What an inspiring & wonderful story, thank you Debra
Can’t wait to get the new issue of FJ.
This is a very public matter, with the upcoming movie, facebook threads, P-51 Tuskegee Airmen display on the airshows, and scale models… I just hope this can be seen as an example for kids to dream and believe again.
Would be great to have it flying around the Air Shows!!
Thanks for sharing!
Several years ago, while at a Collings Foundation B-24 & B-25 event at Baton Rouge airfield, I spotted the sihlouette of this warbird in a near by hanger. It was love at first sight! It is glorious to learn she is airborne. I hope to be able to witness a flight, if I could learn of her schedule. The restoration team was generous with their time and access to this magnificent aircraft. Many Thanks! Flight Journal for your coverage of these aviation treasures.
I love reading your articles on aviation and the different types of aircraft. Especially old warbirds! Also, I wish you would continue with the Flight Jurnal Podcast. I see you have a link on you airbum website however the link doesn’t point to a podcast.
I replaced my iPod and when I attempted to download the podcast is had a broken link.
Thank you so much…the B-17 to me is a wonderful plane and to be able to view these drawings anytime is nice, my Father train ed as a belly gunner, but by the time he was to be deployed overseas the war was over…..
not as dramatic or entertaining as the “old” style carrier landings…..but sure saves space and equipment…….
What a great historical aircraft to be treasured and on display at the USAF museum. I plan to be there in Sept. for the B-58 Hustler Association Re-union and look forward to the Restoration Shop Tour planned during the re-union. Dr. Stan Moody – PS – The Hustler looked great when i there some 15-20 years ago and look forward to seeing her again.
This is an amazing presentation of perhaps one of the most confusing and complex sea battles of WWII. Reading the histories of this battle over the days it took place, involving two time zones with some U.S. Navy ships’ logs on Hawaii time, and other U.S. ships logging related events in a different time zone, makes it difficult to follow. These images also clearly present actions that were never photographed and the would be a terrific addition to the published histories of the Battle of Midway–a turning point of the war in the Pacific.
I found two elements of this article to be inaccurate.
I flew the f101b for 175 hours with the 322nd FIS in 1959 /1960.
We were the 2nd squadron in the world to receive the aircraft, 2 of our aircraft were f101f models with dual flight controls for check out and standardization purposes.
The aircraft were equipped a system that was very effective in keeping the aircraft out of the pitchup corner of the flight envelope for those who got too close to it. I speak from personal experience here. I remember the airplane as very stable and enjoyable to fly in all areas. It was not a day fighter, ala f86. It had to be flown by the numbers, only a fool would attempt to hotdog it. I sent an article to BD some time ago on the Voodoo. It is stiil available if there is any interest.
The “Swoose”, the sole remaining B-17D is also undergoing restoration at the USAF Museum.
Hello there, I found your web site by way of Google whilst looking for a related subject, your web site got here up, it appears to be like good. I have added to my favourites|added to my bookmarks.
I’ve collected these since being a subscriber to Model Airplane News in the 50’s. Dad and I built (mostly Dad) a flying model (.049 powered, U-control) of the Nieuport 28 C 1 The model suffered terminal damage from a wind gust on a day in the mid 80’s, the plans were lost in Hurricane Betsy (1965), but I digress.
I like the drawings.
I want one.
Where may I purchase one surplus?
to me this highlights the issue of trust.
trusting someone doesn’t mean they are always right from a technical perspective but it does me that when you tell me something, I believe you are telling me what you believe to be the God’s honest truth. It also implies an understanding that we have a common goal — to get young aviators to be safe and confident flyers. It doesn’t mean “covering” for someone mistakes or not checking on things. In this case, Paul got it just right.
These drawings are and allways have been outstanding,Especially for scale modelers.Un fortunatly there are few real modelers left in the world!! i AM 83 YRS old and built all my life
Is he actually implying that Iran gained control of the RQ170?
To all the raiders…
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND YOUR SACRIFICE!!!!
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The current generation(s) of folks, especially todays young cannot begin to understand what the countless numbers of men and women in uniform did/are doing during WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan for our country. The blame lies mostly in the way we educate our kids both at home and in the school system. FREEDOM ISN’T FREE. Unless we (parents and education) change our liberal mindsets, we may be going down a pathway that one day we as a nation will regret and all of those sacrifices will have been in vain. What a legacy to leave.
I have read the article on the Voodoo I also that a squadron based here Spokane, Washington flew for awhile.
I really appreciate what these great men did to protect my freedom!! They went WAY beyond what they were called for and accomplished what they said couldn’t be done.I’m a fellow vet and I know the sacrifice that they had make to get the job DONE!! Thank you for ALL you did to allow me to grow up in a FREE country!!
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I just read the article about Howard Hughes and find it fasnating. I also have the DVD CALLED The “Aviator”. About Hughes.
I am so glad that these great aircraft are to be completed for all to see, get the kids away from the tv and into real life
The “Super” Hornet also has a built-in headwind, in the form of poor design leading to having to install the wing pylons at an angle to the direction of flight to assure safe dropping of stores.
Back in the late 60’s / early 70’s, Bert was working for Jim Bede in Newton, Kansas. Our model airplane club, the Wichita Radio Control Club, visited Jim and Bert where Bert showed us his first aircraft, the Vari-Viggen. A bit later on, Bert came to our R/C club meeting and showed home movies how as a teenager he used radio control to test his concepts.
Bert is a great, down to earth, super nice guy in addition to being on the cutting edge of aerospace technology. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy! It is nice to see someone like Bert rise to the top in terms of success an recognition.
Way to go Bert!!
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More and more of old warplanes are being restored from other countries and to me is a good thing.
The article was awsome. I read the flight Journal all the time when I can.
Ask the troops on the ground and that would settle it. Nothing does CAS like the Warthog.
Excellent report ! Shows the dangers of naval aviation and
the guts of the pilots to test these advanced planes…
Corky is the man !
I admire these builders with their 90% reproductions, but I also ask myself, why not go to 100% and make a nearly identical Spitfire or Mustang? So much engineering and testing is required for a 90% version. Wouldn’t the time input be the same for a full sized version, even if it used wood or a different engine other than a Merlin? Looking at the picture with this story, the pilot looks big compared to the 9/10 scale Spit. The Spit did not have an overly spacious cockpit to start with. Now it is 10% smaller and seems packed in to me, but then again, I’m six feet tall.
Great story. Let’s hope the project is a success.
Don’t forget that this is also a half-century of F-5’s, operating in the US and many foreign air forces over the last 50 years, going back to the Skoshi Tigers in Vietnam, and still serving today as the F-5N Tiger II with two USN and USMC Adversary squadrons, plus still with the Swiss, Brazilian and other foreign air forces. The F-5 is perhaps the greatest unsung hero of the modern day world of supersonic jet fighters. You can contact the F-5 Tiger Pilots Association at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Whenever we discuss the perfect fighter anywhere, we just forgot one essential component in the making of a perfect fighter, & that is the training of fighter pilot operating that operates the fighter jet. A lot goes into the training of pilot that is operating the jets.
One of the reasons behind US aces dominating the world skies since world war II is their training. Simply put, US has the best training infrastructure in the world for fighter pilots. U guys came with concept of Red Flag when u realized that after 10 combat sorties chances of survival increases dramatically.
I am sure that if u put your guys in Sukhoi cockpit & train them hard eventually they will beat F-15 easily which are to be flown by less experienced pilot. This is not to say that fighter technology is not the big factor. It is the biggest factor when it comes to combat. But no one can ignore pilot skills.
My personal believe is that Fighter Pilot & Sophisticated Fighter jets complements each other. The whole point here is that when u talked about F-22 not being able to penetrate very advance air defenses, then I believe that most brilliant US pilots (187 Raptor pilots) are already being schooled on how to complete SEAD missions in A2/AA theater.
At last, whole of the above statement is just argument. What will happen on that fateful day will depend of the skills of the pilot versus the skill of operators of IADS. The technology can’t replace humans, it can only support them.
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PHENOMINAL article by the son of a GREAT aviation pioneer! His father would be proud of him! His father was also an inspiration to me!
I have found the same debunkers with my water discoveries in spite of the fact they can MEASURE the change in the Hydrogen Bond Angle in water! Serge Gagarin (“Swept Wing” Design) and his son are my water machine customersI I graduated from The Choate School in 1949 with George and Igor Sikorsky Jr. GREAT ARTICLE! Best………John Ellis
Cancelling the F-22 was a big mistake by Obama.
Even though Neil Armstrong doesn’t know me (at all), i still feel really sad that he’s gone… 🙁 he is truly a legend
Surely those 80 horse Continentals were geared to turn those itty bitty props, huh? If you were to groundloop that thing, you’d bend a crankshaft before you bent a wingtip.
Some things are just not right…covering up the runway is certainly one of those things. Bad idea, people.
That is a BIG Maybe!!!!
What PC idiot thought this up.!!! LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!!! WE need to keep our history!!!!
do u know where i can find video footage of the Farrells plane crash?
Good question, Vanessa. I’m not sure the footage was ever released to the public. From what I’m guessing, the FAA received it directly from the bystander who shot the film. A query to the FAA might prove helpful; I’d check Youtube first, of course. You never know what might turn up there!
Please find a different location. I have had the honor and pleasure to have known many who served at Ford Island during the attack. My Dad was on board the USS Honolulu at the time. I Believe the entire area og the attack should be looked at as an historical site of remberence.
I agree . I Spent 3 years at Hickum ( 1955 to 1958) .and know the importance of the history of places like these.
About your Stinson AT-19 William Wylam Plans this month. I feel shure that Mr. Wylam did draw the wings for the Stinson. This would not have been a small oversight for the talented draftsman. Unfortunately you neglected to supply them as page 3 I presume.
