The Boeing B-17F "Flying Fortress" AFA-317th Chapter Aircraft

"It has served, unlike any other bomber, through all of the Second World War. It had become a legend in its time. A tribute to the men who had conceived, designed, and built it-and a monument to the remarkable young men, most of them boys who flew it. These men, and this plane, accomplished one of the most frightening missions ever demanded of men and aircraft. Together they helped end history's last "Glorious War".


AFA-317 Blogspot created and maintained by Benny F. Benitez, FAA -Airframe / Powerplant and FCC-Ham Radio Lic.) VFW Life Member, Former Chapter President (2009-2010). Current Chapter Vice President of Special Projects

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, The 317th Visits Opa Locka Airport For New Memebership and Surveys The "Round Engine Classics" Aircrafts

One could only imagine the untold numbers of passengers that this aircraft a Douglas DC-7C has carried in its glory years, when the commercial airline industry was very different from today and yet after all those years this aircraft still earns a living, as it soldiers on as a cargo carrier for Florida Air Transport an established and experienced Opa Locka, Florida based FAR 125 operator A veteran of the recent Haitian earthquake relief fleet of aircraft that transported endless amount of supplies and relief equipment from South Florida to Port Au Prince airport sit poised ready for its calling. Note the "Grasshopper" logo on the forward section, as the flights to Haiti were called and identified by the USAF combat controller who managed the airspace as "Grasshopper" due to the fact that such aircraft's landed on the grass area along the main runway to save the "asphalt" for the heavy jets AFA-317th Chapter Vice President Lt. Col Rodrigo "Rod" Huete USAF (Ret.) stand next to an RD4, the U.S. Navy version of the venerable Douglas DC-3. This aircraft too earns its living by hauling cargo to the local islands within the Bahamas as well as other destinations within the Caribbean Another Classic a Douglas DC-7B that was saved from the torch of the scrapper and restored to its former glory as Silver Falcon airliner for Eastern Airlines. This aircraft will soon be flying the national airshow circuit, as a flying museum belonging to the Historical Aircraft Flight Foundation. This is the ONLY DC-7B in the world to have been restored to its original airliner condition A far cry from the supersonic jets that Lt. Col Rodrigo "Rod" Huete once flew as a former USAF Test Pilot, but nonetheless it was aircraft's such as these classic "round engines" that fueled "Rod's" love and admiration for aviation as a boy. He commented on the amazement that was seeing the engines of Braniff's DC-6's & 7's chug to life by belching out smoke and sputtering oil at his local hometwon airport

Opa Locka, Florida 26th March 2010: Working within the "wing man" concept the President and Vice President of the Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, the 317th are becoming a common site through out the greater Miami area. Benny and Rod have coordinated their efforts and professional schedules to bring and promote the AFA to many of their clients and colleagues. Being that both of them operate well established, recognized and respected aviation consultant firms within the greater Miami / South Florida area, the task of blending their efforts to advocate for the support of the Miami-Homestead Chapter within their daily operational schedule is fairly easy.
Their trip to Opa Locka took them to visit Wisetouch Interiors an aircraft interior service provider company and a prospective supporter of the AFA. It has become standard operating procedures between Benny and Rod to be pro-active and aggressive when promoting the AFA and seeking community / industry support. The high lite of the visit to Opa Locka airport was nonetheless the ability to tour the flight line and walk among the classic "round engine" aircraft's of which there are not too many still left operationally or still earning their keep.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, The 317th Meets With the Mayor Of The Village Of Key Biscayne

AFA-317th the Miami-Homestead Chapter Vice President Lt. Col Rodrigo "Rod" Huete USAF (Ret.) meets with the Honorable Mr. Bob Veron, Mayor of the Village of Key Biscayne. The AFA-317th continues their effort to reach out and embrace the local community as they stride for relevance within the public eye Shown with the Honorable Mr. Bob Veron, Major of the Village of Key Biscayne and Lt.Col Rodrigo "Rod" Huete, AFA-317 Vice President is Ms. Martha Kelly a prominent citizen of Key Biscayne and Director of Events for the Miami based, American-Nicaraguan Chamber of Commence which Rod serves as Chamber President

