Looking up at an aeroplane in the sky, have you ever wondered where it originally came from- and where it will end its life? We take a fascinating look at the secret life of aeroplanes.
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As with most vehicles, aeroplane copulation involves the male mounting the female from above (or in some cases behind). When a male aeroplane is interested in mounting a female, he waggles his wings and activate his foglights. If the female is receptive, she will either extend her drogue, sometimes called a basket, or in the case of many inland aeroplanes species, the male will extend his boom. Once coupled, the aircraft will exchange vital liquids that contain the blueprint for a new aircraft. If fertilisation is successful, the female aircraft will gestate for between ten and twenty years.
Birth traditionally took place at 25,000 feet, but modern birthing techniques can be as low as 500 or as high as 30,000 feet. The process takes place at great speeds to avoid Predators or other Unmanned Air Vehicles. Litters vary in size, this F-111 is giving birth to four young (young F-111s are known as piglets). Note that the young have yet to develop full-size wings.
As can be seen in this photograph of a young Bell X-1, young aeroplanes seldom stray far from their protective mothers. Note that the mother has four visible engines, whereas the X-1 has none. Engines are developed during puberty. A young aircraft often has neither the software, weapons integration or spare parts to make it in the world by itself.
After sexual maturation aeroplanes are forced to leave their family nests. Badly tempered- and highly hormonal male aeroplanes often form gangs (as seen above).
5. Sexual orientation
Though these terms are now highly contentious, traditionally three types of aeroplane sexual orientation were understood:
A monocoque aircraft relationship involves at least one mailplane in a monogamous relationship.
Biplanes are more versatile than monocoque aircraft, but some (especially in the monocoque community) have expressed doubt on their existence.
Very popular in the hedonistic 1910s, especially in German aristocratic circles – today there are few self-designated ‘triplanes’. Triplanes were famous for their flamboyant ‘drag culture’ – later replaced by the Lift-to-Drag culture.
6. Finding a job
Though originally it was considered enough that aeroplanes could fly -today they are forced to earn their keep. Some are employed by budget airlines to act as prisons for humans, the hapless detainees are not allowed to leave until they have bought a thirty Euro teddy bear and a four-Euro Coke. Other aircraft are forced to perform in circuses flying unnaturally low or to fight to the death for the entertainment of national leaders.
7. Middle Age
During middle-age, aircraft become more emotionally maintenance heavy. Aware that they are half way through their service life many, like this German Tornado ECR, start to wear gaudy costumes in an attempt to recapture the ghost of their youth.
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8. Old Age
The average aeroplane lives to around 7,000 flight hours. By 6,500, the aeroplane will be suffering from embarrassing coolant leaks, a general feeling of fatigue and appalling unreliability. Belts, hoses and gaskets — and anything else that rubs against something else — will need frequent attention. On the positive side, most elderly aeroplanes are thoroughly loved by both humans and other ‘planes. Particularly charismatic geriatrics may even become stars, performing before millions of spectators.
One day an aeroplane will die. Its turbines or pistons will splutter and give up, and it will be hauled away, melted down and turned into sporks. Many aeroplanes, as Zoroastrians, request an open ground-level burial. A ‘tower of silence’ is built – where the bodies are left exposed so their aluminium can be picked from their bones by Vulture UAVs.
You may also enjoy A B-52 pilot’s guide to modern fighters, Flying and fighting in the Lightning: a pilot’s guide,Interview with a Super Hornet pilot, Trump’s Air Force Plan, 11 Worst Soviet Aircraft, 10 worst US aircraft, and10 worst British aircraft
You may also enjoy Ten incredible cancelled Soviet fighter aircraft, Ten worst Soviet aircraft, Ten incredible cancelled military aircraft, Fighter aircraft news round-up, 11 Cancelled French aircraft or the 10 worst British military aircraft, Su-35 versusTyphoon, 10 Best fighters of World War II , Su-35 versus Typhoon, top WVR and BVR fighters of today, an interview with a Super Hornet pilot and a Pacifist’s Guide to Warplanes. Flying and fighting in the Tornado. Was the Spitfire overrated? Want something more bizarre? Try Sigmund Freud’s Guide to Spyplanes. The Top Ten fictional aircraft is a fascinating read, as is The Strange Story and The Planet Satellite. The Fashion Versus Aircraft Camo is also a real cracker. Those interested in the Cold Way should read A pilot’s guide to flying and fighting in the Lightning. Those feeling less belligerent may enjoy A pilot’s farewell to the Airbus A340. Looking for something more humorous? Have a look at this F-35 satire and ‘Werner Herzog’s Guide to pusher bi-planes or the Ten most boring aircraft. In the mood for something more offensive? Try the NSFW 10 best looking American airplanes, or the same but for Canadians. 10 great aircraft stymied by the US.
