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Old 09-06-2013, 07:27 PM   #1
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Origin of the word "Aviator"

Phu Khen (1169-?) is considered by some to be the most under-recognized military officer in history. Many have never heard of his contributions to modern military warfare.

A 'Khen' was a subordinate to a 'Khan' (pronounced 'konn') in the military structure of the Mongol hordes. Khan is Turkish for leader. Most know of the great Genghis Khan, but little has been written of his chain of command.

Khen is also of Turkish origin, although there is not a word in English that adequately conveys the meaning. Roughly translated, it means, "One who will do the impossible, while appearing unprepared and complaining constantly."

Phu Khen was one of ten Khens that headed the divisions, or groups of hordes, as they were known, of the Mongol Army serving under Genghis Khan.

His abilities came to light during the Mongols' raids on the Turkistan city of Bohicaroo. Bohicans were fierce warriors and the city was well fortified.

The entire city was protected by huge walls and the hordes were at a standoff with the Bohicans. Bohicaroo was well-stocked and it would be difficult to wait them out.

Genghis Khan assembled his Khens and ordered each of them to develop a plan for penetrating the defenses of Bohicaroo.

Operation Achieve Victory (AV) was born. All 10 divisions of Khens submitted their plan. After reviewing AV plans 1 thru 7 and finding them all unworkable or ridiculous, Genghis Khan was understandably upset. It was with much perspiration that Phu Khen submitted his idea, which came to be known as AV 8. Upon seeing AV 8, Genghis was convinced this was the perfect plan and gave his immediate approval.

The plan was beautifully simple. Phu Khen would arm his hordes to the teeth, load them into catapults, and hurl them over the wall. The losses were expected to be high, but hey, hordes were cheap! Those that survived the flight would engage the enemy in combat. Those that did not? Well, surely their flailing bodies would cause some damage.

The plan worked and the Bohicans were defeated. From that day on, whenever the Mongol Army encountered an insurmountable enemy, Genghis Khan would give the order, "Send some of Phu Khen's AV 8-ers." This is believed to be the true origin of the word Aviator (AV 8-er).

Phu Khen's AV 8-ers were understandably an unruly mob, not likely to be socially acceptable. Many were heavy drinkers and insomniacs. But when nothing else would do, you could always count on an AV 8-er. A Phu Khen Aviator. Denied, perhaps rightfully so, his place in history, Phu Khen has been, nonetheless, immortalized in prose.

As the great poet Norman Lear never once said:

"There once was a man named Phu Khen,
Whose breakfast was whiskey and gin.
When e'er he'd fly, He'd give a mighty war cry:
Bend over, here it comes again."

Consider it an honor to be a Phu Khen Aviator. Wear the mantle proudly, but speak of it cautiously. It is not always popular to be one of us. You hear mystical references, often hushed whispers, to "those Phu Khen Aviators."

Do not let these things bother you. As with any secret society, we go largely misunderstood, prohibited by our apathy from explaining ourselves.

You are expected to always live down to the reputation of the Phu Khen Aviator... a reputation cultivated for centuries, undaunted by scorn or ridicule, unhindered by progress. So drink up, be crude, sleep late, urinate in public, and get the job done.

When others are offended, you can revel in the knowledge that YOU are a PHU KHEN AVIATOR!


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Old 09-06-2013, 07:44 PM   #2
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That is Phu Khen phunny.

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Old 09-06-2013, 07:52 PM   #3
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:02 PM   #4
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Are you by any chance a QB?

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Old 09-06-2013, 08:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by joy-rick View Post

Are you by any chance a QB?

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I was worrying the same thing - my first supervisor in the FAA was a QB, but he never spoke about it much.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for the History lesson

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