Sunday, December 28, 2008

LAMPS and the SH-60

I was just over at EBM's site reading reading about the LAMPS system and other interesting ASW doo-dads. When she was discussing the helos, it occured to me that I have few pictures of such a bird...modern as of this summer. Here is an SH-60 for your viewing pleasure, then please hop, skip, or jump over to her site and see what this damned lumpy contraption is supposed to do. Oh, and in this picture, that window that juts out a bit on the left side is usually taken up by either the sonobuoy system or some sort of MAD gear. The pilot told me, but six months on, I can't recall.

Note the bucket under the bird to catch hydraulic fluid...obviously they are not very hygeinic birds.

I forgot to get a shot of it's nose gear, which included, among other things, a FLIR.


Oh, and I had to include this Huey. I am pretty sure its an ANG bird. They had six of them flying over Yakima last summer...it brought visions of Full Metal Jacket to mind...it sounded pretty neat as they loitered overhead awaiting their ingress to the Firing Center.
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In 2007, they also had some Kiowas with the whole ball surveilance thing on the top of the rotors doing exercises...it was pretty interesting.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bremerton Naval Museum News

So, right after the decommissioning ceremony we will certainly have to drop by the museum! I guess they have been doing some major changes! Please take a look at this article, it expains it much better than I could.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/soundlife/story/553354.html

I can't wait!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

105 Years!



Oops, I missed it, but, lets pretend the news is traveling as fast as it did in 1903, and this is the first I heard of it. So, As of yesterday, it has been 105 years since the Wright Brothers first flew at Kittyhawk! Look how far we've come.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Larson AFB

Larson AFB was home to several things over the years. In the last years of its service, it was a SAC Base. But just before that it was home to a few squadrons of interceptors. A specimen of which is pictured below. Pictured is an F-86L Sabre, also called the Dog model by some...I assume due to its snout like apearance. I have other photos, but photoshopped this one to look old...and/or just artsy...


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Climb Mount Niitaka


Remember.


On November 26, 1941, units of the Imperial Japanese, or Combined Fleet set sail. Their mission was secret and no radio comunication was sent by them during their mission. On December 2, 1941, the phrase "Climb Mount Niitaka" was sent to these elements of the Combined Fleet instructing them to attack Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941(Tokyo Time, also referred to as Time Item, as it relates to Time Zulu, which is Greenwich Meantime ).

As we all know, December 7, 1941 is the date which will live in Infamy. At about 7:55am planes from the IJN carriers Kaga, Akagi, Hiryu, Soryu, Shokaku, and Zuikaku began their attacks on targets all over the island of Oahu. (here is a good page on the Combined Fleet units and their movements)

Their targets were the ships on Battleship Row. I will not go into too much detail since it has been covered elsewhere. I think it is necessary to note the significnce of this date, however.

All the battleships in the harbor were damaged. All but two returned to service. Of those two, only one was never raised. The Battleship Arizona, famous, or infamous, for her energetic reaction to an armour piercing bomb landing in her magazine, was never raised becuse the energetic reaction ruptured her hull and broke her back. She remains on the harbor floor.

I had the opportunity to touch her, well, a part of her.
You see, part of her rests here in the continental US. In April, when we went to Phoenix, Arizona for vacation, we happened onto one of her anchors and her mast. It was the state memorial to the ship with its name.

That day, 2400 men died. The real figure depends upon the source. That day, the US was thrown into WWII. Within days Hitler had made one of his biggest mistakes, and the world would never be the same. Within six months Japan would make her last movement forward in the Pacific and spend the rest of the war retreating before the growing war machine of the United States. Within four years, Japan would lie in ruins and two of her cities would be victims of the only atomic bombs used in anger.

So, today, I hope you will take a moment and remember. When they died, they did not necessarily know who was attacking. Some of them did not even have time to know they were being attacked. Still, they were service men, and they did their job. When they fell, others, thousands, stood in their place. I am not always proud of our nation's actions, but I am proud of our nations' fighting men(and women) and their indomitable spirit.

American fighting men and women, here's to you! Wherever you serve. Whatever your job. And, here's to your brothers who fell, during the attack on Pearl Harbor and anywhere else.

Remember Pearl Harbor!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Decommissioning


She was commissioned on April 29, 1961. She is only the second Aircraft Carrier to carry the First Navy Jack. She is NOT a nuclear powered ship. She has been the oldest active ship in the Navy since 1998. She is none other than the USS Kittyhawk. She is presently in the Puget Sound area. She is scheduled to decommission on January 31, 2009.

