Question: America’s highest scoring ace during World War II was Richard Bong. Flying the P-38 Lightning in the Pacific, Major Richard Bong was credited with 40 kills. A skilled flyer (to say the least), he was noted for his silent approaches with both engines feathered. As he swooped over the field, he would loop his P-38 and land. What else did he do?
- In 1942, he looped the Golden Gate Bridge (in a P-38, of course).
- On August 6, 1945 (the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima) he was testing the new P-80 jet fighter, which stalled on takeoff. He bailed out, but too low.
- 1 and 2 (unfortunately).
- None of the above.
The answer is number 3… unfortunately.
Subject: Looping the Loop, the Hard Way
Question: Who was the first person to perform (successfully: that is, and live) an outside loop?
- Glenn Curtiss
- Lincoln Beachey
- Jimmy Doolittle
- Junior Barnes
The answer is number 3. On May 27, 1927, United States Army Air Corps Lt. James Doolittle flew the first outside loop over McCook Field near Dayton, Ohio in a Curtiss P-1B Hawk. Scientists had predicted that outside loops (inverted loops) would be fatal. (They usually were, as were many attempted afterwards. It ain’t easy.)
Subject: The People’s Airspace?
Question: China has about 1.2 billion people. That’s 1,200,000,000. Out of all those folks, how many hold the equivalent of a private pilot’s license?
The answer is number 4. Incredible but true. (In China, even an automobile driver’s license is about as unusual–and as hard to get–as a pilot’s license is in the US.)