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Breaking News of Interest

American Carrier Force in Action – – – Stunning Videography

Whether good weather, day or night, or on the most violent seas, our Navy’s armadas are ready for action.  Here you will see some rarely captured hi-definition videos of our Navy personnel accomplishing their routine daily tasks with finesse and skill the likes of which should make one both proud and thankful.  Much of these first two videos is taken onboard the pre-Nimitz Class USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered U.S. Aircraft Carrier.

The newest Nimitz Class Carriers are the largest warships ever built and have over 6,000 personnel (crew and aircrews).  They displace over 102,000 Tons and have flight decks as long as three football fields.  These huge ships have their own post office, hospital, dental clinic, barbershops, athletic facilities, chapels and much more.  They are virtual floating cities with some 18 levels, including eight above the hangar bay and ten more decks below.  These behemoths are designed to last half a century with only one scheduled refueling, in mid-life.

These clips will bring you up close and personal with the sailors of the US Navy as they prepare their thunderous F-18 Super Hornets for flight, and then retrieve them when they return from their missions.  You will also witness the launching of the Navy’s Grumman Utility C-2 “Greyhound” utility-cargo planes, and even see at sea ship-to-ship cargo transfers take place.

Video Credits: Stacy Atkinsricks, Thomas Gooley, Janine Jones, Cody Deccio. Derivative Work by Daily Aviation Archive. Music credit: Green Leaf Stomp – – – Jingle Punks.
Make sure your sound is on and go to full screen to appreciate this high-definition videography.  This first video is 10:40 long.

Below is a hi-definition video showing how our large carriers replenish their supplies while underway on the high seas.  Since all U.S. carriers are nuclear powered, they need no refueling for their own power requirements, but they do occasionally need to take on Jet-Fuel and large quantities of other supplies for the needs of their onboard equipment and personnel.  This clip is also courtesy of the Daily Aviation Video ArchiveThe video is 12:41 long.

This next video is onboard the newer Nimitz Class Nuclear Carrier, Theodore Roosevelt, (CVN-71) nicknamed, the “Big Stick.”  As in the first video above, this clip shows daily life aboard the huge fighting machine, but it also depicts actual night operations and the launching and capture of one of the Navy’s new Jet-Powered Drone aircraft. It is 17:47 in length.

And, these last two (2) videos are of the nation’s newest dreadnaught, the Gerald R. Ford, CVN-78. Although similar in overall size to the older nuclear-powered Nimitz Class Carriers, seen above, this new 13 Billion Dollar vessel has many advanced systems and newer technology on board.

It is also the first of a new 21st Century class of Carrier, known as the Ford Class.  It will be the world’s first carrier to employ unique high-powered magnetic jet-launching catapults, rather than the steam-powered devices found on all of its earlier sister ships.  Its huge nuclear propulsion engines are 250% more powerful than those of the Nimitz class.  Because of many internal design changes from the earlier Nimitz Class carriers, and also because of the ship’s higher level of technology and automation, the actual number of crew members required to efficiently operate the Ford is substantially less than that required aboard the Nimitz ships.

After its commissioning and during its first sea trial-runs, the ship encountered some unexpected magnetic-launch problems, but those have now been ironed out as you will see in this 1st Ford video, which is 4:16 long.

This second video on the USS Ford, is longer (22:59 in length), but it shows more detail behind its construction, as well as of its shake-down cruise operations.

 

20th Century had B-1s and B-2s, but the B-21 is 21st Century

  Virg Hemphill

The USAF has decided to set aside its hi-tech B-1 Lancer and B-2 Stealth bombers for the new high-altitude, long-range stealth strike bomber, named the B-21 “Raider,” in honor of the famed General Doolittle Tokyo Raiders of WWII fame. This story is once again the result of information supplied by our Aviation News Scout, Virg Hemphill, at left.

