Dan Patterson

Aviation Commentator

Dan Patterson is an aviation historian and photographer. You can see more of his photos at his website, www.flyinghistory.com

In April, there was a ceremony at the Lafayette Escadrille and Flying Corps monument in France to mark the original Escadrille’s centennial
Dan Patterson

WYSO Aviation commentators Dan Patterson and Paul Glenshaw traveled to France in April to witness a significant moment in aviation history. Today they bring us the story of a milestone of American aviation—the loss of the first American pilot in combat.

One hundred years ago, on June 23, 1916, a young flyer named Victor Chapman took off on his last flight.

Muhammed Ali in the locker room beneath Welcome Stadium, June 25, 1971
Dan Patterson

Memorial services will be held Friday in Louisville Kentucky for Muhammad Ali.  Local photographer Dan Patterson has fond memories of Ali. 

In 1971, I spent three days with The Champ.  He was is town twice that year, once be on the Phil Donahue show, still being produced at TV 2, and once to do an exhibition training fight as he prepared for another heavyweight fight with Joe Frazer.  

Inserting the Solar Impulse into the mobile inflatable hangar.
Dan Patterson

Last Saturday night, the future of aviation came to Dayton, where manned flight was created. The Solar Impulse, an electrically powered aircraft, which uses solar cells to generate its power landed at Dayton International Airport on the latest leg of an attempt to circle the earth. Our aviation commentator Dan Patterson was there.

The Solar Impulse approaching Dayton International Airport, looking very much a UFO.Credit Dan PattersonEdit | Remove

Dan Patterson

Last week WYSO's aviation commentators, Paul Glenshaw and Dan Patterson, teamed up to cover the World War II Flyover in Washington DC. A parade of privately owned vintage warbirds celebrated the 70th of VE Day – the victory in Europe. Paul recorded voices and Dan took photographs to bring us this impression of the event.

9th Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts
Dan Patterson

Friday, May 8th is recognized as VE Day, which stands for Victory in Europe. 70 years ago, in the spring of 1945, American armies were streaming across Europe – the war was nearly over.  Part of the Americans' success came because they had learned how to support the troops and tanks on the ground with support with from the air.

Military flying began in 1914, in the early days of WWI as a way to see over the horizon and figure out what the enemy was up to.  Soon military flying became a sophisticated tactical and strategic weapon in itself.

Dan Patterson Archival Collection

November 11 marks Veterans Day, when the country honors all who served. Our aviation commentator Dan Patterson has some thoughts about one of the veterans in his family and her remembrances of flight.

Dan Patterson Archival Collection

The most famous photograph in the world captures the moment manned flight began in 1903. Orville Wright is flying the plane, his brother Wilbur stands expectantly off to the side. It’s a windy day, and the plane is just lifting off the sand at Kitty Hawk. Aviation commentator and photographer Dan Patterson says that one detail from that picture shaped what aviators came to look like.

Dan Patterson Archival Collection

A hundred years ago, the world was racing headlong into war in Europe. Aviation was a new and untried tool for military leaders, and it soon became a powerful weapon.  In July of 1914, it had only been 10 years since the Wright brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk, and and aviation was flourishing around the world.

Dan Patterson Archival Collection

Seventy years ago, the country was deep into World War Two, and the US was on the offensive in the air.  Commentator Dan Patterson says that the big US four engine bombers were being shot down in shocking numbers.

Think about this: on one mission, we lost sixty bombers.  That's six hundred men.  It was just too much.

The US needed a fighter plane with long pegs, one that could go all way deep into Germany and protect the bombers, essentially win the air war and provide the long sought after supremacy of the air.

Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA

Russia has our attention now, with the Sochi Winter Olympics about to open on February 7th. This got our aviation commentator Dan Patterson thinking about the vast country and how it is connected by flight. And Dan brings us back to the early days of aviation when the Russians were building and flying unique aircraft to shorten those distances.