Sunday, October 15, 2017
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Friday, October 6, 2017
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Saturday, September 23, 2017
This page is dedicated to "Bondo" Phil Brandt. Bondo was a great modeler that was a Navigator in the USAF. He flew C-124, C-133 and F-111. The C-133 was his favorite. He model can be found on Hyperscale. Phil pasted away on Saturday November 3, 2012 while in Germany with his wife Cindy celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary
Bondo's C-133 model review:Anigrand C-133
Phil Brandt, age 63; born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1938, oldest of five children (four out of the five have entered the Air Force, and three of us have retired from same, my younger brother as a full colonel, SEA veteran, and tactical wing commander). Maternal grandparents immigrated in late 1800s from East Prussia (E. Konigsberg). College: Princeton University, Class of 1960, majoring in Chemistry. Entered USAF as 2/lt in 1962 as communications officer. Attended Nav. school 1966; MAC worldwide navigator in C-124s and C-133As from 1967-1970. Switched to being a WSO in RF-4Cs (Mt. Home, Shaw AFB '70-'73); then switched to F-111As (Nellis, Mt. Home '73-'82) ; numbered air force (12AF) staff officer until retirement in the rank of major in 1984, in Austin, Texas. Worked next fifteen years for IBM as a hardware technical writer. Retired from IBM in 1999. Hobbies besides plastic models are: collecting and restoring Chevrolet Corvairs (have owned 17 since 1966!) and Oldsmobile Toronados (have owned five). Currently restoring my 1985 31' Winnebago motorhome. First wife died 1981at age 41; remarried in Texas 1982. Wife is retired high school mathematics teacher. Three sons from first marriage, 37, 35, 31all work in computer industry in Austin. Five grandchildren.Nickname "Bondo" coined three years ago by friend Mike West of Lone Star Models in Houston, who noticed that I always seem to undertake difficult, ill-fitting models, that need lots of "Bondo" putty!
Friday, September 22, 2017
Judge Don G. Miller Joins Other Retired F-100 Sabre Fighter Pilots at Smithsonian Event Celebrating Museum’s F-100 Exhibit
Left: Judge Don Miller in front of his F-100 (440) in 1978 before flying to Andrews Air Force Base. Right: Judge Miller with 440 at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
Harrison Township, mi – Today, U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) issued the following statement after her husband, former F-100 fighter pilot Judge Don G. Miller, and other members of the Super Sabre Society celebrated the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s F-100 exhibit featuring the F-100 flown by Miller:
Rep. Candice Miller: “Don is a proud member of the Super Sabre Society, an elite organization of retired F-100 fighter pilots that bravely protected our troops and this country during wartime. I join him in celebrating this exhibit of the F-100, and I support the Society’s efforts to preserve and tell the awesome history of the F-100.”
At the Smithsonian event celebrating the F-100, Judge Don Miller read the following excerpt from his journal about his last flight on his F-100 (number 440) from Michigan to Andrews Air Force Base:
In the morning of August 8, 1978, a beautiful late summer day, I walked out on the flight line and shook hands with Sgt. Bill Cousins, 440’s crew chief for the previous seven years. I did the walk around, checked the 781, climbed up and strapped in (with Bill’s sad assistance) and prepared for start.
Sadly, 440’s flying days are soon to end. There will be no more of these heart-gripping combat take offs, climbing for altitude under the weight of wall-to-wall Mk. 82s, the pilot’s left hand gripping the throttle on the afterburner position, right hand holding a control stick with a firm and steady grip, ailerons centered to retain every ounce of precious lift while coaxing more airspeed, knot by knot, and more altitude, foot by foot.
No more dashes at tree-top level, spreading a carpet of 20 millimeter cannon fire into the target; shuddering and bouncing as the snake eyes were released, followed by high-g wrenching, twisting and jinking to escape the shower of enemy fire.
No more, for this was to be the final flight; now was the time for retirement.
440, if you could only talk, would you object, arguing that you still had plenty of fight left, that you could show those shiny F-15s with their computers and heads-up displays, a few tricks of the trade gathered through hundreds of hours of air battle? Or would you sigh contentedly, quietly proud of a job well done and relieved of all the pain and weariness of combat?
No more daydreaming it’s time to go. Bill takes his place awaiting my starting signal.
The creaky old ARC-34 Radio slowly seeks the proper channel, finally clicks into Ground Control frequency, and I turn to Bill and signal for the start. I press the ignition button and the big Pratt & Whitney J-57 engine lights up.
