Dan Patterson

Aviation Commentator

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Commentary
10:20 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Remembering Pearl Harbor

The sunken Battleship Arizona
Dan Patterson Collection

History is broken down into the moments we remember about our own lives, like weddings and birthdays and graduations, and then there are days when we pause to remember together, as a nation, an event that affected us all.

Pearl Harbor Day, just passed, when Japanese pilots attacked American navy ships north of Honolulu, is one of those, even though it's now more than 7 decades passed. Commentator Dan Patterson finds himself finds himself turning it over and over in his mind.

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Commentary
6:15 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Looking Back on the Early Days of Aerial War

A French observation plane
Dan Patterson Collection

2014 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the beginning of World War One.  Millions of soldiers and untold numbers of civilians died on European battlefields during that conflict which was called "the war to end all wars," which, of course, it was not.

We tend to remember the trench warfare of World War One, but it was the first conflict in the history of the world that included an air war as well. Dan Patterson has some thoughts.

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Commentary
8:19 am
Fri November 8, 2013

70 Years Ago, A Crucial Time for the U.S. and Aerial Warfare

The shadow of a B-24 Liberator in flight. These bombers were used by the U.S. Army Air Force in WWII
Dan Patterson

Seventy years ago, World War 2 was in full cry. American was in combat across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In Europe, during 1943, the US Army Air Force was engaged against Hitler's Germany. The fall was a crucial time for battle, and October was a cruel month.

Defeating an enemy only with air power was experimental back then.  The American plan was this: equip large bomber with heavy machine guns, fly them in a tight formation with hundreds of identical planes and no long range fighters as escorts.  Could it work?

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Commentary
6:25 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Flight Jackets And The Look Of The Aviator

Wilbur Wright wearing his leather jacket as he prepares to fly in Pau, France.

If you're going to fly an airplane, you've got to have the right look.  An aviator's kit is not complete without the real deal flight jacket - plus the big watch, sunglasses, checklist charts and navigational equipment.  Aviation commentator Dan Patterson explains.

Flying the very early airplanes was a breezy affair.  The Wright brothers' aeroplanes offered no protection from the wind.  Their flying machines were wide open, and they sat on the edge of the lower wing, facing the wind.

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Commentary
6:52 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Spectacle and Heroism - the Colorful History of the Air Show

Archival image of early airshow act, A Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny".
courtesy of Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA, USA

Earlier this summer, a pilot named Charlie Schwenker and a wing-walker named Jane Wicker were killed at the Vectren Air Show in Dayton, a tragedy in the midst of an event laden with history. Air Shows as public events began more than 100 years ago. WYSO's aviation commentator Dan Patterson loves that colorful history full of spectacle and heroism.

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