Monday, May 31, 2010

COMLUX IS APPROVED: WIFI STC FOR BOMBARDIER CHALLENGER AIRCRAFT

COMLUX IS APPROVED: WIFI STC FOR BOMBARDIER CHALLENGER AIRCRAFT

Comlux Aviation Services, BHE & Associates complete FAA certification of Aircell application

Comlux Aviation Services and BHE & Associates, along with Aircell®, have just announced a Supplemental Type Certification of the Aircell Wireless Router WIFI on Bombardier CL-601, CL-601-3A, CL-601-3R, CL-604, and CL-605 aircraft. Comlux and BHE combined resources and joined efforts to bring high-quality, high-speed data capability to the Challenger market.

“The successful certification of the Wireless Router will allow our customers the freedom to connect with a true high speed service anywhere in the cabin,” according to Jim Huntoon, VP of Sales for Comlux Aviation Services.

Bob Hurley with BHE & Associates of San Antonio (TX) provided the engineering and coordinated with the FAA. BHE is the point of contact for purchase of the STC, which is available immediately, supplied through authorized Aircell dealers. Hurley said, “The work with Comlux and Aircell resulted in an integrated installation that works reliably and virtually invisibly; passengers can simply use their WIFI and never have to think about it.”

Comlux Aviation Services in Indianapolis has just completed installation and testing of the first two STCs for a single Challenger operator in the US northeast.

Embry-Riddle’s Women’s Air Race Classic Team Gears Up for Competition


Press Release: Embry-Riddle’s Women’s Air Race Classic Team Gears Up for Competition

Two pilots from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott Arizona campus will be participating in the historic Women’s Air Race Classic which starts on Tuesday, June 22, 2010. The race which has been in existence for over thirty years covers 2,483 miles and includes stops in nine cities.

The race originally started in 1929 under the Powder Puff Derby name. Even though the name changed, the tradition among female pilots to highlight their determination and tenacity to be respected aviators has kept the tradition alive. The race continues to stand as a symbol of pride for the friendly competitive spirit and camaraderie that still exist among all of the female aviators. This year the race celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Licensed Women Pilots.

Pilots Kim Turrell, from Simi Valley, California and Kristen McTee from Aurora, Colorado were selected to represent the Prescott team. Turrell is currently a Flight Instructor and McTee recently received the Outstanding Graduate Award during Spring 2010 graduation for achievements in her Aeronautical Science Professional Pilot program. Turrell and McTee were selected based on their piloting skills, interest in the event, competitive spirit, and their knowledge of aviation, safety, navigation, meteorology, and crew resource management. Kim Turrell participated in the race last year with Jenna Albrecht, where they werethe highest-scoring first-time team, took second place in the collegiate division, and came in sixth place.

The team will depart from Embry-Riddle’s Flight Line on Thursday, June 17, 2010 to start their journey. Their goal is to do well within the competitive field of more than 55 teams and over 100 pilots competing in the race and fly the fastest cross-country route. The team will be flying one of Embry-Riddle’s Cessna 172 single engine aircraft equipped with Garmin G1000 cockpit. Each aircraft is judged against its own handicapped cruising speed and the winning teams must follow the route as close as possible while improving the average speed. This format focuses on the piloting skills and decision-making instead of the speed of the aircraft.

The race begins at Page Field in Fort Meyers, FL (KFMY) on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. EDT.The racers must check into eight different cities on the 2400 mile route and complete their journey to Fredrick Municipal Airport (KFDK) in Fredrick, MD by 5:00 p.m. EDT Friday, June 25, 2010. This year the racers will stop in Waycross, GA, Tuscaloosa, AL, Hot Springs, AR, Cameron, MO, Murphysboro, IL, Elkhart, IN, Parkersburg WV, and Fredrick, MD.

This year’s competition also includes a team from Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach, Florida campus and collegiate race teams from Purdue, Southern Illinois, Jacksonville University, Dowling College, and Indiana State.

The Prescott Air Race Classic team is supported by Dr. and Mrs. John P. Johnson, President of the University, Universal Helicopters, Legend Aviation, Cessna, Garmin, West Wind Aviation, Tri-City Mobile Wash, Anderson Creative, Macayo’s Restaurant, Jeppesen, and the Embry-Riddle Women-in-Aviation Club and Diversity Committee as well as numerous community partners.

