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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, The 317th Former President Designs Entry Into Portable UAV Market

Known as the Miniature Air Vehicle Reconnaissance Intelligence Collector (M.A.V.R.I.C)
A portable, hand held, hand launch UAV for Urban / Close Quarter Reconnaissance and Monitoring  
Meant to be field disposable if lost or damaged in use. Fully lippo battery operated with an effective range of  two mile from the operator at and altitude of 1,000 feet

Miami, Florida 2nd July 2012: "Here Comes The Drones" Appears to be the slogan for the future of modern warfare and civil policing within the 21st Century. AFA-317th member and former Chapter President, Benny Benitez who is establishing himself and his organization known as the 94th AeroClaims-Aviation Consultant Group as the premier aviation consultant group within Miami, Florida with the greatest amount of knowledge concerning drones and UAV's has completed initial designs for a small, portable, hand held-hand launched, field disposable mini UAV to be to classified as "MAVRIC".
MAVRIC stand for "Miniature-Air-Vehicle-Recconnaissance-Intelligence-Collector". 
The idea came to Benny when realizing that today drones which are being manufactured always seem to be large vehicles with complex operational support systems and structured with tremendous cost to Federal, State and Local Government Agencies and often out of the budgetary reach of many small Law Enforcement Departments. 
As a 2010 graduate of the FBI Citizen Academy Program and currently attending by invite the Miami-Dade Police Department Citizen Academy Program, Benny is obtaining a solid and special prospective into Law Enforcement / Surveillance while all the time blending his long and established career within aviation and aerospace, which has led to his creation of the MAVRIC.
Benny plans to create a flying prototype by years end and has consider utilizing the Students at the George T. Baker Aviation School as another sponsored Community Project of which will see the AFA-317th lead the way and which already has the interest of Captain Barrington Irving organization known as "Experience Aviation" concerning exposing young kids and adults to aviation. 
As the motto goes, the AFA-317th American Relevant Air Force Association Chapter. It should be noted that the idea of M.A.V.R.I.C was visually brought to life by Miami-Homestead Chapter member, Ms. Catherine Smallwood who is well versed in the use of Hollywood grade, visual special effect, digital rendering software known as "LIGHTWAVE 4.0". Catherine who herself if a professional Commercial airline pilot brings here expertise to Benny's idea, truly the AFA-317th is a creative and innovative Chapter.

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, The 317th Reports On Former USAF K-135E's New Life Within The Chilean Air Force (FACH)

FACH tanker serial number 981, C/n 17572, former USAF 57-1501 flying with an F-16C from the "Peace Puma" Program in which the U.S. provided the 1st six F-16C Block 50 aircraft to Chile. Shown flying with 981 is F-16C # 853 from the "Peace Puma" Program from 2006
The FACH last and final KC-135E tanker to have been delivered is aircraft serial number, C/n 17759, which was formerly USAF 58-0014
U.S. Ambassador to Chile Paul Simons, Chilean Minister of National Defense, Francisco Vidal and Commander if Chief of the Chilean Air Force, General Ricardo Ortega, cutting the ribbon commissioning the first KC-135E, serial # 981 into the Chilean Air Force

Miami, Florida 30th June 2012: In researching the disposition of former USAF KC-135 Tankers, Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, 317th member and former Chapter President Benny Benitez learned that Boeing has delivered the last of the three Boeing KC-135E's "Strato-Tankers" to the Fuerza Aerea de Chile (Chilean Air Force).
According to Mr. Mike Wright, Boeing KC-135E Program Director, on 28th March Boeing announced the completion of the program, with the last KC-135E, number 983 being handed over on 9th March 2012 to the Chilean Air Force according.
We bet that there are many of our AFA colleagues out there that may wonder if these three KC-135E which were sent to the Chilean Air Force may have been ships that they have either flew or crewed during their times in the Air Force. Therefore, we wish to provide the following information on the three KC-135E which were transferred to Chile, check your log books.

