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Sierra Hotel Aeronautics
Our name says everything you need to know......
Our name says everything you need to know......


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Originally built for the U.S. Military, our flagship Aviator surpasses rigid mil-spec standards. Standard issue since 1982, these are battle tested and relevant to the most rigorous and demanding use. Worn by pilots, and those who demand the best.



Made in USA using the finest components found worldwide.
Signature bayonet temples designed for military pilots
Lifetime-warranted solder joints
Military Issued: HGU4/P, MIL-S-25948
Mineral crown glass lens
98-100% UV Protection
Adjustable cushioned silicon nose pads for customized fit
Package includes a case, microfiber cleaning cloth, and small maintenance kit
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Why you ask?  We can't tell you, because then we would have to kill you.
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On this day in history, test pilot Roland Beamont crewed the TSR-2 on it's maiden flight from the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, in 1964.
The British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was a strike and reconnaissance aircraft developed for the Royal Air Force (RAF) designed to spearhead well-defended forward battle areas at low altitudes and high speeds. Once penetrated, the TSR-2 would attack high-value targets behind the front with nukes or conventional weapons. The TSR-2 was also intended to provide high-altitude, high-speed photographic imagery and signals intelligence, reconnaissance. Some of the most advanced aviation technology of the period was incorporated in order to make it the highest-performing aircraft in the world in its projected missions.

The TSR2 was capable of sustained cruise at Mach 2.05 at altitudes between 37,000 ft and 51,000 ft, with a dash speed of Mach 2.35 ( limiting leading edge temperature of 140 degrees Celsius). The TSR-2 had a designed Max speed that theoretically rivalled the SR-71 and MiG 25 with a Mach 3 in level flight at 45,000 ft.

On 1 April 1965 two Cabinet meetings held where it was decided to cancel the TSR-2 on the grounds of projected cost, and to obtain an option agreement to acquire up to 110 F-111 aircraft with no immediate commitment to buy. This decision was announced in the budget speech of 6 April 1965.

Shortly after, all TSR-2 tooling, jigs and many of the partially completed aircraft were all scrapped at Brooklands. While the full scale wooden mockup of the TSR2 was burned.
Two airframes survived the slaughter: the almost complete XR220 at the RAF Museum, Cosford near Wolverhampton, and the much less complete XR222 at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

The only airframe ever to fly, XR219, along with the completed XR221 and partially complete XR223 were taken to Shoeburyness and used as targets to test the vulnerability of a modern airframe and systems to gunfire and shrapnel.

"All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics. TSR-2 simply got the first three right."
Sir Sydney Camm - TSR-2 Aeronautical engineer
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On the 5th of September, 1983, 4 USAF F-4E Phantom jets were flying over the Atlantic en route to Europe along with the support of a KC-135 known as "Lone Star" These five aircraft were part of a larger number of Phantoms and tankers on a routine trans-Atlantic flight. To make the crossing, the Phantoms would need to tank a total of 8 times to fill their thirsty engines.

Midway across the Atlantic, and just prior to the 4th refuel, one of the F-4Es piloted by Maj. Jon “Ghost” Alexander and his WSO, started to develop some engine problems. After a quick visual from one of the other Phantoms, it was discovered Ghost's F-4E was bleeding oil. The emergency divert base at Gander, Newfoundland was contacted with an emergency declaration.

Shortly after, things began to rapidly deteriorate when the still turning, but barely burning turbines started to wind down, and the Phantom who's known for its dependance on power started to bleed airspeed and altitude simultaneously.

At this point, with the Number Two engine barely hanging on, the Number One began to struggle with the higher temperatures and load of keeping the Phantom airborne. Watching the airspeed decay, Ghost decided to jettison his external tanks to reduce drag and weight in hopes of saving his dying jet.

