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Fleet Air Arm

The Fleet Air Arm is one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy. And is responsible for the delivery of naval air power both from land and at sea; the Fleet Air Arm operates the F-35 Lightning II in a Maritime Strike Role, the AW159 Wildcat and AW101 Merlin in both Commando and Anti-Submarine roles, the BAE Hawk in an aggressor role. The Fleet Air Arm today is a predominantly rotary force, with helicopters deployed on smaller vessels now take over the roles once performed by biplanes such as the Fairey SwordfishThe Fleet Air Arm was formed in 1924 as an organisational unit of the Royal Air Force, operating the aircraft embarked on RN ships – the Royal Naval Air Service having been merged with the British Army's Royal Flying Corps in 1918, to form the Royal Air Force – and did not come under the direct control of the Admiralty until mid-1939. During the Second World War, the Fleet Air Arm operated aircraft on ships as well as land-based aircraft that defended the Royal Navy's shore establishments and facilities.

British naval flying started with the construction of an airship for naval duties. In 1911 the Royal Navy graduated its first aeroplane pilots at the Royal Aero Club flying ground at Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey under the tutelage of pioneer aviator George Bertram Cockburn. In May 1912, naval and army aviation were combined to become the Royal Flying Corps; the Naval Wing of the RFC lasted until July 1914 when the Royal Navy reformed its air branch, under the Air Department of the Admiralty, naming it the Royal Naval Air Service. By the outbreak of the First World War, in August 1914, the RNAS had more aircraft under its control than the remaining RFC; the roles of the RNAS were fleet reconnaissance, patrolling coasts for enemy ships and submarines, attacking enemy coastal territory and defending Britain from enemy air raids, along with deployment along the Western Front. In April 1918 the RNAS, which at this time had 67,000 officers and men, 2,949 aircraft, 103 airships and 126 coastal stations, merged with the RFC to form the Royal Air Force.

On 1 April 1924, the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Air Force was formed, encompassing those RAF units that embarked on aircraft carriers and fighting ships. The year was significant for British naval aviation as only weeks before the founding of the Fleet Air Arm, the Royal Navy had commissioned HMS Hermes, the world's first ship to be designed and built as an aircraft carrier. Over the following months RAF Fleet Air Arm Fairey IIID reconnaissance biplanes operated off Hermes, conducting flying trials. On 24 May 1939 the Fleet Air Arm was returned to Admiralty control under the "Inskip Award" and renamed the Air Branch of the Royal Navy. At the onset of the Second World War, the Fleet Air Arm consisted of 20 squadrons with only 232 frontline aircraft, 191 additional trainers. By the end of the war the strength of the Fleet Air Arm was 59 aircraft carriers, 3,700 aircraft, 72,000 officers and men and 56 Naval air stations. During the war, the FAA operated torpedo bombers and reconnaissance aircraft.

Following the Dunkirk evacuation and the commencement of the Battle of Britain, the Royal Air Force soon found itself critically short of fighter pilots. In the summer of 1940, the RAF had just over as personnel shortages worsened. Fleet Air Arm crews under RAF Fighter Command were either seconded individually to RAF fighter squadrons or entire as with 804 and 808 Naval Air Squadrons; the former provided dockyard defence during the Battle of Britain with Sea Gladiators. In British home waters and out into the Atlantic Ocean, operations against Axis shipping and submarines in support of the RN were mounted by RAF Coastal Command with large patrol bombers, flying boats and land-based fighter-bombers; the aircraft carrier had replaced the battleship as the capital ship of the RN and its aircraft were now its principal offensive weapons. The top scoring fighter ace with 17 victories was Commander Stanley Orr, the Royal Marine ace was Ronald Cuthbert Hay with 13 victories. A number of Royal Marines were FAA pilots during the war.

