Sunday, April 30, 2006

Times Change



One great thing about flying is seeing the world from a different perspective. Sharing that perspective is fun for me and I enjoy showing arial photos to friends and family. I was looking thru some old photos the other day and came across a photo I took of my families property back in late 1991, early 1992 right after I bought my first airplane, the Taylorcraft. Note the build up around our property as seen in the other photo I took last week! In both photos I have added a box around our property. Wow.... times change!

Springtime in Texas



The weather has really been good the last week. I flew on Wednesday evening and shot some touch-n-gos right as the sun was setting.

Putt Putt Maru


The Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas has recently sold their P38 Lightning to a new owner in Florida. Thanks to Chuck for the picture taken during a ground run by the new owner! Look forward to seeing this P38 actively flying again.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

1939?


The cabin door has been shut and the lineman has checked to make sure the chocks are in place. The smell of fuel is still on his hands and the oil from the recently checked dipstick on his coveralls will be there forever. A mechanics wrench hitting the floor of the hangar startles him as he walks to the front of the Lockheed 12. He looks over his shoulder to give the mechanic a glare as the mechanic reaches from under the engine of the Waco Custom Cabin for the wrench. Just a few moments before he loaded the last bag in the nose for the sharply dressed businessmen about to depart to an important meeting. The linemen doesn't remember where they are going, just that he worked hard all morning to have the 12 ready for the noontime departure. His eyes meet the pilots as he signals that the props are clear and ready for the Pratt and Whittneys to ignite. A loud whine comes from the number one engine and smoke and noise soon follow. The lineman steers clear of the spinning propeller to take a good look around the number two engine and signals to the pilot that it is clear. More noise and smoke is heard. The chocks are pulled and the 12 rolls off the ramp toward the runway. When the Lockheed turns on to the taxiway the linemans hat almost blows off and he takes a deep breath in. The smell of burning oil coming from the radial engines gives him goosebumps. Just another day on the job.
This scene could be from 1939 or today! In just a few months Lockheed 12 S/N 1277 will return to the skies after a very extensive restoration by Les Whittlesey and his crew in Chino, California. Look for this machine at future airshows around the country! I'll be the one standing behind this Lockheed 12 holding my hat on and taking a deep breath in!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

They Will Fly

Will we ever see a _____ fly again? How many hangar flying sessions have you heard when an aviation enthusiast talked about seeing a extinct aircraft type fly again? It has happened to me at my home airport and while talking among friends at airshows around the country. What will we see fly again?
As I watched the documentary called The Restorers I was pleasantly surprised to see several Boeing 100s under construction out in Arizona. One wrecked airframe was used as a pattern to start a small production run. Collector Kermit Weeks is slated to take multiple examples from this run. Rumor is that one will be patterned after the highly modified 100 that Howard Hughes owned!
Another rumor yet to be confirmed is a production run of Lockheed Vega's! These wooden speedsters dominated the races and record flights of the 1930's, the Golden Age of Aviation. How many will we see? Who took the time to build the large concrete molds for the fuselage structures? Hopefully this project will surface in the near future!
The sole Gee Bee QED does survive down in Mexico but it was only on videos that we have seen one fly. Word is out that one is under construction up in Washington state. This is another rare machine that will shock the aviation historians when it takes to the skies!
As for some rare Warbird types the Mosquito population exists only in museum displays and none of the type are flyable. Avspecs Limited in New Zealand is building up new airframe components for The Fighter Factory's example of the Mosquito. New wooded airframe components for a COMPLETE Mosquito! At what point did someone say... hey... lets start cutting up pieces of wood and build us a new Mosquito! Can't wait to see an airborne Mosquito again!
Rare and extinct aircraft will fly again! We are fortunate to live in a time in history when we can experience almost every era of flight all at the same time!
Blue Skies,
DT Linn

Warbirds Over Wanaka



Pictures are now showing up on several internet forums from the Wawrbirds Over Wanaka show in New Zealand. Check out the ones on Warbird Information Exchange here. Also check out the ones on Plane Talk here. Snow covered mountains and rare aircraft make for some amazing pictures! Be sure to review the pictures of the new P40 restoration that made the show. (And yes I AM posting this from work... just took a quick break!)
Blue Skies,
DT Linn

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sunset Flight



The wind finally calmed down enough to go flying so I took some friends from church flying at sunset. Was a smooth flight on a clear night. Monica, Angie and Louis enjoyed the flight. (As seen on their faces above!) This was a first flight in a small airplane for Monica and Louis! We asked Louis if he had even flown in a small airplane and he mentioned the time when he jumped out of a C130! Smooth skies and amazing sunset made it the perfect night to give rides to them. Angie took the amazing sunset photo (above) as we flew over Kenneth Copeland Ministries airport and conference center near Eagle Mountain Lake.

Time Flies... Again


It was a warm sunny Easter day here in Texas. I had some friends coming out for a sunset flight so I took the 170 up for a quick check flight after the annual. This photo was taken right as I landed and before I gave the rides. Flies great and no problems.

Back Together


On April 7th (my sister Sherry's birthday!) I took the day off work to finish up the annual on the 170. I would be out of town for the weekend and wanted to get it back together again. Above is a picture of the newly painted flaps. When standing just a few feet away you cant even tell that they are painted! Now the top side of the control surfaces will need some polishing... along with the rest of the airplane. Will be looking good for the upcoming local fly-ins and airshows. Special thanks goes out to my friend Lynn for the paint work and my mechanic Randy.

Monday, April 03, 2006

When you are out of Mustangs...


...you are out of fighters. Yes... this saying can be taken as an opinion but one shop in Illinois is going to make sure we don't run out of Mustangs. Midwest Aero is working on another high quallity P-51 restoration. Check back in here for more pictures of the progress on the restoration of 44-74469.

Amazing Sky


One of the nights I was working at the airport last week I saw this amazing sky. This thunderstorm was moving from West to East up along the Red River. Just had to take a picture!

Paint complete


Lynn finished up my painting last weekend. Feels great to get that behind us. As with most paint projects the prep takes all the time. Masking, cleaning, masking again (that paper didnt quite survive the cleaning!) and then shooting the paint took us about 5 to 6 days of part time work. Saturday I moved the parts from the painting hangar back to mine. Paint really turned out good. One of the main reasons for painting the bottom surfaces is that the polished finish deteriorates faster. The polish on the top and sides seems to last 3 times as long as the bottom. The silver paint will not be that noticable on the bottom. Now parts will start going back on and maybe flyable within a week!

Progress



The 170 annual and painting has gone well. Here are a few before pictures of the condition of the ailerons and flaps.

More than one way to fly a Cub

Videos on the internet provide some great entertainment. From amazing car commercials, bodily injury to persons and yes... some great aviation movies! This one came across my desk last week. When floatplanes are being worked on at the airport how do you take them back to the lake? Check out this video by clicking on Cub trailer launch.