Archives For Planes

If you’re reading this, the world hasn’t ended…yet.  The Mayans didn’t say what time the end would come, or in what time zone, but let’s assume we have at least a few more hours.  If the world does explode today, I want to say farewell with a Fuck You medley.

Fuck you, gun nuts.  ObamaFuck you and your arguments about how owning assault weapons protects us from tyranny.  The United States has the biggest arsenal on the planet.  If the government wanted to subdue the masses, do you honestly think a semi-automatic rifle would help you?  You could have a Howitzer in your front yard and it wouldn’t matter.  And you morons truly believe that arming everyone would prevent horrific shootings like the one in Newtown??  Rot in hell, you twisted, deranged scumbags.

Fuck you, cottage cheese.  I despise you.  I truly do.  If I were stranded somewhere and you were the only thing available to eat, I’d starve to death.  You’re disgusting.  You have icky curds and a funky aroma, and I still have PTSD from the one time I tried you.  People say you’re a good, healthy snack.  I disagree.  You’re nasty, and I hope you become someone’s prison bitch.

Fuck you, cancer.  StealthYou miserable fucking mutants.  You’ve killed millions of people.  You’ve tried to take out members of my family.  What is your fucking problem?  As long as I’m alive, I vow to fight you.  I will make sure everyone I know is vigilant about keeping you away and getting rid of you as fast as possible.  Drop dead.

Fuck you, Tom Cruise.  I hate you.  You’re a shitty actor and you’re insane.  And your voice annoys the shit out of me.  By the way, you’re about as suited to play Jack Reacher as I am.  Fuck you.  For the love of Xenu, go to the Scientology compound and stay there.  Permanently.  Do not speak or show yourself in public ever again.  You suck.

Fuck you, CEOs.  You’re greedy, evil motherfuckers.  You’ve destroyed so many lives with your callous disregard for your employees and your customers.  You’re soulless vultures who would sell your families for a few extra bucks.  I want to be there when the Universe doles out your karmic retribution.  I would mock you, laugh heartily, and eat popcorn while you suffered the slings and arrows of your outrageous fortune, as it were.  Blow me.

Fuck you, man sitting behind me on the plane.  Grumpy catYou couldn’t gently put your tray back up—no, you had to slam it into the back of my seat.  Were you trying to give me whiplash or was that just a bonus?  And then you grabbed my seat back to hoist yourself up every time you changed positions.  Asswipe.  I reclined my seat in hopes of pissing you off but you didn’t seem to mind.  That just pissed me off more.  If I ever see you again, I will cut you into teeny tiny pieces.

Fuck you, dickwad standing behind me on line at the ATM.  Do you always stand that close to people you don’t know?  What the fuck is wrong with you?  You should have at least bought me a drink or asked for my name before you crawled up my ass.  I have three words for you: Personal space, motherfucker.

(Also, I really will be blogging about my party with Darla, Calahan, and Joe—as soon as the dust settles from Armageddon.)

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to

Adolph “Sailor” Malan
   

That’s right, another flyboy.  And another fighter ace just like our friend Pierce McKennon.  Sailor Malan was a South African pilot with the Royal Air Force during World War II.

Malan began his military career as a teenager at the South African Merchant Navy Academy, which is where he got the nickname “Sailor.”  But in his 20s he learned how to fly a plane, and shortly afterwards he enlisted in the RAF.

Throughout the war Malan and his Spitfire kicked some serious Luftwaffe ass.  As part of 74 Squadron he provided air support during the evacuation at Dunkirk and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery.  During the Battle of Britain, Malan led 74 Squadron to an unprecedented 38 downed enemy aircraft in just one day.

A fearless and unorthodox pilot, Malan compiled a list that he called “My Ten Rules for Air Fighting”—which may as well have been called “My Ten Rules for Pilot Badassery.”

  1. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of one to two seconds only when your sights are definitely “ON.”
  2. Whilst shooting think of nothing else, brace the whole of your body: have both hands on the stick: concentrate on your ring sight.
  3. Always keep a sharp lookout. “Keep your finger out.”
  4. Height gives you the initiative.
  5. Always turn and face the attack.
  6. Make your decisions promptly. It is better to act quickly even though your tactics are not the best.
  7. Never fly straight and level for more than 30 seconds in the combat area.
  8. When diving to attack always leave a proportion of your formation above to act as a top guard.
  9. INITIATIVE, AGGRESSION, AIR DISCIPLINE, and TEAM WORK are words that MEAN something in Air Fighting.
  10. Go in quickly – Punch hard – Get out!

