Crew Dragon launch planned for February 9th

In the last blog I posted, I estimated that DM-1, the first Dragon II test, would launch late January or early February. Today, all suspicions have been allayed. SpaceX has confirmed a launch date of February 9th. Whether this is a genuine launch date or something Mr. Musk has thrown out to the media, we might not know until early February.

If this is the truth, and there’s no real reason to doubt it, then we might see the static fire happen February 2, if everything goes according to plan.

Falcon Heavy is probably going to be launching in March or April. Judging just by the fact that the side boosters and components of the next rocket are probably at the Cape, FH is probably going to launch again, for sure this year, in the early second quarter of 2019. This, however, is speculation, unlike Falcon 9 DM-1.

Anyways, that’s the end of this blog here. Thanks for reading, and see you later, in the next blog.

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McLaren 720S Spyder: The Rivalry Continues

Yesterday, McLaren Cars launched the convertible version of the 720S. The Spyder, simply put, is a piece of 200-mph, exotic supercar royalty.

The McLaren 720S Spyder may have a name like ‘a fax machine,’ as Jeremy Clarkson said of the company’s first production supercar, but the performance is the purest of what one can expect.

The first 720S was designed with “form shaped by function,” like all the cars the firm has made. However, the looks are not really affected, and they, if anything, balance out the boredom of reading through the statistics. Luckily, there’s a version of the vital stats that’s easier to read:

Its V8 churns out 710 horsepower, and damn-nearly 500 torques. The 0-60 time is still well under three seconds, and the top speed is above 200 mph. And that’s about where the normality ends.

Normally when a car gets it’s roof chopped off, the structure loses it’s rigidity, and going around corners would be a nightmare. The 720S Spyder is a different story altogether. The structure for the standard car was designed with a future Spyder version in mind, so the chassis is as good as taking corners in the convertible as the hardtop.

The McLaren 720S was a great car from the start: it looked great, with its doors and its jaw-dropping looks. And the fact that it worked really well, that was its really big upside. Now with the new car, McLaren has upped the game, with a car that corners as well as its hard-topped sister, but has the ability to go topless.

And with that, thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you all have a great day. What’s your favorite car, in terms of looks? Please leave it in the comments below, and again, as always, drive safe!

SpaceX and NASA confirm pre-launch prep/launch window for Crew Dragon

The rocket company known as SpaceX is not a baby of NASA anymore, or a pet project to spend money. But NASA is still caring for SpaceX, and this week, they announced, the Crew Dragon will launch in late January of 2019.

The pre-launch preparations go as follows:

  • The hardware is almost complete, with most of the components thought out and constructed and finished. This is at the present state.
  • Taking a break for Christmas, and cutting back on the work schedule for the winter holidays.
  • The components will be shipped out in early January, with a static fire happening about a week before launch.
  • Falcon 9 will launch in late January or early February, if any delays occur.

The only little problem here is that it’s SpaceX, so the deadlines could change spontaneously and so suddenly, one moment the launch could be a month off, the next moment it could be several.

Regardless, this launch would be the most historic of all of SpaceX’s launches. This might be a good time for the whole country to reflect a year in spaceflight once more. But next year, when we all undoubtedly reflect on 2019, the year that the United States picks up where the Shuttle left, and launch on our own rockets.

But that’s for another blog. Thanks so much for reading, and sorry for the long wait. There’s been a lot of work for me lately, so I haven’t been able to get to the blog page. Thanks for your patience, everyone.

For the newcomers to the blog, thanks for joining the blog.

And as always, signing out, drive safe!

Buyer’s Advice: Tesla Roadster v. Bugatti Chiron v. Koenigsegg Agera RS

Okay, this time it’s a little bit for the rich people. But anyways, let’s get going!

Today’s topic is simple: which is the best hypercar? To find out, these three competitors will duke it out in a game of Top Trumps. This ought to be rich.

2020 Tesla Roadster:

The Tesla Roadster of 2008 broke new ground for electric cars: it was the first to get 200 miles of range, the first to stand a chance against a supercar in acceleration, and the first electric car that people actually wanted to buy. Now, the name has been revived, but the car is a whole new thing.

The Tesla Roadster is infamous for two things: its acceleration and its looks. First, the looks: it has a slightly angular look to it, and with the slit headlights and sharp angles, combined with the beautiful curves, the understated thing to say at this point is that it passes.

The speed is just as aggressive as the looks. The looks are precise and give a sensation of the speed you are about to be wed to. There is, of course, the 0-60 time of 1.9 seconds. This is the first time that any production car has gone under two seconds to that speed. Top speed is over 250 miles per hour.

But unless you are The Stig from Top Gear, you’ll probably be focused considerably more on the economics. The Roadster has 2 back seats, so it’s more spacious than conventional supercars. It has 621 miles of range, which is an electric car record. Also, the car has all-wheel drive, so it will have phenomenal traction.

This all does come at a price, however: $250,000 base price is what you would pay for one of them. My friend is getting his in 2020, because he put down a pre-order last year, so it should be cool to drive his Roadster.

Bugatti Chiron:

The Bugatti Chiron is, as the famous Baby Jesus of motoring said, “like Concorde. Because Concorde pushed the technology of the 60’s to the limit, but still made it feel normal.” Jeremy Clarkson was right when he said that. The Chiron is refined and has a beautifully-stitched and perfectly inspected interior. And yet, it munches up the miles like a track-day hype-beast. The Chiron does 0-60 in 2.4 seconds, going to the speed limiter of 261 mph. However, without the limiter, Bugatti says the Chiron will go to 290 mph.

