Let’s look at the infamous and long-serving air-to-ground, ground-support aircraft, the Warthog, or Thunderbolt II (named after Republic Aviation’s WWII Powerhouse, the P-47 Thunderbolt). Let’s watch this lethal ground-support weapon showing off in the series of videos that follow. The current Thunderbolt II fighter was first manufactured by FAIRCHILD-REPUBLIC, which was then merged into the present NORTHRUP-GRUMMAN CORPORATION.
This 8-minute video is courtesy of MAXIMUS AVIATION and was taken by a Go-Pro Action Camera from inside the cockpit of a Michigan Air Guard Warthog busily practicing landings and takeoffs from a state highway. The pilot is Captain “CAPS” Renner.
After the video starts, click on the Full-Screen icon in the lower right of each video.
[You do not have to watch these clips on YouTube – – – watch any video right on this FASF site]
The following 9:36 length video is bought to you by US Military News . . .
Thanks to Mil-Way, we next witness the truth vs. propaganda by the USAF that it is ready to scuttle the using the A10 Warthog. This clip is 6:34 long.
And, finally, we get a look at the Amazing Warthog that successfully, notwithstanding being riddled from heavy ground fire over Bagdad and heavily damaged flight controls, an American Hero, this time a female fighter pilot, survived . . . and even brought her ship back to its base safely.
Here, below is an introduction to this brave and extremely competent A10 Thunderbolt II combat Pilot. This is only 2:08 long:
The story of Capt. Kim Campbell follows below in a short clip lasting 8:02 minutes.
AFA Cadet Kim Campbell
Kim Campbell (L) wanted to be a fighter pilot long before she was even in High School. Raised near San Jose, CA, her first break came when she joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which is an auxiliary of the United States Air Force. it was there that she made her first moves towards becoming a pilot, soloing a Cessna when she was just 17, and then successfully gaining admission to the Air Force Academy (AFA) (L). Here are some other photos throughout her 24 years on active duty and as a civilian, where she is now a professional motivational speaker.
Captioned photo of then Captain Campbellunder her terminally damaged Warthog fighter.
C Captain Campbell under her damaged A10 Warthog Fighter
Colonel Campbellwith her two boys and husband, also an Air Force Full Colonel
This post was written – and photographed – by Colonel (Ret) Mario Campos (L), current Captain of Daedalian Flight 24 in El Paso, TX, all of which members are also members of the FASF.
On 22 April 2023, members of the 24th Flight attended the 314th Fighter Squadron’s F-16 graduation ceremonies for Class 22-DBH from Holloman AFB, NM.
The evening’s guest speaker was Col Leonard “Lucky” Ekman, USAF (Ret) (below) who logged over 4100 hours in fighter aircraft with 1600 of those being combat hours in 287 missions over Vietnam in F-105 and F-105G Wild Weasels. His “luck” extended during a mission over Vietnam where he was shot down and successfully rescued. Col Ekmanretired in 1990 as the Vice Commander of the 16th Air Force. An avid glider pilot, he has his sights set on completing 1000 glider hours soon. Amongst Col Ekman’sgreatest accomplishments are that both his son and daughter were also fighter pilots. (To see the above US Air Force Academy photo full size, just click on it)
Col Ekman spoke about tactical call signs and their evolution. He mentioned how today’s fighter pilots get their call signs and how many would be embarrassed to give the real story of how they were given to them. He mentioned that early in Vietnam, personal call signs didn’t exist and were really a daily rotating call sign given to a flight that pilots would sometimes forget. He explained that a strike package (mission attack plan) could exist of numerous types of aircraft and if someone called “Lead, Break Right,” many would respond “Say Call Sign” because of the confusion caused by not knowing the daily call sign. After attending the Navy’s Top GunCourse where he apparently first witnessed the Navy tradition of each fighter pilot having his own personal call sign or “handle,” he saw the practical need for these individual tactical call signs that could be easily remembered. Col Ekman then implemented this Navy tradition when he became a Squadron Commander.
ColEkman concluded by congratulating the new fighter pilots and reminding them to enjoy the call signs they’ve received – or will end up with – because they’ll contribute to some great memories.
Capt Lee & Col Pitt
During ceremonies, the 24th Flight’s senior-most member, Col. Bob Pitt (R), proudly presented Maj Gen Franklin A. Nichols Daedalians Leadership Award to Captain Matthew “WOB” Lee (L) who will go on to fly F-16 Vipers at Kunsan AB, Korea. Below, at right are Captain Lee, his mother, Mrs. Lee,and Col. Pitt.
