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Long Island’s Cradle of Aviation Museum Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11

By Mark Rhodes

Long Island’s Cradle of Aviation Museum recently celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing.The 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing was celebrated at Long Island’s Cradle of Aviation Museum (Long Island Aviation having contributed much to the Apollo effort through Grumman Aerospace in the ‘60s) with their Countdown to Apollo weekend fest culminating with celebrations on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing (July 20). There was a plethora of family-friendly activities, including opportunities to make a Moon Boot Print, Moon Buggy rides, and special panels as well as opportunities to meet Shuttle Astronauts such as Bill Shepherd, Robert Cenker, and Charlie Carmada Gabe. There were also great exhibits such as a recreation of a typical American living room from 1969 streaming the Apollo 11 Moon landing on a ‘60s-era television.

One of the highlights of the Museum’s season is the film Apollo 11: FirstSteps, which is a documentary of newly discovered 70 mm footage and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings. The version at the Cradle of Aviation is in IMAX. Unlike many other documentaries of this type, there is no narration, recreations, and nothing in the way of interviews. This outlook lends itself to a Cinéma véritéstyle as the narrative unfolds through project footage, which is candid and intimate as well as stunning and often breathtaking.Long Island’s Cradle of Aviation was a perfect venue to host the recent Apollo 11 celebration. The filmmaker, Todd Douglas Miller, manages the neat trick of making the Moon Landing and subsequent return satisfyingly suspenseful and dramatic. In the end, the film is a reminder and celebration of American bravery and ingenuity that is a breath of fresh air and optimism in these times. 

For more about the Cradle of Aviation see 


Photos courtesy of Mark Rhodes. 

61st Annual Chicago Air & Water Show

By Larry E. Nazimek

Red Arrows Phoenix formation.This year’s airshow was characterized by too much of the water in the air instead of Lake Michigan. In other words, it rained. 

This is a two-day airshow, where the first day saw intermittent light showers, but they were not enough to shut down operations, except for when lightning was seen in the vicinity. With all of the exhibits and vendors, however, attendees still had plenty to do. The Red Arrows were able to get in their complete show, but by the time the Blue Angels came in, the clouds were low enough to restrict them to mere flat passes.

On Sunday, thunderstorms, bad enough to result in damage nearby, caused the start of the show to be delayed by two hours. The Red Arrows got in their complete show, as did the Blue Angels, just before the clouds returned.

The show always starts with the singing of our National Anthem, as members of the Army’s Golden Knights, with one member displaying our Flag, descend, with the Firebirds Delta Team circling the jumpers. A tandem jump is made with a VIP or sports star. For Saturday’s show, it was hockey star, Chris Chelios, who played many seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, ending his career with the AHL Chicago Wolves, wearing a Chicago Blackhawks jersey. For Sunday’s show, it was members of the Blue Man Group.

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Sitka: The Largest Small City In America

By Stuart J. Faber 

Downtown Sitka.If you were asked, “What’s the largest city in the United States?” it’s unlikely that your response would be “Sitka.” Yet, Sitka would be the correct answer. This unified city-borough has a small population (around 9,000).  However, from the standpoint of its land area of 2,870-square-miles, one can accurately claim that it’s the largest city-borough in the United States. The city is spread across Baranof Island. Thus, when one considers the surrounding water area, the total square mileage jumps to 4,811. Just for comparison, the Sitka region is four times the size of Rhode Island. The next largest city by area is Jacksonville, Florida. 

Take a look at a map of Alaska and notice a panhandle in the southeastern portion of the state. This landmass, along with the Alexander Archipelago of numerous islands, commences near the southwestern border of Canada’s Yukon Territory. This strip of land wraps itself southward around the mountainous coastline of British Columbia, all the way to Prince Rupert. Sitka lies in the approximate center of the panhandle, between Glacier Bay and Ketchikan.

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Improving and Growing the Engine Game: An Interview with DeltaHawk Engines

By Annamarie Buonocore

As In Flight USA readers know, aviation is a field where we are always trying to improve technology and try bigger, better, faster ways of doing things. One company that is disrupting, changing, and improving aviation is DeltaHawk Engines, a Wisconsin-based jet fuel engine company that is making flying more affordable and accessible through engine and energy efficiency. 

ThisIn Flight USA writer had the pleasure of sitting down with the DeltaHawk team during EAA AirVenture where they had their engine in aircraft on display. Their booth and showcase were a great experience and attracted the attention of many pilots and enthusiasts. It was a pleasure to sit down with CEO Chris Ruud and Director of Marketing and Certification Dennis Webb, learn about their business journey, and feel their true passion for flight. 

IFU: Could you provide me with a brief history of the company? How and where did it get started? 

DH (Dennis): It started in Racine, Wisc., which is in the southern part of the state. Our original co-founders, about 20 years ago, saw what was happening with avgas both here and around the world. You can’t get avgas in many parts of the world. They saw a need for a more fuel-efficient, reliable, and affordable solution in an engine that burns a better fuel, and that’s jet fuel. The company and engine design started, but, like many aviation companies, we struggled due to lack of funding.  In spite of that, we still progressed, albeit slowly, through our setbacks. Four years ago, Chris and his dad, Al Ruud, became majority investors in the company and provided the significant funding that we needed. Since then, we have grown from four employees to more than 50, and we’re still hiring. The company has invested in technology and infrastructure, and we’re getting ready for production.

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