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Every pilot a tiger

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Tigers are strong seekers that will not pull back from obstacles. Throughout my 22-year Air Force occupation, each armada to which I belonged desired every pilot in the device to be a “Tiger.” When I was granted my fly May of 1972, I questioned just how I would certainly be examined to establish if I was one.Shortly after pinning on my wings, I got on my method to Southeast Asia as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) flying the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco. FACs flew their gently armed airplane night and day at reduced elevation in every type of climate, as well as likewise offered in the area with United States ground pressures. They penetrated targets, routed airstrikes to sustain embattled United States as well as Allied ground systems, interdicted adversary seepage courses, and also worked with rescue procedures for downed airmen. Making use of smoke rockets and also smoke explosives to note targets, FACs regulated airstrikes, marine shooting, as well as weapons fire versus adversary placements. Boxer airplane understood where to drop their tools when they listened to a FAC’s hallmark radio telephone call guiding them to, “HIT MY SMOKE!”

Considered that task summary as well as having a little over 300 hrs in my logbook, I reasoned that as a 22-year-old 2nd lieutenant flying FAC goals solo, I was a Tiger. I still asked yourself exactly how somebody would certainly understand, past a sensible question, that I was without a doubt the Tiger I expected I was. Someday, I obtained my response.

OV-10 head on view

The OV-10 is not recognized as a well-known dogfighter. I mored than southerly Cambodia one summer season mid-day when it was time to RTB(go back to base); I was both “Winchester “(out of smoke rockets)and also “Bingo “(sufficient gas to obtain residence securely). I informed the EC-130 working as a tactical air-borne command message that I was”RTBing”as well as would certainly”fencing out”with them as soon as I reached Thailand, i.e., allow them understand I had actually gone across the fencing from aggressive right into pleasant region. They recognized my phone call as I reached a comfy 10,000 ft. MSL, where the exotic air was cooler (the OV-10 cabin was not cool and also unpressurized). This placed me over the majority of the chaos of battle procedures, which was be and also see seen procedures– no radar protection as well as no ATC, which implied I needed to look for competitor airplane going through my elevation as they assaulted targets.

While climbing up, I tuned the HF radio (we had 5 radios) to those regularities where I can pay attention or listen to the information to some songs. The BBC benefited information and also Radio Australia typically played current hits. Customarily, I had among my 2 VHF/FM radios tuned to our armada regularity, described as “Nail Common.” Our armada utilized Nail callsigns on our objectives– my own was Nail 49– Nail Common aided maintain us abreast of where our other FACs were as well as what they were doing.

After leveling off, I replicated the goal notes I had actually jotted with a grease-pencil on the right-hand cover onto index cards on my kneeboard. These notes consisted of info regarding the airstrikes I had actually managed that day consisting of the boxers’ callsigns and also their kind airplane along with the tools they had actually utilized, when, where, and also what kind targets we struck, and also the outcomes of the assaults. I would certainly pass this details to the debriefers after touchdown; it would certainly after that be identified as it ended up being a component of the order of fight to be oriented to those flying future objectives. I made use of the back of my Nomex trip handwear cover to cleanse the cover to the finest of my capacity when I had all the details recorded. The team principal would certainly finish the job after I landed, however I wished to provide him a head-start.

I was complying with the Mekong River, recognizing no one would certainly be going down bombs there, when I found an additional OV-10 concerning 2 miles away. He remained in my 11 o’clock setting, concerning 1000 feet listed below me, as well as headed in the contrary instructions. As I enjoyed him, I saw him shake his wings, signifying that he saw me. I shook my wings to allow him understand that I saw him. I proceeded viewing him as well as, as we passed with possibly 1500 feet of side splitting up, he began a climbing up turn in the direction of me.

I rapidly assumed that, as Shakespeare placed it, “the video game was afoot!” This fellow FAC was mosting likely to obtain as well as attempt on my tail as well as I needed to do whatever was required to maintain that from taking place. I pushed my control bars right into departure and also land, placing my double turboprop engines at max RPM while my throttles would certainly manage the pitch of the blades. I developed into him as well as we were rapidly in what is called a “furball.”

