Author Archives: fasfric

The B-1, B-2, B-52 – – – What Will Be the Next U.S. Bomber?

The above video in only 1:38 long. The above video is thanks to the Northrup-Grumman Corporation.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James recently announced that the B-21 bomber will be called the B-21 Raider. The name represents the historically important role the new long-range stealth bomber will lead for the next 50 years.

The name is a tribute to the sheer bravery and grit displayed by Jimmy Doolittle and the Doolittle Raiders during World War II; and the legacy will now be carried on by future Airmen. Assisting Secretary James on stage to announce the name was one of the original Doolittle Raiders, the last living Doolittle Raider, and Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot, 101-year-old Air Force Lt. Col. (Retired) Richard Cole.

The above video is 9:10 in length and is courtesy of Warthog Defense.

If one accepts the premise that the B-21 will be powered by twin unaugmented F135 engines, one can then assume that the new bomber will be larger than a Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle or General Dynamics F-111Aardvark,” but smaller than the B-1 Lancer or B-2 Spirit.

Given the types of threats from low frequency radars that are projected to be out there in the future and the limitations of current low observables materials, B-21’s subsonic flying wing design will be large enough to counter low frequency radars.

A tactical fighter-sized stealth aircraft must be optimized to defeat higher-frequency bands such the C, X and Ku bands as a simple matter of physics, but a strategic bomber like the B-2 or LRS-B can be larger to counter lower frequency radars. There is a “step change” in a stealth aircraft’s signature once the frequency wavelength exceeds a certain threshold and causes a resonant effect. Typically, that resonance occurs when a feature on an aircraft—such as a tail-fin—is less than eight times the size of a particular frequency wavelength. That means a bomber like the B-21 has to have allowances for two feet or more of radar absorbent material coatings on every surface or the designers are forced to make trades as to which frequency bands they optimize the aircraft to operate in. As such, to defeat low frequency radars operating in the L, UHF and potentially the VHF bands (this is easier said than done—and could in fact be impossible), a flying wing design is in effect, mandatory.

The above video is 10:57 long.  The new aircraft will be designed to have global reach, in part by incorporating a large arsenal of long-range weapons. The B-21 is being engineered to carry existing weapons as well as nuclear bombs and emerging and future weapons, Air Force officials explained. It if’s arsenal is anything like the B-2, it will like have an ability to drop a range of nuclear weapons, GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions and possibly even the new Air Force nuclear-armed cruise missile now in development called the LRSO – (Long Range Stand Off) weapon. It is also conceivable, although at this point it is speculation, that one day the B-21 will probably be armed with yet-to-be seen weapons technology. This information is courtesy ofUS Military Technology.”

 

NEW MEMBER FROM MINNESOTA VISITS FAS 1916 AIRFIELD

Colonel Don Patton, US Army Retired, who is one of the founders of the Dr. Harold C. Deutsch WWII History Round Table in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, dropped by to visit the First Aero Squadron 1916 Airfield here in Columbus, yesterday.  After touring the FASF Headquarter’s Office, and the Airfield, Colonel Patton and Ric Lambart picked up another FASF long time member, John Read, Manager of the Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, and went to Palomas, Mexico to have lunch at the world renown Pink Store.  The picture below, of Col. Patton, John Read and Ric Lambart was taken by another long time FASF member, Yvonne Romero (scroll down to the Pink Store), the creator – and owner/manager – of the  Pink store.  Any of the below photos can be seen in full-size by simply clicking on them.

L to R: Col. Don Patton, John Read, and Ric Lambart – Photo by Yvonne Romero

Col Patton standing by the wind-sock pole at the 1916 Airfield with Columbus in the background.

After his visit to Columbus and Palomas, Mexico, Colonel Patton departed for Holloman Air Force Base, to join his son, Colonel Jeff “Tank” Patton, USAF, who commands the Base’s 49th Operations Group at the Air Base.  After touring the Pancho Villa State Park with John Read, the Colonel visited the home of Richard and Betty Dean.

