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Showing posts from 2010

Last Flight of 2010

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Today I was off of work to enjoy part of the New Years holiday so I spent a good portion of the day in the hangar.  My normal hangar flying buddies were not there today to distract me so I actually had a productive day working in the hangar.  Not that I think catching up on the airport stories is a waste of time... it just is a different type of aviation therapy to actually WORK in the hangar!

I unloaded some of the Christmas gifts out of the truck and spent a few minutes unpacking them.  One gift was a light weight drill from my parents.  My old drill had bit the dust a couple months back and I had resorted to the manual screw driver.  (Gasp!  Manual?!)  The big heavy drills for working around the house just aren't that good for working on the airplane.  With the battery charged I tried it out.  Works... and is not too heavy or too much power.



The next gift to be unpacked was a small six inch buffer from my father-in-law.  The Cyclo buffer/polisher is my polishing work horse but …

Merry Christmas 2010

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A fun story from the Warbird email circles... Merry Christmas!

Santa's Ride

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

'Twas the night before Christmas all over the place,
When we were confronted by an old flying ace.
There was icing reported and turbulent air ,
He said, "File me a flight plan, I gotta get there".

Outside sat his aircraft all ready to run,
And the old man walked out to that P-51.
"Bad weather's no problem," he silently mumbled,
The prop came to life...that big Merlin rumbled.

He eased in the throttle, the roar shook the ground,
He taxied on out and turned it around.
He went through the run-up and seemed satisfied,
Then he said to himself, "I'm in for a ride."

So he lined it up straight as he poured on the coal,
The tailwheel came up as he started to roll.
Up off the runway, he sucked up the gear,
And that mighty V-12 was all you could hear.

He screamed overhead with a deafening crack,
Blue flames flying from each little stack.
"He pulled up the nose and …

Clean Culver Cadet

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This clean Culver Cadet was at the last Antique Airplane Assoc. meeting I went to over in Justin, Texas.  Owned, restored and flown by Gene Morris.  These are clean little ships and I have always liked their compact, sporty lines.  Much like one of my other favorites, the Globe Swift.  Just posting a picture as it is a great example of the rare Culver Cadet.  Check out this link I found for a web site dedicated to this classic speedster.

Corsair in Black

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In a previous post I wrote about the fine craftsmen over in Germany at MeierMotors and their work on many recently imported World War Two fighters to that country.  The most recent project is the cosmetic restoration and repaint of an F4U-5 Corsair.  Take a look at the unique paint scheme this powerful fighter will wear!  An all black scheme of a Korean war era Corsair.  It is worth the ten to fifteen minutes to read through the WIX forum post on the research for the paint scheme and the history of this Corsair.  The pictures of its transformation are there as well.  A special thanks goes out to Matthias Dorst for allowing me to post his photo.

Links - WIX forum post on the Corsair - MeierMotors

P-38 Reunion Video

This just came to my attention. Wow... Great video from the recent P-38 reunion out in California.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdzF_i7mPgs&feature=youtube_gdata_player


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Warbird T-Shirt Quilt

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In this day and age of reuse and recycle it is always fun to see something repurposed, especially when it pertains to our own personal interests.  My mom is an avid quilter.  I grew up staying warm in the winter months under her handiwork, and over the years our family has shared her interest in quilting.  As a matter of fact, we even owned a small quilt shop years ago.  It was a lot of fun learning how to run a small business, and have the opportunity to meet new people who shared the love of quilting.

In the local quilting scene mom became fast friends with a woman named Melinda Hamm Giacommarro.  Melinda has taken her own love of quilting to new heights and has made some rather unique creations.  She repurposes t-shirts by making them into one-of-a-kind quilts.  Over the years my mom had me stash away my old, worn out aviation t-shirts and this summer we finally pulled them out to give this t-shirt quilt thing a go.   We sorted through the various types and styles and ultimately narr…

Aviation Magazine Collection

As I have noted before on this blog I am organizing a rather large collection of aviation magazines.  This weekend I added to it with several more boxes!  Like a truck full of boxes!  It is one of those aviation collectables that can be very focused or very broad.  Which titles do I focus on?  Which years do I keep?  When boxes and boxes are passed on to me I know I wont keep ALL of them even though I may want to!  Each box may have a few keepers or be full of keepers. The 1940s SKYWAYS were added to the keeper box along with some 1940s and 1950s FLYING and some of the first editions of AIR CLASSICs.  So... I can see myself in a few weeks sitting by the wood stove in the living room with a pile of magazines to glean more aviation history from.  Anyone looking for some rare magazines?  I might just have a copy!

