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Fly-In News and Best in Class Awards Decision

Posted in News | July 26, 2008

With the annual AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in but a few short weeks away, the staff and volunteers around Antique Airfield are quite busy with preparations for what we hope will be a landmark event. Even though the price of fuel and other economic worries seem to be curtailing peoples travels and their discretionary spending, we have been hearing from members across the country that plan on making the trip to Antique Airfield, for the fly-in, a priority this year.

Currently the latest issue of the Antique Airfield Runway is at the printers and we hope to begin mailing this 24 page issue, containing all the fly-in information, early next week. When you receive this latest issue you will note that we have unfortunately had to raise the price of registration for the week of the fly-in from $45 to $51. This represents an increase of $2 per day and is the first increase in our fly-in registration costs since 1999. Please note though, that as it has been in the past AAA lifetime members pay no registration fees and camping fees will remain the same as they have since at least 2003.

However in an effort to control the ever increasing costs we are facing in conjunction with production of the fly-in, the AAA and APM Boards have looked at other areas which may provide us with some financial savings.

One of those areas was the number of awards we present yearly. Specifically the "Best-in-Class" awards. For those of you whom are regular attendees of the fly-in and whom stay through the awards meeting on Sun. evening you no doubt understand why these awards have become known as the "Gone Home" awards.

It is our feeling that perhaps the antique airplane movement is maturing to the point that receiving a trophy is not as important as the direct recognition and praise from other owners, restorers and pilots involved with antique airplanes. This type of interaction and camaraderie is certainly available at a members only event such as the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in. Further we see the quality of restorations constantly reaching new heights while the emphasis on flying the airplanes and not just "showing" them as a static feature at an airshow or fly-in seems to be another reason for the success of our events here at Antique Airfield. Or perhaps people are just too relaxed and having too much fun at the AAA/APM Fly-in to be bothered with voting for or worrying about receiving a Best-in-Class award.

So the upshot is that we plan on doing away with the Best-in-Class awards this year. Does that mean there will be no awards presented? Certainly not! There will still be the various type club and AAA chapter choice trophies awarded as well as the Grand Champion class awards to be presented Sun. evening at the awards meeting. One of the benefits we hope to realize, with the elimination of the Best-in-Class awards, is more participation/voting for the Grand Champion awards. We have always and continue to feel that the more members/guests that participate in voting for the various Grand Champion classes the more it provides for a deserving and qualified aircraft/owner being recognized as a Grand Champion over an aircraft chosen by a finite group of judges.

That idea carries over to our chapters and various type clubs as well. We would like to see more participation by AAA Chapters and appropriate type clubs in the presenting of awards. These type awards will more directly reflect what you, the chapter/or type club and it's members, feel is a deserving award recipient. So please consider presenting a chapter choice trophy from your AAA chapter or a choice from your type club at the fly-in this year.

Along with other ideas we are currently working on to help make the annual Sunday evening awards meeting a more fitting climax to the weeks activities, we hope this will provide for more participation at this, the final event of the fly-in.

Brent Taylor
Fly-in Chairman

Roger Felts Tower Position and Hold Flight of Eight

Posted in Members | July 26, 2008

Is this cool or what? We had three more biplanes ready to go but had one mech problem and were short two pilots. How did that happen? We will try for 12 next time. Photo taken by George Perks airborne in his 172 to get the shot.

Stearman C3B, Travel Aire 4000, Boeing 40, 5 PT Stearmans. Addison.

Martin Mars hauled out at Sproat Lake, BC

Posted in News | July 09, 2008

You think you've got it bad with your antique's annuals? Kelly Mahon of Priest River, ID was flying near Sproat Lake, BC and snapped this photo of the Martin Mars tanker base which helps put things in perspective. Looks like some major work with an engine removed. Just hauling that seaplane out would be major work!

Bellanca Projects

Posted in Members | July 09, 2008

Member Lynn Ford has been recovering his Bellanca Cruisemaster, aka "The Crate", for the past several months and is nearly done. He sent us a photo with white paint on the fuselage.

Also Howard Cox in the UK has recently recovered and installed a new interior in his Bellanca Cruisemaster. This is reportedly the only flying Cruisemaster in Europe. Congratulations!

Texas Chapter and Florida Antique Biplane Association July Newsletters

Posted in Chapter News | July 08, 2008
Here are chapter newsletters for July 2008:

See all the Chapter Newsletters.