In another reunion moment for a member of the 24th Flight, Class 22-DBH’s Distinguished Graduate was Capt Barry “Mutombo” MacNeill (below left) who happens to be the son of Barry “Bear” McNeill, a former F-4G WeaselEWO(Electronic Weapons Officer) and F-15E WSO (Weapons System Officer).
Capt Barry McNeil& LCSanford
Bear had an outstanding career in the Air Force including Squadron and Operations Group Commander in the 98th Range Wing at Nellis AFB and Deputy Director of the Air Force Joint Test and Evaluation Program where he retired from the Air Force. Bear is now Vice President at Amentum Corp.Bear and current 24th Flight Captain Mario Campos were both Instructor EWOs at the 453d Flying Training Squadron at Mather AFB, CA in the late 80s. Bearalso served with 24th Flight Member Lt Col (Ret) Miles “Cowboy” Crowell in the F-15E!Cowboy (at R below) was at the event to present the Red River Rats Association Award to Lt Matthew “Minnie” Dunlap.
Lt Matthew Dunlap & Col.Crowell
The 24th Flight congratulates the eleven newest fighter pilots of Class 22-DBH and wishes them only the very best in their future careers. The Flight would also like to thank 314 FS Commander, Lt Col Kirby “Fuel” Sanford and his outstanding staff for hosting the members of the 24th on this momentous occasion.
All members of the 314th shouted out their squadron’s slogan, “Strike,” as the event came to a close.
This past week, now retired, Dr. Robert Bouilly (Left), formerly the official Historian for the Ft. Bliss Army Sergeant Majors Academy, presented the colorful history of the famous all-negro* 24th Infantry Regiment which fought valiantly under General Black Jack Pershing during the Punitive Expedition of 1916 and 1917 and followed their exploits during WWI and then back in Columbus until the closing of Camp Furlong in 1922.
Dr. Bouillyhas been a long-time advisor to the FASF and has provided many rare photographs of both First Aero Squadron aircraft and of its personnel that were taken during that same Pershing Expedition into Mexico – – – and he even uncovered some from the FAS’ activities during WWI and shortly thereafter. He has already been documented in several past posts on this FASF website.
Having lunch prior to Dr. Boully’s talk are L-R: Col. Bob Pitt, Dr. Bouilly, Col. Mario Campos, Judy Campos, and Col. Melissa Fisher.
Dr. Bouillyshared his extensive knowledge of the famed 24th Regiment and its extraordinary history. The following was described by Dr. Bouilly and is embellished, thanks to “Fandom.com’s” extensive Army Historical citations, which covered the 24th during the same period.
L – R in the foreground: Jerry Dixon, Virg Hemphill, Roger Springstead, Julie Pitt, and Connie Sullivan. Standing in the back are Col. Mellissa Fisher and Col. Bob Pitt.
If you search for Dr. Bouilly’s involvement with the FASF in the search window on the front home page, you will discover how active he has been with us since our inception in 2007.
Giving the traditional toasts are (L-R): Connie Sullivan, Julie Pitt, Col. Bob Pitt, Roger Springstead, Virg Hemphill, Larry Spradlin, and Jerry Dixon.
Colonel Campos conducted the meeting prior to Dr. Bouilly’stalk. In the foreground at the left is Mrs. Ulla Rice.
Prior to the official presentation, Connie Sullivan sang to the group.
Dr. Bouillydescribes the 24th Regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers
The 24th Infantry Regiment (one of the renowned Buffalo Soldier regiments) was organized on November 1, 1869, from the 38th and 41st (Colored) Infantry Regiments. All the enlisted soldiers were black, either as veterans of the U.S. Colored Troops or freedmen.
From its call up to active duty in 1898, the 24th Infantry served throughout the Western United States. Its missions included garrisoning frontier posts, battling American Indians, protecting roadways against bandits, and guarding the border between the United States and Mexico.
L to R: Larry Spradlin, Jerry Dixon, Virg Hemphill, Roger Springstead, Col. Bob Pitt, and Julie Pitt listening to Dr. Bouilly.
The year 1898 saw the 24th Infantry deployed to Cuba as part of the U.S. Expeditionary Force in the Spanish-American War. At the climactic battle of San Juan Hill, supported by intensive fire from the Gatling Gun Detachment, units of the 24th Infantry, accompanied by elements of the 6th and 13th Infantry Regiments, assaulted and seized the Spanish-held blockhouse and trench system atop San Juan Hill.
In 1899 the regiment deployed to the Philippine Islands to help suppress a guerrilla movement in the Philippine-American War. The regiment returned to the Islands in 1905 and 1911. Though the 24th fought a number of battles in the Philippines, one of the most notable occurred on December 7, 1899, when nine soldiers from the regiment routed 100 guerrillas from their trenches.