A special Send-Off Celebration will take place on Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. at Good-To Go Cafe on the Embry-Riddle Flight Line. To RSVP for the event or to learn more about the racers and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Crystal Ellis at (928) 777-4305.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, offers more than 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus at more than 170 campus centers in the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East, and through online learning. For more information, visit http://prescott.erau.edu.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Save the date: June 26, 2010 and the place: Frederick Maryland

A documentary about the women's first transcontinental air race, commonly called the Powder Puff Derby, has been completed. Originally it was called the Ragwing Derby, but thank god someone was able to persuade the documentarist that that was a lousy title - no one would know what a ragwing derby was!

Now the doc is called Breaking Through the Clouds: The First Women's National Air Derby: http://www.breakingthroughtheclouds.com/

The website doesn't say that the documentary is complete, but if its going to be shown on June 26 at the terminus of the current women's air race in Frederick, Maryland. (A new, annual Powder Puff Derby, ran for 29 years form 1947-1977 (missing one year because of the oil crisis). When it closed down the Air Race Classic took its place. It is now the longest-running women's air race, from 1978 to 2010, with hopefully no signs of stopping.

http://airraceclassic.org/

http://sites.google.com/site/arc2010terminus/breaking-through-the-clouds

All of the pilots will be available to meet fans and aviation enthusiasts on June 26 at the Terminus.

I take the liberty of sharing the info from their webpage:

Starting their 2,400 mile cross country competition in Ft. Meyers Florida on June 22 the racers will begin to arrive at Frederick Municipal Airport, Frederick, Maryland on Thursday, June 24, and will continue through Friday, June 25. The last plane to qualify must complete their timing run by 5:00 PM Friday, June 25. The excitement will grow as the racers approach Frederick Airport coming in “ Fast and Hot” doing a timing run or “ Flyby” before landing. Landmark Aviation will serve as the Sugarloaf Ninety-Nine’s Welcome Center, and Frederick County Tourism Council will provide each racer with a welcome bag and mementos of their stay in Frederick.

Both the public and the media are invited to watch as these amazing women complete their 2,400 mile Cross Country “Great Race.” At least 40 teams are expected to compete, and given the unprecedented response to the 2010 race, perhaps even more. A team consists of a plane and two pilots.

The weekend will be filled with events, and the public is invited to join in celebrating the race, the racers, and 100 years of certificated women pilots.

Click HERE to purchase tickets online to the public events. Go to the link and choose events under "Guest Registration".
Click HERE to purchase tickets by check.


FRIDAY EVENING JUNE 25, 5:00 PM

WELCOME/MELTDOWN PARTY OPEN TO THE PUBLIC $25

ADVANCED HELICOPTER CONCEPTS, FREDERICK MUNICIPAL AIRPORT

A required event for the racers, and a ticketed event open to the public, this is an opportunity for the racers to wind down from their grueling four day ordeal, for officials to welcome them to Frederick, and for the public to meet and chat with these women as they exchange stories and renew acquaintances. Food, and the music of the Bobby Lewis Blues Band at this casual 1929 style hangar party will set the stage for a weekend full of history still being made. Period aviation dress is encouraged. The public, local officials and business leaders will join the Ninety-Nines in celebrating the racers successful arrival in Frederick. This event is sponsored by Aviation Insurance Resources, Advanced Helicopter Concepts, and the City of Frederick. (Email Gail@ARCterminus2010.com for ticket information.)



SATURDAY JUNE 26 12:30-2:00 PM

AIR RACE CLASSIC GIRL SCOUT OUTREACH, Not open to the public

ADVANCED HELICOPTER CONCEPTS, FREDERICK MUNICIPAL AIRPORT



The Air Race Classic will present a program for the local Girl Scouts. The Ninety-Nines, whose Sugarloaf Chapter is hosting the Terminus events are sponsors of the Girl Scout Aviation Badge. This fun and informative program is designed to educate the girls about airplanes and aviation in general. During the activity, ARC pilot volunteers meet with the girls, take them out to the ramp and show them the airplanes. Each participant will also receive a gift packet with information about flying, and flying memorabilia. Participating scouts will each receive a complimentary ticket to the film “BREAKING THROUGH THE CLOUDS: THE FIRST WOMEN’S NATIONAL AIR DERBY” to be shown at Hood College’s Rosenstock Auditorium.



