Tag Archives: Daedalians

Lambart Briefs Daedalians on U.S.’s new Joint Strike Fighter

A F-35 Lightning II test aircraft undergoes a flight check. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

All below photos may be seen in higher resolution by simply clicking on them, and the videos all have sound and may be viewed at full screen, also.

The FASF’s Ric Lambart (at left) just briefed the El Paso, TX Daedalian Flight 24 on his 2018 visit to Edwards Air Force Base, CA Flight Test Center and about his introduction to the new Joint Strike Fighter, the Generation 5 new weapons system, the most costly ever purchased by the Pentagon. Here is a depiction of its relative costs:

  • The F-35 is not just the most expensive warplane ever, it’s the most expensive weapons program ever. But here is exactly how much a single F-35 costs.
  • A single Air Force F-35A costs a $148 million. One Marine Corps F-35B costs $251 million. A lone Navy F-35C costs a mind-boggling $337 million. Average the three models together, and a “generic” F-35 costs $178 million.
  • And, you might wonder how much it costs per hour of flight time:
  • $41,000 per hour.
  • The U.S. is the first nation to design, manufacture and fly a 5th Generation Jet Fighter.  The new F-35, the second “Gen Five” machine, will be operated by thirteen of our closest Allies. It was designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin, who coincidentally also made its WWII namesake, the P-38 Lightning.  It is produced in three (3) models, or “Variants,” as shown above.  Notwithstanding its official name, the Lightning II, many of its operational pilots have given it another nickname: The “PANTHER.”

L to R: Colonel Alan Fisher and USAF ROTC Cadet, Ammber Valverde of UTEP and NMSU, chat after the F-35 Power Point presentation. Both are FASF members.

The F-35A model, for the Air Force, the B model, for the Marines and the C Variant, for the USN.

 

 

The Marine Corps B Variant can actually take off vertically, just like a helicopter, and can also land vertically.  The below short (1:40) video show how this is done:

Here is another short (1:35) video of this USMC F-35B operating off a small WWII type special aircraft carrier, which has neither a catapult nor a slant deck as do all new generations of USN Aircraft carriers.  Those features simply are no longer needed for this new USMC F-35 Variant:

Unlike all previous fighters, the F-35 “Lightning II” (named after the high-speed prop-driven Lockheed P-38 Lightning of WWII fame) is unique, not only because of its advanced stealth features, but because it is a flying combat information center, with advanced electronics capabilities never before seen in a new fighter.

It can also fly at supersonic speed for over 170 miles without even engaging its afterburner, which is called flying at “Super Cruise.”  The F-35 was designed to work together with the only other 5th Generation fighter, the F-22 “Raptor.” The two ships will work as a team in various combat scenarios, should their help ever be needed.

While the F-22 Raptor is more maneuverable, the F-35 is designed to engage and take out enemy aircraft long before the enemy has even detected the presence of the new flying weapons system. It can carry a wide array of different missiles internally, rather than attached to its fuselage and/or wings.  This of course does a great deal to enhance its stealth capabilities.

The Lightning II is actually capable of shooting down enemy aircraft beyond the horizon.  The pilots of this futuristic weapons system can actually see in all directions; wherever they look: including directly behind and directly below the fighter.  It the pilot looks down between his or her knees, they can see right through the fuselage as though it were invisible.

A number of electronic “eyes” are built right into the ship’s fuselage, and what they “see” is projected right onto the inside of the pilot’s helmet visor – – – a first.  These futuristic helmets alone are some $400,000 each! Here is a short (1:28) video about this unique helmet:

Additionally, Inputs from both ground intel and airborne recon craft are all displayed on the F-35’s integrated glass panel touch screen display, again, unlike any of its 4th or 3rd Generation predecessors.

Much like the mysterious Area 51, the existence of which was never even recognized by the Air Force until relatively recently, Edwards Flight Test Center also presents a similar air of mystery, since access to it is so highly restricted.