(For those of you familiar with the First Aero Squadron’s most famous commander at Columbus in 1916, then Captain Benjamin D. Foulois, had received his Officer’s Commission while stationed in the Philippines as a member of the 17th Infantry Regiment at the same time as the 24th played a role in that same foreign expedition.)
In 1916 the 24th Infantry guarded the U.S.-Mexico border to keep the Mexican Revolution from spilling onto U.S. soil. When it did, the 24th joined the “Punitive Expedition” under General Black Jack Pershing and entered Mexico to fight Pancho Villa‘s forces. In 1919, rebels and troops of the Mexican government fought in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, which borders the U.S. city of El Paso, Texas. The 24th Infantry crossed over once again to engage the rebels, ensuring that no violence erupted across the U.S. border.
Pre-World War I and the Houston Riot
The Houston Riot (1917) was a mutiny by 150 black soldiers of the Twenty-fourth United States Infantry, called the Camp Logan Riots. Sergeant Vida Henry of I Company, 3rd Battalion led about 150 black soldiers in a two-hour march on Houston because they had suffered racial discrimination in the city.
The soldiers were met by local policemen and a great crowd of Houston residents, who had armed themselves. When the soldiers killed Captain J.W. Mattes of the Illinois National Guard (after mistaking him for a local policeman), the battalion fell into disarray. Sgt. Henry shot himself, distraught over having killed another serviceman. In their two-hour march on the city, the battalion killed 15 armed whites, including four policemen, and seriously wounded 12 others, one of whom, a policeman, subsequently died. Four black soldiers were killed. Two were accidentally shot by their own men, one in camp and the other on San Felipe Street. The riot lasted one afternoon and resulted in the deaths of four soldiers and 15 civilians. The rioters were tried at three court-martials. Fourteen were executed, and 41 were given life sentences.
World War II
At the start of World War II, the 24th Infantry was stationed at Fort Benning as School Troops for the Infantry School. They participated in the Carolina Maneuvers of October – December 1941. During World War II, the 24th Infantry fought in the South Pacific Theatre as a separate regiment. Deploying on April 4, 1942, from the San Francisco Port of Embarkation, the regiment arrived in the New Hebrides Islands on May 4, 1942. The 24th moved to Guadalcanal on August 28, 1943, and was assigned to the US XIV Corps. 1st Battalion deployed to Bougainville, attached to the 37th Infantry Division, from March to May 1944 for perimeter defense duty. The regiment departed Guadalcanal on December 8, 1944, and landed on Saipan and Tinian on December 19, 1944, for Garrison Duty which included mopping up the remaining Japanese forces that had yet to surrender. The regiment was assigned to the Pacific Ocean Area Command on March 15, 1945, and then to the Central Pacific Base Command on May 15, 1945, and to the Western Pacific Base Command on June 22, 1945.
The regiment departed Saipan and Tinian on July 9, 1945, and arrived on the Kerama Islands off Okinawa on July 29, 1945. At the end of the war, the 24th took the surrender of forces on the island of Aka-Shima, the first formal surrender of a Japanese Imperial Army garrison. The regiment remained on Okinawa through 1946.
From the end of World War II through 1947, the 24th occupied Okinawa, Japan, after which it relocated to Gifu, Japan. On February 1, 1947, the regiment reorganized as a permanent regiment of the 25th Infantry Division. Despite the desegregation of the U.S. armed forces in 1948 by Executive Order 9981, the 24th Infantry remained predominantly African–American, with an officer corps of both African and European Americans. In late June 1950, soon after North Korea invaded South Korea, the 24th deployed to Korea to assist in the Korean War.
The 24th Infantry fought throughout the entire Korean peninsula, from the defense of the “Pusan Perimeter” to its breakout and the pursuit of communist forces well into North Korea, to the Chinese counteroffensives, and finally to U.N. counteroffensives that stabilized near the current Demilitarized Zone. The regiment received the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for its defense of the Pusan Perimeter. The regiment also had two posthumous Medal of Honor recipients, Cornelius H. Charlton and William Thompson.
The cases of Lieutenant Leon Gilbert court-martialed for refusing an order from the 24th’s commanding officer (who was white), and of some other members of the 24th, helped bring greater attention to problems of segregation and discrimination within the U.S. military.
The landing at Inchon by U.S. and ROK forces on September 15 finally compelled the North Koreans to withdraw from the Pusan Perimeter. The 24th Infantry was divided into Task Forces Blair and Corley (named for their commanders), and they, along with several from other commands, began pursuing the enemy on September 27.
