TAP #50 - Billie Flynn

Billie has over 40 years flying fast jets. He recently retired as the Senior Experiential Test Pilot for the F-35.

[00:00:00] Rain: Well, all right, Billy, we're off to theraces. Thanks for joining me on the podcast. Um, forehand, we just did a littlequick Q and a session for Patriot and listeners. So thanks for taking the timeto do that. Again. Those were for everyone who's out there supporting thepodcast, but Billy, without being said, let's, uh, let's jump into it here.

[00:00:17] I always like to askmy guests, if you kind of get the 60 to 92nd elevator pitch of who you are,what you're doing, what you did, and then we'll, we'll jump into it.

[00:00:27] Billie: Rain thanks for having me. I love theshow. So I'm really appreciative that you invited me to be on. It's always funto listen to your guests. So thanks. 60 seconds. Hold me to it.

[00:00:37] Rain: You'll be the first.

[00:00:38] Billie: 23 years, I know it's 23 years in the,uh, in the Canadian air force. My father was a fighter pilot flew FAA. Six isall the way to Voodoos.

[00:00:47] I grew up in thatworld and, uh, ESI always wanted to be a fighter pilot. Uh, the originalCanadian nugget in CFA teens. Uh, I finished the Canadian military as the [00:01:00] command, a squadron commander of a, of anoperational squadron, but also the, I commanded the wing of a Hornets that flewin allied force out of, uh, Aviano in the spring of 1999 in between all that Idid, uh, the United States Naval test pilot school.

[00:01:14] And I spent fiveyears at Edwards air force base as the exchange pilot, who was never cominghome. Uh, I was having so much fun flying Vipers at the F 16 combined testscores test force. As the Canadian exchange officer, I flew at NASA Dryden thennow called NASA Armstrong flew Hornets. And hopefully we're going to talk aboutthrust vectoring as part of all that at the end of my career, I was poached andinvited to come to fly.

[00:01:36] Eurofighter typhoon.I moved to Munich, Germany, imagine that, uh, foothills of the Alps and I flewEuro fighter at the beginning of its days when it was still a prototype alongthe way while I was there flying at fours, which was magical as a formerCanadian and tornado. And then after that, it, uh, really when F 35 was won byLockheed Martin [00:02:00] Lockheed Martin,because I knew them back in my F 16 days, uh, I wanted to come and be part ofwhat was going to be a franchise program.

[00:02:07] And so 2003, I leftthe Euro fighter program, moved to Fort worth Texas initially on block 60, thatking Kong Viper of all time, uh, the amazing 80 jets that we built for theUnited Arab Emirates, uh, tested exclusively by Lockheed test pilots withreally no military, uh, intervention, which was the most amazing four or fiveyears of any of our careers.

[00:02:31] And then I did twoyears succonded to the automatic collision avoidance T technology team, eightcat that, uh, matured the technology for automatic ground collision avoidancethat you see now in the Vipers that you flew. And , there's a long story thatgoes with that. And then full time to posted 10 years at PAX river.

[00:02:53] Predominantly flyingB's and C's as test guy, but equal time A's through CS. I've had a [00:03:00] glorious, amazing, blessed career. Uh, Iretired a year and a half ago. It COVID hit. And I had been out of the country,out of Canada, my Homeland for more than 20 years. And I could not handle beingaway from my wife, our four boys, aging parents any longer.

[00:03:19] And as much as Iloved flying it's infectious to me, it is my drug of choice. Um, my family andthat priority really was just so much more important than anything I was evergoing to do in a jet I'd flown fighters for 40 years. I was just so blessed,um, start to finish. And so it was time to stop that.

[00:03:37] And I moved back toCanada.

[00:03:40] Rain: Yeah.

[00:03:40] Billie: Well, part-time I still live at, westill live at PAX river, but, uh, my accent is coming back very heavilyCanadian these days.

[00:03:48] Rain: Once you go north of the wall, I imagineit has to come back a little bit there. Right?

[00:03:52] Billie: You know, I tell people if you don'tdown south, you don't understand my mood, my accent, go watch the movie Fargoand you'll figure me out pretty quickly.[00:04:00]

[00:04:00] Rain: Uh, Billy, that's an incredible career.And I mean, I was, you're still going at it. You've flown more fighters thanobviously most people. Um, I can only imagine flying some of those jets. Itsounds incredible. I do want to talk about a smattering of things today andwe'll see where it goes, but I would like to jump into the demo.

[00:04:19] So they have 35 demoteam for the air force. It started out as just a heritage flight when I was 16demo pilot. And then my last year and a half, it became a demo. But before thatyou were developing the demo profile for the which then subsequently dojo theUm, pilot took on the road and I know he worked a lot developing it with you ashe was talking to dojo.

[00:04:46] Ironically, he wasone of my first students when I was a FAPE. So it's kind of funny theconnection there but it's interesting. Cause I know you mentioned you goingthrough developing all of this. I'm curious as to what went into the processwhen it [00:05:00] comes to crunching numbers,developing the profile for an interesting show, because there's a lot of movingpieces talking to the

[00:05:08] Billie: yeah, there really

[00:05:08] Rain: It was like, they used to give these tolike aerospace engineer students to validate the profile, et cetera. But I'mkind of curious what, what was that process? And I know that's, that's a big,big ball over there.

[00:05:20] Billie: well, thanks for him. Cause it'sreally a, an important topic. I've been lecturing about it really. It's comingup in the fifth anniversary of, um, June of 2017, the first demonstrationpublic demonstration of the , but we didn't just show up into it. Uh, look,we'd been brow beaten badly in the public forums about losing.

[00:05:42] A dogfight to a twoseat, two tank, 40 year old, F 16 at Edwards. And that story just never wentaway and, and you've heard it and I'm sure you've talked about it. Everybodyelse has talked about, you know, it really wasn't the dog fight, but it'sirrelevant. It became the urban meth and it really stuck. And it was, it was [00:06:00] killing us.

[00:06:00] And you couldn't gettalking about, like, why would you spend billions of dollars on a fifthgeneration aircraft when you couldn't even beat a last generation hogged upViper? And there's no conversation because no one would believe sensor fusionor stealth or anything significant about fifth gen, because we were supposedlyso hampered.

[00:06:20] And so someone, youknow, a general retired Gary north Norto Norto, um, and I at air shows would,you know, just get so badly embarrassed. And, uh, I think the pinnacle wasbeing at Abbotsford the summer of 2016 when there were three different Hornetshows. And we had, I think we had something on static display or a couple ofguys had flown in and we were just getting killed and we were going to losecompetitions.

[00:06:49] And so the, the taskto me was in the, in the secret plan, which was like the poor, worst secretever in Lockheed history. I was cleared hot to go create [00:07:00] the demo. So what we had to beat was wehad to tell a story that crushed the dog fight myth, and, and I had to come upwith. Uh, a plan to do that in F uh, contractor demo different than what youflew.

[00:07:15] We are. They'revery, we're there to demonstrate the highlights of an airplane in very specificprofiles. We're really not there to show the public a show if you want towatch. That's great, but we're, we're presenting to politicians, to heads ofheads, of state, to general officers, to technical experts, to our, by the way,our competition is watching to show the best of our airplane.

[00:07:35] Whether you're agrip in a rough file, you're a super Hornet, you're a legacy Hornet. You're aViper. We're going to show you the best of what we have. And in our case, uh,we had to, we had to give them the best we have. We don't have 15 minutes onstage at Paris. You have six minutes to show your stuff. And I flew at Paris in1987 as the CFA team demo guy.

[00:07:57] And I know that,like I knew from my [00:08:00] history, the boxis tiny. The clock is ticking. The rules are so strict. So. You don't have alot of time. You've got very little real estate and you got to show the bestyou can. And so I took this to understand, I had to show the highlights of theairplane. And what is the airplane hop?

[00:08:16] It is a 43,000 poundthrust engine. The biggest monster fighter engine of all time. That's Viperpower like brah brute power. It is slow speed capability, uh, like the legacyHornet that I did air shows in. So we could do a square loop and he could do aslow speed pass at 35 off a totally controllable.

[00:08:36] And oh, by the way,climb away, just sitting on the afterburner vertical after that. And it couldsit at high alpha. It can sit at 50 alpha. Yawing at 50 degrees a second, whichis not a Raptor, but he's got thrust vectoring and I don't, and that's kind ofwrapped her like, you know, forget the Russian airplane.

[00:08:56] So a six minutes,uh, what did I want to do? Everybody thought the [00:09:00]jet was mediocre and it wasn't until I got into our simulator, that I startedto realize that there was really something out there, but this airplane, um,and, and I put together a routine. The routine is, and if you Google F 35Paris, not that I'm advertising, but that's w where it was filmed on day one,it's a AB takeoff to a vertical to rate into the vertical, to a reposition, toa square loop, to repayment position, to that, to a 35 alpha pass, just barelywalking down the runway, come out of that and burner climb up and then backinto a vertical climb skid over the top at 50 out alpha spiraled down at 50alpha, doing 50 degrees a second in a pedal turn, stop, fly away, totally undercontrol.

[00:09:41] And then a level 360max G turning and land all in six minutes. Um, I'll jump ahead and tell you. Ina six minute air show routine, we crushed more than 10 years of myths andmisinformation about the F 35 fed by our [00:10:00]competitors, right. Fed by our own failure to communicate properly and clearlyfed by our adversaries.

[00:10:07] But so how do we,how do we build it? Because if we crash, if we fail a maneuver, we havecemented in the minds of everybody and we would have lost billions of dollarsin sales. And even at home crushed our hopes of turning this into a franchiseprogram. Um, the term I use is ambidextrous thinking. And what I mean by thatis we built each routine backwards.

