Wings Over New Zealand is having another of our popular Forum Meets, this time at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, situated at Wigram, in Christchurch on Saturday 30th of June 2018. There will be guest speakers, a chance to mix with fellow aviation fans and special guest Bryan Cox, the legendary WWII Corsair pilot, instructor, author and still flying at 93 years old. This event is NZ$10.00 at the door, but you need to let me know if you’re coming so you will be on the list.
Then the next day on Sunday 1st of July, thanks to a Givealittle Fundraising effort, Bryan Cox will fly in the de Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth NZ1443 that he flew in during his training 75 years ago. This will be happening at Rangitata Island Aerodrome in South Canterbury – about an hour south of Christchurch. All will be welcome to come along, there’s a lot of other things to see there in the Brodie family’s historic aircraft collection at the famous airfield. See the WONZ Forum for more at http://rnzaf.proboards.com
The Flying Tigers, the search for MH370 four years after its disappearance, a newly designated national aviation museum, flight training in the F-104 Starfighter, slow acceptance of ADS-B, and the selection of the new FAA administrator.
Curtiss P-40C Flying Tiger. Courtesy San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.
Charlene Fontaine is the founder and executive director of the Flying Tigers 69th DRS Association, Inc. She is an advocate and speaker for veterans, youth, and trauma victims. Charlene speaks at air shows, conferences, schools, and reunions to inspire youth to learn history and to honor our elders and all those who serve our country.
Started in 2005, the nonprofit Flying Tigers 69th DRS Association carries forward the legacy and history of the Depot Repair Squadron as well as all Flying Tigers. We talk about the history of the Flying Tigers, including the clandestine formation of the American Volunteer Group (the “AVG”) – the 100 pilots and almost 300 ground crew who went off to war under a one-year contract. Charlene tells us about the formation of the 14th Air Force after the contract, and we learn about the iconic shark’s teeth and where we find them on other aircraft.
Charlene loves all things that fly, starting with kites and the gyroscope that was given to her at age four by her father. She flew in a plane at 15, and her college years were spent with open cockpit planes, helicopters, and hot air balloons. Charlene developed a deep desire to learn about her father’s adventures designing airplanes, repairing them, and being a crew chief during WWII.
Having consulted internationally for over 30 years, Charlene’s clients include a wide variety of corporate industries ranging from the military to medical, manufacturing, law enforcement, and non-profits. Working with CEO’s and senior management, Charlene developed projects, teams, and programs that align the organization with their customers’ needs and range from customer service, change management, conflict resolution, creativity, productivity, sales and total quality management.
Charlene has authored a number of books, and speaks at schools, military bases, civic organizations, and air shows sharing the history and stories of the Flying Tigers and CBI Veterans as well as representing them in China. She has film industry experience and “The Forgotten War: China, Burma, India” is currently in production. The Forgotten War: CBI Promo.
March 8, 2018, is the 4-year anniversary of the disappearance of MH370, carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in 2014. The search by Australia, China, and Malaysia ended in January 2017 at a cost of around US$160 million. In January 2018, Malaysia agreed to pay the U.S. firm Ocean Infinity up to US$70 million if it found the plane within 90 search days. The Seabed Constructor vessel started searching on Jan 23.
The Museum of World War II Aviation in Colorado Springs has been designated by Congress as a national aviation museum. Accepting the designation on behalf of the museum was 96 year old retired Air Force Col. Clarence “Bud” Anderson. Bud flew a P-51 Mustang in World War II, and his plane, “Old Crow,” was flown in as a surprise from the National Warbird Hall of Fame in OshKosh.
A new civilian training program for licensed pilots is offered by Starfighters Aerospace with a fleet of Mach 2+ Lockheed F-104 Starfighters at NASA’s Kennedy Shuttle Landing Facility. The training ranges from three to ten days, depending on the pilot, and is authorized by a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) issued to Starfighters by the FAA.
FAA associate administrator for Aviation Safety Ali Bahrami testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure’s subcommittee on aviation. He told the subcommittee that the ADS-B system is fully operational, but its use is limited because the airlines don’t have the onboard equipment required.
Also testifying were representatives from the NTSB, NASA, ALPA, and the DOT’s Office of Inspector General. They talked about drone regulations, pilot shortages, and privatizing ATC. Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced after the hearing that the provision to privatize ATC would be dropped from the reauthorization legislation, HR 2997.
