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“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
~ Leonardo Da Vinci ~
“My soul is in the sky.”
~ William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act V. Scene I ~
Air Force Magazine‘s Daily Report (3 March 2017), a publication produced by the Air Force Association, electronic newsletter reports that USAF is looking to re-engine its venerable Boeing B-52H Stratofortresses. John A. Tirpak states: “Global Strike Command chief Gen. Robin Rand says he will ‘continue to advocate’ for re-engining the B-52 bomber. Rand said he wants new engines on the airplane ‘not for safety reasons’ but because new powerplants would need less maintenance—saving on maintainers badly needed elsewhere—as well as reducing fuel consumption, and extending range, meaning Air Mobility Command could put some of its bomber-supporting tankers to use on other missions. New engines would also require fewer spare parts and spend more time on-wing, meaning more availability of the jets for action. . . . Rand later told Air Force Magazine that the ballpark price of a B-52 re-engining would be about $7 billion, assuming eight engines on each of the jets in the fleet. But ‘all dollars are in competition’ with other worthy projects. . . .”
Above: The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force states: “[A] total of 6,464 Spitfire Mk. Vs were built between 1941 and 1943. Fighting on every front during the war, these Mk. Vs equipped more than 140 RAF squadrons, including the Eagle Squadrons composed of American volunteers flying for the RAF.” This Mk. Vc has the tropical air intake modification for operations in desert conditions.
Above: USAF’s first operational supersonic bomber, the Convair B-58 Hustler, made its initial flight on 11 November 1956. Convair built 116 B-58 Hustlers: 30 test and pre-production aircraft and 86 for operational service. B-58s flew in the Strategic Air Command between 1960 and 1970. The bombers set 19 world speed and altitude records and won five aviation trophies for achievements.
Above: The Air National Guard (ANG) is a federal military reserve force as well as the militia air force of each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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.”
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.
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.
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“And I said,
Oh that I had wings like a dove!
For then would I fly away,
And be at rest.”
~ Psalms 55:6 ~
“The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine,
Bracing and delicious.
And why shouldn’t it be? — it is the same the angels breathe.”
~ Mark Twain, Roughing It, Chapter XXII, 1886 ~
“To fly is everything.”
~ Otto Lilienthal ~
“The exhilaration of flying is too keen,
The pleasure too great,
For it to be neglected as a sport.”
~ Orville Wright ~
“I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things. . .”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ~