It happened again. I went down the internet rabbit hole. Well… not just again… it happens all the time. But usually, I can focus and bring myself back to doing what I started to do in the first place. But not today… this time I spent hours down there.
I was searching to verify a couple of my facts about the Ban Karai Pass. I always try to get at least two sources… preferably three… before I pass on something as fact. So this morning I was just warming up. I put in the search words, “Ban Karai Pass.”
Up popped a pic of a B-52. Sometimes I’ll click on a pic to get to the story that goes with it. This time the pic was just the entrance to the Rabbit Hole.
I discovered the “pic” was really digital artwork by a man named, Peter Chilelli. And when I clicked into it, the link took me to a website with all of his artwork.
I started looking at the artwork… I looked… and looked… and looked. Many of the pics have stories that go along with them. So… I need to warn you; if you click into the link, be prepared to spend hours looking at all the pics and artwork.
There are 934 “Aviation” images plus another 600 or so of everything else. Also, be prepared to take out your wallet. I did. I just had to buy four of his artworks for my “man cave.” No football teams on my wall.
If you can’t find a great pic or artwork of your favorite aircraft, then you probably don’t have any favorite aircraft. Here are links to a few of my favorites. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The North Vietnamese gave the F-111 the nickname, “Whispering Death.” The Aardvark attacked at near mach speed using terrain-following radar to come in as low as 200 feet off the ground. They only heard a whoosh just before the bombs struck. By the way… in case you think the F-111 didn’t do well, it flew over 4,000 missions by the end of Linebacker II. In the end, the F-111s had one of the lowest loss rates of the war. The F-111s also went on to in essence bring an end to Muammar Gaddafi’s reign in Libya… and to deliver “Whispering Death” again during Desert Storm.
I had a tough time choosing a pic of the iconic “Thud.” As much as anything else, the F-105 symbolizes the air war against North Vietnam and the HCMT. Unfortunately, Vietnam now owns most of them.
F-4s performed every role in Southeast Asia… “Mig Cap,” bombing the North, HCMT interdiction and even FACs (Fast FACs). The website has 108 images for Phantoms.
I just had to have one more pic of the F-111. If you can’t tell from my first comments, this is my favorite of favorites. During my time, I worked on everything from the propeller-driven aircraft of the Air Commandos, through the F-16. After my days as an Air Commando, the years I spent with the Aardvark were the best of all.
Perhaps I should add… Once an Air Commando, always an Air Commando. So, one last pic. This one not from Peter Chilelli… but a pic of my favorite Air Commandos.
I hope you enjoyed a little time with me down the rabbit hole. But that’s all for now. It’s time for me to climb back out of the rabbit hole and get back to your regularly scheduled programming.