Before I die...

Some names, before I forget them again:
 Gerry Pentland - WW1 Ace, also served famously in New Guinea during WW2. Australian.
 ...... Schute, or Shute. WW1 Ace. Flying school still at Moorabin (Harry Hawker) Airport. Aust.
 Tony Gaze. Famous fighter pilot, WW2. Aust. Post-war was a well-known and respected racing car driver.
   All the above had autobiographies, and good reading, too.
 Claire Lee Chenault - famous for leading the Flying Tigers, China, WW2. American. Buried at Arlington, as is another genius, Orde Wingate.
 It was Chenault and his ace mechanics who assembled one complete Zero from various crashed machines, tried and tested it, measured it etc, and reported back on its phenomenal range of 1500 miles, among other things, only to be laughed at. Their first one crashed on landing, because a small stone had lodged in and jammed the landing gear of one wheel. They had to assemble another one. Apparently the carrier-based aircraft could run tighter tolerances than the land-based. The stone would not have jammed the gear of the latter plane. BTW, his chief mechanic, a German chap, later rose to become head of General Electric - Jet engines.
Ah! Just got it - his name Herman....his book - Herman the German.  Galland's book was  good, but not quite in the class of the others, IMO.
 It's gotta be remembered that the Zero was virtually an Acrobatic aircraft. Plus, the weight had to be kept down, otherwise it would have been under powered. e.g. no armour plate anywhere, no self-sealing fuel tanks, etc. etc. As with the ME 109, there was no second generation of aircraft - these were developed too late to be of any use. Well, there were some ME 163's and 262's, but, too late, and wrong stategy.
 I wonder if perhaps we ought to take this topic off-list, or start a 'warbirds forum'? Admin. has been very tolerant, but then, boys will be boys :)
I read somewhere that there were some 7/8 scale Zero replicas flying in the U.S. Probably scaled down to suit the flat-four Continental engine.
 I thought Chuck Yeager was of the Korean War. Hey - he used to drink at the bar of a certain famous establistment next to the airport, run by a very accomplished woman, an experienced pilot in her own right. Of course I've forgotten her name, she had a book out too, and there was a film about her on the goggle box some years ago. She used to fly for Howard Hughes, back in the barnstorming days.
  Bike content: Didn't the early aircraft use spoked wheels? Maybe heavier duty? A British firm developed a landing strut, or leg, which had adjustable air pressure on top of hydraulic fluid, for the damper. Oleomatic was the name. Later made telescopic forks for motorcycles like Velocette and some Panthers. Lately used of bicycles, rear suspension, the unit somewhere behind the seat.  Reminds me of a funny bike with small wheels which has front and rear suspension. In a class of its own, from what I hear.
I just gotta get some sleep!
You sure know a lot of the details Willie pal!

The lady you are referring to was Pancho Barnes. I think she was a good buddy of Chuck Yeager and was an acrobatic pilot back when she was young. Her bar is also featured in the movie 'The Right Stuff', it was where Chuck and the other pilots (mostly test pilots) used to hang out. I think it eventually burned down. BTW, Chuck Yeager also has a cameo in that movie. The scene was pretty funny if you knew who Chuck Yeager was there.

Hmm, I wonder how the Spitfire would have fared against the Zero in a dogfight? If I remember correctly, the Spitfire was built to be a race plane and t could make pretty tight turns.

Speaking of Cheanault, was he a part of that Baa Baa Black Sheep squadron? I'm not sure if that squadron existed during WW2, the Korean war, or the Vietnam War.

BIKE CONTENT: Spoked wheels on airplanes! Jobst Brandt should take a look at some of those! ;D
Yes, thanks Altwegg. Pancho Barnes it was. Boy, was she a character. I may have seen part of that movie - was that where she crashed her new plane into the hay bale, when a tractor crossed the runway?  
Re: Spitfire versus Zero - I haven't read any accounts of these dogfights. Except that in Burma, or other parts of S.E. Asia, the British would courtmartial any pilot who would not engage a Zero in combat. By this time the Americans knew better, and used superior speed to hit and climb again. The losses of British pilots rose to easily 3 or 4 times that of the Americans, I think, from memory. We had Spitfires based at Darwin in the latter part of the Pacific War, and they were very effective, albeit rather late. The British also did some curious things in other theatres, e.g. as Greece was overun, they would send up one Spitfire against 2 or 3 Me 109's. Of course, most Spits. didn't return. Reference: Road Dahl's early books.
Saburo Sakai describes how he could sideslip his 'plane as a U.S. pilot came in for the kill with his superior speed. The attacking pilots would quickly become enraged, and virtually shoot each other out of the sky in their efforts to dispose of one lone, damaged Zero, out of ammo. In a later phase of the war, there was a great massacre of Zero's. I think it was called 'The Great Turkey Island Shoot-Out', or some such name. By this time, the Japs. had lost all their experienced pilots.  We lost some good men too, who took their underpowered, obsolete aircraft up against the Zero's, esp. in the early part.
The name 'Black Sheep Squadron' rings a bell, but can't place it.
I've only just recovered the use of my computer after it slowed right down to a crawl for the past day or more. Some big virus got in, most likely on an animated Christmas card. VET failed to detect it. Lost all my Napster files, too. Folk, Blues, Country, Cylinder recordings, 78's,Vernon Dalhart, Frank Crumit, Carson Robison, Carter Family, all gone. Devastating.
Re: Spitfire sighting. That's fantastic!  Saw one fly at an airshow here some years back.  Have to pay a fortune to get into the air pageant, comes by every four years or so.
Saw a Mustang fly at Bankstown airport, way back in the sixties. Very impressive. Arnold Glass was the pilot, started the race last, finished first.
Bike Content: LOL, LOL, what can I say? He'd be bound to find something wrong. Careful you don't get 'flamed'. That's an elite club.
Merry Christmas.
Hi All.
Here's a link to some very entertaining stories, some about aircraft and some about cycling. And some are hilarious.          