My list of winter projects is now growing... update web sites... sort magazines... post a few items on eBay... oh and polish the Cessna while it is not 100 deg. outside!

Harpoon 84062 Recovery

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The aviators dream of a Jenny in a barn, a Mustang in an old hangar or a Cub in a garage make up the stories for books.  When the airplanes are larger sometimes you might find them sitting outside!  Years ago on our families route to church there was a Cessna 195 sitting outside behind a house.  If they are bigger than a 195 they might be more obvious commanding a spot on the ramp of a local airport.  It appears that Taigh Raimey and his crew at Vintage Aircraft found an airplane that they could not let go to the scrap heap.  A PV-2 Harpoon (84062) was sitting on some land that had sold in California.  The tired Harpoon was a fire bomber and had been sitting since 1994!  It only has about 800 hours on it since new!  The mission to save the Harpoon was a success and Taigh tells a fantastic story over on the WIX forum.  Check out the story here.  After you read the story check out the videos here!

Links - WIX - Vintage Aircraft

Texas Antique Fly-In 2010

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The 48th Annual Texas Antique Airplane Association Fly-In enjoyed clear blue skies and pleasant temperatures this past October 8&9.  This year I drove up on Friday night to help the set up for the event and be an extra pair of hands for the dinner. During the evening the aircraft owners and pilots were treated to great food and even a new motion picture “Pearl” that featured several antique aircraft.
On Saturday my wife, Candice and I flew the 170 up and spent the entire day on site.  The weather was perfect for sitting under the wing of the Cessna visiting with friends and family.  I even gave a few rides to family and a group of Young Eagles. We flew home at sunset after one of the most enjoyable fly-in events of the year!


Over 120 airplanes of all types were on display for the local enthusiasts to survey. Classic Cessnas, Pipers and Aeroncas showed in good numbers along with many unique antiques and a few Warbird trainers.  This years grand champion was the beautiful 1948 Luscomb…

Miss Veedol - 79 Years Ago Today

An email crossed my desk today with this bit of history...


Oct. 5, 1931 was the first time an aviator ever flew non-stop across the Pacific Ocean. That aviator was Clyde Edward Pangborn, native of Bridgeport, Washington, along with his not very able co-pilot, Hugh Herndon. And he did it without any sort of spells, charms, or other magical intervention.


Miss Veedol - the airplane.


Clyde Pangborn - the man.

2010 Texas Antique Airplane Fly-In

Come on out the the Texas Antique Airplane Fly-In Oct. 8-9!

http://www.texasantiqueairplane.org/flyin

The Sky To Myself

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Left work today and headed straight to the airport for some flying therapy.  Took a few minutes to sweep the hangar, clean the windshield and air up the tires.  Took off with about an hour of day light left.  The skies were empty!  Well... of general aviation airplanes.  The skies near DFW Airport are never very empty!

Headed out Northeast of town to fly over a friends/coworkers new house.  Adam was out in the back yard waving at me as I circled.  That side of town, near Frisco, has really built up in the last ten years.  There is even a runway behind Adams house that was once to be a corporate airport but it never took off, so to speak.

Flew back toward the Northwest side of town, near Justin.  Not much activity at the little private airfields.  It was the perfect night to fly so I am surprised that there were not more people up.  Light North winds, unlimited visibility and about 80 degrees.  Doesn't get much better than that!  How could I be the only one out enjoying this?  Oh.…

Cub Adventure

Now this guy knows how to make a trip an adventure!  Fly a Cub from one side of the country to the other!  Amazing sunrises... cool grass airstrips... awesome photos!  Click on Photos 2010 on the left hand menu!

http://www.vintageflying.com/

Flying Again

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It has been a long annual this year but the 170 is back in the air.  My friend Lynn flew with me for a good hour long test flight.  Feels good to have the 170 flyable.  Lynn was also my painter as the new spinner needed painted to match the cream color.  Looking forward to the flying this Fall.

