Friday, July 15, 2011


The Blue Angels are in town this weekend, but you might enjoy this story I wrote back in 1999 about the early history of jet planes in my life.

One of the big events this weekend of August twenty seven through twenty nine, nineteen ninety nine, is a big air show at the airport. Among the features, the “Blue Angels” a U. S. Navy precision flying squadron and their high performance jet fighter planes. From time to time their loud sounds can be heard as they fly over and a few minutes ago I went out on the balcony I was privileged to see the five plane team going by in close formation. In other of these writings I have mentioned not having served in the military during World War II. I was working on a dairy and fruit farm North of Buffalo. Bell Aircraft Corporation had a big plant in Tonawanda where they assembled fighter planes for the military. It was common to see the planes doing their maneuvers in the area near the farm as the test pilots put the planes through their paces. I don’t know the military designations for the planes, but the general public at that time knew one of them as the “Cobra” and then later on, another came into view, the “King Cobra” a bigger and faster version of the Bell planes. There was a hedge row of trees between our farm and the one on our west side. A gap between the trees made a nice spot for the pilots to show off, flying between those trees. I don’t remember just what I was doing at the time, but I was aware of a plane coming, only to see something go streaking by like nothing I had ever seen before. This happened several times. I don’t remember for sure just how long it was before it was announced that Bell had developed the first practical jet engine, and was testing it in one of their new planes. So that was what I had been seeing!
M. O. August 1999