The latest Brent Taylor Productions video is out: Our House.
Antique Airfield near Blakesburg, Iowa has seen some of the rarest flyable antique aircraft in the world grace the grass here.
To the members of the Antique Airplane Association (AAA) it is considered home, especially during the Annual AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in over Labor Day weekend.
Always considered the “season opener” for the owners, pilots and lovers of antique & classic aircraft, the Cactus Fly-in begins in two weeks.
This, the 58th Annual Cactus Fly-in, is hosted by the Classic Aviation Association of Arizona (CAAA) (one of our AAA chapters) & will be held, as it has been for decades, at Casa Grande, AZ.
Along with lots of sunshine, warm temps and a plethora of antique/classic aircraft, the keynote speaker Saturday night will be Ann Pellegreno. Ann was the first to fly a Lockheed 10 Electra around the world (1967) on the Earhart Trail, and she dropped a wreath on Howland Island in memory of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. She is also author of several books including World Flight and Iowa Takes To the Air, Vol. 1-3.
Always a bellwether for what to expect the rest of the year at fly-ins across the country, we hope to see many of our AAA members and their airplanes from throughout the US in attendance.
By now most are aware long time President of the Air Power Museum Inc. (APM) Mike Gretz has "Gone West" after a short illness.
If you have visited Antique Airfield or attended the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in over the last two decades, you have no doubt seen and benefitted from the vision, planning and efforts of Mike, his wife Doris and many of his family members.
AAA/APM Founder Robert Taylor and APM President Mike Gretz deep in discussion in the "APM Library of Flight"
His vision and knowledge of aviation history helped in the decision and planning of the themes and featured aircraft at every AAA/APM Fly-in since 2002.
He took charge of making certain the APM side of the AAA/APM Fly-in operated, was staffed (by volunteers) and ran smoothly. Those efforts included designing the Fly-in T-shirts, taking care of the Fly-in vendors, helping plan and coordinate the nightly movies at the Runway Cinema, scheduled and coordinated various Type club and AAA Chapter meetings in APM facilities, and along with his wife Doris, stocked and operated the APM Gift Shop among many, many other efforts.
Mike along with APM Secretary Steve Black originally proposed and helped coordinate the highly successful 2015 APM Capital Campaign Fund via GoFundMe.
But perhaps most notable was his dedication to the APM "Library of Flight". Mike was instrumental and untiring in his efforts to improve the Library, helping make it known nationally as one of the premiere facilities/repositories for aviation history and research.
The "APM Library of Flight"
Therefore, the APM Board of Directors are pleased to announce the APM "Library of Flight" is to be re-named the "Mike Gretz Library of Flight".
We plan to re-dedicate the library during the 2016 AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in with the intent to continue Mike's work and efforts as a legacy to his name and memory.
I say a field of dreams and it might make you think of a movie about a baseball diamond out in the corn fields of Iowa where ghosts from the past come to life to play a game they loved.
Well, in a way it is a bit like that, it is an airfield nestled between the rows of corn in Iowa where some time ago Bob Taylor must have heard a voice say "If you build it, they will come."
Antique Airfield, home of the Antique Airplane Association where every year on the week leading up to Labor Day people from all over the world will gather with their old flying machines of yesteryear. Labor Day seems appropriate because often keeping the old birds in the sky can be a labor of love. All planes are welcome but you better know how to land on grass. If you bring a new one you won't be in the front row, something has to be parked in the back. Some will tell of the years in the past when they came to the field, while others, it's there first time.
Photo by Gilles Auliard
They are from every walk of life, millionaires with planes worth more than some like myself will make in forty years. Back home they may run a billion dollar company but here on the field they are just another pilot. They don't look down their nose at us who can't rub two nickels together. We are all the same. They still enjoy the planes we pieced together with parts that former care takers left behind. We won't forget to thank them for saving the rare ones that take great cash flow to keep in the air.
Photo by Gilles Auliard
Photo by Dave Miller
Many will tell of there first ride, it may not have been that long ago and others like myself tell of being too young to remember the ride in a plane that mom saved pennies to help dad buy.
It does not matter if your plane is an open cockpit or has doors, they can be left open wide so that others can get a good look inside. You can walk away with no fear, everything will be the same as you left it when you get back to your pride and joy.
We sit in the shade of wings chatting of a golden age, even though our lifestyle may not be the same, a hippie, a preacher or a transgender, there will be no judgment instead, a camaraderie of brothers and sisters that are aviators deep down inside.
Photo by Ted Goble
At night you can walk down the rows of planes with moonlight casting out the shadow of their image in the dark, it's as if you can see the ghost of the people that flew them years ago sitting in the seats. The night is not always quiet, up by the Pilots Pub between hangers one and two, a crowd will gather for laughter and song while guitars are strummed.
Photo by Brent Taylor
Camping in a tent by the plane there will be no sleeping in, at first light you will awaken to those gas powered alarm clocks. Big radial engines cracking off at dawn with their spit and sputter that make a Harley sound like a puttering moped. Some of them can make the ground shake as they go full throttle to get off the ground. In the morning when the air is cool and crisp for old wings, some will give rides, while others sip coffee, and watch them fly. Your conversation has short pauses as you are interrupted by them roaring by.
