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Breaking News of Interest

Award Winning AF JROTC Unit From El Paso TX at Daedalians

                    Maj Todd Parsont

Major Todd Parsont, USAF (Ret), is the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor, Air Force JROTC, Franklin High School, El Paso, Texas.  The following descriptive bio was contributed by Colonel Mario Campos, Flight Captain of the El Paso Daedalian Society Flight 24.

Major Parsont (L) took the position at Franklin in 2011, his unit has distinguished itself at the district, state, and national levels. A four-time outstanding instructor, his dedication to the program and the cadets has culminated in district recognition for the most outstanding drill, color guard, and computer security and robotics programs in the El Paso Independent School District.

At the state level, Franklin’s drill and color guard teams are three-time state champions, winning consecutive titles in 2022 and 2023. Nationally, the unit has received the highest honor bestowed in AFJROTC 10 of 11 years, the Distinguished Unit Award, for its outstanding achievements and dedication to creating distinguished citizens.

View or download any of these photos: Just click on them for full resolution in a new tab

Cadet Major Skyler Landrum, M/Sgt Zoe Black, Col. Bob Pitt, and Cadet T/Sgt Kolton Ring

Major Parsont has also influenced many of his students to pursue aviation careers and post-secondary education. Since 2020, his cadets have received Air Force Chief of Staff Private Pilot scholarships; HQ AFJROTC awarded AFROTC scholarships and Texas Armed Service scholarships, all in excess of two million dollars.

L to R above: Julie Pitt, Connie Sullivan, Col. Mario Camposk, and Major Todd Parsont

Several of his cadets have also gone on to the Air Force Academy, West Point, and the Naval Academy. Prior to becoming an AFJROTC instructor, Major Parsont was an Air Force intelligence officer and French linguist directly participating in multiple operations including Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom.

L to R above: Dadaelian Pete Brandon chats with Daedalian Larry Spradlin before the meeting began

A prior-enlisted soldier in the US Army, he was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. Major Parsont earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park.

L to R above:  Skyler Landrum, Zoe Black, Col. Bob Pitt, and T/Sgt Kolton Ring

L to R above: Colonel Bob Pitt, Julie Pitt, and Connie Sullivan

Immediate past Flight Captain, Colonel Alan Fisher arrives for luncheon

L to R above: Cadet Zoe Black, Major Todd Parsont, waitress, Cadet Maj Skyler Landrum, and T/Sgt Kolton Ring

At the rear table: Virg Hemphill, Roger Springstead, Pete Brandon, Larry Spradlin, and in foreground Alan Fisher

            Colonel Bob Pitt describes being hit by flak during a mission in Vietnam while flying an F-4 jet fighter

L to R above: Flight Captain Colonel Mario Campos and Cadet M/Sgt Zoe Black, a licensed Private Pilot

In the read, L to R: Colonel Mario Campos introduces the special guest, Major Todd Parsont as his Cadets look on.

                                             Major Todd Parsont open his Unit’s presentation.

L to R: Major Todd Parsont receives Flight 24’s token of appreciation from Colonel Mario Campos

L to R: Major Todd Parsont, Cadets Zoe Black, Skyler Landrum, and Kolton Ring listen to Col Campos

One of America’s Most Lethal Weapons – Is Using Highways!

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 Campbell under her terminally damaged Warthog fighter.

C                                                     Captain Campbell under her damaged A10 Warthog Fighter

     Colonel Campbell with her two boys and husband, also an Air Force Full Colonel

                                                          KC Campbell, Motivational Speaker

Her second book is soon to be published.

 

 

314th Fighter Squadron Graduates Dozen New Viper Pilots

 Colonel Mario Campos

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 Ekman retired 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’s greatest 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 Gun Course 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.

Col Ekman 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 Weasel EWO (Electronic Weapons Officer) and F-15E WSO (Weapons System Officer).

Capt Barry McNeil & LC Sanford

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.  Bear also 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.