This new advanced bomber clearly embodies some of the unique aerodynamic characteristics and shape of the WWII Northrup Aviation experimental Flying Wing, an airplane whose first versions were actually propeller powered.  But this new Northrup creation embodies features not even the material of dreams, when the first Flying Wings took to the air over California’s high desert.

While still a flying-wing airframe, having no vertical stabilizers or rudder, but rather a sharp squared wing, it does clearly remain true to the old Flying Wing theme, since there is no distinction between its fuselage and wing, they being one and the same overall structure.  Here are some informative videos about this new USAF transition.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James announces that the B-21 bomber will be called the B-21 Raider. The name represents the historically important role the new long-range stealth bomber will lead for the next 50 years.

Assisting Secretary James on stage (immediately below) to announce the name, was one of the original Doolittle Raiders, in fact, the last living Doolittle Raider, and Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot, 101-year-old Air Force Lt. Col. (ret.), Richard Cole.

It is suggested that you view all videos below in full-screen, to appreciate the hi-resolution used. All of the clips also have full complete audio tracks.

This first short (1:39 long) video shows the official USAF announcement of the B-21’s new name:

Second, this short (7:29 long) video by “The Infographics Show:

Third, this “New Update Defence” video, 4:08 in length (There is some computerized voice used in this clip, so be prepared for some clumsy English):

 

 

Here’s a List of 10 Unusual Varieties of Aircraft to Follow

Norwegian P2 “Excursion” Team pose in their hangar in front of their new amphibian aircraft.

Some of these flying machines you may have seen before, but likely not all of them.  They are clearly not the standard variety of new aircraft, but this fact alone might motivate one to take and interest in how their actual futures come to pass.  The Video below is only 10:12 in length and was created by “Minds Eye Design,” which has also published other interesting videos, although not all exclusively aviation related.

What Happened to the Dynacam (Revolver-Cam) Engine?

A Dyna Cam or Revolver Cam engine fitted for aircraft use.

The General Aviation (GENAV) industry and its consumers have been facing a serious dilemma for a number of years now.  As you know, leaded fuel has been banned across the board for ground based vehicles here in the United States for a number of years, but general aviation aircraft are still using high-octane leaded-fuel in most of its fleet.  The EPA has been battling to have leaded aviation gasoline similarly banned, but there has remained a serious problem:  The majority of existing GENAV engines cannot safely operate on un-leaded gasoline.  Competitions have been underway for many years to see if one or more of the major Gasoline Refining Corporations can develop an unleaded gasoline blend that is safe for use in airplanes, but to this date, nothing is yet widely available for purchase.

Leaded gasoline for ground vehicles has already been banned for 24 years (in 1994!), but, while the FAA had targeted unleaded aviation gas’ (AVGAS) introduction to GENAV by 2018, nothing has yet actually happened to make this a reality, even though the FAA’s Fuels Program Office had been tasked to fulfill this objective.  This means that today almost 170,000 GENAV aircraft are still gassing up with fuel containing that otherwise banned nasty Tetraethyl lead.

Although many GENAV airplanes can safely use straight Motor Gas (MOGAS), providing it has no Ethanol in its blend, and many airplanes have been FAA Certificated to legally use it, the supply of MOGAS without any Ethanol is becoming progressively harder to find, and most refiners have simply phased out making their blends without the alcohol.  Additionally, because of EPA requirements and policies, even if the MOGAS is a non-Ethanol blend, it is not required to label it as such, making it a potentially dangerous purchase for an airplane user.

MOGAS with Ethanol is actually hazardous to aircraft engines, and, in fact, it is also damaging to many older automobiles and trucks, which were not designed to safely use gasoline containing Ethanol.  Because the Ethanol absorbs moisture, it tends to seriously corrode old styled rubber fuel lines and other components in older vehicles.

The Dynacam Engine is very different from conventional reciprocating type airplane engines, and is enough different that it has no trouble using MOGAS.  However, that is only one of the superior features of this radical engine design.  There are a number of additional advantages over regular AVGAS powered aircraft engines.  The photo above shows what this new engine design looks like.

