Saturday, July 11, 2015

Week in review (7/5 to 7/11)

When the Blue Angels perform before the hometown crowd in Pensacola, Fla., you can guarantee there will be a lot of stories on television, in the newspaper and online. But I don't think I've seen any of them mention that there once was a television series about the team.

It was back in 1960 and filmed in black and white, and like most shows during that time was only a half hour. It ran for one season, but I do remember watching it. I couldn't swear to it since my memory is a bit foggy, but I probably had a model of a Blue Angels plane.

You can still see one of the shows on YouTube. This particular episode shows the team, which was flying F9F-2 Panther jets during that era, being assigned to the carrier USS Princeton during the Korean War. The team, in fact, was disbanded and the pilots sent into combat for a time, so this episode is based on something that really happened to the team.

Back to today, the team performed at Pensacola Beach over the weekend, one of two shows during the season that's before the hometown crowd. The second show is at the end of the season and done at Naval Air Station Pensacola. In addition to the show, the team during the week announced the officers selected for the 2016 team, the team's 70th anniversary. (Post)

By the way, the Blue Angels television series wasn't the only show that highlighted Pensacola-based Navy pilots. Beginning in 1997 there was a television series called "Pensacola: Wings of Gold" that ran for three seasons. Despite the name, it was all filmed in California, obvious from the sight of mountains in the background.

But while I'm on the subject of the Navy and Pensacola, Naval Air Station Pensacola was among the winners of the 2015 Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence. The award recognizes outstanding and innovative efforts to operate and maintain U.S. military installations.

Other bases that won were the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.; Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Joint Base Andrews, Md.; and DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pa. (Post)

Airbus completed its first flight of an electric plane across the English Channel on Friday. The plane was a two-seat E-Fan demonstrator, powered by lithium batteries. It took 36 minutes to fly from Lydd in southern England to Calais, France.

Airbus subsidiary VoltAir SAS plans to have two-seat E-Fan 2.0 planes flying in 2017. Construction of a new factory in Pau in southwest France begins in 2016. A four-seat hybrid model with a range extender powered by traditional fuel will follow in 2019. (Post).

Maybe Airbus will decide to make these for the U.S. market in Mobile, Ala., where it has an A320 assembly line. After all, it does have room to expand. Just saying.

Pensacola International Airport and OHM Concessions Group during the week held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the airport's renovated and expanded food and beverage concession areas. The city's contract with OHM is expected to generate more than $1 million over ten years in additional non-airline revenue for airport. (Post)

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