Posting History for aviation
|Shadow War - Night fighters and electronic warfare in WWII
The only course open to us now is to make an assault by fire on the barbarians under cover of night. Sun Tzu One byproduct of warfare, horrible as it may be, is that technology tends to make ...
|Air-Minded: Dragons & Bolos
A friend visited the Pima Air & Space Museum (PASM) in Tucson a few weeks ago. I told her if any particular airplane spoke to her, I'd write an air-minded post on it. Well, you never know what's ...
|Air-Minded: Planes of Fame Photoblog
During a recent motorcycle trip, I visited the Planes of Fame Museum in Valle, Arizona . The main Planes of Fame Museum is located in Chino, California ; the Arizona adjunct is what I would describe ...
|The other ones - overlooked aircraft of WWII
I struggled to come up with a decent title for this one. This is about the planes that were overshadowed by their more glamorous counterparts. Everybody loves Mustangs, Spitfires and Hellcats. I ...
|Stars who served
I had a request to do a diary about entertainers who served in the military. Turns out it wasn't as easy as I thought. This is in no way a comprehensive list. There were just too many to work with. ...
|Air-Minded: Letting the Team Down
I don't have any brilliant thoughts or insights about Germanwings Flight 9525 , where the co-pilot is suspected of committing mass murder by flying a plane full of passengers into a mountain in ...
|F-104 Starfighter Part II - In which I get schooled
It seems my earlier diary about the Lockheed F-104 caught the attention of a former USAF F-104 driver. He felt that I (and the USAF) didn't give the plane its due. My first thought was "You mean ...
|B-52s for Israel? Oy vey!
B-52H dropping high-drag bombs and IR decoys (flares). There's been some talk lately about giving surplus B-52s to Israel, presumably so they can use them on you-know-who. I believe the latest ...
|Air-Minded: Propellers of the Stars
I am the Nancy Grace of celebrity plane wrecks. When I saw the first photos of actor Harrison Ford's crashed airplane on the golf course in Santa Monica, I immediately zeroed in on the propeller. ...
|Ugly Duckling - PBY Catalina
Not the prettiest thing but it got the job done. Just about any job you could think of. In military aviation there are the "glamor girls" like the P-51, Spitfire and B-17 that get all the attention.
|Air-Minded: Heritage Flight Photoblog
Once a year, civilian warbird and USAF fighter pilots meet at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona, to practice close formation flying for the upcoming airshow season. The program, which features ...
|Airports - the good the bad and the ugly
My job frequently involves what we call "deadheading". This has nothing to do with the Grateful Dead, in fact there's little to be grateful about. It involves me being just another business traveler ...
|When airliners attack!
No, this isn't about A-10s or airliners turned into bombers (it never works well). It's about what happens when the automation we take for granted turns around and bites us.
|Air-Minded: Sabres & Horseshoes
The F-86 Sabre has been on my mind lately. The Sabre was a pure air-to-air jet fighter with a high-mounted seat and 360-degree visibility, father of the F-15 Eagle, grandfather of the F-22 Raptor.
|The not quite right stuff - F-104 Starfighter
One of the best looking aircraft of all time. Everything about it says "Built for speed". The F-104 is one of those planes that seemed to have everything going for it. It's a specialized fighter, ...
|Speed of Heat - SR-71 Blackbird
Probably one of the most photographed aircraft of all time. For a 50-year-old design it still looks futuristic. Few airplanes in history have the mystique of the SR-71 Blackbird. Capable of ...
|Great Might Have Beens - Convair 880
Textbook definition of "ground effect". This was probably not standard operating procedure. What looks like a 707 but isn't? A DC-8 of course but there was another. The annals of aviation history ...
|Are Electric Airliners Possible?
Electric cars are a hot topic these days but I recently have read some interesting stuff about electric aircraft. Airbus thinks that they may be able to field a large electrically powered ...
|The Other Guys - Soviet Airliners
We got to see the Tupolev 104 a while back, now let's take a look at the other Russian airliners. Any time you're talking about Soviet airlines you have to keep a couple things in perspective. They ...
|Air-Minded: the Army & the A-10
Army A-10s? Not gonna happen, folks. USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II (photo credit: unknown) Here's something I ...
|British Steel - The V Bombers
In the years directly after World War II the British were afraid that the United States might return to pre-war isolationism and began development of their own nuclear strike force. The first ...
|Air-Minded: Taildragger Tales
I found some faded and blurry photos of the Great Lakes biplane I used to fly, and, as old photos always do, they brought back memories. Who's that behind those Ray-Bans? In ...