Vintage Aircraft in Color

Take a few minutes to scroll through these classic color pictures from EAA Chapter 673.

http://www.eaa-673.com/history.html

My favorite is the Gulf Stinson SR-9!


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Viewpoint - Guest article by Walter J. Boyne

Last week I published a blog titled The Future of Vintage Aircraft Operation and Restoration.  This was a culmination of thoughts I have been composing in my head for months.  I finally wrote it out and wanted to post it so that it might spark some thoughts in my fellow aviation enthusiasts.  A few weeks ago I read an article by Walter Boyne in ProPilot magazine.  With his permission I am posting it here as I really like the direction of his thoughts towards the future!  Could we see a new "country club" type organization join the aviation community together for social interaction?  I like the idea!
Dan


Viewpoint by Walter J.  Boyne

    This is written with no little trepidation, after reading the bold, insightful Viewpoints of industry leaders, whose experience, inside knowledge and vision enable them to take a longer, more perceptive view of aviation and its future than I am capable of doing. I also realize that I’ll be treading on ground that might be deemed somehow polit…

S-38 Trans-Atlantic

The Sikorsky S-38 owned by Unlimited Adventure sets off today on its Trans-Atlantic journey!  EAA has posted a short story here.  Talk about traveling back in time!  What an adventure!

The Future of Vintage Aircraft Operation and Restoration

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A few years from now will we still see vintage aircraft flying through the skies?  What does the future hold!?

Many issues come to mind in looking to the future of vintage aircraft operation and restoration.  Issues related to engine parts, airframe parts, fuel, and the costs of all of those items rolled into what we will call "operational costs" for this article.  Who has the skills and tools to restore and maintain vintage aircraft?  Are the skills to fly these aircraft being taught to new pilots today?  Then, what could be done to generate an interest in flying? What needs to take place to bring more people into the aviation community?  How do we educate the newcomers and current pilots to the history and heritage of vintage aircraft?  I don't have answers to all of these issues but I do have thoughts on some of them.

One of the main factors that does give me hope for the future of vintage aircraft is technology.  Today's technologies provide us with the tools we …

MeierMotors

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Visiting the WIX Hangar is on my daily to do list.  Some days it takes me a few minutes to catch up on some of the Warbird news.  Other days I have to take the time to read some of the great posts from all over the world!  Matthias Dorst is the webmaster for MeierMotors in Germany.  He has posted a series of pictures from the MeierMotors hangar.

This shop is fast becoming THE place to have your Warbird worked on in Germany!  Not only do they have a cool looking hangar but what is IN the hangar is some of the most unique Warbirds in Europe.  Plan to take a few minutes to read through this forum post.  What a place!  Thanks to Matthias for allowing me to post a few photos here!

Ryan Line Up

Thanks to Mike Shreeve for posting pictures of this fantastic line up of Ryans over on WIX!  Check out this beautiful line!

http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=37261

Oshkosh 2010 Photos

The photo galleries for Oshkosh 2010 can be found on EAAs web site here...

www.eaa.org/apps/galleries/



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Texas Summer

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The summer is passing by rather quickly this year.  As always there is yard work and household chores that fill the summer task lists.  For most aviation enthusiasts July means it is Oshkosh time.  I knew I wouldnt make it up this year as the family had a Colorado trip planned.  We spent a week in the mountains near South Fork, CO and enjoyed the cool weather, mountain scenery, some hiking and fly-fishing.

Before the trip I opened up the 170 for the annual inspection and turned my mechanic loose.  A few issues popped up this year.  One cylinder needed work along with some exhaust brackets.  The last piece to address is the broken spinner back plate.  It appears that age has caught up with the back plate and a new spinner and back plate are on order.  Hopefully it will arrive in the mail soon so I can drop it off to be painted.  A few friends have asked why don't I just polish it.  What?  I don't need MORE to polish on this airplane!  Anyway... it came out of the factory painte…

Another Super Corsair to Fly

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Odegaard Aviation up in North Dakota is making great progress on their second F2G Corsair.  Their first was the famous race number 57.  It now lives in Arizona with a new owner.  Odegaard Aviations web site now has pictures posted of the restoration progress on racer number 74Check it out here.  Wow... looking good!
(The above image from www.airrace.com)

Lockheed 12 Project

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Ray Walker, owner of Lockheed 12 serial number 1292, has listed his project for sale on Barnstormers.com.  Let's spread the word and find a good owner who will return it to it's former glory!