Notable Fleet Air Arm operations during the war included the Battle of Taranto, the sinking of the Bismarck, Operation Tungsten against the Tirpitz and Operation Meridian against oil plants in Sumatra. After the war the FAA needed to fly jet aircraft from their carriers; the jet aircraft of the era were less effective at low speeds than propeller aircraft, but propeller aircraft could not fight jets at the high speeds flown by jet aircraft. The FAA took on the Sea Vampire, in the late 1940s; the Sea Vampire was the first jet credited with landing on a carrier. The Air Arm continued with high-powered prop aircraft alongside the new jets resulting in the FAA being woefully outpowered during the Korean War. Jets were not yet wholly superior to propeller aircraft and a flight of ground attack Hawker Sea Furies downed a MiG-15 and damaged others in an engagement; as jets became larger, more powerful and faster they required more space to land. The US Navy built much larger carriers; the Royal Navy had a few large carriers built and completed after the end of the war but another solution was sought.

This was overcome by the introduction of a Royal Navy idea to angle the flight deck away from the centre line so that the aircraft landing had a clear run away from the usual forward deck park. An associated British invention, intended to provide more precise optical guidance to aircraft on final approaching the deck, was the Fresnel lens optical landing aid. Another Royal Navy invent

Mexican weeping bamboo

The Mexican weeping bamboo, Otatea acuminata, is a clumping bamboo native to central and southern Mexico and Central America. The plant produces thick stands of culms with long narrow leaves; the weight of the leaves weep. The clump's vegetation can reach 25 feet or more in height and width in its native habitat.. Otatea acuminata and its cultivars are cultivated as an ornamental plant planted in subtropical and temperate climate gardens in full or partial sun; the plant is drought tolerant when benefits from periodic watering and feeding. Mexican Weeping Bamboo is grown in pots, reaching around 6 feet tall; when planted in the ground it can reach 15 feet or more with regular water. Mexican Weeping Bamboo is easy to propagate by dividing the root ball with a sharp spade. A delicate look can be achieved by thinning the culms so that they are spaced 1 foot or more apart; this allows dappled light to pass through the Mexican Weeping Bamboo, the plant will sway gracefully in a gentle breeze. Otatea acuminata is a fast-growing clumping bamboo which can spread 1–2 feet in each direction yearly.

It is well suited to the climate and soil in Southern California, can be grown and propagated with minimal effort. Unlike many other bamboo species, the leaves do not brown at the tips under suboptimal growing conditions. There are several cultivars, including: Otatea acuminata subsp.. Acuminata Otatea acuminata subsp. Aztecorum — the most cultivated ornamental plant. Otatea acuminata'Dwarf' Otatea acuminata'Mayan Silver' Otatea acuminata'Michoacan'


Glutathione S-transferase Mu 2 is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the GSTM2 gene. Cytosolic and membrane-bound forms of glutathione S-transferase are encoded by two distinct supergene families. At present, eight distinct classes of the soluble cytoplasmic mammalian glutathione S-transferases have been identified: alpha, kappa, mu, omega, pi, sigma and zeta; this gene encodes a glutathione S-transferase. The mu class of enzymes functions in the detoxification of electrophilic compounds, including carcinogens, therapeutic drugs, environmental toxins and products of oxidative stress, by conjugation with glutathione; the genes encoding the mu class of enzymes are organized in a gene cluster on chromosome 1p13.3 and are known to be polymorphic. These genetic variations can change an individual's susceptibility to carcinogens and toxins as well as affect the toxicity and efficacy of certain drugs


Xanthoconium is a genus of bolete fungi in the family Boletaceae. It was circumscribed by mycologist Rolf Singer in 1944, who included Boletus affinis and what was known as Gyroporus stramineus as the type species; these two species were part of the "strange group of species described by Murrill and Snell as white-spored Gyropori, separated by the latter under the new generic name Leucogyroporus." C. B. Wolfe described three species from the United States in 1987: X. chattoogaense, Xanthoconium montaltoense, X. montanum. As of February 2015, the nomenclatural database Index Fungorum list seven species in Xanthoconium; the concept of Xanthoconium has been not described using molecular phylogenetic analysis, but it is a distinct genus, apart from Boletus. However, Xanthoconium separans was found to be more related to Boletus Sensu stricto than to Xanthoconium. Xanthoconium affine Singer Xanthoconium chattoogaense Wolfe Known only from the type locality, along a tributary of the Chattooga River in North Carolina.

