(October 10, 2020) Inventing the Joint Strike Fighter | Air Refueling | Climate Change and Climate Reality Project (Dr. Paul Bevilaqua | Lt. Col. Mark Hasara | Syreeta Watkins and Douglas Yazell )

October 10, 2020 @ 10:00 am 1:50 pm PDT

Inventing the Joint Strike Fighter | Air Refueling (Dr. Paul Bevilaqua | Mark Hasara)

Oct 10, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 1:10 PM (PT)

RSVP and Information: https://conta.cc/3ep6vqa

Volunteers are needed for all AIAA activities, please contact cgsonwane@gmail.com

AIAA LA-LV e-Town Hall Meeting

Saturday, October 10, 2020, 10 am

Inventing the Joint Strike Fighter

Dr. Paul Bevilaqua

AIAA Fellow

AIAA Distinguished Lecturer

Chief Engineer of the Skunk Works

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Air Refueling

Mark R. Hasara, Lt Col, USAF, (ret)
Author of Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit
Professional Speaker: Aviate, Navigate, and Communicate
Founder of Wall Pilot: Aviation graphics for the walls of your home or office

Climate Change and Climate Reality Project

Syreeta Watkins and Douglas Yazell

Syreeta Watkins:
Contract Specialist at NASA
Douglas Yazell:
Honeywell-Retired; Teacher, Math & Robotics, Texas City High School

Agenda/Schedule (All Time PDT)

10:05 AM (PDT): Dr. Chandrashekhar Sonwane (AIAA LA LV Section Chair) (Welcome)
10:10 AM (PDT): Dr. Paul Bevilaqua
11:40 AM (PDT): Lt. Col. Mark Hasara
01:10 PM (PDT): Ms. Syreeta Watkins and Mr. Douglas Yazell
01:50 PM (PDT): Adjourn

Event Calendar


Join Mailing List


Upcoming Events


Join AIAA Membership


Who? (Dr. Paul Bevilaqua)

Dr. Paul Bevilaqua has spent much of his career developing Vertical Take Off and Landing aircraft. He joined Lockheed Martin as Chief Aeronautical Scientist and became Chief Engineer of the Skunk Works, where he played a leading role in creating the Joint Strike Fighter. He invented the dual cycle propulsion system that made it possible to build a stealthy supersonic VSTOL Strike Fighter, and suggested that conventional and Naval variants of this aircraft could be developed to create a common, affordable aircraft for all three services. He subsequently led the engineering team that demonstrated the feasibility of building this aircraft.

Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, he was Manager of Advanced Programs at Rockwell International’s Navy aircraft plant, where he led the design of VSTOL interceptor and transport aircraft. He began his career as an Air Force officer at Wright Patterson AFB, where he developed a lift system for an Air Force VSTOL Search and Rescue Aircraft. He received degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and Purdue University.

He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is also the recipient of a USAF Scientific Achievement Award, AIAA and SAE Aircraft Design Awards, AIAA and AHS VSTOL Awards, and Lockheed Martin AeroStar and Nova Awards.

What? “Inventing the Joint Strike Fighter”

This presentation will describe the technical and program challenges involved in developing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and show how an innovative idea became an international program with engineers from half a dozen countries developing a single replacement aircraft for multiple aircraft types. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was developed to meet the multirole fighter requirements of the US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and our allies. The Air Force variant is a supersonic, single engine stealth fighter. The Navy variant has a larger wing and more robust structure in order to operate from aircraft carriers, while the Marine Corps variant incorporates an innovative propulsion system that can be switched from a turbofan cycle to a turbo shaft cycle for vertical takeoff and landing. This propulsion system enabled the X-35 to become the first aircraft in history to fly at supersonic speeds, hover, and land vertically. The development team won the Collier Trophy, which recognizes “the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America” each year, for this accomplishment.

