Flight Journal http://www.flightjournal.com Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:50:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 On This Day in Aviation History http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/21/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-384/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/21/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-384/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:49:17 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=215002

1908 – Louis Blériot, in a Blériot VIII-ter, flies 4.3 miles. 1929 – The Do-X, a German long-range flying boat, breaks the world record for the number of people carried on a single flight; it lifts 150 passengers, a crew of 10 and 9 stowaways. 1944 – First deliberate kamikaze attack takes place when a [...]

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1908 – Louis Blériot, in a Blériot VIII-ter, flies 4.3 miles.

1929 – The Do-X, a German long-range flying boat, breaks the world record for the number of people carried on a single flight; it lifts 150 passengers, a crew of 10 and 9 stowaways.

1944 – First deliberate kamikaze attack takes place when a Japanese plane (either a Aichi D3A dive-bomber or a Mitsubishi Ki-51), carrying a 440-pound bomb, attacks HMAS Australia off Leyte Island as the Battle of Leyte Gulf begins.

1961 – First flight of the Breguet Br.1150 Atlantic (shown), a French long-range reconnaissance, patrol and anti-submarine aircraft.

1966 – Birth of Douglas Gerald Hurley, American engineer, U.S. Marine Corps pilot and NASA astronaut.

2012 – Death of William Louis Buchanan Walker, British World War II fighter pilot and poet; he was the oldest surviving pilot from the Battle of Britain.

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Pilots Safe After F-16s Collide http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/21/pilots-safe-after-f-16s-collide/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/21/pilots-safe-after-f-16s-collide/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:04:48 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=214993

It was a beautiful, sunny autumn afternoon, and the 75-year-old woman was visiting the park in Moline with her twin 4-year-old great-grandsons. It was about 2:20 p.m. Monday. They watched as the jet left puffs of vapor or smoke, one after another. From her perspective, the jet started zigzagging and seemed to be in trouble. [...]

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It was a beautiful, sunny autumn afternoon, and the 75-year-old woman was visiting the park in Moline with her twin 4-year-old great-grandsons. It was about 2:20 p.m. Monday. They watched as the jet left puffs of vapor or smoke, one after another. From her perspective, the jet started zigzagging and seemed to be in trouble.

“Oh my gosh, boys, I think it’s going to crash,” Julian blurted out. Flames shot out as the jet plummeted – they couldn’t see it as it went behind trees – and they heard a loud boom, apparently when it hit the ground, about 75 miles southeast of Wichita in Elk County.

What happened, officials say, is this: Two Oklahoma Air National Guard fighter jets collided over rural Kansas during an exercise Monday afternoon, leading one of the jets to crash after the pilot ejected. Both pilots escaped serious injury.

For the complete story by Tim Potter of The Wichita Eagle, click here.

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56th FG Jugs: Paint Them Anything But Boring http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/21/56th-fg-jugs-paint-them-anything-but-boring/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/21/56th-fg-jugs-paint-them-anything-but-boring/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:04:01 +0000 Kate Pierpont http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=214990

By Stan Piet As the long-lived Thunderbolt group in the ETO, the 56th FG certainly sported some of the most varied camouflage plus squadron and individual markings in England. Upon arrival at Kings Cliffe in January 1943, its first combat-ready P-47C models bore a factory-standard olive drab over neutral gray livery. As the Thunderbolt was [...]

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By Stan Piet

As the long-lived Thunderbolt group in the ETO, the 56th FG certainly sported some of the most varied camouflage plus squadron and individual markings in England. Upon arrival at Kings Cliffe in January 1943, its first combat-ready P-47C models bore a factory-standard olive drab over neutral gray livery.

As the Thunderbolt was the first and only radial-engined U.S. fighter in the ETO at the time, its similarity to an Fw 190 quickly forced visual augmentation with 24-inch white nose cowl bands and later matching bands on the horizontal and vertical tails. A further enhancement was a second star cockade added to the left side underwing and a short-lived red surround to the fuselage star.

