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December 27, 2006

A little zen for the aviators...

A bad day at the office, Bill-style.

This OH-58 Kiowa, damaged during training in Hawaii in February, was successfully landed by pilots Capt. John B. Davis and Chief Warrant Officer Steven K. Huiton despite severe damage to its main rotor.

This OH-58 Kiowa, damaged during training in Hawaii in February, was successfully landed by pilots Capt. John B. Davis and Chief Warrant Officer Steven K. Huiton despite severe damage to its main rotor.

H/t, Strategy Page.

Speaking of Bill, I found another picture of aviation-related Bill-adaptations... Back in his late-middle-age, Bill apparently had a problem with making hard landings. Here we see one experimental method of dealing with this problem...

Tires for the guy with no flare...

Mebbe that's why he found himself in helos...

BTW - if anyone knows the real story (I assume it has to do with rubber shortages and experiments to reduce rubber usage) I'd love to hear it. As well as what the test pilot thought!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Dec 27, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

December 12, 2006

Sharing the costs...

...of procurement, anyway. Canada signs on to the Joint Strike Fighter.

Department of Defense and Canada Sign Next Stage Joint Strike Fighter Agreement

Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and the Canadian Deputy Minister of National Defense Ward Elcock signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today to begin future cooperation in the production, sustainment, and follow-on development (PSFD) phase of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program. Canada has already contributed $150 million to the first development phase of the program.

The JSF PSFD MOU has been signed by the U.S., the Netherlands, and Canada, and will be signed in the near future by the other JSF partner nations -- the United Kingdom, Italy, Turkey, Denmark, Norway, and Australia. This new MOU will expand cooperation among the nine JSF Partner nations beyond the ongoing JSF system development and demonstration (SDD) phase, providing a framework for future JSF Program efforts in production and beyond . The U.S. and the Netherlands signed the PSFD MOU on Nov. 14, 2006. Canada joined the SDD MOU in February 2002, and becomes the third JSF partner nation to sign the PSFD MOU.

This agreement will have a significant positive impact across the entire spectrum of the US-Canadian defense relationship, including North America Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), for many years to come, not only in terms of providing air dominance for homeland defense, but also interoperability, defense transformation, modernization, cost reduction, acquisition excellence, and the health of the North American industrial base. We anticipate that the other JSF partner nations will sign the JSF PSFD MOU between now and the end of December to support commencement of cooperative production, sustainment, and follow-on development efforts by all nine partner nations in January 2007.

Joint Strike Fighter, as the largest ever US DoD acquisition program, continues to set new standards in development of manufacturing technologies, acquisition and business practices, technology transfer, and export licensing. The first test aircraft is on-track for first flight later this month. The JSF Program is providing great opportunities for partner industries through the best value model - selecting manufacturers and maintainers based on a combination of quality, price, and timeliness.

Once the JSF PSFD MOU signing process is completed, the partners will cooperatively develop, produce, test, train and operate a Lightning II JSF Air System that will enhance the interoperability, survivability, and affordability of our future forces. Continued Canadian participation reinforces the longstanding and close relationship between the U.S. and Canadian Air Forces, and ensures a solid foundation for future air operations with other allied and friendly nations in a joint and coalition environment.

Damian offers his Canadian take, here.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Dec 12, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

December 01, 2006

A post for Bill.

March 31, 2005 A 1st Battalion (Attack), 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division Kiowa helicopter flies a mission in northern Iraq. The unit’s combat flight hours are among the highest totals for any battalion since the Vietnam War. This photo appeared on

March 31, 2005 A 1st Battalion (Attack), 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division Kiowa helicopter flies a mission in northern Iraq. The unit’s combat flight hours are among the highest totals for any battalion since the Vietnam War. This photo appeared on
Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Dec 01, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

A post for Dusty.

The A-10C.

A newly modified A-10C Thunderbolt II taxis in during the roll-out ceremony Nov. 29 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The A-10 has been modified with precision engagement technology to create the new and improved A-10C. The enhancements include full integration of sensors, multi-functional color displays and a new hands-on-throttle-and-stick interface. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alesia Goosic)

A newly modified A-10C Thunderbolt II taxis in during the roll-out ceremony Nov. 29 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The A-10 has been modified with precision engagement technology to create the new and improved A-10C. The enhancements include full integration of sensors, multi-functional color displays and a new hands-on-throttle-and-stick interface. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alesia Goosic)
Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Dec 01, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

October 01, 2006

This one's for Bill.

September 28, 2006 Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division and a Kiowa helicopter move past an oil fire during a convoy to Al Jawala, Iraq. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Samuel Bendet

September 28, 2006 Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division and a Kiowa helicopter move past an oil fire during a convoy to Al Jawala, Iraq. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Samuel Bendet

That was for Bill, this is for some others of us, too.

Basic Training - where people like Bill, myself, and the Heartless Libertarian prepared people for this, by running them, among other things, through things like this.

Caption for picture 1:

U.S. Army Soldiers move to their next objective during a morning raid in the Tameem district of Ramadi, Iraq, Sept. 3, 2006. The Soldiers are with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division based out of Baumholder, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock) (Released)

Caption for picture 2.

U.S. Army Soldiers make their way through an obstacle during the confidence course portion of basic military training at Fort Jackson, S.C., Sept. 20, 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Denise Rayder) (Released)

(Yeah, it's a clumsy post - but I'm going to be doing a bunch of work on my photohost today, and bandwidth issues are likely, but I wanted to credit the pics)

by John on Oct 01, 2006

August 28, 2006

You airplane geeks are no fun...

