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daddyairplanes

the real history of dhimar

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so i'm taking a creative writing class this summer. i've talked my teacher into letting me do an alternate version of the desert kingdoms past.  no merc specific squadrons (tho they were scattered through the squadrons in the late 50s ala Tiger Force from Warriors), the navy gets the USS Franklin refurbed as SCB-125 standard. and wait until you see the politics behind the scenes....i have to do a main project (which i'm going to do as the history portions, aiming for a fake CIA factpage or fake Wiki entries) as well as 10 pages of ficion.  that will be tales from the Dhimari pilots, air battles, training flights captivity.  will post some of what i come up with here as i get it completed between now and the end of june.

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Ok a few basics that make my Dhimar different from TKs...

 

-military or farm service is mandatory for full citizenship. full citizens however get mucho bennies (free education, oil dividend after the age of 30 to name a few)

-military is set to be independent, rather than dependent on mercs. HOWEVER, several mercs were hired in the late 50s to help train on the new jets. They were referred to as the King's Lions. they were never in a seperate unit but spread all over the AF. many fought along side the Dhimari in hte 59 war, and a few in the 62 war. those that did fight were offered full citizenship and the thanks of a grateful soveriegn.

-after 1965, while the Royal family still has great influence, it turns over powers in the military, and civil sectors in order to encourage modernization. a Parliement is formed, although the Crown retains the right to disband it.

- the political leaders of the armed forces are Crown members. But the operational leads are drawn form within the ranks. upon becoming King, Fa'ad even tried to remove royal from the titles of the branches. but the military and newly formed parlement insisted on keeping the royal title


here's installment 1, form the short story part of this series (only 9 more short stories and 3 histories to go)

 

Scramble

Vice Air Marshall Hafez Rhys Jones

             The head of  the Dhimari Air Force is by decree one of the members of the Royal Family. However, the current Vice Air Marshall of the Air Force has risen from the ranks to the operational head of the branch. Son of one of the King’s Lions, Brit Jonathan Rhys Jones, Hafez Rhys Jones was always around aviation. He admits himself, he got the first name and looks from his mother, but last name, accent and eyes from his father. He started off in Falcon Squadron, flying the Mirage III. Or in those days, spending just as much time sitting on alert at the end of a runway.

 

            There I was pulling alert, again. “Ah, but junior”, my CO always likes to say, “your scores are so good, you must give the others time to practice and catch up with you.” Oh well, gave me time to get caught up on my paperwork.  Saalim is putting in another request for officer candidate school. Wouldn’t mind recommending him, sharp kid,  might even make a decent pilot. But he can’t seem to stay out of trouble! Right above his request was my reprimand for my maintenance people swiping parts from the Panthers across base. Not that they could prove where the parts went or who actually took them. But since I got saddled with watching over the mechanics I got the blame when they couldn’t find the exact culprit. Dad says that’s all part of being a good officer, taking care of your people.  Well, that request will just sit a little bit longer. Besides, the little thief is our best mechanic, what would we do if he started breaking them in the air instead?

            Another cigarette, another cup of coffee. Shouldn’t have to many of those, bloody uncomfortable to kick in the afterburners when you have to piss. I take a look at the newspapers. Seems like that President in America got himself into trouble.  Tricky Dick they called him, back when he got elected while I was in flight school.  Back then we were hoping to be the first class to go from basic flight to Phantoms. But then the embargo came, and we went home. I went to France to learn more trade in the Mirage instead. Not a bad plane, but there was something about those big beasts when I was at George. Smoky engines, thunder that you could feel two miles away.  But Nixon wanted to keep the Sov’s out of P land, so we win the last war and get an embargo for our troubles. Well at least I’m on flight duty still.  Ask my wingman what time it is. I know I have 6 more hours on this damned duty, then two days off. I’m trying to be conversational, but dad’s ole accent sets off another pilot in the no longer Royal Dhimari Air Force. They all seem to think I’m here cause of family connections. Well, I did get the chance cause of the family name. but getting here was all me, including having the best gunnery scores 4 months running now. “and that’s why you’re pulling alert junior”. Having one of Dad’s service pals for a CO doesn’t help much either.

