Even tho my day at the Fantasy of Flight Museum was overcast with light rain, the daily flight demo was not held up. Kermit Weeks, the museum founder, was on hand to demonstrate the Fieseler Storch that's on display at FoF. It's a pretty cool museum that keeps its huge hangars doors open during the day, and then just rolls out one of the gorgeous aircraft on display and fires it up to show it off in the sky! This was definitely one of the highlights of my FoF experience.
Before the flight, Kermit (near the cockpit, facing the airplane) gives some interesting background info on the WWII German observation aircraft. A good size crowd had gathered to listen and then watch it fly.
One of the guys from the Pitcairn Autogiro crew was the lucky one to get to go along for a ride. After the Storch fired up and taxied out, they let the people move out onto the ramp closer to the grass runway to watch. Pretty much everyone went out to watch even tho there was a little light rain falling.
The unique looking and sounding Storch was a real joy to watch as Kermit made several passes back and forth showing off the slow flying and tight turning capabilities of the airplane.
Leading edge slats, big flaps, and ailerons that droop give the Storch some nifty STOL performance. If I had a lot of money, I think I'd have at least one of these in my hangar for sure : )
Right after the engine was shut down, the people were allowed right up to the airplane to get a closer look and to talk with Kermit. He answered any and all questions. It was obvious that the people really enjoyed being able to see the airplane fly and then spend some time with plane and pilot afterward... I know I sure enjoyed it.
A nice look inside the Storch cockpit shows a roomy pilot's seat with some seriously good visibility out of all that glass. All things considered, this is my idea of a nearly perfect cockpit setting.
As the rain increased a little, under the wing became the popular place to be! In addition to the Storch, the Pitcairn Autogiro can be seen in the background loaded on the truck getting ready for its drive back home.
The aerial demo is an extremely cool part of the Fantasy of Flight Museum experience and I know I'm really glad I had the chance to observe it. The demo truly brings aviation to life for everyone to be part of... and that's one of the main objectives of the museum, to be a spark to light a fire of passion for aviation.