This weekend’s FASF-Daedalian Graduation Event at Holloman Air Force Base, Alamogordo, NM
< Just cllick on any photo below to view it in higher resolution and larger size>
Many of the FASF members throughout the country are active members of this great General Aviation organization, which was first begun in Wisconsin, 66 years ago this Saturday. The majority of the two local or nearby EAA Chapters, the 555 in Las Cruces, NM, and the 1570 in Santa Teresa, NM, are active FASF members, for instance. The growth of this non-profit aviation interest organization over the past 66 years is nothing short of phenomenal.
The EAA is probably best known for its regular annual creation of the LARGEST AIR SHOW IN THE WORLD. Each year at the organization’s headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the EAA hosts this huge AirVenture aviation extravaganza.
It’s a show that has been normally pulling in some half a million attendees each year, and this past season’s 2018 attendance hit 601,000. Not just does it pull people in such large numbers to witness its exciting air show events, but it also brings in a record number of airplanes, too: 10,000 airplanes just this AirVenture 2018. Usually held the from the last Monday in July each year, it runs for a full week. People book at B&B’s, private homes, and Motels and Hotels a year in advance just to be sure they don’t miss this lavish exhibition of Aviation, from Civil to military. Many others use the ample campgrounds for tents or the more luxurious RV parking facilities.
Here, below, is a short (1:05 minute) FOUNDER’S DAY video clip to summarize the event. By clicking anywhere on this following image you will be taken directly to the EAA’s Founder’s Day homepage, where you can again click to see the video itself. While at the EAA site, you may want to see some of their other fascinating and informative videos, also accessible on that page.
Here below is the “Best of Photography,” a video collage of the some of the best photographs selected from the vast numbers taken and submitted for judging at AirVenture 2018. The video is thanks the EAA itself, and for their efforts at choosing the top photos taken from those submitted this past year. The video (8:54 long) does a fine job of giving both the uninitiated – and the experienced AirVenturists, a clear idea of the vast plethora of colorful and impressive aircraft that gathered to show off during last July’s one-week celebratory convention in Oshkosh. If at your computer, with a large screen monitor, remember to go full-screen to more deeply appreciate these fine photographs.
If you find this topic of enough interest, just do a search in our small search window at the above right side of this page, and enter the word “AirVenture” (without the quotation marks), and, voilà, you’ll find other great full-action videos we’ve posted over the years that cover various other AirVenture adventures. Enjoy!
This last video (below) is 33 minutes of outstanding show material, all shot during the AirVenture 2018 event by the AirShowStuff professionals. You will of course also find their homepage right where it has been listed on our LINKS page for many years. Visit them and see some of the most colorful and exceptional video of airplanes in action to be found anywhere. These people are masters at their craft.
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-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:
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.
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:
“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.
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:
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: