Author Archives: FASFRIC

About FASFRIC

Webmaster for FirstAeroSquadronFoundation's (FASF) website. Also the CEO of the 501C(c)(3) aviation history-oriented FASF non-profit, which is dedicated to the Birth Place of American Airpower and Rebirth Place of American Civil Aviation in 1916 & 1917 in Columbus, NM.

USAF Women – At Work Piloting the World’s Newest Fighter

By far the most advanced fighter ever created, the extraordinarily fast and maneuverable Lockheed “Lighting II,” F-35, is an extremely costly* stealth weapons platform , the likes of which has never before graced the skies.  Not even the one other 5th Generation stealth fighter, the two-engined F-22 “Raptor,” is its match.

Just think.  It doesn’t seem all that long ago when women were banned from even being a pilot of USAF transport aircraft.  When your webmaster was a jet pilot in the USAF, his wife wanted to be one, too, since she was already a commercial pilot . . . but, alas, that “glass ceiling” was thick as could be.  A solid barrier to any chance.  And that’s why he decided to leave the job he loved so much.  It made her too green with envy.  That was not healthy for the young couple’s marriage.  Had they been born just 22 year later, it would have been an entirely new experience, because the Air Force would have welcomed her with open arms.  As you most likely know, that’s when women were first accepted into pilot training.  The date was September 2, 1977, at the same field from which your webmaster also graduated, 22 years earlier: Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, or as it was more affectionately known, “Willie Air Patch. [See Photo @ end of post].

There are three variants of the F-35, all of which are are made by Lockheed Martin.  The Air Force’s conventional take off version, the F-35A model; the Marine’s vertical take off and landing machine, the F-35B; and, initially the most costly of the three, the Navy’s F-35C.  Now the USMC  version is the most expensive model.  You will often hear the dazzling new stealth fighter called a “Joint Strike Fighter,” which means that it will also be sold to the allies of the United States.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. The F-35A will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force; the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy; the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least ten other friendly countries.

* Costs to the three services (estimated cost for each in 2022:

  1. F-35A:  $ 77.9 million;
  2. F-35B: $101.3  ”  ;
  3. F-35C $  94.4

So much has changed since then.  At first the female aviators were restricted to only non-combat flying, but in time that changed, when some of them were allowed into the “men only” domain of the heretofore macho fighter pilot.  The Navy allowed women to become pilots even before the Air Force.  The first female Navy aviator graduated in 1975.

Without further ado, let’s look at today skies and come away impressed with not just the extraordinarily versatile new F-35, but at some of the highly skilled women who fly them. First, below, we see USAF Captain Melanie Ziebart.

Major Madison Burgess, below.

Below, Captain Anneliese Satz.

Below, Capt. Kristin “BEO” Wolfe, F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team pilot, and commander of the Team, on a practice flight at Hill AFB, Utah. earlier this year.  Unfortunately, this video is narrated by a computer “voice,” so please be tolerant about the misplaced emphasis’s and mispronunciations.

Below, the first Female Marine F-35B Fighter Pilot.  Local Boise Idaho TV station interviews in her in her home town.  USMC Captain Anneliese Satz.

These are now but a few of the latest females fortunate enough to by flying the word’s most versatile new jet Fighter.  A number of other women are flying them, and flew the Lightning II before the above aviators did.

Here, below, taken at Williams Air Force Base (WAFB) on September 2, 1977, are the Air Force’s very first ten graduating new pilots.

 

The first 10 female officers to graduate from the Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training Program, Class 77-08, September 2, 1977. (U.S. Air Force) – Just imagine, these young women proudly stand in front of their training ship, the Northrup T-28 “Talon”, but this was taken 43 years ago, meaning that they are no longer “young.” Most are, in fact, if still alive, now in their mid sixties!  Even their predecessors, the WWII WASP pilots did not fly in combat nor were they officially part of the Army Air Force, either.  If any of our viewers, or members, know the names of any of these earliest Air Force female pilots, please let us know by making your comments right on this page, right below, where it says, “LEAVE A REPLY.”  Wouldn’t it be interesting to know what happened to them and if they made the USAF a career?  Thanks!

 

The F-15E “Strike Eagle” – Watch Their Crews’ Daily Routines

One of our active members, Colonel Jeff Patton,* USAF, (2nd photo down, after clicking the link,, with your webmaster, in front a F-16 “Viper” at Holloman AFB) who is now stationed in Germany, is most proud of his duty flying the 4th Generation F-15 “Eagle” Fighter.