Xanthoconium montaltoense Wolfe Found in south-central Pennsylvania. Xanthoconium montanum Wolfe Found in Macon County, North Carolina, in Nantahala National Forest. Xanthoconium purpureum Snell & E. A. Dick Xanthoconium stramineum Singer

Northwest Airlines Flight 6231

Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231 was the fatal crash of a Boeing 727 on December 1, 1974 in Harriman State Park near Stony Point, New York, just north of the New York City area. The Northwest Airlines 727 had been chartered to pick up the Baltimore Colts professional football team in Buffalo in western New York. All three crew members on board died when the aircraft struck the ground following a stall and rapid descent caused by the crew's reaction to erroneous airspeed readings caused by atmospheric icing; the icing occurred due to failure to turn on the pitot tube heating at the start of the flight. This was one of two Boeing 727s to crash in the United States that day; the flight was chartered to pick up the Baltimore Colts in Buffalo after the aircraft earmarked to transport the team was grounded by a snowstorm in Detroit. The Boeing 727-251, registration N274US, departed New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport at 19:14 for a ferry flight to Buffalo; as the craft climbed past 16,000 feet, the overspeed warning horn sounded, followed 10 seconds by a stick shaker stall warning.

The aircraft leveled at 24,800 feet until it started to descend out of control in a spin, reaching a vertical acceleration of +5g. At about 3,500 feet, a large portion of the aircraft's horizontal stabilizer separated due to the high G-forces, making recovery impossible. Flight 6231 struck the ground in a nose down and right wing-down attitude twelve minutes after take-off, at 19:26; the aircraft had descended from 24,000 feet altitude to ground level at 1,090 feet above sea level in 83 seconds. The crash occurred about 3.2 nautical miles west of New York. Police described the crash site as a wooded marshy area and accessibility was hampered by winter weather conditions including wind and a rain-snow mix. Despite the 727's full load of fuel, there was no explosion or fire when the plane hit the ground, there was no post-crash fire, although police described the crash site having a "strong smell of jet fuel." The aircraft had three crewmembers on board. The captain, John B. Lagorio, had worked for Northwest for nine years.

He had just under 7,500 flying hours flying experience, with just under 2,000 hours total time flying the Boeing 727. The first officer, Walter A. Zadra, had been working for Northwest for seven years, he had about 4,700 hours flying experience. His Boeing 727 experience amounted to about 1,250 hours, but only 46 of, as a pilot – the other 1,200 hours experience was as a flight engineer; the second officer, James F Cox, had been with the airline for six years and had 1,600 hours experience as a Boeing 727 Flight Engineer. The National Transportation Safety Board led the accident investigation and released its final report on August 13, 1975. Investigators found that the flightcrew had not activated the pitot head heaters and the pitot tubes had become blocked with ice which caused the crew to receive incorrect airspeed readings; the crew, believing the readings were true, pulled back on the control column and raised the nose, which caused the aircraft to stall. From the NTSB report's abstract:...the probable cause of this accident was the loss of control of the aircraft because the flightcrew failed to recognize and correct the aircraft's high angle of attack, low-speed stall and its descending spiral.

The stall was precipitated by the flightcrew's improper reaction to erroneous airspeed and Mach indications which had resulted from a blockage of the pitot heads by atmospheric icing. When investigators analysed the 727's voice recorder, the recording revealed that the pilots believed that the shaking of the stick shaker mechanism was caused by the airliner reaching the speed of sound, not a warning that it was going into a stall. Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network Picture of the accident aircraft

Henry Dyer

Henry Dyer was a Scottish engineer who contributed much to founding Western-style technical education in Japan and Anglo-Japanese relations. Henry Dyer was born on 16 August 1848, in the village of Muirmadkin in the Parish of Bothwell in what is now known as North Lanarkshire. Around 1865, the Dyer family moved to Glasgow where Henry was employed at James Aitken and Company's foundry in Cranstonhill. There he served his apprenticeship as a student engineer under A C Kirk. At the same time, he attended classes at Anderson's College together with Yamao Yōzō. Dyer studied engineering education at Glasgow University from 1868 under Professor William Rankine, eager to establish the faculty of engineering, he was the first Scot to win the Whitworth scholarship awarded in 1868, for the further instruction of young men gifted in the practice and theory of mechanics. Henry Dyer graduated from Glasgow University in 1873 with a "certificate in proficiency in engineering", the forerunner of the BSc in Engineering, from the Engineering department.

