Category Archives: AVIATION NEWS

Aviation News of Interest

FLYING KLM FROM AMSTERDAM TO PARIS – – – IN 1929 +

How about going back in time to fly with Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) with a Fokker F.VII aircraft from Amsterdam to Paris in 1929? And, in COLOR no less!  Take note of the fact that there was no paved runway for operations.  Large close cropped grass air fields were first used for Airline and general aircraft operations throughout not just Europe, but elsewhere as well.

Back then the flying public had no long check-in times, no conveyor belts, no gates, no luggage claim areas, no queues, no removal of belts and shoes, no jumbo’s, but in stead just a simple step ladder to board the plane with your suitcase in your hand to join the other half-a-dozen passengers.

Aircraft in that era were noisy, cold, provided often highly uncomfortably bumpy rides and could only fly at low altitude because of the lack of a pressurized cabin.  Seats were made of wicker and the only entertainment was the steward or stewardess trying to serve coffee while attempting to keep their balance.

The original B&W film has been motion-stabilized, speed-corrected, A.I. enhanced and A.I. colorized.

To see the films and videos right here, simply click on the cover photos of each of them, then sit back, relax, and enjoy learning more of aviation’s great and colorful history.

B&W footage from Holland by: Beeld En Geluid. Originally posted by ‘Rick88888888’

And, let’s take another look through the Dutch film photographers’ lens at air travel via KLM in pre-WWII Europe, in the 1930s.  This is the original B&W film version with its, then, primitive sound track.  The following video of this film is entitled KLM & Schiphol Airport in the 30’s.  (It is 24 minutes long, in Dutch, yet nevertheless easy to follow and understand).

Much of the film is clearly taken just prior to the outbreak of WWII on the Continent in the late 1930’s because so many Douglass DC-3 airliners are seen in the Dutch Hangars and on the ramps.  Your webmaster has many memorable hours flying this amazingly futuristic airship (the DC-3) and its big sister, the DC-4.

It is no wonder that many of them are are still airborne some 86 years after their introduction in 1935.  Notice that, in this pre-war era,  English was not yet the universal language of Aviation. The dominance of English came about after the end of WWII, when it became the official language across the globe of all aviation air traffic control communications.

The film will show some proudly emblazoned swastikas adorning the German airliners parked at the airfield.  There are glimpses of London, Berlin and Paris in the film, which also features a dramatic DC-3 Flight to Schiphol Airport during some inclement weather and the clear relief among the Airport personnel when the ship appears out of the cloudy skies and settles safely to the airfield.  They had good reason to be concerned, since commercial aviation of that era was anything but safe in terms of what that means today.

El Paso Daedalians Have NMSU AFROTC Cadets to Luncheon

This past Wednesday, at El Paso’s Fort Bliss golf club, Daedalian Flight 24 entertained some of the upper class AFROTC Cadets from New Mexico State University’s (NMSU) Detachment 505.

This gave the Cadets a good chance to get to know an active duty Air Force pilot, the luncheon’s presenter, along with a number of Daedalian former USAF, Navy and Marine aviators, as well.

Many of the Daedalians, all of whom are long time FASF members, also entered the USAF from ROTC units.  The guest visit was arranged by FASF member, Air Force Academy graduate, and Daedalian Flight Commander, Colonel Alan Fisher. 

Uniquely enough, well over twenty years earlier, Col. Fisher had been the Air Force Commander of these Cadet’s own AFROTC Detachment 505 at NMSU.

The guest speaker, Major Max Weaver, USAF, is from Arizona. He was raised in a family that valued service; his father served in the US Army and both his parents were police officers. In high school Maj Weaver joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) which gave him his first actual flight experience flying in CAP unit Cessna 172s. After High School, he majored in Foreign Area Studies at the Air Force Academy and spent a semester abroad in Nanjing, China where he learned their Mandarin dialect. He graduated with honors and was commissioned in 2011.

Next he attended joint Undergraduate Pilot Training with the Navy at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field, flying the Texan T-6B II.  See below photo.