 

     THE KLAXXON! We both bolt out of our chairs for the waiting birds. The crews have the huffers going already as we sprint up the ladders into the pits. Did my feet even touch the ladders? Stop joking. Check engine, good.  Radio tower, comms good. Telex, that’s bad. They don’t want to broadcast until we know what we’re up against. Heading, distance, arming pins are out, canopy down. Chocks away and so are we. All traffic just got waved off so we can go, and we only have 200 feet to travel to get to the end of the runway. Pause for Khaled to pull on my side then kick in the burners. Damn, I knew I shouldn’t have ‘ad another cup! Rotation speed, keep it on the ground for 20 knots more then tuck the gears in the well and zoom for heaven. Arc backdown on a heading towards Border Post 4. Khaled is welded to my side the whole way. Should try letting him take lead next time. If I make it this time. Estimated time to intercept, 3 minutes. Radio silence until we identify the Telex says.  Could it be a P bomber, or fighters trying to whittle away what’s left of our air force? Or one of those Russian birds, that fly faster than a bullet at the edge of space? Stop daydreaming, it’s too low for that and the Russians like to chatter just to let us know they can do this. A glint 1 o’clock low! Interesting, at this distance shouldn’t shine like that. The Ps and us have been throwing some kind of paint on for years to cut down on glare. But if it’s an airliner, why no radio? That’s dangerous in this neighborhood.

     I motion to Kahled to spread out and watch my tail while I close in. It is an airliner as I pull along side of it. Port side, Parani Airways AN-12, looks ok. Khaled breaks radio silence, lets me know the right wing has been on fire. Ah, that’s why you’re here Mr. Airliner. I pull up to the cockpit, and tap on the side of my helmet, asking if he has a working radio.  Imagine my surprise when a white face with bright red hair shakes no back at me. We suspected the Russians flew for the Ps from time to time, but their airliners too? Well, intel will have fun with that. But right now we have to get this guy on the ground. I break radio silence to let command know what’s going on. They want him to land at Delta 5, the closest strip. But he will have to turn quite abit and maneuver around some hills to land there. Delta 4 is further away, but he only needs to change heading a few degrees and coast in. I jot the heading and distance down, and show him. He gives a thumbs up in agreement. Meanwhile, Kahled is trailing him about two miles back. Out of range of those guns the Russians put on everything, but keeping an eye just in case.

     Twenty eight kilometers to Delta 4. It would normally take me not even a minute. But this guy is not pushing his luck or 200 knots indicated air speed. Plus we have to get down without stressing that wing. Somebody comes on the air, asking if it’s a ruse. Really? Get off the air I shout, and get the crash crews ready at 4. I can see the lights now, gears down to let him know. All three come down and look good so I give him the thumb up. No flaps. Well, with what the right wing looks like, probably doesn’t have any hydraulic left. Shit, do they use pneumatic or hydraulic brakes? Guess we’ll find out.  I guide him down, listening to the tower and trying to get him to mimic me. Down, down, down, wheels down!  I start to pull up and away, when Kahled mutters “oh Allah”. Bank it and peek, the right wing broke away. Plane is spinning on the ground but  crash trucks are tailing it waiting for it to stop. Oh Allah indeed. I guess he is merciful indeed. Even to the godless infidels who threaten his people!

 

    The flight turned out to be a charter for Soviet technicians on their way back to Russia. The outboard engine had thrown a prop blade, right into the inboard engine. The ensuing fuel leak and fire weakened the wing to the point that it snapped off on landing, and probably would have done the same had the pilot turned to go to Delta 5 airbase. Lt. Rhys Jones was congratulated for his cool head that day. That evening he was promoted to Captain by the Vice Air Marshall DhAF, whom he had yelled at earlier in the day about being asked if it was a ruse.

    The Soviet lead engineer that examined the wreck told the press that it was good communist design that saved the crew. He wasn’t being a good communist though when he crossed himself after realizing how weak the wing really was.

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sorry, havent visited this back in a bit. been having to do things like moving and homework.  which would you all like next, excerpts from Prince Fa'ad's paper on local military (and other) power or memories of hte aboves British dad as told by a Dhimari contemporary?

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