As we banked and also tugged, my entrance right into the battle from above swiftly place my challenger at a negative aspect. Furthermore, his 230-gallon exterior centerline gas storage tank was virtually complete as well as he had a complete enhance of smoke rockets while I was lighter considering that I was Winchester as well as Bingo. I quickly had this outlaw in my gunsight which’s when I keyed the microphone on Nail Common as well as program, “Tak! Tak! Tak! Tak! Tak!” Promptly, the rogue OV-10 rolled right into a high plunge as well as began routing smoke.

Relax simple– I really did not fire him down. In the OV-10’s left major equipment well there’s a tank holding oil or hydraulic liquid as well as, on the gunsight before the pilot, is a toggle button. Pressing that switch over up turns on a pump attracting liquid from the storage tank as well as infusing it right into the exhaust of the left engine– think about the Thunderbirds and also Blue Angels routing smoke so their target markets can follow them with their maneuvers. FACs utilized the smoke path to assist meet boxers over the forest; the smoke highlighted us versus the forest, making us simpler to detect.

Smoke from OV-10

Smoke on! As my challenger recouped from his dive, I transformed and also proceeded homeward. I landed and also debriefed my goal at Intel and after that mosted likely to the armada to see that was flying that mid-day, making a psychological note of their names. Given that I had actually flown 2 objectives that day, I mosted likely to the Officer’s Club for a very early supper. After consuming, I dropped in bench to see that existed as well as, customarily, those with the day’s late departures were loosening up with a grown-up drink prior to they also had supper.

I started asking each of them, “Were you regarding 10 miles southeast of Papa-Papa (Phnom Penh, the funding of Cambodia) around 2 o’clock today?” I maintained obtaining adverse replies up until I had actually asked all those that were air-borne that mid-day, with the exemption of one pilot that was standing at bench. There was an excellent factor I had not come close to that last pilot: it was Nail 01, my armada leader. I duke it outed my principles for a couple of mins and afterwards messed up my guts as well as approached him.

You need to comprehend, my leader was a large, enforcing guy. He had actually been a 17-year-old gotten seafarer on the USS Iowa throughout WWII, working as what they called a deck ape. Deck apes carried ammunition throughout the deck to resupply the antiaircraft weapons battling the kamikaze strikes throughout the Battle of Okinawa. After the battle, he played limited upright the University of Alabama football group. As I stated, he was a huge, challenging male.

As I came close to, he relied on encounter me as well as claimed, “Good night, Nail 49.” I presumed he had actually been seeing me in the mirror hanging behind bench. I returned his welcoming as well as figured he was expecting me examining him as I had the various other pilots in bench.

I choked out my concern once more, and also he responded, “Yes, I was.” If he had actually found one more OV-10 approaching him almost head-on, I ingested difficult as well as after that asked. He responded to in the affirmative once more and also included, “Why do you ask?” I after that drew on the pilot strategy of utilizing my hands to show what I was speaking about as I asked, “Did you make a climbing up turn towards that OV-10?”

He addressed, “Yes, that was me.” I was surprised, recognizing I was possibly mosting likely to be court-martialed or contended dawn. He damaged right into a large smile as well as asked, “Did you like when I rolled over and also transformed on my smoke to make you assume you had fired me down?” I almost tipped over as I recognized I had actually been evaluated by the old male himself as well as was currently understood by him to be a Tiger! He expanded his hand and also stated, “Well done, Nail 49! Allow me acquire you a beer.”

When I was the old guy regulating an F-16 armada, I had the possibility to see if my pilots were likewise Tigers. Those are tales for an additional day.

Colonel(ret )Dale “Boots”Hill offered 22 years airborne Force, starting his excursion of responsibility flying 165 goals in the OV-10 as a Forward Air Controller in Vietnam. He was after that a T-38 IP, A-10 IP and also trip supervisor, and also an F-16 IP and also leader of the 61st Top Dawgs. He functioned jobs at TAC HQ(he informed various other boxer pilots where to go– they would certainly inform him where to go ). At the Pentagon he offered on the Air Staff as an organizer for Operation Desert Storm and also on the team of the Secretary of the Air Force. He stays in Canton, GA, with his partner, Susan, near 3( quickly to be 4)of their 7(quickly to be 8)
grandchildren. Latest blog posts by Dale Hill (see all)

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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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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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

Where have all the pilots gone?