LOCKHEED 12A PROJECT • $60,000 • FOR SALE • I have decided to sell my L-12 project due to lack of time to complete. Aircraft has been in storage since 1967. Some corrosion in airframe. Aircraft needs extensive rebuild. Project comes with four R-985 cores and four Ham-Std hydormatic props. There are 2 (like new) extra outboard wing pannels ailerons and flaps. Late serial number. A fair amount of extra L-12 parts including worm gears, oil tanks etc. I have more pictures that can be sent to you. Located in South Texas, contact Ray Walker at 940-735-1425 • Contact Ray A. Walker - WALKER AVIATION CO.,

DC-7 Returns to the Air

First flight video of the Historic Flight Foundations DC-7 is now online.

Check it out here.

D.C. For The Day

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Some adventures take weeks or months of planning.  Some are just thought up over dinner with friends.  My buddy Jay and I had been talking about a day trip somewhere to see an aviation museum or event.  So after he made a flight to D.C. for work he asked me about the Dulles NASM and was it worth the trip to see it.  A resounding yes from me put the trip planning in motion.  He had only toured downtown D.C. and wanted to go back to see the museum.  About two weeks ago our schedules looked like they would allow a day trip to Dulles on July 2nd.  I took a day off work and he sorted out the passes on the airline.  My excitement to be his tour guide in "Americas Hangar" and his flight privileges would make the trip come together.

My wife helped me pack up my gear for the day and sent me out the door when Jay pulled up at 5:15am.  Do all adventures have to start so early in the morning?!  We launched out of DFW on a 6:55am flight to IAD.  It even worked out to takes some open sea…

Waco Reunion 2010

Andy Heins has posted his pictures from this years reunion over on the Vintage Aircraft side of WIX.

Check part one out here.

And part two here.

Hangar Tales - June 2010

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Last weekend I spent Saturday morning at the hangar.  Upon arrival at the airport I stopped to visit with Doug, Ross and another wingman before they launched off to a fly-in in their RV-6s.  They were excited that I was going to join their formation flight as the slot.  WHAT?  My 170 keeping up with their RVs?  They laughed and all I could think about was them calling me Capt. Slow in my Cessna!  I am not sure I want to be like Capt. Slow from Top Gear so I let them go as a three ship.

The hangar that I rent has room for four airplanes in it and a new one is to move in this month.  A Cessna O-2 will occupy the spot where I am at.  Time for some cleaning, sweeping and trashing.  A bucket of old oil needed recycled so I grabbed it to empty and smelled a funny odder.  Mouse?  So I swept behind the shelves looking for a dead mouse.  Nothing.  OK... time to dump the oil... whoa... the oil smells bad!  What do you know I found three mice had fallen into the oil bucket!!  Has to be the …

B-29 - All Four Turning

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Thanks to Brad Pilgrim for the picture of the CAF B-29 "FiFi" running her newly built engines over Memorial Day weekend in Midland, Texas.  Now that the engines are installed and running plans are to return to the airshow circuit this summer after being absent for a few years.  Hats off to the crews, mechanics and engine builders!  Read about the process of returning her to the skies here.

Pacific Northwest Warbirds

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Warbird enthusiast Al Sauer has posted some outstanding pictures from recent flying activities from the Flying Heritage Collection and the Historic Flight.  Check out the WIX forum post here.