Is there a way to access past drawings of other aircraft??
Great Magazine, Budd Davisson is the best.
Just type “free online drawing” into the search box at the top of the web page and you’ll be taken to the page with 6 other drawing sets
Is it possible to contact fulkerson? I flew with bong at Hamilton afb in early ’42 and my roommate at kelly was on bong’s wing on his last fight. h simmons
This is overwhelmingly sad however I have predicted this for a long time with this airline. Each time I fly with them I am genuinely scared for my life as you can tell they have no respect for safety regulations. Once we had Nigel (Managing Director) as our pilot and we could see screws loose on the wing, he arrogantly dismissed us. Another time we got to the end of the runway in Montserrat and the pilot slammed on his brakes, took us back to the hanger and changed plane with no explanation (sadly this was the one that died in this crash) and on another occasion we took off in weather similar to the weather encountered on this crash. I have never experienced a landing like it, I thought I was doomed. I understand from conversations with pilots that Nigel makes the pilots go, no matter what, to stick to the schedule and my personal experience of him has been that of an arrogant man with no consideration for safety. Sadly it takes an accident like this to make him realise it is important. Personally I will be going with SVG in future. This could have been me or my family. RIP to all those who perished, this should never have happened.
Mr. Fulkerson needs at least one more ride in someone’s P-38.
Wonderful Article! Fulkerson was a real character here in Little Rock and am glad to hear of his humble, yet valuable service. If memory serves me, he is either the grandson or great grandson of Col Baucum of Arkansas Civil War military history fame. This article has made me get into the attic, pull out my flight stick and controller, and get my Combat simulator going again just so I can hear those engines and .50 cals. firing over the Pacific again. What a ride!
Pilots loved the airplane because it was fast and had the fastest rate of climb of any propeller-driven fighter in the War , 421 mph & 4,570 ft/min vrs Hawker tempest 432 mph & 4,700 ft/min
Credit for being a navy bird
Although it sounds neat, seems rather pointless to have such a small museum with planes that rarely fly at an airport that itself is having a ton of problems just trying to get regularly flying aircraft to come in,added to a very small community that pretty much disregaurds the airport…All the airport buisinesses have gone in the last 3-4 years(last attempt at an airport restaraunt only lasted 4 months) and with them most of the traffic….$100 says nothing will come of it but you never know….
This is the shortest eight minute video I have ever seen. Love it!
I just your article on the new Flight Journal.com. And I like it. I also read your magazine every time I get a chance. The reason I do not subscribe to the magazine is the way the postal service handles the mail.
Thanks, Milan, for your comments. Everyone here at Flight Journal works hard to make our print and online editions the best they can be, so we appreciate the kind words. I’m sorry to hear about the mailing issues, but if you’re in the U.S., a conversation with your local postal carrier or postmaster might be in order if you want to take advantage of our great subscription rates!
Looks suspiciously much like Chance Vought flying pancake.
Great news of sponsor funding to support the dig!
Great story. Thanks a bunch for that. I’m restoring a Wildcat myself. Anyone can get involved by being a part owner buying shares.
Restoring a Mosquito would be awesome. I’ve started a fund where anyone can be a part owner of restoring our first project. The F4F Wildcat. Check out my website for additional information if you want to get involved.
I’ve started a fund where anyone can be a part owner of restoring our first project. The F4F Wildcat. Check out my website for additional information if you want to get involved.
Interesting the last report I saw was digging would start in late October. Now we see this as later this year or spring. Then the monsoon season will be back and no digging. This is apparently a typical scam treasure hunting event as it never seems to happen. One thing to think about: they have been buried for 70 years and monsoons happen each year. Even at 17 feet or 40 feet which ever you believe the water table must be at that level. We are talking about crates that have been exposed to moisture for 70 years and therefore the planes have been living in 100% humidity for almost 70 years. What they will find will be crude batteries reacting in the humidity with dissimilar metals and other than static museum pieces that will be the end of them! They will never fly!
I really do enjoy this added feature to your excellent magazine. I download all of the plans and have been a fan of Wylam Plans since the 1950s. Flight Journals get read and saved here.
Thank you … very touching … very right on … from another of ‘your’ (our) generation …. John
Good article. Thanks
I remember sitting up above the jungle at 2000’ AGL in my O-1 throttled back and leaned out for maximum duration, since I was not going any place, covering a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol. The leader was whispering in his radio a routine report consisting of the number of NVA passing and what they were carrying, thinking I am sure glad I am up here instead of down there. I worried about those guys down there as I set safely in my perch above them unable to do much except relay their messages. They had more courage than I did, I could fly away but they could not.
The RC group is not being represented in this dogfight. If they are to be included they need a voice,otherwise they will be the baby thrown out with the bath water. That of course will lead to yet another group that will ignore FAA which has neither the budget or the mandate to chase every RC Drone (and plane model for that matter) down. While I understand the safety concerns of pilots and the FAA, I also know that the drones are coming regardless of what the FAA or congress says or does. It would be better to work with the groups like DroneOrg and other RC groups to entice compliance rather than alienate hundreds of thousands if not millions of enthusiastic young RC pilots and turn them into criminals needlessly.
I just realized I walked past this model while touring Kermit Weeks collection of aircraft at Fantasy of Flight a couple of weeks ago. Beautiful model and impressive full size project going on right across the hall from it.
Manning should be hung out to dry. He is nothing but a traitor to this country. He knew what he was doing when he leaked all those info.
I wish those students good luck in repairg those aircrafts at the museum at Hill AFB.
Is there a site where a person can go to find out where and when fly-Ins are happening ?
I’m not sure, but I’ll do some checking and get back to you!
I am very interested in your plane and would to know how could get the plans for the Benoist airplane shipped to me ASAP<
Please reply AsAp.,
or e-mail me: philipparker46@yahoo,com
i love reading about aircraft that do not need a computer to fly
I had the pleasure of seeing Col. Parr at the F-86 Sabre Pilots Association reunion in 2001. He, like the rest of the pilots there, were a special breed, the likes of which we’ll never see again. His aerial achievements in three wars speak for themselves. Although he is gone, his spirit lives on in those he mentored.
I for one think this is a great idea… Fosters interest In aviation and serves to help the museum
Your story shows a picture of N6XE, I suppose to help folks know what a typical Lancair 4 looks like. Some folks may find it alarming to see a picture of an airplane completely unrelated to the accident.
The accident aircraft was N5M, and pictures of this Lancair 4-PT(pressurized & turbine) aircraft are available at:
Yours in clarity,
Yep, that’s exactly correct: we often show public-domain images of aircraft representative of those involved in stories, often because lifting a shot of the exact plane, whether from the news source or a buff’s image from Airliners.net, for example, would be a violation of copyright. It’s a technique often used in the media and while you’re on point about the potential for reader confusion, I believe most folks understand such images are for illustration.
Thanks for your comment and happy New Year!
Great video of what these “Fire Fighters of The Air” do !! However, please leave off the “ear splitting, yelling , screaming, garbage called ‘music’ “……… totally unnecessary! I would much rather listen to the turbines howl than that other stuff!
Saw this aircraft fly at Lambert as a kid. My uncle worked for Shell Oil and they had a distribution hub across from MAC. I used to sit on the hill there and watch the flight activity. I would like to think that XP-67 flights had something to do with my life long obsession with flying in the Navy and for UAL.
nothing like a good warbird
great video… however, i strongly suspect your target audience would much rather hear the “natural” noise rather than whatever that background noise was.
The Zero could run rings around most airplanes of the day…including Wildcats and Hurricanes. Proper tactics were needed to beat it, e.g. the Thatch Weave. It is good to keep in mind that the Buffalo was used with great succes by Finland in fighting the Russians.
Here you are the Aerogallo, the flying rooster 🙂 Take a look at this video: yhttp://rp9.it/AeroGallo
Why no photos of the plane on the bottom before recovery? And which Friday? There’s a lot of them!
We didn’t have access to images of the plane before it was recovered. As to the date, the Friday in question would’ve been the day after the story was posted on Dec. 6 (which, naturally, was a Thursday). Perhaps I should’ve written “Tomorrow” in the headline. Sorry for the confusion.
I like this feature also but have only been able to get the XP-67 plans. Can a person get previous downloads, and how do you get tje latest?
I am the grandson of Chester Boyd. I just posted a picture today that I had scanned from my Aunt’s photo book. Send me an email and I’ll send you a picture of Chester & Hunter Boyd & their pilot, Liet. Leo Willinger with their first plane from 1924.
Thanks so much for writing! We’d love to see your photo – you can send along to email@example.com. Thanks!
I ‘m sending you (as an E-mail document) a longer version of my own feelings which happen to be “right on” with yours, although I served a quarter of a century in the U. S. Air Force. Life as a non-combatant in the Military is comparable to being a civilian who just happens to be “in-uniform.” I too feel somehow small when in the presence of a real Combat Veteran. They deserve our undying respect – and I give it fully – appreciating the fact that they were “there” while I and the Wives and Children were behind the lines. Richard F. Bishop, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.), Munich, Germany.
Chester Miller Boyd Is my father. His brother W. Hunter A. Boyd, of course, is my uncle.
There is one member of the family named after him, Jonathan Hunter Underland.
I believe you have heard from my nephew, Chester Miller Boyd,111.
I do have some stories if you are interested.
Also both men are registered with the Smithsonian Institute Museum.
Good writing! Made me want to attend an airshow!
$60k ???? WE CAN PUT ONE UP FOR $600…WATCH ROCKET CITY REDNECKS ON NAT GEO
It is never too late to do something you always have dreamed of doing.
Mike Harbour is almost as talented writer as Roy Grinnell is an artist. Great book — great review!
Aw, shucks, J., thanks…I really appreciate it! Of course, I thought Roy’s book was quite worthy of such a write-up; I just want folks to buy his book!