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I have noticed the aviation industry is once again experiencing another pilot shortage. So, let’s take a little trip back in time and see how we keep getting in to these so called “shortages.”

A long time ago—when dinosaurs ruled the earth, beer was only a nickel, and I had no gray hair—the airlines were regulated and all was well upon the land. Air carriers, or 121 operators, owned three things: the aircraft they used, the facilities they operated out of, and most importantly the routes they operated on. In the 1930s the federal government worked to develop and promote aviation by awarding profitable routes in exchange of providing service to remote and less profitable areas.

No, I did not forget the pay. For a captain flying at night on an international flight, the salary was as much as God. Everyone wanted to be an airline pilot.

What could possibly happen to upset this strong well-run industry?

Constellation cockpitConstellation cockpit

There was a time when airline captains were treated—and paid—like God.

The first announcement of the alleged pilot shortage was that the pilots from WWII would soon be reaching the then-mandatory retirement age of 60. This led to a stampede of student hopefuls to the nearest flight school and more flight schools appeared across the land. The Vietnam war was ending and military pilots concluded that flying from LAX was much better than flying out of Da Nang, so they also headed for the airlines. (Of course, as luck would have it, the shortage was temporarily offset as the retirement age was changed to 65 in 2007.)

The requirements to join one of the major airlines as a pilot suddenly became insurmountable from the competition of experienced and not so experienced pilots. After reaching all required FAA pilot ratings and having all the required flight time (see previous story), there was always one thing that was needed but you did not have.

Unlike today’s aircraft today’s airliners, such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus, many older airplanes required a “professional plumber,” i.e., a flight engineer. It was the unspoken requirement to obtaining a position as a flight crew. However, after passing the required written exams, one found the cost of taking the flight test to be rather expensive (you usually had to take the practical exam in a 727)… more expensive than some wanted to pay for the risk of maybe being hired.

Unfortunately, a plague soon infected the airlines. Something called deregulation appeared to end the shortage and then caused a surplus of flight crews.

This deregulation caused competition, which it was designed to do. The competition, which most airlines had never had to experience, caused several to simply disappear. Pan Am was out of business before they realized what was happing, followed by Eastern and National. As a side note, every airline I ever to applied to except Delta no longer exists.

Air carriers no longer had to service the less profitable routes, which they abandoned, so they retreated to what is called the hub system. This allows efficient use of aircraft along profitable routes. If you don’t live close to one of the hubs, well there were “feeder” carriers, AKA regionals, to provide air transport to the hub of your choice. These feeders paid nowhere near the major air carriers and there was no real progression to the major carriers. Flying as a passenger in one of the “feeder” carriers was not the comfortable ride one was accustomed to experiencing. Usually it was a small twin engine turboprop (lovingly referred to as an executive mailing tube) with no service, and “pack your own lunch” did not go over well with the seasoned traveler. This caused a turnover of flight crew and passengers alike.

The hub system is also the reason that when you die, you will have to go through Atlanta.

This caused what are called furloughs in the airlines. That means you are no longer working and are no longer getting paid. Which I suspect sounds a lot better that being fired.

Pilot hiring chartPilot hiring chart

Airline pilot hiring trends are notoriously turbulent.

Then came a second rallying call to arms of another pilot shortage. This dire warning appeared in the September 1989 issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology (known in the aerospace trade as “aviation leaks and space follies”). Same story as before: pilots reaching retirement, no military to fill the crew station, no engineers and technical support, same story. As you might suspect, I could not let this pass and responded to the article with a letter to the editor (AW&ST, September 11, 1989 – page 146):

I have followed with amusement your articles on the “pilot shortage” the air carrier industry is now experiencing. There is no pilot shortage. We are right here working in other industries that are less glamorous but pay good salaries. We are no longer interested in pursuing costly degrees or ratings for a questionable position in an unstable market. These positions no longer pay as well as they once did. I personally could not afford the cut in salary to start as a pilot for a major, and I certainly will not attach the now-required $25 nonrefundable administration fee for an application.

