This has been a vacation week for the SandCastle Crew. Perhaps the premier airshow in the country is the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual convention at Oshkosh, WI. I've attended a few times in the past and the SCSon has always wanted to go. However once a year the DayJob(tm) runs an "all hands on deck" event and it's been scheduled for exactly the same week as Oshkosh for several years running. However this year the event was pushed back a month so I pledged the SCSon this was the year!
Plan A was to fly up in SandCastle-1. The trip would take at least one long day if not a long and a short day, plus burn a couple kilobucks in gas. But the bill wasn't a show stopper. The last airliner trip was such an ordeal we had decided if SC-1 can't go, neither are we. However we found a lesser known airline (Allegiant) that doesn't fly out of the main cities, instead they fly between outlying airports. They would fly us to Rockford IL about 130 miles south of our destination. Ok, that's driving distance and we can do this. Oh, and the airfare was a bit over a third of the fuel bill and I as PIC wouldn't have to sweat the weather.
Here are a couple pics from the event:
Traditionally the airshow proper starts with the American flag displayed by a parachuter. (volunteers are staged on the runway to ensure the flag is caught before any part touches the ground)
Col. Graham has written several books on the SR-71. The first book "SR-71 Revealed" Answers those questions everyone has asked ("How high and how fast") for years. First time I read the book, Chapter 6 answered these questions and even explained the limiting factors. Encountering Col.. Graham at Oshkosh a couple years back I asked about these facts. He explained those details had been declassified in 1995 which allowed the first book to be published in 1996. For more on Col. Graham's books click here
This year's theme was 75 years of the DC-3. Some pondered "As they drew the first lines defining the aircraft, do you think they knew what they had?" Personally I say "Heck No". Aerospace then is what Semiconductors are today. Today's bleeding edge is tomorrow's falling edge. The first pic is Clay Lacy's DC-2. While it looks substantially identical to the DC-3, it's actually considerably smaller. However it was nice they'd actually allow one to sit in the pilot's seat while most others charging for the visit blocked cockpit access.
More pics to come... stay tuned!