As it reaches idling speed, all of the mechanical hearts inside 440 start pumping the red, amber, and brown life fluids through the stainless steel veins. The bird awakes now as the inboard landing gear doors thump close. I advance the power slightly to bring the AC power on line, and without hesitation, the AC Power Fail light blinks off. No waiting! Somewhat amazing.
I am now ready to taxi and Bill gives me the go-ahead wave. I advance the throttle and 440 rolls slowly ahead. Turning quickly to avoid blasting people and equipment with jet exhaust, I taxi away, slowly as always, savoring the joy and satisfaction in the anticipation of what’s ahead.
As I approach the runway, I inform Selfridge Tower that I am ready for take-off, and am answered with those words that make a fighter pilot grin with happiness: “Demon seven one, wind 330 at 12, change to departure, monitor guard, cleared for take-off.” I checked the gauges as I advance the throttle and release the brakes. I tense up in anticipation as I snap the throttle outboard, promptly rewarded as the afterburner lights up, blasting 440 forward with over sixteen thousand pounds of thrust.
440 was accelerating rapidly now, pushed by the continued force of seven gallons of JP4 burning every second. As the airspeed indicator advances past 157 knots, I ease back on the stick, lifting the nosewheel off the runway. Once again the invisible miracle occurs as the swept wings develop over 36,000 pounds of lift and 440 rises into the air.
With the landing gear tucked inside, we soon attain 230 knots, enough to point the nose joyfully skyward and the ground falls away rapidly. I roll 440 into a bank and we turn east to our departure heading.
Wait a second! East? Why are we heading east when Davis-Monthan AFB is southwestern?
No, 440, you will not share a fate of dismemberment and scrap pile with your less fortunate comrades. You are a special airplane.
In less than an hour we will touch down at Andrews AFB, Maryland, and you will be handed over to the people of DC’s 113th Tactical Fighter Squadron, to begin the process of readying you for your new job on permanent display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. You are to be an honorable monument to Vietnam era warbirds, so that the old will remember and the young will realize the role played by the crews that maintained you and the pilots that flew you.
Now it’s time to start down. Approach control clears us for our descent, and I somehow sense a need to accelerate out of cruise airspeed. The rapid acceleration required a high g roll to maintain control of the airspeed. I had to bellow a Ya Hoo – 440 did not go away without a final victory roll! I pull back the throttle, extend the speed brakes, and head for the pattern entry point.
Cleared to land, I bend 440 around to final approach as precise as possible; I don’t want to mar her last flight with a bounce.
We cross the threshold at 172 knots; I ease the throttle back and the nose up as we round out for the touchdown. Now just a taste of additional back stick and 440 pauses momentarily, inches above the runway, then settles smoothly onto the concrete. I feel a grateful glow of satisfaction as I pull the T-handle deploying the drag chute; the chute bursts into an orange nylon blossom, and 440 slows to taxi speed. I jettison the chute and taxi into a parking space ringed by clicking cameras. Upon signal of all of the ground crew, I tug the throttle into the off position and the fire in the mighty engine dies.
440, your new job starts almost as soon as the engine winds down! A group of admirers rings around you, and a couple of Air Force Colonels come forward to pat a drop tank, all smiles as they momentarily recall their happy F-100 flying days. Those who could master you, loved you; those who couldn’t, hated and feared you. There was no middle ground with an F-100!
About Judge Don Miller:
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 17, 1938, Judge Miller developed an early fascination with airplanes and was flying a Piper J-3 Cub at age 16. He attended Michigan State University, enrolled in the Air Force ROTC, and graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.
After completing undergraduate pilot training at Craig Air Force Base, Alabama, he entered fighter interceptor school and then served five years flying the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger from various national and international locations, including assignment to the 509th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, where he flew combat missions from Da Nang and Tan Son Nhut Air Bases, Vietnam.
After serving in active duty, Judge Miller served twenty years in the Michigan Air National Guard flying various fighter aircraft, including over 700 hours in the North American F-100 Super Sabre.
On August 8, 1978, Judge Miller flew his F-100, number 440, on its final voyage to Andrews Air Force Base, where it was retired and is now on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.
Upon retirement as a Colonel in the Air National Guard, Judge Miller was selected to perform duties as a Judge in the Macomb County Circuit Court. Judge Miller continues his love for aviation by flying his home-built, single-engine RV-8 airplane throughout the USA.