Friday, August 28, 2009

Fargo Shot

This photo was from an airshow attendee in Fargo. Thanks Curt! Below is the e-mail that was sent to us:

Greetings from North Dakota! I was at the air show in Fargo last weekend and enjoyed it immensely. I was raised an Air Force brat so I have a special affection for air shows.

Anyway, I was taking photos with my long lens and although I'm not a professional photograph I managed to capture an image of the B-25 that is special. For some reason the exposure was perfect and the plane was banking so I captured the top with exceptional contrast and detail. I would like the owner, which I assume is your organization, to have it. If you're interested in the image just reply with an email I can send the image to and I'll send it as a small token of my appreciation for all the work that went into that aircraft. Thanks and take care.

Curt Wells

The One And Only Hamilton

Two hangars to the East is Lysdale Aircraft Service. In that hangar rests a piece of aviation history that's even less known than the Minnesota Wing! A one of a kind Hamilton Metalplane, in flying condition, is stored and maintained there. It was operated by Northwest Airlines, and is the last example of this aircraft in the world! Wednesday Gary Lysdale decided to run the aircraft up and take some pictures. Enjoy!
(Photos Thanks to Earl Teporten)

(The interior is immaculate, and accurate. Wicker seats for the passengers!)

(Prepping the engine for it's run)

(The Northwest logo rests proudly on the side of the aircraft)

(The engine had a very unique sound...)

(It was a rare treat to see the Hamilton run!)

Even More Motor Pool

Hard work at the Motor pool is paying off! Four vehicles are simultaneously being worked on. We'll keep you apprised as this work is performed!

(The flat bed is running, it just needs some body work and it'll be ready!)

(Bill Atchison works on the Plymouth Staff Car's trunk)

(This is how it'll look. The Ford has a new floor in the trunk)

(The Ford's new trunk paint job)

(The green Willys gets a new back floor)

(All new paint! Don't worry, it dries matte)

Working At The Hangar

Stop by the hangar and you'll see any form of work being performed. Many projects, all in different stages, are spread about the hangar and await the work needed to finish them! If you feel like helping with any of these projects, stop in on a Wednesday or Saturday and let us know!
(Select Photos Thanks to Earl Teporten)
(Tim Gunter and Bob Wright polish on the BT-13)

(Ken Martinson and Craig Steineck repair the wing of the drone)

(A group forms as Earl Teporten discusses the Dehmel trainer)

(Cadets Andrew Sahli and Matt Stone work on updating the museum)

(Work on the PT-22 is progressing nicely)

(Hangar talk is a common occurance as well. Bob, Tim and Emil Quasabart have sit down)

(We accept a lot of things, but drive around with your shirt off like Bob....)

(And this may happen to you! [Officer Wayne pays a visit])

Weekly Update - 22August to 28August

Good Evening Everyone!
Sorry for the short update. I am posting this late at night, as the end of another successful event winds down! We had a wedding at the hangar, and just closed up for the night. This week was fairly normal, nothing too extraordinary. The B-25 and the P-51 attended the Fargo Airshow. There were training flights performed in the small aircraft, getting pilots ready to begin a history flight program in them. Work around the hangar was on-going. The motor pool is also moving forward nicely. Stop by and see the progress on Wednesday or Saturday!!!
Thanks for everyone's help and support!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Signs of Life

The most exciting event of the week was the first start of the PT-22! The aircraft doesn't have a starter, so hand-propping was the order of the day. Ray Miller took the prop in hand while Doug Olson sat in the pilot seat. A few turns of the prop and we had no luck... until we did a small adjustment to the carburetor. It fired, started and made a heck of a lot of noise! That prop moves a lot of air at low RPM! Flight tests are not such a distant thought!
(Ray Miller prepares to hand-prop while Doug Olson and Big Dave stand by)

(A big heave and........)


(A big puff of smoke and shes running)

(Instruments seem to be working!)

(Dave and Doug monitor the instruments to verify everything is working properly)

(Doug exits the aircraft, triumphant. Now, lets find all the oil leaks!)

