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MEA (Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft) Beechcraft Super King Air 350 ER

10 August 2016

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has a new aircraft which will replace the many types currently in service—the Beechcraft Super King Air C-12C/M & B-200, and the Piper PA-42 Cheyenne. Known, inelegantly and unobvious of purpose, as the MEA (Multi-Role Enforcement Aircraft) it is a dramatically upscaled Beechcraft Super King Air 350 ER. Crewed by two pilots and two observers who have available: marine search radar, weather radar and an electro-optical/IR sensor. The MEA gives the CBP a speedy (310 mph) platform with an endurance of 6½ hours aloft in a pressurized cabin for its 35,000 feet service altitude.

Customs and Border Protection Multi Enforcement Aircraft patrol the sky over the United States. Photo by Alex Zamora

Customs and Border Protection Multi Enforcement Aircraft on patrol—CBP photo by Alex Zamora

Integrated Systems Multi-role Experimental Aircraft, MEA, in varying stages of build. photo by James Tourtellotte

The Beechcraft Super King Air 350 ER undergoing modification to the Multi-role Experimental Aircraft (MEA)—CBP pphoto by James Tourtellotte

This is a new CBP Plane that does aerial surveillance.

The MEA in profile (interestingly, the tail number doesn’t tally with the FAA data base as of August 2016)—CBP photo

This is a new CBP Plane that does aerial surveillance.

This Beechcraft Super King Air 350 ER after completion to the MEA standard—CBP photo

blog Beechcraft Super King Air 350 ER flowng by CPB as their MEA by CBP 13081247855_d1d59a518f_o

A CBP MEA awaiting duty (interestingly, the tail number doesn’t tally with the FAA data base as of August 2016)—CBP photo

AIRSHOW—RIAT 2016!

8 August 2016

The Royal International Air Tatoo (RIAT), one of the largest airshows across the planet, occurs annually in July at RAF Fairford which is the county of Gloucestershire UK. Michael Dowman sent these wonderful images from this year’s show and we thank him for it🙂

Eurofighter—© Michael Dowman 2016

Sweden’s SAAB JAS 39E Gripen multirole Mach 2+ fighter in digital camouflage (note the unconventionally left-swinging canopy)—© Michael Dowman 2016

Hawker Hawk—© Michael Dowman 2016

The UK’S Hawker Siddeley Hawk looking sleek and sinister—© Michael Dowman 2016

Hawker Hurricane—© Michael Dowman 2016

Hawker Hurricane taken from this dramatic angle—© Michael Dowman 2016

Hawker Hurricane—© Michael Dowman 2016

Hawker Hurricane, the workhorse of the RAF during the Battle of Britain—© Michael Dowman 2016

Mil Mi 8MTV-1—© Michael Dowman 2016

Russia’s Mil Mi 8MTB-1 (Russian Military)/Mi 17-1V (export version) air ambulance, flown by Ukranian Helicopters, for extreme situations (it even has a missile defense system)—© Michael Dowman 2016

Augusta Westland HH-101A—© Michael Dowman 2016

AugustaWestland HH-101A, flown by the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force), which is specialized for combat search and rescue—© Michael Dowman 2016

Douglas Dakota "L4"—© Michael Dowman 2016

Douglas Dakota “L4” in D-Day scheme—© Michael Dowman 2016

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Sally B"—© Michael Dowman 2016

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress “Sally B” tail gun position—© Michael Dowman 2016

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Sally B"—© Michael Dowman 2016

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress “Sally B”—© Michael Dowman 2016

 

BUFF walkaround of a B-52D Stratofortress 2nd half

3 August 2016

28° 26″ 58″ N / 81° 18′ 46″ W

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B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park in its Vietnam War camouflage as seen from the parking area—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

The first half published on Monday and has a description of the memorial park. Enjoy this second part with its greater attention to the BUFF’s details. This BUFF is the “D” model with the inboard wing pylon stations for carrying additional bombs. This aircraft served in the Vietnam War and likely was a participant in the historical Arc Light and Linebacker missions.

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B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park seen from below—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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Tail gun position of 4 x 0.50″ machine guns of the B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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Only a few of the antenna fins and air vents, these along the mid left fuselage, of the B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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The immense cruciform tail of the B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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Empennage of the B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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The tail gunner’s office, radome and gun locations (bail out entailed pulling a lever which would have the machine gun assembly fall away and the gunner would manually follow, á lá WW II heavy bombers) of the B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park as seen from the viewing platform—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park as seen from the viewing platform—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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The four main gear trucks looking rearward of the B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park (the trucks could be canted in crossing landing conditions giving pilots the luxury of not crabbing the aircraft during these types of landing approaches)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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Left outboard engine pod and wing tank, as well as signature outrigger gear, of the B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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The left inboard engine pod of the B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

My thanks to Allan Schappert, former B-52 pilot, for his insight and technical knowledge—all of which have greatly helped on all the posts involving the B-52 in this blog.