U. S. Navy T-6 III Trainer

Maj. Weaver earned his wings in the T-1 “Jayhawk” at Vance AFB in 2013.  Photo below:

USAF Multi-engine Trainer, Beechcraft T-1 Jayhawk

His first post flight training assignment was flying the C-17 Globemaster at McChord AFB, Washington.  He accrued over 1,000 hours in the C-17 and saw duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Japan, and many other countries delivering mission critical cargo and supporting Presidential operations.  Globemaster III photo below.

McDonnell Douglas C-17 Globemaster III

In 2016 he began training on the MQ-9 “Reaper” at Holloman AFB, NM. His next assignment was to Ellsworth AFB, SD where he flew the Reaper Drone a total of 1,100 hours. These Close Air Support missions were flown in Iraq and Afghanistan to support ground forces fighting ISIS in the liberation of Raqqa and other territories.  Reaper photos below.

he USAF MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV – or Drone)

The Reaper has also been found useful in fighting forest fires.

As can only be experienced as a UAV or Drone pilot, Major Weaver flew all of these combat missions from a safe haven at an Air Force Base in the continental U.S. In 2020 he was transferred to Holloman AFB as an MQ-9 instructor pilot. He currently serves in that capacity and also as a Wing Flying Safety Officer while instructing students in the Air Force’s largest MQ-9 formal training program.

In his presentation to the Daedalians and guest AFROTC Cadets, he used the projector screen to show us some of the aircraft in which he accumulated his flight experience . . . including the Reaper.

Here, below, are some of the photos from Wednesday’s event.  To see them in full high resolution simply click on the photos:

                               Colonel Fisher, Daedalian Flight Commander, greets arriving members and guests.

L to R: Cadets Preston Kaplan and Patrick Sambrano waiting be be introduced.

L to R: Colonel Mario Campos, Cadets Sukarno, Malone, Baca, Soliz, Kaplan and Sambrano.

L to R: Mayre Sue Overstreet, with Col. Bob Pitt, Larry Spradlin, and Colonel Mario Campos

L to R: Charlie Overstreet, his brother, Lane (a former AF fighter & bomber pilot, PAA pilot), and Roger Springstead

L to R: Pete Brandon pours water for Colonel Pitt, whose head of hair is at right.

L to R: Cadet Dzaki Sukarno and USAF Pilot to be, Cadet Joshua Soliz

Roger Springstead, Lane Overstreet, Virg Hemphill, Jerry Dixon, Charlie Overstreet, Cadets Sukarno, Soliz and Mayre Overstreet

Flight 24 Captain Colonel Alan Fisher opens the meeting

USAF Cadet Dzaki Sukarno explained his Cadet status and USAF intentions.

L to R: Mayre, Charlie and Lane Overstreet, Cadet Soliz, Roger Springstead Virg Hemphill and Cadet Sukarno

L to R:  Cadet Kaplan and Larry Spradlin listen to Cadet Sambrano speaking – while Shelly Schlick serves Larry

                 Major Weaver puts his beloved C-17 Globemaster III on screen to describe his experiences piloting it

Next Major Weaver  showed slides of what it looked like from a Tanker aircraft while refueling the C-17

                Daedalians and guests listen intently as Major Weaver related his USAF career path to date

After his presentation, Colonel Fisher (R) presented Major Weaver (L) with a token of our appreciation for his talk

FASF Aviation News Scout and Daedalian, Virg Hemphill (R) engaged in USAF banter with Major Weaver (L)

Cadets posed with Major Weaver after the luncheon . . . L to R: Kameron Baca, Patrick Sambrano, Joshua Soliz, Maj. Max Weaver, Dzaki Sukarno, Preston Kaplan and Daniel Malone.

Founder Jim Davis’ New Grave Photograph By Dave Clemmer

There were only about 10 people who helped found the FASF back in 2007, and one of the most important of them, was former USAF Veteran and National Headquarters FAA Executive turned Aviation History Aficionado, Jim Davis.

As most of you know, Jim took his last flight into the sunset on November 22, last year.

Jim was, from the get-go, our official Aviation Historian and one of our most active Trustees until retiring about six years ago, at which time he was quickly elected to our Advisory Board.

    Dave Clemmer

Dave Clemmer was one of Jim’s closest friends and also one of the Foundation’s earliest supporters and members.  Dave was a former FAA Executive Jet Pilot and is an outstanding photographer. [Here’s a unique 9/11 story about Dave.]