RAF-style group/squadron 3-letter codes were soon added as new U.S. units arrived in theater. Markings remained pretty uniform until early 1944 when group theater nose bands were replaced with squadron colors of red, yellow, and blue, and later partly applied to the rudders of two squadrons. Theater bands were also generally removed but when the initial uncamouflaged replacement P-47D-21s and -25s began arriving in the late spring of 1944, the group immediately began painting many of its new charges in several different and unique patterns. As pictured here, the Belle of Belmont, a P-47D-22 from the 63rd Fighter Squadron was “restored” to a standard OD-over-gray scheme while many of the D-25 bubble-tops were given an RAF-style shadow-shading green/gray upper pattern. Red nose cowlings were then adopted throughout the group to enhance their identity.

Invasion striping came next and that was soon over-painted topside but extra-large star and bar insignia were added when low-level strafing was added to the group’s mission. When the late model natural-metal M models were introduced early in January 1945, each squadron came up with its own distinctive appearance that included matte black upper-surfaces with red codes, a gray-green disruptive pattern with yellow lettering, and a rather flamboyant shadow-shading scheme in indigo and sky blue with the squadron codes left in natural metal. True to its earned uniqueness, the 56th FG maintained its distinctive legacy through its pilots, personnel, and its visual appearance.  J

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Post D-Day Fighter Conference http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/21/post-d-day-fighter-conference/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/21/post-d-day-fighter-conference/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:46:53 +0000 Kate Pierpont http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=214986

Where Do We Go From Here? By Budd Davisson What we have here is an executive retreat held in Bottisham, Cambridgeshire,  home of the 361st FG, August 1944. It is a get-together of all fighter group COs in the 8th Air Force and represents a who’s who of Post D-Day fighter aviation. Front to back: [...]

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Where Do We Go From Here?

By Budd Davisson

What we have here is an executive retreat held in Bottisham, Cambridgeshire,  home of the 361st FG, August 1944. It is a get-together of all fighter group COs in the 8th Air Force and represents a who’s who of Post D-Day fighter aviation. Front to back: 20th FG (Col. Harold Rau’s Gentle Annie), 352nd FG (Col. J. L. Mason was CO but PE-X Straw Boss belonged to Lt. Col. James Mayden), 56th FG (Col. David Schilling’s Hairless Joe), 55th FG (Col. G.T. Crowell was CO but Da Quake CL-P was Col. John L. McGlinn), 356th FG (Lt. Col. Philip E. Tukey, Jr.), 353rd FG (Col. Ben Rimerman). Back Row: 78th FG (Col. F. C. Gray, Jr.), 479 FG (Col. Hubert Zemke)

None us knows what was discussed at the conference, but, given the attendees and the date, we can guess: “Okay, guys, now we have a foothold on the Continent. Where do we go from here and how do we go about it?”  Or maybe it was planning for support of Operation Market-Garden, the mid-September invasion of Holland.

For the first time, fighter groups were being based in the enemy’s front yard. But, of course, U.S. fighters suddenly had Germans in their front yard, too. Given the short range of some German aircraft, notably Messerschmitts, this proximity could be construed to be to the Luftwaffe’s benefit: they wouldn’t have to fly very far to find targets and fuel wasn’t as much of a concern.

Of course, Allied air fields in France were literally fields: no sooner had the grunts driven a mile inland than an Air Force crew was on site looking for places to bulldoze more or less flat and call an airfield. Truck convoys fed by ships at the secured beachheads then began disgorging unimaginable amounts of mud-fighting Marston mat, tents, gasoline, toilet paper, food, kitchens and everything needed to keep a fighter group fighting.

The logistical demands of converting entire fighter groups into rural-based barnstorming gypsies was huge. While the strategies of battle undoubtedly occupied much of the meeting’s agenda, so did the more mundane subjects of the day-to-day survival of the airplanes and the crews that flew and supported them.

Wouldn’t you like to have been a fly on the wall at this meeting?

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Eyewitness to History: A Childhood Interrupted http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/21/eyewitness-to-history-a-childhood-interrupted/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/21/eyewitness-to-history-a-childhood-interrupted/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:20:37 +0000 Kate Pierpont http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=214982

By W. Joan Hawgood Hall, Former ACW.2 On September 1, 1939, my brother, Berkley, and I were being evacuated from London. Almost everything we owned was in our backpacks that Daddy had made for us, our gas masks in their boxes around our neck, our names on our coats. Mum and Dad came down to [...]

