Avelo Airlines flight report, Redbird Flight Simulation, Nicki’s flying adventures, the covert Ravens program, the Commemorative Air Force, USAF Aerial Targets Squadron, the Flying Musicians Association, and a commentary about sustainable jet fuel.
Launchpad Marzari spoke with Hank Coats, the CEO and president of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) and Nancy McGee, Vice President of Education about their new headquarters and the Henry B. Tippie National Aviation Education Center.
Dennis Klotz and Trent McMillan represented the Flying Musicians Association at Sun ‘n Fun. Founded in 2009, this 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is for pilots who are also musicians. They welcome all proficiency levels and musical genres.
Commentary on sustainable aviation fuel
In this opinion piece, Main(e) Man Micah tells us his views about sustainable fuel for aviation.
Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari speaks with Jim Dimatteo, the race director for Red Bull Air Race. [12:26]
The decorated former TOPGUN Commander Jim DiMatteo, now Race Director of the Red Bull Air Race. Courtesy of Red Bull Air Race Media Service.
Red Bull race control. Photo by Launchpad Marzari.
Main(e) man and Contributor-at-Large Micah tells his story called New Years Dad. The new year comes at least once annually, sometimes with thoughts of airplanes, and sometimes those thoughts come in combination with other things. Micah gives us some thoughts that occurred to him over two New Years. [32:28]
Micah and his Dad, leaving London and headed to Paris.
Launchpad Marzari talks with Capt Skip “Loose” Lussier (USN retired) who flew President George W. Bush in an S-3 to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln for a televised address on May 1, 2003. [47:41]
Pacific Ocean (May 1, 2003) — President George W. Bush successfully traps aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in a S-3B Viking assigned to the Blue Wolves of Sea Control Squadron Three Five (VS-35) designated “NAVY 1”. President Bush is the first sitting President to trap aboard an aircraft carrier at sea. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Gabriel Piper.
de Havilland Mosquito at the Warbirds Open Day at Ardmore, on the 18th of November 2018.
Mossie in the Avspecs hangar during the WONZ Christmas party visit, 8th of December, 2018.
Dr. Ellen Stofan. Copyright Smithsonian Institution.
David Vanderhoof attended the celebration for the 15th anniversary of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and recorded the interview with Dr. Ellen Stofan, the new John and Adrienne Mars Director at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. She was interviewed by Pete Muntean, a Certificated Flight Instructor and a television news reporter for WUSA9 in Washington, DC. [1:27:56]
SkyVector, a provider of aeronautical charts, online mapping and related flight planning products and services. [0:30:31]
Airplane Geeks reporter at large tells us about his visit to the Titan Missile Museum, the only remaining Titan II site open to the public, located in Green Valley, Arizona, a short distance south of Tucson. [0:39:35]
Launchpad also tells us about his best flight. [1:33:33]
Pieter Johnson talks with Neil McCarthy, a 20-year civilian pilot with over 800 hours on military jets. Neil has a habit of taking on new aviation projects every year and having last talked to Neil in 2012, Pieter hears about his latest projects which include a full size 737 flight simulator and his return to general aviation flying. [1:04:35]
Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six
A 14-year Old Student Pilot
After receiving an email from a 14-year-old student pilot in Australia, we had to talk with him about his passion for flying. Solomon intends to take his solo soon, and he has plans to encourage other young people to take an interest in aviation. [1:39:01]
The Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. corresponds to our usual recording day, so as is the tradition, we have a Bits & Pieces episode for you with recorded segments from the hosts, contributors, and listeners.
Sikorsky VS-44A Flying Boat at the New England Air Museum. Photo by Max Flight.
The segments that make up this episode [with approximate start times]:
Max visited the New England Air Museum to listen to a presentation on the history of Pratt & Whitney given by Mark P. Sullivan, former director of communications for P&W, now retired. Mark is the author of Dependable Engines: The Story of Pratt and Whitney. [1:42]
Reading list, courtesy Mark Sullivan:
The Engines of Pratt & Whitney: A Technical History by Jack Connors.
R2800 Pratt & Whitney’s Dependable Masterpiece by Graham White.
R4360 Pratt & Whitney’s Major Miracle by Graham White.
Development of Jet and Turbine Aero Engines by Bill Gunston.
Development of Piston Aero Engines by Bill Gunston.
World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines by Bill Gunston.
The Aircraft Gas Turbine and Its Operation: The Pratt & Whitney OI 200 Manual.
An Account of the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company by Frederick B. Rentschler (privately published).
The Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Story (privately published in 1950).
Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari spoke with Maj Mathew “Squeeze” Pasquali from VMA-311, a United States Marine Corps attack squadron of AV-8B Harrier jets. [9:56]
One of the things we’ve learned in close to a decade of the Airplane Geeks podcast is that pilots can be colorful characters. Astronauts are certainly no exception to that rule. A total of twelve astronauts walked on the moon, as of this week, and with Alan Bean‘s passing, only four are left with us on earth. Our Contributor-At-Large and Main(e) Man Micah tells us a little bit about what Al Bean meant to him. [18:07]
Max walks through the new Kaman exhibit at the New England Air Museum with Executive Director Jerry Roberts. [25:53] Following that, Max and Jerry walked to one of the adjacent hangars and up to the new balcony overlooking the hangar for a conversation about the museum. [32:10]
The B-29 Hangar at the New England Air Museum. Photo by Max Flight.
