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Retirement Posting USCG Air Station Clearwater — Grumman HU-16E Albatross

21 January 2015

Retirement Posting USCG Air Station Clearwater — Grumman HU-16E Albatross

27° 54′ 42″ N / 82° 41′ 57″ W

Grumman HU-16E Albatross — photo by Joseph May

Grumman HU-16E Albatross at the USCG Air Base Clearwater — photo by Joseph May

The Albatross, Grumman’s largest amphibian, served as a rescue aircraft in the U.S. Air Force as well as the U.S. Coast Guard as well as several countries other than the United States. This HU-16E was recently placed at the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater — which is adjacent to the Saint Petersburg–Clearwater Airport. See the 1964 film, Flight from Ashiya, for great flying shots (both external and internal) of a USAF Air Rescue Service HU-16 Albatross.

USCG Warning — photo by Joseph May

USCG warning, making photography of this HU-16 an over-the-fence endeavour — photo by Joseph May

Grumman HU-16E Albatross — photo by Joseph May

USCG Grumman HU-16E Albatross through the wire — photo by Joseph May

Grumman HU-16E Albatross — photo by Joseph May

Grumman HU-16E Albatross aircraft were amphibious with twin engines and radar — photo by Joseph May

Grumman HU-16E Albatross — photo by Joseph May

Closer view of the Grumman HU-16E Albatross cockpit (note the dorsal escape hatch) — photo by Joseph May

Grumman HU-16E Albatross — photo by Joseph May

Grumman HU-16E Albatross photographed using a slight warp in the chain link fence — photo by Joseph May

Grumman HU-16E Albatross — photo by Joseph May

Grumman HU-16E Albatross  details of the wing float and pylon assembly as well as external fuel tank — photo by Joseph May

 

Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators

19 January 2015

Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators: NAVWEPS 00-80T-80, H.H. Hurt Jr., 2012, ISBN 978-161608-439-4, 432 pp.

Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators: NAVWEPS 00-80T-80 by H.H. Hurt Jr.

Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators: NAVWEPS 00-80T-80 by H.H. Hurt Jr.

Enjoyment due to this book is long and deep. It is not for those who feel formulae and graphs take the wonder out of the world but it is for those who like to hear nature’s singing with mathematical precision. Notably, Hunt addresses how wings fly and not airfoil sections as is so often done elsewhere. It is the wings that do most of the flying and the education continues with the varying forms of drag, engine design, landing gear arrangements, high alpha versus low alpha landings, etc. Hunt describes in easy to understand language dotted with gems of observation (why delta winged aircraft cannot have flaps and how naval aviators specialize in low-speed flight) engines as well as propellers all the while explaining their importance to flight. Many more areas of powered flight are also dealt with in the same easy to relate to manner.

Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators will be welcomed by those who wish to understand flight and all of its interrelated factors but also should be considered for use as a math teaching aid for math students since this is applied knowledge and much more exciting than most text books.

Lighter-than-air flight is not addressed nor are flying boats. Hunt explains helicopters, though, and drops one of his gems here when mentioning that a helicopter’s autorotation is the same as windmilling of an airplane’s propeller :)

Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators would be a great book for a precocious student since the math here is applied to visceral and exciting real world examples. The book is a treasure trove which costs only a few dollars.

The rare “Wildcatfish” — not a “wild catfish”

14 January 2015

The rare “Wildcatfish” — not a “wild catfish”

Grumman F3F-3S "Wildcatfish" — San Diego Air & Space Museum photo from the Charles Daniels Collection

Grumman F3F-3S “Wildcatfish” — San Diego Air & Space Museum photo from the Charles Daniels Collection

During World War II the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) flew the Nakajima A6M-2N Navy Type 2 Interceptor/Fighter-Bomber — which had the Allied codename of “Rufe” — a modified Mitsubishi A6M Zero Model 11. Employed often by night, and unchallenged in those early days prior to the advent of radar, Rufes especially challenged the U.S. Navy’s glamorous PT boats in southwest Pacific but also were initially effective in the north Pacific, as well.