Serial Number           C/n                  Former USAF Serial Number

981                              17572              57-1501
982                              17730              57-2594
983                              17759              58-0014

Finally research showed that elements of 151th Air Refueling Wing from the Utah Air National Guard not only ferried the three KC-135E to Chile, but also provided initial ground operational and ground maintenance training to their counterparts in Chile.  Chile reason for obtaining the KC-135E is so as to support their fleet of F-16's and F-5's, as well as to support peace time and humanitarian missions. A testament to American industry and Boeing quality manufacturing a stout and robust aircraft which has served our Nation well and will continue to serve our Allies in years to come.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, The 317th Ask "Who Copied Who?" For The Prefect Cockpit Pilot Pose

AFA-317th Chapter President Lt.Col. Rodrigo "Rod" Huete USAF (Ret.) Former USAF & FAA Test Pilot at the controls

Russian President Vladimir Putin within the cockpit of a Tuplolev Tu-160 supersonic strategic bomber, NATO code name "Blackjack" appearing to copy AFA-317th President, Lt.Col. Rodrigo Huete USAF (Ret.) posied for that prefect cockpit shot

Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-160 "Blackjack" Strategic Bomber"

Miami, Florida 25th May 2012: Strangely, shown above are two pictures of two different men, serving two different Presidency, sitting in two different aircraft's within two different part the world, thus taken at two different time, but yet achieving the same thing! the sense of being being at the control of an aircraft.
We at the AFA-317th like to believe that Russian Vladimir Putin copied Lt.Col. Rodrigo poses for a promo photograph showing what a leader look when in control. We at the AFA are flattered for this international recognition and admiration by the Russians.
But it should be noted that despite the many attributes that President Putin poses, he is not a trained nor an accomplish military / civilian test pilot unlike Lt. Col. Rodrigo and we at the AFA-317th would relish at the chance to have our President sit, fly and be checked out the controls of Tu-160, maybe the AFA-317 could execute an international exchange program bewteen leaders of military associations for the sense of international stability. 
If there ever was such an idea, rest assure that America's most "Relevant" Chapter within the Air Force Association would proudly and as effective as a group of U.S Army Rangers would "Lead the Way!"
Therefore, we at the AFA-317 hope that Russia Ambassador to the United Nation, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin may see this posting within out blog.

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, The 317th Is Honored By The Presence of Mr. Seymour "Sy" Shweky A WWII B-17G Crewmember

Brooklyn born Mr. Seymour "Sy" Shweky proudly holding and displaying his original issued USAAF leather flight jacket and a model the B-17G type aircraft that the flew as a crewmember with the 368th Bombardment Squadron (H), 306th Bombardment Group (H)

The flight gear displayed for the benefit of all to see what B-17 crewmen had to use was provided from the private collection of former Chapter President Benny Benitez who is an avid collector and trader of World War II Military items

Days before GPS, B-17 crewmen such as the crew Navigator used this type of Sexton  and map shown to plot their course. The unit is shown within its wooden box with all accessories

Two of the AFA-317th finest! Mr. David Bernstein WWII USAAF 6th Air Force (Panama) and Mr. Seymour "Sy" Shweky WWII USAAF 8th Air Force (England) two great Americans

"Sy" USAAF A-2 leather flight jacket. Sy advised that before leaving Brooklyn, New York, "Sy" Mother gave him his first skill scarf for luck of which he wore on ALL 35 Missions! and made it home safe and alive.  One can not dispute a Mother love for one safety

While viewing "Sy" A-2 leather flight jacket this tag was found tucked within the inner liner pocket with a metal cotter pin. When we asked "Sy" he said that this tag shown above, belong to the last 500 lbs bomb that he armed before dropping over Germany on his mission of the Second World War

Mr. Shweky proudly holding the 317th banner as flanked by members of the USAF presence at U.S. Southern Command along with Lt.Col. Rodrigo "Rod" Huete Chapter President 

"Sy" with former Chapter President Benny Benitez who was honored to met a Great American such as Sy and who learned  a few things about the gear he brought for display from "Sy"

AFA-317th member Bernie Schumacher and member of the Quiet Birdman Association chats with "Sy" and extend an invite for "Sy" to speak at there next Quiet Birdman meeting 

