Classic Aircraft Trivia

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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, we will look at the greatest general aviation aircraft ever made: the Cessna 172 Skyhawk.  Also, we will see what other Cessna models look like.


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Me in front of the Gorge Winds Aviation sign.

On a recent Tuesday morning, I flew on an Introductory Flight through Gorge Winds Aviation.  For those of you who don’t live in the Portland area, what I’m going to say will make no sense at all, but hopefully it will for the rest of you. 🙂 We taxied out from the general aviation parking area using taxiway A (Alpha in air traffic control language), and took off from the Portland-Troutdale (KTTD) airport, climbed to a few thousand feet, and headed south. We flew around Happy Valley and then even farther south to the Mulino area, and followed the Sandy River back up north.  We did a stop and go landing, a touch and go landing, and then a full stop landing.  I will put in some pictures of the flight.

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Lining up for the final approach to runway 25

The Cessna Skyhawk is a four-seater tricycle-undercarriage general aviation aircraft aimed for the private pilot industry.  Cessna definitely accomplished that!  In nearly 60 years since its first flight, Cessna has sold over 40,000 of these aircraft.  That’s a lot!  Cessna has also let Reims Aviation in France build these under license as the Reims Rocket.  Specifications are as follows: Crew:1 or 2; Powerplant: one 108kW (145hp) Continental 0-300-C flat-six engine; performance: max speed: 224km/h (139mph), range: 1030km (640 miles), service ceiling 3995m (13,100ft.); dimensions: wingspan: 10.86m (35ft. 7.5in.), length: 8.20m (26ft. 11 in.), height: 2.68m (8ft. 9in.); weight: 1043kg (2300lb.) maximum take-off weight; payload: four people.


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The Downtown Portland skyline

The Cessna Skyhawk has truly proved itself to be an excellent aircraft.  Now, let’s look at some other notable Cessna makes.


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Farms down near Happy Valley

The Cessna L-19 was a notable observation aircraft, used mostly in the Korean War.  The “Bird Dog” was used for finding worthwhile targets even a few hundred miles into enemy territory, but enemy fire forced missions to go only a few miles beyond the front lines.


Cessna made another very successful aircraft in the Cessna Model 310.  It was a small, twin-engined aircraft with a five or six person payload.  Although it sold worldwide, few are seen today.  These airplanes had the distinctive wingtip fuel tanks.  So if you ever see a small twin-engined plane with oval-shaped things (fuel tanks) on the end of the wingtips, this is probably a Cessna 310.


You wouldn’t think of Cessna as a very likely candidate for military services, would you?  Well, they were.  The T-37 trainer and A-37 Dragonfly was the USAF’s first purpose-built jet trainer, and was good at the light attack role in the A-37.  Armament is as follows: one 7.62mm (0.30in.) GAU-2 Minigun six-barrel machine gun, and eight underwing hardpoints for 2268kg(5000lb.) of stores.


The Cessna 150 and 152 was the most popular two-seater light aircraft of their day, although they did have some downsides.  They were a little too small for some people’s comfort, so those who are like that typically prefer the Cessna 172.  Total production exceeds 28,500.


Cessna made another of the most unusual aircraft ever:  the Cessna 336 Skymaster.  They had an engine in front and in back, with a twin-boom tail.  They also were popular with the military during the Vietnam War, and produced about 3000 aircraft.


Cessna also produced the Cessna 421 Golden Eagle.  This plane was aimed for the small business/executive industry.  It was a twin-engined, passenger/freight aeroplane designed after the success of the Cessna 310.


And lastly, the Cessna Citation.  This jet has a similar look to the earlier Cessnas, but obviously has two jets at the back instead of a propeller at the front.  The Citation V or Cessna 560 has a stretched cabin, and is the last of Cessna’s straight-winged aircraft.


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Landing at Troutdale

Other Cessna makes include the Cessna At-17, Cessna Model 120 and 140, Cessna 170, Cessna 195, Cessna 180 and 185, Cessna 320, Cessna CH-1 helicopter, Cessna 175, Cessna 182, Cessna 210, Cessna 205 and 206, Cessna 335 and 340, Cessna 401, Cessna 402, Cessna 188, Cessna 177, Cessna 207, Cessna 411, Cessna 414, Cessna 425, Cessna 441, Cessna T303, Cessna 650, and the popular Cessna 208 and 208B.


Cessna Skyhawk, Cessna, Gorge Winds Aviation, Troutdale

Me with the flight craft

Have a great day!




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!


Hello, aircraft fans!

In this edition of the Plane View, we’ll slap a one-timer into the Trivia net… The rules are as follows, anyone who breaks them will lose.  CHEATING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.   Please send me your results via a “comment” box.

Me with a Russell Wilson jersey on at my new Pearl Export. Go Hawks!

Me with a Russell Wilson jersey on at my new Pearl Export. Go Hawks!

1. Which of these is NOT in the World’s top 10 busiest airports?

A: O’Hare International   B: London Heathrow        C: Frankfurt

D: Amsterdam Schipol     E. Tokyo International

2. Which USA airport had the most passengers visit in 2013?

A: Los Angeles International     B: JFK International       C: George Bush Intercontinental        D: Denver International       E: O’Hare International                     F: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International         G: Johnson’s Landing

3. Which Chinese airport had more business last year: Guangzhou or Shanghai?

4. Which of the following is not in the top 10 busiest airlines?

A: Delta       B: United     C: Southwest                  D: Lufthansa                   E: American

F: Air China          G: British Airways

5. Which cargo giant shipped more tonnage through the skies in 2012; FedEx or UPS?

6. BONUS QUESTION: How many goals does Alex Ovechkin currently have this season?

A: 27  B: 31  C: 35  D: 40  E: 50  F: 802

Los Angeles Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks.

Los Angeles Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks.

Have a great day!


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!


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!


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

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!


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