Here’s an illuminating set of short videos, in which you can see that sturdy Strike Eagle in action. The first clip was taken by our USAF with a hi-resolution cockpit view.  You will quickly see why Jeff so enjoyed cavorting in the blue with that same magnificent first-line American defender. This first short (3:43) clip is courtesy of the MFA (Military Footage Archive).

In the second video, you’ll see more of the sturdy F-15 Strike Eagle, all in high definition and shot by USAF personnel.  To get a more full appreciation of the high caliber quality of these clips, don’t hesitate to go to full screen view, and make sure your sound is on.

The below clip (9:29 long) of the F-15E, is provided thanks to Gung Ho Vids.  Here, we’ll watch the pilots prep, conduct their preflight procedure and then some takeoffs. Some of our members and viewers will feel sensations of nostalgia as we recall the same sorts of experiences during our tours of duty.

Below is a six minute clip of more F-15E Strike Eagles taking off from Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina.  The squadrons are heading out for “Green Flag” exercises in Nevada with the US Army.  A Pilot, Captain Willy Muench, with the 336th Fighter Squadron, describes their mission.

*Jeff’s father, Colonel Don Patton, US Army Retired, is also an FASF member and a well-known Military Historian.

FIRST AERO & NASA U-2 “Dragon Lady” View From 70,000′

A short peek at some Dragon Lady uses in the modern day.  This 60 some odd year service ship is still actively serving our nation’s needs.  Most of its activities both here and abroad continue to emanate from the First Aero Squadron’s base North of Sacramento, California, at Beale AFB.  This clip is short (only 5:35 long), but reveals the unique bird’s fascinating work far above the earth.  See if you learn a few things you may not have known about our inveterate “Lady.”

BARNSTORMING: STUPID, BRAVE . . . OR JUST WILD ? ? ?

Airnews Scout and Aviator

Aviator &  News Scout, John Read

Just in from one of our old time members, and also one of our top Aviation News Scouts, John Read (at left) of Florida.  This old movie news clip is from the roaring twenties, when Barnstorming was in its heyday.

And, what kind of airplane is at center stage?  The inveterate Jenny, of course.

The film is entitled, “AIR CRASH AVERTED – by a woman’s pluck and iron nerve. Woman pilot changes planes and fixes new landing wheel on disabled plane in mid-air.

While this clip is only 2:45 long, it is a real cliff-hanger.  Notice the heroine has no parachute to deploy in case she slips!  Flying a Jenny in those days was in and of itself a risky endeavor, but what our center stage young lady does in front of our eyes is almost unbelievable.  Sit back, turn up the sound, watch your knuckles go white, and enjoy!  The FASF has used this clip at some of its public events, but one never gets tired of watching this heroic behavior up among the clouds by these daring Jenny-loving barnstormers.  And, this is one of those few brave female aviators!

Don’t forget:  This very same model of Jenny (a JN-4D) was developed right here at our own FASF historic 1916 Airfield in downtown Columbus. It is the airplane that became the backbone civilian aviation when it was surplused by the U.S. Army Air Services at the end of WWI.

HOW STRONG IS THE WIND? The history of flight – 1983 Film

United Airlines Capt. Nancy Aldrich

For those of you who enjoy historical films, you’ll most likely find this short (39:31) documentary more than interesting.  It was recommended to us by long time FASF member, contributor, and aviation historian, Retired United Airlines Captain, Nancy Aldrich.  (At left)

This documentary was posted by David Snell and focuses on those two famous bicycle builders, Wilbur and Orville Wright.  The short video provides some little known details of the difficulties and various travails often overlooked in the lives of these two world-famous aviation pioneers. 

 

While few haven’t heard of these two historic brothers, little is really known about their personal lives, and of the many problems they had to overcome to achieve man’s first successful flight of a heavier-than-air flying machine on December 17, 1903.

At the close of this documentary about the Wright Brothers, Astronaut, Neil Armstrong states that  “It’s said that history is like a mirror – it can only look back.  Undoubtedly true, but there’s great value in pausing to look back.  For it’s only with appreciation for where we’ve been, can we hope to understand where we’re heading.”

