Friday, June 24, 2011

Help with our Engine!---------------------------------------------->

Help us get our failed engine rebuilt! You'll be helping us continue with our mission to preserve history!

Around the Hangar

A lot has happened in two months, but some of our photos were lost when a hard drive crashed. For this go around, I'll present some of the latest photos, and we'll do our best to keep this more up to date in the future!
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom, Matt Myklebust and Jim Lauria)

(Dave Schouveller is getting to be an expert at prop removal and installation)

(George Colaizy checks over the electrical system on the 1941 Willys Jeep)

(Bob Wright bleeds the BT-13 brakes as pilot Craig Rodberg checks the skies)

(Craig Steineck helps paint the display cases in the museum)

(Run, Roger is Reloading!)

(The WC-21 frame is getting very close to getting painted)

(Break Time!)

(Randy Hendrickson builds a fence between the Motor pool and Hangar 4)

(Which will look like the one he built between the Motor Pool and our Hangar! The city covered the material costs to help us beautify the airport)

(Bob Wright and Bob Koelbl repair the Harvard's engine)

(Roger van Ranst and Tom Langer remove accessories from the B-25's engine)

(Before the B-25's engine failed, it was involved with the filming of the Rise Above program, and The Restorers, which has an episode about the Minnesota Wing that will debut at Oshkosh)

(Having three P-51s and the B-25 in the hangar was quite a treat!)

(As was seeing them fly together!)

(The repaired engine, as of last night. This engine is now attached to the aircraft. Great work to the maintenance crew!)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Aviation Inspiration Day

The First Annual Aviation Inspiration Day was a resounding success, drawing in over 250 people. Families brought their kids to the event for a fun, educational experience. There were activities for everyone, but the focus was on girls, and the day was designed to give them the inspiration and courage to pursue their dreams, whether they involve aviation or not. Girls who attended Lynda Meeks Girls With Wings class were given priority on the Young Eagles rides, and had opportunities to even fly the aircraft! We had our aircraft outside, and kids flocked to tour the B-25, get rides in the WWII vehicles, and enjoy a free lunch, care of Wipaire, and served by Iron Chef Ron Legg and crew. The event was a collaborative idea between Lynda and Amy Lauria. Lynda, seeing it's success, is working to have events like ours hosted around the country (there are currently talks about one in Arizona). If you want to learn more about the day, or check out the excellent feedback, visit Lynda's blog here:
or the Girls With Wings website here:
(Photos Thanks to Girls With Wings)

(The classes, sponsors and tours all started at the Terminal building)

(The common area turned into a sea of people and displays. People shop at the Girls With Wings booth or the CAF's PX. They were able to talk with organizations like the EAA, CAP, CAF and Young Rembrandts)

(Lynda Meeks helps girls demonstrate the properties of thrust versus drag)

(The word "free" surprised everyone even the kids. It was an special treat for a great day! Thanks Wipaire!)

(CAF Ops Officer Mike Schoen also doubles as a lead with the local Young Eagles program, along with Joel Ludwigson [CAF Finance Officer]. The girls were thrilled to put the knowledge they learned in Lynda's class to practice)

(Mike's co-pilot takes the controls, and off they go!)

Spring Swing 2011

The Hangar dance went very well, and even though it took a lot of hard work, the location suited our needs just fine. It was great to see so many members experience their first dance with the Wing, and just how massive an experience it can be.
(Video Thanks to Max Haynes)

MNCAF Hangar Dance - Spring 2011 from Max Haynes on Vimeo.

State of the MN Wing

The goal of this meeting was to gather as many members as possible, have everyone get to know each other, and define the goals and struggles facing the MN Wing. The staff felt that the idea was received warmly, and that members want to have more of this type of meeting. If you attended and would like to comment, please let a staff member know!
(Photos Thanks to Keith Struck and Matt Myklebust)

(The meeting took place on a very beautiful day, which was wonderful for members who had a chance to look over and fly in the PT-22, BT-13 and B-25)

(But first we got down to business. Members had a chance to hear the staff's goals, and ask questions about anything they wished)

(The staff took turns discussing their areas, goals and needs. Here it looks very serious...)

(... but we had opportunities to have some fun. Joel Ludwigson [Finance Officer] took some time to poke fun of Wing Leader Amy Lauria)

(Now that the boring stuff is over... Time to eat!)

(New and old members mingle together, have some good food, and enjoy a common goal.)

(We were even surprised with the loan of this 4wheeler. Member Brent Darling contacted a friend with Cannon Valley Sports, who graciously loaned this to us for a year!)

(On to the rides! The B-25 had some issues, but the BT-13 and PT-22 picked up the slack)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blog Update - 26 April to 24 June

Wow, two whole months. I truly apologize for the lack of activity on the blog. It's due in part to a computer malfunction (Brian Strom lost many pictures when his hard drive crashed) and with how busy things have been in the past two months. We've had our first State of the MN Wing address take place, complete with Member rides. We've had our Hangar dance. Aviation Inspiration Day was a hit, and we're in the middle of our SECOND engine change on Miss Mitchell in the last two months. As I said, busy.

The State of the MN Wing address was focused on our progress and hurdles that have been encountered over the last year. We discussed the Sprinkler issues, the Dance and the fact that our small aircraft are now able to give rides. Many members attended, and a lot of ideas were generated. It was very productive, and can be an expected event every spring. Members were given rides in the aircraft, though the first ride in the B-25 led to the first engine removal of the year, due to a gasket that had been installed incorrectly when the engine was assembled. Other than that, the day was a wonderful way to get to know new members, or members who are unable to attend regularly.

The Dance was a great success as usual, but took place across the ramp due to our sprinkler issues. We approached the city with over 50 members attending the city council meeting, and they agreed to allow the dance this spring. We brought in around 700 people, and made a great profit! Everyone had a great time, and the weather held out for us.

Aviation Inspiration Day was a first time event, and was focused on getting kids, especially young women, interested in the museum, WWII and aviation in general. The event was amazing, and hugely successful, especially for a first time event. Around 250 people attended, they were able to see the museum and aircraft, tour Wipaire, shop the PX, attend a Girls With Wings seminar, get rides with EAA Young Eagles pilots, and enjoy a free lunch paid for by Wipaire and served by our members. It was a wonderful day, and we expect to host it at least once a year.

Now, on to the engine. We had our first engine change due to gaskets, as I stated earlier. We accomplished the change just after the dance, and got to a paid appearance in Lakeville. We had a repair to perform at the engine of Aviation Inspiration Day, and once that was completed, we were all satisfied with the new engine. It ran well, sounded good, and we were able to attend all of our scheduled appearances. It completed a number of flights with the P-51 to shoot video for The Restorers TV Program and the Rise Above movie. After all the filming was complete, some training was performed, and on the second training flight, the engine temps rose and the oil pressure dropped. Doug Rozendaal, who was Pilot in Command during the flight, chose to feather the engine and turn back to Fleming. Once on the ground, we checked the oil screen, and found silver chunks, indicating that the master rod bearing failed. This means a full overhaul. We quickly sent out the engine that had gasket problems to be repaired, and began pulling the engine that just failed. The gasket damaged engine has been returned to us, and has just been hung on the aircraft. From this point, we will get the prop on, the oil coolers in and be back on the road in time for Pan-o-Prog in Lakeville. Thank you to everyone who has participated in the maintenance. Our schedule will barely be affected because of the hard work of everyone involved. THANK YOU!