Friday, March 26, 2010

Winter Staff/Fifi

This time of year brings the annual Winter Staff Conference at CAF Headquarters in Midland, TX. The MN Wing Staff visited, sharing ideas and stories with other Wing leaders, and learning as much as we could about the CAF as a whole, where we are going, and what we as a Wing can do to help make it all happen! We also were able to get an update on Fifi's progress. For those of you who don't know, Fifi is the CAF's B-29. It had engine issues, and has to be refitted with a new style of engine. It will be the only flying example of a B-29 when the work is completed!
(Tim Gunter and Todd Lofquist applaud the recipients at the first CAF Hall of Fame Banquet)

(Bob Wright and Gary Stinar in the new CAF Commemorative Center Hangar)

(The visiting MN Wing Staff members next to the High Sky Wing's aircraft)

(Fifi has one left and one right engine installed... two to go!)

(A new engine hangs from the stand, ready to be installed... 11 weeks until Fifi flies according to the maintenance team!)

(Bob Wright and Tim Gunter display the MN Wing colors, while eyeing that F-14 in the background... next restoration project? We Wish!)

(Some of the Wings arrived in style! Sure beats riding an airliner)

Silent Wings

Some of our members have been visiting a group who has been undertaking a terrific restoration, with the goal of rebuilding a CG-4A Glider. These gliders were built in massive numbers by the Northwest Aeronautical Corporation out of the Twin Cities. One of the subcontractors during the War, Villaume Industries, has allowed volunteers to use some of the space in their building to manufacturer parts and assemble the glider. For more info, check out this article written by our new PIO (Public Information Officer) Joe Palmersheim:
(Select Photos Thanks to Glenn Franke)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Around the Hangar

Always the best place to see what is going on at the Minnesota Wing, this Around the Hangar post will be rather large indeed. I have a month an a half of photos to catch up on, and not nearly enough space to put them all! These are some highlights of the hard work going on at the Wing lately.
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom)
(Nate Timm and Art Minkle guide a tour group through the hangar)

(The B-25 is lifted on jacks and the gear is retracted to make sure everything works right)
(Larry Utter makes sure everything clears properly in the nose gear well)

(Larry stands clear while the nose gear goes up)

(Always keep a lookout for prop blades! They can be dangerous, as Bob Wright found out)
(Earl Teporten checks for power in the engine nacelle... tight fit!)
(Amy Lauria and Bob work on the Harvard prop... Hammers and screwdrivers!)
(Like a blur, Steve Wagoner cleans the B-25's steps)
(Tim Gunter preps the BT-13's gear for paint)

(The first event of the year was Roxi Legg's Birthday Party)

(All prepped and ready to go!)

(Congratulations Roxi!)

(Bob puts the BT-13's brake line back after paint)

(One of my favorite days of the year is the first day you can open the hangar door)
(It's cool, but nice to sit on the ramp and take a break)

(Having found a problem, Adam Galloway and Roby Bybee replace a cylinder)

(Bob Koelbl and Mike Schoen remove the Harvard cowling)

(Open hole in the LH engine)

(The motorpool is getting some help!)

(Tucker Goodwin and Bill Atchison weld the Jeeps drivers sheet)
(More tours at the Hangar... it's been great to see so many people visit!)

(Tom Peltier preps the B-25 floor for paint)

(Bob cleans cowling in the pleasant weather)

(Painting up the floor)

(Craig Steineck and Phil Stanton review the Link Trainer manual in preparation for repairs)

Blog Update - 12February To 25March

Good Afternoon Everyone!

I hope I remember how to do this whole Blog Update thing! It's been a really busy month, especially around the CAF, but that's no excuse for not updating, and I hope you didn't get too exasperated waiting! I'm having trouble remembering what has happened over the last month and a half, so bear with me as I struggle through!

The first, and most exciting topic of the day is our latest venture with the State of Minnesota! As many of you have likely heard, we have been working with Senator Metzen and his staff, along with the River Heights Chamber of Commerce, to add the CAF Minnesota Wing to the 2010 Bonding Bill. The bill has been signed into law, and includes $150,000 grant to the Wing for upgrades to our hangar! The work will start soon, and will focus on ADA and code related upgrades, all moving towards a large, long-term goal laid out by the Wing Staff! We are pursuing a number of other grants, private funding and more to help make our goals a reality!

Work around the hangar has been steadily increasing. Miss Mitchell has a number of new additions, some of which are aesthetic, and some very functional. The inspection on the bomber is almost complete, as is the engine install. We have a bad cylinder being changed on the left engine, but we are right on time for our goals of completion by the 3rd of April. The BT-13 inspection is very nearly complete, though the Harvard and L-5 are just beginning. Little to no trouble is expected with both of these aircraft, and they should be back together and flying very soon. The PT-22 is receiving its final fit-and-finish items, and will be ready to fly when we have warm enough weather to start training.

The Motor Pool has found some serious corrosion needing repair on some of the vehicles. If you are experienced in body work, please stop by and talk with Bill Atchison... He needs some help to get the major projects rolling! They have nearly finished with the yellow Tug, which has gone through some repairs, and should have that online by April 3rd.

We have a new PIO (Public Information Officer) on board! Joe Palmersheim, an editor with one of the local newspapers, has had a life-long interest in warbirds, and recently got involved. He has gotten his hands dirty on a number of projects, but is really excited about helping us with marketing, press releases, the newsletter and more! We wish to welcome Joe to the position, and look forward to working with him!

The majority of the Wing Staff spent last weekend in Midland, Texas for Headquarter's Annual Winter Staff Conference. A number of different Wings and Squadrons were in attendance, looking to share ideas, and figure out ways for all of us to increase membership, funding, education, and safety. It went well, and it shows that Steve Brown's strategies, although sometimes controversial, are working, and making the CAF a more successful entity. A lot of good information was collected, exchanged, extorted and we will be looking to implement some of these new ideas throughout the year!

Members of the Wing, keep an eye out for the Straight and Level newsletter! The newsletter will be sent out in early April... there is a plan to have the newsletter go out quarterly, and on a much tighter schedule. Please let us know if you would like to hear about anything in particular, have ideas for articles, or have photos you wish to share... in one form or another, your ideas will be shared!

Enjoy the great weather!