Paul’s Thing

blogprofile The weblog of Paul Woodford, a veteran USAF F-15 pilot living in Tucson, Arizona
August 2015
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Air-Minded: the Curtiss Condor

You could fly coast to coast in 1930, but such the trip entailed a succession of short day flights and overnight train rides. Your flight from New York City to Los Angeles might take four to five days. With the introduction of the Condor in 1933, you could do it in two days and dispense with trains altogether — the Condor’s 12 pull-down sleeper berths meant you could fly by night as well as by day. Of course only the wealthy, untouched by the Depression, could afford air travel of any kind. […]

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Air-Minded: Escaping the Fall of Saigon

One of the volunteers I work with at the Pima Air & Space Museum is a young University of Arizona aeronautical engineering student. His family is originally Vietnamese and I have the impression his father or maybe grandfather immigrated to the USA after the communist takeover. I’m sure there’s a fascinating story behind that, and […]

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Burning and Turning

The controversial and over-budget F-35 fighter is under almost constant attack. Some of the shortcomings identified by critics are no doubt real, but the story of a previously-unidentified F-35 glitch that emerged last week was, at least to this former air-to-air pilot, a bit of a shock: a report out of Edwards AFB stating that […]

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Thursday Bag o’ Nukes

It’s been extremely hot in southern Arizona. Every day we hear about electric power outages in different sections of Tucson. Are these intentional rolling blackouts? Sure looks like it. So far no power interruptions in our hood, but since our air conditioner crapped out last week and we had to spend a night and a […]

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Terrorism & Hate Crimes

James Comey, the director of the FBI, says the murder of nine African-American churchgoers at a prayer meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, is not terrorism. His reasoning?

Terrorism is act of violence done or threatens to in order to try to influence a public body or citizenry so it’s more of a political act and […]

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The Last Barrier to Racial Integration

The city of St Louis, Missouri integrated its public swimming pools in June, 1949. The experiment was short-lived.

When I was five, my grandfather waded into a creek I was playing in and yanked me out. Some black kids my age had followed me into the water. “You’ll catch a disease,” he explained. This […]

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Air-Minded: Special Weapons & Fighters

The Navy reportedly wants to add nuclear bomb-carrying capability to its version of the F-35 fighter, the F-35C. The weapon mentioned in the linked article is the B61 gravity nuclear bomb, designed in the 1960s and long out of production. For some reason this disturbs me.

In the 1950s and 60s, you’d occasionally hear about […]

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Air-Minded: Dragons & Bolos

A friend visited the Pima Air & Space Museum (PASM) in Tucson a few weeks ago. I told her if any particular airplane spoke to her, I’d write an air-minded post on it. Well, you never know what’s going to catch someone’s eye. In her case, it was one of our orphans, a Douglas B-23 […]

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