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Tuesday
Apr172012

Adventure House Unearths a Great Aviation Series from the Pulp Era

By Mark Rhodes

The pulps of the 30s and 40s are a rich (though somewhat forgotten) treasure trove of American storytelling not necessarily at its best, but maybe at its most memorable and original. Memorable and even immortal characters sprang from the pages of these publications such as Tarzan (100 years old this year) as well as Doc Savage, The Avenger and The Shadow. 

Less well known, but equally memorable was the series G-8 and His Battle Aces.  This series was penned by Robert Hogan and had an impressive 110-issue run from 1933 to 1944.  G-8 does not have the name recognition other pulp stalwarts like The Shadow might have even today; but he was a unique character in his own right.  Other popular pulp characters such as Doc Savage and The Avenger were “Renaissance Men on Steroids” having multiple world-class talents like Physician, Scientist, Inventors, Athletes and so on. G-8 was a supernaturally talented aviator and spy but he did not have the extraneous talents or limitless bank accounts of the playboy/vigilantes like The Shadow. Interestingly enough, author Hogan was a fairly accomplished aviator having been an air cadet in the First World War and also having worked as a demonstration pilot for Curtis Wright.  The Depression saw Hogan lose his job and helped pave the way for his career as an author. 

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Tuesday
Apr172012

Brazil is the Leader in South American Aviation

By Alan Smith

Embraer 190 with Lufthansa. (Mario Ferioli)As the largest nation in South America, Brazil covers nearly half the continent with a population of 201,103,330. It is just a bit smaller than the United States. Brazil’s largest cities are Sao Paolo, Rio De Janeiro, and Recife in the north. Recife has steel mills near the mouth of the Amazon, and Sao Paolo is the business and financial center in the southeast. The capital, built mostly during the 50s, is Brasilia located inland in the highlands. Brazil is bordered by every South American nation except Chile and Equador.

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Wednesday
Apr042012

The Red Hawks

U.S. Navy’s Premiere Advanced Training Squadron

By Russ Albertson

Lieutenant Junior Grade Wes Tanner breaks away from us landing at NAS Kingsville. (Russ Albertson)VT-21, the “Red Hawks,” is one of the US Navy’s premiere advanced training squadrons, located at NAS Kingsville in southern Texas.  Along with VT-22, this base is home to Training Air Wing 2 and provides advanced jet training for new Navy and Marine Aviators. 

VT-21 has its roots in training squadron ATU-202, which was established in 1951 flying the Grumman F-6F Hellcat.  ATU-202 was designated VT-21 in 1960 and since then the squadron has operated the Grumman F-9F Panther, Grumman F-9F8 Cougar, and the Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk. 

Presently the Red Hawks, along with VT-22, operate approximately 107 McDonnell Douglas/ British Aerospace T-45 Goshawks at NAS Kingsville. The Goshawk was chosen to replace the aging Rockwell T-2 Buckeye and the Douglas TA-4 Skyhawk. The T-45 is a British designed aircraft based on the Hawker Siddeley Hawk that was first flown in 1974 as an advanced jet trainer for the Royal Air Force.  In 1977, Hawker Siddeley merged with British Aerospace and continues to produce the Hawk. 

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Wednesday
Apr042012

Rancho Murieta Airshow 2012

A Blast from the Past

By Kimberly Sanders-Smith

In preparation for the Rancho Murieta Airshow, performers Bill Stein, Vicky Benzing, Julie Clark and Corey Wells got together for a special photo shoot for In Flight USA. After a long hiatus, Rancho Murieta Airshow is well on it’s way to return gto it’s former glory. (Richard VanderMeulen)When someone mentions “The Rancho Murieta Airshow” in aviation circles, there’s almost always someone in the group who inhales, grabs the moment, and travels back 25 years in his mind to the legendary airshows that Fred Anderson put on in the mid 80s. I’ve heard the stories of the Rancho Murieta airshows for years. The glory days at the Rancho Murieta International Airshow, the jaw dropping, collective “whoa…” Well, they’re back! The Rancho Murieta Airshow 2012 will take place May 19th at the new and improved Rancho Murieta Airport, KRIU.

Nestled near the east edge of the Sacramento valley, right up against the Sierra Nevada foothills, the Rancho Murieta Airport is a treasure for pilots. On Saturday, May 19 – that’s Armed Forces Day – Brad Beer, airport owner, is asking all of us to enjoy this gem. His idea is, first and foremost, to have fun. What better way to do that at an airport, than to host an airshow?

When I asked Brad what he’s trying to achieve with the airshow, I watch his expression and saw immediately that this show means more to him than just a successful business model. Brad is passionate about connecting with his community and with others who love flying as much as he does. And he clearly wants to make the magic that Fred Anderson achieved twenty-five years ago.

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Friday
Mar022012

The 104th Aircraft Recovery Squadron

By Steve Weaver

I was driving the other day and I spotted a small airplane, mounted on a trailer and being towed down the interstate. I was wondering what sad occasion had brought it to such a low state and I fell to thinking about my old friend Willie Mason and the “104th Aircraft Recovery Squadron.” 

Willie came into my life in the late 60s as a flying student, while I was teaching flying and running a small country airport. Something between us clicked and in the process of teaching him about flying we became great friends. Through the next few years he taught me about the art of the small adventure. 

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