I visited her website a couple months ago, and only just got an e-mail asking me for a mailing address for the invitation. I was so excited that my wife gave me the "Look." You know, the "what the hell was SO exciting that you had to sound like a little girl?" look. Oh, well, wives re like that. So, I am sending them my address and a request for four invitations. My parents have expressed an interest in attending...well, my father has. Anyway, while this in only a small way relates to aviation, well, that's not true, but it does also relate to Washington State.
I once visited the USS Constellation during a Seafair. I am afraid most of the photos from that trip were...well, I had a film snafu. I think they still inhabit a light-tight steel-tin somewhere in my boxes...
I have been aboard USS Turner Joy, USS Missouri(in 1984 and 1998), USS Pampanito, USS Hornet, USS Jeremiah O'Brien, and USS Tripoli. Yes, they are a motley assortment, and most are museums, but they are more than most landlubbers who live in a desert get to...who are not history fanatics. I have seen USS Henry B. Wilson, USS New Jersey, USS Iowa, USS Long Beach, USS Okinawa, USS Midway, and most of the Essex Class carriers that resided in Bremerton until they were either melted down or made into Museums. I wish I could say I have seen and been aboard more, but, it is hard to do in Central Washington.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ephrata AAF Training

This excerpt, which I have borrowed from this site, (which is part of a history of his B-17 crew by Charles E "Chuck" Harris, it seems to be worth a read since it gives considerable insight into the training and eventual deployment of bomber crews) describes the usage of the Army Air Fields in the Great Basin. One can assume that Walla Walla AAF was home to B-24 training of similar scope. :

Phase training for all crewmembers included both ground and flight school. In general, ground school was conducted in the mornings and the crews then assembled for flying in the afternoon. It probably did not take long for the crews to appreciate that they were not flying with an experienced pilot. After graduating from cadet flying school, pilots received about two months of B-17 transitional training and were then assigned to phase training fields such as Ephrata. There is little doubt that the pilots proficiency was graded daily by the crewmembers. Bumpy or hard landings, less than smooth maneuvers in the air (particularly formation flying) was painfully obvious. The training at Ephrata did, however, enable the crews to get to know and evaluate each other and to start the slow process of integration into a smooth working team.

Flying at Ephrata became pretty much routine – some flights were navigational, a few included practice bomb runs but most were aimed at getting the crew to work together and to learn required procedures. All flights were limited to a specified area of Washington State. However, on one navigation mission in September, we "unintentionally" strayed and found ourselves looking down from a rather low altitude spectacular Grand Coulee Dam. That broke the routine! For me, it was of special interest since, since as an engineering student, I had visited the dam in 1939 when it was under construction.

I have spent this weekend surfing the web. Many things have come from this. I have discovered several sites of interest and have contacted a few gentlemen who have knowledge of wrecks here in Washington. I look forward to a few more accident reports from Maxwell AFB, since I requested a few this week...they should be here sometime during late December.

If you happen to be interested in wreckchasing, have information about one here in Washington State, or served in the military and might have something to add to this site, please, PLEASE leave a comment! I think opening this site up to other's ideas, thoughts, and information might be a good thing! Welcome all!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Visit a Museum


I don't visit enough museums. Then again, there are a bunch of things I don't do often enough. Museums, I feel, are repositories for memories and artifacts of everyday life. There are many museum types. There are museums for quilts, cameras, cars, prisons, farm equipment, airplanes, and, here in this post, ships.

This museum is in Bremerton, Washington. It is the Naval Museum of the Pacific! I visited it about...well, no, exactly a decade ago. This is an excellent place where nifty little items reside.
Want to know how a steam torpedo worked? Ever wondered what happened to Admiral Dewey's office chair? What about the ship's bell of the USS Washington?
There is also a plexiglass model, some fourteen feet long or so, of the USS Midway(CV-41). (Or there was, it's been 10 years)
Visiting this museum was, perhaps, a turning point for me. I had not decided to become a teacher, yet, but it ignited more than a spark of interest in things old. I began reading more about historic battles. Especially Admiral Dewey's part in the Spanish American War. I also read a great book about the exploits of the USS Washington because of this visit.
It was the first time I had been close to a mine, a depth charge thrower, and any number of items on display. It made these things somehow more real. I need to go back and see the museum again. I also need to visit the submarine museum in Keyport. I was there once...about 10 mintes before closing time. Needless to say, I missed the most of it.
So, here is a thought. I want everyone to visit a museum in the near future. See what these volunteers, because most of them are volunteers, are trying to keep alive. See what you missed because you were born too late. See what you used to work with.
Should you get the chance, visit the Naval Museum of the Pacific, take a few pictures, let me know how your visit went! I will post it here. It isn't everyday you get to see Admiral Dewey's Office Chair...or his couch.
[Update: work on the Exercise Coulee Crest post continues, I am still looking for more contributors, photos, and any other items or info that may relate to the exercise. If you would like to contribute to this blog concerning anything you have seen here, please say so in a comment and leave your e-mail address, I promise to respond.]