Who? (Mark R. Hasara, Lt Col, USAF, (ret))

Mark Hasara is a former Air Force KC-135 pilot, international businessman, and consultant in the defense industry. Directing the creation of the world’s only graduate-level air refueling planning and operations course, he deployed five times after 9/11 leading a team of 30 international airmen responsible for all air refueling operations across three continents. Mark authored the book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit in November 2017 published by Simon and Schuster describing his experiences and relating them to core elements of success on the battlefield, in the boardroom, or everyday life. Delivering over 5000 presentations to military and international business leaders, he continues to write and speak about experiences and lessons learned from four wars and the business world. Mark and his wife Valerie are the parents of five wonderful kids and currently live in Utah.

What? “Air Refueling”
1. Air Refueling History
Math in Public: A Tanker Driver’s Echo-Footprint
First air refueling: Wes May’s gas can in 1921
Lowell Smith and John Richter: Rockwell Field San Diego in 1923
The Germans made us do it!: The Question Mark
Sir Alan Cobham and Flight Refueling Limited: First Patented System
First Combat hook up: June 1951 of Korean War
Chrome Domes and Brass Knobs: The Cuban Missile Crisis
2. Afghanistan
The 509th Weapons School
Coalition Partners
Afghanistan: Opening Night
Battle for Robert’s Ridge
3. Iraqi Invasion
Operation Southern Focus
F-117 attack on Dora Farms
“Shock and Awe” becomes “Mad and Pissed Off”
Thunder Runs
4. Sluggo’s Dream Tanker


Who? (Ms. Syreeta Watkins)

Syreeta Watkins is a Houstonian, married with 2 kids. She works at NASA, Johnson Space Center as a transportation specialist and sustainability lead. Through her career at NASA, she joined forces with Engineers without Borders, Johnsons Space Center Chapter and has pushed for domestic clean water projects in the states in addition to the already established International projects through this organization. She has been the fundraising coordinator for EWB for 2 years and is now also the lead for communication and relationship building between EWB and domestic project communities. She is also a fundraising coordinator and rider for the BPMS150 in the search for a cure for friends and family with multiple sclerosis. Overall, Syreeta has a passion for educating and helping others in need and building long lasting relationships.

Who? (Mr. Douglas Yazell)

Mr. Yazell worked for Honeywell aerospace engineering from 1981 to 2011, mostly on NASA projects. He earned a BSEE degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa and a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine, south of the Los Angeles area. The latter was mostly from the mechanical engineering department, with work in robotics, control systems, and equations of motion. He worked in Clearwater Florida 1981-1983, the Los Angeles area 1983-1992, and in the NASA/JSC community after 1992. Since 2016 he is a Teacher in public high schools with two teaching certificates, Math and Technology Education, including a year of teaching Robotics.

What? “Climate Change and Climate Reality Project”
As a trained volunteer Leader with Climate Reality Project, I can present the updated slide deck of Vice President Al Gore, along with a few charts and comments of my own. The slideshow was part of the work that resulted in honoring Al Gore with the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Climate Reality Project provides us with slide decks of various lengths, including one which can be shown in as few as ten minutes. The official slide deck asks, “Must we change?”, “Can we change?”, and, “Will we change?” I will add a few comments of my own, including two comments from the 2019 book by Naomi Oreskes, “Why Trust Science?” A minority says the settled science is not settled. She presents one popular way to talk to them, but they win if we use that approach. Two ways to start and win those conversations are the subjects of her 2010 book and her 2019 book. She also explains that demographic diversity is required for a diversity of perspectives in modern science.

American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Los Angeles – Las Vegas Section events.aiaalalv@gmail.com | aiaa-lalv.org


AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section

(May 4, 2020) AIAA Member Spotlight on James R. French

(May 4, 2020) AIAA Member Spotlight on James R. French

James R. French

James R. French
AIAA Fellow(60+ year member of AIAA !)
President, JRF Aerospace Consulting LLC
James R French graduated from MIT in 1958 with a degree of BSME Specializing in Propulsion. While at MIT, Mr French became the Founding President of the MIT Chapter of The American Rocket Society, an AIAA predecessor. In the ensuing years he has pursued additional education both in technical subjects and management. 
Upon graduation, he accepted a job with Rocketdyne Div. of North American Aviation and during a 5 year employment, worked on developmental testing of H-1 engines and combustion devices hardware for F-1 and J-2 engines used in Saturn 5. He was also involved in various experimental programs. Moving on to TRW Systems, Mr. French was Lead Development Test Engineer on the Lunar Module Descent Engine and was responsible for bringing on-line the High Altitude Test Stand use for all-up LMDE testing at TRW’s Capistrano Test Site. He also was involved in experimental testing of exotic propellants.
After leaving TRW as propulsion work ran down, Mr. French joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he worked on testing and launch vehicle integration for Mariners 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9; Viking 1 & 2 and Voyager 1 & 2. Mr. French was Advanced Planetary studies Manager for JPL for several years as well as Chief Engineer for the SP-100 Space Nuclear Power System. He was Chief Engineer of a RTG powered Mars Rover study for a vehicle essentially identical to Curiosity.
Leaving JPL after 19 years, Mr. French was VP Engineering and Chief Engineer for American Rocket Company developing hybrid rocket launch vehicles.
Since leaving AMROC in 1987, Mr. French has been consultant to a variety of aerospace companies, SDIO, NASA, and USAF. As a consultant to SDIO he functioned as the government’s chief engineer on the DC-X project. He has participated in various startup companies in the private space flight arena and currently consults extensively to Blue Origin, a company in which he has been involved since its beginnings. He has worked with Project Icarus investigating interstellar missions. His current efforts draw primarily upon his extensive experience in rocket propulsion development and operational aspects of launch vehicles.
Mr. French is co-author with Dr. Michael Griffin of the best-selling text Space Vehicle Design, published by AIAA. For over 20 years he taught a 4 day short course, mostly through AIAA, on the same topic. The second edition of the book has received the Summerfield Book Award for 2008. Mr French is also the author of Firing a Rocket, a reminiscence of testing rocket engines for the Apollo missions.
Mr. French is a Fellow of both AIAA and the British Interplanetary Society and a 60+ year member of AIAA. He has held several Technical Committee and other posts in AIAA. In 2018, Mr. French was named Engineer of the Year by the Orange County Section of AIAA.
Here is the inspiration for his going into the aerospace career: (Excerpt from Firing a Rocket written by James French, published by Amazon. Used with permission of the author,)
Long before I ever went to college, I knew that there was only one career for me. I wanted to work on rockets and go into space. That began when, at about 12 years old, I read Robert Heinlein’s Rocketship Galileo. Before that I had read “Flash Gordon”, “Buck Rogers” and other comics but never took it seriously. Once I read that book, a whole new universe opened to me and I knew what I wanted to do. I devoured every science fiction writing I could find with particular emphasis on the “hard” science fiction of Heinlein and Arthur Clarke. I also got into the non-fiction side with Willy Ley’s Rockets and its two sequels Rockets and Missiles and Rockets, Missiles, and Space Travel. Then came Ley and Bonestell’s The Conquest of Space and Clarke’s The Exploration of Space and Interplanetary Flight. I was hooked for life and I have never once regretted the choice. 
Since no one in my family had any college education or any real interest outside home and farm, I was all alone. They all thought I was crazy and referred to me as “Einstein” or “The Absent-Minded Professor”. (Absent-mindedness was definitely valid and has only gotten worse with age.) I really had no idea how to follow my dream except that I knew I needed to go to college. I had no idea where to go but fortunately I could find help. Our neighbor, family doctor, and good friend, Dr. Walter Watkins, had been born and raised in Amarillo just as I was. However, he had joined the Army and ended up getting his MD from Johns Hopkins. He moved back home and rapidly became the top surgeon in the area. He understood where I was coming from and provided me with much sound advice and encouragement. Two of my High School teachers, Miss Wilson for mathematics and my physics teacher whose name now escapes me also helped. This latter lady and I were often at odds but she helped me whenever she could in spite of that. I owe them all a huge debt for helping an eager but ignorant kid.

