EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022 Ready to Roll

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At Oshkosh, over by the gift shop, there’s an “airplanes for sale” bulletin board, the real, old-fashioned kind of stick-pin bulletin board. Every year, we stop by, sometimes more than once, to look at the planes. We’re never sure what we’re looking for, but we always find plenty of weird and wonderful winged creations to whet our appetites (as if we needed it) for getting into the air. And we can’t help but think about the planes there. Whose are they? Did the owner at some point in the past 50 years find their plane on this very same bulletin board, maybe back when flared pants and mutton chop sideburns were in vogue, when the official attire of any true EAA’er was that famous blue windbreaker with patches from fly-ins past?

There are so many little details about the Oshkosh AirVenture fly-in, the upper Midwestern American summer gathering of pilots and other aviation enthusiasts, that can immediately give one a sense of place. The morning revelry, the smell of burgers on the open flame wafting out toward the flight line, the glint of sun on a P-47 on that walk to the North 40 showers before most of the people making up this weeklong city have arisen. (That glint from the same sun seven decades back when this plane was in Burma waiting to go into battle.) 

Let’s establish that no one can see all of the show. There’s too much. Way too much. So you’ve got to pick your spots, keep your eyes ready to dart skyward at the sound of a Merlin or the roar of a big Pratt turbofan. 

And as the week marches on (if you’re lucky enough to be there for the whole event), the show imparts to every attendee a different set of experiences, different from last year’s and from the next event, too. So you let it soak in, because there is literally too much to take in. 

This year’s OSH gathering will have lots of pilots, some like you; interesting news developments; and no end of amazing planes, many of which fill the afternoon sky with salutes to aviation’s remarkable past and some of which are harbingers of its great future. We can’t wait for every single bit of it—the friends, the stories, the losses and the promise of it all. 

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And EAA’s excellent promotion of the event, which stars and wings will be at this year’s event, all of it is worthy and fascinating. But you know what? We’ll be there regardless, this year and every year. 

The photography that makes up this gallery is courtesy of those friends at EAA, whose many photographers spread across the grounds during the week of the show, capturing brilliantly those many things that we might have missed last year but swear that we won’t…this year. 

 

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A tail blades failing in the evening in Saudi Arabia

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I was based at Riyadh Air Force Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, flying a AS365N-1 Dauphin for the Medical Services Division of the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF). We had actually been sent off to a tiny town 120 clicks out of Riyadh to get a man that had actually sunk and also got on life assistance. I was the airplane leader and also had an RSAF initially lieutenant as 2nd in command; in the back was a physician and also 2 trip registered nurses. We had actually left XXN at around 0230 as well as anticipated to be 1:28 en path. The touchdown area (LZ) at the town was a car park beside the hospital.We went to 6,000 ft. AGL as well as it was a regular however lovely Saudi evening. George, as I called the auto-pilot, was flying the ship. We were IFR as well as had definitely no ground referral– and also anticipated none till we came within aesthetic series of our location. It was so tranquil you needed to consider the panel to see to it you were certainly flying. As we got to 15 DME from the health center, we might see the lights of the emergency situation devices awaiting our arrival. We began a mild descent to 2500 ft. AGL, finished the pre-landing list, as well as resorted to a 5-mile last to the LZ. During that time I reduced the equipment as well as readjusted the power as well as mindset to raise drag.

AS365AS365

The Dauphin has an one-of-a-kind tail blades style, called a Fenestron. As I included pedal to change for the modification in our power setup, I understood extremely swiftly that we had no tail blades authority. (The AS-365 did not have a typical tail blades; rather, the tail blades was confined in the tail fin as well as called a Fenestron, which runs like a ducted follower.)I swiftly examined to validate the problem as well as discovered that I had a complete series of

appropriate and also left pedal, yet without outcome. I right away informed the SIC to increase the equipment while I modified power in order to reach a risk-free elevation, at which time I validated that we did, as a matter of fact, have a total anti-torque failing. We carried out the emergency situation treatments for anti-torque failing 2 times after that decided to make an emergency situation touchdown in the car park. I had not been ready to fly that point completely back to Riyadh, not understanding what had actually created the trouble. We had no selection however to land at the healthcare facility. I advised the SIC to speak to the Saudi Police at the healthcare facility and also to recommend them to remove the car park as well as to have fire-rescue phase simply outside the wall surface.(All desert towns had a 6-8 ft. wall surface around the town to maintain the sand from hiding every little thing.)