Dean is considered to be the foremost local historian on matters related to the infamous raid on Columbus in 1916 by Pancho Villa and Richard is also the President of the FASF’s sister organization, the Columbus Historical Society, which operates the well known “Depot Museum” in town.  Mr. Dean’s great-grandfather was one of the victims of Villa’s marauders on March 9, 1916.  Dean has appeared on both PBS specials about the Raid and also on other national TV networks regarding the same infamous historical event.

Col. Patton standing on the E-W Airfield Runway.  The view is to the East towards El Paso, Texas.

Colonel Patton fills our his FASF Membership Application.

Colonel Patton poses in front of the Pancho Villa State Park’s historic Curtiss JN-4 Jenny Airplane.

L to R: John Read explaining some of the historical facts about the infamous raid of March 9th, 1916 by Pancho Villa, Col. Patton.

L to R: Col. Patton listens to more about the 1916 Raid from John Read.

L to R: Col. Patton listens to John Read explain how this 1914 photo of U.S. General Black Jack Pershing, with Pancho Villa has most often misidentified his Aide de Camp as Lt. Patton (later General George Patton of WWII fame – who was involved with Pershing in the 1916 Punitive Expedition, but was not in that particular photo.  The man so often misidentified as young Patton, was actually the General’s Aide de Camp, Lt. James Lawton Collins, who sometime after WWII also became a Major General himself.).  Our new member is not related to General George S. Patton. 

Colonel Patton had recently booked one of our long time Advisors, Dr. Roger Miller, former Deputy Historian for the United States Air Force, to speak to his WWII Round Table in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Dr. Miller made presentations about both the First Aero Squadron’s involvement in the 1916-17 Punitive Expedition, and also the Berlin Airlift.  Both topics are specialties of Dr. Miller’s.  The former USAF Historian has also authored some well known books on both those episodes of U.S. History.

How the Spectacular Filming of SpaceX Launches is Done

Have you witnessed the amazing videography and photography covering the spectacular SpaceX launches?  If you have, you’ll enjoy the following short (5:14 minutes) video of this process.  If not, then you’ll see some of these launches and learn how they are successfully put back into motion.  Our thanks to “Fighter Sweep” for this video and the story.

Do You Know the Real Reason Amelia Earhart is so Famous?

It would surely be surprising if any of you FASF website viewers didn’t already know a great deal about the American Aviatrix, Amelia Earhart, but here’s an interesting video, 7:04 minutes long, that gives you some background about what it is that really made her such a world-wide female and aviation celebrity.

As a matter of coincidence, the video also reveals some of the events and phenomena relating to the instigating of the American public’s romance with aviation itself, and the actual activities within the post WWI aviation civilian community that opened the doors to both U.S. civil aviation’s rebirth, as well as how this came about.  If you make note as the video plays, at about the 3:45 minute mark into the film, you’ll get a brief explanation of how America’s romance with flying opened up the new era of commercial aviation’s first-ever profitability – – – and business viability.

And, of course, as did no other airplane at that point in history, if was the First Aero Squadron’s now military surplussed Jenny’s that opened up that great new era – – – and began America’s new romantic involvement with, and enthusiasm for aviation in general.

This SST Plane Could Fly Across the Atlantic in Only 3.5 Hours

The below video tells the tragic story of why we no longer are able to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in only 3.5 hours, as we once did. The video is 10:22 in length, and we thought you might find it historically interesting to experience.  The Video was produced by Vox. What is “SST”?  It stands for Super Sonic Transport.  Enjoy.

The Warhawk, Tomahawk & Kittyhawk – – – The Fabled P-40

The above WWII Army Air Corps’ Pilot Training Film is courtesy of Zero’s Drive in Videos, and it is 35:41 in length.  Remember to click on the full-screen view button of the video in the lower right hand corner of the film’s start up screen, if you’d enjoy seeing the larger screen version displayed.