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Yep, it's an R/C aircraft. Heh. With you guys, I'm going to have to resort to posting pictures of the hydraulics in a small corner of a landing gear bay to give you any challenge at all...

Oh, and JTG, take a look - there *is* a hint of the geodetic structure in there. But mostly not, as you observed.

Perhaps not *quite* as obvious as this one...

And for those who'd like to see a Fleet Air Arm paint scheme...

by John on Aug 28, 2006

August 27, 2006

Lazy Sunday fun...

What's the most interesting thing about this picture to you?

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by John on Aug 27, 2006

August 17, 2006

Here's a little something for the Instapilot...

...since he popped in and out last night.

Staff Sgt. Shannon Hughes (left) hands Senior Airman Damon Johnson a tool as they work on an A-10 Thunderbolt II during its phase inspection at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. The Airmen are deployed from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Group is working on the airplanes around the clock, to ensure consistent ability to meet the demand for the airframe in theater. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. David Kurle)<br />

Staff Sgt. Shannon Hughes (left) hands Senior Airman Damon Johnson a tool as they work on an A-10 Thunderbolt II during its phase inspection at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. The Airmen are deployed from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Group is working on the airplanes around the clock, to ensure consistent ability to meet the demand for the airframe in theater. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. David Kurle)

For you aficionados/modelers out there - a higher-res version.

by John on Aug 17, 2006

August 12, 2006

And now for something completely different.

Let's see how many aircraft grognards still hang out around here. There used to be quite a few, though I've been neglecting them of late, what with my Navy and ordnance kick.

Last time I ran a "Name this cockpit" post, it took, oh about 15 minutes. But that was on a workday. Lessee how long it takes today.

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Hi-res version here.

by John on Aug 12, 2006

June 18, 2006

Old pilots, bold pilots...

What's odd about this pic?

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If you want to see it a little clearer - click here.

Just in case you really aren't clear... click here.

Yep. That's a B-52 doing a low(!)-level flyby of an aircraft carrier.

It only looks like its about to dive into the ocean.

One of the odd things about the B-52 is that it flies in a nose down attitude in level flight.

Just like all three aircraft in this pic are in level flight.

I'll let the aviators chime in and explain all the fiddly details.

I'm just impressed with that bomber pilot's need to impress the Navy.

We may never be able to win another war because of flaccid political will/extreme dumb-a$$ decisions among the politicians or the failure of the political class to convince the People the benefits outweigh the costs - but we're not going to lose one on the battlefield as long we're willing to to compete internally like this.

Regardless of what you excessively purple people think.

by John on Jun 18, 2006

May 15, 2006

Burt Rutan...

...builds some odd airplanes, doesn't he? Genius stuff.

The Proteus takes off from Mojave Airfield near Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Thursday, April 27, 2006. It carries the pod that eventually will contain the radar to be used on the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. A year of testing will begin in September once the radar is installed on Proteus. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The Proteus takes off from Mojave Airfield near Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Thursday, April 27, 2006. It carries the pod that eventually will contain the radar to be used on the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. A year of testing will begin in September once the radar is installed on Proteus. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Next-generation radar to undergo testing aboard Proteus by 1st Lt. Stephen Fox Electronic Systems Center Public Affairs

5/10/2006 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. (AFPN) -- A smaller, next-generation radar that will improve the Global Hawk’s surveillance capacity will soon undergo testing aboard a Proteus aircraft here.

The 851st Electronic Systems Group is preparing for a year-long test of the smaller version of the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program, or MP-RTIP, aboard the Proteus. The Proteus is a twin-turbofan, high-altitude, multi-mission aircraft similar in size to the Global Hawk.

The MP-RTIP will provide the high-flying Global Hawk advanced surveillance capabilities, including ground and air moving-target indication. The smaller Global Hawk Block 40 version of the radar is the one undergoing initial testing on Proteus. A larger variation, referred to as the E-10 Wide Area Surveillance Sensor, is also being developed for a wide-body manned aircraft.

The first step of the Proteus test process was completed last week at a civilian flight test center at Mojave Airfield near Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Proteus flew with the pod that will house the radar once tests begin in September. To replicate the weight and characteristics of the radar, the pod contained mass simulators during the safety flight.

"As the pod undergoes installation and safety of flight testing on Proteus, the Global Hawk MP-RTIP radar is in the Systems Integration Lab in El Segundo, Calif. (They are) undergoing final integration where both hardware and software are tested at the system level in preparation for the beginning of flight testing," said Lt. Col. Pete Krawczyk, 638th Electronic Systems Squadron commander.

Once the radar is complete -- about five months down the road -- it will be transported to the test site and installed on the Proteus.

The test radar is identical to the version the Global Hawk will use, but the pod flown on Proteus was much larger to provide space for test equipment. The added portion contains power and cooling units intended to simulate installation on the Global Hawk, according to Maj. Kenneth Butler, chief of the group's Global Hawk MP-RTIP program.

Adding an extra spiral of testing before the Global Hawk integration process is somewhat of a conservative approach designed to reduce risk though a step-by-step test process, the major said.

Proteus is less capable than the Global Hawk, in terms of altitude, airspeed and other performance parameters, but the key to the upcoming test period will be to evaluate the performance of the radar itself rather than the platform, said Col. Dwyer Dennis, 851st Electronic Systems Wing commander.

"MP-RTIP is a family of systems with common software and radar modes," Colonel Dennis said. "The testing that will be completed on Proteus is essentially a risk reduction spiral from which we can glean vital information applicable to every variation of the MP-RTIP radar, whether it is Global Hawk or the E-10."