Here, below, are some other views of the engine with its significantly different configuration:

Dyna or Revolver Cam Engine showing its lack of externally exposed cylinders.  It take a form more like a jet engine.

Here, above, is a cut-a-way view of one of the Dyna Cam engines such as those intended for GENAV aircraft.

Here is an illustration of the unique piston movement seen inside a Dyna Cam engine.

Here is a general introduction to this unique new engine, one that has been patented, but not yet introduced to the GENAV market in a serious way:

The original engine is patented and the Company (Axial Vector Energy) has now made patent applications and received patent pending status for additional features that have been refined. Activity and contacts from the website indicate that there are a lot of buyers for this new engine technology.  The first production engine has been assembled and has completed its initial testing. The Company has had to design and build a custom dynamometer on which to complete engine testing. After testing has been completed on the first engine, it was installed in a Cessna 182 light aircraft.  It has also been installed in a Piper Cherokee in order to be able to demonstrate the engine’s superior performance capability.

Additional installations are being discussed with owners of several experimental homebuilt aircraft here in the U.S., including, a LancAir, an RV6, a custom designed pusher fashioned after the Long Easy canard plane (a newly designed homebuilt called the Atlantica), and several others, including a SeaBee, a Seawind homebuilt, and it will also possibly end up in a Cessna 185.

The initial Dyna-Cam Engine to be manufactured and sold is rated at 200 HP. That would make it equivalent in HP to the Lycoming O, or IO 360 opposed-cylinder air-cooled engine already in widespread use throughout the GENAV industry (See below photo).  But this Dyna-Cam engine is only 13″ in diameter, 40″ long, and weighs but 300 pounds with basic accessories. It has unique features and major benefits over conventional engines of similar weight and power. The benefits include:

  • 50% smaller size,
  • 50% fewer replacement parts,
  • Lower manufacturing costs in equal production,
  • Better fuel economy,
  • Smoother operation – it can idle as slowly as only 150 RPM!,
  • Lighter weight per torque HP output compared to conventional air-cooled engines,
  • Plus nearly 100% higher torque enabling the engine to turn high-efficiency propellers with lower noise output at lower RPMs,
  • Liquid, rather than air-cooled

Below is one of most popular GENAV four-cylinder air-cooled engines with about the same power as the above Dyna Cam Engine.  The following video explaining the new Dyna-Cam engine is about 12:00 minutes long.  Remember to turn your speakers on to hear the audio.

 

Lycoming IO-360 Four cylinder 180 HP Air-Cooled Aircraft Engine

Below is another short clip of this same type of new engine, which shows it in action in a cut-a-way video format, but here it is called the Axial Vector Engine – the video is less than 1:00 long:

A Short Video Up Date On The Chinese Navy’s War Readiness

   Virg Hemphill

Thanks once again to our very alert Aviation News Scout, Virg Hemphill (at left), we bring you this insightful recruiting video of how the Chinese Navy stands battle-ready at the present time.

This is not a comparative video, but primarily a view of what the Chinese are up to at the moment.  Unfortunately, this degree of readiness for war requires that the U.S. react in kind, in order to maintain a balance of arms and general military preparedness.

The exceptional degree of high-caliber Chinese precision, coupled with their extreme level of teamwork and surprisingly high degree synchronous formations within their military ranks, as seen in this video, should certainly keep us alert in respect to their capacity, if not readiness, for effective warfare.

While part of what helped the U.S. prevail against both the Japanese and Germans during WWII was our superior equipment, it was also our exceptionally smooth teamwork, particularly among our pilots in their capacity fo fly as efficient fighting teams – – – in highly coordinated formation flights – – –  that led to our overwhelming success.

Clearly, the Chinese have not only learned from our skilled and superior military, naval, and aviation technology – and techniques – but they may have even surpassed us in regard to such military dynamics as in their smooth unified team movements, as is witnessed in their below formations – – and in their impressively sharp mass drill skills.