SATURDAY JUNE 26 4:00-6:00 PM, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC $5

FILM “BREAKING THROUGH THE CLOUDS: THE FIRST WOMEN’S NATIONAL AIR DERBY”

HOOD COLLEGE ROSENSTOCK AUDITORIUM



Special screening of Independent Producer Heather Taylor’s much anticipated documentary film on the first women’s air race in 1929, dubbed the “Powder Puff Derby” which included such barrier breaking pilots as Amelia Earhart. “BREAKING THROUGH THE CLOUDS: THE FIRST WOMEN’S NATIONAL AIR DERBY” is a cinematic in-depth look at the women, their times, and their personal struggles. The public is invited, to this Archetypal Images, LLC film. Tickets required. Purchase online at link shown above. This film screening is being sponsored by AVEMCO.



SATURDAY EVENING JUNE 26 7:00-10:00 PM

VIP RECEPTION with Admission to Film, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC $20

DELAPLAINE VISUAL ARTS CENTER, FREDERICK MARYLAND



This is a Reception to meet the 2010 racers, the “BREAKING THROUGH THE CLOUDS” Executive Producer Heather Taylor, re-creation pilots and other participants in the film. The reception will be held in the Delaplaine’s Gallery, enhanced by a juried art show, food, and cash bar on downtown Historic Frederick City’s Carroll Creek. The public is invited to this unique event, and tickets will include admission to the film at Hood College. Dress is casual to Black Tie. The event’s sponsor is the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Ninety-Nines and is dedicated to their chapter’s late benefactor, Theresa Dellaquila. (Email Gail@ARCterminus2010.com for ticket information.)

SUNDAY MORNING, JUNE 27

RACERS DEBRIEFING BREAKFAST, not open to the public

HILTON GARDEN INN, FREDERICK MARYLAND

This breakfast is not open to the public and is a required event for the racers. It is sponsored by Cessna and welcome comments will be presented by a representative of AVEMCO.

SUNDAY EVENING, JUNE 27, 7:00 PM

PRECEDED BY A COCKTAIL HOUR AT 6:00 PM

ARC AWARDS BANQUET AT DUTCH’S DAUGHTER RESTAURANT, FREDERICK MARYLAND

Open to the public $45

Awards to the race winners, exciting speakers, honored guests, state and local recognition, and a silent auction make this event the highlight and culmination of a weekend filled with celebration as racers, and their friends, family and fans come from across the country to share in their accomplishments. AOPA is the banquet’s sponsor. This event is open to the public as space allows. (Email Gail@ARCterminus2010.com for ticket information.)

ORIGINIAL ART DISPLAY

OFFICIAL EVENT ARTIST FRANK DUVAL HAS CREATED A SUITE OF DRAWINGS OF WOMEN OF THE 1929 RACE AS WELL AS THOSE OF THE 2010 RACE. THESE WORKS WILL BE DISPLAYED AT ALL THE AIR RACE CLASSIC’S TERMINUS PUBLIC EVENTS.

THE CITY OF FREDERICK IS ALSO HOSTING AN AIRPORT OPEN HOUSE ON SATURDAY JUNE 26 WHICH WILL START OFF WITH A BREAKFAST SPONSORED BY THE FREDERICK EAA CHAPTER.

Wingwalker Phoebe Omlie's Costumes on Display


The Memphis Tennessee Pink Palace Museum has a costume display going on right now. Featured in it are two outfits once worn by Phoebe Omlie. Her story is rather a tragic one.

From The Commercial Appeal:
Sense of Style: Tapestry of a life
Memphis wing-walker's costumes on display


Elaborate costumes from Carnival Memphis and an antique mourning outfit will catch your eye at the new "Linen, Cotton & Silk" exhibit at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum.

But the exhibit's most interesting story centers around a simple dress and suit and a single tarnished earring, all retrieved from an Indianapolis flophouse.