Your problem gentlemen is we are no longer willing to outlay the time and money for a minimal return as a flight officer. A similar outlay in other professional fields has a much larger financial reward. If you find this letter somewhat harsh, cold, and mercenary, you are correct. Welcome to the real world.

Yes, to apply for a position as a flight crew officer, you attached a check for $25.

On arriving home from work after the magazine hit the readership, I looked at my telephone answering machine. It displayed 35 calls received. All contained the same relative message, indicating my position was correct on the working environment and pay scale. Other supportive comments were not G-rated.

Oh yes, the pay scale. I neglected to say at this time that the major air carriers instituted what was called “the B Scale.” Simply put, you would not be receiving the previous pay scale new hires had received in the past and you would never receive any thing close to what senior captains were receiving.

So where are we now?

The next generation of young men and women who thought they might be inclined to aviation bypassed flight training all together. They can enjoy the almost fun of flight by obtaining the latest video game and skip the expensive flight training. They could fly a fighter be a navy pilot at Midway in WWII or fly a TIE fighter against the rebels.

The latest savior was the coming of the fractional charter companies, which hired the over-65 crowd, and newer pilots who obtain the new Second in Command rating as an entry into an aviation career. They found it to be a more stable and financially rewarding work environment. The sale increases of business jets also added to the employment drain of pilots available to air carriers. Their owners enjoyed corporate aviation by not having to mix with the public in today’s high-density cattle cars.

This uneasy stability continued through the 90s and in to the 2000s, until the pandemic arrived, causing airline shutdowns and furloughs which flooded the pilot community.

Flight instructorFlight instructor

A new generation has flooded flight schools over the last few years—will this time be different?

During and just before, lots of young men and women opted for flight training and entered the roles of the flight instructor—not as many as before but some, as the cost of flight training went from prohibitive to insane. This limited their progression towards higher ratings.

The answer to cost reduction in flight training and to attract new pilots and students is the advent of electric flight training aircraft. That may sound like a good idea, except for the six-figure cost of purchasing one. I am still unsure just how that was supposed to help. Most likely we are going to see the venerable Cessnas and Pipers around for a very long time.

Enter STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and the federal government. AOPA has addressed this problem by introducing STEM couched in aviation technology to high school and younger students. This allowed them to see that science is not some head-numbing subject previously taught in school. Their efforts appear to be well received. We will hopefully soon to see more young men and women hanging around the airports and attending the Young Eagles introductory flights offered at many airports around the country.

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has approved The National Center for the Advancement of Aviation (NCAA) Act (HR 3482). The bill would create the NCAA and would work to guide people to careers in aviation. Their goal is to bring the industry together to address workforce shortages by shaping a generation of new pilots, aerospace engineers, UAV systems operators, and maintenance techs. I am not sure how all this would work, but I for one sincerely hope it solves the problem of boom and bust in the pilot community.

OK, so where have all the pilots gone?

Lots of pilots simply moved into engineering, retired, or ran flight schools. Several pilot friends I know left the military and worked in various field as far removed for aviation as one could get, later buying their favorite warbird, building their own experimental aircraft or spam-can to enjoy the pleasures of flight.

It’s obvious that the aviation marketplace has changed dramatically. The cost to enter professionally is restrictive. Some of those learning to fly have opted for sport pilot ratings and light sport aircraft with no desire to take it up as a career. Another group is composed of foreign nationals who will be employed by their countries’ airlines and who sent them to the US for training. The remaining few are the ones who are truly dedicated to achieving their dream and I sincerely hope they reach their career goals with the more that fair compensation they deserve.

Now if the marketplace can just get itself under control, this story will have a happy ending.

