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.

CHUCK YEAGER – 1st MAN TO BREAK THE SOUND BARRIER

Brigadier General Chuck Yeager went down in history, on October 14, 1947, as the first man to officially break the sound barrier in level flight.

These short video clips are of that occasion and are from various government and military archives.  Our previous post was about Edwards Air Force Base in California, which is where Yeager accomplished this historic feat.

The first film below is 5:40 long. Each Video below has sound, so make sure your sound is turned up, and you might also like to watch the video in full screen mode.

USAF BIOGRAPHY: Chuck Yeager Breaks Sound Barrier – 6:49 Long from the “Footage Farm.”

And, this following is a clip from the dramatization of the event taken from the segment devoted to the record making flight in the hit 1983 movie, “The Right Stuff,” about the selection and training of our first American Astronauts.  You will see Yeager’s wife, Glennis, waiting and watching his flight by their car, and his pilot buddies, including Pancho Barnes, owner of their favorite watering hole, The Happy Bottom Riding Club.  Barnes was, herself, a famous female stunt pilot.  This excerpt is 3:53 long.

General Chuck Yeager Spars with Jim Clash on the Forbes.com show, “Adventurer;” 5:56 long:

The following video is 3:04 in length.

Thirteen years later, in 2003, the General married a former actress. Victoria Scott D’Angelo, (at left) 36 years his junior.  The couple lives in Penn Valley, CA, where the General Chuck Yeager Foundation, which teaches children the ideals by which the famous test pilot lived, is located.  The General is now almost 96 years old.

 

Lambart Briefs Daedalians on U.S.’s new Joint Strike Fighter

A F-35 Lightning II test aircraft undergoes a flight check. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

All below photos may be seen in higher resolution by simply clicking on them, and the videos all have sound and may be viewed at full screen, also.

The FASF’s Ric Lambart (at left) just briefed the El Paso, TX Daedalian Flight 24 on his 2018 visit to Edwards Air Force Base, CA Flight Test Center and about his introduction to the new Joint Strike Fighter, the Generation 5 new weapons system, the most costly ever purchased by the Pentagon. Here is a depiction of its relative costs:

  • The F-35 is not just the most expensive warplane ever, it’s the most expensive weapons program ever. But here is exactly how much a single F-35 costs.
  • A single Air Force F-35A costs a $148 million. One Marine Corps F-35B costs $251 million. A lone Navy F-35C costs a mind-boggling $337 million. Average the three models together, and a “generic” F-35 costs $178 million.
  • And, you might wonder how much it costs per hour of flight time:
  • $41,000 per hour.
  • The U.S. is the first nation to design, manufacture and fly a 5th Generation Jet Fighter.  The new F-35, the second “Gen Five” machine, will be operated by thirteen of our closest Allies. It was designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin, who coincidentally also made its WWII namesake, the P-38 Lightning.  It is produced in three (3) models, or “Variants,” as shown above.  Notwithstanding its official name, the Lightning II, many of its operational pilots have given it another nickname: The “PANTHER.”

L to R: Colonel Alan Fisher and USAF ROTC Cadet, Ammber Valverde of UTEP and NMSU, chat after the F-35 Power Point presentation. Both are FASF members.

The F-35A model, for the Air Force, the B model, for the Marines and the C Variant, for the USN.

 

 

The Marine Corps B Variant can actually take off vertically, just like a helicopter, and can also land vertically.  The below short (1:40) video show how this is done:

Here is another short (1:35) video of this USMC F-35B operating off a small WWII type special aircraft carrier, which has neither a catapult nor a slant deck as do all new generations of USN Aircraft carriers.  Those features simply are no longer needed for this new USMC F-35 Variant:

Unlike all previous fighters, the F-35 “Lightning II” (named after the high-speed prop-driven Lockheed P-38 Lightning of WWII fame) is unique, not only because of its advanced stealth features, but because it is a flying combat information center, with advanced electronics capabilities never before seen in a new fighter.

It can also fly at supersonic speed for over 170 miles without even engaging its afterburner, which is called flying at “Super Cruise.”  The F-35 was designed to work together with the only other 5th Generation fighter, the F-22 “Raptor.” The two ships will work as a team in various combat scenarios, should their help ever be needed.

While the F-22 Raptor is more maneuverable, the F-35 is designed to engage and take out enemy aircraft long before the enemy has even detected the presence of the new flying weapons system. It can carry a wide array of different missiles internally, rather than attached to its fuselage and/or wings.  This of course does a great deal to enhance its stealth capabilities.

The Lightning II is actually capable of shooting down enemy aircraft beyond the horizon.  The pilots of this futuristic weapons system can actually see in all directions; wherever they look: including directly behind and directly below the fighter.  It the pilot looks down between his or her knees, they can see right through the fuselage as though it were invisible.

