Monday, October 19, 2020


THE CLARK BOMBING, December 8, 1941

After the attack of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese forces, airstrikes against the U.S. were planned  on its military bases in the Pacific to prevent intervention of the the Far East Force (FEAF). Also, the capture of the Philippines was necessary to control the shipping routes between Japan and Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, which consisted of Japan-occupied countries during World War II. At Takao Naval Air Base, 27 Mitsubishi G4M Type 1 land attack bombers  of the Takao Kokutai took off  on 8 December 1945, at 9:30 a.m. with Clark Field as their target. At 12 noon, Clark Field received warning of the approaching airstrike. Thirty five minutes later, 53 Japanese bombers dropped down bombs on Clark Field, followed by the Zero pilots descending to strafe the field thoroughly. While a few American P-40’s were airborne, they could not provide counter attacks as they were poorly positioned.  Twelve of Clark Field’s seventeen   B-17 planes were destroyed, while 34 P-40s were destroyed on the ground and in aerial combat.

Earlier, 11 B-17s had been flown to safety to Mindanao before the attack, while 2 remained unscathed as they were on reconnaissance missions. The American forces regained Clark Filed on 31 January 1945.


On April 15, 1948, upon the invitation from Maj. Gen. E. L. Eubank, Pres. Manuel A. Roxas, along with Sen. Pres. Jose Avelino, Speaker Eugenio Perez and Gen. Rafael Jalandoni, visited Clark Air Base. His tour was capped by a speech he delivered at the Kelly Theater. He felt faint after his speech, and so he was talen to the residence of Maj. Gen. Eubank to rest. It turned out that his condition was a prelude to a series of heart attacks that led to his death at 9:23 in the evening. The president’s body was brought to Manila the following day on a special train that reeached Malacañang at 9:20 a.m.

BOB HOPE’S USO SHOWS IN CLARK AIR BASE, 1966, 1967, 1972, 1987

From 1964 to 1972, the famous stand-up comic Bob Hope entertained U.S. troops in Southeast Asia, in his annual Christmas USO (United Services Organization) shows. The one-man moral booster machine took his shows to Vietnam, Laos, Guam, Thailand. Diego Garcia, Wake Island, and Clark Air Base in the Philippines, which he described as the “Country Club of the Pacific”. In January 1966, Hope arrived in Clark and was welcomed by the base commander Lt. Gen. James Wilson. His show that year featured Phyllis Diller, Chris Noel, Joey Heaherton and regulars Les Brown and his Band of Renown. By Christmas 1967, the number of American military in Vietnam had reached almost 500,000, resulting in massive crowds  and making Hope’s appearances even more important for boosting morale. He was welcomed by gen. Benjamin O. Davis in Clark where his shows featured Raquel Welch , Barbara McNair, Phil Crosby and Miss World, Madeleine Hartog Bell. His last stop in Clark was for his 1987 USO show which was taped for TV entitled “'Bob Hope`s USO Christmas from the Persian Gulf-Around the World in Eight Days”.   Guests included Barbara Eden, Lee Greenwood and Connie Stevens.

POWs HOMECOMING,  February 12, 1973

On the year 1968, Richard M. Nixon was elected as the new U.S. president and he began move to end the conflict in Vietnam. The number of American forces in Southeast Asia was also substantially reduced. His policy was to give continued support to non-communist SEA  countries, while lessening military presence in the areas. One immediate U.S. demand to North Vietnam was for the full release of American POWs and an accurate accounting of  servicemen missing or killed in action. It was in 1972 that an agreement was reached for the repatriation of prisoners, and Clark Air Base as designated as the point of the POWs return from Hanoi.  “Operation Homecoming” thus began on 12 February 1972 when  a C-141A Starlifter transport jet took off from Hanoi and the first flight of 40 U.S. prisoners of wars began their journey home. Arriving at Clark at around 4:15 P.M., the POWs returned to a hero’s welcome, received by Adm. Noel Gayler, Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Command; Lt.  Gen. William G. Moore, 13th  Air Force Commander; and Air Force Sr. Master Sgt. Homer E. Henderson, Joint Information Bureau Asst. Non-comm. O-I-C. A second group followed on February 18, until all the 591 POWs were returned home by late March 1973. On 6 April 1975, the Clark Air Base Peace Garden was dedicated to the memory of those who died or were declared "missing in action" in Southeast Asia.