Why Your Daughter Should Learn How to Fly an Airplane

Yours truly had both his son, Eric, and daughter, Catherine, solo on their fourteenth (14) birthdays.  It was in a sailplane, making it a legal event. (One must be 16 to solo a powered aircraft.)

I did this, based upon my own experience soloing an airplane (not a glider), back in 1944, when I was 15 (I’d fibbed about my age), and while the comparative social chaos of WWII was still a convenient reality.

That kind of experience one doesn’t readily forget, it’s the kind that can easily etch into one’s mind a great emotional and joyous thrill, one that can also readily render one’s life forever – and beneficially – lifted.

I don’t know anyone who’s been privileged to have had this unique experience help shape their life who hasn’t felt changed for the better – – – from that day forward.

For some reason, one of the greatest and virtually universal personal changes wrought, is that of a significant upsurge in the soloing flight student’s self-image, and self-confidence.  That, along with the sheer thrill from the immense sense of freedom in one’s hands, is unforgettable.

At the least, I felt obliged that my own children should have that same exhilarating adventure.

In any event, this (below) TEDx video event features a young lady, Leah Ochs, who was encouraged to make this University of Nevada presentation by one of our Nevada based FASF members, aviation authors, and one of our FASF news scouts, Tiffany Brown.  

Tiffany’s own maternal grandmother, Trixie Ann Schubert, was an aviator, acclaimed journalist – and an active member of the 99’s, the International organization of women pilots – – – whose first president was Amelia Earhart.

Before her untimely death in 1965 at only 42, Trixie had been busily writing a new book,”WORLD FLIGHT,” the almost completed rough transcript of which was discovered in Tiffany’s mother’s attic.  This unexpected family discovery instigated a new quest for Tiffany. 

As she worked to piece together her grandmother’s manuscript, Ms. Brown began the tedious process that led to her own first published book.  But, to learn more about that you’ll need to read that recently published work: “Fate on a Folded Wing.”

Surprisingly, I met Tiffany by way of having been a dear friend of that same grandmother, Trixie Ann Schubert, who tragically perished in a 1965 airplane crash, along with the internationally recognized globe-circling aviator, Joan Merriam SmithThis tragic accident that took these extraordinary young women’s lives is very much the topic of Tiffany’s recently published book.  It helped her come to know her own grandmother, who had been killed many years before Tiffany was even born.

The extreme care with which Ms. Brown researched not just her own grandmother’s life, but that of Joan Merriam – and the events leading up to, and then after the test flight ended in the crash, is impressive.  I read Tiffany’s new book when it was still fresh off the presses, and found it both fascinating – and almost impossible to put down.  Like her own grandmother, a principal subject of the book itself, Tiffany is clearly a creative word-crafter in her own right.

The book has already garnered a five star rating on Amazon.

A major focus in Tiffany’s book, her grandmother, Trixie Ann, was an exceptionally gifted woman.  Before her death in 1965, she had (and the following is a quote from Tiffany’s book) an amazingly varied career in writing: ” . . . editor of a weekly newspaper, radio announcer, news writer for The Milwaukee Journal, AM, FM and TV stations, an aviation columnist, and as a freelance correspondent in America, Europe, Asia and Africa.”  Trixie had also raced internationally and in the famous All Women Transcontinental Air Race (popularly known as the “Powder Puff Derby”) here in the states.

Well over half a century later, thanks to the Internet, and long after Trixie Ann had died, one of Trixie’s three children, Heidi (Schubert) Syslo (who I had last known as only a sub-teenager), and who I had not seen, nor heard anything about, since her mother’s death, suddenly and most serendipitously popped back into my life.

Heidi became an active member of the FASF.

She had grown up, married, and become a mother.

One of Heidi’s children was none other than, Tiffany Brown. 

Tiffany’s own life exhibits some of the very traits that made her own grandmother such an extraordinarily talented and accomplished woman.

Small world?

So, without further ado, let’s see why your daughter should learn to fly and airplane (12:09):

Remember: Audio turned on, and why not go to full screen to enjoy this short presentation?

FASF Loses an early Organizer and Key Advisor, Bud Canfield

     FASF Advisory Board Member, Bud Canfield

William “Bud” Canfield, gave us his final goodbye this past weekend.  He had retired as the FASF Corporate Secretary and Chairman of its Elections Committee just five years ago.

Bud was born on March 13, 1938, in Connorsville, Wisconsin, and he and Jeane were married for 45 years.