[00:10:34] What I knew is Icouldn't afford ever to lose the jet there there's, there's no maneuver. Thatcan be so daring. So amazing that it put it in a position where. Unforeseenhappens and I can't recover. And so we built it backwards and, and, and to dothis, uh, we have tools that you didn't have before we have astonishingcommuting, uh, computing power, right?

[00:10:57] We have a simulatordifferent than what, you know, [00:11:00] evenin the airlines. And certainly in the Viper simulators are just that theysimulate the real airplane, but in F 35, the flight control system is, is amodel built system. So we, we build a massage the model, and then we tell theairplane to fly like the model.

[00:11:17] And after 10 yearsof flight test, where we've been feeding data back and forth, after all thesetest flights, our model is like flawless, which when you put it in the airplaneor in the SIM, the SIM now flies like the real airplane. So we had, we hadtruth data in the SIM. I didn't have to couch anything.

[00:11:35] I didn't have to,you know, kind of figure it. It really was the real. And then we realized wehad to create fail safe gates. So here's the example I give you. Uh, I had ateam of every discipline. You need its flight controls. It's it's structureslike loads it's engine, obviously it's electrics. Uh, I dunno, it's cockpitstuff.

[00:11:55] Is the helmet going towork? You name it. We had an engineering team put together [00:12:00] and then we said, look, give us, give usall the scenarios where we could get ourselves in trouble and give me theperformance numbers that allow me to recover. So you know this, but for thelisteners, the is a nine G 50 alpha airplane.

[00:12:15] But when the flightcontrols fail off thinking the Viper, when, when we went to, um, a backup motorin the Hornet, when it defaults out of, out of its cost mode, then you go to asecondary capability it's to get you home kind of capability. And so. In, in anelectric jet instantly from nine G 50 alpha to 5g 20 alpha.

[00:12:38] If you are bankingon, on the fourth corner of a, of a square loop, pulling off a 50 alpharecovery and flying away, and all of a sudden, without you knowing, becausethere's some fault, you have a 20 alpha turn, turn circle, you're going to Mortyourself. You're going to scrape off Robin's nest at the top of the [00:13:00] trees.

[00:13:00] And so we, wecreated the numbers and we ran a million scenarios and combinations of thescenarios. So there is no chance that any combination could ever get us introuble. And people would say to me, the engineers go look, that's never goingto happen. And you know, there's no way those combinations are going to happen.

[00:13:18] So I flewEurofighter typhoon and in the Eurofighter typhoon way back when the chance ofa double engine. Have a typhoon was one times 10 to the minus 19. That's not ina million lifetimes of our grandparents and great-grandparents and so on, likeimpossible to imagine. And how did we lose our first typhoon, a double engineflameout of the two seats, Spanish prototype and it pancaked into the ground inSpain.

[00:13:48] So when an engineersays to me that can never ever happened, my response is I will never, everbelieve you.

[00:13:54] Rain: don't

[00:13:55] Billie: so we created a w the, the Christmasof 2016 into 2017 [00:14:00] over Christmas,even after all the Sims, I'd done hundreds of hours, we ran the simulator byitself and said, look, just do all the failure modes and make sure it can'tcrash.

[00:14:10] And so rememberthat, that example in pointing straight down like this it's really the. Coronerto happen. Well, that number happens to be 2,387 feet is the worst case. Wheneverything fails, you make it outta here and still fly away. And I can't dothat. Math in my helmet pointed out the ground, but I can, I can remember 2,500feet.

[00:14:31] And so all of asudden I set a number that goes, look, you can never be pointing at the groundless than 2,500 feet. And then I would back it up to the, to the third cornerand go, okay, we know how much this is. And oh, by the way, I did all thevariations. I said, okay, look, you should be 200 knots, but what if you're two50 or three 50?

[00:14:48] What if your one 50?What if. Heavy on fuel and you got 10,000 pounds of gas, not 6,000 pounds, likeyou think, and all those iterations. And that's how I got to round it out 2,500feet. [00:15:00] And that applies to everysingle maneuver in the entire routine. And there is if you understand thosenumbers and if you understand the flight controls and all that, the academicsto go into it, you can never, you will never kill yourself in an air show.

[00:15:16] And, you know, fromall your demo time, you know, the history, you know, the Viper fatalitiesstories. I know the stories in the Hornet world. I know the fatalities and, andI actually knew a guy named Dez Barker, retired south African major general,who wrote the defining book on airshow accents called zero margin.

[00:15:35] He, he, uh, he diedunfortunately a couple of years ago and, and he would tell us these stories of,you know, all their show guys that were like, things went wrong. What'simportant in this academics and how it was built is I couldn't lose the job.But I, but we, it turned out we had a really spectacular, um, uh, show to, toput out there and, and I've taken that sense.[00:16:00]

[00:16:00] And I briefed atICAST the international council of air shows. You've been there every year. Ibreathe twice, uh, in the safety day for air crew about this. And we've gone onthe road to this. You mentioned dojo Olson who flew the first air force demo,like, oh, by the way, great guy, great stick. And he completely bought intounderstanding the engineering of it all so that he knew every time he flew, he,he just knew the numbers.

[00:16:24] And you knew that aslong as he stuck by the numbers, he was never going to get himself into. W atthe same time as we trained dojo, we trained to the Marines to develop theirshow, which is a really spectacular see tall and Stoval combination show and agood friend of mine, Lieutenant Colonel champ guy yet just flew it in Singapore.

[00:16:45] A couple of monthsago, you can see it on the web and did a stunning, stunning performance of theB model in Singapore and just blew that blew everybody away. And we taught theNavy demo. Guys, the guys who were going to do their show, they never haveflown the [00:17:00] full demo, but we gavethem the academics.

[00:17:02] And then after dojowas leaving. Uh, Beowulf was coming on board. She came in dojo as her mentor. Itaught the academics and now Bayer has gutter first full season after beingkind of skunked with, to a board and season and bail flies and incredible show.Also what they possess is an incredible knowledge of the airplane that didn'texist in my Hornet days.

[00:17:24] You couldn't getthat in super Hornet. You certainly never had in Eurofighter days, or youdidn't have the opportunity of that in your Viper experience, but the numbersare flawless. I will tell you two anecdotes. I know why the numbers areflawless. I had a, I developed a routine in the SIM and I went out my first dayto practice.

[00:17:43] I had a chase Viperwith me with two of my colleagues following me. The jets I was given were at ahill. So I took off out of Fort worth on the military side. Uh, Lockie gets atwo-seat Viper chases me out and I start working through the routines, justindividual maneuvers start doing, uh, take off equivalents [00:18:00] and it's supposed to be passes and thesquares.

[00:18:02] And the slow speedpast my exit was too light, light. The AB never let the nose move. It's an oldHornet thing. Don't show don't show nose, move it, and just pull away. And atthe top I was going to do a 50 alpha loop and then fly away, which always, alwaysworked for me. And I didn't really think it out.

[00:18:19] There's lots ofthings going on. And I'm now instead of at 1000 feet, 2000 feet, I'm at 12,000,13,000 feet. And I get somewhere up here, ABC cooking, the airspeed looks okay.And I bury the stick to come over the top. And I am nowhere near the noseposition that I need to get over the top. And the jet parks had right aboutvertical and I I'm a Hornet guy, right.

[00:18:40] I know what's aboutto happen. And all of a sudden I'm not flying anymore. Bells are going off andI've managed to depart the jet, you know, at 12,000 feet or somewhere west ofFort. And I'm just thinking, congratulations. You're. So you're a show crewjust came to an abrupt end, the jet flies away. Cause it's an F [00:19:00] 35 and you'll never stay out of departed.

[00:19:02] The guys beside me,never knew what happened. And, and so I went home and tail between my legs.Actually I finished the practice by the way, but then I went home and I gavethe data to the engineers to look, boys, this is really not good. Uh, had along call with my then fiance now wife. And she goes, look, you you'restripping that right out of the air show routine immediately.

[00:19:22] And then I tell youthe story, because the next day we went back in the SIM and I flew in the sameenvironment and in the SIM the jet departed because the simulator was exactlylike the airplane. And that gave me the confidence moving forward to know thatI could do everything in the SIM and not have to worry that it wasn't quiteright.

[00:19:41] It really was truedata. And that gave me in the 17 flights I had to practice before I went to.The astonishing confidence that we, we completely new the jet. And now I'lltell you that if your going to be an F 35 demo guy in Australia, in theNetherlands [00:20:00] in Italy, there is noway on God's green earth that anyone would dare let you go be a demo pilotwithout coming back to Lockheed Martin and sitting with the engineering teamand doing two days of academics in Sims so that you completely understand thejet like dojo knew and bale Wolf knows because there are a hundred milliondollar, one of a kind, uh, national assets, and you can't afford to mess thisup, you know, from all your years.

[00:20:28] It isn't how you flythe jet. There's so many other variables when you're an airshow guy that youcannot control that confuse what otherwise in the sterile world you couldfigure out, but on date, on day game, on game day, there's just so much outthere. The intimate knowledge of the airplane is what's going to keep us fromplanting a, uh, an F 35.

[00:20:49] Rain: It's awesome

[00:20:50] to have, you know,well, there's a lot that goes into that and having that resource, that reachback, be able to go there.

[00:20:57] because that wasthe, one of the questions that, um, [00:21:00]I had, right. The, you know, the Viper demo has been around for quite a longtime and you can be pretty safe if you're in cornering three 30 to four 40 lifeis going to be good, but the two months.

[00:21:09] That I thought wereprobably the most dangerous one, a vertical reposition. So a split S I thinkthat probably has killed more people than

[00:21:18] Billie: Absolutely.