Martin Cloe investigates the link between razors and planes and decides he’s not happy.
Apart from the excellent treatments for testicular cancer, the best thing about being a man in the modern age is the Mach3 razor. Though its blades couldn’t be more expensive if they were made by Lockheed Martin, it lives up to the hype: it is a superb razor. It is alleged that developing the razor, which reached the shelves in 1998, cost $570 million in research and development. The razor took around the same time as the F-35 to develop; the manufacturer Gillette started development of a three blade razor in the 1970s and took years to master one that didn’t cause increased skin irritation. The name was well-chosen, putting glamorous images of the SR-71 Blackbird into many men’s heads. What I didn’t like was an ‘improved’ version, the ‘Mach3 Turbo’. Ignoring the relative merits or demerits of the razor (in my opinion the attempt to improve on perfection was unnecessary and cynical – like Silent Eagle, and was a less pleasant shave) and instead look at the name ‘Mach3 Turbo’.
Technically the SR-71 was the fastest turbojet-engined aircraft. In 1976 the aircraft smashed the performance records for C-1 (Landplanes) in Group 3 (turbo-jet) reaching a terrifying speed of 2,193 miles per hour. But calling it a turbojet-powered aircraft is rather misleading- at these speeds the spinning bits are causing more drag than thrust; at the higher end of the Blackbird’s performance spectrum the aircraft is effectively powered by ramjets. I know, it could be said that the MiG-25, with its turbojets, was Mach 3 capable, but it was Mach 3-capable in the same as my mountain bike is 150 mph-capable: it can do it if you’re willing to change the wheels and tyres afterwards (and allow three miles of braking distance). So suggesting that a Mach3 Turbo would have more grunt than a simple Mach3 seems a bit of a confused message. In fact it’s even more confused as it seems to have been borrowed from the automobile lexicon. I know how I can make my Mach3 car faster, I’ll stick a supercharger on it! This is a bit insulting to men. Oh wait, before I explain why, I should explain some of the silliness in the difference between the marketing of men’s and women’s razors: change the colour, change the name, change the slogan. I’ll give an example: the same razor in both sex-assigned versions was once advertised in the same break. The women’s version had its ‘blades behind silky-fine wires’, the men’s ‘was so sharp it had to be kept behind bars’. The reason I brought this up was my disappointment at the forced marriage between Mach3 and Turbo as words. It’s like there was a meeting to generate ‘words men like‘ and two were just thrown
together without rhyme or reason. I mean why not go the whole hog and call it the Titty-burger, the Football-Barbecue or the relationship-without-commitment-Cornish-Pasty.
Tired old cliches are standard issue to every pilot. Here are some of the old groaners that will have you banging your head against the table in exasperation. Remove 100 hours from your logbook for each offence you have made.
Mark-One Eyeball refers to looking out of the window rather than relying on the instruments. Mainly used by airline pilots who wish they were flying a Piper Cub… to Australia.
Hot and High…...in reference to flying a Mooney or in more recent years a Cirrus SR22 and failing to slow it down before landing. The equivalent of walking into a nightclub with a younger girlfriend (or boyfriend) and knocking a table over.
Turning and Burning Indeed, the engines are functioning as we expected
Clockwork or Steam-powered instruments A sentimental or arrogant (depending on the orator) reference to the fact that times have changed.
Gear down and welded An unnecessary allusion to the standard downwind check that reminds the hirer that he/she is paying £160 per hour for an unsophisticated aircraft.
Kick the tyres and light the fires.. An irreverent nod to to pre-flight walkaround
Fill it with go juice...Once said by an instructor. I could never forgive her.