Brian catches Chief Master Sergeant Frank Gamache from March Air Reserve Base at the Planes of Fame airshow in Chino, California. They discuss the role of the C-17 Globemaster III and being a loadmaster. [42:16] Brian then talks with listeners Matt (a longtime volunteer at Planes of Fame) [45:26] and Bill. [47:30]
C-17 by Brian Coleman.
Launchpad Marzari speaks with Tora, Tora, Tora pilot Patrick Hutchins. Tora, Tora, Tora is the Commemorative Air Force’s recreation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It is intended as a memorial to all the soldiers on both sides who gave their lives for their countries. [51:22]
Launchpad Marzari talked with Stephen Covington from SRC Airshows about flying the Pitts cross-country to the next show. [1:01:30]
In this months Across The Pond segment, Pieter talks to Neil Bradon, who he interviewed several times for the Airplane Geeks whilst Neil was doing his Private License training in the US. [1:06:50]
This special Bits & Pieces episode offers a huge variety of segments from the co-hosts, our contributors, and our listeners. Here they are [with start times].
Yankee Air Museum [1:45]
David Vanderhoof met with Kevin Walsh, the Executive Director at the Yankee Air Museum, for a conversation and walkthrough. The museum is adjacent to the Willow Run Airport in Belleville, Michigan.
WV-1 Warning Star. Photo by David Vanderhoof.
Bradford Camps [23:45]
Igor Sikorsky III and his wife Karen run The Bradford Camps in the North Maine woods. It’s a beautiful, peaceful location on Munsungun Lake in an area where you can fish, hunt, hike, boat, or just hang out and relax. Each year, Igor conducts his Sikorsky Seminar Weekend where he shares the history of his grandfather through photos, videos and even Sikorsky family speakers. You can immerse yourself in Igor’s Russian years in aviation, his large Pan Am flying boats, and of course his helicopters.
Sikorsky S-38 first designed and built in 1928.
My Dream Machine: C-47 to DC-3 [25:20]
Our Maine(e) Man Micah tells us the story of his Dream Machine.
Micah with a DC-3 at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Innovations in Flight Day 2016. Photo by Brian Coleman.
Student Pilot Nicki [39:40]
Nicki previously sent us three recordings describing her progress. Now we have the fourth installment, her first solo.
Student pilot Nicki.
The Australia News Desk [47:05]
Longtime listeners remember the Australia Desk report with Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron from the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast. For this special Bits & Pieces episode, they’ve sent in a special AusDesk. Be sure to check out the new Australian Aviation podcast.
DeTect Inc. Bird and Drone Warning System [1:07:45]
Tim Trott, the Drone Professor, talked with Craig Rainey from DeTect Inc. about the new bird and drone warning system installed at the Northwest Beaches International Airport, KECP. DeTect specializes in advanced radar and other sensor technologies. They offer bird radar technologies for real-time aircraft bird strike avoidance, as well as wind energy bird mortality risk assessment and mitigation, and industrial bird control.
The Boeing 747-400 [1:16:00]
Listener Tom Rogers is an engineering Associate Director at Pratt & Whitney, with over 25 years in fan and compressor aero. He’s also an avid fan of the Airplane Geeks podcast. Tom wrote us and said, “It is sad to see the PW4000-powered B747-400 fleets being retired by Delta and United. I have had the pleasure of flying business trips on Delta’s NWA birds round trip to Narita from JFK and DTW (Detroit Metropolitan Airport), all upper deck, old seats 2×2 and the new herringbone lie flat. On my last flight home back in February, I was invited up for a photo opportunity in the left seat. Priceless! I’ve attached the picture for your enjoyment.”
Tom Rogers in the B747-400.
Impressions of a Conversation with Michael Dorn [1:17:45]
Our Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari had the opportunity to speak with Michael Dorn, the actor who played the Klingon Worf in the Star Trek franchise. Dorn is a pilot and has owned a number of warbirds. Launchpad met him at a Star Trek convention. Of course he did. Where else are you going to meet a Klingon?
Remembering Bruce McCandless [1:21:05]
Astronaut Bruce McCandless passed on December 21, 2017. He was the first man to fly in space without a tether. Our Main(e) Man Micah looks back on the man and his accomplishments.
Bruce McCandless, EVA – STS-41. NASA photo.
The Airplane Geeks Slack Team [1:26:30]
What it is, how it works, and why you might want to join.
Listener Glen tells us about his airplane of the week, the De Havilland Mosquito.
Flying in Rwanda [1:36:50]
Listener Jim Herne recorded a short story about an incident that he was involved in while living in Rwanda in the late 1980s. He calls it “My Most Interesting Flying Experience.”
Crash in Rwanda.