The 25th Division remained in South Korea until ordered north in late November to participate in the Chongchon operation. Later in November, overwhelming assaults by Chinese troops forced the U.S. Eighth Army to withdraw. On November 29, the Chinese 40th Army flanked the 24th Infantry’s line north of the Chongchon River in North Korea, forcing the neighboring 9th Regiment of the 2nd Division to withdraw.
On November 30, the 3/24th was at Kunu-ri, on the division’s open right flank, with Chinese troops behind it. With the help of air support, the battalion extricated itself, losing one soldier killed, 30 wounded and 109 missing. Overall, the 24th Infantry lost one-fifth of its officers and one-third of its enlisted men in the withdrawal across the Chongchon. Colonel Corley blamed the disarray of the 3rd Battalion on its commander, Lt. Col. Melvin E. Blair, whom he summarily relieved.
The Eighth Army’s withdrawal did not cease until the force was well below the 39th parallel north. But by early March 1951, the American and ROK troops were again ready for a full-scale offensive.
On March 6, the 25th Division advanced across the Han River. The 1/24th did well, moving over difficult terrain against an entrenched enemy. The 3rd Battalion initially also performed well, executing a hastily devised river crossing and advancing through rough country against well-dug-in Chinese troops, far from the 1st Battalion. While climbing up steep terrain, however, the 1/24th reportedly collapsed under Chinese fire and withdrew in disorder. When the division commander learned of that action, his confidence in the 24th plummeted. Many soldiers of the 24th ran away from the fight, tossing their weapons and equipment aside. A derisive poem throughout the U.S. Army stated: When them Chinese mortars begin to thud, the Old Deuce-Four begin to bug.
Although the 24th performed well in the attack north of the Han and the subsequent general withdrawal of the Eighth Army after the Chinese spring offensive of 1951, its reputation was somewhat tarnished. But it performed well in the Army’s drive back north in May and June 1951.
In August, the regiment’s new commander, Colonel Thomas D. Gillis, prodded by the division commander, closely examined the 24th’s record in Korea. Determining that leadership had been the problem, he relieved a number of officers. After the change in command, Company F conducted a valiant bayonet and grenade charge on September 15. But, the positive performance of Company F was ignored by higher commands and the news media. By October 1, 1951, the 24th was dissolved.
While the enlisted troops were all Negros, almost all of the officers were Caucasians.
Colonel Michael P. Driscoll(above) is the Commander of the 54th Fighter Group,at Holloman AFB (HAFB), New Mexico. He is responsible for the operations of the largest F-16 Formal Training Unit. The 54th Fighter Group consists of more than 400 people including three F-16 Fighter Squadrons, an Operations Support Squadron, and a TrainingSquadron. This class,22-CBH, of the311th Fighter Squadron, is one of the three Squadrons he commands. Previously, Colonel Driscoll served as the Director of Plans and Integration, USAF Warfare Center, Nellis AFB, NV. This is his third deployment to Holloman AFB.Photo Courtesy of the United States Air Force.
311th Fighter Squadron Flight Instructor, Capt. Zachary “Fyst” RutledgeOpened ceremonies as the official MC
At this point, it is appropriate to point out that your webmaster is deeply thankful for all the help provided behind the scenes by Captain “Fyst” Rutledge(above) who helped identify all the members and guests in each of the following photos, which you are free to download in full Hi-Res once you first click on the photo in which you are interested to see it full-sized. As soon as the opening ceremonies were concluded it was time for dinner as seen below.
Lt. Colonel Austin “CODE” Brown, the 311th Commander, helps open the festivities.
L to R in the foreground in the lineup for dinner are Col. Mike Driscoll, 54th Group Commander, and his wife, Sonia
Mrs. Sonia Driscoll, the 54th Group Commander’s wife, chats with FASF member and Daedalin, Col. Alan Fisher
L to R at the head table are Col. Bob Pitt, Col. Mario Campos, Col. Alan Fisher (all long-time FASF members and El Paso, TX Daedalian Flight 24 members), Mrs. Sonia and Colonel Mike Driscoll, CMSgt Nathan Chrestensen, and MSgt. Roidan Carlson. Colonel Pitt (L), a former F4 Fighter Pilot in Vietnam, animatedly describes one of his missions.
(L) Captain Luke “HODR” Farrell,Graduating B Course Student, PresentsA1C Danny Phamwith the “Most Valuable Crew Chief Award.”
L to R: Capt. Luke “HODR” Farrell presented “The Hammer Award” to Lt. Colonel Austin “Code” Brown.
L to R: Lt. Colonel James “TRACE” Hayward, Director of Operations 311th FS, gives the cherished “Red River Rat‘(From the Vietnam conflict) Award to Capt. Rick “FIFA” Depaola, one of the graduating students.