Member Spotlight on Dr. Daniel P. Raymer (April 13, 2020)

Member Spotlight on Dr. Daniel P. Raymer (April 13, 2020):

AIAA Fellow,
author of “Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach”

Dan Raymer is President of the design and consulting company, Conceptual Research Corporation. Recipient of the prestigious AIAA Aircraft Design Award, he is a recognized expert in the areas of Aerospace Vehicle Design and Configuration Layout, Computer-aided Design Methodologies and Design Education. During his 10 years in the Advanced Design Department of Rockwell (North American Aviation) he conceived and did the layout design of Rockwell’s entries in what became the F-22, B-2, and T-45 programs, and was Head of Air Vehicle Design for X-31 from “blank sheet of paper” (CAD screen) to the configuration that flew (with minor fabrication-driven changes).

His industry career includes positions as Director-Advanced Design with Lockheed, Director-Future Missions at the Aerojet Propulsion Research Institute, and Project Manager-Engineering at Rockwell North American Aviation. He also served as a research engineer and aerospace design consultant at the famous RAND Corporation think tank.

Dr. Raymer is the author of the best-selling textbook “Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach” and the well-regarded layman’s book, “Dan Raymer’s Simplified Aircraft Design for Homebuilders”. His newest book, “Living In The Future: The Education and Adventures of an Advanced Aircraft Designer”, covers his career and his design projects including most of those described below. Raymer has received both Rockwell Engineer of the Year and the AIAA Summerfield Book awards, and was recently made a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Dr. Raymer teaches a variety of advanced design short courses including the well-known five-day Aircraft Conceptual Design Short Course which has been attended by over 3,000 engineers to date. Dr. Raymer is often a Forum Speaker at the EAA AirVenture (Oshkosh).

Dr. Raymer received B.S. and M.S. engineering degrees in Astronautics and Aeronautics from Purdue, an MBA from the University of Southern California, and a Doctorate of Engineering (Ph.D.) from the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). He is a recipient of the Purdue University Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Award which is given “to honor those alumni who have distinguished themselves in the aerospace industry”. Dr. Raymer is listed in both Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering.

Click here for a new article on how Raymer became an aircraft designer and who his inspirations were:



Member Spotlight (March 2, 2020) on Dr. Jeffery Puschell

Member Spotlight (March 2, 2020) on Dr. Jeffery Puschell

AIAA Fellow

Principal Investigator, Technical Director, Principal Engineering Fellow, Chief Scientist, Chief Engineer, Lead System Engineer

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems

Former AIAA Region VI Director

Former AIAA LA-LV Section Chair

Dr. Jeff Puschell is an internationally recognized scientist-engineer with 30+ years of proven success as Principal Investigator, Chief Scientist, Chief Engineer, Technical Director or Lead System Engineer on 15+ major projects sponsored by governments and private industry in space-based remote sensing, laser-based systems, observational astrophysics and underwater laser systems. He is author or co-author of 130+ technical publications, co-editor and co-author of Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD, the leading textbook and reference source for space systems engineering, co-author for Standard Handbook for Aerospace Engineers, 2nd Edition and co-author for AccessScience, among many other publications. He is a Raytheon Principal Engineering Fellow, AIAA Fellow and SPIE Fellow. He and his wife Dana live in Hermosa Beach and Solvang, California.

Dr. Puschell been a space guy since first grade. His earliest memory of wonder is from a dark summer night. After arriving home with his family, his father picked him up from the back seat of their 1959 Edsel to carry him into the house, because he had been asleep. As his father picked him up, he woke up and looked up at the summer Milky Way, immediately awestruck. That moment propelled him to who he is today. His parents reinforced that wonder on his next birthday with a 2.5 inch Gilbert Newtonian reflector telescope, which he used until he made an 8 inch Newtonian reflector from an Edmund kit in junior high school. Along the way, he made and launched Estes rockets, entered and won awards in local, regional, state and national science fairs. He has been blessed with a life of endless wonder that he is always happy to share with others.

Daniel Raymer Answers Some Questions

April 6, 2020,
by Dr. Daniel P. Raymer, AIAA Fellow,
author of “Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach”

Dan Raymer here. You may know me from my crazy aircraft and spacecraft designs, like the tailless airliner or the vertical takeoff jet fighter with the engine installed backwards. In his Flying Magazine article, Peter Garrison once described me as having a “complete lack of preconceptions about how an airplane ought to look.” Thanks – I think.

