Classic Aircraft Trivia

Category Archives: Pacific Theatre

Hi, I’m not John King.  Anyway, for my holiday season blog post, I decided to do something for which some of you will think I’m nuts: the Christmas story.  You may be thinking, “It’s not even Thanksgiving yet!”  Well, true; however, keep in mind that my family bought our Christmas trees November 23rd.  And even if you do think I’m nuts, and in some ways I am, this isn’t one of them, and I’m a Christian, so I don’t care anyway.  So let’s get started!

What I did here is that I combined the different books to get what I consider about the best possible Christmas story.  So if something looks odd, that’s why.

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.  (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)   All returned to their own towns to register for this census.   And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.   He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was obviously pregnant by this time.   And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.   She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.   That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep.   Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened,   but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!   The Savior– yes, the Messiah, the Lord– has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!   And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!”   Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others– the armies of heaven– praising God:   “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.”   When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”   They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.   Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.   All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished,   but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often.   The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said.   Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived.  About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking,   “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him.”   Herod was deeply disturbed by their question, as was all of Jerusalem.   He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law. “Where did the prophets say the Messiah would be born?” he asked them.   “In Bethlehem,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:   ‘O Bethlehem of Judah, you are not just a lowly village in Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’ ”   Then Herod sent a private message to the wise men, asking them to come see him. At this meeting he learned the exact time when they first saw the star.   Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”   After this interview the wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.   When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!   They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.   But when it was time to leave, they went home another way, because God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.   After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up and flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to try to kill the child.”   That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother,   and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”   Herod was furious when he learned that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, because the wise men had told him the star first appeared to them about two years earlier.   Herod’s brutal action fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah:   “A cry of anguish is heard in Ramah– weeping and mourning unrestrained. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted– for they are dead.”   When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and told him,   “Get up and take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.”   So Joseph returned immediately to Israel with Jesus and his mother.   But when he learned that the new ruler was Herod’s son Archelaus, he was afraid. Then, in another dream, he was warned to go to Galilee.   So they went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what was spoken by the prophets concerning the Messiah: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

 

So that’s the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.  And what’s even better is that it’s all true!  Have a great holiday season, and thank God you’ve made it through another year!

 

Keep the pointy end forward, the dirty side down, and by all means, please… stay out of the trees!


Hello, aircraft fans!

In this edition of the Plane Splash (pun intended), we will look at today’s most discussed airliner: The Boeing Model 777 (“triple seven”).  I’ll share about some Lockheed P-3 Orions that were launched for a possible resolution.  And I’ll even share a pretty lousy theory that the media has NOT tapped into, and probably won’t.

First off, there have been three previous crashes since its first flight in 1994, and this could be the fourth.  Of course, it was a night flight, and poor vision, hijacking, terrorism, sabotage, foul play, and mental failure are all possible causes as well.

Here are a few aircraft specs about the 777.

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An Emirates 777.

Crew: 2 or 3

Power plant: 2 Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, or Rolls-Royce turbofan engines

Performance: Max speed: 588 mph (946 km/h); range: 4840 miles (7785km) with full cabin; service ceiling 38,697 and 43,100 ft. (11,795 and 13,135m)

Dimensions: Wingspan: 199 ft. 11 inches (60.93m); length: 209 ft. 1 in. (63.73m); height: 60 ft. 9 in (18.51m); weight: 515,000 lb. maximum take-off weight (233,604 kg).

The Boeing 777 entered service with United Airlines on June 7, 1995, and the craft has proved valuable ever since.  In fact, some airlines have begun to replace their 747s with 777s.  Emirates operates the largest 777 fleet, with 127 passenger and freighter aircraft as of June 2013. The airliner is rated as one of the safest aircraft based on its accident safety record and high number of flight hours. The Asiana Airlines Flight 214 accident in July 2013 was the first fatal crash of the aircraft in 18 years of commercial service.

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One of the El Al 777s.

Here is the latest news on the Orions as of March 20, 2014.

 

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The P-3 Orion is the main bomber in many navies.

PERTH, Australia (AP) – Search planes scoured a remote patch of the Indian Ocean but came back empty-handed Friday after a 10-hour mission looking for any sign of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, another disappointing day in one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries.

Australian officials pledged to continue the search for two large objects spotted by a satellite earlier this week, which had raised hopes that the two-week hunt for the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board was nearing a breakthrough.

