Thursday, July 30, 2009

P-51 Red Tail at Oshkosh

Red Tail made her appearance at Oshkosh on Monday, and is already getting great attention. The paint is barely dry, but looks BEAUTIFUL! Here's hoping for an award for Tri-State and the Red Tail restoration team!
(Photos from unknown sources)

Little Log Cabin

Our trek to Hastings took some time, but we made it safe and sound... the ride back however was much more eventful. We had problems when we got to the show with the Ford Staff Car, and couldn't get the vehicle started. We got some help at the show, pulled the carb apart and found that there was some debris in the float bowl. We cleaned out the bowl, put it all back together, tweaked the idle and she ran like a dream. Everything went well at the show, but just over the Hastings Bridge, the Staff car ran rough and died. Attempts to revive it proved fruitless, as something in the fuel system was coming apart and almost instantly clogging the carb. We managed to tow the car home using Bob Koelbl's truck and tow strap. Thanks Bob! Other than that, it was a great time! Now, it's time to work on the car...

Around the Hangar

Small events around the hangar this week made for a mostly calm Saturday. Here are some of the highlights:
(Bill Nelson and Bob Wright fix the BT-13 drain pan)

(Sorry for the blurry photo - Tim Gunter, Doug Olson and Mike Tompos work on the PT-22)

(Tim and Bob Koelbl repaint the red "Fire-lane" stripe)

("Yellow Nose" PT-22)

Sioux Falls Show

A week of flying and fun... our team worked VERY hard with very little rest to raise the airshow bar at Sioux Falls. Tours, PX and History Flights were sold non-stop, and the show didn't even start until Saturday! Thanks everyone for your hard work!
(Photos Thanks to Earl Teporten)
(Al Miller gives cockpit tours)
(There's always a crowd surrounding the B-25 at shows)

(Jim Gilmore and Fred Sangster, working the show)

(I don't think Alan can get through the day without doing something like this... Crazy pilots, especially those from Hawaii!)

(Alan's father (Bill) and son (Dillon) joined up for the Saturday and Sunday show. I am told the were invaluable, and that the team would not have been able to make it had it not been for them)

(Alan, Bill and Jim man the PX table)

(Mark Erickson is our newest SIC (Second in Command). Congrats Mark!)

B-52 Recap

Last weeks visit to Minot gave the B-25 an opportunity to fly formation with a B-52! Previous updates gave us a great perspective from the ground, both with pictures and a video. But nothing beats an air-to-air view like this!
(Thanks to Roby Bybee for the photos)

Weekly Update - 24July to 30July

Good Afternoon Everyone!
Very little can top last week, considering the Red Tail's first flight, the B-52 flying with the B-25 and all the huge efforts involved to make those projects happen! It's been exhausting for all involved to accomplish these feats, so a bit of slow time is never a bad thing. Slow can be a relative term however. The B-25 survived a week long flying extravaganza in Sioux Falls, SD. The B-25 Crew flew an astounding 22 flights, and racked in $20,000 with tours, history flights and PX sales. Great work guys! The P-51C "Tuskegee Airmen" flew from North Dakota to Oshkosh, Wisconsin! Brad Lang, son of a Tuskegee Airman, has been checked out and did his first solo in the Mustang as well. The aircraft, as well as a number of Wing members will be attending Oshkosh throughout the week. The aircraft is proudly displayed in Aeroshell Square (the Heart of Oshkosh). If you plan to attend Oshkosh, stop by the aircraft, and volunteer some time working in the booth! A number of vehicles and members attended the Little Log Cabin event in Hastings. We had a great time, despite having the Ford Staff car break down on us on the way back. It was quite an adventure! Work around the hangar on Saturday was a mix of clean-up and preparation for upcoming events. After the Mustang leaves Oshkosh, it will arrive home at Fleming. The plan is to prepare and clean the hangar for its unveiling at the Wings of Hope Charity Event on August 8th! Don't miss it!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Red Tail Daze

Max Haynes' latest photo-article tells a visual story of the steps taken to get the P-51 ready for the first flight! Amazing how quickly and exactly the crew is able to get the aircraft together and ready!
Thanks again to everyone who put their blood, sweat and tears into this project!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rebirth of the Red Tail!