[00:21:19] Rain: any in any other maneuver. And then theslow speed high alpha pass. Um, not that that's a very dangerous thing, but theViper, you know, they were doing, we do it at 500 feet, 400 a men.

[00:21:30] I think it was ahundred birds do it 300 feet. But if that motor transfers to sec, while you canfly it out and you can fly it out in the SIM, that sink right there, um, eh,it's gotta be on the ragged edge, but I didn't have that data. I don't knowthat dad is to this day, as far as are you going to beat the fireball out? Areyou gonna be able to climb out of it? Is it a hot, you know, flying in Rio

[00:21:53] Negra when

[00:21:54] Billie: Hot day, your high

[00:21:56] Rain: yeah, it's it's just not, it's not inthe car. So actually when I did the air show in [00:22:00]Rio Negro, July, roughly 8,000 foot field elevation density, altitude, like11,000. I went ahead and added a few extra a hundred feet from mom and pop forthe how high, alpha, right?

[00:22:10] Cause no one elseknows the difference, but if that motor coughs, that's it like giving it backto the taxpayers and that's not a win for anyone. Uh, so having that data isreally, is really crucial and being able to, you know, be there the groundlevel and dojo having that excess to start, or he, and I would talk about it aswe did different shows on the road, couple antidotes with dojo, one at 35helmet.

[00:22:33] Everyone knows howexpensive it is. If you don't know dojo, his hair was perfect. Uh, as we'dflyer shows together, I'm over there sweating, humping it, getting the jetstarted doing ever. He's just sitting in the F 35, cause it's doing its magic,but we would land as Harris. Perfect. I'm like, is that, is that helmet inthere?

[00:22:49] Is it coming? Areyou actually working? But it's a, you know, it, it was, it was impressive towatch him fly that demo. That, that jet, um, is just incredible. [00:23:00] So you haven't seen that 35 demo. I highlyrecommend going out there and doing it to questions.

[00:23:05] Billie: I, you know, I ha I hadn't seen it. Iwatched dojo the first time and it was just a S cause I'd flown it, but I hadnever sat in the ground. Astonishing, just astonishing. And he knew how to showthe airplane. Really fabulous.

[00:23:19] Rain: he did ask cause I was there for, he gotcertified with the demo inherited flight, uh, conference, I guess I would'vebeen 2018. And so I

[00:23:29] remember, you know,standing out there on the flight line, watching, watching that 35 demo for thefirst time I watched his practice. And then I watched the one with, I guess itwas general Kelly, which couple of general Kelly, uh, peel offs here, but watchingthat demo, I mean that jet one, the power behind it is, is phenomenal. Uh, it,it's a, it's a great demo. It's a great jet. He and I flew several timestogether, going out and doing BFM, got some good stories with that. And thenalso he kind of showed me some of the magic [00:24:00]behind that 35 and why it's good to have it there. But, um, you mentioned, youmentioned. The Paris air show, right?

[00:24:07] Going out there anddispelling a lot of the misnomers, the misinformation that had been there withI think Paris largest air show in the world. It's good to hit on this. And Ikind of alluded to Rio Negro where I flew that. And at the time actually,general Kelly was the 12th air force commander. And we were flying out of acivilian airport where we had like 30 minute windows and then they had to letthey stop all the air shell, let civilians come in our civilian airliners, comein and land for an hour.

[00:24:37] And then the airshow would pick back up. Um, I was queued up I 15 minutes before the windowended. The Brazilian demo team took forever. I ended up getting scrubbed. Wellthat time they had the Colombian defense minister out there, their secretary ofthe air force general Kelly was out there as well as a slew.

[00:24:57] Uh, you know,they're, they're in their slew, the air force [00:25:00]because the Colombians were looking to buy a new one. But the Europeans werethere. Everyone is out there vying for this competition to get the Colombians,to buy their jet. so you know, obviously Lockheed Martin, the United States airforce wants the Colombians to have an F 16 kind of loon to interoperability.

[00:25:19] And I think it'simportant to hit on like air shows, right? They're fun. Trade shows. They'refun. Right. But there's a point behind them. And I think that is one of thepieces of the puzzle, you know, and that that's something you can speak to alot, but the importance of going out there and winning if you will, out therein the public eye, because it has huge ramifications that it drops a nation outof a program such as Canada hitting the pause button for other reasons.

[00:25:45] Right. But that'ssomething that I think is sometimes overlooked and it can be because again,it's just jets going out there and making a lot of noise, spending a lot ofmoney, but there's a lot more.

[00:25:57] Billie: so let me just go back for oneanecdote about, um, [00:26:00] the rationalefor learning. In 2011, a bully, a super Hornet in Lemoore, California crushedthe crew. The demo crew were killed. They were trying to emulate what they'dseen the Boeing super Hornet demo fly without understanding the academics andhow the flight control to work.

[00:26:17] And they did thisbarrel roll down low and, and completely misunderstood how the aircraft behavedand both guys died. And the reason we won't, we, I hope we never led a, a, an F35 demo happened without the Lockheed test. Pilot engineering academics happenis to prevent that. And Boeing has now instituted.

[00:26:38] I'll say it I'llgive some credit to what we did in the Lockheed with. Uh, dojo and bail is, um,the bowling guys now are redoing or doing academics with the Navy super Hornetdemo team so that they completely understand that their jet before they go outand build their demo routine. Um, our presence at air shows you, [00:27:00] you hit it on.

[00:27:01] Exactly. It's justan air show. There's so much technical data. You know, we have combatexperience, uh, there's there's technical experts out there that should knoweverything about the jets. And it, it comes down to our presence in publicbecause, uh, uh, prime minister, a president, uh, uh, a member of parliament, aSenator doesn't, they're not technical experts, but they have an enormous pole.

[00:27:28] If they can't beconvinced by with their own eyes that they watched it. They understand whatwe're talking about. Hey, that makes a lot of noise. Oh my God, that thing isfast. It was stunning to see the Viper do a level 360 all my God. You shouldhave seen this guy climb vertically. Compared to the other airplane, smokewhiners the whole conversation.

[00:27:47] If they don't get tosee that, then you don't put the finishing touches on your billion dollardeals. Okay. And, and it's, it's, it's being the closer and oh, by the way, ifyou goon it up, [00:28:00] you know, you have areally bad day, you crashed an airplane. Then you, you can also have, you know,killed, you know, a franchise opportunity for your airplane.

[00:28:08] But as you say, andyou understand the pressure as a demo guy, don't you, they are there to watchyou. And there's a whole philosophy. You and I can talk for hours about how youbehave in the cockpit and the discipline of being a demo guy, but it's not loston anybody, just who's in the audience and what it means to put on theprofessional show that we have trained so hard to do.

[00:28:31] Um, I did, uh, I didan interview with. Uh, Laura Cellagen Seligman. She was a journalist foraviation week and she still covers defense matters. And she knew the F 35program a lot. I talked to her the Wednesday before the practices started at Parisand I, and she promised to hold the story until the Monday of the Paris airshow.

[00:28:50] And I said, look, Iwas, I was talking very much, not like a humble Canadian, very much like anaggressive American. And I said, uh, I'm going to crush the [00:29:00] mist of the once and for all. So she writedown their notes and I get up on Monday morning at the Paris. Like a goodLockheed employee. I grabbed my iPhone and read the news.

[00:29:10] And at first thingit says is F 35 pilots going to crush the myths of the F 35. And I thought, ohdear God, if I screw this up today, I will be working at a grocery store,packing groceries, the rest of my life. Um, because that's that, that's theinfluence you have when you're a demo guy and, and you know, again, I'll say itfor the third time, the discipline to be that demo person to never lose yourmind.

[00:29:33] Never believe thosehead, those headlines just focus on the show is always most important, butyou're not, it's not lost on you. How important your presence is there?

[00:29:44] Rain: Yeah, no doubt. And it's just one ofthose things again, cause the million things can go wrong. The variables at anair show or, eh, it's not a sterile environment, even though it's supposed tobe a sterile environment, It just gets weird. So, uh,

[00:29:56] Billie: It gets

[00:29:56] weird.

[00:29:57] Rain: Yeah. And that's, and that's not where [00:30:00] you want to be when you're doing, youknow, 600 knots at 200 feet off the ground pulling a lot of GS because that's justnot going to work out.

[00:30:07] Well, I do want toactually you mentioned so that the super Hornet, which is interesting, I haveno horny experience whatsoever. I've watched the blue angels a bunch. Imentioned, I think the split ass is most dangerous maneuver. I do watch theblues and this is one of those things. The deviance is events of normalcy,right?

[00:30:25] I think it's theright, the, the right term. Um, there loaded roll on takeoff. That makes mecringe every time. Maybe that is something that is completely normal, but Ilook at your, your max AB you're slow and you're doing a loaded roll low to theground. Do you have.

[00:30:44] Billie: uh, tell you what the Hornet guysafter I was a demo guy had been doing it legacy Hornets for years and years andyears, you are certainly slow speed. And if you failed an engine or somethinglike that, you're you just killed yourself and oh, by the way, you don't havean objection, need Jackson margin. So I don't know that.

[00:30:59] [00:31:00] By the safety criteria that we've beentalking about, you would live through that. Do you have enough power and flightcontrol capability? Absolutely. Uh, but why are you living by the safetymargins that you and I were just talking about? No. Yeah,

[00:31:14] Rain: All right. That at

[00:31:15] least as I watch it,I was like, man, that just looks, looks sporty, but again, doing a high alphapass high density altitude, you know, you're probably you're right. Riding therocket seat for that, um, kind of transition here, title on that thread, the F35. So a lot of experience, you have a lot of experience across the board,flying a lot of planes for many nations that are flying across the globe. Canyou kind of talk to me about. Like, why is the F 35 important? Why is thatnext? What are some of the benefits we see with coming out? I know you're not aLockheed Martin spokesperson, but I want to lean on your experience therebecause I think it is important.

