AviatorCast

AviatorCast Episode 25: Independence Day | Louis Zamperini | WWII Aircraft

Who is Louis Zamperini and what does he have to do with WWII aircraft? These two short subjects on this Independence Day!

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Today’s Flight Plan

Happy 4th of July! This will be a short show, but I still wanted to keep our track record of a show every week!

On this episode, I talk about the passing of one of my heroes, Louis Zamperini.

Also, what is your favorite WWII Aircraft? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Useful Links

“Unbroken” Book
Louis Zamperini
WWII Aircraft

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Transcript

[transcript]

Chris: This is AviatorCast Episode 25, from sea to shining sea!
Calling all aviators, pilots and aviation lovers, welcome to AviatorCast, where we close the gap between real aviation and flight simulation. Climb aboard, buckle up and prepare for takeoff. Here’s your host, Chris Palmer!
Chris: Welcome, welcome, welcome aviators. You’ve landed at AviatorCast. My name is Chris Palmer. I’m a pilot by training and an aviation nut by birth. From the World War II fighters and bombers to the modern-day GA aircraft, I just love all things flying. I’m the founder and owner of Angle of Attack, a flight simulation training company which is bringing you this podcast today. AviatorCast is a weekly podcast where we talk about the spirit of the aviator. We believe flying is an art form, one that we have to continually practice and master. This mastery is gained through a focus on continual learning, human factors, humility, and a commitment to excellence.
Each episode of AviatorCast will have real flight training and flight simulation topics or an interview with an inspirational and influential aviator. Our desire and mission is not only to create awesome aviators but also bridge the gap between real aviation and flight simulation. Show notes, transcript, community discussion and links for this episode can be found by simply going to AviatorCast.com.
I want to welcome you to this, the 25th episode of AviatorCast. It is an absolute pleasure to have you here. Today’s going to be a little bit of a shorter show that is because it is a holiday here in the United States. It is July the 4th, which is the day that we celebrate Independence Day. So this holiday goes back hundreds of years to where we gained our independence from the British and now we have obviously a free country, as we call it, and now it’s filled with barbecues and fireworks and lots of family fun. So I want to be able to do that kind of stuff today and get to that rather than be here working, but I want to be here with you and I want to talk about a couple of short little topics that will kind of spark that interest in you, that kind of gets into the theme of Independence Day.
Now before we get started, I want to get to a review from iTunes. This comes from Norseman. He’s from the United States. He says, “Five stars. Awesome podcast! Thanks for taking the time to make these. You and your amazing guests offer a wealth of knowledge that would be very hard for a person to get a hold of on their own. I am not a pilot but I’m starting my PPL this winter and I’m in the process of putting together an FXSN with Aviator Pro and VATSIM or PilotEdge. I recently was taken up in a single engine, 300 horsepower ’84 Bonanza as co-pilot, and like I have heard so many times before from your podcast, that was the most expensive flight of my life.” So thanks for the review, Norseman. Much appreciated. Really, really glad you’re going to be starting your training coming up in the winter. I really hope that the flight simulator helps you get a head start on that process and that you are exactly right, that is the most expensive flight of your life.
So like I said, today’s going to be a bit of a 4th of July Independence Day, maybe even military-type thing. I realize that Independence Day and this holiday is a United States thing and so all of you out there that are beyond the borders of the United States, I want to make this a little bit interesting for you as well.
To start off, I have the initial thing I want to talk about here, which is kind of near and dear to my heart. It comes from this book that I read several years ago and that book is called Unbroken. Now, Unbroken is about a man who as an Olympic track runner and he ended up getting kind of wrapped up in a world where too he was part of that greatest generation, which I believe is a correct title. And this guy, he ended up becoming, I believe, a navigator in a B-24 out of Hawaii. That airplane ended up crashing and he was at sea for 47 days, broke all records being at sea and then he got captured by the Japanese, tortured by the Japanese, and just went through a horrendous, horrendous…just one thing after the other. He was tortured.
And not only that, if you look at his life and what he went through, he went through the initial crash, he went through being lost at sea, he went through being tortured by the Japanese and then he came home and struggled with a lot of things there and ended up eventually, and not much after the war, forgiving those who had tormented him and kind of made something of his life. So this man, his name is Louis Zamperini, and he is one of my heroes. This is one of the absolute best books I’ve ever read. It’s called Unbroken and it’s written by the woman that also wrote Seabiscuit, which is another great kind of time piece book. But this is by far one of the best period pieces I’ve ever read on that era and just an amazing man, someone that you probably have never heard of before and amazing, amazing guy.