Bud worked as a Dairy Farmer and Tractor and Implement Technical Specialist in Wisconsin, until 1989, when he and his wife, Jeane, moved to Columbus, NM, where he took a position as a State Park Ranger, later retiring, after several promotions, as a State Park Manager.

Long fascinated by aviation, although not a pilot himself, Bud, eagerly answered the call for assistance when the FASF first opened its doors in 2007.  Over his active years, Bud became close friends with a number of aviation enthusiasts and active pilots across the country.

After retiring from  the State Parks, he took over as President of the “Friends of  Pancho Villa State Park,” the local Park’s Docent group. To help assure that his fellow citizens had a library of which they could be rightfully proud, Bud chipped in as a long-time volunteer with the Columbus Library, whose wife, Jeane, was the library’s Director, until retiring in the Summer of 2015.  Both the Canfields simply couldn’t really retire, but continued to be extraordinarily active in their adopted community of Columbus.

As though not deeply enough engaged in his new community, Bud ran for, and was elected as a member of the Columbus Village Council, where he served as a Councilman for a number of years.  His wife, Jeane, was also a Village Trustee.

Additionally, Bud was an early active volunteer with the Columbus Historical Society, which took over the abandoned and run-down relic of the old Columbus Railroad Depot, and then restored it the the pristine condition in which visitors to Columbus now see it and enjoy its many historical artifacts and memorabilia of the infamous Pancho Villa Raid back on March 9, 1916, which event permanently put the small Village on the World Map.  If anything significant has happened in Columbus over the past 30 years, it will be difficult not to find that Bud was right in the center of the action.

He was an enthusiastic collector of, and an historical expert on antique agricultural vehicles and implements, as well. His personal collection of antique agricultural equipment is impressive and could easily prime a new museum dedicated to such early American mechanical farming implements.

Any of the below photos of Bud or Jeanne may be seen in full hi-resolution by clicking on them.

Here they are, as usual, volunteering to raise money for the Deming Animal Shelter at an Antique Car Show in 2015

An accomplished musician, this long-time Trustee was rarely found far from his trusty guitar, either, regularly performing around the SW New Mexico area with various bands, or just soloing various country-styled ballads and country western music, often accompanied by his wife Jeane, with whose voice he loved to harmonize.

Down below, thanks to our Aerodrome Editor and local musician, July McClure, you can hear Bud singing two solo pieces of country music . . . and one with his wife, Jeane,  July and Willy Jones.

Bud played a vital role in helping the FASF produce its first successful special event, when Dr. Roger Miller, USAF Deputy Historian, was especially flown out to Columbus from USAF Headquarters in Washington, DC, to make his highly successful 2010 presentation about the First Aero Squadron’s history making role in the Punitive Expedition.

After retiring from the FASF Board of Trustees, where he had served as an Officer, Bud continued to help the FASF, when he agreed to join the Board of Advisors, where he remained active until only a few years ago, as its Official FASF 1916 Airfield Director.

Here, below are a few shots over the past two years showing Bud and his local involvement in Columbus and FASF Sponsored events:

L to R above: Dev Olliver, FASF Photographer; Jeane and Bud Canfield (FASF Advisor); Retired UAL Capt., author and FASF reporter, Nancy Aldrich, Wayne Le Blanc; Leslie Bronken; Alma Villezcas; Jeff Smith, atty. and FASF Business supporter; and and Adelaide Bennett. This wasMay 2018 at FASF member, Ivonne Romero’s fabled Pink Store in Palomas, Mexico.

Jan 2019: John Read’s Retirement celebration at the Columbus Pancho Villa State Park (PVSP) 1916 Recreation Hall:  All are active FASFers! – – – The PVSP Friends’ Group Officers: July McClure (Treasurer), Elly and John Read, Maria Rangel (Secretary), Todd Montes (President – & US Postmaster for Columbus), Bud and Jeane Canfield, former PVSP Friends’ Group officers and organizers.

  Bud sings “Fox on the Run” with his wife, Jeane, July McClure and Willy Jones.

