Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Couple of Birds, A Couple of Videos

"White 35", serial number 110639, Me 262B-1a two-seat trainer.
I received two more photos from our man Frost the other day. Thought I'd share those with you today rather than wait for another time. The Me-262 Schwalbe in the opening photo was actually captured in Germany in 1945. She was handed over to the Navy for testing and apparently spent a lot of time outdoors in Pennsylvania before she was fixed up and put on display at the Naval Aviation Museum. You can read their write up on "White 35" here.

Some Me-262 stats:
     Maximum speed: 559 mph
     Range: 652 mi
     Service ceiling: 37,565 ft
     Rate of climb: 3,900 ft/min (At max weight - single seat version)
     Armed with 4 × 30 mm MK 108 cannon (Yes, that is the same caliber as the A-10 Warthog's gun)
     Could also carry rockets and bombs.

I have seen a number of examples of the Me-262, my favorite museum (the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, Virginia) has a flyable example. Of course, Pungo is my favorite because the majority of their aircraft are flyable. I don't know if they have any static display birds. It's nice to know that those birds can still take to the air. There's something a bit sad about seeing a flying machine which will never fly again.

Speaking of Pungo and the Me-262...

Nice Fw-190 as well!

N1K2 Shiden-Kai (George)
One of the best fighters produced by Japan, Kawanishi's N1K2, of which Wikipedia has this to say -
The N1K2-J Shiden-Kai proved to be one of the best dogfighting aircraft produced by either side. Along with high speed the Shiden-Kai offered pilots an agile aircraft with a roll rate of 82°/sec at 386 km/h (240 mph) backing four powerful 20 mm cannons in the wings. As a bomber interceptor the N1K2-J fared less well, hampered as it was by a poor rate of climb and reduced engine performance at high altitude.

The N1K2-J Shiden-Kai offered a formidable if demanding aircraft in limited quantities. As a result, the planes were distributed to elite units like the IJN 343rd Air Group (343 Kōkūtai Naval Fighter Group) constituted on 25 December 1944 and commanded by Minoru Genda. The new 343rd Kōkūtai claimed Japan's finest fighter pilots such as Muto and Genda.
I should note that Genda Minoru (the proper order of his name) was one of the planners of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Naval Aviation Museum's write up of this display is here. I did a little digging, apparently the Air Force Museum has one of these as well. (Another place I need to go visit, and soon. Would have gone last year and met up with Juvat, but other things arose. Which involved hospitals, surgery, and pain. Lots of pain. But enough said about that, the better.)

Had a chat with The WSO yesterday, well we chat nearly every day, and she's enjoying her new job quite a bit.

What's that? What does she do? Ah, glad you asked.

LUSH is out of the Navy now but still works with the Navy. She's now gainfully employed at NAS Lemoore working the F/A-18E/F flight simulator. They're actually teaching her how to be a sim pilot so she can be the self-loading stick actuator in the front seat during WSO training.

Apparently on Tuesday they had her practicing landing in a 30 mph crosswind. Doing what she called a "half-crab kick out," as I recall. Sounds like fun. What's a crosswind landing? Check this out -

I've been on a flight or two where there was a wee bit of a crosswind, almost like I was in the front seat, even though I was well in the back. A bit more excitement than most people crave. I just realize that when it's "my time," then it doesn't matter where I am, or what I'm doing. So I just enjoy the ride.

(Though some of the landings/takeoffs in that second video are a bit too sporty for my tastes.)

I also like a bit of turbulence, gimme a bit o' bounce (yes, at altitude) and I get all excited. It's even more fun watching the less experienced passengers when the ride is bumpy. Not that I enjoy their misery.


(Am I evil? Or just a jerk? Who knows? Sometimes a bit of both I suppose.)

I need to get back into the air.


  1. "I need to get back into the air."
    I've said those exact words pretty much daily since May 17th 1991.

    So...The WSO is finally learning how the other half lives? Driving Miss Daisy isn't as easy as it looks.

    In all seriousness, I wish her the best.

    1. Yeah, she says all she has to do is follow the backseater's instructions. She's definitely going to learn what it's like to be a "nose gunner."

      No offense, present company excepted, YMMV.