During the People Power street rallies turned into a nationwide revolution, the desperate Marcos called the office of the U.S. president, and managed to talk to Senator Paul Laxalt. He asked the senator if the State Department’s advice for him to step down was valid, further asking if there was a way for him to share power with Mrs. Cory Aquino, whom he beat by rigging the snap elections. When Sen. Laxalt told him it was time “to cut and cut cleanly”, the embattled Marcos agreed to give up the presidency to avert further violence and possible bloodbath. Marcos was given a safe passage with helicopters from Clark Air Base's 31 ARRS picking him up at his Presidential palace, and flying him to the Clark airport. There, he and his retinue transferred to a C-9A and were flown first to Guam’s Hickam Air Force Base enroute to Hawaii


On the first time that Filipino employees went on strike in Clark was when they stage a walk-out on 3 March 1971. This came a time when ant-American sentiments was at its most high. The strike was ended after 3 days, but only 4 months later, on July 25,  a bigger strike followed that lasted for 25 days. Another strike happened in October 1983, when thousands of Filipino workers went on indefinite strike today over demands for wage increases. Pres. Reign was due to visit that year, but the trip was called off. But the most serious civilian employees strike was stage on 22 March 1986. Thousands of Filipino workers  blockaded the gates of both Clark and Subic on 25 March in a


As early as April, pilot in Clark have reported seeing ominous smoke emanating from Mount Pinatubo, a volcano that has not erupted in 500 years. When it was clar that an eruption was imminent, Clark mounted a massive evacuation  of 15,000 U.S. personnel and their dependents on June 10. The major June 12 eruption dumped tons of ash on Clark.  But another eruption in June 15, exacerbated by passing typhoon Yunya, further cause massive damages, and all but buried the military base in a sea of ash, mud, pyroclastic materials and lahar. About 2,500 servicemen and women stayed on to provide security and try to maintain basic services. Meanwhile, the extension of the Military Bases Agreement was rejected by the Philippine Senate, and was due to expire on September 16. Driven by budgetary realities (it would tae $500 million to rehabilitate Pinatubo-damaged Clark)  and nature's explosive whims, the U.S. did not renegotiate anymore and agreed to leave Clark Air Base in 1992 but keep the sprawling Subic Bay Naval Base for 10 more years. The U.S. Air Force formally transferred entire Clark to the Philippines on 26 November 1991, ending its 100 years in the Philippines. On 24 November 1997, the last U.S. forces left the Philippines.


When the airport was rehabilitated from the damaged US Clark Air Base that was  closed in 199. After two years of cleaning up debris and lava, the Clark Special Economic Zone was opened on the site with the airport at the center. In 1995, the Clark International Airport Corporation was established to manage the airfield facilities. In 1996, limited air service from Clark to Hong Kong began, signaling the first international flight. Renamed Disodado Macapagal Airport by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2003  to honor her father, it reverted back to Clark International Airport in February 2012. Today, Clark hosts 490 flights per week (332 Domestic flights, 158 International flights), with  19 local and 11 international destinations, as of June 2018.


The Philippines hosted the year-long Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in 2015. It was held against the backdrop of Chinese intrusion of islands in the South China Sea, contested by several countries, like Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The First Senior Officials' Meeting and Related Meetings were held at the Fontana Leisure Park, Clark Freeport, Angeles City and Subic Bay, Zambales, from 26 January to 7 February 2015. Kapampangan DFA-Undersecretary Laura Quiambao-del Rosario was chair of the summit.