Excellent review regarding a first class Aviation Art book! The book is a wonderful showcase of Roy’s art and for the aviation heroes captured in the images!
Barrett does it again! Another good look at a great design!!!! Way to go!…. No ‘FRILLS”, just the fact’s Ma’am!
More than half of the B-17’s produced were the G model. most of them had 13, 50 caliber Brownings. Besides the positions mentioned in this fine article there were 2 Cheek guns, and one that the Radio Operator operated out of the top hatch.
Thanks for providing these drawings.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE 74 TO ENJOY THIS ARTICLE!
There was at least one variation on this theme. In the early ’50s the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) operated a Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC)-modified version of the NA F-86 “Sabre” by replacement of the 6×50-cal MG’s with 2x30mm Aden cannon. The GE J-47 engine was also changed to a Rolls-Royce “Avon” RA-7 turbojet. With several other modifications to fuselage and wings the result was dubbed the “Avon Sabre” Mks. 30-32.
My father, William J. O’Dwyer, a Fairfield-born resident and guest editor at Flight Journal, was the premier historian, worldwide, for Gustave Whitehead, from 1963 until his death in 2009. He organized his Air Force Squadron in the early 1960’s to help look for Whitehead info and artifacts after he discovered some original photos, interviewed (taped and filmed) dozens of witnesses then still alive, obtained a headstone with a ceremony for Whitehead, who was buried in a pauper’s grave, obtained recognition in CT, Germany, Europe for GW as First to Fly, spearheaded the building and flight of the replica in 1986 inviting Andy Koch, a teacher my father knew from Trumbull High School, where my dad was plant manager, as a helper for the team he assembled. William J. O’Dwyer wrote the book about the Whitehead coverup – History By Contract, after uncovering the Smithsonian contract by getting Sen. Weikert to assist when Smithsonian wouldn’t release the contract. He saw to it that GW was represented at the air museum in Hartford area, the Ffld and Bpt historical societies, and founded the Whitehead Museum in Leutershausen, Germany, Whitehead’s birthplace. His research and writings on Whitehead spanned more than fifty years and is the foundation of today’s recognition. My dad continually sparred with the Smithsonian historians who would never (and can never) recognize Whitehead as first to fly or even that he did fly, as the contract forbids it – tTHEY WILL LOSE THE WRIGHT FLYER IF THEY DO. Same with any of their subsidiary museums.
Very political. I am very pleased that Jane’s All the World Aircraft is providing Fairfield’s Gustave Whitehead with the recognition he deserves.
It was pretty shocking to read the statement from Jane’s and the CT articles with no mention of the importance of William O’Dwyer’s research work, without which this recognition could not have occurred. I hope that can be corrected. History by Contract is out of print but available online through Amazon and other print media outlets. It fully chronicles the deceptions by Smithsonian, including all the letters back and forth that show the duplicity. I appreciate this recognition for Whitehead, which would have made Dad very happy. It would be appropriate to give credit for the original research by Fairfield’s William J. O’Dwyer, which this recognition is ultimately founded upon. History must be accurate.
Susan O’Dwyer Brinchman
La Mesa, CA
Regarding the article “The Last Torpedo” – the photo on page 41 shows an AD taxiing forward and is labeled as preparing to launch. Judging from the fact that there is no ordinance on the wing hard points and that the wings are folded, I would say that this plane has just landed and is taxiing forward. I was in VF 52 which had F-9-F’s but I saw many of those great AD’s taking off and landing. It was great to see them lift on their struts when holding the brakes and reving up that big four bladed prop.
Hi; my name is Eric Lechner I have built balsawood airplaines from childhood , now at age 42 I have a drafting table and all kinds of stuf for designing RC aircraft balsawood and composite gliders and gaspowerd. Also working with some new materials for airframe construction ideas.
In the spirit of sharing, here’s what i think of the new Malindo Air after being on board 2 of their flights last Saturday.
Thanks indeed for sharing; what a great review…wish I had gone with you!
What we see here is a conflict between an enthusiast, Mr Brown, who is attempting to prove something by using innuendo, claims of a vast conspiracy, vague “evidence” and the ability to see “things” in photographs which do not exist.
These are the same tactics used for political arguments throughout the world and have no place in professional, accurate historical analysis. These tactics are more associated with the old Soviet Union’s attempt to manipulate history for their own ends.
Until Mr Brown presents verifiable, uncontrovertible evidence his claims do not stand the test of historical research. When I can read the inverviews with witnesses recorded at the time of the flight, clear, see sharp photographs of the actual flight, and review copies of contemporary telegraph messages or reporting then I might believe. When I see history of resultant development, flights and commercial use of the Whitehead flying machines I might believe.
Until then, the Wright complete development records; the sharp, comprehensive, contemporaneous photography; the extensive eyewitness information; the follow-on, continuing development of their first flight machines provides the necessary foundation for their title.
That Jane’s is backing this claim probably says more about the current editor, Paul Jackson, than it does about actual facts. After all, Jane’s is not really an “historical” publication but a yearly “review” of contenporanous aviation developments, systems and events. The events in question would be included in the Jane’s, or equivalent, of the period.
This Whitehead claim will not amount to anything until all concerned can meet the rigorous standards of historical research into events occuring more than a century ago. Until then, I will consider the Whitehead claims as part of a local attempt to attract tourists through the promotion of a local, ultimately unsuccessful resident.
Interesting article but has some errors. The torpedo nicknamed “Fido” was actually called a mine for security reasons as no other acoustically steered torpedo exisited at the time. It was tested in Long Island Sound and put into production immediately. 5000 were built prior to any use so its appearance would be sudden and no countermeasures (soundmakers) could be used. Its purpose was to seek and kill U-Boats which it did very well. Hedy Lamarr, who I admire, had nothing to do with it. It was designed by Western Electric research (later Bell Labs) and MIT. My father was a key developer of the acoustic steering used on “Fido”.
Good article Kate. Anyone who has read Submarine books about WW ii, ie; The Wake of the Wahoo, saw the futility of the Sub Cmdrs using bad torpedoes n complaining about them with no results. How many subs did we lose because of these torpedoes ?
Of course the Wrights were first without a doubt. If Whitehead had flown, which he didn’t, why did he not continue to build powered airplanes? Why did he go back to building gliders? Would you be able to fly any airplane for a mile without any experience or training? All of the information about Whitehead is always prefixed with “maybe”, “could have” or some other caveat. I can’t believe that one fuzzy picture is proof that it flew. Some years later the person that was said to have seen him fly couldn’t remember it. I suggest you read “The Letters and Paper of Wilbur and Orville Wright”.
Hey Bud. I have my brother’s log book which says you were with him when you did your first loop.
Why did he not continue? As anyone who has attempted to design, buid and fly their own airplane can tell you, it is a complex, demanding, time-consuming, and expensive business. And flying it — though few will openly admit it — is risky.
Many an aircraft “homebuilder” has gone broke in the process. Many others have died in the resulting craft, or found it too shaky to fly more than once.
Further, there are a host of reasons why an airplane inventor would choose to discontinue efforts, even after having flown, such as:
1.) Realization that this was very dangerous activity (43 fatal crashes were recorded in the first few years of airplane flight), and deciding not to risk one’s neck. This could have been a matter of simple sobriety, or concern for one’s family (Whitehead had a wife and child, dependent upon him, in an era when there was no Social Security, nor welfare, and few people had life insurance), or the decision that smarter investment was in his proven field of expertise: building engines (which he did for about 30 airplane customers, all over America).
The Wrights, by comparison, had no dependents, and could risk their necks with relative carelessness if they chose, and so were more likely to continue their experiments. Further, they had the freedom and flexibility and resources and imagination to make the drastic move to North Carolina for their preliminary experiments, affording them a soft landing on sand beach or sea — compared to the rocky coastal hills of Whitehead’s Connecticut.
2.) Further, Whitehead’s expertise in English — the language of American commerce and science — was likely limited, given that he was a fairly recent immigrant from Germany. Local-language fluency is a well-known as a decisive influence in the success of inventors and entreprenurs in America.
3.) Lack of finances. While the Wrights had a profitable bicycle business in a busy, profitable industrial city, Whitehead did not always have such a clear and easy source of funds. Though he did gain some support, intermittently, indications are that the donors were not reliable.
4.) Delay pending patent. Some inventors suspend their work until they feel they can get patent protection — an expensive, complex and time-consuming process that can sideline them while others zoom by — exactly what happened with the Wrights, in fact. Even preparing to apply for a patent can slow and even halt inventors, while they try to figure out what to do, and how to do it, and then begin the arduous process of documentation (seldom a skill of a technical person), and then a patent search for comparable pre-existing patents — before even applying for a patent.
5.) Lack of focus. Many inventors are chaotic people, with short attention spans, frequently hopping from one interest to another. Some are successful this way, but most don’t succeed — at least not in the commercial sense. Time taken away from one fascination, to pursue another, often results in neither coming to full fruition, no matter the early success. (Again, keep in mind, Whitehead had dependents to think of, a home to maintain, income to provide, etc.)
6.) Lack of patience. The disciplined patience required in aircraft development is more than most can endure. It’s possible that after the initial success, Whitehead lost the will to keep up the intense, demanding, long-term work to get a safe and useful plane. (The Wrights, by comparison, kept at it until their first viable plane, the Wright Flyer III, years after their supposed “first flight”).
6.) Common sense. The fatal fates of other aircraft experimenters — Liliethal, Pilcher, and others — were a stark warning that this was not a practical use of one’s time.
One scary ride in a plane you can barely control — as its poorly-structured wings fluttered (“flapped”) madly while the deadly-dangerous acetylene engine banged away, while you attempted to control it, and do so barely — can be enough to make any aviator reconsider, no matter how pioneering.
