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Last night I met Neil Armstrong - now incl pictures

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Last night I met Neil Armstrong - now incl pictures

Old 27th Oct 2006, 14:01
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Thumbs up Last night I met Neil Armstrong - now incl pictures

So it was that I found myself in the presence of greatness, not just the great and the good of aviation but legendary aviators like Neil Armstrong and Eric 'Winkle' Brown.

Where else could you meet these type of people but at the GAPAN Trophies and Awards Banquet, held at the Guildhall in the City of London.

What was truly humbling though were the citations of the recipients of the Awards given for exceptional acts of bravery and courage. These crews flew their helicopters, often with scant regard for their own safety and in impossible weather conditions, so that others may live.

Salute to 7 Flight Army Air Corps (and Chas Challis), 202 Squadron Royal Air Force and 771 Naval Air Squadron Royal Navy.
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Old 28th Oct 2006, 10:54
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Originally Posted by What Limits View Post
So it was that I found myself in the presence of greatness, not just the great and the good of aviation but legendary aviators like Neil Armstrong
Read an article once, many moons ago, that talked about his real time simulator for the LLM as being a Bell 47G5?
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Old 28th Oct 2006, 11:57
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Part of the citation suggested that the moon landing was done manually and after overshooting the initial LZ, he chose and landed at an alternate with 20 seconds of fuel remaining. So much for IFR minimums !!
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Old 28th Oct 2006, 12:44
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'Go around, Gear UP, Flaps 20.'

Yeah, I seem to remember reading they had some kind of big, red button that would cause the LEM to blast off back into orbit before the landing engine flamed out and the whole shebang went ballistic. That must have focused the mind wonderfully.

Without the man in the loop they would have crashed on landing. Interesting, that.
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Old 28th Oct 2006, 13:10
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I had the honor to spend two days with Neil Armstrong while he filmed a Discovery Channel show at Sikorsky back about 12 years ago. He was absolutely humble, but keenly intelligent and (of course) a fine pilot.

It is funny to see some folks "go Hollywood" like that fellow who is trying to get us to fund his "world record" and then you bump into a quiet, confident man who epitomizes the heroic virtues that we prize. Combat fighter pilot, 4,000mph X-15 pilot, Astronaut, world champion glider pilot, Master's in aerospace engineering, and regular guy - Neil Armstrong.

Here is one Neil Armstrong story (from a great bio in Wikipedia) to show the kind of things he has done:

"Armstrong would be involved in several incidents that would go down in Edwards's folklore or be written about by others in their memoirs. The first was an X-15 flight on April 20, 1962 when Armstrong was testing a self-adjusting control system. He first rocketed to a height of 207,000 feet (63.2 km) (the highest he flew before Gemini 8). As he descended, he kept the nose of the craft up too long and literally bounced off the atmosphere back up to 140,000 feet (42.7 km) where the atmosphere is so thin that aerodynamic surfaces have no effect on the attitude of craft. He flew past the landing field at Mach 3 and over 100,000 feet in the air. He ended up 45 miles south of Edwards (folklore at the base has that he flew as far as the Rose Bowl). Descending enough he turned and headed back to the dry lake beds, just managing to land without crashing into Joshua trees at the south end. It was the longest X-15 flight in both time and distance of the ground track"
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Old 28th Oct 2006, 23:37
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Had the pleasure to meet William Anders of the gemini flights. Very nice man. believe it or not we had to check him out on a bell 47! straight up! he was going to buy one. Very quite, great to talk too.
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Old 29th Oct 2006, 00:09
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Thumbs up

I was also privileged to listen to Neil Armstrong's speech on Thursday (at least two other PPRuNe members were also present). I found it quite incredible that the man on the moon we schoolboys dreamed to emulate back in the 1960s was actually there, talking to us about it.

Most amazing thing for me and a measure of his great modesty was that he made it sound as if anyone could have done what he did.

On my return home my daughter, aged 9, asked me who else went along. As soon as I mentioned his name she exclaimed: "Wow! Neil Armstrong - the first man on the moon - cool!" She knew.

So, Captain Neil Armstrong - even the girls of today think you are cool!
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Old 29th Oct 2006, 00:24
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I have a serious respect for all the astronauts involved in the Apollo program, and indeed the whole US and USSR spacerace. The more i learn about the actual missions, the more i realise just how risky the whole business really was. I'm always impressed how down-to-earth these guys actually are.

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Old 29th Oct 2006, 02:28
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talked about his real time simulator for the LLM as being a Bell 47G5?
When at Ellyson Field (Pensacola - US Navy helo training) in 1967 and 68 the astronauts used to come to work out on the TH13M aka Bell 47. The word was that they used to practice hovering autos from some unholy height to simulate the LLM landing. For the life of me I cant recall who the individual astronauts were that we came across as at the time they didnt quite have the cachet of glamor that they later gained. We were more imbued with the tales of daring do of our instructors who had seen Vietnam service. Maybe Eagle86 can recall names.
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Old 29th Oct 2006, 05:30
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Surely the greatest aviation feat ever. I would consider it an honour to be in the same room as the man.