Rose Parade Flyover [1:44:50]
At the Rose Parade in Pasadena, Brian Coleman witnessed a flyover of two F-35A Lightning IIs and a B-2 Spirit honoring Air Force pilot Major Benjamin “Chex” Meier.
Major Meier flew combat missions over Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Per his wishes upon his death in 2015, Major Meier donated his heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys to save the lives of others.
2018 Rose Parade flyover. Brian Coleman photo.
The B-2 came from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, and the two F-35A’s came from Edwards Air Force Base in California. The flyover was conducted by Major Meier’s Air Force squadron in the exact F-35A the Major flew on many of his missions.
Businesswire reports that “In a moving tribute, the F-35 on the left of the B-2 Stealth Bomber… will represent all donors who have given the gift of life, while the F-35 on the right will symbolize all who have received the gift of life.”
If you are curious about how we do it, here’s a peek behind the curtain.
Next week we’ll return to our usual format with aviation news from the past week, a great guest, some aviation history, your feedback, and much more.
Don’t forget to visit the aviation events calendar at AvGeekFests.com and load in some of the 2018 events in your area that would be of interest to other AvGeeks. And feel free to share the AvGeekFests.com link across your network.
We have a collection of aviation topics this episode: A flight in a Robinson R-44, a look at residential airparks, the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS, imaging instruments for aviation maintenance, US Air Force F-35A avionics and a walk around the aircraft, the Commemorative Air Force, honoring the Women Airforce Service Pilots, and using a portable ADS-B receiver.
Bits & Pieces
As long-time listeners know, when our recording day falls on a major U.S. holiday, we forgo our usual format and instead bring you a collection of pre-recorded segments from the co-hosts, and from our listeners and contributors. That’s the case this episode.
The segments that make up this episode [with start times]:
Our Main(e) man Micah talks with helicopter pilot and Airplane Geeks listener Ernie Eaton at the Hampton Airfield Cafe after their flight in Ernie’s Robinson R44. [2:27]
Ernie Eaton’s Robinson R-44.
Ernie Eaton and our Main(e) Man Micah.
Bill Armstrong, developer and partner at Big South Fork Airpark, explains what it is like to live in a residential airpark community, and what to consider when you are looking for that lifestyle. [13:14]
Residential airpark living. Photo courtesy Big South Fork Airpark.
Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari speaks with Captain Richards, Company Commander, F company 227 Aviation Battalion, and Sergeant Elbert about the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS. [24:27]
General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS. Photo courtesy General Atomics.
Max recorded a call with Liam Hanna, a product specialist with Olympus Europe in Germany. Olympus Europe provides test, measurement, and imaging instruments for the aviation industry. Liam explains the different types of borescopes, how they are used and inspector training requirements, technology advancements that have been made, and dealing with a shortage of inspectors using live inspections and remote experts. Be sure to see the Olympus Application Photo Gallery for a great selection of videoscope and borescope images and videos. Max’s favorite is the High Pressure Turbine Movie, where the laser-drilled cooling holes are clearly visible. [38:12]
At the Chino Air Show, Brian talked with listener Matt Haines about the 60th Anniversary of the Planes of Fame Airshow [1:04:23]; with Staff Sgt Alexandra Dougherty, an avionics specialist for the US Air Force F-35A [1:06:30]; and with Colonel Eddie Bentley of the Commemorative Air Force in front of the beautifully restored C-53. The Commemorative Air Force operates the world’s largest collection of Flying WWII Airplanes. [1:11:47]
Launchpad Marzari spoke with Allison Hoyt about the Commemorative Air Force’s Rise Above: WASP program. The CAF Rise Above program provides young people with real-world examples of how courage, self-confidence, and perseverance can allow them to triumph over the adversity they face in their own lives. The WASP program looks to encourage young women to become involved in aviation. [1:15:15]
Using a portable ADS-B receiver, often connected to an iPad, is a low-cost way for pilots to display nearby traffic. However, the displays can be misleading, as they often don’t show the most important traffic, which is the traffic closest to the plane with the portable ADS-B receiver. Max Trescott talked about the limitations of these devices in a recent episode of his Aviation News Talk podcast, and we have that segment for you here. [1:19:42]
Our Main(e) man introduces an interview with F-35 pilot Captain Roar conducted by Brian, Carlos, and Micah at Wings Over Pittsburgh 2017. In the interview, they discuss the transition from the F-15E Strike Eagle and low military flying in the UK. Capt. Roar mentions the Mach Loop we talked about a few episodes ago and describes the 3 different F-35 versions. We also hear about high G flight. Following that, Capt. Roar takes Brian, Carlos, and Micah on a walk around the F-35. [1:30:31]
The F-35A at the 2017 Wings Over Pittsburgh Airshow. Photo by Carlos Stebbings, Plane Talking UK Podcast.
Carlos and Matt from the Plane Talking UK Podcast pulled together a video presenting many of the faces at the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show. Have a look and see how many (sunburned) people you recognize from Airplane Geeks, the Airline Pilot Guy Show, the Plane Talking UK Podcast, as well as friends of the podcasts.