They were the last effects of Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie, trailblazing aviator and daredevil wing-walker, who has been called Memphis' Amelia Earhart.

When Jewell Rosenberg, textile conservator, removed her blue linen dress from a suitcase, the stench of smoke was overpowering. She thought the dress was brown until she washed it in Borax.

Omlie and her pilot husband, Vernon, were the paragons of aviation in the Mid-South in the 1920s, operating in Memphis the first flying service in the Southeast. During the great flood of 1927, they delivered mail and medicine all over the Mid-South to the gratitude of many.

Born in Des Moines in 1902, then Phoebe Fairgrave became obsessed with learning to fly and bought her first plane at 17. The petite Fairgrave was one of the first to earn a living as a wing-walker, barnstorming with Vernon, the stunt pilot who became her husband, dancing the Charleston on a wing and hanging from a plane by her teeth. In 1922 she set a woman's world record for high-altitude parachute jumping.

While the more photogenic Amelia Earhart is now much more famous, Omlie was also a press darling. The Omlies settled in Memphis 1925 and in 1927 she became the first licensed female transport pilot, the highest federal designation, and the first woman to earn an airplane mechanic's license. In 1929 she was the winner of the first National Women's Derby. In 1930 she won a race for women in Chicago piloting the "City of Memphis."

In 1933, she was the first woman to be appointed to a federal aviation position, and in 1941, during World War II, she was in charge of a $1.5 million project to train 5,000 aviation ground servicemen.

So what happened to the woman once named by Eleanor Roosevelt "one of the 11 women whose achievements made it safe to say the world is progressing."

In 1936 Vernon Omlie boarded a commercial airplane as a passenger and died in a crash. She never remarried.

Increasingly frustrated at the government's growing regulation of the aviation industry, she resigned her government post. She tried ranching and then running a restaurant, but failed at both. She did speaking tours for a few years, mostly ranting at the government, but her audience steadily dwindled.

In later years, she refused visitors. She became an alcoholic, chain-smoked and developed lung cancer. In 1975 she died broke and alone in a seedy Indianapolis hotel.

Rosenberg said Omlie's last possessions included a typewriter she was using to try to promote herself as a speaker, a stained coffee cup and $3.14. One other item was a single art deco earring with stones missing. "It was the prettiest thing she owned. You wonder why she would keep it . . . what it meant to her," said Rosenberg.

Omlie is buried beside her husband in Forest Hill cemetery. In 1982, the traffic control tower at Memphis International Airport was named in honor of the Omlies.

Maybe we'll hear more about her before long. A new documentary, "Breaking Through the Clouds: The First Women's National Air Derby," will be shown June 26 at the terminus of the current women's air race in Frederick, Md. The creator is developing plans to show it across the country. Omlie and Earhart are among its subjects.

If you'd like to know more about Phoebe and Vernon Omlie, check out a fine story about them from Aviation History magazine at historynet.com/phoebe-and-vernon-omlie-from-barnstormers-to-aviation-innovators.htm.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Copilot a 1929 Ford Trimotor on July 8, 9, 10 or 11, 2010

Also from the International Women's Air and Space Museum - located just off the lake at Burke's Airport in Cleveland, Ohio:

Fly the Ford!
July 8, 2010 - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
July 9, 10 & 11, 2010 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

And on
July 29, 2010 at 7:00 pm


Meet CarolAnn Garratt, who broke the record for flying around the world westbound in a single engine plane. She and her co-pilot, Carol Foy, circled the globe in eight and a half days. The women undertook the trip to raise money and awareness for ALS.

EAA's fully-restored 1929 Ford Tri-Motor - featured in the film Public Enemies - is coming to IWASM!

Experience air travel as it was in the golden age of aviation and fly in the world's first true passenger airliner. Flights cost just $50 per person for EAA members and $60 per person for non-EAA members. A limited number of opportunities are available to fly in the co-pilot's seat for $100.

(Check out the EAA's website to see where else the Trimotor is coming.)
http://www.airventuremuseum.org/fordtrimotor/

Judy Wagner: One of 100 Ohio Women Honored by the IWASM

I received my enewsletter from the International Women's Air and Space Museum today.

I share the info on Judy Wagner.