L to R: Daedalian Flight 24 Flight Captain,Colonel Mario Campospresents the Daedalian Leadership Award to graduating Student,Capt. Luke “HODR” Farrell.
L to R: Maj Eric “HAVOC” Hakos, 311th instructor pilot, giving theTop Pencil Award to Capt Rick “FIFA” Depaola
L to R: Maj Timothy “STEAL” Miller,311th instructor pilot, giving the Air to AirTop Gun Award to 1st Lt Andy “PIERCE” In
L to R: Capt Austin “CRUD” Hornsby,311th instructor pilot giving the Air to Ground Top Gun Award to 1st Lt. Logan “PINT” Albers
L to R: Lt. Colonel Austin “CODE” Brown presents the Distinguished Graduate Award to Lt. Logan “PINT” Albers
L to R: (1) Capt Luke “HODR” Farrell, (2) Capt Brandon “Luigi” Cambio, (3) Capt Thomas “Forrest” Molnar, (4) 1st Lt Austin “Mario” Reinholz, (5) 1st Lt Andrew “PIERCE” In, (6) 1st Lt Cole “FLCS” Pollock, (7)1st Lt Logan “PINT” Albers, (8 )1st Lt Samuel “Donde” Reindl, (9)1st Lt Jim “MOTOR” Maier,and (10)Capt Rick “FIFA” Depaola
Colonel Austin “CODE” Brown,311th Squadron Commander, Closed the Ceremonies
L to R: FASF Members and Daedalians, Cols Alan Fisher, Bob Pitt, and Mario Campos, proudly pose with Daedalian Leadership Award recipient, Captain Luke “HODR” Farrellat the end of ceremonies.
L to R: Colonel Bob Pittwith Colonel Dick Jonas:Two old fellow Fighter Pilot pals from the Vietnam Conflict, over 50 years ago, greeted one another and compared notes after not seeing each other since leaving the Far East. Colonel Jonasentertained the assembled crowd with his Fighter Pilot Ballands, including one about his favorite ship, the F-16 Viper, in which the graduates had just trained. Colonel Jonas performs this song in the 3:50-long video below. The first VIPER entered service in 1980, making it now 43 years old, therefore much older than any of the evening’s ten graduating students.
Short biography of F4 & F16 Fighter Pilot – Balladeer Dick Jonasfrom his Catalog.
Here, below, are the (1) Cover of Dick’sCatalog of songs (and of how you can order one), (2) its inside front cover (Also photographed immediately up above), and (3) the back cover of the catalog. Just click on each link to see it in PDF format on a new tab of your browser should you like to write Dick for any of his unique songs:
The new Saab-made Swedish JAS 39 Gripen-E is a real hot rod among Fighter Jets. Although not really a 5th Generation fighter, it may have nevertheless outclassed the trusty U.S.-made F-16 VIPER!
Disregard the cover photo, because that’s not this new fighter, just a racy photograph that attracts one’s attention. something the fighter itself can quickly do of its own accord. Thanks to the Military News Channel on YouTube, we get to see this new fighting machine in action.
Developed in close association with the French, this new multi-role jet is not just extremely maneuverable but is loaded with multiple weapons systems and advanced software, including AI, yet doesn’t need long prepared runways (the few located in Sweden might be quickly rendered history were a conflict to break out with neighboring Russia). Solution? It can take off on relatively short straight stretches of Swedish highway, of which there are thousands of such locations available. Furthermore, the airplane is relatively inexpensive to both build and operate. Without further ado, here are ten minutes of the ship’s features for you to decide.
Simply click on the below image to see this video, and then click on the Full-Screen icon in the lower right to see it full-screen and high resolution. You do NOT have to watch it on YouTube.
Colonel Mario Campos (L), Flight Captain, contributed this report on the March 1, meeting last week of the General Nichol’s El Paso Flight 24 of the Daedalian Society.
The 24th Flight received an excellent briefing from one of its own. Flight Member Bill Provance, a former USAF C-130 Pilot and current Manager of the Santa Teresa, NM International Jetport gave us an update on the Airport’s current status and on its fast-developing future.
Currently a General Aviation Airport, yet with a runway over 9500 feet in length and 100 feet wide, Bill began by saying that an airport needs three things to make it grow: 1) People, 2) Infrastructure, and 3) Transportation. Over the previous 10 years, it was recognized that the Airport had the potential to become a major cargo facility and now it’s moving in that direction because all three of those factors now exist:
The people providing the assistance are institutions like the University of El Paso (UTEP), New Mexico State University, and Dona Ana County.
The infrastructure is aided by El Paso Electric and the city of Las Cruces.