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By W. Joan Hawgood Hall, Former ACW.2

On September 1, 1939, my brother, Berkley, and I were being evacuated from London. Almost everything we owned was in our backpacks that Daddy had made for us, our gas masks in their boxes around our neck, our names on our coats. Mum and Dad came down to the street with us (we lived on the fourth floor of what was a sort of tenement house), but they were not allowed to come to the school with us. No parent was. They had no idea where we were going, or where we would sleep that night. “You must keep Berkley with you,” said Mum, and with a kiss and a hug, we walked the two blocks to the school.

 There were about 100 of us, from the age of three to thirteen; I was one of the eldest. The headmaster and the four teachers were going with us. We all walked to St. Pancrass Railway Station, and, as we were going up the steps to the trains, I said, “Look, Berk, there is a man there with a camera.” Our picture was in the Daily Mail the next morning.There were hundreds of children in the station, boarding several trains, and many of them had never been on a train. It was a very poor district. We boarded our train, and off we went. The noise from all the children must have been incredible. Some time later we ate the sandwiches Mum had given us, and then the train stopped in the middle of nowhere it seemed, and our school got off. There were buses that took us to the little village of Irchester, Northamptonshire, (about 600 people then, about 65 miles north of London, but to us, another world).We were taken to the schoolhouse where we were each handed a carrier bag with various items of food in it. We then walked a little way to the village green and sat down. It was a lovely day and there were all these ladies with lists in their hands of people who were willing to take children in. One lady came to Berkley and said, “Come with me, little boy, I have a home for you.” I grabbed his arm and said, “My mum said we have to stay together.” Another lady came and said, “Come with me, I have a home for you two.”

We walked down a lovely country lane to a house, through the gate, knocked on the door and a tall, thin lady answered. “Here are your two children, Mrs. Coleman,” and that was our home for nearly two years.

The owners had twins, Barbara and David, age four. Mrs. Coleman was a homemaker and Mr. Coleman, along with nearly all the older men in the village, worked in Green’s Shoe Factory. They were in their early forties and had been married for many years before the twins arrived.

They were very good to us. Berkley learnt his love of gardening from Mr. Coleman, and it stayed with him all his life. When the schools were finally sorted out for all of us, Berkley went to school in Irchester and I went to school in Rushden, four miles away. I rode a bike that I bought for $2.00, the first I ever had. Sometimes if there had a been a lull in the bombing of London, we would take the bus after school on Friday and go to town for the weekend. We did so one weekend in late 1940, when I had a dental problem. It was the night London burned.

The bombing started after dark and did not stop. We went to the basement of our house (no one else lived there, whereas before the war 16 people did). When Mum realized everything around us was burning, we ran down the street to an air raid shelter. It was 2 a.m. Everything was on fire. Even the road, which was tar blocks, was burning. It was unreal! The sky was red. We got into the shelter, and the smell was awful. It was the only shelter I was in during the six years of war. We were on the first bus back to Irchester in the morning.

 

Time to join the fight

I turned 18 on December 30, 1943, and on January 2, 1944, I volunteered for the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. My sister joined the WAAF in 1940, my eldest brother the RAF in 1942. My youngest brother in 1945. After training I was stationed at Foulsham, Norfolk, with No. 462 Squadron, No. 100 Group, Bomber Command, with Avro Lancasters.

I was trained as a wireless operator (radio) using nothing but Morse Code. There were about 3,000 airmen, Brits and Aussies, and 95 WAAF. The airdrome was four miles from Foulsham and the WAAF site, which was Nissan Huts, mostly had 12 girls to a hut.

Our hut was all Signals and we worked in shifts. Three WAAF were on each shift. We started at midnight and worked until 7 a.m.  Then we hopped on our bikes and pedaled back to the WAAF site, made a cup of tea, slept, got up at 3.30 p.m., ate, and went to Signals cabin at 5 p.m. We were on duty on the wireless sets until midnight, then would hop on the bike, ride home in the dark, regardless of weather, with a tiny little light. We slept, and were back on duty at noon until 5.p.m. and the next morning back on duty at 7.a.m until noon.  Then off for 36 hours and start all over again. Girls were always asleep in our hut.

