Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

The Air Classics Museum

How they managed to get their filthy mitts on the airplanes they have, I'll never know.

How they managed to get their filthy mitts on the airplanes they have, I’ll never know.

As luck would have it, last Saturday offered up free admittance to Air Classics Museum in nearby North Aurora, Illinois. Their annual open house just happened to fall on June 14th, the day I was going anyway. I’d previously passed it on the way to somewhere else, and seeing a cluster of WWII through ‘Nam-era fighter aircraft parked outside behind a fence piqued my interest, you betcha.

One of the two rows of aircraft on display.

One of the two rows of aircraft on display.

I think it’s important to approach this museum with an awareness of what it’s about. We, or at least I, associate museums with a group of wealthy industrialists holding a roast beast feast to gather support for assembling a collection, and for a somber, columned structure to house it. The Air Classics Museum is a bunch of former fighter and bomber pilots, plus some penniless aircraft enthusiasts, scrounging up whatever hardware they can gather. Officially, their goal is to “chronicle the critical role of aviation”, “further public appreciation of our aviation heritage” and promote both professional and recreational aviation to the public. Unofficially, I suspect that it’s just a combination of loving to fly and coming to recognize the influence that aircraft have had on world history. This motley hardware collection is the result.

The P-51 put teeth in the Allied Forces fight, and took over bomber escort service when lesser fighters lacked the bomber's long range and could not defend them the whole way.

The P-51 put teeth in the Allied Forces fight, and took over bomber escort service when lesser fighters lacked the bomber’s long range and could not defend them the whole way.

Man has always dreamed of flying like a bird, soaring in the sky with perfect freedom to go anywhere, at any time. Now he can, and we’ve long since begun to take that for granted. Pressure from commercial interests as well as a proven need to regulate aircraft operation for the sake of public safety, has led to the wonder of flight being reduced to slurping coffee on a large aluminum bus that goes long distances very quickly. Our love of litigation as a form of gold mining has long ago ended the production of Piper Cubs and all those small airplanes that encouraged people to learn to fly and go anywhere they wanted, whenever they wanted. Personal choice.

I used to have a book (before a dog destroyed it) which was written by a General, immediately following World War 2. In it, he realized the potential of small aircraft and envisioned our future as highways in the sky and some kind of helicopter, autogyro, or airplane in every garage. It wouldn’t matter where you lived any more, or how far from the congested, claustrophobic city you were. The decade following World War Two was a time of promise and potential, among other things. Anything seemed possible. All you had to do was do it, create it, carry it out.

True, this sense of potential was soon dampened by the two sworn enemies of personal freedom in the U.S.: Soviet Russia and U.S. Legislators. The legislators were (and are) trying to look productive and raise reelection funds for their next ride on the gravy train. So, they legislate. It’s “for our children”.

I don’t think I’m overstating things quite as much as you assume I am. It’s the year 1900. Want to build yourself a four-wheeled, self-propelled conveyance – popularly known as a horseless carriage? Then get yourself some parts and build it, hit the road, and go. If it works well, then maybe you can sell it and make another. Do that.

It’s 1950. Want to build yourself the same four-wheeled, self-propelled conveyance? Add some safety-related equipment, convince the local DMV that you didn’t steal the parts that went into the car, climb in, and go. You can manufacture them, if you can raise the cash to start production and find someone interested in selling it. Not all that much changed, as far as legal hurdles go.

It’s today. You can still build your four-wheeled conveyance, just as before! Just keep all the parts receipts, post a bond for much more than the value of the vehicle, and let the DMV inspector see if he agrees with your design approach and execution. If he approves, you can drive it. But the odds are that you are now required to pass your state exhaust emissions tests, which can’t be done with a gasoline-powered vehicle unless you’ve incorporated a complete powertrain from a current vehicle, including wiring, sensors and electronics. Bummer. You can sell it to someone, but you can’t pull a Henry Ford without earning certification for Federal emissions testing, and then building several cars, so you can plow them into walls for Federal crash testing certification. Actively maintain average Federal fuel mileage standards for whatever you produce, or there’ll be hell to pay. And keep some lawyers on hand to deal with lawsuits. Only one new homegrown, independent car brand comes to mind in the last half-century, the dream of a millionaire who very nearly lost his shirt in the process. And his car was electric-powered, not gasoline.

