100 Perceptual Puzzles by Pierre Berloquin, Denis Dugas, Martin Gardner

By Pierre Berloquin, Denis Dugas, Martin Gardner

A hundred Perceptual Puzzles

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When they arrived at Noi Bai on August 6, 1964, they had been training on the MiG-17 for up to four years. FOSTER SCHULER “TOOTER” TEAGUE Born in Louisiana in 1934, Foster Teague learned to fly at 13, and on graduation from Bossier High School in 1952 he entered Texas A&M University, where a promising football career was curtailed by a neck injury. On graduation in 1956, Teague began flight training, earning his Wings of Gold in 1958 and demonstrating the natural ability and supreme self-confidence that immediately directed him into a fighter squadron.

New pilots were instructed to avoid the escorting CAP Phantom IIs and concentrate on attacking the more vulnerable bombers (primarily A-4 Skyhawks and F-15 Thunderchiefs), forcing them to jettison their war-loads. Following a two-month lull, from September VPAF MiGs were back in the air. The primary north-south supply route from North Vietnam to the south, dubbed “Route 1” by the Americans, was attacked by US Navy strike aircraft between Lang Son and Hanoi on September 20. A flight of four MiG-17Fs from the 921st FR was scrambled from Noi Bai to meet the intruders, as Pham Ngoc Lan recalled.

The 37mm weapon could destroy a target at 5,000ft, but VPAF pilots preferred to engage at much closer ranges. At the other end of the aircraft, the engine’s uneven flickering afterburner flame could be mistaken for combat damage. (VPAF Museum via Dr István Toperczer) control augmentation, fitted to US fighters, made the controls very heavy to operate, even with the unusually long control column to provide leverage. At 500 knots, stability and manoeuvrability became poor, and it was impossible for the pilot to pull the nose of the aircraft up to a steep angle.

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