Transportation is aided by easy access to I-10, a major rail hub adjacent to the airport, and the proximity to the Mexican Border. Santa Teresa Jetport is also home to the renowned War Eagles Air Museum (WEAM).
With all these pieces in place, a recent $20 Million funding bill approved by the state of New Mexico along with a $72 Million Aviation Investment from Burrell Aviation will make the dreams of making the Airport a cargo hub a reality.
Bill (R) showed the 24th Flight plans to increase the current runway 10/21 to 12,000 feet in length, and 150 feet in width, and to further increase the runway’s load capacity by 215K lbs. He showed on his aerial view displays where the new cargo aviation facilities would be located and where potential warehouse facilities for manufacturing could be placed. The runway project and initial buildings are scheduled to begin construction in December of 2023, with a projected completion date of June 2025. He also discussed future plans to construct a crosswind runway (03/21) that could handle traffic as large as the Boeing 747. Bill felt this could realistically all be accomplished within the next 10 years. When asked if these changes would add a control tower and controlled airspace, he replied that existing and projected operations probably wouldn’t make these changes happen immediately but, “things could change.”
L to R above: Honored guests, Ulla Rice, Melissa Fisher, and Josianne, the guest of Gerry Wingettat right above.
Bill’s concise presentation excited members of the flight as many of them had either flown privately from Santa Teresa or had worked at, or visited the War Eagles Air Museum. Flight Members agreed that the potential of Santa Teresa to become a cargo facility had always been there given the facilities that had already grown so rapidly up around it.
L to R above: Col. Alan Fisher, Vierg Hemphill, Pete Brandon, Jerry Dixon, Connie Sullivan, and Julie Pitt.
L to R:: Jerry Dixon, Col. Alan Fisher, Bill Provance, Connie Sullivan, Julie, and Colonel Bob Pittlisten to the talk.
Mr. Provancealso pointed out that the FASF’s own long-time member, Trustee, and now Advisor,John Orton,* continues to head up the Jetport’s always-busy Advisory Board. * (3rd down on Advisor’s Page.)
L to R above: Colonel Mario Camposwith the Flight’s reaward for Bill Provance’s informative presentation.
Here’s another interesting story from one of our top aviation news scouts, Jerry Dixon (L), a retired USMC pilot, El Paso Daedalian, and a long-time FASF member.
We’ve all seen large commercial airliners touch down on runways across the world, and when those multiple tire trucks of their landing gears hit the runway pavement you always see a black or gray cloud of burning rubber smoke. That’s of course the rubber being heatedly burned off of the wheels, which usually hit the runway at over 150 MPH from not rotating at all. Rather than write up this entire daily airport occurrence, we’ll just embed a short (less than 5 minutes) video Jerry found that explains the entire ‘rubber burned onto runways’ problem.
Why 10,000 pounds of rubber daily are stripped from some runways
Rubber builds up on airport runways and runway lights every time a plane’s wheels touch down.
The rubber that coats the pavement and lights is a safety hazard that must be removed regularly.
Companies like Blastrac have specific processes for removing the rubber.
Major Mat “Sled” Park, a combat-experienced F-16 Viper fighter pilot, now an instructor at Holloman AFB, in NM, spoke to the Flight 24 Daedalians of El Paso, Texas, about the current life of an Air Force fighter pilot, and of the possible future of his profession as we begin our merge into the 6th Generation of U. S. Fighter aircraft. He also extolled the exciting and rewarding life of both a fighter pilot – – – and a career in the USAF. Almost uniquely, it happens that “Sled’s” wife, Danielle, is also an F-16 Viper instructor pilot at Holloman. They met while on duty in Japan, married, and now have two children. The Air Force arranges for them to serve together.
Colonel Mario Campos
Here’s Major Park’s story, told by Daedalian Flight Captain, Colonel Mario Campos – at left. (All members of the Flight 24 are also long-time members of the FASF):
Maj Mathew “Sled” Parkgrew up in Phoenix, Arizona with his two brothers. His father served as an F-16 pilot for 20 years and his mother put up with their video games, fights, and affinity for getting into trouble. He often went on long backpacking or motorcycle trips with his brothers, exploring the varied terrain of the Southwestern United States.
Maj. “SLED” Park
Sled went to the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2007 where he dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot . . . until the Air Force determined he was not medically qualified to fly fighter planes. Disheartened but not defeated, he elected to learn Russian and major in Eastern European geopolitical studies in order to work as an intelligence officer in the USAF and eventually at the state department. A last-minute Hail Mary waiver allowed him to attend UPT at Sheppard AFB, TX where he tracked his first choice (F-16s) in 2012.