But Australia’s acting prime minister, Warren Truss, tamped down expectations.

“Something that was floating on the sea that long ago may no longer be floating – it may have slipped to the bottom,” he said. “It’s also certain that any debris or other material would have moved a significant distance over that time, potentially hundreds of kilometers.”

On Friday, five planes, including three P-3 Orions, made the trip. While search conditions had improved from Thursday, with much better visibility, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said there were no sightings of plane debris.

And now:

On March 19, 2014, a friend of my family was driving his work route, and passed the Madras City/County airport.  For those of you who do not live in the Northwest, Madras is a small town in central Oregon.  As he passed, he reported seeing three Boeing/McDonnell Douglas MD-80s sitting on the taxiway.  1: Madras Municipal is much too small for these planes, and 2: The airplanes had Spanair markings (meaning they were from Spain).  Possibly, they meant to fly to Madrid, and ended up in Madras instead?  Perhaps the 777 made the same mistake?  Okay, enough of that lousy theory…

Have a great day!

Isaiah


Hello, aircraft fans!

In this edition of the Plane Crash, we’ll look at the U.S. Navy’s WW2 top three: the Grumman F6f Hellcat, the Vought F-4U Corsair, and the Grumman F4f Wildcat.

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A painting of a Corsair at Boeing Field.

Wildcat: Before the greatness of aircraft like the Grumman Hellcat and Vought Corsair, the Grumman F4f Wildcat was a fine aircraft.  First built in 1939, this rugged mid-wing 318-mph six machine-gun aircraft held a critical point in the U.S. Navy until better aircraft were supplied.  For instance, Lieutenant Butch O’Hare destroyed five Japanese bombers in six minutes.  Later, despite being shot down in the Pacific, the Chicago-O’Hare airport was named for him.  The Wildcat had a crew of 1, one 895kW (1200hp) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-66 radial engine, a maximum speed of 512km/h(318mph), a range of 1239km (770 miles), and a service ceiling of 10,638m (34,900ft).

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An excellent photo of a squadron of Wildcats during WW2.

Dimensions are as follows: Wingspan: 11.58m (38ft.). Length: 8.76m (28ft. 9in.).  Height: 3.61m (11ft. 10in.).

Armament: Six 12.77mm (0.50in.) machine guns in wings and an external bomb load of 91kg (200lb.).  Total loaded weight was 3607 kg (7952lb.).

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The Grumman F6f Hellcat at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Hellcat: The Hellcat flew for the first time on June 26, 1942.  Many of its war abilities had been learned from its predecessor, the Wildcat.  Specifications for this war-changing plane are as follows:

Crew: 1.

Powerplant: one 1492 kW (2000hp) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W radial engine.

Performance: Maximum speed: 612 km/h (380mph).  Range: 1521km (945 miles).  Service ceiling: 11,369m (37,300ft.).

Dimensions: Wingspan: 13.05m (42ft10in.).  Length: 10.24m(33ft.7in.).  Height: 3.99m (13ft.1in.).

Armament: six 12.7mm(0.50ibn.) machine guns in wings, or two 20mm(0.79in.) cannon and four 12.7mm(0.50in) machine guns, provision for two 453kg (1000lb) bombs or six 12.7cm (5in) RPs.

Weight: 7025kg (15,487lb).

In all, the Grumman F6f ran up a 19 to 1 kill ratio.

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As the sun sets over the Pacific, these Corsairs return home.

And now: the Chance Vought F4U Corsair.  The speed, strength, and firepower of the Corsair enabled it to dominate Japanese opposition, shooting down 2140 against a loss of 189.  Its performance and dependability allowed great flight leaders like John Blackburn, John Smith, Marion Carl, Joe Foss, and Pappy Boyington to create legendary fighter squadrons.  It was truly a superior aircraft.

Have a great day!

Isaiah


Classic Aircraft Trivia #2

Hello, aircraft fans!

In this edition of the Plane Crash, we’ll do another Classic Aircraft Trivia game.  The rules are as follows, anyone who breaks them will lose… or something like that.  CHEATING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED, as according to the Backyard Football Sudden Death Overtime Rules.  Rule number one: First team to score wins.  Rule number two: Uh, there is no rule number two.  Rule number three: see rules #1 and #2.  Please send me your results via a “comment” box.

