Inside Marine One: Flying the Worlds Most Amazing Helicopter by Ray LHeureuxQuite an enjoyable and enlightening memoir. Its accessibly readable; not overly laced with military jargon, nor vainly egalitarian. LHeureux uses straightforward, conversational language that comes across as humble yet appropriately proud in regards to service, country, responsibility, precision, and leadership. Though, as one might expect with military related memoirs, there are a few expletives dotting the landscape.
In a nutshell, this book gives civilians a look into the world famous Marine One helicopters along with the military/aviation career of Colonel Ray Frenchy LHeureux. Included are a few family-related backstories and tidbits, military experiences in general, and some highly memorable moments - such as meeting the Pope and mountain biking with former president George Bush on a regular basis.
Frenchy has the elite distinction of being the only HMX-1 pilot to have flown four consecutive presidents - the last two of the twentieth century, and the first two of the twenty-first. Thousands of flights, with precise perfection. As is the standing record for all of HMX-1 presidential flights: 100% perfect safety record and zero fail missions. And mirroring such, the text was edited to flawless perfection. That, in and of itself, is a rarity these days.
FOUR **** Semper Fi, Hand Salute, Noteworthy Memoir **** STARS
Other recommendable military and/or aviation works of non-fiction:
Rescue Warriors: The U.S. Coast Guard, Americas Forgotten Heroes
Area 51 - Black Jets: A History of the Aircraft Developed at Groom Lake, Americas Secret Aviation Base
Tough As They Come
Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty
Donald Trump gets visit from next generation Marine One helicopter
The President's New Helicopter Fleet Close to First Flight
It's amazing to think that the helicopters that will finally replace the VH-3D and VHN in the Marine One role will start flying in conjunction with that mission operationally by the end of this year. With its in-service date rapidly approaching and no major issues holding it back—at least according to official documentation —it makes sense that intense testing and training is underway around the Washington, D. This provided a great opportunity to aviation photographer Blend Qatipi who snapped beautiful photos of the soon to be Presidential helos as they flew over Potomac River. The photo of two in formation is the first like it we have seen. The photos give us amazingly clear views of the latest VHA configuration, which includes one major new addition.
The short clip showed the inside of the aging helicopter sporting a brighter and more modern motif than anything we have seen in the past. It's clear—Marine One got a major interior makeover. In fact, it looks a lot like the renderings we have posted that show the concept for the VH Marine One replacement helicopter's interior, both of which look similar to interior found on Trump's own private jet. The look is dominated by light cream-colored seating surfaces, polished woodgrain, and chrome or nickel plated accents. It isn't clear if the Trump White House had any role in selecting the decor and design of Marine One's updated cabin, but it would seem like a remarkable coincidence if not. You can see in this past article of mine all about the interior of Marine One over the years, that up through the Obama years, it was a gray upholstery covered affair with thick blue curtains and a wood-trimmed header structure surrounding the upper part of the cabin edges.
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Both helicopters are called "White Tops" because of their livery. The first use of helicopters for transporting the President was in , when President Dwight D. There was also no airfield near his home with a paved runway to support fixed wing aircraft. Eisenhower thereby instructed his staff to look into alternative modes of transportation and a Sikorsky UH Seahorse helicopter was commissioned. Not long after the mode of presidential transport was introduced, presidential aides asked the Marine Corps to look into the White House South Lawn as a helicopter landing zone. Army helicopters used the call sign Army One while the president was on board.
The next generation of helicopters to transport the President of the United States passed a critical design review, with the next step the manufacture of six production helicopters. The choppers, known as VHs, will likely be the most expensive helicopters ever made. In the early s, the U. Navy and Marine Corps attempted to build a replacement for Marine One, the President's official transport helicopters. The U. Military retired the last of its Sea Kings in the s.