A number of electronic “eyes” are built right into the ship’s fuselage, and what they “see” is projected right onto the inside of the pilot’s helmet visor – – – a first.  These futuristic helmets alone are some $400,000 each! Here is a short (1:28) video about this unique helmet:

Additionally, Inputs from both ground intel and airborne recon craft are all displayed on the F-35’s integrated glass panel touch screen display, again, unlike any of its 4th or 3rd Generation predecessors.

Much like the mysterious Area 51, the existence of which was never even recognized by the Air Force until relatively recently, Edwards Flight Test Center also presents a similar air of mystery, since access to it is so highly restricted.

While on active duty with the Air Force, this reporter often flew in the vicinity of Edwards, but was always kept at a substantial distance, because the air space around the Base was so highly restricted.  As a result, this recent visit to the facility was anticipated with no small amount of excitement.

The local Daedalian Flight 56, at Edwards, invited a number of fellow Daedalians from around the country to make this special visit, so that they might learn about the United State’s newest and most advanced airborne weapons system. The 461st Flight Test Squadron, under the command of Lt. Colonel Tucker “Cinco” Hamilton (at right), played official host to the visiting Daedalians. An AFROTC graduate, Col. Hamilton has flown 30 aircraft from a zeppelin to a MiG-15 to an A-10, and, and managed the entire $3 Billion Joint Strike Fighter Developmental Test program out of the Pentagon for all three services. Cinco started his Air Force career as an operational F-15C pilot.

 

LATE BREAKING USAF NEWS: An officer at Edwards Air Force Base in California last month became the first female test pilot to fly an F-35.  See below:

(L-R) Maj. Rachael Winiecki, the first female F-35 test pilot, and Airman 1st Class Heather Rice, her crew chief.

Maj. Rachael Winiecki, a developmental test pilot for Colonel Hamilton’s 461st Flight Test Squadron, flew her first test flight in the Air Force’s most advanced fighter jet this past Dec. 14, according to the USAF.

 

L to R: Colonel Mario Campos, Flight 24’s Commander, who operated the Power Point Show, and our top Aviation News Scout, Virgil Hemphill. Both are FASF members.

And below, is a final video (2:00 long) showing the F-35 in a number of different combat scenarios and roles as it completed its final test program:

Lambart also gave the history of how Edwards Air Force Base was named, as seen immediately below:

USAAF Captain Glen Edwards.

L to R: Ric Lambart and Laura Kelly, both Daedalians, pose in front of one of Edward’s test F-35’s . Kelly was an Army Helicopter Pilot.

An old archived photo showing some of the Base’s famous Pilots, including Chuck Yeager at the center, with his wife, Glennis, after whom he named his rocket ship.. Yeager was the fist man to break the sound barrier – all at Edwards.

“Pancho” Barnes, (center below) who owned the famous bar and resort, “The Happy Bottom Riding Club,” was one of America’s most famous female aviators in her own right.  Aside from being one of Hollywood’s best stunt pilots, she was actually the organizer of the Hollywood film industry’s first Stunt Pilot’s Union.  It was at the “Riding Club” that her good friend, Chuck Yeager managed to break some of his ribs just before becoming the first human being to break the mythically impossible Sound Barrier in the Rocket Research Ship, the X-1, which bore his beloved wife’s name, “Glamorous Glennis.”  Of course Yeager didn’t tell anyone about his broken ribs for fear of missing this extraordinary opportunity to make history.  This particular incident is an episode in 1983 smash hit movie about the early astronauts: “The Right Stuff.” Yeager is played by actor Sam Shepard.  Pancho’s Bar and Grill was the favorite hangout of all those heroic early aviators who daily risked life and limb test flying our country’s most advanced new aircraft.  The below photograph was for sale at Iconic Auctions, in 2017, at the first offer of $1,000.

L to R: Pioneer Female Pilots: Debie Stanford, Pancho Barnes and Amelia Earhart.

Immediately below, is the 2009 award-winning documentary film’s trailer about the Barnes’ Riding Club and the famed aviatrix herself. It is 2:03 long:

 

MEMBERS PHOTOGRAPHED AT VARIOUS HOLIDAY EVENTS

The following photos were taken at the annual Christmas Luncheon for Daedalian Flight 24 at the El Paso Club,  All members of the Flight are active members of the FASF.  The guest of honor and presenter at the event was Army Aviator, General Laura Yeager (no relation to the famous American Test Pilot, Chuck Yeager!), who briefed the members on her mission at Fort Bliss as Commander of the JOINT TASK FORCE NORTH.  All of the below photos are in high-resolution and can be more fully appreciated by simply clicking on them.

