Category Archives: AVIATION NEWS

Aviation News of Interest

The U.S. and Its Aviation Culture – The Great Air Race Days

Doc Edwards

No need to add more descriptive material to this movie discovery.  One of our aviation news scouts, Doc Edwards (L), found this priceless gem for us.  In and of itself, it tells an inspiring slice of our aviation cultures’ history – one about some of America’s greatest men and women of the 20th Century.  The Golden Era of our aviation heroes – mostly civilians, but also some from our military.

The Great Days of Air Races” is truly an American Scrapbook Experience.

Please enjoy – and remember your sound (The sound track is a bit weak).  The movie (Video) is 17:27 in length.

Air Force One – – – Columbine II Project – – – is Underway!

Four years ago, August 10, 2014, we reported on the dilemma facing the 1st AIR FORCE ONE, our Presidential Transport aircraft.  Back then, in 2014, this historic airplane had been almost accidentally discovered, actively in the process of rotting away in the blistering heat of a Marana, AZ aircraft Boneyard, about 30 minute’s drive Northwest of Tucson, AZ.

Well, we are happy to report that that news story, appearing on the aviation news circuit, and the happenstance rediscovery of it at Marana by Scott Glover, apparently did the trick, as the below 40:50 length video reveals.  Remember to keep your audio turned up!

AIRBUS 380-DOUBLE DECKS WITH LUXURIOUS POSSIBILITIES

The New Airbus Double-Decker Plane – Let’s Take a Tour . . .

If you have to fly half-way around the world then you might want to do it in a Double-Decker Airbus A380. This particular plane is owned by the Portuguese Airline,  “Hi Flyand features three classes of servic: Economy, Business, and First Class.

Of course, there’s a significant cost difference between the classes, but wouldn’t it be nice to fly in Business – – – or First Class?  If travelling in First Class just isn’t good enough for you then you might want to see the second video below, and “buy American” for your luxury air travel aboard a privately owned Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  The video tour of the Airbus A380 was taken at the great international British Farnborough Airshow just a few weeks ago.  The 1st video is 3:17 in length, and the second, 7:16 long.

Remember:  Don’t hesitate to enjoy your full-screen view, and make sure your sound is turned up for both these videos!

And, not to be outdone by the large commercial airline manufacturers, we next experience a visit inside a ultimate smaller business jet, one made by America’s Grumman: its reknown Gulfstream G500.  This ship is Qatar Airways’ $45 million version of the aircraft. This video is 3:16 long.

 

FASF’s Villezcas, Takes First CAP Training Flight Successfully

CAP Cessna 182 Slylane (L) opposite USAF Thunderbird F-16 Fighting Falcon.

FASF Treasurer, and native of Casas Grandes, Mexico, America’s first foreign air base (in 1916), Alma Villezcas, took to the sky for her first SAREX (Search And Rescue Exercise) this past weekend out of the Las Cruces, NM Municipal Airport Civil Air Patrol (CAP) facilities.

Ms. Villezcas joined the Las Cruces CAP Squadron 24 a year ago with the intention of learning to fly with the CAP, which is a full-fledged Auxiliary of the United States Air Force (USAF) – (see Air Force photo above with the two USAF Aircraft: A CAP Cessna and F-16 Jet Fighter), which supplies all of the facilities and equipment, including costly modern aircraft, to each Squadron throughout the U.S.  For this reason the CAP uniforms are based upon the USAF’s.

Mission Pilot, Dave Bjorness (L), and Scanner Trainee, Alma Villezcas (R) in the process of conducting their Preflight Inspection of the CAP Cessna Skylane prior to the Mission . . . All photos in this story may be seen in full resolution by simply clicking on them.

The origins of Civil Air Patrol date to 1936, when Gill Robb Wilson, World War I aviator and New Jersey director of aeronautics, returned from Germany convinced of impending war. Wilson envisioned mobilizing America’s civilian aviators for national defense, an idea also shared by other aviation activists.

In Ohio, Milton Knight, a pilot and businessman, organized and incorporated the Civilian Air Reserve (CAR) in 1938. Other military-styled civilian aviation units emerged nationwide and helped train pilots for defense of the homeland.

 In 1941, Wilson launched his perfected program: the Civil Air Defense Services (CADS). That summer, tasked by Fiorello H. LaGuardia (New York mayor and director of the federal Office of Civilian Defense and also a World War I aviator), Wilson, publisher Thomas H. Beck and newspaperman Guy P. Gannett proposed Wilson’s CADS program as a model for organizing the nation’s civilian aviation resources.

Their proposal for a Civil Air Patrol was approved by the Commerce, Navy, and War departments in November, and CAP National Headquarters opened its doors on Dec. 1, 1941, under the direction of national commander Maj. Gen. John F. Curry. Existing CADS, CAR and other flying units soon merged under the CAP banner. Public announcement of CAP and national recruiting commenced on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor..

CAP Personnel in military formation in front of one of their Stinson Patrol Aircraft in 1942.

L to R above: Mission PILOT, Dave Bjorness, Mission Commander and Flight OBSERVER, William Benzinger, and Alma Villezcas, Mission SCANNER Trainee, briefing about their tasks and esponsibilities before their Mission.

Above, Ground Team Personnel, Mike Legendre, (L) briefing Communications Officer, Joe Parea, at right. Each mission, whether a practice exercise operation, or a genuine emergency mission, requires numerous ground based personnel working closely with, and in constant radio communication with the CAP aircraft “eyes in the sky.”

Above, Alma readies for the Mission, which will entail scanning for a downed aircraft and taking hi-resolution color photographs of it and the surrounding terrain for ground rescue agencies’ guidance.