Village of Key Biscayne, Florida 17th March 2010: AFA-317th Vice President Lt. Col. Rodrigo "Rod" Huete USAF (Ret.) met with the Mayor of Key Biscayne, the Honorable Mr. Bob Veron. Rod's mission was to properly introduce the Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, the 317th to the Key Biscayne Village local Government. In addition, they discussed the participation of the AFA-317th Miami-Homestead Chapter in their 4th of July Parade.
The Key Biscayne 4th of July parade is the only formal parade in the entire Miami-Dade area honoring our Nation independence, the parade initiates with the playing our Nation anthem along with an impressive flyby of F-16 from the 482nd Fighter Wing / 93rd Fighter Squadron, "The Makos" based at Homestead Air Reserve Air Base.
In the Chapter pursuit of being "Relevant" within the local community, its is befitting that our Chapter be properly represented within this notable event. The AFA-317th plans to show its colors by parading in a yet to be determine classic model automobile to be provided by a local dealer.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, The 317th Provides The Students of George T. Baker Aviation School With A UAV Model Training Aid

Within his "Aero Work Shop" AFA-317th President Benny Benitez holds the "WR-09" concept UAV model while still under production and prior to painting. The concept model was designed, created and finished within 48 hours over the weekend of March 13th / 14th by the AFA-317th President for presentation to the students to use as a design mock up / training aid
The 'WR-09" UAV concept model which was designed and created by AFA-317th Chapter President Benny Benitez was created to serve as an inspirational prototype for the students of George T. Baker in which the AFA-317th is closely working with and supporting their Hydrogen Powered UAV projectGeorge T. Baker Aviation School Students and members of the project team shown from left to right are Christopher Paz, Juan Dorado and Christian Harris hold the "WR-09" concept model provided to them by the President of the AFA-317th so as to help them facilitate their ideas and production methods In the constant quest toward being "Relevant" the AFA-317th leadership is shown with the George T.Baker Aviation Team. Shown from left to right are AFA-317th Vice President Lt. Col Rodrigo "Rod" Huete USAF (Ret.), Mrs. Noami Pascual Project Teacher, Christopher Paz, Juan Dorado, Christian Harris and AFA-317th Chapter President Benny Benitez Student Christian Harris explains to Lt. Col Huete USAF (Ret.) the idea for their twin boom design for the proposed Hydrogen power UAV as the students use the demo "WR-09" as a focal reference point AFA-317th Vice President Lt. Col Rodrigo "Rod" Huete USAF (Ret.) looks at the plans for the proposed UAV design. Utilizing his discipline in Aeronautical Engineering and his experience as a USAF Test Pilot Lt. Col Huete brings a tremendous wealth of knowledge for the students to tap into for the benefit of mentoring their aeronautical studies

Miami, Florida 16th March 2010: The leadership of the Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, the 317th consisting of the Chapter President, Benny Benitez and its Vice President Lt. Col. Rodrigo "Rod" Huete USAF (Ret.) visited the students at George T. Baker Aviation School to continue showing the Chapter support toward the students project concerning the creation of a proposed Hydrogen powered UAV for a National science competition. Lt. Col Huete background as a former USAF Test Pilot and Aeronautical Engineer, coupled with the Chapter President background in aircraft design and maintenance as an FAA Licenced Technician are a wealth of support and inspiration for the students.
In their effort to motivate and inspire the students at George T. Baker AFA-317th Chapter President Benny Benitez over the weekend of March 13th and 14th dedicate his time to design, create and produce a concept UAV model called the "WR-09" for the students to have as a concept design model so as to have as a focal point, as they commence to take their idea from the drawing board to production. The AFA-317th is the only organization within Miami, Florida to have stepped up and answered the call to assist, foster and encourage the aeronautical interest and studies of our Nations future aerospace leaders.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, The 317th Financially Supports The University of Miami Air Force ROTC Cadet Flight Training Hours

Miami, Florida 11th March 2010: (Pending Story)

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, The 317th World War II Caribbean 6th Air Force Veteran Member Mr. David Bernstein Shares His Story