The U.S. Navy (USN) investigated the utility of placing floats on the F3F Wildcat for the same reason as the IJN’s Rufe — these aircraft could be relatively easily operated from forward areas without airfields. The wide expanses of water in the Pacific Theater of Operations combined with the remoteness of many of the combat areas gave float planes, as well as flying boats, advantages over the penalty of additional drag inherent to their design which their airfield or flight deck dependent kin did not share.

A single F3F-3 Wildcat was modified with the addition of Edo made floats, becoming the F3F-3S, but better known by its “Wildcatfish” nickname. Like the Rufe the F3F-3S incurred a massive speed penalty with its floats making it all but helpless against conventional fighter aircraft of the day. Unlike the IJN, the  USN did not have to accept the drag penalty of float equipped fighters since their Seabees proved adept at rapidly building airfields — one of the deciding factors leading to the Allied victory since the IJN did not construct airfields readily or as often. This proved to be decisive especially in the Battle for Guadalcanal when the IJN were operating from Rabaul which was a great distance (mission times were several hours) from Guadalcanal.

Grumman F3F-3S "Wildcatfish" — San Diego Air & Space Museum photo from the Charles Daniels Collection

Grumman F3F-3S “Wildcatfish” — San Diego Air & Space Museum photo from the Charles Daniels Collection

Three Unusual Airplanes on Floats

12 January 2015

Three Unusual Airplanes on Floats

Douglas XC-47C — San Diego Air & Space Museum Archive Charles Daniels Collection photo

Impressive, and the potential to supply the plentiful remote bases during World War II was enticing, but this C-47 could only operate from calm waters. Douglas XC-47C — San Diego Air & Space Museum Archive Charles Daniels Collection photo

North American O-47A — San Diego Air & Space Museum Archive Charles Daniels Collection photo

Unsung for its work, the O-47 performed yeoman duty stateside during World War II. This O-47A had floats attached but little else could be found about this aircraft’s history. North American O-47A — San Diego Air & Space Museum Archive Charles Daniels Collection photo

Hall Aluminum XPTBH-2 — San Diego Air & Space Museum Archive Charles Daniels Collection photo

This aircraft design was ahead of other 1937 designs in many ways with aluminum tube and spar construction, powered nose gun position as well as flexible gun positions on either side as well as behind the cockpit. The XPTBH-2 could carry an external torpedo, or 2000 pounds of bombs within the bomb bay, but was not fast enough for the U.S. Navy as well as the concern that its beaching gear was problematic. The rate at which Seabees would construct airfields during World War II made the Navy’s decision to drop the design the correct one. Hall Aluminum XPTBH-2 — San Diego Air & Space Museum Archive Charles Daniels Collection photo

 

 

 

Flying Warbirds

5 January 2015

Flying Warbirds

Flying Warbirds: an illustrated profile of the Flying Heritage Collection’s rare WWII-era aircraft, Cory Graff, 2014, ISBN 9780760346495, 240 pp., 195 color & 59 b/w photos

Flying Warbirds: an illustrated profile of the Flying Heritage Collection's rare WWII-era aircraft by Cory Graff and cover photo by Jim Larsen

Flying Warbirds: an illustrated profile of the Flying Heritage Collection’s rare WWII-era aircraft (front cover) by Cory Graff and cover photo by Jim Larsen

Flying Warbirds is a book fitting comfortably into the coffee table book category with its somewhat large format and photographs with image quality almost beyond belief. It is also a heartfelt story told of a one percenter who is not only giving back but keeping a significant thread of history alive. Flying Warbirds is obviously centered on the collection’s World War II era aircraft, which regularly return to the air, in Paul G. Allen’s* Flying Heritage Collection (FHC) though this book’s story is so much richer and enlightening than a coffee table book may suggest. Allen’s father served as a combatant in the U.S. Army during World War II and his son honors his memory with the preservation of these aircraft so that we can see and hear these machines take flight and recall in someway what those exacting days of Word War II must have been like for those who lived them. More, Cory Graff’s writing is enlightening beginning with a delightfully thought provoking essay regarding technology and time which best explains how events which occur today have their roots in the past and that history is not a linear unfolding of time but a skein knit from many threads which run in parallel and perpendicularly as well as becoming knotted — all at the same time.

