Uncategorized

06.11.2011 Uncategorized No Comments

An incredible event in aviation history

In October, 1942, the XP-59, the USA’s first jet aircraft, rolled out of Bell Aviation at Edwards AFB.

http://www.aircraftowner.com/videos/view/americas-first-jet-flight-october-1942_1617.html

 

 

05.31.2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Teamwork at High Speed

From former Air Force test pilot Danny Cox

http://www.dannycox.com

Only a few feet separate the lead pilot’s tailpipe from the nose of my supersonic fighter as we rip through the sky at speeds in excess of 500 miles per hour.  I feel the blast from his engine vibrating through my feet on the rudder pedals and through my right hand on the control stick.  There are seven more jets behind me packed just as tight in our nine-ship formation.

Sonic Boom Salesman breaks the barrier once more.

 

 

Almost with one motion, the nose of each fighter gently drops below the horizon.  The airspeed builds until the lead pilot pulls back on the stick.  The nose of every fighter rises in perfect symmetry as the “g” forces build.  I feel the blood being forced into my legs and feet.  All nine of us are now experiencing the same 5 “g” force ––5 times our body weight.  We tighten our leg and abdominal muscles to keep blood in our upper extremities to avoid blacking out.

I concentrate on keeping my hand on the throttle.  If it slips off, the “g” force will push it down between the side panel and my ejection seat.  I will lose my ability to make minor throttle adjustments and hold precise position.  As we curve over the top of our perfect loop, the world switches places with the sky.  The “g” forces diminish down the backside.  I steal a millisecond glance at the two rear view mirrors.  Everyone is still tucked in tight.  The “g” pressure builds again as our lead pilot pulls the nose back up to level flight and eight pilots follow in perfect unison.

The lead pilot takes us through a series of horizon tumbling rolls followed by a formation shift to a nine-ship diamond.  It’s my turn to fly center position as we make a high-speed, low-level pass over the airfield.  The noise of eight other jets in front and back, and on both sides, flying two to three yards from wingtip to wingtip is deafening.  It’s high performance flying right to the edge.  There is only one word to describe it: exhilarating.  WOW!  How I love it!

It’s the ultimate team experience.  The difference between life and death can be how well we learn from our successes and failures.  Our synergy comes from courage, creativity, and being there for each other, no matter what.  After leaving the Air Force and entering the corporate world, I had to transfer the principles of individual and team high performance to new challenges.

I had to make some tremendous adjustments, but my drive to again be a part of a high performance team was strong.  I sought out advice and counsel from the most successful people I could find in various industries.  What they taught me, along with some innovations of my own, put my new team into a supersonic climb.  In five years, we increased production 800 percent, morale soared and turnover dropped to nearly zero.

So now it’s your turn. You’re clear for take-off followed by an afterburner climb.

Photo below:  Danny preparing for a supersonic flight in a F-16 with the 113th Air Wing,
Andrews AFB, Maryland.

http://danny-cox.blogspot.com

 

05.30.2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Around the World in Two Days

In 1873, Jules Verne wrote about Phileas Fogg, his valet Passepartout, and their trip Around the World in Eighty Days.

In 2011, Dan Poynter roughly followed the same route and circumnavigate the globe in 2 days. And Dan made the trip on regularly-scheduled commercial airliners.

The trip began in Los Angeles (LAX) on Tuesday, May 17, fly to Washington (IAD), Dubai (DXB), Singapore (SIN), Taipei (TPE), and ended in Los Angeles (LAX) on Thursday, May 19.

Twelve time zones were covered on United Airlines in 19 hours and the next twelve were on Singapore Air and EVA Air.

Dan Poynter loves to fly. He has circumnavigated the globe 20 times, flies more than 6,000 miles each week, toured 52 countries so far, and skydived into the North Pole.

The world will shrink by 78 days.

Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWl0fnBu7bs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGEMqjrd0p8

05.28.2011 Uncategorized No Comments

A Cool Aviation Event in Memphis

From Don Hutson

http://www.donhutson.com/

This past Saturday evening I had the pleasure of emceeing a unique event entitled “Wei Around the World Gala”. Wei Chen is featured on the cover of BizJet Advisor’s China Report and is becoming a media sensation in China and was a real hit here in Memphis!
My friend, Wei Chen, a sharp Memphis entrepreneur of Chinese descent, wanted a good send-off for his around the world trip in a single engine aircraft. If he makes it he will be the first Chinese to complete this accomplishment, and China helped him make the Gala special by sending over some 50+ dancers and entertainers for the event! They have also assured him Chinese airspace clearance as needed and much good P. R. at each stop.

There were some 400 attendees on hand for this special Gala which was a fund-raiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We had live auction items, heart-warming stories of kids’ lives being saved, and a terrific tribute to our citizen who will spread Memphis good will throughout the world.

Wei Chen departed last Sunday, May 21st  for his first stop and P. R. event in Washington D. C. He and his co-pilot lifted off in his Socata TBM-700 turbo a couple of hours late as they waited for thunder storms to pass through. The Socata is manufactured in France by a 100 year old company that prides itself in producing exceptional aircraft. He bought it two months ago in preparation for the trip. I have been concerned about the volcano eruptions disrupting his itinerary, but I called to get an updated weather report today (he had to layover in Canada) and the forecast is for the volcanic clutter to be clear of his route of flight by the time he gets to Iceland. Wei is a 500 hour pilot, so he doesn’t need any unexpected challenges on this trip. He has a high time, internationally experienced co-pilot in the right seat, which got him insured and more peace of mind for the endeavor!
Wei will make some 40 stops and be gone 70 days on his trek around the world. The Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper has given him great coverage over the past few weeks and I’m sure he will spread our Southern Good Will throughout the world. Let’s all wish him luck!

Don Hutson

More about Wei Chen’s trip click here: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2011/may/04/memphis-businessman-wei-chen-

Chinese Aviation History Event in Memphis, TN!

emerges-chinese-media/

05.28.2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Aviator Amanda Franklin succumbs to injuries

From Speaking Eagle Mark Sanborn:

Amanda Franklin passed away yesterday after battling burns sustained in an emergency landing over two months ago. She was a wing walker married to husband Kyle and as many know part of legendary air show family. I met Kyle and Amanda at ICAS in December of 2009. They were an enthusiastic couple in love with each other, flying and life.

From examiner.com

Kyle is dealing with massive medical bills and many in the air show community are stepping up to help.

Kyle Franklin, of Franklin’s Flying Circus and Airshow, announced last night that his wife and team partner, Amanda, passed away at 10:10 pm Friday night. Amanda had been hospitalized at the Brooke Army Medical Center since the March 12th accident where the airplane she was wing-walking crashed and caught fire after an engine failure. Amanda suffered third degree burns to over 70% of her body along with multiple bone fractures. Kyle was also hospitalized and released March 28th to receive outpatient care and still faces a long rehabilitation. They have been performing their wing-walking act since the summer of 2009.

Through the difficult time, Kyle kept fans and friends updated with daily notes on the team’s Facebook Page. On May 26th, Kyle made a post about having just made the difficult decision to remove Amanda from life-support and provide ‘comfort care.’ Doctor’s had informed Kyle and the family that they did not believe that Amanda would survive the two weeks until her next skin graft surgery. Amanda was suffering from multiple infections of her burn injuries which were not responding to the antibiotic treatment, near complete failure of her kidneys and her liver was beginning to fail as well.

In the May 26th note, Kyle stated, ‘I made the hardest decision of my life today and put her on Comfort Care. They have taken her off most everything with the exception of the ventilator, sedation meds and pain meds. They placed her in a more comfortable position and are doing everything to make her as comfortable as possible… Amanda my love, I love you with all my heart, soul and everything I am. Our life together here was supposed to be seventy years not seven, but I look forward to seeing you in my dreams every night my love.’

On May 27th, Kyle posted the update following update to the team’s fans, ‘It is with a broken heart that I tell you that my beautiful girl Amanda passed away at 10:10 central time this evening. Beside her was her adoring husband Kyle, her mother Jeanie, her brother Matt, her sister-in-law Michelle and her devoted mother-in-law Audean.’