1. What is Britain’s most beloved aircraft?

A. Supermarine Spitfire   B. Hawker Hurricane      C. Curtiss Warhawk

2. What airline is based out of Vancouver BC?

A. Air Canada        B. Canadian          C. Air Force One    D. First Niagara

3. What was the original competitor to the de Havilland Beaver?

A. Cessna 172       B. Cessna 185       C. Noorduyn Norseman    D. None of the above

4. What is North America’s main short range civil aircraft company?

A. Nord        B. de Havilland      C. Maule      D. Boeing     E. Bombardier   F. Cessna

5. What is the greatest floatplane ever?

A. de Havilland Beaver/single otter/ twin otter      B. Cessna 185       C. Noorduyn Norseman

Bonus question: What Canadian squadron is the Winnipeg Jets NHL team named for?

A. 117th        B. 123rd        C. 555th       D. 1st           E. 246th        F. 17th

G. None of the above        H. All of the above           I. Alex Ovechkin            K. Angelica Ragdolls

Have a great day!

Isaiah

Credits: backyard football sudden death overtime rules 1-2-3: Klem Daniels, as Chuck Downfield. Humongous Entertainment.


Hello, aircraft fans!

In this edition of the Plane View, we’ll take a look at the long line of Grumman aircraft.  From the ’31 FF-1 to the EA-6, we will see how Grumman has one of the longest lines, and also is one of the best.

A painting of a Grumman at Boeing Field.

A painting of a Grumman at Boeing Field.

And now: The Grumman FF-1.  The FF-1 was a Golden Age aircraft, and still served in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side.  It had a crew of one, a 709kW(950hp) Wright R-1820-22 Cyclone 9-cylinder radial engine, a maximum speed of 418km/h(260mph), a range of 1819km(1130 miles), a service ceiling of 9845m(32,300ft), as well as a wingspan of 9.75m(32ft.), a length of 7.01m(23ft), and a height of 2.84m(9ft.4in.).  The weight was2155kg(4750lb) loaded; an armament of one 12.7mm(0.50in) and one 7.62mm(0.30in) machine gun in upper forward fuselage, as well as an external bomb load of 105kg(232lb.).

The Grumman G-12 Goose was a high-winged, amphibious aircraft with retractable landing gear, as well as a crew of 2, and a variable payload, changing depending on whether passengers or freight was being carried.  A few are still in service today, as they are a grand old plane, first built in 1937.

Although the greatness of aircraft like the Grumman Hellcat and Vought Corsair, the Grumman F4f Wildcat was a fine aircraft.  First built in 1939, this rugged mid-wing 318-mph six machine-gun aircraft held a critical point in the U.S. Navy until better aircraft were supplied.  For instance, Lieutenant Butch O’Hare destroyed five Japanese bombers in six minutes.  Later, despite being shot down in the Pacific, the Chicago-O’Hare airport was named for him.

The Grumman TBF Avenger was an effective dive-bomber, being second only to the Douglas SBD Dauntless.  On the fighter side, the Grumman F6f Hellcat, which won the war in the Pacific, the F7f Tigercat, and the F8f all proved to be at least worthy aircraft.

Search and Rescue:  The SA-16 Albatross of ‘47 and the S-2 of ’52 both were excellent, the SA-16 being S&R and the S-2 being submarine-killer.  But the E-2 of ’60 surpassed both, in the way of searching for enemy aircraft.

Back to fighters: the F9f, F11f, and F-14 all proved to be sufficient for their time.  The F-14 Tomcat had more than 30 years of service, but has now been replaced by the Boeing/McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet.

Lastly: the Grumman A-6 Intruder and EA-6 Prowler are the best attack-radar jamming aircraft ever.  The current Prowler is greatly needed, as skies are again becoming hostile (get ready for World War III!

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The Grumman F6f Hellcat at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Hope you enjoyed this post.

Have a great day!

Isaiah


Classic Aircraft Trivia

Hello, aircraft fans!

In this edition of the Plane View, we’ll do something a bit different this time.  Instead of me writing about one or more aircraft, it’s sort of a trivia game on aircraft.  The rules are as follows, anyone who breaks them will lose… or something like that.  CHEATING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED, as according to the Backyard Football Sudden Death Overtime Rules.  Please send me your results via a “comment” box.