Struggling with a dying Number 1, and an overheating Number 2, all the while maintaining a 45-degree nose-up attitude to keep far away from the frigid Atlantic beneath. but sadly for Ghost and his WSO, things were about to go even further south...moments after dropping his tanks, his jet's hydraulic system failed, crippling the stricken jet even further. and reducing the list of available options to one...Eject!
Still 520 miles out of Gander, and facing a certain death in the waters below, "Lone Star" E-113, crewed by Captain Robert Goodman, Captain Michael Clover, First Lieutenant Karol Wojcikowski and Staff Sergeant Douglas Simmons pulled high and in front of Ghost's Phantom, dropping flaps and slats to slow to the speed of the crippled jet.

As the altitude dropped to 4000 feet over the water, "North Star" hooked up with Ghost's Phantom, and started to transfer fuel to his starving J-79 engines. Considering the lack of hydraulics, and asymmetric thrust produced by the F-4, as well as the high Angle of Attack flown by both aircraft at low airspeed and altitude, this was no easy feat.

The F-4E could not hold on, and broke away from the tanker, nose down in a final decent towards the waters below. The crew of "Lone Star" pushed their nose over and chased the Phantom lower. and slower, this time indicating as little as 190 knots at 1400 feet above the waves.

Amazingly, holding the connection, "North Star" began to actually tow Ghost's Phantom for the final 160 miles to Gander.

As the coast of Newfoundland appeared on the horizon, and at 6000 feet of altitude, Ghost was able to coax a little power out of his now cooled #2 engine, disengaged from the boom, and was now left with the simple proposition of landing a Phantom that was only capable of banking left. Ghost's WSO Wojcikowski quickly formulated an approach that would allow the jet to align with Gander’s main runway. while taking into account the jets limited performance abilities.
Moments later, Ghost and his WSO touched down safe and dry on the runway complex at Gander, and rolled to a stop.

The crew of "North Star" Captains Robert J. Goodman and Michael F. Clover, First Lieutenant Karol F. Wojcikowski and Staff Sergeant Douglas D. Simmons, all received the Mackay Trophy for their efforts above and beyond the call of duty in saving the F-4E crew from certain death in the waters below.

#USAF   #Aviation   #History   #F4   #Phantom  
#KC135   #Avgeek  
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We are a composite of many levels of active and retired aviation personnel, a collective of aeronauts, so to speak. A network of Veterans, Military and Civilian Flight Crews, Instructors, Engineers, Ground crews, Maintainers, Astronauts, Aviation photographers, Air show performers, Announcers, Controllers, and varied aviation personnel.

We are aeronautically speaking, greater than the sum of our parts
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On this date in 1980, we lost one of the greatest female flyers to ever grace the skies

Lt. Col. Jacqueline Cochran, born - May 11, 1906 in Pensacola, Fla. In the 1930's, Cochran began taking flying lessons at Roosevelt Airfield, Long Island. After obtaining her Commercial licence, she created her own line of cosmetics "Wings", and flew her own aircraft around the country promoting her products. Years later, her husband used his Hollywood connections to get Marilyn Monroe to endorse her line of lipstick

Aviation accomplishments:

First woman to compete - MacRobertson Air Race -1934

The only woman to compete in the 1937 Bendix race

Worked with Amelia Earhart to open the Bendix race to women

1937 - New woman's national speed record

1938 - Won the Bendix and set a new transcontinental speed, and altitude records

"Wings for Britain" pilot - ferried American built aircraft to Britain 
First woman to fly a bomber (a Lockheed Hudson V) across the Atlantic

1940, Cochran wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt with the proposal of creating a women's flying division in the Army Air Forces. This new division would be for the purpose of qualified women pilots performing noncombat aviation operations in order to release more male pilots for combat. This led to the creation of the WACS (Women's Army Corps)

1953 - Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier. With Encouragement from long time friend, then-Major Chuck Yeager, on May 18, at Rogers Dry Lake, California, Cochran flew a Canadair F-86 Sabre at an average speed of 652.337 mph.

