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American hubris in Vietnam – 1966

Air War in VietnamThe November 1966 Flying magazine has quite an article on the air war in Vietnam, circa 1966. It’s interesting not only in that it provides quite an aerial description of the doomed war, but also as a brief history of the helicopter as it was applied to that particular conflict. There’s plenty of politics in the article, not in itself unusual as witnessed even by today’s standard of evolving bullshit and half-to-no truths. Even France gets short shrift for committing 600,000 troops to the conflict ten years earlier. If only the Americans had been paying attention to France’s losses, they would have known beforehand how unwinnable such a war would be. Of course, history can never speak to a nation that recently defined “French fries” as a pussy foreign food and instead made a laughable attempt at calling them “freedom” fries. How gauche.

Unfortunately for all of us, America’s intransigence in the face of overwhelming and insurmountable odds continues to this day with jackboots tramping through Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and others for absolutely no reason whatsoever but that they can.

How gauche.

In any case, politics and my personal opinion notwithstanding, here’s The Air War in Vietnam – Flying, November 1966. It begins on page 38 and is quite an interesting read. If you’re not familiar with google’s particular brand of online magazine reader, select Front Cover to view the contents.


Human-Powered helicopter to take flight

The human-powered Gamera

The human-powered Gamera

Update May 12: It flew, briefly.

Update May 11: The attempt will continue on the 12th.

On May 11, a helicopter powered by a female pilot will attempt to slip the surly bonds of earth. Two years of development at the University of Maryland’s school of engineering has resulted in the creation of the Gamera, one-third the size of a football field and weighing 140 pounds. It has eight rotor blades, each blade system 42 feet in diameter.

You can read more and see a video here.