The Chiron has a fuel economy of 9 MPG, and at full chat, the tank of fuel is dry in 9 minutes. The Chiron has ten radiators and circulates more water than the system on a fire truck. The price for all this luxury refinement is $3.5 MILLION, which is a tad bit more than the Tesla. But while the Tesla is meant for silent, practical, but still breath-taking drives, the Bugatti is meant for soulful sounds, limited practicality, beautiful images, and at the end of the day, still a breath-taking drive.

Koenigsegg Agera RS:

“It is, quite simply, the fastest car . . . in the world.” ~ Jeremy Clarkson

Koenigsegg’s Agera RS holds the record for the fastest car in the world. The Agera averaged 277.91 miles per hour. But the Swedish car manufacturer didn’t skimp on the details. The Agera RS has a bespoke engine, a 5.0L V8 with two turbochargers. The total output, when filled with biofuel, is 1160 horsepower. The horsepower, combined with the lightness of the car, makes it no surprise that the record is its own.

The price for one of these is about $3 MILLION, which is a little bit less expensive than the Chiron. But like the Chiron, it is a two-seater. Unlike the Chiron, it has the capability to run on normal gasoline, petrol, race fuel, OR, if you tune it so, biofuel. This has been a unique quirk Koenigsegg has carried out since the beginning, and ever since, they’ve made “green versions” of every car they’ve made.

The Tesla Roadster is great, but it isn’t in production yet. However, you can put a pre-order now. The Chiron is almost done being built, as only 500 are being made, and only 40 Divo versions. The Agera RS is all but available. However, if there is a deal that shows up, I recommend you check it out. The winners have to therefor be the Chiron and the Roadster. The Chiron is for the sort of person who wants a bespoke car that is great to drive. The Tesla is for people who want to feel the rush of air from the nature they’re saving.

And with that, thanks for watching. See you all in the next one. If you find something interesting or find Buyer’s Advice helpful, please do comment (that leaves this version out of the running!). That’s it for me, and as always, drive safe!

Return of the Muscle Car Dream!

The Dodge Viper was an incredible machine. It still isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, refined, but it still has all the materials and alloys used in cars WAY more expensive. The Viper wields an 8.4L V10 engine, which is a bigger cylinder volume than a Bugatti Veyron. This strays away from the V8 engines that American cars are all supposed to contain. But the Viper is still rear-wheel drive, and it’s still quite loud. That, combined with the Viper-like looks, makes it one of my favorite cars to come from the US. Unfortunately, the Viper ended production in 2017, but it’s coming back!

It will still brandish a big V10, and will still be rear-drive. The new Viper is expected for 2020. However, it might not be alone in the running.

The idea for a mid-engined Corvette has existed for a long time, but it hasn’t been realized.

Or rather, it hadn’t. Until now, that is.

The new C8 Corvette, which has been confirmed officially (other way around?), will also come out in 2020, but like anyone’s choice for an American car engine, it has a good old V8.

Which car do you think will win in a drag race? A Nürburgring lap time? Or simply a beauty contest? Let me know in the comments below! For now, this is me signing off, and as always (say it with me), drive safe!

Bugatti Divo unveiled: better than the Chiron?

Bugatti, already cracking along with production of the Chiron, has unveiled a new, fantastic-looking car. Remember when the Tesla Roadster blew our minds away with its amazing looks and flashy 0-60 times? Now the marque has really outdone itself, with the most futuristic-looking car ever made. Introducing the Bugatti Divo.

But while the styling may look flashy and futuristic, the technology is a bit older. In fact, it’s from pre-2005. The seating arrangement is still two seats. The gearbox is still the same: a 7-speed gearbox. The four-wheel drive still remains, and the engine is still the legendary quad-turbocharged 8-liter W16. The ‘c’-shaped curves still remain. And of course, a tradition dating back from 1909 (the founding of the company), the horseshoe grill still stands the test of time.

There have been some changes, however. The car is now 80 pounds lighter, even though the whole thing weighs nearer to 2 tons. The spoiler on the back is bigger, adding an extra 200 pounds of downforce.

The cost of the car is $5.8 MILLION, but don’t worry. Only 40 units will be made, and they’ve all been pre-sold. It’s almost like the Tesla Model 3 pre-order, but on a relatively bigger scale. That is, relative to how many cars are being built.

Anyways, quick one today. Thanks for tuning in, and as always, drive safe!

Antonov An-225 visits Oakland

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SEPTEMBER 9, 2018 — I just came back from Baltimore, via Detroit, and I have to say, the seats on the Airbus A321 are utterly terrible. Concorde had cramped seats, sure, but those long-distance flights took half as long. This was a whole new world of pain, but I made it in the end. 4 hours and 7 minutes later, Spirit Airlines Flight 782 landed in Oakland, and boy, was it pretty!

The taxiing to the gate was quite mundane: the captain and flight attendants gave the usual spiel of “Welcome to Oakland, yada-yada-yada, thank you, hope you enjoyed…” and the flaps came up to their inactive position, flush with the wing, the lights in the cabin flickered on, and the babies stopped crying.

Then out of the blue, I was doing some plane-spotting, and what do I see?

It doesn’t look like a DC-10, and it was 50 yards away, sure, but it was still massive. The engines had a short exhaust end, without the conical piece at the end of it. The thing was, there were three on the wing, and the other thing was, the tail was in the classic fork-tailed setup. The front of the plane also seemed to be kneeling, and the nose was hinged up, and raised, like opening a hatch.

That picture above, I took that picture, and that sure looks like the Antonov 225. So…I think it’s true and it’s credible.

Further news concerning this plane, Antonov Aircraft are building another 225, for the Chinese. But as far as this particular plane, the flight schedule will cover over Oakland, Guam, and Hawai’i. So if you’re there, be on the lookout for this thing!

As for right now, this is me signing off. As always, drive safe!