  2. We must be kin. I love it when the ride is interesting. Roller coaster into Love field dodging thunder, my last flight outbound to Kalifornia had some pretty dramatic turbulence at our altitude, moved up to FL33, and smooth as silk. But the best was flying jumpseat in an empty A300... Take off and climb like a rocket, burned straight thru the storms, "freight don't complain..." I had a hoot on that hop. My face hurt from smiling...

    1. Riding the jump seat?!?!

      Yes, I'm jealous.

      Rode on a short hop from one base to another in Korea on an empty C-141. Had no idea those things could climb so fast when they're light. Lots of fun. While I wasn't in a jump seat I was next to one of the very few portholes in the cargo area.

    2. Takes a lot of Thrusties to get all that weight moving and airborne. There's a reason that the Blues and 'Birds are in clean aircraft for their shows.
      But....That Reminds Me! :-)

    3. OAFS:

      They didn't let you ride in the naviguesser's seat? What did you do to annoy them? With a light load or no load, the C-141 is a four engine fighter. Of course, I'm prejudiced, having been a crew chief on them.

      Paul L. Quandt

    4. I think the naviguesser was using his seat.

      Loves me some 141!

    5. Except for trips to the Antarctic, the 141 had not carried a naviguesser for decades. What year was that flight? I played with them ( 141s ) in the mid and late '80s.


    6. Really, no naviguesser? Harrumph, sitting up front would have been awesome.

      This would have been around '77 or '78.

    7. "the C-141 is a four engine fighter". Well.....except for those weapons thingies.

  3. In some ways it's better when you have the ability to turn the runway into the wind.

    Sometimes I try to imagine what it must have been like for the Krauts when they were trying to put the Schwalbe into service. Must have been an awful thing to live through.

    Sounds like The WSO is having fun!

    1. The toughest part of flying the 262 was late in the war. If they could get airborne, the Allies didn't have much of a chance. So, Allied fighters would hang out near the 262 airfields. During landing and takeoff the Schwalbe was a bit of a pig, took those Jumos a bit to spool up.

      The other thing was bombing their fuel supply. The fastest aircraft in the world is going no place without the go juice.

    2. Had Hitler allowed the use of the 262 against our bombers when it first was ready ( instead of using it as a dive bomber ), the war may have turned out differently.


    3. Indeed. Fool of a Fuehrer wanted it as a bomber.

    4. I've always been interested (guess that's the right word) in how differently WWII would have turned out if Adolf hadn't been so bleeding looney and such a micromanager. Turning bombers away from finishing off the RAF 'cuz Berlin got bombed... Invading Russia (although was reading where that may have been a preemptive strike to keep them from invading Germany)... Requiring his personal approval to release the Panzer reserve in France on D Day then putting out his Do Not Disturb sign... Insisting the ME262 be used as a bomber ... And in general not letting his generals run the war (that of course never happened anywhere else later, did it? ). Thank God for his delusions!

    5. Indeed!

      Hitler made a couple of good calls early in the war, so he thought he was a genius. He most assuredly was no, which was good for us, bad for them.

      Where in NC? A most beautiful state.

  4. "Half-crab kickout" is what you get if you eat too much seafood?

  5. Have always loved the lines on the 262.


  6. My wife and I were passengers on a British Airways 777 and we were in the second from last row. The aircraft landed in Philly and the we were snapped to the side. To use the lyrics from a song, I am sure I was a whiter shade of pale.

    I was an Immigration Inspector at the time so I made note of the pilot's name and waited until we crossed paths when he showed up at the crew booth. I mentioned that we had flow with him, and I also mentioned the rather whippy landing. He smiled and said the triple sevens were sometimes like that. I waited a while and then checked his story with another BA pilot. The second BA pilot burst out laughing and said the first pilot made a bad landing.

    And no, I did not arrange a special dark tunnel inspection for the first pilot, but I did think about it.

    And I have found out that being immune to seasickness does not extend to airsickness. Just saying.

  7. Nice to know I'm not alone in my reaction to turbulence. (It's one of the reasons my wife hates flying with me, but well...)

    1. My wife feels the same. She also thinks I'm a loon.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)