[00:31:54] Billie: well, I think I want to go then I wantto take let's, uh, go back to the great interview you did with general. [00:32:00] And I want to talk about the term that heused. We talk about interoperability a lot. That's not the term that we reallywant to apply. When we talk about F 35, I think I want to use hit, and I willfrom now on, by the way, I'll use what he set in its interchangeability.

[00:32:16] Um, and I'm going togo back to my fourth gen roots in central European new safety. Uh, we learnedin fourth gen airplanes, Hornets, Vipers, Eagles, how to be interoperable. Wedid a squadron exchanges where we went to Pittsburgh and back in the day andflew with Eagles. We went to Han and flew with Vipers.

[00:32:37] We went to theNetherlands, flew against F sixteens or with them for a week. And then theywould come hang out with us. And we learned, we learned how we, we, we eachflew, we learned the culture of the, of the nations and we learned how to doexercises together. Okay. And so we were a formidable force outnumbered back inthe day, but we could, we could fight.

[00:32:57] Uh, we did thetactical leadership program back in my [00:33:00]day. I went to it. It was at a Jabra, sorry, in Northern, in Northern Germany,but it's moved around Europe. It's still exists. You show up with 20 differentairplanes. Uh, basically you show up with your wing men, bring your jet, bringyour ground crew. And over the month period, you do progressively difficult,more difficult task as air to air and air to ground guys.

[00:33:18] And ultimately you,you were a 20 ship force. Okay. And so we learned to be inter operable. TLP wasthe great example of that, but, and was a big, but the, the USAF USAFIairplanes were never like the Dutch airplanes. Okay. And you know this, and Iknow it because I flew Vipers in Hornets, in the states, my Canadian Hornet,wasn't a us Navy Hornet, and the Dutch is not an American.

[00:33:45] And I learned thisin combat cause I, I lived in Aviano and on a base with CJ's and we flew with aPortuguese F sixteens in, in our big gorillas. We had Dutchman and Frenchmenand Brits. We were, we were [00:34:00] veryeffective, but there was off often a us only package versus our natal packages.So we were we're interoperable, but we're not one in the same.

[00:34:13] And we're veryeffective now step into fifth gen. Okay. So we've learned to work together, butnow we're partnering. And, uh, and a Dane is the same as a Dutchman is the sameas a Norwegian is the same as a UK, F 35 is the same as a USAFI based or a hillbased F 35. We are one in the same. We have the same airplane.

[00:34:34] Oh, by the way, wepaid the same amount for them. We have the same capability. We've been briefedto the same level. We all live in the vaults. We all know fifth gen tactics.And, and we are, we are pieces of a puzzle. We are on the same net, dependingon the formation. Everything we do is, um, is a mind lock.

[00:34:51] And so we're notjust the same amount of, you know, equivalent Vipers going against the badguys. We're, we're a force multiplier when [00:35:00]you put us all together. And that makes us an astonishing deterrent and makesus amazingly lethal. Now in the fifth gen world, everybody's been changetrained at Luke to this point at some point where it was going to be anotherbase.

[00:35:13] Cause there's justso many other guys coming, but everybody. Brief for the same mindset. There'sno haves and have nots, which was really the case in fourth gen. We are all thehats. We are interchangeable. We lock like pieces of a puzzle and, and w wewill be maybe not omnipotence a little too much, but we will be very, verypowerful moving forward.

[00:35:38] We w when you talkabout what does that mean? So let's jump ahead and remember that inmulti-domain operations, 30 fives, the key enabler of that, it's the keyenabler that's going to allow us to work with with space assets, and, oh, bythe way, ships and all, what are we going to do with Wedgetail? What are wegoing to do with advanced tankers who are a communication nodes?

[00:35:59] Because [00:36:00] we are a node of communication now, and,oh, by the way, I don't know. We're going to pick up PAs. We're going to pickshipboard assets and so on. And that's what brings. At the broad topic of interoperability, which I think gets lost on lots of lots of audiences in general,Kelly, again, gave me the best word to steal from this point forward andthat's, we are interchangeable.

[00:36:24] And that is mydistinction from my fortune world as a, as a Hornet baby in Canada, uh, basedin Germany, back in the day, but you know, flying with Dutch Vipers and usVipers and us fifteens. Uh, now we are one and the same and that's remarkableto me, look in the Arctic. So you, you take the circle around the Arctic, let'sstart in now.

[00:36:48] Findlay. Sweden inbetween Norway in the Arctic, we get to Iceland where there's now a needlepatrolling up there, go to Greenland and go up to, to, to Lear basin, uh, [00:37:00] American airbase go to Canada. Thank God.Finally, uh, in the east, a place called the way up north and on the west, uh,is Inuvik, which is a beam of aisle, which now has 54 jets.

[00:37:11] And all of a suddenyou've covered the Arctic with F 30 fives. We're not arrogant enough to, or, ordumb enough to tell anybody, you know, the UN 35 sensor can actually see allthe way through the Arctic, but the sensor coverage and the network you build,especially in north America with modernization of NORAD is astonishing.

[00:37:31] When your key nodeis an F 35, we're not doing what we did in fortune and just shooting down thearrows, which is we attack the cruise missiles. We're going to kill thearchers. We're going to kill the bombers who now can fly out of a rejuvenatedRussian basis. 365 days of the year. They're capable. We're going to kill thebombers now, not just, you know, track down the cruise missiles that they fireto me, interoperability is everything about [00:38:00]the progress we made an F 35 and the future as we talk about multi-domainoperations.

[00:38:06] Rain: So let's, let's pull on that thread justa little bit. And I know w we won't go too far down the rabbit hole here, butbig picture, 50,000 foot view. What, like, why is that need there? We'retalking near peer threats. What answer Does the bring to it. I knowinterchangeable, but like, I guess when it comes down to it solving complexproblems, what is the F-35 solving specifically.

[00:38:31] Billie: well remember that when we, so ifyou're Eastern European and right now we clearly everybody that didn't thinkthere was a threat now realizes in the United States, we understand that we'rea warring nation in the UK. They understand there are warring nations. AndCanada, Canada has no had a war since the war of 1812 and Canadians still tellthemselves they beat, you know, America way.

[00:38:52] Um, in centralEurope was cruising along 30 years, post cold war and life was going to bepeace forever. And my children, [00:39:00] myboys would, we're going to grow up in a peaceful world and that's ended. Andwe, so we have an Eastern threat. We understand in every nation now that thereis a peer or near peer threat and that we all, by the way, we understand thatif you don't have a VLO jet you're going to die, and you just have to look atthe Russian losses in two 30 fives to realize your fourth gen asset is notgoing to survive against the Sam threat.

[00:39:27] That exists evenfrom the Ukrainians, which are Russian capability go figure. Uh, but wewouldn't March in there right now with a grip. And we wouldn't watch in thereunless we had a whole lot assets with, with a fortune platform. So that's whatF 35 brings. But now you and I, as Americans, let's pivot and look to the westbecause our real threat, we believe is Asia Pacific and, uh, J 31 and J 20 maylook like our jets, but they're not, they're copied.

[00:39:58] And they have thesame geometric shapes [00:40:00] sort of, butthey're not the sophistication of, uh, of an F 35 that, you know, ismanufactured. Some of it from skunkworks, which did F1 17 and then did F 22 andnow have 35 and 40 years later. There's manufacturing techniques that no one'sgoing to copy overnight.

[00:40:15] However, they're goingto beat us in numbers and quantity has a quality unto itself. And by that, Imean, you throw enough up, uh, uh, enough airplanes up against us and we'regoing to be shooting three to one. Like we're going to be, we got, we have aproblem. If we cannot create a, a, a multiplier of our own number, By being sowell integrated that we all think the same, that there's no differences.

[00:40:44] You're not speakingSpanish when I'm speaking Portuguese. Cause the other guys are speakingItalian. Cause the other guys are speaking German or bad Canadian. When we'reall speaking the same language, like we do an F 35 land or now we're now we'reall together and [00:41:00] now we, we will winand we will, you can outnumber us in and we will beat you.

[00:41:05] And we'll beat youin a fifth gen platform environment with the fourth gen guys behind us doingcleanup. But we'll handle that. If we don't all speak that same language, thenwe're going to face some, some harsh numbers and numbers, you know, with justthe shared volume will, might beat us.

[00:41:26] Rain: You

[00:41:26] know,

[00:41:26] having it,

[00:41:28] Billie: need to be same.

[00:41:29] Rain: it, it does. And I think, yeah, so theanswer, you probably agree. Th the discussion has been, you know, mix offortune fifth gen platform, because as you mentioned, quantity, that's a bigproblem that you have to solve. Like if they're throwing plane after plane atyou and you only have so much.

[00:41:46] And as we always do,we say, we're going to buy X number of jets and we ended up buying a third ofthose. So ultimately it's probably without a guarantee, we are not going to getthe number of that we, we want, [00:42:00] um,having flown with tactically though, that thing is a force multiplier becauseof the data, it shares having big brother right beside you.

[00:42:09] And that's why I,you know, right before I became a demo guy, right? So this, my tactics are nowwell outdated. Um, but we, we changed them up. We would, we would do a two shipof F sixteens with an F 35 versus a four ship, which was normally guard X, Yyou know, mile lane because of what it brought to the table.

[00:42:28] And you can't saythe same, like the Raptor is amazing, but it didn't share its knowledge of. Sois that the solution they're a fortune 15 mix or do you think we'll get enoughF 30 fives,

[00:42:40] Billie: Uh, so you bring up the great point.Uh, there were supposed to be 120 . We bought 21. Uh, the original number for F22 was actually seven 50. Then it got paired to three 80 something and webought our wide 189 total. Um, the program of record for F 35 is essentially [00:43:00] 2,500 between three forces, that threeservices.