The Flying Tiger’s shark mouthed P-40 is one of the most iconic aircraft of WWII. Here, above, you can watch the film used to actually train P-40 pilots. It was produced by P-40 manufacturer Curtiss-Wright (remember Curtiss? They produced the First Aero’s Jenny in 1916 & 17), and it is in rare WWII color. One of our long-standing active members, Roger Nichols’s (the current Flight Captain of the Order of Daedalians Flight 24, of El Paso, Texas) own father, Major General Frank Nichols, was stationed at Pearl Harbor on the day it was attacked by the Japanese Imperial Air Forces on December 7, 1941. The then young Lieutenant took off to fight the overwhelming enemy forces in his P-40 Warhawk, which he continued to fly on other missions in the South Pacific War Theater, before transferring to other types of aircraft, such as the P-38 Lightening. Claire Chenault’s Flying Tiger’s (see above photo of Flying Tiger version with its unique paint job) deadly weapon in China was the P-40.  It was the Army Air Corp’s main front-line fighter at the outbreak of the War. Not as agile as a Japanese Zero, the P-40 nevertheless made up for that with speed, especially in a dive – – – and firepower. This rugged Curtiss-Wright built plane served the Allies around the world, from the deserts of North Africa to the jungles of SE Asia.

The aircraft featured in the above manufacturer’s film is a P-40F or L, both models of which were powered by Packard built British Rolls Royce Merlins for better high altitude performance. Other P-40 versions were powered by American Allison engines.  P-40s supplied to Commonwealth countries were known as “Kittyhawks.”The other variant of the Curtiss Fighter was known as the Tomahawk.

The above WWII training film was reproduced by Zeno, Zeno’s Warbird Video Drive-In.

Check out their P-40 DVD with two more videos & the iconic airplane’s actual pilot’s manual. You can visit their aviation DVD storet for one of the World’s broadest selections of World War II &  other vintage jet aircraft aviation videos, too.

Collings War Bird Tour Coming to Our FASF Area April 2018

The above short (only 30 seconds long) video gives you an idea of what’s in store for those lucky enough visitors to our long-time business member’s War Eagles Air Museum (WEAM) this coming April. For only two days, from the 4th through the 6th of that month, the acclaimed Collings Wings of Freedom collection of WWII Warbirds will be giving rides and conducting walk-through tours of the historic aircraft from their famous flying collection.  Below is their advertisement for this upcoming nearby event.Below, you will see a short (4:11) video by the Collings Foundation about the “Last Liberator” (B-24 Bomber of WWII).  This heavy WWII bomber is the only one still flying, which is remarkable considering the fact that more of these bombers (over 18,000) were produced by the United States than any other military aircraft in our nation’s history.  And, almost half of these Liberator’s were produced under contract to Consolidated Aircraft Corporation, the warship’s designer, by the Ford Motor Company.  The mother aircraft corporation later became known as CONVAIR (From Consolidated Vultee Aircraft), and was headquartered in San Diego, CA.  It became famous for its manufacture of some of the most famous seaplanes of all time, and later entered both the jet airliner field and our NASA Space program, producing the famed Atlas rockets.

By visiting this post’s links to the Collings Foundation’s website, you will be able to actually see short videos of what a ride is like in each of their touring WWII Warbirds.

The “Wings of Freedom Tour” has two goals: to honor the sacrifices made by our veterans that allow us to enjoy our present freedom; and to help educate the visitors, especially younger Americans, about our national history and heritage. All comparable goals to those of the First Aero Squadron Foundation’s own mission.  The Collings Foundation encourages people to tour the planes, talk to the veterans who come to visit the aircraft, and participate in a “flight experience”. Celebrating 26 years, the tour has made more than 3,000 visits to airports across the contiguous United States and to Alaska. While the exact number of visitors is difficult to gauge, it is estimated that over 3.5 million people see these fully restored historic aircraft annually.