We had really thoroughly reached and also leveled off at 2,000 ft. AGL, so we established the heading and also elevation pests while we performed our emergency situation treatments. When absolutely nothing functioned we took care of the ship around to begin a really superficial 4 DME last at about 70 knots with as couple of power adjustments as feasible. We had actually formerly alerted Riyadh of our scenario, suggested the clinical staff we were making an emergency situation touchdown, as well as for them to take the required preventative measures.

It was not a large parking area however my primary problem was the wall surface. We would certainly need to remove that wall surface with at the very least a 50-65 kts of ahead airspeed in order to maintain the ship in trim, after that touch down and also really hope the brakes held. There was no wind at the LZ. As we came close to the wall surface, I enhanced power and also drew the nose up simply a little in order to raise our elevation sufficient for the tail to get rid of the wall surface. As I did so, the nose, as anticipated, transformed around 10-15 levels. We removed the wall surface with the primary equipment, I counted to 3, as well as decreased the cumulative, creating the nose to go back to a regular placement.

The emergency brake was currently established and also as quickly as we influenced the ground the airplane skidded to a period in much less than 30 feet. The airplane suffered no damages and also there were no injuries. 2 hrs later on, a 2nd ship got here, we packed the client right into that airplane and also took the individual to Riyadh, while the various other staff remained with the 2nd ship and also the auto mechanics that had actually been sent out to identify the reason for the failing.

Helicopter diagram aboveHelicopter diagram above

Without the tail blades, a helicopter in a hover is irrepressible. The truths behind the failing went deep. The initial agreement to supply rotor-wing airplane to MSD was expected to be granted to Bell Helicopters.. Aerospatiale thought of a final, sweetie offer that supplied MSD with 9 365s. After the dust/politics cleared up, Bell supplied 2 212s. Aerospatiale had to come with the 365s in clinical arrangement virtually over night since of the late deal. They had them on the assembly line however the ships needed to be clinically set up along with getting rid of last manufacturing. In their rush, the push-pull pole that transforms the pitch of the anti-torque blades (which deal with for power input), was set up inaccurately. As the pole relocated, it endured the security cable that held the pole in position. As soon as that safety and security cable stopped working, the anti torque system stopped working, causing total loss of directional control.

We were really, extremely lucky because our failing happened throughout a decreased power setup. If the failing had actually taken place at a hover, where even more power and also therefore extra anti-torque input was required, the ship would certainly have quickly inverted. (Which is precisely what occurred throughout a later occasion). If the occasion happens throughout trip, while still a severe emergency situation, it is less complicated to deal with. The treatment is called a run-on touchdown, which is what we performed in this instance. In some occasions, relying on weight, if the tail blades stops working at a hover, the pilot swiftly lowers power and also the airplane kicks back to the ground. That’s the streamlined variation.

KEEP IN MIND: “For every activity, there is a contrary as well as equivalent response.” Some person called Newton called it his Third Law of Motion. I have no suggestion what the initial 2 were! Anyhow, the little blades on the back of the majority of rotor-wing airplane are called, wait on it … the tail blades (given that the huge blades on the top is called the primary blades). Tail blades is simpler to claim and also a lot more socially appropriate, than anti-torque gadget. As the primary blades transforms one method, the text of the airplane wishes to transform vice versa. Thanks, Mr. Newton.

