History Podcasts

July 1, 2013 Day 163 of the Fifth Year - History

July 1, 2013 Day 163 of the Fifth Year - History

9:20AM THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST FAMILY depart Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town International Airport
Open Press

EAT

2:40PM THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST FAMILY arrive Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Julius Nyerere International Airport
Open Press

3:30PM THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY participate in an official arrival ceremony
State House, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Expanded Pool Coverage

3:40PM THE PRESIDENT holds a restricted bilateral meeting with President Kikwete
State House, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Closed Press

3:55PM THE PRESIDENT holds an expanded bilateral meeting with President Kikwete
State House, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Travel Pool Spray at the Top

4:45PM THE PRESIDENT and President Kikwete hold a press conference
State House, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Open Press

5:35PM THE PRESIDENT participates in a tree planting ceremony with President Kikwete
State House, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Expanded Pool Coverage

6:05PM THE PRESIDENT takes part in a CEO Roundtable
Hyatt Kilimanjaro, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Expanded Pool Spray at the Top

7:05PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at a Business Forum
Hyatt Kilimanjaro, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Expanded Pool Coverage

8:20PM THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY attend an official dinner with President Kikwete
State House, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania


13 July 1968

13 July 1968: The first production General Dynamics FB-111A supersonic strategic bomber successfully completed a 30-minute maiden flight at Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas. The FB-111A differed from the F-111A fighter bomber with the substitution of a larger wing, originally designed for the F-111B, giving the bomber a 7 foot (2.134 meter) increase in wingspan. The landing gear was strengthened, the bomb bay enlarged, and it had more powerful engines.

Aardvark (Orycteropus afer)

The airplane’s very long nose earned the nickname “Aardvark,” but this did not become official until 1996.

67-0159 was delivered to the U.S. Air Force 4 September 1968 and assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California. (The first six production airplanes were used for flight testing.)

67-0159 was later converted to the F-111G configuration. In 1980 it was sent to the Sacramento Air Logistics Center to test weapons modifications and received a spectacular white and orange paint scheme. It was retired in 1990. 67-0159 is in the collection of the National Museum of the United States Air Force. It is on loan and now on display at the Aerospace Museum of California, Sacramento, California.

General Dynamics FB-111A-CF (F-111G) 67-159

The General Dynamics FB-111A is a two-place, twin-engine, strategic bomber with variable-sweep wings, assigned to the Strategic Air Command. It is 73.54 feet (22.415 meters) long. The wingspan varies from a maximum 70.0 feet (21.336 meters) when fully extended, and a minimum 33.96 feet (10.351 meters) when swept fully aft. Overall height is 17.04 feet (5.194 meters).

The wings of the FB-111A have a total area of 550 square feet (51.10 square meters). When fully extended, the wings’ leading edges are swept aft to 16.0°. The angle of incidence at the root is +1° and -3° at the tip. There is 1.0° dihedral.

The Aardvark’s empty weight is 47,481 pounds (21,537 kilograms). Normal maximum takeoff weight is 116,115 pounds (52,669 kilograms), and the maximum overload takeoff weight is or 119,243 pounds (54,088 kilograms).

The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-107 engines. This is a two-spool axial-flow turbofan engine with afterburner. It has a 3-stage fan section, 13-stage compressor section (6 low- and 7 high-pressure stages) and 4-stage turbine (1 high- and 3 low-pressure stages). The -107 has a maximum continuous power rating of 10,800 pounds of thrust (48.041 kilonewtons) at 14,150 r.p.m., N2 (static thrust, at Sea Level), and a maximum power rating of 20,350 pounds (90.521 kilonewtons) at 14,550 r.p.m., N2 (45 minute limit) The T30-P-107 is 3 feet, 2.12 inches (0.968 meters) in diameter, 20 feet, 1.4 inches (6.132 meters) long, and weighs 4,121 pounds (1,869 kilograms).

The FB-111A has an average cruise speed of 415–442 knots (478–509 miles per hour/769-819 kilometers per hour), depending on the mission profile. It’s maximum speed at 50,000 feet (15,240 meters) is 1,262 knots (1,452 miles per hour/2,337 kilometers per hour)—Mach 2.20. The bomber’s service ceiling varies from 50,390 feet to 56,380 feet (15,359–17,185 meters), again, depending on the mission profile. The maximum combat range is 4,920 nautical miles (5,662 statute miles/9,112 kilometers). The airplane can carry as many as six 600 gallon (2,271 liter) external tanks on underwing pylons. This gives the Aardvark a maximum ferry range of 4,313 nautical miles (4,963 statute miles/7,988 kilometers).

General Dynamics FB-111A 67-163, the fifth production airplane, loaded with four AGM-69 SRAM missiles. The dots on the missiles and airplane are for precise tracking from ground stations. (U.S. Air Force)

The FB-111A could carry weapons in an internal bomb bay or on underwing hardpoints. It could be armed with up to 37,500 pounds (17,010 kilograms) of conventional bombs or six AGM-69A Short Range Attack Missiles (SRAM). The Aardvark could carry maximum of six nuclear weapons (B-43, B-57 or B-61).

General Dynamics YFB-111A 63-9783, the prototype strategic bomber variant. (U.S. Air Force)

In addition to a prototype (63-9783, which was converted from the last production F-111A) General Dynamics built 76 FB-111A strategic bombers. With the introduction of the Rockwell B-1B Lancer, the FB-111As remaining in service were converted to F-111G tactical fighter bombers. They were retired by 2003.

The Royal Australian Air Force bought 15 of the F-111Gs. By 2007, these had also been taken out of service.

Two General Dynamics FB-111As in formation, 1 December 1983. (MSGT Buster Kellum, U.S. Air Force)


July 1, 2013 Day 163 of the Fifth Year - History

An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

DIR Atlas

Avitus (9/10 July 455 - 17/18 October 456)

Ralph W. Mathisen University of South Carolina

SOURCES

No connected account of the reign of Avitus survives. One might have expected some detail from his son-in-law, Sidonius Apollinaris, but Sidonius' panegyric only takes Avitus' history up to his acclamation, and Sidonius otherwise says virtually nothing about Avitus' activities as emperor. Given the circumstances of Avitus' fall, and Sidonius' need to make his peace with those who had been responsible for it, this silence is perhaps no surprise. Other sources, such as the Spanish chronicler Hydatius and the Byzantine chronicler John of Antioch, provide some precious insights into Avitus' reign, and these must be fleshed out wherever possible by bits and snippets found in other sources.

FAMILY BACKGROUND AND EARLY CAREER

Eparchius Avitus, who was born of a senatorial family circa 395, was a native of the Auvergne in Gaul. His father may have been the Agricola who was consul in 421. Avitus was well educated, being eloquent and perhaps having had some legal training. He had at least three children, Agricola Ecdicius, who later became Patrician and Master of Soldiers under Julius Nepos in 475 and Papianilla, who married Sidonius, himself a blue-blooded aristocrat of Lyons, the son and grandson of praetorian prefects of Gaul.

Avitus had a distinguished civil and military career. Around his early twenties, ca.415/420, he undertook a civic mission to the Master of Soldiers, and later emperor, Constantius, and early in his life he formed close contacts with the Visigothic court at Toulouse. He then served under Flavius Aëtius in several military posts, and by 437 may have risen to the office of Master of Soldiers in Gaul. Subsequently, he rose to become Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, perhaps ca. 439-440, in which capacity he was able to renegotiate the treaty with the Visigoths. He therefore provides an unusual example of a person obtaining both civil and military offices of very high rank. Avitus then seems to have indulged in the life of leisure to which every senator purported to aspire. Then, in 451, as a civilian, Avitus was influential in gaining the aid of the Visigoths against Attila and the Huns, who were subsequently defeated at the Battle of the Mauriac Plain. But he then returned to his estate, called Avitacum, at Clermont.

In 455, Avitus was appointed magister militum praesentalis ("Master of Soldiers in the Presence") by the short-lived emperor Petronius Maximus and was sent as an ambassador to the Visigoths, presumably to reconfirm them in their federate status. Assisted by a certain Messianus, he was successful. Sidonius recalled,

"The chiefs of the Visigoths were letting loose the war they had planned, when suddenly their fury was checked by tidings that Avitus, armed with an imperial writ, was already entering the home of the Goths, and, having laid aside for a little the pomp of the Master's office, had taken upon himself the authority of an ambassador. The king and the Master took the stand together, the master with confident look, while the other . sued for clemency. " ( Carm .7.399-434: trans. Anderson, 1.153-155).

ACCESSION

After the news arrived of Maximus' death on 22 May and of the ensuing Vandal sack of Rome, Theoderic urged Avitus to assume the purple himself, asserting,

"We do not force this on you, but we say to you: With you as leader, I am a friend of Rome with you as Emperor, I am her soldier. You are not stealing the sovereignty from anyone no emperor holds the Latian hills, a palace without a master is yours. I would that your imperial diadem might bring me the means to do your service. My part is but to urge you, but if Gaul should compel you, as she has the right to do, the world would cherish your rule. "(Sid.Apoll. Carm . 7.510-518: Anderson trans., 1.163).

One might suspect, of course, that Theoderic's goals were not merely altruistic, and that he might have seen some benefits for himself and his people if Avitus were to become emperor.

Theoderic then seems to have accompanied Avitus to Arles, for Marius of Avenches reported, "Avitus was raised emperor in Gaul, and Theodoric, king of the Goths, entered Arles in peace with his brothers" (" levatus est Avitus imperator in gallias. Et ingressus est Theodoricus rex Gothorum Arelatum cum fratribus suis in pace ": nos.1-2). This ceremonial arrival of the Gothic royalty would have been a far cry from past occasions when the Goths had attempted to seize Arles by force of arms.

The requisite Gallic support was soon forthcoming. At a meeting of the "Council of the Seven Provinces" at Beaucaire, just outside Arles, the decision is made to name Avitus emperor, and three days later, on 9 or 10 July, the ceremony was carried out. Sidonius continued,

"Then a great clamor filled the hall of Beaucaire. Place, hour, and day are declared auspicious for the assumption of empire. The lords of the land assemble in haste and with the soldiers all around set him on a mound. There they crown their sorrowing chief with a torque and present him with the insignia of sovereignty. "( Carm .7.571-579: Anderson trans., 1.167).

