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U.S. Army Helicopter Names Volume 2, Second Edition

16 June 2017

U.S. Army Helicopter Names Volume 2 Second Edition, John Brennan, 2016, ISBN 978-1-937748-26-5, 119 pp.

U.S. Army Helicopter Names Volume 2, Second Edition by John Brennan (front cover)

U.S. Army Helicopter Names Volume 2 Second Edition is Brennan’s sixth book on Vietnam helicopters and the men who flew them during the Vietnam War. He is adept at preserving the naming and the artwork associated with the thousands of helicopters flown by the U.S. Army during this war which is symbolized by the venerable Huey. This book in its essence is a catalogue of names, those which yet survive, individual artwork as well as research resources. This book also has its unique insights from which units used artwork and which did not to personal photos shot of aircrew and their mounts. Not the least of these insights is the impressive poem written by Col. George Patton IV in remembrance and in leaving his C&C helicopter, Little Sorrel. Reading Brennan’s books, this one especially, one can’t help but think that he as well as Patton share the same love for their Vietnam helicopters.  U.S. Army Helicopter Names Volume 2 is a book for historians, libraries and specialists—though enthusiasts will also gain welcome understanding of this influential vehicle classes during the Vietnam War which shaped the asymmetric warfare of today.

 

U.S. Army Helicopter Names Volume 2, Second Edition by John Brennan (back cover)

Pearl Harbor Air Raid: The Japanese Attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet, December 7, 1941

15 June 2017

Pearl Harbor Air Raid: The Japanese Attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet, December 7, 1941, Nicholas A. Veronico, 2017, ISBN 978-0811718387, 208 pp. & 300+ photos

Pearl Harbor Air Raid: The Japanese Attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet, December 7, 1941 by Nicholas A. Veronico

Pearl Harbor Air Raid: The Japanese Attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet, December 7, 1941 by Nicholas A. Veronico (front cover)

 

This year is the 75th anniversary of the raid on Pearl Harbor. Fittingly Nick Veronico has produced this new book and it promises to be one for history buffs everywhere because he shows the rest of the story. Yes, the attack is well documented but—and this is where this book goes beyond the others—Veronico (using 300+ images) also shows the aftermath and amazing recovery. The recovery is a victory in itself and its story has long been given short shrift until this book. Veronico also thoughtfully/respectfully included appendices of the Congressional Medal of Honor awardees as well as serial number listing of aircraft destroyed in that raid. Sidebars and details included give context as well as point to ponder.

Pearl Harbor Air Raid—through Veronico’s insightful, concisely informative and contagious style—has readers experience both side of this battle as well as all phases of the raid. We understand the tranquil setting of Pearl Harbor on any given Sunday. The reality of combat during the raid with dramatic photos (many hardly seen before this book) from Japanese and American sources is next. Finally, and especially, the recovery and repair phase where we learn: of the massive damage caused by the torpedos (usually not seen but these ships were recovered from Pearl’s shallow waters instead of being lost to the ocean deep), the totality of damage to the aircraft and hangars, and the civilians lost. Veronico has encapsulated the losses in detail with references and listings, his photos are complete and extraordinary, the heroism recorded as well as the places see are humbling.

Veronico’s writing is a welcome blend of information, insight and I-didn’t-know-that. He simply loves this work and this new book promises to show the entire story if the raid from the U.S. Armed Forces perspective.

 

Pearl Harbor Air Raid: The Japanese Attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet, December 7, 1941 by Nicholas A. Veronico (back cover)

Mars Rover Concept Vehicle

14 June 2017

 

The Mars rover concept vehicle operates on an electric motor is powered by solar panels with a 700-volt battery. It separates in the middle with the front area designed for scouting and equipped with a radio and navigation provided by the Global Positioning System (while on Earth). The back section serves as a full laboratory which and can be disconnected for autonomous research—NASA image

The front of the Mars Rover Concept Vehicle—NASA image

The rear of the Mars Rover Concept Vehicle—NASA image

The right rear quarter view of the Mars Rover Concept Vehicle—NASA image

Cool Shots

12 June 2017

 

Pictured is one of the Red Arrows pilots and an Engineer passenger preparing for take-off.
Ten aircraft engineering technicians are chosen to form a team known as the circus.
Circus engineers are each allocated to a specific pilot for the duration of the summer display season—Crown Copyright 2014/Corporal (Cpl) Steve Buckley [RAF]