Writing in Forbes, past guest Christine Negroni writes that President Trump does his [private pilot Capt. John Dunkin] no service by putting him forward as a candidate to lead the Federal Aviation Administration. Find the process for appointing the FAA Administrator in Title 49 U.S. Code § 106 – Federal Aviation Administration.
Jeanette Remak and Joe Ventolo Jr. from Phoenix Aviation Research tell the story behind the Lockheed A-12 Blackbird at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan. In the news, we look at FAA reauthorization bills and the battle shaping up in Congress, this year’s Paris Air Show, the Catalina Flying Boats’ DC-3 aircraft, the youngest pilot in Australia, and an Israeli court ruling on reseating women in the airplane.
Janet Remak and Joe Ventolo Jr. with the A-12 on the Intrepid.
Jeannette Remak is the owner of Phoenix Aviation Research. She’s a military aviation historian, a writer, author, artist, and photographic engineer. Her books include XB-70 Valkyrie: The Ride to Valhalla and A-12 Blackbird: Declassified.
In the mid-1990s, Jeannette worked as the volunteer Aircraft Historian for the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan. She performed research for maintenance and restoration, and worked on the aircraft under her control at the museum, including many U.S. Naval and U.S. Air Force aircraft on loan. Jeannette restored sheet metal, she controlled airframe titanium corrosion, and she appropriated parts and specialized equipment for work on A-12 aircraft.
Working with the US Navy’s Curator office, Jeannette is responsible for the rescue of the Sikorsky RH-53D that is the lone survivor of the failed United States hostage rescue mission in Iran. The CH-53D is now restored and on display at the JFK/ US Navy Seal Training School in North Carolina.
Jeannette has a degree in Commercial Photographic Engineering and obtained her Master’s Degree in Aviation Science in 2000. Jeannette also has a degree in Commercial Photography from the NY Institute of Photography.
Joseph A. Ventolo, Jr. is the former curator of the National Museum of the US Air Force. His career started in November 1959 when Joe joined the 269th Combat Communications Squadron of the Ohio Air National Guard. In 1965, he received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant as a communications officer. He left the Ohio Air National Guard in 1966 and transferred to the Air Force Reserve where he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and remained in the Air Force Reserve until 1970.
In 1962, Joe joined the staff of the U.S. Air Force Motion Picture Film Archives at Wright-Patterson AFB as a Motion Picture Archivist. In 1979, he transferred to the U.S. Air Force Museum’s Research Division as the Museum’s Historian. Two years later he became a Curator of Aeronautics. Joe has co-authored articles that appeared in such periodicals as Air Enthusiast, WW I Aero, and Friends Bulletin. In 1993 he was appointed Curator of the U.S. Air Force Museum and named Curator of the United States Air Force. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1995.
Joe is currently a co-owner/consultant with Phoenix Aviation Research. He has co-authored articles in the Atlantic Flyer, and written three aviation books, all with Jeannette Remak.
Their first book, XB-70 Valkyrie: The Ride to Valhalla was published in December 1998. Their second book, A-12 Blackbird: Declassified, was published in December 2000. And a third book, The Archangel and the OXCART: The Lockheed A-12 Blackbirds and the Dawn of Mach III Reconnaissance was published in 2008.
Boeing said it has 240 orders and commitments. Some orders are conversions from earlier orders for other MAX models. The MAX 10 is a stretch of the MAX 9 that seats up to 230 passengers and is designed to compete with the Airbus A321neo.
Airbus launched a new open aviation data platform called Skywise to support digital transformation of the industry. The Skywise aviation data platform was developed in collaboration with Palantir Technologies. See the video: Airbus launches new open aviation data platform, Skywise.
Test pilot Billie Flynn told Aviation Week, “After 10 years since first flight, with our first opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities and the maneuverability of the F-35, we are going to crush years of misinformation about what this aircraft is capable of doing,”
Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. introduced a proposed FAA reauthorization bill in the House. The Bill prohibits passengers from being removed from a flight after they’ve boarded, privatizes ATC, and requires airlines to post resources for stranded passengers online when the airline is disrupted by a computer outage. It also calls for the faster development of a traffic management system for small drones, faster approval process for commercial drone operators, and a new certification system for small-drone commercial operators.
Guest Steve Hinton is a record holding air racer, president of Planes of Fame Air Museum, and owner of a military aircraft restoration company. In the news, United is replacing 50-seaters with larger aircraft, more bad behavior by airline crew members, military drone crashes, desert beetles and airplane frost, and airlines sucking away regional pilots. Also, the Boeing P-26 Peashooter, and the A-10. Again.