Also, one cannot help but notice the astounding similarity their aircraft, surface and underwater vessels have to some of our own war weaponry.  Have the Chinese actually, literally,  copied some of our military equipment designs?

Mayor Martha Skinner, one of FASF Founders, Goes West

One of our small group of FASF Founders, Mayor Martha Skinner, has died.  Martha had been the Mayor of Columbus, NM at the time of the founding of the FASF, had been one of its most enthusiastic supporters, and sat on its Board of Trustees for many years, before retiring to work full-time managing her unique Columbus Hotel, “Martha’s Place.

Your writer first met Martha on his initial visit to the small Southwest town, in 1999, and within about half an hour, had purchased his home at a nearby AirPark from the charming lady who owned and operated her own local Real Estate Brokerage Firm.  If it happened in Columbus, you would soon discover that Ms. Skinner was right in the middle of whatever it was.

She was an active Thespian, often performing roles in the local dinner-theater, “The Tumbleweed Theater,Ms. Skinner got together with some of her close acting lady friends to form an investment group called “The Three Blondes.”  Her group, among other interesting investments, purchased  the old Historic Hoover Hotel, which had largely fallen into a ruined relic of its old self.  Within no time at all, her group managed to do some basic repairs to the old place, and soon had parts of it rented out, including to a new Organic Food Cooperative, “Columbus Co-Opportunity,” which she also helped get successfully underway.  She later sold the Hoover to two-time Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist, Paul Salopek and his professional artist wife, Linda Lynch, who managed to turn the now active facility into a beautiful “House Beautiful” caliber residence.  The Hotel is today marked with a metal plaque to signify its historic importance to the town and the infamous raid by Mexican revolutionary, Pancho Villa.

Martha Skinner as a Southern CA teenager.

Martha was born in 1937 in Alamogordo, NM, but soon moved with her family to Southern California, where she graduated from Compton High School, soon married, and remained in the greater Los Angeles area to raise her family.  She later moved to Columbus, where she quickly became deeply involved in local and statewide politics, and became Mayor some years later, after having actively served on the Columbus City Council.  She was also active with various utilities, sitting on the Telephone Cooperative Board of Directors, and also taking part in local environmental and related projects.  She leaves behind her son, Addison Bachman, his children, and her brother, also a former Columbus Mayor, Philip Skinner, as well.

 

_____Mayor Martha Skinner when active with the FASF______

Martha was also an active performer, as a vocalist, during her early years in California, so her transition to acting was not at all difficult.  She immensely enjoyed taking active character roles in many local productions.  She was a talented Bridge Player, too, according to her younger brother, Philip.  Her brilliant foresight led her build her successful Martha’s Place Hotel in 1990, and, shortly before moving to the East Coast in 2017, to be close to her son, Addison and his family in the Carolinas, she sold the Hotel to her brother who renamed it the Los Milagros Hotel, which is still the favored place to stay whenever visiting Columbus or its nearby neighbor across the border in Mexico, Palomas. 

We will miss you, Martha, and are forever indebted to your help in getting the First Aero Squadron Airfield project successfully underway!

EAA and FASF’s Bob Dockendorf Inducted into Hall of Fame

   Long time FASF and EAA Member, Bob Dockendorf poses proudly with his new Hall of Fame medal about his neck.

The FASF’s long-standing member from El Paso, Bob Dockendorf,  has just been elected by the Board of Directors of the El Paso Aviation Association and the local Aviation Community to be inducted into the El Paso Aviation Hall of Fame.  This past weekend celebrated this significant event with a special banquet, packed with area aviation celebrities and held at the Dona Ana Country International Jetport‘s famed War Eagles Air Museum (“WEAM”).

Most know Bob as the Executive Director of WEAM, but there is more you may not know:

Not just for his accomplishments as Director of WEAM, where, as its Executive Director, he has taken the historical facility to a new level of admirable excellence, but he was a key founder among the few local area aviators who started the highly successful new EAA chapter 1570 at the Dona Ana County International Jetport.

