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A Night Flasher Photo of Carlsbad, New Mexico, Power Plant.

Some great photos from Brad Jones.
Aboard the USS Kitty Hawk, Tonkin Gulf, Yankee station off of Viet Nam.

USS Kitty Hawk

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Super Bright flash units for the Military RA-5C Vigilante  reconnaissance Cameras in the Viet

Photo from Brad Jones
 stationed aboard the USS Kitty Hawk

the start of the viet nam war ordered by president johnson

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USS Kitty Hawk 
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Super Bright flash units for the Military RA-5C Vigilante reconnaissance Cameras in the Viet Nam War. This photo is of a Carlsbad Power Plant.

This is 2 of 3 - a night flasher photo of Carlsbad, New Mexico, Power Plant.

I LOVED working on the night flasher system! It was the ultimate Tim Allen thing (More Power!! Argh!!).

The system was designed to use a 400 Volt Trigger to unleash the 2600 Volt Flash (times 3 per pod for 6 total - 3 port, 3 starboard). But, in the heat of combat, reality sets in. The Vigilante is making its approach as low and slow as possible in order to get the best possible image which requires the best possible flash. After a couple of flashes, though, the Commies "learn" to aim between the flasher pods. So, when the small arms fire from the ground intensifies, the pilot of the Vigilante understandably increases thrust so as to get out of there. The result is unusable photos from that point on because the camera and flashers are firing too fast to build up sufficient energy first.

I told CDR Choyce (who usually accepted night photo missions) that I could cheat a bit and, hopefully, help him out. The normal recharge ramp rate was about 1 second. I forced it to ramp up faster and complete the job in about .8 second. The designed, full charge was 2600 volts, I increased that to the 2800-3000 volt range. The goal was faster and brighter and we did it. We weeded out a lot of capacitors that couldn't take the stress of the faster charge and the over voltage, but it was worth it. The Pilot and RAN could get in and out faster and might even come back with clean skivvies!

The test bench for the flasher system was located right by the hatch where people entered and left our area. When I was testing flashers, no one came or went! Once every .8 - .9 seconds it sounded like a gun was fired. That much energy directed down onto a special bench top was LOUD! Plus, the bench top would smoke from the heat. Then, every so often one of the capacitors would split apart and belch fire! Since I was pushing their limits, that was expected and had to be done, but to a Yeoman passing by, it was no place to be. Great fun!



You too can take a trip to the North Pole, for real
Jack Fellows. 

Robert T. Smith of the First American Volunteer Group, "The Flying Tigers," in his original P-40C, number 77, 3rd Squadron. 36"x 20¼" print.

....#0007761 3


Two Hurricanes flying in formation in 1940. 15"x 24" image on 20"x 28" paper.

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This is a military p-47 thunderbolt

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