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Memorial Day 2016

30 May 2016
Grave site flag at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, "Punchbowl"--USN image Mass Comm Spec 2nd Class Laurie Dexter

Grave site flag at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, “Punchbowl”–USN image Mass Comm Spec 2nd Class Laurie Dexter

Beluga–born for big

25 May 2016

 

Airbus Beluga

Airbus Beluga on its way–Airbus image

Airbus uses their Beluga fleet for transport of outsized cargo. The cargo deck is cavernous, heated and unpressurized (though pressurized cargo containers can be used). Like the Guppies and Dreamliner it occupies a highly specialized niche in aviation transport.

Airbus Beluga–Airbus image

Airbus Beluga, note the added vertical fins to compensate for the disturbed airflow caused by the enlarged fuselage–Airbus image

Airbus Beluga–Airbus image

Airbus Beluga’s cavernous cargo bay–Airbus image

Airbus Beluga–Airbus image

Airbus Beluga loading a rudder/vertical stabilizer assembly–Airbus image

Russia’s Helix Helo

23 May 2016
050607-N-0000L-001 A Russian KA-27 helicopter assigned to the Russian destroyer RFS Natoychiviy (DD 610) lands aboard the British frigate HMS Sutherland (F 81) during Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2005. This year's international exercise, co-hosted by Latvia and the United States, includes 11 nations, 4,100 people, 40 ships, 28 aircraft and two submarines in the spirit of "Partnership for Peace (PFP)." BALTOPS 2005 improves interoperability with allies and PFP countries by conducting peace support operations at sea to include a combined amphibious landing and a scenario dealing with potential real world crisis. Royal Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Keith Lincoln (RELEASED)

A Russian Ka 27 (NATO identifier “Helix”)) helicopter assigned to the Russian destroyer RFS Natoychiviy (DD 610) lands aboard the British frigate HMS Sutherland (F 81) during Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2005—Royal Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Keith Lincoln

050607-N-0000L-002 A Russian KA-27 helicopter assigned to the Russian destroyer RFS Natoychiviy (DD 610) takes off from the British frigate HMS Sutherland (F 81) during Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2005. This year's international exercise, co-hosted by Latvia and the United States, includes 11 nations, 4,100 people, 40 ships, 28 aircraft and two submarines in the spirit of "Partnership for Peace (PFP)." BALTOPS 2005 improves interoperability with allies and PFP countries by conducting peace support operations at sea to include a combined amphibious landing and a scenario dealing with potential real world crisis. Royal Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Keith Lincoln (RELEASED)

A Russian Ka 27 (NATO identifier “Helix”) helicopter assigned to the Russian destroyer RFS Natoychiviy (DD 610) takes off from the British frigate HMS Sutherland (F 81) during Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2005—Royal Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Keith Lincoln

100722-N-1098L-030 English Channel (July 22, 2010) Military Sealift Fleet Support Command (MSC) civil service mariner Boatswain’s Mate Anthony Brooks, a landing signal enlisted flight crewmen, directs a Kamov (KA 26) Helix Soviet navy helicopter for takeoff aboard the amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) as part of an international partnership training during FRUKUS 2010. FRUKUS is an annual naval exercise involving the maritime forces of France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, developed to formulate joint activities within a multi-national operational formation while improving interoperability between the nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Warrant Officer Jeffrey Lund/Released)

A Kamov Ka 27 (NATO identifier ” Helix”) Soviet navy helicopter for taking off from the amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20)—U.S. Navy photo by Chief Warrant Officer Jeffrey Lund

160412-N-ZZ999-003 BALTIC SEA (April 12, 2016) A Russian Kamov KA-27 HELIX helicopter flies low-level passes near the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) while the ship was operating in international waters April 12, 2016. Donald Cook is forward deployed to Rota, Spain, and is conducting routine patrols in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.  (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

A Russian Kamov KA-27 HELIX helicopter flies low-level passes near the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75)—U.S. Navy photo

 

JetRanger Image Fun

20 May 2016
Bell JetRanger—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Bell JetRanger—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Just having a bit of fun with a software symmetry tool:)

Bell JetRanger—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Bell JetRanger—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Oracle Challenger III

18 May 2016

The rare Oracle Challenger III purpose built for aerobatics — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Andrew Johnson

The rare Oracle Challenger III purpose built for aerobatics — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Andrew Johnson

The rare Oracle Challenger III, purpose built for aerobatics and flown by Sean Tucker — U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Andrew Johnson

The Bridgebusters: the True Story of the Catch-22 Bomb Wing

14 May 2016

The Bridgebusters: the True Story of the Catch-22 Bomb Wing, Thomas McKelvey Cleaver, 2016, ISBN 9781621574880, 264 pp.