|My thoughts on the whole A-10 vs F-35 thing
A-10 pilots used to say their plane was ugly but well hung. I've been asked to do a diary about the current controversy surrounding the A-10 vs the F-35. I've done my best to research the topic. I'...
|The Only Jet Airliner - Tupolev TU-104
TU-104 on display in Russia. Yes, it's true. There was a brief period from around 1956 until 1958 when the only operational jet airliner was Russian. How could this be? Well, the British beat ...
|Air-Minded: PASM Photoblogging
I think it's time to post another batch of photos from the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, where I volunteer as a walking tour docent. As always, you can click on the individual photos ...
|Soviet Hot Rod - MiG-25
I find the MiG-25 interesting because it's the perfect example of Cold War intelligence gone wrong. In short, the Soviets built a plane to counter a plane that we never built. We in turn completely ...
|Travel Tips from a Pilot
I knew I was screwed when I looked out the window first thing in the morning and saw it was snowing. A rare mid-November storm was hitting Columbus on a day I had to commute. Snow means bad roads ...
|Air Force Slang
Here's a little fun to take your mind off the election. Military slang goes back at least to the ancient Greeks and probably before that even. A Greek Hoplite's spear had a point on the front but ...
|Air-Minded: US Military Aircraft Insignia (updated/corrected)
This all started when I posted a cool photo on Facebook: F-84F Thunderstreak air show low pass (photo: unknown) When I posted that photo I didn't bother to identify the ...
I had a request for a diary about the best and worst airports. Like most things, the answer depends on what criteria you're using. Am I going in there as a pilot or as a passenger? What am I flying?
|Air-Minded: Gust Locks & Horse Parts
I've been following news of the May 31 Gulfstream IV crash at Hanscomb Field in Bedford, Massachusetts. This was the executive jet carrying some VIP or other that reached a high speed on takeoff ...
|Hey Ypsilanti, MI! Aviation and History Buffs - July 2 Willow Run Book Talk
B-24 Liberator bomber If you live in the Ypsilanti Michigan area (between Ann Arbor and Detroit), you might want to get over to the Yankee Air Museum Wednesday night July 2.
|Museums 101: Passenger Airplanes (Photo Diary)
The idea of a passenger airline service—a service that would involve the regular transportation of paying customers between set destinations similar to that offered by ships, trains, and stage ...
|Air-Minded: Moving Day at the Museum
During most of the years I flew fighters and trainers for the USAF, I never paid much thought to the disposition of aircraft on the ramp. We parked them when we were through with them; if ...
|Warbirds Once More Over Normandy - Updated
The 70th anniversary of D Day is June 6, but the commemorations have already begun. There's a certain poignancy this year, because it's unlikely any veterans from the landing will be on ...
|Air-Minded: Define "Best"
Prominently featured on The Aviationist web site, one of the best cockpit videos ever. What video? This video:
|Memories of a Pilot #2
In the last (first) installment of this diary, I wrote about the most memorable people I met in aviation. In this installment, I will tell a couple of stories about flying itself; about the pure joy ...
I took this picture of a large cell over Columbus Ohio right at daybreak. You can see some cloud-to-cloud lightning on the right. I remember a summer night in Toronto. It was early evening but ...
|Time Is Running Out for Willow Run
Willow Run , for those who've never heard of it, was the scene of one of America's greatest triumphs in World War II. In Ypsilanti, Michigan, it was the site of a huge assembly line built ...
|Air-Minded: End of the Road (Updated)
3/17/14: I added some new information and corrected a couple of errors. Scroll to the bottom for the update. The end of the road, that is, for the A-10. And the U-2. Friends keep asking me what I ...
|It's a missile! It's a plane! It's a Snark!
There were many projects during the Cold War that make me scratch my head and go "When did that start to seem like a good idea?". One of those is the SM-62 Snark. A Snark being launched. Probably ...
|Air-Minded: Davis-Monthan AFB Photoblogging
Once a year the Air Force conducts Heritage Flight practice sessions at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. The purpose is to train private owners of WWII warbirds and current USAF fighter and ...
|Air-Minded: Douglas F3D Skyknight
Dear Kossacks, I wrote this for my own blog, Paul's Thing , with the intention of cross-posting it here to reach a larger audience. Two days ago, while looking up additional information on the ...
|A fiercer storm – the Hawker Tempest II, Royal Air Force Museum, London||shortfinals||02/28/2014||23||36||-||-|
|The Griffon Aerospace Lionheart – building a better mousetrap!||shortfinals||02/28/2014||37||33||-||-|
|Remarkable People: Sabrina Jackintell, a Woman for all Seasons
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways…Chardonnay in one hand…chocolate in the ...
|Snow and Ice
If you've been flying at all this winter I suspect you've run into some delays due to the weather. I've already had to deice more times than I care to this winter and there appears to be no end in ...
|This rotorcraft fell between two stools (or two rotors) – the Westland (Bristol) Belvedere HC.1||shortfinals||02/04/2014||72||47||1||-|
|RAF Dambusters Fly Last Mission - For Now
The Royal Air Force 617 Squadron, known as "The Dambusters", flew their last mission in Afghanistan today performing close air support duties for the Coalition forces. The squadron will return to ...
|Lib Dem FoP||02/04/2014||24||25||-||-|
|Best Model Airplane in the World?
