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A 185 on floats coming in to MPB

2 January 2017

For the love of watching things fly. Witnessing the aircraft descend, bending onto final, then the steep drop to a water landing.

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Cessna 185 on base leg to the Miami Seaplane Base (MPB)—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Cessna 185 turning onto final for MPB—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Cessna 185 continues its turn onto final with tail fin strobe lit—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Cessna 185 almost on final with Miami Beach and Star Island in the background—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Cessna 185 flying through a buildings shadow over sailing vessels at anchor—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Cessna 185 almost over MPB and passing Jungle Island—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

2017

1 January 2017
Fireworks in Miami—images by Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Fireworks Miami—images by Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Spyplanes: the Illustrated History of Manned Reconnaissance and Surveillance Aircraft from World War I to Today

30 December 2016

Spyplanes: the Illustrated History of Manned Reconnaissance and Surveillance Aircraft from World War I to Today, Norman Polmar and John Bessette, 2016, ISBN 9780760350317, 240 pp.

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Spyplanes: the Illustrated History of Manned Reconnaissance and Surveillance Aircraft from World War I to Today by Norman Polmar and John Bessette

One thing military, as well as political, commanders never have enough of is information—reconnaissance. Aviation brought a new dimension to reconnaissance (“recce”) and Spyplanes brings us the exciting history of these marvelous aircraft as well as their missions.

The authors (there are two primary and five accessory) fittingly use black throughout their book underscoring the secretive nature of recce flights. Secret for protection whether a spy flight in a U-2 or SR-71—or a post strike assessment flying immediately after a target has been hammered with the folks there fully alert, warmed up and eager to hit back. The end papers bring home the gravity of spyplane work showing an RAF serviceman running a freshly exposed film canister from a Bristol Blenheim photo ship as well as the famous low-level image of Russian ballistic missiles in Cuba which brought the world to its closest worldwide nuclear conflict (and possibly the shortest World War in history).

Spyplanes begins with balloons (prior to World War I) and ends with the conceptual Lockheed SR-72. Between these examples the book is in two parts which are entitled, Spyplane Operations and The Spyplanes with the latter part paying attention to each country in turn which heavily utilized aerial reconnaissance (Germany, Great Britain, Russia/Soviet Union and the United States). Of course the familiar aircraft are there and the authors describe them and their models in concise and flowing detail. Tantalizingly, the lesser known but equally required aircraft are also told of in the same concise flowing detail. Images and art abound, pleasing the eye as well as the writing pleases the hunger to know and understand the impacts of history’s events regarding aerial reconnaissance. Spyplanes changed history’s arcs countless times and this book tells the tale without favoring countries or with a bias toward the victors of war.

This is a lovely book to peruse and a treasure trove of sources to further research a subject area or aircraft. Some of the lesser known recce aircraft are the RB-69, RB-58, RF-86, Ilya Muromets, Ju 86 and Myasishchev M-4—to name a few. Naturally the Tu 95, SR-71, U-2, RF-8, de Havilland Mosquito and Canberra are addressed with the many other major league players in the recce profession. The gorgeous black-on-black SR-71 on the front cover makes this book perfect for a desk while its interior demands a place on any library shelf regarding aviation as well as military and political history.

Cockpit 2 Cockpit: Your Ultimate Resource for Transition Gouge

29 December 2016

Cockpit 2 Cockpit: Your Ultimate Resource for Transition Gouge, LtC Marc Himelhoch, 2016, ISBN 978-0692762813, 166 pp.

Cockpit2Cockpit: Your Ultimate Resource for Transition Gouge by LtC Marc Himelhoch

Cockpit 2 Cockpit: Your Ultimate Resource for Transition Gouge by LtC Marc Himelhoch

Lt. Colonel Himelhoch has written a book for military pilots from the U.S. Armed Services transitioning from military to commercial civilian flying (i.e., “the gouge”). No doubt the U.S. military trains the fortunate and deserving few in aviation piloting but civilian life is another dimension as compared to military life. Cockpit 2 Cockpit is written so that pilots retiring from military service can enter commercial aviation piloting with a plan. No reacting here—as the military does, train like you fight and fight like you train.

LtC Himelhoch’s approach is marked by experience and calculation with thought and effort placed where most effective. Check lists are especially handy (even to the number and costs of suits required for interviews). Indeed, this is the book for the transitioning professional pilot.

It is also the book for anyone making a career transition as Himelhoch’s strategy, thinking and detailed lists are aptly applicable, as well. The thinking and experience Himeelhoch easily exudes give confidence borne of observation and long periods of analysis. It also serves as a primer to seek anyone’s first, or next professional job.

From ROPs* to paperwork to advice on the good versus the bad people one will meet in the process of job hunting Himelhoch pens a lifetime of succesful experience. Like the excellent pilot he must be—his thinking is ahead of the airplane. This title is about action, not reaction, which is the better method utilized to be succesful. This book, in the final analysis, is first for the military pilot venturing into the gouge but is equally suited for any professional job seeker.

