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Above: Just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, the Royal Canadian Air force’s front-line fighter was the archaic Armstrong Whitworth Siskin. No. 1 Squadron, while at Calgary, Alberta, was reequipped with Hawker Hurricanes in February 1939.
Airforce Magazine (2017, Vol. 40/No.3, pages 6-7), a publication of the RCAF Association, quotes Lieutenant-General Michael J. Hood, Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force: “The Government has committed to . . . replace the fighter fleet. Meanwhile they will enter into discussion with the United States Government and Boeing to augment our present CF-188 fleet.”
In the 22 February 2017 Air Force Association (AFA) Daily Report newsletter, the organization reports that a QF-16 aerial target drone flew operationally at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, for the first time on 10 February 2017. QF-16s are ‘retired’ General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons that have been modified to fly as targets. AFA states the following: “Boeing contracted with the Air Force in March 2016 to produce 30 QF-16s. The new fleet will take over for the QF-4 unmanned target aircraft, which was officially retired in December 2016. The QF-16 reached initial operating capability in September 2016. Like the QF-4, the QF-16 can fly either manned or unmanned missions, and the initial Holloman flight was manned.”
Above: The National Air and Space Museum’s extremely rare and original Voisin, a Type 8 that entered service with French night bombing squadrons in November 1916. This example represents “the oldest surviving aircraft that was specifically designed as a bomber. When manufactured in February 1916, it was equipped as a night bomber, with internal bomb racks, cockpit lights, and provision for landing lights.”
Above: Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, who actor Mel Gibson portrayed in the 2002 film We Were Soldiers, passed away on 10 February 2017 and was buried at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Moore was posted to Fort Benning in 1964 and commanded the newly-formed air mobile 11th Air Assault Division. As a lieutenant colonel during the Vietnam Conflict, he commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment during the pivotal 1965 Battle of Ia Drang. The Army Aviation Heritage Foundation provided and operated two Bell UH-1 Iriquois (aka “Hueys”) during the ceremony.
3 February 2017: USS Enterprise (CVN-65) decommissioned.
USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was decommissioned on 3 February 2017. The ceremony took place in the very dry-dock in which her keel was laid on 4 February 1958. 20th Century Aviation Magazine salutes Enterprise and the many sailors and aviators who sailed aboard her over the decades.
September 2017 (50 years ago) will mark the introduction of the AH-1G Cobra into the Vietnam Conflict. The Army Aviation Historical Foundation (AAHF) is restoring the 50th production Bell Cobra gunship. Donations to this worthy cause will be appreciated.
Above: Click here to access the story of AETC’s 75 years of contribution to USAF.
Note: View the USAF’s AETU 75th anniversary video by clicking this URL link.
Above: The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s newest exhibit.The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force announced that their iconic B-17F will be placed on public display beginning 17 May 2018, which will mark the 75th anniversary (17 May 1943) of her last combat mission.
Above: Icons retire. A formation of QF-4 Phantoms flew over hundreds of spectators during the QF-4 “Phinal Phlight” event 21 December 2016 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The event included an air demonstration, formal retirement ceremony and a “pet-the-jet” expo with static displays of the QF-4 Phantom, QF-16 Fighting Falcon and E-9 “Widget” to mark the end of the type’s 53 years of service to the U.S. Air Force.
Above: A U.S. Navy 11th November 2016 press release and the Air Force Association (via a 16th December 2016 electronic newsletter story) are reporting that Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and Royal Australian Air Force, pilots have been test flying Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs off US aircraft carriers as part of the United Kingdom’s “regeneration” of carrier strike capability. The British and Australian pilots have been operating from USS America. (The history of joint shipboard training with the Mother Country and Commonwealth forces is notable; for instance, during the Second World War some Royal Navy pilots were carrier qualified upon successfully completing deck landings aboard the U.S. Navy’s Lake Michigan-based training carriers USS Wolverine and USS Sable.) In exchange, and commencing in 2021, U.S. Military F-35Bs will operate from the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers. The U.S. Navy press release states the following: “The integration of the U.K. Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy within joint squadrons and operations worldwide hearkens back to RAF Harrier and Royal Navy Sea Harrier initiatives to economize and streamline operations by leveraging resources and personnel operating across common platforms.” For the most part the referenced British programs were undertaken in the 1970s and 1980s.
Tom Butkhalter, author, adventurer & world traveler
Civil Air Patrol integrating with U.S. Air Force after joining the “Total Force.”
The January 2017 issue of the Air Force Association’s Air Force Magazine reports (CAP Joins the Total Force by Tim Mathews) that the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which has been in existence for 75 (and U.S. Air Force’s auxiliary for 68) years, is now increasingly a partner in major missions. In August 2015 U.S. Air Force (USAF) updated its doctrine to include CAP’s volunteers in its definition of the service’s “Total Force,” which had previously consisted only of Regular Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, and civilian personnel employed by USAF. USAF command leaders are now directed to consider all Total Force elements “when determining the most effective and efficient ways to complete the mission.” CAP operates border-to-border and coast-to-coast within the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. In recent years, the emergency services mission has expanded into counterdrug surveillance, fighter interceptor training, critical infrastructure surveillance, and noncombat support missions. Currently, CAP members fly nearly 100,000 hours per year performing missions under the direction of Air Force, state, and local agencies. In Fiscal 2015, CAP aircrews flew 79,003 hours on Air Force-authorized missions alone, 47 percent more than a decade earlier. CAP possesses a fleet of about 550 aircraft. The Fiscal 2015 buy included 21 Cessna 172S aircraft, and Fiscal 2016 saw the purchase of 17 Cessna 182Ts and two Cessna 206s. In fact, with 35 Cessna 206s, 194 Cessna 172s, and 343 Cessna 182s, CAP operates the most Cessna aircraft in the world.
Willie Rogers, Oldest Surviving Tuskegee Airman, Dies at Age 101
The RCAF MEMORIAL PLAQUE at KGIF Winter Haven, FL
Below: 20th Century Aviation Magazine book recommendations.
Read the review of Mr. Burkhalter’s book by clicking on the cover (below) of the book.
Interview with Author David McGowan (coming Soon)
Book Review Delta ShotGun, (To be Posted soon)
U.S. ARMY PILOT CERTIFICATE #2
416 pages of readable, interesting, instructive, enjoyable and entertaining history
Review Coming soon!
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