Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Flight of the LIghtnings

The P-38 Lightning was one of the most unique appearing aircraft of WWII. The Forktailed Devil is a very cool bird, and a very rare one these days. Not many of them survived the scrapper at the end of the war. Seeing one these days at an airshow is a rare treat.

This video has been around for about a year. It is way cool! 5 Lightnings in the air at one time - I never thought it could happen. I've seen P-38s before, but never more than one at a time. Glacier Girl, the early model -38 dug out from under 200+ feet of ice on Greenland and then painstakingly restored, is one of these magnificent birds.

Enjoy ...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Aussie Aardvark Preservation Effort

The RAAF recently retired the last of its F-111 Aardvarks from service. Almost all of the surviving airframes were tagged for scrapping, very little effort/thought was given to preserving any of them in museums by the Australian government. In fact, the government tried to implement regulations that would have made it almost impossible for any of the aircraft to be displayed anywhere except the RAAF's official museum.

A group was formed in 2002 to lobby for preservation of some of the aircraft. Their efforts have been successful so far, resulting in several aircraft being earmarked for preservation.

If you are a fan of the 'Vark, this is worth a look:

Title Photo - RF-111C A8-146, seen at Recon Air Meet 88, Bergstrom AFB. Photo by yours truly.

Update - If you are a fan of aviation, this will make you sick. Granted, they have to dispose of the aircraft in some way, and this isn't much different than chopping them up and recycling the bits (like is done out in Tucson), but this is hard to watch ...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Hero Passes ...

Colonel Cecil Rigsby, USAF (Ret), passed away in San Antonio on November 7.

Col. Rigsby served in the Air Force for 33 years. He flew P-38 Lightning fighters in New Guinea with the 8th Photo Recon Squadron during WWII. In Korea, he flew recon missions in the RF-80 and RF-86. As a Cold Warrior, he flew F-100 Super Sabres on recon missions out of Bitburg AB, sometimes over Soviet territory. In Vietnam, he flew the RF-101C and RF-4C tactical recon aircraft. At the time of his retirement, he had logged 339 combat missions during 3 wars, with over 7000 flight hours in unarmed recon aircraft.

Col. Rigsby was awarded five Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Legion of Merits, the Silver Star, and twelve Air Medals.

Godspeed, Colonel ...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gal and Hal do the Heritage Flight

Lone Star Flight Museum's Galveston Gal and Tarheel Hal both flew Heritage Flights at Randolph AFB during their show on the last weekend of October. Gumby flew the P-51 and the P-47 (not at the same time, obviously) with Rider, in his Shaw AFB based F-16.

Beautiful weekend, great weather, very large crowd, the only negative points were lots of engine oil and antifreeze to deal with. Most excellent fun!

Photo Credits - yours truly