There were once hundreds of automobile brands in the United States between 1890 and 1920. I forget the number, but I think it’s well over 400. Market forces took nearly all of them out as failed startups. There’s a big financial gulf between building and manufacturing, and many a venture capitalist saw the stunning opportunities to cash in on the hottest new fad to come along since the railroads. They talked inventors and engineers into taking their babies into production. A few engineers were trying out new ideas, but most of the combined forces were simply picking out prefab parts from catalogs and assembling them to their liking, with custom features. Popular as they were though, horseless carriages were still a rich man’s expensive hobby, and that market was only so big. The high prices and abysmal reliability killed off the ill-fated remainder. What you see in antique auto museums today is only the tiniest fraction of what once existed, boiled down to a few of the ones that “made it” into sustained mass production.

Ransom Olds’ and then Henry Ford’s obsession with streamlining production helped bring the motor car into the mainstream. Durand’s obsession with building a corporate juggernaut (General Motors) led him to buy out some bigger players and create new brands that purchased rights to the names of well-known auto racing figures (Chevrolet). Durand became the John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates of his day, playing dirty tricks to drive competitors out of business, lying to Federal judges, and bribing legislators to prevent the entry of new ones, like Tucker. In the automotive field, GM’s antics are no longer needed. The Land of Opportunity is largely gone, having submerged into the Great Sea of Legislation. If you’re still using the concept of owning a convenience store as a shining example of Opportunity and Freedom in America, it’s time to take a glance back to what it used to mean. It used to mean that all you had to worry about was your competition. Nowadays, it’s your own government that hopes to strangle your dream.

Speaking from ignorance, aircraft may actually be a slightly easier go – there are no fuel, mileage, crash or emissions hoops to jump through. You can build and certify your own aircraft – from a kit. I assume that the hoops for manufacturing center on certifying every component on the thing for strength, reliability and performance, a task that must absorb money like a gold digger in heat. That, and your defense lawyer.

Where does the regulation stop? Hard to say. The town I used to live in, Woodstock Illinois, in the last few years greeted a couple of children running a lemonade stand in front of their house with a verbal Cease and Desist under threat of a citation. It seems that they were running afoul of the license and approval now required for food vending within the city. Opportunity, indeed. The lesson this teaches those kids is not to go ahead and get started in enterprise and capitalism, but that in order to make their dream come true, they’ll probably need to put more of their future efforts into finding ways to evade their own government’s efforts to stop them.

But, enough of delusional musings. Back to the museum. For a group of just plain folks, overcoming the big problems associated with acquiring full-scale military aircraft and somehow teleporting them to a small corner of a small airport is pretty darned impressive. You can’t just hoist an airplane onto a flatbed trailer and head for North Aurora Municipal Airport. There’re no big sponsors, big bankrolls or big equipment to work with here. It’s not the Sprint Cellular Air Classics Museum. It’s just a bunch of guys who love airplanes.

One of my two all-time favorites, the P-40. It was simple, cheap, tough, fast, and did yeoman duty throughout the war - except for the European theater, where it was helpless against high-altitude fighters like the Bf 109 and Fw 190. Often regarded in hindsight as mediocre now, when its combination of strengths were utilized, it could take on and take down even the much-praised Japanese Zeros and Oscars.

One of my two all-time favorites, the P-40. It was simple, cheap, tough, fast, and did yeoman duty throughout the war – except for the European theater, where it was helpless against high-altitude fighters like the Bf 109 and Fw 190. Often regarded in hindsight as mediocre now, when its combination of strengths were utilized, it could take on and take down even the much-praised Japanese Zeros and Oscars – sometimes without firing a shot! How? By taking advantage of its much better structural strength during violent high-speed maneuvers.

The result resembles kind of a cross between a little fenced-in shrine, and a small-scale aircraft graveyard where the parts hopefully go on instead of come off. It’s a test of will against a vast host of manpower, logistical, legal and financial challenges. And, it’s still working and in operation. I find that impressive, and almost invigorating.

In all, over 16,000 Bell Hueys were built, of which 7,013 served in Vietnam. 3,315 of those were destroyed, with 1,074 pilots killed, plus about as many crewmen.

In all, over 16,000 Bell Hueys were built, of which 7,013 served in the Vietnam “Police Action”. 3,315 of those were destroyed, with 1,074 pilots killed, plus about as many crewmen.

