Air-Minded: Amphibian Edition

Pima Air & Space Museum is determined to keep me on my toes.  PASM is closing the normal entrance area for a month, and guests will now be entering the main hangar from the gift shop.  Before, my walking tour started underneath the replica of the Wright Flyer.  Now it’ll start smack in the middle […]

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Air-Minded: Tail Numbers

Last week I noticed they’d moved several outdoor aircraft at the Pima Air & Space Museum, opening up a big empty area behind Hangar One.  When I showed up for my tour yesterday there was our F-15A, once hidden in the back reaches of the museum’s 300 acres, newly on display alongside the path between […]

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Air-Minded: Eyes in the Sky

Air-minded.  Wow.  There’s a phrase I haven’t heard since I was an air-minded kid.  I ran into it again this morning in an online article at The Awl. “Are You Airminded?” The Slang Of War “Airmindedness” is a term that used to be everywhere and now it’s nowhere. The word, as defined by the OED, […]

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Air-Minded: Goin’ Commando

Tomorrow morning I’ll guide another walking tour group through the Pima Air & Space Museum. It’ll be a red-letter day: the docent team leader and volunteer supervisor will evaluate my skills; if I do well I’ll become the museum’s newest certified walking tour docent. As you might imagine, boning up is the order of the […]

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Air-Minded: Cycles

No, not bicycles or motorcycles . . . I’m thinking of a different kind of cycle this time, as in: noun: a complete alteration in which a phenomenon attains a maximum and minimum value, returning to a final value equal to the original one (source: dictionary.com) When I entered the F-15 training program in the […]

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Air-Minded: Uncritical Reportage of Aviation Accidents

Is there something about aviation accidents reporters don’t understand? Upwards of 95% of airplane crashes (actually, more like 99.9%) are caused by the pilots involved. But you might never guess that from newspaper, magazine, and blog reportage, where a passive-voice form of politeness takes over. They report the who/what/when/where of aviation accidents, but rarely the […]

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Air-Minded: Guns or Butter? (Updated 1/10/17)

Or . . . stealthy and expensive mega-guns? I’ve been trying to think of something intelligent to contribute to the ongoing debate over future production of the F-22 Raptor. President Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates want to cap production at 187 aircraft, the number currently funded. Congressmen and senators from F-22 producing districts […]

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Air-Minded: Lost at Sea (Updated)

On last night’s loss of Air France Flight 447 in the Atlantic Ocean, it’s simply too early to speculate on what might have happened.  If the aircraft is never found, speculation might be all we’ll ever get. It took more than a year to find Steve Fossett’s crash site, even though searchers had the area […]

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