Unlike the Wrights’ early airplane “flights” — which never made it out of the artificial support of ground effect, within a dozen or so feet above the sand — Whitehead’s supposed early flight soared fifty feet up — a long, LONG way to fall, onto hard ground. That could be one very terrifying, and deterring, first-flight experience, especially if the climb to altitude was sudden and resulting from inadequate control.
(Inadequate control was also clearly a characteristic of the 1903 Flyer — most of the flying replicas of which have crashed, as did the Flyer itself on on all four 1903 flights, most lasting only seconds, and none of which lasted more than a couple of minutes, the longest not even reaching a quarter-mile before its crash.)
Another reason for Wright persistence vs. Whitehead non-persistence:
Wilbur & Orville had each other for help.
Whitehead didn’t have a free-and-relable, mechanicallyt skilled family member to assist him.
A review of successful early aviators shows, quite commonly, a duo — especially brothers:
In fact, few pioneers succeeded, for long, without family-supplied skilled labor or money. Whitehead had neither.
CANNOT DOWNLOAD OR PRINT ON iMAC
Thsi is a dumb debate. First, if Whitehead was indeed first to fly a heavier than air craft, why did he not continue his development? Where are the advances that surely would have been forth coming? Why did no one else take up his research and continue? Why was the Wright aircraft the one that set the benchmark for future development? If Lincoln Beachey had been the “successful” developer of such a craft would we not have evidence of the breakthroughs that were and are still attributed to the Wright machine? I think it is evident that many had been able to make a heavier than air machine leave the ground but to what end? Was the machine “controllable” as was the design goals in the Wright attempts? Spare me the “maybes” and the aliens from outer space theories. If it is true that the Whitehead machine could indeed fly, why not build one and show me it is, or was, as capable as Wright’s, then maybe I’ll have to take a closer look. As of now I will stay with the one that brought me to the dance. She’s clean, honest, and good looking. That Greek guy that flew too close to the sun was also flying a heavier than air machine but it didn’t work out very well for him even though he may have been the first!
As to why Whitehead, if he “was indeed first to fly a heavier than air craft, why did he not continue his development?” See my comments above.
As for “Where are the advances that surely would have been forth coming?” — note that his wing-warping may have been copied by the Wrights, following their visit to him before their “first flight.”
As to “Why did no one else take up his research and continue?” — again, see the Wrights visit and inquiries, and Charles Manly’s inquiries, as well (Langley’s partner).
As to “Why was the Wright aircraft the one that set the benchmark for future development?” — it simply did not. By the time the secretive Wrights got around to showing their airplane to the world, in 1908, the Europeans and others had figured out how to fly WITHOUT any help from the Wrights. The Wright’s plane may have been the best at the 1908 exhibition in Europe, where it debuted, but it was not alone in the sky, at all.
By the following year, 1909, the planes that set the benchmark for future development were NOT the clunky, backwards Wright designs, but the more practical and sensible French designs by Bleriot, Farman, Saulnier, Brazilian Santos-Dumont, and by America’s Glenn Curtiss, and designs by others, as well. The Wright design faded rapidly from the aviation world, as did their influence in every area of aviation, while the others continued, some of them for decades.
Using adjustable pliers to remove and place components? Not a good sign.
I heard the Smithsonian gave Bleriot credit for the first flight until after WW2. They finally relented to the Wright Brothers who then brought The Wright Flyer back from England where it had spent the war in a subway to keep it from being destroyed by the Blitz, and gave it to them.
It was the Smithsonian’s own former Director, Professor Samuel Pierpoint Langley, whom the Smithsonian held out to be maker of the first viable airplane — until about World War II.
By then, the Wright legend had firmly transcended their glorification of Langley, and later generations of Smithsonian officials cut a deal with the Wright estate and family to get the Wright Flyer back from the British museum they’d sent it to, instead.
The deal they made, however, further compromised the Smithsonian’s historiographic integrity, promising the Wright estate and family, by secret contract, to deny any claim that any other airplane was first.
Now, during the Wright-Whitehead debate, the senior historian of nation’s official aviation museum — to whom all the media naively turn to for objective assessments of aviaiton history — is none other than the former Ohio history promoter, and longtime principal Wright biographer (who presumably makes money from his popular books on the Wright legend), Tom Crouch, a guy with absolutely no aviation technical credentials, and all three of his degrees from state universities in Ohio.
The Smithsonian has a very shoddy history when it comes to their integrity on the subject of early aviation historiography.
For verfication of my remarks about Crouch, see his own Curriculum Vitae (academic resume) at the Smithsonain Air & Space Magazine website:
…and his bio on the Smithsonian website:
Note that “Miami University” is in Ohio, not Florida.
Note further that: In the fall of 2000, President Clinton appointed Dr. Crouch to the Chairmanship of the First Flight Centennial Federal Advisory Board, an organization created to advise the Centennial of Flight Commission on activities planned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of powered flight.
Any invalidation of that “First Flight” date would put Crouch’s pivotal leadership role in that massive Centennial in retrospective question.
several have tried. none are posted. So why do you say no responses?
I hoped to sign up but received a message saying that my name and e-mail address were already on record. Okay, fine. But how do I sign up? why the problem?
I enjoy perusing “On this Day in Aviation History”. I especially focus on World Wars One and Two events like the Red Baron entry for example. I wish there were a column or department specifically dedicated to World War One Aviation History.
Thanks for the kind words; I certainly enjoy putting OTDIAH, as I clumsily call it, together every day for our readers. As for granting your wish, it’d be a little overwhelming to fulfill since I’m just one person, but rest assured World War I aviation will remain a high priority for all of us here at Flight Journal.
No, the “Starting Bid is NOT $50K! That’s just the fee to get in the door. A huge difference. Please try again. What would be helpful is basic stats on the airframe and engines- you know – basic stuff like hours and cycles! Despite this airplane’s age, I’d guess that the hours/cycles are quite low for the type. If one can afford to buy it, one can probably also afford the hefty operating costs. Other notes: The USAF/GSA will probably require that i t be repainted and NO, it does not come with an ‘extension’ of the President’s Red Phone. Just assume that all military/presidential gear was removed in 2005. Get a grip.
Having a rough day there, Cook? Let’s address some of your points:
First, the starting bid. Well, according to the site, the current bid is $50,000; granted the bidding has yet to start, but I’m going by what I see on the page. The bid deposit also happens to be $50,000. I’m sure anyone seriously considering a bid would discover that fact and more by visiting the GSA site.
Second, yep, it’d be nice to have some details such as airframe and engine hours, but I couldn’t find it at the time of posting. Maybe the GSA will provide it to serious bidders.
Third, nobody said anything about a phone, red or otherwise; if you’d like to see a list of items to be recovered and removed from the plane, feel free to check out the supporting documents on the GSA site. You’ll also find an exhaustive list of spares.
Fourth and finally, we at Flight Journal pride ourselves on being fully gripped and we stand by the post.
It says I’m a member when signing in then wants me to enter another e-mail address. This is the second time trying to enter as to what is already free with my being a member already. Does anyone ever fix the problems?
Good question, Jim; sorry you were having trouble. I’ll forward your note to someone who can help and we’ll go from there!
This is an increadibly strange aircraft – in terms of construction- and increadibly rare in the absolute sense. It is wonderful that it is being restored and that we get to see some of the process here.
The remains of a Boyd Flying Craft No.3 are at College Park Airport behind the hanger.
What an amazing story!!
This was a great story to say the least. What history you were able to re-live with this gentleman. It kind of reminds me of my Uncle that flew B-26’s. He is still alive, and everytime I am around him I am mesmorized at the stories he tells of his bombing missions.
Thank you for doing this story, and keep up the good work.
I wish I could take credit for the story, but the kudos should go to the film’s narrator and crew; those guys not only preserved and researched Doc Savage’s old footage, but they’re his descendants! BTW, may I make a suggestion? You can do the same thing with your uncle; the next time you two meet, bring a video camera along (or a digital audio recorder at least) and record his experiences for posterity. As you can imagine, we’re losing war vets every day, so doing such a thing would not only preserve his memories for you and the rest of the family, but you’d also be doing history a great service!
Is there a way to download more than a postage-stamp sized copy of the Wright Flyer drawing? That may be the reason why you have no comments to this offer.
Yes there is a way, and I found it. Thanks
can you tell me how to download it in viewable size??
A wonderful story, indeed. Every time I see something like this, I get the feeling I was born one generation too late. I have to take issue with the term “belly-up landing”, though. I think you probably meant to say “wheels-up”, which would result in far less damage to the airplane and pilot.
Cheers, and thank you, John S. Blyth for your service.
Thanks for the catch; I actually meant to write “belly landing,” but combine that and wheels-up to get something else!
My machine could never even download a small, let alone, regular sized picture.
The A-10 may be getting gray but I don’t see an F-35 as a viable replacement.
No 30 mm gatling gun, no structural masking or armor against ground fire, a single engine and probably not the loiter time for CAS. It may turn out to be a fine airplane but it’s not going to replace the Warthog. The gtound pounders will see the difference.
You’ve made lots of good points, but I think your last sentence contains the biggest one…a lot of folks who’ve found themselves on the business end of the U.S. military have come to know and fear that distinctive A-10 silhouette. It just seems to scream death, from what I’ve read, and troops who learn some Hogs are headed their way are quick to hunker down or scatter.
Wow! This blows me away. If Spits could fly to Berlin then WHY didn’t the Generals put drop-tanks on them to support our bombers like P-51’s?
Would the drop tanks equal the wing leading edge gas tanks in capacity? Could the “long-wing” version of the Sit have been modified for the escort role I wonder? What a great video!
Kelly Johnson said in his autobiography, that the YF-12 was the version that they should have built in numbers.