The office.

The office.

The nose, with much of the equipment still in place. Naturally, there's no practical way to protect this from ground fire.

The nose, with much of the equipment still in place. Naturally, there’s no practical way to protect this from ground fire.

The A-7, a ground attack airplane, was no beauty, but started duty in 1965 and served right up through Desert Storm and Desert Shield. It could carry quite a payload of bombs and, if I recall rightly, was also later used for electronic warfare in close air support of attacks by newer aircraft.

The A-7, a ground attack airplane, was no beauty, but started duty in 1965 and served right up through Desert Storm and Desert Shield. It could carry quite a payload of bombs and, if I recall rightly, was also later used for electronic warfare in close air support of attacks by newer aircraft.

The F-4 Phantom was the workhorse of the Vietnam war. As a multi-role aircraft, this droopy-looking bent plane could exceed Mach 2, lift 22,000 pounds of ordinance, and generally outperform all previous fighters.

The F-4 Phantom was the workhorse of the Vietnam war. As a multi-role aircraft, this droopy-looking bent plane could exceed Mach 2, lift 22,000 pounds of ordinance, and generally outperform all previous fighters.

Huh? I include this non-combat T-39 because it was fully open for inspection of its interior.

Huh? I include this non-combat T-39 because it was fully open for inspection of its interior.

The T-39's cockpit has enough gizmos to keep you occupied, but no CD player or iPod cable port.

The T-39’s cockpit has enough gizmos to keep you occupied, but no CD player or iPod cable port.

The cattle-car, where the brass talked strategy, argued over tactics, and played poker.

The cattle-car, where the brass talked strategy, argued over tactics, and played poker.

My other fav, the F-105 Thunderchief, or "Thud". Designed as a supersonic low-altitude nuclear-strike delivery vessel (tactical bomber) against the consarned Ruskies in 1951, it had problems and didn't see service until 1958. It was damned fast for its day (Mach 2), which was good because the stubby wings needed speed for lift. Landing speeds were so high (about 230 MPH) that it was equipped with a parachute to help slow it down to where the brakes wouldn't fry. The F-105 took the brunt of the first four years of Vietnam, and was later replaced by the Phantom. Half of those deployed were lost in Vietnam, which included those later modified for suppressing Soviet surface-to-air missiles to protect other, newer fighter-bombers. As such it was "first-in, last-out", which greatly increased risk. Built as a one-trip nuclear wagon, it was not designed for conventional war campaigns and so was vulnerable to enemy fire. It was also a mighty big target. But at low altitude and with throttles up, it could take down any Mig of the time, which was what it was designed to handle in its original role.  Our military tends to press equipment into tasks they were never designed to handle, and there was a big sigh of relief when the F-4 Phantom replaced this bird. Never having had to be inside one during a prolonged Asian ground war, I still love this plane. It looks fast as hell.

My other fav, the F-105 Thunderchief, or “Thud”. Designed as a supersonic low-altitude nuclear-strike delivery vessel (tactical bomber) against the consarned Ruskies in 1951, it had problems and didn’t see service until 1958. It was damned fast for its day (Mach 2), which was good because the stubby wings needed speed for lift. Landing speeds were so high (about 230 MPH) that it was equipped with a parachute to help slow it down to where the brakes wouldn’t fry as it sailed past the end of the runway. The F-105 took the brunt of the first four years of Vietnam, and was later replaced by the Phantom. Half of those deployed were lost in Vietnam, which included those later modified for suppressing Soviet surface-to-air missiles to protect other, newer fighter-bombers. As such it was “first-in, last-out”, which greatly increased risk. Built as a one-trip nuclear wagon, it was not designed for conventional war campaigns and so was vulnerable to enemy fire. It was also a mighty big target. But at low altitude and with throttles up, it could take down any Mig of the time, which was what it was designed to handle in its original role. Our military tends to press equipment into tasks they were never designed to handle, and there was a big sigh of relief when the F-4 Phantom replaced this bird. Never having had to be inside one during a prolonged Asian ground war, I still love this plane. It looks fast as hell.

This McDonnell-Douglas TA-4 fighter/attack was designed for the Navy for carrier duty, coming into service in 1954. It is so small and light that it didn't need the traditional folding wings to pack a bunch of them onto an aircraft carrier. Production didn't end until 1979. A combination of nimbleness and speed, with an ability to deliver bombs and missiles still keeps them in use in several foreign air arms. They're like a flying Swiss Army knife.

