Greetings Word of the Week fans and welcome to the June 25 edition of Clarion County's favorite word game.
It was on this date in 1923 that Capt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. John P. Richter perform the first ever aerial refueling in a DH-4B biplane.
As we understand it, Smith was lowered onto the wing of Richter's plane carrying a five-gallon can of fuel. After wing-walking to the center of the Richter's plane, Smith used a funnel and a windshield to pour the gasoline into the fuel tank. Smith then parachuted of Richter's plane
Nah, that's not it happened at all.
Some of the earliest experiments in aerial refueling took place in the 1920s; two slow-flying aircraft flew in formation, with a hose run down from a hand-held fuel tank on one aircraft and placed into the usual fuel filler of the other.
As the 1920s progressed, greater numbers of aviation enthusiasts vied to set new aerial long-distance records, using inflight air refueling.
This first non-stop circumnavigation of the globe proved that, because of aerial refueling, vast distances and geographical barriers were no longer an obstacle to military air power.
The first use of aerial refueling in combat took place during the Korean War (which began on this date in 1950), involving F-84 fighter-bombers flying missions from Japanese airfields, due to Chinese-North Korean forces overrunning many of the bases for jet aircraft in South Korea.
So, while you reflect on in-flight refueling and the Korean War, ponder "pung."
It's a noun. Does pung mean:
A: The farrow in a plowed field. "I was walking in from the corn field and tripped in the pung," said Farmer Jones. "I think I heard the chickens laughing at me."
B: The bucket in an old water well. "Nuts, I dropped the pung in the well again," said Daisy Mae. "Now I have climb down in there and get it."
C: A low, box sleigh drawn by a horse. "It just sounds better we're going to Grandma's house in a one-horse open sleigh.' Not a one-horse open pung.'"
D: The weights on a set of old feed scales. "You best put another two or three pungs on that scale," said the miller. "This here is dome heavy corn meal."
A mission-modified Cessna 172 Skyhawk with a crew of two set the world record for the longest continuous manned flight without landing of 64 days, 22 hours, 19 minutes, and five seconds in 1958 by refueling and transferring food and supplies from a convertible top Ford Thunderbird automobile.
The publicity flight for a Las Vegas area hotel ended when the aircraft's performance had degraded to the point where the Cessna had difficulty climbing away from the refueling car.
The correct answer to the Word of the Week challenge is "C."