In September, the radar will be incorporated onto Proteus and the contractor will begin flight testing the various radar modes. These include ground moving target indicator and air moving target indicator -- a capability that tracks moving targets in near real-time -- and synthetic aperture radar, which is a higher resolution still picture, Major Butler said.

The testing will culminate with an eight-week evaluation period during which the Air Force, led by the ESC team, will assess the performance of the radar and determine success or failure based on specific performance parameters.

After the Proteus test, the contractor-government team will evaluate the data and embark on further developmental test and evaluation, during which the MP-RTIP will be integrated onto the Global Hawk platform, the major said.

The MP-RTIP-equipped Global Hawk is scheduled to roll off the production line in about 2011.

by John on May 15, 2006

April 23, 2006

Requiem for the Missing.

Don't mind me, just trolling for a missing blogger...

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Three A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft fly in formation over Tucson, Ariz., during an air refueling training mission April 14, 2006. The A-10 aircraft are assigned to the 358th Fighter Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina D. Ponte)
by John on Apr 23, 2006

April 14, 2006

Here's an easy one for you Airplane Grognards.

The Commissar, he of, sent me this request: wrote:


I'm stumped on this identification problem. What do you think?



aka The Commissar
The Politburo Diktat

----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 21:58:29 -0400
From: Guy
Reply-To: Guy
Subject: help to identify aircraft


My name is Guy A. I am a Vietnam War vet and currently doing a documentary for my WWII Veteran uncle who served and was wounded in Europe.

He is still alive and doing well. I have attached a picture of a downed German Aircraft and would like to know if any of your older veterans could identify it. Thank you for any assistance with this.

Guy A.

Hey, *I'm* flattered when a guy who runs a website about Ace Pilots comes to me for help identifying an airplane! It took me about two minutes to logic my way through it and then confirm it. I'll put my answer up tomorrow. In the meantime, you guys have at it. I'm guessing a few of you will get it very quickly, as I did - but play honest, do your figuring *without* reading the comments. Then open up the comments and load your answer - *then* read what other people have posited. Extra credit if you post a link to a confirmatory pic.

Here's the pic in question. You may begin.

ID this aircraft

Here's a larger version, for those who might need it.

by John on Apr 14, 2006

April 05, 2006

C5 Crash at Dover AFB.

I know I was traveling on the 3rd, but local news sure was more interested in the pending vote on a billion-dollar roof for our local sports stadiums (which lost, I believe) than this - the crash of the C5 at Dover AFB...

U.S. Air Force photo/Doug Curran

Everybody aboard survived. Tough bird - with all due credit to the flight crew and her maintainers.

Three hi-res pics here. 1. 2. 3.

Anybody (who's old enough) remember *this* crash - 31 years and a day ago?

by John on Apr 05, 2006

April 04, 2006

Bait for Dusty

Let's see if this will bring him up for air. Shamelessly stolen from Strategy Page who stole it from the Air Force, anyway - which means it really isn't stealing...

(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

Cpt. Nick DiCapua pilots his OA/A-10 Thunderbolt II observation / attack aircraft to a precontact position behind a KC-135R/T air refueling aircraft, on 26 March, 2006. Afterwards he will make a snap roll and dive thousands of feet, to his low level close air support mission below. Capt. DiCapua a native of Dallas, Tx. is deployed to the 355th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, from the 355th Fighter Squadron, Eielson, Air Force Base Alaska. The KC-135R/T is deployed to the 22 Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Manas Air Base, Kyrgyz Republic, from the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. U.S. Air Force photos by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung.

To see the whole series - click this link: A10 Refueling and break-away.

Heh. I remember when A10s were brand-new. They've lasted a lot longer than I did... of course, it would help if I could be rebuilt now and then, too...

by John on Apr 04, 2006

April 02, 2006

So *that's* what makes it go...

On the grounds of the Korean War Memorial they have an old B-52 (the version with a manned tail gunner position).

You know, one of these.

B-52 at the Korean War Memorial, Seoul.

Now here I thought it was those eight, water-injected ozone destroyers on the wing that made this thing fly.

But I was set straight by a young Korean girl who was very proud of her English and her erudition. She told me how the B-52 *really* gets into the air.

I was solemnly informed - it was the Nimbus 2000 that made the B-52 fly.


Who am I to argue with incontrovertible proof like that?

by John on Apr 02, 2006

March 23, 2006

What's odd about this blimp?

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Make your guess.

Then click here.

Did that change your mind any?


Okay. Click here.

Betcha thought it was more like this, dincha?

by John on Mar 23, 2006

March 13, 2006

Yesterday's Airplane.

It took a little under a half-hour for Marcus to show up for partial credit - he knew what it was, but couldn't name it. Then Rod came along from a morning of reading Daily Kos or something, and named it the "XP-67 Moonbat," correcting himself 10 minutes later to the aircraft's proper name, "Bat." I was right, it took just about an hour, and that only because Marcus didn't name it, though he clearly knew the aircraft. Neffi came along with more details and named the Bat's fate, and well, we'll just ignore Murray. He's having sibling problems and felt the need to share. Don't mind him, we'll lock him back in the basement after we catch him. IBM finished it off with the posited armament for the type.

Here's a shot of McDonnell's project showing those aspects of wing and engine blending that Marcus was referring to:

XP-67 in flight

Another shot of her in flight:

XP-67 in flight

And lastly - her fate.

by John on Mar 13, 2006

March 12, 2006

Airplane Grognards.

I haven't challenged you guys lately.

Let's see if it even takes an hour.

What's this?

Mystery Plane

by John on Mar 12, 2006

March 10, 2006

Perhaps this will lure Dusty...

...out of "I've got to make a meteoric rise in my new profession and be an aircraft commander again!" defilade for a few minutes.

