Monday, April 24, 2017

Rare Operational B-29 FiFi Upclose

Recently, the B-29 "FiFi" made it's return to the Camarillo Airport's WWII Aviation Museum for a one week visit. The vintage bomber built in July 1945 was recently featured in the AMC drama Better Call Saul. It is one of two B-29's in the world that can still fly. 
For those who may not be familiar with this plane, it entered service too late for WWII. She served with the Navy was later slated to be used for target practice until she was recovered from China Lake in 1971. 
Using parts from other B-29 wrecks at China Lake, this B-29 was eventually brought back to life.
 And here's yours truly doing his best "Major Fudge Talbot" impression.
We are told that members of the cast of Better Call Saul made an appearance on Sunday April 23rd. If you have not seen the show, its about a shady lawyer who will stop at nothing to get new clients. In the following clip, we see Bob Odenkirk's character Jimmy McGill, (also known as Saul Goodman) films a commercial with a retiree posing as a WWII hero. While we do not in any way endorse STOLEN VALOR , this still made for great comedy and provided a spotlight for this amazing vintage aircraft. Please enjoy!

To learn more about this aircraft, visit FiFi on Wikipedia

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Trump Team Misplaces Carrier?

There are times one must ask what kind of crazy world are we living in today? Seriously! After a week that saw North Korea call out the Trump Regime's bluff by launching a missile (which failed), tensions on the Korean Peninsula nearly reached a boiling point with the announced deployment of the USS Cal Vinson's carrier group. It's hard to guess if this is more laughable or just plain reckless to make such an announcement of sending force when in fact the fleet went somewhere else. While this must have made for great laughs by the Anti-Trump Resistance movement here at home, Koreans on both sides of the DMZ are likely not laughing. It's still not certain if the White House deliberately intended to fool the North Koreans or just simply did not know themselves. In any case, it's embarrassing considering Trump himself declared he knows more than his generals do. Chances are this won't be the last SNAFU on the part of the Trump Regime. Hopefully it does not get anyone killed. Then again, consider who we are talking about with his finger on the button. A position no man-child should wield yet here we are, watching two overgrown children armed with nuclear weapons toying with people's lives. You just can't make this shit up!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lawsuit Against Chino Air Show May Ground Zeros

In what has been called an unwarranted underhanded move, Chino Airport tenants Yanks Air Museum and Flying Tigers Aviation have filed a lawsuit to stop the annual Planes of Fame Air Show. This was filed 30 days before the event. This air show has been held every year for the last 30 years at the Chino Airport. The annual event attracts military aviation enthusiasts and warbird history buffs alike from all parts of the country to see the rarest collection of WWII & Korean War fighter aircraft take to the skies and dazzle crowds. Yanks allege that they lose money each year and further claim the event obstructs their ability to do business. This of course has angered many in the warbird community who regard this as a frivolous lawsuit to ground the beloved air show which features two of the world's only flying Japanese A6M Zero fighters. Yanks has no flying aircraft in their museum nor has participated in the air show years. All parties in the suit claim they love aviation but those suing POF claims they don't like how the air show is being run. One could guess they want a bigger piece of the action for themselves. Internet reaction has been fierce and Yanks has become very unpopular as a result. While we do not expect the air show to be canceled, we call this suit  for what it is. Frivolous and Underhanded. 
POF has an on-line petition SAVE OUR AIRSHOW which at last count has over 14,650 signatures in support of the POF Air Show. We hope this case is thrown out of court and look forward to seeing over 40 vintage aircraft take to the skies and the Zeros fly once more. Please show your support and sign their Petition. Thank you!