Joe began flying in secondary school, offered in the army, as well as retired in 2022 at age 80 with 26,000 hrs complete time, consisting of 21,000 of rotor-wing time. His last task was as Chief Pilot, Walton County (FL) Sheriff’s Office. A lot of Joe’s rotor-wing experience was flying wildfire and also outside tons ops, yet he did invest 7 years doing “EMS things” in the United States, Saudi Arabia, and also Scotland. He likewise flew offshore in the Gulf and also North Sea, was an FAA Part 135 Check Airman in 9 various airplane as well as worked as Chief Pilot, Director of Ops under FAR Part 135 for an overall of 13 years. Finally matter, he had actually helped 23 firms as an agreement pilot.
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U.S. E-4B ‘Doomsday’ Plane Makes Airshow Debut Outside The U.S. at RIAT

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E-4B RIAT
The E-4B is one of the highlights of this year’s RIAT at RAF Fairford. (Image credit: RIAT)

Royal International Air Tattoo in the UK, marks the first airshow appearance of a U.S. Air Force E-4B Nightwatch, outside the U.S.

The RIAT (Royal International Air Tattoo), underway at RAF Faiford, UK, is, at least in Europe, the real highlight of the airshow season, attracting, as usual, several interesting aircraft types from all over the world. Making its first appearance at RIAT 22, the first ever at an airshow outside the U.S., is this year a very rare assets, the U.S. Air Force E-4B Nightwatch.

The E-4B is a modified B747-200 that serves as National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) providing a flying command, control and communications center to direct nuclear (and conventional) forces, by receiving, verifying and relaying EAM (Emergency Action Messages). Four E-4B are in service with the U.S. Air Force and operated by the Air Force Global Strike Command out of Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. One aircraft is usually airborne every 12 hours, with another one ready for departure with a 5-minute notice.
The one on static display at RIAT 22, registration 73-1676, arrived in the afternoon on Jul. 15, 2022 as GORDO 01. The aircraft could be tracked online on flight tracking websites as it did a holding pattern and then a low pass before coming back to landing.

The E-4B, designed to carry the U.S. SecDef as well as other U.S. top officials and always supporting Air Force One’s trips abroad, is specifically designed to keep American decision makers alive in case of nuclear wars, crisis, zombie invasions or alien attacks. Therefore, it has to be able to fly through any EMP (electromagnetic pulse) with unharmed systems. That’s why this highly-modified Boeing 747 does not feature modern glass cockpit but old fashioned, analogue-style avionics are more resilient to EMPs.

The E-4B is protected against the effects of electromagnetic pulse and has an electrical system designed to support advanced electronics and a wide variety of communications equipment. An advanced satellite communications system provides worldwide communication for senior leaders through the airborne operations center. Other improvements include nuclear and thermal effects shielding, acoustic control, an improved technical control facility and an upgraded air-conditioning system for cooling electrical components.

According to the U.S. Air Force fact sheet, the Nightwatch aircraft’s main deck is divided into six functional areas: a command work area, conference room, briefing room, an operations team work area, communications area and rest area. An E-4B may include seating for up to 112 people, including a joint-service operations team, Air Force flight crew, maintenance and security component, communications team and selected augmentees.

The following clip shows the arrival of the “Doomsday” plane in 4K.



About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

AirVenture Almost Here; New Wings at Van’s; And a New Look for the CAP

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With Oshkosh looming—it starts on Monday, July 25—the week in news has been slow, GA-wise, as plane makers and movers and shakers usually hold on to their announcements until the festivities get underway. There was one big exception to this rule, as Van’s Aircraft created the year’s funniest release in showing the world its new high-wing plane after spy photos let the cat out of the bag.

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General Aviation Facing Great Opportunities and Challenges

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The US House Subcommittee on Aviation heard testimony on July 13th from multiple aviation industry groups, including the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) regarding the current state of general aviation, and the news was largely positive, though leaders shared challenges and future hazards to the segment.

NATA President and CEO, Timothy Obitts, told the subcommittee, “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, general aviation proved its national value by continuing to deliver vital essential services when commercial aviation shut down.” He went on to say, “Part 135 air carriers and general aviation airports provided critical medical transport, supported essential law enforcement and firefighting services, transported testing and vaccine supplies, facilitated business travel to maintain economic growth, and kept remote communities safely connected.”