In these as yet unpublished photos below we see Bud serenading retirees in nearby Deming, New Mexico. https://firstaerosquadron.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/track-13-fox-on-the-run.mp3https://firstaerosquadron.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/solo-05-5-the-fugitive.mp3https://firstaerosquadron.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/track-12-scarlet-ribbons-1.mp3

The USAF Raptor – Demo Team Video of Maneuver Array

          John Read

This is an unusual video insofar as it actually provides the new terms used by the 5th Generation Fighter Pilots to describe their new, and often, unique aerobatic maneuvers to the layperson.  Sent to us by Aviation Scout and longtime member, John Read, (at left) of Florida.

The video is only 3:21 in length, but clearly shows it unique aerobatic maneuvers – – – and describes them while being demonstrated.  Remember to watch the video in full screen with your audio turned on.

 

 

Steve Watson Tells of Father’s Role as Liberator Pilot in WWII

L to R: Col. Norman Rice, Col. Alan Fisher and Mrs. Ulla Rice chat before lunch.

The most photographed and publicly acclaimed bomber used during WWII is without question, the B-17 Flying Fortress, but there was another less known, yet equally vital heavy bomber used during that global conflict, one which is too often disregarded, but which also played a critical part in the Allied Victory: the mighty LIBERATOR, the B-24, in its many variants.

 

At yesterday’s luncheon of the Daedalians at the El Paso Club in downtown El Paso, thanks to arrangements by Col. Alan Fisher, the flight’s members (all are FASF members!) learned of that LIberator’s exploits, and of Steve Watson’s (below right) father, Frank S. Watson, who was one of those select Army Air Force pilots chosen to fly that Liberator in the European Theater.

Steve Watson starts his presentation about the 467th Bomb Group and his father’s role.

Steve’s dad was one of the lucky aviators who came home safe and sound at the war’s end.  Frank flew the B-24 for the 467th Bombardment Group.  A short 7:00 video of film made about the 467th was shown to the Daedalians along with many personal photos of Steve’s father’s career from his earliest years through the war and then, back at home, when the hostilities ceased. Below you can watch a short 9:00 minute long film made of the 467th’s own “Witchcraft” Liberator


Remember, to see any photograph full size, simply click on it.

And for better viewing, don’t hesitate to open the videos to full-size, too.

L to R above: Larry Spradlin, Virg Hemphill and Jerry Dixon.

Prior to WWII, the main Ford corporation manufacturing factory at Willow Run, was a Ford owned farming operation, where young men learned to use Ford tractors to produce various crops on the 80 some acre area outside Detroit, Michigan.

Just prior to entering the war, the Army contracted with Ford to mass produce the B-24 heavy bombers on an unbelievable scale, finishing one every hour. This unbelievable production lasted throughout the conflict’s duration.  The mass production genius of the Ford Motor Car Company was surely one of the country’s major assets, one that clearly helped the Allies achieve their final victory.

When it was built, it became the largest such airplane manufacturing facility in the world.  Two basic operations took place inside its walls: 1) Manufacturing the airplane’s parts, and; 2) assembling the final product.  In addition to making the airplane, which was designed by the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation of San Diego, CA., Ford also manufactured the large radial air-cooled engines that powered the ship.

Unlike its famous automobiles and trucks, which contained some 15,000 to 16,000 parts, each Liberator contained more than 1,225,000 parts!  As each craft was completed, it was then ground and flight tested right at Willow Run’s huge airfield, an airport facility with enough concrete in its runways and taxiways to make a highway over 125 miles long.  Each of the 4 Ford produced air-cooled and super-charged engines produced 1200 HP.  The normal crew consisted of ten men.  The ship carried 4 tons of bombs, and over five thousand rounds of machine gun ammunition to arm its defenses. At high altitude, the Liberator could cruise over 300 MPH and had a range of over 3,000 miles.

Below is a 7 min. wartime film made of the extraordinary mass-production the made the Liberators.

Unlike its sister heavy bomber, the Flying Fortress, the Liberator had a modern tricycle landing gear, which made it substantially easier to land and handle on the ground.  Another interesting fact about the Willow Run plant was that there were always over 100 bombers being assembled under the huge roof.  Under that vast roof, there were also some 42,000 assembly workers busily putting these then modern aircraft together.

Adjacent to the Willow Run plant, a large school was set up, and before the war’s end, over 50,000 students had been graduated with all the highly technical skills needed in the Willow Run Plant.  There was a teaching staff of more than 100 instructors to get that task successfully completed.

