Aviation History

Robin Olds ranked #2 out of 34 for best pilot mustache, bested only by Orville Wright. Do you agree?

The list includes legendary pilots such as Adolf Galland, Chesley Sullenberger, Glenn Curtiss, René Fonck and…. Mike ‘Viper’ Metcalf

Throughout history, mustaches have been worn by military men. In fact along with a sense of dash, a disrespect for authority and a dog, the male pilot should have a moustache.

Hush-Kit asked their readers for their suggestions for the top 10 pilot moustaches. The outcome of their poll is quite interesting. In this fun list, which grew from 10 to a great hairy 34 and includes legendary pilots such as Adolf Galland, Chesley Sullenberger, Glenn Curtiss, René Fonck and…. Mike ‘Viper’ Metcalf (yes Maverick’s instructor in Top Gun movie), the famed Triple Ace Robin Olds in fact ranks #2 out of 34 for best pilot mustache, bested only by Orville Wright.

What are your thoughts Geeks? Do you agree with the list?

This model is available in multiple sizes from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Col Olds was known for his extravagantly waxed handlebar style mustache he sported in Vietnam. It was known back then as a “bulletproof mustache” and many Airmen sported it because of a superstition that only “real men” would make it back home alive and “real men” wore mustaches. But back in the 1960’s mustaches were against military regulation so many were forced to shave it off. Col Olds, being far from his home base (in the fall of 1966, Olds took command of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base), thought the mustache defined his individuality so he kept it.

The kids on base loved it. Most everybody grew a mustache. Olds started the mustache in the wake of the success of Operation Bolo and let it grow beyond regulation length because as Olds himself explained “It became the middle finger I couldn’t raise in the PR photographs. The mustache became my silent last word in the verbal battles…with higher headquarters on rules, targets, and fighting the war.”

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. Col. Robin Olds’ F-4C Phantom II FP/63-7680, as it appeared during Operation Bolo, January 2, 1967 – note the missing chin pod, which was not yet retrofitted at the time of Operation Bolo.

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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