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Century Series

I have not posted lately. I want to post a special post about Exercise Coulee Crest using the information I hve gotten from a very generous reader, but, I also want to post pictures of the area he refers to. I have not yet otained those photos. So, in order to keep this Blog in a semi-live state, I have here a few photos.

The Century Series was a series of fighters developed during the 1950s. Their designations were three digits, thus the term Century Series. Not all were fighters, but, whose going to nitpick that? Some might complain that I did not include the F-111 or the F-117, but, come on, those just are not in the same league.

First is the F-100. The first production aircraft capable of breaking the sound barrier in level flight.

The F-101 was an interceptor, hardly maneuverable enough to be a dogfighter.

The F-102, the first Delta Winged production aircraft in the US inventory.

The F-104, a VERY FAST plane. Fast.

The F-105, a tactical nuclear strike fighter...read bomber, still, they were responsible for shooting down seveal MiGs.
The F-106, the replacement for the F-102, continued service into the 1980s.
And, finally, the F-107, which was an up-engined F-100 derivative.
These are all my own pictures, which I took with my own camera. I am proud to have seen the entire series in one for or another.





















Thursday, October 30, 2008

October, 1962

So, 46 years ago we had the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was 46 years ago today and Friday that the four Foxtrot subs were surfaced. They were armed with one nuclear torpedo each. I think we ought to look back at that period and think about how it could have been...someone's finger could have slipped so easily...

As a result of Kennedy's entrance into the White House, and the difference between his and his predecessor's approach to world political problems, the US military had widened its conventional abilities. By the time of the Cubn Missile Crisis, the US had significant conventional forces ready for deployment. There were several exercises in the first half of 1962 that worked toward smoother communicaions, operations, and planning between services. In the Spring of 1962, forces had completed an exercise in Washington state called Exercise Coulee Crest. Inthe coming weeks (preferably sooner) I plan on writing a bit more about Operation Coulee Crest. I have received more information from Mr. Loewenstern and am working it up.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bell X-14

OK, I have to hand it to certain people. It is rare that anyone stumbles upon something of such historic value, let alone that someone knows what they are looking at when they do. Such is the case with this gentleman who is apparently travelling across country. I heartily recommend you stop at his blog and look at the pictures he took of the X-14...an early attempt at VTOL. There was only one built and it would have been gone if the Ropkey Armor Museum had not saved it a decde ago. So, go to both sites and have a look! It is good when valuable aviation history can be saved. Now, about those XB-35s...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Guardian


The AF-2 Guardian was an anti-submarine aircraft. There were two variants. One had a radar(hunter) and one carried the bombs/depth charges(killer). These were sub hunters. They only operated for a comparatively short time(5 years: 1950 to 1955). I would not have known bout their existance, but I managed to stumble across one at Aero Union in Chico, CA. This was obviously a fire fighting veteran, but not much remained. I took these photos in 2004. At the time there were several C-54 hulks and a few P-2Vs sitting out in their boneyard.

One supposes, if the stars aligned and there was a need or a want, this specimen could be restored. Obviously the museums of the world have taken on much sadder cases. Here is another link that has a bit more informtion on the Guardian. And this is Aero Union's website.

Below you see what it probably looked like as a fire bomber. This is the specimen at PIMA Air Museum in Tucson, AZ. It is amazing how large these aircraft are. The wingspan was 60 feet! It was 43 feet long. It gives the A-1 a run for its money, size wise. Though, anyone who has seen an A-1 up close knows they are truely MASSIVE. The Guardian only had an R-2800(Same as on the F-4U early variants), while the A-1 had an R-3350, similar to that on the B-29.