Click here.

by John on Mar 10, 2006

February 17, 2006

Important Advice.

Basic Flying Rules: "Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there."

Just to reiterate, right click here and save as (2 meg file).

*Note to self: When flying in trees, wear jeans.*

by John on Feb 17, 2006

January 22, 2006

More Jetsicles!

More Jetsicles got added to yesterday's album, with reader contributions from Murray of Silent Running and LongTabSigO.

Murray sent us this one: a restaurant in New Zealand.

Of the ones I just added - I really like this one, because of the mental double-take I did when I first saw it.

Click this picture to see the album

If you are an airplane geek - that Mirage shot comes from this French website, Wingshots, which is chock full of some winged goodness. I got the pic elsewhere, but decided to follow copyright and fair use rules.

Click the picture to revisit the album (with come caption fixes, he noted with some asperity).

by John on Jan 22, 2006

January 21, 2006


Alan of GENX@40 is an avid collector of Jetsicles - airplanes on poles (not Andre'). I just came across a mother-lode of Jetsicles Around the World - some of the best being from Russia. I really like the ones that have some imagination put into them, vice the "pinned butterfly" look.

This is the first non-grainy, non-wartime photo I've *ever* seen of the Soviet Rocket Fighter, the Bereznyakov-Isaev BI-1 - although, I have *flown one* before. With salutary results. Anyway - click the pic to see the others.

Click this picture to see the album

Alan - there's some Canadian fighters in there, too.

by John on Jan 21, 2006

January 18, 2006

The Denizenne Fighter Arm con't

The last in this iteration of a sporadic series... The F22.5VC Air Superiority Fighter.

F22.5VC Air Superiority Fighter of the DFA, a wholly owned and operated entity of Castle Forces, Inc

by John on Jan 18, 2006

January 17, 2006

The Denizenne Fighter Arm, con't.

And the Insider Jokes continue!

F22.5FbL Stealth Attack Fighter of the DFA, a wholly owned and operated entity of Castle Forces, Inc

by John on Jan 17, 2006

January 16, 2006

The Denizenne Fighter Arm

Today - Castle Forces, Inc. showcase the F22.5BRAB - our Electronic Warfare fighter of the DFA.

F22.5 BRAB of the DFA, a wholly owned and operated entity of Castle Forces, Inc

by John on Jan 16, 2006

January 15, 2006

F22.5db, The Werekitten!

Thus, is the Denizenne Fighter Arm born... (we'd have an Air Force, if Neffi had anything other than a nylon-winged stringbag...)

F22.5 Werekitten of the DFA, a wholly owned and operated entity of Castle Forces, Inc.

Okay, yeah, I had some time this morning. What the heck, keeping Denizenne's happy is *almost* as important as keeping SWWBO happy.

by John on Jan 15, 2006

January 14, 2006

Plane Pr0n!

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OVER THE ATLANTIC OCEAN (AFPN) -- Capt. Chris Batterton aggressively banks his F-22A Raptor during a basic fighting maneuver training mission off the Virginia coast last week. The captain is with the 27th Fighter Squadron, the Air Force's first unit to fly the Raptor. The 1st Fighter Wing declared initial operational capability last month, making the Air Force's fifth generation fighter ready to fight. (U. S. Air Force Photo by TSgt Ben Bloker)

by John on Jan 14, 2006
» NIF links with: Triscadecaphobics unite

January 08, 2006

What a selectively interesting day in history...


1821 James Longstreet, Lt. Gen., C.S.A., Lee's "Old War Horse"
1830 Gouverneur Kemble Warren, Maj Gen, U.S., who saved Little Round Top (with some help from Joshua Chamberlain and the 22d 20th Maine) d. 1882
1935 Elvis Aaron Presley, Sgt, 3rd Armored Division


1324 Marco Polo, explorer
1842 Pierre de Cambronne, who said "Merde!" at Waterloo.
1880 Norton I, Emperor of America
1922 Charles Young, first black U.S. Army colonel, at 58, in Lagos,
1941 Lord Robert Baden Powell, of the Boy Scouts, at 83. Lefties would hate the Scouts even more if they understood that they were founded for similar reasons as the National Rifle Association...


794 First Viking Raid on Britain, Lindisfarne Abbey destroyed
1811 Louisiana: Charles Deslondes' slave rebellion begins
1815 Battle of New Orleans, 15 days after the Treaty of Ghent
1838 Anti-English rebellion at Amherstburg, Ontario
1918 Pres Wilson outlines the "14 Points" for peace after WW I
1926 Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud establishes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
1992 Pres. George H. W. Bush vomits in the Japanese prime minister's lap

Yep, interesting day. I'll close with a pic of an interesting airplane - the Heinkel 119. Yep, that's the cockpit.

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by John on Jan 08, 2006

December 29, 2005

Meanwhile, over in Afghanistan

In an attempt to lure Dusty out of the Shadows... a little pic from the new Forgotten War. Besides, knowing Dusty, he probably flew this particular bird at one point or another!

Dusty Bait

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan (AFPN) -- An A-10 Thunderbolt II takes off on a combat mission. Since Sept. 15, A-10s here have flown more than 1,700 combat sorties, totaling more than 6,000 combat hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The A-10 was the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chief Master Sgt. David L. Stuppy)

Hi-res here.

by John on Dec 29, 2005

December 18, 2005

Answering Requests...

JTG asked for more A12 pics (and I've included the inline engined A8 he remembers...) and Master Chief Airdale was whining about Buffaloes...

First up, the A8/12 Shrikes.

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More here, here, and here.

Now for them Buffalo... they were popular aircraft for a while.