After graduating from UPT and IFF in 2013, he went to Luke AFB, Arizona, and graduated from the F-16B course at the 309th Fighter Squadron (QQMF), which was coincidentally the same fighter squadron from which his father had retired. His first assignment took him to Misawa,Japan, home of the PACAF Wild Weasel Block 50 F-16s. He deployed in 2015 as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, where he flew 376 combat hours in support of friendly troops and experienced firsthand the atrocities committed by ISIS on the people of Iraq, Kurdistan, and Syria.
He returned to Misawa, completed the Flight Lead Program, went on way too many TDYs and exercises across the PACAF theater, and eventually returned to the United States to learn to become an instructor pilot at Holloman AFB, NM. It was there that he married his wife, Major Danielle Park, USAF, also an F-16 pilot, but not a better one, (if you ever ask him). The couple quickly had two children and transferred to the USAF Reserves as a full-time instructor pilot after 5 years on active duty in the Regular Air Force in New Mexico.
Sled and his wife (below photo on a mountainside) live in the mountain resort town of Cloudcraft, NM, and primarily spend their time exploring the state with their children and dogs on various camping, climbing, sailing, and hiking trips.
Sled and Daniellelove mountain climbing
Sled and his wife were recently hired by the Air National Guard (ANG) in January of 2023 and intend to move to the Midwest, where they will continue to fly SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) missions and assist their unit with regular alert responsibilities.
Getting things set up for the meeting: L to R: Col. Alan Fisher, and Sled Park chatting with Connie Sullivan
Flight Captain Colonel Mario Campos sets the Daedalian Shield up for the gathering.
Newly retired Flight Captain Col. Alan Fisher delivered the Daedalipan Flight’s Shield for display at the meeting.
Colonel Bob Pittwas interrupted for the photo shoot while talking with Connie Sullivanat his right. In the background are Colonel Campos speaking with Major “SLED” Park, the meeting’s guest speaker.
L to R: Foreground: Col Mario Campos, Connie Sullivan, Virg Hemphill, and Roger Springstead, in the rear with backs to the camera are: Ulla Rice, Major Park, Col. Fisher,and AFROTC students Adam Hernandez, Maximilian Rothblatt – – – at the rear, facing camera: Jerry Dixon, Cliff Bossie, Judy Campos, Melissa Fisher, AFROTC students, Jorge Villalobos and Lyn Salas
L to R:Cols Bob Pitt and Mario Campos
Colonel Campos introduces the guest speaker, Major Mat “SLED” Park
Colonel Campos presents Major Parkwith his token of the Flight’s appreciation.
(L to R) Col. Mario Campos, Adam Hernandez, Maximilian Rothblatt, Jorge Villalobos, Lyn Salas, Maj. Mat ‘Sled’ Park,and Ric Lambart – Photo byCol. Alan Fisher
Remember the revolutionary “Rotary Engine” with which MAZDA Automotive toyed so unsuccessfully? They launched their first rotary-powered autos back in 1967 using the revolutionary new non-reciprocating (non-conventional) power plant invented in the early 1950s by German engineer Felix Wankel.
The engine was truly unique: It had very few moving parts when compared to the conventional piston-engined autos of the day: It was not just simpler in design, but much smaller, lighter per horsepower output, and smoother in operation, BUT more costly and inefficient in respect to fuel economy than the conventional engines with which it competed. There were so many issues with the Rotary Engine over its years of production, that Mazda, in 2012, dropped its use altogether in its production lineup.
But, today, the entire future of the basic rotary engine appears to be showing amazing new possibilities altogether, the direct result of a relatively new R & D firm located in Bloomfield, Connecticut called LIQUIDPISTON. Its new Rotary hybrid cycle engine is called the “X-Mini.” Its new rotary X-Mini engine employs a patented Thermodynamic Cycle. Instead of the hundreds of parts involved in producing power in a conventional piston engine, the X-Mini has only two (2) principal moving parts. LiquidPiston boasts 10 times more power-to-weight ratio with a 30% greater overall efficiencywhen compared to conventional piston engines.
A Honda single-cylinder 49cc piston engine alongside a 70cc X-mini Rotary Engine
A standard 35 HP diesel engine (left) next to LiquidPiston’s 40HP diesel engine (right)
The engine is capable of using a variety of different fuels, including modern Jet A (aviation) or JB-8 fuel, ordinary diesel, as well as other grades of popular gasoline. In short, this reinvented Wankel rotary has apparently overcome the many problems of its predecessors. It employs what LIQUIDPISTON calls “compression ignition,” which is how standard diesel engines obtain their power . . . without the need for spark plugs. The company has moved through three (3) prototypes of its unique engine, all proof-of-principle motors, models 1X, 2X, and 4X. These models have been made in two horse-power rated configurations: 40 and 70 HP.