Or maybe you took one of my short courses on how to design aircraft and spacecraft, or you bought my big fat aircraft design textbook or my skinnier “dummies” design book for homebuilders. Or maybe you just saw my ads or my website. I may not be the most famous guy in the small world of aircraft designers, but at least I’m on the list.

Sometimes I get asked questions like “how did you become an aircraft designer?” or “who were your influences?” or “if you are so famous, why aren’t you rich?”

I still can’t answer the last question, but I had a go at the others, not once but twice. Years ago the AIAA asked me similar questions and published it in their column “Editorial Echoes” (see www.aircraftdesign.com/spotlighton.html). A decade later I wrote an autobiography called “Living in the Future: The Education and Adventures of an Advanced Aircraft Designer.” This exercise in egotism actually sells fairly well considering the subject matter and the limited likely audience (www.aircraftdesign.com/livingfuture.html).

Now I’ve been asked to put together a few updated pages about my career. I’m told that “people will be inspired and fascinated by you,” and “their eyes will be wide-open to see that the AIAA has someone amazing like you.”

Really? Get a life, folks! But here goes:

You could almost say that I went into the family business. My father was a Navy test pilot and aeronautical engineer. An uncle, a cousin, and a brother are all airline pilots. I started with model airplanes and Tom Swift books at age eight, and wasted half my childhood designing and flying model aircraft. I started working on my pilot’s license at 16, washing a plane for my first lesson.

I went to Purdue University which is known for producing practical, get-it-done engineers. I got pretty good grades (A’s, some B’s, and let’s not talk about that theoretical class on differential equations). In my last year I worked in the Purdue wind tunnel where I learned more than in most of my classes. I joined the AIAA student chapter and was lucky enough to win the AIAA Midwest Region Student Paper Competition, with a paper about my wind tunnel work on a Greyhound bus, of all things. But I lost at the national level, at least partly because I brought the wrong set of slides. Stupid, stupid. Now I’m an AIAA Fellow. Go figure.

After college I got my dream job – a drafting table in the advanced design department of North American Aviation (Rockwell). My first boss designed the X-15. In our small design office were the guys who designed the Space Shuttle, B-1, HiMat, B-70, and others. That’s where I really learned how to design airplanes. Later I wrote my big textbook to share what I had learned at the feet of these “masters.”

I had several early projects that taught me a lot and gave me a chance to develop some reputation. Shortly after starting at Rockwell I was put in charge of developing computer-aided design capabilities for the advanced design department. I got the job mostly because the rest of the group were older guys who didn’t want anything to do with computers. Defining the system specifications forced me to really think about the design process, so I asked a lot of questions and learned a lot. The CAD system we developed worked out pretty well, being used for over 25 years. The X-31 and B-1B were both designed on my system, and it earned me Rockwell Engineer of the Year.

Another project I’ll always remember was the Innovative Strategic Aircraft Design Study, looking at new bombers to follow the B-1. I’d long been interested in flying wings and thought that a clean flying wing design, like the Horten flying wings of the 1940s, would offer a good stealth capability. This was long before the B-2 program. I put together a triangular-shaped flying wing design which we studied for four years, including wind tunnel and radar cross section testing. I really thought it would get built, but we were told to stop work on short notice. Later we learned that others had started working on stealth flying wings in the “black” world, while we at Rockwell were supposed to focus on getting the B-1 into production. Darn.

A third memorable project was our early work on Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF), which eventually led to the F-22 program. When I was made Chief Engineer for ATF at Rockwell, it was not considered possible to have stealth and supersonic cruise in the same aircraft. Besides, most people thought that supersonic cruise was a waste of time for a fighter since you “slow down to dogfight.” I tried anyway, and came up with a design with really low supersonic drag that also permitted fairly good stealth by the standards of the day. According to analysis and extensive sub- and supersonic wind tunnel testing, the design would indeed supercruise – at Mach 1.80. This design was studied intensively for 3-4 years. After I’d left Rockwell, the top management decided not to put a billion dollars of company money into the program as required by the Air Force to get a contract. So my design didn’t get built…. again.

