Dan Patterson

Aviation Commentator

Pages

Commentary
7:30 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Looking Back On A WWII Veteran's First Flight

Sgt. Jane Delores Peterson, Womans Army Corps, 1945
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.

Read more
Commentary
9:25 am
Fri September 26, 2014

The History of Flying Hats

World War One Ace, Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker peers over his SPAD XIII, steely eyed and with the “Look”.
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.

Read more
Commentary
6:30 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Ushering In Modern Warfare With The Air War

Archival photo of the very slow Caudron observation aircraft that became a bomber.
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.

Read more
Commentary
7:29 am
Thu February 27, 2014

The P-51 Mustang: An Allied Advantage

Prototype Mustang being flight tested at Wright Field.
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.

Read more
Commentary
6:33 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Russian Aviators' Accidental 1937 Landing in Washington State

The Russian Antonov- 25 at Pearson Army Air Field in Vancouver, Washington, 1937
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.

 

Read more

Pages