Here are two versions of the Mini-X engine: The one on the left is air-cooled and at right is a liquid-cooled version.
The firm is proud of its ability to obtain a 1.5 HP per Pound ratio, which is remarkable by any measure. since typical general aviation aircraft powerplants are only seen as obtaining 0.68 HP per Pound ratios. – – – or, in another way of perceiving the difference: LIquidPiston’s X-Minis are more than twice as powerfulper pound of engine weight than are their conventionally powered piston competitors. The U. S. Army has already awarded a contract to the young company for power supply units for some of the artillery weapons (see the below photo).
The Compact Artillery Power System (CAPS) generator unit powers the digital fire control system on an M777 Howitzer artillery piece.
Clearly, the below video shows how the Army and Marine Corps might also see fit to use the LiquidPiston-powered new hybrid (Rotary AND Electric powered) drones.
The below short video (4:04 minutes) shows LIQUIDPISTON’s new Rotary powered Drone in Flight. Remember to open the video to full or hi-resolution size by clicking the small Full Size icon in the lower right of the image.
The following story is a courtesy tip from Mike Mangino (at left), an Architect from Phoenix, AZ, and an aviation news scout for the FASF.
Mikeserved in the USAF’s Arizona Air National Guard, so knows his way around the aviation world.
This post is what’s behind a great book for any aviation buff and enthusiast’s Christmas list, albeit a tad late for on-time delivery for your stocking-stuffing ceremony. Here’s the scoop: The book is written by a highly successful former US Marine Corps fighter pilot named Bob Moriarty, who later became an investment guru as well as an author.
Here’s a short introduction to Bob’sbackground:
Bob Moriartywas a Marine F-4B pilot at the age of only twenty and a veteran of over 820 missions in Viet Nam. Becoming a Captain in the Marines at just 22, he was one of the most highly decorated pilots in the war.
He went on to ferry General Aviation aircraft all over the world for 15 years with over 240 over-the-water deliveries. He holds 14 International Aviation records including Lindbergh’s record for time between New York to Paris in two different categories.
In 1996 he began an online computer business on the internet with his wife Barbara becoming one of the early adopters of the Internet. Convinced gold and silver were at a bottom in 2001,Boband Barbara started one of the first websites devoted to teaching readers what they need to know about investing in resource stocks. They now operate two resource sites, 321Gold.com and 321Energy.com where up to 100,000 people a day visit. Bob travels to dozens of mining projects a year and then writes about them.
Now, here’s more background from a post on his own investment site, “321gold” along with a photo and promo for his book:
REMEMBER TO CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO SEE IT FULL-SIZE IN HI-RESOLUTION
No Guts No Glory Cover
I’ve done a lot of things in my life. My readers on 321Gold do not know all of them. From 1974 until 1986 I delivered new small planes to destinations all over the world. I mean little tiny, sometimes Cessna 172 size planes, to places from South Africa or Australia or Europe. We would pick them up from the factory, load them with internal fuel tanks, and off we went.
Delivering small planes over big oceans was easily the most dangerous job in the world. Every year about ten percent of ferry pilots were killed one way or another. When I was doing it, the aviation industry was booming with almost 20,000 aircraft manufactured a year. There were never more than fifty pilots in the world at one time who made a living delivering small general aviation aircraft.
Alas, a lawsuit after a preventable accident in 1979 literally killed the industry that used to provide ten percent of US exports by dollar value. I point out in the book that the dollar was dropping so fast for a decade that an owner could buy an aircraft, fly it for five years and sell it for more than he paid for it. For a short period in aviation history owning a small plane was an investment rather than an expense.
I got to fly with some of the best pilots in aviation history as well as a bunch of skirt-chasing quasi-drunks barely capable of taking off much less landing safely. I will say that without exception the 5-10% of ferry pilots who were women were across the board more professional and better pilots than the males.
I actually wrote this book about thirty-five years ago and frankly because I am lazy at heart, I never got around to proofreading and editing the book. But both Lulu and Amazon now have the ability to produce a professional-looking hardback book for anyone who can create a document file, I finally got off my ass and finished it.
I’ve done about ten books in the last decade ranging from short very funny fiction set in Cornwall for Barbara to serious tomes on combat and investing. This book, No Guts, No Glory,is one that most people interested in aviation and aviation history will find engaging. It’s a great gift for anyone interested in one of the most unusual areas of aviation history.
It’s only $19.99 and frankly in today’s world that is cheap for a good hardback. If you wouldn’t enjoy reading an aviation adventure story told by someone who lived it, you probably know someone who would appreciate it.