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The Second British Work Horse April 07 2016

After the Battle of Britain (from mid July to the end of October 1940) the Hurricane was replaced by the Spitfire as the backbone of the RAF. And another work horse the Spitfire ended up being as it too served on all major theaters and continued to be improved and produced throughout the war. At the end, the Spitfire ended up being the most produced (most units) British aircraft. In...

The British Work Horse April 07 2016

Like the P-40, the Hawker Hurricane was another work horse that got eclipsed by its newer more capable stable mates (in this case the Spitfire). But like the P-40 on the American side, the Hurricane held the line against more modern, more capable airplanes like the Bf-109 in the early days of WWII. It too served in all major theaters and even on carriers. If you do some readings you...

Respect the P-40 April 07 2016

Yes, the P-40 might have been outdated and outclassed by the early days of WWII, but no other type of Allied plane played a bigger role in virtually all theaters of WWII.   From Europe, to Asia (most famously under the Flying Tigers), to Africa and the Middle East, the P-40 Warhawk was there to hold the line when the outcome of WWII was really up for grabs. What is...

The Japanese AWACS (E-767) March 23 2016

Back in the 70s there was a Russian pilot who defected to Japan flying a Mig-25 (score for the Americans!). The Mig-25 was out of radar when the pilot flew at low level. This made the Japanese realize that they needed an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS). At that time, the E-3 Sentry was the standard, but due to the delivery commitments to the USAF, that E-3 would not...

B-25 Mitchell and the Doolittle Raid March 09 2016

The Doolittle Raid was America’s retaliation to Pearl Harbor. From Pearl Harbor (Dec 7, 1941) it took the US until April 18, 1942 to put together the air strike and although it was clear that the material damage would not be much, it was needed for psychological reasons; to put doubt in the Japanese and to boost America’s morale. The plan called for 15 B-25s to take off from a...

The Stuff of Movies (The 1982 Falkland War, the Super Etendard and Exocet missile) March 09 2016

In the late 70s and 80s there was a lot of political turmoil in Argentina. This lead to an arms embargo from the US to Argentina. Because of this, Argentina could not get the spare parts to service its A-4s so Argentina decided to purchase 5 Super Etendards coupled to 5 Exocet anti-ship missles from the French. This purchased was delivered in late 1981. On April 1982, Argentina decided to...

The Invisible Heroes (the KC-10 Extender) March 01 2016

The KC-10 Extender is the flying gas station that allows America to conduct operation anywhere in the world. It has taken part in virtually all major air operations. This is not just about air refueling fighter-bombers and attack planes, but also heavy bombers like the B-1, B-2 and B-52, moreover it is not just about enabling an air strike but also allowing for rapid deployment of materiel and personnel. As...

WWII Submarines Side by Side January 28 2016

There are 3 interesting type of submarines to compare side by side: 1. The Sen Toku Class I-401 Japanese sub2. The Balao Class American USS Archer sub3. Type VII German sub   The I-401 was the biggest sub of WWII, and for a while it was the biggest sub in the world. The idea behind this was that it would carry up to 3 planes and launch them for bombing...

A Terrible Way to Check Out (Raining bullets) October 28 2015

A Terrible Way to Check Out (Raining bullets) When I was a kid a remember watching the movie "The Green Berets" with John Wayne. There is a scene where all hell is breaking lose and the good guys call air support. Just like that a C-47 (DC-3) show up with miniguns (the type that rotates) and basically rains bullets on the bad guys. Needless to say that it made a...

The Gift for the Son (What a great mom) September 19 2015

So yesterday I got an interesting email from a mother it read: "Thank you for the Beetle, it is beautiful. It is for my son's birthday and he will love it." Appreciative of the note I was a bit concerned with the son's age and emailed her back with: "Thanks for sharing the details about your son's birthday. Just keep in mind that these are really not toys, but models....

The Two Sides of The Bomb(s) August 08 2015

This week marked the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the two atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   As always, every time I watch the memorials and think about the events, I am moved deeply as I imagine all the civilians that suffered through the ordeal. Not just the actual bombing, but the suffering that extended after the bombing.   Through my readings of the subject people have pointed...

B-52: An Role Model for Steady Employment for 50+ Years July 03 2015

A salute to the B-52H. Not many people (or things) can achieve steady employment for 50+ years. The B-52 has seen newer, sexier, faster, stealthier machines come and seen them retired. There are pilots flying this thing today whose grandfathers flew it too when it was a new plane. The way things are looking, some of these current pilots will have sons who will fly it, too.