Other sources are more concise. Hydatius tersely reported, "In this year, Avitus, a citizen of Gaul, was named emperor by the Gallic army and by the notables, first at Toulouse, then at Arles" (" ipso anno, in Galliis Avitus, Gallus civis, ab exercitu Gallicano et ab honoratis, primum Tolosae, dehinc apud Arelatum Augustus appelatus est ": Chron .163). The Auctuarium Prosperi hauniensis stated, "After the murder of Maximus came Avitus, and, situated in Gaul at Arles, he assumed imperial authority on 9 July" (" post Maximi caedem Avitus ac situs in Galliis apud Arelas imperium sumpsit VII id. Iulias ": no.5) the Fasti vindobonenses priores give a slightly different date, "and Avitus was acclaimed emperor in Gaul on 10 July" (" et levatus est imp. in Gallis Avitus VI idus Iulias ": no.575). Cassiodorus noted simply, "After Maximus Avitus assumed imperial authority in Gaul" (" Post Maximus Avitus in Gallia sumit imperium ": no.1264).

It also would seem that Avitus was recognized by the Senate in Rome well before his actual arrival there. Victor of Tonnena, for example, recorded, "On the seventy-fifth day after the [Vandal] capture [of Rome], Avitus, a man of complete simplicity, assumed the imperial power in Gaul" (" huius quoque captivitatis LXXV die Avitus vir totius simplicitatis in Galliis imperium sumit ": s.a.455). Victor's date, which works out to 5 August, does not correlate with any of the other dates for Avitus' acclamation perhaps it is the date his rule was acknowledged by the Senate in Rome it is far too late, however, to be the date that news of his accession arrived in Rome. And Hydatius noted, "He was summoned and accepted as emperor by the Romans" (" a Romanis et evocatus et susceptus fuerat imperator ": Chron .166 cf. 163, " Romam pergit et suscipitur "), which likewise could indicate that Avitus was recognized in Rome before his actual arrival in Italy. Such a conclusion also could be inferred from the Italian failure to name a different successor.

Avitus spent over three months in Gaul consolidating his resources in preparation for establishing his court in Rome. His authority was based largely on the support of the Goths Sidonius recalled, "You knew that it was not possible to hide from the Gauls that with you as emperor, the Goths would be at their service" ( Carm . 7.520-521). He seems to have raised other contingents of barbarian troops as well, all in preparation for his advance into Italy.

The Auctuarium Prosperi then continues, "And he entered Italy with his comrades in this appropriated honor on 21 September" (" Italiamque cum praesumpti honoris collegiis ingressus XI k. Oct. ": no.7). An anti-Avitus bias can already be seen in the choice of words of this Italian source. It probably was on this journey that Avitus undertook some kind of initiative in the Danubian area. Sidonius recalled, "And his march alone recovered the Pannonias, lost for so many generations" ( Carm . 7.589-690). Now, at this time the Danubian provinces were still in an uproar following the disintegration of the Hun Empire after the Battle of the Nedao River in 454. Avitus could have accomplished little of consequence here, especially as most of this territory was under the jurisdiction of the eastern emperor anyway. But it may be that Avitus took the opportunity during his journey at least to restore imperial authority in upper Danubian provinces such as Noricum, an area where Avitus had campaigned in his youth (Sid.Apoll. Carm . 7.233). Before his arrival at Rome, Avitus also seems to have stationed Remistus, a Visigoth whom he had made Patrician and Master of Soldiers, at Ravenna with a force of Goths. After the murder of Aëtius in 454, this office seems to have left vacant by both Valentinian III and Petronius Maximus out of a fear that a successor would inherit Aëtius' influence over the state. In this, it would turn out, they were only too correct.

REIGN

If Avitus were going to be able to consolidate his authority, he would have to conciliate several possible sources of opposition, including: 1) the Vandals, fresh from their sack of Rome 2) Marcian (450-457), the legitimate emperor in Constantinople 3) Majorian and Ricimer, the commanders of the Italian army and 4) the Italian senators, who would have looked askance at any "foreign" emperor, and who were accustomed to controlling the high offices of state in their own interest.

One of Avitus' first actions was to seek recognition from Marcian. Hydatius, for example, reported, "Avitus sent ambassadors to Marcian regarding a sharing of the rule" (" Per Avitum . legati ad Marcianum pro unanimitate mittuntur imperii ": Chron .166). It is unclear whether or not Marcian ever did accept Avitus. Hyatius does in fact claim, "Marcian and Avitus make use of the principate of the Roman Empire in concord" (" Marcianus et Avitus concordes principatu Romani utuntur imperii ": Chron . 169). But other considerations suggest that this "concord" might have fallen short of actual recognition. The clearest evidence against recognition is that in 456 the east and west each had their own consuls, Fl. Varanes and Fl. Iohannes in the east, and Avitus himself in the west, and neither recognized the other's.

As for the Vandals, Marcian had already taken it upon himself to try to deal with them. The contemporary Byzantine historian Priscus recounted,

"After Gaiseric sacked Rome and while Avitus was ruling, Marcian, the emperor of the eastern Romans, sent ambassadors to Gaiseric, the ruler of the Vandals, requesting that he keep away from the land of Italy. And, having accomplished nothing, the ambassadors returned to the east, for Gaiseric heeded none of the commands from Marcian. " ( fr .24).

Avitus, too, attempted to deal with the Vandals by diplomatic means. Also according to Priscus, he dispatched an embassy to Gaiseric demanding that he abide by the treaty made in 442:

"And Avitus, the emperor of the western Romans, also sent an embassy himself to Gaiseric, reminding him of the old treaty, and saying that if he did not choose to abide by it, he too would make preparations, trusting to the domestic forces and the support of his allies" ( fr .24).

The "domestic forces" presumably consisted of the Italian army of Majorian and Ricimer, whereas the "allies" would have been assorted barbarian federates that Avitus brought from Gaul. By this time, moreover, any Vandal raiding would have been terminated by the end of the sailing season in November.

Avitus also was engaged in activities in Spain. Hydatius notes, under the year 455, "Count Fronto was sent by the emperor Avitus as ambassador to the Suevi." But the primary imperial initiatives in Spain were in the hands of Avitus' ally, the Visigothic king Theoderic II. Hydatius continued,

"Likewise, ambassadors also were sent to the same people by Theoderic, king of the Goths, because he was loyal to the Roman Empire, in order that they might preserve the things promised in their sworn treaty with him just as with the Roman Empire, because they were joined in a single treaty of peace. (" similiter et a rege Gothorum Theodorico, quia fidus Romano esset imperio, legati ad eosdem mittuntur, ut tam secum quam cum Romano imperio, quia uno essent pacis foedere copulati, iurati foederis promissa servarent. ": Chron . 170).

In this instance, Theoderic played upon his professed loyalty to Avitus and the imperial government and claimed to be acting in the name of the Roman state. When the Suevi replied by invading the Roman province of Tarraconensis, the Visigoths fulfilled their role as loyal federates: "Theodoric, king of the Goths, entered Spain with a huge army of his own, at the desire and command of emperor Avitus" (" Hispanias rex Gothorum Theodoricus, cum ingenti exercitu suo et cum voluntate et ordinatione Aviti imperatoris ": Hydatius, Chron . 173). In 456, the Suevi were devastatingly defeated at the Battle of the Urbicus River, and -- claims to be acting in the name of the Roman government aside -- the Visigothic conquest of Spain had begun.

Meanwhile, for Avitus in Rome the year 456 had begun auspiciously. On 1 January, Avitus entered the consulate like any emperor beginning his first full year of rule. Sidonius, only about twenty-three years old, delivered the panegyric ( Carm .7) and as a consequence had a statue erected in own his honor in the Forum of Trajan. Sidonius' poem, however, or at least its published version, only covered Avitus' career up to his accession. Addressing Rome, it concluded:

"He will restore Libya to you a fourth time in chains. it is easy to feel sure even now of what he can do by waging war, how he shall, time and again, bring nations under your yoke. that man who, as a subject shrank from the glorious omens of sovereignty. But now be of good cheer with such a man for emperor. Lo, this prince of riper years shall bring back youth to you whom child-princes have made old" ( Carm .7.587-598: trans. Anderson, p.169).

Even if Sidonius' rosy sentiments lifted Roman morale, they did nothing to deal with the very real problems that Avitus faced.

Meanwhile, early in the year, it seems, Marcian sent another embassy to Africa:

"And Marcian sent to Gaiseric further letters and the ambassador Bleda, who was a bishop of the heresy of Gaiseric. When he arrived in his presence and realized that Gaiseric was not going to give heed to his embassy, he broke forth into headstrong words, saying that it would not profit him if, carried away by his present prosperity, he should be prepared to rouse the emperor of the eastern Romans to war against him. But neither the reasonableness of the words spoken before in the embassy nor the fear of threats induced Gaiseric to think moderately, for he dismissed Bleda without success, and dispatching a force again to Sicily and to the neighboring part of Italy, he ravaged it all "( fr .24).

These renewed raids probably occurred in March, with the reopening of the sailing season. They provided Avitus with a means for keeping at least one of his Italian generals busy. Hydatius reported,

"At this time it was announced to king Theoderic [of the Visigoths] that through Avitus a great multitude of Vandals, which had set out from Carthage for Gaul and Italy with sixty ships, was destroyed after being trapped by Count Ricimer. In Corsica there was a slaughter of a multitude of Vandals" ( Chron . 176-177).

Eventually, however, Avitus' Italian welcome wore thin. John of Antioch tells of his growing difficulties:

"When Avitus was emperor of Rome there was famine at the same time. The mob put the blame on Avitus and compelled him to dismiss from the city of the Romans his allies who had entered with him from Gaul. He also sent away the Goths whom he had brought for his own guard, after distributing money to them derived from public works whose bronze fittings he sold to merchants, for there was no gold in the royal treasuries. This removal of adornments from their city roused the Romans to revolt" ( fr .202: Gordon trans., p.116).

This report not only indicates, again, that the aforementioned "allies" were barbarian forces that Avitus had brought from Gaul, but also makes clear that Avitus' barbarian soldiery included others than just Visigoths.

DEPOSITION

Eventually, this local unrest escalated into a military revolt, led by Majorian and Ricimer. It may be that the Italian high command, heartened by its recent victory over the Vandals and having thrown off the malaise of 455, was ready to reassert its own authority. Early in the fall of 456 Avitus was forced to depart Rome and attempt to return to Gaul. According to John of Antioch ( fr .202):

"Majorian and Ricimer openly rebelled against Avitus, for they no longer feared the Goths, and Avitus, fearing internal disturbances and the hostilities of the Vandals, left Rome on the road to Gaul. Attacking him on the road, Majorian and Ricimer compelled [Avitus] to flee to a holy precinct, renounce his office, and remove his royal raiment. Majorian and his company did not withdraw until Avitus died of starvation. He had held the imperial office for eight months. Some say he was strangled. This was the end of Avitus' life and reign" ( fr .202: Gordon trans., p.116).

