For those of you who served with the C-124, or maybe even just grew up around them like I did, here's one more photograph for your perusal. (Bet you didn't think I knew fancy words like that "perusal" one, did you?) It's a C-124C undergoing maintenance at Kelly AFB in the early 1960s. Beyond that I don't know much about it (the story of my life; ask anybody who knows me well), but it's a nifty picture and deserving of publication.
It's a Big 'Un
For many years the Lockheed C-5 family held the distinction of being the largest aircraft in the world. Still in active service after some 40 years, it's proven itself to be a heavy lifter par exellence and has become sufficiently invaluable to have been declared a National Asset. (That's a Really Big Deal in case you didn't know...) Mostly I cover the tactical side of things, but since we're already off in Heavy Lifter Land this week I thought you'd enjoy seeing these photographs too:
Here's 66-8303, the first C-5A, undergoing flight test. Note the test boom and chase T-33. Can anybody say "majestic"? Or maybe "large"? Lockheed via Jus Rose
Shine a Light
We've already looked at a couple of categories of airborne weapons during our brief time together. Today's opening installment of same is something just as important but less directly lethal; AAF pyrotechnics. The chart below comes from TM 9-1900 (June 1945) and depicts the signal cartridges, flares, and photoflash bombs in use at that time. Overall color of pyrotechnics was specified to be gray with black markings. Any colored markings on the casing would indicate the color of the pyrotechnic effect produced, although the color purple was reserved for incendiary devices. Not all pyrotechnics were painted, and it's possible to find casings in natural aluminum or magnesium as well as in gray paint.
Even More Bomb Stuff
This is the part where you can wonder why I didn't just put everything together in one big ordnance article instead of spreading it around like I have. The answer's simple; it's not how I wanted to do it. Besides, I'm still waiting for either one of The Two Jims to publish their weapons book which (it's Broken Record Time again) will be the definitive work(s) on the topic. Consider this stuff to be an interim effort until those books arrive. Until then, just follow along and you should end up with a pretty fair overview of US aviation ordnance from 1941 'til 1970 or so. Or not. It's your call, I suppose, but here's some more on USAAF bombs, once again taken from our Old Friend, TM 9-1900.
And that's enough for today. Be good to your neighbor and we'll see you again real soon.