This McDonnell-Douglas TA-4 fighter/attack was designed for the Navy for carrier duty, coming into service in 1954. It is so small and light that it didn’t need the traditional folding wings to pack a bunch of them onto an aircraft carrier. Production didn’t end until 1979. A combination of nimbleness and speed, with an ability to deliver bombs and missiles still keeps them in use in several foreign air arms. They’re like a flying Swiss Army knife.

The cockpit of the TA-4 shares the same basic traits as all fighter aircraft. Stark. With all the hype, you keep expecting a really cool cockpit. It's just romance-less, stark  machinery, with just enough protected edges that you won't cut yourself.

The cockpit of this ancient North American F-86 Sabre shares the same basic traits as all fighter aircraft. Stark. With all the hype, you keep expecting a really cool cockpit. It’s just romance-less, stark machinery, with just enough protected edges that you won’t cut yourself.

The F-86 Sabre, the jet often included in a lot of period movies to boost their coolness level. They became operational in 1948, and I believe they were basically patterned after confiscated German jets of late WWII. The Germans had found that the solution to very high speed loss of control was a swept wing. The F-86 saw duty in the Korean War, kicking Mig-15 butt (due in no small part to using experienced WWII combat pilots). Without mincing over details, this plane symbolically got us into jets.

The F-86 Sabre, the jet often included in a lot of period movies to boost their coolness level. They became operational in 1948, and I believe they were basically patterned after confiscated German jets of late WWII. The Germans had found that the solution to very high speed loss of control was a swept wing. The F-86 saw duty in the Korean War, kicking Mig-15 butt (due in no small part to using experienced WWII combat pilots). Without mincing over details, this plane symbolically got us into jets.

This is a sterling example of a Messerschmitt Bf 109, one of the planes that drove the P-40 out of European service.  It was very advanced for its day, had high survivability, very good high-altitude performance, and was easily serviced. That last detail helps determine whether it's a fighter ready for battle, or a really expensive paperweight. The landing gear setuo allowed the wings to be replaced without having to use jackstands, but the narrow track caused 10% losses just in takeoff and landing accidents. Yep, even without the camera angle, that's a bulbous nose. It had more aerial victories than any other aircraft in WWII though, so don't sneer too much.

This is a sterling example of a Messerschmitt Bf 109, one of the planes that drove the P-40 out of European service. It was very advanced for its day, had high survivability, very good high-altitude performance, and was easily serviced. That last detail helps determine whether it’s a fighter ready for battle, or a really expensive paperweight. The landing gear setup allowed the wings to be replaced without having to use jackstands, but the narrow track caused 10% losses just in takeoff and landing accidents. Yep, even without the camera angle, that’s a bulbous nose. It had more aerial victories than any other aircraft in WWII though, so don’t sneer too much.

These always inspire an awed smile in me, if that's possible. This tubby devil is a P-47 Thunderbolt. Despite appearances and limited maneuverability, it was powerful, fast, well-armed, well armored, could climb 15,000 feet in five minutes, and could exceed 400 MPH at 28,000 feet altitude. Its nickname was The Jug - short for juggernaut. Later models such as this one featured a 13-foot propeller, and the landing gear could only safely reach out so far, so the pilot had to be careful to keep the tail down on takeoff and landing, to clear the prop. The prop's ground clearance was just 6 inches. As you can see from this photo, his view of the runway ahead was nonexistent. Training manuals cautioned not to throttle up too quickly on takeoff, since the power turning that massive propeller could twist the craft off course as well as force it to rotate sideways. All such later, high-performance fighters had similar nasty traits that could turn around and bite you if you treated them too casually.

These always inspire an awed smile in me, if that’s possible. This tubby devil is a P-47 Thunderbolt. Despite appearances and limited maneuverability, it was powerful, fast, well-armed, well armored, could climb 15,000 feet in five minutes, and could exceed 400 MPH at 28,000 feet altitude. Its nickname was The Jug – short for juggernaut. Later models such as this one featured a 13-foot propeller, and the landing gear could only safely reach out so far, so the pilot had to be careful to keep the tail down on takeoff and landing, to clear the prop. The prop’s ground clearance was just 6 inches. As you can see from this photo, his view of the runway ahead was nonexistent. Training manuals cautioned not to throttle up too quickly on takeoff, since the power turning that massive propeller could twist the craft off course as well as force it to rotate sideways. All such later, high-performance fighters had similar nasty traits that could turn around and bite you if you treated them too casually.