Mr. Stagg was privileged to conduct flight test research at NASA, the United States Air Force, and at aerospace companies. He was the first pilot to launch a UAV from a helicopter. He has a master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering and an MBA. His pilot certificates include Airline Transport Pilot-MEL, Commercial Pilot- SEL, SE-Sea, ME-sea, Helicopter, and Glider. His flight instructor ratings include Airplane single engine, Multi-engine, Instrument Instructor and Ground instructor and a type rating in a T-33. Additional ratings include Mechanic Airframe and Powerplant. As an experienced flight instructor, he has operated flight schools. He enjoys flying antique aircraft; his current aircraft is a 1939 Aeronca (stick) Chief.
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Van’s Aircraft Surrenders Amidst Spy Photos of High-Wing Model

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The globe’s most effective manufacturer of kitplanes, Van’s Aircraft, has actually revealed its most recent design, the RV-15. And also, no, it’s not flying upside down. It’s a high-wing version. Van’s is calling it a design model, however it looks plenty brightened to us. The video clip is, we will not exist, method cool. The aircraft looks right in every means, as well as equally as significantly, it seems fantastic. Simply what’s under the cowling making all that wonderful songs is an enigma. In its launch, Van’s had a blast, exposing just as long as they intended to as well as in an actually enjoyable method. From the firm:

Model: RV-15
Engine: Yes
Full Throttle: Top Secret
Ceiling: TBD
Delay Speed: You’ll See
Gas Capacity: Plenty
Seats: Yes [HA!] Luggage: Oh yes

They included this great little note when you click on “Specs.” !

Van's RV-15 Specification

The firm, which for 50 years has actually prided itself on a widely effective formula(with a couple of exemptions )of low-wing two-seat all-metal airplanes is turning out its RV-15, a 2 or possibly four-seat taildragger that adheres to the firm’s calling convention. It’s the one after the RV-14, so it’s the RV-15. (As in France with flooring numbers, Van’s sensibly missed the RV-13). The aircraft seems like it has a constant-speed prop, and also we’re concurring with the remainder of the interwebs that Van’s will certainly more than likely opt for Lycoming four-banger. Various other monitorings: the tires allow and also the flaps are as well.

The rollout was anything however smooth and also did not go as intended. On Friday, a confidential individual online published spy images of the RV-15, most likely in the pattern at Aurora State Airport in Oregon where Van’s is headquartered. The taildragger, done in bare steel and also with its wings clearly connected method up there, was disclosed to the globe. As opposed to imagining it really did not take place, Van’s, once more, did the clever point and also simply revealed the aircraft.

Promotion

Spy pictures, as you may recognize, are common in the vehicle sector. To fight the leakage of that details, carmakers will certainly cover their arising lorries in plastic quirkiness as well as add phony forms to shake off the websleuths that will certainly unbox every milligram of suggesting from abovementioned spy photos, usually with frightening precision, though in some cases their positive evaluation is happily incorrect. The stealth point is not so simple with aircrafts, specifically the including incorrect forms to the important things. And also the armed force’s method of flying their brand-new aircrafts in supersecret desert areas, well, it’s a great deal of job as well as the top-secret component would certainly be tough to manage for manufacturers of little airplanes. The web has actually ruined every person’s Day One Oshkosh enjoyable. This is why we can not have great shocks.

When we initially laid eyes on the aircraft, it was last Friday. To be sincere, from a range, it stopped working to excite. You need to examine out Van’s video clip of it. It looks strong, flies like a recreational vehicle, by all outside looks, at the very least, and also includes the all-metal building that made the firm renowned. We can not wait to fly it!

A recreational vehicle Design With The Wing On Top? Mum’s The Word Ad

U.S. B-2 Spirit Bombers Have Deployed To Australia

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B-2 Australia
A B-2 on the ground at RAAF Base Amberley, Australia (Image credit: USAF)

Four B-2A stealth bombers have deployed to RAAF Base Amberley, Australia in the last couple of days.

The largest deployment of U.S. Air Force B-2A in recent times is currently underway in Australia where two pairs of Spirit aircraft have landed on Jul. 10 and 12, 2022. Supported on their way by several KC-135 and KC-10 tankers, the U.S. Air Force stealth bombers belonging to the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, have landed at RAAF Base Amberley to support a Pacific Air Forces Bomber Task Force (BTF) deployment.

According to a Pacific Air Forces press release, the rotational Bomber Task Force operates in support of the Enhanced Cooperation Initiative under the Force Posture Agreement between the United States and Australia. In such context, the B-2s will conduct training missions and strategic deterrence missions with allies, partners and joint forces in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Noteworthy, the last time the B-2s deployed to the INDOPACOM area of responsibility as part of a BTF was in August 2020.