Friday, September 4, 2020

How Hot Air Balloons Work

Hot air balloons are based on a very basic scientific principle: warmer air rises in cooler air. Essentially, hot air is lighter than cool air, because it has less mass per unit of volume. A cubic foot of air weighs roughly 28 grams (about an ounce). If you heat that air by 100 degrees F, it weighs about 7 grams less. Therefore, each cubic foot of air contained in a hot air balloon can lift about 7 grams. That's not much, and this is why hot air balloons are so huge -- to lift 1,000 pounds, you need about 65,000 cubic feet of hot air.

A hot air balloon is a lighter-than-air aircraft consisting of a bag, called an envelope, which contains heated air. Suspended beneath is a gondola or wicker basket (in some long-distance or high-altitude balloons, a capsule), which carries passengers and a source of heat, in most cases an open flame caused by burning liquid propane. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the colder air outside the envelope. As with all aircraft, hot air balloons cannot fly beyond the atmosphere. The envelope does not have to be sealed at the bottom, since the air inside the envelope there is at about the same pressure as the surrounding air. In modern sport balloons the envelope is generally made from nylon fabric and the inlet of the balloon (closest to the burner flame) is made from a fire resistant material such as Nomex. Modern balloons have been made in all kinds of shapes, such as rocket ships and the shapes of various commercial products, though the traditional shape is used for most non-commercial, and many commercial, applications.

If you actually need to get somewhere, a hot air balloon is a fairly impractical vehicle.You can't really steer it, ­and it only travels as fast as the wind blows. But if you simply want to enjoy the experience of flying, there's nothing quite like it. Many people describe flying in a hot air ballo­on as one of the most serene, enjoyable activities they've ever experienced.

Hot air balloons are also an ingenious application of basic scientific principles. In this article, we'll see what makes these balloons rise up in the air, and we'll also find out how the balloon's design lets the pilot control altitude and vertical speed. You'll be amazed by the beautiful simplicity of these early flying machin­es.

The hot air balloon is the first successful human-carrying flight technology. The first untethered manned hot air balloon flight was performed by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes on November 21, 1783, in Paris, France, in a balloon created by the Montgolfier brothers. The first hot-air balloon flown in the Americas was launched from the Walnut Street Jail in Philadelphia on January 9, 1793 by the French aeronaut Jean Pierre Blanchard. Hot air balloons that can be propelled through the air rather than simply drifting with the wind are known as thermal airships.

To keep the balloon rising, you need a way to reheat the air. Hot air balloons do this with a burner positioned under an open balloon envelope. As the air in the balloon cools, the pilot can reheat it by firing the burner.

Modern hot air balloons heat the air by burning propane, the same substance commonly used in outdoor cooking grills. The propane is stored in compressed liquid form, in lightweight cylinders positioned in the balloon basket. The intake hose runs down to the bottom of the cylinder, so it can draw the liquid out.

Hot air balloons are able to fly to extremely high altitudes. On November 26, 2005 Vijaypat Singhania set the world altitude record for highest hot air balloon flight, reaching 21,027 m (68,986 ft). He took off from downtown Mumbai, India, and landed 240 km (150 mi) south in Panchale. The previous record of 19,811 m (64,997 ft) had been set by Per Lindstrand on June 6, 1988, in Plano, Texas.

Because the propane is highly compressed in the cylinders, it flows quickly through the hoses to the heating coil. The heating coil is simply a length of steel tubing arranged in a coil around the burner. When the balloonist starts up the burner, the propane flows out in liquid form and is ignited by a pilot light. As the flame burns, it heats up the metal in the surrounding tubing. When the tubing becomes hot, it heats the propane flowing through it. This changes the propane from a liquid to a gas, before it is ignited. This gas makes for a more powerful flame and more efficient fuel consumption.