AFA-317th Chapter Member, Musician and Songwriter Ted Miller is proudly shown with Chapter World War II member Mr. David Bernstein, U.S. Army Air Corp. 6th Air Force which was station and operated in PanamaChapter World War II member Mr. David Bernstein proudly shows off his original U.S. Army Air Corp issued A-2 leather flight jacket, which was fully and conditionally restored by his Daughter Michell who is a world known Miami based International Chef and proud of her Father service
A close up of Mr. David Bernstein sleeve of his "Eisenhower Jacket" which shows the U.S. Army Air Corp. Radio-Gunner rating patch which was worn and displayed on the lower section of the right jack sleeve. Just like the A-2 leather jacket shown above, the Eisenhower jack was in great shape The logo for the U.S. Army Air Corp the Air Force, which was based in Panama during World War II and which was primarily tasked with the duty of coastal and deep water patrols for German Navy submarines "U-Boats". The cloth patch was worn on the upper left hand shoulder sleeve. Note the sailing ship which depicts Christopher Columbus ship, which was the logo for the Caribbean U.S. Army Air Corp. Command during World War II Telling his story as the lone and sole U.S. Army Air Corp. radio operator of a coastal observation station, Mr. David Bernstein show off his original U.S. Army Air Corp. "Eisenhower Jacket" still in great condition with unit and speciality patches. It should be noted that after all these year the jacket shows like new issue from the Army Quarter Master
With great pride AFA-317th Chapter President Benny holding the Eisenhower jacket and Chapter Vice President Rod holding the A-2 leather flight jacket proudly stand with Mr. David Bernstien the Chapter World War II Veteran. We the AFA-317 salute and admire Mr. Bernstein for his service and are proud to have such an individual within our Chapter as its truly an honor

Miami, Florida 11th March 2010: We would like to commence this article by saying that we at the AFA-31th Miami-Homestead Chapter are honored to have Mr. David Bernstein as one of our Chapter member. With that said, on 11th March 2010 at the scheduled meeting, Chapter members were treated to a wonderful and informative presentation given by Mr. Bernstein about his World War II U.S. Army Air Corp, 6th Air Force experience in Panama.
Shown above were two uniform articles which Mr. Bernstein brought in and proudly showed off and allowed members at the meeting to inspect these items concerning the history of the U.S. Air Force. His story was both informative and amusing, as Mr. Bernstein has an amazing way of capturing your attention when speaking of his experience in World War II while stationed in Panama with the 6th Air Force. His duties consisted of operating a one man coastal radar site which monitored for German submarines (U-Boat) activity and which was relayed to 6th Air Force patrol aircraft's. For 18 months he operated and sustained himself totally independent from any other support units expect for the occasional support air drops. As he comically put it "the placed me out there and forgot about me".

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, The 317th Financially Supports George T. Baker Aviation School Student Hydrogen Powered UAV Project

Shown above is a Boeing example of an experimental Hydrogen Powered UAV aircraft which the students at George T. Baker Aviation School have inspired to built their own design and concept for competition within a Florida State Science competition. The AFA-317th currently is the major contributor to the project and will rally and provide further community support from within the Miami aviation industry for the students

Shown from left to right is Miami-Homestead Chapter AFA-317th President Benny Beintez with Sean Gallagan, Principle of George T. Baker Aviation School and Rodrigo "Rod" Huete AFA-317th Chapter Vice President. Sean Gallagan attend the Chapter March meeting as the Chapter special guest. Under Benny's administration the AFA-317th has become and will continue to be a strong supporter of George T.Baker Aviation School
George T. Baker Aviation School students and project team members proudly hold up and display the the Air Force Association March 2010 magazine which the AFA-317th provides in numbers to the student body and foster a strong Air Force / Air Power presence among the school students.