John's account, however, has some problems. The length he gives for Avitus' reign is far too short, and he also expresses some uncertainty about the manner of Avitus' death, providing two different versions. He also leaves out some crucial information. Other sources help to clear up some of these inconsistencies.

For one thing, it would appear that an initial encounter between the rebels and Avitus' forces took place at Ravenna. The Fasti vindobonenses priores note, "The Patrician Remistus was killed at the Palace in Classis [at Ravenna] on 17 September" (" occisus est Remistus patricius in Palatio Classis XV kl. Octob. ": no.579 cf. Auctuar. Prosp. haun . no.1, "Remistus patricius in Classe peremptus interiit XV k. Oct."). Remistus, who clearly had been a partisan of Avitus, then was replaced as Patrician and Master of Soldiers by Messianus, who had assisted Avitus in the conciliation of the Visigoths the previous year.

Avitus, meanwhile, had attempted to return to Gaul, doubtless with the intention of reassembling the troops that he had dismissed earlier. Hydatius recalled that in 456 the tribune Hesychius arrived in Gallicia in Spain, and announced that "as was noted above, a multitude of Vandals had been slain in Corsica, and that Avitus had gone from Rome to Arles in Gaul" (" id quod supra, in Corsica, caesam multitudinem Vandalorum, et Avitum de Italia ad Gallias Arelate successisse ": Chron .177). If taken literally, this would mean that Avitus actually returned to Gaul after his retreat from Rome. This is, of course, possible, but it may be that Hesychius left for Spain only knowing that Avitus had departed Rome intending to return to Gaul, without actually knowing whether or not he had actually arrived there.

What is clear is that a month after the skirmish at Ravenna -- a period that would in fact have been long enough for Avitus to travel to Arles and then return to Italy with whatever forces he could muster -- a decisive battle was fought between Avitus and his adversaries at Piacenza. The Auctuarium Prosperi reports,

"The emperor Avitus entered Piacenza with the force of his allies, which the Master of Soldiers Ricimer encountered with the great strength of his own army. After battle had been joined, Avitus fled after a great slaughter of his own men. His life was spared and the bishop Eusebius [om Milan] changed him from an emperor into a bishop. Messianus, the Patrician of Avitus, was killed in this battle on 18 October (" Imperator Avitus Placentiam cum sociorum robore ingressus, quem cum magna vi exercitus magister militum Recimer excepit. commisso proelio Avitus cum magna suorum caede terga vertit, quem vitae reservatum Eusebius episcopus ex imperatore episcopum facit. interfectus in eo proelio Missianus patricius Aviti XV k. Novemb. " ( s.a .456).

The reference to the presence of Avitus' "allies", whom he clearly had earlier dismissed, again suggests that if Avitus did not, as Hydatius reported, actually return to Gaul, he at least was able to receive reinforcements prior to the final encounter.

As for other sources, the Fasti vindobonenses priores provide a slightly different date: "And on 17 October the emperor was taken captive at Piacenza by the Master of Soldiers Ricimer and his patrician Messianus was killed" (" et captivus est imp. Placentia a magis. mil. Ricimere et occisus est Messiam patricius eius XVI kl. Nov. ": no.580) Cassiodorus simply noted, "Avitus relinquished his power at Piacenza" (" Placentiae deposuit Avitus imperium ": Chron . 1266). And Victor of Tonnena clarified that Avitus was actually made bishop of, and not merely at, Piacenza: "The Patrician Ricimer overcame Avitus sparing his innocence, he made him bishop of the city of Piacenza" (" Ricimirus patricius Avitum superat, cuius innocentiae parcens Placentiae civitatis episcopum facit ": s.a .455).

Avitus, therefore, was stripped of his imperial dignity and forcibly consecrated bishop of Piacenza, the first time that this novel method was used to dispose of a deposed emperor. He had ruled for just over one year and three months ( Chron.Gall. 511 no.625, " Avitus cum eo anno uno et m. III " Continuatio ad Prosperum , "Inpartius Avitus ann. I mens.III").

AFTERMATH AND DEATH

Thus ended Avitus' reign, but not his life. As for what happened to Avitus later, Gregory of Tours records,

"Avitus, one of the senators and, as is clearly manifest, a citizen of the Auvergne, after he had become Roman emperor was expelled by the senators and ordained bishop of the city of Piacenza when he desired to act excessively. When he learned, however, that the Senate, still indignant, wished to take his life, he set out for the basilica of St. Julian, the Arvernian martyr, with many offerings. But the course of his life was completed during the journey, and, having been brought to the village of Brioude, he was buried at the feet of the aforementioned martyr. Majorian succeeded him, and in Gaul Aegidius, a Roman, was made Master of Soldiers "(" Avitus enim unus ex senatoribus et, valde manifestum est, cives Arvernus, cum Romanum ambisset imperium, luxoriose agere volens, a senatoribus proiectus, apud Placentiam urbem episcopus ordinatur. conperto autem, quod adhuc indignans senatus vita eum privare vellit, basilica sancti Iuliani Arverni martyris cum multis muneribus expetivit. sed impleto in itinere vitae cursu, obiit, delatusque ad Brivatensem vicum, ad pedes antedicti martyris est sepultus, cui Maiorianus successit. In Galliis autem Aegidius ex Romanis magister militum datus est ": Historia Francorum 2.11).

Other sources, too, indicate that Avitus lived at least into 457. The Gallic Chronicle of 511 , for example, notes under the year 457, "Marcian died, and Avitus was killed by Majorian, Count of the Domestics, at Placentia" (" Marcianus obiit, et Avitus occisus est a Maioriano comite domesticorum Placentiae ": no.627-628). And Hydatius, who could serve as a virtual biographer of Avitus, is particularly emphatic, stating, under the year 457, which he also identified as Avitus' third regnal year, "Avitus, in the third year after he had been made emperor by the Gauls and by the Goths, loses the empire, destitute of the aid promised by the Goths, and also loses his life" (" Avitus, tertio anno posteaquam a Gallis et a Gothis factus fuerat imperator, caret imperio Gothorum promisso destitutus auxilio, caret et vita ": Chron . 183).

Meanwhile, back in Gaul, there occurred sometime between the deposition of Avitus in October 456 and the end of 457 another Gallic attempt to seize the throne. Sidonius makes a cryptic reference to a "Marcellan conspiracy for seizing the diadem" (" de capessendo diademate coniuratio Marcellana ": Epist . 1.11.6 the manuscript reading "Marcellana" is correct, not "Marcelliniana" or "Marcellini", to which it generally has been emended). The conspiracy somehow involved a person named Marcellus, of whom there are several attested in Gaul at this time, and it just may have involved an effort to put Avitus back on the throne -- the only other possibility, it would seem, being that an attempt was made to make some other, unknown, person emperor.

Avitus, therefore, not only lived on into 457, but, in some quarters, continued to be recognized as emperor. He also attempted to return to Gaul, although whether he actually made it there is unclear, for he soon died. And here one notes the differing roles assigned in the sources to Ricimer and Majorian in Avitus' downfall. Ricimer alone is given credit for Avitus' defeat at the the Battle of Piacenza ( Auctuarium Prosperi , Fasti vindobonenses ). Majorian, on the other hand, is the only individual who is blamed for Avitus' death, at some later time: the Gallic Chronicle of 511 places the event at Placentia after the death of Marcian in late January, 457 and John of Antioch claims that Majorian either starved or strangled Avitus after the latter's deposition. In light of Gregory's claim that Avitus died on the road home, one might speculate that just before or after reaching Gaul he may have been chased down by Majorian, who would have been intent on thwarting any Avitan revival. And Avitus' resultant death, coupled with Majorian nearby, may be what brought to an end the "Marcellan conspiracy."

EPILOGUE

Avitus' brief reign was the last significant attempt in the western empire to reverse the trend toward the Italianization of the empire. As a Gaul, he was never popular with Italy, and he was soon faced with opposition not only from the urban mob of Rome, but also, and presumably more seriously, from the Italian senators as well. Behind Gregory of Tours' claim that he was opposed by the senators for acting "excessively" (" luxoriose ": Victorian commentators gave this word libidinous connotations, but that is not its primary meaning). Of course, for Italian senators Avitus' mere accession would have been excessive enough. But what is known of his pattern of appointments to imperial office would also have confirmed them in this impression.

For Avitus is known only to have appointed Gauls to office. Various hints provided by Sidonius and others suggest that, under Avitus, officials of the central administration may have included the Gauls Magnus of Narbonne as Master of Offices, Rusticius Helpidius Domnolus as Quaestor of the Sacred Palace, and Consentius of Narbonne as Caretaker of the Palace ( cura palatii ) and ambassador to Constantinople. The prestigious title of Patrician and Master of Soldiers, moreover, was given to two Gauls, Messianus and the Goth Remistus. Remistus also would have been the first barbarian named to this position. Avitus seems to have been particularly zealous about appointing Gauls to various entry-level and lower-level imperial positions. Individuals such as Catullinus, Eutropius, Hesychius, Avitus of Cottion, Petrus, and Sidonius himself were given the junior position of "Tribune and Notary" and Agrippinus and Fronto were made military counts. In default of greater information, such a pattern can only be suggestive, but given the equal lack of evidence for any Italian appointments, one might suppose that Avitus' preference for Gauls in office was one of the reasons for opposition against him by the Italian senators.

Avitus' rule also provided the best opportunity for creating a coalition between Romans and barbarians. But in this case, his alliance with the Visigoths fell victim to Theoderic's own successes in Spain, and the resultant Visigothic failure to send assistance when he needed it the most. Avitus' failure indicates the degree to which the trend toward the disintegration of the western empire had become irreversible. Thomas Hodgkin pronounced an eloquent epitaph on Avitus' reign: "He was the keystone of a great and important political combination, a combination which, had it endured, would certainly have changed the face of Europe, and might have anticipated the Empire of Charles the Great in favour of a nobler nation than the Franks, and without the interposition of three centuries of barbarism" (p.395).


July 1, 2013 Day 163 of the Fifth Year - History

The Messerschmitt Me-163 Komet rocket interceptor outperformed every WWII combat plane. if its pilots lived to fight

by DON HOLLWAY
Appearing in the November 2017 issue of AVIATION HISTORY magazine

Col. Avelin P. Tacon Jr., 359th Fighter Group

I n late July 1944, Mustang pilots claiming air superiority over Germany got a nasty shock. Col. Avelin P. Tacon Jr. of the 359th Fighter Group reported, “My eight ship section was furnishing close support to a Combat Wing of B-17s that had just bombed Merseburg. The bombers were heading south at 24,000 feet and we were flying parallel to them about 1,000 yards to the east at 25,000 feet. Someone called in contrails high at six o’clock.”