In most modern hot air balloons, the envelope is constructed from long nylon gores, reinforced with sewn-in webbing. The gores, which extend from the base of the envelope to the crown, are made up of a number of smaller panels. Nylon works very well in balloons because it is lightweight, but it is also fairly sturdy and has a high melting temperature. The skirt, the nylon at the base of the envelope, is coated with special fire-resistant material, to keep the flame from igniting the balloon.

The hot air won't escape from the hole at the bottom of the envelope because buoyancy keeps it moving up. If the pilot continually fires the fuel jets, the balloon will continue to rise. There is an upper altitude limit, however, since eventually the air becomes so thin that the buoyant force is too weak to lift the balloon. The buoyant force is equal to the weight of air displaced by the balloon, so a larger balloon envelope will generally have a higher upper altitude limit than a smaller balloon.

As with aircraft, hot air balloons require regular maintenance to remain airworthy. As aircraft made of fabric and that lack direct horizontal control, hot air balloons may occasionally require repairs to rips or snags. While some operations, such as cleaning and drying, may be performed by the owner or pilot, other operations, such as sewing, must be performed by a qualified repair technician and recorded in the balloon's maintenance log book.

To ensure long life and safe operation, the envelope should be kept clean and dry. This prevents mold and mildew from forming on the fabric and abrasion from occurring during packing, transport, and unpacking due to contact with foreign particles. In the event of a landing in a wet (because of precipitation or early morning or late evening dew) or muddy location (farmer's field), the envelope should be cleaned and laid out or hung to dry.

The burner and fuel system must also be kept clean to ensure safe operation on demand. Damaged fuel hoses need to be replaced. Stuck or leaky valves must be repaired or replaced. The wicker basket may require occasional refinishing or repair. The skids on its bottom may require occasional replacement.

Balloons in most parts of the world are maintained in accordance with a fixed manufacturer's maintenance schedule that includes regular (100 flight hours or 12 month) inspections, in addition to maintenance work to correct any damage. In Australia, balloons used for carrying commercial passengers must be inspected and maintained by approved workshops.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The 2020 Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

The 2020 Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta will be on March 6-8, 2020! This year, the Hot Air Balloon Festival venue will be moving from North to South of Manila. In this post, we are sharing the  Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2020 Schedule of Activities (PIHABF), ticket prices, and other important updates!

Yes! The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is back this 2020.

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Entrance Fees / Tickets Prices

  • ECONOMY CLASS TICKET : 500 Php person / day
  • BUSINESS CLASS TICKET: 3,500 Php person / day
  • FIRST CLASS TICKET: 6,500 Php person / day

Continuing to spread this advocacy across the Philippines, the organizers will be launching “The Flying Carnival 2020: A Weekend of Almost Everything that Flies,” a 3-day spectacle of hot air balloons, helicopters, and air sports events, combined with aviation career seminars, fly markets, food booths, and family entertainment! The event will be held at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite on March 6-8, 2020.

Set in a more comfortable viewing space, spectators will be treated to the sight of early morning balloon flights followed by non-stop flying exhibitions – paragliding, skydiving, helicopter demonstrations, RC control line exhibitions, and kite flying.

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is an annual four-day event held between January and February previously in Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles, Pampanga.

For over two decades, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, known as “The Weekend of Everything that Flies,” has been the most highly anticipated and longest-running sports aviation event in Asia. Over the years, it has stayed true to its longtime objectives: to spark interest in aviation; to instill discipline in young pilots and to impart a spirit of volunteerism to the whole community.

The 23rd Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta gates open at 4AM with events start at 5:30AM. The Fiesta grounds close at 9:30PM.

Now we only need to know where the good show will happen!

Filipino pilots have made their mark in aviation history, among them, Filipina top gun pilot Monessa Catuncan and first Pinay U.S. aviation scholar Catherine Mae Emeterio Gonzales.

AirAsia Philippines is also giving aspiring Filipino pilots a chance to study for free under the new AirAsia Cadet Pilot Program.

TELL US in the comments below, are you also excited for the good skies coming over the south of Manila?