B-17G crewman, Mr Seymour "Sy" Shweky manning the 50 cal. machine gun at the port fuselage gunners position. Note the lower ball turret support bar behind him and the radioman area forward

Combat Crews if of the 368th Bombardment Squadron (H), of the 306 Bombardment Group (H) Thurliegh Airfield

Miami, Florida 10th May 2012: The AFA-317th Chapter was honored by having a very special guest speaker during their scheduled May luncheon. Brooklyn, Born Seymour "Sy" Shweky a former World War Two, Boeing B-17G crew member belonging to the 368th Bombardment Squadron (H) / 306th Bombardment Group (H) 8th Air Force based in Thurliegh Airfield, England who flew 35 Combat missions over Nazi held Europe gave all who attended a brilliant experience to hear it from someone who was there.
The effort to have brought such a special speaker to the Chapter was the joint effort by former Chapter President Benny Benitez and Chapter member Mr. Avi Mizrachi who is a friend of Mr. Shweky.
"Sy" gave all present an indepth insight as to what the American mind set was back in 1940's. Right after the attack on Pearl Harbor, "Sy" felt his patriotic duty to answer the call to serve, but being only 17 years ago at the time he was too young to enlist. A year later the U.S. War Department lowered the enlistment age and with the approval of his Mother "Sy" wanting to avoid the general draft and who wanted to specifically service as a flyer, enlisted within the U.S. Army Air Corp and was piped into the Radio Man / Waist Gunner classification for training.
"Sy" was assigned to crew a B-17 with the 368th Bombardment Squadron (H) / 306th Bombardment Group (H). "Sy' account and recollection was amazing, giving us all a riveting insight in imagining as to how it would have been to have been flying an actual combat mission over Nazi held Europe within a B-17.
We all learned as to how in those days B-17 radio-operators were in such high demand and a critical part of the crew. 'Sy" expressed as he was at times shuffled around from crew to crew to fill the space of crews who radio-operators were sick, not yet reported for duty or who may have been killed in previous missions.
This exact requirement is what appears to have saved "Sy" life as there was one mission that his original crew was scheduled to fly, "Sy" was substituted due to "crew rest time" requirements, as he flew two prior missions with another crew while his crew was schedule for ground time. "Sy" original crew departed with another radio-operator and were lost on that particular combat mission. 
Only one crewmember was able to bail out and parachuted over Nazi held Europe and served the rest of the war a prisoner of war and at the end of the war was later re-repatriated and he "Sy" were the only ones who survived the war and their B-17 days.
We at the AFA-317 salute Mr. Seymour "Sy" Shweky for his service toward our great Nation.
It should be noted that the AFA-317 is working with the local French consulate, as "Sy" qualifies for a French issued medal by the French Government for all those U.S. and Allied servicemen who helped liberate France either by land, by sea or by air.
We a the AFA-317th shall report further on this great recondition toward a great American!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter,The 317th Awards AFROTC Scholarships to Deserving Cadets

The South Florida Aerospace Scholarship Foundation, a sister organization to the AFA Miami-Homestead Chapter, issues scholarships to deserving AFROTC Cadets each year. This year seven Cadets received scholarships. This is just one of the ways our chapter promotes the Air Force as well as studies in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Miami, Florida, 12th January 2012: The core mission of the 317th is to support the education of aerospace studies among local students within various area schools and that mission again has been successfully meet with a recent awarding of various scholarships to deserving AFROTC Cadets. Leading the mission as shown above was Chapter President, Lt.Col. Rodrigo "Rod" Huete, USAF (Ret.)
From the Students at the George T.Baker Aviation School of Miami, the local Civil Air Patrol Squadrons, JR. AFROTC, and AFROTC at the University of Miami the AFA-317 always maintains a supporting presence.
Aside of the monetary support, that the AFA-317 provide for the benefit of local students, the Chapter has a great deal of active, industry professional that provide their experience and knowledge to the above groups in a unified manner that results in a  "Force Multiplier" for the benefit of continued aerospace education for the youth of Miami-Dade.
The AFA-317th is currently working toward raising additional funds for the year to support their operation and to tackle new challenges.