Already more than a mile above Tacon’s Mustangs, two stubby, tailless, swept-wing single-seaters dived to the attack. “When they were still about 3,000 yards from the bombers they saw us and made a slight turn to the left into us, and away from the bombers,” Avelin recalled. “Their bank was about 80 degrees in this turn, but they only changed course about 20 degrees. Their rate of roll appeared to be excellent, but radius of turn very large. I estimate, conservatively, they were doing between 500 and 600mph.”

The intruders slashed past the American formation. One dived away and the other climbed into the sun, as another 359th pilot put it, “like a bat out of hell.” That quickly, they were gone. “Although I had seen them start their dive and watched them throughout their attack,” Tacon admitted, “I had no time to get my sights anywhere near them.”

Messerschmitt Me 163B 1a Komet by Shigeo Koike

1944 was the year of the Wunderwaffen, German wonder weapons. King Tiger tanks. Jet fighters. Helicopters. Guided missiles. Cruise missiles. Prototype ICBMs. Railway guns. Long range superguns. Spurred by the specter of imminent defeat, projects that had been years in development were suddenly given highest priority, accelerated into production, and put into service. Having evolved since the 1920s, the rocket fighter would prove one of the more successful ventures. Whether it proved combat-worthy would be another matter.

Read the incredible story of the rocket fighter in AVIATION HISTORY magazine

First rocket-powered flight: 11th June 1928

Fritz Stamer in the Lippisch Ente (Duck). It was powered 8.8 pound sticks of black powder, ignited sequentially from the cockpit, each delivering 30 seconds of thrust. The first attempt failed when one of the rockets burned out. On his second attempt, shown here (launched with a bungee cord), Stamer flew about .9 mile around the Wasserkuppe, the highest peak in the Rhön Mountains. The flight lasted only about 80 seconds. On a third attempt, one rocket exploded and the Duck caught fire 65 feet in the air. Stamer put it down and jumped out unharmed, but the Ente burned to the ground.

It was the Allies themselves who forced the Germans into thinking outside the box. The Versailles Treaty ending WWI, which forbade Germany powered single-seat aircraft (i.e., fighter planes), forced its scientists, engineers and pilots into gliders and rocketry. The Wasserkuppe, the highest peak in the Rhön Mountains, served as proving ground for self-taught aerodynamicist Alexander Lippisch’s innovative flying-wing gliders. Carmaker Fritz von Opel, who liked rocket-powered cars for publicity stunts, bought Lippisch’s “Ente” (Duck) sailplane and equipped it with black powder rockets.

Fritz Stamer with Alexander Lippisch

On June 11, 1928, just 25 years after the Wright brothers proved powered manned flight was even possible—and 11 years before jet propulsion became a reality—flight instructor Fritz Stamer flew the rocket plane nearly a mile around the Wasserkuppe. On his next attempt, however, one of the fuel sticks exploded. “The four kilograms of black powder flew out and immediately caught the plane on fire,” Stamer remembered. He put down and got out alive, but the Duck was a total loss.

When the German military reasserted itself, it looked into liquid-fuel rockets that could be shut off and re-lit. Wernher von Braun favored burning methyl alcohol with liquid oxygen, then in short supply. Engineer Hellmuth Walter preferred less volatile, more plentiful hydrogen peroxide—not the dilute H₂O₂ available at the corner drugstore, which fizzes when sterilizing a scratch, but 80%-pure “T-Stoff.” Reacting with “Z-Stoff,” a catalyst of calcium or potassium permanganates mixed in water, it decomposed near-explosively into high-pressure steam at 800° C. It also spontaneously ignited any organic material it touched, and dissolved human flesh. “If you stick your finger in it,” Lippisch warned, “then you get only the bone out.”

Von Braun’s idea for a vertical-takeoff fighter was rejected. Ernst Heinkel’s tiny He-176 prototype used Walter’s rocket, but could provide only 40 seconds of thrust Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring dismissed it as a “nice little toy.” Prior to war, no pressing need was foreseen for a rocket fighter. Development slowed. Come the summer of 1941 it was a different story. “Papa” Lippisch, by then working at Messerschmitt, installed a Walter rocket in his “Project X” : a tailless delta airplane, the Me-163A.

DFS 194 V1, the prototype for the Me-163. Flown at Peenemünde-West, winter 1939-40.

Me-163A V3. On October 3, 1941, test pilot Heinrich “Heini” Dittmar flew this prototype to a new speed record of over 1000km/h

Glider expert, test pilot Heinrich “Heini” Dittmar

Even though it burned most of its fuel just taking off, the 163A—“Anton”—climbed at 4,000 meters per minute and easily broke all existing speed records. On October 2nd, 1941, Lippisch’s favorite glider pilot, Heinrich “Heini” Dittmar, had an Me-110 tow him up over 13,000 feet with a full fuel load, cast off, and hit 1,003.67kph (629mph, about Mach .84) in level flight. “And then, things started to happen,” Dittmar recalled. “. The airplane was being pushed down by an incredible force. It took everything I had just to keep my hand on the stick. Some junk floated up from the floor of the cockpit, passed my face and stuck to the canopy. The engine quit!”

Compression shockwaves had caused airflow over the wing to actually exceed the speed of sound, producing negative lift, which killed fuel flow. Despite -11g, Dittmar managed to pull out and re-light the burner. His speed record, initially top secret, would stand almost six years.

With a wingspan slightly less than the Me-109 (30.5 feet), the 163 had 18% more wing area even unpowered, it boasted a glide angle of 1:20. (Modern hang gliders only achieve 1:15, though wide-winged sailplanes can do up to 1:60.) The 163’s aerodynamics were almost too good. At anything over 400kph airflow held the clamshell canopy shut, making bailouts problematic. Veteran Wasserkuppe pilot Lt. Rudolf “Pitz” Opitz, who had flown DFS-230 gliders in the invasion of Belgium and now backed Dittmar as second test pilot, remembered, “The canopy would float one inch over the frame. It wouldn't blow off. We took a broomstick along to try to push up the nose section of the canopy to get it out in the slipstream and make it break off.”

In the spring of 1942 Eprobungskommando (Operational Trials Command) 16 was formed to train rocket-fighter pilots. Prewar gliding champion Captain Wolfgang Späte, now a top ace with Jagdgeschwader 54 on the Russian front with 80 victories and Oak Leaves to his Knight’s Cross, was given command. “Air defense of the homeland is going to be important,” General of Fighters Adolf Galland told him. “. I want to bring the Me-163 to combat-ready status as quickly as possible.”

The unit set up shop at Peenemünde, the top-secret test site on Germany’s Baltic coast. As adjutant Späte brought in his best friend, blue-eyed Viennese Lt. Josef “Joschi” Pöhs, a 43-victory ace with JG54 but still on crutches after bailing out of an Me-109. “I was able to drag him out of his sickbed in a flash with only a few hints about testing a rocket fighter,” Späte recalled. “. He was sure he could move his feet around enough to move a rudder. He still couldn’t depress the brake pedals, but that wasn’t necessary. The Me-163 didn’t have any.”

On May 11 Späte climbed into the same Me-163A that Dittmar had used for his speed record seven months earlier, but this time for a “sharp start,” a rocket-powered takeoff. “An Me-109 accelerated better under full power, but with a propeller, the acceleration decreased as the speed increased,” he remembered. “Here the acceleration was constant. When I pulled the handle and the wheels fell away, it felt like I had just dug in my spurs. Now all I had to do was follow Dittmar’s instructions and keep the airspeed at 400km/h. To do it, I had to continually pull back on the stick. My attitude kept increasing until I was climbing at 45 degrees. Even then, the airplane wanted to accelerate.”

Its handling amazed him even more. “Despite its unique tailless planform, the Me 163 was stable in every axis. This meant that at high speeds you could effortlessly make any course correction, in any direction, something that is of major significance for a fighter plane and is quite often lacking in other faster airplanes.”

“I found this creation of Lippisch to be an aircraft with flight characteristics so beautifully balanced that I have seldom flown one like it, either before or after this flight,” Späte recalled. “. In reality, we have a flying tailless Interceptor, an aircraft capable of 1,000km/h, and one which will hopefully swing the tide of the air war in our favor.”

Late-model Scheuschlepper . Early models used inflatable air bags to lift the Komet

But if the 163 was a sweetheart in the air, it was a devil everywhere else. As with his sailplanes, Lippisch believed wheels were only necessary on the ground. 163 pilots dropped their main gear soon after takeoff and landed on an extendable belly skid. The dolly, neither shock-absorbing nor steerable, required operations off wide grass fields, since without steering a concrete strip would only have been useful if the wind was blowing along it. A combination tow motor/forklift, the Scheuschlepper (Shy Tug), retrieved it from the field, at first lifting it on airbags inflated under the wings.

If the rocket cut out at low altitude, pilots were warned not to try to bank or turn with a full fuel load, but to put down straight away. “If at all possible,” suggested one, “heading straight into the cemetery to save expenses.”

Rudi Opitz tests the 163B with a helmet-mounted camera (Silent)
Enlarge

With all that wing area the 163 tended to float on landing. High landing speeds (100mph in the Anton and 137mph in the “Berta” ) made overshoots common. On unprepared ground the belly skid often dug in like a plow nor did it much soften a hard landing, as Dittmar learned when he stalled a Berta at 12 feet and slammed it down on concrete. Its skid collapsed. The shock went straight to his spine. With his fifth thoracic vertebra broken, Dittmar was grounded for two years. He was lucky. Me-163 pilots quickly became experts at dead-stick landings, or they died.

Heini Dittmar and Hanna Reitsch with Me-163 (Silent)
Enlarge

Despite the difficulties, or because of them, the challenge of rocket flight was undeniable. Famous aviatrix Hanna Reitsch, the German Amelia Earhart, used her friendship with Adolf Hitler to wrangle rocket flights in the Anton and glide flights in the Berta. On October 30, 1942, on her fifth flight in a Berta, its undercarriage dolly refused to separate. Reitsch missed the runway, came down across the grain of a fresh-plowed field and dug in, banging her face on her gunsight, breaking her cheeks, jaw and skull and almost tearing off her nose. Though she spent six months in the hospital, she still insisted on being the first to fly a sharp start in the B. Späte (who thought her a primadonna) forbade her to further risk herself. She never flew it again.