1961 - as a consultant to Northrop Corporation, Cochran set a series of speed, distance and altitude records while flying a Northrop T-38A-30-NO Talon supersonic trainer

Two Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) world records, taking the T-38 to altitudes of 55,252.625 feet in horizontal flight and reaching a peak altitude of 56,072.835 feet

1964 - She flew a TF-104G Starfighter setting three women's world's speed records. averaging 1,429.3 miles per hour over a 15/25 km course, and 1,303.18 miles per hour, over a 100-km closed-circuit course.

First woman to land and take off from an aircraft carrier

First woman to make a blind instrument approach

Only woman ever to be president of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (1958–1961)

First pilot to fly above 20,000 ft fitted with an oxygen mask

1965, induction into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame

1971, induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame

Lt. Col. Jacqueline Cochran, still holds more distance and speed records than any pilot living or dead, male or female.

"I might have been born in a hovel but I am determined to travel with the wind and the stars."

Lt. Col. Jacqueline Cochran (May 11, 1906 – August 9, 1980)
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Under the shroud of extreme secrecy, the USS Indianapolis received orders to proceed to Tinian island, carrying parts and the enriched uranium for "The Gadget" aka, the atomic bomb, Little Boy. The Indianapolis departed San Francisco on 16 July 1945 unaccompanied, reaching Tinian on 26 July. Once her highly secretive mission was completed, the USS Indianapolis turned for her voyage home, again, unaccompanied.

At 00:14 on 30 July, she was struck by two Type 95 torpedoes on her starboard bow, from the Japanese submarine I-58 under the command of Mochitsura Hashimoto. The explosions caused massive damage. The Indianapolis took on a heavy list, and settled by the head. Twelve minutes later, she rolled completely over, then her stern rose into the air, and she plunged down. Some 300 of the 1,196 crewmen went down with the ship. With few lifeboats and many without lifejackets, the remainder of the crew were set adrift awaiting rescue.

Navy command had no knowledge of the ship's sinking until survivors were spotted three and a half days later. At 10:25 on 2 August by a PV-1 Ventura flown by Lieutenant Wilbur "Chuck" Gwinn and copilot Lieutenant Warren Colwell during a routine patrol flight.

Of the 880 that survived the sinking, only 321 men came out of the water alive; 317 ultimately survived. They suffered from lack of food and water, exposure to the elements (hypothermia, dehydration, hypernatremia, photophobia, starvation and dementia), severe desquamation, and shark attacks, while some killed themselves or other survivors in various states of delirium and hallucinations.

The Indianapolis sinking, and lack of an escort to report her need of assistance, resulted in the most shark attacks on humans in history. Most of the attacks were attributed to the oceanic whitecap shark species. Tiger sharks might have also killed some of the survivors. Many of those whom died of other causes were dragged off by sharks.

Once the PV-12 crew spotted the survivors helplessly floating on the surface, "Chuck" Gwinn immediately dropped a life raft and a radio transmitter. All air and surface units capable of rescue operations were dispatched to the scene at once. 

A PBY Catalina seaplane under the command of Lieutenant R. Adrian Marks was dispatched to lend assistance and report. En route to the scene, Marks overflew Cecil J. Doyle and alerted her captain, W. Graham Claytor, Jr., of the emergency. On his own authority, Claytor decided to divert to the scene.

Arriving hours ahead of Doyle, Marks' crew began dropping rubber rafts and supplies. Having seen men being attacked by sharks, Marks disobeyed standing orders and landed on the open sea. He began taxiing to pick up the stragglers and lone swimmers who were at the greatest risk of shark attack. 

Learning the men were the crew of Indianapolis, he radioed the news, requesting immediate assistance. Doyle responded while en route. When Marks' plane was full, survivors were tied to the wings with parachute cord, damaging the wings so that the plane would never fly again and had to be sunk.

Marks and his crew rescued 56 men from the bloodied waters that day...