Northrop N9MB. Courtesy Planes of Fame Air Museum
Steve Hinton is an American aviator who held a world speed record from 1979 to 1989 and won six Unlimited-class air races, including two national championships. He won four consecutive Unlimited races in one year, and remains the only pilot ever to do so. He retired from racing in 1990.
Steve is now president of Planes of Fame Air Museum with locations in Chino, California and Valle-Grand Canyon, Arizona, and owner of Fighter Rebuilders, a military aircraft restoration company.
On August 14, 1979, Steve set the piston-driven aircraft 3-kilometer world speed record at 499.018 mph in the highly-modified RB51 Red Baron at Tonopah, Nevada. At age 27, he was the youngest person ever to capture the speed record.
On September 16, 1979 while racing the RB-51 in Reno, Steve’s plane suffered catastrophic engine failure. He finished the race in second place, but crashed short of the runway. Although the plane’s fuel erupted in a fireball, the cockpit was thrown away from the fire and Steve survived with a broken back, leg, and ankle.
Steve became the chief test pilot for the Tsunami Racer in 1987. Some of his notable wins in air racing include:
1978, Mojave, Red Baron
1978, Reno (Unlimited National Champion), Red Baron
1979, Miami, Red Baron
1979, Mojave, Red Baron
1985, Reno (Unlimited National Champion), Super Corsair
1990, Sherman, Texas, Tsunami
Steve is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and charter member of the Motion Picture Pilots Association. He has worked on more than 60 films. In 2002 he received a nomination from the World Stunt Awards for the Taurus Award, Best Aerial Work in Pearl Harbor.
United intends to retire many of its 50-seat regional fleet by 2019 and replace them with larger aircraft. This is just the first buy. FlightGlobal reports United has 256 50-seat regional jets and had “considered the 110-set Bombardier CS100 and both the 90-seat Embraer 190 and 120-seat E190-E2 aircraft.”
The man faces Federal charges for allegedly flying two Alaska Airlines flights while under the influence of alcohol. Arntson was selected for drug and alcohol testing after he landed at John Wayne Airport.
A Washington Post investigation says that over 400 large U.S. military drones have crashed since 2001. In one incident, the pilot didn’t realize she had been flying the aircraft upside-down. In another, the pilot didn’t notice he had squeezed the wrong red button on his joystick, putting the plane into a spin.
Scientists at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute think they have learned something about controlling frost from a beetle that lives in the desert. The Namib Desert beetle can collect water in the air through bumps on its shell which then directs water droplets into the beetle’s mouth. The scientists believe they can scale this up to work on large objects, like airplanes.
Seaport Airlines based in Portland, Ore., has been forced to drop some routes because of a pilot shortage. Seaport executive vice president Tim Sieber said, “A lot of regional airlines are undergoing this challenge right now, one we think will last a long time.” He said once Seaport pilots accumulate 1,500 hours of flight time, they typically leave for more lucrative jet-flying jobs on bigger airlines, and their vacancies are not being filled fast enough by newly-licensed pilots. “We’ve downsized the airline to one where we can focus on providing a reliable level of service with our smaller fleet,” Sieber said.
The Airplane of the Week
David tells us the history of the Boeing P-26A Peashooter.
Boeing P-26A Peashooter at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, by David Vanderhoof
Christopher Sims talks about affordable air charter travel, and creating a secondary charter market.
Our “Main(e) Man” Micah brings us the last conversation on the A-10. Maybe.
This Episode: F-117A designer Alan Brown, Duxford Flying Legends Airshow, Landing Aircraft in a Whiteout, Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center, the C-5 Galaxy, aviation safety, and a Labor Day message.
This is a Bits & Pieces episode. If you’ve been with us for a while, you know what that means. If you are new to the show, this is something we do occasionally instead of our usual format.
You see, we record Airplane Geeks Monday evenings, but sometimes Monday is a national holiday and we want to spend the day with our families and friends. Since we don’t want to leave you without a show to listen to, we put together something we call Bits & Pieces.
The Bits & Pieces idea is simple: We ask the co-hosts and contributors to provide pre-recorded segments for the episode, then we just stitch them together and it’s Bits & Pieces. This time we really encouraged you to send us recordings, and we were pleased to have received a number of them.