Here, a Brit, Dutch East Indies, a Finn, like both Bill and JTG mentioned, of course, we flew them, too.

And *at least one* turned coat, however reluctantly.

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Of course, the 30's were a time of ferment in the aircraft world... what with Lex's predecessors deciding that landing on the pitching deck of an aircraft carrier in crappy weather was too easy - so they went for the brass ring... or rather, steel ring suspended beneath the belly of an airship.

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Not to be outdone, however - here's Bill, as a younger aviator, participating in his signature Flying Rodeo event, Airplane Roping. Tying it off was a real challenge...!

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For more fun with photos, try out The Right Place Caption Contest.

For fun with food... Carnival of the Recipes #70 is being hosted by brainiac CalTechGirl at Not Exactly Rocket Science.

by John on Dec 18, 2005

December 14, 2005

A little historical stuff for the day...

Hey - old airplane guys - izzit me, or is this just a cool picture? A-12 Shrikes in the Phillipines before WWII.

Heh. Anti-aircraft gunnery... the hard way. I really find it interesting that they kept their pantel (panoramic telescope, used for laying the gun for direction, 'dial sight' to a Commonwealth soldier) on the gun (the thing sticking up in front of the guy crewing the piece). There *is* a way you could use that sight to reflect lead... but a ring-and-bead sight would be better.

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Last, but not least... ain't tanks a mighty fine thing? As long as they're yours?
And is it just me - but given the range and power of the 120mm gun, don't they seem to have very thin barrel walls?

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Don't forget to Vote For Us! We're not gonna catch those punk El-Tees at The Officer's Club unless you guys quit voting for Matty (who is untouchable at this point) but we're neck and neck with that Lawyer at Intel Dump.

by John on Dec 14, 2005

December 13, 2005

Guardian Angels

Those of you who know Carborundum know he's a little twitchy. He should be, he spent a career as Bill's Guardian Angel.

Things like this are why rotary aviation GA's are so twitchy.


I suspect GA's are behind this, too.

H/t, Jim C.

BTW - Don't forget to Vote For Us! We're not gonna catch those punk El-Tees at The Officer's Club unless you guys quit voting for Matty (who is untouchable at this point) but we've got a shot at that Lawyer at Intel Dump.

Oh, what the heck, let's make this a General Purpose Aviation Post.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by John on Dec 13, 2005
» Fuzzilicious Thinking links with: Lex isn't Gonna Like This...
» ROFASix links with: Join the Mile High Club for $34,000?

November 07, 2005

Okay, Airplane Grognards...

Impress me.

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What is it? And the one of you who has already *seen* this pic is *not* allowed to play.

Hopefully this one will take more than the 15 minutes it usually does...

by John on Nov 07, 2005
» Military WebCOM News links with: A Veterans Day Salute

October 28, 2005

Here's one for you aviators.

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by John on Oct 28, 2005

October 27, 2005

Haven't done this in a while...

And I know some airplane grognards used to skim by here on occasion...

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In which aircraft type specific model of aircraft does this office pilot-aircraft interface module sit?

by John on Oct 27, 2005

October 22, 2005

How'd you like to fly this?

Given Sanger and Dusty's recent conversation concerning the flight characteristics of the V-22 Osprey, how'd you like to be the guy that had to transition this thing from vertical to horizontal flight and back? (Mind you, the linked thread is a textbook example of 'thread drift'...)

I like this "judicious" use of understatement:

LANDING: Judicious use of the throttle controlled the rate of descent, though it also took considerable pilot skill.

Especially since it was designed for use in convoys of ships with no flight decks. Hard enough to land a helo on the helideck of a moving ship in rough seas. I can imagine essentially "backing in" to that parking space...


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Oh, sure - it's looks easy in *this* pic...

But these stills from a movie tell a slightly different story!

You can read more about the Pogo here.

by John on Oct 22, 2005
» Stop The ACLU links with: Sunday Funnies

October 21, 2005

The Answer to the Question

In 1967, the Army decided to field a dedicated attack helicopter to replace the venerable Cobra (geez, the AH-1G was almost a full year old by then!) and instituted the Advanced Aerial Fire Support System program.

Think of attack helicopters as agile, highly mobile, speedy (but noisy) artillery with really good-looking crews...

Lockheed, Bell and Sikorsky all entered the competition.

The winner was the Lockheed entry, a rigid-rotor, compound aircraft with a pusher-prop in addition to the tail rotor, armed with enough weaponry to blow up the world and having a turn of speed faster than that of the “pursuit” craft zipping around the sky during the ‘thirties: the Cheyenne.

In 1972, Congress decided that a million bucks was too much to spend on a helicopter and told the Army to shelve it.

The Bell entry was a twin-engined, upgunned version of the existing AH-1G that the design team called the King Cobra. Except for a photo-op mockup, it never got off the drawing board.

However, with some additional upgrades to the armament suite, power train, avionics, fuselage—ummmm, make that a “complete” redesign—the King Cobra was sold to the Marines under the designation AH-1T.

Sikorsky also submitted a rigid-rotor, compound aircraft, a tank-destroyer with sixteen TOW missiles and a neat cannon and the tail rotor swiveled in flight to become a pusher-prop; it set a world speed record during the competition. The Army decided that the swiveling tail rotor was too complicated for field maintenance and dumped the Sikorsky entry faster than you can say “Argghhh!”

Sikorsky called it the Blackhawk.

Soooo, the answer to the question is, Sikorsky designated the UH-60 the Black Hawk because it had already manufactured an “Army” helicopter called the Blackhawk and didn’t want the UH-60 Black Hawk confused with the S-67 Blackhawk.