1. Who bought out Northwest Airlines?

A: Delta       B: Alaska     C: United

2. What airline is based out of Denver?

A: Delta       B: Alaska     C: Frontier

3: What is Air Force One?

A: the President’s plane   B: the code for the president’s plane   C: a Golfstream aircraft

4: What does the president fly in from the White House to Andrews Air Force Base?

A: Marine One       B: Air Force One    C: a North American P-51 Mustang     D: a hang glider

5: When is the president’s aircraft officially Air Force One?

A: all the time       B: as soon as the president goes on board     C: when it is airborne

BONUS QUESTION!: Who shot down the Red Baron?

A: Eddie Rickenbacker     B: Roy Brown         C: Wop May            D: Richard Bong

Have a great day!

Isaiah

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The North American P-51 Mustang at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center.


British Aircraft History

Hello, aircraft fans!

In this edition of the Plane View, we’ll take a look at the British hero aircraft.  As the British “royal baby” has recently been born, I thought it would be fitting to do a post on the British aircraft fame.

Dating back to World War 1, England has been a world leader in the aircraft industry, with such greats as the Sopwith Pup, Sopwith Camel, Sopwith Snipe, the age-opening Sopwith Triplane, Royal Aircraft Factory FE.2b, and Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5.  The famous Sopwith Camel, flown by such greats as William Barker, Roy Brown, Wilfred “Wop” May, and Snoopy (on his doghouse), was much like the German Messerschmitt Bf 109 Gustav, in the fact that both were feared by the enemy and the pilots.  On the other hand, the Sopwith Pup was arguably the sweetest of all World War 1 aircraft to fly.  The Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5 was the Supermarine Spitfire of World War 1, about as high of praise as a plane could get.

A picture of Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel

A picture of Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel

In World War 2, England was still on top.  The enemies were mostly the same, with Germany as the main, but Italy was Axis, as was Japan.  France, who had been the second toughest country of WWI, was now disgustingly crummy, and Canada was rapidly rising, never to drop.  But despite the Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire, Supermarine Seafire, Hawker Typhoon, Hawker Tempest, Grumman Wildcat, North American P-51 Mustang, Blackburn Skua, Bristol Beaufort, Bristol Beaufighter, Avro Lancaster, and de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito, the Germans had the Messerschmitt Bf 109 Gustav, Focke-Wulf Fw 190, Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, Junkers Ju 88, and Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor; the Italians had the Fiat Falco and Macchi MC.202 Folgore; and the Japanese had the Nakajima B5N Kate, Nakajima Ki.43 Oscar, Mitsubishi A6M Zero, Mitsubishi G4M Betty, Kawanishi N1K1-J George, and Kawasaki Ki-45 Nick.  But in the end the workhorse Hawker Hurricane, and the greatest fighter in history, the beautiful little Supermarine Spitfire, surpassed them all.

Boeing Field's Supermarine Spitfire.

Boeing Field’s Supermarine Spitfire.

And now, Britain still is one of the top airpowers, as the Panavia Tornado, the most radical current aircraft, has been accepted widely and is in the country category of INTERNATIONAL(as said by Robert Jackson).  It could be the greatest aircraft of the coming years, currently hardly surpassed.

Have a great day!

 

Isaiah

PS- this picture below is from a trip my family went on 7-22.

My family in Cannon Beach.

My family in Cannon Beach.


Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

600 Independence Ave SW

Washington, DC 20560

Hello, aircraft fans!

As I have recently come home from a vacation from April 11th to the 14th, I do believe that I should write about it.  I hadn’t been to Washington, D.C. in eight years.  In this edition of the Plane View, (which I had a bit too much of while flying), we’ll take a look at the world’s two largest air museums: The well-known Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on The Mall, and the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Museum in Chantilly, right by the Washington-Dulles airport.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is quite splendid, and it is in my top three favorite air museums.  As my camera was not working well, I was only able to get a few pictures.  Here’s the only one that turned out.

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Me in front of the Smithsonian National Air+Space Museum.

The Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Museum is also in my top three favorites.  I do believe that I have enough pictures for this.

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Colonel Tibbets’ Enola Gay, which he named for his mother.

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The Space Shuttle Discovery, at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center

They have most of my favorite aircraft, including the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, North American P-51 Mustang, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (famous by Claire Chennault’s Flying Tigers), Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, Grumman F6f Hellcat, and the Piper Cub.