Judy Wagner was born on May 23, 1930 in Lakewood, Ohio. While living in North Olmsted she became interested in aviation while watching pylon racers from her yard. The racing must have made quite an impression on Judy, because she earned her pilot's license and became a pylon racing pilot herself. Judy also went on to earn a commercial license and numerous ratings. She became president of the National Women's Pylon Racing Association. Judy was well known in the pylon racing world. She participated in numerous races, including the 1966 Washington National in which she placed first. Judy Wagner's life was cut short , though, when she and her husband crashed their twin engine plane in Burbank, California on May 8, 1982.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Legerdemain: A New book about Amelia Earhart

Check out the website here: http://www.davidkbowman.com/. Features excerpts from the book, photos, etc.

The book was published in 2007.

"While presenting the results of his own investigation the author reviews and correlates all the significant events relating to Amelia Earhart's disappearance, and all the significant investigations that followed. Ultimately, it will be for the reader to decide the answer. The mystery continues, for two-thirds of a century many have tried to discover its secret."

1936 Stainless Steel Ford



One of those emails that makes the rounds, so thought I'd share it here:

This is the 1936 Ford Tudor Sedan built for and owned
by Allegheny Ludlum Steel This is 1 of only 4 in
existence and is the only one currently in running
& in road worthy condition..

The car is in exceptional condition, with the interior
and even the frame looking great. All 4 cars each had
over 200,000 miles on them before they removed them
from service.

These cars were built for Allegheny as promotional and
marketing projects. The top salesmen each year were
given the honor of being able to drive them for one year.
The v-8 engine (max 85 hp) ran like a sewing machine
and was surprisingly smooth and quiet. I thought this
was a much better looking automobile than the Ford
Thunderbird that visited us last year.

FYI, the car was insured (we were told) for the trip to
Louisville via covered trailer for 1.5 million dollars.
We were also told that the dies were ruined by stamping
the stainless car parts, making these the last of these
cars ever produced.


[Too bad no one thought to take a photo of the interior. Would love to see what that looked like!}





Sunday, May 23, 2010

Uvalde Flight Center Welcomes Samantha Harlan As New General Manager

This is from Aero News:
Uvalde Flight Center Welcomes Samantha Harlan As New General Manager

I'm taking the liberty of assuming its a press release, free to share.
Sun, 23 May '10

Helo And Fixed-Wing Pilot With A Business Background
The Uvalde Flight Center in South Texas is pleased to welcome Samantha Harlan to her new position as General Manager of the Uvalde-based FBO. Ms. Harlan's varied experience as a pilot, FBO office manager and event coordinator will be put to good use in managing the Flight Center and Uvalde's airport operations.

A private pilot with over 200 hours of time in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, Samantha is excited about combining her management and public relations skills with her love of aviation. Ms. Harlan attained her pilot's license in 2007, while working at Tomball Jet Center in Houston, TX. Starting her flight certification in helicopters and then adding a fixed-wing rating, she joined a highly select group - less than 1% of all pilots are female helicopter pilots.

While at Tomball Jet Center, Ms. Harlan experienced all facets of a busy FBO, working as office manager, dispatcher and customer service representative and as a Lineperson, which meant changing airplane tires and turning wrenches in addition to paperwork and phone calls. Samantha also gained valuable experience in a comparable position for Hi-Tech Aviation, located at West Houston Airport. Other experiences included working as a Consultant and Site Coordinator for Houston's Horseshoe Bay Resort and Buffalo Valley Event Center. The responsibilities of planning, promoting and managing events for sizeable groups put Samantha's education (a BA in Speech Communications and minors in Business Management and Spanish) to good use.

Samantha is eager to help expand awareness of aviation opportunities in the South Texas region. She plans to utilize her experience in public relations and event coordination to help Garner Field and the Uvalde Flight Center achieve greater regional visibility in area communities and, of course, in the aviation community.