Graff continues with a description of the flying World War II era aircraft in the FHC — there are more aircraft displayed at the FHC as well as other vehicles and these are briefly addressed by Graff — with photographs taken by the best of air-to-air photographers as well as museum quality aircraft portraiture. These images show these aircraft as they live and breathe, often showing details so intimate that only a few of the FHC’s mechanics must have known them before Graff’s present book. Graff also relates the individual history of each aircraft as well as the history of the type — again with an intimacy showing respect and deep awareness of the niche each aircraft occupies in history. Graff’s writing is so good that even a person not inspired by aircraft will come to love these Flying Warbirds, and all readers will learn from as well as admire the book’s outstanding images.

Aircraft in Flying Warbirds

Curtiss JN-4D Jenny Polikarpov U-2 (PO-2) Polikarpov I-16 Type 24 “Rata”
Hawker Hurricane Mk XII Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Supermarine Spitfire F.Mk.VC
Curtiss P-40C Tomahawk Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-5 Würger Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-13 Würger
North American P-51D Mustang Ilyushin Il 2M3 Shturmmovik Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat
Mitsubishi A6M3-22 Reisen “Zero” Messerschmitt Me 163B-1 Komet Fiesler Fi 156C-2 Storch
North American B-25J Mitchell Republic P-47D Thunderbolt
Nakajima Ki 43 Hayabusa “Oscar” Type 1
Messerschmitt Me 262A-1A Schwalbe
Plus many additional interesting images of other exhibits in the Flying Heritage Collection
Flying Warbirds: an illustrated profile of the Flying Heritage Collection's rare WWII-era aircraft (rear cover) by Cory Graff with Flying Heritage Collection photo

Flying Warbirds: an illustrated profile of the Flying Heritage Collection’s rare WWII-era aircraft (rear cover) by Cory Graff with Flying Heritage Collection photo

* Paul G. Allen is one of the co-founders of Microsoft Corporation and has used much of his vast resources in philanthropic pursuits.

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As is the publishing business custom, Zenith Press and On-line Bookstore provided a copy of this book for an objective review.

“A Wooden Wonder Restored” – DVD and Blu-Ray

4 January 2015

travelforaircraft:

An excellent opportunity to see the newest restored Mosquito and to help get a Mosquito into the public trust by-way-of The People’s Mosquitop Project.

Originally posted on The People's Mosquito:

DVD_BluRayA WOODEN WONDER RESTORED – For the Mosquito fan in your life (or – let’s be honest – a treat for yourself!). We are pleased to offer this superb package – available on DVD and Blu-Ray – over two hours of footage of the restored Mosquito FB.26 KA114 from our friends at the Historical Aviation Film Unit in New Zealand.

Featuring displays; air-to-air footage; Merlin ground run; in-flight cockpit view; Mosquito and de Havilland jets; formation flights with fighters and pilot interviews. So lock yourself in this Christmas for an uninterrupted Merlin-fest!

And, best of all – profits from sales go directly to the TPM Fund so you’ll be helping get a UK-based Mosquito airborne. Available on eBay now at http://ebay.eu/1zLI1gV

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Happy New Year!

4 January 2015

travelforaircraft:

The People’s Mosquito Project is a worthy one and well organized…read on…

Originally posted on The People's Mosquito:

Happy New Year one and all!

As we celebrate our third birthday and enter the fourth year of The People’s Mosquito project – yes we really have been at this for three years now! – it is perhaps worth pausing for a moment to consider where we are, and where we are going from here. 2014 was a busy and positive year for the project. We launched our fundraising activities, including the launch of the TPM Shop and attendance at a number of airshows; announced a new patron; firmed up our plans to rebuild RL249 as an FB Mk.VI and, perhaps most importantly, started to cut wood on the Mosquito’s wing ribs.

Our supporter numbers and general public impact have grown significantly this year, and as we have done in the past at this time of year, we’d like to share some trivia with you first before getting onto the serious…

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