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Piper J-3 Cub at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

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The P-40 Warhawk at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

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The Grumman F6f Hellcat at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

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The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt at the Udvar-Hazy Museum.

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Me in front of the Udvar Hazy’s Lockheed P-38 Lightning.

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The North American P-51 Mustang at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

They also have such brilliant aircraft like the now replaced Intruder, Phantom II, and the state-of-the-art Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

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The Intruder at the Stephen F. Udvar- Hazy Center.

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The F-4 Phantom II at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

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The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II at the Udvar-Hazy museum.

We did indeed have a splendid time in D.C.  My sister Katrina (www.edelweisspatterns.com) had us on the list to tour the White House, but when the tours closed, due to things like golf trips costing millions of OUR tax dollars, that of course, stopped.  In the Denver International Airport at about 4:20PM on Thursday, April 11th, my sister Katrina received an email from a senator’s (not Ottawa Senators) assistant giving us the option of the Spring Garden Tour.  On Saturday, April 13th, we got the tickets, and went straight to the tour at 12:30.  It was most splendid, along with the Army Band.

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The White House.

Speaking of the Ottawa Senators, my dad and I went to watch a Washington Capitals game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The Capitals were ahead 3-0 at the end of Period 1, 5-2 at the end of Period 2, and 5-5 at the end of regulation.  Washington won 6-5 in overtime.  Yes, another glorious moment in NHL history.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals.

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The Piper Grasshopper of the Stephen F. Udvar -Hazy Center.

Have a great day!

Isaiah


Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

In this edition of the Plane View, we’ll take a look at the world’s favorite WWII bomber: The Boeing B-17.  Aptly named, the Flying Fortress was almost just as deadly for the Allies than for the Axis Powers.

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A beautiful photo of a post-war B-17. It might have been used for air/sea rescue or firefighting after the war.

The rugged aircraft was first flown on July 18, 1935.  On June 27, 1939, after a delay of nearly four years, the Flying Fortress finally was accepted.  Despite clear superiority over its twin-engined competitors, the penny-pinching U.S. government refused the plane until war was nearly certain.

One main survival story of the B-17 was on a normal bombing mission.  The pilot was Lieutenant Kendrick R. Bragg, the navigator was Harry C. Nuessle, the bombardier (not Bombardier) was Ralph Burbridge, the engineer was Joe C. James, the radio operator was Paul A. Galloway, the ball turret gunner was Elton Conda, the waist gunner was Michael Zuk, and the tail gunner was Sam T. Sarpolus.  Also, the ground crew chief was Hank Hyland.  On February 1st, 1943, a B-17 collision with a German fighter aircraft over the Tunis dock area became just another disaster for Germany.  The fighter was attacking a 97th Bomber Group flight, and flew out of control.  It crashed into “All American”, and broke apart, but left pieces in the aircraft.  The left horizontal stabilizer and the left elevator were completely torn away.  Both right engines were out, and one of the left engines had a major oil leak.  The vertical tail fin and the rudder were damaged, and the fuselage had been destroyed and was only connected by two small parts of the frame and the radios.  Electrical and oxygen systems were damaged, and there was a hole in the top which was over sixteen feet long and up to four feet wide.  The split in the fuselage went up to the top gunner’s turret.  The tail bounced and swayed in the wind and twisted when the plane turned.  None of the cables were still in one piece except for one elevator cable, but the aircraft still flew!  The tail gunner was trapped because there was no floor connecting the tail to the body of the aircraft.  The waist and tail gunners used parts of the German fighter and their parachutes and harnesses to keep the tail from falling off.  Also, it aided to keep the fuselage in one piece.  During all of this, the pilot kept flying on the mission and released his bombs successfully over the target.  When the bomb bay doors were opened, the wind turbulence was so great that one of the waist gunners was blown into the broken tail.  It took several minutes to pass him ropes to get him back to his spot.  When they tried the same for the tail gunner, the tail began to break off.  The weight of the gunner was adding stability, so he went back to his position.  The turn toward England had to be very slow to keep the tail from twisting off, and they actually covered nearly seventy miles to make the turn home.  The bomber was so badly damaged that it was losing altitude and speed and was quickly alone in the sky.  Then two more Messerschmitt Bf (or in this case Me)-109 fighters attacked “All American”.  But the gunners drove the two aircraft off and continued flying.  The waist gunners had their heads sticking up out of the 16’ by 4’ hole to fire their machine guns.  The tail gunner was forced to shoot in short bursts as the recoil was causing the plane to turn.  North American P-51 Mustangs intercepted the bomber when it was crossing the English Channel and took a few pictures.  They also radioed to the base that the plane would not make it back and to send boats to catch the crew when they bailed out.  The fighters stayed alongside the B-17 for any attacks.  They also took hand signals from Bragg and relayed them to the base.  Bragg signaled that 5 parachutes had been used to keep the plane going and that five of the crew could not bail out.  He made the decision that if they could not bail out safely, he would land the plane.  Two and a half hours after being hit, “All American” made its final turn to line up with runway despite being over forty miles away.  It descended for an emergency landing and made a normal roll-out on its landing gear.  When the ambulance pulled up, it was waved off because not a single member of the crew was injured.  The Flying Fortress sat placidly until all the crew had exited through the door in the fuselage and the tail gunner had climbed down a ladder, at which point the entire tail section collapsed onto the ground.