While on active duty with the Air Force, this reporter often flew in the vicinity of Edwards, but was always kept at a substantial distance, because the air space around the Base was so highly restricted.  As a result, this recent visit to the facility was anticipated with no small amount of excitement.

The local Daedalian Flight 56, at Edwards, invited a number of fellow Daedalians from around the country to make this special visit, so that they might learn about the United State’s newest and most advanced airborne weapons system. The 461st Flight Test Squadron, under the command of Lt. Colonel Tucker “Cinco” Hamilton (at right), played official host to the visiting Daedalians. An AFROTC graduate, Col. Hamilton has flown 30 aircraft from a zeppelin to a MiG-15 to an A-10, and, and managed the entire $3 Billion Joint Strike Fighter Developmental Test program out of the Pentagon for all three services. Cinco started his Air Force career as an operational F-15C pilot.

 

LATE BREAKING USAF NEWS: An officer at Edwards Air Force Base in California last month became the first female test pilot to fly an F-35.  See below:

(L-R) Maj. Rachael Winiecki, the first female F-35 test pilot, and Airman 1st Class Heather Rice, her crew chief.

Maj. Rachael Winiecki, a developmental test pilot for Colonel Hamilton’s 461st Flight Test Squadron, flew her first test flight in the Air Force’s most advanced fighter jet this past Dec. 14, according to the USAF.

 

L to R: Colonel Mario Campos, Flight 24’s Commander, who operated the Power Point Show, and our top Aviation News Scout, Virgil Hemphill. Both are FASF members.

And below, is a final video (2:00 long) showing the F-35 in a number of different combat scenarios and roles as it completed its final test program:

Lambart also gave the history of how Edwards Air Force Base was named, as seen immediately below:

USAAF Captain Glen Edwards.

L to R: Ric Lambart and Laura Kelly, both Daedalians, pose in front of one of Edward’s test F-35’s . Kelly was an Army Helicopter Pilot.

An old archived photo showing some of the Base’s famous Pilots, including Chuck Yeager at the center, with his wife, Glennis, after whom he named his rocket ship.. Yeager was the fist man to break the sound barrier – all at Edwards.

“Pancho” Barnes, (center below) who owned the famous bar and resort, “The Happy Bottom Riding Club,” was one of America’s most famous female aviators in her own right.  Aside from being one of Hollywood’s best stunt pilots, she was actually the organizer of the Hollywood film industry’s first Stunt Pilot’s Union.  It was at the “Riding Club” that her good friend, Chuck Yeager managed to break some of his ribs just before becoming the first human being to break the mythically impossible Sound Barrier in the Rocket Research Ship, the X-1, which bore his beloved wife’s name, “Glamorous Glennis.”  Of course Yeager didn’t tell anyone about his broken ribs for fear of missing this extraordinary opportunity to make history.  This particular incident is an episode in 1983 smash hit movie about the early astronauts: “The Right Stuff.” Yeager is played by actor Sam Shepard.  Pancho’s Bar and Grill was the favorite hangout of all those heroic early aviators who daily risked life and limb test flying our country’s most advanced new aircraft.  The below photograph was for sale at Iconic Auctions, in 2017, at the first offer of $1,000.

L to R: Pioneer Female Pilots: Debie Stanford, Pancho Barnes and Amelia Earhart.

Immediately below, is the 2009 award-winning documentary film’s trailer about the Barnes’ Riding Club and the famed aviatrix herself. It is 2:03 long:

 

Colonel Lee Retires From the Army and Joins AMAZON.COM!

After 25 years and 8 months of active duty with the US Army, our FASF Trustee, James K. “Jimmy” Lee, has retired from the service.

                                   L to R: Jimmy Lee and Ric Lambart at lunch in El Paso Texas yesterday.

While initially serving on our Board, this native North Carolinian was the Commanding Officer of the University of Texas, El Paso’s (UTEP) Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (AROTC) Battalion, known as the Fighting Miners (see below photos).  To see his more complete and varied background, check out Jimmy’s Biography right here (scroll down the page).

