Fighter pilots have three guiding rules when it comes to practicing their craft: “Look good, don’t die and if you’re going to die anyway, look good.” Cinched down tight in the front cockpit, the big radial piston engine spraying tiny oil droplets on the windscreen, I’m not sure how good I look. All I can contemplate is the sound of the seven-cylinder engine at full blast penetrating my brain as we begin the big takeoff roll. It is the moment of no return. The draft from the propeller blasting my face is substantial, but nothing like the wind rush around my “Rocky the Flying Squirrel” headgear as the runway becomes a blur.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/Articles/2011/03/08/Flying-Aces