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We talk with Major Brandon “Cain’n” Abel, and Major John “Manson” Appelt, Experimental Test Instructor Pilots from the USAF Test Pilot School. Greg Morris from Gauntlet Warbirds joins in.
The USAF Test Pilot School is a 48 week program for classes of 20-24 students. Graduates go on to test and evaluate weapons systems as test pilots or test engineers. We talk with Cain’n and Manson about the selection process for admission into the School, the variety of aircraft flown at the School, and what a flight test mission involves.
The week’s aviation news:
- NTSB Chairman says ‘We have not ruled anything out’ in investigation of Boeing 787 battery fire in Boston
- Pinnacle Airlines To Move HQ, Hundreds Of Employees To MSP
- $550,000 from state helped to lure Pinnacle airline jobs
- Stunt pilot who has shared runways with motorcyclists is now under FAA investigation for Lancaster Airport fly-by
- Chicago Meigs Field (CGX) is Dead … Really
David gives us a debrief on the Airpigz.com meetup at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. and at the Udvar-Hazy Center next to Dulles.
In this week’s Australia Desk report:
Qantas experiences teething problems with its new alliance partner as their booking system allocates premium economy seats on Emirates aircraft – a class not available with that carrier.
Tiger Airways profits slip as they await a ruling by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission on their proposed takeover by Virgin Australia.
Jetstar Japan takes delivery of two new A320s.
The first former RAAF C-130H to be gifted to Indonesia (formerly A97-006) takes to the skies following deep maintenance in preparation for the transfer.
The USAF confirm they are sending two F-22 Raptors to this year’s Australian International Air Show (Avalon), and unlike their last visit in 2011, this time they’ll be putting on an aerial display.
Grant is heading to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this week as a guest of Malaysia Airlines to cover their launch into the One World Alliance.
Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.
In this week’s Across the Pond segment:
Naval Air Historian Matt Willis joins us to discuss his new book on the Fairey Barracuda a mono wing fleet air arm torpedo bomber from the second world war. Designed to be a mulit functional aircraft, the ‘Barra’ suffered reputational challenges from its perceived weaknesses. However, it proved itself many times and flew well into the ‘50’s.
Not a single complete airframe is left of the 2,600 Barracuda’s built but there is a project being delivered by the Bluebird team and supported by the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton to recreate a lasting memory to this both beloved and sometimes sneered upon aircraft. To Pieter, it is of course the chariot on which his father flew the majority of his fleet air arm missions and activities and therefore remembered with a little more fondness than others.
Matt can be found at www.navalairhistory.com and on Twitter @NavalAirHistory.
Matt’s published books include: Blackburn Skua and Roc and Junkers Ju 87 Stuka.
Naval History Links:
- Fairey Barracuda Wreckage and Recollections
- Barracuda Rising From the Wreckage
- The Royal Navy Historic Flight
- Aviation Loses a Great Man and a Better Friend by Phil Derner, Jr.
- A Great Aviation Geek Is No Longer Here
- Plane that crashed in Antarctica may have turned too early
Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.
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Great interviews with AF test pilots. Can you guys ask more specific questions in regards to flight characteristics, v speeds and flight experiences with tactical aircraft? As a civilian pilot who will likely never have the opportunity to fly one of these airplanes these interviews are a real treat.
Keep up the good work!