Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Friday, January 18, 2013
USA mobilised its human and industrial resources to achieve victory in the two-front World War in Europe and the Pacific. The US used its air power with well planned strategies, systematically. Basically World War II became the global arena of struggle for control of the air. U.S. factories produced amazing numbers of fighter and bombers and aviation proved crucial in tactical and strategic roles in air battle fronts in Europe and Pacific.
This War induced technological development helped improve aircraft design and performance. It totally recast the nature of air warfare.
Biplanes made of wood and fabric became history as they got replaced with all-metal fighters. With remote-controlled guns, pressurized cabins and powerful engines, Boeing B-29 Superfortress became the most advanced bomber of its time. Later in the war, the relentless process of technical refinement culminated with the debut of jet engine and jet powered aircraft. Had there been peace, all this could have taken a decade to develop.
Boeing Aviation Hangar, opened on 15 Jan 2013 at Smithsonian Aviation Museum Washington DC , has highlighted this significant feature in their new "Boeing Hanger" pictured below.
Artifact Highlights at Smithsonian Museum:
Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay" that dropped Atom Bombs in Japan on 6 Aug 1945
Japan's Aichi M6A1 Seiran Amphibian
USAF Stinson L-5 Sentinel. Till 1968 this aircraft was used by Nagpur Flying Club for training pilots. During the year 1963-68, Nagpur Flying Club was hired by IAF for imparting elementary flying training to its trainee pilots (91st to 100th Pilots Training Courses)
.V S Saxena
Thursday, January 10, 2013
This B-17 aircraft, of USAF not only created history but also boosted the morale of Allied Forces during WWII
Those interested in aviation will be able to appreciate this breathtaking unique and unrealistic looking bombing sortie of WW II.
It is 1st of February, 1943. World War II is on. German Messerschmidt fighters are firing on Allied Forces' (USAF) B-17 Bomber over Tunis* dock area in Allied Territory. No one knows that this sortie is going to become the subject of one of the most famous photographs of World War II.
* Located on the Northern most tip of African continent, Tunis is capital of Tunisia. During WW II, it was a French Colony and was liberated in 1956.
Wounded pilot Lt. Kendrick R. Bragg, and co pilot of 414th Bomb Squadron are finding difficult to manage to keep the "flying fortress" in the air as it is continuing to descend and gradually going out of control. Another hit breaks the B-17 aircraft apart, but strong base of the fuselage is keeping it fixed to the aircraft. Vital controls are working but sluggishly.
When the bomb bay doors were opened, the wind turbulence was so strong that it blew one of the waist gunners into the broken tail section. It took several minutes and four crew members to pass him ropes from parachutes and haul him back into the forward part of the plane.
The turn back to England for this USAF B17 bomber had to be very slow to keep the tail from twisting and falling off. They actually covered almost 70 miles to make the turn home. The bomber was so badly damaged that it was losing altitude and speed and was soon alone in the sky. For a brief time, two more Messerschmidt Me-109 German fighters attacked this USAF aircraft. Despite the extensive damage and some injuries to the gunners, they responded to these attacks and soon drove the fighters off. The two waist gunners stood up with their heads sticking out through the hole in the top of the fuselage to aim and fire their machine guns. The extent of damage can be better understood by the fact that the tail gunner had to shoot in short bursts, because the recoil was actually causing the plane to turn.
Allied P-51 fighters intercepted the German attack as it crossed over English Channel and took one of the pictures shown above. They also radioed to the base describing that the bomber was waving like a fish tail and that the plane may not be able to reach base and advised to position boats to rescue the crew when they would bail out. The fighters stayed with the Fortress taking hand signals from Lt. Bragg and relaying them to the base. Lt. Bragg signaled that 5 parachutes and the spare had been "used" so five of the crew could not bail out. He decided that if they could not bail out safely, then he would stay with the plane and land it.
Two and a half hours after being hit, the aircraft made its final turn to line up with the runway while it was still over 40 miles away. It descended into an emergency landing and a normal roll-out on its landing gear.
No one could believe that the aircraft could still fly in such a condition. The Fortress sat placidly until the crew all exited through the door in the fuselage and the tail gunner had climbed down a ladder, at which time the entire rear section of the aircraft collapsed onto the ground. The rugged old bird had done its job.
It also speaks high of the rugged quality of aircraft that could withstand so much of harshness. As compared to today's aircraft, where the tolerance is sacrificed to reduce weight, the new generation of aircraft may not be able to see so much of tough handling.
V S Saxena
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Philadelphia has history that can be felt in every corner of the city. The museum, that houses Liberty Bell, is amongst prominent places of tourists attraction in the US.
There are no official records to support this, but it is said that during unloading, the bell was dropped intentionally to show peoples’ anger towards cruel British rule.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Are you planning to visit Niagara?: If you are planning to visit Niagara Falls and you have the curiosity to know about the place you are going to visit, the information here would make your trip even more enjoyable and memorable. If you have already visited, these details, which have been collected from documentary film, articles, books and write ups, would help you add more to your knowledge bank.
Above: Every passenger visiting the falls in the boat is provided a disposable raincoat.
Below: An "Out of the world" enchanting and breathtaking view of Niagara Falls at night.
Bridal veil fall. as seen from the observation deck.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
1909 Wright Military Flyer
The 1909 Wright Military Flyer was the World's first military airplane. In 1908, the U.S. Army Signal Corps ordered a two-seat observation aircraft-- one that was relatively simple to operate, could reach a speed of at least 40 miles (64 kilometers) per hour in still air, and could remain in the air for at least one hour without landing.
The Army also required that the aircraft should be easy to assemble and disassemble and be able to land safely and take off quickly. By May 1909, Orville Wright successfully met the Signal Corps's specifications with this airplane, and the military gained its wings. In 1911, the War Department of US presented Wright Military Flyer to the Smithsonian Institution.
From the beginning of their aeronautical work the Wright Brothers focused developing a reliable method of pilot control as the key to cracking "the flying problem". W
right Brothers' fundamental breakthrough was their invention of three-axis control i.e; yaw (nose movement up and down), Pitch (nose movement left and right) and Roll (sideways wings movement left and right), which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium.
V S Saxena