 

 

311th Fighter Squadron Graduates 10 New F16 Fighter Pilots

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 Training Squadron.  This class, 22-CBH, of the 311th 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” Rutledge Opened 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, Presents A1C Danny Pham with 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 Campos presents the Daedalian Leadership Award to graduating Student, Capt. Luke “HODR” Farrell.

L to R:  Maj Eric “HAVOC” Hakos, 311th instructor pilot, giving the Top Pencil Award to Capt Rick “FIFA” Depaola

L to R: Maj Timothy “STEAL” Miller, 311th instructor pilot, giving the Air to Air Top 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” Farrell at the end of ceremonies.

L to R: Colonel Bob Pitt with 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 Jonas entertained 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 Jonas from his Catalog.

Here, below, are the (1) Cover of Dick’s Catalog 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:

1. imgDickJonas’CatalogCover

2. imgInsideCoverDickJonasCatalog

3. imgDickJonas’CatalogBackCover

Immediately below, is an 11-minute Video about the F-16 Viper in which this class has just graduated.

 

 

The Spirit of the Vikings Exhibited by New Swedish Gripen – E

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.

107TH RAID DAY MEMORIAL SERVICE HELD IN COLUMBUS

The annual remembrance ceremony was held yesterday in downtown Columbus under the auspices of the Columbus Historical Society (CHS) and within their dedicated memorial park behind their well-known “Depot Museum.”

CHS President, Shirley Garber lead the ceremony which featured Professor Brandon Morgan, whose presentation was entitled: “Protector and Aggressor: Pancho Villa’s Complicated Relationship with the Lower Mimbres Valley.

Visitors came from as far as Kansas, Washington (state), and several from El Paso, Texas, as well.

The CHS always holds its service on the exact date of the tragic raid, regardless of which day of the week on which that date falls, whereas Columbus itself, holds their Raid Day events over the closest weekend to that date of March 9, 1916, assuring working families can make the occasion.  Next year, in 2024, the date of the actual raid will fall on a Saturday, which will mean the attendees will number in at least the hundreds.

Yesterday’s turnout was estimated to be just short of 60 people.  This weekend the renowned “Cabalgata Binacional,” traditionally witnesses a large group of Horsemen and women coming up from Mexico to meet with hundreds of horsemen and women from the states.  It’s an across-the-border celebration less of the raid, and more about the kinship and closeness of the sister nations.  As in recent years past, the large public event is directed by its principal organizer and promoter, Norma Gomez, who is the landlord for the FASF headquarters Office in Columbus.  The celebratory occasion is usually attended by several thousand celebrants.

The following photos are of yesterday’s Memorial Service:

          Richard and Elizabeth Pendleton in the foreground speaking with John Tyo

L to R: Allen Rosenberg (an ex-Marine!), in a 1916 Army uniform, joking with Corby Burns, and Patricia Kiddney

 CHS Officers and distinguished guests on the Gazebo for the Ceremony – with Professor Brandon Morgan at Podium

Audience gathering in readiness to hear the program

After the ceremony concluded, Steven Zobeck (L)  and Dr. Kathleen Martin (R) look on as  Dr. Morgan shakes hands with Pancho Villa look-alike re-enactor, Rafael Celestino

L to R: Rafael Celestino, Patricia Kiddney, Head Columbus Librarian, Maria Constantine, and Columbus C of C Director, Norma Gomez pose with Darrel Nash (R), Historian for the famed Buffalo Soldiers of the Punitive Expedition – Norma had just presented the Environmental Book Chihuahua to the Library, courtesy of the Mexican Government.

L to R: Maria Constantine and Norma Gomez discuss the Buffalo Soldiers museum and the soldiers’ organization with Darrel Nash

 

CHS HEARS REPORT DIRECTLY FROM CHIRICAHUA APACHES

        Dr. Kathleen Martin

The FASF’s sister historical organization in Columbus, NM, the Columbus Historical Society (CHS) has just heard a report from the two  Silver City, NM Co-Directors of the Chiricahua Apache Naion’s two Directors, Joe Saenz and Bill Bradford. The program was organized by long-time FASF Trustee, Kathleen R. Martin, Ph.D.  The meeting was attended by 16 members of the CHS, mostly from the Columbus and Deming areas, and by a special visitor, Dr. Jeffrey Sheppard.  The meeting was chaired by the CHS President, Shirley Garber.

