbine with 28000 RPM at the shaft. The boat is constructed of aircraft ply with fiberglass and graphite overlay, foam with graphite lamination and lots of hard work.
Here is a link to additional pictures:
A video of it running can be seen here. Hope you enjoy this great piece of work. By the way, it is on display at Mark Twain Hobby Center.