James Horner Scores Horsemen Music

Ranger, Texas Show

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My friend Jay and I launched off for the morning at the Ranger, Texas Flyin/Airshow early so we could make breakfast.  This was my first time at the famous Ranger Airfield.  As the historical marker states... Amelia Earhart landed there years ago.  Jay and I enjoyed breakfast but it soon became warm as the Texas sun heated things up.  We sat under the 170 for a bit watching vintage aircraft come and go.  The heat didnt stop the vintage aircraft from flying in!  We wanted to stay longer but other commitments had us leaving late morning.  Sounds like it was a good show.  My pictures from the morning are here.  Hats off to Jared Calvert for preserving history in Ranger and inviting aviation enthusiasts to drop in for the weekend.

Chino Wrap Up

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To wrap up the posts on Chino here are the links to the pictures from that long weekend.  As noted were spent some time at the Yanks Air Museum shooting pictures of their outstanding Curtiss Robin.  Detailed Robin pictures are here.  This is one of three Curtiss Robins they have.  This one being powered by a Challenger radial.

The welcome shade from the California sun was provided by my friend Les Whittlesey at his hangar.  The hangar that he calls the Cal-Aero Aviation Country Club.  If you want to develop a serious case of hangar envy take a look at these pictures!  Thanks again Les for the place to hang out! (The picture above is my wife and I standing with Les's award winning Lockheed 12.)

The complete gallery of edited airshow pictures is here.  A great Warbird Airshow and an amazing long weekend with my lovely bride.

Chino Saturday

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It is Sunday morning and we are enjoying the slow start to the day. Saturdays show was worth the trip from Texas! Lots of sunshine and cool breezes. We walked the show line in the morning to get pictures and then watched the airshow from the shade of my friend Les's hangar. The large gathering of Mustangs, the formations of two Hellcats, Corsairs and Lightnings highlighted the day. Rudy Frasca's FW190 replica was on static display next to the Lyon Air Museum's B17. Word is that it made a few flights the few days before the show. Still good to see it on the show line!




So, one more day of show to go!

Friday Chino Visit

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After snagging the car and checking into the hotel we made our way to the Chino airport. A friend of mine has an awesome hangar on the field (pictures to come) so we said a quick hello to him. One of the goals for this trip was to shoot pictures of the Curtiss Robin at The Yanks Air Museum. Thru a friend I made contact with the director of the museum who let me take some detailed photos of the Robin. Our friend Alan was due to arrive in his Super Swift in the early afternoon. So walking the field, visitig the museum and watching airshow practice made for a very nice afternoon. The three ship Mustang acro act, The Horsemen flew a great practice show. Sounded great and was very tight formation. To many Warbird aircraft types to name now but I counted 13 Mustangs on the show line. My first time to see the award winning Happy Jacks Go Buggy! Can't wait to see the freshly restored A36 Mustang! Weather looks good and the Warbirds seem ready!




Alan made it in his Swift after some sc…

Friday Travel

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The morning of day one of vacation I ended up stiring at about 5am. Airshow excitement started building! I dozed a time or two and finally got up about 6. My wife and I were mostly ready for the flight to Ontario, CA. So we wrapped up the packing and loaded up. Mom Linn made the airport drop for us.

Being fairly seasoned travelers my wife and I make the airport lines and boarding with ease. Most of the morning entertainment comes from watching little kids pull tiger striped roller bags and trying to tune out chatty passengers in the seats near us. Chatty Kathy and her new friend Chatty Nancy didn't stop talking until the beverage cart came by! The chatting started up again after a sip of the $300 drinks with a free trip to CA thrown in.

This will be my fourth trip to Ontario/Chino for an aviation event. The first with my bride. I prayed all week for cool temps and blue skies so we could enjoy the show together. Chino is one of those rare airports in the U. S. that offers a v…

Off to Chino

This weekend we are off to Chino! A large showing of Mustangs is expected and a FW190 surprise! Watch here for updates!


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Robin Advertisement

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In my sorting the piles of magazines, that I have mentioned a few times on this blog, I have found a unique Curtiss Robin Advertisement.  This one shows a four seat arrangement for a Robin.  Has anyone else seen a Robin in this arrangement?  Of the flying Robins I have not seen one like this.  Time to break out the Juptner books to look it up!

