Sunday, February 21, 2010

Feb 2010 AAA Meeting


My wife and I attended the February Texas AAA Meeting at Fort Worth's Meacham Field.  Our meeting was held at the Vintage Flying Museum.  This former World War Two hangar once housed B-29s and is now home to several flying vintage bombers.  The B-17 "Chuckie" makes her home here along with the B-25 "Pacific Prowler."  A recent bomber addition flew in just weeks ago is a A/B-26 Invader.  Our hosts Doc and Chuckie Hospers gave a short program that included the history of the museum and their beloved B-17. Joe Haynes passed on some history of the Texas Chapter and his involvement since the beginings of the group. Lynn Hearn also told of his flying history and chapter membership.  As the meeting came to a close members were treated to the sounds of a maintenance run on the B-25 is the crew did an engine run up.  About 50 members were in attendance.

Pictures from the meeting here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Today in Aviation History - Book Collecting

Today is the birthday of the great aviation historian, Octave Chanute. The French born engineer and aviation pioneer was born  on this day in 1832. Read more of his bio here. What recently captured my  attention was that he wrote a book titled "Progress in Flying  Machines" back in 1894. Evidently this became a book that was  studied by the Wright Brothers in their quest for powered flight.  What captured my attention was a book that was written so early  on the subject of aviation. This is one book I would like to own.  Would a copy of this book still exist? Could one be found on the  open market? Well... this is the internet age... information is  easily accessable! A quick search on bookfinder.com and there  they are.  Reprints from the 1970s and 1990s BUT also some  originals! Curious enough to look for yourself? Be warned that  the originals are going for about $450 for one copy and $1200 for  another! What are these books worth? As a friend of mine once  said... it is worth what someone will pay for it.

I like this quote from the book...
"...let us hope that the advent of a successful flying machine,  now only dimly foreseen and nevertheless thought to be possible,  will bring nothing but good into the world; that it shall abridge  distance, make all parts of the globe accessible, bring men into  closer relation with each other, advance civilization, and hasten  the promised era in which there shall be nothing but peace and  good-will among all men."

Maybe I will buy a more recent reprint! I have a few rare, early  edition, signed aviation books in my collection. What is in your  prized collection?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spartan Picture - Magazine Find


In sorting through some of my magazine collection I found a 1963 issue of AIR PROGRESS.  Inside was a 10 page photo collection of "Outstanding Antiques." The Antique Airplane Association is mentioned on the title page with the photographers listed as Don Downie and Howard Levy. Spartan Executive N46426 is one of the aircraft featured in the spread. I did a quick check of my Spartan listing and found this to be a photo of serial number 31 (NC17665) that now makes its home in California. It is always fun to spot photos of Spartans in paint schemes I have never seen before. Great... another photo for the Spartan collection!

On the subject of Spartans... check out the progress Mr. Hartness is making on the restoration of his Spartan Executive, NC13PH, serial number 13.  See the photo gallery here.

French Corsair Restoration

Posted on the PlaneTalk forum this week are the pictures of the restoration progress of a F4U-5N Corsair.  The workmanship appears to be very high quality.  Take a look here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

National Aviation Heritage Invitational

The National Aviation Heritage Invitational is now accepting applications from vintage aircraft owners to compete for the Rolls Royce Heritage Trophy. Aviation treasures are restored and displayed at the Reno Air Races where the judges will award the coveted trophy.  Vist the web site and check out the winners circle.  At my recent visit to the NASM I saw the trophy on display.  It is a commanding trophy and displays its past winners on the base.  Who will be in the running this year?

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Mosquito Rebuild

A DH Mosquito will grace the skies once again! Watch the Victoria Air Maintenance web site for progress on CF-HML that is being restored for a Canadian collector.  The link to the Mosquito progress is here.  Years ago my Dad and I saw Kermit Week's Mosquito fly at the Breckenridge, Texas Airshow.  We were in awe of the big fighter/bomber flying above the Texas skies. The sights and sounds of an airborne Mosquito will surely be history relived. When you have a few minutes take time to look around the Vitoria Air Maintenance web site. They turn out some AMAZING Grumman Mallard restorations.  Sign me up for one of THOSE too!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

How to Research Vintage Aircraft Part II

A few days have gone by since my posting "How to Research Vintage Aircraft" and a lot of other resources have crossed my mind.  Here are a few I have time to cover...

Photos... I mentioned Google Images but there are countless sites with aircraft pictures posted.  Airliners.net covers mostly... you guessed it... airliners but if you get to digging you can find photos of vintage aircraft.  Airplane-Pictures.net is another devoted to mostly commercial aircraft but again... vintage aircraft shots do exist.  One of my favorites is 1000aircraftphotos.com.  It hosts a large collection of black and white shots that are listed by manufacturer.  The highlight for me on this page is the Waco pictures.  For one more... see Warbirdz.net for a wide variety of vintage and Warbird aircraft from Australia and New Zealand.  There are many, many more... so recommend your favorites to us and we can post them.  I still use Google Images the most.

As mentioned by one of the readers of this blog in the comments section....  Type Clubs.  Know a type that you are passionate about?  A type club will help you with thorough research on a specific type.  Check out the type club listing through EAA's Vintage Aircraft Assoc.  The Type Club Listing is here.  These type club web sites usually have a photo page so be sure to watch for those.

Forums are all over the internet.  Like minded people share their love for their callings, interests and passions.  They are organized by topic and within those topics are posts.  Each post can be commented on by the registered readers.  Some posts are rich in history and photos.  Other posts are just a waste of someones typing on the keyboard!  The Warbird Information Exchange has a good Vintage Aviation forum.   I frequent the Plane Talk forum as well.  Check out the photos on Plane Talk showing aircraft from shows over in the U.K.

That covers a few more topics... I am off to the garage to sort some magazines... printed materials will be a future topic!

If you are new to reading a blog or article like the one above.... note that any of the underlined text will lead you to the web site that I have referenced by clicking on the text.