                        Jimmy Adresses his UTEP graduating class of new U.S. Army 2nd Lieutenatnts this Spring.

Just prior to retiring, the Colonel looked at various civilian work opportunities, and was given the most attractive offer by the International Marketing firm, AMAZON.COM.

      Jimmy congratulates one of his new 2nd Lieutenants, Demeatia Jasper, during the UTEP Graduation ceremony.

In his new job as Operation’s Manager, Jimmy supervises some 54 employees and is responsible for efficiently managing one of AMAZON’S major “Fullfillment Centers,” which is what AMAZON calls its major shipping facilities throughout the world.

In his personal life, Jimmy has been an enthusiastic parachutist, which means that on any given weekend you are likely to find him at one of the nearest airports busily jumping – and then busily repacking his parachutes.  He has 96 civilian sport parachute jumps to his credit, excluding 5 while in the Army – so he’s had over 100 jumps altogether. 

The Lees have two young sons; one, now 20, is already away at College and the younger, 17, is in his last year of High School.  Both young men share their Dad’s enthusiasm for both sports and the military, so intend to follow his example in their own upcoming careers.

Earlier this year, Colonel Lee made a special presentation to a group of former military aviators, all also active members of the FASF, the Daedalians, at the local El Paso Club.

We wish Jimmy the best in his new endeavor – – – and are happy to learn that he has every intention of remaining active and of helping us with his leadership skills, as a Trustee with the FASF, as it moves into the future!

 

FASF/Daedalian Members Give Awards to New Fighter Pilots

Daedalian Flight 24 Captain, Roger Nichols, and Vice Captain, Ric Lambart, both long time active FASF members, once again had the privilege of presenting Leadership Awards to graduates of the Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon programs at Halloman Air Force Base (HAFB) near Alamagordo, NM, earlier this month.

Other Daedalian Flight members, all from El Paso, Texas, also attended the gala event, at which the principle guest speaker, Four Star General James M. Holmes, himself once a USAF Fighter Pilot, gave an inspiring address to the graduates, their instructors, parents and friends.

Other Daedalians at the event also included Colonel Mario Campos and his wife, Judy, Colonel Bob Pitt and wife, Julie, Virg Hemphill and wife, Jenine, Charlie Overstreet and wife, Mayre Sue, and Jerry Dixon.  Virtually all the Daeedalian Society members from the El Paso Flight are also long time FASF members.

For the first time, HAFB combined two fighter squadrons into one graduation ceremony, which was held in one of the Base’s large aircraft hangars.  Approximately 400 graduates and guests attended the ceremony, which included the 311th and 314 Fighter Squadrons.

Here are the photos taken during the event see any photo in hi-resolution by clicking on it:

Captain Coke Nolan, at left, one of the two MC’s for the event talking with Daedalian Flight Captain, Roger Nichols . .

L to R above: Jenine and Virg Hemphill, Mayre Sue and Charlie Overstreet.

L to R: Jerry Dixon, MJ Tucker of HAFB, who handled the graduation details, greeting Colonel Mario Campos, while Colonel Bob Pitt looks on.

L to R: FASF Aviation News Scouts and Daedalians, Virg Hemphill and Retired USMC Aviator, Jerry Dixon.

View of the stage and the two MC’s busily running through their smooth routine before the audience.

L to R: Judy Campos, Julie Pitt, Roger Nichols, Bob Pitt, Ric Lambart, Charlie Overstreet and Mario Campos.

Again, View of the stage and the two squadron MC’s animatedly running through their amusing routines before the audience.

One of the two Daedalian Tables with, L to R: Ret. USAF Fighter Pilot, Col. Miles “Cowboy” Crowell, Roger Nichols, Mario and Judy Campos, Charlie and Mayre Sue Overstreet.

The other Daedalian Table, with ((Clockwise from front Left: Jerry Dixon, Jenine and Virg Hemphill, Julie and Bob Pitt, newly retired fighter Pilot and his still active duty USAF Flight Nurse wife, and another Flight Nurse.

