Monday, September 10, 2012

Miss 90536

Carl Trautman wrote a quick little C-133 story for a writing class. He certainly captured why an airplane is like a woman. She doesn't fly any more, but she still tells stories!

Miz Niner-zero-536

By Carl Trautman*
Crew Chief of C-133B 59-0536 at Travis AFB, '67-'68
(aircraft now restored & RIP @ AMC Museum, Dover, DE: see blog header photo above!)

   I’m sitting on parking spot 510 at Travis AFB, California sunning myself. The sun’s warm today, not too hot. It’s much better than last night with all of the fog. It was so cold I thought my props would freeze off. Most people don’t think that airplanes have feelings or thoughts but I do, and Phil, my crew chief, knows it. I have been having problems lately, more than usual because Phil was gone, on leave for 15 Days, I missed him. I don’t know where he went or what he did, but now he’s back and I know he’ll tell me all about it. He talks to me a lot.
   I am a sexy C-133B cargo aircraft, part of the USAF. My name is Miss Niner-Zero-Five-Three-Six, I am 157 feet long, 48 feet high with a 180 foot wingspan, kinda big but Phil calls me “Baby.”
   I recently had a hydraulic pump failure; it wouldn’t pump up to full pressure, 3000 PSI. My number three engine wouldn’t reach full power; I have four engines. The people from the engine and prop shops thought my prop was bad, they changed it twice.
   I tried to tell them, “It’s the engine!”
   Then I got really frustrated and blew it up, seized it up solid. That hurt, but they were messing around too much. The hydraulic shop mechanic tried to replace my pump and twisted two of my pipes. “Ouch!”
I hate it when these new mechanics mess around, sometimes they hurt me.
    Now, though, Phil is back. He changed my pump, fixed my twisted pipes, supervised my engine change, inspected me all over and changed my sore tire. I was so frustrated I didn’t even know I had a sore tire. He also polished my doors and cleaned my windows.
   He rubs me so gently, caresses my skin and talks to me, I just go limp, and he never hurts me. Now I am all fixed up and ready for the mission.
   Tonight I will be towed to the 200 area. Tomorrow morning at 1:00 AM, I’ll be loaded with 44,200 pounds of cargo.
   At 2:00 AM, I’ll get 38,600 pounds of fuel, a crew of five and their baggage. The pilot will start my engines and taxi me to the two-mile long concrete runway.
   At 3:00 AM, he’ll push my engines to full power, release my brakes and turn me loose. I’ll charge down the runway till I get to 180 knots, jump into the sky, climb out, bank west and head for Hickam AFB, Hawaii.
   I sometimes think I was born to fly, ya’ know.
   I’ll haul the fuel, cargo, crew and Phil to Hickam not letting anything bad happen to them. I’ll get them there safely. That’s my job!
   Oh, I think along the way I’ll break a tachometer so Phil can fix it. He’ll remove it, replace it with the spare one, position it, mark it with his grease pencil, pat me on my bulkhead and say, “There you go Baby, all fixed up.”
   I love it when he pats my bulkhead and talks to me. He may even wash my crew lounge seats. That feels so wonderful.
    Wow! 3:00 AM. I can’t wait.


Carl Trautman was born in Oakland, CA in January 1944. He migrated to northern California in 1948. His parents were going and he felt that they needed someone to accompany them and keep them out of trouble. There he grew up on a 35-acre ranch where his father and grandfather, as business partners, grew peaches, almonds and walnuts. 

As a young man he spent many hours hunting and shooting, which in 1964 when he entered the USAF, contributed to his winning an Expert Marksmanship Ribbon in Basic training with a .30cal M1, and later in 1966, the Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with an M16 on Guam, Mi. He graduated with Honors from B-47 school, Amarillo AFB, TX in December 1964, and with Honors from C-133B school at Travis AFB, CA in 1965. He was an Aircraft mechanic in the 601st OMS and the Crew Chief of C-133B, 59-0536, from June 1967 until July 1968 when he left the USAF. 