Amazing footage and Story. How can I get a DVD of this story to show friends involved with WWII history and a friend that owns and flies a WWII Spitfire.
not worth it…
The Afghan Army will only succeed with a strong Air force. Thus far, the air force hasn’t been given much attention from the US. They don’t have any jet fighters at all.
Excellent PDF file in high resolution. Thank you.
You may be interested to know that the BBC made a TV documentary called Operation Crossbow which covers some of this story.
Hello everybody. About the first to fly, I have got to say that it was done a long time befoere in October 1890 by Mr Clement Ader with the Eole. He Create the word Avion. All the other flights were done in secret in the French Army.
Thank you for the great magazine.
a million attaboys for giving such a great gift to a true hero of ww2
Best gen avation craft ever built.
Great story the spitfire has always been my favorite aircraft .
That is SOOO COOL!!!!
Absolutly Wonderful. Those MEN were Americas greatest Generation.
I thought I was a subsriber ?
Thanks for sharing our story…we look forward to the day we bring our servicemen home.~C-124 Family
This video is just great.
Wow. Such dedication to bringing closure to something so dear as a memory ” I wonder what happened to that guy…” Thank you for sharing this moment with such clarity, such a feeling. It is they who gave their lives for us. Somewhere we fly on our thoughts of those who were young and in the heat of a moment, simply got lost in time. This has brought, so clearly, the moments and days few will ever know. The smell on cut grass, aviation fuel and oil brings so much flooding back. Thank you
Talk about memories, growing up near the Boyd house in Kensington, MD in the late 40’s and playing in the wingless fuselage of the plane, while my childhood buddy took piano lessons from Mrs. Boyd. I can still see Mrs. Boyd’s face telling us to be careful.Always wondered what happened to that old plane from so long ago.
I LOVE YOUR JOB. THE Magazine is top notch.
This aircraft, did it end its day at the Davis Monthan Regenerating facility in Tucson. My father a had black and white color pic of a aircraft but in much disrepair, the wing wher mostley gone and the glass was all out but the distinctive nacelles where still there.
Actually, there were two things going on at the back of the Mark 13 Mod 10 torpedoes introduced in 1944. First, there was a circular metal shroud ring shroud around the propellers. It was popularly called the ring tail. About ten inches tall, t was added primarily for underwater performance. British tests during the war showed that the ring tail added general stability in water, including critical roll stability. It also made depth-keeping easier by making the horizontal tail elevators more effective. (They had been too weak for good depth keeping.) Over the ring tail was placed a wooden tail assembly to help stabilize the torpedo during the drop. This was held on with wooden dowels and broke off upon hitting the water. Many writers confuse call the rear box assembly the shroud ring or ring tail despite the fact that it is obviously not a ring. In the front of the Mod 10 was a plywood “drag ring” that was called the cracker barrel. It also stabilized the torpedo in flight, added drag to slow the torpedo, reducing G shock on water entry. It also actively cushioned the water entry.
I also concur with Raymond Ketchledge’s comments about the diminutive Fido and the fact that Hedy Lamarr had nothing to do with it. It had some good successes late in the war.
Also, the comment about Admiral Leahy was a bit misleading. Leahy was head of ordnance from 1927 to 1931. Although the basic Mark 13 was designed and built before he left, the failures to test and improve it really came after his time. Also, he was not Roosevelt’s chief of staff. He was chief of staff for the three services, rather like today’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Its an entertaining show and I like anything aviation related BUT sometimes like they always do on these type of shows they tend to hype up situations to make them more risky than they really are. For example taking off from a unlit runway at night ok so it might not be optimal but it sure beats landing on a unlit runway at night or flying without a radio, big deal. I know they are just adding some “excitement” for folks not familiar with aviation but jeez.
I’m right there with you…everything on TV, whether it’s the nightly news or a documentary on the boll weevil’s contribution to nuclear fission, is usually hyped to some extent. Supposedly, so say the powers that be, all these shows are competing for an audience that has way more choices than what even us guys in our 40s had growing up. Regardless, I’m hoping you FJ readers can overlook some of the show’s inconsistencies; after all, it’s just entertainment!
It is amazing what was produced considering that the USA was no where near a world power in 1941. The cohesive power and resolve of America after the attack at Pearl Harbor was in no small way incredible.
I am reminded of the words by the Japanese Admiral Yamamoto: “I fear we have awaken a Tiger and filled it with a terrible resolve.”
It is my feervent prayer that the use of those horrific weapons are never called to use again for the balance of the time mankind has left on this earth.
How about an article by FJ on the XB-51; maybe interview those people associated with the aircraft.
Great article. Never knew it existed.Thank u.
Very interesting read! I hope to share it with my father who also flew over Korea.
Reading about the B-29 brought back a lot of memories to me. I have about 2,000 hours in a KB-29P tanker during the Korean war, and many old friends from that era..
Mike, I read your article and thought it was great . But this is in this weeks Photo News and has been getting a lot of comments. Thought you might be interested.http://thephoto-news.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130731/NEWS01/130739989/Final-flight
Thanks for the link to what’s a truly sad update on the F-86L. I’m searching for words, but none come to mind. Actually, how about tragic? Here’s hoping the Lima can find a good home, some funding and another great group of volunteers to restore her to glory.
Awsome!!,But so is America.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/savetheplane/photos/ We are working hard to save the plane!!!! Please share!
Thanks for the link; I’m thinking I’ll need to put up a blog post about this bird!
It’s a shame, I can’t reprint the article, without all the ads, and unwanted headers
I don’t know why not; just select the text, copy it and paste it into a Word doc. I just did it myself to make sure…
I can’t remember where I recently heard it but supposedly the U.S. had approx 20 more atomic bombs, either complete or near completion, at the time of Hiroshima. Dose anyone know if this is fact or fiction.
Loved the tale.I served in the AirForce 51-75 and in Korea 53-54.All my time was on the other side of the Mic (Tower,GCA,Approach control)
Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for your service!
Saw it flying over my house near Crawford, Texas! Amazing!
Fascinating and worthwhile piece of research. Also, I wonder how the British Royal Navy would respond to this in view of their use of metal decks. During the research for my book (“An Aeronautical Engineer’s View…The Vought F4U Corsair and its Contemporaries”), I gave credit to the RN for a number of innovations in carrier aviation, but this topic was a bit off center from the topic of my book so I did not go further into this area.
THIS GREAT. I Hope they Do theses MEN A real good service.
I saw the goblets two months ago when I visited the AF Museum.
I explained to my new bride what they were.
Looking at those goblets was almost as moving as visiting The Wall in DC.
Many thanks to author, Ms. Kate Pierpont and the comment from Tom Brinkman for their interest and knowledge!!; as a US Army Vietnam helicopter gunship pilot; I flew senior officers out to the occasional US Navy Carrier laying offshore, supporting our area’s ground forces, for the, “Glad to meet you!” coffee tour. Piece of cake. The “Cordination” tours to the battleship, New
Jersey, REQUIRED GREAT ATTENTION with/to antennas, high wires, low wires, main rotorblade clearance, tail rotor clearance, static charge, wet steel or aluminum, with only a very slightly pitching or rolling deck, and a very accurate vertical
descent, and the same for the departure; calm wind,calm seas and wooden decks preferred!
It’s great to see such a rare aircraft type like the original autogiros take flight again, pity many of them like the “Fairey Rotodyne” were broken up for political reasons and never kept.
Well, leave it o the Los Angeles Times to get the info wrong. First, the Blue Angels were canceled many months ago by the DoDas a response to the “sequester”. On this cancelation, the base Commander said he got a call from “the Pentagon” ordering him to close the show, even though it was to be an all civilian air show, with no military assets flying at all (there were going to be some static display military aircraft, but they are at the base anyway).
In 2012 the Miramar Air Show NETTED about one MILLION dollars, even after paying for the fuel, including the military’s fuel use! By canceling this years show after t-shirts, runway fees and other expences have already been paid out, the producers will LOOSE about $350,000. Way to go Barry! By the way, what was your grade in Harvard’s Economics class?
Actually, the Times story did indeed say the Blues were canceled back in March; did you read the full story? As to your point about the static displays, that’s indeed correct, according to the person I spoke with earlier this week at the museum. If your comments about the show’s financials are true, then all I can say is it’s really a shame this year’s event was axed.
Thank you Ms. Pierpont for an excellent article. I am student pilot. My instructor keeps drilling me on the necessity of being ahead of the airplane. He says that I must fly the airplane. He says if you let the airplane fly you it will kill you. Because I am flying VFR he said I must look at the picture outside the aircraft because the instruments lag behind the aircraft. I find this is true. He says even when we are flying a plane with collision avoidance software it is still my responsibility to spot the traffic. Also, the whole time we are up there he has me practicing maneuvers the whole time. When I finally park the aircraft I am beat. Of course practicing these maneuvers is what is going to prepare me to take the FAA flight exam. I enjoy it very much and I want to get my license. My Instructor is very good.
When I was earning my PPL several years ago, GPS’ in light planes was a novelty for the most part, so none of the airplanes I flew in had them. I learned to navigate by NDB, VOR, and eyeball, and rarely used autopilot–even on long flights–because I love(d) hand-flying my airplanes so much.
Not too long ago I ran into an aquaintance from my old flight school who asked me if I’d like to go up with him in his brand-new SR-22. He was about 20 years younger than me, but I remembered his mature, attentive and serious attitude toward flying, so I agreed. He handled his airplane expertly during take-off and climbout, and kept his head on swivel (as I did mine–passengers need to help with the scan as well) and seeing that, I began to relax. We were VFR over San Diego and leveled-off at 6500. The pilot casually activated the GPS’ flight plan and engaged the autopilot while contacting SoCal and reporting our position. I started to ‘un-relax;’ he stopped his outside scanning as soon as he’d engaged the autopilot–I didn’t, because autopilot or not, my outside scan continues for the duration of every flight, with the exception of IMC conditions.
