Monday, November 29, 2010

Midland Airsho

Airsho is always a great time! You get a chance to see old friends, meet new ones and see some of the rarest aircraft fly! This year, the B-25, P-51 and Harvard made the trip down. There was a slight feel of political tension, but nothing that overshadowed the excitement of having FIFI fly overhead!
(Photos Thanks to Matt Myklebust)

(A cool day starting in Lakeville. Mike Schoen was nice enough to fly us door to door from Fleming in his plane)

(Lunch/Fuel stop in Pratt, KS attracted a good size crowd)

(Pratt was a B-29 base during WWII)

(Matt Myklebust self potrait, somewhere over flat land in the Harvard)

(Once we got to Midland, Amy Lauria wanted to catch up with an old friend)

(We attended the Membership Meeting, held by the General Staff and Steve Brown)

(Steve impersonates country singer/CAF Member Aaron Tippin (playing the guitar), while the membership are treated to a quick concert)

(John Beyl met us down there, and took the time to make the P-51 shine. It paid off, as the Mustang won Best In Show!)

(Practice day allowed a nice close vantage point for the bomber crews)

(... Great for shots like this!)

(A panoramic shot from Miss Mitchell's vantage point on the bomber ramp.)

(A great shot of the TBM rolling out in the morning)

(The mechanics took a look through the parts warehouse, seeing if there's anything of interest lying around)

(Larry Utter enjoys the beautiful weather on top of Miss Mitchell's wing)

(By far the most exciting part of the trip is the first time we saw FIFI's wheels leave the dirt)

(Having had all the fun we could stand, a number of us went to fix a Harvard problem that was found during a walk-around. A little sheet metal, some rivets and we were all good to go.)

(We found the rest of the group telling stories...)

(... Having a refreshing beverage...)

(... and having a great time with like-minded individuals)

(As usual, Midland Airsho was a great experience!)

P-61 Black Widow Update

Earlier in the year I posted a number of pics of the P-61 Black Widow at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum. They are restoring it to airworthy condition, and are making some great progress! This series of pictures was found while surfing around I can't wait to see this fly!
(Photos Thanks to TAdan on WIX)

A Ride in the PT-22

The PT-22 took to the air this year for the first time, and is being touted by the two current pilots as one of the most fun aircraft to fly. A number of members have already gone for flights, and many more will next year as well. This series of pictures, taken by pilot Alan Miller, is a run through of a typical joy ride. Amy Lauria, Wing Leader, was getting her first chance to ride along!
(Photos Thanks to Alan Miller)

Around the Hangar

So much has been going on, even these pictures don't capture half of it! One new item at the hangar is a flat screen TV in the break room, set up so that the members can monitor activity on a newly installed security camera system! Another item to keep an eye out for, wireless high-speed internet throughout the hangar! It should be running within a couple weeks!
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom)

(John Beyl performs a 25 hour inspection on the P-51)

(Tom Goodwill takes a loot at the tail gear doors on the P-51)

(Bill Atchison performs some body work on the '48 Chevy)

(Ray Miller works on a sheetmetal plate for the B-25)

(Jerry Piazza sands the hood for the '48 in preparation for paint)

(Larry Utter cleans the leading edge in preparation for the trip to Midland TX)

(George Colaizy leads the effort to remove the tug transmission)

(Iver Jackson sorts and cleans in the motorpool)

(George Colaizy and Bill Atchison repaint the Motorpool wall. There are plans to turn it into a display wall with posters and information about the vehicles)

(Linda Franke, our new PX Officer, has done a wonderful job of reorganizing the PX. She and Jim Gilmore are working together to get us some great new items for next year!)

(The B-25 on jacks allows for Mark Strausser to inspect the brakes)

Blog Update - 25 September to 29 November

Holy Smokes the time gets away from me fast! It's been a full 2 months since we've updated the blog and I apologize! A lot has been going on at the Wing, and has kept the staff, as well as the membership, very busy. Since the last update we have finished out events season, finished our airshow season and begun the winter maintenance and repair of the aircraft, vehicles and buildings.

Maintenance has started on the B-25. It's currently resting on jacks as we begin the inspection process. The P-51 will begin its inspection very soon and the PT-22 is already well on the way to being done. The L-5 and BT-13 will be torn into very soon. In a slight twist, the Harvard has been moved down to Midland for the winter. A number of pilots requested to do this so that they can continue to fly throughout the winter. It should return sometime early April. If you'd like to help out, or just see what makes these aircraft work, come check it out!

The events season ended with a Halloween party hosted by the Wing. It went well, with a lot of great costumes, and a very age diverse crowd! It is great to see a younger group (high school aged) have such a large presence at our events! Their interest shows that our museum can be viable for generations to come. We're currently working with the City of South St. Paul to finalize the requirements for next years events, and our lease. Once those are done, we will begin the process of ordering and installing the sprinkler system and doors for the exits.

The motor pool has made significant progress over the last few months. Their efforts to seal the building against water and cold have taken a lot of work, but have already paid off. The current project is to put up a stud wall and insulate the small side bay. This will not only make the place look a heck of a lot nicer, but help to keep heating costs down in the winter. They need help to get all this work done, so consider giving them a few hours or a day of your time! They really appreciate any help they get!

The Wing, and CAF HQ, have had their elections. At this point, the Wing elections are still out, though there was only one candidate per office. The CAF HQ elections were full of political intrigue and turmoil. A small group of members was hoping to change the current direction of the CAF and get us back to "when the CAF was fun". I don't know about you guys, but I think it's pretty fun now. Either way, the membership, including a record number of MN Wing members, voted to keep us on the path we are on. I feel it is the best direction for the CAF, and that we will see great things in the next few years! Thank you to everyone who exercised their right to vote in the elections!

I hope that everyone has a great Holiday season! If you're out and about, and haven't been by the hangar in awhile, stop by and see what's happening!