Vitaly Robertus of Moscow started building and flying rubber powered model airplanes when he was seven years old. He graduated to gas models and flew control line for a time, winning many control ...
|Cold War Relics - MiG-23
I've been reading Steve Davies' book Red Eagles: America's Secret MiGs and it's been a real eye opener. I can remember back in the 70s and 80s when we were all frightened of the MiG-23. When we ...
|B-18 "Bolo" bomber on our land in Hawai'i
Coming across an intact WW2 bomber while hiking through the jungle is a unique experience. Finding a large aircraft lying in a gulch on your own property is a sure way to inspire you to discover the ...
|The Auster Antarctica – before climate change had been thought of!||shortfinals||01/21/2014||21||37||-||-|
|Memories of a Pilot #1
I was a pilot. I owned a plane. Those were the days. You become a pilot for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is "12 O'Clock High", at least if you are my age. I gave up flying about 18 ...
|Old Airplanes: 1930 to 1933 (Photo Diary)
The Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum in Hood River, Oregon has a collection of 82 airplanes. Shown below are some photographs of airplanes from 1930 to 1933.
|‘From Hell, Hull and Halifax, may the Good Lord deliver us…’||shortfinals||01/14/2014||58||39||-||-|
|Busy wartime service, coupled with a high-profile civilian career – G-ACMN, D.H.85 Leopard Moth||shortfinals||01/09/2014||22||31||-||-|
|Cold War Relics - TU-95 Bear
I really shouldn't call the TU-95 a "relic" because it's still in service and likely will be for years to come. Like its B-52 counterpart, it's such an adaptable aircraft that it's managed to change ...
|The Sopwith Tabloid – Zeppelin killer!||shortfinals||01/01/2014||45||47||-||-|
|Royal Canadian Air Force Moose Milk Recipe
It is New Year's Eve, so in order to assist those aviators and airport bums who enjoy entertaining at home, I present the secret recipe for the concoction known to RCAF personnel as "Moose Milk". ...
|A vision in silver – Auster Autocrat, G-AGTO||shortfinals||12/28/2013||32||32||-||-|
|From chalk lines to immortality - the Sopwith Pup||shortfinals||12/24/2013||42||43||-||-|
|70 years ago today, two honorable men met....
"You follow the rules for you , not for the enemy. You fight by the rules to keep your humanity. If I ever see or hear of you shooting at a man in a parachute, I will shoot you down myself." - ...
|The unique fighter - Royal Navy Corsair IV, 'KD431'||shortfinals||12/19/2013||63||49||-||-|
|Cold War Relics - Convair B-58
If a plane could get by on coolness alone the B-58 would still be in service today. While it was an amazing piece of engineering for its time, the supersonic B-58 was arguably obsolete the day it ...
|Out of disaster - triumph! Avro Lancaster 'S for Sugar'||shortfinals||12/14/2013||51||34||-||-|
|Remarkable People: My Cousin Jimmy Gates and the Flower Bed, Seventy-Two Years Ago Today.
I remember where I was and what I was doing shortly after one o'clock in the afternoon on December 7, 1941. My dad called me in to where he and a couple of his friends were sitting by the huge ...
|A carbon fiber wonder – the Extra 330SC||shortfinals||12/07/2013||28||32||-||-|
|The Bristol F.2B Fighter – bare!||shortfinals||12/03/2013||26||39||-||-|
|Thanksgiving in a Hotel
The whims of airline scheduling have conspired to strand me in a hotel room in Memphis for the holiday. I'm not complaining, OK just a little bit, but this is the kind of thing we called "sport ...
|A Messerschmitt too far - Bf109G-2 Trop, Royal Air Force Museum||shortfinals||11/25/2013||76||47||-||-|
|Get me out of here! - Ejection Seats
Since earliest days of air combat the problem of how to save the crew of a stricken aircraft has plagued designers. Over the years I have known several people who successfully ejected from ...
|The Airmen of Buchenwald: A Veteran's Day Remembrance
On this Veteran's Day, we recognize those who sign up for the unknown. Some join out of patriotism and sense of duty. Others for adventure. Still others because of an opportunity to learn a trade or ...
|Diamond Aircraft Industries, DA-20-C1 – a pretty trainer, indeed!||shortfinals||11/11/2013||35||36||-||-|
|So you want to be an airline pilot?
