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© 2004-2016 Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

Air-Minded: Cookin’ with Gas

When you’re flying fighters, or any kind of aircraft, fuel is everything. You have to know not only how much fuel you have remaining at any time, you have to know how far you can go on it and how much you’ll need if things turn to shit and you have to divert. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a short training flight in the local area or part of a multi-jet package flying a 12-hour long overseas deployment with air refueling tankers as escorts, fuel is never far from your mind. […]

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Never Read the Comments

I follow a retired Royal Navy aviator on Facebook, not because I know him but because he posts fascinating photos of older military aircraft, many of which he flew during his career. He typically says little about his photos, but his followers post comments, and up to now I thought they were an informed and […]

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Air-Minded: Bitchin’ Betty

When Sexy Sally started warning B-58 Hustler crews about engine fires in the 1960s, it was a major innovation, and using a woman’s voice was considered a brilliant stroke: human factors researchers thought a woman’s voice—rarely heard on the radio and never on the intercom—would cut through other chatter and get the crews’ attention. […]

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Air-Minded: CAF Museum Photoblog

Our son, who lives in Las Vegas, turned 50 last week. Since he had to be in Phoenix yesterday for a business meeting, we drove up to have dinner with him. I’ve been wanting to visit the Commemorative Air Force Museum at Falcon Field in Mesa, so we left Tucson in the morning and spent […]

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Sonora Dogs

When we run low on dog food I take the girls with me to the neighborhood feed store. During chick season (which is a thing, who knew?) they have galvanized tubs of pullets inside the store, and the minute the dogs come through the door they hear them peeping and go straight for them. They […]

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Air-Minded: Heritage Flight Photoblog 2016

Selfie with F-22s and F-35s

Once a year, rich guys with extremely expensive toys train alongside active duty USAF fighter pilots and jets at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. The annual program at DMAFB is called the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course, and over the course of a few days civilian and military […]

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Air-Minded: Sweeping Changes

When I take visitors around the outdoor aircraft on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum, I always say a few words about these Republic F-84s, early jet fighters that show the evolution from straight to swept wings:

F-84C Thunderjet, left; F-84F Thunderstreak, right (photo: Paul Woodford)

The aircraft with the barber-striped tail […]

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Smile!

I posted this vintage Christmas card to Facebook to amuse my friends. The kid’s woeful expression prompted a few comments. Really, though, if you study 19th and early 20th century portraits, photos, and illustrations, unsmiling faces were the rule rather than the exception. People always looked somber. I started to wonder why that was.

Well, […]

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