Heh—like anybody remembered in the first place…

...except John from VA (brag rights assigned).

And, naturally, John from Argghhh (via e-mail), but he's already got more brag rights than a normal human being should be allowed...

by CW4BillT on Oct 21, 2005
» Garfield Ridge links with: Do You Like Attack Helicopters?

August 28, 2005

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

The military is all over UAVs these days. Big ones, little ones, medium sized ones. There are a bewildering number of airframes, sensor packages, and weapons packs in test right now. Like these two.


Fire Scout in action. Developed by the Navy, Fire Scout is an unmanned aerial vehicle (Bill won't fit in there) that is also a candidate to be one of the high-end Army UAVs. We're trying to arm smaller and smaller UAVs... I anticipate we'll be seeing Berettas and paint guns on the micros soon... like this start from the Infantry School at Fort Benning.


Hi-res click here.

Update: Heh. Guess who was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too subtle this morning?

by John on Aug 28, 2005
» In the Bullpen links with: Round the Reader
» NIF links with: Winds of Fate
» NIF links with: Winds of Fate

July 27, 2005

Raptors aloft!

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An F/A-22 Raptor, flown by Maj. John Teichert, releases a guided bomb unit-32 1,000-pound joint direct attack munitions at supersonic speed for the first time near California's Panamint Mountain range. Major Teichert is a test pilot assigned to the 411th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo by Darin Russell)

Hi-res, click here.

For the Aviation Geeks among us! From an email:

Subject: F-22 Raptor Pilot Report

Subject: Pilot Report F-22 Raptor

Aircraft: 4002 Date: 10 June 2005
Flight: 2-664 Takeoff: 1042L
Pilot: Randy Neville Land: 1141L
Test Conductor: N/A Flt Time: 1.0 Hr
Chase : JB Brown ECS: File 54
OFP: 54


This was the final flight for 4002 before it returns to storage. It was also my final Raptor flight before moving to Seattle. The flight went smoothly, although I encountered some highly localized showers upon exiting the aircraft.

As I leave the program with a bit over 600 hours in this amazing machine, I realize just how fortunate I have been to have the opportunity to be involved in the development of the incredible blend of technologies that the Raptor represents.

I can remember the early days of working with the engineering IPT's and helping with the training of the First Flight control room team. When Paul Metz got airborne in 4001 for the first time, I was the "Voice of Raptor", narrating events to flight line guests over a PA system and to various program sites via a live video feed. I was fortunate to fly the first flight on 4005, which was also the first time we flew with the Block 3.0 software and actually demonstrated sensor fusion. The 2-year surge to complete envelope expansion was quite a ride, including the Mach 2.0 split-s's and even the -11g fini-flight on 4003. Some may express concern at the pace of developing new technology, but frankly, looking back as EMD slows down and operational units ramp up, it is hard to believe how far the program has come. From the days of 1998 when we had an annual goal of 183 flight hours, to the massive ramp up to support the envelope expansion surge along with Initial OT&E when we flew over 2800 hours in FY2004, we have had a constant string of challenges. Hidden to many, but obvious to those of us on the program, every single one of those flight hours has a story behind it, punctuated by the dedication, ingenuity, frustration, exhilaration, brains, and sweat of a huge team of motivated professionals. It has been an honor to be associated with this program and with all the professionals everywhere on the team. Thanks for the ride.


Ya wanna read those - hit the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry!

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by John on Jul 27, 2005
» Cowboy Blob links with: Raptor Rapture

July 24, 2005

Plane Pr0n.

Since I picked on Dusty's beloved Air Force earlier I'll balance it with Plane Pr0n. Official pics of the F22's trip to Langley AFB. I've posted one of these pics before - because it has Fort Monroe in it, and would have been an even better picture without the big grey thing blocking the view...

Anyway - click the picture to go to the Castle F22 album.

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Hey - izzit just me, or does this thing mostly look like a chunky F15 on steroids?

by John on Jul 24, 2005

July 17, 2005


It's been 11 posts since I put up a picture of something gun-related or military. I've been too easy on the dial-up visitors!

To make up for that, here's a pic of a Russian ekranoplan, or (literally) flying boat (as opposed to this type of flying boat).

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In fact, here's a whole album of Ekranoplans.

Update: Ooo! Ooo! JTG! Even *kewler* stuff on the Ekranoplans - this time from a sailor (even if he did sell out for a JD) who puts it all in perspective!

by John on Jul 17, 2005
» Don Surber links with: Carnival of Paybacks

June 24, 2005

Back on my head...

I see from spoor in the backoffice that Bill is getting busy and might have something up soon. I've been busy trying to catch up on my billable work while I've been out getting reblued on leadership (it really *was* a good class, as just about every bit of corporate training I've been to with this firm has been).

Some more AF Museum stuff (by now you know whether or not you *have* to go or would be bored out of your mind there... though I can't understand the latter type...)

The B-58 Hustler was a supersonic aircraft. Ejecting from same at speed would cause... problems. So no, this isn't some Star Wars space ship - it's a B58 crew escape pod.

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Hi-res here.

In the background of the next picture is a B-36 Peacemaker Bomber - the original "Aluminum Overcast". I saw this actual aircraft as a child when it flew overhead on it's final flight - to Wright-Pat and the museum. "6 turning and 4 burning" - the final variant of this aircraft had 6 props and 4 jets. I'll let others fill in the details in the comments.

Arrayed in front of it? Thermonuclear bombs. The City Crackers. Armageddon-in-a-can.

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Hi-res here.