For the next hour (we were flying to Santa Barbara–KSBA–for lunch) we chatted, sharing flying stories, talking about places we’d like to fly to, our early days in flight school, etc., and while I kept up my scanning, I noticed (to my horror) that he only glanced outside every two minutes or so, a potentially dangerous practice for VFR flying.
It occurred to me that I was witnessing a disturbing trend (as you pointed out) among younger pilots. Just about every young pilot I’ve flown with since about 2002 only hand-flew their airplanes on take-off, climbout, and landing. I don’t fly with younger pilots so much nowadays, for that reason.
THIS is Wonderful new’s
Well written and argued. As one of the “pilots need to be there and able to aviate school” agreeing with this is not difficult. Automation is a poor substitute for knowing what you are doing!!! Yes, I am old school but I am not a Luddite.
Well said, an insightful article, and of course very timely. As an airline pilot myself, I would only disagree with one item: your use of United 232 as an example of great ‘piloting’. As generally recognized, the captain and FO weren’t really doing much regarding aircraft control since there was little to no movement of the flight controls. I would say kudos then would and did go to the overall CRM in that cockpit, in addition to the jump seat guy working the thrust levers. But as stated too, the crew was certainly very ‘in tune’ with how the airplane was performing as there was no automation available all throughout the incident. Everything else you said was spot on and I agree with heartily. Well done.
I imagine Lindbergh would wonder what all the fuss is about and that he would be more in awe of a modern jetliner than the average passenger is of his machine. Nevertheless, I am thankful that the airplane is back in its rightful place and will always be amazed by the feats of those early pioneers.
Truly, The Greatest Generation of Americans. Thank God For Giving America Men Like This ! If Not For These Warriors We Might All Be Speaking German And goosestepping.
Thank you Kate so much for such a well written article. Its great to read about the history of these fabulous racers from an era long gone. Again I thank you for your research and devotion to this era of flying.
The Book “Black Sheep one,” The Life of Gregory (Pappy) Boyington, by Bruce Gamble, published 2000. Page 181, Time Magazine published an article (last issue of 1941) using the name Flying Tigers. Prior to this the The New York Times did an article with the name. The people of China started calling them “fei hu,” which meant “Flying Tigers.” Most likely the way they attacked the Japanese airplanes. A reporter covering the area must have sent it back to the states.
Great info, Gerry. My understanding fo the origin of the “Flying Tiger” name is that that’s what Chinese newspaper reporters began calling them in early ’42 after their initial successes against the Japanese, and the name was picked up by American reporters reporting from China.
Bob Fish you are correct. Spenser Moosa an American journalist was in Kunming when the first P-4o’s arrived to a cheering crowd. Someone in the Chinese crowd yelled “Fei Hu” and Spenser knew a god tag line when he heard one, This was verified to me by Yu Wei a Chinese cadet in that crowd when I interviewed him in Taipei. If you are interested in the real story of the American Volunteer Group check out our documentary Fei Hu, The Story of the Flying Tigers, the only documentary sanctioned by the AVG, Flying Tigers. It aired on US and Chinese Public Television.
Frank Boring co-producer
Is Richard Kirklands article available for print on the internet?
Is there something in the water here in America?
What else besides some weird pollutant can explain the continued selling out to foreign interests by some of our most capable companies?
Lockheed should be ashamed of itself just like Apple should be.
Perhaps in the future there will be a “Make in America” program so we can gain some insight into the superior foreign technology that other countries want to sell us!
Hawker did it right when they started producing the Hurricane, arguably the most beautiful of the WWII British fighters.
It was rugged, and in the hands of a seasoned pilot, was a machine to be reckoned with. The Hurricane was instrumental
in winning the Battle of Britain, with 656 German aircraft to it’s credit.It lacked the speed and agility of the Spitfire, but it
was easier to maintain and repair. Overall, for a plane that was basically the crossover from the wood framed bi-plane
to the low winged, metal framed monoplanes of WWII, it held it’s own special slot in aviation history.
I flew the B-25J which was later converted to an N model for several years and found the plane to be an excellent Instrument platform but very noisy. All over, it was a great plane to fly, Comfortable and roomy and very reliable although the old Wright 2600s did leak a lot of oil. I am permanently deaf in my left ear as a result of the many hours in it but every hour was enjoyable.
The Honor and Devotion continually shown by the Green Hornets during the Vietnam War continues to resonate today.
I had the privilege of meeting and briefly talking with Dr. Armstrong in 1978 and 2006. The earlier episode took place at Dayton’s 75th anniver-sary of the first Wright Flight, at which he gave a talk and signed a few autographs. The second was after he became disillusioned by the avarice of many for their attempts to profiteer from sale of his auto-graphs and hair clippings.
We were observers at the Muncie, IN National Model Airplane Champion-ships in about 2006. There,I enjoyed an all-too-brief discussion with him concerning his introductions to a short TV series that was devoted to very early airplanes. Though he admitted to enjoying his part in that series, we did not get to talk about his opinions of those planes he flew.
He truly had ‘the Right stuff’
“It’s truly a rare opportunity to learn more about the brave men and women who risked the unknown and brought forth the dawn of aerial combat.” It seems to me this sentence is a triumph of political correctness over history: there were – to my knowledge – no women aviators involved in WWI combat. Yes, I recognize and salute the women ON THE GROUND who supported the aviators, as nurses and in other roles. But, please, promote things without distorting what really happened.
Where will it be built Seattle maybe
Great article. I never knew the Meteor had such great engines, producing 1700 lb. thrust, able to fly 500 mph. The McDonnell FH Phantom, one year newer with a newer engine, only produced 1600 lb. thrust, and 475 mph.
I recently met a man who told me he had flown CG-4As late in WW II and in post war Germany. He had the duty of flying paratroopers to keep them qualified for their jump pay after the war. He told me that after release he would usually do some aerobatic maneuver such as a loop or roll. One time, he told me, he was not scheduled to fly the next day so he tied one on the night before. They rolled him out at 5:00am the fly because one of the other glider pilots was not available. He said he flew a gentle flight, no aerobatics followed by a soft landing. Back on the ground one of the paratroopers said “what’s the matter with the God Damned plane?” He told him “nothing, why.” He said “you didn’t do anything stupid.”
Interesting, and a great read. I had no idea gliders were sent over in daylight after the night drops.
Lockheed Martin should be banned from any future contracts with the US Government if they go ahead with this. Exporting our weapons technology and jobs to other countries in this manner is treasonous in its nature.
There’s a shocking lack of objective and thorough historiography on this subject — by both sides of the issue.
While the Whitehead faction is surely to be faulted in various ways, and are without a clear photo to establish their claim, though, we are left with the ancient philosophical question: “If a tree in the forest falls, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Put in terms of the moment: “If an early aviator made a flight, but no one got a clear photo of it, did it happen?”
Fortunately for the Wrights, it seems, somebody got an “in flight” photo of their 1903 effort (though the Wrights didn’t show it until 1908). Of course that doesn’t mean that someone didn’t fly before them, without photographic proof.
What of witnesses? BOTH sides have an ample array of witnesses. And, conversely, both sides’ witnesses are not inconsistent, subsequently not even in agreement that their respective first flights happened at all — Wrights’ or Whiteheads’.
Yet the aviation history establishment, long fixated on the Wright legend, has more to answer for in the sloppy way they have echoed each other’s shouting, without examining — thoroughly, scientfically, honestly, objectively and sincerely — any of the shouted “evidence.”
In debates about the issue, they frequently shout double-standards: Routinely, even reflexively, rejecting evidence for Whitehead’s alleged “first flight” on grounds that often apply equally to the evidence for the Wrights “first flight.”
A clearer hint of what’s at play is in the conversation I had with a longtime staffer of a nationally prominent museum, when I mentioned the plausibliity of the evidence for Whitehead: my patriotism, as an American, was questioned. To most Americans, German-American immigrant Whitehead’s foreign birth is no substitute for a “real” “home-grown” “native” American as the author of flight.
The real truth is that no one person, group, nor nation, “invented” the airplane — it is rather, an inevitable result of many individual features, invented in many various places and times by many other people, finally coming together into a viable airplane.
The Wrights may be due credit for being the first to achieve visible success with it, however transient.
But seeing is not the only acceptable reason for believing that something may have happened.
Someone else may have flown first.
Above, I accidentally typed a double-negative:
“both sides’ witnesses are not inconsistent”
It should read:
“both sides’ witnesses are not consistent”
“both sides’ witnesses are inconsistent”
I saw Mr. Hoover when I was stationed at Grand Forks AFB in ’68. He did an amazing show for Armed Forces Day. He was going an awesome show until he blew the tach cover on his Merlin. He did a dead stick landing with oil streaming down the side of the fuselage. He rolled to stop in front of base ops. There was no paint under the wingtips from his program of tricks. He was the ultimate pilot.
Thanks for the picture and history. Good stuff.
This didn’t happen. I am friends with Mr. Tucker and asked him about it.
I believe there was an aborted carrier launch once and he barely stopped before reaching the end of the flight deck, but he never went overboard. That was it.
Interesting, there is not enough room in the fuselage to hold fuel to reach mach 2.2 . Plus it will be a wild ride if it were built. the wingspan is 17ft. Wingspan of the BD-5 Micro Jet was 14ft 6in. So this is 2 foot 6 inches wider than Jim Bede’s Microjet, the Smallest functional Jet in the world for its time.
This should be interesting to watch. Don’t forget this is not the only game in town. There is Aerion and Spike both which are working on this concept. To get past match 2 is exponentially greater than achieving mach 1.5, 6 or 7.
There are a number of design issues which are obvious to reach a >2.0M.
Just an outsiders opinion.
Pretty Pictures though.
