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Monday
Sep092019

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 www.cradleofaviation.org. 

 

Photos courtesy of Mark Rhodes. 

 

 

Monday
Sep092019

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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Wednesday
Sep042019

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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Wednesday
Aug212019

Dayton Air Show 2019 

By Mike Heilman 

The Thunderbird diamond formation makes a tight pass in front of the Dayton Air Show crowd.Legendary airshow performer, Sean D. Tucker, decided to retire from his award-winning solo act in 2018 after 40 years of performing. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is going to display his one-of-kind Pitts bi-plane in the new “We All Fly” General Aviation Gallery at the National Mall in Washington D.C. Instead of sitting back and relaxing, Tucker has embarked on a new phase of his career; he formed an aerobatic team. Team Oracle has added veteran pilot,Jessy Panzer, in an Extra 300 monoplane to form the two-plane team.

Tucker commented that he had mixed emotions when the Smithsonian asked him for his plane, “I also wanted to do a team, and when the Smithsonian asked for my airplane, I really didn’t want to give it to them. I love that airplane, but it was a message to me, ok let’s start a transition to your next dream and let’s finish with that. We finish with this airplane at the end of this year, and we deliver it to the Smithsonian. It’s going into the “We all Fly” exhibit at the National Mall hanging upside down welcoming nine million people every year. It’s a huge honor for me, but it’s bittersweet because I love that bi-plane, and next year I’ll be flying a monoplane.”

The transition from solo act to a team lead has not been easy according to Tucker, “Physically its very demanding; you are exhausted at the end of the day, but I think more so the mental energy that it takes to put two airplanes in the sky; its really debilitating. I mean you have so much bandwidth. I have been doing this for 40 years, and I can fly upside down as a solo performer in my sleep, but this is hard. This is a really hard journey, and it’s a big sacrifice, but the reward is a job well done. We train every single day, and we are exhausted when we are done. We accept our failures in our training, and we are not ashamed of having a bad day.”

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Wednesday
Aug212019

Sloshkosh Deux

By Ed Wischmeyer

 

With the RV-9 prop swap project stalled, it was airlines to O’Hare where a long-time friend took me to a neighborhood car rental, saving $300 off the airport rental price. Had I tried to rent a car in Milwaukee or Appleton, the price would have been $700 higher. Having survived arrogant Illinois traffic and the congestion of US41 south of Milwaukee, which is “under destruction” for the second year in a row, my friend’s favorite malapropism, Oshkosh finally came into view. I was glad that the rain on the way north wasn’t any worse than it was.

Wisconsin has had a cold, wet spring, with some farmers losing 1/3 of their calves. That Saturday before AirVenture, two storms (one of which I drove through) came through and dumped another four to five feet of rain. Disaster. Along with the rains came high gusts of winds; some campers had their tents collapsed, some were awash, some spent the night in the museum, and some slept on the floor of the showers. 

Subsequently, all of the campground spaces and aircraft parking spaces were either too soft to support normal usage or under water. Slowly, slowly, things dried out and returned to normal, but it was a mess, slow to resolve for the incoming traffic, both ground and air. There were days of delays.

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