June 29, 2018

NEPTUNE no.6 June 2018


This month's cover:
The United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron Blue Angels support aircraft, the Lockheed C-130T Hercules affectionately known as Fat Albert flies over the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon for a promotional photo. A long awaited and much anticipated inclusion of Fat Albert Airlines in the Blue Angels demonstration layout in Second Life will finally happen this year during the Independence Day Air Show at Agrippa.

Main cover story:
Faaaaaaaaaat Albert is here!
Serving with the Navy Flight Demonstration Team Blue Angels since the very start, Fat Albert always flew in support of the squadron but never integrated the team's demonstrations during the last two seasons. Dedicated to transmit as much as possible the ideals and procedures of the real life Blue Angels, it was the squadron's intent not to fly the emblematic aircraft in its demonstration capacity without a USMC crew, as it is made of U.S. Marines. With the successful ending of her internship with the squadron, Major Dominique van Dongen has made the team whole as she will take command of Fat Albert for the 2018 Season, starting on July 4, for this year's ID4 to be held once more at CinSal International Airport. Here you can find the 2018 Independence Day Air Show program.

Happy 15th anniversary Second Life!
The Blue Angels join Second Life's 15th Birthday (SL15B) celebrations and we have set up a small stand in the Stupendous region, where several aerobatic teams are also represented.

VMFAT-101 2012 F/A-18B - A very special Hornet
On 2 November, 2012, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 101 held a dedication ceremony during which a restored F/A-18B Hornet was unveiled specially painted with the names of four Medal of Honor recipients. This aircraft was the subject of a 12 unit Limited Edition by Eight Shades of Blue. See the bird in question here and find out more about it in this month's Special Section.
[ Update: The last of the available 12 units was sold shortly after this article was published! A new Limited Edition of a USMC Hornet will be placed in the market soon. ]
 Special section - The real life "Medal of Honor" Hornet (see here) 

NEPTUNE - The magazine of the United States Navy Third Fleet in Second Life
All Rights Reserved - 2018

NEPTUNE no.6 Back Cover

May 28, 2018

NEPTUNE no.5 May 2018


This month's cover:
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Washington D.C. - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall provides one of the National Mall’s most powerful scenes. In truth, the “wall” is actually made up of two identical walls that each stretch 246 feet and 9 inches, containing more than 58,000 names. The names are listed in chronological order based on the date of casualty, and within each day, names are shown in alphabetical order. Perhaps the memorial wall’s most defining characteristic is a visitor’s ability to see his or her reflection at the same time as the engraved names, connecting the past and the present like few other monuments can.

Main cover story:
That Monday in May...
Observing today's remembrance, a Memorial Day ceremony took place at Naval Air Station Miramar, attended by SL US Navy and SL USMC service members from Third and Seventh Fleets, as well as USCG in SL members. Here is a record of the event with transcripts of the present senior officers' remarks.

Regular AAR Exercises - Blake Sea Corridor
This exercise is a regular event organized by USN 7th Fleet SL with Third Fleet participation. Briefing for the May 27 mission took place at NAS Miramar's Map Room. Participating squadrons from both fleets took off from Miramar and the tanker(s) from SNO.
 Special section - AAR Exercise May 27 record (see here)  

Royal Navy F/A-18? - Remembering the 892nd Naval Air Squadron
This is my impression of what a F/A-18D Hornet would look like if the 892 Naval Air Squadron had adopted it to replace the Phantom F4K's were it not disbanded in 1978.
The livery has most of the old F4K elements down to the canopy ejection line and it also includes a homage to the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that took place on the very day this livery was painted on the aircraft and flown for the first time as part of a 100 RAF group grid flight. You can find the inscription with the Royal Wedding crest on the aft door of the frontal landing gear. The date (19MAY2018) also shows on both "anvils" over the wing extensions.

NEPTUNE - The magazine of the United States Navy Third Fleet in Second Life
All Rights Reserved - 2018

NEPTUNE no.5 Back Cover

April 27, 2018

NEPTUNE no.4 April 2018


This month's cover:
Real life United States Coast Guard HITRON MH-65 Dolphin. The USCG in SL sports HITRON colors as standard on their rotary wing aircraft and others to clearly differentiate from the current USCG white, blue and red color schemes the Second Life Coast Guard uses. A few aircraft still display the tricolor liveries, but in all aircraft and sea vessels you can read "U.S. COAST GUARD", which also helps setting them apart from those in use by the SLCG.

Main cover story:
Second Life U.S. Coast Guard
NEPTUNE interviewed Admiral Toxic Lemon for this month's issue. I went to the USCGHQ at CGAS Majipoor, Corsica, and showed the Admiral a first proof of the April cover, revealing the U.S. Coast Guard in Second Life would have cover story honors this month and what better way to do justice to one of the oldest role play groups in Second Life, in the military/paramilitary universe, than to let the man who leads it use his own words to describe it.