I believe I’m getting a touch of The Vapors just reading this.  Is it hot in here or is it just him??

Malan retired from the RAF as a top fighter ace with 32 confirmed kills.  He went home to South Africa and founded an anti-Apartheid group called the Torch Commandos, in order to “oppose the police state, abuse of state power, censorship, racism, the removal of the Coloured vote and other oppressive manifestations of the creeping fascism of the National Party regime.”  The Torch Commandos were in existence for only a short time.  But Malan remained an outspoken opponent of Apartheid government until his death in 1963.

If he had been any hotter he would have burst into flames.

This lovely lady is our newest Hot Dead Chick in more ways than one—she’s the newest addition to the Weebles family, and she’s also the most recently deceased. She died on October 13, 2009, which makes her the youngest member of the gang.

Margaret Ann Hamilton Tunner

Photo from the Woman’s Collection, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX

I have a particular soft spot for her because she was a WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) during World War II. The WASP were civilian women who volunteered to fly military planes in support of the armed forces; while the men were at war there was a shortage of pilots on the homefront, and these women answered the call. They ferried new aircraft from the factories to the air bases, served as test pilots, and taught the fellas a thing or two about having the Right Stuff.  I had the privilege of meeting a few of these trailblazing women several years ago when I was working on a museum exhibition about the WASP.

When she joined the WASP in 1943, Tunner had already been a licensed pilot for several years. As a WASP she had the distinction of checking out on the most sophisticated aircraft, including the P-51, P-47, and P-39 fighters and the B-17 and B-24 bombers. Not all of the women were rated to fly all of these planes; Tunner was one of the few. That makes her even hotter, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Now here’s the sucky part. By the end of 1944, a lot of male pilots were coming home from the war and they wanted to take over the work that the WASP were doing. So Congress abruptly and unceremoniously ended the WASP program. And because the WASP were civilians, they received no military benefits after disbanding. To add insult to injury, they had to pay their own way back home. Basically the government said, “You’re on your own, ladies—good luck with that.” Douchebags.

These heroic women were forgotten for more than 30 years. But in 1976, the US Air Force finally started accepting women for flight training and the press referred to them as “the first female pilots.” Former WASP pilots swarmed (you should pardon the pun) the media to set the record straight.

In 1977, Tunner and several of her fellow flygirls went a step further and appeared before Congress to demand that the WASP be acknowledged as a military entity. With the help of Senator Barry Goldwater, who had been a pilot himself during WWII, they succeeded in getting Congress to grant them veteran status with all of the benefits attached. The WASP finally received the recognition that they should have had so many years earlier.

Tunner continued to fly until the end of her life, and her obituary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch tells a very cool story.  For her 78th birthday she was granted special permission to co-pilot an F-15. Before the flight, the pilot asked her if she preferred a conventional takeoff or a rapid takeoff using the fighter jet’s afterburners. She chose the rapid takeoff. Kickass!

Here’s to you, Margaret Ann. You were gorgeous, but more importantly, you got it done. Thank you.

In the end, it was barely a contest. Sorry, Gary.

It seems fitting that Pierce McKennon is our newly crowned Hottest Dead Guy; he was a pilot during World War II and we just celebrated Memorial Day. We’ve reflected on his hotness, but let’s also have a round of applause to honor Captain McKennon for his heroic military service, shall we?

Click here for my original post on Pierce—and for additional information, click here for a nice biographical piece on him.

For all of you ladies and gentlemen who prefer the ladies, we will have a Hot Dead Chick Sweet 16 Tournament very soon, I promise.

And for everyone who voted for Pierce, here are some additional photos for your enjoyment:

OpSail is underway in New York for the next week. I love boats and planes so I had to check it out.

I persuaded Mr. Weebles to play hooky with me yesterday morning so we could watch the Parade of Sail, which featured sailing ships and military ships from around the world. There was also a military flyover by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, a C-130 cargo plane, a pair of Osprey helicopters, an AWACS plane, and a few others I can’t recall at the moment. It was pretty cool. I was hoping there would be more planes and more ships but I’ll take what I can get.

I took a lot of photos—we were on a boat on the Hudson so we had a great view of everything. I thought I would share some of the highlights with you. Some of the images aren’t as clear as I would have liked, but between the bizarre weather and my digital camera, there was only so much that could be done. Each image has hovertext info, and you can click on each thumbnail to see a full-size photo. Enjoy!