[00:43:03] And, you know,they're chipping away at it right now. You, if fifty-nine X was on the boardof, uh, 35, just got slaughtered in Congress, again for a host of reasons. Notthat it doesn't happen every year, but you know, bad publicity that purchasethe budget for this year is a reduction in F 35 purchases. And when you startchipping away, At those big numbers and those numbers have to happen sustainfor a lot of years to populate the entire force.

[00:43:30] When you changeleadership, who've been through the, the rationale of why the force needed tobe so big and you bring new leadership in, in our services, but also by theway, in Congress, in the Senate, then you have different agendas. If you'refrom Seattle, Washington, you're not a big supporter of the F 35.

[00:43:47] You're all aboutBoeing. And you're going to spend a lot of time in Congress and the Senate, aswe have seen, you know, hammering enough 35, even though it has beenastonishing, successful in a smashing [00:44:00]success everywhere it's been deployed. There isn't a single man or woman thathas flown that jet that is ever going to back go back to their legacy fighter,not a single one in any country, right.

[00:44:11] Of the nearly 1700people who have flown it, uh, for the almost 800 jets that are out there.That's a lot of money to dedicate to a program to go a long time. So do I thinkwe're going to get those numbers? Boy, we're going to have some turn, somethings around, even after watching this year's pairing down in the numbers.

[00:44:29] And so what's theproblem. That means that in the end, you don't have an all fifth gen fleetpotentially. So now you're back to mixing upgraded Vipers, uh, F 15 X. If theyget them in the big enough numbers to then pair them with an aircraft, a fifthgen platform that can communicate with them and be there, the quarterback, theeyes and ears of the force, keep them survivable, run the fight from the back.

[00:44:56] Rain: It's been interesting to see how it allpans out. It's an expensive [00:45:00] program,like anything of that magnitude and that technological capability that bringsto the table. But, um, Yeah.

[00:45:07] it's, it's

[00:45:08] Billie: And it really is. It's expensive.Right. But then look, if you go back in history, just in fortune. The Viper,the press was all over the Viper re you've read the history books, justhammered. And oh, by the way, at the beginning, you know, it was a lawn dart.The Eagle was expensive. Didn't work in the beginning and hammered.

[00:45:30] Um, C 17 was a lemonthat sat on the ramp and didn't move in Charleston, South Carolina when it wasfirst delivered because no one wanted to fly it C one 30 J was going to be asix month lucky development program. And then it was going to be fielded and abillion dollars later of Lockheed money. They finally feel that to an airplanethat no one can imagine doing without the hoop.

[00:45:50] The Hornet was, itwas like the New York, wasn't New York times, but a New York magazine at thetime called it fat, slow, and ugly. And without a [00:46:00]mission back in 1983, and then Navy Marine Corps, Canadians and Aussies haveloved the airplane for 40 something year, years. Yeah, 35 gets all theattention.

[00:46:10] Cause it's thebiggest budget program of all time. It, and it over promised and underdelivered, I did a 10 year development test program that I was a part of, butit finished that program without ever losing a jet remarkable it's loss rate isfar below any other airplane around there. And while it took a while to get going,it wasn't like the Raptor that spent seven E there, their ma their mantra wasseven years of seven days a week of the problems.

[00:46:38] They had stabilizingthe aircraft, the avionics, and getting them to function. Um, came out of thatbetter than some of those other airplanes that we now can't imagine doingwithout, but because it's so scrutinized, you know, now everybody wants a pieceof it. So we are going to have, we will never be on cruise control.

[00:46:58] And I see we, eventhough I don't fly the jet [00:47:00] or Idon't work for Lockheed. It, and there's no cruise control with F 35, hopingthat'll be built in those big numbers. Year after year, the services are goingto have to come show with evidence why the aircraft is you can't do without.And when you start talking about a near peer threat in Ukraine, everybodyshould pay attention that you better have a VLO asset with the capabilities of,and the lethality of F 35, or you're going to die overseas.

[00:47:27] And no one couldstand that answer.

[00:47:30] Rain: No, it's a different story. When peoplestart coming to the body bags, the I wonder the amount in today's time. I knowevery plane went through that, right? It is expensive. It's not going to workthat 35 seemed to take a couple of hits. And I think in today's age, there's somuch media out there. There's so much social media out there. So it's differenttactics and that information can spread like wild. Also, you can talk aboutadversaries who are manipulating, you know, news stories, et cetera. That's,that's, that's a whole nother [00:48:00] rabbithole, but the correct me. If I'm wrong was designed to basically a, once youhave something that's flyable and a little bit more, give it to us.

[00:48:10] Cause we want tostart figuring it out. We want to get it to the weapons school. We want tostart developing the three dash one. We're gonna start figuring out thetactics. We don't want an IOC jet right now. So the initial F 30 fives rollingoff the line, essentially the air force had them Navy Marine like startfiguring out how to use this as additional blocks came online.

[00:48:29] But I think thatlent to some opportunities for, you know, Hey, it's slow, it's fat. It can'tkeep up. It can't do that. Versus the Raptor. When it's rolling off the line,essentially it's an IOC jet ready to go. Uh, is that, is that how the F 35program was designed? Do you think that played a factor into it?

[00:48:48] Billie: Yeah, the topic is the term isconcurrency. We actually did it in block 60, where we built the first threetester planes that were F models and then started building the other, um, 77aircraft. [00:49:00] And there's some goods tothat in bats goods are you get the aircraft off the line into the service andthey can start learning about it.

[00:49:05] The bad is the jetsare still growing and not mature yet. And so you risk fielding jets that don'thave the full capability and you might not have everybody pleased.

[00:49:14] Rain: Yeah.

[00:49:16] Billie: Let's certainly happen with F 35, ifyou'd done and concurrency may never happen again. But if, if F 35 had gone theway of a legacy program and Raptors not legacy, but that, that mindset ofbuilding the airplanes, developing them, maturing them, and then building thehigh rate, mature product.

[00:49:39] I bet she wouldn'thave the same numbers on the ramp that you do now. And then you would have, youknow, in the dark days of F 35, you could have been canceled because you didn'thave enough out there on the ramp. In the end, it's earned its right. TheMarine Corps never could never imagine going back to what they had and nothaving an F 35, the air force loves the jet and the Navy is slowly come aroundto it.[00:50:00]

[00:50:00] Um, so I think concurrencywill guys are right staff papers and PhDs on it for years, whether it was worthor not F 35 is not an example that will ever be repeated in history. I, becauseof my example in block 60, I am a believer in what concurrency, the positivesof what concurrency is. I have lived on the other side of that fence whereother conditions have essentially stalled the program and effectively killedits potential that happened in Euro fighter and for the desolate.

[00:50:32] Rough out. Both ofthose airplanes were, uh, first flew 19 86, 19 87, cold war airplanes of theyear old canard design. And they were going to be in big numbers. But then thecold war ended in the, in the early 1990s and the government stopped believingwar was ever going to happen. And that lost the momentum.

[00:50:50] So even though therewere prototypes out there, the production airplanes didn't really happen in theprogram. Didn't get going for years and years afterwards. And that had [00:51:00] nothing to do with the design andmanufacturing and testing of an airplane. It had to do with the externalinfluences. If you, if you done that with F 35, you potentially in a differenttimeframe would have had a real risk of something changing in the world.

[00:51:11] And that aircraftwould have ended up in small numbers, been canceled early, and we would beflying upgraded Vipers and fifty-nine Xs as our frontline fighters. Soconcurrency good and bad. I just think, um, it there's a lot of positive stuff.The end result in our program.

[00:51:31] Rain: A lot there. I think we just scratchedthe surface on the, uh, the F 35, but I would like to pivot a little bit, uh,talk, talk, about a few more things. Again, we could go on and on, especiallywith your background, but I wanna, I want to jump to ag. Because this issomething I would say near and dear to my heart.

[00:51:50] It is something thatcatches a lot of attention and to this day has saved a lot of lives and thenthere are lives lost by not feeling this technology. So you're a [00:52:00] part of the initial development of ag CAS.My squadron, when I showed up to that 16, we deployed about six months after Igot there. We were the first two squadrons to get it.

[00:52:09] We went to, uh, themiddle east, go fly around Jordan and Syria. Our sister squadron went over toAfghanistan. Both our squadrons had a G Cass. I think our squadron had thefirst credited save, uh, for our air force with that. Can you talk to me alittle about the, the development of the G CAS, what it is, and then we'll justtake it from.

[00:52:30] Billie: So, and, and let's, let's remindeverybody because hopefully they listen to your very compelling story aboutpyro and, and, and just hitting the, uh, human hitting the ground. That's closeto us. And, and, and pyro had his gear down. It's not the same thing. It G autoG cast wouldn't have worked that, but it's a notion of we've killed so manyguys in everybody's lifetime and everybody's career.

[00:52:55] They know someonethat died hitting the ground, see fit controlled [00:53:00]flight into terrain is an indiscriminate killer. It kills young and old. Itcures, experienced pilots and inexperience. It kills low time guys in a jet andhigh time guys, day and night, spatial D it's different types ofdisorientation. G lock it's, you know, flying into the ground cause you're toolow, but all of those factors and we've analyzed every accident in the UnitedStates air force, we will tell you that, you know, assistant the manual systemsare working and guys still hit the ground for a host of reasons.