Chino Airshow Soon

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The last time I made it to the Chino Airshow was back in 2007.  The years since my last visit have proven to be quite the aerial spectacles!  One year the show attracted a large collection of Grumman Bearcats.  Scott Germain caught the powerful Grumman fighters in the air as can be seen in the picture above.  The 2010 show is nearing and I have been talking about it to just about anyone who will listen!  This year should provide another amazing show with some of the rarest ships flying the skies today and it will be my first time to see The Horsemen live in action.  The Planes of Fame Museum will host the airshow and will display their rare Warbirds for the weekend.  Another museum on the field is the Yanks Air Museum.  This museum also features many rare Warbirds but has a large collection of vintage aircraft as well.  Watch this blog for updates and photos from the event and the visits to these museums.

Warbirds Over Wanaka 2010

Stunning photos from Warbirds Over Wanaka 2010.

The forum post is here.

Vintage Aircraft Advertising

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There is something about vintage advertising that has captured my interest.  Vintage cars and airplanes have some of the most unique advertising.   They transport you back to another time and place.  The clothing and hair styles are very telling of the era along with the wording of the ads.  In my collecting I have pulled some of my favorite ads and scanned them to post here and note some of the details that stand out.

Aeronca leads with the heading "Tandem Riding Is Out Of Date" and words the ad with "comfort, convenience, visibility."  Take note that they are talking about their Low Wing and C-3 models!  Comfort?  In a C-3?  Even when they produced their new models of the Chief, was that comfortable??  The side-by-side seating made for a cozy arrangement.  I truly think that people back in the 1930s and 1940s were a lot smaller, slimmer and trimmer!  Having flown my side-by-side Taylorcraft for over 300 hours and being wedged in to the bench seat with riders it …

Stinson O Flies!

The Stinson Model O that has been built up by the craftsman at Evergreen Aviation Services takes to the skies!  Hats off to the people providing the funds and the laborers that made this rare ship fly!

Watch the first flight video here.

Let the Fly-In Season Begin

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We are blessed here in Texas to be able to fly almost year round even in the coldest or hottest months or the year.  I know in other parts of the country with the change of seasons to Spring the airplanes start to see more fair weather for flying.  A good number made it to The Cactus Fly-In out in Arizona for one of the first vintage aircraft shows of the season.  Several good reports have been brought back via some Texas AAA members.  Terry Wallace from the Texas Chapter was there and took the picture above of the Luscombe Phantom that was the Grand Champion award winner.  Check out this link to see the list of award winners from the fly-in.  Congrats to Dick Ramsey for taking home an award for his Texas based Luscombe 8E!

So let the fly-in season begin!  What shows are on your radar for this year?  I know MANY will make the bigger shows but what local shows will draw you vintage aircraft enthusiasts?  Last year we made the Northwest Antique Fly-In and were very happy we made the tr…

Beautiful Disaster

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Spring is showing up here in Texas.  Yard work has begun.  I already did a little mowing around the house and planted a few new rose bushes.  Another Spring project that is receiving some attention is my garage.  This garage has been on the family property since we bought the place back in the mid-1980's and has stored boats, VW Bugs, and construction materials (for two houses!).  Back in 1991 I fixed up this garage to be my office and workshop while I built my new house.  When I moved in to the finished house in 1999 the garage became my sorting room for my aviation book and magazine collection.  Several good friends have passed on their beloved aviation magazine collections to me.  Did they get the better end of the deal or did I?  This beautiful disaster has been quite the project.  Some days I am excited to go sort and organize in the garage... other days I just want to stick my head in and then go back into the house.  This past year I have worked in short bursts and am fina…

Skiing in Canada

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Eric Dumigan is a regular posters on one of the forums I visit often.  His high quality photos sure do grab my attention.  So I recommend looking through his latest photo gallery on his web site.  He visited the Orillia Lake Ski-In last month up in Canada and posted some awesome photos.  Check out the gallery here.