UPDATE for Coulee Crest: "I participated in Exercise Coulee Crest. This was a III Corps exercise. III Corps consisted of the 1st and 2nd Armord Divisions at Ft. Hood, 4th Infantry Division at Ft. Lewis and the 5th Mechanized Division at Ft. Carson Colorado. The 4th and 5th Divisions artiliary units were the participants as this was a live fire exercise at the Yakima Firing Range. There were Air Force and Navy units involved to see how well communication worked between services."~Mr. Loewenstern.

Thank you for the continued input! I wonder if you remember where abouts you were billeted, if anywhere for any particular length of time. I have some local folks who remember being able to see the camps on the south side of the Firing Center, from Moxee. One gentleman also remembered that the troops would clean the local store out of beer.

Army, Air Force, and Navy...hmmm, that WAS one LARGE exercise.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Coulee Crest Revisited

I had made a request to the AFHRA (AFHRA.NEWS@MAXWELL.AF.MIL)to send me information on Operation Coulee Crest several months ago. Turns out there was literally tons of informtion on Coulee Crest in AFHRA records. There were fees attached, and given my passing interet in the subject, I decided against requesting more information. I will see if I can post the long list of records that they COULD have sent me...$30 per roll. With this information, you can, should you see fit, ask the AFHRA to retrieve this information for you. OK, it was WAY TOO LONG. If you are interested in this list, I will e-mail it to you if you leave a comment requesting such. You may want to leave your e-mail, too. (I can erase your e-mail from the comment bar if you request) If you do order from AFHRA, here is a warning: Some of the copies you receive are not altogether clear. You may have to have a second sight to read some of the papers, still, they can hold useful info.


I got a great comment the other day. A gentleman from Texas, a Mr. Loewenstern, let me know he had participated in this operation. He had this to say: "Our unit was airlifted from Fort Hood Texas on 18 C124 and after landing at Sheapard Air Force Base for refuling we next landed at Larson Air Force Base on April 24th 1963." His comment confirms the presence of C-124s in the exercise. Given that the US had tken delivery of 448 C-124s when production ended in 1955, 18 of them in 1963, was likely a sizeable portion of the fleet. They could carry upwards of 200 troops. I am unsure of how large a unit Mr. Loewenstern was part of, but one can imagine that about half of them were used for troops, that is about 1800 men. I suppose it would be important to know what kind of unit he was in, also. Armored? Infantry? Artillery? I hope Mr. Loewenstern will see fit to disclose more information in the near future, if only for my own curiousity! Thank you sir!



C-133s were also used in the transport of supplies and equipment. EB-66s were used in Electronic Warfare(See the photo of one here, taken at Larson AFB during that exercise) also. What else was used? I can only offer conjecture. I suspect A-1s, A-4s, C-130s, F-100s, RF-101s, F-105s, and maybe RB-47s. I don't know this, merely suspect.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

B-17F 42-5289, August 10, 1943





I got a comment a month or so ago concerning aircraft from Walla Walla Army Air Base. I took a look through my accident reports and located one in which the aircraft had originated from Walla Walla. I present, for your reading enjoyment, in a slightly more reader friendly format, the accident report of B-17F 42-5289 (condensed version).

B-17F 42-5289 was on a training mission out of Walla Walla AAB on the morning of Augst 10, 1943. It crashed at 0530 due to an engine fire. Seven crewmembers were lost, though three survived. The aircraft was a total loss.

(From S.Sgt. Marvin D. Anderson’s account)
Staff Sergeant Marvin D. Anderson, the engineer, was sitting on the floor of the top turret watching the instruments, when “All of a sudden the co-pilot, Lt Abel said, ‘No. three’s on fire.’” He got up and looked out to find the engine burning so hot that the cowling was melting and blowing off in the slipstream. He told the Pilot to feather it while he and the co-pilot attempted to put the fire out with the extinguisher carried by that ship. It did not work. He then feathered the prop and pushed the power to full on number two, which for some reason the pilot had reduced. The bombardier came up from the nose and asked what to do. Sgt. Anderson told him to salvo the bombs. At that point everyone began to put on their chutes. He then went through the bomb bay where he found that the bombardier had indeed dropped the bombs, but failed to open the bomb bay doors. Sgt. Block was jumping on the doors. Sgt. Anderson told him to get off the doors and then used the emergency release. The bombs fell away into the Columbia River. He called to the pilot to get out from over the river so they could jump. He waived Sgt. Block over the side and as he was watching the pilot come toward the bomb bay the fuselage melted away and the bomb bay was filled with smoke, flame, and molten metal. He jumped and floated to safety.