Believe it or not, all that "extra" space is taken up by turbo charger ducting and coolers, to the point that the wings can't be any lower-mounted to shorten and strengthen the landing gear. As it is, the landing gear both rotates down and then extends downward to increase reach. Still they could escort bombers and take down all comers as long as, like the P-40, they didn't get sucked into a low-speed dogfight. They were tough enough that some pilots preferred to belly-land fatally-wounded ones rather than bail out. The plane wouldn't look too good, but they walked away.

Believe it or not, all that “extra” space is taken up by turbo charger ducting and coolers, to the point that the wings can’t be any lower-mounted to shorten and strengthen the landing gear. As it is, the landing gear both rotates down and then extends downward to increase reach. Still, they could escort bombers and take down all comers as long as, like the P-40, they didn’t get sucked into a low-speed dogfight. They were tough enough that some pilots preferred to belly-land fatally-wounded ones rather than bail out. The plane wouldn’t look too good, but they walked away.

In back, a club flew line-control model planes, something I haven't seen in many decades. It's all radio-control now, for mega-bucks. Line or U-control models are dirt cheap and fun to stunt fly. Here, we're ready to launch!

In back, a club flew line-control model planes, something I haven’t seen in many decades. It’s all radio-control now, for mega-bucks. Line or U-control models are dirt cheap and fun to stunt fly. Here, we’re ready to launch!

This is also the longest line I've ever seen, but that's just me.

This is also the longest line I’ve ever seen, but that’s just me.

If you're wondering, this is what they look like close-up. These are small ones.

If you’re wondering, this is what they look like close-up. These are small ones.

Tired yet? Not to be missed is the building that houses jet engines and memorabilia.

Tired yet? Not to be missed is the building that houses jet engines and memorabilia.

Hey, when you're having to scrounge for cast-off mannequins, you have to take what you can get, and like it.

Hey, when you’re having to scrounge for cast-off mannequins, you have to take what you can get, and like it.

Lots of artwork and photos adorn the walls. This one's marked as the 443rd Fighter Squadron, 1943, with a lot of signatures. It's also labeled the Tomahawk, which is the name the Brits used for the P-40B & C models they received. Cool! Well, I think so.

Lots of artwork and photos adorn the walls. This one’s marked as the 443rd Fighter Squadron, 1943, with a lot of signatures. It’s also labeled the Tomahawk, which is the name the Brits used for the P-40B & C models they received. Cool! Well, I think so.

Another section of the same building. More stuff.

Another section of the same building. More stuff.

The exterior of a jet engine. That's a lot of plumbing for an oversized weeny roaster.

The exterior of a jet engine. That’s a lot of plumbing for an oversized weeny roaster.

Colonel Leon W. Johnson getting the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry in action during a mass low-level bombing run on Rumania in 1943. Based out of Libya in a 2,400-mile run,  164 B-24 Liberator bombers took off, and 110 returned. Almost a 1/3rd loss on one mission, which motivated the Allies to desperately search for an alternate means to the same goal. No way to replace the hardware, and no way to train and place pilots and crew at that rate. The only fallback: stop trying to cut the enemy's fighting resource lines and lose the war to the Master Race.

Colonel Leon W. Johnson getting the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry in action during a mass low-level bombing run on Rumania in 1943. Based out of Libya in a 2,400-mile run, 164 B-24 Liberator bombers took off, and 110 returned. Almost a 1/3rd loss on one mission, which motivated the Allies to desperately search for an alternate means to the same goal. No way to replace the hardware, and no way to train and place pilots and crew at that rate. The only fallback: stop trying to cut the enemy’s fighting resource lines and lose the war to the Master Race.

 

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11 thoughts on “The Air Classics Museum

  1. Cool post, Doug! I love history. Regarding the ME-109 one of the reasons the Germans lost the Battle of Britain was the lack of range extending drop tanks for the 109. Once they got over England they only had about 20 minutes fuel before having to break off and head back to France, leaving the German bombers to fight off (or not) the British fighters themselves. A significant percentage of German fighter losses in the Battle of Britain was the planes running out of fuel and plummeting into the English Channel on their way home.