Which part of “a 1/3-scale prototype” did you not see? Reading a word or two of a story and making comments from flawed assumptions makes it seem like you are not terribly bright.
Lets put this in perspective.
1/3 scale prototype.
I think that our F-16 fighters should be built in the USA and keep american workers at the helm, building the Jets. There should never be any more company’s shifting to an overseas country. It’s not good business for our country. I hope our future president Trump will see to it that it comes to an end.
It’s the equivalent of the Phantom And the F4 might kill him. I’ll check at Craigslist for one of them. Lol.
Interestingly enough is that the fact that early models of the Skyraider had doors on the port side below and aft of the cockpit. There was an equipment panel and seating for two enlisted crew members. This was used for night operations and bombing by Radar. A later model had dual control sticks and the radar operator sat behind the flight crew. During the Vietnam war a Skyraider was credited with downing a MiG Fighter while another was credited with dropping a Toilet Bomb.
fantastic a really beautiful aircraft I really do appreciate the work and effort that it must have took to bring this piece of history to life I would to see it someday and will be looking for it in our area thanks for all your hard work
Beautiful AC! Excellent choice of time of day and altitude; love the lane Doc carves through the cloud!
Great article, but completely inaccurate title in the e-mail flyer ( pun intended). A lot of flying wings before Jack Northrop’s babies ( see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_flying_wings), but certainly none as big as the one in the article. Notwithstanding that, the thing that shines through is that the author had guts ( and great skill)!
Outstanding video of a fantastic aircraft brought back to life. It’s throbbing round-engines takes me back to a time long ago. Can close my eyes and smell the engine oil; the stack fires on engine start and that deep throb ringing in my head from the engines. A time when real airplanes had propellers!
Thanks to the people who helped breath life into “DOC”.
I served in the Navy and trained as a mach.The AD is the best of the best
Pay load was something else sRepoat then stated that it carried the same as the B17.In 1952 VA145 ordance was loading and ofloading a nuickler weapon
I could not get the Grumman Wildcat drawings to open to then be able to download. All the others opened just fine. Also I wanted to download the picture of the BF 109-E that was shown as available for download in the February 2017 issue on page 11. I could not find it on your website. Thank you.
THOSE ENGINE’S LOOK AND SOUND LIKE R-4360 ENGINE ON B-50 B-29 HAD R-3350’S
Did this model have variable pitch props?
wow! I felt as though I was with you having never actually flying real time outside of max. 78 1/2 in wingspan rc planes….thank you !
OMG 1 sounds like real time sound of WAR!!!!
Thank god you survived. Thank you so much for your experience. Completely agree with your point to buy an aircraft which is properly maintained.
It was actually UN-V bar. Capt. Stevens was my uncle. Prior to joining the 56th FG, he piloted B-24’s in the 506th squadron, 44th BG, completing 26 missions including Ploesti.
Gentlemen, I am writing a commemorative on the Mayaguez incident for the Marine Corps History Division (A USMC organization) and I would like your permission to use a quote from Flight Journal: The Last Battle of Vietnam: “I rolled the F-4 up on its left wing in front of the boat and then could see people lining each side of its curved, upward-sloping bow. The appeared to be Americans, doubled-up in the schoolroom air-raid position with their hands protecting their heads. A few of them looked up as I passed overhead; I felt profoundly helpless. Semper Fi, Dick Camp, Colonel USMC (Ret).
People are to quick to write off things that look old and out of place
Airwolf vs X400!!!
We have a huge eternal debt to these heroes ✈
I read Budd Davisson many years ago in another publication. I thought, what a great writer! And I memorized his name. Could you tell me how many years he has been writing? (Maybe that’s a nice way of asking his age).
I would love look at B36peacemaker in fort.worth
One # is 2827 that I grew up around bomber all my life missed that plane be proudly have in Texas called 10 gallon hat
Wanted see all pictures and movie all about B36 bombers
An English classic
I saw an interview with one of the pilots of one of the planes some years ago. The pilot said the planes were extremely difficult to fly because they did not have a center of gravity.
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few!! Churchhill was so right. The odds of Englands survival were slim, but the RAF never gave up. All of us in the free world owe a debt of gratitude to the Few for standing up to protect our freedom. Craig Muth USA.
Aviation history is great regardless of the era of its development.
I strongly suspect that President Trump will “persuade” LM to keep American jobs in America – or risk losing more F-16 contracts, as well as other contracts. I can’t imagine why LM wants to do this, but since the USAF funded their tooling and all the rest, we Americans ought to have a say in where our planes are built – and I think this idea will be DOA – or LM will be DOA.
Thanks for the insight, Barrett & thanks to Budd for th great work!
I love the AT-6 Texan and ended up with the Top Flite Gold Edition several years ago.As usual I wanted something that no one else at the field was flying , everyone was going for the normal war birds , P-51 ,P-40 . Corsair etc.
I quietly built my Texan and when firstly bringing it to the field I had more than one person state how they never saw a Texan model by anyone .
It flies like a dream , retract give it realism and the split flaps are to die for ,the 91 4 stroke Magnum gives me more than enough power to push the plane and it sounds great on a low level pass .
Good stuff, Barrett. Reminds me of the A-4 that taxied into his static display spot at the Johnstown, PA airshow, executing a tight 180 to align perfectly into place, using one final blast of power to complete the turn and blowing away an occupied portable toilet. The next morning his airplane was well decorated with porta-john stencils and lots more.
I always loved the Fairey Swordfish, especially since they performed so well in WWII.
I also loved Faith, Hope and Charity, the Gloster Gladiators flown in defence of Malta.
I volunteered for the Fleet Air Arm in 1944, whilst still at school in the Y scheme, whilst doing the physical check my leg length was just over the 29 inch mark, the minimum was 29 inches, but on leaving school in 45, apparently there were enough pilots available to fight the Japanese, so we had to join another service! So apart from the Barracuda, I guess that was the minimum leg length required to fly the Stringbag!! Mike McGeorge.
Ghost, you’re the best, but do remember to use a fast shutter speed as I move about in formation on the camera ship!
Don’t forget the ” Channel Dash” when the German Battleships broke out of France and headed home to Germany to escape the RAFs insessant bombing, where they sent the heroes of the Bismarcks sinking against a very well prepared German Kriegsmarin and Luftwaffe, whose pilots simply dropped their landing gear and shredded the 30 or so swordfishes, one gunner survived -a very dismal end to a gallent group of men,an error that was repeated later in the ill fated raid on Dieppe
I was a Marine in Vietnam (1966-67) and we loved these guys and as one of the recipients of their efforts it goes double for me and in case you didn’t know, we had pilots from the same squadron fiying overheard with them talking back and forth like they were in the same roommate, talk about communication! , I also for the same reasons have very soft spot for Marine tankers, and by sheer luck and happenstance got to know the Marine officer in charge of the tanks in the battle for Hoa city, so I guess I’m just a Lucky old Marine !
Agree with Nigel…my wife says the same about me…
Did anyone talk to Delmar Benjamin?
Gene Soper (one of the barnstormers of the Pacific NW’s Henley airdrome) wrote about him in his book, COE: The First Sixty Years. Book is available from the Museum of North Idaho and Coeur d’Alene Airport (www.kcgov.us -Departments-Airport). We’re members of the Cd’A Airport Association representing GA prop-driven users and fans. Phone the airport at 208-446-1860.
The planes did not have a CG? That’s like saying a boat has no center of buoyancy. It’s more likely that the weight and balance was so close to the limits of the CG range that it was like balancing on the head of a pin.
Just finished Wellum’s book. The reader will feel the g’s as though they are in the cockpit with a 19 year old Geoff Wellum as his youth is stripped away in the course of battle. Great read. Truly amazing what the RAF did to stave off the Germans early in WW2. The book is also a great reminder of how many other young pilots died in action, never having the chance at adulthood or even to tell their stories. Tally Ho, Geoff Wellum, and thank you, to those who never returned.
Nothing says 1930s racing plane like the Gee Bee – good bad or indifferent, or is an iconic shape.
Thanks for the article ….very interesting. I am an ardent P-51 fan…when they
were in the war..WW II.. I was a baby…being born in 1941 just before the Empire of Japan struck Pearl. By the way I am from Malaysia ..just about the same time they struck Pearl , they landed also in Kota Baru Malaya …and created havoc my
parents told me.
Nice to see Mr. Dorr’s fine work still informing and entertaining us.
Editor, why is there discussion of P-51s in an A-36A article, when the space could have been used to elaborate on the bomb capacity and record of the A-36A. Also, while the Allison engine is mentioned, more could be said whether all A-36As had the engine, and generally, more about the evolution of the A-36 over its lifespan.
Strange that the 51 D40 ended up as a primary dive bomber in Korea–P 47s were not sustainable (parts)
I flew 83 combat missions in the Mustang with the 12th Squadron at K 46 ,
as well as lotsof time in the phase out of the D 40 and the H model at Tyndall AFB
If that F-111 airframe is F-111D #68-127, I was assistant crew chief on that very aircraft during 1974-76 at Cannon AFB, NM!! (27 TFW/TAC)Please let me know the exact serial number…my name (as an A1C) may still be on the right canopy wing under layers of paint…was wing commander’s plane-Thank you!-Virgil Baldon, Jr., SSgt, USAF/SEP, Louisville
I subscribe to your magazine probably for 20 years. I can hardly wait for each edition, keep up the good work
I am a member of the CAF , Coyote Squadron in corsicana, texas and we have a at-19 that we fly to all teh local air shows. i want to build a scale model to hange in he hanger.
looking for good planes
Looking for photos of my father who was stationed at bushey park would love any info please. Thank you
My Uncle Herb “Habet” Maroot flew with Ben Case and squadron VB-80 off the Ticondaroga and Hancock. At the time of this photo he was flying “Beast” 80B13 which I have photos of. Habet was later killed in 1949 at the hands of dictator Rafael Trujillo after the failed invasion attempt in the Dominican Republic, at Luperon Bay, June 19, 1949. He and 3 other ex Navy pilots flew a PBY in. A possible story for another time.