Our Lancasters dropped bombs and “window,” which cut jammed German radar during our raids. We in Signals sent our bombers out, using Morse Code, and hopefully brought them back. A good number of them never came back, but life went on. Everything was coded, no plain language except for SOS.

I was stationed there until September l945, four months after V-E Day, when I was transferred to St. Athens, Wales, until July 1946. Very soon after V-E Day I was in the Signals cabin and our warrant officer came in, asking, “Do you want to go on a reconnaissance?”

I just looked at him, “Me? Fly?”

“Be at Dispersal at 0800 hours,” he said. I couldn’t believe it, but I was there in the a.m.

I flew for eight hours with an Aussie crew. All over Holland, I saw where the Dutch had destroyed their own dykes, when invaded. We flew all over Germany. At Cologne I so vividly remember the bridges all bombed and down in the river; I think there were four. I do not remember now all the countries we flew over.

When we crossed the English Channel at the beginning of the journey, I crawled down into the nose, where the front gunner was flat on his belly, with nothing but plexiglas around him. I climbed into the upper turret, again, nothing but glass. I did not climb down into the rear turret. I sat in the signals cabin, so tiny. I went all over the plane.

We flew back over France and Dover. When we landed, and I was on solid ground, all I could think was, “My God, the courage of these men, some so young, who flew on these missions, with the ack-ack against them, the German fighter planes shooting at them. How did they do it?” I have never forgotten it.

Now, at the age of 88, I sometimes think of those days, the hell of it, the courage of so many, and I know how lucky I am to still be alive and enjoying life, and I thank them all.

 

 

 

 

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On This Day in Aviation History http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/20/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-383/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/20/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-383/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:53:17 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=214975

1910 – Birth of Herwig Knüppel, German flying ace of the Spanish War and World War II. 1923 – First flight of the Boeing NB (or Model 21), American primary training aircraft; the equal-span biplane is capable of either wheeled or float undercarriages. 1969 – Finnair introduces an inertial navigation system on its aircraft, becoming [...]

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1910 – Birth of Herwig Knüppel, German flying ace of the Spanish War and World War II.

1923 – First flight of the Boeing NB (or Model 21), American primary training aircraft; the equal-span biplane is capable of either wheeled or float undercarriages.

1969 – Finnair introduces an inertial navigation system on its aircraft, becoming the first airline to dispense with the need for a navigator aboard.

1977 – A Convair CV-300 (shown) chartered by rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd runs out of fuel and crashes near the end of its flight near Gillsburg, Miss.; of the 26 aboard, six perish, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist and vocalist Steve Gaines, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines (Steve’s older sister), assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray.

1980 – The first dog fights of the Iran-Iraq War take place when an Iraqi Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is shot down by Iranian McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms.

2005 – Death of Chalmers Hubert “Slick” Goodlin, American World War II pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force who volunteered in the Israeli Air Force during the Arab-Israeli War; he also was an airline pilot during humanitarian missions, a test pilot for Bell Aircraft Corp. and nearly broke the sound barrier.

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How WWI Changed Aviation Forever http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/20/how-wwi-changed-aviation-forever/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/20/how-wwi-changed-aviation-forever/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:35:54 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=214951

When the world went to war in 1914, the Wright Brothers had only made the world’s first powered flight little over a decade before. But the remarkable advances made in aviation during World War One are still at the core of air power today, says Dr. Peter Gray. To say the first aeroplanes used in [...]

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When the world went to war in 1914, the Wright Brothers had only made the world’s first powered flight little over a decade before. But the remarkable advances made in aviation during World War One are still at the core of air power today, says Dr. Peter Gray.

To say the first aeroplanes used in WW1 were extremely basic is something of an understatement. Cockpits were open and instruments were rudimentary. There were no navigational aids and pilots had to rely on whatever maps could be found. A school atlas or a roadmap if necessary.  Getting lost was commonplace and landing in a field to ask directions was not unusual, as was flying alongside railway lines hoping to read station names on the platforms. But throughout the war there was a spiral of technological developments, as first one side and then the other gained the ascendancy.

To this day the core roles of air power – control of the air, strike, reconnaissance and mobility – have their roots in the evolution of aviation before and during WW1. From the deployment of Tornadoes to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to conduct operations against Islamic State in Iraq, to providing combat air patrols over the recent Nato summit in Wales.

