Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Aviation Links

  • Johnson promptly began proposing mothballing or scrapping much of the Navy's conventional surface fleet and amphibious forces. Shortly after his appointment, Johnson had a conversation with Admiral Richard L. Conolly that revealed his attitudes towards the US Navy and US Marine Corps and any need for non-nuclear forces: "Admiral, the Navy is on its way out. There's no reason for having a Navy and a Marine Corps. General Bradley tells me amphibious operations are a thing of the past. We'll never have any more amphibious operations. That does away with the Marine Corps. And the Air Force can do anything the Navy can do, so that does away with the Navy." Both Truman and Johnson extended their opposition to the Navy in their treatment of the US Marine Corps. Truman had a well-known dislike of the Marines from his Army service in World War I and would say in August 1950, "The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's." [Louis A. Johnson]
  • The Teen Series is a popular name for a group of American combat aircraft. The name stems from a series of American supersonic jet fighters built for the United States Air Forceand the United States Navy during the late 20th century. The designations system was the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system, which reset the F-# sequence. The term typically includes the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. [Teen Series]
  • The name "Tomcat" was partially chosen to pay tribute to Admiral Thomas F. Connolly, as the nickname "Tom's Cat" had already been widely used within the program during development to reflect Connolly's involvement, and now the moniker was adapted into an official name in line with the Grumman tradition of giving its fighter aircraft feline names. Changing it to Tomcat associated the aircraft with the previous Grumman aircraft Wildcat, Hellcat, Tigercat, and Bearcat propeller fighters along with the Panther, Cougar, and Tiger jet fighters. [Grumman F-14 Tomcat]
  • The importance of Hound Dog in penetrating the Soviet air-defense system was later described by Senator John F. Kennedy in a speech to the American Legion convention in Miami, Florida, on October 18, 1960: "We must take immediate steps to protect our present nuclear striking force from surprise attack. Today, more than 90 percent of our retaliatory capacity is made up of aircraft and missiles which have fixed, un-protectable bases whose location is known to the Russians. We can only do this by providing SAC with the capability of maintaining a continuous airborne alert, and by pressing projects such as the Hound Dog air-ground missile, which will enable manned bombers to penetrate Soviet defenses with their weapons". [AGM-28 Hound Dog]
  • Kitty Hawk became world-famous after the Wright brothers made the first controlled powered airplane flights at Kill Devil Hills, four miles (6 km) south of the town, on December 17, 1903. After the four flights in their Wright Flyer, the brothers walked back to Kitty Hawk. Here, they sent a telegram from the Weather Bureau office to their father informing him of their success. Kitty Hawk is usually credited as the site of the powered flights because it was the nearest named settlement at the time of the flight; the modern town of Kill Devil Hillsdid not exist until 50 years after the flights. The Wrights chose the area because its frequent winds and soft sandy surfaces were suitable for their glider experiments, which they conducted over three years before they made the powered flights. [Kitty Hawk, North Carolina]
  • In 1993, then United States Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and his deputy William J. Perry held the "Last Supper" at the Pentagon with contractors executives who were told that there were twice as many military suppliers as he wanted to see: $55 billion in military–industry mergers took place from 1992 to 1997, leaving mainly Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. Boeing bought McDonnell Douglas for US$13.3 billion in 1996. Raytheon acquired Hughes Aircraft Company for $9.5 billion in 1997. [link]
  • The French Air Service originated the use of roundels on military aircraft during the First World War. The chosen design was the French national cockade, whose colours are the blue-white-red of the flag of France. Similar national cockades, with different ordering of colours, were designed and adopted as aircraft roundels by their allies, including the British Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service, and (in the last few months of the war) the United States Army Air Service. After the First World War, many other air forces adopted roundel insignia, distinguished by different colours or numbers of concentric rings. The term "roundel" is often used even for those military aircraft insignia that are not round, like the Iron Cross-Balkenkreuz symbol of the Luftwaffe or the red star of the Russian Air Force. [Roundel]
  • One of Convair's most famous products was the ten-engined Convair B-36 strategic bomber, burning four turbojets and turning six pusher propellers driven by Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major radial piston engines. The Convair B-36 was the largest landbased piston engined bomber in the world. The Atlas missile, the F-102 Delta Dagger and F-106 Delta Dartdelta-winged interceptors, and the delta-winged B-58 Hustler supersonic intercontinental nuclear bomber were all Convair products. For a period of time in the 1960s, Convair manufactured its own line of jet commercial airliners, the Convair 880 and Convair 990 Coronado, but this did not turn out to be profitable. However, Convair found that it was profitable to be an aviation subcontractor and manufacture large subsections of airliners — such as fuselages — for the larger airliner companies, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, and Lockheed. [Convair]

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