Let­ters

Air & Space Smithsonian - - Letters -

on Ramp 2, where the En­forcer would start and taxi for a test mis­sion. As the en­gine came up to speed on startup, the short­ened and squared-off open-tip design of the mod­i­fied Skyraider prop would set up an ear-split­ting screech. The cav­i­ties at the end of the four blades pro­duced a noise like a ban­shee blow­ing over the top of a thou­sand Coke bot­tles. When­ever the En­forcer cranked up, all of us on the ramp side of the Test Pi­lot School build­ing would leave the of­fice for qui­eter climes.

Still, Robert Bernier has it right: The plane just looks cool, and I don’t know a sin­gle pi­lot who wouldn’t ac­cept the threat to his hear­ing for the chance to fly it.

LT. COL. GARY ALDRICH, USAF (RET.) Di­rec­tor, Flight Test His­tor­i­cal Foun­da­tion

Lan­caster, Cal­i­for­nia

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