This is as exciting as it gets!!!! Red Tail lifted from the ground for the first time in 5 years!!! The dedication and expertise involved with this aircraft is a tribute to the CAF's Red Tail project members and the folks at Tri-State Aviation! Thank you to everyone who was involved! Oshkosh is the first expected stop, with a stop at the hangar shortly after... I will keep you posted as it gets closer... for now, ENJOY!
(Photos Thanks to Max Haynes, Video from YouTube)

(This photo is labeled "hours before"!)

Flight over Flying Cloud

Our Harvard MKIV and BT-13 made appearances at the Flying Cloud airshow. They were met by old friends and new acquaintances, and even got to do some flying! Enjoy!
(Photos thanks to Max Haynes, Rick Cornelisse and Craig Rodberg)

Loadin' Up and Shippin' Out

Our prop was hauled to Maxwell Propeller on Saturday morning to be reworked. It will take some inspection and be ready to install on the B-25 very soon. To get it there, Earl Teporten and Art Minkle got it hoisted up onto the trailer, and made the trip over the Maxwell. Of course a tour had to take place!
(Select photos thanks to Earl Teporten)

(Jim Lauria as ballast)

(Ready to roll!)

(Arrival at Maxwell)

(Butch Maxwell lifts the prop as Art balances)

(Butch shows off a polished P-51 prop)

Making Minot

Making the Minot show was a lot of work, but it was deffinately worth it! Our flight alongside a B-52 is the first known in history (with a B-25). This has the potential to bring us future opportunities, and a LOT of recognition! Most importantly, we can now show people a picture and say "No THAT's a B-52, THIS is a B-25" :)
(Photos from unknown sources, Video from YouTube)

Weekly Update - 18July to 23July

Good Afternoon Everyone!
Wow, this week has been AMAZING! We've had to "First-time" events this week, some major airshow appearances, and some MAJOR NEWS!!! Our P-51C "Tuskegee Airmen" has once again flown!!!! This is such terrific news to hear, with the goal of making Oshkosh airshow, and soon coming home to the hangar! We will be having a gathering of the membership to celebrate and oooh and ahhh over the Mustang within the next month, so keep your eyes peeled! On other business, the B-25 made Minot with only minor issues. The crew flew her in the show with a B-52, something never done before!! The maintenance crew did a fabulous job of fixing Miss Mitchell, and exceeded all expectations, so a big Thank you is in order! While Miss Mitchell was in Minot, the Harvard and BT-13 attended the Wings of the North Airshow at Flying Cloud airport (Eden Prairie, MN). Reports from the show were good, with plenty of flying and decent weather. It looks as if it was a lot of fun! Our propeller for the B-25 is at Maxwell, and was taken there by Art Minkle and Earl Teporten (thanks guys!). It will hopefully be inspected and returned shortly for paint and reinstall. Wednesday, as well as this coming Saturday, will be dedicated to cleaning up the hangar, working on museum projects and the PT-22. Stop by for a relaxed time, as most of us around the hangar need it! Thanks to everyone for their efforts, our tenacity has really shown through!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Maintenance and Flight

Maintenance and Flight go hand-in-hand, won't have one without the other. Here are some pictures of the current maintenance that has been going on at the wing, and some flight pictures from a few weeks ago. Thanks for all the work this year, and the work that will take us through until winter!
(Photos Thanks to Big Dave, Brian Strom and Janaka Buldoc)
(Prepping to transport the prop)

(Tri-State prop on the stand)

(Propless engine)

(Jerry Hahn cleans the windows)

(Draining oil on the ramp... what a mess!)

(Jumpers at Wright-Patterson AFB... They used the original round silk parachutes)

(PIC Kurt Koukkari on the RTB [Return to Base])

(Janaka's Self-potrait over Chicago)

(Chicago skyline - Beautiful!)