Above, Alma checks out her Intercom equipment, as flight crew readies for engine startup.  She has already opened the side window’s Camera Port.  The High Resolution Professional Digital Camera must shoot all photos through this open window so that no window reflections nor glare interfere with the photo’s high quality.

The aircraft has started its engine and begins to taxi out for take off. The CAP Squadron’s main hangar is in the background above.

Alma and her crew returned safely from their successful 2 hour long SAR Mission Exercise, having finally located the simulated downed aircraft and also it’s ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) radio signal.

The following 7 minute video gives a moving glimpse into what Alma experienced during her very first CAP Training flight.

 

Hard, Exciting & Dangerous: USN Carrier Pilot Pilots at Work

To enable you to appreciate the hard, exciting – and extremely dangerous (particularly in inclement weather and at night) work of today’s U.S. Navy Carrier pilots, we’ll start out with some fair weather operations, all using the Boeing F/A-18F “Super Hornet” strike fighters of the current Navy inventory, and then move on to some videos taken during bad weather operations.  This first video shows you what the experience is like during fair weather, this clip is only 2:06 long.

The below Naval Aviator’s helmet says “No PRO” but after you watch him land his F/A-18F on an aircraft carrier, we think you’ll agree that he is a true professional. When you think about it, unlike Air Force and land based Marine pilots, Naval Aviators on shipboard always have an audience when they land on board a carrier, so they are at least more strongly motivated to perform at a higher level.  But, regardless, audience or not, this type of landing a high-speed jet fighter is vastly more dangerous than landing the same type of fighter on land – – – at an airfield.

Next, below, we’re going to show you what’s involved during bad weather and night operations, using the same FA-18 Hornet Aircraft.  Here, then, are two  Continue reading

Mary Ellis, One of Britain’s WWII Ferry Pilots, Flies Into Sunset

Dateline Tuesday July 24, 2018 London UKMary Ellis (ne Wilkins) during WWII while on Flight Duty

Virg Hemphill

This story is thanks to FASF Aviation News Scout, Virg Hemphill (L)

One of the last few living British female World War II Ferry Service pilots, the legendary Mary Ellis, died peacefully at he home, at 101, on the Isle of Wight this past Tuesday evening, the 24th of July 2018.

Mrs. Ellis was a member of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) and delivered Spitfires and bombers to the front lines during the conflict.

She said she had flown “about 1,000 aeroplanes” during the war, before moving to the Isle of Wight in 1950 to take charge of Sandown Airport.

ATA secretary John Webster described Mrs. Ellis as an “amazing” person.

While she was commonly known as the last-surviving female pilot from the war, in fact there are three others.

Mr. Webster said that one, Eleanor Wadsworth, lives in Bury St Edmunds, another, Nancy Stratford, lives in the US and the other, Jaye Edwards, lives in Canada.

 

The above short (1:19) Video is of interview with Mary Ellis about her WWII experiences.

Mary Ellis, then Mary Wilkins, joined the ATA in 1941 after hearing an advertisement for women pilots on BBC radio.

She said at the time they were known as the “Glamour Girls”, adding: “There were plenty of escorts around.”

                             Just last year, Mary posed by a restored WII Spitfire, 400 of which she successfully ferried.

                                  Mary chats with Prime Minister, Teresa May at 10 Downing Street, London

  Mary Ellis outside 10 Downing St., where she visited with UK’s PM, Teresa May, in celebration of her 100th birthday.

                                                     Mary Wilkins (Ellis) in formal ATA Portrait in 1941.

The following Spitfire Video is 7:46 in length.  Make sure your sound is on for both videos.

And this second Spitfire action video (below) is 3:48.

A Moving Video Tribute: How You Say “Au Revoir” To An Icon

Virg Hemphill

Video: Air France: Credits : Airborne Films for Air France and the French Air Force and the Patrouille de FranceKeep you sound turned up to hear the video’s scoring The Video length is 3:30.

This impressive video was shot on January 27th, two years ago, when a dozen jewels of French aviation met over the Camargue region of France. Eleven Alphajets from the Patrouille de France (the Patrouille is the French equivalent to our Thunderbirds and Blue Angels Military Exhibition Teams – but is the world’s oldest such team) and the last Air France 747 flew in formation as a salute to the Boeing Icon’s last days with the airline.

On 14 January 2016, Air France offered customers a tribute flight over the country’s landmarks. The flight number as AF747. More than 45 years after the first flight from Paris to New York on 3 June 1970 the Company saluted the Jumbo Jet’s last flight in style with a business class lunch along with champagne for all.

Since the early seventies, the Boeing 747 has been a showcase of modern innovations and has revolutionized air transport. Air travel became more widespread and we entered an era of mass tourism. For cargo, the Boeing 747 had pressurized holds, which were ventilated and protected against fire. Four times larger than the previous generation of Boeing, the 707, they could carry 122 tons of cargo! On both of my trips from Montreal to the Paris Airshow I flew on the Air France Combi 747.

Air France was one of the first airlines to operate this aircraft, making it the flagship of its long-haul fleet: New York, Montreal, the French West Indies, Reunion, Asia … most of the Company’s destinations have been served by the Jumbo.

Air France says, “We started innovating from the early seventies. The role of chief purser was created to coordinate the service and attention paid to customers in this aircraft which could carry up to 500 passengers. Inflight cuisine was of great importance, with menus designed by great French chefs: Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenôtre and Pierre Troisgros. Finally, the cabin interior was designed by Pierre Gautier-Delaye, who paid particular attention to the comfort of the seat cushions and seatbacks.”