#USSIndianapolis #USN #USNavy #Littleboy #Hiroshima #Japan #WW2 #Sharks #Ocean #Rescue #Aviation #History #SAR #Heroes
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August 6th 1945 - The 393d Bombardment Squadron B-29 Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, took off from North Field airbase on Tinian for the primary target, Hiroshima, and with Kokura and Nagasaki as mission alternatives. The Enola Gay was accompanied by two other B-29s. The Great Artiste, commanded by Major Charles W. Sweeney, carried instrumentation, and a then-nameless aircraft later called Necessary Evil commanded by Captain George Marquardt, served as the photography aircraft

After leaving Tinian the aircraft made their way separately to Iwo Jima where they rendezvoused at 8,010 ft and set course for Japan. The aircraft arrived over the target in clear visibility at 32,333 ft. Parsons, who was in command of the mission, armed the bomb during the flight to minimize the risks during takeoff. His assistant, Second Lieutenant Morris Jeppson, removed the safety devices 30 minutes before reaching the target area.

About an hour before the bombing, Japanese early warning radar detected the approach of some American aircraft headed for the southern part of Japan. An alert was given and radio broadcasting stopped in many cities, among them Hiroshima. At nearly 08:00, the radar operator in Hiroshima determined that the number of planes coming in was very small—probably not more than three—and the air raid alert was lifted. To conserve fuel and aircraft, the Japanese had decided not to intercept small formations.

The normal radio broadcast warning was given to the people that it might be advisable to go to air-raid shelters if B-29s were actually sighted. However a reconnaissance mission was assumed because at 07:31 the first B29 to fly over Hiroshima at 32,000 feet had been the weather observation aircraft Straight Flush that sent a Morse code message to the Enola Gay indicating that the weather was good over the primary target. Because it then turned out to sea, the 'all clear' was sounded in the city.

At 08:09 Colonel Tibbets started his bomb run and handed control over to his bombardier.

The release at 08:15 (Hiroshima time) went as planned, and "Little Boy", a gun-type fission weapon with 140 lbs of uranium-235, took 43 seconds to fall from the aircraft flying at 31,060 feet to the predetermined detonation height about 1,968 feet above the city. The Enola Gay traveled 11.5 miles before it felt the shock waves from the blast.

Bob Caron, the tail gunner was the only crew member to see the fireball. Even wearing the goggles, he thought he was blinded. The plane raced away, while the shockwave from the explosion raced toward them at 1,100 feet per second. When the shockwave hit, it felt like a near-miss from flak. The mushroom cloud boiled up, 45,000 feet high, three miles above them, and it was still rising. They flew away, shocked and horrified at the sight below. The city had completely disappeared under a blanket of smoke and fire. They radioed back to headquarters that the primary target had been bombed visually with good results.

The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima was visible for an hour and a half as they flew southward back to Tinian.

The Tokyo control operator of the Japan Broadcasting Corporation noticed that the Hiroshima station had gone off the air. He tried to re-establish his program by using another telephone line, but it too had failed. About 20 minutes later the Tokyo railroad telegraph center realized that the main line telegraph had stopped working just north of Hiroshima. From some small railway stops within 9.9 mi of the city came unofficial and confused reports of a terrible explosion in Hiroshima. All these reports were transmitted to the headquarters of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff.

Military bases repeatedly tried to call the Army Control Station in Hiroshima. The complete silence from that city puzzled the General Staff; they knew that no large enemy raid had occurred and that no sizable store of explosives was in Hiroshima at that time. A young officer was instructed to fly immediately to Hiroshima, to land, survey the damage, and return to Tokyo with reliable information for the staff. It was felt that nothing serious had taken place and that the explosion was just a rumor.

The staff officer went to the airport and took off for the southwest. After flying for about three hours, while still nearly 99 miles from Hiroshima, he and his pilot saw a great cloud of smoke from the bomb. In the bright afternoon, the remains of Hiroshima were burning.
Their plane soon reached the area where Hiroshima once stood, and the Staff officer began to circle the area in disbelief of the view outside his cockpit window. Hiroshima was simply gone.

‪#‎Hiroshima‬ ‪#‎USAF‬ ‪#‎B29‬ ‪#‎EnolaGay‬ ‪#‎Atomic‬ ‪#‎Bomb‬ ‪#‎Japan‬
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