Photo by Jon Cook
We talk fondly of them as if they are mistresses with a name. But the smell of gas and oil in the air reminds us they are a machine with a spirit that is hard to explain. FAA rules say we must display papers showing who they belong to, but we understand too well that they are not ours, we are nothing more than caretakers for a just while.
On Sunday, there will be a time of silence and remembering of pilots that have "Gone West". Their planes tail sitting on the ground and nose pointed to the sky, with wings spread wide like angels ready to take them for their last ride.
In years to come when the next generation has taken over their care, maybe in the moonlight walking the flight line they might see our ghosts sitting in the seat and understand why some of us call this the Field of Dreams of flying machines.
The latest issue of the Antique Airfield Runway is about to go to the printers!
Included in this expanded issue (32 pages) will be color coverage of the 2015 AAA/APM Fly-in, news about the APM’s Bellanca 14-19-3 & American Eaglet, the official announcement about the 2016 AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in,"BTB Days", news of member's restorations/projects and more!
2015 AAA/APM Grand Champion Antique
1929 Fairchild 71, NC9708
Marlin Horst, New Holland, PA
Photo by Dean Coryell
"The grace of service is the spirit of belonging."
― Lailah Gifty Akita
That quote describes our friend Mike pretty well!
I imagine by now most our AAA members and fans know of the passing of APM President Mike Gretz on Friday Jan 15th after a short illness.
Both the modeling world and the old airplane world have lost one of their most selfless promoters.
We know the family has been left with a financial burden due to the medical bills associated with Mike’s cancer battle, so here at the APM, our Board Secretary Stephen Black and I decided to do something about it.
Hence a crowdfunding campaign has been set up to help - click here to contribute.
We hope that all our AAA members and fans will get involved in making a contribution and spreading the word about this effort to help Doris & the Gretz family.
It is with great sadness we must report that APM President Mike Gretz has "Gone West" after a short illness.
Mike has been an integral part of the leadership here at Antique Airfield, the AAA and especially the APM for years. Along with his wife Doris and other family members, he is a big reason for the success and growth of the APM and the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in.
Mike gave selflessly of his time and talents and we will miss him greatly.
A fund will be set up in a few days to help Doris and the family pay for extensive medical/care costs associated with Mike's illness. We will make an appropriate announcement here an on our Facebook page when ready.
Tailwinds and blue skies Mike...
AAA/APM Invitational Fly-In, August 31 - September 5, 2016
The Board of Directors of both the Antique Airplane Association
and the Air Power Museum are pleased to announce the 2016 AAA/APM
Invitational Fly-in will celebrate "BTB
Days" ... Back-to-Blakesburg and Back-to-Basics.
Back in 1971, the first AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in was held at
Antique Airfield near Blakesburg, IA and that event has been around
long enough to have created it’s own history that many of our
younger/newer members may be unaware of.
The AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in, envisioned as a "by-the-members,
for-the-members" convention and reunion, was a revolutionary way to hold
a major aviation event - one that over the last 40+ years has proven
time and again to be popular with our membership. Antique Airfield was
then and still to this day owned in total by members of the Taylor
family and the Air Power Museum (APM). As it receives no federal,
state or local monies, the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in is a private
event that is truly "by-the-members, for-the-members"!
While the past four decades has seen many changes in Antique Airfield
and in our membership, the direction AAA/APM Founder Robert Taylor
envisioned for the AAA has remained steadfast & constant. That is why
the 2016 AAA/APM Fly-in will be known as "BTB Days" or
As for Back-to-Basics, we plan to put the emphasis of the event on how
the AAA/APM Fly-in was and has remained to this day; simple, relaxing
and fun with antique/classic aircraft flying from dawn till dusk.
Plus instead of a particular theme and featured aircraft (as we have
done these past fifteen years or so) we will, as we did in the early days of
Antique Airfield Fly-ins, showcase those new restorations coming from
the hangars and shops of our members from around the country.
Start making your plans to attend today!
AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in Chairman
The Air Power Museum (APM) is pleased to announce it has teamed with eBay for Charity in their "Win Bigger Sweepstakes". All our AAA members can, if they’d like, help the APM attempt to win a $25,000.00 grant from eBay for Charity.
Integrated into eBay's regular buying and selling platform, eBay Giving Works makes it easy for people to support important causes, both in the U.S. and abroad. It enables sellers to donate a portion of their sales and buyers to shop while supporting their favorite charities — all the while giving nonprofits like the APM an opportunity to engage new supporters.
This holiday season, eBay is encouraging our community to Wish Bigger – and #WinBigger! Starting today November 2 to December 27, when you make the APM your favorite charity on eBay, you could win too! eBay is giving away a grand prize of a $2,500 eBay gift card, along with weekly $250 gift card prizes, to randomly drawn supporters who add a favorite charity! Let’s both #WinBigger.
The organization with the most new favorites at the end of the Sweepstakes will win a grant of $25,000 from eBay. Second place will win $15,000 and we will randomly select a participating charity to win a third place grant of $10,000.
It only takes a second; click the link below and add us as your Favorite now!
Photo by Sharon Tinkler, photo pilot Harve Applegate
The 2015 Blakesburg Fly-In is underway. Thursday saw great weather, light breeze right down the runway, and a large number of arrivals. By the end of the day Antique Airfield had seen 222 unique airplane arrivals during Wednesday and Thursday, which is great turnout for Thursday.
The weather is predicted to be great, albeit hot, for the remainder of the weekend. Come out and join us at Antique Airfield!