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The Candy Bombers
Videos for Engineers

On November 10, 2009, I posted the following item for my "Videos for Engineers" feature.

RF Cafe Videos for Engineers - Smartphone-Controlled CarIt will take a little more than simply downloading an app from the Internet for your iPhone to pull this off. Researchers at Freie University of Berlin developed the application seen controlling a specially equipped car. I hope there was an emergency kill switch incorporated to remove any possibility that it could run into that cool old airplane on the other side of the hangar.


Fortunately, RF Cafe visitor Jason Ives saw it and sent the following bit of additional information
(reprinted with his permission):

Re Candy Bombers:

Kirt,
I just wanted to comment on your “Videos for Engineers” section with the video of the van being remotely controlled by an iPhone. Because this was research done at the Free University in Berlin, I took a keener interest than I may have normally. I was stationed in Berlin from 1990-1993 and when I watched the video I recognized the hangar they were driving around in as the hangars along the flightline at Tempelhof Air Base, which was the home of the 7350th ABW where I was stationed.

You also commented on the “cool old airplane” in the background. I believe that is the famed “Candy Bomber”, the C-54 Skymaster flown by Col (ret) Gail Halvorsen during the Berlin Airlift.

Anyway, I thought you might be interested in those little tidbits. I enjoy your site and visit frequently. Keep up the nice work.

Sincerely,
Jason Ives


For anyone not familiar with the "Candy Bomber" moniker, that name was given to the plane when it participated in the Berlin Airlift at the end of WWII in Europe. Once the Russians blockaded Berlin, it made getting supplies and food to the residents nearly impossible. Fortunately, good old American and British ingenuity and compassion found a way to provide relief. Between June 24, 1948, and May 1949,  pilots and crews risked their lives to airlift in 4.6 billion pounds of food and supplies until the blockade was lifted in May 1949. What is most remembered is how pilot Hal "Gail" Halvorsen won Berliners' hearts by secretly dropping his and his buddies' candy rations by parachute into the waiting hands of the city's children.


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