Kyle and Amanda had been friends since childhood and were dating when both their fathers, Jimmy Franklin and Bobby Younkin, were killed during a 2005 air show. On July 10, 2005, while performing at the Saskatchewan Centennial Air Show in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, their planes were involved in a fatal mid-air collision. Kyle and Amanda were married a few months later, in October of 2005.

Two funds have been established to support the Franklin’s with their mounting medical bills. To donate to the Franklins’ funds, you may do so via the Moonlight Fund, a nonprofit that provides assistance 24/7 to burn survivors and their family members in their time of need, by specifying the Kyle & Amanda Franklin Fund; or through the International Council of Air Shows Foundation, by specifying the Kyle & Amanda Fund during the donation process.

The Chairman of Air Fiesta, David Hughston, stated that a scheduled June 4 fundraiser for the Franklins will go ahead as planned. The fundraiser will be at the Commemorative Air Force RGV Wing headquarters at the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport. Air Fiesta was the air show during which the Franklin’s tragic accident occurred.

The fundraiser will have a silent auction of over 50 items, live music, family activities. Some of the items in the silent auction range from appliances to fishing trips and even weekend getaways to South Padre Island. A mobile blood bank will also be on handfor anyone who wishes to donate blood in Amanda’s name.

The fundraiser will be from 3 to 9 p.m. and will have a $10 admission charge for everyone over the age of 12.

Even if not attending, tax-deductible donations can be made to AIR FIESTA, P.O. Box 8190, Brownsville, TX 78526. For more information visit www.AirFiesta.org or Air Fiesta’s Facebook page.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Amanda Franklin succumbs to injuries suffered in March air show crash – National General Aviation | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/general-aviation-in-national/amanda-franklin-succumbs-to-injuries-suffered-march-air-show-crash#ixzz1NfZgU38f

Continue reading on Examiner.com Amanda Franklin succumbs to injuries suffered in March air show crash – National General Aviation | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/general-aviation-in-national/amanda-franklin-succumbs-to-injuries-suffered-march-air-show-crash#ixzz1NfZJPRAf

05.27.2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Flying the JATO-Assist Cobra

Not many folks are likely to have flown a “JATO-Assisted” helicopter. I did, just one time.

JATO stands for jet fuel assisted takeoff. The most famous demonstration of this system is the Blue Angels C-130, known as Fat Albert.

http://www.blueangels.navy.mil/aircraft/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw2bAJGgCZI&feature=related

It works great on airplanes, such as the C-130, for reducing the length of takeoff rolls or providing steep climb outs, but who ever heard of putting JATO on a helicopter?

In April 1969, I was flying a combat mission in the Republic of South Vietnam as an aircraft commander in an AH-1G Huey Cobra gunship. I was the wingman in a two-ship formation. An infantry company from the 101st Airborne Division was in a nasty firefight with an unknown-sized enemy unit.

Because the American unit was trapped in a tight valley, we had to confine our rocket and machine guns passes down that valley—making our flight path highly predictable (bad idea, but no other options available). On each run down that valley, I was firing 3-4 pairs of 2.75 inch folding-fin aerial rockets (FFARs) from my inboard rocket pods. (These rockets had 17-pound warheads, which made them the equivalent of a 105 howitzer round.)

As I pushed the nose over to begin our fourth pass, my copilot was firing the mini-gun (in the turret) in response to tracers coming from half way up the mountain slope on our right. I armed the outboard pods and was flying at near redline airspeed (190 knots) and suddenly found myself pinned to the right side of the cockpit. Out of my peripheral vision I could see an enormous fireball on the right side of my Cobra. I then experienced one of those rare moments when everything seems to slow down. What seemed like a long time actually occurred in about 2-3 seconds, or less:

• I realized my right outboard XM-19 rocket pod (loaded with 13 2.75 inch FFARs was engulfed in a fireball
• I reached for the pod eject switch on the enter console between my knees
• I actually thought about switching to “outboard only” (we flew in the “both position” (inboard and outboard)
• I decided to dump all four pods, and in one motion lifted the cover and flipped the switch
• Instantaneously, the Cobra went from what seemed like a 30 degree crab left from the forward track of the helicopter back to proper alignment

My mission was over, and I returned home without further incident. Since the bad guys were known to use unexploded 2.75 FFAR as land mines, the infantry unit eventually recovered all four pods. One had a large bullet hole in the side and was extensively damaged by the fire.