[00:53:32] Uh, let's let's getto the punchline right now. 12 Viper pilots and 11 Vipers have been saved.Everybody do the math of that, right? A two seat Viper where both guys areincapacitated, uh, a, uh, June, 2020 save of a Raptor in Alaska. That's beencredited and we believe an F 35 save already, maybe more. Um, so this system issaving [00:54:00] lives.

[00:54:00] It, I, we care. Wedon't really care about the whole cost of, uh, of a fighter jet. We care aboutthe human in the jet. It takes three years to build a fighter jet. It takes 26years to build a fighter pilot. I can build another jet. I can't replace my.friends And I'm going to keep going on anecdotes because it's near and dear tomy heart.

[00:54:19] I'm on the F I wason the first Hornet class in Canada, uh, first course. Right? So firstoperational squadron. I'm uh, I'm a pipeliner I'm I think I was stillLieutenant two months in the most talented guy on this course patch wearer twokids at home I'm doing a high to low intercept on 1,000 T-33 target in therange of cold lake.

[00:54:42] Alberta comes in andout of cloud head buried in trying to solve the radar problem and drillshimself into the Tundra going 700 knots, two months in, at most talented guy,five minutes. Doing the same task in the range of cold lake, uh, a major, [00:55:00] uh, experienced guy with the same taskhead buried in the cockpit, trying to solve the problem with clouds comes outof the clouds and in his case, and it's a such a compelling HUD video.

[00:55:10] You hear a gasp, hetakes two hands. He buries the stick. And this is before the Hornet had hisseven half G limiter. He pulls 11.2 G misses the ground by 192 feet, do thatmath and almost dies. And unfortunately, five minutes later in different partof the range guide dies. We killed guys two months into my let's call itoperational, uh, life.

[00:55:32] Seven of 16fatalities just in the C F 18 fleet could have been saved by auto G cust. Sothat's, those are the stats they're compelling. They're amazing. We all knowsomeone auto ground collision avoidance really comes back to the nineties andit was a research program. Really? The technology starts with a combinedprogram with the Swedish air force to prevent jets from hitting the ground.

[00:55:56] They had a systemthat kind of worked. It would look ahead. See if the ground was going [00:56:00] to, uh, terrain was impact was going tohappen and we'd fly an aircraft away from the ground. It was pretty successfulin the F 16, but back then in the nineties. And you'll remember this, we hadINSS that drifted at a mile per hour when you flew.

[00:56:13] So you. You don'tknow exactly where you are over the land and our terrain database knowledge. Weused to call it digital terrain, elevation data. We thought we had asAmericans. We had level one, level, two, super sophisticated, as it turns outlater on the team I was on, we found it that was a complete BS and none of itwas very accurate.

[00:56:35] Ultimately, all ofthat leads to a team that starts in 2006, it's called the automatic collisionavoidance technology team. If you will a cat and it was Lockheed skunkworks airforce research labs, AFRL. It was a NASA Dryden flight research facility. SoNASA Edwards now called NASA Armstrong. And it was obviously the U S air force.

[00:56:59] We [00:57:00] took a two seat of 16 D that was given tous by Shaw cleaned up the jet. And we used it as our test pad and we maturedthe technologies that had been worked on research programs before that. Not anins anymore. We got an Aggie for the non aviators. That's an ins embedded witha, uh, with a GPS. And so the GPS keeps everything remarkably accurate.

[00:57:21] In terms ofpositioning, we learned about terrain data from the space shuttle, STS 99. Uh,they did a mission called the Sr the data's called SRTM shuttle radartopography mission, where they mapped 80% of the Earth's surface from 60 northdown to 56 south with astonishing staunching accuracy that like flawless.

[00:57:43] I forget the stuffwe talked about. For all of a sudden, we had mapping of that part of the year,80% of the earth. That was astonishing. We learned about predicting how theaircraft would see the train and then what it would do, it's fly up model. Andthen we linked that to the flight control system and we came up [00:58:00] with the 80, the 98% solution in a twoyear period.

[00:58:04] It was remarkablyaccurate. I can fly. The fans that look at online, know about a star warscanyon, and they see 30 fives flying through there all the time. Well, that'spart of a low-level route that, uh, is around, uh, basically it's Edwards up toaround China lake near next to death valley into the C oh, the Owens valleyinto the Sierra Nevada is and back around and it's clockwise one daycounterclockwise the other, uh, and it turns out to be remarkably remarkableplace to test this kind of capability because the rocks are really unique.

[00:58:36] The walls are reallyunique of what you would face. And we convinced ourselves that we had a nearlyflawless system. And I think my last flight was 2011 in the jet. Um, I thoughtthat we was going to go immediately into the Viper instead, went to testing itEdwards in 2014, it was fielded. And oh, by the way, in that three-year periodfrom when I finished and it was fielded, we killed a couple of guys.[00:59:00]

[00:59:00] So I that's, what isit? What is it? It's, it's a position of where you are GPS terrain, data,Google earth, a predictor of when you're going to hit the ground and then takecontrol of the flight controls and then fly you away and then give you backcontrol of your plane when you're finished. That's what it all does.

[00:59:18] There, there was adifferent program. We put it into the block, 60 airplane. I call it the 80%solution. It didn't have the same fly model. It didn't have the same terraindata, but we put it into block 60 Lockheed for the UAE, um, in that programwithout waiting for a cat to be happened. So we had fielded something out ofLockheed, but really cap was it, it goes into the Viper.

[00:59:40] You flew it. Uh, wehave saves now we're starting to save people. And I used to brief when Ibriefed. Show a video of a Viper in the middle east taking off and in a minuteand a half later he dies. It was a 4,500 hour guy. It's just so disheartening.And you know that everything in the Jet's working, but [01:00:00]he's fighting a million things in his head, in the, in the jet and, and it,this technology would have saved him.

[01:00:08] Um, it gets Def 35.I, I rejoined, I joined up 35 full-time after it. And the answer is, oh, wecan't get it into the jet. We don't have the throughput in our mission computercapability to put it. And we're going to have to wait until 2020, 26 until techrefresh three, before we can do this. And in my head explodes and a bunch of usjust realize this cannot happen.

[01:00:34] And fortunately,some cooler heads prevailed at Lockheed Martin and within the program. And so.Uh, to the skunkwork guys who had worked on our system and said, look, you justdo a science project here. Is there some way you can make this happen? And theywent and found that in fact they could, the throughput would be where it wouldwork in F 35, uh, by the way, they, they mechanized it and it got front-loadedin F 35.

[01:00:59] And, [01:01:00] um, we tested it as a manual system andthen automated it through, uh, flight controls. It's a, it's a fused airplane.It's not a federated system. Uh, people that don't know federated means I got aradar box, I got a flight control box. I've got a mission computer, and I justneed to make them talk separately and I can make a system work in a ,everything talks, it's big octopus network.

[01:01:24] And so it's a lotmore complex to design and make happen. But we got into 35, we believe there'sbeen saves out there. We've certainly seen it effective. And, and we created,um, believable. Um, one of the cool follow-ups of this is I flew with a, um,USAF sorry, a Marine Corps major, um, latch lip Lippard. And he was at PAXriver with me as a good Marine test pilot.

[01:01:52] And he was doing thebeginning of this testing. And when it was a manual system and you wrote astaff paper to his Marine Corps headquarters guys and said, look, you know, [01:02:00] we have to do something about this. TheNavy didn't really want other G casts. They didn't care Boeing. Wasn't puttingmuch effort into it.

[01:02:06] There was no realincentive. And he said, look, we can't, we can't stand the answer here. Thatstaff pay for plus some great work by Marine aviators. Got it. Pushed into theHornet world. And ultimately the Navy relented in it. A system, a version of thisphilosophy is, uh, being tested and fielded soon in legacy Marine Corps,Hornets, and super Hornets.

[01:02:29] And so we've, we'vepushed out into other fleets. Now, you know, the video of the C 17 accident inoil sin, where talk about bad air show, discipline it. Why it's not in a C one30 J why it's not an a C 17 yet. I don't know, but ultimately this technologywill end up in every commercial airplane out there, every corporate jet outthere, private planes and every military aircraft that flies.

[01:02:56] Um, it is technologyis run every week. [01:03:00] At that matters,including the 2018 Collier trophy, which is essentially the highest award inaviation, because it is the most important contribution to flight safety in 50years because we're there, we're not going to kill our guys, guys and galsanymore flying into the ground.

[01:03:18] So that's, uh,that's take a deep breath. That's a long explanation of what this technology isall about. I just, I can't, I can't say enough how amazing the teams were. Theyjust would not relent until we got this into all the fleets that are out there.Cause we, we all have buds that we buried.

[01:03:39] Rain: You know, the aspect of this too is yousaid, Hey, I thought it was going to go into the Viper right away. I know itultimately comes down to resources. Resources are always limited. And I heardthis conversation come up. Um, and I know it happens across every service. Ifyou're going to buy new widget X that can shoot [01:04:00]further

[01:04:00] or blow up bigger,that is going to get the funding more often than not.

[01:04:07] I think it'sstarting to change now, especially, you know, once AIG has got in there isgetting. options. Cause I've shared the video. There's two B course videos. Idid a breakdown of out of the B course. Um, it's up on YouTube and I share thatand I have a lot of Hornet buddies and it was actually the week of Tailhook andthey all message.

[01:04:26] I had like three orfour guys message me. And they had brought this up at Tailhook to leadership.And the response was from this one person, right? So it's not the whole Navy,whatever, this, this one, you know, flag officer, it wasn't a, priority, right?Because of resources, resources would be allocating in other places. Uh, but asyou said, like we, everyone who is in the fast jet business has lost friendsfrom hitting the ground at some point in their career. And this stuff isincredible technology.