Flight helmets in line on the wing of a Red Arrows aircraft—Crown Copyright 2014/Corporal (Cpl) Steve Buckley [RAF]

Boeing E-3 Sentry—U.S. Air Force photo/SSgt Michael Battles

An F-15E Strike Eagle—U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Tristan Biese

Boeing B-52H Stratofortress—U.S. Air Force photo/Sr Airman Christine Griffiths

Boeing B-52 Stratofortress with braking parachute trailing—U.S. Air Force photo/TSgt Nathan Lipscomb

Gigantic gravity wave originating from the Perseus Cluster (image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory satellite)—NASA image

A-10 Thunderbolt II—U.S. Air Force photo/SSgt Jared Trimarchi

Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) manning the rails to giving passing honors to the USS Midway Museum while departing San Diego Bay on another deployment—U.S. Navy photo/Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Bill M. Sanders

The Baikonur Mural

7 June 2017

The space themed tile mural at the entrance to the town of Baikonur in Kazakhstan where Soyuz rockets to the International Space Station (ISS) are launched—NASA/Bill Ingalls

 

The USCG Dolphin

5 June 2017

 

U.S. Coast Guard Eurocopter MH-65 Dolphfin coming to a landing for a medevac mission of an injured merchant sailor aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. The sailor had been evacuated from the Liberian cargo ship "Marie Richards" the previous evening and stabilized. — U.S. Nay photo by Mass Comm Spec Seaman Colby Neal

U.S. Coast Guard Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopter) MH-65 Dolphfin coming to a landing (gear down) for a medevac mission of an injured merchant sailor aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln—U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec Seaman Colby Neal

 

U.S. Coast Guard Eurocopter HH-65A Dolphfin on an open water rescue demonstration flight — U.S. Nay photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Richard J. Brunson

U.S. Coast Guard Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopter) MH-65A Dolphfin on an open water rescue demonstration flight — U.S. Nay photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Richard J. Brunson

140619-N-WM477-049 ROSARIO STRAIT (June 19, 2014) An MH-65 Dolphin helicoper assigned to Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is underway performing routine operations and training exercises. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aiyana S. Paschal/Released)

A Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopter) MH-65 Dolphin USCG helicopter lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68)—U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 3rd Class Aiyana S. Paschal

091108-N-5812W-004 JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 8, 2009) The U.S. Coast Guard demonstrates how they conduct a search and rescue during the 2009 Sea and Sky Spectacular. The Sea and Sky Spectacular is part of the Week of Valor at Jacksonville Beach. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sunday Williams/Released)

A rescue swimmer drops from an MH-65 Dolphin of the USCG during a search and rescue demonstration during the 2009 Sea and Sky Spectacular—U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec 2nd Class Sunday Williams

 

The YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed—a Star Wars 747

31 May 2017

The U.S. military’s research investigation for an airborne laser design using a chemically powered laser (COIL—Chemical Oxygen Iodine laser). The laser fuel and COIL devices occupied the rear two-thirds of the aircraft with the largest turret assembly at the time providing the “shooting” ability.

Although testing successfully the power was a magnitude less than what would be needed realistically as well as deployment of several aircraft with fighter and electronic warfare escorts provided challenges. Additional constraints were that once the reaction was started it could not be stopped so choosing to commit to a shot was a highly troubling one to make. The aircraft would have to land to reload the chemicals required for the COILs.

The motivation for the system was to provide a fast and mobile ability to defend against tactical nuclear missiles with the laser heating the skin of the rocket during its boost phase—resulting in fuselage failure due to heated metal becoming to weak for the stresses of flight. The added disincentive to enemy forces to launch would also be there nuclear tipped missile falling, explosively, back to their operational area.

The business end of the YAL-1 (a modified Boeing 747) Airborne Laser Testbed—U.S. Missile Defense Agency image

The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed aloft (note the static discharge line trailing from the vertical stabilizer)—U.S. Missile Defense Agency image

The Airborne Laser Testbed winging its way over the western United States—U.S. Missile Defense Agency image

The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed in landing trim—U.S. Missile Defense Agency image