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Col. Bud Day, a Truly Heroic Vietnam Pilot, Passes Away

This image, from the Goodfellow AFB website, is from 2007 and shows some of the awards Bud Day received including the Congressional Medal of Honor.

This image, from the Goodfellow AFB website, is from 2007 and shows some of the awards Bud Day received including the Congressional Medal of Honor.

We live in a world of mixed up priorities where people are more concerned about the latest crimes committed by entertainers and athletes than they are about people sacrificing their lives for freedom.  However, there are still people in this world who sacrificed all so that we could all remain free.

We lost one of those hero’s today.

Colonel George “Bud” Day passed away today at the age of 88.  The New York Times has a great piece about some of this amazing hero’s accomplishments.  If you have never heard of Bud Day, than you are clearly not much of an aviation junkie, but that’s okay because you can learn about him now, and learn what it means to be a true hero.

Bud Day was a F-100 fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, and was shot down over North Vietnam.  He was taken prisoner, and escaped, only to be captured again.  For four years he resisted all manner of torture that even the New York Times doesn’t go into great detail about.  Suffice it to say that they used every tactic they had to get him to talk, and he never gave them anything but false information.

He is one of the most decorated Airmen in history having received more than 70 medals and awards to include the Congressional Medal of Honor.  However, his legacy is worth far more than any award could explain.

A fellow airmen of mine commented upon hearing the news that they just don’t make them like this

This is a picture of an F-100, the same type of jet Bud Day was flying when he got shot down.

This is a picture of an F-100, the same type of jet Bud Day was flying when he got shot down.

anymore, and I agree completely.  That being said, I couldn’t help but wonder if great men and women of courage would work their way to the front if we were faced with a similar conflict.  But that discussion is for another day.

Here’s to one of the true heroes of aviation.  You have left a legacy that we can only hope to fill in some small way.  You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.

July 28, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

A Video History of the X-47B UCAS-D Naval Unmanned Aircraft System

One of my biggest obsessions recently has been UAV’s, and the X-47B in particular.  As incredible as I find UAVs it is even more incredible to me that the Navy has pursued an aircraft like this.  Naval aviation just carries so many unique attributes that I never thought they would even be interested in this technology.

After two and a half years of development the Navy recently achieved arguably the biggest milestone in making the UCAS-D a reality.  On July 10 they successfully performed an arrested landing on an aircraft carrier with the X-47B on board the USS George H.W. Bush.  When I saw the video, which can be found below, the only thought I had was, WOW!

Maybe it is just the nature of aviation, but it seems like they continue to make advances where other industries crawl along at a snail’s pace.  This is the type of technology that really sparks innovation in the world.  Like many technologies we may not fully appreciate its impact until far into the future, but there is no doubt it will have a tremendous impact.

The Navy has a great timeline of events on their website describing the development process, and Northrop Grumman, the lead developer, gave a nice description of the first arrested landing in their press release.  More information about previous milestones can be found here, here, and here.

But, if all you want is some high quality video footage, that can be found below.

July 24, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.