P.O. Box 5344, Petaluma, CA. 94955
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2011 SAH General Meetings, Tours,
and Educational Programs
Our December 3, 2011 Meeting
Aviation Lockheed Skunk Works Panel: XP-80, to U-2 and SR-71
The Lockheed Skunk Works panel, L to R, Tom Tilden, Joe Szep, John "Cabi" V. Cabigas, B.C. Thomas, and moderator Byron May.
Eighty-one Society for Aviation History members, along with a sprinkling of lucky guests were on hand for the 2011 Christmas Luncheon
held at the Crowne Plaza in Burlingame. The panel of guest speakers was organized and moderated by member Byron May (SAH 98), and
consisted of Joe Szep, Tom Tilden, John V. Cabigas (Cabi. Also present was B.C. Thomas, a previous guest speaker, who is the
highest time SR-71 pilot.
Joe Szep: His 35-year career with Lockheed began in 1936 when he was 20 years old. His early design work
included the Model 12 Electra Junior, Model 14 Super Electra and the pressurized XC-35. Szep worked on the
structural design of the legendary XP-38 Lightning and in 1943 he was one of the first group of 23 engineers
selected by Kelly Johnson when he created what became known as the Skunk Works to develop the prototype for
the first production american jet fighter, the ground breaking XP-80 Shooting Star. Szep is the last remaining
member of the original Skunk Works Engineering Team.
Tom Tilden is a Flight Test Captain with United Airlines. He flies maintenance checks on United's Airbus A-320
and Boeing 747, 757, 767, and 777 aircraft. During his last seven years in the Air Force, Tilden was a test
pilot flying the SR-71 from Palmdale, Calif. He retired from the Air Force in 1989.
John V. Cabigas, USAF (Ret.) grew up in San Jose, Calif., and earned his private pilot's license at NAS Moffet
Field. Attended USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, OK where he stayed on as an Instructor Pilot.
In 1992, he was accepted into the special duty assignment flying U-2s at Beale AFB, CA. He flew U-2s
operationally for 18 years (continuously) completing 26 deployments worldwide and participated in every
conflict and natural disaster support from 1992-2010.
Sixth Annual Toys for Teens Drive
At our meeting, the generosity of the society's members was evident. The sixth annual teen toy drive was a huge
success, and we thank everyone that donated. We received sports equipment, make-it-kits, board games,
puzzles, etc., that were donated to the San Mateo County Fire Department. The kindness of our members
provided a verry happy Christmas to many local families. We look forward to doing it again nex year.
Our October 1, 2011
Aviation Episodes of the Twilight Zone
Film expert and SAH Member Andy Melomet reviewed several aviation episodes of the science fiction
TV series The Twilight Zone. They were:
The Odyssey of Flight 33
The Last Flight
King Nine Will Not Return
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
Andy Melomet has generously given a number of programs in the past and his presentations always
get rave reviews!
Please bring some canned food for those less fortunate.
Each year we deliver the canned food collected to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Last year we topped 200 pounds (!!!)
and we look forward to meeting or exceeding this goal again this year.
Meeting Location: Francesco's Restaurant - Oakland, CA,
SAH Tank Museum Tour: July 23, 2011
Through Richard Thomas and Nick Veronico, the Society for Aviation History will tour
the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation’s collection of armored vehicles on July 23 at 10 a.m.
The cost is $25 for SAH members and $30 for non-members*/guests payable by check or Paypal.
The tour will take approximately 3 hours, most of it standing or walking. Please dress in layers
and wear comfortable shoes. We will meet in Redwood City at 9 a.m. to form carpools as parking
at the museum is extremely limited. Directions to the tour will be handed out at this time.
About Our Last Meeting:
Saturday June 4, 2011
State of the B-17 World in 2011
The B-17 remains a favorite of the warbird crowd, and lots of changes have occurred in the past few years
in the continuing saga of the four dozen plus airplanes that remain. A few airplanes have returned to the
air, and a few have now been grounded. Several interesting new restorations are now underway including
that of the only surviving B-17D, and what were only piles of scrap ten years ago are now becoming
B-17s once again. Plus, there are two exciting new projects that may eventually result in the brand new
construction of both a B-17C and a B-17F.
Author Scott Thompson has long documented the history of the post-war Flying Fortress and the individual
stories of each of the 48 surviving airplanes. His book Final Cut, originally published in 1990, has been
updated with the release of an expanded and updated 4th edition in May of this year. Come and explore
the current B-17 world in this review of the interesting current events in the story of this popular
World War II bomber.
Copies of the new 4th edition of Final Cut: The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors
were available at the meeting ($24.95). For more B-17 information and updates, visit www.aerovintage.com.
Meeting Location: Francesco's Restaurant - Oakland, CA, June 4, 2011
Our last Meeting:
Saturday April 9, 2011
Final Flight: A Mystery in the High Sierra
In October 2005, two mountaineers climbing above Mendel Glacier in the High Sierra found the mummified remains
of a man in a World War II uniform, entombed in the ice. The "Frozen Airman" discovery created a media storm
and a mystery that drew author Peter Stekel to investigate. What did happen to the four-man crew who perished
on a routine navigation training flight in 1942, 150 miles off-course from its reported destination?
Stekel found bad weather, bad luck, and bad timing. Empty graves, botched records, and misguided recovery
efforts. Then, in 2007, the unimaginable happened again. Stekel himself discovered a second body in the
glacier. Another young man would finally be coming home.
Copies of Stekel's book Final Flight: The Mystery of a WWII Plane Crash and the Frozen Airmen in the High
Sierra were available at the meeting. Visit Stekel's website at: www.FinalFlightTheBook.com.
Lunch at the Moffett Field Museum was catered by everyone's favorite Emergency BBQ!
Our Last Meeting:
February 5, 2011
Junkyard Jets —
Airliner Dismantling, Recycling, and Movie Making
(new SAH President Alice Hendricks and speaker J. Douglas Scroggins)
The February meeting was J. Douglas Scroggins
III, managing member and co-owner of ARC Aerospace Industries and owner of Scroggins Aviation, both Nevada-based
companies specializing in commercial part sales, teardowns, salvage and recovery, and the occasional movie mockups.
Scroggins comes from the film and television entertainment field as a director of photography, director, and
producer, and created/produced the program Scrapping Aircraft Giants – a Discovery Channel TV documentary on
commercial aircraft scrapping.
Most recently, on the TV side, Scroggins was involved in the
show LOST, and provided the crashed airliner for NBC-TV’s 2010/2011 series The Event. Working with SAH member
Nicholas A. Veronico, Scroggins co-authored the book Junkyard Jets, which was released in January 2011
by Stance and Speed Publishing .
Scroggins’ talk will detail the end of the life of an
airliner, from storage, to part-out, to dismantling, and will cover some of the TV and movie work he’s done.
Meeting Location: Francesco's Restaurant - Oakland, CA, February 5, 2011
(new and past SAH past president Alice Hendricks and Nick Veronico)
To see some more of
our past meetings, click below
2003 and earlier