Monday, April 25, 2011

Don't Forget-------------------------------------->

Don't forget, you can help the Minnesota Wing succeed by donating to our museum... it's tax deductible!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Testing the Tail Turret

You've likely all seen the operation of the Tail Turret that Nate Timm worked so hard to resurrect. Here Nate gets a chance to operate it in flight, and take a great video of its operation!
(Video Thanks to Nate Timm)

First Show of the Year

Early in the flying season is the Doolittle Raiders Reunion. Having a B-25 operation, it is an important event for us. We like to attend for various reasons, but the most prevalent is to honor the Doolittle Raiders who are still with us, and those who have passed. This year, the Reunion took place in Lincoln, NE. It was not nearly as large and flamboyant as last years, but it was none-the-less important and an honor to attend.
(Photos Thanks to Nate Timm and Linda Franke)

(First stop for Miss Mitchell's crew was the SAC Museum)

(They had an opportunity to tour this massive facility...)

(And even get in some of the aircraft, like this massive B-36)

(The B-36's cockpit is quite impressive)

(But the Flight Engineers station is downright amazing)

(Nate Timm even pulled himself through the tunnel to the tail of the aircraft. You ride a dolly to do this)

(A nice panoramic of the massive hangar)

(Miss Mitchell's crew lined up to meet the remaining Raiders and get their autographs)

(The Raiders pose with the Crew)

The Grape Escape!

This year we put together an off site gather called The Grape Escape. A Wine Tasting/Fundraiser, it focused on Wine and Warbirds. A rock band was featured (the Red Pens) and the CAF had a presence in numerous ways. The event was successful, and will be something we continue to expand on in the future. Thank you to all who helped make it happen!
(Photos Thanks to Matt Holland)

(The logo of the event, fun twist on a great movie!)

(Linda Franke was on hand with PX items)

(A glass engraver etched in designs on bottles and glasses for a $5 donation to the CAF)

(The work she does is incredible!)

(The patrons mingle...)

(...taste wine...)

(...peruse pieces of history...)

(...and enjoy deserts!)

(Thanks to everyone who helped!)

(And be sure to join us next Grape Escape!)

Around the Hangar

So much work takes place at the hangar every week, it's hard to keep up! If you've been around, you know that there are constantly new faces. There is a large level of participation by younger folks (early 30s and younger) and an increase in the 40 over crowd as well. I believe it'd be safe to say that the Minnesota Wing is one of the most diverse CAF units age wise. It's been great to see everyone work together so well, and work so hard to accomplish the goals of the CAF. I can't wait to see what the next year will bring!
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom)

(Attendees to the B-25 ground school learn from Alan Miller and Larry Utter)

(Meanwhile the Wing takes delivery of its newest vehicle, a 1942 Dodge WC-21!)

(Alex Otto cleans Miss Mitchell's nacelle in preparation for the first flight)

(Bob Wright and Bob Koelbl install panels on the BT-13)

(Tyler Befort, Matt Stone, Andrew Salih and Roger Ruhland dismantle the WC-21)

(A rather large crowd stands by while Miss Mitchell is rolled out for the first time this year)

(Randy Hendrickson and George Colaizy remove the engine and transmission from the WC-21 frame)

(Parts are washed and prepped for sand blasting)

(Nate Timm adding a circuit breaker to run the bomb release mechanism)

(Alex and Dave Schouveller install some final panels)

(George troubleshoots the M-37. It is now ready to hit the road!)

(Dave stands tall to assist Larry Utter)

(Mikael Menendez removes WC-21 engine accessories)

(Iron Chef Ron Legg is released on the CAF once again! He's testing out the Wing's new grill for the first time... seems to have worked great!)

(Bill Atchison primes WC-21 parts as they are cleaned and stripped)

(A group, donning Purple gloves, sorts through microfilm with every one of the B-25's parts on it in search of specific information... the amazing thing is that they found what they were looking for in a very short period of time!)

(Craig Steinick attaches the touched up L-5 Panel... look for the new L-5 noseart on the next Blog post!)

(Tom Peltier shows his mastery of paint, as usual, by touching up the B-25's tail stripes, and repainting the Olive Drab glare shields... great work Tom!)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Outside Air

This video caught my attention recently. This flight usually is more exhausting than exciting, but this time-lapse paints a picture that is hardly mundane. The aurora borealis is amazing.

SF to Paris in Two Minutes from Beep Show on Vimeo.

Blog Update - 19March to 25 April

Good Afternoon Everyone!
I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend!

In the last month, quite a bit has happened... some positive, and some that may not seem as positive. First, the weather... it was positive and now, not so much! Having the hangar door open for such a short time was a horrible tease, and has many of us wishing for summer that much more. None-the-less, having the hangar door open, and comfortably occupying the hangar is such a great thing after the long winter.

When that time rolls around, the pilots get anxious and want to go fly... so that means the end of maintenance season and on to the airshow season. First show of the year was the Doolittle Raider's Reunion at Lincoln, NE. The crew had some problems with the right engine, but worked them out and it was a very successful appearance.

The biggest topic at the hangar has been related to all of the media attention hitting us lately. Yes, we have had our events, private and public (this includes Dances) shut down. It seems that a lack of a sprinkler system is against code, and the building has been deemed unsafe for large crowds. This is something we have been dealing with for over a year now. Our funding (the bonding bill) was rejected by the City of South St. Paul because of the stipulations attached to it. Since that is the case, attention has come our way and the goal is to gain support and funding so that we can improve the hangar with a new sprinkler system. We want to assure everyone that the loss of events will NOT be the end of the Minnesota Wing. There is a plan, and we have a huge amount of support. The media is creating a massive amount of interest, and generating new members as well. This will end up being a huge benefit to us, in the long run!

On to the dances... We plan to have them. We have gotten permission to use a new hangar across the ramp (it has a sprinkler system). It won't be the same feel, but we believe people will be receptive to the goal of getting us back into our hangar, and help contribute. We are in process of finalizing with the City of Inver Grove Heights (this hangar is just across city lines, and is IGH's jurisdiction). So, we'll need help! The Spring Dance will be on May 21st.

Despite the lack of private events, the hangar will have a lot of work going on. This will give us an opportunity to organize and clean. Parts, tools, museum items, everything could use going through. This will be a great opportunity, but will need a lot of support! Even if you aren't sure of the difference between a magneto and can of paint, you can still help!

If anyone has any questions, or suggestions on how to fund the sprinkler project, please feel free to email me ( or Amy ( or catch us down at the hanga