After Jim’s funeral back East, Dave was kind enough to provide us with a beautiful video tribute to Jim, which included his burial ceremony.  But at that time there was no headstone available for Jim’s grave.  When one was finally finished and placed in the graveyard, Dave was kind enough to photograph it so those of us not able to visit his grave might see it.  Here, directly below, is Jim’s fairly unique (it bears two perfectly engraved versions of Jim’s favorite personal airplane, his Cessna 172) grave marker.  Dave just took this photo, and sent it along for posting, yesterday.  Thank you Dave!

                                                                 In Memory of James “Jim” Marion Davis

Member, John “Cabi” Cabigas, Pilots James May Into Space

“Cabi” Cabigas, USAF

Long-time FASF member, John “Cabi” Cabigas, (at Left) flew the famous BBC Commentator, James May, into Space in the First Aero’s Dragon Lady, and did it at the First Aero Squadron’s current location at Beale Air Force Base (BAFB) North of Sacramento, CA. Of course Cabi conducted that great space adventure while still on active duty with the USAF as one of the famed Lockheed U-2 Dragon Lady Instructor Pilots.  Here is a short 30 minute summary of that memorable flight’s full documentary, which had, as its central figure, TV Journalist, James May,   Most of the full-length documentary was made by the BBC, but some was shot by the USAF.

Here, below, is another flight aboard the Dragon Lady, but without either Cabi or James May.  It is only :10 minutes long, but the resolution of the video is higher.  But if you’d like to see both Cabi and James May, you’ll only see them in the first video above.  In the meantime, Cabi advises that Amazon Prime has the full documentary in high resolution, should you be able to view that version:

If you click right here, you will get chance to witness Cabi again, as your webmaster interviews him, along with his fellow Dragon Lady Instructor Pilot, Bill Williams.  Both gentlemen were video-taped at the 100th Anniversary of the First Aero Squadron’s birth, held at Beale AFB, CA. 

Cabi lives nearby the Air Force base and keeps himself busy flying his own classic 1940 J3 Cub, which has a mighty 65HP engine to help it race aloft.  Your reporter soloed in one of them – sans brakes and tail wheel – back in 1944.  Since retiring from active duty in 2010, Cabi has remained an active member of his local chapter of the EAA and belongs to other aviation groups, as well.

When he graduated from San Jose State University in the AFROTC, he had also gained his FAA Certification as an A&P mechanic!  That in and of itself was quite an unusual accomplishment.

Major Cabigas’ USAF Pilot career spanned just shy of a quarter century, and involved 18 years of working with the Dragon Lady.   He holds a FAA Certified Flight instructor (CFI) Rating along with both a Commercial and Airline Transport Pilot License.  His activities with the EAA are largely motivated by his interest in sharing his love of aviation with the many Young Eagles who are lucky enough to get an airplane ride with this accomplished Air force Pilot, an American military aviator who was actually born in the Philippines!

The Tribute to WWII Triple Ace: Bud Anderson – and the P-51

Doc Edwards

    Doc Edwards

Thanks to our loyal Aviation News Scout, Doc Edwards (L) of Deming, NM, we have the following collection of videos memorializing not just Bud Anderson and what he accomplished in his now classic WWII fighter, but how his and the plane’s unique legacy continues on – – – long after he and his fellow Air Corps/Force pilots finished their life-and-death task of finally winning over the embattled skies over Europe in 1945.

Then Capt. Bud Anderson under his P-51 “Old Glory” Prop Blades during WWII – 1943

This first short video (7:06) summarizes the EAA’s Tribute to Colonel Anderson:

And there’s more (19:54) here:

Click here to go directly to Bud Anderson’s Homepage on his website.

MAKS-2021 (Russia’s) International Aviation and Space Salon

The MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon is the official title of Russia’s annual International Air Show . . . just per chance the name, “Salon” threw you off the headline’s meaning.

Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, lauded his nation’s new entry into the Air Power world of their new SU 35 5th Generation Fighter.  It was manufactured by the country’s renown aircraft maker, Sukhoi The annual event opened Tuesday (July 20, 2021) in Zhukovsky, outside of Moscow.

