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Wednesday
Aug202014

Warsaw Indiana Rocks A Great Little Airshow! (Plus Hot Air Balloon CoolPix)

(click pic for hi-res)  Friday night at the Warsaw Indiana Airshow  (photo: Andy Kerr)


 This post is really all about having the chance to share the awesome photo above captured in my hometown by local photgrapher Andy Kerr during last weekend's Warsaw Airshow. This was the second year for an airshow at the Warsaw Airport (ASW) and even more than last year's kind-of-a-surprise success, this event was awesome with great attendance! Congratulations to the organizers, volunteers, and sponsors that made it all happen. (note: I wasn't involved in any way other than to participate) - I did however help my son-in-law with the hot air balloon tethered rides on Friday evening and the Saturday morning launch. His balloon is the one in the air in the pic above, tethered late evening rides!


(click pic to enlarge) The C-54 Candy Bomber flew several times and was open to tour


 I've been living in Warsaw Indiana for almost 20 years now... it's a nice, small city of about 14,000 that has a good sized airport due in part to the city being the Orthopedic Capital with major players in the industry headquartered here. While the Warsaw Airport doesn't usually show a fun side, this Friday evening and all day Saturday it was pure passion and sport aviation central! I'm thrilled to see that this is possible right here in my backyard : )


(click pic to enlarge) Great weather Friday, and nice Saturday for airplanes & people


 The big features this year were the C-54 (DC-4) Candy Bomber from Berlin Airlift Histrorical Foundation, plus Dave Folk's F-4U Corsair,  along with a T-33, several T-6's, and a variety of other aircraft on display. The airshow included all the big aircraft mentioned plus a Pitts, a Chipmunk, and a Super Stearman, as well as some fun runway races between cars and airplanes, and a motorcycle racing the Chipmunk as well as doing a wingtip handshake with it! There were also lots and lots of airplane rides sold both days in Waldo Wright's New Standard 4-pax biplane, along with helicopter rides, hot air balloon rides and some local 172 rides. I was very pleased to see how much business they were all doing! Great food and both live and recorded music gave it all a nice festival atmosphere too. 


(click pic to enlarge) 4 passengers at at a time! 1931 New Standard biplane 

 

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Monday
Aug182014

Video: The 'SLICK' Look At Oshkosh 2014 (Must See!)


 SLICK (Wesley Perkins) has crunched down the footage and his OSH14 video hit the streets (of youtube) over the weekend! This year's version is more of what we've come to expect in the way of a great video that captures the incredible aviation diversity that is Oshkosh, the world's greatest aviation event.

 With such strong attendance this year in both people and aircraft, there's no reason to think that OSH won't remain king of the hill for a long time to come. The reality tho is that Oshkosh isn't about being a mega event, it's really all about people with a passionate love for flying (and building, re-building, or restoring) airplanes of every imaginable kind. It's grass roots. It's down to earth. It's real. If for some reason this isn't the Oshkosh you know, may I suggest that you're doing it wrong. I've experienced 36 or 37 Oshkosh weeks since I was just 9 years old in 1970, and I love my time there every bit as much today as I ever have. 

 Thanx SLICK for another fabulous video reminder of how great Oshkosh Is!


(I've no idea what this A********e thingy is... I've never been to one of those and I never will. To understand what I mean, read reason #1 under 'WHY IT'LL NEVER HAPPEN'  : )


other Slick OSH videos:
OSH13
OSH11
 OSH10 


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Wednesday
Aug132014

Video: More Piper Cub Love From Hartford Wisconsin (HXF) And 'Cub Air Flight'


 I figured while I have your attention on Cub flying and Cub Air Flight in Hartford Wisconsin (from telling you about me finally getting current after 18 years away) I should share this video from about a year ago. It shows why Cub flying in general is so wonderful, and why doing it at Hartfod is nearly perfect. #LoveToFly

CubAir.net

 
 

 

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Sunday
Aug102014

I'm Current For The First Time In 18 Years! (Living The Cub Life In Hartford WI) 12 Pix

(click pic to enlarge)  Me in the back seat of a Cub... right where I belong!


 When I offered for sale the rare copy of The Long, Lonely Leap in mid-July to help me survive a week at Oshkosh 2014, I mentioned in the post that my plan was to take some of that money and make sure I finally got the flight review that I've been trying to accomplish the last two years. Seems every time I had some cash set aside for that it wound up having to be spent on something ultimately more important. Fortunately for me, the book sold in just a couple days, and I made good on my promise by scheduling a flight review for the Saturday right before Oshkosh began in one of the Cubs from Cub Air in Hartford Wisconsin. Hartford (HXF) is conveniently located about an hour south of OSH, so my trip to the world's greatest aviation event included the chance to finally be a current pilot after an 18 year hiatus.

