SC HISTORIC AVIATION FOUNDATION

SCHAF Newsletter forJune 2017-

 

Reminder: The next SCHAF Open House will take place Saturday, June 10, 2017. 10am-1pm at Hangar Y-1 Hamilton/Owens Airport.

 

Foundation Happenings-

 

A successful open house on Saturday, May 15, 2017.  A number of visitors including David Fuller, post commander of Post 17, James Leroy Belk post of the American Legion in Camden as well as Ella Pfaehler and Isabell Culbertson with the Columbia chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. By the way SCHAF member Mary McIntosh is also a member of the Columbia chapter of the DAR. Also had a number of people from the British sports car show that was also taking place at Hamilton-Owens Airport.  SCHAF members present were: Ken Berry, Ron Shelton, David McIntosh, Mary McIntosh, Katherine Cuddy, Ted Podewil, David Moxley, Alton Blanks and Joe McDonough.  Also present was the newest member of SCHAF’s restoration team; Chris Gillam.

 

Saturday, April 29th SCHAF took part in the Sparkleberry Country Fair in Richland Northeast. Now, for those of you who have not attended the Sparkleberry Country Fair, it is quite an event; food, entertainment, animals, cars, and exhibits dealing with everything from the environment, how to be a better gardener and, of course, aviation.  A shout-out to Carolyn Donelan and the folks from The Challenger Center of Richland School District One.  The SCHAF table was near them and it was great to see them launching model rockets. Carolyn, great to see you and your folks there.  Ya’ll do important work in preparing young people for a future in the areas of science and technology.  SCHAF members taking part were David and Mary McIntosh, Katherine Cuddy and Ron Shelton. Had a chance to meet a number of nice people and share the SCHAF story. It’s a great event and proceeds go for a good cause, supporting scholarships for students in Richland and Kershaw counties.

Heard from Robert Simmons, the Deputy Director of Museum Services for Patriots Point.  Recently we had the pleasure of a visit from Robert and some of the crew working on the restoration of their B-25 “Furtle Turtle,” at one of SCHAF’s open houses.  Robert says that restoration work is underway and he was kind enough to send some pictures. Thanks, Robert, it’s good to hear that another Mitchell bomber is getting a new lease on life; in the Palmetto State no less.  Keep us posted and as always SCHAF stands ready to provide any assistance needed.

 

      

 

On Saturday, May 27th and Robert and members of the Patriots Point restoration team were at Hamilton-Owens Airport to meet and consult with members of the SCHAF restoration team.  Discussion concerned how they are going to convert their solid nose into a glass nose.  The Patriots Point team took a number of measurements and borrowed some original parts to make molds for their B-25.  They are also going to help SCHAF’s team by making curved Plexiglas windows for the navigator’s section of GF-2.  It looks like a great partnership is being formed with Patriots Point.  There is also talk of the SCHAF restoration team going to Charleston to assist in their project.

 

Speaking of restoration, if you want to get up to speed on the restoration of GF-2 visit SCHAF’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/South-Carolina-Historic-Aviation-Foundation-172487942838543/ . A lot of progress has been made recently.  Would also like to welcome a couple of new members of the restoration team: Joe McDonough, Lucien LaPierre and Chris Gillam.  If you haven’t volunteered, what are you waiting for?

 

Earlier in May SCHAF member John Demars got to cross off an important item on his “bucket list,” he got to take a ride in a B-25 at an event in Greenville, S.C.  Folks had a choice of a number of planes and John went for the Mitchell bomber.  Sounds like you had a great time.  I’m envious.  By the way, John has met Dick Cole, the last surviving Doolittle Raider and John says the flight in a B-25 makes him appreciate the sacrifice of General Doolittle’s crews.

 

Would like to express thanks to Intel, who recently donated $3000 to SCHAF through their involved matching grant program. The matching grant is made to recognize the volunteer work of SCHAF member David Moxley, who is a member of the SCHAF restoration team.  Next time you’re looking at getting an electronic device, take a moment and make sure the label says “Intel Inside.”  It would be a nice way of saying thanks to a firm that is supporting SCAHF.

 

 

Historical Notes-

 

Here’s an interesting note; an archaeologist at the University of New Orleans will be taking a team of students to Austria this summer for the excavation of the possible site of a downed Tuskegee Airman:   http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/education/article_fa6a274c-31a8-11e7-a30a-6b29a8d0eceb.html .  Many of you might not realize it but there is actually a field of research dealing with aviation archaeology or the discovery and excavation of crash sites and sites where historic aircraft are located.

