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Thursday
Jul312014

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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Sunday
Jul272014

OSH14 Will Be The Best Oshkosh Ever! 

Owner/pilot John Magoffin opens the hatch on the only flying Lockheed Vega
 

(click any pic to enlarge)


 It's time once again to make the simple but bold statement that OSH14 will be the best of Oshkosh ever... because the best Oshkosh is the one you are at RIGHT NOW! And with the annual fly-in and convention ready to start tomorrow morning, thousands of people just like me are here and ready to make it all happen. This is something like my 36th Oshkosh, and while I have a huge amount of awesome memories from over all those years, being at OSH in the here and now is always the best ever. I love this place : )

 I arrived Saturday afternoon, shortly after I had the huge pleasure of stopping by Hartford Wisconsin to finally get a BFR and become a 'current' pilot after an 18 year dry spell! I had a perfect time with Steve Krog (Cub Air Flight) and an 85hp Piper Cub (N70186) and it honestly felt like I picked up exactly where I left off. Back in the day I got a lot of hours in a clipped wing Cub, but yesterday's time was my first ever flying a full span Cub. It was a piece of cake and a pure joy... sure feels good to finally be back!

 Anyway, OSH14 is about to begin, so I made a quick run out thru the display area early today and found two wonderful airplanes to bring to your attention. The first is the recently completed Lockheed Vega owned and flown by John Magoffin. The Vega is parked out front of the Vintage Hangar and it's sure to attract a lot of attention this week. It looked wonderful in the sunshine getting a little tlc to make it look spotless for tomorrow's start. This Vega is the only one currently airworthy, and it's also notable for being the last one built, and one of only nine that were built with an aluminum fuselage, rather than the wood fuselage that the first 123 of them had. I hope to have a lot more info on this fabulous airplane to share before long.


The speedy and very red Nexus Alar, designed and built by Richard Eaves from Canada


 The other fascinating airplane I ran across in my quick trip thru the display area is the one-of-a-kind 'Nexus Alar' designed and built by Richard Eaves from London Ontario Canada. Wow, what a pretty and sleek airplane! Fast too... 200 mph on 180 hp. Richard named the airplane as he did because Nexus means 'a connected group or series' and Alar means 'to have wings'.


The gorgeous Nexus Alar, with Richard Eaves in the large hat answering questions
 

 Richard built 14 airplanes before the Nexus Alar, his first was a Baby Ace in 1960, and believe it or not, he started this airplane when he was 80 years old! He built it in just three years with the first flight in 2013. Richard is 84 now and a true delight to visit with... and his workmanship is excellent. This man is such an example of what the Spirit of Aviation is all about.


Nexus: a connected group or series... Alar: to have wings


 So I hope you're here or plan to be here for some of OSH14. If you aren't, then I highly recommend you start right now making plans to include Oshkosh next year in your summer plans. For one week out of the year, this is the absolute best place on Earth!
 

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Tuesday
Jul222014

Oshkosh 2014 And The AirPigz Bacon Parties! (Hog Heaven : )

AirPigz OSH14 Bacon Parties:
Wednesday (7-30) and Thursday (7-31) from 6pm to 8pm

#CampBacon location map (pdf)


 Oshkosh 2014 is almost here! That means the widest variety of airplanes, the coolest collection of aviators, and of course... a side order of bacon! The Bacon Parties are on different days this year so take note that you can swing by CampBacon between 6pm and 8pm on either Wednesday or Thursday this year (link to location map above) to chew some free crunch pig AND talk airplanes. And hey, you can definitely talk with your mouth full at CampBacon : )


B-25 Lady Luck at OSH11


 I'm bringing a full size household oven this year to cook the bacon, and I'm expecting this will increase my output significantly, so please spread the word about free bacon from AirPigz at CampBacon. Attendance has been growing the last few years, and I'd love to see 75 or 100 people at each party, so be sure to tell your friends.


Beautiful Wittman Tailwind from OSH13


 Download the CampBacon location map and then mark your schedule for either Wednesday evening or Thursday evening (or both) from 6pm until 8pm for great airplane chat and free bacon. And thanx for being part of the crazy AirPigz world!


North American FJ-4B at OSH13


Wednesday
Jul162014

My Oh My, The 9 Is Fine! Boeing 787-9 Videos At Farnborough (Before & During)


 You've probably already seen the Boeing video of the practice flight for the Farnborough aerial display of the new -9 version of the 787 (20' stretch, 40 more pax plus 350 mile range increase) - it's been a very popular video around the internets the last few days with already over 1 million views. Since it was so readily available by the time I had a chance to do anything with it, I never got around to posting it. I have however added it at the bottom of the page tho in case you are one of the 12 avgeeks who hasn't seen it.