BUFF walkaround of a B-52D Stratofortress 1st half

1 August 2016

28° 26′ 58″ N / 81° 18′ 46″ W

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Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Ensconced in the northeastern corner of Orlando Intention Airport (MCO) is the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park. And why not? MCO stands for McCoy Air Base which had been a B-52, after all.

So much for the formalities. This is why you want to pay a call—it is because this is a great BUFF exhibit:

  • This B-52 is elevated on an earthen platform for convenient viewing of the aircraft
  • Plentiful space surrounds the Stratofortress welcoming camera angles that can capture the entire B-52 in one shot (not a small feat with an aircraft a bit over half a football field in length)
  • A viewing platform allows viewing at a level even with the BUFF’s upper surfaces
  • The park is a quiet and uncrowded place with well kept grounds so gazing, studying, pondering or photographing are all unrushed (no water or restrooms are available, so go prepared)

This B-52 served an untold number of aircrews and is presented in the camouflage scheme used in the Vietnam War where it likely flew in the historical Arc Light and Linebacker missions. Drop by, take a look and a history maker, and absorb an awesome design that may fly a century before absolutely and finally being retired. The Orlando B-52 Memorial Park may be the best BUFF on display to be seen.

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B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park from atop the memorial’s viewing platform—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park also showing the viewing area—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park showing the signature wing sag of the BUFF—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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The SAC emblem on the B-52D at the Orlando B-52 Memorial Park—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

The follow up post will publish on Wednesday.

My thanks to Allan Schappert, former B-52 pilot, for his insight and technical knowledge—all of which have greatly helped on all the posts involving the B-52 in this blog.

Warriors and Wizards: the Development and Defeat of Radio Controlled Glide Bombs of the Third Reich

29 July 2016

Warriors and Wizards: the Development and Defeat of Radio Controlled Glide Bombs of the Third Reich, Martin G. Bollinger, 2010, ISBN 1591140676, 320 pp.

Wizards and Warriors: the Development and Defeat of Radio Controlled Glide Bombs of the Third Reich by Martin J. Bollinger

Wizards and Warriors: the Development and Defeat of Radio Controlled Glide Bombs of the Third Reich by Martin J. Bollinger

World War II, aside from the deaths of tens of millions of people, saw many developments—many noble and a few ignoble. Intentional and systematic bombing of non-combatants, the hyper-development of winged aviation, the introduction of rotary winged aviation, plastic surgery, radar, sonar, nuclear weapons, missiles and guided munitions.

Guided munitions?

Both the Allies and the Axis developed guided weapons since antiaircraft defenses were improving at a greater rate than aerial attack options. Essentially, if the target was in range of the aircraft then the aircraft was in range of the target’s anti-aircraft artillery (AAA). Successful weapons systems most often avoid fairness, or the concept of the sparring, and for one year the Axis had radio controlled glide bombs (winged bombs) which kept the delivering aircraft out of the AAA range of the targeted shipping. These bombs (the anti armored ship Ruhrstahl Fritz-X and the anti-ship rocket powered Henschel Hs 293) reigned for a year until the Allies developed countermeasures and better defensive strategies. The story is fascinating for its impelling nature and urgency as these glide bombs greatly endangered warships supporting invasions—invasions planned for Italy and France—required for the Allies to prevail over the Axis powers.

Bollinger writes well of the perspectives of both sides of this newly dawned age of aerial warfare. No longer would dive bombers, fighters and torpedo bombers require large numbers and fantastic coordination to achieve success against capital warships. No longer would AAA be a threat against attacking bombers. Soon, like aircraft carrier warfare, the belligerents would not see each other in combat. He invitingly describes the details and thinking of the time, a time when both sides were desperately exploring this new dimension of warfare.

Helos at work

27 July 2016
A UH-1Y Venom helicopter assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 367 flies over Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, during a Max Launch operation, May 6, 2014. Marine Aircraft (MAG) Group 24 conducted the flyby operation to improve interoperability between air and ground elements that included HMLA-367 and Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 463 operating in the air while Marine Wing Support Detachment (MWSD) 24 and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 24 maintained forward arming and refueling points on the ground. (DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Aaron S. Patterson, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

UH-1Y Venom flying over Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay HI—DoD photo by Lance Cpl Aaron S. Patterson

A U.S. Marine Corps UH-1Y Huey hovers over a landing zone before inserting Marines with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division during a heavy Huey raid at K-9 Village, Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., Oct. 7, 2015. The exercise is part of Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) 1-16, a seven-week training event hosted by Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) cadre. MAWTS-1 provides standardized tactical training and certification of unit instructor qualifications to support Marine Aviation Training and Readiness and assists in developing and employing aviation weapons and tactics. (U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jorge Dimmer, MAWTS-1 COMCAM/ Released)

A U.S. Marine Corps UH-1Y Huey hovers to a landing zone bringing Marines to a heavy Huey training raid—U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jorge Dimmer

