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.
Once again, the El Paso Daedalian Flight attended the graduation of ten new VIPER fighter pilots at Holloman AFB (HAFB), Alamogordo, NM on Saturday, the 3rd of December. Colonel Mario Campos did the honors. Here are your members at the event. Remember:
[Just click on any photo to see it in full size and resolution]
Daedalian Flight Captain Lt. Colonel Alan Fisherchats with Mrs. Sarah Rich.
Colonels Miles “Cowboy” Crowellpours some iced tea, Col. Mario Campos is facing the camera, and Col. Bob Pittis standing and holding the blue folder.
L to R Clockwise: Mrs. Starlyn and husband, Lt. Col. Dale “RAM” Weller, Mrs. Lindsiand L/Col John “Atari” Harris,Captain Nicholas and Mrs. Sarah Rich, and our own Lt. Col. Alan Fisher. Your editor took the photo.,
Squadron Commander, Lt. Colonel George Normandin welcomes the graduates and guests
Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Scott A. Fredrick, the ceremony’s Guest Speaker, starts his talk.
OurColonel Mario Campos congratulates Squadron Commander, Lt. Colonel George Normandin who stood in for the Leadership Award’s winner, Captain Dennis “FARM” Cook, who was absent to attend his sister’s wedding.
Left, Colonel Miles “COWBOY’ Crowellcongratulates the Winner of the Red River Rat awardee, Lt. Nathan “BOOM” Nuveman.
“COWBOY” AND “BOOM” pose with the award
8th Fighter Squadron’s new Graduates, Class 22-BBH -L to R: Lt. John ‘STATUS’ Bove; Lt. Trey ‘TABLE’ Alexander; Capt. Kyle ‘TATER’ Cline; Lt. Thomas ‘MORTY’ Toscano; Lt. Spencer ‘NAATY’ Prather; Lt. Nathan ‘BOOM’ Nuveman; Lt. Samuel ‘LENNY’ Valleroy; Lt. Logan ‘FULL’ Frost; and Lt. Ryan ‘FANI’ Walsh
FASF/Daedalians pose with the Squadron CO LC. George Normandin ( at L) and Guest Speaker, at the rear, Ret. LC Scott Fredrick. Daedalian/FASF members L to R are Col. Mario Campos, Col. Miles Crowell, Col. Bob Pitt, and Daedalian Flight 24’s Captin, Col. Alan Fisher. Photos byRic Lambart
Many thanks to aviation news scout and long-time FASF member (L), Doc Edwards, of Deming, NM, and his good friend and aviation enthusiast, Bill Graybill, we bring you this fascinating and great restoration post about a flying WWII Twin Mustang (P-51), which bore the model number of the XP-82. The video is only 3:33 minutes long. The appearance was at the EAA’s AirVenture 2019. We’re also throwing in a few more videos of the XP-82 event and of the ship itself for your enjoyment, as well.
As a relatively new airplane at the time, it proved to be a comfortable and economical aircraft for our family. With a four-place cabin and a six-cylinder Continental O-300 engine, it easily cruised at steady speeds of over 125 MPH. We lived in Phoenix, Arizona, and often flew out to Los Angeles, CA for weekends or business.
The trip was usually about 3 easy flight hours from start to finish and the fuel costs were equivalent to those one had to pay to drive an ordinary four-door sedan on the identical trip. But it took a full day’s 8 or more hours to make the same journey by car.
Airline trips to Los Angeles took MORE time, because of the wait at the airports before departure, and the wait after arrival. Furthermore, in the Cessna 170B, we could fly directly to any town’s smaller airport near LA where we had our business or other activities. On the other hand, the airlines only flew into the larger commercial airports such as either LAX or the Burbank airport, and those airports were rarely close to where we needed to go.
In any event, this story and video surprised me insofar as they showed an entirely different sort of utility for which the same model aircraft might be used. And yet the airplane is now some 70 years old!
Here we go: Let’s watch “The Most Highly Modified Cessna in the World!” It’s just over 16 minutes long. I know this particular airplane from stem to stern, but had no idea, when modified this way, it was capable of almost flying at only 20 MPH airspeed – – – without stalling! Seeing is believing. Watch this remarkable 70-year-old Cessna 170B do the impossible.
If you would like to learn how to get this level of unusual performance out of your own Cessna 170, then you can take advanced BUSH training from the school: BUSH AIR is located at the Kidwell Airport (1L4) Cal Nev Ari, Nevada, USA. Their phone number is: (928) 460-3987. The video is thanks to the pilot, Larry, who posted it and who runs this interesting site: Back Country 182 in Washington state. Tel: 206-453-9116
Considering the size of the USAF, as an amazing coincidence, almost simultaneously, just as we posted her story, the Air Force Academy‘s prestigious Quarterly Magazine for its Alumni Organization, CHECKPOINTS, also printed a parallel feature story about “First” Valentin.
Here, below, is the cover of that issue: (We found out about this coincidence from Col. Alan Fisher, an AF Academy graduate and regular reader of CHECKPOINTS, who excitedly informed your webmaster, that “FIRST” had also just been featured in a distinguished graduate story the same month she was awarded the top LEADER award in her graduating Fighter Class at Holloman. When the Academy CHECKPOINTS staff wrote the article, they didn’t know anything about Captain Valentin’sLeadership award ceremony – nor did we know about their story.