WolfHorse Joe Saenz is of Huichol and Tci-He-Nde (Red Paint People) ancestry. He is the owner and operator of Wolfhorse Outfitters and Guides of The Gila National Forest, which is located in Silver City, NM. The short term above, “Nde,” means Apache in their native tongue.  Besides his role as Co-Director of the Apache Foundation, Wolfhorse is also a member of the Apache National Council.

Bill Bradford is a fully licensed attorney, also an Apache Nation Councilman, and additionally serves as the Nation’s official Chief Legal Counsel.

The entire presentation to the CHS was video recorded and appears below in its entirety.

                               Wolfhorse Joe Saenz opens up the program for the Society

                   Wolfhorse explains the Apache history in the United States as Bill Bradford listens at right.

  Wolfhorse and Bill Bradford – Joe spelled out the Apache Nation Foundation’s website (it’s at end of the video, too)

             Wolfhorse and Bill Bradford – Dr. Martin is at left raising her hand to ask a question of Wolfhorse

Listening from L to R: Mary Galbraith, Carol Krum, Clint & Kathy Townsend, and Joe who was discussing the many misconceptions present-day Americans have about the native Apaches as Bill Bradford looks on.:

L to R: Dr. Martin with a check for Joe Saenz, Bill Bradford, Pres. Shirley Barber, and VP Jim Tyo with Bill’s check.

The below video is the “Apache Nation Today and Yesterday” Presentation by Wolfhorse Joe Saenz and Bill Bradford as given without any deletions.  Suggest seeing it right here in full screen and high-definition quality. The full video including both presenters is 1:22:32 in length.

Daedalians Hear From F-16 Fighter Pilot About AF Careers

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” Park grew 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 Danielle love 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 Pitt was interrupted for the photo shoot while talking with Connie Sullivan at 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 Park with 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 by  Col. Alan Fisher

 

 

 

Will This Radical New Petro Engine Impact Global Aviation?

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 efficiency when 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 powerful per 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.

WU’s Dr. Hernandez Lectures CHS About Mexican Revolution

The Columbus Historical Society (CHS) just kicked off the new year with a detailed presentation by Professor Andy Hernandez of Western New Mexico University (WNMU).  This event was the first held under the newly elected officers and drew an audience from not just Columbus, but also from Deming, NM.  The event’s presenter was arranged by Dr. Kathleen Martin, the Society’s Historian.

The entire: 35-minute PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Hernandez is included below, as are some photos taken at the event.  The lecture focused on some aspects of what took place during the raid on Columbus, which entailed the First Aero Squadron’s engagement in the Punitive Expedition, but focused primarily on the overall dynamics of the then-ongoing Mexican Revolution, particularly as to its impact on South Texas, but of course included the Mexican rebel leaders, one of which was Pancho Villa, whose raid on Columbus caused the deployment of the First Aero Squadron in what became known as the Punitive Expedition. That expedition was instigated as the direct result of President Woodrow Wilson’s orders to bring Pancho Villa back – – – either dead or alive.

The Title of Dr. Hernandez’s presentation was:

THE PLAN DE SAN DIEGO: Insurgency and Violence in South Texas During the Mexican Revolution. *  See the end of the post for a PDF copy of Dr. Hernandez’s paper on this topic.

Dr. Hernandez explained at the outset that the title had nothing to do with San Diego, CA, but rather a small Texas town of the same name.  Many Mexican revolutionaries, including some Tejanos, were in hopes of regaining – or returning – depending upon which side of the Tex-Mex border they lived, much of the then-current U.S. Southwestern territories that were previously part of their homeland.

The Plan de San Diego was actually a bold manifesto that called for an uprising against the United States government on the 20th of February, 1915.  The document was, in essence, a call for racial strife and chaos in order to help facilitate the return of the Southwestern U. S. to Mexico.

