Richard Taylor's first full year at The Ohio State University included teaching aviation classes, flying 19 different kinds of airplanes (including a jet), and starting a flying club with a tail-dragger. Click here to read the 14th chapter.
Returning with his family to Ohio, Richard Taylor gets back into KC-97s in the Ohio Air National Guard ... this time the KC-97L, with two jet engines added to the four piston engines. After losing a major client in his non-aviation job, Richard fortuitously finds an opening as a faculty member in the Department of Aviation at Ohio State University. Click here to read the 13th chapter.
Released from active duty in the Air Force and starting a non-flying civilian job, Dick Taylor misses aviation and joins a local Air National Guard squadron. But instead of Stratotankers, he flies Fairchild Flying Boxcars and later, in the Air Force Reserve, Grumman Albatrosses. Click here to read the 12th chapter.
The KC-97 Stratotanker was way too slow to easily refuel B-47s, but the bomber pilots learned how to fly in tight formation at near-stall speeds and do it with finesse. Dick Taylor spent many hours flying 100-mile refueling racetracks in the sky, usually over the southeastern U.S., but sometimes even over North Africa. Click here to read the 11th chapter.
Assigned to a like-new KC-97 Stratotanker at MacDill AFB in 1956, Dick Taylor learned much about the plane just from flying it in front of thirsty B-47s: from the trivial (it never spent much time in its namesake, the stratosphere) to the essential (take lots of engine oil on a long trip).
Finally joining the Air Force's Strategic Air Command, Dick Taylor and his wife move to Florida, and Dick begins training in air-refueling techniques in the KC-97 Stratotanker.
For advanced flight training in Texas, Dick Taylor and his class try their hands at the B-29, which by the mid-'50s was used as a trainer. And yet, although huge and pressurized, with a third guy in the cockpit (flight engineer), it still had a castering nosewheel.
Learning to fly the B-25 was a joy to Richard Taylor ... and also a pain, dealing with a castering nosewheel and crafty instructor pilots, as we learn in Richard's continuing memoir.
Jumping straight from the T-6 to the B-25, Richard Taylor gets to experience not only a huge airplane but one that requires two crew (giving new meaning to the term "solo"), and also experiences the joys of winter in Oklahoma.
In the fifth chapter of his memoir, Richard Taylor moves to Enid, Okla., in 1955 to begin basic flight training. Ground school includes the requisite navigation courses (albeit celestial navigation), Morse code, and even the operation of atomic bombs.