June 7, 2012

Pages from the Past – June 7, 2012

Lisa Kinison

(The following is an excerpt taken from Lisa Kinison’s “Pages from the Past” feature that airs as part of Aerotech NewsRadio on 1380 AM, Thursday mornings at 11 a.m. You can listen to the full broadcast or any of our other past broadcasts here.) 
Today, we start this segment off with a nice little blast from the past, as we look back to June, 1987. This is the issue in which we changed the name of our publication, from Antelope Valley Aerospace, to the more broadly focused Aerotech News and Review. At this point, we had been publishing just over a year, and had received feedback from readers and advertisers encouraging us to expand the focus of the paper beyond the borders of the Antelope Valley. It was a big decision for us – we were still driving back and forth to Mojave to have our copy typeset, and doing paste up out of our garage. Our neighbors used to joke that they could tell when the next issue was coming out, because they’d see Paul and me in the garage late at night, with all the lights blazing. We took the plunge, though, and it proved to be the right decision. As we said in our article announcing the change, “Aerotech News and Review will continue to maintain a high standard of excellence, professionalism and objective aerospace news coverage which you, as part of Southern California’s largest industry, deserve” – a commitment we still maintain to this day.

In the June 5th, 1992 edition of Aerotech News, we carried a follow-up report on the continuing investigation into the April 25th, 1992 crash of the YF-22 at Edwards AFB, which destroyed the only flyable prototype of the aircraft. We also reported that a Senate Armed Services subcommittee had advised the Air Force and Navy that funding resources would not be available to support all four tactical aircraft programs proposed for future needs. The services were told to plan for the elimination of either the F-22, F/A -18 E/F, A-X, or the Multirole Fighter. The A-X was the eventual loser here, falling victim to the budget ax in 1993.

Moving up 5 years to the June 6th, 1997 edition of Aerotech, we reported that final assembly had begun on McDonnell Douglas’ new airliner, the MD -95-30 twin jet. Following McDonnell-Douglas’ August 1997 merger with Boeing, the aircraft was redesignated the Boeing 717-200. A related story reports that Boeing was preparing to defend its planned acquisition of McDonnell-Douglas before the European Union, which had expressed antitrust concerns over the merger. On the page opposite the merger story, a fun headline caught my eye: “Rum-raiding elephants storm Indian base” – seems a band of marauding elephants was regularly plundering a supply base in East Bengal, helping themselves to stocks of rum, sugar and flour intended for the troops. (Nice of the Indian Army to provide rum for their troops, don’t you think?) And, back here in the elephant-free Southern California desert, we noted that the first X-38 atmospheric test vehicle, constructed by Scaled Composites in Mojave, had arrived at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards to begin unpiloted flight tests.

In the June 7th, 2002 issue, our cover featured a full page, in-flight photo of an F-16 Fighting Falcon in full war paint, as we profiled “The Aggressors of Nellis”, a feature on Red Flag training exercises at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. We reported that Senator Barbara Boxer had requested a General Accounting Office review on the decision that lead to the relocation of Space Shuttle orbital maintenance work to Florida. We also reported on instances of stimulant use by some U.S. fighter pilots, in the wake of a friendly-fire incident in which U.S. pilots in Afghanistan mistakenly bombed Canadian troops on the ground in Kandahar, killing 4 people.

Five years ago, in the June 8th 2007 issue of Aerotech News, our full-page cover photo featured a beautiful shot of a KC-135R Stratotanker flying in formation with 2 F-16s and 2 A-10 Warthogs over the snowy slopes near Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, as we reported on Red Flag training exercises being held there. Closer to home, we reported on the groundbreaking ceremony for the new runway project at Edwards Air Force Base, which replaced a decaying runway built in the 1950s. Space Shuttle engineers reported a resolution to concerns regarding external fuel tank lines, clearing the way for preparations for the first Shuttle launch of 2007. And on that Shuttle mission, we noted that a small piece of American history would be on board, in the form of a nearly 400-year-old cargo tag bearing the inscription “Yames Towne”, honoring the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, Virginia. And on that particularly historical note, I thank you for joining me on this week’s look back into Aerotech’s “Pages from the Past”.

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One Comment

  1. […] A transcript of Lisa Kinison’s “Pages from the Past” feature can be found here. […]

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