Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Flugtag (or Flight Day) was conceived in 1991 by the owner of Red Bull (Energy Drink). It took place in Vienna, Austria and the world record flight (195 ft) has been undefeated since then. Over the years, the Flugtag has expanded around the world, and holds events many times a year, in many states and countries. On the 24th of July, it was held in St. Paul, at Harriet Island, in front of crowd of more than 90,000 people (more than any other Flugtag event). "Major Trouble and the Dirty Dixies", a team gathered by Jason Franke (son of member Glenn Franke) came up with the idea to model their flying craft after Miss Mitchell. They worked closely with Bob Wiplinger (owner of Wipair) and came up with a very good representation of Miss Mitchell. A lot of engineering, time and testing were put into the craft, and it was worth it! The aircraft was pushed from the 30 ft high platform, released from its base and cleared the world record, flying 207 ft!!! Congratulations to Major Trouble and the Dirty Dixies, and Wipair for their accomplishment!

Expect to see the flying machine at our Charity Open House on August 14th.

(Photos Thanks to Various Sources, Video thanks to Red Bull on Youtube)

(The aircraft was piloted by Rachel Norman, one of Wipair's pilots)

(It was pushed off the platform by 4 members of the team)

(Yes, the tail doesn't look right, but the whole thing rotates (making it a stabilator) to create more control surface)

(Pulling up from the dive was the most difficult part, from there it sailed to victory!)

DC-7 Flies Again!

On July 4th of this year, a 6 year restoration came to fruition. Though not a warbird, I believe we all find an interest in the restoration of significant aircraft. The aircraft flew from Opa-Locka airport in Miami. Congratulations to the restoration crew on a beautiful aircraft!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Geneseo Airshow

I've heard more than once that the Geneseo Airshow is one of the best in the country. Certainly it pales in size compared to Oshkosh, but it brings a variety of interesting aircraft together for a unique venue... a grass strip! Alan Miller rode, rather cramped I assume, in the back seat of the P-51C to Geneseo, joining pilot Doug Rozendaal on an adventure to the East.
(Photos Thanks to Alan Miller)

(Speakers at the show included Tuskegee Airmen, WASPs, and other combat veterans)

(A lot of rare civilian and warbird aircraft made an appearance as well. Enjoy!)

Getting to Know the Guns

Flying Cloud's annual Airshow (AirExpo) was a great way to spend a weekend. We had a number of members participate, and were incredibly successful! One member, Nate Timm, took some time out to get to know the B-17 a little better. Nate has been a member for about a year, and has taken an interest in the turret systems of the different aircraft, and has been the driving force behind Miss Mitchell's turret restoration.
(Photos Thanks to Nate Timm)

(Mark Erickson and Nate Timm pose with Doolittle Raider Dick Cole)

(The view from the tail gun of the B-17)

(Nate got himself wedged into the ball turret. His size made this possible, as most people would have a LOT of trouble fitting)

(One of the B-17 crew members snaps a shot of Nate in the ball turret... not great visibility)

(That's a bit better. This is the view that the ball turret gunners would have had when the targeted an enemy aircraft.)

(B-17's are the iconic bomber of WWII and being able to climb around one is always a great experience!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Around the Hangar

As per usual, things progressed around the hangar. Our major successes and events may be important, but they are supported by the hard work and dedication of the members who are at the hangar every Wednesday and Saturday making the machine run smoothly. Helping with Maintenance, cleanup, PX, Museum, they are all equally important, and vital to the Wing's success. Keep up the good work guys!
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom, Tom Bies, and Jeff Henningsgaard)

(The Hangar is a great place to tell stories with friends [Bert Schauer and Emil Quassabart])

(To occasionally have a BBQ together [Ron Legg cooks food brought by Carol Lovaas])

(And to meet some great people [Earl Teporten and Doug Olson converse with a WWII P-51 Pilot])

(It's a great place to get hands on with history [Jim Nelson works in the Motorpool])

(And really feel like you've accomplished something [Stan Novey works on the M-37])

(Doug Olson, Joel Ludwigson and Mike Schoen work on the Kinner Engine)

(Bob Wright, Andy Schmidt and Ken Fudge work on replacing the L-5 tail wheel assembly)

(The jobs aren't always comfortable. Mark Strausser and Earl Teporten help Rudy Nassif out of the PT-22 cockpit.)

(Though the rewards can be great [Prepping the PT-22 to give members rides])

(Alan Miller flew a number of riders that day, including Tim Gunter [front seat])

(Some of the jobs are off site. Bill Atchison brings a load of scrap metal to the recycle facility. The money earned helps support the Motorpool)

(With that funding, guys like Jerry Piazza and John Blaylock can continue to restore the '48 Chevy Flatbed)

(Soon it will be able to join the rest of the vehicles on the road)

(And create displays such as this, bringing people back to another era)

(Carol Lovaas has been working very hard to clean, paint and modify our displays)

(Carol repainted, and then accented and hand-painted the lettering for the Tuskegee Airmen case)

(She then added some photos and info. The completed product [this is not done all the way] looks fantastic!)

(Another great feat is having the East wall doors painted to match the museum. Glenn Franke spent a lot of time to make it look this nice!)

(The CAF is a great place to participate, so stop down soon!)

Blog Update - 12June to 28July

Good Morning Everyone!
I'm finding that a monthly blog update will be more achievable with our hectic schedule. I hope this is okay with everyone, but it will help me also gather interesting content.

The last month has been incredibly busy, and I'm very likely to have forgotten something in here, so bear with me. We've been flying the PT-22 to a number of events, and the pilots are becoming increasingly knowledgeable on the aircraft. It's a crowd pleaser for sure, having a continuous group around it at shows! I see great things for that little aircraft.

The other aircraft have been busy as well, all making appearances at the Lakeville Pan-O-Prog and the Wings of the North Airshow in Flying Cloud (save for the L-5 which had engine trouble). Both events were incredible successful for us, PX and rides were sold, and B-25 tours are bringing in around $1500 per weekend (WOW!). Thank you to all the members who made the effort to attend these shows, aboard the aircraft or by attending on their own. We've had great support from people, and it has been making for a more successful B-25 program!

We've been involved in a massive cleanup in the hangar and the motorpool. We are focusing on getting items properly stored, organized, and reducing the flat surface space, since we use it much less than we used to. It's been hard work, but shows a lot of promise for making the hangar an easier place to work and visit. Thank you to all who have helped so far!

The General Staff decided to take their summer meeting on the road, and hold it at the Minnesota Wing! Staff members from HQ arrived on Friday, and began to meeting mid-day. The main meeting was held on Saturday in the morning. Once the meetings were completed, the General Staff joined the Wing Membership for a BBQ put on by Iron Chef Ron Legg. It was a good experience for all involved.

Last but certainly not least was the Red Bull Flugtag event. Flugtag is a man-powered glider competition in which teams build and attempt to fly their crafts off of a 30 ft tall platform. This gets a lot of press around the world, and is the first time it has happened in the Twin Cities. Some time ago, Jason Franke, son of CAF member Glenn Franke, approached us about using Miss Mitchell as a template for their flying machine. They were chosen to compete, one of 30 teams out of hundreds, and with the help of Bob Wiplinger (owner of Wipair) they broke the World Record, held by the owner of Red Bull, and set in 1991 when Flugtag first started! Way to go guys!

Enjoy the update!