The Engineering Institution of Japan's Public Works headed by Yozo Yamao looked for proper teaching staffs for the engineering school through his connections in 1872, asked it to Hugh Matheson. Matheson first consulted with Lewis Gordon, with William John Macquorn Rankine.. Rankine arranged the teaching staffs lead by Dyer as Principal and Professor of Engineering, informed it to Itō Hirobumi, minister of Public Works, at the time vice Ambassador of the Iwakura Mission; the Engineering Institution aimed at creating young Japanese engineers who take responsibility for rapid industrialization. Dyer arrange 6 years programme consisting of basic and practical course 2 years each for 6 departments; the ICE programme seemed to be revised version of the Royal Indian Engineering College, suitable for Japan's situation. To provide practical training, Dyer helped set up the Akabane Engineering Works, the largest in the Empire of Japan. Many of the major engineering works carried out in Japan at the end of the 19th century were by his former students, Dyer sent many to Glasgow to complete their education.

When he left the ICE in 1882, Dyer was made Honorary Principal and Emperor Meiji awarded him the Third Class of the Order of the Rising Sun, the highest Japanese honour available to foreigners. He had established a progressive system of engineering education in Tokyo and contributed to the progress Japan made as an industrial power. Returning from Japan, Henry Dyer brought back various Japanese artefacts and art works, some of which were donated by his descendants to the Mitchell Library and Edinburgh Central Library. Included in the bequest to Edinburgh Central Library donated by Dyer's daughter Marie Ferguson Dyer, is the painted handscroll Theatres of the East by the Japanese artist Furuyama Moromasa, loose Japanese woodblock prints, bound woodblock printed volumes, bound volumes of paintings, a collection of nineteenth century Japanese photographs attributed to Franz von Stillfried-Ratenicz. Henry Dyer went back to Scotland and in 1886 became a life governor of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College (previously Anderson's College, where he had been a student, to become the University of Strathclyde, governor of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Agricultural College.

He became a member of the Glasgow School Board in 1891 and was its president from 1914 until his death. Dyer represented a tireless pro-Japanese lobby within Scotland, he assisted Japanese students and trainee managers and had a staunch ally in Captain A R Brown of the company Brown, McFarlane, responsible for taking the first Clyde-built ships to Japan. Dyer worked as an unofficial liaison officer for the Japanese Government in Glasgow and thanks to his efforts Glasgow University Court permitted Japanese as a language for entry in 1901. In the same year Professors Jōji Sakurai and Isao Iijima of the Tokyo Imperial University were awarded honorary degrees during the University’s Ninth Jubilee celebrations; the University of Strathclyde's Henry Dyer Building, home to the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, was named after him. In 2015 he was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame Married 23 May 1874, Marie Euphemia Aqaurt Ferguson, eldest daughter of Duncan Ferguson of Glasgow at the British Legation in Yokohama, Japan.

The Evolution of Industry Dai Nippon: The Britain of the East Japan in World Politics Collected Writings of Henry Dyer, in 5 vols. Edited by Nobuhiro Miyoshi, Tokyo: Edition Synapse. ISBN 978-4-901481-83-0 Anglo-Japanese relations James Alfred Ewing William Edward Ayrton John Milne Yamao Yōzō Olive Checkland,'Henry Dyer at the Imperial College of Engineering Tokyo, afterwards in Glasgow', Chapter 11, Britain & Japan: Biographical Portraits, Volume 3, Japan Library, ISBN 1-873410-89-1 Collected Writings of Henry Dyer, ISBN 1-901903-71-0 Henry Dyer: Pioneer of Education in Japan, by Nobuhiro Miyoshi, 2004, ISBN 1-901903-66-4 Henry Dyer, a Scottish Engineer in Japan, Robin Hunter, available as an ebook or paperback from Amazon. Henry Dyer, 1848-1918 - a detailed and informative site Japan and People Japan and Shipbuilding Glasgow University and Japan - Henry Dyer Building, University of Strathclyde