A-4 On Saturday, the Pacific Soaring Council (PASCO) held its annual safety seminar, membership meeting, and banquet at the Oakland Western Aerospace Museum.

The soaring presentations were quite informative and it was good to meet a few people from elsewhere in our region--including some national and world champion glider pilots.

Of course, I was there with my camera and managed to take pictures of several aircraft. The main attraction is the Flying Boat. They have one of three left in the world.

Flying Boat

On the flying boat, Wikipedia says:

The flying boat NC-4 was the first airplane to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1919. In the 1920s and 1930s, flying boats made it possible to have regular air transport between the U.S. and Europe, opening up new air travel routes to South America, Africa, and Asia. Foynes, Ireland and Botwood, Newfoundland and Labrador were the termini for many early transatlantic flights. Where land-based aircraft lacked the range to travel great distances and required airfields to land, flying boats could stop at small island, river, lake or coastal stations to refuel and resupply. The Pan Am Boeing 314 "Clipper" planes brought exotic destinations like the Far East in reach of air travelers and came to represent the romance of flight. BOAC and Imperial Airways provided flying boat passenger and mail transport links between Britain and South Africa, Australia and New Zealand using aircraft such as the Short Empire and the Short S.8 Calcutta.

Overall, I was surprised by the collection of military and civilian aircraft they managed to squeeze into such a small space. Not only that, but they've got a sizable collection of artifacts from the early days of aviation--including a room full of aircraft engines.

See Also:

Posted by jzawodn at November 05, 2006 02:51 PM

Reader Comments
# Kramer said:

What's your camera ?

on November 5, 2006 04:41 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

You'll notice in the "additional info" section on Flickr it says:

"Taken with a Canon PowerShot SD500"

And it's right. I'm using an SD500.

on November 5, 2006 04:44 PM
# igoldc said:

your bolg is so excellent,i like it very much^^

on November 6, 2006 12:21 AM
# ColoZ said:

Any interesting tips from the safety seminar?

(And for the comment spammer above, what exactly is "wow gold" anyway?)

on November 6, 2006 01:08 AM
# Erik Schwartz said:

Have you ever been to Castle Air Museum in the central valley?


The B-36 is enormous. They have an SR71.

You can fly in


on November 6, 2006 04:47 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


Yes, but I'm waiting until the slides are available on-line.

Also, please don't repond to spammers. Their stuff gets removed pretty quickly and then it makes *you* look silly for responding to something that's not there.

on November 6, 2006 06:24 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


No, I haven't been there. Well, I've done some landing practice at Castle, but that's not the same. :-)

It's on my list now.

on November 6, 2006 06:31 AM
# Paul Pencikowski said:

Jeremy... I finally wandered back on to your site (new computer, lost my old "Favorites")...

Seaplanes: As Naval Aviators we wonder constantly why flying-boats are no longer in the inventory. More and more around the world, berthing-space has become much more limited, and thus "anchoring-out" more common. An old flying-boat, produced with modern alloys, would be 10% lighter at least. Turbine powerplants would solve the general lack-of-power of the original planes. Payload would be terrific. What's not to like?

My idea was to take a museum plane to China, say "Duplicate this and we'll buy 100 of them, you sell to whoever you want". Maybe too simple a plan but hey I honestly believe these big flying boats even today have merit...

Paul P.

on February 22, 2007 10:16 PM
# Paul Pencikowski said:

The A-4 pic (interesting airplane).

The wing (main section not flaps/slats etc) is *one piece* that's right "hogged out" of a giant aluminum block, then top-skinned. In it's day, this became *very* expensive, and contributed to the end-of-production (3000 jets!). Today, with CNC machines, it would be cheap!

I flew the TA-4J (2-seater) and my first landing was a surprise... That super-long gear made the "carrier landing" (constant angle-of-attack until touchdown) like flying into a pillow. A long "squuoosh" as it hit. The long gear was necessary to allow ground-crews to load bombs under the wing (done, in those days, by hand i.e. 4 guys would grab bars sticking out from each end of a 500-lb bomb and hoist/lock it to the bombrack).

The hottest version, A-4M, was able to overpower/outmaneuver any F-4 in a dogfight, could easily defeat F-14 (note that in either case this meant the F-4 or F-14 remained subsonic but trust me there are no "supersonic dogfights").

The A-4 drawback was very-small-nose which eliminated the possibility of a fire-control radar, eliminating forward-firing radar missiles. However, today's infrared (IR) missiles are nearly-equivalent to radar missiles in clear-day scenario's (Iraq, Iran etc). In actual combat, A-4's are *extremely difficult to see* due to their small size (a huge advantage). A truly neato airplane (with a 720 degree/sec roll-rate!). If ever there was a "cost effective" airplane, A-4 is it.

A-4 was the most reliable (by far) of any Naval combat airplanes I ever encountered (1972-92).

Wow thanks for bringing back memories...

Paul P.

on February 22, 2007 10:47 PM
# china handy said:

Type your comment here.

After you submit the comment, check your email. There will be
a link you need to click to make your comment visible.

Your email address WILL NOT appear on the site, so don't worry
about being anonymous, even if you think you are.

on July 19, 2010 11:42 PM
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.