When it all goes quiet up front...I’m losing my patience now. An engine failure would be a relief.
Old pilots and bold pilots…. .Anyone who ever said these things has reduced their minima..that’s my contribution.
Runway behind you….blah blah blah…
Dorian Crook, proud co-owner of a Maule
Thank you for reading Hush-Kit. Our site is absolutely free and we have no advertisements. If you’ve enjoyed an article you can donate here. At the moment our contributors do not receive any payment but we’re hoping to reward them for their fascinating stories in the future.
Have a look at 10 worst British military aircraft, Su-35 versus Typhoon, 10 Best fighters of World War II , top WVR and BVR fighters of today, an interview with a Super Hornet pilot and a Pacifist’s Guide to Warplanes. Was the Spitfire overrated? Want something more bizarre? The Top Ten fictional aircraft is a fascinating read, as is The Strange Story and The Planet Satellite. The Fashion Versus Aircraft Camo is also a real cracker. Those interested in the Cold Way should read A pilot’s guide to flying and fighting in the Lightning. Those feeling less belligerent may enjoy A pilot’s farewell to the Airbus A340. Looking for something more humorous? Have a look at this F-35 satire and ‘Werner Herzog’s Guide to pusher bi-planes or the Ten most boring aircraft. In the mood for something more offensive? Try the NSFW 10 best looking American airplanes, or the same but for Canadians.
I get it. Some people find aircraft and aviation all-consuming and fascinating. They cream their keks over the physics of it all. The turbines, the atmospheric pressures and gravitational forces at work on the fuselage at speed and altitude. The engineering and science that made it possible to send tons and tons of metal into the sky and keep it there – and even control it to get from A to B without incident (eventually). All this progress within, what, 30 years of the 20th century? Yes, it’s staggering. Yes, there is beauty and wonder in it all. But that’s what makes the whole nerd thing a bit weird to me: it’s all entirely subjective.
I love to look at aircraft as aesthetic pieces. Creatures, if you like – each with a humble, unquestioning work ethic – that reluctantly took their forms to serve a higher purpose. Sleek or lumbering, monolithic or slight and nimble – all had their origins in human agendas. Agendas like ‘being the first’, ‘puffing chests out to potential enemies’, and if we’re lending humanity any faith: ‘to discover what’s possible and improve life on earth’.
Pipes and clap
I’ll quite happily shuffle around a museum and look at engines, cockpits and pretend payloads, and gasp at the size of wings. I’ll readily read the stories of the scientists and test pilots who, albeit under the wagging finger of wealthy governments, put their lives on the line for progress. I love to imagine myself born into those innocent, pioneering times, and I wish we could still gather at air shows with hampers and pipes and clap at the achievements that fly by.
What I don’t get, is the obsession. The submersion, the insatiable thirst to know everything about a particular model – its inner workings, how much it weighs, how much its riveted panels shrink or expand in extreme environments. Why Jerry ‘Kettle-Face’ Johnson insisted on wearing ladies’ underwear on every third testing mission he flew from Edwards Air Force base after 13 December 1974 (or some insist, 22 January the following year).
Nor do I understand why those afflicted with such passion (in its true sense – i.e. emotionally driven madness) think you’re a weirdo and a heretic if you’re not wearing a flak jacket, baseball cap and oversize training shoes laced up way too tight – and don’t spend at least ten minutes at every exhibit, rocking back and forth with your hands behind your back.
Sure, for some, there is greater meaning and emotional attachment to a lost era. Lost colleagues, the tension of the Cold War, the reality behind the TV soap, Vietnam. But I don’t want to feel guilt or inadequacy for just looking at aircraft and being bowled over for my own inexplicable reasons. Reasons I wouldn’t want to decipher or disseminate through deeper knowledge, because that often spoils the wonder. We can’t yet explain love, and hopefully we never will. And often, when you nail something to the floor, it withers and dies. Our appreciation for beauty and awe is only common in the language we use to express it, which will never be sufficient. Evocative, maybe. But defining? No.
The end of an affair?
So stop it. Stop it at once. Empty your study of all the literature you’ve amassed in your pursuit of what will essentially be the end of your love affair: defining why you’ve amassed them in the first place. Erase your hard drive of all but the images and schematic diagrams that simply inspire you, and leave it at that. Put your hands up in the air, and shout, ‘I don’t know why, I just fucking love B-52s, and I don’t care who knows my knowledge on the matter is incomplete!’