By 1943 Peenemünde was the wunderwaffe capitol of the world. Along with the Me-163, radio-guided and wire-guided glide bombs and the V-1 cruise missile were being tested. Späte’s pilots watched the first test shots of the V-2 rocket, one of which heeled over on liftoff and came down on their field, blowing up a pair of five-engine twin-fuselage Heinkel He-111Z tow planes. “Our Me-163 was counted as one of the V-weapons,” Späte remembered. “. V-weapons! Those familiar with the programs knew with secret horror that, of all the new weapons, not one was ready for deployment with our combat forces.”

With its low fuel capacity and relatively low-power motor, the 163A could only reach 16,000 feet, not enough to reach high-flying Allied bombers. Lippisch’s Me-163B, the “Berta,” was bigger, easier to produce, and could carry more fuel, not to mention wing guns. Whereas the 163A’s “cold” rocket burned at 800°, Walter was developing new “hot” motor, burning T-Stoff and C-Stoff (30% hydrazine hydrate solution in methanol) at 2,000°. It being absolutely critical that T-Stoff and C-Stoff never came together except in a combustion chamber, there were separate handling crews for each. T-Stoff, which corroded iron and steel, had to be kept in aluminum tanks, but C-Stoff ate through aluminum, and had to be kept in glass or enamel. All T-Stoff containers were white all C-Stoff containers yellow. Fuel trucks, clearly marked T or C, were forbidden to come within 800 meters of each other. Pilots wore flight suits of synthetic fiber polyvinylchloride impervious to T-Stoff, at least until it leaked in through the seams.Shortages of C-Stoff and reliability problems—thrust cut-outs, explosive combustion-chamber failures—would delay deliveries of the “Hell Machine” by a year.

The endless delays with the Walter motor put the rocket-fighter program on indefinite hold. “The Me-163,” Späte learned, “unfortunately doesn’t have the same priority as U-boats, tanks or AAA [anti-aircraft artillery]. And because of it, we continue to experience all these delays.”

The RLM went so far as to ask BMW to come up with an alternative design burning nitric acid and methanol, which came to nothing. Meanwhile jet-engine technology had caught up and was moving literally full-speed ahead. Späte even test-flew a prototype Me-262. He found it neither as fast nor as maneuverable as his rocket fighter but, with its greater endurance, far more practical. “The Me-163 was a small, polished dagger,” he concluded. “The Me-262, on the other hand, was a large sharp sword. It was the means to swing the course of the war back to our side.” Disdaining the 163 with a “not invented here” attitude that eventually drove Lippisch from the company—or simply seeing the writing on the wall—Messerschmitt focused on their in-house Me-262 jet. Späte complained, “They believed the Me-163 would probably be the next project to ‘get the axe.’”

General of Fighter Pilots Adolf Galland (moustache) attends the preview of the Me-163A at Lechfeld, Bavaria. Heini Dittmar in white coveralls, Späte in profile to right, Opitz smiling at camera

On Thursday, June 24, almost a year later than planned, and in front of Luftwaffe dignitaries including Galland and Field Marshal Erhard Milch, Luftwaffe Air Inspector General, Opitz made the first sharp start in a 163B with the new Walter rocket. Halfway down the runway, still well below takeoff speed, he hit a bump that lofted the 2-ton plane a dozen feet in the air. On coming back down it tore off its right wheel. With the left banging loose on the fuselage (and a fire truck already setting off after him), Opitz stomped full right rudder and rode the skid for 300 feet before he lifted off, dropped the remains of his undercarriage, and flew a perfect demonstration flight. When he touched down, eyes streaming with T-Stoff fumes leaked from a ruptured line, Milch awarded him 5,000 marks for dangerous duty. The Me-163B, now called the Komet, was ordered into production. A week later Lippisch left Messerschmitt.

The Allies were becoming aware of German rocket research. On July 26 an RAF Mosquito snapped photos of parked, bat-winged aircraft which Allied analysts designated “Peenemünde 20.” Over the night of August 17/18 almost 600 RAF bombers pummeled the base: just a taste of the destruction to be wrought on German cities as the Allied bombing campaign intensified. EK 16 relocated to Bad Zwischenahn, near Bremen. Townspeople, to whom rocket fighters overhead became nothing unusual (they called the Me-163 the “Moth” pilots nicknamed it the “Thunderbird” or “Powered Egg”) asked, “When are you going to employ your force and sweep the skies clean again?”

Eleven Me-163Bs were destroyed when the Messerschmitt plant was bombed. Production, farmed out to Klemm and Junkers, was hampered by lack of engines and components. There were critical shortages of C-Stoff, trucks to transport C-Stoff, and tanks to store C-Stoff.

Joschi Pöhs resorted to mock-dogfighting student pilots in Fw-190s when they overflew the base. “He so adeptly and skillfully used the turning capability and airspeed of his small rocket bird, as well as the acceleration power of the engine,” approved Späte, “. the student pilots fled for home in their FW-190s.”

“The men are dying to do something positive for our air defense,” Pöhs excused. “It’s an impossible situation for them to sit here week after week waiting, while bombers roar over and destroy our cities.”

Meanwhile Späte devised operational plans for deploying Komets when they finally arrived. “We should systematically disperse squadron-sized units in a network of suitable airfields,” he recommended to Galland, “. between 60 to 150 miles apart from each other. They should be built in a chain which enemy aircraft will have to fly over.”

The first 47 163B-0 models carried one 20mm cannon in each wing root. By 1944 this was already light armament, particularly against big, armored bombers. In the later 163B-1 models the Mk 151 was replaced with the 30mm Mk 108. Lt. Gustav Korff, a communications specialist from the Russian Front, signed on as the unit’s ground controller, pioneering new radar guidance equipment and techniques necessary to steer rocket pilots, within minutes, onto targets initially too high for them to see.

Finally, late that year, Späte and Pöhs visited Augsberg to test-fly the first production Bertas. Späte suited up in a polyvinylchloride hood, coveralls and overshoes. “I felt like a mummy,” he recalled. “. But wearing the suit gave me the confidence that I had a certain amount of protection against that cursed T-Agent. The designers had installed fuel tanks (in the wrong place) to the left and right of the pilot’s seat. A simple sheet of pure aluminum separated my legs from two 60-liter tanks gurgling with T-Agent. A small accident on takeoff and you’re sitting in a flesh-dissolving solution. ”

However, he soon forgot any doubts he’d had about the rocket fighter. “Now I was about to find out what the Walter engine and my little Me-163 actually had in them. After the wheels dropped and the skid retracted, the aircraft really started to step out.” The Anton climbed 45° at 400km/h the Berta, even steeper at 600km/h. In 3&half minutes it could reach 40,000 feet. “This was a special kind of airplane,” Späte knew, “. an extremely good feeling aircraft, an elegant, lightning fast, easily controllable dart. I had experienced something today that even the Me-163A didn’t have to offer. You really could intercept any other aircraft with this bird.” His only complaint was an excruciating need to fart: “I swore to myself that I would never again eat pea soup and heavy cornbread before a flight in a rocket fighter.”

Me-163 V8 CD+IM
Fatally crashed by Oblt. Joschi Pöhs on Dec. 30, 1943. CD+IM were also the letters of Me-163B V3, in which Heinrich “Heini” Dittmar set his speed record

Späte and Pöhs returned to Peenemünde to await deliveries. On Dec. 30 Späte was doing paperwork in his office when he heard another training flight of FW-190s overhead, then the roar of a 163A taking off. “Pöhs presumably was going to take this opportunity to chase them away,” figured Späte, who remembered suddenly jumping out of his chair. “The sound of the engine had quit abruptly. The engine must have flamed out shortly after takeoff. Then an explosion shook the barracks walls and windows as though a bomb had gone off.”

Oberleutnant Josef Pöhs
43 aerial victories

Späte jumped in a car and raced to the crash site, 1&half miles away on the far end of the field. It was Pöhs. “He had not tried to bail out as the airplane had never got high enough for him to use his parachute. He had succeeded in turning the aircraft back towards the base—among us pilots, that was known as the ‘death turn’ since so many have crashed attempting it. But, as he soared in over the landing area, he came face-to-face with a radio antenna. He didn’t have enough controllability left to avoid it. He clipped the tower with a wing tip and the aircraft did what we call a ‘pole vault,’ digging a wing tip in the ground and cartwheeling.”

Not the Pöhs crash (this is the Me-163B of Unteroffizier Manfred Eisenmann, Oct. 7, 1944), but similar in outcome. Eisenmann was killed.

The Messerschmitt’s remains lay on its back. “I saw two legs protruding from the broken nose section. They belonged to my best friend! Mindlessly ignoring all regulations, I waded through the [extinguishant] slime and foam to the airplane and looked into the crushed cockpit area. I recognized that there was absolutely no chance of survival. ‘I want everyone who is not directly connected with the recovery operation to leave the scene immediately,’ I ordered.”

The accident report concluded that when Pöhs dropped his undercarriage, it had rebounded so hard and high that it stuck the aircraft’s belly, breaking a T-Stoff line and causing the rocket to automatically shut down. Worse was the post mortem report: while Pöhs was trapped in the cockpit, he had been inundated with T-Stoff. “Even though he was wearing a protective suit,” Späte was told, “his entire right arm had been dissolved by T-Agent. It simply wasn’t there. The other arm, as well as the head, was nothing more than a mass of soft jelly.” His friends could only hope Pöhs had been killed instantaneously or at least knocked unconscious in the crash.

In January 1944, nearly two years after delivery of the first 163B, EK 16 finally received its first operational models, but “operational” did not mean gremlin-free. The unit spent weeks wringing them out to resolve engine flame-outs and other issues. In February, Späte suffered a ruptured fuel line on takeoff. With his cockpit filling with T-Stoff fumes, his overheat indicator lit up, and his fuel-dump valve lever inoperative, he had to put his flying bomb down on six inches of snow: “The bird started sliding on its steel skid like a skier coming down a well prepared slope.” Before it skidded off the airfield grounds into the trees, Späte popped his canopy and rolled off the wing, sustaining a concussion in the process. “It was unthinkable,” he wrote, “to consider sending a single airplane that had such an unreliable engine into combat, let alone deploying an entire squadron.”