To my mind the Skyray was one of the great aeronautical achievements of the the 50s. It exceeded a design requirement for climb and speed that was considered impossible at the time. It held the world absolute speed record even though it was a carrier aircraft with an airframe encumbered with the added weight of folding wings, robust landing gear and a tailhook. It was the Navy’s first truly high performance jet and paved the way for the next generation of Crusaders and Phantoms.
Had a late friend who was a waist gunner on a B-25 in Italy during WWII. He was all of 17 years old then. They fired the 50 cal. Browning machine gun.
I worked the F4E Phantom II, it was a joy to work on such a great Aircraft, I know that a lot of others would say they did not like working on it but I also worked the F-16 it was not a working mans Aircraft.
I appreciate being able to print out on-line stories in a SIZE THAT I CAN READ. Thank you so much.
Thanks for this! My similar experience was with the AT-6 parked in front of the military surplus store on the outskirts of my home town. I didn’t get to spend much time in and on it, and the instruments and other sensitive bits had been removed from the cockpit. But still, it had much the same effect upon me. I remember it clearly.
My great grandmother was his 1st cousin. He’s an all but forgotten man in his hometown of Hillsboro, Ohio. There is a road sign that states he was born there, but nothing else that I know of. I gave my Mother a 1st edition Steve Canyon book for her birthday a couple years ago. Best present ever, it only cost a dollar.
Thannk u so much………….
I really enjoyed reading of Adair’s bravery, expertise, and quick thinking in the P-40. Those guys truly were heroes, but of course so were the infantry and the Navy personnel. I wonder whether today’s “softer” generation could rise to such an occasion, but hope that we never have to find out.
Barrett Tillman once again brings More then logic to WWII History!!..His theory concerning Hitlers Plans for the conquest of Russia makes more sense then simply assuming Hitler could not make up his mind. Germany Switching from Strategic to a Terror Air War was the Key to Britain holding off Germany from gaining Air Superiority. Germany wasn’t ready for a Cross Channel Invasion of Britain and Hitlers Bluff Failed. If Hitler would have concentrated only on Russia instead of what lead up to Dunkirk….we may have had to deal with a Nazi Problem in Europe rather then an Iron Curtain along with a Cold War????
Not the messerschmitt 210 , but the 110 , the 210 was a failure , but the 410 wasn’t , it was a workhorse , a good arrival on this plane would be nice since all the idiots seem to class it with the 210 which the Hungarians seem to have flown successfully
You Hound Dog…..Nobody should have that much Fun!!!….When you get the engine mated to the rest of the machine, let’s hear some more……
Back in the late 50’s a buddy of mine managed to locate and buy a p-40 and flew it almost as a daily driver….the maintenance had to be horrible…every time I watched him take off out of Deer Valley North of Phoenix, his gear would twist around and fold into the wings, strange but I noted the Grumman Hellcat also had that weird retraction action…..anyway, it seemed to work OK……
My dad Roy living age 94 was in the Canadian Air Force WWII as a navigator fairing B-25.
The article states that the only remaining CBY-3 “remains outside awaiting restoration,” but in fact has been undergoing restoration since 2014 at the New England Air Museum. You can follow the process at the Museum’s website neam.org.
Thanks …much is owned to Burnelli …for the BWB
We are working on a new BWB aircraft design …the JRC5019C
the C47/DC3 of the 21st century
and Flagship of the Beyond NextGEN …the NIFS
My Co-Author of “Birth of a Legend”, the story of the Bomber Mafia and the B-17, LCOL Leon “Bill” Braxton USAF (RET), enlisted in the Army in 1935. Along the way in his career, he was stationed at Langley Field and was a court reporter for then 1stLt Curtis LeMay. Bill provided first hand insight to the pre-WWII introduction of the B-17, the long range flights to Rio, the Squadron Leader, LCOL Robert Olds (Robin’s Dad) and the crews who started the aircraft on its historic journey into history.
Bill is still alive at 100 and living in Tampa.
The line that says the CBY-3 needs to be modified, it is undergoing restoration.
June 2017 restoration link: https://www.neam.org/restoration-burnelli-2017-06.php
Talk to Delmar about flying them.His thoughts are in an article in Sport Avn a while back. Not that bad, and not what they were made out to be. If I remember correctly, a Pitts Pilot, which Delmar was, had no problem with it. He’s the highest time GeeBee Pilot I believe. Let’s face it, few pilots had time in anything like this before then.
I heard from someone a long time ago that the Israeli Air Force trained its pilots to be able to withstand greater “g” forces than the max of 9 g’s specified in the operations manual. Allegedly, the limiter/software could be tweaked to allow greater (I heard 11 g’s) forces to be permitted and not only would their pilots not black out, but the airframe held together just fine.
Any truth to this, or is it one of those apocryphal tales that gets told so often, it takes on a ring of truth?!
Yes indeed. Not only were the planes tough to beat, the pilots who flew them were as well. I knew some F16 pilots and they were a wild bunch that could take a beating and like it.
Mr. Davis, what year did you receive your wings?
Lt Robert F Glazener was my uncle and I would like to have info on his unit in England. I want to research their history.
He has one son that lives in Houston.
A Wayne Brown
My Dad was a seventeen year old Marine radioman on one of these in 1944 in the S. Pacific. Enjoyed the pics and info on this site.
I still have the Revell model of this plane which I built when I was about 12 years old sometime around 1960. I framed the cover art from the model box and displayed it for years.
The Belle sure looks a lot better than the last time I saw her on Mud Island in Memphis! Well Done NMUSAF!
Just wondering,….is the Memphis Belle operable? I assume it will always be grounded as a static display. What would it take then to get in condition so it could be flown?
Well done! Good to see a classic airframe so carefully restored. She is a very important airplane to the Air Force and to the nation. I’m also glad to see that the Air Force Museum will now have two examples of what can be argued as WWII’s most iconic aircraft on display. Kudos to the restoration staff.
My experience was in an F86D in a local park in Gainesville Fla. That didn’t start my interest but it sure cemented it.
Air Forces bad. One is on display at the Edwards AFB Flight Test Museum.
My three are: Bob Hoover, Neil Armstrong and Greg Boyington.
Thank you for the article on the PA-48. I remember as a young OV-10 pilot hearing about the Piper project. All us lieutenants thought it sounded like a great idea, but fortunately cooler heads prevailed and we never got to see the airplane. I’m sure there would have been quite a few losses in the hot tail-dragger.
Olds, Foss, and Yeager
Mr Robert A. Hoover in whatever the hell he wants to bring. Sean D. Tucker in his Orocal (spelling). AND, General James H. Doolittle again,in whatever he wishes to fly. Honorable mention: Gabby Gabreski, Robert S. Johnson, Hal Krier, Art School, John Glenn, and Matt and Bobby Younkin.
I would be honored to lift a glass with any of your three picks, and with a hundred other great pilots, but these three immediately came to mind:
fighter aces to a bar???????????? Don Blakeslee, Francis Gabreski, and Joseph McConnel. Other than American would be Saburo Sakai, Robert Stanford Tuck, Adof Galland. Other honorable mentions would be Bud Anderson, Erich Hartmann, Joe Foss, Richard Bong to name a few.
Great photo of Diamond Lil. Years ago, from time to time, I crewed on Lil, Fifi, Sentimental. What an honor. Lil was originally a LB30 with hard nose. Had been an exec transport for a Mexican oil company. I believe Pemex. Interior was fitted with large cushy white leather seats. CAF did a good job in creating the D appearance.
Bob Hoover is the fighter pilot I would like to invite. Though not a “fighter pilot” Tony Levier is another. Tony was a fighter of a different sort and a great test pilot.
Leo Loudenslager – Exceptional Aerobatic show pilot and airline pilot.
Wayne Handley – super everything pilot, aerobatic, military, crop duster.
Svetlana Kapanina – Terrific Russian aerobatic pilot.
And of course Budd Davisson – All around accomplished everything pilot and story teller who is so good at illuminating the joy and thrill of flying to the rest of us. I just couldn’t limit it without him.
#1 James Stewart, the actor, but more remarkable as a B-24 pilot and (I think) Wing Commander who flew many combat missions and retired as a General Officer. He was known to say that his air force career was more significant to him than his movie career.
#2 Boone Guyton, pre-WWII Navy dive bomber pilot and noted Vought Test Pilot. Also a gifted author. Great pilots are not always great communicators as I have learned through a handful of books. Boone Guyton is one of the remarkable exceptions.
#3 Neil Armstrong. Need I say more?
The fact that it wasn’t a “jet” is not a strong argument by itself against the airplane.
Yeager, Bud Anderson & Robin Olds
John Godfrey, David McCampbell and Joe Foss.
undoubtedly N1 Ace overall and a big role model during and after WWII who is quoted having said something so true as: war is made by old men that know each and do not hurt one another and where young men that do not know each other kill each other
While not known for the number of enemy kills, I would have to add Bob Hoover to the list for sure – he advanced both military and civilian aviation, flew 59 Spitfire missions with the 52 Fighter Group, and as a consultant He taught military pilots the advanced capabilities of their aircraft. He was back-up pilot and flew chase for Chuck Yeager on the Bell X-1 missions, not to mention his aerial antics with his P-51 and Aero-Commander Shrike! Interesting aviator for sure!
I would definitely choose Robert “Hoot” Gibson. He has tried all levels of aviation from R/C model aircraft to NASA astronaut and is a game player. He has been out there dong it even at Reno.
I would love to hear his experiences in al of these fields over a few beers.
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