Cover of September 2022 CHECKPOINTS – photo of Cadet 3rd Class Lydia Cella in Combat Survival Training Program
Through the good efforts of two Air Force Academy fellow graduates and long-time FASF members, Alan Fisher and Wes Baker, we were led to the magazine’s Managing Editor, Jeff Holmquist, who gave us the OK to reprint their “First” story. Without further ado, here it is:
[TO VIEW THIS PDF COPY SIMPLY EITHER USE THE “+” SIGN IN THE TOOLBOX AT THE BOTTOM OF THE VIEW YOU SEE OR CLICK ON THE SMALL POPOUT ICON () YOU SEE IN THE UPPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE VIEWER, WHICH WILL PUT THE PDF INTO YOUR BROWSER FOR VIEWING. OF COURSE, THE THE SCROLLBARS ARE USED IN THE NORMAL WAY]
Now let’s look at a short (3:57) video of “First,” one also produced by “CHECKPOINTS” and get a look at how Captain Valentinuses her non-pilot-oriented artistic talents:
[NOTE:Suggest you click on the “Full Screen” mode button at the lower right of the video for the best high-resolution viewing experience.]
A little over a week ago the 314th Fighter Squadron (L) at Holloman Air Force Base (HAFB) near Alamogordo, NM, celebrated their latest class of graduates from the F-16 Viper Fighter Pilot program: Class 22-ABH.
As usual, the El Paso-based Flight 24 of the Daedalians was on hand to present their much-coveted Leadership Award to the graduate who demonstrated the finest qualities of leadership among the graduating class’ student pilots.
Luckily, your webmaster was the official presenter at the gala dinner event, and was again pleasantly surprised to discover that the winner in this latest class was – once again – – – a female fighter pilot: Captain Melaine “FIRST” Valentin. She clearly lived up to her official fighter pilot call sign (or “handle” as the pilots prefer), “First!”
Here’s a NEWS UPDATE thanks to one of our old-time FASF members and fellow Daedalian – Col. Alan Fisher,an Air Force Academy Graduate (and Flight Captain of the El Paso Daedalian Flight), about this post’s principle subject: Capt. Melaine Valentin(The below photo is from Col. Fisher’sUSAFA quarterly Magazine “Checkpoints” in which a glowingly upbeat story was just published about Captain Valentin):
Here is “FIRST’s” photo, along with one of her many artistic USAF contributions, a special inspirational boost for her fellow female USAF aviators: Capt. Melaine “FIRST” Valentin, winner of the Daedalian Leadership Award in her 314th Class.
Let’s first start off with the official 22-ABH Class video, produced by class member, Lt. Frank “MinMin” Hippler: (suggest you use the lower right corner button to view the video full screen)
The following photos show the celebratory occasion along with the above class video, and a short clip (of fewer than two minutes in length), which shows the Class Leader, Captain Valentin, acting as the MC for the awarding of commendatory citations to the Squadron’s support staff. (To view any of the below photos in hi-res or HD quality, simply click on them.)
L to R: Mrs. Emily Sanford & Squadron CO, Lt. Col. Kirby Sanford, Daedalians Cols. Alan Fisher, and Mario Campos
L to R: Mrs. Sarah Rich& husband, Chaplain Nicholas Rich chatting with DaedalianColonel Mario Campos.
Another photo of the RicheswithColonel Campos
L to R: Daedalian Flight Captain, Colonel Alan Fisher talking to Major James Hill
L to R: Colonels Campos and Fisher share photos with Major Hill
L to R: Colonel Fisherand Daedalian-FASF Webmaster, Ric Lambart in front of the 314th Squadron Emblem
More Squadron members in discussions with Colonels Fisher and Campos
Time for dinner . . . Colonel Mario Campos at far right above.
Short (1:38) video clip (above) of the graduation event.
Ric Lambart congratulates Captain Melaine ‘First’ Valentin, Class recipient of the Daedalian Leadership Trophy
A pleased Daedalian presenter, Lambart, and newly graduated top class Leader, “First” Valentinpose for one more . . .
Squadron Commander, Col. Kirby Sanford poses with Captain Melaine Valentin, to show her Graduation Certificate
L to R: Maj. Bradford ‘Nightmare’ Waldieat the podium and new graduates: Lieutenants Jesse ‘Donde’ Maese, Chase ‘MinMin’ Hippler, Abby ‘CYA’ Maio, Cody “RNOT’ Donald, Caleb ‘Ocho’ Mathes, Vince ‘Squid’ Sabin, Gerrod ‘MosseJaw’ Smith, Trent ‘PIT’ Meisel,Capt. Melaine ‘FIRST’ Valentin,andLts. Ellis ‘Groot’ Alexander and Nathaniel ‘Peppy’ Welch.
Flight 24 Daedalians (L to R) Alan Fisher, Ric Lambart, andMario Campospose with Top Leadership winner, Melaine “FIRST” Valentin.
Top Class Leader: “FIRST” – From Class Video
Melaine ‘FIRST” atop an F-16 Viper (From “MinMin’s”class video).
Ric Lambart talks with Captain Melaine “FIRST” Valentin about her assignment in Korea.
All of the Class of 22-ABH – “FIRST”is in middle, on the Fuselage
Many thanks for helping with this post go to “MJ” Tucker,Unit Program Coordinator for the 314th FS, Cols. Alan Fisher and Mario Campos for taking some of the photos used, and to Lt. Chase “MinMin” Hippler for creating the exceptionally high-caliber 22-ABH class video, and for letting us use it here, Well done.