Immediately after his tour of duty, Carl enrolled as an Electronic Engineering student in Chicago, IL, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Phoenix, AZ in 1970, then moved back to California. After two small jobs, he landed an R&D position with Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto,  in 1972, where he worked until retiring 31 years later in 2003.

He currently resides in Sunnyvale, Ca. taking writing classes at Senior Centers in and around San Jose. Carl has been published many times under the pen name philomel. Phil is a main character in much of his fictional writing. The pen name, philomel, which is never capitalized, means a Nightingale, a bird which sings at night and all night.

His favorite writer is Samuel Langhorne Clemens—Mark Twain.

"I am working on a book which will probably be an anthology if I ever complete it. It will be about My Four-in-the-Corp.rather than all C-133B."  Carl Trautman


Bill Neely, Lexington, SC

I really liked Carl's story as it captured the feeling we had then and now for this bird that took us around the world. We were a small group of USAF personnel with a large mission to perform. And, we did it with dignity for all. Let's hear more from Carl and his writing about those times.
Rick Spencer, Frankford, DE.

I like the lipstick on the airplane, cute!
Bill Arnold, Maumelle, AR 

This is cute, but a crew of 5?  What happened to the other engineer and loadmaster?  As for fog, I think he should have used Dover. Very little fog at Travis.
Jim Mitchell, West Sacramento, CA

No fog at Travis?! That's where the term "Tule fog" originated.
Cal Taylor, Olympia, WA 

*Note: Tule fog ( /ˈtuːliː/) is a thick ground fog that settles in the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley areas of California's Great Central Valley. Tule fog forms during the late fall and winter (California's rainy season) after the first significant rainfall. The official time frame for tule fog to form is from November 1 to March 31. This phenomenon is named after the tule grass wetlands (tulares) of the Central Valley. Accidents caused by the tule fog are the leading cause of weather-related casualties in California.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Giant 133 Model Update

Good morning,

This picture will give you an idea of how the panel contrast disappears after it is wet sanded with 400 grit. I should be done sanding the fuse in a week and then begin covering the wing.

Have a great day,


What a massive project! There are some tech-orders in our museum library and I believe both the -1 and the 1-1. This is so beautiful, I think I would be afraid to fly it. I hope some day to see it.
Sandy Sandstrom, Lewes, DE

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

George's Flite-Metal Process

What you see in the pictures (scroll down to last post) is the aluminum applied in separate panels. The contrast between panels in not planned, but rather just the way the panels are cut from the sheet to minimize waste of the Flite-Metal. After it is completely covered, I have to sand the entire airframe and that will remove the contrast between panels and give an over all finish as if it had been cut from a single block of aluminum. Then I have to apply the rivets followed by an application of black acrylic paint that gets rubbed into the rivets and creates a weathered look (dull) to the aluminum.

I know it looks as if it is on the production line, but the ultimate goal is to have it look weathered to match 62008 as she sits in the museum. If I had been standing outside the factory as she was rolled out for the first time, I could have taken pictures of a shiny new 62008, and the model would pose different challenges in it's finish.

I have three other models covered with the aluminum, and the finish remains the same over the years. The biggest problem is that the aluminum is very soft and is prone to "hangar rash".  The models could have been painted and achieved the same results with the finish but there would be no way to apply the rivets to the paint, which is why I cover them with aluminum and emboss the rivets.


Comments on George's Model:

Nice model.  Would like to see it fly.  Would look good in the museum when it’s done.
(So, whadaya say, George? The people say, put the model in your will to the AMC Museum in Dover?)
Bill Arnold, Maumelle, AR

That is really impressive.  His attention to detail is superb.  Wow!
Jack Slocombe, Groveland, CA

Jack: As George's models are of museum quality they look better in the air. And fly great!
David Pinegar, George's Pilot!!