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SR-71 Operations

Between March 1968 and November 1989, Lockheed SR-71s conducted a total of 3,551 operational missions. The highly classified nature of these tri-sonic recce flights ensured that all but a handful ever became public knowledge. Four years after General Larry Welch prematurely retired the SR-71 fleet, Paul Crickmore has completed the first comprehensive book detailing many of the programme’s more significant missions. It is published by Osprey and entitled SR-71 The Secret Missions Exposed – the following article is a series of some summarised extracts.

BETWEEN 1957 and 1959, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) established a think-tank to define the type

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Sri Lankas Air War

Alan Warnes returned to Sri Lanka during March to see how the SLAF is faring.

THE BLOODY CONFLICT in Sri Lanka continues (see Sri Lanka’s Unique Air Force, July 96, p47-55). It does not make the national papers regularly because the government restricts the passage of journalists, but it still rages on. Battles between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) — whose leader Vellupilli Prabhakaran is also wanted in India for the alleged LTTE slaying of Premier Rajiv Gandhi in 1989 — and government troops are seemingly a daily occurrence. Only last August, the Army camp at Mallaittivu (see

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SPRING FLING

Spring clean your outdoor surfaces and furniture.

Spring is in the air! The days are growing warmer and the sweet scent of flowers fills the senses. After cold winter rains, winds and frosts, outdoor spaces are in definite need of a spruce up. So it’s time to shake off those winter blues and get spring-cleaning outdoors. To start, cast a critical eye around your outdoor spaces and make a list of the chores you’ll need to do to take your outdoor areas from winter drab to springtime fab.

ALL HANDS ON DECK

Hose down your outdoor decks and stain or

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SPREADING THE RNP GOSPEL

Hardly a month passes without the debut of required navigation performance (RNP) procedures somewhere around the world. The benefits have become so apparent to airlines and aviation authorities that global deployment has achieved self-sustaining momentum.

The latest new deployment is in Abu Dhabi, where Etihad Airways has conducted the first approach using the most precise form of RNP, known as RNP-AR. This allows aircraft to fly tracks that are shorter and more efficient than traditional approaches. With the help of Airbus subsidiary Quovadis, Abu Dhabi will soon have RNP flight paths throughout its terminal airspace.

RNP approaches are being installed

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Sport and action.

Whether it’s the thrills and spills of motor sport, your kids racing around the park on their bike or the dog jumping for sticks, action photography is both challenging and exciting. It’s also one of the trickiest photographic disciplines that will test you and your equipment to the limit, but if you stick with it and master the basic skills required, great images will result. timing is the key to success. Often opportunities only last for a fraction of a second before the moment is lost, but in that time you have to make numerous decisions-about focusing, exposure and composition,

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SPORT ACTION

WHETHER IT’STHE THRILLS AND SPILLS OF MOTORSPORT, YOUR KIDS RACING AROUND THE PARK ON THEIR BIKE OR THE DOG JUMPING FOR STICKS, ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY IS BOTH CHALLENGING AND EXCITING. IT’S ALSO ONE OF THE TRICKIEST PHOTOGRAPHIC DISCIPLINES THAT WILL TEST YOU AND YOUR EQUIPMENT TO THE LIMIT, BUT IF YOU STICK WITH IT AND MASTER THE BASIC SKILLS REQUIRED GREAT IMAGES WILL RESULT. TIMING IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS. OFTEN OPPORTUNITIES ONLY LAST FOR A FRACTION OF A SECOND BEFORE THE MOMENT IS LOST, BUT IN THAT TIME YOU HAVE TO MAKE NUMEROUS DECISIONS- ABOUT FOCUSING, EXPOSURE AND COMPOSITION, AS

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Spiny eels: they do breed in captivity!

When I bought my Macrognathus maculatus almost three years ago (they were sold to me as M. circumcinctus), I had no idea that one day I would breed them. It is amazing how little information is available about this group of fishes, since they have been established in the hobby for so long. The notion that they would not breed in captivity, at least without hormones, was well known to me. But soon I was to be taught a lesson!

I acquired my Frecklefin Spiny Eels in a group of three because of my deeply held view that no animal

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SPICE OF LIFE

DISCOVER PEACE IN PARADISE AT ESSQUE ZALU ON THE SPICE ISLAND OF ZANZIBAR

‘ZANZIBAR…’ THE WORD ALONE CONJURES ROMANCE. BOASTING SOME OF THE BEST BEACHES in the Indian Ocean, a warm welcome wherever you go and the surreal beauty of a tropical desert island, Zanzibar really does have it all. To top it off, you’re forced to stay clear of big hotel chains because there simply aren’t any. That doesn’t mean you have to opt for a beach shack though — far from it. Essque Zalu is the epitome of chic contemporary living with an injection of exotic flair. Boasting

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Spendor D7

£3500

They may not look it on the page, but the Spendor D7s are rather compact by floorstander standards. Yet, properly setup, these speakers deliver a full-bodied sound that’s a match for anything we’ve heard at this sort of price.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Spendor has produced an accomplished speaker — the A9, A6 and updated SP2 are all class-leaders after all — but what is surprising is just how dynamic and punchy these relatively small towers are.

Play something particularly complex — we’ve chosen Trent Reznor’s soundtrack to The Social Network — and the Spendors marshall

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Speed up your editing workflow.

We unveil tips and tricks for speeding up common photo editing tasks over multiple platforms.

What is an Action?

An Action is an automated series of edits applied to an image. When you add photo effects in Elements, you are essentially running an Action. There is a dedicated panel found in Window>Actions.

Use built-in options.

This is the Actions panel, where you will find some built-in Actions. These are categorised by what they do: some have practical applications and some have more fun effects. Click on the folders to see them.

Run an Action.

To see what an Action does,

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