However, with increased flight activity comes new entrants to the 135 charter market. Industry observers have noted that this influx of new charter companies also has led to a dangerous uptick in illegal charters.

NATA believes the prevalence of the illegal charter activity begins with inconsistent investigation and enforcement by regional Flight District Standards Offices (FSDO’s). Some of this may be related to a lack of resources at the FAA to investigate and increase enforcement against these illegal charter operators. And since the NTSB reviews and settles the backlog of appeals, additional resources for those tasked with hearing and deciding on those appeals would also assist in curbing the illegal operations in the 135 industry.

GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce also testified about the challenges that the business aviation community faces, which includes supply chain issues, the future of aviation fuels, efforts to strengthen the industry’s workforce and concerns over radio frequency spectrum allocation, to name a few.

Friday Photo: sundown separation

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Sunset with airplane

Sunset with airplane

The sight: Departure right into a setup sunlight The pilot: Todd James

The plane: Marquart Charger MA-5 The objective: To lose some tension and also unwind.

The memory: Few points in life can defeat the sight of a lovely loss sundown mounted in the wings of your favored biplane.

Intend to share your “Friday Photo?” Send your picture as well as summary (making use of the style over) to: [e-mail shielded]

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Lockheed YO-3 Quiet Star: The First Produced Stealth Aircraft

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When we think of stealth aircraft, we usually focus on low radar-signature planes like the F-22 fighter or B-2 Stealth Bomber. But, in fact, stealthy technology encompasses much more. Most aircraft also produce a heat signature, a vapor trail and, of course, the generation of power produces noise. In 1966, the Lockheed corporation combined a Schweitzer 2-32 glider airframe, a Continental 0-200 engine and the muffler from a 1958 Buick to produce what was arguably the first stealth aircraft. 

This original design, the QT-2 (Quiet Thruster), eventually morphed into the production version, the YO-3 Quiet Star, which went on to gather intelligence for the U.S. military in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam and then had a second act catching wild game poachers in the Mississippi Delta. 

Modified general aviation aircraft have been pressed into military service for a very long time. The Piper L-4 Grasshopper, Cessna O-1 Birddog and later the Cessna O-2 Skymaster all saw extensive action as artillery spotters, forward air controllers and liaison aircraft. 

However, in 1966, the U.S. Navy had a unique request. It had been tasked with finding and interdicting traffic in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. Lieutenant Leslie Horn, himself a private pilot, grew tired of the dangerous work of searching the canals in a riverboat with a set of binoculars and a starlight scope. So, he asked, what if a very quiet airplane, undetectable from the ground, could orbit over the delta for long periods of time and look for the enemy in relative safety? 

Surprisingly, the powers-that-be agreed, and soon the Lockheed Space and Missile Division had a U.S. Army contract in hand to develop a high-lift, low-noise, stealthy reconnaissance aircraft. The company, which had already been at work on a similar project, asked engineer Stanley Hall, a noted sailplane designer, to head up the project. 

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Hall’s first effort, the QT-2 (Quiet Thruster Two Seats), consisted of the venerable Schweizer 2-32 glider airframe with a Continental O-200 engine mounted on top of the fuselage, just behind the pilots. To reduce propeller tip noise, a large, slow-turning wooden propeller was connected to the engine by a driveshaft that ran over the pilots’ heads. This ungainly looking arrangement was driven by a series of rubber belts to reduce gear noise. And, of course, the final stealth modification was the addition of the aforementioned 1958 Buick muffler. 

Once flight tests began, it was immediately apparent that the QT-2 was virtually undetectable on dark nights at altitudes greater than 800 feet AGL. To be sure, the QT-2 was not completely silent. However, the combination of ambient background noise, the soft, gentle surf-like sound of the large, slow-turning propeller, and the fact that the boats traveling on the river would produce their own noise made it a very stealthy platform. 

