Archive for the 'Aircraft' Category

Jun 28

Our Readers

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 12:01 AM



The best compliments are often the most unexpected. When a member or reader lets us know what we do here at USNI is valued it puts a smile on everyone’s face. Below is an email Mr. Keith Quilter sent us on 1 June 2016 that we loved so much we decided to share it. I have just finished watching the video at the end of the description of “Harnessing the Sky” the biography of Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell by his son and a grand-daughter. I was so completely fascinated by the presentation given by the co-authors and the memories I have… Read the rest of this entry »

May 12

On the Digital Frontier in Bosnia

Thursday, May 12, 2016 10:58 PM


Airman First Class Michelle Leonard, 1st Combat Camera Squadron, Charleston, South Carolina, deployed to Sarajevo,  photographs the war-torn city with an early digital camera.

Working in an archive, one can sometimes make unexpected discoveries in the materials that have accumulated over the course of years. Hidden by the sheer volume of materials, or locked away in a forgotten drawer, we have heard over the years of spectacular discoveries like original compositions by Mozart, or important letters about Abraham Lincoln. And oftentimes these “discoveries” are hidden in plain sight, much like Edgar Allen Poe’s Purloined Letter. Sitting on a shelf in the Naval Institute’s Library is a remarkable set of digital images on CDs from the Bosnian War, produced by the Department of Defense’s Joint… Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 15

I Still Hear Her Scream

Friday, April 15, 2016 12:01 AM



Morning colors has just been played and Old Glory streams from the flagstaff. The morning muster formations are breaking up and the enlisted men and officers are heading for their duty stations. It’s Tuesday and I have a meeting with my boss to discuss a proposed air show that we are considering for Armed Forces Day. It is May 14, 1968, and the Vietnam War is raging in southeast Asia and enraging our nation. The consensus of the senior officers is that we should put on an aerial acrobatic display for the local community as part of the annual commemoration…. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 4

100 Years of U.S. Coast Guard Aviation

Monday, April 4, 2016 10:22 AM



In honor of the 100th Anniversary of U.S. Coast Guard Aviation, we present its history through photos. Lieutenant Elmer Stone arrives at the Naval Aviation School at Pensacola on 1 April, an event the service recognizes as the birth of Coast Guard aviation. Stone piloted the Navy flying boat NC-4 on the first successful airborne crossing of the Atlantic. The Coast Guard used the Chance Vought UO-4 to help catch rumrunners during Prohibition. The service also used the Loening OL-5 to enforce Prohibition along the coast. The Aviation Flying Life Boat PJ-1 specifically was designed for the Coast Guard to… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 15

The Flying Banana

Monday, February 15, 2016 12:01 AM


Marines fan out after disembarking from Piasecki HRP-1s during a demonstration at Quantico, Virginia. Twelve of the fabric-covered helicopters served with the Marine Corps between 1948 and 1952. (U.S. Marine Corps)

The Piasecki HRP Rescuer—usually called the “flying banana”—was the first U.S. helicopter developed under a military contract. The nickname came from the “bent” fuselage with overlapping tandem rotors at either end, the latter a characteristic of Piasecki helicopters. The HRP-1 design was the second helicopter developed by Frank N. Piasecki’s P. V. Engineering Forum, the first being a single-seat, single-rotor craft. A privately built Piasecki demonstration helicopter with tandem rotors—designated HRP-X—flew on 7 March 1945. The Navy had ordered two XHRP-1 models on 1 February 1944, with the flight-test aircraft delivered in June 1947. The second XHRP-1 was used for… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 8

A Lack of Seatbelt Saves a Life

Monday, February 8, 2016 12:01 AM


De Havilland DH-4

Colgate W. Darden, a U.S. Navy aviator during World War I, received his wings in 1918 and went to France as a Marine Corps flier. Shortly before the end of the war, he was involved in a terrible plane accident. He was sitting in the rear of a De Havilland DH-4 with pilot and Medal of Honor recipient Second Lieutenant Ralph Talbot (USMCR) on 25 October 1918. Darden, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was flung from the airplane, which burst into flames, killing Talbot. Below is an excerpt from Darden’s Oral History conducted by Dr. John T. Mason in… Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 28

The Marine Corps Goes Geodesic

Thursday, January 28, 2016 12:01 AM


A Marine HRS-1 Helicopter flies away with its own hangar. Quantico, VA, August 3, 1954. Naval Institute Photo Archives.

By the time R. Buckminster Fuller received his patent in June 1954 for a “geodesic, hemispherical structure for enclosing space,” he had already formed a mutually beneficial relationship with a very important client for his new designs: the U.S. Marine Corps. His patent [.pdf]—the geodesic dome—was an ingenious use of engineering to produce a complex yet strong structure out of easy-to-assemble parts. The dome, with a framework of simple materials such as aluminum alloy or paperboard, could be easily erected with little advance training. And most important, it could be done quickly. The Korean War and the importance of mobility… Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 21

The God of the Sea’s Namesake

Monday, December 21, 2015 12:01 PM


The P-2E Neptune would later see service with the Argentine navy.

The Lockheed Neptune was the first U.S. aircraft designed from the outset for the land-based maritime patrol role, and it was the first U.S. Navy aircraft that could carry a nuclear weapon. All previous U.S. land-based maritime patrol aircraft were adapted from bomber or transport designs. Among them were Lockheed’s highly successful PBO-1 Hudson and PV-series Harpoon and Ventura aircraft. Those planes— flown by Navy and Marine Corps pilots—made major contributions to Allied victory in the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II. The Neptune was a natural progression from the twin-engine PV series.

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