 I'll admit that I had a pretty high confidence level going into the flight review after having done so well late last August with an hour of takeoffs and landings in a Pitts S2C with Billy Werth in Indianapolis. Prior to those 9 wheel landings in the Pitts, I had probably only had made 5 landings since 1996, and only one of those in a taildragger... but the training I got from my dad when I was just 13 years old in a 150hp Citabria 7KCAB on a narrow runway in Elgin IL burned the basics of 'taildragger' deep into my memory. It really makes no sense to me that I was actually completely comfortable doing takeoffs and landings in the Pitts (the first time I'd ever been in such a high performance airplane) and especially after such a long time away, but I like to point out that I don't think I'm special, I was just blessed to learn at a very young age in an airplane that demands you know how to use your feet. Thanks again dad!


(click pic to enlarge)  Flying a J-3 Cub with a new 'old' EAA logo shirt... Life is good!


 The upcoming flight review at Hartford was also low on the stress factor because I logged a boatload of hours in a clipped wing Cub back when I was 18 and 19. The view and the feel of life in the back seat of a Cub is something I was pretty familar with, even if it had been 34 years since I'd flown one. The clipped wing we had was powered by a 90hp Continental, and the Cubs at Hartford have either 85 or 90hp. A clipped wing J-3 demands more than the 65hp Cubs were built with to get any kind of decent climb out of it, and the full span airplanes benefit greatly from having the extra horsepower as well. I was curious to see if the full span Cub flew significantly different since I really didn't know what it would be like. The only time I'd ever been in a full span Cub was at Hartford two years ago during the 75th anniversary event on the weekend before OSH12, and I just went for a ride to be able to get some good pix of the field-full-of-Cubs from the air.

Check out these posts for some great pix and info on Cubs at Hartford:

Lots Of Cub Yellow At Hartford Wisconsin For 'Cubs 2 OSH'

75 Piper Cubs At Hartford Wisconsin! CoolPix 2Fer


 All of the pictures in this post are actually from Sunday August 3rd, the last day of OSH14. I stopped back by Hartford on the way home to take fellow CampBacon friend Adam Fast and his pilot friend Melinda for rides in a Cub. More info on the rides right after I detail some of the flight review from Saturday July 26th.


(click pic to enlarge) It's hard to beat a Cub with the door open on a summer day

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Thursday
Aug072014

OSH14: Saturday August 2 - Cessna 195 Heading Home (CoolPix)

(click pic for hi-res)  Beautiful Cessna 195 heading home Saturday morning


 I spent some time out by 18/36 on Saturday morning watching a long string of wonderful aircraft taxi out and then takeoff on their way home. It was obvious that attendance at OSH14 was up dramatically in both people and airplanes, and that included a lot more aircraft still on the grounds Friday. But Saturday morning saw a lot of departures as people left the dream-like world of OSH to return to the real world.

 This beautiful Cessna 195, shot with a slow shutter speed and with what appears to be a Cessna 120 or 140 in the air behind it, is a perfect example of what Oshkosh is all about... people who are passionate about great airplanes and who love to fly them.

 Oshkosh truly is The Spirit of Aviation. I can't wait to get back there.


(see over 170 CoolPix posts)

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Tuesday
Aug052014

OSH14: Friday August 1 - Big Prop 'Super' Back Yard Flyer (CoolPix)

(click pic for hi-res) The 'big thrust' Back Yard Flyer with VW engine and belt reduction


 I've been intrigued with the Back Yard Flyer from Valley Engineering (the Culver prop people) for several years now. They sell it as a ready-to-fly package for $19,500 with the big twin 4-stroke engine that makes 40hp and it comes with a BRS safety parachute. It's a remarkable ultralight with a 275 pound max pilot weight and strong climb performance. It's quite a bit different looking than everything else out there and it packs a variety of unique features... like the swing wing that pivots as all one piece to orient the wing in line with the fuselage. Far more simple than regular folding wings, the swing wing allows for very slim hangar storage or even large enclosed trailer storage.

 This year the Valley folks showed up with their 'super' Back Yard Flyer that has a large displacement VW engine with a belt-drive speed reduction unit. This combo, swinging a big 86" Culver prop, makes thrust like crazy! Even better, the exhaust stacks they have on the VW come as close as I've heard to having a flat 4 sound almost as good as a radial. The amazing STOL performance, the incredible rate of climb, and the nostalgic sound all come together to make one very desirable light aircraft. It's obviously not an ultralight with that much bigger and heavier engine. I watched this overpowered (100+hp) Back Yard Flyer for quite a while Friday morning and 'want' is the word that keep running thru my mind.