“This deployment of the B-2 to Australia demonstrates and enhances the readiness and lethality of our long-range penetrating strike force,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Kousgaard, 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander in the press release. “We look forward to training and enhancing our interoperability with our RAAF teammates, as well as partners and allies across the Indo-Pacific as we meet PACAF objectives.”

Bomber Task Force operations are carried out almost routinely by U.S. Strategic Command across the globe “as a demonstration of U.S. commitment to collective defense and to integrate with Geographic Combatant Command operations and activities.” Indeed, it is quite likely the aircraft will launch extended deterrence mission towards China and the Korean peninsula from Australia.

“This deployment is in line with the National Defense Strategy’s objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability. The BTF enables different types of strategic bombers to operate forward in the Indo-Pacific region from a broad array of overseas and Continental U.S. locations with greater operational resilience.”

As already mentioned, this deployment is remarkable since it involves four stealth bombers (valuable assets that, normally, deploy in smaller numbers, usually 2 or 3 airframes at a time) and because the last time the B-2s deployed to the INDOPACOM area of responsibility as part of a BTF was little less than 2 years ago, in August 2020.

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.

Mi-24V Attack Helicopters Donated By Czech Republic Are Now In Ukraine

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Czech Mi-24 Ukraine
The 2 previous Czech Mi-24V strike helicopters

in Ukraine.(Photo: Stratcom Centre UA)At the very least 2 gunship helicopters have actually been identified with their initial camouflage as well as Czech markings changed by Ukrainian flags. The U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin divulged on May 23, 2022, that the Czech Republic contributed an undefined variety of helicopters to Ukraine, along with storage tanks as well as rocket systems. As done by lots of nations, the Czech Republic is maintaining the checklist of the contributed devices personal, so it is not feasible to establish which as well as the number of helicopters were moved from the stock of Mi-24 as well as Mi-17 helicopters.

The Centre for Strategic Communications and also Information Security under the Ministry of Culture as well as Information Policy of Ukraine launched an image on Saturday, revealing that a minimum of 2 Czech Mi-24V Hind assault helicopters are currently in Ukraine. The helicopters are still using their initial Czech camouflage, with huge Ukrainian flags on the body that are likewise covering the markings of the Czech Air Force. The Hinds additionally obtained the white bands on the tail boom as the various other helicopters currently in solution in Ukraine.

According to Czech media, both helicopters were taken straight from the trip lines rather than being drawn from storage space. The helicopters have actually been recognized with the serials 3370 and also 7353, which match to the more recent set of Mi-24V/ Mi-35 gotten by the Czech Air Force in between 2003 as well as 2005 as component of the settlement of the Russian financial debt in the direction of the nation. The helicopters were likewise supposedly lately revamped.

Comparable information was reported likewise by Key.Aero, which reported that 2 Mi-35s, with serials 3362 as well as 3370, were being planned for transfer to Ukrainian Army Aviation and also both have actually lately been revamped by LOM Praha Helicopters at Kbely. Particularly, the Mi-35 3362 was provided back to the 221st Helicopter Squadron at Namest nad Oslavou in August 2021.

It is not understood when the helicopters where moved, nevertheless their last trips were reported at the end of April. Taking into consideration that the contribution was introduced on May 23, it is feasible that the helicopters were provided in Ukraine right after, as occurred with the contribution of Slovakian helicopters. The Slovakian Minister of Defence introduced the contribution of a Mi-2 and also 4 Mi-17s transportation helicopters to Ukraine on June 16 and also a day later on they were currently identified throughout their distribution by roadway.

The Czech Air Force runs concerning 15 Mi-24/ Mi-35 Hind strike helicopters as well as concerning 20 Mi-17 Hip transportation helicopters. These helicopters are intended to be changed by 4 AH-1Z Viper assault helicopters as well as 8 UH-1Y Venom energy helicopters, whose manufacturing has actually started previously this year at Bell’s centers in Fort Worth, Texas.

About Stefano D’Urso Stefano D’Urso is an independent reporter as well as 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 as well as armed forces procedures are amongst his locations of competence.