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The North American F-86 Sabre was a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as America's first swept wing fighter which could counter the similarly-winged Soviet MiG-15 in high speed dogfights over the skies of the Korean War. Considered one of the best and most important fighter aircraft in the Korean War, the F-86 is also rated highly in comparison with fighters of other eras. Although it was developed in the late 1940s and was outdated by the end of the 1950s, the Sabre proved versatile and adaptable, and continued as a front-line fighter in numerous air forces until the last active operational examples were retired by the Bolivian Air Force in 1994. Its success led to an extended production run of more than 7,800 aircraft between 1949 and 1956, in the United States, Japan and Italy. Variants were built in Canada and Australia. The Canadair Sabre added another 1,815 airframes, and the significantly redesigned CAC Sabre (sometimes known as the Avon Sabre or CAC CA-27), had a production run of 112. It was by far the most-produced Western jet fighter, with total production of all variants at 9,860 units. The F-86A set its first official world speed record of 670 miles per hour (1,080 km/h) in September 1948. Several people involved with the development of the F-86, including the chief aerodynamicist for the project and one of its other test pilots, claimed that North American test pilot George Welch had unofficially broken the sound barrier in a dive with the XP-86 while on a test flight on 1 October 1947. Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on 14 October 1947 in the rocket-propelled Bell X-1 during level flight, making it the first true supersonic aircraft. Five years later, on 18 May 1953, Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier, flying a "one-off" Canadian-built F-86 Sabre Mk 3, alongside Chuck Yeager. The F-86 entered service with the United States Air Force in 1949, joining the 1st Fighter Wing's 94th Fighter Squadron "Hat-in-the-Ring" and became the primary air-to-air jet fighter used by the Americans in the Korean War. While earlier straight-winged jets such as the F-80 and F-84 initially achieved air victories, when the swept wing Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 was introduced in November 1950, it immediately outperformed all UN-based aircraft. In response, three squadrons of F-86s were rushed to the Far East in December. Early variants of the F-86 could not outturn, but they could outdive the MiG-15, and the MiG-15 was superior to the early F-86 models in ceiling, acceleration, rate of climb, and zoom. With the introduction of the F-86F in 1953, the two aircraft were more closely matched, with many combat-experienced pilots claiming a marginal superiority for the F-86F. MiGs flown from bases in Manchuria by Red Chinese, North Korean, and Soviet VVS pilots were pitted against two squadrons of the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing forward-based at K-14, Kimpo, Korea. By the end of hostilities, F-86 pilots were credited with shooting down 792 MiGs for a loss of only 78 Sabres, a victory ratio of 10:1. More recent research by Dorr, Lake and Thompson has claimed the actual ratio is closer to 2:1. The Soviets claimed to have downed over 600 Sabres, together with the Chinese claims, although these are thought by some to be an overcount as they cannot be reconciled with the the 78 Sabres recorded as lost by the US. A recent RAND report made reference to "recent scholarship" of F-86 v MiG-15 combat over Korea and concluded that the actual kill:loss ratio for the F-86 was 1.8:1 overall, and likely closer 1.3:1 against MiGs flown by Soviet pilots. Of the 41 American pilots who earned the designation of ace during the Korean war, all but one flew the F-86 Sabre, the exception being a Navy Vought F4U Corsair night fighter pilot. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Elephant seals take their name from the large proboscis of the adult males (bulls) which resembles an elephant's trunk. The bull's proboscis is used in producing extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during the mating season. More importantly, however, the nose acts as a sort of rebreather, filled with cavities designed to reabsorb moisture from the animals' exhalations. This is important during the mating season when the male seals rarely leave the beach to feed and therefore must conserve body moisture as they have no incoming source of water. Bulls of both the Northern Elephant Seal and the Southern Elephant Seal reach a length of 16 ft (5 m) and a weight of 6,000 lb (2,700 kg) and are much larger than the cows, which typically measure about 10 ft (3 m) and 1,900 lb (900 kg). The largest known bull elephant seal weighed 11,000 lb (5,000 kg) and measured 22.5 ft (6.9 m) in length. This makes the elephant seal the largest member of the order Carnivora. Elephant seals spend upwards of 80 percent of their lives in the ocean. They can hold their breath for more than 100 minutes — longer than any other non-cetacean mammal. Elephant seals dive to 1550 m beneath the ocean's surface (the deepest recorded dive of an Elephant Seal is 2,388 metres (7,835 ft) by a Southern Elephant Seal). The average depth of their dives is about 300 to 600 metres (2,000 ft), typically for around 20 min for females and 60 min (1 hour) for males, as they search for their favorite foods, which are skates, rays, squid, octopuses, eels, penguin (Southerns only), and small sharks. Their stomachs also often contain gastroliths. While excellent swimmers, they are also capable of rapid movement on land, where they have a higher speed than the average human when moving over sand dunes. Elephant seals are shielded from extreme cold by their blubber, more so than by fur. The animals' hair and outer layers of skin molt periodically. The skin has to be re-grown by blood vessels reaching through the blubber. When molting occurs, the seal is susceptible to the cold, and must rest on land, in a safe place called a "haul-out". While the molt is taking place the bulls cease fighting with one another as there are not breeding harems and females in estrous to protect. Northern males 'haul out' in August, and females in May–June. Female elephant seals have an average life expectancy of about 23 years, and can give birth starting at the age of 4–5. Males reach maturity at five years, but generally do not achieve alpha status until the age of 8, with the prime breeding years being between ages 9 and 12. The average life expectancy of a male elephant seal is 20 years. Only 1 in 10 males will become an alpha or beta male. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Friction welding (FW) is a class of solid-state welding processes that generates heat through mechanical friction between a moving workpiece and a stationary component, with the addition of a lateral force called "upset" to plastically displace and fuse the materials. Technically, because no melt occurs, friction welding is not actually a welding process in the traditional sense, but a forging technique. However, due to the similarities between these techniques and traditional welding, the term has become common. Friction welding is used with metals and thermoplastics in a wide variety of aviation and automotive applications. The combination of fast joining times (on the order of a few seconds), and direct heat input at the weld interface, yields relatively small heat-affected zones. Friction welding techniques are generally melt-free, which avoids grain growth in engineered materials, such as high-strength heat-treated steels. Another advantage is that the motion tends to "clean" the surface between the materials being welded, which means they can be joined with less preparation. During the welding process, depending on the method being used, small pieces of the plastic metal will be forced out of the working mass (flash). It is believed that the flash carries away debris and dirt. Another advantage of friction welding is that it allows dissimilar materials to be joined. This is particularly useful in aerospace, where it is used to join lightweight aluminum stock to high-strength steels. Normally the wide difference in melting points of the two materials would make it impossible to weld using traditional techniques, and would require some sort of mechanical connection. Friction welding provides a "full strength" bond with no additional weight. Spin welding systems consist of two chucks for holding the materials to be welded, one of which is fixed and the other rotating. Before welding one of the work pieces is attached to the rotating chuck along with a flywheel of a given weight. The piece is then spun up to a high rate of rotation to store the required energy in the flywheel. Once spinning at the proper speed, the motor is removed and the pieces forced together under pressure. The force is kept on the pieces after the spinning stops to allow the weld to "set". This technique is also known as inertia welding, rotational welding or inertial friction welding. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The Outlaws Motorcycle Club, incorporated as the American Outlaws Association or its acronym, A.O.A., is a "one-percenter" motorcycle gang and organized crime syndicate that was formed in McCook, Illinois in 1935. It has approximately 200 chapters in the United States, Canada, Australia, Asia, and Europe. There is a one-percenter motorcycle club called the "Outlaws" in New Zealand however they are not part of the international club. It only shares the name and has a different patch design. Membership in the Outlaws is limited to men who own American-made motorcycles of a particular size, although in Europe motorcycles from any country are allowed so long as they are in the chopper style. Their main rivals are the Hells Angels, giving rise to an acronym used by Outlaws members, "ADIOS" (Angels Die In Outlaw States). On January 1, 2010, the Knox County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the Knoxville Police Department raided a house located at 205 Clifton Road to serve two arrest warrants and execute a search warrant on the property alleged to be an Outlaw clubhouse. Officers, including members of the SWAT team, armed with "flashbang" grenades and assault rifles, raided the facility just before midnight but found only a handful of elderly club members, who surrendered quickly and peaceably. Knox County Sheriff James Jones acted on information from an undercover informant that many of the members of the club would be present at the informal celebration of New Year's Eve. Arrest warrants had been issued for Mark "Ivan" Lester and Kenneth Foster for their alleged roles in a confrontation with the undercover informant earlier in December 2009, who had infiltrated the organization over 14 months ago. According to Sheriff Jones, Lester and Foster allegedly threatened the informant with a pistol and demanded his colors. The informant, who claimed to be in fear of their safety, submitted to the men's demands. Mark Lester is alleged to be the Regional President in charge of the clubs operations in both the state of Kentucky and Tennessee. Kenneth Foster is alleged to be the local Knoxville chapter Outlaw Motorcycle Club President. Both, Lester and Foster, were arrested at the residence, have been charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping. Upon search of the residence the officers found a few legally registered handguns, small amounts of marijuana, and alleged they had evidence of other illegal activities. Both men were jailed and held in lieu of 3 million dollar bonds. Other than the charges stemming from the club's unmasking of the undercover officer, however, no other charges have been filed. Community reaction to the raid has been largely critical, with a majority of commenters on Knoxville news sites discussing the raid holding the opinion that the Sheriff's Office conducted the raid as a political move. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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