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Hi! I'm Paul. This is my blog. It is the best blog.

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Air-Minded: the Golden Age

The golden age of air travel dawned with the advent of pressurized commercial airliners that could fly above the weather and turbulent air closer to the surface, flourished under FAA control, and ended in October 1978 when the Carter administration deregulated the industry. […]

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Air-Minded: Influencing the Future

In 1979, when I was stationed at Soesterberg Air Base in the Netherlands, Prince Claus and two of his boys came to visit. I was on air defense alert that day with Jim Kellogg. We were pretty sure the Dutch would arrange a scramble for the royal family. Sure enough, the klaxon went off […]

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Air-Minded: PASM Photoblog VII

Is it time for another batch of photos from Pima Air & Space Museum? Let me check. Yes, my overflowing Flickr account says it is!

First up, our newest exhibit, a Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIVe recently acquired from the RAF Museum in Hendon, London.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIVe, Pima Air & Space Museum

The […]

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Air-Minded: Props & Jets (Updated)

Props and jets on the same aircraft, that is. Last year, when I visited the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, California, I discovered a US Navy Ryan FR Fireball tucked away in a hangar. I knew there had a been a few mixed-power fighters in the early years of the jet age, but this […]

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Air-Minded: Passin’ Gas, Old School

Aerial refueling: also called air-to-air refueling and in-flight refueling. You can’t send a B-2 from Missouri to hit a high-priority ISIS target in Libya without it; nor can you deploy an expeditionary air wing to a combat zone in Afghanistan or the Middle East. Aerial refueling allows receiving aircraft to fly long distances or stay […]

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Air-Minded: The Tactical Callsign Came Before the Hash Name

This one’s from the Air-Minded archives, originally published in December 2004.

When I flew fighters, my “tactical callsign” (nickname) was Skid. How did I get a name like that? Simple: I blew a tire. But enough about my sex life!

Tac callsigns, as often as not, are based on notable screw-ups, minor mishaps, and embarrassing […]

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Air-Minded: Magnesium Overcast Revisited

Convair B-36 Peacemaker (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

A few years ago I wrote a short post about the B-36 Peacemaker bomber. Here’s an excerpt:

… even though I was around during the B-36 bomber’s heyday I never saw one in flight. It’s not something you’d forget: it would have been akin to seeing the Hindenburg […]

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Air-Minded: Conform or Die

Looking for photos to add to my Promise of Air Travel folder on Pinterest, I came across this:

It’s a Speedpak, a conformal cargo pod or pannier designed by Lockheed for its Constellation aircraft. It wasn’t used for passenger luggage but for extra cargo. It appears to be the grandfather of the conformal cargo […]

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