Read the incredible story of the rocket fighter in AVIATION HISTORY magazine

Rocket Attack by Nicolas Trudgian

1 Generator drive propeller
2 Generator
3 Cockpit ventilation intake
4 Compressed air bottle
5 Battery and electronic packs
6 Solid armour (15mm) nose cone
7 Accumulator pressuriser
8 Direct cockpit air intake
9 FuG 25a radio pack
10 Plastic rudder pedals
11 Rudder control assembly
12 Hydraulic and compressed air points
13 Control relay
14 Port T-Stoff cockpit tank ( 13 Imp gal/60 litre capacity)
15 Flying controls assembly box
16 Radio turning controls
17 Control column
18 Hinged instrument panel
19 Revi 168 sight
20 Armourglass windscreen (90mm)
21 Armament and radio switches
22 Pilot’s seat
23 Back armour (8mm)
24 Head and shoulder armour (13mm)
25 Headrest
26 Mechanically-jettisonable canopy
27 Ventilation panel
28 Fixed leading edge wing slot
29 Trim tab
30 Fabric-covered elevon
31 Inboard trim flap
32 Position of underwing landing flap
33 Radio frequency selector pack

34 FuG 16zy radio receiving aerial
35 T-Stoff filler cap
36 Main unprotected T-Stoff tank (229 Imp gal/1, 040 litre capacity)
37 Aft cockpit glazing
38 Ammunition for Mk 108 cannon (60 rpg)
39 Ammunition feed chute
40 T-Stoff starter tank
41 C-Stoff filler cap
42 HWK 509A-1 motor turbine housing
43 Main rocket motor mounting frame
44 Rudder control rod
45 Aerial matching unit
46 Tailfin construction
47 Rudder horn balance
48 Upper hinge to rudder
49 Rudder
50 Rudder trim tab
51 Rudder control rocker-bar
52 Rocket motor combustion chamber
53 Tailpipe
54 Rocket thrust orifice
55 Vent pipe outlet
56 Hydraulic cylinder
57 Lifting point
58 Tailwheel fairing
59 Steerable tailwheel
60 Tailwheel oleo
61 Tailwheel steering linkage
62 Combustion chamber bracing
63 Wing fillet
64 Trim flap mounting
65 Inboard trim flap
66 Elevon mounting
67 Port elevon
68 Trim tab

69 Rear wing spar
70 Wingtip bumper
71 Wing construction
72 Fixed leading edge wing slot
73 Eleven actuator linkage
74 Position of port underwing flap
75 FuG 25a aerial
76 Pitot head
77 Wing tank connecting pipe
78 Front wing spar
79 C-Stoff leading edge tank (16 Imp gal/73 litre capacity)
80 Gun-cocking compressed air bottles
81 Main C-Stoff wing tank (38 Imp gal/173 litre capacity)
82 Gun-cocking mechanism
83 Port 30mm Mk 108 cannon
84 Expanding shell and link chute
85 Gun mounting frame
86 Pressure-tight gun control passage
87 Blast tube
88 FuG 25a IFF equipment
89 Tow-bar attachment point
90 Compressed-air ram for landing skid
91 Hydraulics and compressed-air pipes
92 Landing skid pivots
93 Landing skid mounting
94 Landing skid mounting brackets
95 Mechanism for jettisoning trolley
96 Take-off trolley frame
97 Landing skid
98 Take-off trolley retaining lugs
99 Take-off trolley alignment pins
100 Low-pressure tyre

First kill of a rocket fighter?

Lightning Strikes a Komet, by Roy Grinnell

Capt. Arthur J. Jeffrey, 479th FG

The day after Tacon’s inconclusive tangle, Capt. Arthur J. Jeffrey, leading four P-38J Lightnings of the 479th Fighter Group, spotted a crippled B-17G, She Hasta, of the 100th BG:

“We were on an escort mission for heavy bombers returning to England. As I looked out over the formation of aircraft below me, I saw a crippled B-17 that was terribly shot up—pathetic, really. It had only about two-and-a-half engines running, and half of its tail was gone. The aircraft was just shot all to hell. But the worst thing was that bomber was on a northwesterly course, which meant that it would miss the British Isles completely.

“It was a grey day, and we were over Holland, which was blanketed by intermittent layers of cloud. The B-17 was steadily losing altitude. We’d found that when bomber navigators got separated from their lead navigators they had all sorts of trouble remaining on course. I called my second element leader to stay up and cover us while I went down with my wingman to give the B-17 a steer because it was so God-awfully lost. But I couldn’t raise the crew on the radio—I guess all their sets were shot out."

Jeffrey moved in on damaged bomber to hand-signal its crew, but despite his P-38’s distinctive planform the bomber’s rookie gunners fired on him.

“At least they were alert,” Jeffrey thought.

“‘Yellow Four’ provided top cover. The B-17 plodded along at 11,000 ft, dodging holes in the overcast to keep out of the flak, and at 1145 hrs I observed an Me 163 in attack position behind it. The Me 163 made a slight low-side ‘five o’clock’ pass at the B-17, followed through in a slight dive and then levelled off. At about this time the German must have seen me because he made another slight dive. He then started a very steep climb, weaving all the while, as though he were trying to see behind him. During this weaving I closed with him and opened fire, observing strikes on the Me 163.

“At 15,000 ft it levelled off and started to circle to the left, as though positioning himself to attack me. I could turn tighter than he could, and I got in a good deflection shot, with the closest range estimated to be 200 to 300 yards. I thought I was getting hits but my shots seemed roo far away for effect when puffs of smoke started to emanate from the tail of the jet.

“The pilot didn’t seem to know what to do in a fight—he didn’t act like he had been in combat before—and at about 15,000 ft he turned and attacked, with me looking right down his throat. He was pretty green. We got into a tight circle and I saw some good deflection shots hitting him. Then he rolled over and went straight down, with me fire-walled behind him. For the first time in my life I found out how—at over 500 mph—your props can act as brakes. I was shooting at him as I was going straight down, and my tracer path was walking forward of the ‘bat’. Then I got into an arc of an outside loop, and when I finally pulled out a few hundred feet above the ground, I blacked out.”

Jeffrey’s wingman, Lt Richard G Simpson, reported, “After about 4000 ft of climbing the Me 163 turned to the left and Capt Jeffrey attacked again. I had one bad engine and couldn't climb as fast, so I couldn’t see if he was getting strikes or not. Then the Me 163 split-essed and went down into a very steep, almost vertical, dive. Capt Jeffrey and I followed, but I couldn't keep up with them. I started to pull out at between 3,500-4,000 ft, indicating a little over 400 mph. The Me 163 went into the clouds, which were at around 3000 ft, still in a dive of 80 degrees or better. He must have been indicating 550-600 mph, and showed no signs of pulling out. I don't see how the German could have gotten out of that dive.”

Jeffrey claimed a probable, and was famously awarded the first rocket-fighter kill of the war, but the Germans actually recorded no Komets lost or even damaged that day. The 163 was so slippery that, even with its engine off and tanks empty, it could out-plummet Allied fighters diving on full power, and with those big bat wings, pull out later too. (Lightning pilots were actually forbidden to power-dive because compressibility might tear the tail off their airplane.)

As Lieutenant Hartmut Ryll put it, “Our bird hangs in there, steady as a rock. The Americans break off their attack relatively early. And by the time the airspeed dissipates back out of the 900km/h area, you're already back in the local area and under the protection of our own flak.”

Playing the Last Ace, by by Heinz Krebs

Me-163 Komet fighters climb vertically through an 8th Air Force bomber formation and its top fighter cover before swooping down to attack the “heavies.”

Several 163B models had their rockets and fuel tanks deleted to make two-seat trainers, with the instructor in the rear seat and water in the fuel tanks to simulate changing fuel load. The Russians took at least one of these back to the USSR after the war.

On Saturday, May 13, 1944, Major Wolfgang Späte flew this fighter, in this paint scheme, on the world’s first rocket-fighter sortie. It was unsuccessful.

Baptism of Fire, by Marii Chernev

Brandis, August 1944: As Unteroffizier Kurt Schiebeler flees for home in Messerschmitt Me-163B V53, W.Nr. 16310062 “White 9,” P-51 Mustangs of the 353th Fighter Group brave German flak to give chase. Once on approach, a rocket pilot was powerless to evade. “White 9” survived the war, only to be was blown up by the Germans at Brandis in a futile attempt to keep rocket technology out of Allied hands.

Top-scoring rocket-fighter pilot of all time

Sgt. Siegfried Schubert (Silent)
The small propeller on the Me-163’s nose drove an electrical generator for radio and instrument power.
Enlarge

Lt. Charles Laverdiere’s B-17 XK-B of the 305th Bomb Group after its return to Chesterton, UK, 8-24-44. Damage often attributed to Ryll, but consistent with Schubert’s gun-camera film.

Me-163 gun camera film, 8-24-44
Schubert’s Mk108 cannon shoots up Pugh’s B-17, and then Lavadiere’s. The only Me-163 gun-camera film known to exist.
Enlarge

Sgt. Siegfried Schubert
Faceted arch to left is the mount for shield of bulletproof glass

On August 24, 1944, Sgt. Siegfried Schubert claimed one B-17 of the 92nd Bomb Group (Lt. Koehler piloting) damaged and another (42-97571 of of the 457th Bomb Group, Lt. Winifred Pugh piloting) destroyed. Unknown to Schubert, Koehler’s aircraft never reached England. On Sept. 8th Schubert’s gun-camera film was exhibited to Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (Air Force High Command), upon which General of Fighters Adolf Galland declared the Me-163 fully operational.

On October 7th, Schubert shot down two more B-17s to bring his total to three. That same day he was killed when his Komet exploded on takeoff.


Komets in the sights: US Air Force gun camera footage

Efforts were ongoing to solve the rocket fighter’s lack of endurance and firepower. A spare 163A received under-wing racks with two-dozen unguided R4M rockets—a rocket-firing rocket—but they offered no improvement in range, trajectory or explosive power over 30mm cannon. More promising was the Jägerfaust, the “fighter fist,” ten recoilless 50mm wing guns automatically firing upward when the Komet passed under a bomber. Simultaneous firing initially blew off the 163B’s canopy. A sequential delay was built into the trigger system. Meanwhile Walter was working on a new rocket with (comparatively) long-range cruise capability. It was to be fitted into the stretched-fuselage Me-163C, but that was passed over in favor of the even more advanced Me-163D with retractable wheels, and finally the Me-263 with cruise rocket, landing gear, and pressurized cockpit. Only three prototypes, however, were complete by war’s end.

Me-163A with 24 R4M rockets

The R4M was developed to offset the increasing weight of German aircraft guns capable of downing Allied bombers, specifically the 30 mm MK 108 cannon. Although each rocket was heavier than a 30mm shell, 24 rockets weighed less than the gun plus its usual 65 rounds. The R4M had a similar trajectory to the 30 mm rounds, requiring no change to the standard Revi 16B gunsight.

