With the Fly-In less than a month away, it's time to preview this year's new APM Gift Shop T-Shirts.
Befitting the 2014 Fly-In theme "Stars of the Sky and Screen", our first new shirt features one of the greatest aerobatic and airshow pilots of all time, Harold Krier and the Great Lakes Special that he flew at several AAA Fly-Ins in the late 1950s.
Few remember that there was no national aerobatic contest in the U.S. in the 1950s, and virtually no air shows, the result of a deadly air show crash that happened in Flagler, Colorado in 1951. That accident stopped U.S. aerobatic competitions and severely limited most non-military air shows, when the FAA made it virtually impossible to get a show waiver. In 1958 Bob Taylor and AAA members Harold Krier, Frank Price, and Bill Adams, were able to break through the barriers and established a national aerobatic contest at the Antique Airplane Association Fly-Ins at Ottumwa, Iowa. The ultra smooth flying Harold Krier won the first three AAA Aerobatic Contests in 1958, 1959, and 1960. In 1960 Frank Price paid his own way to Czechoslovakia to become the first U.S. entry in the World Aerobatic Championships, flying his own Great Lakes Special (which is now in the APM collection).
This shirt is our salute to these AAA aerobatic pioneers. The shirt is Powder Blue, like master air showman Roscoe Turner's uniform jacket in the 1930s. On the back of the shirts is the 2014 AAA-APM FLY-IN logo.
The second 2014 Fly-In t-shirt commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Airpower Museum. Founded in 1964, the APM is a federally recognized non-profit aviation museum. While not legally connected to the Antique Airplane Association, which is a privately held membership organization owned and operated by Bob Taylor and family, the APM would not exist without its close affiliation with the AAA. The APM was built and continues to survive thanks to the generosity of the AAA membership and the guidance of the Taylor family. The APM houses historic aviation artifacts; literally thousands of aircraft manuals, drawings, books, photographs, and films; as well as vintage aircraft ... all donated by AAA members. In case you didn't know, Antique Airfield is owned jointly by the Taylor family (north of the main driveway) and the APM (south of the main driveway). The two work together to bring you the annual one-of-a-kind aviation event known as AAA-APM FLY-IN, or "Blakesburg" for short.
The majority of the 50th Anniversary APM shirts are Black, however there is also a limited number of Pink shirts being made in support of our AAA ladies and breast cancer research. On the back of the shirts is the 2014 AAA-APM FLY-IN logo.
The Interstate Cadet is one of our featured airplanes at this year's fly-in and the subject of our final shirt. Without a doubt the Interstate Cadet is one of the most underrated vintage light aircraft ever produced. Certified in 1941, its flight performance was notably superior to its already established competition (Piper, Aeronca, and Taylorcraft). The fact that the Interstate came on the market later, less than a year before Pearl Harbor, limited its success in the marketplace. About 360 civilian Cadets were produced before U.S. involvement in the war. Interstate Cadets were built in El Segundo, California and served as a basic flight trainer at many airports - including Whiteman Airport near Pacoima, California where AAA founder Bob Taylor learned to fly in Interstate Cadet NC37381, an airplane that he now owns. They were also popular in Hawaii, where an Interstate Cadet on a training flight near Pearl Harbor was attacked by a Japanese airplane on the morning of December 7, 1941 (the movie "Tora, Tora, Tora" showed a Stearman, but it was in fact an Interstate). No doubt there would have been hundreds more Interstate Cadets produced if WWII hadn't intervened. Nonetheless, the basic Interstate Cadet design lives on even today as the "Arctic Tern". Like the other shirts the 2014 AAA-APM FLY-IN logo is printed on the back.
All shirts are available at the APM Gift Shop at Antique Airfield during the Fly-In.