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Posts Tagged ‘Real-Life Dragons’

IMG_20180716_072515692I’ve already met several beer-bottle dragons. There’s Dragon’s Breath from Bayern Brewery, and Dragon’s Milk from New Holland Brewing. Now my son brought home Gulden Draak, an imported beer from Van Steenberge in Belgium.

The reflections make it a bit hard to see, but this dragon is outlined with rivets. To me, this gives it a distinctive Steamunk vibe.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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IMG_20180303_154747890Here’s another dragon I met in the grocery store. It’s on a tin of Newman’s Own brand mints. These are ginger flavored. Nummy!

This dragon is so cute with his bushy eyebrows and crazy moustache. Not to mention the tongue action.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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In addition to rockets and missiles, the U. S. Navy does have one sea dragon that made it into the real world. That’s the MH-53E heavy helicopter, manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a longtime pioneer in helicopter design.

Sea Dragon helicopters can operate from aircraft carriers or on land. Fitted with weaponry, they can support ground troops when needed. What they’re best known for, however, is mine sweeping. Sea Dragon can be used to tow all manner of detection devices, with or without countermeasures.

Even with these capabilities, the Sea Dragon has a down side. It is considered crash-prone, with a number of deaths linked to the aircraft over time. Since Sea Dragons already are no longer manufactured, there was serious consideration of grounding them entirely. But without a ready replacement, these helicopters will remain in service for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps the Sea Dragons would be happier if they were used to find sunken treasure instead of mines?


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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The Sea Dragon missile, in development by the U. S. Navy, is actually not the first such device to bear that name. Back in the 1960s, a heavy rocket called Sea Dragon was developed but never field-tested or deployed. If implemented, this rocket would have been considerably larger than the Saturn rockets used by N. A. S. A. at the time.

The concept, originating with Robert Truax of Aerojet, was a cargo rocket that could be launched from sea. The design was self-contained and independent of any land base. This saved the expense of facilities and personnel. Sea Dragon would have been built with standard materials at already existing shipyards, then towed to sea. A system of ballast tanks would have brought it to the upright position from which it could launch. Remarkably, the lower half of the rocket would have been submerged during launch.

Aerojet formed a partnership with the spacecraft corporation T. R. W. to implement Truax’s designs. However, outside budgetary constraints caused the project to languish. It was eventually cancelled, so that Sea Dragon never existed beyond the domain of drawings and schematics.

Truax was ahead of his time with this design. Sea Dragon would have been operated remotely and included reusable components, much as Space-X spacecraft do today. Who knows — maybe one of today’s commercial space corporations will take another look at the Sea Dragon.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Recent reports show that Chinese hackers were able to penetrate an American defense contractor and steal a substantial trove of data. Some of the information has since been released to the public. The name of the contractor is still being concealed, but among the projects revealed was one called Sea Dragon.

It appears that this is a new type of guided missile for America’s submarine fleet. Sea Dragon will be able to target ships, aircraft and other missiles at supersonic speed. Because of the speed, it’s believed that Sea Dragon is based on the currently existing SM-6 missile, which is launched from battleships. Upgraded capabilities include the ability to accept guidance data from a variety of Navy planes and spy-drones.

According to this report in Popular Mechanics, the Sea Dragon system was scheduled to begin testing later in 2018 and could have been deployed as early as 2020. Of course, now that the secret has been laid bare, we’ll have to see if the Navy continues development as planned.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Dragon_Radish

“Dragon” radishes. Photo by Deby Fredericks, 2018.

Last time I shared a photo of a dragonfly from my garden. This time I have a more delicious dragon to share.

These are “Dragon” radishes, a favorite variety of mine. They grow fast, like all radishes, with that nice peppery burn.

My previous plantings didn’t do well. Either maggots infested them or the neighborhood cats dug up the soil before they sprouted. This year was the charm. They are great in salads. Definitely worth the wait!


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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BlueEyedDarner

Remains of a Blue Eyed Darner dragonfly. Photo by Deby Fredericks, June 12, 2018.

I am both happy and sad to share today’s discovery with you. What is it? The remains of a dragonfly, found in my back yard.

The reason I’m happy is that I had at least one dragonfly in my garden. I garden as close to chemical-free as possible, which means there is always the possibility of an insect attack. Finding a predator bug is always good news.

If I’m right, this was a Blue-Eyed Darner, Rhionaeschna multicolor. It’s one of the more common dragonflies in the western U. S. and usually the first species to appear in spring. From the vivid coloration, it was a male. Females have a more drab appearance.

I’m sad that it’s dead, because dragonflies are simply amazing. It saddens me to pick up the frail shell of what should be a lively, fierce flyer. We have had chilly temperatures overnight for the past few days. I suspect this is what brought him down.

Still, I’m glad to know my garden was home to a ferocious dragon — at least for a little while.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

 

 

 

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