Lastly - remember I said I liked cut-aways, so you could see the guts and understand the relationships? This isn't really a cut-away, it's more a 'skinning' of an F86 Saberjet, showing just how complex more modern aircraft are...

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Hi-res here.

...say, in comparison to a WWI style aircraft, such as this Curtiss JN-1 "Jenny".

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Hi-res here.

by John on Jun 24, 2005

June 22, 2005

Dayton, Day 3.

Of course, this has nothing to do with Dayton, just an excuse to put up more pics...

First off, this guy saw me, and immediately knew I represented a danger to the firearms collection and called for help to watch the kapitalist myrmidon...

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Hi-res here.

Neffi's 1st Flying Lesson.

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I do *love* a good cut-away, showing all the fiddly-bits. This time, a Cyclone radial engine.

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Hi-res here.

Now, JTG suggested in a comment below that we all troop down to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola (not a bad idea, but not needed in this case) so that Neffi could give the Denizennes rides in an SBD... JTG - the Army flew them too.

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Hi-res here.

Hi-res here.

by John on Jun 22, 2005

June 21, 2005

Dayton, Ohio, Day 1

Got here yesterday, spent the afternoon at the Air Force Museum (I'm with Mythilt, the new name is pretty pretentious, all things considered - even if it might be true...) Mythilt is also correct in that can't do it justice in one afternoon - or day, really. Heck, I filled up a one-gig memory card in the camera and didn't get all the pictures I'd have liked. And that doesn't count all the little film presentations scattered around. I did see the IMAX movie "Fighter Pilot," which was well worth the price of admission.

I also got to meet AFSis! My first official Denizen meeting besides SWWBO. A good time was had by both of us, and we shamelessly gossiped about all of you, and about, oh, have the crowd that hangs at ALa's! (And no, ALa, she didn't wheedle pics out of me, either...)

Wandering through the museum, there was plenty of Armorer-fodder...


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Hi-res, click here.

Machine Guns!

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Hi-res, click here.

Planes! When I saw this Boeing P26 Peashooter - I immediately thought of Neffi - this just looks like the kind of pimped-out ride you could see him in, scarf flying.

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Hi-res, click here.

More later - I need to go learn how to lead!

by John on Jun 21, 2005

June 08, 2005

Here, something to feed the circling sharks!

I'm not ignoring you - SWWBO let me sleep in late today and, well, I was at work, working the rest of the time.

Okay a/c grognards. What is it?

by John on Jun 08, 2005
» No Pundit Intended links with: This Guy Is Sick

May 21, 2005

Okay - today is get SWWBO to London day... things will prolly be slow.

1. Bacevich's book. Thumbnail review (much more to follow): The New American Militarism is ALL YOUR FAULT, Jane and Joe Sixpack, for not being willing to live the life of a monk. It's a little more complicated than that - but, distilled, y'all are just too damn stupid to cut back on consumption, and you punish anyone who suggests that you do so - so, all the military adventurism of the last 40 years is laid squarely at your feet. More on that later. Despite what I just typed, I actually agree with much of what he writes. Amazing how two people can look at the same data, but draw different conclusions based on personal bias.

2. Neffi sent a picture. Since I posted pics of what Neffi considers a 'holder' (see bottom of post immediately below) he decided to send along pics of his collection of what I consider to be impedimenta... purty tho.

Mmmmm. Corsair!

MMMMMmmmm, Bofors! *Aerial* Bofors!

Best yet - Airborne Artillery!

Yes, ladles and germs, the last two are looking at the *inside* of an AC-130 Gunship.

And, in a vaguely naughty-looking pic, here's a Gatling on a gunship - from the outside.

Oh, what the heck. One more. For Commander Salamander, regarding his interest in channeling Admiral Yamamoto on BRAC...

Mmmm - Faux Long Lances hanging under faux-Kates.

And lastly, why do we do this? Because we can, of course. Simply because we can...

Gotta love an Air Show!

(N.B. Once you are at my photo-host, click on the picture in the center labeled "Krufflevapen" and then look on the left sidebar to navigate to the Air Show folder).

by John on May 21, 2005

May 11, 2005

Okay, let's have some fun.

Since most of you like the airplane pics...

Here's one for Origen, a Swiss Air Force Dassault Mirage 3:

Hi-res click here. And, what the heck, for you cockpit geeks (like me) here's a pic of the cockpit of a Mirage 3, this time a French bird.

And here's a contest for you geeks, provided by Monteith - which aircraft had this cockpit?

by John on May 11, 2005

May 03, 2005

Waist Gunner

So, Sergeant B - a B-17 waist gunner during a pass by a FW-190, eh? Like this?

(reputed to be a photo of the former Marine while waiting for Engine Start)

Hi-res, click here.

If this post doesn't make any sense to you... read the comments in this post. I just felt like I needed to get something up (Thanks for covering, Dusty!). Due to a massive changeover in client IT structure today, all my planned posts are in email limbo... I don't post from the office - but today it didn't matter - email is locked up tight due to, well, unanticipated problems. Or perhaps they were anticipated... but we're just gonna live with 'em while they work through this reconfig!

SGT B - I *am* interested in the simulated pass by the FW-190's - I know of one that is in restoration to flyable condition - but I didn't know of any that were flyable... was this one of the 3/4 scale kit birds? Or has that 190 gotten into the air and I just missed it?

BTW - if you didn't already - go back up and click on the link to SGT B's post about his private motor pool. Oh heck. Just click here!