I also have a signed copy (one of only 3) "First on the moon" original transcripts of the Apollo 11 moon landing, signed at a talk he gave to the Royal Geographical Society in 1970.
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Old 29th Oct 2006, 05:38
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A friend of mine tells a great story of being on a ship involved in the tourist sub dives to the titanic and one night in the bar a few guys were trying to out do each other with tales of their exploits..."1972 yeah that was the year i walked to the north pole" "1972 i walked to the north pole and flew to the south pole" etc etc. After a bit of this they turned to a guy at the bar quietly drinking his beer and said "so what did you do in 1972" There was a pause and the man relpied "1972..oh yeah that was the year i went to the moon.." and went back to drinking his beer.
Turned out he was actually one of the apollo astronauts.
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Old 29th Oct 2006, 12:06
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I was extremely lucky to be at the Wright Brothers Centenary at Kitty Hawk in December 2003, where I was in the same room as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, John Glenn and my personal hero, Chuck Yeager. Actually got to speak to Yeager and shook his hand!

Nick, you are so right when you describe Armstrong as humble. He came across as 'just another regular guy', which of course he isn't! He came across as a calm, quiet sort of guy, who didn't enjoy all the publicity.

If anyone is interested, his official biography (the first fully authorised one), was published last year. It is called "First Man" and was written by James R Hansen (Simon & Schuster; ISBN 0-7432-5963-7). It is quite long, but well worth the effort to read.

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Old 29th Oct 2006, 12:40
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bondu,
In the past I have been lucky to meet many of the aviation greats (wouldn't that be a good thread - describe meeting a personal hero!)

I also worked for Frank "Pete" Everest, Chuck Yeager's #2 guy, and the first person to fly Mach 2.3 and then 2.9 Somehow in his career he ended up as Sikorsky's Chief Pilot! He was an interesting guy.
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Old 29th Oct 2006, 13:34
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Originally Posted by Brian Abraham View Post
When at Ellyson Field (Pensacola - US Navy helo training) in 1967 and 68 the astronauts used to come to work out on the TH13M aka Bell 47.
Brian-
I was in HT-8 a good bit after you (I bracketed both ends of my career there), and it's no longer at Ellyson (now an industrial park) but at Whiting Field in Milton. The photos of the astronauts (though a bit faded) were still prominently in place in the squadron building when I left a year ago. According to the squadron history link below, 14 of 15 of the original astronauts trained there.
As far as Vietnam exploits, I wonder if you might have known Clyde Lassen. Would have probably been there around that time, went on to win the Medal of Honor. He later commanded the squadron. More recently, an academic building at Whiting was named for him. Lot of history in P-cola... and we've got great shrimp too!
https://www.cnatra.navy.mil/tw5/ht8/history.asp
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Old 29th Oct 2006, 15:51
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Um... lifting... - Paid a visit back there in December 01 and visited all the bases with mandatory refreshment taken at Traders. Noted the hangars were still at Ellyson and the BOQ I was in - brand spanking new at the time and absolutely luxurious compared to mainside, Saufley (now state prison) and Whiting. Pal I went through course with still in real estate at Pensacola. I was one of about 40 or so Aussies who went through the system, half went to helos and half to Trackers. Still lust for the T-28.
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Old 30th Oct 2006, 01:01
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Just been guided to this thread - yes do remember baby astronauts being trained to hover in THI3M at Ellyson - also Day 1 at Pensacola (I was in the first group) I was handed an application form for the Astronaut program with the comment "Oh you're an Ossie - oh well fill it, in you never know...". Forty years later I'm still waiting - if it's good enough for Glenn it's good enough for me!!
A sad day was 27 Jan '67 when Grissom/White/Chaffee died - I was in the Whiting O Club Bar for the wake that afternoon.
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Old 30th Oct 2006, 04:08
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SpaceRace

There's been a really good doco running here in Oz re the rivarly between the USSRs Korolev & the USAs von Braun. Fascinating stuff for us baby boomers that grew up in that period of history.

That Saturn 5 rocket engine must really have been somethin'! One of these years I'm gonna have to do Oshkosh & see if I can't link it in with a visit to a test firing of a half decent sized rocket motor.
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Old 30th Oct 2006, 04:42
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7.5 million pounds of thrust if I remember!
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Old 30th Oct 2006, 06:53
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Saturn 5 was filled with 12 million gallons of liquid hydrogen, helium and oxygen taking her empty weight up from 189 to 3,000 tons.

Once ignited, the 160 million hp 1st stage section consumed around 15 tons of liquid fuel per second - mind boggling by any standards.

Perched on top, the levels of vibration and thrust experienced by the crew must have been quite something.
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Old 30th Oct 2006, 10:00
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Actually got to speak to Yeager and shook his hand!
Hey, Bondu, I don't think he had much choice in the shaking hands bit, from what I saw.
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