Training and Checks

The week was a little slower for work around the hangar, but our pilots were keeping themselves occupied. Jim Gilmore was checked out as a right seat pilot on the B-25, and Jerry Kaiser started training in the BT-13. Everything went well for both pilots, congrats guys!
(Photos thanks to Earl Teporten)

(Jerry Kaiser does some hangar flying to get familiar with the BT-13)

(Tim Jackson breifs Jerry before the training flight)

(Jerry starts the aircraft as Tim gets settled in)

(Jason McNeil, Jim Gilmore and Doug Rozendaal keep an eye on the engine while it starts)

(Big Dave makes sure everything looks okay from the ground)

(Lift off! The check-out has begun)

(Doug and Jim discuss the check ride. Congratulations on being an SIC (Second In Command) Jim!)

Hangar BBQ

Not many pictures were taken of the BBQ. A small contingent of members showed up to enjoy brats, hotdogs, corn and root beer floats. While we took a short break from work, we couldn't help but sink our teeth into another project! This pile of parts on a cart was brought over from the aux hangar. We tore into it to see if there was anything we wanted to keep or sell, and scrapped or tossed the rest. Thanks to everyone for their help with making room in the aux hangar!

(A group of members gathers around and starts looking through the treasures)

(Bob Wright and Tim Jackson take the opportunity to sneak some root beer floats while everyone was busy)

Maintaining the Mustang

Even a new aircraft has its issues. The mustang is being "rung out" and we've experienced a few minor hickups along the way. The coolant door actuator quit working on us, a switch was sticking and we've had two tail wheel tires fail on us! We aquired our parts and set to work replacing as necessary. Below are a few pics of the work being performed. This is just the beginning!
(Select photos thanks to Earl Teporten)

(Dick Leighninger welcomes the P-51 home with his newly built sign)

(John Beyl gains access to the gun bay)

(Amy Lauria and Tony Pena discuss the work on the Mustang)

(The coolant door actuator that failed has been removed)

(While towing the aircraft, this tire and tube were destroyed)

(But it wasn't the fault of the tug driver... Bob Wright looks at the damage on the notorious Vietnam built tires... they apparently have a manufacturing flaw.)

Motor Pool Progress

Bill Atchison recently became the Motor Pool officer, and has been focused on the repair and maintenance of our operating vehicles. Recently he had me come over to see the rust areas that need to be addressed. Since I took these pictures, the motor pool group has already welded, filled and sanded many of the problem areas. Nice work!!! I'll add updates of the work as it progresses. If you like old cars and want to help, stop by and talk to Bill, no experience necessary!!!
(The Ford Staff Car's fuel system is being repaired)

(Bill shows us an issue with the gasket on the Ford's fuel tank)

(Bill points out the rust on the Plymouth Staff Car)

(Dropping a screwdriver through a rust hole in the trunk of the Ford Staff Car)

Weekly Update - 10August to 21August

Good Morning Everyone!
I have skipped a week in the blog to allow for last weeks big events to sink in. The excitement has died down a bit, and we're back to the normal days at the wing. We had a Barbecue for the members on Saturday for all the hard work that has been done in the last few weeks. While it was a good break, and well deserved, many of the members in attendance found themselves working on little projects around the hangar. This seems to be a standard with our members, always trying to get the Minnesota Wing to a better place, whether that takes cleaning, fixing or flying.

Thanks everyone for your hard work over the last few weeks! More to come!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wings of Hope - Open House

This years Charity Open House was a huge success! Large numbers of visitors poured in to see the museum, talk with Living History veterans, donate to charities (Second Harvest Heartland, Casa Guadalupana, Guild Incorporated, Wings with Halo, Minnesota Transportation Museum) , and of course see the vehicles and aircraft. Thank you to everyone who helped put on the event!!!

(The day opened with a presentation by JROTC Color Guard)

(Living History station)

(Re-enactors put on displays of life in the military during WWII)

(A couple of Tuskegee Airmen re-enactors were very popular)

(A 37mm German Anti-aircraft gun on display from Police Officer Wayne Minke)

(A tour lines up for the B-25)

(Tim Gunter and Bob Wright enjoy the event!)

(A constant group of people were around the P-51)

(What a great crowd!)