* Record of Performance and pronounced as “ropes”

Airbus A400M Atlas

28 December 2016

 

Seen here in the foreground at RAF Brize Norton, is the Airbus A400M. The Airbus A400M will be RAF’s future transport aircraft. In the background are a C-17, and the C130-J in the middle. The A400M will replace part of the RAF C-130 fleet early in the next decade with 25 on order for the UK. The A400M will be the RAF’s new state-of-the-art transport aircraft for the 21st century. Capable of carrying a mixture of troops, equipment, vehicles, and helicopters to the heart of operations, these aircraft will be the backbone of support to troops. Their ability to take-off and land on short makeshift strips will enable deployment of forces quickly and effectively around the world on a variety of operations. Photographer: Andrew Linnett From: www.defenceimages.mod.uk

Seen here in the foreground, at RAF Brize Norton, is an Airbus A400M Atlas (the RAF’s transport aircraft of the future) with a C-17 Globemaster III (L) and C-130 Hercules in comparison—Crown copyright/Andrew Linnett photo

The Airbus A400M, the RAF’s future transport aircraft, which was on display at the Farnborough Air Show. The A400M will replace part of the RAF C-130 fleet early in the next decade with 25 on order for the UK. The A400M will be the RAF’s new state-of-the-art transport aircraft for the 21st century. Capable of carrying a mixture of troops, equipment, vehicles, and helicopters to the heart of our operations these aircraft will be the backbone of support to troops. Their ability to take-off and land on short makeshift strips will enable deployment of forces quickly and effectively around the world on a variety of operations. Photographer: Harland Quarrington From: www.defenceimages.mod.uk

The Airbus A400M Atlas on approach at the Farnborough Air Show—Crown copyright/Harland Quarrington photo

A Royal Air Force A400M Atlas aircraft takes off from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. The aircraft was visiting Akrotiri as part of ongoing trials. Number LXX Squadron is the first operational Airbus A400M Atlas Squadron. The Squadron stood-up in an administrative and engineering support capacity on 1 October 2014, allowing sufficient time for it to be configured and manned appropriately prior to formally accepting air transport tasking from Summer 2015. The aircraft will be operated initially by No. XXIV Squadron, the Fixed Wing Air Mobility Operational Conversion Unit, which is responsible for conducting training for Atlas aircrew and engineering personnel. Additionally No. 206(R) Squadron will test and evaluate Atlas as part of the aircraft’s capability development process. ------------------------------------------------------- © Crown Copyright 2014 Photographer: Cpl Rich Denton RAF Image 45158461.jpg from www.defenceimages.mod.uk This image is available for high resolution download at www.defenceimagery.mod.uk subject to the terms and conditions of the Open Government License at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/. Search for image number 45158461.jpg For latest news visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence Follow us: www.facebook.com/defenceimages www.twitter.com/defenceimages

A Royal Air Force A400M Atlas aircraft taking off from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus—Crown copyright/Cpl Rich Denton RAF photo

A Royal Air Force A400M Atlas aircraft at RAF Brize Norton on 18th Nov 2014. The first of the UK’s A400M Atlas next-generation military transport aircraft was officially unveiled by the MOD at its new home at RAF Brize Norton in November 2014. The aircraft will replace the existing fleet of C-130 Hercules which have been the tried and trusted workhorse of the RAF’s Air Transport Fleet for decades. Manufactured by Airbus Defence & Space, A400M Atlas will represent major advances on its predecessor, capable of flying almost twice as fast, twice as far and carrying almost twice as much cargo. With a cargo capacity of 32 tonnes and a hold optimised for carriage of heavy vehicles, helicopters or cargo pallets, the aircraft is capable of supporting a wide range of operational scenarios. ------------------------------------------------------- © Crown Copyright 2014 Photographer: Paul Crouch Image 45158359.jpg from www.defenceimages.mod.uk This image is available for high resolution download at www.defenceimagery.mod.uk subject to the terms and conditions of the Open Government License at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/. Search for image number 45158359.jpg For latest news visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence Follow us: www.facebook.com/defenceimages www.twitter.com/defenceimages

The Royal Air Force A400M Atlas aircraft is set to replace the C-130 Hercules having a 32 tonne ago capacity—Crown copyright/Paul Crouch photo

