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Society for Aviation History

Society for Aviation History

PO. Box 7081 San Carlos, CA 94070


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2004 NorCal Chapter General Meetings

Prototype Stealth Fighter Pilot, December 4th 2004

Lockheed test pilot Harold "Hal" Farley Jr. was the chapter speaker for lunch on Saturday, Dec. 4, in Foster City. 

The 2004 Holiday meeting at the Crowne Plaza in Foster City attracted 93 members and guests to hear the fascinating story behind the first flight of the Lockheed F-117 Stealth Fighter.

On June 18, 1981, Farley became the first pilot to fly the F-117A Stealth Fighter, or Black Jet, and has been honored with the callsign "Bandit 117."  Reportedly, the first Stealth Fighters, then known by their development program name, "Senior Trend," was flown with a three-color camouflage paint scheme. Farley logged more than 600 hours in the Stealth Fighter.

Don't forget our trivia contest, always guaranteed to be the toughest in town, and the fine food that will be served. See you there, and bring a friend.

You don't need to be a member of the Chapter to join us, but we do need your reservations, meal choice and check. We welcome you to join us.

Our October 2, 2004 meeting in Pleasanton

Col. Alan Cirino: Flying the SR-71

The October meeting featured Col. Alan Cirino (USAF ret.), a forward air controller flying OV-10 Broncos (204 combat Missions) who later transitioned to B-52D's, was commander of the 9th Bomb Squadron where he deployed to Guam and Utapao Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, where he flew another 130 combat missions -- including flights during Linebacker II (December 1972). In April 1974, Col. Cirino was selected to fly the SR-71, in which he accumulated more than 450 hours in the Blackbird. From July 1983 through August 1985, Col. Cirino was commander of the 1st Strategic Reconaissance Squadron (flying SR-71's) at Beale AFB, California. He later supervised the 319th Bombardment Wing's conversion from the B-52 to the B-1B Lancer, before moving to Hawaii to become vice commander of the 3rd Air Division, Strategic Air Command. The colonel retired from the Air Force on July 1, 1991, and joined United Air Lines, where he flew the Boeing 727, Airbus A-320, and Boeing's 767 and 747-400.

Colonel Cirino discussed his career and what it was like to fly the SR-71 Blackbird. Remember to make your reservations early, and bring a friend to hear Col. Cirino's incredible story.

Bill Chana, Convair Flight Test Engineer, Test Pilot and Aerospace Engineer

Saturday June 19th 2004,

Location: Foster City, CA

Our speaker for June was William F. “Bill” Chana, noted aerospace engineer, executive, test pilot and now author. Bill has written his memoirs in the newly published book Over the Wing: The Bill Chana Story.

Chana was the flight test engineer for Consolidated’s XB-24 Liberator and XB-32 Dominator bombers, and after the war lead the flight test engineering effort for the XC-99, the largest landplane. After the war, he was involved with the XF-92A, the world’ first delta-wing airplane, the XFY-1 Pogo, the world’s first vertical take-off and landing airplane, and Convair’s XF2Y-1 Sea Dart, the world’s only supersonic seaplane. Bill also conducted flight tests on a number of Convair’s commercial airliners. Later, he was Convair’s base manager for the Atlas Missile program at Fairchild AFB, near Spokane, Washington.

As an aircraft designer and test pilot, Bill was involved in the “Wee Bee,” the smallest piloted plane. Bill served as president of the San Diego Aerospace Museum, and is a fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Society of Automotive Engineers. In 1998, he was awarded the National Air and Space Museum’s A. Verville Fellowship.


April 10th, 2004, in Pleasanton

B-52 Stratofortress Pilots and Crew Panel

From left to right: Larry Rinek, Norm Clinton, Parker Blake, Joseph Calzadillas, Robert Blackwood, and Dick Koepke.

Chapter Member Larry Rinek put together another interesting panel discussion, this time on the Boeing B-52. Larry delivered the aircraft's background, development, and history with some interesting multi-media clips, and moderated the panel discussion.

Assembled for the panel were:

Charles R. (Dick) Koepke: retired Colonel who flew B-52B, F, and G models (2,800 hours) at Castle, Mather, and Travis AFB (1964-1971)

Joseph (Joe) Calzadillas, Radar Navigator (RN) officer, bombardier

Robert (Bob) Blackwood, Electronic Warfare Officer

Parker Blake, retired Senior MSgt. fire control technician for B-52C/D/E/F .50 caliber tail guns

Norm Clinton, retired MSgt. tail gunner for B-52 and instructor gunner at Castle AFB.

Our February 7th 2004 meeting was in Oakland

Jim Lund on the left, and Chapter President Nick Veronico

Douglas Commercial, DC-1 Through DC-10

 Chapter member Jim Lund (NC 417) is a renowned aviation historian and model builder. Jim was our featured speaker at the February 7 luncheon, along with 84 members and guests in attendance, to hear his talk.

     Jim made a very enlightning presentation on Douglas 'DC' commercial airliner development details, and the technical features of each airliner type. He set the stage for his presentation by displaying very detailed models, all built to the same 1/72nd scale, as well as some of the erlier competitve models such as the Fokker tri-motor, Ford Trimotor and the Boeing 247 twin engine airliner. Jim hand-built each of the models, which are accurate in both size and markings. Jim ended his talk by fielding a short O&A period.

    Growing up in the Bay Area, Jim was influenced by aviation historians such as Bill Larkins and the late Peter Bowers who spurred his imagination and launched a life-long model-building hobby. Jim has created his own museum with more than 1,000 same scale models spanning flight’s history from the Wright Flier to the B-2 Stealth Bomber. In addition, Jim’s photos and articles have been featured in magazines in the U.S. and Europe.

To see some of more of our past meetings, click on this link

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