SkyWay Group Sales and Marketing Officer Gary Buchanan said, "We are delighted Samantha has chosen to lead the Uvalde Flight Center. Her valuable management and public relations background, piloting skills and passion for aviation promise to make her an invaluable asset to the SkyWay Group and the Uvalde community. We look forward to a productive and long-lasting relationship as she helps expand Uvalde's aviation presence and opportunities in the years ahead."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sweetwater museum salutes Women Airforce Service Pilots

Sweetwater museum salutes Women Airforce Service Pilots


By JUDY WILEY / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News


SWEETWATER, Texas – They are women with names like Shutsy and Deanie, Betty and Ruth. In the black-and-white photos from World War II, they're wearing aviator caps and goggles, all sparkling eyes and proud, devil-may-care smiles.



JUDY WILEY/Special Contributor
The mascot Fifinella appears in many of the museum's exhibits. These members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots earned that sparkle and pride by flying airplanes for their nation when almost no one thought they could. Some of them gave their lives in the effort. Most of them went largely unrecognized, without even GI Bill benefits. In March of this year, finally, the WASP – including six women from Texas – were honored with Congressional Gold Medals. All of the surviving WASP are 75 and older.

They were aviation pioneers, the first women to fly American military aircraft. The civilian organization's aim was to free male pilots for combat roles by using qualified female pilots to ferry aircraft from factories to military bases and to tow aerial targets. The women flew aircraft ranging from fighters to heavy bombers.



JUDY WILEY/Special Contributor
The women's sleeping quarters were spare and cramped. The museum that pays tribute to them sprawls through Hangar One on Avenger Field at the edge of Sweetwater, just a few minutes off Interstate 20. The same hangar, built in 1929, was used for maintenance during WASP training from 1942 to 1944.

The metal building and grounds still are immaculately kept in the Spartan military way, simple and clean and largely unadvertised but for signs high beneath the curve of the hangar's roof. Even a die-hard wanderer attuned to exploratory travel would be unlikely to stop, or even to come here in the first place, without knowing first what lies inside.

The National WASP WWII Museum, however, tells a story. A collage of photos in the lobby and gift shop shows training for their brief service. The WASP were active for only two years, partly because of pressure from male pilots who wanted to fly for the war effort and felt the women were taking their spots.

Inside the cavernous museum, more than 100 portraits lining the walls filmstrip-style give glimpses of faces that make a visitor stop to think about dreams and determination. Some women are uniformed, some are in bomber jackets; some demure, some steely-eyed.

A red, single-engine Piper PA-16 was donated by U.S. Air Force Maj. Bridget McNamara, a B-1 bomber pilot who credits the WASP for opening doors for women in military aviation.

Visitors should start by watching a short film outlining the history of the women fliers. Next would be a stop at a mock-up of the sleeping bay where the WASP lived (they slept six to a room on narrow beds).

The emblem of the winged gremlin Fifinella, the WASP mascot created by Walt Disney, is on many exhibits.

Large posters and biographies on the walls describe three people instrumental in creating the WASP program: aviator Jacqueline "Jackie" Cochran, Gen. Henry H. "Hap" Arnold and Nancy Love, commander of the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, who eventually oversaw WASP ferrying operations.

Cochran was already famous for breaking speed, altitude and distance records for both male and female pilots when she became involved in the WASP program.

The museum also offers an educational component, including programs for different age groups (see www.waspmuseum.org for details).

Another exhibit holds plaques and photos of some of the pilots, their palm prints pressed into cement.

Near the front, steps lead up to a Link trainer, the mechanical flight simulator used to train pilots before computers.

At the back, near a detailed timeline of the WASP, is a model for a sleek, climate-controlled addition. Museum executive director Sharron Davis says the plans are there, and so is the need: "We have artifacts we can't put on display: uniforms, jackets, hats, documents."

As with most nonprofit endeavors, the funding – about $4 million – is the missing component. The museum is funded largely with private donations along with a few grants, Davis says.

While the WASP museum won't take a day to explore, it's definitely worth a stop on a trip West. If you're hungry or thirsty, however, stop for refreshments before you visit. The museum doesn't stock food or beverages.


Judy Wiley is a freelance writer in Grapevine.


When you go

Getting there

From Dallas, drive west on Interstate 20 West for 180 miles and take Exit 241. Merge onto Loop 432; turn left at Loop 170. The museum is on the right.

Hours, contact

The museum is open 1-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Contact: 325-235-0099; www.waspmuseum.org.