Some of the most violent characteristics of the plot were the intended killing of North Americans over the age of sixteen to free the Black and Hispanic population from “Yankee tyranny.”  Needless to say, as Dr. Hernandez illustrated, while he turned the pages of the era’s history for his audience, this HIstpanic-American call for wanton violence and mayhem created massive distrust among many neighbors in Texas itself – – – and threw the state into all sorts of internal political turmoil.

Fortunately for Texas, a copy of the plot’s plan was uncovered before it could take effect, enabling the Governor of Texas, then Oscar Colquitt to take remedial action to thwart the planned insurrection.  His successor in office, Governor James Ferguson, was left to deal with the continued political duress and strife that the Plan de San Diego triggered.

Even the Texas Rangers entered the dynamic, and demonstrated their own brand of corruption and racist behavior, seriously tarnishing their reputation. Some of these Rangers wantonly murdered hundreds of often innocent Mexican-Americans solely based upon their ethnicity.

Another key figure in the tensions and actual violence in the pre-WWI period in the border region was Army General, Frederick Funston, who in 1914 took over the Army occupation forces in Vera Cruz, Mexico, and soon began the serious job of administering the city. This was no small chore because that Mexican port city was known for being an unsanitary and disease-ridden metropolis.  As soon as the U. S. withdrew from Vera Cruz, General Funston repositioned his troops on the Texas, New Mexican, and Arizona borders to protect the states from any spillover from the ongoing turmoil of the by-then full-blown Mexican Revolution.

In time, so much Texas economic and social turmoil had resulted from the exposure of the violent Plan de San Diego, and its plot’s instigators and followers, that the Federal government took remedial action to quell the chaos by the assignment of the U.S. Army and some of its National Guard troops to the area to help restore law and order: ie General Funston’s major role.  When General “Black Jack” Pershing was later given command of the Punitive Expedition, his direct commander was Gen. Funston.

Although the Plan de San Diego plot did not fulfill its intended purposes, it did leave the area with significant scars in regard to much worsened interracial and Anglo-American vs Tejano relations for many years to come.  There was still active segregation in Texas well into the mid-1960s.  Your webmaster lived there for several years and remembers this blight all too well.

To see any of the below photos in high resolution or full size, just click on them.

Dr. Kathleen Martin introduces Professor Andy Hernandez to the audience. Watching at right are, Steven Zobeck, seated, and Shirley Garber, the CHS’s new President.

Seated above as Dr. Hernandez readied to give his presentation are, L to R: Jim Tyo, Steven Zobeck, Ron Wize, Gordon Taylor, Librarian Maria Constantine, Retired Luna County Chamber of Commerce Director, Mary Galbraith, Columbus Vice Mayor Bill Johnson,  Carol Crumb, Shirley Garber, and Daniella Sandoval.

      Dr. Andy Hernandez describes some further reading for those interested in following up on his lecture’s topic.

      Professor Hernandez answers some questions about his citation of recommended additional reading sources.

Center in the cap, Steven Zobeck asks Dr. Hernandez some questions . . . Marilyn Steffen at left in a gray jacket, and Shirley Garber, at far right, listens intently to Steven’s query about the German role in the Revolution.

Dr. Hernandez experienced an especially attentive audience of history enthusiasts, without one person not paying full attention to his flow of often newly encountered historical facts about the Mexican Revolution – – –  and its effect on the U.S.

Dr. Hernandez produced more references for his audience for those who would like to continue their research into this subject of the Mexican Revolution and its profound effect on our border states, in particular South Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

The New CHS Leadership officially thanks the season’s first speaker.  L to R above: Leonard Steward, Treasurer; Jim Tyo, VP; Daniella Sandoval, Secretary; Dr. Andy Hernandez; Dr. Kathleen Martin, Historian; and new the CHS President, Shirley Garber.

Click on the lower right-hand corner ‘FullScreen’ icon to see the video in its full size

THE PLAN DE SAN DIEGO -They Will Bring Trouble On Themselves [PDF]

(Scroll down to the 3rd page, which is the first page of Dr. Hernandez’s article.)