Several Russian aircraft manufacturers unveiled other prototypes and currently operational aircraft, including new fighter jets, one that features stealth capabilities and other advanced characteristics, which, like the U.S. F-35, will be offered to foreign buyers.

The event also included competitions and air demonstrations by other visiting countries as well as by the host nation.

The following are some insights into the big Air Show events by way of several videos produced by Russian’s International Television platform, RTRT’s sister News agency, available via the Internet, also with International distribution, is known as RUPTLY or Daily Motion (streaming TV).

Stay posted for our usual coverage of the world’s largest Airshow event, held each year in Oshkosh, WI, AirVenture 2021, which is occurring simultaneously with this Russian MAKS “Salon” 2021.  AirVenture is usually personally covered by a number of FASF members, who are also active members of the event’s host, the EAA.

The below MAKS video is only 2:06 long and is summary of Rotary and Fixed Wing as well as Fighters doing their aerobatic maneuvers on air show day 2.

And, here below, are some clips of the opening day’s Air Show, 23:16 long, including various airborne ships strutting their capabilities:

And for those of you who love Rotary Wing Aircraft, here is a 8:22 long Russian Helicopter manufacturer, Rosoboronexport’s, pitch for these novel ships, including the latest offshore Mi-171A3; multipurpose (including fire-fighting) Ka-32A11M; and Ansat-M, passenger Ka-62 and the military combat ship, the Ka-52K:

Famous WWII Fighter/Bomber Made From Forest Materials

Most of you have already guessed:

Yes, we’re talking about that blazingly fast Mosquito Bomber-turned-Fighter, first built by de Havilland in 1940, yet designed two years earlier – – – even before GB entered the war in Europe.  And, long before the more recent Green Revolution, the amazing airplane was actually made primarily of wood – – – both plywood and balsa wood.

Like the famed U.S. P-51 Mustang and Supermarine Spitfire, it rapidly became one of those more iconic aircraft seen weaving through the skies over Europe in defense of the Allies and their forces.  For many years, it was the fastest operational ship, hitting well over 400 MPH with its twin Rolls Royce Merlin engines making their distinctive humming sound.  Here is a video of that great fighting machine courtesy of Kermit Weeks (Fantasy of Flight Museum).  (It is only 12:21 long.)

Click right here and read much more about the indomitable flying machine.

And, click here to see it compared to its American “twin”, the Lockheed P-38.

FINALLY: Are These Our New 6th Generation Fighter Jets?

As those of us who try to stay abreast of the latest military aviation news well know, there is constant rumoring about what might be afoot in international Research and Development programs towards being the first nation to foist a 6th Generation Jet Fighter on the world stage.

Here, below, is a quick 10:38 minute long video clip of what w might expect on the American scene:

And, here’s another peek at what’s going on behind that “TOP SECRET” obscurity barrier.  This “Military Notes” video tell its “computer generated voice-over” story in only 6:15 minutes, with an extra add-on of some 1:50 seconds unnarrated current USAF flight line video coverage.

 

NATO Fighter Pilots, The Finest Aviator Boots & The Cold War

What could possibly be dangerous in having the finest flight boots found anywhere on one’s feet while at work in the skies above Europe?  What could be risky in buying these fine hand made custom boots from the famous, yet small West German Boot Company, the Hans Probst Measureboots custom boot maker?  After all, without a doubt, these were the unparalleled top boots to be found anywhere.  Handsome, comfortable and long-lasting.  Affectionately called “Furstie” boots by the lucky pilots privileged to own them.  “Furstie” being the shortened name of Furstenfeldbruck, the German town in which they were manufactured.

This video was produced by “Historic Wings” and, while but 9 minutes long, is a true story few know, let alone its bizarre content, especially should the Cold War have ever turned HOT.  It was found by FASF Aviation News Scout and former USMC Fighter Pilot, Jerry Dixon (at left).

As observed by Historic Wings,Victory in the air was the key to winning the Cold War. Despite billions of dollars spent by the USAF and NATO on the best planes, the most advanced radar systems and missiles, and the finest pilot training, the outcome may have been decided by a little boot company in West Germany.” Stick this one out to the end . . . for the shocking surprise.