The author is a veteran of the Korean War.

Great stories guys, only time I saw WW2 planes was in the Smithsonian 6 months ago. They were all awesome, especially the Spitfire and the Me-109. Have yet to see one with a Merlin engine in action though!

Willie: You probably saw a different movie because the one I saw did not have the scene you were talking about.
My next buy > IL-2 Sturmovik!


Get a PS2, Medal of Honor will come out with a WW2 combat flight simulator. I'm sure it is going to be awesome. Right now, I log my flight hours with Ace Combat 4. Can't wait to get MOH...WW2 air combat ROCKS! No missiles, no guided bombs, no's just you and the Kraut.
;D YES, FINALLY! Some other goal orientated people! ;)

So to answer the "Before I die..." question:

* To speak French - done! (Now Tour de France, here I come) 8)

* To be live at a Tour de France, and watch the pros ride past. To also ride either a social ride there, or eventually the women's team. One can dream... ::)

* As many of my fellow South African's have stated, to also achieve a sub 3 at Argus / 94.7. The 94.7 is achievable sooner than the Argus... but with continued perseverance, one day! ;D

* To learn to play the piano. This is on serious hold - where is the time, if not at work, and cycling...! :eek:

* To learn to ride a horse (from scratch). Rode once at a conference, had such a fright :eek: but it did not put me off. I will climb on again, one day. At a proper facility, with a proper teacher. :)

* To swim with dolphins. ;D

* As I get fitter, and when I finally feel "I've arrived" in cycling to possibly do a spinning instructor's course and teach spinning. ;D

* If all else fails, and I get the urge to hit the road, to au pair somewhere, somehow... ::)

* All you guys could come up with was Elizabeth of Survivor, et al... (VO2, that's for you) I agree with your wife (eyes roll) but we all have our weak moments, and mine would then be Van Damme! 8) However, the dude I'd most like to meet would have to be Lance Armstrong. I know he is a family man, I would meet his whole family! (all those that were thinking bad thoughts, shame on you!) I would like to shake his hand, for who he is, and what he has achieved. We all know he survived cancer, we all know he WON the Tour de France 3 TIMES!!!

That's enough for now... ;D
Van Damme? You're kidding, right? ::)

Have you read LA's book "It's not about the bike"? Awesome stuff!
:) No, I am NOT kidding about VAN DAMME! Let's just agree to disagree, shall we? ;D Why do you ask if I'm kidding? You wouldn't by any chance know him personally, and can arrange an introduction, can you? And I'll see what I can do about Elizabeth, what do you say??? (I mean, I already have CBS' website details, etc. where info. on survivor is available, I'm sure I'm a keyboard stroke away from getting her details) ;) ;D

Yes, I have read "It's not about the bike". Interesting, informative, fascinating and inspirational! And on Lance's website, on the message board, you can see it has touched many lives, from all spheres of life. :)
Elsa, do you think Steven Segal can kick Van Damme's ****? Ehehehehe ;D
;D Altwegg, I don't think so... ain't nobody can do the splits like van Damme! ::)

Steven Segal is very 8) cool too! But there has to be a Number 1...!

Who is your favourite action dude? (hint: a good answer would be YOURSELF) ;)
You should be asking who our favorite action chick is ;D

In which case, mine would have to be Carrie Anne Moss. Can't wait for Matrix 2!
:D he he, I see what you mean. The reason I asked which action hero you like, is because guys are the ones that tend to enjoy action movies more so than girls! However, they now have a lot more action hero-innes for you lads to enjoy!... ;)

Whew, I'm a normal chick, because I don't know who you're talking about as far as "Carrie Moss"? only Moss I know is the model. That's ok though, coz I keep my eyes on the dudes, not the dude-etes ;) he he

But if I had to choose a chick, it would be...... oops, gone blank? ;)

Carrie Anne MOss plays Trinity in the movie Tha MAtrix! You have to see that movie!
:) For some reason, as much as I love movies, I didn't see The Matrix when it was released locally. Perhaps it was during a big cycling tour I was doing, e.g. when I was competing at the Tour de France... ;) he he

I'll take it out when I next hire a movie... if not before, then during winter months when one can't ride as much ;)

All I know is that it's got Keanu Reeves in it... and I'll now have to see what the oooh la la is about Miss Moss ;)
I reckon the Matrix to be in my top five movies of all time.
If you want to read up on the Jap Zero there is an excellent Jap site at (His English has much improved since I first visited the site!)

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