Events

The WASP Homecoming 2010 will be May 29. WASP pilots will talk about their training and service during the event, which begins at 8 a.m. with a fly-in of modern and vintage aircraft. A patriotic parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Sweetwater courthouse square. Special exhibits and re-enactors at the museum start at 10 a.m. Also planned are a luncheon, origami, dinner and dancing, and a flyover and memorial service at sunset. Call the museum for tickets to the luncheon and dinner.

WASP facts

•More than 25,000 women applied to become WASP in 1942. Only 1,830 were accepted, and 1,074 graduated. Thirty-eight died in training or while flying in service.

•The program began in 1942, during World War II, and ended in 1944.

•The pilots flew only in North America, usually ferrying aircraft from one base to another.

Most Difficult Airports to Land At. #1 Mangalore

Note that theabove is the correct airport, with the ravines. I hadn't noticed my reader's comment until 2 years later.



It is perhaps not in the best of taste to inaugerate this feature only a couple of days after the tragedy in which an Air India flight with 160 people aboard overshot a runway at Mangalore and fell into a gorge, with all but 7 people killed, but...

Apart from the human aspect, it was interesting to read about the Mangalore airport:

Mangaloreans knew that flying into and out of their city was always scary as the airport is on a hilltop with deep ravines only metres away from the runway.

Above are the two runways (taken in 2008) ...I can't distingush the ravines...

Friday, May 21, 2010

A WASP Homecoming for Two Denver-Area Residents

A WASP Homecoming for Two Denver-Area Residents

Press Release from powderpuffpilot.com

Powder Puff Pilot and Ninety-Nines Sponsor Flight for Women Pilots of World War II
May 20, 2010 – Aurora, Colorado – It’s been 67 years since Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas earned its distinction as the largest all-female air base in U.S. history. It won’t seem nearly that long to two Denver-area residents who were former members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). On Memorial Day weekend, Lucille Doll Wise, 90, of Arvada and Betty Jo Streff Reed, 86, of Aurora will take to the air again to attend the WASP Homecoming 2010, hosted by the National WASP WWII Museum in Sweetwater. They’ll be among the honorees welcomed back to where they made history in 1943 and 1944 as the first American women to receive military flight training.

Wise was one of 59 women of the seventh class of women pilots (43-W-7) to train at Sweetwater, graduating in November 1943. She was assigned to North Carolina to the Asheville Weather Wing of the Army Airways Communications System, and then to the Kansas City Army Air Base. During her service, she flew the Cessna UC-78, AT-11, C-60, B-25, and C-45. Many of her flights involved transporting weather officers on inspection trips. In 1993, she donated her WASP uniform—trench coat, flight suit, battle jacket, Santiago blue slacks, white wool shirt, and tie—to the WASP museum.
Reed trained at Sweetwater a year after Wise, graduating in the seventh class of 1944 (44 W-7) in September 1944. Her service ended prematurely when the Army deactivated the WASP program in December 1944. She was assigned to Columbus Army Air Field in Mississippi, where she flew the AT-6, PT-17, and AT-10.

Sue Hughes and her husband Dale, of Aurora, will fly the former WASP in their four-seat Piper Arrow from Front Range Airport in Watkins (just 5 miles southeast of Denver International Airport) to Avenger Field. “I must admit I’m little intimidated at the thought of these two accomplished, pioneer aviatrixes as back seat pilots,” said Hughes, who is also a flight instructor.

Hughes answered the call when a request went out to members of the Colorado chapter of The Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots, for a volunteer to transport the honorees. The trip is sponsored in part by Jan McKenzie, a Colorado chapter member and governor of The Ninety-Nines’ South Central section, which includes Texas and Colorado. Hughes is owner and founder of Powder Puff Pilot, a web retailer that specializes in products for and about women pilots, and is the author of a series of children’s books that feature a pink clad aerobatic aviatrix, Claire Bear.

Sue Hughes is Author of:

The Pilot Alphabet, a National "Best Book" 2009 Award Finalist

Claire Bear's First Solo children's picture book

This Day in Women's Aviation page-a-day calendar

Available for speaking engagements

Review: Old Bird: The Irrepressible Mrs Hewlitt, by Gail Hewlitt

In 1911 Hilda Hewlitt became the first British Woman to obtain a Private Pilot's Licence. This new biography tells her fascinating story.