FASF members, Col. Bob Pitt (L) chats with (at center) Aviation Hall of Famer, Bob Dockendorf, at Daedallian holiday event.  AT the podium, at right, in the background is Flight Captain Roger Nichols.

Daedalians and guests prepare for General Yeager’s presentation . . . Her staff is at left: Aide de Camp, Capt. Sperry, and USAF Sergeant Oliver.  The General’s Command is a Joint Command, composed of all the military services.

L to R: Julie and Col. Bob Pitt, Roger Nichols and Bob Dockendorf

L to R at wall: Alma Villezcas, Virg and Jenine Hemphill, Lt. Pfluger, David Ginn, Alan and Melissa Fisher, and forefront, Julie Pitt, District Court Judge Angie Juarez Barilland her husband, Patrick Barill

L to R: Loading up their buffet lunch, Bob Dockendorf, Judy Campos, Alan and Melissa Fisher

Brig. General Laura L Yeager opens her presentation

       General Yeager explains how her Command coordinates with many other Federal Agencies in its mission.

                                                          Col. Bob Pitt and General Yeager

L to R: Outgoing Flight Captain, Roger Nichols, Gen. Yeager, Sgt. Oliver, Capt. Sperry and Col. Pitt

L to R: Gen. Yeager chatting with Cadet Ammber Valverde, the youngest FASF member and UTEP student.

                                              Col. Alan Fisher speaking with Cadet Ammber Valverde

L to R: Ammber Valverde, Gen. Yeager, and Alma Villezcas, FASF Treasurer

The following photos and the video are of the Civil Air Patrol Squadron 24 Christmas party in Las Cruces, NM.

L to R: Michelle Phillips, William Benziger Juanita and Robert Macklin, Alan Fisher, and Walter Dutton, at whose home the event was held.

In front row kneeling or sitting are, L to R:  Alan and Melissa Fisher, Ric Lambart, Walter and Barbara Dutton,  and in the rear: Alma Villezcas, Travis McKenzie, Jim and Luann McConnell, Damien and Carol Blaschka, Robert and Juanita Macklin, William Benziger, Michelle Phillips, and Michael LeGendre. 

Laguardia Airport Photo Album from 1920’s Thru 1950’s

          Virg Hemphill

           Doc Edwards

 

This “Scrapbook” show was recommended for posting by two of our trusty Aviation News Scouts, Virg Hemphill, and Doc Edwards, at left.

                                  “Cover” of NYC’s Laguardia Airport Scrapbook of 1020’s through 1950’s . . .

This treasure chest of old photos provides a wonderful insight into the pages ofaviation history in the United States.  Most of these priceless time-capsule photos were taken from shortly after the Peace Treaty of Versailles in Europe through the Cold War Era.  See if you can find any errors in any of the captions posted below any of the pictures.  We found only two, and they were for miss-dates.

To enjoy this collection  of historical photos, which are seen in a slide show fashion, merely click on the above “Scrapbook Cover” and then simply scroll down each time you’re ready to see the next photograph.

Enjoy!

 

 

LaGuardia Exhibit Album

1st it Was Adieu to its 747 – – – Now it’s Welcome to the 787

Last July we watched the movingly beautiful farewell Air France gave to its last Boeing 747, but now we get to watch as it celebrates the delivery of its first new Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” replacement.

[1]: We start with a quick visit to the Boeing Factory in Seattle, and then, in this 1st Video (1:59), we join the flight crew as they deliver it home to Paris.

[2]: The next short (1:47) video shows it majestically flying over France;

[3] and the 3rd Video (3:04) shows the new 787’s inaugural VIP flight, one accompanied by the French Air Force Flight Exhibition Team, the Patrouille de France. Remember to turn up your audio and then switch to full-screen to fully enjoy the high resolution video.

Next, a video (1:44) shows how the Air France Pilots have become ready to guide  the new Dreamliners through the skies.

Below, we see “Back to the Future, the 787 is coming!”  This (1:36 long) video shows the Air France 787 being manufactured and finally painted, all in impressive time-lapse videography.

And, last, we see a short (5:10) video about Air France Pilot, Thomas Pesquet, who, in addition to working a a full-time Air France Airbus A319 pilot, is also one of the vew European Astronauts, and the first to also be a pilot.  Thomas had to learn Russian in addition to his other training, since fluency in Russian is also a requirement for each astronaut.  Already being a pilot, Mr. Pesquet was naturally fluent in English, since that is the International language of aviation world-wide.

 

 

 

American Carrier Force in Action – – – Stunning Videography

Whether good weather, day or night, or on the most violent seas, our Navy’s armadas are ready for action.  Here you will see some rarely captured hi-definition videos of our Navy personnel accomplishing their routine daily tasks with finesse and skill the likes of which should make one both proud and thankful.  Much of these first two videos is taken onboard the pre-Nimitz Class USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered U.S. Aircraft Carrier.