B-17 42-5383 was flying at 12,000 feet at 0528 and noticed a fire on the ground about two miles north of the range, across the river. When they let down to take a look, they saw three chutes and three men on the ground. They orbited giving details by radio to Boardman tower until a civilian car showed up. They landed back at Walla Walla at 0800.

The abstract of the accident says: The accident happened “12 MILES WEST OF PATTERSON COMMA OREGON AUGUST 10 COMMA 1943 AT APPROXIMATELY 0530 PERIOD NUMBER 3 ENGINE CAUGHT ON FIRE COMMA 7 FATALITIES PERIOD PLANE MANUFACTUREDJANUARY 4 COMMA 1943.” It goes on to say that the gear on that plane had been damaged in a previous accident, but the engines were new. Two things don’t add up. Patterson is in Washington State, on the North side of the river, while Boardman Range is in Oregon on the South side of the river. Elsewhere in the report it mentions that the crashed was only 2 miles West of Patterson.

The wings were torn from the aircraft and parts were strewn over a mile along the flight path. Examination of the wing indicated an internal explosion. This explosion would explain why the rest of the crew failed to exit the aircraft.

Crew list:

  • Pilot: Forrest F. Harvey, Fatal.
  • Co-pilot: Donald Abel, Fatal.
  • Navigator: Bernard Rote, Fatal.
  • Bombadier: Robert Drew, Fatal.
  • Engineer: Marion D. Andersonm, Survivor.
  • Engineer: William P. Bryant, Survivor.
  • Radio Operator: Ora W. Block, Survivor.
  • Radio Operator: Jerome J. Hatzewski, Fatal
  • Gunner: Edward R. Gesl, Fatal.
  • Army Air Force Gunner?(AAG): George W. Clark, Fatal.



The photos here are those that came from the report. They are obviously of poor quality due to the photocopying process used by the AFHRA. I also include one photo of a telegram so you can see some of the better copies, others are positively illegible. My appologies, Blogger posted it sideways.

If anyone is aware of the area of this crash, please let me know, I am curious and would appreciate any pictures you can spare of the area. I have not checked local papers.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Final Countdown


When I was young, my dad rented the movie The Final Countdown. It was a story of how the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) got sent back in time to December 7, 1941 via some sort of "time storm." It was a "what if." Of course, just as the strike group was about to lay waste to the Japanese strike force, the storm rose once more and the Nimitz strike group was recalled, Pearl Harbor be damned. History continued as though it had never had the USS Nimitz there in 1941. It was a neat movie for a kid.

I was always amazed at the ship's historian or whoever the hell he was. When he read off to the captured Japanese pilot the exact ships that participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor, I was in awe. If anything ever stuck with me, it was that scene. I hoped to be as prepared as that guy should I ever be taken back in time. (Ok, I get it, but I was young and dumb) I worked to learn more about history. Eventually, I could list the ships (American battlewagons, and Japanese Carriers present during the Pearl Harbor attack from memory...always with that stupid scene in mind. To this day, I am stuck with that scene in mind, convinced that I should be able to live out my life should I ever venture upon a time vortex unannounced...I would, of course, be shit out of luck if it landed me anywhere other than WWII or the Cold War...

Since we are on the subject of "what if," I was just reading little about the attack on Midway. The US would have been shit out of luck hd the Japanese been prepared to invade Midway on December 7, 1941. It would not have taken much manpower. I know the USS Nautilus was out there in that general neck of the woods, but it is obvious her captain was not in a position to throw back an invasion force. What if the invasion force had met the Pearl Harbor Strike Force as it was returning from Pearl? Then the Strike Force could have hit Midway and the invasion could have commenced with relatively few men. Instead, they waited six months and the US was ready for them...yes, there was considerable luck involved, but what if? What would US submarine forces done without the forward base for refueling before parol? What about the long range raids made by PB2Y Coronados on Wake? What other things would have been more difficult if not impossible without that base?

Please leave me your opinion on this what if. I appreciate a little imput, despite the subject's obvious lack of merit. I usually despise "What If" scenarios, but, curiousity has gotten the better of me...what if the Japanese had invaded Midway in December 1941? Would it have held out as long as Wake? I doubt it. I think Wake was better prepared. But, you tell me! I challenge you to play this game with me!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Carriers





here is my Dad in PriFly on Hornet.