What's wrong with you? Get outta here! Why would you want to work in this crazy business? Go to dental school or something. What? You're still here? Sigh, OK pull up a chair and I'll tell you how ...
|Mitsubishi Ki - 46 - III 'Dinah' - pride of the Japanese Army Air Force, wanted by the Luftwaffe||shortfinals||10/31/2013||63||56||1||-|
|The Vickers Supermarine Walrus - possibly an ugly duckling, but a stout performer!||shortfinals||10/23/2013||64||58||2||-|
|Where's my parachute?
Occasionally someone will ask me why they don't have parachutes or ejection seats on airliners. Fair question, actually. In the earliest days of the airlines passengers sometimes actually were ...
|Flying the 757
Boeing advertisement shows relative size of 757-200 and 757-300 I'm a big sports fan but I'm told that some athletes really excel at one thing while others are "all arounders". I'd put the 757 in ...
|‘ZH588′, EF2000, DA-2 prototype, ‘Milestones of Flight’, RAF Museum, London||shortfinals||10/15/2013||49||31||1||-|
|The Sopwith Triplane - one of the most effective fighter aircraft in the world||shortfinals||10/14/2013||31||54||-||-|
|Afterburner Takeoff in an F-16A
I had beaten the odds, big time. And I do mean BIG TIME! It was 1990 and I was flying the F-16A, Fighting Falcon in the Texas Air National Guard, having completed the checkout when I was almost 43 ...
|My P-51 Ride: November, 1963
All my life, I wanted to be a fighter pilot. As a kid, I was just insane for WWII aircraft, aviation history and real life fighter pilots. This is my story of how I got a ride in a P-51D, and a ...
|Air-Minded: F-15 Eagle Presentation
In previous diaries, I bored some of you by prating about a Powerpoint presentation on the F-15 Eagle I was building to give to Pima Air & Space Museum volunteers and staff. I gave my presentation ...
|Air-Minded: Gunship Photoblogging
The Pima Air & Space Museum restoration team rolled out our Mil Mi-24 Hind gunship earlier this week. I mentioned this helicopter in an earlier post , after seeing it partially disassembled in the ...
|Air-Minded: Going for Guns
I haven't posted an air-minded diary for more than a month. Why? Ironically, it's because I've been up to my eyes in a flying-related project, a presentation on the F-15 Eagle I'm giving to Pima Air &
|Air-Minded: Museum Updates
Yesterday was my day to volunteer at the Pima Air & Space Museum , where I lead back-to-back walking tours at 10:30 and 11:30 AM every Wednesday. There were no takers for the 10:30 tour, so I used ...
|The Short SB.5 - the English Electric Lightning's poor relation!||shortfinals||10/07/2013||38||31||-||-|
|True colors - the de Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth, Imperial War Museum, Duxford||shortfinals||10/04/2013||40||36||1||-|
|Speed and Beauty: A Ballet in the Skies of France
There used to be a program on television called World of Speed & Beauty. It was about fast, beautiful and graceful machines on the land, water and air. It seems appropriate for these two videos. ...
|Charles Lindbergh - the man and his aircraft||shortfinals||09/30/2013||49||40||-||-|
|The English Electric Canberra B.2, WH725, IWM – a worthy successor to the Mosquito!||shortfinals||09/29/2013||64||34||-||-|
|Too late to the party - the Spitfire Trainer||shortfinals||09/22/2013||28||41||-||-|
|Vickers F.B.5 ‘Gunbus’, Royal Air Force Museum – the first ‘fighting squadron’||shortfinals||09/17/2013||29||39||-||-|
|Cold War Relics - Myasishchev M-4
The history of aviation is littered with promising designs that never quite got it all together. Such was the Myasishchev M-4. Developed in the early 1950s, the M-4 "Molot" (Hammer) was supposed to ...
|The start of it all - W4050, the Mosquito prototype||shortfinals||09/10/2013||36||40||-||-|
|Fast and furious - the Hawker Fury I||shortfinals||09/06/2013||35||33||-||-|
|Beech Starship 2000A - too much, too soon versus hidebound bureaucracy||shortfinals||09/06/2013||28||39||-||-|
|Cold War Relics - Tupolev TU-22
Every once in a while a plane comes along that's not really an improvement over what it was supposed to replace. The TU-22 fits that bill perfectly. Designed to be a supersonic replacement for the ...
|Sometimes things just don't work out - G-CCWB, Aero L-39ZA Albatros, IWM||shortfinals||08/26/2013||27||25||-||-|
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