Graduates and guests begining to fill their plates for dinner.

L to R: Colonel Jeff “Tank” Patton congratuting the 311th Squadron’s winner of the “River Rat” award, and co-presenter, retired USAF Col. Cowboy Crowell.

L to R: Roger Nichols presents Daedalian Leadership Award to Capt. Foley Elliot, F-16 graduate from the 311th FS.

L to R: Ric Lambart congratulates the 314th Fighter Squadron’s Lt. “Banjo” Rutledge on his Leadership Award.

Daedalians all, Lto R: Bob Pitt, Jerry Dixon, Roger Nichols, Capt. Foley Elliot and Lt. Banjo Rutledge, Daedalian Awardees, with Ric Lambart, Charlie Overstreet, Mario Campos, and Virg Hemphill.

Daedalian, Colonel “Cowboy” Crowell describes the hiostory of the “River Rat” award, which has its roots back during the Vietnam conflilct.

L to R: Roger Nichols, General James M. Holmes, and Ric Lambart.

1st AF Female Hispanic Ftr. Pilot to Emcee at AirVenture 2018

                                                         Lt. Olga Custodio winning her USAF wings

American Airlines Captain, Olga Custodio

May 31, 2018Hot off the newswire from the EAA:  The EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize has added another highly regarded aviation expert to the lineup for the Tuesday night competition during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018. Retired Lt. Col. Olga Custodio, the first female Hispanic fighter pilot in the United States will be the emcee, presenting the five finalists in the live showdown. The Founder’s Innovation Prize, presented by Airbus, is in its third year and challenges EAA members to share their best solutions for lowering the rate of in-flight loss-of-control accidents, the leading cause of fatal accidents in the general aviation community.

Custodio retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve with 24 years of service. Among her countless achievements, she was the first Hispanic female to graduate from U.S. Air Force undergraduate pilot training, became the first female T-38 UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training) flight instructor at Laughlin Air Force Base, and then became the first female T-38 pilot instructor training flight instructor at Randolph AFB. She was awarded the Air Force Air Education and Training Command’s Aviation Safety Award for superior airmanship during a bird strike and engine failure emergency and for executing a safe heavyweight landing in weather minimums.

After resigning her U.S. Air Force commission, Custodio entered the Reserve as an officer training school instructor and began her 20-year career flying for American Airlines. She has logged more than 11,000 hours of flight time.

See Custodio and the five Founder’s Innovation Prize finalists at An Evening with Innovators on Tuesday night July 24 at Theater in the Woods.

Those who still wish to submit their idea for the competition must do so before 11:59 pm CT on Friday, June 1, for a chance to win one of three cash prizes.  Visit www.EAA.org/prize to learn more.

Below is a 7 minute long video is of an interview by FOX NEWS TV of Retired USAF and American Airlines Pilot, Olga Custodio.

Colonel Jimmy Lee Speaks to Daedalian Flight 24 in El Paso

Lt. Colonel James K. “Jimmy” Lee, Jr., Professor of Military Science and Commander of the University of Texas (UTEP) Army ROTC’s “Fighting Miner Battalion” in El Paso, Texas, gave a special Power Point and Video presentation  to the Daedalian Flight 24 at the El Paso Club in downtown El Paso, yesterday.  Almost every member of Daedalian Flight 24 is also an active member of the FASF. 

Colonel Lee gave an animated description of the current University ROTC program which he directs at UTEP.  Jimmy, an Army Mustang and recipient of the coveted SILVER STAR medal for heroism in battle, has been one the FASF’s Trustees for the past three years.  His background is here on the FASF Trustee Page of this site.

Each semester at UTEP, Colonel Lee’s Battalian of Cadets conducts a “Staff Ride” over to visit and study the Army’s history, including that of the First Aero Squadron’s involvement in the “Punitive Expedition” back in 1916 and 1917, at Columbus, NM, the birthplace of American Air Power and rebirth place of American Civil Aviation.