Used for trials of the wing-installed, upward-firing, recoilless 50mm Jägerfaust mortar. Aircraft was badly damaged when simultaneous firing of all 10 projectiles blew off the canopy.

To accomodate the new twin-chamber Walter rocket with cruise capability, Messerschmitt extended the 163B fuselage, added extra tank capacity and a new pressurized cockpit topped with a bubble canopy.

Shown with B-type canopy. Maximum altitude increased to 52,000 ft, powered flight time to about 12 minutes, and combat time from about five minutes to nine. Three prototypes were planned, but only one was flown, and without its cruise rocket.

Fitted with tricycle gear and twin-chamber Walter cruise rocket (though the gear was probably not retractable in testing), the Junkers Ju 248 used a three-section fuselage to ease construction. The prototype was completed in August 1944 and glider-tested behind a Junkers Ju 188 but probably never tested under power.

Though designated Messerschmitt Me 263, Junkers continued development of three prototypes before the plant was overrun by the Russians. The Soviets briefly developed the design as the Mikoyan-Gurevich I-270, which was discontinued after two prototypes crashed. Note three-blade generator prop.

Rocket fighters also appealed to Germany's B-29-beset allies, the Japanese. Though various plans and components were lost in transit aboard sunken U-boats, they developed their own license-built Komet, the Shusui (“Powerful Sword”). On its first powered test on July 7, 1945, however, the prototype's engine cut out. It crashed. Pilot Toyohiko Inuzuka was killed.

The Soviet BI was of more conventional layout than the Komet, but its rocket, burning kerosene and red fuming nitric acid, was no more reliable and contributed to airframe corrosion. One pilot was slightly wounded in a motor explosion and another killed in a crash when he lost control near the sound barrier. The BI never saw combat. Like the Germans, the Russians became more enamored of jets.

Germany’s other rocket fighter: the Bachem BA 349 Natter

Captured Bachem Natters undergoing inspection by US troops. St. Leonhard im Pitztal, Tyrol, Austria, May 1945
Enlarge

With the Komet in perpetual development, in July 1944 the Luftwaffe established a Jägernotprogramm , Fighter Emergency Program: a quick and dirty solution to the Allied bombers pummeling Germany. Engineer Erich Bachem’s Ba 349 Natter (“Snake”) would operate more like a guided missile: a vertical-takeoff, semi-disposable manned rocket. The Luftwaffe rejected the concept, so Bachem put it in front of Heinrich Himmler. The Reichsführer-SS , desiring to give his personal army some air power, approved the idea.

1 Rudder
2 Rudder post construction
3 Tail fin construction
4 Tailplane construction
5 Elevon
6 Exhaust orifice
7 Water-cooled control vanes
8 Control rod I in kage
9 Jettisonable rocket clusters
10 Ventral rudder
11 Ventral fin
12 Launch-rail strengthening
13 Combustion chamber
14 Rocket attachment eyes
15 Recovery parachute
16 Spring-operated container

17 Parachute exit hatch
18 Forward rocket attachment points
19 Fuselage break point 20 Walter HWK 509A-1 rocket motor housing
21 T-Stoff tank (95.7 Imp gal 435 L capacity>
22 T-Stoff filler cap
23 C-Stoff filler cap
24 C-Stoff tank (41.8 Imp gal 190 L capacity)
25 Wing skinning
26 Laminated mainspar
27 Solid rear spar/trailing edge
28 Wingtip Iaunch-raiI strengthening
29 Wooden wing construction
30 Solid forward spar/leading edge
31 Hinged cockpit canopy
32 Side glazing

33 Roof glazing
34 Back armour
35 Head rest
36 Seat padding
37 Seat pan and harness
38 Control column
39 Instrument panel
40 Armoured windscreen
41 Recovery parachute cable
42 Rudder pedal
43 Missile control and fusing box
44 Armoured bulkhead
45 Ring sight
46 Honeycomb (Bienenwabe)
47 Hs 217 Fohn 73-mm missiles
48 Jettisonable plexiglas nose cone

Bachem BA-349 Natter by Vincenzo Auletta

Given more development time, the Natter might have presented Allied bombers with a second rocket threat

Seven GMC 2&half-ton 6x6 Jimmy trucks with Me-163B Komets bound for the US. Possibly Merseburg, Germany.

Disassembled Komet being loaded aboard a C-46 Commando for transport to the US

Captured Me-163 gets a tow from a B-29 Superfortress.

Wolfgang Späte after the war

To this day the Me-163 Komet remains the only rocket-powered combat aircraft. Its pilots—those who survived—had the satisfaction of knowing they flew the hottest bird in the sky. In the final weeks of the war B-17 pilot Edward F. Reibold was startled to find a rocket fighter flying his wing, just out of machinegun range. “Without changing direction, he slid into within a few feet of our left wing tip,” the bomber pilot remembered. “We were, at the time, traveling at an airspeed of approximately 285mph. The pilot of the German plane hesitated off our wing, nodded, threw us a ‘Highball’, pushed his throttle forward and accelerated forward in flight leaving us ‘standing’ in mid air.”

“They were all filled with an intractable urge to serve their Fatherland in a special way,” remembered Späte of his pilots. “. They were ready to give their lives in order to fulfill their dream of flying in a rocket.”

Get the rest of the story in the November 2017 issue of AVIATION HISTORY magazine


Florida

Energy cost savings for Florida resulting from the state updating its commercial and residential building energy codes in accordance with federal law are significant, estimated to be on the order of nearly $720 million annually by 2030.
Florida DOE Determination Letter, May 31, 2013

Florida DOE Determination Letter, August 27, 2013

Florida State Certification of Commercial Building Codes August 15, 2012

Florida State Certification of Commercial Building Codes February 13, 2020

DOE Determination: 2009 IECC: Yes
2012 IECC: Yes
2015 IECC: Yes

State Owned / Funded Buildings

All new construction and renovation of State buildings must follow the guidelines of LEED or other green building rating systems, including Green Globes and the Florida Green Building Coalition standards. The bill requires the same of the following public entities in the State of Florida entering design after July 1, 2008: counties, municipalities, school districts, water management districts, state universities, community colleges, and Florida state courts. The bill further requires that all new leases of state-occupied office space must meet Energy Star (HB7135, 2008).

Adoption Process

The Florida Building Commission is directed to adopt, revise, update, and maintain the Florida Building Code in accordance with Chapter 120 of the state statutes. The code is mandatory throughout the state and need not be adopted by a local government to be applicable at the local level. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation is responsible for supporting the Florida Building Commission.

Enforcement Process

Local building departments enforce compliance as part of the building regulatory programs. Technical assistance is provided by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Compliance Process

To obtain a building permit, the building owner or the owner's designated agent must certify compliance. If design and/or construction modifications are made that would diminish the building's energy performance, an amended compliance certification must be submitted to the local enforcement agency. All work requiring a permit is subject to inspection by the local building official. The builder must make available Energy Performance Level Display Cards, HVAC Efficiency Cards, and Insulation Certification Cards. The building official must also forward a copy of the front page of the compliance certification to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation on a quarterly basis.

Background

In response to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (Public Law 94-163), the 1977 Florida legislature passed two laws requiring local adoption of an energy code for certain building categories for which building permits were issued after March 15, 1979. The two laws enacted by the Florida legislature were the driving force behind the "Florida Thermal Efficiency Code" and the "Florida Lighting Efficiency Code," which were combined in 1980 as the FEECBC.

The Florida legislature, through Chapter 81-226, Laws of Florida, and Chapter 553, Part VII, Florida Statutes, established the state energy code. Originally, this state law referenced minimum standards for construction to meet or exceed model standards such as those of ASHRAE/IES 90-1975. However, nationally recognized energy codes or standards such as ASHRAE standards were designed primarily for climates where heating, rather than cooling, is dominant. The FEECBC was developed to be climate-specific for Florida.

The state energy code became effective on March 15, 1979, and was updated in 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993,and 1997, 2001, 2004, and 2007. The 2007 Florida Building Code was based on the 2006 IECC, which is published by the International Code Council. The Florida Building Commission decided to postpone the effective date of the 2007 Florida Building Code from December 31, 2008 to March 1, 2009.

As of November 2006, the Florida Energy Office (FEO) developed an Automated Energy Code Compliance System, a program proposed by the University of Central Florida's Florida Solar Energy Center. This system is a building standards database allowing designers and builders to access the most up-to-date building energy requirements and to apply for authorization.


The Repository of Echeron

r/Echerdex is a collective repository of research, resources and insights on the study of:

Energy , Consciousness, Hermeticism, Evolution, Religion, Dimensions, Eschatology and the Psyche (Ψυχη).

In the pursuit of unifying all scientific knowledge and spiritual wisdom.

Allowing beginners and students, of all cultures, races and creeds to learn, study and debate the nature of our existence.

Through a mutual understanding that all things are interconnected.

The theory is fluid and constantly evolving as more evidence presents itself.

Feel free to make recommendations and join our discord.

"An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apokálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω, literally meaning "an uncovering") is a disclosure of knowledge or revelation. In religious and occult concepts it is usually a disclosure of something hidden, "a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities"

Space-time emerges due to the existence of a primordial awareness inherited within all things.

Recommended

The fabric of existence is structured according to multi dimensional fractal geometry, in which the fundamental laws of math and physics emerge.

Recommended

Harmonics is the phenomena of interacting frequencies in proportions of the Golden Ratio, which drives the evolution of a system and determines it's stability.

Recommended

A great cataclysm brought humanity to brink of extinction 12000+ years ago which triggered the period known as the Younger Dryas.

Recommended

The survivors built mystery schools that became the foundation of all spiritual beliefs and scientific fields of inquiry. Passed down since the dawn of recorded history.

Recommended

All is Mind. For our collective thoughts, concepts, beliefs and ideas creates the fabric of our reality.

Recommended

The Forbidden Fruit and the knowledge of good and evil. Is one’s ability to control, maintain and harness their sexual/life energy. Our one insatiable desire for Love.

Recommended

Our experience and perception of reality shapes and alters our DNA accordingly.

Recommended

By entering flow states it's possible to achieve and maintain higher states of consciousness through training and self discipline. Increasing one's intelligence, clarity, strength, creativity, intuition and overall well being with minimal effort.

Recommended

Extra dimensional entities exists and have influenced the course of human history.

Recommended

We're multi-dimensional beings, at different stages of evolution and awareness. In which our soul incarnates by descending from the astral realm.

Recommended

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” - Sun Tzu

It's beginning to take on a more structured form, I see.