So I was headed back from a little vacation we took this week and I heard on the radio that Louis Zamperini had died and I am just really saddened by this because he was such an amazing man and his story and his example really meant a lot to me. They’re actually making a movie out of this book that’s going to be coming out in December, actually on Christmas Day, I believe, and I’m just so looking forward to that movie because this is one of the most inspirational and one of the most influential stories that I’ve ever read. So thankful for Louis Zamperini’s example and I was saddened to hear about his death.
Now, that kind of wraps into aviation, not necessarily because Louis was on a B-24 in World War II, but it does kind of wrap into that. You know, I’ve always been into World War II aviation for some reason, since my initial days of getting flight simulators and enjoying airplanes. When I was a young boy, I would make models of World War II airplanes, I would put firecrackers in them, I’d blow them up, but I got pretty good at making those. I mean, they looked realistic and then I would film them with a video camera and slow down the footage and so it looked like this big explosion.
So I always kind of liked World War II aviation from the model perspective, but then I also, like I said, had simulators. I think the one I had was called the European Air War, and I played that game so many times. And there were other simulators like Combat Flight Simulator, which was World War II based and in a lot of cases, and some other simulators that I always really enjoyed. I always had this big respect for World War II aviation because I feel like the jump in technology between pre-World War II and World War II, which is so huge. The technological gap was just closed so quickly in World War II and those airplanes, even today, are just hot rods, just amazing, amazing airplanes. And although they may not have the modern day systems that we have now, they are still quite impressive.
So what I wanted to do today is I wanted to actually open up to you, get your thoughts and ideas on what you think the best World War II airplane is or what your favorite World War II airplane is. This is something that you can comment on Facebook or Twitter or on the website. Just get on and let us know what your favorite World War II airplane is. And here’s just a couple of examples of airplanes that will just kind of spark your memory. So here’s just a few. P-51, B-71—love both of those. Spitfire, The Hurricane or Hurrican, Lancaster, the ME-109, Zero, P-38, B-24, Corsair, and I know I’ve only kind of scratched the surface of those, but as you can see, even in that crop of airplanes there, there is so many amazing aircraft that you could pick from. And you’re welcome to pick your own, too, but I’d love for you guys to get on, tell me what your favorite airplane is.
And this is kind of…I’ve been thinking a lot about this the last 24 hours because it’s one of these things that I really love and it means freedom to me. I think in recent memory, the biggest battle of good versus evil was World War II and it was just so clear and simple to me and everything was on the line and that is when we had some real, true aviators—not to say that we haven’t since then, but some guys that were just dog fighting in these high powered airplanes with nothing. I mean, they were just all skill, all stick and rudder, and it’s just so incredible how big aviation played into World War II. And so I’ve always respected that about World War II and I always have loved that because obviously I love aviation. So it just kind of make sense.
So I know this episode is short, like I said, but I just wanted to kind of give you guys those two little nuggets. If you want to check out the book Unbroken, I really suggest you do that. It’s not a book about American pride or anything like that. This is about redemption and forgiveness and sticking to it and having that perseverance. And then I’d like you guys to get on Facebook, Twitter and let me know what your favorite airplane is. So I know this episode is short, but I just want to check in with you, guys, and I hope those things are a bit thought provoking.
And as always, if you’d like to leave us a survey, you can do that at Survey.AviatiorCast.com. If you want to leave a comment, you can do that on AviatorCast.com as well or write me directly at me@aviatorcast.com. You can also subscribe to our podcast at AviatorCast.com or on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, or SoundCloud. iTunes is our main source for subscriptions. That’s a really good place and that’s also a place here if you do enjoy this podcast, you can go there and review this podcast and let us know what you think. If you’d like to check out any of our training products at Angle of Attack, you can simply head over to FlyAwayMedia.com. We have training for Aviator90, which is basic training, we have AviatorPro, which is a little bit more advanced. We have training for the 737, 747, 777, MD-11. Again at FlyAwayMedia.com.
Many thanks goes to the Angle of Attack crew for all that they do to make these episodes possible. And thank you so much for joining us on this episode of AviatorCast. We are truly grateful to have you here, part of our community, and so engaged in this wonderful passion for flying things.
Let freedom ring. Happy 4th of July and may freedom always push forward. Until next time, throttle on!

[/transcript]

AUTHOR

Chris Palmer

Chief Flight Instructor and President of Angle of Attack. Founded in 2006.

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