The newest Nimitz Class Carriers are the largest warships ever built and have over 6,000 personnel (crew and aircrews).  They displace over 102,000 Tons and have flight decks as long as three football fields.  These huge ships have their own post office, hospital, dental clinic, barbershops, athletic facilities, chapels and much more.  They are virtual floating cities with some 18 levels, including eight above the hangar bay and ten more decks below.  These behemoths are designed to last half a century with only one scheduled refueling, in mid-life.

These clips will bring you up close and personal with the sailors of the US Navy as they prepare their thunderous F-18 Super Hornets for flight, and then retrieve them when they return from their missions.  You will also witness the launching of the Navy’s Grumman Utility C-2 “Greyhound” utility-cargo planes, and even see at sea ship-to-ship cargo transfers take place.

Video Credits: Stacy Atkinsricks, Thomas Gooley, Janine Jones, Cody Deccio. Derivative Work by Daily Aviation Archive. Music credit: Green Leaf Stomp – – – Jingle Punks.
Make sure your sound is on and go to full screen to appreciate this high-definition videography.  This first video is 10:40 long.

Below is a hi-definition video showing how our large carriers replenish their supplies while underway on the high seas.  Since all U.S. carriers are nuclear powered, they need no refueling for their own power requirements, but they do occasionally need to take on Jet-Fuel and large quantities of other supplies for the needs of their onboard equipment and personnel.  This clip is also courtesy of the Daily Aviation Video ArchiveThe video is 12:41 long.

This next video is onboard the newer Nimitz Class Nuclear Carrier, Theodore Roosevelt, (CVN-71) nicknamed, the “Big Stick.”  As in the first video above, this clip shows daily life aboard the huge fighting machine, but it also depicts actual night operations and the launching and capture of one of the Navy’s new Jet-Powered Drone aircraft. It is 17:47 in length.

And, these last two (2) videos are of the nation’s newest dreadnaught, the Gerald R. Ford, CVN-78. Although similar in overall size to the older nuclear-powered Nimitz Class Carriers, seen above, this new 13 Billion Dollar vessel has many advanced systems and newer technology on board.

It is also the first of a new 21st Century class of Carrier, known as the Ford Class.  It will be the world’s first carrier to employ unique high-powered magnetic jet-launching catapults, rather than the steam-powered devices found on all of its earlier sister ships.  Its huge nuclear propulsion engines are 250% more powerful than those of the Nimitz class.  Because of many internal design changes from the earlier Nimitz Class carriers, and also because of the ship’s higher level of technology and automation, the actual number of crew members required to efficiently operate the Ford is substantially less than that required aboard the Nimitz ships.

After its commissioning and during its first sea trial-runs, the ship encountered some unexpected magnetic-launch problems, but those have now been ironed out as you will see in this 1st Ford video, which is 4:16 long.

This second video on the USS Ford, is longer (22:59 in length), but it shows more detail behind its construction, as well as of its shake-down cruise operations.

 

20th Century had B-1s and B-2s, but the B-21 is 21st Century

  Virg Hemphill

The USAF has decided to set aside its hi-tech B-1 Lancer and B-2 Stealth bombers for the new high-altitude, long-range stealth strike bomber, named the B-21 “Raider,” in honor of the famed General Doolittle Tokyo Raiders of WWII fame. This story is once again the result of information supplied by our Aviation News Scout, Virg Hemphill, at left.

This new advanced bomber clearly embodies some of the unique aerodynamic characteristics and shape of the WWII Northrup Aviation experimental Flying Wing, an airplane whose first versions were actually propeller powered.  But this new Northrup creation embodies features not even the material of dreams, when the first Flying Wings took to the air over California’s high desert.

While still a flying-wing airframe, having no vertical stabilizers or rudder, but rather a sharp squared wing, it does clearly remain true to the old Flying Wing theme, since there is no distinction between its fuselage and wing, they being one and the same overall structure.  Here are some informative videos about this new USAF transition.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James announces 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.

Assisting Secretary James on stage (immediately below) to announce the name, was one of the original Doolittle Raiders, in fact, the last living Doolittle Raider, and Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot, 101-year-old Air Force Lt. Col. (ret.), Richard Cole.

It is suggested that you view all videos below in full-screen, to appreciate the hi-resolution used. All of the clips also have full complete audio tracks.

This first short (1:39 long) video shows the official USAF announcement of the B-21’s new name:

Second, this short (7:29 long) video by “The Infographics Show:

Third, this “New Update Defence” video, 4:08 in length (There is some computerized voice used in this clip, so be prepared for some clumsy English):