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Entries in 2009 (5)

Thursday
Jul302009

OSHKOSH Pic Stream #4 - Wednesday , July 29 

This "prehistoric" flapping wing machine and wing-walker have been coming to Oshkosh for 25 years now.  It never gets old seeing it pop and sputter down the flightline!  You can also see skywriting for Scheyden eyewear drifting away in the background sky.

 

There was a really cool hand-propping demo going on each day in front of the Vintage Hangar.  It was a great op for people unfamiliar to get some good tips and cautions.

 

The que line for getting inside the the A380 was kinda long and slow moving.  Everyone I talked to tho that went thru was glad that they did.

 

Two main gear trucks with 6 tires each and two with 4 tires each... plus 2 at the nose makes for 22 tires in all.  That's only 4 more than the 747.

 

Another view of the Taylor Speedstar.  It's just a concept at the moment, but there was a lot of interest and hope that this will lead to an STC for this single turbine Aerostar modification.

 

Oshkosh doesn't get any better than this!

  

Matt Chapman in the CAP 580 putting on a great show for Embry-Riddle.  photo: Tim Stiffler

  

David Martin in the Breitling Extra 330 throwing smoke into the perfect blue sky.  photo: Tim Stiffler

 

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum had their fabulous Lancaster bomber on display.

  

For a $5 donation (to help pay for the fuel) you could climb up the ladder and all the way thru the Lanc.  What a fantastic experience!  I had a nice visit with Richard E.J. Pulley, one of the pilots as he told me some of the history on this specific airplane.

 

Beautiful Lockheed P-38 on display in the Warbird area.  photo: Tim Stiffler

 

A closer view looking inside the unusual P-38 cockpit.  photo: Tim Stiffler

  

The mouth and teeth of an excellent Curtiss P-40 ready to eat you up!  photo: Tim Stiffler

 

It's not warbirds without P-51's!  photo: Tim Stiffler

 

The care given some of these aircraft is absolutely amazing.  photo: Tim Stiffler

 

Wednesday
Jul292009

OSHKOSH 09 Pic Stream #3 - Tuesday, July 28

The campsite in the very early morning with a clear blue sky.  Turned out the weather all day Tuesday was as good as it gets with lots of sun, some beautiful clouds and wonderful temps.

 

It's been so encouraging to see huge attendance this year, with airplanes and people everywhere!  Tuesday seemed like a weekend with so many people. Here's a look at some of the homebuilts on the flightline.

 

As a guy with tons of time riding in the back seat of a Breezy as a kid, and then a couple hundred hours in the front seat of one back in the 80's, I'm always glad to see some beautiful Breezy's at Oshkosh : )

  

It's no surprise that Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo has been a popular attraction on AeroShell Square.

 

The much-bigger-than-you-thought size of WKT is easy to see here.

 

A unique view of WKT as we look up into the Heavens!

 

The rather unusually designed spacecraft-launch-vehicle put on a really nice flight demo in the afternoon.  Burt Rutan gave some very entertaining commentary from the speakers stand as well.  Good stuff!

  

Soon after the WKT demo, the super jumbo Airbus A380 arrived!  A spirited flight demo followed and the airplane looked very graceful in the beutiful Wisconsin sky.

  

Now that's a lotta wing!

 

 

The A380 was pushed into place on AeroShell Square and prepped for her stay at Oshkosh.

 

Tuesday
Jul282009

OSHKOSH 09 Pic Stream #2 - Monday, July 27

Jessica Cox is the amazing young woman born without arms who is also a licensed pilot.  A large and very supportive crowd gathered at AeroShell Square today to hear her very inspirational story.  Jessica rox! 

 

Jessica sitting on the wing of the Ercoupe while her instructor is being interviewed.  She will speak several more times through the week.  Learn more about Jessica by watching the video from my "World's Greatest Pilot?" post from May 2009.

 

You might think this is just a sleek orange airplane, but it's a lot more than that.  The Polen Special, built in 1972, shattered our idea of how fast a homebuilt airplane could go.  300+ mph on 180hp!

 

It's so amazing to see this airplane still airworthy, and still fast.  I thought since we can't sit in the cockpit and look over that nose, we'd just take a close look the other way : )

 

The sight and sound of the Avro Lancaster is simply stunning.  The airplane arrived in the afternoon while the weather was still nice.  After a pass down the runway, a large crowd gathered to watch it land.

 

The eager crowd was allowed right up to the airplane immediately after it was pushed into AeroShell Square.  It's refreshing to see the interest is still there for great WWII aircraft!

 

The Erickson Air-Crane arrived, but I was using the video camera as it demonstrated its water drop capabilities.  After it landed, I got some pix of it being towed into the Square.

 

I got the landing of Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo on video, and then had some still camera trouble as it sat in front of a large crowd.  I got a few good pix of it tho while the weather was starting to sour.  Soon it was raining and the airshow for the day was cancelled.

 

Sunday
Jul262009

OSHKOSH 09 Pic Stream #1

 

The AirPigz 'Pig Pen'  taking shape in the boonies of the campground about 2pm Saturday.  The travel trailer is a really nice family of 4 from IL, and the motorhome in the background is the myTransponder ranch just beginning to take shape.  More camp pix later.


 Wow! Oshkosh 09 starts tomorrow, but it feels like it's already under way with about 1.2 bazillion people already settled in the campground and there are airplanes everywhere!.  And as I said in a post recently, the best Oshkosh ever is the one you're at right now... so I gotta say that this feels like the best one ever!

