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  • Old Pilot

    I liked this so much I'd thought you all might, as well.
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  • #2
    Re: Old Pilot

    thanks
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
    attributed to Samuel Johnson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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    • #3
      Re: Old Pilot

      Thank you, yo made my day. I've held a pilots license for 40 years now and to this day have not had a chance to stick a P51 but maybe, just maybe some day
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: Old Pilot

        Thanks Scott, wonderful posts! Brings back Memories. 1962 USMC Just finished recip. engine , and Helo school. My gift
        was to run up a cosair with a pratt & whitney R-2800 ,2000 H.P. engine. Here I was a 19 Year old slick sleeve Marine
        in the cockpit running up and taking instrument readings on this piece of history. I remember the smell of plexaglass and leather. The roaring exhaust. What a treat . Interisting,that our Sikorsky SH 34 J Helow Had the same engine only in backwards. We never wore ear Protection on the Ground, loved the ROAR ! 2 hearing aids to prove it.
        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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        • #5
          Re: Old Pilot

          I have the good fortune to be of an age where "prop-planes" were the mainstay of aviation. My first memory was when I was just a little guy and we were detoured around an old Stinson bi-plane, that had landed on the county two-lane. At that moment, I simply fell in love. I read everything about aviation that I could find, my first readings of books were about planes and pilots, and my very first purchase was "God is My Co-Pilot" which I still have. I spent as much of my teen years as possible around airplanes. Took my first flight in a Piper J-3 out of an old air field in Deposit, NY. I still remember the flight as if it was just yesteday. Pilot's name was Milt McKennitt and within a few minutes of clearing the field he had me take the "stick". At that point I had been a young "cadet" in the Civil Air Patrol and had undergone a lot of flight theory, history, and pre-flight orientation. Once "off the ground" I was addicted.

          My Group had a 1942 L4 "Grasshopper" and for $7 a "tach hour" I spent as much time in that as my paper route would allow. There was always a pilot available who wanted to log another hour and with some kid in the back seat, like me, I managed to chalk up a number of hours. But, "flying" was to prove too expensive for my meager budget and over the 11 years of my volunteer service in all my flying unfortunately never took me to my license. Life's other ventures always took the money away.

          But still, I managed some time in everything from private craft like the "L4", Beech Bonanza, and a few Pipers' and Cessna's and even a few hours in C-47's. I don't like airlines and I've never liked flying "commercial". But give me a chance in a small bird and I'm like living in heaven. Unfortunately though, I haven't been in the air in more than fifteen years now.

          In Genneseo, NY they used to have the "War Birds" show every summer. With it's grass field and WWII-era quanset hut style hanger it was like a step back in time. That weekend-long show would bring in aircraft from that era and the field would be lined with Mustangs, Texans, a couple of Tomahawks, and many others from that era. Lots of liason craft like the L-2, L-4, L-5's, etc. and of cource the big stuff like the B17's, Liberators, C-47's, and B-25's. So many types of planes it was always a treat of high degree.

          Best part of the show was that not only did they do lots of low fly-by's, but the planes would be right there on the grass where you could actually view and with utmost tenderness, even touch them; and their pilots and often mechanics were at hand to not just "protect" thier craft, but also engage in conversation.

          At one time, I knew every WWII aircraft there was. Still to this day I find myself "spotting" them in an old movie. It was so funny that just a few weeks ago I was watching a British film, "One of our Aircraft is Missing". That was something like 1940 or 41' and yet the minute I saw the bomber I knew what it was. Strange, because it wasn't nearly as recognizable as a "Lancaster"... but I knew none-the-less.

          The P-51 was a tremedous piece of design. Fast, agile, and long range and unquestionable one of the top fighter planes in history (I think the History Channel rates it as #1). Yet, when it first came into production it was sort of a "dog" with it's lower performing Allison engine. Only after it was mated with the British Rolls-Royce "Merlin" did the plane become the high-performance plane that most of us know today.

          The presentation mentioned how big this thing is, but I don't see that. Certainly by today's fighter standards, this is a rather small-sized plane. In it's time, it wasn't any bigger, IIRC, than any of the other planes, like the P-40 Warhawk, the P-39 AeroCobra, and many of the Navy craft. IIRC, it was smaller, than "the jug" (P47 Thunderbolt). (I just thought the "size" comment was interesting.)

          CWS

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