Friday, August 23, 2013

My favorite plane

(Yeah - that's a trailer from The Great Waldo Pepper. Perhaps the greatest - and saddest - flying movie ever. If you haven't seen it, you should)

So I was dismayed to hear about the B1 crash, but thank God no one got hurt. The B-1 Lancer is by far my favorite plane. Probably because it's the first (and only) one that I ever flew (I don't count the times my Dad let me take the stick on a Cessna - that wasn't really flying). I learned how to take off and land in it, and even did a barrel role in it. Oh - did I mention that I did all this in a full motion simulator? No?

I worked on a series of B-1 simulators for a few years back at the turn of the century (2000). I also spent some time assisting the team that did the software for the maintenance trainers at the home of the B-1's at Ellsworth AFB. Watching those monsters take off and land, and blast overhead was an awesome experience. They are by far my favorite. A bomber that flies like a combat jet and has a payload like nothing else in the world. It would be tragic if the DoD used this crash to ground them for good. I suspect that since they have nothing to replace them with, that won't happen. But, as the title of the blog implies, I've been wrong before.

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