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Avión Tequila—an aviation spirit

15 January 2016
Avión Tequila label detail—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Avión Tequila label detail—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Avión Tequila—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Avión Tequila—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Sparrowhawk—the fighter which operated from an airship

13 January 2016
Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

This pilot of a Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk has just hooked onto his airship—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk’s cockpit—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk (note how the guide bar helps bring the hook to the airship mechanism)—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk ensconced in its airship hangar bay—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

 

WOMAM revisit

11 January 2016

25º 39’ 00” N / 80º 26’ 00” W

Wings Over Miami Air Museum—Joseph May/ Travel for Aircraft

Wings Over Miami Air Museum—Joseph May/ Travel for Aircraft

The Wings Over Miami Air Museum is local for me so an occasional drop by is in order. The museum has been written about often in this blog and is located in the Miami Executive Airport (until recently, the Tamiami–Kendall Executive Airport). It is home-like having a mix of regular aircraft, visiting aircraft as well as visiting aircraft undergoing maintenance or restoration. Dropping by is rewarding since the aircraft have been moved around or there is something new to see—and it is a cool retreat from South Florida’s sometimes relentless sunshine.

Here are images from the most recent visit:

Nanchang CJ-6—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Nanchang CJ-6—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Beechcraft T-34 Mentor—Joseph May/ Travel for Aircraft

Beechcraft T-34 Mentor—Joseph May/ Travel for Aircraft

blog Santos Dumont Demoiselle modern 20151223_105959-2

Santos-Dumont modernized Demoiselle

North American NA-50—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

North American NA-50—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

North American NA-50—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

North American NA-50—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

American Champion's Decathalon—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

American Champion’s Decathalon—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

 

 

 

 

From Nazi Test Pilot to Hitler’s Bunker: the Fantastic Flights of Hanna Reitsch

8 January 2016

From Nazi Test Pilot to Hitler’s Bunker: the Fantastic Flights of Hanna Reitsch, Dennis Piszkiewicz, 1997, ISBN 0-275-95456-0, 149 pp.

From Nazi Test Pilot to Hitler's Bunker: the Fantastic Flights of Hanna Reitsch by Dennis Piszkiewicz

From Nazi Test Pilot to Hitler’s Bunker: the Fantastic Flights of Hanna Reitsch by Dennis Piszkiewicz

Dennis Piszkiewicz’s book on famed, highly accomplished and somewhat infamous pilot Hanna Reitsch is fruit from another labor. We are fortunate for this book as it objectively addresses her life and her very real accomplishments.  Piszkiewicz also writes of her beliefs and likely romance without going into psychological hypothesizing, thankfully.

Most of the book concerns the war years as well as those surrounding WW II. Reitsch, like most Germans in her time, began flying gliders and stood out as a pilot from early on. Her skill and fame brought her close to those in power in the Luftwaffe and especially the Nazi party. This gave her opportunity to fly Germany’s advanced aircraft designs like the Me 163 Komet, piloted V-1 “Buzz Bomb” and the early helicopter Focke-Wulf Fw 61. Not mentioned is her yeoman work was with the Ju 87 Stuka, military gliders and bomber modifications. Perhaps her most spectacular work was in flying Luftwaffe commanders into as well as out of harm’s way in Russia as well as besieged Berlin using the Fiesler Fi 156 Storch—and this is addressed quite well by Piszkiewicz, including her time in the Führerbunker in the last days of Hitler.

Her time flying sailplanes, and setting world records, after the end of WW II is also described well by the author. This book is a concise explanation and description of Reitsch’s flying and personality—serving well as an anchor for deeper understanding of this accomplished aviator who lived through tumultuous times, if not cleanly.

PB2Y—the Coronado

6 January 2016

 

Consolidated PB2Y Coronado probably taking off—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Consolidated PB2Y Coronado probably taking off—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Consolidated’s descendant of their Catalina is the Coronado, which has the same single step hull design philosophy as well as wing floats which retract to become wing tips. It has twice the number of engines as well as multiple decks within the fuselage, though. A virtual tour can be taken of the beautifully restored Coronado at the National Naval Aviation Museumsee the PB2Y-5R here where you will see the front of the cockpit, swing the view 180° and follow the arrows through the entire aircraft to see the bunks, galley, radio room, VIP section and more. The exterior can be viewed in this walkaround post.

Four engines power this Consolidated PB2Y Coronado along the water—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Four engines power this Consolidated PB2Y Coronado along the water—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Consolidated PB2Y Coronado emptying the bilge or dumping fuel—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Consolidated PB2Y Coronado emptying the bilge or dumping fuel—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Hatches open for air flow with a fire bottle at the ready, a typical Consolidated PB2Y Coronado scene of the day—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Hatches open for air flow with a fire bottle at the ready, a typical Consolidated PB2Y Coronado scene of the day—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Early model Consolidated PB2Y Coronado with bow gun turret—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Early model Consolidated PB2Y Coronado with bow gun turret—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Consolidated XPB2Y Coronado (note the single tail instead of the production twin tail)—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Consolidated XPB2Y Coronado (note the single tail instead of the production twin tail)—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Early model (note bow turret) Consolidated PB2Y Coronado—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

Early model (note bow turret) Consolidated PB2Y Coronado—San Diego Air and Space Museum image archive

 

 

SOFIA Mission Patches

4 January 2016

SOFIA Mission Patches

SOFIA's Pluto Occulation mission patch

SOFIA’s Pluto Occulation mission patch

 

 

 

SOFIA's First Trans-Atlantic Crossing mission patch

SOFIA’s First Trans-Atlantic Crossing mission patch

 

Anniversary of 1st regular airline start

1 January 2016
Poster for the precedent setting St. Petersburg–Tampa Airboat Line—San Diego Air and Space Museum image

70th Anniversary poster for the precedent setting St. Petersburg–Tampa Air Boat Line—San Diego Air and Space Museum image (note that the man third from the right, pointing outward with the flat hat, is Ed Hoffman, Sr. who the artist used as inspiration and who flew the Benoist XIV replica on 1 January 1984 and was President Emeritus of the Florida Aviation Historical Society until his passing).

It has been a century plus two years when Tony Jannus first began piloting paying passengers across Tampa Bay and into the history books. That flight, a hop from St. Petersburg to Tampa, was the inaugural flight of the St. Petersburg-Tampa Air Boat Line. Although scheduled air service previously existed with airships they were nor regularly scheduled in today’s sense and proved ultimately unsuitable as technology progressed—so, 1 January 1914 is considered the first scheduled airline flight by most. The aircraft used was the Benoist XIV Air Boat (flying boat as this aircraft genre later came to be called).

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