No words will do this short video clip of the Dean Martin show justice, so let’s simply let the 4:56 long clip speak for itself. Again, we need to thank the sharp eyes of our Aviation News Scout, Virg Hemphill, for this find. Of course, as many of you know, besides being a USAF fighter pilot, Virg was a REAL airline pilot for many, many years. The video’s “Airline Pilot” is Foster Brooks.
Honored guest speaker at this month’s Daedalian meeting in downtown El Paso, Texas, was Bob Dockendorf, long time member of the FASF and Executive Director of the War Eagles Air Museum (WEAM) at nearby Doña Ana County International Jetport.
Any of the following photographs may be seen in full high resolution by simply clicking on them.
Bob described the museum’s history and how it was started by fellow El Pasoans, John and Betty MacGuire, both of whom were avid aviators, 32 years ago.
Earlier this year Bob was elected to the El Paso Aviation Hall of fame in recognition of his many years of outstanding service to the local aviation community since taking command of the WEAM.
His historical operation had 17,000 visitors this past year, guests who came to enjoy and learn from the museum’s exhibit of some 36 WWII, Korean and Vietnam era “war birds,” many of which are still in flying condition.
In addition to the display of these vintage aircraft, this native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, oversees a colorful collection of over 50 antique automobiles and motorcycles. Bob has been an enthusiastic car collector for many years, and has also been both a student of aviation and history since he was a young man growing up in the Midwest.
The WEAM also boasts an intriguing climate-controlled library consisting of thousands of books, periodicals, photographs and other documents, mostly related to aviation, automobiles and history.
The War Eagles keeps its admission prices low in order to expose the greatest number of people its educational exhibits and materials. Students are admitted free of charge and veterans, seniors and military personnel are welcomed with a discounted admission price.
While the museum was initially the singular philanthropic enterprise of its founders, the MacGuires, Bob has recently begun to transition the institution from a privately funded non-profit educational enterprise, to one of a more self-supporting and public nature. Although John MacGuire passed away in 2001, his wife Betty maintains almost daily contact with the Executive Director of her beloved museum.
The assembled Daedalians, all members of the FASF, and who all also know Bob well, expressed their enthusiastic appreciaton for his presentation. his fourth to this Daedalian Flight since becoming the museum’s CEO.
Mr. Dockendorf additionally explained his initiative for a new organization, The Rio Grande Aviation Council. The new group will be devoted to area aviation interests and development, and which will be composed of leaders from area aviation interests such as the CAP, EAA, Daedalians, The Quiet Birdmen, Amigo Airsho – – – and, yes, even the FASF.
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.”
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:
The following photos were taken at the annual Christmas Luncheon for Daedalian Flight 24 at the El Paso Club, All members of the Flight are active members of the FASF. The guest of honor and presenter at the event was Army Aviator, General Laura Yeager (no relation to the famous American Test Pilot, Chuck Yeager!), who briefed the members on her mission at Fort Bliss as Commander of the JOINT TASK FORCE NORTH. All of the below photos are in high-resolution and can be more fully appreciated by simply clicking on them.
The following photos and the video are of the Civil Air Patrol Squadron 24 Christmas party in Las Cruces, NM.
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):
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?
Major Natalie Franc, a native of Glenhrothes, Scotland, is the current commanding officer of the El Paso, TX Civil Air Patrol (CAP) “Composite” Squadron. As distinguished from a regular squadron, a Composite Squadron includes a CAP Cadet Corps, along with its Senior Members.
Natalie began her career with the CAP when living in Hawaii after having been in the Royal Air Force (RAF), in which she enlisted when 18 years old, after having first served, since she was 13, in the Air Training Corps of Great Britain. In the RAF she was assigned to Intelligence, where she used her skills as a linguist with a fluency in the Russian Language.
When on active duty with the RAF she met and married her husband, Michael, who was also in the Intelligence branch of the U. S. Army. When he was transferred back to the U.S. in 2002, she moved there with him. Before finally settling in El Paso, Texas, Natalie had lived in Maryland, Hawaii, Arizona, and Germany. As a civilian, in addition to her work with the CAP, she has worked in various capacities in Emergency Services and has been a volunteer with Army Family Programs and has also been an Armed Forces Caseworker. Natalie now runs her own business in El Paso.
The Major showed a custom prepared Power Point slide show to the Daedalian Flight members, who are also members of the FASF. The following photographs of this event are all in high-resolution, and can be seen full-size by simply clicking on them as they appear below.