There have been dozens of other projects, ranging from a hybrid-electric hybrid airship to a Mars rover airplane to an otherwise-normal but tailless commercial airliner to an Air Force reusable launch vehicle to an optionally-manned modular UAV for DARPA to a rocket designed to fling a whole squad of marines halfway around the world, land them in a remote site, and get them out when their mission is done. Recently there have been several exciting launch vehicle projects about which I can say nothing – they have grim and powerful lawyers. One or both may fly. Hopefully when that happens, they’ll finally let me say “I did that.”

Right now, I’m heading a DARPA contract which my company just won called the “Flying Missile Rail.” It’s described on the DARPA website but the aircraft concept shown there isn’t the real one. Mine is much cooler!

Oh right – what about my influences? I should start with my father since he was a Navy Test Pilot (Pax River). He didn’t really push me towards aviation but I saw a lot of airplanes as a kid, and I read his old Navy pilot training books and copies of Aviation Week. But as I said in “Living in the Future,” he just went to work like other dads. It’s not like he took me up in his P-2. I didn’t learn until decades later some of the things he did, like teaching the Black Bats how to fly their spy planes over mainland China (he’s in that book). RIP, Dad – love you.

Other influences? As a kid I wanted to be the next Kelly Johnson. I read all about Kelly, the Lockheed Skunkworks, and the planes he designed there. I was thrilled years later when they made me Director of Advanced Design at Lockheed, with corresponding title inside the Skunkworks, but most of my work was on the “outside.” A big regret of mine is that I didn’t somehow arrange to meet Kelly. He was retired and frail, and I didn’t want to be a pushy jerk fanboy. I should have, anyway.

I’ve always admired the simplicity and directness of the design work by Ed Heineman of the Douglas Aircraft Company, especially his A-4 (“Heineman’s Hot Rod”). I was lucky enough to meet him at an AIAA meeting early in my career – fanboy again.

Howard Hughes was a hero of mine, as a pioneering race pilot and aviation entrepreneur. He didn’t really design airplanes but he paid for their development and pushed his designers to do great and innovative things. I was lucky enough to go inside his H-4 (Spruce Goose) before it was opened to the public. Hughes was dead by this time but I got to meet his Chief Engineer, William Berry, who had been brought out of retirement to prepare the H-4 for public display. Berry gave us an hour-long technical talk on the design including the pioneering work that he and his team had done on molded structures and full-authority hydraulic flight control systems. It was fascinating, and miles ahead of others at that time. For the full story see my autobiography. Later I learned that William Berry was actually the father of singer/songwriter Jan Berry, of 1960’s surf band Jan and Dean. I still love their stuff.

Wilbur and Orville Wright were heroes of mine from an early age. I read a child’s biography of them when I was about eight, and have been their fan ever since. I still hate it when books or talking heads describe them as “lucky bicycle mechanics.” They were true aviation scientists using theory and experiment to, one by one, solve the problems of flight.

I was most influenced by the designers who taught me how “real” aircraft design is done, in my early years at NAA-Rockwell. My main mentor was Lester Hendrix, the designer of the B-1 and HiMat. Harry Scott, one of the main configuration designers of the Space Shuttle, taught me a lot and still does. While long since retired, I occasionally take him to lunch and pepper him with questions. My first boss, Loui Hecq, taught me many things including the importance of getting the landing gear right. George Owl, a Cherokee Native American and the key layout designer of the B-70 and designer of the Formula One Owl Racers, quietly educated me about conics and mechanisms. There were many more – thanks to you all!

Well, that’s about it. See you at the airport, or the next AIAA meeting!

Copyright © 2020 by Daniel P. Raymer. All Rights Reserved. Permission is hereby granted to AIAA to post this on its website and use it in not-for-profit outreach activities, provided that this copyright statement is retained and the text is used in its entirety and without editing. No further distribution or reproduction is authorized.

Dan and Ester Raymer at Poppy Fields
Dr. Dan Raymer Piloting Sling2