This week’s segments:
Interview with F-117A designer Alan Brown
Max Trescott interviews, Alan Brown, an aeronautical engineer by training, who was program manager and chief engineer for the F-117A Stealth Fighter from initial concept until the first production aircraft was built.
Duxford Flying Legends Airshow
Listener Ray Williams sends his report from the Duxford Flying Legends Airshow held July 11-12, 2015.
Hawker Nimrod I
Line up at Duxford Flying Legends
Morane-Saulnier 406 D-3801
Hispano HA-112 MIL (Buchon) G-AWHE [Note non-Bf109 bulges on engine cowling to house the Merlin engine]
Lightning and Mitchell in a flypast
Landing Aircraft in a Whiteout
Geeks on Ice reporter Juan Fernandez, who brought us the Reports from an Airplane Geek from McMurdo Station Antarctica series, shares a short story about the special procedures to land an airplane under the zero visibility conditions of a whiteout.
Listener JD gives us some interesting facts and experiences from the perspective of a C-5A instructor pilot with over 5200 hours in the airplane, including 192 combat sorties before retiring in 2013.
Across the Pond
PA-38-112 Tomahawk, G-BNDE (copyright XTPMedia)
Pieter Johnson discovers a “new” source of information on aviation safety whilst photo editing: the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB). It’s a gentle and sobering reminder of safety in the air (and on the ground).
We tackle the show without a guest, and take the opportunity to to fly largely unedited for a more raw, intimate episode.
We talk about flying ability based on gender and airliner recycling as alternative housing. On the technology front, we look at jet engine developments and the application of 3D printing to aerospace manufacturing.
Listener mail topics include aviation museums, the British Airways Future Pilot Programme, beer and wine on flights, good aviation books, and where you can buy your own bomber.
David even proposes an aviation cooking show and looks for recipes like Mitsubishi Meatballs, Boeing Bouillabaisse, Airbus Avocados, and Piasecki Pancakes. David also mentions a “dollar nineteen” airplane. Want to know what that is? Look it up on Emmanuel Gustin’s Aircraft Nicknames page.
Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute: The Transportation Security Administration and Weapons.
In this week’s Across the Pond segment:
We continue the discussion with Oussama Salah from Oussamas Take on developments in the Middle East ….but ‘spreading worldwide’ might be a better description. In our discussion this week we wonder if Alitalia will remain in one piece and where the growth stops, as Ireland and Switzerland get added attention.
Freelance aviation journalist Jason Rabinowitz joins us to talk about FAA deadlines, passenger behaviour on charter flights, and the state of U.S. airport infrastructure. Also, the best aviation museums, Jetblue’s new FlyFi system, travel technology, and analyzing travel data.
David Vanderhoof’s segment: Suzie the Cirrus and her adventure with Mr. Alex.
In this week’s Australia Desk:
This week we have a recent interview with Matt Hall, talking about his preparations for the upcoming Red Bull Air Race season. For US listeners, there are two races this year – one in Forth Worth and the other in Las Vegas.
Pieter talks to Krzysztof Kuska Editor-in-Chief of Infolotnicze about the decision by the Polish military to proceed with buying the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 twin-engined jet trainer as its Lead-in Fighter Trainer (LIFT) aircraft to replace its aged fleet of over 100 PZL Mielec TS-11 Iskra jets; significantly under cutting BAE and Korea Aerospace/Lockheed Martin in the process. Pieter learns the M346 and Yak 130 share the same development stable, but this does not fit comfortably with some in Poland.
They also discuss the current pressure on the national airline LOT to look for both internal and external investment and its recent bad luck with the Boeing 787 service.
David’s Aircraft of the Week is the Supermarine Attacker.
In this week’s Australia Desk report, Steve is back from vacation, Rob Fyfe announces his pending retirement as CEO of Air New Zealand, Qantas announces Carbon Tax related fare rises (Steve vents about the Carbon Tax), Qantas credit rating downgrade, and Grant tries the mood detecting music machine one last time.
On Across The Pond this week, Pieter talks to Dave Lees, Managing Director of Southampton Airport in the UK. Dave explains to us how he will make Southampton already one of the UK’s highest performing regional airports, even better.
Captain Sara “Clutch” Joyner (selected to be the Navy’s first female carrier air group (CAG) commander).
We greatly appreciate the contributions made by our listeners to fund the second half of the broadcast, and all the Airplane Geeks listeners who came out to see us and spend the day at the magnificant Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. We’ve said it before, and it’s worth saying again: We have the best listeners of any podcast!
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