A Royal Air Force A400M Atlas aircraft at RAF Brize Norton on 18th Nov 2014. The first of the UK’s A400M Atlas next-generation military transport aircraft was officially unveiled by the MOD at its new home at RAF Brize Norton in November 2014. The aircraft will replace the existing fleet of C-130 Hercules which have been the tried and trusted workhorse of the RAF’s Air Transport Fleet for decades. Manufactured by Airbus Defence & Space, A400M Atlas will represent major advances on its predecessor, capable of flying almost twice as fast, twice as far and carrying almost twice as much cargo. With a cargo capacity of 32 tonnes and a hold optimised for carriage of heavy vehicles, helicopters or cargo pallets, the aircraft is capable of supporting a wide range of operational scenarios. ------------------------------------------------------- © Crown Copyright 2014 Photographer: Paul Crouch Image 45158357.jpg from www.defenceimages.mod.uk This image is available for high resolution download at www.defenceimagery.mod.uk subject to the terms and conditions of the Open Government License at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/. Search for image number 45158357.jpg For latest news visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence Follow us: www.facebook.com/defenceimages www.twitter.com/defenceimages

A Royal Air Force A400M Atlas aircraft on final to RAF Brize Norton—Crown copyright/Paul Crouch photo

The Airbus A400M, the RAF’s future transport aircraft, which was on display at the Farnborough Air Show. The A400M will replace part of the RAF C-130 fleet early in the next decade with 25 on order for the UK. The A400M will be the RAF’s new state-of-the-art transport aircraft for the 21st century. Capable of carrying a mixture of troops, equipment, vehicles, and helicopters to the heart of our operations these aircraft will be the backbone of support to troops. Their ability to take-off and land on short makeshift strips will enable deployment of forces quickly and effectively around the world on a variety of operations. Photographer: Harland Quarrington From: www.defenceimages.mod.uk

The characteristic stately T-tail and scimitar propeller blades of the Airbus A400M Atlas—Crown copyright/Harold Quarrington photo

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Emphasizing the scimitar propeller blades—image provide by Rolls Royce

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The Atlas is has the look of immense capability—image provide by Rolls Royce

A Royal Air Force Atlas A400M transport aircraft flying over Bristol. The Atlas Airbus A400M is a multi-national four engined turboprop military transport aircraft. Designed by Airbus as a replacement for older transporters such as the Hercules C-130 it can perform additional roles including electronic surveillance and aerial refuelling. This particular A400 is called "The City of Bristol" and is operated by 206(R) Squadron based at RAF Brize Norton photographed over the city and surrounding areas of Bristol, Gloucestershire. Its called the "The City of Bristol" due to the ties with the city, the wings are made in Filton, Bristol. ------------------------------------------------------- © Crown Copyright 2014 Photographer: Cpl Paul Oldfield Image 45158516.jpg from www.defenceimages.mod.uk This image is available for high resolution download at www.defenceimagery.mod.uk subject to the terms and conditions of the Open Government License at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/. Search for image number 45158516.jpg For latest news visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence Follow us: www.facebook.com/defenceimages www.twitter.com/defenceimages

“The City of Bristol”, an Airbus A400M Atlas of the Royal Air Force, flying over Bristol—Crown copyright/Cpl Paul Oldfield photo

A Royal Air Force Atlas A400M transport aircraft flying over Bristol. The Atlas Airbus A400M is a multi-national four engined turboprop military transport aircraft. Designed by Airbus as a replacement for older transporters such as the Hercules C-130 it can perform additional roles including electronic surveillance and aerial refuelling. This particular A400 is called "The City of Bristol" and is operated by 206(R) Squadron based at RAF Brize Norton photographed over the city and surrounding areas of Bristol, Gloucestershire. Its called the "The City of Bristol" due to the ties with the city, the wings are made in Filton, Bristol. ------------------------------------------------------- © Crown Copyright 2014 Photographer: Cpl Paul Oldfield Image 45158515.jpg from www.defenceimages.mod.uk This image is available for high resolution download at www.defenceimagery.mod.uk subject to the terms and conditions of the Open Government License at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/. Search for image number 45158515.jpg For latest news visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence Follow us: www.facebook.com/defenceimages www.twitter.com/defenceimages

The Royal Air Force Atlas A400M Atlas named “City of Bristol” banks in the skies over Bristol—Crown copyright/Cpl Paul Oldfield photo.

A Royal Air Force A400M Atlas aircraft flies over RAF Brize Norton on 18th Nov 2014. The first of the UK’s A400M Atlas next-generation military transport aircraft was officially unveiled by the MOD at its new home at RAF Brize Norton in November 2014. The aircraft will replace the existing fleet of C-130 Hercules which have been the tried and trusted workhorse of the RAF’s Air Transport Fleet for decades. Manufactured by Airbus Defence & Space, A400M Atlas will represent major advances on its predecessor, capable of flying almost twice as fast, twice as far and carrying almost twice as much cargo. With a cargo capacity of 32 tonnes and a hold optimised for carriage of heavy vehicles, helicopters or cargo pallets, the aircraft is capable of supporting a wide range of operational scenarios. ------------------------------------------------------- © Crown Copyright 2014 Photographer: Steve Lympany Image 45158360.jpg from www.defenceimages.mod.uk This image is available for high resolution download at www.defenceimagery.mod.uk subject to the terms and conditions of the Open Government License at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/. Search for image number 45158360.jpg For latest news visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence Follow us: www.facebook.com/defenceimages www.twitter.com/defenceimages

