Festival LE LIVRE À METZ – Les Bases Aériennes Alliées En France Dans Un Nouveau Livre

Livre les Américains en France - histoire et aviation en Lorraine à ToulLe festival du livre de Metz accueillera des grands noms du 6 au 9 avril 2017: Richard Bohringer, Guy Bedos, Patrice Duhamel, Hubert Védrine et bien d’autres. Dans ce grand rassemblement culturel, un livre pourrait bien retenir l’attention des passionnés d’histoire et d’aviation: Les Américains en France.

Trois auteurs renommés ont entrepris de raviver la réalité des bases aériennes américaines qui étaient implantées en France, et plus particulièrement celles concentrées dans le nord-est de la France entre 1950 et 1967. Il s’agit du premier des quatre tomes qui vient de sortir chez Gérard Louis lequel était présent au dernier salon du livre de Paris.

Ce volet de l’histoire qui aborde la présence alliée en France n’est en fait pas très connu et pourtant il y a beaucoup de choses à redécouvrir. Les infrastructures et services assurés étaient considérables, au point d’impacter la démographie et l’économie de plusieurs villes et villages français. Par exemple, le village de Montmédy dans la Meuse a  vu sa population s’accroître de 70% à l’occasion de l’installation de la base aérienne canadienne de Marville dont la piste était… chauffée! La période ne concerne pas uniquement les bases aériennes et forteresses volantes américaines puisqu’elle nous conduit aussi sur une étude de nombreux aéronefs légers américains basés en France, de même que le vaste réseau sanitaire U.S. opérant sur l’Hexagone. De nombreuses photos d’archives nous donnent un aperçu de ce que pouvait être la base aérienne de Toul-Rosières à l’époque, ainsi que des avions et personnels qui s’affairaient autour de ces foyers de l’aviation militaire au service de l’Otan. Le livre montre que la guerre froide était prise très au sérieux du côté des Alliés et surtout de la part des Américains qui avaient tout préparé, jusqu’à l’éventualité d’une attaque. Le livre révèle qu’ils étaient prêts dans les moindres détails et pas seulement dans le ciel. Ce livre devrait ravir les passionnés d’histoire de l’aviation et de la guerre froide ainsi que les familles qui ont vécu cette période de leur vie ou par les histoires de leurs aînés.

Ce livre a été écrit en collaboration par:

  • Pierre-Alain ANTOINE, auteur, historien, conférencier et ancien Directeur de la Patrouille de France. Il sera présent le vendredi 7 avril pour des séances de dédicaces;
  • Pierre LABRUDE, auteur, historien, conférencier et ancien pharmacien chimiste en chef de réserve du Service de santé des Armées;
  • Fabrice LOUBETTE, auteur, historien et conférencier, pilote privé, spécialiste des forces aériennes de l’OTAN en Lorraine, il anime aussi les sites www.france-air-otan.net et france-air-otan.blogspot.fr. Il fera des dédicaces au festival à Metz le dimanche 9 avril 2017.

Couverture livre - Les Américains en France

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GUSTAVE WHITEHEAD FLEW ON AUGUST 14, 1901

He took off that day. It was 115 years ago, two years before the Wrights. Gustav Weisskopf had changed his name into Gustave Whitehead before building his aeroplane whose name was the « Condor », or number 21. Gustave was a German immigrant from Leutershausen in Bavaria, where a splendid museum https://www.weisskopf.de commemorates the feats of the brilliant inventor.

Two replicas of his plane #21 flew in 1986 in the U.S.A., and in 1997 in Germany. Several books have been written about Gustave Whitehead so far. Susan O’Dwyer Brinchman published the latest one last year. Her searching follows her father’s, Major William J. O’Dwyer, a retired U.S. Air Force Reserve officer who had found early Whitehead’s photos in an attic, in 1963, and researched Whitehead for the next 45 years, interviewing many witnesses. Susan worked with him during the later decades and recently, has found even more. She explains why Whitehead must have been the first in the world to perform a steerable, propelled without catapult, heavier-than-air flight. She shares an extensive FAQ and lots of resources on her website here: http://gustavewhitehead.info/gustave-whitehead-resources/  which are quite compelling. You can order her book Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight on Amazon or get a signed one by clicking on the cover here below:

Book cover First in Flight on Gustave Whietehead by Susan O'Dwyer BrinchmanBook cover story of Gustave Whitehead First in Flight aviation history Connecticut

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PILOT ESCAPING THROUGH UNDERWATER EJECTION

Do you remember that some fighter pilots could safely eject from underwater back in 1965? Could it be survived? One may wonder but a few ejections were reported. The transcript is below the video. Look at that canopy, it looks like it came from an F-8 Crusader:

TRANSCRIPT:

If your aircraft has provision for underwater ejection, you have a ready-made, secondary escape route. Succesful underwater ejections can be made from any aircraft attitude – nose down, tail down, and inverted.

Escape by this method requires no preparation other than that recommended for normal seat ejection. There should be at least ten feet of water above you before you can safely eject. Never eject from the surface. With present systems, the chute cannot open with a zero-zero situation (which means at a height of 0 and at a speed of 0). The effect of free-falling 80 feet to water is little different than falling 80 feet to concrete. True, some lucky ones have lived to tell about it. But it is one hell of a gamble.

When you eject through the canopy underwater, the seat breaks through clearing the way for your body. Because water resistance imposes terrific forces on your head and neck, it is vital to hold the face curtain tight against your head for support. The forces of ejection might cause a momentary blackout. Immediately upon collecting your wits, disconnect yourself from the seat by pulling the emergency release handle breaking your restraints. Now, separate yourself from the seat. This is difficult. You will have to kick and swim violently even though you are disconnected.

If your chute gets hung up on the seat, do not waste time trying to clear it. Release your riser fittings and swim clear off the chute. Do not inflate flotation equipment until clear of the seat. Remember, surface slowly, exhaling as you go. Remove your oxygen mask.

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ATC SAVED HYPOXIC PILOT

This Dallas Fort Worth air traffic controller well deserved her NATCA award two years ago. Had she not responded quickly, the pilot would have passed out on board his Piaggio P180 Avanti (registration N501PM, callsign shortened into N1PM) and could even have passed away. Another pilot was alerted by slurring in the pilot’s speech. Video:

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BONHOMME TAKES ADVANTAGE IN RED BULL AIR RACE

Monday, Sep 28, 2015 – The British pilot Paul Bonhomme won Fort Worth at Texas Motor Speedway yesterday. He is now on his way to the final victory in Master Class (RBAR World Championship). Only the Australian Matt Hall – eight points behind him – might win the Red Bull Air Race. The French Nicolas Ivanoff had won Fort Worth race last year but he he has come in ninth position this year.

Click on: FORT WORTH RED BULL AIR RACE VIDEO

If the die seems to be cast in Master Class, it is still rolling for the other championship: The top ranking is very tight in Challenger Class as the French Mickael Brageot, the Czech Petr Kopfstein, and the Swedish Daniel Ryfa all have a 28-point total. Just behind, Cristian Bolton, the Chilean pilot comes with 24 points. Only one of them will be allowed to go through to the Master Class next year. The next and last race promises to be a hard fought final in Las Vegas on October 17th & 18th, 2015.

Here is a video that explains very well the Texan track which was flown yesterday.

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