Miami, Florida 11th March 2010: "Relevant" is the new adopted word within the AFA-317th Miami-Homestead Chapter. Under the leadership of its Chapter President, Benny Benitez and through his aviation consultant firm, the 94th AeroClaims-Aviation Consultant Group and its subsidiary, the Digital Aircraft Factory, which is overseen by Ms. Catherine Smallwood who is the Chapter Secretary and one of two Chapter active commercial airline pilots, the AFA317th has been an instrumental source of technical, inspirational and financial help to an outstanding group of students from the George T.Baker Aviation School who have a keen eye for aerospace.
At the 317th schedule lunch board / member meeting held on 11th March, the Miami-Homestead Chapter advised Mr. Sean Gagallan, Principle of George T. Baker Aviation School that the 317th shall be donating US$1,000.00 to the student for their first phase of the project. An event is being planned for the formal presentation of support to the school.
This marks the 317th as the first group in Miami to step up to the plate and establish a solid start to the students project.
The Chapter leadership has marked this as their first major community contribution since taking office last November and with many more to follow, as the 317th Miami-Homestead Chapter of the AFA takes the lead within the community. Another benefit to which the students at George T,Baker Aviation School will draw from comes from the Chapter Vice President Lt.Col Rodrigo "Rod" Huete USAF (Ret.) who was not only a USAF but also an FAA test pilot as well and whose experience in the concept of design and flight testing will be a plus to the students.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Air Force Association Miami Chapter, The 317th Teams Up With University of Miami AFROTC Det 155 To Assist In Haitian Earthquake Relief Effort

Shown with the leadership of the AFA-317th (center) is Mr. Felipe E. Madrigal, the Founding President of the Rotary Club of Doral. Mr. Madrigal was truly thankful to the AFA-317, especially to Lt.Col Huete USAF (Ret.) for his effort in coordinating with the Cadets and their leadership for the contribution of their time and effort
Celebrating a successful mission and showing their sign of support, the AFROTC Det 155 Cadets again unfurled and proudly hoisted the Air Force Association banner under the earthquake relief banner to show their support and being proud of assisting toward a worth effort in giving of their time and talent
Shown with the AFROTC Det 155 Cadets (center) is Benny Benitez, the President of the Air Force Association Miami Chapter, the 317th with his Wing-Man / Vice President Lt. Col Rodrigo "Rod" Huete USAF (Ret.) to his right. Rod was the mission planner for this event, as he heard about the need that the Rotary Club of Doral needed and got the Det 155 leadership and made it happen. Good Job Rod!
The Founding President of the Rotary Club of Doral, Mr. Felipe E. Madrigal in the blue cap personally thanks the AFROTC Det 155 Cadets for an outstanding job and explained the role to which the Rotary Club of Doral has and continues to play concerning their concentrated effort toward the Haitian relief effort.
The result of a proper and well organized effort by the AFROTC Det 155 Cadets, as this one pallet was nearly completed and awaiting but a few last boxes before it was to be wrapped in clear shrink plastic so as to awaiting shipping to Haiti
A group of AFROTC Det 155 Cadets assembled themselves into four person crews and manned three sorting table work stations as shown above within the 10,000 square foot warehouse. The task at hand was to organize the many pounds of donated clothing for packing and shipping
Recognizing an environment of organization, the AFROTC Det 155 Cadets automatically dove into the job at hand by organizing, identifying and sorting the many different type, sizes and amount of donated clothing items for the Haitian relief effort
AFROTC Det 155 Cadets listen as the Rotary Club of Doral site coordinator briefs the Cadets on the mission plan consisting of the sorting and packing of the large amounts of donated clothing, shoes and canned food items to be sent to the Rotary Club in Haiti for proper distribution to the localsCadets from the University of Miami United States Air Force R.O.T.C Detachment, the 155th gather for a group shot while proudly displaying the Air Force Association banner of the Miami 317th Chapter