Apparently, the bullet had jammed a rocket in the tube just as it was launched (or perhaps, it ignited the rocket motor and also caused the jam). Either way, I had one or more rockets—a JATO-assist—on the starboard side of my Cobra. The stress on the tail boom from redline airspeed with the nose 30 degrees off of the relative wind must have been incredible. Thanks to the folks at Bell Helicopter, I made it back to Camp Eagle—still shaking, but happy to have survived a short flight in a JATO-assisted Cobra. I was still too young to buy a can of beer, but do recall drinking a few (perhaps many) that night.

Lessons learned:

• Don’t put JATO-assist on a helicopter
• If you do, make sure it is on both sides, it is very uncomfortable when it is just on one side

Randy Larsen
Dragon 31D
4/77 Aerial Rocket Artillery
101st Airborne Division
1968-69

www.randalllarsen.com

05.05.2011 Uncategorized No Comments

When Laura Bush asks….

What do Bill Cosby, Colin Powell, former First Lady Laura Bush and Howard Putnam have in common?  Howard Putnam comments on his recent experience with some of the Get Motivated speakers.

In March 2011, I was asked by the Get Motivated seminar company based in Tampa, Fl, to be one of their ten speakers at all day events in San Diego (15,000 attendees) and Portland, Or (20,000). If those events went well, which they did, then we would be invited to do more. We contracted for several more.

I have been speaking for twenty two years to corporate and association conferences, but never to audiences of this size. It is a fantastic experience. In Portland I followed Bill Cosby to the platform. That was a challenge, but he does his thing and I do mine on leadership, Southwest Airlines and ethics. We each have twenty minutes on stage. The venues are all big sports stadiums like the Rose Garden in Portland and the ScottTrade Arena in St. Louis. The stage is out in the middle of the arena, so you walk around and have a 360 degree audience, amidst hi tech screens, etc. The audiences are so positive and responsive. It renews your faith in the American dream of success and free enterprise.

The well known speakers are: General Colin Powell, First Lady Laura Bush, Mayor Rudy Guiliani, Steve Forbes, Bill Cosby, Coach Lou Holtz, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw and the list goes on. So I am honored to be a small part of this team of accomplished Americans.

In St. Louis, I was scheduled to speak at 3:40pm and follow Gen. Powell. Their schedule was running forty minutes behind schedule. I was getting ready to go on when the Get Motivated folks said they had a problem. Mrs. Bush was scheduled to be at another event and would I mind letting her speak before me to keep her on schedule. Of course, I agreed to switch, even though (with the thunderstorms) I might miss my Southwest flight to Chicago. Note: I did make it with a few minutes to spare that evening.

How many opportunities do you have in life to accommodate “A First Lady?” She was very gracious and came over and shook my hand backstage and thanked me profusely. She also said she had flown Southwest Airlines from Dallas to St. Louis the night before. She travels with an assistant and several secret service agents and flies commercial most of the time. On stage she told the audience of over 15,000 she had arrived the evening before on Southwest Airlines. It received a great round of applause.
Congratulations to this humble lady who flies commercial airlines. That is classy.

So what is the moral of the story here? As an Iowa farm boy I would have never dreamed I would be the CEO of two airlines, Southwest and Braniff. I would never have dreamed I would be speaking and sharing experiences to help others. And, how many opportunities in life do you get to visit in a hallway back stage with a first lady?

Howard Putnam
Former CEO Southwest and Braniff International
Co-Founder SpeakingEagles.com
www.howardputnam.com
www.speakersoffice.com

01.07.2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!