Pleased with the two prototypes’ performance, the company modified both airframes into a combat-ready airplane named the QT-2PC (Prize Crew), which was soon shipped to Vietnam. Lt. Horn, now a Lt. Commander, led a hardy band of pilots and maintainers and put the stealthy motor gliders to the test. The results were a mixed bag. The QT-2PCs were as stealthy as advertised. They managed to average 10 hours in the air each night, flying below 1,000 feet while identifying enemy traffic on the Delta, all while undetected. On the other hand, these heavily modified gliders were a handful to fly. 

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The large propeller was supported by a thick pylon immediately in front of the pilot. Unfortunately, this acted as a second rudder, well forward of the center of gravity. The result was a case of serious Yaw Roll coupling, a phenomenon previously seen in Mach 2 experimental planes. Thus, any unplanned yaw had the potential to develop into a severe roll response, a liability, especially close to the ground. QT-2PC pilots soon learned to limit the aircraft to straight and level and very gentle turns. 

Handling issues aside, the test was considered a success. So, Lockheed began work on a more practical successor, the YO-3A Quiet Star. It was also based on the Schweizer 2-32 airframe. However, it featured wing-mounted retractable landing gear, a conventionally mounted Lycoming IO-360, and a large, slow-turning wooden propeller driven once again by a rubber belt drive system. The Buick muffler was retired and replaced by a sophisticated 26-foot-long acoustic exhaust system. Because of these modifications to the original concept, the Quiet Star was a safer, more capable, if slightly noisier, aircraft. 

Of the 11 Quiet Stars constructed, nine operated in Vietnam from June of 1970 to September of 1971. While three were lost to crashes, none were lost to enemy action. All turned out to be very effective at identifying enemy supply/troop movements. To ensure their stealth before setting out on their nightly missions, Quiet Star crews flew over the ramp area while the ground crew listened for any unplanned whistles or humming noises. If any were heard, the pilots would immediately land while “duct tape” was applied, and soon they were on their way. 

This is where the story usually ends. Unique military aircraft concept is designed, achieves success, then is scrapped. But not so fast! As it turns out, the same technology that allowed the Quiet Star to sneak up on enemy transports in the Mekong Delta was just as effective at tracking game poachers in the Mississippi Delta. Two of the YO-3A Quiet Stars served the Louisiana Department of Fish and Game in this role for many years. Seeing this success, the FBI eventually acquired the aircraft and used them to track down its most wanted. NASA also acquired a Quiet Star. It used its YO-3A quiet flight characteristics to measure the noise signatures of other aircraft, from helicopters and tiltrotors to the SR-71s sonic booms. 

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NASA’s Quiet Star remained in service until 2015 and then found a permanent home at the Vietnam Helicopter Museum in Concord, California. Happily, most of the surviving airframes are on display in aviation museums around the country, several in flying condition. So, long before stealth was cool, military necessity, a young naval officer with general aviation roots and a Lockheed engineer with a passion for designing sailplanes created this incredible plane! 

Learn about another Incredible Plane, the V-173 Flying Pancake.

48th Fighter Wing’s New Heritage F-15E Pays Visit To Mach Loop Before Arriving At RAF Fairford

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The Heritage F-15E flying flying

with the Mach Loop on Jul. 14, 2022 (Simon Pearson-Cougill ). In package, the airplane touchdown at RAF Fairford( Stewart Jack) Here are some fascinating shots of the brand-new Heritage F-15E Strike Eagle. The U.S. Air Force 48th Fighter Wing simply introduced a brand-new heritage F-15E Strike Eagle to commemorate the Wing’s 70th year of trip procedures, along with the USAFE’s 80th wedding anniversary and also the Air Force’s 75th wedding anniversary. The jet was formally revealed at RAF Lakenheath on July 12, 2022, as well as on July 14 flew with thepopular Mach Loop in the Low Flying Area (LFA) 7, prior to touchdown at RAF Fairford for this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo.”We have actually repainted an F-15E with an unique paint plan to commemorate the abundant background of Liberty Pilots, Maintainers, as well as all Airmen of the 48 FW “, claimed the 48th FW on social media sites.”Additionally, the paint system is based upon the Skyblazers airborne demo group from the 1950’s and also 60’s, recognizing an item of USAFE’s 80-year background.”