 

Just want to remind everyone that it was on June 6, 1944 that GF-2, the foundation’s B-25C ditched in Lake Greenwood. The late Dan Rossman, a member of SCHAF was a crewmember that day.  Here’s something on how to ditch the B-25.  Wonder if they saw this before that day.

 

An article from the Daily Mail of London about the British engineers who keep old warbirds flying: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2497872/Sentinels-sky-British-engineers-iconic-WW2-fighters-incredible-engineering-knowledge-flying-high.html .

 

Speaking of old warbirds, an interesting video showing how the synchronization gear that allowed World War I fighters to fire through the propeller worked:  http://aerodynamicmedia.com/ww1-aircraft-synchronization-gear-demonstrated-in-super-slow-motion-video/ .

 

From 1950s sci-fi movies to 2001: A Space Odyssey to the recent hit The Martian, our image of what a space suit looks like has undergone an evolution.  In reality space suits have also experienced transformation:  http://www.businessinsider.com/evolution-of-us-space-suits-over-the-last-50-years-2016-7 . While we’re on the subject of space exploration, a posting on why NASA’s role in aircraft development is important to space exploration: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregautry/2016/11/07/national-aeronautics-space-administration/#6bb4857efd22 .

 

I never knew they were used as commercial airliners.  An interesting posting from the always worthwhile Tails Through Time blog about B-17 airliners: http://www.tailsthroughtime.com/2009/12/from-1943-to-1947-swedish-airline.html .

 

It is with sadness that we pass along the news of the passing of a South Carolinian who fought in three wars and rose from Private to Brigadier General. After World War II Olin Smith would earn his pilot’s license and would fly helicopters in the army.  Here’s the link to an article in The State newspaper: http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article152959279.html .

 

Another item from the news earlier this year.  John Harrison, Jr. one of the Tuskegee Airman passed away.  Here’s his obit:  http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thestate/obituary.aspx?n=john-l-harrison-jr&pid=184779702 .

 

In May of 1961 Alan Shepard became the first American in space and a hero to a nation.  Here are five things you might not have known about him: http://now.howstuffworks.com/2016/11/18/5-things-you-didnt-know-alan-shepard .

 

Good Reads-

 

Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 is considered a classic novel, one that deals with the insanity of war and trying to survive under trying conditions.  This month’s good read is The Bridgebusters: The True Story of the Catch-22 Bomb Wing. It’s the story of the 57th Bomb Wing, the unit that Lt. Joseph Heller served in during World War II, and the experiences that would result in Heller’s bestselling novel.  The book is not only about Heller but the adversities faced by the entire wing and the tribulations faced by Allied forces fighting in Italy.  Well written and fast moving, The Bridgebusters is also a book for anyone interested in the B-25 Mitchell bomber and its performance in combat.  A couple of added notes regarding Heller; he trained in Columbia and Walterboro and his papers are part of the collection at the Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina. Again, a good book that provides the back story to a book that is considered a modern classic.  Want to know the story behind the story; then check this one out.

 

Odds and Ends-

 

Last month’s trivia question involved an aircraft manufacturer that also built cars. Congratulations go out to Fred Knudsen, who had the right answer. Congratulations also go out to Dr. John Moncure, the headmaster of the Montessori School in Camden for also providing the correct answer.  I was looking for the name of a company that still, to this day, builds some of the most advanced combat aircraft around.  Most people would know them as a car company but they started as an aircraft company that later branched out into making cars.  No, it wasn’t Ford- they built B-24s during World War II; and it wasn’t General Motors- they built Grumman Wildcats under license at the same time; and no it wasn’t Fiat, who built the outstanding G-91 ground attack fighter in the middle part of the 20th century. The company I was looking for was SAAB, the Swedish company known for their quirky looking but sturdy automobiles. SAAB- the initials mean Swedish Aeroplane A.B. (or Swedish Airplane Company Limited) was formed in the 1930s and after World War II started making cars, which became known not only for their quirky appearance but also their rugged build.  Over the years SAAB has produced a number of world-class warplanes including the Draken, Viggen and now the Gripen.  In the past they also manufactured a successful line of regional airliners.  Want to know about SAAB, here’s a link to the Wikipedia entry about them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saab_Group .  Here’s a link about their history: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfzC4CYjUlM .  Some links about their JAS-39 Gripen, one of the world’s most capable combat aircraft: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-jas-39-gripen-sweedens-cheap-deadly-fighter-plane-13928 . Another link: http://www.businessinsider.com/saab-f-35-competitor-gripen-e-2016-7 . Finally a link about the SAAB Safir, a trainer they produced that experienced great success:  https://shortfinals.wordpress.com/2011/07/02/the-saab-safir-a-gem-of-a-trainer/ .