              Remember to click on any of the following photos to see them in high definition.

                                                    Colonel Lee opening his Power Point Presentation.

L to R: All taking in Jimmy’s talk, are: Mario Campos, Charlie Overstreet, Lt. Commander Cindy Sweeney, Roger Springstead, Norm Rice and Virg Hemphill.

            Jimmy describes the many and diverse opportunies for scholarships provided by the ROTC programs.

The Colonel shows some of examples of both Air and watercraft used by the U.S. Army in today’s combat.

Slide Jimmy presented showing the surprising use of both aircraft and boats by today’s Army as related to those assets used by the other services.

         Jimmy fielding questions from the Daedalians about the previous Army Comparative Equipment Chart.

In answer to a question from Daedalian Colonel PittJimmy explained the battelfield circumstances that led to the award of his Silver Star medal in Iraq.

L to R: Listening to Jimmy’s presentation are: Larry Spradlin, Pete Brandon, and Alan Fisher.

                                                      Jimmy fielding more questions from the Daedalians.

Retired USAF Colonel Alan Fisher, who once commanded the AFROTC unit at New Mexico State University, comparing notes after the presentation with Colonel Lee. Daedalian Fight Captain, Roger Nichols a retired USAF Navigator and Pilot is behind the podium between the two experienced ROTC commanders.

L to R: Posing after the event are: Colonel Bob Pitt, Simon Hernandez (Assistant to Colonel Lee, and the UTEP ROTC Recruiting and Scholarship Chief), Jimmy Lee, Roger Nichols and Ric Lambart.  Group photo courtesy of Daedalian and 1st Aero member, Roger Springstead. All above but Mr. Hernandez are active FASF members.

The Warhawk, Tomahawk & Kittyhawk – – – The Fabled P-40

The above WWII Army Air Corps’ Pilot Training Film is courtesy of Zero’s Drive in Videos, and it is 35:41 in length.  Remember to click on the full-screen view button of the video in the lower right hand corner of the film’s start up screen, if you’d enjoy seeing the larger screen version displayed.

The Flying Tiger’s shark mouthed P-40 is one of the most iconic aircraft of WWII. Here, above, you can watch the film used to actually train P-40 pilots. It was produced by P-40 manufacturer Curtiss-Wright (remember Curtiss? They produced the First Aero’s Jenny in 1916 & 17), and it is in rare WWII color. One of our long-standing active members, Roger Nichols’s (the current Flight Captain of the Order of Daedalians Flight 24, of El Paso, Texas) own father, Major General Frank Nichols, was stationed at Pearl Harbor on the day it was attacked by the Japanese Imperial Air Forces on December 7, 1941. The then young Lieutenant took off to fight the overwhelming enemy forces in his P-40 Warhawk, which he continued to fly on other missions in the South Pacific War Theater, before transferring to other types of aircraft, such as the P-38 Lightening. Claire Chenault’s Flying Tiger’s (see above photo of Flying Tiger version with its unique paint job) deadly weapon in China was the P-40.  It was the Army Air Corp’s main front-line fighter at the outbreak of the War. Not as agile as a Japanese Zero, the P-40 nevertheless made up for that with speed, especially in a dive – – – and firepower. This rugged Curtiss-Wright built plane served the Allies around the world, from the deserts of North Africa to the jungles of SE Asia.

The aircraft featured in the above manufacturer’s film is a P-40F or L, both models of which were powered by Packard built British Rolls Royce Merlins for better high altitude performance. Other P-40 versions were powered by American Allison engines.  P-40s supplied to Commonwealth countries were known as “Kittyhawks.”The other variant of the Curtiss Fighter was known as the Tomahawk.

The above WWII training film was reproduced by Zeno, Zeno’s Warbird Video Drive-In.

Check out their P-40 DVD with two more videos & the iconic airplane’s actual pilot’s manual. You can visit their aviation DVD storet for one of the World’s broadest selections of World War II &  other vintage jet aircraft aviation videos, too.