Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Pterosaur Tee Shirts

Today I chanced upon a young man and his mother.  The lad was sporting a rather fine Tee Shirt with a pterosaur design.  This immediately raised my awareness of the option to look at which pterosaur Tee shirts are available.

This particular example was produced by Mini Boden and after some investigation, it was found to be a limited production which is no longer available.

There are lots of pterosaur Tee Shirts on the market and a quick search on Google found hundreds of examples, mostly with cartoon representations or interesting mottos.  These 3 caught my eye as being more to my own taste in Tee Shirts;

zazzle.co.uk - rhamphorhynchus tee shirt

Redbubble.com - I love pterodactyls Tee Shirt

Cafepress - pterodactyl tee shirts

Monday, 23 May 2011

The Whitfield Pteranodon Photographs

These photographs were taken by Brian Wickins who was part of the original team working on the George Whitfield Pteranodon flying model.  The digital images were created from the original stills in 2006 and the copyright is from that time.  My images here are copied in 2011 with permission.
The first photograph shows the Pteranodon model on a rig as a Concorde takes off.  The aircraft in this picture is G-BBDG, Concorde 202 in the initial British Airways livery.  The aircraft first flew at Filton on 13 Feb 1974 and was the fist Concorde to land at Heathrow on 6th July 1974. The initial speedbird livery was replaced in 1977. This gives the photograph a date frame.
The launch was a grand affair with lots of local interest.  In 1974 most flying models were hand launched.  Today it is more likely to see them air launched or launched from a cable tow or a ramp.  This was an exceptionally large model to hand launch as it had a 7m wingspan and this was the first time such a large  representation of a fossil animal had been attempted.
The third picture shows a view of the body cavity which contained the control kit.  Batteries and servers were quite large at the time and imposed weight issues which had to be factored into the design.

Bramwell C. D. and Whitfield G. R., 1970, Flying speed of the largest aerial vertebrate. Nature, Lond.225, 660–661.
Whitfield G. R. and Milford J. R., 1971, An Instrumented Glider for Meteorological ResearchMeteorology volume I, number 4
Bramwell C. D. and Whitfield G. R., 1974, Biomechanics of Pteranodon. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London, B.267, pp.503-581
Bramwell C. D. and Whitfield G. R., 1974, D. M. S. Watson’s notes on pterosaurs. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 267, 587–589.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Updating the Pterosaur Database

As a rule, the pterosaur database is updated on a monthly basis.  It has been quite some time since an update has been made as I have been involved in the UK National Census and have had little time to think about pterosaurs in the last 14 weeks.

A few new and varied pterosaur pages have been added or updated on the site.  Over the past 3 years a vast amount of pterosaur information and new finds have come to light.  When this type of thing happens, there is usually a following wind that merges new species into the existing framework.  I suspect that future updates will not be long coming.

To enhance the presentation pages, a number of embedded videos have been included.  The copyright and links to these web video clips is held by the originators and it is the first time that embedded content has been included on these pterosaur web pages.