Talkin' 'Bout a Schedule, or Maybe Not Exactly That
Here we are again, with another missed week in-between, or at least it's a missed week if you're expecting this missive to be weekly. In my world it's a weekly thing, no doubt about it, so we've just had a Missed Week. It's official. (That didn't make much sense, did it?)
There's precedent, of course. When we birthed the original Replica in Scale all those years ago we knew there was no way we could ever support a monthly magazine since the two of us (we started out as a foursome, but that fell apart pretty quickly) had Real Jobs to contend with in addition to the production of our Brand Spanking New Model Airplane Magazine. With Monthly gone by the wayside there were still options, of course: Bi-monthly, Quarterly, and Annually, to be specific. Annually was discounted right off the bat since nobody would want to wait for it to come out, while Bi-monthly wasn't much better than Monthly from a Real Job perspective. (I'll bet it makes some folks nuts when I capitalize stuff like that, but I enjoy doing it. It's a Small Price to Pay, right?) That left Quarterly as the only viable option, so we launched as same.
Things began to unravel from the very beginning when our lead article was delayed two or three times while the author waited for That Last Piece of Information to make the work complete, which resulted in our first issue coming out a couple of months later than we'd scheduled that particular event to occur. That first article set the stage for our schedule, and we never really caught up. We were consistent, though, because we never published anything early; Late was our claim to fame and Late is what we did. That wasn't what we wanted, but after we slimmed down to just the two of us Late was what we had, forced on us by that aforementioned necessity to earn a living and an earnest desire on our part to put out the best, highest quality publication we possibly could in spite of the circumstances. Jim and I used to joke about that "schedule" from time to time, to the point of calling ourselves an Occasionodical rather than a Periodical. We had to grin about it. It was the best we could do.
Jump ahead to Right Now, and to the fact that we sometimes miss a week, or at least a couple of days, in what I'm considering to be the publishing schedule. My typical work week involves days that are 12 to 14 hours long, including one weekend day, and it doesn't look like there's going to be relief any time soon so, once again, Replica in Scale finds itself in a situation where schedules are blown and things happen later than I'd like for them to. It's not my first choice and, in certain respects it's deja vu all over again, as that great American philosopher Yogi Berra once said, but at the end of the day it's what we've got. I have to grin about it. It's the best I can do.
That said, I hope you'll be understanding and patient with the schedule, and keep checking in. There's some Neat Stuff ahead, ya'll, and there's a small chance that it just might happen weekly. Maybe.
Another Shameless Plug for a Friend
I've already mentioned Rick Morgan's Tip of the Spear and recommended it to you without reservation. It's time, my friends, for yet another recommendation. You've seen correspondence and the occasional photograph from Tommy Thomason in these pages, and you'll see even more as we go along. I've known Tommy since 1984 or so, and have always been impressed with the quality of his work. He's written a couple of books on naval aviation too, and has been doing some exceptional work that I think you'll enjoy.
Bad Day on the Boat
There's no need to remind anybody that naval aviation is about the most dangerous thing happening in the world of military airplanes. Here's a photo to prove the point:
email@example.com ) for the past few months now. I know absolutely nothing about this particular photo except that it looks like it's been in a fire, probably as the result of a flight deck mishap of some sort. The "Hog" is a good-looking bird even when it's been beat up like this one has. Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried
Somebody Needs to Look Closely 'Cause I Sure Didn't!
Check out the Douglas Skywarrior photo re-published below. I said the photo was taken while the aircraft was in the process of being launched. Sharp-eyed Tommy Thomason points out that we're actually looking at a bolter, which is painfully obvious when you look closely at the photo. Thanks, Tommy!
Up in the Air, Junior Birdmen
Northrop's T-38 family has spent the past 45+ years training pilots for the Air Force. Here's a reminder of what used to be...
Look Out, Dad, You've Been Had By a (Vietnamese) Spad
It's a well-known fact that some Vietnamese units did poorly during that particular war, but I've never heard a bad word spoken about the VNAF. I was going through some archives looking for something that had nothing whatsoever to do with the A-1 when I rediscovered these shots. I have little or no information on them, but I thought you'd enjoy seeing them.
Humor is a Good Thing
Contributor and friend Rick Morgan spent a fair part of his career as a naval aviator in the Prowler community. His brother Mark (another contributor to these pages) did the following cartoon for Rick to commemorate the fact. I'm not sure how I managed to get a copy of it but I think it's pretty cool and am offering it for your consideration today:
Jumping Jack Flash, or Maybe Just a Harrier
It was radical when it was new. It was a seriously neat, if sometimes flawed, airplane. Here's a quick tribute to the Alpha model of same:
And Now for Something Completely Different
We're always showing pictures of carrier aircraft on this site, so it's somehow fitting that we're going to end this installment with a photo of an aircraft carrier:
That's All, Folks!
For today, anyway. We'll try to get back on schedule for next week. In the meantime, be good to your neighbor!