I went to Pima Air and Space Museum in Arizona – and its boneyard – in 2010. I’m not an aviation enthusiast; I just know that some aircraft, up close, move me in mysterious ways. I don’t need to know why, or chase that feeling down – it’s enough in itself. I bought a coffee mug that says, ‘I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning’ and moved on.
Perhaps some people thrive on obsession – but the ones I’ve met didn’t look too good on it.
By George Caveney musician, writer, cynic and firefighter.
Poor Scorcher One. He is suffering a fairly profound crisis of identity as he tools about in his Eurofighter Typhoon whilst, apparently, ‘nothing comes close’. Or rather is it that Scorcher One won’t let others near? Apart from a VC10 of course but then, he’s only human. This perplexing film directed by Doug Fidler and produced by Impact Image first hit our screens in 2002 and Fidler asks some profound questions from the very start, not only of the nameless lonely hero, Scorcher One, but also of us, the audience, as well as EADS, the RAF, the Balkan region as a whole and cinema itself (as represented by the ever-popular promotional film for a major arms manufacturer genre).
Fidler’s film is laced with nods that should find favour with any cinematically savvy audience. The running length is, deliciously enough, 8 and a half minutes long and who but Fellini could have come up with such a psychologically and philosophically ambiguous visual treat as this? But one must remind oneself, this is Fidler, not Fellini, despite such intriguing temporal references.
The film opens on a nondescript concrete building, ‘guarded’ by three cold adolescents. ‘Danger’ announces a sign on the wall. Who is this warning for? Is it for us? Is it for them? It doesn’t look particularly dangerous. Even the Zil-131 truck outside appears to be in immaculate condition fresh from its MOT and sporting a new tax disc.
Inside are two anonymous men, played by Jonathan Hartman and James Harris. Insider rumours from the set suggest that nearly half the entire budget for this film was used to style Hartman’s eyebrows. If this is true it was money well spent.
Interestingly and not altogether plausibly, these two shady characters, have invested their hard-earned cash from a variety of baddie enterprises into the purchase of some kind of 2002 super-computer (were there even computers then?) and they have chosen to run the simulation of their chemical weapon strike mere minutes before the launch of said chemical weapon. These are spur of the moment kind of guys. Nonetheless the simulation reveals to us a massive projected death toll that warrants some kind of response.
To this end the mysterious Scorcher One must be interrupted from his busy schedule of staring into the middle distance. He is in no hurry.
The leisurely pace with which he boards his aircraft displays the confidence he has in his ability to deal with any conceivable threat. Which is lucky for, apparently, he and his Eurofighter are the only strike assets available to the entire ‘coalition’ (how prescient!). Why therefore is he ‘Scorcher One’? Why not plain old ‘Scorcher’? Perhaps there is a Scorcher Two but due to the incredible cost of the Eurofighter he is expected to achieve his objectives with a Ford Escort and a Webley revolver.
And at this point something odd becomes apparent. Despite clearly being from Guildford (or maybe Marlow) Scorcher One is flying the Italian single-seat prototype, another nod to Fellini perhaps, though one wonders why his call-sign is not therefore ‘Bruciatore Uno’ as ‘Scorcher’ must, one would think, be a fairly obscure word to most Italian air force personnel, as are the words ‘phew what a’.
As he pilots his continuity-troubled warplane through a selection of library footage and cack-handed special effects one wonders what must be going through lonely Scorcher’s mind. Luckily, we, the audience, are privileged enough to find out. Scorcher’s mind is filled with the dull orders and statements of a mysterious, god-like woman who sits in the sky in a darkened office space aboard a CGI Boeing E-3. Is this woman real or is she (as seems more likely) a product of Scorcher One’s overworked subconscious? A suggestion that all is not necessarily as it seems with Scorcher and his objectives. Anyway, the shady man and his evil eyebrows are dealt with in such an offhand fashion that Scorcher can’t even be bothered to be nearby when their bunker and clean lorry are blown to bits by his efficient weapon. It is worth remembering at this point that the ‘projected lethality’ of Eyebrows’ evil weapon was over a million. Should we not expect Scorcher One to be prepared to pilot his Eurofighter straight into any well-maintained truck and bunker complex at this point rather than swanning off to get some petrol from an obsolete airliner? Did the eyebrows and their plan ever really exist? The ease with which they are despatched, warranting not even the presence of their destroyer implies that they were a construct, a whim of Scorcher One in his little jet, to be wiped from existence as imperiously as his mind conjured them up.