[01:04:58] Billie: it was a it was a [01:05:00] long, long battle to convince people.Cause you said, look, w w I'm gonna give you a better weapon. I'm going to giveyou a bigger bullet. I'm going to give you a much better missile, or I'm goingto dedicate those funds to some it's like a better seatbelt and guys didn'tunderstand and leaders didn't understand.

[01:05:16] And so it became aconversation about dollars. We're going to save you billions and billions ofdollars in whole frames by doing this. And the stats are so compelling, right?Because you go back 20, 30 years of all the jets that have lost. And that reallybecame. I will say, so you're talking with that video out of Tucson, right?

[01:05:33] The young guyDutchman. And I think,

[01:05:36] Rain: think so.

[01:05:36] Billie: um, so we we've, we've completed theprogram. We'd flown a guy named guy north, who is a aviation week, uh, editor,wonderful man who just loves airplanes, loves aviation. And we flew him in theback seat of this Edwards and guy north. Understood. And you wrote about theprogram, but then he, he, when that video came out, I credit to him.

[01:05:58] I don't know ifthat's exactly accurate, but I [01:06:00] saythat when, once that video was posted by aviation week and sent out in the realworld and everyone saw the sky's about to die and is flight screaming at them.And AIG cast takes over all of a sudden people became converts and they'd gone,holy Moses, this stuff's real.

[01:06:17] Uh, and wasn't thatthe technology hadn't worked from the beginning it's that we couldn't, wecouldn't win the argument that you've just explained. You know, it was bulletsand beans versus this place safe thing. Now you go, like you think about asenior leader that would turn this down. Now I would make sure they, that thewidow of the next guy killed, knew that guy's name and knew his home address.

[01:06:42] And I'd March thatlady, right to the door to say, this man's responsible for yours, your son oryour husband's death. It's almost that bad. And last thing I'll say is so manyof the people that I worked with and knew dedicated in some case decades to thistechnical. [01:07:00] Or, or a decade of workbriefing and Congress and beefing the halls of ACC and going to NAVAIR andgoing overseas and telling so many people in so many different forums about ituntil eventually it caught on.

[01:07:14] And if they had notbeen so dedicated and they're from the air force research labs, or from ACCthey're from Lockheed skunkworks, even Lockheed leadership that did not own,they decided not to own the intellectual property of because they knew howimportant this was to saving the lives of, of our aviators.

[01:07:34] All of thosecollective folks are responsible ultimately for the success of it beingfielded, and now we're saving lives and, you know, and the, uh, by the way, andT seven, it's not in the, in the first traunch for T seven, we're going tobuild a magnificent new trainer and we're not putting auto G costs in, in thebeginning.

[01:07:51] And I think that'sborders on technically criminal or some word that I'm thinking. Allowed to say.

[01:07:59] Rain: well, especially [01:08:00] nowadays, right? I'm not an engineer, but thetechnology now exists. And at that level, it almost should be plug and playbecause essentially the upgrade for us was plug and play. It happened on theramp. It happened at home station.

[01:08:13] Billie: Yeah.

[01:08:14] Rain: simple. So if you're building

[01:08:15] a jet from, yeah,just build it from the beginning. Um, yeah. It's to me, it it's, it's a nobrainer. It saves lives.

[01:08:24] And the, the, theinteresting part being the demo guy. So there's a show mode in it, which,

[01:08:29] um, Yeah, I knowthere's several different modes. The show mode was there. I would have a lot oferroneous fly ups, but I actually was fortunate to go out to Lockheed and, youknow, once it had been in fielded in the jet, because my boss at one point islike, because.

[01:08:45] Hey, I'm counting onyou not killing yourself because we don't have, I can't allocate resources tomake sure we get a show mode that works for one, one guy. It's like, copy that,but as fortunate to go out to Lockheed, and I know at the time [01:09:00] they were working on, Hey, how can we makeshow Mo mode a little bit more accurate?

[01:09:05] We're going to haveless erroneous fly ups, which I think it included like fuel flow, maybe a sevenG assumption versus a 5g pool. Things of that nature would see, like seeing theteam, um, you know, just my brief visit out there and run it through the SIMand run it through the profile was, it was pretty cool.

[01:09:23] And again, I knowthat's just scratching, scratching the surface on, you know, years and years ofwork, thousands and thousands of man hours, you know, blood, sweat, and tearstrying to make that happen. So it's pretty, pretty awesome to see it come tolife. Um, as we kind of wrap up. I have another Patrion supporter, cranky whoactually was a guest on episode.

[01:09:45] It sounds

[01:09:46] like you guys flewtogether, uh, at Edwards and it sounded like he'd chased you on a few sortieswhere you're testing, thrust vectoring in the F 16. Can you talk to me a littlebit about that? Because obviously as a Viper guy, that sounds pretty appealing.[01:10:00]

[01:10:00] Billie: It's one of those stories of betterfor my participation in F 16, multi-access thrust vectoring, uh, where, uh, Ijust don't live to everybody else. And so at some point I'm at Edwards, uh, asa test pilot, as the Canadian go figure, and I got to be part of this program.So it was remarkable. It's the early nineties where thrust factoring in the,in, in the idea of what you could do with a jet that could fly fall into poststyle and be totally controllable, really could change what air combat wasgoing to be.

[01:10:28] And so there werereally three programs running it, uh, as it turns out, they flew all at thesame time. Then NASA had a black and white unique Hornet with thrust vectoringpaddles on the back of each engine, three big paddles on the back of eachengine, they took the AB off and put paddles on a really heavy.

[01:10:48] Uh, ballast in thenose of the airplane, but it was there to start exploring what it was like tofly beyond 35 off into the 45 off of 50 region, maybe 70, another NASA program [01:11:00] combined with a German German support wasthe and it was two let's call them a four sized airplanes with canards withthrust vectoring paddles on the back of a GE 4 0 4.

[01:11:12] And that was, thatprogram was meant really to go after dog fighting and close in combat and tosee what thrust vectoring could do. And they were going to do cobras and theywere going to do a thing called the J turn, which is basically up with a Cobrarudder over and then fly away and be a quicker way to, to complete a three S a180, but somewhere along the way.

[01:11:34] Our enginemanufacturers in this case, general electric came up with a plan and said,look, we can make a regular nozzle move, uh, and an articulate, and we can putit in a Viper and fly at 70 alpha and, and do astonishing things. And sogeneral electric took an F uh, F1 10, a GE F F1 10, put an ACCE symmetricexhaust [01:12:00] nozzle, a, uh, ACCEsymmetric, vectored exhaust.

[01:12:03] And I was like ovenin onto the platform that was going to ultimately be the F 16 variablein-flight stability aircraft. And we called it F 16. Multi-axis suspecting. Andnow all of a sudden with very little ultimately mods to an airplane, a coupleof hundred pounds in the back. To put a GE engine in there.

[01:12:24] Some ballast in thefront really is much because it was a test airplane, put a spin shoot on theback because it was still a test platform and go out and let's go see what youcould do in a, in a, in a Viper. And, and it was remarkable. It was my firstflight in, uh, 16 MeTV was 70 alpha. And all of a sudden, you know, you're a,you're a Viper guy.

[01:12:47] I'm a Viper guy tothis point. I'm, I'm at 25 alpha raised around the region around the corner,pinned to the back of the seat at nine G you know, a Hornet guy can pull to 3545 and sort of beat me inside the, in the turn circle, sort [01:13:00] of. And all of a sudden we're at 70 alphaand we're completely, totally controlled.

[01:13:05] We're doing cobrasleft, right and center. We're doing pedal turns where we're aspiring or I'mspiraling around over the desert of Edwards. I stop at a point in the ground. Igo the other way. Stop it. Yeah, completely controllable, uh, throughout and thenfly away every time we're doing J turns and cobras and pedal turns.

[01:13:24] And it wasabsolutely stunning and remarkable, um, BFM and just slaughtering guys who weredumb enough to get slow with us and, and a couple of limitations. We had tohave the spin shoot on the whole time because we wanted to expedite the programand not get bogged down in the safety clearances. And so we ended up staying upmuch higher than we would have loved to have fought.

[01:13:46] I'd love to havefought down at 10,000 feet and, you know, been in a place where a Viper is justking Kong, but we're up at 20,000 feet or 15,000 feet doing it. We cleared in aremarkably short period of time, cleared out the envelope for MITV [01:14:00] and then brought in some air force pilotsto do some exploitation with it.

[01:14:05] So if I'm talkingabout early nineties, I'm also talking about the time where we as Americans arestruggling with an high off boresight missile. And a helmet to control it.Right. We know that our adversaries have something that works and we're, we're,we're inching towards aim nine X and then there's a conversation.

[01:14:22] There's aconversation that says, do I want thrust factoring or do I just want a helmetthat I can look off 90 to 120 degrees and shoot a missile off, off my shoulder.And that really was a competition in terms of philosophy that was fightingitself throughout this whole thing. But it was a pretty heady day to be athrust vectoring guy at Edwards.

[01:14:43] And we have threedifferent programs happening. So even at NASA, they have two programs that areseparate. There's the there's , they're both cool looking airplanes. We're theF 16 guys, but none of us are. And at the society of experimental test pilots [01:15:00] symposium. And I'm guessing that year, itwas probably the fall of 1992, uh, where all the guys that are flying it.

[01:15:08] And we're all havingbeers together at a pool party at the Beverly Hilton back in the day. And weall were huddled in a corner and said, what the hell are we doing? Like, whyaren't we flying together? Like, why aren't we all helping this technology todevelop it? And so over a bunch of bass ales, we brought all three programstogether and I got to fly the F 18 Harvey.

[01:15:28] Uh, cause I was ahorny guy. It was easy transition for me. I, uh, flew a Hornet BFM against the. Um, the two NASA primary pilots got to fly in F 16 MITV and see what ourcraft was like. And we swapped programs so that we could be exposed to eachother and then talk collectively about what thrust vectoring was going.