The Bridgebusters: the True Story of the Catch-22 Bomb Wing by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver

The Bridgebusters: the True Story of the Catch-22 Bomb Wing by
Thomas McKelvey Cleaver with cover design by John Caruso

Cleaver delivers more than what is amply promised in The Bridgebusters: the True Story of the Catch-22 Bomb Wing—so much more in both in material as well as what life was like for the  57th Bomb Wing (Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22, served in it and got his inspiration from that duty station).

In The Bridgebusters the book delivers on the promised in the announcements:

  • The telling of the tragedy of a Mitchell combat crew flying one mission beyond their final 70th, never to return home
  • How a pilot managed to not bomb unsuspecting civilians though ordered to do so
  • The loathed “road block” missions
  • The likely reason why Joseph Heller was sent home after far less than the required missions
  • Life for air and ground crews while based out of Corsica
  • The above is the attractive wrapper on a fine chocolate since Cleaver tells the history of an air war waged on a neglected front close up as well as strategically—weaving a story cleverly imparting an understanding of the momentum while giving the experience of the individuals. His screenwriting abilities have the reader feeling the elation, the cold, the fear of all persons caught up in the chaotic events of war—aircrew, ground crew, Germans and civilians.

In The Bridgebusters the author has readers understand how the 57th waged an effective assault against German forces in Italy for over a year. Cleaver illustrates how General Clark extended the war in Italy by almost year for egotistical reasons and how he was rewarded for that decision though many of the foreign forces (New Zealand, Poland and Morocco for example) lost confidence in his leadership. The sense of Catch-22 prevails throughout the story of the campaign.

Cleaver charismatically teaches how the 57th lived usually flying two missions per day with each aircraft flying as many as four per day. The 57th flew tactical missions destroying rail and bridge targets to logistically starve (numbers clearly explain the effectiveness) German forces. Cleaver also precisely illustrates the skill of German antiaircraft as well as ground force strategy. The author tells so much of the everyday life of the 57th that has been forgotten and should not be. Their excellent bombing accuracy though well with range of the feared 88mm Flak gun. The number of aircraft shot down is unbelievable as is the number of parachutes which failed to open. Yet B-25 Mitchell aircrews kept flying their vital missions. Missions well above 10,000 feet without oxygen due to the intense and accurate flak they would be sure to experience—up to six radar directed volleys from 88mm cannon during each bomb run.

Get this book to best understand World War II in the Mediterranean Theater. Get this book to better understand Joseph Heller and Catch-22 (which was inspired by his service in the 57th but not a history of it). Get this book to understand how the 57th fought—always cold, or wet or dusty—whether in the air or on the ground.

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Per the publishing industry practice Regnery History provided a copy of The Bridgebusters for an objective review.

Graf Zeppelin in paper and wood

13 May 2016
Graf Zeppelin made in 1937 from the Wolfsonian–FIU Mitchell Wolsonian Jr. Collection—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Graf Zeppelin made in 1937 from the Wolfsonian–FIU Mitchell Wolsonian Jr. Collection—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Graf Zeppelin made in 1937 from the Wolfsonian–FIU Mitchell Wolsonian Jr. Collection—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Graf Zeppelin made in 1937 from the Wolfsonian–FIU Mitchell Wolsonian Jr. Collection—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Graf Zeppelin made in 1937 from the Wolfsonian–FIU Mitchell Wolsonian Jr. Collection—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Graf Zeppelin made in 1937 from the Wolfsonian–FIU Mitchell Wolsonian Jr. Collection—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Graf Zeppelin made in 1937 from the Wolfsonian–FIU Mitchell Wolsonian Jr. Collection—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Graf Zeppelin made in 1937 from the Wolfsonian–FIU Mitchell Wolsonian Jr. Collection—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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