Another shot of the Heritage F-15E in the Mach Loop on Jul. 14, 2022(Simon Pearson-Cougill)The airplane concerned is the F-15E with identification number 92-0364, appointed to the 492nd Fighter Squadron(492nd FS), nicknamed”the Bolars”as well as”the Madhatters “. The Strike Eagle landed at Fairford at around noontime, with the callsign STRIKE31 as well as accompanied by a F-35A of the 495th Fighter Squadron” the Valkyries”, after a fast air to air photo session. As you can see in the images right here in this tale, the F-15E has actually been repainted with the United States flag’s shades on the trip as well as the nose surface areas. The internal sides of the twin tails reveal the logo design for the USAFE’s 80th wedding anniversary, while the external sides reveal the logo design for the 48th FW wedding anniversary. Particularly, you can see the Statue of Liberty, which is the sign of the system and also as a result understood additionally as the” Liberty Wing “, bordered by the forms of the airplane that offered within the device. A larger recreation of the Statue of Liberty is located additionally on the rate brake, come with by the form of the United Kingdom, which organizes the device considering that the 1960s, in addition to the United States as well as UK flags. The 48th FW was initial developed in 1952 at Chaumont-Semoutiers Air Base, France, and also designated the 492d,

493d, as well as 494th Fighter Squadrons. Just in 1960, when French President Charles de Gaulle required the elimination of NATO pressures from the nation, the device transferred to RAF Lakenheath, which at the time was a vacant Strategic Air Command hefty bombing plane base. Currently, as the Liberty Wing is transitioning right into the future, the F-15Cs have actuallybeen switched for new F-35As as well as designated both to the 493rd FS “Grim Reapers”and also the lately reactivated 495th FS”Valkyries “. The system is not brand-new to these type of heritage jets, with some fantastic instances seen for the 75th wedding anniversary of Operation Overlord, when each armada repainted a jet in heritage shades for the celebration. The heritage F-15E as it lands before the crows at RAF Fairford. (Photo: Stewart Jack) About Stefano D’Urso Stefano D’Urso is an independent reporter and also factor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A grad in Industral Engineering he’s additionally examining to accomplish a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions as well as OSINT strategies put on the globe of present disputes and also armed forces procedures are amongst his locations of competence.

A-10 Demo Pilot Narrates Display Routine Step-By-Step In This Crazy Cool Video

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A-10 Demo
A wide angle view from inside the A-10C’s cockpit during the demo. (Photo: Erik Johnston)

“Gator” narrates the flight step-by-step for the viewers to enjoy all the work and dedication behind the demo flights performed across the United States.

The U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II demonstration team is the unit in charge of highlighting the A-10C’s capabilities during airshows across the United States and to recruit, retain and inspire the next generation of Airmen. For the 2022 airshow season, the team, assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, is flying a special color A-10C which was unveiled last year for the 2021 season.

The Team said that the paint scheme was inspired by the F-105 Thunderchiefs that the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing (former designation of the current 355th Fighter Wing based at Davis-Monthan) flew during the Vietnam War. To honor the Prisoners of War, Missing in Action and Veterans, the starboard side of the A-10’s nose features the names of all the unit’s members who lost their lives or were captured during the conflict, accompanied by the National League of Families POW/MIA flag.

The upper surfaces of the A-10C have thus been painted with medium green, dark green and dark tan patches, while the lower surfaces have been painted with camouflage gray, in line with the same colors used by the US Air Force aircraft during the Vietnam conflict. On the fuselage the aircraft also shows the insignias of the 354th and 357th Tactical Fighter Squadrons, which have been redesignated 354th and 357th Fighter Squadrons in 1991.

Our friend Erik Johnston worked with the A-10C Demo Team during the Rose City Airfest at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, Texas, bringing us an interesting video showing the entire demo routine narrated by the pilot, Maj. Haden “Gator” Fullam, from the preflight briefing to the shutdown at the end of the show. The video was shot over two days, showing both the standard gray and the camo A-10C at work.