But what’s this? There are other threats. Gadzooks. The angriest man IN THE WORLD has a whole nest of missiles to chuck at Scorcher. The unattainable woman in the sky is there in Scorcher’s ear to tell him of these new masculine threats with their ex-Soviet equipment. And for a moment Scorcher One appears to be in danger of being destroyed. Or has he allowed this to happen? His life is devoid of drama thus he must create it. At this point, as the façade he has created becomes more apparent we, the audience, may be feeling somewhat cheated. Where is Scorcher’s apotheosis? Aha! A mysterious unmarked Su-35 (ED: with canards?) is detected by the god-woman. An aircraft universally acknowledged as one of the world’s most formidable should prove a worthy adversary. A genuine challenger in Scorcher One’s sky ready to fight it out, Top Gun style, with skill and panache until only one remains. At last, the potential for genuine drama.
And thus the unbelievable reality of Scorcher One’s crazed mind is laid bare. Like Brett Easton Ellis’s Patrick Bateman, Scorcher One must create fantastical homicidal situations to relieve the banality of his existence. That they are, at least in part, fantasies cannot be in doubt once he launches the LGB which has magically appeared on his aircraft where none was fitted before.
His latent homosexuality, with which he has neither the emotional means to deal with nor the sociological capacity to tolerate, means that the ideal woman as dictated by society remains unattainable and tortured Scorcher One is ordered, by her (ie himself), to destroy anything or anyone in which he shows an interest.
Meanwhile his paranoia requires he manufacture threats of inconceivable danger that he may destroy with a less-than-gratifying ease. That so many profound and convincing musings on the human condition be packed into this intriguingly brief film is testament to the as-yet overlooked genius of Doug Fidler.
Review by Edward Ward
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Internet giant Google revealed yesterday that the F-35 was dangerously over-exposed in terms of media coverage. A USAF spokesman commented “With over 200 articles a week published on the F-35 program, there is a very real danger that some of this rhetoric will bounce off the airframe rendering it dangerously visible to enemy radars”
The F-35’s airframe, which is shaped to reduce visibility to auditors, is 60 per cent caviar, 15 per cent mink and 25 per cent cocaine. The aircraft is even more vulnerable from detection by obsolete search engines such as Ask.com, ChaCha and Boogami which operate on a different wavelength. A US Navy think tank has been studying the so-called ‘Swarm’ effect, whereby one reputable website produces a story on the JSF and thousands of reverse-engineered drone stories follow it. The think tank noted that many of these drones were poorly produced with little regard for production quality.
The Gray Slag
The aircraft is powered by the sunk cost fallacy and with a loaded weight of 50,000 lb it is considered too big to fail. While critics suggest a unit price upwards of $170 million, Lockheed Martin have pointed out that once you deduct the cost of the engine, materials and electronics in the jet this figure goes down. This figure can further be reduced by removing other numbers. Proponents of the F-35 are keen to point out that everything is fine and it is brilliant. Meanwhile, critics of the $500 trillion project are keen to point out that everything is fucked and it’s awful. Arthur Koala, head of Public Affairs for the American taxpayer is quoted in this article as saying “The first priority for any nation is defense, and we remain committed to the defense of Lockheed Martin.”
Wonga.com, who are in charge of finalising contracts with export nations are confident in future sales. Their head of sales noted “The partner nations and export customers are of course free to walk away from the program, though they may find Hillary Clinton refusing to talk to them again. But if they are comfortable with a bad relationship with the world’s greatest super power they are free to leave…terms and conditions apply.”
