Today we spent much of the day at the Electric Aircraft Symposium. I left for a bit to catch a different program on the advances in radio controlled model aircraft. It’s sure changed since the days when I was a kid making balsa wood models.
We’ve got several sources for photos and video clips around the airport. We’ll be starting to put them together on Sunday.
The airplane auction will be held Saturday night. They have some unique aircraft including a Stinson SR-10 built for and flown by the Shell Oil Company VP Jimmy Doolittle, the former WWII hero; Monocoupe 110 Special, a one-of-a-kind aircraft customized remake from the Golden Era of air racing from the 1920’s and 1930’s; Grumman FM-2 Wildcat; Songbird III, a 1960 Cessna 310D used in the 1960’s television series “Sky King” and the only remaining aircraft from that show.
At the Vision of Eagles dinner last night, the SR-71 Ford Mustang sold for $375,000 with proceeds going to the Young Eagles program. The Mustang modifications were designed by Jack Rouch and Caroll Shelby. Rouch was injured in a landing accident here on Wednesday afternoon, and is reported to still be in serious, but stable, condition.
The Mustang has design elements similar to the SR-71 aircraft styling. It has been so heavily modified, that it isn’t street legal any longer.
The entire night activities raised about $2.1 million for the program
I saw Paul Poberezny still driving around in his VW bug on the grounds today. It’s great to see him still so active.
Seminars I went to today were Burt Rutan’s presentation on the future opportunities in commercial space, and Mark Moore from NASA spoke on Advanced Electric Aircraft Concepts. I’ll post summaries on them next week, or during my train trip back on Sunday.
I also went down to the Ultralight area today. Besides some of the new Part 103 legal planes, there was a very interesting DC3. Since there are so many DC3s on the site, they couldn’t be put in one area, so they are scattered around. One in that area isn’t the prettiest, but it certainly is the most authentic on the site. It underwent a very rapid clean up and complete inspection and was given the intensive repairs that were needed from the derelict condition, and the lack of maintenance log books which required performing or verifying all airworthiness directives that were applicable to this aircraft. From mold growing on the plane, to the removed engines laying on pallets nearby, the massive amount of work resulted in a great plane coming back to the sky instead of turning into soda cans. I’ll post some photos from the inside later on.
Tomorrow, most of the day will be spent at the electric airplane symposium. I hope to find some new applications for battery power.
We made it to the big show today. Weather is beautiful, if just a bit humid. My glasses create IFR conditions when leaving the air conditioned car. We got all six of us in the house, and it looks like we’re really glad we’re not camping after looking at the radar image right now.
There was one bad situation today when a Beech Premier jet landed very hard after an apparent stall and partial recovery. Jack Rouch was piloting the plane and is reported to be in serious, but stable condition. The plane broke apart between the wing and the engine, but there was no fire.
The afternoon airshow featured mostly warbirds. Only 3 DC-3’s were flown for the Liberty Parachute show opening today. The mass formation that was hoped for, didn’t take place. We do have video of the 27 planes that flew in a loose formation at Whiteside airport on Monday, which will be posted when we get back.
I’m still learning where to get the best bargains on the field. Today’s find was the $1 water sold at the Vintage store. That’s not as cheap as the free water out of the fountains, but it’s a lot colder.
The big announcement Monday was the introduction of Rod Hightower as the new EAA president. He is a Stearman owner, and has had management positions in several business. He takes over as president on September 7.
The Goodyear blimp arrived this afternoon. The wet conditions have largely disappeared. There’s a lot of space in the aircraft camping areas that are open. The North 40 area is mostly tents right now. The homebuilt parking area seems to be well filled. I haven’t been down to the vintage and ultralight areas yet. The warbirds area has a good contingent of planes, but I’m not sure how that compares to past years. The Army reinactors seem to have a larger camp set up. It’s really a nice display they’ve put together. I’ll get a closer look at it soon. We saw several truck loads of wood mulch piled up near a road ready to be deployed in soft ground. Fortunately, it’s not needed yet.
Got to get to bed. More tomorrow.
This will be my last post until we get out there. I’ll be taking the very early flight Monday. Hopefully the ground at Whittman Field will dry out enough to allow plane and camper parking soon. Sounds like a big problem out there, but the weather looks good at least until Wednesday.
I tried to attach a spreadsheet to this post will all the events sorted by date and time. It’s in Excel spreadsheet format.
Heavy rains in Wisconsin this week closed Milwaukee Mitchell Airport for almost a full day, and Whittman Field has also gotten record rainfall this month. That is making things tough for early arrivals to the convention. Planes are being put in limited dry locations, and while tent campers have high ground in Scholler, some camper RV’s are being parked along the roads, and larger Class A motor homes are being sent to a local Wal-Mart for the time being. Even if the ground is only semi-saturated, it’s best not to drive or place campers on it right now so it can dry out better.
The forecast there is for more thunderstorms today, but sunny on Sunday and Monday. There’s a chance of thunderstorms on Tuesday through Thursday, but that’s still a long way out.
Here’s some photos showing the work going on with updates to the convention site.
Steve’s AirVenture Site Updates.
Here are some points made during the last webinar about the EAA Convention updates.
Advance ticket sales are up 25% from last year.
Site construction will have new showers in the North camping area, chip seal roads in the area south of the main entrance, expansion to hangar C, and new concrete pad in warbirds area. 44 wi-fi hotspots will be added.
2 more web cams. One on the Vintage tower toward AeroShell Square. The other in the north area on the E-W runway.
Homebuilder’s Hangar will have speakers from the development of kit planes, demonstrations of items originally presented in the Hints for Homebuilders video series.
Some new planes that will be at the event:
Cobalt CA-50 prototype
2 F-4 Phantoms
Falcon 50 with new spiroidal wingtips (wingtip loops around back to the wing.
F-22 will not be there. They were needed for operations.
Adam hinted someone who hasn’t emphasized airplanes in a while will unveil a new plane at the Homebuilder’s area,.
The Homebuilt parking and camping area is expanded by taking away from the Red parking area.
The Federal Aviation Administration said this week that data from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, which flies unmanned systems on border patrols shows a total of 5,688 flight hours from Fiscal Year 2006 to July 13, 2010. The CBP accident rate is 52.7 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. This accident rate is more than seven times the general aviation accident rate (7.11 accidents/100,000 flight hours) and 353 times the commercial aviation accident rate (0.149 accidents/100,000 flight hours).
Safety a big target in letting unmanned aircraft in national airspace | NetworkWorld.com Community.