Royal Jordanian Air Force AS332 Super Puma and AH-1 Cobra helicopters fly away after dropping off special operations forces service members during a demonstration as part of exercise Eager Tiger 2014 at an air base in northern Jordan May 14, 2014. The Eager Tiger Falcon Air Meet is an annual competition and training exercise for countries that fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Tyler McLain, U.S. Air Force/Released)

Royal Jordanian Air Force AS332 Super Puma, Black Hawk and AH-1 Cobra helicopters departing—DoD photo by SSgt Tyler McLain

A CH-47 Chinook helicopter and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to 101st Combat Aviation Brigade prepare to land at Tactical Base Gamberi during a visit from senior Afghan National Army and Resolute Support leaders July 30, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Jarrod Morris, TAAC-E Public Affairs)

A CH-47 Chinook helicopter and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter prepare to land at Tactical Base Gamberi—U.S. Army photo by Capt Jarrod Morris

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Steven Kinney and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Reinhardt, both AH-64 Apache helicopter pilots assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, Task Force Phoenix, conduct an armed aerial escort mission over Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Dec. 13, 2013. (DoD photo by Capt. Peter Smedberg, U.S. Army/Released)

U.S. Army 1st Lt Steven Kinney and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Reinhardt, both AH-64 Apache helicopter pilots assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, conduct an armed aerial escort mission over Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Dec 2013—DoD photo by Capt. Peter Smedberg

An Afghan Air Force Russian Mil MI-17 helicopter takes off from Camp Shorabak, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, July 25, 2011, following a medical evacuation mission for Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers. Planning and coordination was done by ANA combat medics, who also handled the transfer of patients. (DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Terrance J. Solin Jr., U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

An Afghan Air Force Russian Mil Mi 17 “Hip” helicopter leaving Camp Shorabak, Helmand Province, Afghanistan July 2011 following a medical evacuation mission for Afghan National Army—DoD photo by Lance Cpl Terrance J. Solin Jr.

071112-N-1465K-005 PERSIAN GULF (Nov. 12, 2007) - An MH-53E Sea Dragon, from Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadron (HM) 15, performs mine countermeasure training using the MK-105 sled. HM-15 is deployed aboard the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). Wasp is conducting mine countermeasure exercises to demonstrate the U.S. Navy's ability to defend against mine-laying operations and ensure open access to sea lanes. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. John L. Kline (RELEASED)

An MH-53E Sea Dragon using the MK-105 mine countermeasure sled—U.S. Navy photo by Lt Cmdr John L. Kline

An Afghan air force Mi-17 helicopter lands as part of an air assault exercise with members of the Kandahar Air Wing Security Forces Kandak Nov. 10, 2013, near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Members of the kandak conducted fly away training with NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan advisers from the 443rd and 441st Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadrons. The 18-person class was taught the basics of air assault, including infiltration and exfiltration, unloading and loading from an aircraft and how to secure an aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Anastasia Wasem)

An Afghan air force Mil Mi 17 “Hip” helicopter landing near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan—U.S. Air Force photo by Capt Anastasia Wasem

USCG helos in operation

25 July 2016
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter conducts vertical replenishment training aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Active, March 12, 2015. The Active is on a counter narcotic deployment in the Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets)

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter hovers while delivering supplies aboard a cutter—U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets

A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., conducts a search and rescue demonstration Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, on the Elizabeth River near Norfolk, Va. The demonstration was a part of the 16th Annual Towing Vessel Safety Seminar put on by the Coast Guard and Virginia Maritime Association. (U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Coast Guard Auxiliarist Trey Clifton)

USCG Jayhawk crew demonstrating search and rescue on the Elizabeth River near Norfolk, VA—U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Coast Guard Auxiliarist Trey Clifton

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew returns to Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, to transfer a patient to emergency medical personnel after hoisting him from a cruise ship July 22, 2015. The 83-year-old man was suffering from symptoms of a heart attack aboard a Holland America cruise ship requiring a medevac for immediate medical attention. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson)

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew returning to Air Station Kodiak in Alaska with a patient after hoisting him from a cruise ship on 22 July 22 2015—U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson

A rescue swimmer hangs below an MH-60 Medium Range Recovery Helicopter Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, during a search and rescue demonstration near Elizabeth City, N.C. U.S. Coast Guard helicopters were painted the retro color scheme to celebrate the Coast Guard's aviation centennial birthday. (U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Lt. Cmdr. Krystyn Pecora)

A rescue swimmer hanging below an MH-60 Jayhawk in a search and rescue demonstration on 26 Feb 2016 (this helo is painted in a retro color scheme to celebrate the Coast Guard’s aviation centennial birthday)—U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Lt. Cmdr. Krystyn Pecora

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk crew conducts a helicopter in-flight refuel evolution with the crew of the Cutter Healy southwest of Kodiak Island, Alaska, July 3, 2015. The HIFR technique allows for Coast Guard helicopter crews to safely refuel from a cutter and extend their search and rescue area, a critical component due to the expansive 44,000 miles of coast that surrounds Alaska. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker)

An MH-60 Jayhawk crew refuels while in-flight from the USCG Cutter Healy southwest of Kodiak Island AK—U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker

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