He also directed the start of the John and Betty MacGuire student Pilot scholarship as part of that same EAA 1570 project. This student contribution provides both an aircraft and flight instruction for young adults up to and including their first solo flight.

Those are but just a few of his aviation contributions to our local communities.  Besides his personal membership in the FASF, Bob’s beloved WEAM is one of our proud Local Business Supporters, too.

Here is a quote from the official Aviation Hall of Fame Award plaque created in Bob’s Honor:

Even in his childhood days, Robert J. (Bob) Dockendorf had a passion for history,
aviation and museums.  Born and educated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, several job
promotions and opportunities eventually brought him, his wife Mary and their
family to El Paso, Texas.

He served proudly as the Squadron Leader of the Sun Country Squadron of the
Commemorative Air Force as well as an Officer of Chapter 1570 of the Experimental
Aircraft Association.

While completing his career as a property and casualty insurance broker, he served
in a professional advisory capacity to the newly formed War Eagles Air Museum.  When
he retired from his successful insurance career, he was offered the opportunity and
challenge to serve as the War Eagles Air Museum’s Executive Director.

Being armed with aircraft, automobiles, memorabilia, and a deep desire to succeed, he
led the staff and volunteers at War Eagles to the accomplishment of the mission of the
museum, “To Educate and Encourage,” paying specific attention to youth.  All those efforts
helped bring new life and energy to the Dona Ana County International Jetport at Santa
Teresa, New Mexico, adjacent to El Paso, Texas.

The following photographs were taken this past weekend at the ceremony and Banquet held in Bob’s honor, where Bob was inducted into the El Paso Texas Aviation Hall of Fame.

L to R: John Keithly, President of the EAA Chapter 1570 chats with Virg Hemphill, FASF Aviation News Scout and Volunteer Docent at WEAM.  To Virg’s right in background, is FASF member and also Docent, Charlie Overstreet.

L to R: Docent Charlie Overstreet talking with Mario Campos, also a Docent at WEAM. Both are members of the FASF.

L to R: Ammber Valverde, Daedalian Aviation Scholarship winner, engaged in a lively discussion with her table mate, former El Paso, TX Mayor and renown local Aviator, Suzie Azar, who is also one of the FASF’s Advisors Ammber is a Junior at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) and also a member of the New Mexico State University (NMSU) AFROTC.  She plans to be an Air Force Pilot.

L to R: at the Daedalian Society Table is: Virg and Jenine Hemphill, Roger Nichols, Mayre Sue and Charlie Overstreet, and Mario and Judy Campos.  All are active FASF members.

The El Paso CAP Table with two prior Hall of Fame awardees, Roland and Debbie Torres, along with their Cadet Honor Guard: From (R to L), Cadet Captain Hunter Spier in Dress Blue uniform, and C/CMSgt Jonathan Herl, C/Amn Eryal Martinez, C/MSgt Daniel Erives, , and  C/A1C Vida Rote. This is the group of CAP Cadets who conducted the Flag Ceremonies at the opening and closing of the event.

L to R: Virg Hemphill, Honored Hall of Famer, Bob Dockendorf, Roger Nichols, and Jenine Hemphill.

                           Bob Dockendorf after accepting the Hall of Fame Award, speaking to the guests.

View of the tables and attendees at the Banquet.

Guest speaker and aviation enthusiast, “Doppler” Dave Spielman, long time Chief Meteorologist for the ABC Network TV Channel in El Paso, TX, KVIA.

   Ammber Valverde with Daedalian Flight Captain, Roger Nichols.  Roger’s flight is helping mentor Ms. Valverde

 Amber poses with Mr. Dockendorf along with Laura Ditlevson, former winner of the EAA MacGuire Student Pilot Scholarship.

 

Ammber intently listens to former FASF Trustee and present FASF Advisor and Chair of the Dona Ana County International Jetport’s Board of Directors, Col. John Orton.  An ex USAF JAG officer, John continues to fly his own Experimental Aircraft.