Additionally, a large warehouse was also built nearby, to store the vast array of components that went into each bomber, from sheet metal, bolts, rivets and stringers, to complex aircraft instruments and radio gear. Each airplane had more than 4,000 rivets holding on its lightweight aluminum outer skin.  By the war’s end, Willow Run had produced over 8,685 Liberators! 

Additionally, another 9,815 more B-24s were built elsewhere, for a grand total of 18,500 Liberators produced across the country for use during the war.

L to R above: Larry Spradlin, Cols. Bob Pitt and Flight Captain, Mario Campos, and Virg Hemphill.

L to R above: Cols Mario Campos and Alan Fisher, watch as Presenter, Steve Watson, spreads out his wide assortment of WWII souvenirs touting the 467th Emblem and other related logos.

L to R. Col. Norman Rice and his wife, Ulla, and guest, Dick Heath.

Colonel Mario Campos, Flight Captain, calls the meeting to order.

Colonel Campos introduces the Speaker, Steve Watson, for the day.

Steve Watson starts his presentation about the 467th Bomb Group and his father’s story as a B-24 Pilot in WWII.

Watch as Tom Taylor, a surviving B-24 pilot from WWII, gets back into the only still flying Liberator, to once again take control of the famous bomber off the South Carolina coast.

 

 

The VIPER – How much do you know about its versatility?

Our pages and posts have probably mentioned Lockheed-Martin’s F-16 “Viper” fighter even more times than the First Aero’s 1916-17 inveterate Jenny.

There is good reason for this. While it is hardly one of our latest 5th Generation jet fighters (such as the F-22 ‘Raptor’ and F-35 ‘Lightning II), it is likely nevertheless one of the most popular of all jet fighters still in active service among America’s Allies, most of whom happily continue to operate this extraordinarily  versatile and highly maneuverable ship.  Powered by only a single jet engine, unlike the F-22 and other popular and more powerful 4th generation fighters, such as the F-14 or F-15, the F-16 is a record-setter from almost any perspective. You sometimes hear this fighter called the “Fighting Falcon,” but it’s far more popularly known by its actual users as the “Viper.”

The F-16 was first manufactured my General Dynamics, but later, in 1993, turned over to Lockheed, which merged with Martin Marietta, to become Lockheed-Martin. Still made for our Allied customers, yet no no longer ordered by the USAF, who first put it into use an astounding 44 years ago, in 1976, this amazing fighter is still very actively used by the USAF!

Also, keep in mind that this new (1976) fighter was quite unusual for this reason alone: The 1st test prototype mode, the YF-16 was one of the first planes in the world have an all fly-by-wire (FBW is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface.) control system. Unlike conventional controls, it didn’t have any direct mechanical connection between the stick and the control surfaces. The YF-16 instead used electronic sensors to read the pilot’s stick inputs and then transmitted that—with computer interpretation—to hydraulic actuators that moved the control surfaces the appropriate amount.

Your webmaster regularly attends graduations of new USAF Viper pilots at nearby Holloman AFB (HAFB), Alamogordo, NM, to take part in graduation ceremonies of their still very active Viper Training School, which clearly remains one of the reasons you hear and see so much about this highly maneuverable fighting machine on our FASF posts.

But let’s take a look at some informative video clips of this remarkable jet, starting with a 4 minute 28 second tour of its ground-breaking cockpit innovations:

[Don’t hesitate to watch any of these video in full-screen mode for maximum viewing quality]

Next, below, is a 9:35 long video of this machine in action, from a cockpit viewpoint.  In this video experience you’ll see some quick aerobatic maneuvers that include some high “G” turns, in which you’ll notice how the pilot resorts to some strong and heavy breathing in order to avoid browning or blacking out from the heavy “G” loads that result. Here’s the Viper Demo Team’s Major Craig “Rocket” Baker having fun showing off his ViperThe “G” forces were so great in his final steep climb pull-up, that his cockpit mounted “Go Pro” camcorder stopped recording.

Next, below, we have a 6:36 long gander at the USAF’s  Thunderbird Demonstration Team at work.  Notice that, today, the Thunderbirds still fly this 44 year old jet as their aircraft of choice.

And, lastly, let’s watch this 9:48 long clip of the Viper do its thing during last year’s Air combat exercise Red Flag 19-1, at Nellis Air Force Base (NAFB), with F-16 Vipers from the 64th Aggressor Squadron, other fighter jets, and some good cockpit video. Filmed during Red Flag 19-1: January 26 – February 15, 2019.