    • I’m not aware of a whole lot, but that is one bit I wasn’t aware of. Kind of hard to keep reminding yourself that your twenty minutes are up while people are shooting at you, hey? Thanks for that, John.

  2. Traveling with my husband & son, we never passed up an air museum. I don’t know how far you went on US34 when you went to Osceola but there is a small air museum outside Ottumwa, IA. The motto of the museum is to “Keep the Antiques Flying”. They have many technical books ash manuals there. They also have a fly-in in late August. The Air Power Museum is located at 22259 Bluegrass Rd, Ottumwa, IA. 641-938-2592. Use your GPS & keep your eyes open; it is easy to miss without using both. Even when we knew where it was, we drove right past it coming from the West.

    • Well, I just added that to my “Places to See” roster. Thanks, Judy. Unless my departure is delayed, this year is out, but I do hope to catch the fly-in and museum.

  3. Funny this showed up today…..I just got home from taking my grandson to the Hill A.F.B. Air Museum near Ogden, Utah.

    They have a summer camp for grade school kids each summer that is very popular with the kids.

    The museum is free and open to the public year round….It grows more each year, this year they are adding a control tower so you can see what they look like and the kids will get to act as a air traffic controller.

    Here is a link I like: http://www.planesofthepast.com/hill-aerospace-museum.htm

    Papa
    http://www.papas-travels.blogspot.com

  4. Linda Barton on said:

    I will have to take the grandsons there. We are always looking for something new to do.

  5. Hi Doug

    Good report on the oldies, I saw a report on the new ones F35 joint strike fighter ? That will cost 2 billion a copy if they ever get it done , asked why they needed it – the reply was that this jet could down the enemy at 10 X the distance of anything we have today. I’m guessing that would be 250 miles or more distance – insane ha ?

    I’ve decided to try a Midnight classic 150 CC which midnight said could charge Lithium batteries at a steady 13.5 volts – then I will get some Lithium batteries. I really can’t believe at how shitty L16 flooded batteries are. Rated at 400 amp hours if you drain them over 20 hours , if drained at 60 amps to run an ac you might get 150 if your really lucky. They are even crappie even if your adding power on the solar side. With the Lithium rated at 100AH – you can drain out 100 amps for 1 hour – before you hit zero, if drained over 20 hours you might get 115 AH. it’s insane how we are defrauded on battery ratings. Besides giving 600-900 cycles vs 2,000 to 3,000 for Lithium. of course it’s more money up front but in the long run & daily performance I would expect day & night difference.

    In 4 weeks I should know if it’s true – but from my research & what others have said – I should be able to cool Arizona in July 🙂 will let you know how it turns out

    Cheers Jerry

    • Something tells me the Russians may not be the only superpower to go bankrupt. I wonder what the cost is compared to whatever it would obsolete, and what nation we envision using it against. It would minimize exposure to enemy defenses, at least for a while.

      Good for you, on being in the vanguard of experimentation! That’s the bummer of lead-acid cells. Despite all that weight, you only dare use up to half its capacity for fear of damaging the battery, so you need to strap on more of them. Lithium has no such limitations – power per pound is much better, they last much longer for lifespan, you don’t need as many of them, and each is lighter anyway. If you can get over the sticker shock, I think the bottom-line cost is actually less.

      • My apt to get them installed gave me a choice , July 1st or July 14th , so I’m cramming for July 1st of course. Yesterday I even found a 5,000 btu AC that runs at EER 10.7 and 450 watts vs my current unit at EER 9.7 and 520 watts. Now you really need to multiply the 70 watts x 3 for the CC loss & also the inverter loss in the conversion process. So I estimate I’m really saving 220 to 250 watts and that’s 660 to 750 Btu. It also makes starting on my inverter easier as I have a expensive Maginum 1,000 watt PSW – with max 1,700 spike rating. So 450 x 3 = 1,350 & I’m in like Flint.

        On the planes the britts kicked Adolph’s butt with many , many more cheaper small planes to shoot his fancy Meserschmidt down , and then his bombers so sometimes enough mosquitos can take an elephant down. That’s how a war with the Chinese would go – lets not forget Korea & endless waves of men charging our machine guns. Oh how easy we forget.

        Cheers Jerry

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