An RAF A400M Atlas aircraft flies overhead—Crown copyright/Steve Lympany photo

An A400M at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2014 at Fairford, one of the largest Airshows in the UK. The A400M aircraft, when in RAF service, will be named ATLAS and the RAF will take delivery of its first of 22 aircraft in Autumn 2014 with deliveries expected to be complete by 2019. The A400M, which is a collaborative venture involving the governments and industries of six European countries, will support the deployment of the Joint Rapid Reaction Force and will give the RAF a tactical and strategic-airlift aircraft capable of supporting all three services and be interoperable with other nations. The aircraft will be capable of carrying a load of 25 tonnes over a range of 2000nmls at speeds comparable with pure-jet military transports. It will be capable of operating either at low-level (down to 150ft agl) or at high-level altitudes to 40,000ft, and it will be able to deploy troops and/or equipment between and within theatres of operation either by parachute (up to 108 paratroopers), or by landing on short, unprepared or semi-prepared strips. It will also offer significant improvements in reliability, maintenance and operating costs over the C-130J fleet. ------------------------------------------------------- © Crown Copyright 2014 Photographer: Cpl Neil Bryden RAF Image 45157920.jpg from www.defenceimages.mod.uk This image is available for high resolution download at www.defenceimagery.mod.uk subject to the terms and conditions of the Open Government License at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/. Search for image number 45157920.jpg For latest news visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence Follow us: www.twitter.com/defenceimages

The RAF Airbus A400M Atlas is an extreme performer: aerial refueling capable; 108 paratroopers; 25 tons for 2000 nautical miles; jet aircraft speeds; low to high level operation as well as operating from unimproved airstrips with the RAF anticipated to purchase 22 of these aircraft—Crown copyright/Cpl Neil Bryden RAF

 

 

The Projects of Skunk Works: 75 Years of Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs

27 December 2016

The Projects of Skunk Works: 75 Years of Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs, Steve Pace, ISBN 9780760350324, 256 pp.

The Projects of Skunk Works by Steve Pace

The Projects of Skunk Works by Steve Pace

The Projects of Skunk Works may be Steve Pace’s best work with its loving attention to Lockheed’s history of aviation innovation and the alteration of history’s arc by these machines as well as those who crewed them. Sadly it may be his last work as he unexpectedly passed away this year.

What a work it is!

Steve Pace more than collected facts and data—he talked with people to get insights and the context of the times which he relates as wonderfully as anyone’s uncle. What people were thinking, fearing, or why they were exploring—all there for many pleasant reader experiences. There are the major projects like F-104, U-2 and SR-71 of course. Superbly, there are also the lesser known ones like the RB-69A and Project Wild Cherry in which so many reconnaissance crew perished during the 1950s. Wild Cherry is hardly mentioned in the history texts and won’t have its records declassified until after the year 2020—but Pace writes about it so we will know of it as well as the silent sacrifices of so many people.

Pace also writes of aircraft designs which did not leave the drafting tables but inspired nonetheless. Wonderful and inventive shapes with novel engine placements shown with stunning original artwork.

It would be hard to believe Pace missed a design or pertinent fact—even harder to believe he hasn’t perfectly described the historical impact of each design. This book is a testament to Lockheed’s place in aviation history as much as it is to an excellent author’s love for this work. The index, bibliography, art, photos and insets make this book a remarkable title for any library. It is a book for lighting fires of creation as much as for those who love aviation as well as its history.

F-107A—VAID is the word

26 December 2016

 

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F-107A with its rakish good looks and unique dorsal air inlet which aided its 40,000 fpm climb rate—USAF photo

The North American F-107A lost in the competition where the Republic F-105 Thunderchief prevailed but its Variable-Area Inlet Duct (VAID) technology was utilized in two equally rakish subsequent North American designs—the A-5 Vigilante and XB-70 Valkyrie. Evolution of VAID technology made its way to Lockheed’s SR-71, as well.

J. Terry White has penned an excellent piece in his blog American Aerospace on the F-107A here and is well worth the read.

DAYTON, Ohio -- North American F-107A at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

F-107A showing its cannon locations as well as semi-conformal ventral weapon station (there are also six hard points on the wings) —USAF photo

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F-107A’s cockpit—USAF photo by Ken LaRock

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F-107A relatively uncomplicated cockpit by today’s standards—USAF photo by Ken LaRock

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F-107A in flight—USAF photo

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F-107A being moved to the new building of the National USAF Museum—USAF photo by Ken LaRock