Doral, Florida 6th March 2010: The word "Relevant" is fast becoming the buzz around the Chapter, with its members and within South Florida, as the 317th reaches out to the needs of the community. Under the direction and mission planning efforts of the Chapter Vice President Lt.Col. Rodrigo "Rod" Huete USAF (Ret.) and in a joint effort with the leadership at the University of Miami Air Force ROTC Detachment "Det-155" under Lt.Col Theo Theodor Detachment Commander, the 317th and Det-155 showed their support toward the Haitian Relief Effort. Fourteen (14) Cadets from AFROTC Det-155 gave up five (5) hours of their free time on Saturday March 6 to assist in the sorting, packing and labeling of a vast amount of items being sent to Haiti by the Rotary Club of Doral.
The material handled by the Cadets consisted of all sorts and sizes of donated clothing. Shoes had to be paired up and secured to each other for packing with all material sorted in manner that would make any military logistic and supply Officer proud. The organization among the Cadet was nothing less than professional and to the highest standards of USAF Officer Corp. Mr. Felipe E. Madrigal, the Founding President of the Rotary Club of Doral was impressed by the effort and dedication shown by the 317th and the Cadets. We at the 317th are proud of our Cadets who are the future of our Air Force Officer Corp and our Nations Air Power!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Air Force Association Miami Chapter, The 317th To Work & Support Local Students and Teachers With a Hydrogen Powered UAV Project

A former Navy / Marine Reserve Douglas A4-C Skyhawks sits outside the main entrances at George T. Baker Aviation School in Miami, Florida. George T. Baker School has been a corner stone of aviation training in Miami for the past fifty (50) years offering FAA A&P programs and providing a trained workforce to the local Maintenance Repair Organization (MRO) industry
AFA-317th Chapter President Benny F. Benitez is shown holding two 1/100th scale models of the Boeing C-17A, Globlemaster III at the Atlantic Models ( production facility in Miami, Florida. Atlantic Models is proud and respected supporter of the AFA-317h and the first supporter to assist with the George T. Baker projectAFA-317th Chapter Secretary, FAA-CFI, CFII, MEI, Goldseal Flight Instructor and Republic Airways ERJ-170 First Officer, Catherine Smallwood explains basic aerodynamics and wing loading to George T. Baker Student Chris who is a member of the Miami Civil Air Patrol 319th Squadron
Master Model Maker and Designer Mr. Gino Galvez of Atlantic Models meets and briefs the students of George T. Baker Hydrogen Powered UAV project on the concept of selecting the proper materials for creating the UAV main body and airfoils, as well as the proper procedures for model production Mr. Galvez who was recently recruited as AFA-317th member and deemed the Chapter official aerodynamics model maker speaks to the George T. Baker Students about the utilizing the correct adhesives and bonding agents when work with EPS type foam as shown holding within his handsNot shown in these first set of photographs is Gino brother, Miller Galvez who is also a Master Model Maker and whose talents and that of Atlantic Models, which headed up by Roger and Carol Jarman have produced untold numbers of aircraft models for the USAF for nationwdie displays and presentations. Our thanks to Atlantic Models for their support toward the future of our Nation Air Power and the education of our Students

Miami, Florida 3rd March 2010: The 317th once again is taking a head role concerning the aerospace education of our local students here within South Florida. Each year the Chapter holds a "Teachers Workshop" where local science teachers are exposed to certain aerospace issues and materials so that they could take back to their classroom for the benefit of the local student body and their introduction and continuance toward aerospace studies.
This year, the the 317th or as it is becoming to be known as the "Relevant Air Force Association Chapter" is taking a new and fresh approach. With the help of local organizations like the 94th AeroClaims-Aviation Consultant Group, the Digital Aircraft Factory and Atlantic-Models, the Chapter is looking to mentor, foster and support a team of outstanding students who attend the George T. Baker Aviation School of Miami in a cutting edge project.
The students shown above are under the direction and leadership of their teacher, Mrs, Noami Pascual. They are to take on the task of creating a hydrogen powered U.A.V for a State competition.
Two out of the five students who make up the group are members of the 319th Civil Air Patrol Squadron, based in Miami Springs, Florida and all show great interest and ability in aviation and aerospace studies. The 317th shall be a strong advocate and supporter of this project and through its Chapter leadership of which all are known and respected professionals within the aviation / aerospace sector of the Miami business market, the students look forward to tapping an cumulative and combined experience pool of well over 80 years, ranging from commercial airline maintenance, regulatory, aircraft design, flight instruction and military test flying. The 317th shall continue to report on this topic as the project progresses during the course of the year.