Update: Castle Neophyte MCart (thanks, Barb!) proves you don't have to be a Denizen to have Good Stuff to contribute. Yanked up from the comments because it's a good story I hadn't heard before:

There are many incarnations of the B-17. For instance the prototype YB-40 saw actual combat. It was an attempt at providing long range escort for the bombers. P-38's were having cold weather mechanical problems with their Allison engines, and no other long range escort craft were forthcoming. Overall the program was considered a failure, but a interesting attempt none the less. They removed the bomb carrying capacity, added a chin and top turrets, dual .50 waist gunners, and armor plating for the crew. Unfortunately it couldn't keep up with the regular 17's after they had dropped their payloads.

One of them was involved in an interesting encounter. It bagged an Italian ace, Guido Rossi. In 1943 a P-38 ran out of fuel and ditched outside Sardinia. The pilot was overwhelmed by locals before he could use his pistol to ignite the tanks and burn the craft. Rossi had the clever idea of using the captured P-38 to kill wounded B-17's returning from bombing missions as stragglers. He bagged several bombers this way. One B-17 Pilot, Lt. Harold Fisher survived an attack, and had trouble convincing others that he was shot down by a 'friendly'.

Fisher was persistent and obtained command of a prototype YB-40 gunship, and flew several missions lagging behind the rest of the bombers trying to lure out the 'Phantom' P-38. As intelligence was gathered in Italy, they discovered Rossi and his captured '38 did indeed exist and had a wife in Constantine. Allies occupied this city, so when the nose art was applied to the YB-40, the artist used a photo of Rossi's wife, and named the gunship after her, 'Gina'.

Fisher flew a mission on August 31st that year, and was actually damaged in the bombing raid, so with two engines out, the YB-40 was even slower, and flew back completely solo. Sure enough, a P-38 approached, one engine feathered, and asked to join up for the trip back in very good english. Fisher almost fell for the same trap again. With the extra firepower of the friendly P-38 along, everything was being unloaded, guns, ammo, armor plate, anything to keep the YB-40 in the air. At this point Rossi came over the radio with an innocent question. "Gina, nice name. Your girl?" Fisher froze and ordered his men to keep their guns, and started baiting Rossi with details of his 'relationship' with Gina of Constantine.

Rossi became enraged, fired up the 'dead' engine, and circled around, intending to fire right through the nose, cockpit and the entire length of the YB-40. The '40 had an innovation that was later added to all B-17's, a chin turret. As Rossi came in, he faced down a total of 8 forward firing .50's. As the P-38 came apart Rossi even tried to ram the YB-40, but could not maintain flight. He ditched and was picked up by Allied pilot rescue and remained a prisoner for the remainder of the war.

Lt. Harold Fisher received the Distinguished Flying Cross for the encounter, and Major Fisher was killed during a crash in the Berlin Airlift. Former Lt. Guido Rossi attended his funeral out of respect.

I found a website with pics. Keep it up, MCart, you may find yourself on the Denizen roster... and the cancer in Shaitan-in-Redmond will grow deeeeper!

by John on May 03, 2005

April 29, 2005

Break time.

Okay, the brief is off to my boss for hacking and slashing, and since I'm not at work on their equipment, I can post... my temp is rising, so any bad english or typos will be blamed on that.

Bill has noted I like posting pics of aircraft in distress.

Guilty. Have to remind myself they *earn* that extra pay.

So, what's wrong with this pic? (heh. Yer all bein' nice to me today - more properly, what's wrong with the *airplane* in this pic?)

Take a good look, and after you guess, hit the extended entry for the answer. Since the spring-butts will put the answer in the comments - make your guess and hit the extended entry before scanning the comments. More fun that way, I would think.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by John on Apr 29, 2005
» All AgitProp, all the Time... links with: Spectacular...

April 28, 2005


Who am I to break the theme? I'm too sick right now, anyway, to want to do any thoughtful posting [Muffy, under her breath: "heh, when start?"]

I'm going to go ugly early. Everybody likes airplanes.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I have climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and
Soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along,
And flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.

And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr

Heh. This is what Bill's comment refers to. From this post last December - By the way, Bill - Castle Argghhh! is #1 on the net for this poem.

Which reminds me--the starched-wing folks have Magee's High Flight, but only us helo types have Anonymous's Low Flight:

Oh, I have barely slipped the muddy clutch of Earth
And thrashed the skies on dusty, untracked rotor blades;
Earthward I've auto'ed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of moths and bees--and done a thousand things
That would scare the s**t out of you--skidded and drooped and flared
At weed-level. Hov’ring there,
I've chased the frantic armadillo, and lost
The race to insignificant headwinds.
Forward, and a little up, taunting LTE
I've topped the General's hedge with drooping turns
Where never Eagle, or even Warthog flew.
And, shaking with low-frequency vibration, I've lumbered
The low uncontrolled airspace below Victor Airways,
Put out my hand and searched for FOD.

by John on Apr 28, 2005

April 19, 2005

Keeping a promise and sharing a kewl one.

The pics of the CF-104 doing the flyby with the CF-18s being so popular... here's the photo I promised Ben, of the Tiger In Winter.

Some more colo(u)rful CF104's.

Hi-res click here.

Heard about FAE? Fuel-Air Explosive? Wondered what *that* looked like?

Click here and wonder no more!

by John on Apr 19, 2005

April 17, 2005

Aviator Zen

Hi-res click here.

03/30/05 - An HH-60H Seahawk, assigned to the "Dusty Dogs" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Seven (HS-7), fires flares during an air power demonstration performed by the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW-3) for the Sailors and Marines aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on March 30, 2005. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, currently operating in the Mediterranean Sea, was recently relieved after completing a nearly four-month deployment in the Persian Gulf in support of the war on terror. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Patrick Marvin Lee Copeland)
by John on Apr 17, 2005