 Below is a quick stream of pix taken Saturday afternoon shortly after I arrived, and some on Sunday as I made an early morning trip around the grounds.  It's just a  nice little sample of what to expect as I post pix and info through the week  (BTW, I can take pix of airplanes facing the othe way, I really I can).

 In an effort to get the pix up quickly, I'm not gonna include a lot of info with them.  That'll come later, after I have time to soak up the entire event.  Occasionally I'll find something so interesting that I'll say more about it, but a lot of this stuff is gonna come at you pretty fast.

 I'm also planning to post some pix attwitpic.com/photos/airpigz.  It's a great place for stuff a little more unusaul, or when I simply don't have the time to prep a full post.

 Please check back often, and tell your friends... it's a special occassion: the first-ever AirPigz experience at the world's greatest aviation event, Oshkosh!

 

After a little rain Saturday, I saw this fast and furious looking Lycoming powered Lancair Evolution being pulled to the exhibit area.

 

 

It doesn't get any better than a Pitcairn Autogyro in my mind... what a beautiful flying machine.  The all new 'Vintage Hangar' is visible in the background.  Mmmm, Oshkosh!

 

 

A really big and very yellow amphibious Cessna Caravan being pushed into the exhibit area on Sunday morning.  Sure looks like a great way to have some serious fun!

 

The Sunday morning sky was a perfect background for Mike Logbacks beautiful Tailwind.  I got this picture right after he shut the engine down from arriving at OSH.

 

The freaky-cool unmanned Predator arrived the other day (I saw the EAA tweet about it's arrival) and is on display.  Gonna have to study this thing in the coming days.

 

I actually saw some people were really concerned that the new flush toilets at OSH might ruin the experience (?), but fear not, there are still lots of sweet portables around!

 

Friday
Jul172009

OSH09 Will Be The Best Oshkosh Ever!

Follow @AirPigz on twitter for details on official AirPigz 'Pig-Ins': Fri 7-31-09 from 10:30pm to midnight, and on Sat 8-1-09 from 4-6pm at the PigPen (my campsite) at OSH 09

 No, it's not gonna be the best Oshkosh ever because the A380 will be on site, or because Sully will be speaking about landing an airliner in the Hudson.  It won't even be the best Oshkosh ever because VirginGalactic's WhiteKnightTwo will be on display, or because of the vast site improvements (including flush toilets!)... it'll be the best Oshkosh ever, for anyone who's there, because the best one is the one you are at right NOW!

 Oshkosh memories are great, and I have really been blessed with a lot of 'em.   Like when the first version of the BD-5 (with the V-Tail!) changed the homebuilt mindset in 1971... of when the Vari-Eze first appeared in 1975... of when Voyager flapped it's long skinny wings in 1984 (before flying around the world!)... of the first year Concorde arrived in 1985... of when the Russian AN-124 wowed us with its massive size and mission of friendship in 1989.  The list of fantastic and awesome memories is almost endless! 

 But, they're still just memories.  What you experience 'in the moment' is what really counts.  And with the start of EAA Oshkosh 2009 just a little over a week away, I gotta say, my excitement for world's greatest aviation event is really starting to percolate!

 This is the one event that you should really make sure you make room for in your summer schedule (hopefully you have!).  So, if you're fortunate enough to be able to attend Oshkosh this year, here's a couple items to keep in mind while planning your stay:

 First: The EAA Apps website is a fantastic tool that'll really help you to find when events of all kinds are taking place.  It's the best, and easiest way to be sure you see everything that you're interested in.  You can search any day for a variety of event types (attraction, forum, movie, speaker, evening program etc) and plan your stay to maximize your time there.  In fact, you'll never really know how much you could miss til you do some searching there!

 

Oshkosh 1971 and the very first (V-Tail) version of the BD-5

 Second: I'm gonna have two official AirPigz "Pig-In' gatherings at the PigPen (my campsite) in Camp Scholler.  The first one is on Friday night, 7-31-09 from 10:30pm til midnight, just after Sully speaks at the Theater in the Woods.

 The second one will take place on Saturday 8-1-09 from 4-6pm, before the Air Racer Movie is shown at the Theater in the Woods.

 These very informal gatherings are just a chance to meet up with people and talk airplanes. I'm gonna try to have some snacks on Friday, and if things go well, Saturday will include grilled hot dogs and some other goodies.  We'll also have the AirPigz "funny money"prizes at 5pm for anyone who won some prize money in either a 'Caption Contest' or a 'Name The Plane' game on twitter.  I'm definitely looking forward to meeting lots of people!  

 The best way to stay informed about further details on these gatherings, as well as exactly where the 'PigPen' will be located, is to follow me on twitter. Click @AirPigz and follow me now if you aren't already.

 Here's one last thing to keep in mind about Oshkosh.  The best part of the event is really the people.  People who are brought together by a common bond of a love for flying.  There honestly seems to be something special about people who love breaking the chains of gravity to be able to look down on God's amazing Creation from above.  So, while the airplanes make it cool, it's really the gentle, caring and adventurous spirit of the people at Oshkosh that make it so special.

 I hope you're able to make it there this year... and I hope you realize that it's the best Oshkosh ever!

 

Oshkosh 1985 and the very first arrival of Concorde!

 

Oshkosh 1989 and Soviet "Glasnost" with the AN-124