After the preflight briefing with the entire team, the show begins, with “Gator” boarding the “Warthog”, preparing the cockpit for the flight. The startup sequence alternates both internal and external views, showing the pilot starting the jet as the ground crew perform the checks with precisely orchestrated movements. An interesting point during the startup is the rollover check, where Maj. Fullam explains that the A-10C does not have parking brakes so, whenever the chocks are removed, he needs to hold the brakes as the aircraft with the throttle at idle has enough power to taxi pretty fast.



After performing a low departure, with the A-10 leveled off at 20 ft above the runway, “Gator” performs a quick site survey to confirm all the references on the ground, before climbing all the way to the top of the reserved airspace to build some energy. The demo is flown almost entirely on max power, with few exceptions, so it is important that the aircraft climbs to get a lot of airspeed (thanks to the exchange between potential energy linked to the altitude and kinetic energy linked to the speed) as the demo has to be flown with whatever energy the A-10 can build up before it enters the show area.

After a quick G-warmup, Maj. Fullam begins a 45° nose low dive to the show center to get as close as possible to the A-10’s max speed, which is 450 kts or Mach 0.75. The show in fact takes the jet to its limits, both for the speed and G-force (for the latter the A-10 is rated at 7.33 G), as the pilot demonstrate the aircraft’s agility. Part of the demo is also dedicated to the tactical capabilities, simulating gun runs on the runway, often accompanied by pyrotechnics.

As we already mentioned, the video continues all the way to the shutdown procedure, showing as the maintenance crew meticulously check the aircraft for any faults before shutting down the engines. These checks are fundamental to guarantee the safety of the flight, making sure that the aircraft is in top shape before the next demo.

About Stefano D’Urso
Stefano D’Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he’s also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.

The Battle of Midway

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We recognize the 80th anniversary of one of the most significant battles of World War II. After months of demoralizing losses for the Allies, the Battle of Midway was the first major victory in the Pacific theater and halted Japanese expansion. The Battle of the Coral Sea, only a month earlier, holds the distinction of being the first battle fought entirely from aircraft carriers. However, the actions of the leaders, pilots and sailors on the carriers at the Battle of Midway shaped how future naval battles would be fought and the course of the war.

Prior to summer 1942, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) had enjoyed virtually unchallenged dominance in the Pacific. The Japanese had embraced the concept of carrier-based naval warfare for more than a decade before the war began. They invested in building and refitting their carriers, and their men had been sailing and operating carriers since the 1920s. The U.S. did not fully appreciate the strategic and tactical value of a carrier fleet in modern warfare until much later, leaving the U.S. Navy playing catchup in producing aircraft carriers and training men to operate them. 

At the outset of the war, both sides were learning the strategies and logistics of carrier warfare. The U.S. Navy was eager to try new ideas to close the gap between it and its more experienced adversary, while the Japanese, confident in their superiority, were slow to recognize that their years of carrier experience had been largely untested and the carrier battle playbook was still being written.

Battle dates: June 4-6, 1942

U.S. aircraft carriers: USS Yorktown, USS Hornet, USS Enterprise

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Japanese aircraft carriers: Akagi, Kaga, Sōryū, Hiryū

Number of aircraft carried by fleet carriers: 35-55

Number of aircraft carried by light carriers: 30-50

Read “Plane Facts: Aircraft Carriers” to learn more about them.

