WYSO

Dan Patterson

Aviation Commentator

Dan Patterson is an aviation historian and photographer. You can see more of his photos at his website, www.flyinghistory.com

B-17F Memphis Belle over Europe
Dan Patterson Archival Collection

On May 17, the National Museum of the United States Air Force opens an exhibit about the Memphis Belle, a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress.  The exhibit tells the story of the Memphis Belle and her crew, one of the first American bombers to survive 25 missions, at a time when surviving 10 missions was considered lucky.  Aviation commentator Dan Patterso has a few thoughts.

Wrecked aircraft flown by Richtofen April 21, 1918
Dan Patterson Archival Collection

100 years ago this month, an aerial battle took place which has passed into legend. The story of two pilots whose flight paths literally crossed over the battlefield, Canadian Arthur Roy Brown and Manfred von Richtofen, the Red Knight of Germany.  Aviation commentator Dan Patterson has the story.

This is the story of Manfred and Roy, two pilots from different backgrounds.  One was the son of an elite German military family; the other was a middle class young man who enlisted when the British Empire went to war.

TWA's City of Dayton airplane
Dan Patterson Archives

Over the weekend the Dayton International Airport celebrated its 80th anniversary.  When it opened, it was called Dayton Municipal Airport. And opening day coincided with the anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first fight at Kittyhawk, North Carolina.  It was 1936 – aviation was a burgeoning industry in the US.  Aviation commentator Dan Patterson has the story.

John Glenn on December 17, 1998, in Dayton for the 95th anniversary of the Wright’s first flight.
Dan Patterson

The public will be able to pay tribute to the late John Glenn on Friday when the former astronaut and Senator lies in state at the Ohio capitol.  WYSO's Aviation Commentator Dan Patterson has this reflection on Glenn's legendary career.

In April, there was a ceremony at the Lafayette Escadrille and Flying Corps monument in France to mark the original Escadrille’s centennial
Dan Patterson

WYSO Aviation commentators Dan Patterson and Paul Glenshaw traveled to France in April to witness a significant moment in aviation history. Today they bring us the story of a milestone of American aviation—the loss of the first American pilot in combat.

One hundred years ago, on June 23, 1916, a young flyer named Victor Chapman took off on his last flight.

Muhammed Ali in the locker room beneath Welcome Stadium, June 25, 1971
Dan Patterson

Memorial services will be held Friday in Louisville Kentucky for Muhammad Ali.  Local photographer Dan Patterson has fond memories of Ali. 

In 1971, I spent three days with The Champ.  He was is town twice that year, once be on the Phil Donahue show, still being produced at TV 2, and once to do an exhibition training fight as he prepared for another heavyweight fight with Joe Frazer.  

Inserting the Solar Impulse into the mobile inflatable hangar.
Dan Patterson

Last Saturday night, the future of aviation came to Dayton, where manned flight was created. The Solar Impulse, an electrically powered aircraft, which uses solar cells to generate its power landed at Dayton International Airport on the latest leg of an attempt to circle the earth. Our aviation commentator Dan Patterson was there.

The Solar Impulse approaching Dayton International Airport, looking very much a UFO.Credit Dan PattersonEdit | Remove

An aerial view of McCook Field in Dayton
Dan Patterson Archival Collection

A story on NPR last month got our aviation commentator's attention. Dan Patterson heard that the US Navy has returned to teaching celestial navigation – a method that uses an instrument called a sextant along with the sun and stars to chart a course. The Navy says it's concerned about over-reliance on GPS navigation, which is vulnerable to attack or failure.

Dan Patterson

Last week WYSO's aviation commentators, Paul Glenshaw and Dan Patterson, teamed up to cover the World War II Flyover in Washington DC. A parade of privately owned vintage warbirds celebrated the 70th of VE Day – the victory in Europe. Paul recorded voices and Dan took photographs to bring us this impression of the event.

9th Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts
Dan Patterson

Friday, May 8th is recognized as VE Day, which stands for Victory in Europe. 70 years ago, in the spring of 1945, American armies were streaming across Europe – the war was nearly over.  Part of the Americans' success came because they had learned how to support the troops and tanks on the ground with support with from the air.

Military flying began in 1914, in the early days of WWI as a way to see over the horizon and figure out what the enemy was up to.  Soon military flying became a sophisticated tactical and strategic weapon in itself.

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