And the View from PriFly




This is the Hornet. I visited it a couple times while we were in California. I also managed to visit the Constellation in 1998(?), but I don't have any pictures...robably lost in the managerie of 35mm film bags that I have not developed yet...years of them.



Back in 1998 we were in Bremerton to visit the USS Missouri before her trip to Hawaii. Here is a picture of Lincoln during overhaul. You can make out a few Knox class FFGs, which re all gone now. Also, the hulls of several cruisers...robably Texas or California. I can't tell if Long Beach is visible or not...but she was there. You can also make out a couple submarine sails.



The Chinese bought the Russian carrier Varyag...apparently they are working it up. Here is a nifty little article on it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

B-2 or not B-2, That is the Question!

video

I remember back in 1988, when the B-2 was unveiled. I thought it was a cool thing, since back then the Stealth was the newest thing. They kept having stealth fighters crash. In roughly the same period of time, they had unveiled both the fighter and the new bomber! Also, they were coming out with information on the ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighter), which would eventually have the YF-22 and YF-23 battle it out.



When they unveiled the B-2 there was loads of controversy. They were an awesome platform. These things had tons of prospects! They were prohibitively expensive, though. I still have a cartoon somewhere that has a Hamlet-esque character speaking to a skull in his hand and says, "B-2, or not B-2; that is the question!" The cost was 2 billion bucks a copy?!? Then the Cold War died. Up until that point it had a chance. As soon as the Cold War was over, so were prospects of armadas of radar invisible bombers. The Flying Wing, so long ago envisioned by Jack Northrop, was never to fly in great numbers. I found out recently about the crashof the B-2 on Guam. It had been deployed with two others. There were only 21 B-2s acquired. One rests in the Air Force Museum, and one was destroyed on Guam. That leaves 19 for training, maintenance, operations, and air shows. If you ever read memoirs of the Cold War, you know they had a third of their aircraft in maintenance, up keep, or IRAN (Inspect and Repair As Needed). Then a third of the squadron would be in training, and the final third would be deployed. That leaves roughly 6 B-2s ready for deployment at any one time.

I saw a show on the B-1 Bomber the other day. I did not realize it had been reengined for supersonic flight. Back when I was mildly interested in it, I knew it to be a toothless giant: Subsonic with a small bomb load. Well, apparently she is supersonic now, or my information was out of date. Also she carries a huge load of ordnance! They said that sometimes they will buzz enemy toops and they will disband and the bomber does not have to drop bombs.



The F-22 Raptor was the winner of the YF-22 vs. YF-23 fight. I liked the YF-23 Black Widow better, but, over the past 15 years the F-22 has grown on me. It isn't SO ugly. My understanding was that the YF-23 was more stealthy than the YF-22, but because of the YF-22's vectored thrust, it was a better dogifghter than the YF-23. Something that I found interesting when we visited PIMA, was the front gate guardians. I had always assumed from pictures that they were F-22s...NOPE. They are YF-23s! Look! Must be someone there that liked the Northrop design better, huh? Well, me too!



Friday, September 5, 2008

RB-36H

I found a You Tube video of the RB-36H at Castle AFB. I have video, but it is several years old and I have not put it into a format that I can post. So, if you want a good look at this lovely behemoth, here it is. I wish I had taken more video and pictures...but it was before I had a digital camera.




I cannot describe the shear hugeness of this aircraft. I can give you measurements all day long. I can use big words and be a descriptive as possible and I wil still be unable to give you a feel for how big that aircraft is. The propellors are 19 feet in diameter. The tail is 46 feet tall. The fuselage is about 12 feet in diameter. Yes, the C-5B is gigantic and larger in comparison, but this bomber carried almost 20 people for a 48 hour mission. It also had a multi-megaton weapon in its bomb bay. This was America's big stick during the 1950s. It is trully an awesome sight. I highly recommend going to see it at the old Castle AFB in Merced, California. It is about two hours South of Sacramento and about an hour North of Fresno.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I love the B-36


How can you not love an aircraft that is larger than most houses in square footage and interior space? Oh, and it can fly! Six turning and four burning! It could stay in the air for 48 hours! It could lift outrageous bomb laods! It had 8 dual 20mm turrets, plus tail guns!
This is from the movie Strategic Air Command. Something I need to add to my DVD library.

This is the B-36J from Fort Worth...she now resides at PIMA Air and Space Museum.