Blue Angels prepare World Tour 2018
The Blue Angels are contacting owners/managers of Second Life world landmarks as it is their objective this year to fly over some of the grid’s best real life world landmark counterpart locations.
For the 2018 World Tour, the objective is to fly over some of Second Life’s most emblematic world landmarks - example: The Eiffel Tour, in Paris - so mostly we will have to adapt to local conditions. The information presented here serves as a guide to the squadron’s typical routine so that managers/owners of selected world landmarks in SL have a clear idea of our capabilities and needs.
Paris and London are already on the World Tour route, so if you own/manage a world landmark location in SL or know someone who does, contact the Navy Flight Demonstration Team Blue Angels number 7 (CAPT. Asra Kron) or number 8 (Major Dominique van Dongen)!
To see the prospect used to showcase the World Tour continue reading.
Eight Shades of Blue launches MP store
Following the launch of Shana Carpool's F/A-18C and D Hornets, the USN Third Fleet SL official livery supplier, Eight Shades of Blue, expanded decisively towards the Second Life Market Place, starting with a range of paint kits made for the new Hornets. Eight Shades of Blue is also an official Shana Aircraft supplier and Spartan Industries supplier, but does art work for the most popular models of many other aircraft manufacturers in Second Life.
Being in business since 2016, first exclusively for the SL United States Navy, then directly to private clients who asked for custom exclusives which are still a very important business component, Eight Shades of Blue is now making its quality work more accessible and available to all, increasing the variety of paint kits available on a very regular basis. Along with the Market Place store, selected locations on the SL grid have vendors with the available products. The profit helps to pay for Du Sud Isle, providing for the continued presence of NAS Miramar on the grid.
To get to know Eight Shades of Blue and for the link to the store, aircraft listings and more, continue reading.

NEPTUNE - The magazine of the United States Navy Third Fleet in Second Life
All Rights Reserved - 2018

NEPTUNE no.4 Back Cover

March 20, 2018

NEPTUNE no.3 March 2018


This month's cover:
Main: VFC-13 Saint Adversary F-16N Vipers on a high altitude practice over the Blake Sea, September 2017. The Navy Vipers are stationed at N.A.S. Miramar and mainly serve as aggressors during open air, multi-region intercept exercises during TOPGUN classes.
Insert: Luxor International Blue Angels Air Show poster (see this month's back cover). 

Editor's Note:
My apologies for the untimely fashion NEPTUNE no.3 came out. March was a particularly hard month in real life but here we are and catching up. Thank you for your support. Go Navy!

Main cover story:
U.S. Navy F-16N "Vipers"
The Navy does have operational General Dynamics F-16's, only they are named "Vipers" to set them apart from the U.S.A.F. "Fighting Falcons". Used in real life first at N.A.S. Miramar and the Navy Fighter Weapons School and to this day at N.A.S. Fallon with the Naval Strike Air Warfare Center (Topgun's heir), the "Vipers" serve in dissimilar air combat tactics (D.A.C.T.) training in the adversary role, providing the fleet with a light and highly maneuverable aircraft to fly against the front line naval fighters during TOPGUN engagements.

Main cover story profile:
General Dynamics F-16N Viper profile (see here!)

Inset cover story:
Luxor International Air Show 2018
Every year the Navy Flight Demonstration Team Blue Angels tries to perform at Luxor International Airport. For the third consecutive year the squadron returned to Luxor on March 31, where it was joined by Team Phoenix and the Bull Rock Hornets for the 2018 air show. Details of the Blues layout available following the link below.

Becoming a Naval Aviator with Third Fleet in SL
An article used as reference in Third Fleet as to what lies along the path to the Wings of Gold and how to achieve the Naval Aviator certification. Since the Naval Service Training Center left Third Fleet, we have both sent officer candidates to OCS at Second Fleet and trained them at Third, pursuing our cooperation with 7th Fleet in N.A.T.C. related matters. A comprehensive guide to what is expected of every naval aviator in Third Fleet.

Shana Carpool's new F/A-18 Hornet explained
Just as the new Hornet was released we were made aware that unfortunately it was not enough to name the paint kits correctly - some people would still use a model C paint kit on the F/A-18D and the model D paint kit on the F/A-18C. In some cases minor differences would be not so obvious but in most liveries the problems would be very serious. Then you would have people complaining about the paint kits, about the aircraft and who knows what else. So we decided to release a version 1.2 immediately with independent paint boxes for the two aircraft.
Following that update an issue concerning the application of textures along the canopy and dorsal areas came up and was dealt with immediately, along with the addition of the rudders command (a feature used since January in the Blue Angels Hornets) and a few other structural improvements which justified a v1.3 release. This will not affect the paint systems, which will still work as in v1.2.

NEPTUNE - The magazine of the United States Navy Third Fleet in Second Life
All Rights Reserved - 2018