 

Now, for this month’s trivia question and cinema buffs it’s your turn to step front and center.  I’m looking for the name of a movie.  Here’s the aviation connection, or at least one of them.  The director of this hit movie from the early 30s was an American, but after World War I he flew as a mercenary pilot for the Polish Air Force as Poland fought to protect itself from the newly formed and very aggressive Soviet Union. He would return to the United States and embark on a successful career in Hollywood.  Some hints; the movie featured a giant simian who fought biplanes from atop a skyscraper before meeting a tragic end.  What’s the movie I’m looking for?  You’ll find out next month.

 

Got a note recently from Carolyn Donelan, director of Richland District One’s Challenger Center. They’re looking for a Flight Consultant.  Here’s some general info about the position:

Under direct supervision of the Lead Flight Director, develops, implements, directs and evaluates the aviation programs and activities of the Challenger Learning Center. Manages program budget; develops strategic plans and curriculum. Supervises professional, clerical and technical support staff; reviews work of subordinates for completeness and accuracy. Reports to the Lead Flight Director.  If you would like to know more about the position and requirements drop Carolyn an e-mail at: carolyn.donelan@richlandone.org .  Carolyn and the folks at the Challenger Center do great work at getting young people interested the exciting world of aerospace careers.

 

Good news for fans of the Warthog, the tough and dependable A-10, a plane that troops on the ground consider their friend up above.  After years of controversy it seems the Warthog’s future is assured: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/finance-companies/once-at-risk-of-extinction-iconic-warthog-plane-lives-on/ar-BBByuhe .

 

Hangars are something we probably don’t really notice or give much thought to.  They protect planes from the weather. They’re a place to work on planes and store stuff. Right?  Well, hold on a moment because in a world of everyday hangars there are some that will take your breath away: http://www.cheapflightsfinder.com/blog/details/7-awe-inspiring-aircraft-hangars .  On the subject of hangars when you’re building something like a Zeppelin you need a big hangar.  A really big hangar: http://www.oobject.com/category/zeppelins-under-construction/ . Any other questions?  Oh, there are. Well then, a pilot will try to answer them: http://www.businessinsider.com/a-pilot-answers-your-questions-about-seats-squealing-doors-and-takeoffs-2015-6 .

 

While we’re on the subject of hangars here’s something from the Australian blog Airminded about the portable airship hangar at Farnborough, home of the world famous airshow: http://airminded.org/2016/11/20/the-portable-airship-hangar-at-farnborough/#more-16562 .

 

File under the heading of things you may have wondered about.  First off, why do all airliners seem to look alike: http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/airlines/a25426/all-airlines-look-the-same/ ?  Secondly, why are planes slower than they used to be: http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/airlines/a25517/why-planes-are-slower/ ?

 

Something from another interesting blog I follow called Pickled Wings. It seems to mainly follow eastern European aircraft but also follows others.  This is a good posting on the Breguet Atlantic, the French maritime patrol aircraft: https://pickledwings.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/breguet-br-1150-atlantic-seagoing-specialist/ .

 

When a pilot heads to “the office” he (or she) is headed to the cockpit.  That’s their office. A look at where those who fly spend their working day: http://abduzeedo.com/photographs-awesome-cockpits .

 

When you’re having one on your flight; try the beer that’s brewed to taste better at 35,000 feet: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/first-craft-beer-created-to-taste-good-at-35000-feet-/ .

 

Again, I return to the subject of aviation careers and getting young people interested but it’s important for the future of aviation.  Here’s a recent article from Aviation Week about the coming shortage of pilots: http://aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/coming-us-pilot-shortage-real .  Another pierce on the same subject: http://iateo.org/uncategorized/the-next-generation-of-aviation-professionals-deserve-next-generation-thinking/ . On the subject of getting young people interested in aviation, here’s something from the Vintage Wings of Canada site: http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNews/Stories/tabid/116/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/403/Kids-These-Days.aspx .

 

A great picture below of a B-25J using RATO (rocket assisted take off).  The picture was taken in the 1950s.

 

In Closing-

 

Well, that wraps up this month’s SCHAF newsletter.

 

If you have something you would like to share please e-mail me or any of the board members for inclusion in future newsletters. The continued success of SCHAF and this newsletter depends very much on the support of members and friends of the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation. Good things are happening now and more good things are in the works but it takes the involvement of a lot of people to make it happen.  Make a resolution to get involved with SCHAF. Oh, and by the way, if you have not renewed your membership, do so at your earliest convenience.  Go to the SCHAF membership page on the foundation’s website.  Your support of SCHAF is greatly appreciated

 

Dave McIntosh ( dmcintoshone@att.net )