The Australian Minister of Defence, Senator the Honourable David Johnston, said he shared Canada’s blind faith in the dumpy fighter and would buy it however expensive, late or ineffective it was. British Secretary of State for Defence Richard ‘The Hamster’ Hammond has fought hard to ensure that Britain has the minimum amount of F-35s at the maximum price. He noted that “By making sure our biggest defence contractor is making tail-planes for a US design we have ensured that Britain will never again be able to make a front-line military aircraft by itself. Following the rather mental Nimrod MRA.4, this is considered a good idea” .
Britain’s force of four F-35Bs will enter service in 2022 and will replace the Typhoon, A400M, Grob Tutor and take over the role of Joey in The Only Way is Essex.
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An Air France Boeing 707-328 and popstar Dion Di Mucci in 1962. The song is a cover of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s ‘Ruby Baby’ originally recorded by The Drifters. As an aside, there’s an amazingly fierce cover of this song by Cody Brennan featuring some great guitar playing by the young Roy Buchanan (the intro of which was re-used by The Cramps for ‘Alligator Stomp’.
First there was cinema, then 3D cinema..now at long last jet-a-sound!
I’ve matched aeroplanes to appropriate songs. The aircraft have been matched to songs which sum them up. The connection may be been an obvious one or maybe something more subtle.
Please add your suggestions to comments and I’ll include them to make the ultimate aircraft mix tape! BOOM!
It’s a simple game:
1. Turn down the volume on the plane clip
2. Turn up the volume on the song clip and start playing it.
3. Watch the plane clip.
Convair B-58 Hustler
Hustler song clip
Hustler plane clip
Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet
Me 163 plane clip
Me 163 song clip
Constellation plane clip
Constellation song clip
Blohm & Voss BV 141
BV 141 Plane clip
BV 141 song clip
de Havilland Comet
Comet plane clip
Comet song clip
‘Flanker’ plane clip:
Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
Airliners are inhabited by lovers whose timing is all wrong – unless they never make it to the plane as they are intercepted at the airport by their other half running in at the last moment. Airliners are full of lovely family people whose lives will be savagely cut short by the crash. They are full of sweating terrorists and inexplicably awful folk to sit next to. Air hostesses may want to have sex with you, or they might just want to be heroic in an emergency. Your plane is far more likely to crash if the pilot is an excellent husband.
Fighters are flown by handsome men with unprofessional attitudes and innate skills. Their main use is to kill space ships, communists or Nazis. Wingmen die. Every fighter plot has an equally skilled nemesis and a psychological flaw. Formations are always close, pilots can be white, black or fat, occasionally female, but not East Asian. Fighter pilots celebrate surviving a dangerous mission by flying in a dangerous way. Here’s some great fictional aircraft.
All helicopters blow up, unless they are transporting the hero home at the end of the film. If so they are likely to be bathed in a gorgeous sunset. Helicopters can be shot down easily with small hand-held weapons, but the easiest way is to confuse the pilot into flying into a natural obstacle. They like landing on skyscrapers. The skids are often held onto by heroes (whose arms are often trampled on by baddies). Helicopters can also be used by repressive governments, cool American special soldiers or by thoughtful and damaged souls in Vietnam. Very hi-tech helicopters are used by really kick-ass good guys. Helicopters often stalk lone escaping blokes who hide behind rocks.
Surface-to-air missiles are used by arseholes. They can generally be defeated by hard manoeuvring, but the third is likely to be the one that downs you (or kills your wingman). They almost killed Superman and they are used by cowards, not manly enough to punch flying things out of the sky with their own fists.
Bombers are flown by brave young men, unless they’re enemy and then they’re flown by pale men in goggles. The oldest guy is the boss, and one of the aircrew has red hair. They’ve been hand-selected as they’re the best crew. Dive-bombers and ground attack aircraft are normally used by pricks or nasty regimes.
Private jets are generally flown by dickheads, usually criminals. They are used for escaping quite a bit. People who have them tend to have harems of busty women.
Transport (military cargo) aircraft have a ramp that is ideal for fighting. They tend to be in Africa and crewed by people with foreign accents. A flight rarely goes by without someone being thrown out in a punch-up (our man has a parachute). These aircraft can also contain troubled Westerners who’ve been immersed in the hell and chaos of foreign places.
Ohh, and biplanes tend to fly upside down… it is often necessary to leave the cockpit in all aircraft types and do something dangerous by crawling around on the plane, it’s OK though as this normally works.
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