Pyongyang Posturing

This week has seen the U.S. Third Fleet change its plans. In the recent wake of increased tensions with the DPRK, the Navy canceled the scheduled port of calls in Australia and re-directed the U.S.S. Carl Vinson (CV-70) and it's carrier group to take up station within the sphere of the Korean Peninsula.  Under normal circumstances this would seem like routine posturing to let the rogue nation and it's "Dear Leader" that the United States stands ready to defend it's South Korean & Japanese allies. What is troubling is not so much the threats coming out of Pyongyang but rather from our own new regime of amateurs whose sole foreign consistency has been its own unpredictability. Particularly when Trump claims to know more than his generals and takes his foreign policy advice from his handbag designer daughter and inexperienced son in law. This makes for a dangerous mix especially when you count the PRC's recent deployment of 150,000 ground troops along North Korea's northern border. We at American Mishima are counting on Secretary of Defense "Mad Dog" Mattis and our Naval Commanders in the Third Fleet to use caution and not indulge the impulsive whims of our unpredictable part time leader who spends more time golfing at his Florida resorts and Tweeting threats than actually governing. This should make for interesting conversation in Beijing and nervousness in Seoul & Tokyo. As we have said many times, may cooler heads prevail.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Putting Out to Sea

Seen here are Japan's two JMSDF Izumo Class Helicopter Carriers Izumo & Kaga at port. Earlier this month, the Izumo put out to sea to participate in extended exercises in the Indian Ocean and the contentious South China Seas. As expected, Beijing objected as they do any time one of these 249 meter long warships leave port. Given the recent construction of aircraft hangers and radar installations on the artificial islands under their control, such moves on the part of Japan's maritime force should be expected. These modern carriers are as large as the aircraft carriers Japan used in WWII. But make no mistake, there are no catapults or angled deck for fixed winged aircraft. Thus their role is largely confined to helicopter Anti-Submarine and relief missions. Their current three month mission is in participation with American Naval forces.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Spring Fools - Tillerson Threatens DPRK

This week in Seoul South Korea, Exxon Executive turned U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson openly threatened North Korea. Really? Oh yes he did! He is quoted as saying that the Trump administration might be forced to take pre-emptive action “if they elevate the threat of their weapons program” to an unacceptable level.Worse, he's said "the policy of strategic of patience is over." This was not only foolish, but down right dangerous. We would expect this kind of foolish talk from Pyongyang not from Washington but there you have it. 
While the DPRK lacks the military ability to bring the United States to its knees, they certainly have the ability to start a bloody war that will get a lot of South Koreans and American Troops stationed over there killed and turn the entire far east into turmoil. This is not the actions of a career diplomat. This is Amateur Hour on the world stage and its reckless actions are beneath the dignity of both the Secretary of State and the United States. This is what happens when a non-politician with the temperament of a four year old assumes office. They appoint equally unqualified people into positions of power. Tillerson has no business representing this country and the spineless Republicans who approved this man with no diplomatic experience are equally complicit in their quest for power. With so much scandal plaguing the Trump Regime in its first 100 days, it's likely they want a war just to distract us from the truth. While we don't expect restraint from the Hermit Kingdom, we hope the PRC will get them to listen to reason and ignore our temporary lapse in judgment. Wishful thinking right? In any case, tough talk means nothing without action and with the clowns running the circus inaction will be for the best so no one has to die. But who are we kidding right?
It's sad that Americans who are aware of what's really at stake must endure this embarrassment.  Somewhere out there, Kim Jong Un must be laughing his ass off that he's no longer the world's craziest leader. Good Job America! Not!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Kawasaki Ki-61 Flying Swallow Restored

This last October news outlets revealed that Kawasaki Heavy Industries LTD. had restored a 75 year old Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien fighter in commemoration with the company's 120th anniversary of its founding. The Type-3 Fighter was nicknamed "Hien" (Flying Swallow) by Kawasaki Aircraft and made its first flight in 1941. She is currently on display in Kawasaki's Legacy Technology Hall in Kobe Japan. They say around 3000 of these planes were built during WWII and currently this is the last one in Japan making this a very rare plane. The story of this particular plane is that this aircraft was requisitioned by the U.S. Military after the war. She later sat on display at Chiran Air Base for many years until her recent restoration. Most of the original instruments had to be replaced and the engine is restored but she is not flyable. At present there are no plans to restore her to flying status. She is to join a warbird collection at Kagamihara Aerospace Science Museumin Gifu Prefecture. While we are sad to see she will not take to the air, we are happy to see that she will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.