U.S. aircraft involved: PBYs, Grumman TBF Avengers, SBD Dauntless dive bombers, TBD Devastator torpedo-bombers, F4F-3 Wildcats, Vought SB2U Vindicators, Brewster F2A Buffaloes, B-17 Flying Fortresses, Martin B-26 Marauders

Japanese aircraft: Mitsubishi A6M2 Model 21 “Zero” fighters, Nakajima B5N2 “Kate” torpedo bomber, Aichi D3A1 “Val” dive bomber, Yokosuka D4Y1 “Judy” carrier bomber, Aichi E13A “Jake” reconnaissance seaplane, Nakajima E8N2 “Dave” reconnaissance seaplane

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U.S. admirals: Chester W. Nimitz, Frank Jack Fletcher, Raymond A. Spruance

Japanese admirals: Isoroku Yamamoto, Nobutake Kondō, Chūichi Nagumo, Tamon Yamaguchi

Missing from the action: Two Japanese light carriers, Zuikaku and Shōkaku, still in port for repairs and replenishing after being damaged at the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Missing from the action: U.S. Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey was not at the Battle of Midway but in a hospital bed recovering from shingles.

Surprise appearance: The USS Yorktown, the United States’ largest and most capable carrier at the time.

Reason for the surprise: Japanese intel believed the Americans had left it to sink at the Battle of the Coral Sea.

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What they really did: Yorktown returned to Pearl Harbor for repairs.

Planned repair time: 3 months

Actual repair time: Just over 48 hours of emergency repairs.

Japanese losses: Approximately 3,057 men, four fleet carriers, one heavy cruiser and 248 aircraft.

U.S. losses: Approximately 307 men, one fleet carrier (Yorktown), one destroyer and 144 aircraft.

Japanese strategy: Bringing all its available sea power to battle.

Consequence: The Imperial Navy lost four of its heavy carriers at Midway.

Number of fleet carriers before June 1942: U.S.-4; Japan-6

Number of fleet carriers after Battle of Midway: U.S.-4; Japan-2

Number of fleet carriers produced during World War II: U.S.-13; Japan-9

Number of light carriers produced during World War II: U.S.-9; Japan-5

Even more costly to the Japanese:was the loss of experienced sailors and pilots at Midway.

Number of Japanese pilots trained per year before Midway: 50

Number of U.S. military pilots trained per year before Midway: Tens of thousands (27,000 in 1941)

Japanese pilot training time: 9 months

U.S. pilot training from zero time to commission: 6 months

Total combat aircraft produced during World War II: U.S.-306,000; Japan-67,000

Nagumo’s decision to rearm the second wave of aircraft:to attack the carriers rather than Midway Island caused a delay in preparing the second wave for launch, leaving the Japanese carriers vulnerable.

Damage control: The U.S. drained refueling lines and filled them with an inert gas (carbon dioxide) to prevent additional explosions and damage.

Magic bullet: One bomb dropped by SBD Dauntless pilot C. Wade McClusky hit the upper hangar deck of the Kaga, causing a fire that rapidly consumed the ship.

Flight deck: Typically, the top deck of the carrier where aircraft are launched and recovered.

Hangar deck: A lower deck where aircraft were repaired, refueled and rearmed.

Number of elevators used to move aircraft between decks: Three

The efficiency of launch and recovery cycle are critical to battle success: Spot, launch, recovery.

Straight flight deck: Such early aircraft carriers could operate one cycle at a time because the same strip was needed for takeoff and landing.

Spot: Positioning aircraft on the carrier to facilitate current operation and allow for refueling and rearming.

U.S.N. recovery technique: Spot returning aircraft on the bow of the flight deck during the recovery cycle while aircraft continued to land.

Order: Fighters land first, taking the most forward position. Then dive bombers and torpedo bombers.

Process: They are spotted, refueled and rearmed at the bow of the carrier.

Arrangement: Aircraft spotted at the bow of the ship are moved astern, fighters in front, bombers in the rear, ready for the next wave.

Japanese strategy: Carriers at Midway rearmed their aircraft on the hangar deck.

No room at the inn: Aircraft that could not land on their own ship would have to wait, land on a different carrier in the fleet, or ditch in the sea.

Complication #1: Carriers under attack cannot launch aircraft because of the need to maneuver and the hazard of having armed and fueled aircraft on the deck.

Complication #2: Carriers must turn into the wind for aircraft to take off, which limits maneuvering options during the launch process.

Wrecks discovered: USS Yorktown on May 19, 1998; Kaga on October 18, 2019, Akagi on October 20, 2019