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A WWII shot of B-17s on a bombing mission to Germany.

Even though many stories such as that tell of the B-17 in Europe, the Flying Fortress still did well in the Pacific Theatre.  Although the B-17s that flew on schedule into Pearl Harbor during the attack suffered badly, the B-17 crews quickly learned how to be successful in the Pacific Theatre.  Along with the Consolidated B-24 Liberator and the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the B-17 helped knock Japan onto its face.

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A splendid World War Two picture of a bombing mission.

After the war, the B-17 went on for many years, in war service for a few more years and then various support roles.  Yes, it was a bomber classic.

Have a great day!

Isaiah


Bombarding the Aircraft Industry

Hello, aircraft fans!

In this edition of the Plane View, we’ll take a look at the most popular short-range aircraft company in North America: Bombardier.  Operating mainly from Canada, this company has made one of the most used short range jets (the CRJ700) and one of the best turboprop airliners available (being the Dash-8).  It also has created a fine firefighter aircraft.

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The Dash-8 has worked beautifully for Horizon, Air Canada, and Alaska.

Back in 1965, Bombardier, along with De Havilland Canada, formed a plan to create a turboprop airliner.  They did so, and the result was the Dash-7.  It was indeed a major progressive step towards the Dash-8.

Meanwhile, Bombardier teamed up with Canadair design the CL-215/CL-415.  Firefighting has always been its main role, and has been used by a number of operators in North America and Europe.  It has been used since 1967, which was important as the Grumman G-21 Goose and Consolidated PBY Catalina had both become obsolete.

Again with Canadair, Bombardier created the CL-600 Challenger.  It turned out to be a whole series of aircraft, but it had such a small load of only 19 passengers that it was not much more successful than the aircraft that it countered: the LearStar 600.  Since 1978, it has not had as many sales, but is indeed a superior aircraft.

By 1983, the 1965 Dash-7 was rather obsolete, so Bombardier again teamed with De Havilland Canada to create the Dash-8.  It has been extremely successful, and would have been even more so if the regional jet had been preferred over the regional turboprop.  Over 600 have been sold, and the main users are Alaska, Horizon, and Air Canada.

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A Horizon Dash-8 flying in for a landing.

In 1991, Bombardier and Canadair joined to make their most famous aircraft: the CRJ.  The entire series has “bombarded” (get it?) the regional jet market.  Airlines such as Alaska and Horizon have found it just perfect for regional flights, and the Boeings have put away for the long flights.  But a few Boeings still remain in the regional service.

And now, one of Bombardier’s greatest feats: the BD-700 Global Express.  Yes, the name is very fitting, as this aircraft can fly at 678 M.P.H. for 7,485 miles with 8 passengers at up to 51,000 feet.  It can still fly with up to 19 passengers, but with a shorter range.  It was designed to create a new meaning to speed, range, and comfort while on aircraft flights.  It is capable of the New York to Tokyo run.  And over 70 have been sold already.

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Another variant of the Dash-8.

The aircraft mentioned are Bombardier’s most successful airplanes.  I’m also glad to hear that the Boeing 787 Dreamliners were grounded.

Have a great day!

Isaiah