[01:15:47] It's an amazinglycool to look at BFM in a jet that can go to 70 alpha, like we know Raptor nowdoes, but what was really interesting and compelling was we were going to saveaircraft losses from out of [01:16:00] control.If you went back and look at F 14 stats, Eagle stats, Hornet stats of loss ofcontrol, because flight control surfaces failed cause a hydraulic failures.

[01:16:10] All of a sudden thenumbers are really, really compelling, like, cause you've lost control power,but now I got, I have I've. Uh, what? So what's a, what's an a G when can putout 27,000 pounds of thrust, is it okay now I have a pretty powerful effectorback there. To keep my aircraft out of control when I lose control surfaces, orI have major failures back there, I have a drug hydraulic failure that failshalf my flight controls, or I'm a, I'm a Tom cat and I lose an engine.

[01:16:40] Now I have a realcontrollability problem, but I got a pretty powerful effector. It didn't workat high speed. So in MITV it kicked in below 300 knots, but all of a sudden, ifyou were in that mindset and you change from fighting a Viper mentality to arate fight, or a separate fight to, to [01:17:00]position fight like in a Hornet, oh my God, you're at 70 alpha and I'm pointingat some guy I'm gun him doing a pedal turn around the corner.

[01:17:07] And you're justthinking, this is like shooting fish in a barrel. It was really astonishing,was magnificent. And now why didn't we, why didn't we mechanize it? And whydidn't we put it in a Viper? Gee promised it'd be a thought a million dollarsmod. That's probably a lie, but it was probably, you know, a couple milliondollars to put it in the Viper fleet.

[01:17:25] Right. And all the.We're not pinned at 25 off anymore. We're king Kong with really very littlepenalty. And ultimately our guys went up to general McPeak, uh, who was head ofthe air force at the time, gave a great presentation. And essentially Iparaphrased because I wasn't in the room, but he basically said, uh, thanksguys, but we're not going to buy it.

[01:17:46] It's it's early,it's mid nineties now, 93 94.

[01:17:53] crashed. starting.And if you showed up with a fleet of Vipers that could fly at 70 alpha [01:18:00] men, think about the mindset of a, of apolitician, not as a, uh, a fighter pilot, then you would say, well, I don'tneed the kinematics of your Raptor. I can, I can go 70 alpha and, uh, in aViper now. And what they wouldn't have known is that the keys to wrap your successand dominance.

[01:18:19] Stealth and sensorfusion, not super cruise and not thrust vectoring to 70 alpha, but, but to thelayman, to the people that only understand kinematics, it would have been verycompelling to have easily modified Vipers with thrust vectoring in there. Andyou probably wouldn't have need Vipers. And one of the key reasons I'll finishby saying one of the key reasons I was poached to come to a Eurofighter wasbecause of thrust vectoring.

[01:18:45] Uh, you're fighteris not an aggressive flying airplane. It's, uh, it it's like driving a Bentleydown the highway. It's not, uh, it's not a very nimble aggressive airplane andas real flight control problems, uh, uh, not a nonrecoverable, uh, [01:19:00] spin mode that terrified to designers, butif you'd put thrust vectoring on it, I SIMD the prototype designs.

[01:19:08] All of a sudden youhave an airplane that would be flying at 70 often would have been likeimpressive king Kong. Impressive. And I was brought to go do that and thrustvectoring. And obviously in the end it was killed and never happened. It was agreat magnificent time. I said, I'd say the last word, but I'll give you onemore word because it applies to auto G cast.

[01:19:26] It was astonishing,astonishing in its success in technology. And it failed in part because wefailed to communicate the benefits to all the stakeholders who could have madea decision to support it. When we jumped ahead, 20 something years in gettinginto auto G CAS, we were never going to make that mistake again.

[01:19:48] And weover-communicated auto auto G cast because we never wanted that technology tobe shelved and not be fielded. And it's, it's one of the positive lessons Itook from thrust vectoring, [01:20:00] whichhad an amazing success, but never went.

[01:20:03] Rain: that's a really good point because it'sso easy that could happen. I think you also brought up a good point. The factthat how easily these things can get killed. I saw, I think we were talkingabout beforehand too, is, you know, during my time, you know, the capesupgrading the Viper with an Acer radar integrated offensive.

[01:20:20] That was on thetable. They got killed, uh, you know, up in the hill, politics got involved,but I think, you know, it, in all reality, it's probably a bit more, but youknow, roughly a million dollars per jet incredible upgrade and basically wasgoing to happen on the ramp. So minimal downtime for the jet. It no brainer,right?

[01:20:39] For the backbone ofyour fighting force, why would you not do it? Uh, but one of the terms that wastaboo to say was sensor fusion, right.

[01:20:47] That belonged to thefifth gen world. But that's what really, it would give you in the Viper, havingyour radar, having your, uh, you know, EA pod talking, having, you know, HTS,everything talking amongst one [01:21:00]itself versus managing all these separate systems that some talk, some don'thave an interpreter, but, um, again, it goes back to just like the EA, when youtalk about offensive or defensive jamming and the Viper, I just like, go ahead,Chuck, that throw that one right away.

[01:21:14] You might as well bedefensive. Pulling, you know, to the beam, as you're looking down, trying topunch whatever program you need to

[01:21:22] Billie: that's right.

[01:21:23] Rain: that's the, it's the control, you know,a little nugget down here that, um, is interchangeable. And so you're like, Idon't know what program I'm hitting down here, like, so, uh,

[01:21:34] silly. But, uh, itis interesting to see how all that, all that stuff comes, comes into play in afactor. But Billy, before we kind of wrap up here, I always like to ask myguests, you know, if they found, you know, 15, 16 year old, Billy walking downthe street, is there any advice you would give him, tell him to do or don't do.

[01:21:52] Billie: That's the toughest. I knew this wascoming in and it was the toughest thing to me to think ahead of time to bereflective of things, but I'll give you some philosophy that, uh, [01:22:00] that I've learned and I flew fighters for40 years. So I learned some things along the way. Um, I would tell a younger meand I would tell, I tell my boys, um, believe in yourself.

[01:22:12] And I learned to bea disciple of the power of positive thinking, uh, in college, but it took me awhile to cement that in, in, in this world as a fighter pilot and, and, and,and through life of it is, is it's just all in our heads. And what we achieve is,is almost exclusively in our minds and that's the success in it.

[01:22:33] So I certainlyattribute, so I wish I'd known that early in life, but the other thing I say,and, and, um, is enjoy the ride. Um, there is no pot of gold at the end of the.There is no pot of gold at the end of all, this that will tell you that yourlife was successful. I had the great fortune in, in his latter years to onoccasion, be around Neil Armstrong.

[01:22:59] First [01:23:00] man, to walk on the moon. He's ChristopherColumbus, he's Marco polo, and he is the most humble human that anyone evercame in contact with. And he never, essentially ever at least in my presence orpeople I knew spoke of walking on the moon and what he'd accomplished, this isa man who had done what all humanity would have thought was the greatest featof all time.

[01:23:21] And he had nothingbut humility and it taught me first. So being around a man that humble thenbeing around so many other people in my personal life and professional life whohad done amazing things and were the most miserable humans ever, because theynever could appreciate what they'd had. The great fortune to be a part of.

[01:23:40] There's no amazingamount of money you're ever going to make. There's no amazing feature evergoing to do. But if you enjoy the ride, if you enjoy the journey, it's aboutthe journey, not the destination, you will find that life will, could neverhave been more fulfilling. And I have had the great fortune, uh, as a [01:24:00] demo pilot, early on as a test pilot atEdwards as a squadron commander, going to war, uh, in the heydays of F 35 Parisair show.

[01:24:07] I have learned thatthose highlights a part of a great life is, um, is really a lesson. I wish Ihad appreciated with a little more wisdom than calm when I was a young. Andinstead of being some grossly impatient, you know, heroine, firefighter, pilot,and test pilot, like I was for so long. So those are my two things.

[01:24:27] Uh, it's the mindsetof the power of positive thinking. And it is it's the journey, not the.

[01:24:35] Rain: Really, that's a great way to end thepodcast. I appreciate you taking the time. You know, we scratched the surfaceon 40 years in the fast jet business and about an hour and a half. So I thinkwe skipped a few things. I'll have to have you come back on and we can tell,tell a few more stories. Here are a few more for sure.

[01:24:51] I really appreciateyou taking the.

[01:24:52] time today. It wasfun to talk and, and hear a lot of stuff that's near and dear to my heart. Andvery interesting. So thanks again.

[01:24:59] Billie: rain. I love [01:25:00]your show. So it was really a privilege to have the chance to chat with you.Thanks so much for having me on. I really enjoyed the talk

[01:25:07] Rain: Absolutely. Thanks, Billy.


[01:25:10] Rain:

Up next

Ep 27: Martin "Perty" Pert - Harrier, Hawk, Eurofighter, Red Arrows

"Perty" joined the Royal Air Force right out of the gate.

Series episodes

TAP #53 Mark "Juice" Whisler (Part I)
TAP #53 Mark "Juice" Whisler (Part I)
TAP #52 - Jeff "Vader" Brandon & Jeff "Bender" Page
TAP #52 - Jeff "Vader" Brandon & Jeff "Bender" Page
TAP #51 Is Top Gun: Maverick Realistic?
TAP #51 Is Top Gun: Maverick Realistic?
TAP #50 - Billie Flynn
TAP #50 - Billie Flynn
TAP #49 Andrew McKenna - Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation Pilot, P-51, T-6, TBM
TAP #49 Andrew McKenna - Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation Pilot, P-51, T-6, TBM