For the complete story by the BBC, click here.

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Flight Journal Nominated for Most Inspirational Story — Cast Your Vote Today! http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/20/cast-your-vote-for-most-inspirational-story/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/20/cast-your-vote-for-most-inspirational-story/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:20:55 +0000 Holly Hansen http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=214952

Flight Journal is incredibly proud to announce that we are a finalist in the Barnes & Noble/ NOOK Readers’ Choice Newsstand Awards! Nocturnal Gamble by Martin K.A. Morgan, featured in our December 2014 D-Day issue, was chosen from hundreds of entries in the Most Inspirational Story category. Please take the time to vote today and [...]

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Flight Journal is incredibly proud to announce that we are a finalist in the Barnes & Noble/ NOOK Readers’ Choice Newsstand Awards! Nocturnal Gamble by Martin K.A. Morgan, featured in our December 2014 D-Day issue, was chosen from hundreds of entries in the Most Inspirational Story category. Please take the time to vote today and thank you in advance for your support of Flight Journal!

Read “Nocturnal Gamble” and cast your vote here: http://www.nook.com/readerschoice

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On This Day in Aviation History http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/16/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-382/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/16/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-382/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 21:34:14 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=214946

1895 – Birth of Keith Logan “Grid” Caldwell, New Zealand World War I fighter ace and World War II Royal New Zealand Air Force high-ranking officer. 1908 – First flight of the British Army Aeroplane No. 1, or sometimes known as Cody 1, a British biplane; it is the first recognized powered and sustained flight [...]

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1895 – Birth of Keith Logan “Grid” Caldwell, New Zealand World War I fighter ace and World War II Royal New Zealand Air Force high-ranking officer.

1908 – First flight of the British Army Aeroplane No. 1, or sometimes known as Cody 1, a British biplane; it is the first recognized powered and sustained flight in the UK and is made by Samuel Franklin Cody. The plane flies 1,391 feet before crashing.

1918 – Death of Albert Haussmann, German World War I fighter ace; he is shot down in flames while strafing troops near Romagne in northwestern France. Jumping from the burning plane, he is killed when his parachute fails to open in time.

1953 – A world speed record of 728 mph over a 62-mile closed course is set by Robert O. “Bob” Rahn flying a Douglas XF4D Skyray (shown).

1992 – First female Royal Air Force helicopter pilot, Flight Lt. Nicky Smith, graduates from No. 89 Course, No. 2 Flying Training School at RAF Shawbury.

2013 - Lao Airlines Flight 301, an ATR72-600, crashes into the Mekong River on approach in poor weather to Pakse International Airport, Laos, killing all 49 people on board.

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Mitsubishi RJ Set to Debut, Finally http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/16/mitsubishi-rj-set-to-debut-finally/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/10/16/mitsubishi-rj-set-to-debut-finally/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 20:20:28 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=214940

It’s almost four years late in arrival. Now, with a helping hand from bullet-train specialists, Japanis finally ready to show its first passenger jet to the world. Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. will unveil the regional jet at Nagoya on Oct. 18 after three delays as customers such as ANA Holdings Inc. and SkyWest Inc. await delivery. Mitsubishi is building 78-and 92-seater planes [...]

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It’s almost four years late in arrival. Now, with a helping hand from bullet-train specialists, Japanis finally ready to show its first passenger jet to the world.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. will unveil the regional jet at Nagoya on Oct. 18 after three delays as customers such as ANA Holdings Inc. and SkyWest Inc. await delivery. Mitsubishi is building 78-and 92-seater planes and plans to conduct its first flight by the end of June. The larger model will come out first.

Japan and China are leading the Asian race to break the virtual duopoly of Embraer SA and Bombardier Inc. in the small-passenger-jet market. With the Chinese aircraft also delayed, Mitsubishi’s regional jet will be a test of whether a new entrant can successfully break into the small group of leading plane manufacturers. Boeing Co. and its European rival Airbus Group NV lock out the market for larger passenger planes.

For the complete story by Chris Cooper and Kiyotaka Matsuda of Bloomberg, click here.

Photo by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.

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