 The video above is from PlanesTV Live and shows the actual Farnborough -9 display flight. It's all the same maneuvers as the practice flight but from a ground-based perspective. Great video. Great flight. Great airplane. (I'm prepared to declare the 787 the most beautiful and the most graceful jet airliner ever!)



 The video above is from TopFelya and shows the same flight from a different perspective. There's always something new to observe from a different point of view.



 This video is another from Boeing of the actual demonstration flight... it's not the full demo but still has some views of the -9 that are simply amazing to see.



 And here's that 'practice' flight video released by Boeing several days ago. The airborne views are simply stunning, which is no surprise since they were done by Wolfe Air (check this out). It's also interesting that lots of people thought this whole video was CGI instead of real. I admit that at times it has that look, but c'mon, this is the real deal. And wow, so is the 787-9... this is gonna be one popular airliner - Bravo Boeing!


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Sunday
Jul132014

For Sale: Joe Kittinger's Book 'The Long, Lonely Leap' - $999 (Rare, Signed, Great Shape!)

(click pic to enlarge - this is a composite pic of the same book, front and back)

$999 - Free Shipping, Satisfaction Guaranteed
 

* To purchase this book, send me an email at mcc@airpigz.com telling me you want it

* I'll then mark the picture for it as 'sold'

* You can pay via PayPal or check (we can discuss details via email)

* Price includes shipping and packing 

* I'll send the book the same day I receive payment

* You must be 100% satisfied or you can return the book immediately for full refund


 If you followed any aspect of the worldwide phenomena that was the Red Bull Stratos project in 2012, where Felix Baumgartner went supersonic in freefall after jumping from a balloon at 127,851 feet, then you should be familiar with USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger. Not only did Felix break Joe's record for the highest jump ever (set August 16, 1960 from 102,800 feet) but Joe was a technical advisor and mentor to Felix for the Red Bull Stratos project.

(see AirPigz posts covering Red Bull Stratos)


(click pic to enlarge)

Joe Kittinger signed this book July 28, 2013 at Oshkosh


 After Joe Kittinger made that incredible 1960 high altitude record jump, he wrote the book The Long, Lonely Leap. This book has been regarded as one of the most interesting to read, and most difficult to find in aviation circles for years. My dad acquired a copy early in the 1960's since he related to Joe from both the flying and the parachute jumping. When I sold several books from my dad's old collection last year to raise money to make it to Oshkosh 2013, I kept The Long, Lonely Leap because I remember it as an icon in the house when I was growing up. Then I found out Joe was to speak at Oshkosh 2013 about the Red Bull Stratos project and I realized it might make a great opportunity to have him sign the book.


Joe, the day after his 85th birthday, just after signing the book at Oshkosh 2013


 Joe was one of the speakers at 'An Evening With Champions' at the Theater in the Woods at Oshkosh 2013 on Sunday July 28th, the day before the event officially opened. This was the day after his 85th birthday. Art Thompson (to Joe's left in the pic above) the Red Bull Stratos technical project director joined Joe on stage for his presentation about the successful effort to eclipse his 1960 high-altitude jump record. It was amazing to hear him speak to the audience, but it was when I was able to visit with him backstage that I was most impressed. His mind is remarkably sharp and vibrant, and he really is a nice man. I was also extremely impressed with Art Thompson. These two men have a lot to do with the success of the Stratos project. (I took the pic above with my phone after Joe has signed the book for me)


(click pic to enlarge)


 Now, with Oshkosh 2014 fast approaching, I find myself scrambling to make the financial pieces fit once again. I figured that making the book available for purchase would relieve all the stress of surviving OSH once again. I also figure that if the book does indeed sell, I will take a portion of the money and make 100% sure that I get myself a flight review with an instructor and become a current pilot for the first time in about 18 years. So if you buy my copy of The Long, Lonely Leap, you'll be an important part of getting me back in the sky where I belong!

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul092014

Video: The Hostile World Of F-18's On A Carrier's 'Pitching Deck' (Must See)


 This 20 minute video from the 2008 PBS series 'Carrier' is about the most must see video I've ever experienced. Maybe you saw the series, but I never did... and this segment, that chronicles the extreme hazards of flying off an aircraft carrier's 'pitching deck' (due to the swelling seas) in both day and night operations, is simply incredible.


Screenshot: F-18's launch and land on a wild 'pitching deck'


 I'm sure you're like me and have huge respect for the people who live and work on aircraft carriers, especially the pilots... but your respect for these pilots after seeing this video will be off-the-scale. Truly amazing.


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Monday
Jul072014

My First Landing At Oshkosh Was In A Citabria In 1974... At Age 13 (8 Pix)

Here was the Oshkosh 74 campsite with the Citabria in the North 40

3-seat Citabria?

 With OSH14 being just weeks away now, I got to thinking about the first time I made a landing at Oshkosh. I guess I dream about the past since once again I won't be flying into Oshkosh... it'll all be ground-bound again this time around. Nothing wrong with driving in, but of course it's always better to be able to fly in. While things are indeed better for me now than most of the last 5 years, I still seem to have crazy strong headwinds in my life. No matter what direction I go, strong winds are on my nose. It gets tiring, the fuel burn is high, and the ground covered is greatly reduced. Oh well, this is my life.

 Back to that first OSH landing. It was Oshkosh 1974, I was just 13 years old, and I made a nice wheel landing on runway 27. If I remember correctly there was a little light rain at the time, and I know the tail was riding just a little lower than on most of my wheel landings. More on that in a minute. I was in the front seat of our still-smells-new 7KCAB Citabria, which we had picked up at the Bellanca factory in northwest Wisconsin earlier in the year. My dad had taught me early on to fly the Citabria out of the Elgin Illinois airport. The north/south runway there was very narrow and there always seemed to be a crosswind. And I learned in the winter. It was a perfect place to learn to fly a taildragger! By Oshkosh time, still 13, I was quite proficient with the airplane and felt comfortable flying it in various conditions.

 This trip to Oshkosh was a bit unusual. My dad was in the back seat for our flight from Elgin to Oshkosh, which was about an hour and a half long. But today, he was really in the middle seat. My dad had a habit of bending rules whenever it suited him, and for this trip, our Citabria was a 3-seater. My sorta girlfriend/neighbor Cindy, who was also 13, was riding in the baggage compartment along with a small tent and some basic Oshkosh supplies. I think we were still within the CG limits since she was probably only about 80 pounds, but I'm guessing the lack of a seat and seatbelt made this trip a little on the outside of the FAR's.


 Me at 13 with my sorta girlfriend/neighbor (Cindy) in the donut tent at Oshkosh 1974


 Since we had left Elgin with quite a bit of fuel onboard, and with Cindy in the baggage compartment, the airplane definitely was heavier on the tail. If I had been really thinking I would have added 5 mph to the approach speed to compensate, but I didn't. No worries tho, the tail was just a little low as I squeaked the mains on the nice big and very wide runway 27 at Oshkosh.

 I should probably mention that the view from the baggage area in a Citabria is fantastic. The large rear windows extend all the way to the back so Cindy had a great view for the ride. However, the trip back home a few days later was pretty bumpy and she wound up tossing her cookies. It wasn't a big mess tho and we continued on with her feeling better after the upchucking. She was a great friend back in those days and a real trooper for being willing to sit in the back seat of our 3-seat Citabria!

 Below are more pix I found from that Oshkosh 74 trip. There's some pretty cool stuff to see. And of course by now you should now that OSH14 will be the best Oshkosh ever... because the best Oshkosh ever is the one you are at right now! (previous best OSH ever posts: OSH09 / OSH10 / OSH11 / OSH12 / OSH13)


Oshkosh 1974 the day we arrived when I made my first landing at Wittman Field


First year for the War Aircraft Replicas (W.A.R.) and the VW powered FW190

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul032014

CoolPix: Precious Metal Shines In A Perfect Blue Sky - Reno 2013 Gold Race

(click pic for hi-res)  Thom Richard and Precious Metal in the Gold race at Reno 2013


 I'm a big fan of Thom Richard and his Griffon powered mixmaster P-51 Precious Metal because he's got a team moving forward making great progress on getter faster every year... and because he's a really nice guy. Follow Thom on facebook and also the Precious Metal Air Racing Fan page on facebook.

 I had the chance to prep up some hi-res pix for him to possibly use and in the process found this one from the Gold race at last year's Reno Air Races and realized I'd never done anything with it. So I prepped it up this morning for him, and I'm sharing it with you as a CoolPix. Enjoy!

Reno Air Races


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