Just found this sub today. I've just finished the kybalion and this has given me alot to be getting into so thanks for that.

This is a very well rounded compilation post written in the most constructive and visually pleasing-way possible, Very nice editing and formatting, Please continue this structure for all content It is the best way to tame the endless abyss of Information entangled with the knowledge and understanding we seek to share, discover , ascertain, and unfold. Great job.

I feel there may be a fraction of our world in the midway of becoming collectively oriented and conscious - Perhaps this is a greater symptom we should seek to understand as well - Is this conscious co-creation in its inception.

Looking good. Doing something's work.

Just found this 2 minutes ago. What an amazing compilation of resources. I’ve been looking for something along these lines for a while.

Great work! Thank you for making it available. I’ll enjoy the process of working through it.

Sir you missed one important teacher, Osho!

This is a lot of amazing info. I'm excited to start delving into this. Thank you putting so much time and effort into compiling it.

Any chance you can give me the one paragraph version of this in laymans terms?

The Apocalypse, is a revelation of hidden knowledge.

Which is only possible due to the Internet.

As we now have a vast collection of all their works.

Along with evidence that it's all true.

Because DMT proves the existence of a soul.

Thank you for all this info!

I got to a point where all that stuff is impractical crock of shit knowledge. No offense to you guys but do you ever doubt this stuff? It did not change anything in my life personally. Anyone here with same thoughts?

Just kinda depends on how you engage with it, really. It's not a magic wand or blasting rod to make you suddenly at one with eternity. They're philosophical and spiritual systems you can adapt to how you need it.

Just as an example, recently I was reading about some of the Hermeticism bits from Nag Hammadi and an accompanying analysis, which talked about the original Hermetic Egypt-Centric view of the world, that all great religions which it borrowed from it considered to be "On Loan" from Egypt, Moses and the Hebrews having escaped from it, The Persians, Greeks, and Romans conquering it from each other. It was a fascinating perspective, which allowed me to see how flexible Hermeticism has been from the start.


Air Force seeks to retire aging tankers in FY-22 and FY-23, avoid $845M in additional costs

The Defense Department -- in a sign of confidence in the operational potential of its fledgling KC-46 tanker fleet, despite serious deficiencies -- is asking Congress to rescind statutory limitations on retiring older aircraft in fiscal years 2022 and 2023 to accelerate the Air Force's future force design and avoid $845 million in additional costs to extend the service life of aging KC-10A and KC-135s.


Prophecy in Perspective

Confronting the subject of prophecy today
is rather like looking at wreckage after a shipwreck.

— Archbishop Rino Fisichella,
“Prophecy” in Dictionary of Fundamental Theology, p. 788

AS the world draws closer and closer to the end of this age, prophecy is becoming more frequent, more direct, and even more specific. But how do we respond to the more sensational of Heaven’s messages? What do we do when seers feel “off” or their messages simply don’t resonate?

The following is a guide for new and regular readers in the hopes to provide balance on this delicate subject so that one can approach prophecy without anxiety or fear that one is somehow being misled or deceived. Continue reading &rarr


VMM-163 'Evil Eyes'


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - December 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - December 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - December 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - December 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - December 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - December 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - December 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - November 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - October 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - October 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - July 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - July 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) - Camp Pendleton, California - May 2016


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) over Lake Tahoe - October 2015


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) - October 2015


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) - October 2015


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) - October 2015


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) at MCAS Miramar, California - April 2015


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) at MCAS Miramar, California - April 2015


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) at MCAS Miramar, California - April 2015


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) over MCAS Miramar, California - April 2015


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) at Camp Pendleton, California - April 2015


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - February 2015


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - December 2014


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS San Diego (LPD 22) - December 2014


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) - November 2014


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - October 2014


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - October 2014


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - September 2014


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - September 2014


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - September 2014


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - September 2014


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - August 2014


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - June 2014


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS San Diego (LPD 22) - November 2013


MV-22B Osprey (VMM-163) aboard USS San Diego (LPD 22) - November 2013

From February to October 1965, the HMM-163 "Ridge Runners" helicopter squadron became famous for its operations in Vietnam. It was due to a LIFE magazine story that appeared in the 16 April 1965 issue. The story documented the combat death of a Marine H-34 pilot, 1stLt James E. Magel, and the rescue of wounded and paralyzed 1stLt Dale Eddy during a strike mission transporting South Vietnamese troops. For most U.S. citizens, this was the first time they were made aware of the extent of America's involvement in Vietnam.

In December 1965, LtCol Charles A. House took the reigns of the squadron, newly relocated at MCAS Futema, Okinawa. With only one month separating HMM-163 from its return deployment to Viet Nam, LtCol House and his veteran pilots determined that a unit symbol was needed to build morale and espirit d'corps, especially for the newly assigned replacement personnel.

Capt Al Barbe, the Squadron Intelligence Officer and husband to a Thai bride, offered a suggestion. Because of Asian culture and beliefs, he proposed that eyes painted on the unit aircraft might have an unsettling affect upon the enemy, thus the concept of "The Eyes" on the front of HMM-163 aircraft was born.

On 1 January 1966, HMM-163 flew via C-130 to Phu Bai, Vietnam, relieved HMM-161, and took over their H-34 helicopters. Painting of what were then called "Genie Eyes" (after the "I Dream of Jeannie" TV show) began immediately.

By March 1966, HMM-163's "Genie Eyes" were being called "Evil Eyes" by the ground units the squadron supported. The Squadron flew over 2,000 flight hours in ten days in support of the overrun Ashau Valley Special Forces Camp, in which 190 U.S. Army survivors were rescued from enemy capture. In Aug/Sept 1966, orders came from 1st MAW to eliminate white paint on Marine helicopters so all white markings and lettering were either stricken or painted over in black. HMM-163 was aboard a carrier off the coast of Vietnam and used the excuse that they were not directly under Wing command at that time. The "Evil Eyes", therefore, remained black and white.

In October 1966, the squadron again returned to Phu Bai, Viet Nam, still with black and white "Evil Eyes", under the command of LtCol Rocco Bianchi. LtCol Bianchi was a good friend of the Wing Commander, but that didn't keep Major General Louis B. Robertshaw, 1st MAW Commanding General, from reading LtCol Bianchi the riot act concerning the unauthorized paint scheme. Also in the room at the time of this conversation was the Commanding General of the Marine ground forces in the area who politely interrupted by saying, "It sure is great to have the 'Evil Eyes' back here at Phu Bai!" The 1st MAW Commanding General relented and the "Evil Eyes" have remained to this day.

From 1964 to 1968, the squadron served with distinction in combat earning a Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Unit Commendation along with many personal awards. Since returning to the United States, a vigorous training program designed to produce combat ready CH-46 aircrews has been pursued with many thousands of flight hours flown in support of training. HMM-163 received the Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award in 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, and 1996, while Five Meritorious Unit Commendations (MUC) for the periods of 1 July 1978 through 31 December 1980, 1 January 1982 through 31 December 1983, 30 September 1983 through 30 September 1985, 22-28 January 1987, and 1 January 1986 through 31 July 1987 acknowledge the squadron's hallmark of superior performance. The squadron was also named the MCAA Helicopter squadron of the Year in 1979, 1981, 1985, 1990, and 2002.

During the 1990's, HMM-163 continued to excel while serving as the Aviation Combat Element (ACE) for five Special Operations Capable Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU (SOC)) on deployments to the Pacific and Central Command theaters. During this time, the squadron participated in operations in the Pacific, the Horn of Africa and the Persian Gulf, including Operation: FIERY VIGIL in 1991, Operations: CONTINUE HOPE, DISTANT RUNNER, and QUICK DRAW in 1994, DESERT STRIKE in 1996 and Operation: RESOLUTE RESPONSE in 1998.

In 2001, while deployed with the 15th MEU (SOC), HMM-163 served our country with distinction by participating in combat operations in support of Operation: SWIFT FREEDOM and Operation: ENDURING FREEDOM while forward deployed to the Central Command Theater of Operations. The Evil Eyes planned and executed the longest amphibious assault in American military history with the seizure of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in southern Afghanistan and remained forward deployed for seven weeks.

In 2003 and 2004, the Evil Eyes deployed with the 13th MEU (SOC), and again, the squadron made history by being part of the first Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG-1). The ESG concept focused on combining surface action groups and submarines with traditional Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs) and MEUs to offer theater combatant commanders more flexibility and capabilities. The squadron proved its worth by supporting multiple operations and exercises while in the CENTCOM AOR, to include Operation: IRAQI FREEDOM, Operation: SWEENEY, Operation: ENDURING FREEDOM, Exercise IRON MAGIC, and Exercise EDGED MALLET.

During the 13th MEU deployment of 2005, the Evil Eyes served honorably by supporting combat operations in Iraq. The squadron provided Convoy Escort, Close Air Support and Aerial Reconnaissance for the H-1s and AV-8s, and Assault Support and resupply for the CH-46s and CH53s. The Evil Eyes also participated in numerous missions to include: OPERATIONS TRIFECTA, STEEL CURTAIN, IRON HAMMER, LIBERTY EXPRESS, and RIVERGATE in Iraq, and flying a total of 2700 combat flight hours in a 65 day period.

The Evil Eyes were once again attached to the 13th MEU (SOC) in 2007 and served admirably in support of Operation: IRAQI FREEDOM 06-08.1. The squadron’s main body as well its detachments flew general support missions, CAS, and escort missions throughout Al Asad, Al Quaim, and Al Taqaddum.

In 2009 and 2011, the Evil Eyes deployed again with the 13th MEU and served admirably executing theatre security cooperation (TSC) exercises and serving as the reserve element for the CENTCOM AOR.


Photo by Michał Maksymilian Gwozdek

Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ.
—POPE PIUS XI, Quas Primas, n. 1 Dec. 11th, 1925

Holy Mary, Mother of God, our Mother,
teach us to believe, to hope, to love with you.
Show us the way to his Kingdom!
Star of the Sea, shine upon us and guide us on our way!
—POPE BENEDICT XVI, Spe Salvi, n. 50

WHAT essentially is the “Era of Peace” that is coming after these days of darkness? Why did the papal theologian for five popes, including St. John Paul II, say it will be “the greatest miracle in the history of the world, second only to the Resurrection?” [1] Cardinal Mario Luigi Ciappi was the papal theologian for Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and St. John Paul II from Family Catechism, (Sept. 9th, 1993), p. 35 Why did Heaven say to Elizabeth Kindelmann of Hungary…Continue reading &rarr

List of site sources >>>


Watch the video: September 11, 2001 - The Catalyst (January 2022).