 The only downside (unless you don't like its look) is that the welded aluminum fuselage and wing structure makes it very difficult to build from scratch (since few people can effectively weld thin wall aluminum)... or even from a kit since a pre-welded wing and fuselage would leave very little left for the builder to do. The pesky 51% rules gets in the way there. Their $19,500 ready-to-fly price for the ultralight is quite reasonable for what you get, it's just still a chunk of change compared to how much lower the cost would be if built from plans. They don't actually market the big VW engine version, tho it sounds like they'd build one for you, but the price jumps significantly.

 I talked to them about my desire to see the big engine/big prop version being redesigned with a simple steel tube fuselage and then maybe an aluminum wing that didn't need welding. If this design was made available in plans-only, I think they'd have a serious winner. Imagine a retro sounding beast that climbs like crazy, uses nearly no runway, and could be built for $15,000, or even less if you're a good scrounger. You can be sure I'd buy a set of those plans!


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Monday
Aug042014

OSH14: Thursday July 31 - See the Sea Of Airplanes! (CoolPix)

(click pic for hi-res)  This is the good life... this is Oshkosh!


 Well, I ran out of gas for keeping up with the 'same-day' posts at OSH14, and in fact between doing the Thursday bacon party, the general walk-your-butt-off-everyday fatigue, and a little detailed research on some airplane designs for my own personal purposes, I didn't get anything posted after late Wednesday night. So now that I'm back home, I'm playing catch up - (it's not helping that the hard drive on my laptop is currently freaking out, I'm posting with the ole beater laptop from two generations back)

 It was a fantastic Oshkosh 2014. More airplanes than I remember seeing in many years, more people than I remember seeing in many years, and as always it was just perfect hanging out with avgeek friends in the campground. That goes double for the friends at #CampBacon. There were 30 to 35 people staying in CampBacon this year, and the Wednesday Bacon Party was clearly the largest ever with at least 60 people chewing the fat.

 Since I'm dealing with ongoing fatigue and and a failing hard drive on the primary computer, I'm keeping it simple with this CoolPix post. Just one nice big pic to share showing off a very diverse sea of Oshkosh airplanes in the Vintage camping area. There's just nothing like Oshkosh!

 In case you haven't figured this out yet, I don't post this stuff so you can see what you missed... I post it so you'll get serious about making plans to get to the next OSH. I mean it. If you're a genuine avgeek (and you don't have overshadowing political reasons to be anti-EAA) then please start working on a way to carve out the time and a little pile of cash to make OSH15 the highlight of next summer. I promise to give you some free bacon if you do!


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Wednesday
Jul302014

OSH14: Wednesday July 30 - It's A Wonderful Life! (QED CoolPix)

(click pic for hi-res)  The big and beautiful beast... Gee Bee QED replica!


 After a busy but perfect day of sunshine and very comfortable temperatures followed by an evening with a very successful Bacon Party (about 60 people attending, including the guys from glass.aero) and then some quality #CampBacon time around the fire pit with s'mores, I only have enough energy left to post one wonderful CoolPix.

 I hope you enjoy this great pic of the Gee Bee QED on takeoff for its flight demo today.

 This is Oshkosh!


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Tuesday
Jul292014

OSH14: Tuesday July 29 - Another Big Day (CoolPix Triple Play)

(click pic for hi-res)  The very tall (and very awesome) Just Aircraft Super STOL


 Tuesday at OSH14 was a lot like this big and bold Super STOL from Just Aircraft... but then everyday at Oshkosh is like that. So much to see and do, it's not even close to possible to take it all in. You simply have to pick the things you want to learn, or see, or experience hands-on and then chase the day.

 With it being difficult to keep up with everything I have decided to only post a CoolPix triple play here, and not a lot of words. I strongly suggest you check out what the Super STOL has to offer and then please enjoy these really wide angle hi-res pix by clicking on them.

 I like unusual airplanes. I like extreme airplanes. I like taildraggers. I really like the Super STOL!


(more tomorrow from the world's greatest aviation event!)


(click pic for hi-res)


(click pic for hi-res)


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Monday
Jul282014

OSH14: Monday July 28 - Day One Starts Big And Beautiful! (10 Pix)

The amazing Gee Bee QED replica taxiing in from its OSH14 arrival this morning


click any pic to enlarge


 It was a great opening day at OSH14... the weather was very nice and there were airplanes and people all over the place. I made a couple runs thru much of the grounds and found lots of interesting to take pictures of. The following are some of those pix with simple captions captions. I hope you enjoy!


Rich Alldredge: QED pilot and project leader (after the passing of originator Jim Moss)


A very unique view of a very unique airplane!


As you can see, the Gee Bee QED is a really big airplane!


The cockpit of the big Gee Bee beast


Cessna 170's and other classics in the Vintage parking/camping


The one-week-wonder Zenith project begins on day number 1


A busy build team and lots of observers of the Zenith CH750 quick build project


I'll try to post some updated pix of the project each day


It was my first chance to see a V-22 Osprey fly... I was impressed!


More pix and a little info tomorrow.


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