Fine Day for Photos

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Here in Texas we talk about the weather and how fast it can change.  Snowing one day and a few days later sunny and warm.  A little over a week ago we were blessed with one of those sunny days on a Saturday.  Light winds and clear skies are what most pilots hope for.  When shooting pictures, especially air to air pictures, you REALLY hope for those conditions.  A quick email and a phone call and my friend Rex and I were set up to do a photo mission.  I enlisted my friend Lynn to ride and fly right seat for me while Rex had his son, Russell, ride along to handle the cameras.  We briefed our flight, formation and locations before taking off.  Off into the blue skies we went  Rex was first in his Cherokee.  Then we switched lead and is was 170s turn.  As can be seen in the above shot, Russell did a fantastic job shooting the 170.  An added bonus was a few short video clips.  Looking forward to making a short film of the 170 soon.  Thanks again to Rex and Lynn for flying and Russell (of S…

Feb 2010 AAA Meeting

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My wife and I attended the February Texas AAA Meeting at Fort Worth's Meacham Field.  Our meeting was held at the Vintage Flying Museum.  This former World War Two hangar once housed B-29s and is now home to several flying vintage bombers.  The B-17 "Chuckie" makes her home here along with the B-25 "Pacific Prowler."  A recent bomber addition flew in just weeks ago is a A/B-26 Invader.  Our hosts Doc and Chuckie Hospers gave a short program that included the history of the museum and their beloved B-17. Joe Haynes passed on some history of the Texas Chapter and his involvement since the beginings of the group. Lynn Hearn also told of his flying history and chapter membership.  As the meeting came to a close members were treated to the sounds of a maintenance run on the B-25 is the crew did an engine run up.  About 50 members were in attendance.

Pictures from the meeting here.

Today in Aviation History - Book Collecting

Today is the birthday of the great aviation historian, Octave Chanute. The French born engineer and aviation pioneer was born  on this day in 1832. Read more of his bio here. What recently captured my  attention was that he wrote a book titled "Progress in Flying  Machines" back in 1894. Evidently this became a book that was  studied by the Wright Brothers in their quest for powered flight.  What captured my attention was a book that was written so early  on the subject of aviation. This is one book I would like to own.  Would a copy of this book still exist? Could one be found on the  open market? Well... this is the internet age... information is  easily accessable! A quick search on bookfinder.com and there  they are.  Reprints from the 1970s and 1990s BUT also some  originals! Curious enough to look for yourself? Be warned that  the originals are going for about $450 for one copy and $1200 for  another! What are these books worth? As a friend of mine once  said... it is …

Spartan Picture - Magazine Find

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In sorting through some of my magazine collection I found a 1963 issue of AIR PROGRESS.  Inside was a 10 page photo collection of "Outstanding Antiques." The Antique Airplane Association is mentioned on the title page with the photographers listed as Don Downie and Howard Levy. Spartan Executive N46426 is one of the aircraft featured in the spread. I did a quick check of my Spartan listing and found this to be a photo of serial number 31 (NC17665) that now makes its home in California. It is always fun to spot photos of Spartans in paint schemes I have never seen before. Great... another photo for the Spartan collection!

On the subject of Spartans... check out the progress Mr. Hartness is making on the restoration of his Spartan Executive, NC13PH, serial number 13.  See the photo gallery here.

French Corsair Restoration

Posted on the PlaneTalk forum this week are the pictures of the restoration progress of a F4U-5N Corsair.  The workmanship appears to be very high quality.  Take a look here.

National Aviation Heritage Invitational

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The National Aviation Heritage Invitational is now accepting applications from vintage aircraft owners to compete for the Rolls Royce Heritage Trophy. Aviation treasures are restored and displayed at the Reno Air Races where the judges will award the coveted trophy.  Vist the web site and check out the winners circle.  At my recent visit to the NASM I saw the trophy on display.  It is a commanding trophy and displays its past winners on the base.  Who will be in the running this year?

Mosquito Rebuild

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A DH Mosquito will grace the skies once again! Watch the Victoria Air Maintenance web site for progress on CF-HML that is being restored for a Canadian collector.  The link to the Mosquito progress is here.  Years ago my Dad and I saw Kermit Week's Mosquito fly at the Breckenridge, Texas Airshow.  We were in awe of the big fighter/bomber flying above the Texas skies. The sights and sounds of an airborne Mosquito will surely be history relived. When you have a few minutes take time to look around the Vitoria Air Maintenance web site. They turn out some AMAZING Grumman Mallard restorations.  Sign me up for one of THOSE too!