Tag Archives: Aviation History

Fate and Mystery

As I have mentioned from time to time, I am fascinated by history. Not only how the past made us as we are, but how many seemingly small and inconsequential events can have profound consequences.

I am currently reading a book by a favorite author, Erik Larson, on Winston Churchill during the time of the Blitz.

It’s his contention that a German navigator’s error, in mistakenly jettisoning their bombs over London rather than a country field during inclement weather, led to Hiroshima.

Personally I think that may be a bridge too far, for reasons that I outlined here.

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Filed under Flying, History, Hollywood

He Still Headed The Wrong Way

A German Wrong Way Corrigan?

 

I just finished watching a YouTube video on a comparison between the Focke-Wulf FW-190 and the P-51 Mustang.

Learned a lot of things.  I knew that the Mustang really came into its own when a Rolls Royce test pilot, Ronald Harker,  decided to substitute the Allison V12 for a Merlin. Didn’t realize that (A) the Merlin was still more powerful at 20,000 feet  than the Allison was at sea-level, and (B) fuel consumption was significantly improved. It was a win-win, and turned the Mustang from a good fighter to an icon. Actually it was a “win-win-win” as it gave the Mustang the high altitude performance that it lacked.

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Filed under Airplanes, History, Humor

The Mighty Eighth

TheColdBlue

Last year, I screened The Cold Blue, which was an amazing film. In WW2, 5 famous Hollywood directors, William Wyler, John Huston, John Ford, George Stevens, and Frank Capra went into harm’s way with small film crews and documented the war. John Ford, for example shot – I believe- the only footage of Midway as it was being attacked.

I’m in danger of swaying into this fascinating story, but I will say one thing. The war affected them all, and it can be reflected in their post war work. George Stevens, for example, having seen so much death and destruction in Europe, in making Shane, thought gunfire and being shot should be portrayed realistically, a first for a Hollywood Western.

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Filed under Air Force, Army Aviation, Movie Review, Patriotism, USAF, Valor

Flying a Mustang in the 357th Fighter Group

BudAndersonBook

I wrote about this the other day a bit –  Since hearing Bud talk about his times flying in the famous 357th Fighter Group, it’s been difficult to put his book down.

I’d like to say that he “puts you in the seat” during a mission into Germany, but I think that is a bit disrespectful to those who fought (and died) performing those missions.

However he sure tells the story well about what it was like to be one of the “Yoxford Boys”.

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Filed under Books, Flying, Heroes Among Us, History, Uncategorized

All That, And They Are Trying To Kill You Too

All That and They're Tryinkg To Kill You

A beautiful P51-D I shot at the 2007 Reno Air Races

The other day, I wrote a bit about the talk given by WW2 aces Bud Anderson and Dean Laird.

What a day that was. I felt I was a witness to living history. What an honor it was to meet these 2.

And me being me, I had to buy Anderson’s book at the museum store to learn more. Just started it, but I figured any book about flying that has accolades by Ernest Gann, and forwards by Chuck Yeager and Günther Rall, has to be some aviation ride.

I’ve just started it, and Anderson is describing the battle he had as shown from the History Channel.

What I didn’t know was the workload involved in flying that plane while someone’s trying to kill you.

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Filed under Airplanes

Technological Progress

Over at ChicagoBoyz, someone made an observation that in transportation, most of the progress was made in a 50 year period by 1969.

Which got me thinking.

The cars that many of us baby boomers idolized, such as the Jaguar E-Type, Corvette Sting Ray, Shelby Cobra – all came out about 50 years after cars first started making inroads with the Model T.

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Sully

sully

Steven Day / AP File

These days, I am rather jaded when it comes to driving to the cineplex to see a movie. I don’t really need some screenwriter’s social message or a recycled comic book hero.

There are a couple of exceptions – if it is made by Ron Howard, or has Clint Eastwood on either side of the camera, it automatically passes my filter test. Tom Hanks in any movie usually guarantees a decent movie.

This movie, directed by Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks took a subject that just about everyone not living in a cave the last 10 years is familiar – and made it into a movie both thoroughly entertaining and informative. In fact at the end the audience in the nearly packed theater applauded.

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Filed under Good Stuff, History, Movie Review, Uncategorized, Valor

Her final voyage: Navy’s first super-carrier USS Forrestal begins journey to the scrapyard after being sold for ONE CENT

Having served in Independence and Ranger, this does tug at the heart strings a bit. I did serve in those years with men who were aboard Forrestal during the tragedy of 1967.

The Navy has paid one cent under a contract to have the 60-year-old vessel dismantled by All Star Metals in the Gulf port of Brownsville.

The decommissioned aircraft carrier Ex-USS Forrestal, pictured in 2010, is now on its final voyage to the scrap heap in Texas
The decommissioned aircraft carrier Ex-USS Forrestal, pictured in 2010, is now on its final voyage to the scrap heap in Texas

Tugboat Alex McAllister pushes the USS Forrestal into the Delaware River on the aircraft carrier's final voyage from Navy Shipyard in south Philadelphia
Tugboat Alex McAllister pushes the USS Forrestal into the Delaware River on the aircraft carrier’s final voyage from Navy Shipyard in south Philadelphia
The times are indeed a changin……………………………

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Filed under Good Ships, History, Navy, Remember, Sea Stories, Ships and the Sea

Hopes high that restored B-29 ‘Doc’ will fly in 2014 Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/01/01/3206432/hopes-high-that-restored-b-29.html#storylink=cpy

The Wichita-built vintage Boeing B-29 Superfortress under restoration inside a Boeing hangar may fly as soon as this summer, volunteers on the project say.

T.J. Norman, the volunteer project manager for "Doc," points out what is believed to be a bullet hole that had been repaired in the B-29. (December 12, 2013)  Bo Rader/ The Wichita Eagle

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by | January 1, 2014 · 8:46 pm

Beautiful Climber | History of Flight | Air & Space Magazine

Beautiful Climber | History of Flight | Air & Space Magazine.

In the summer of ’58, nothing was faster to 50,000 feet.

Beautiful Jet!

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Filed under Airplanes, Flying, Good Stuff, History, Naval Aviation, Plane Pr0n