Planning To Attend Blakesburg?

Posted in News | July 02, 2008

Are you thinking about going to the Blakesburg Fly-In in August? Air Mail Days is going to be a good one. This would be a great year to come for the first time if you've never attended.

We're going to have online pre-registration for attendees soon, and the next issue of Antique Airfield Runway will contains the usual registration and fly-in details. In the meantime, here's a First Timer's Guide to Attending the Blakesburg Fly-in. If you're thinking of going and you don't want to camp I suggest making hotel reservations in Ottumwa soon, they're going to start filling up.

Russell Williams

Gene Horsman's Mercury BT-120 Restoration

Posted in Members | July 02, 2008

Gene Horsman sent us this update on his Mercury BT-120 restoration (yep, I had to look it up in Juptner, it is Volume 8 - Editor).

The Mercury is not ready to fly but is progressing. Thought I would send you a few pictures of the fuselage. These are with the engine in place.

These were taken a year ago at the Erie Town Fair. We hurried and got the engine hung. Of course it is only temporary. Dan Murray is waiting to finish a new exhaust system for it and Bob Leyner is developing a new cowl.

My friend Dave Biesemeier has done all but the tail wheel anchorage and the landing gear welding on the fuselage. (I don't weld)

The landing gear was built by Marvin Wahl (since gone west) and the tail wheel setup was done by Brad Davenport. (Also has gone west) We are in the million last minute things on the welding at the moment. Clips to hold the fuselage stringers, the belly panel, shoulder harness anchorage, etc.

Then comes the dismantling of everything to blast and prime the fuselage. The two upper wings are ready to cover, tail feathers all done and I am struggling with the lower wings at the moment. Ten foot long full span ailerons with 12 ribs in each and aileron gap seals. Will it ever end? Maybe!!

Gene Horsman

Rob Bach's Pietenpol Ready to Fly

Posted in Members | July 02, 2008

Rob Bach sent an update on his Pietenpol factory. Rob says: "Taxi tests complete, so now we put the eyebrows on and go fly! We should be at the Piet/Hatz fly-in July 25-27 and Blakesburg for sure."

Photos and Award Winners from the Potomac Aero Squadron's Horn Point Fly-In

Posted in Chapter News | July 02, 2008

Here are photos and the award winners from the Potomac Aero Squadron's 2008 Horn Point Fly-In.

Grand Champion Antique - Piper J3

American Barnstormers Tour

Posted in News | July 02, 2008

It seems that every day brings more bad news about the state of our economy, especially about gas and food prices continually on the rise.

Photo by Gilles Auilard

Around local aerodromes pilots still gather, but have been curtailing their flying while grumbling about how they cannot afford to get out and go flying just for the fun of it, too expensive they say.

The crew of the 2008 ABT - Photo by Gilles Auilard

At the same time everyone seems to be wrapped up in the news of our upcoming landmark presidential election and the latest natural disaster, whether floods in the Midwest, fires on the West coast, or drought on the East coast. 2008 you say? Well yes, but it could just as well describe the early 1930's.

So it seems appropriate that Clay Adams and his American Barnstormers Tour is making it's way throughout Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri in 16-18 (depending on reports) gas guzzling, round engine antique airplanes from the 20's and 30's.

Tour organizer Clay Adams about to give another load of passengers a taste of open cockpit flying - Photo by Fred Larson

This years tour started on June 15th, though the first stop, Iowa City, had to be cancelled due to the floods here in Iowa. However the intrepid group moved operations to the next stop, Ames, Iowa, where they set up shop for four days of operations instead of two.

Hank Galpin and Ray Sanders came all the way from Kalispell, MT to fly in the ABT

Of the aircraft and pilots participating in the tour most are AAA members and include among others:

Clay AdamsTravel Air 4000
David MarsTravel Air 4000
Gary LustTravel Air 4000
Stu MacPhersonTravel Air 4000
Bruce McElhoeTravel Air 4D
Hank GalpinTravel Air 6000
Rich HornbeckWaco ASO
Dave AllenWaco ASO
Alan LopezStearman 4E
Tom LoweStearman C3R
Ron RexStearman 4D
Carl WilliamsAlexander Eaglerock
Ted DavisNew Standard D-25
Jim HammondStinson Jr. S
John ThomasonWaco YKS-7

We find it very encouraging that this intrepid group has defied the pessimists in the sport aviation community and appear to be having a grand time traversing the country flying their antique airplanes.