(The review below is written by Helen Krasner, who has led a fascinating life as well. Check it out at http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/whirlygirl.

Next year, 2011, represents an important anniversary for anyone interested in the history of aviation. For in 1911 Hilda B. Hewlitt became the first British woman to learn to fly and gain a pilot’s licence. So who was Hilda Hewlitt? “Old Bird”, written by Gail Hewlitt, who is married to the early aviatrix’s grandson, explains all.

Hilda Hewlitt’s Early Life
Born Hilda Beatrice Herbert, on 17th February 1864, the future record breaker was one of nine children. Always known as Billy, she was an adventurous child, particularly for that time. She learned to ride a bicycle and later drove a car and entered automobile rallies, activities which were considered highly daring for a woman of her day. In 1888 she married Maurice Hewlitt, and the couple had a son and a daughter. Maurice had been a lawyer, but aspired to be a romantic novelist and gradually became more and more successful.

Read more at Suite101: Review: Old Bird: The Irrepressible Mrs Hewlitt, by Gail Hewlitt http://aerospaceplanes.suite101.com/article.cfm/review-old-bird-the-irrepressible-mrs-hewlitt-by-gail-hewlitt#ixzz0oaFRC8o5

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sky High: The Story of Maggie Gee

This is a book review from a different site, which reviews children's books:

http://sky.webtraffichaven.com/918/sky-high-the-true-story-of-maggie-gee/


Sky High The True Story of Maggie Gee

Every Sunday Maggie Gee’s family would gather at the local airfield to watch the airplanes, and Maggie would tell her brothers and sisters the stories she saw in her head–stories of her flying across oceans and deserts just like the pilot Amelia Earhart. But in the 1920s and 1930s few girls took to the sky, and it took a World War for Maggie to live her dream.

Acclaimed author Marissa Moss tells Maggie’s story, from her childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area to becoming one of only two Chinese American Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) to serve during the war, while Carl Angel’s powerful illustrations depict Maggie’s determination and bravery. Together they have created a book that shows children the boundless possibilities just over the horizon when you allow your dreams to soar.


Read the complete review at the link above.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Save the Day: July 10 -- Anderson Indiana Airport's 50th Anniversary

Press release: Airport-adjacent camping, fuel discounts, free pilot breakfast – Anderson Indiana (KAID) wants to make pilots feel especially welcome as the airport celebrates its 50th anniversary on Saturday, July 10.

All the details about this fun day – with events for the entire family – are found in the attached press release. Additional details, like pilot info about our ILS, tower hours, fuel prices (including no-ethanol premium mogas for our LSA friends) are available at www.cityofanderson.com/airport

Don’t forget the specials for pilots traveling to Oshkosh later in July (and home in early August)! Stay tuned for details.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Learn How To Fly A Plane Day

From AOPA online: 'I got to fly the plane!'

On Monday morning, Boy Scout Anthony Brothers will no doubt be the talk of his class. Not many 11 year olds in his Frederick, Md., school can boast the same exciting weekend.

“I got to fly the plane!” Brothers exclaimed to his mother, Pam, grinning from ear to ear after his EAA Young Eagles flight in a Piper Archer at Frederick Municipal Airport. If pictures of his flight aren’t enough to convince his classmates, he has a bright yellow EAA logbook with his pilot’s signature as proof.

International Learn to Fly Day attracted the community to Frederick Municipal Airport.
The flights were part of International Learn to Fly Day, announced last summer at EAA AirVenture, which encouraged the general aviation community to bring nonpilots to the airport to learn about flying. Frederick residents got a chance to see every segment of GA aircraft, with everything from a helicopter to a hot air balloon basket, a glider to a jet, and standard to experimental aircraft on display. Airport clubs and businesses, including Advanced Helicopter Concepts, Frederick Flight Center, the Sugar Loaf Chapter of The Ninety-Nines, EAA Chapter 524, and AOPA joined together on the ramp to get the community interested in flying and expand the pilot population.

Two girl scouts tour AOPA’s Cessna Caravan.
But nothing sparked the interest in GA more than someone taking his or her first flight, whether a child or adult. Throughout the day, more than two dozen individuals experienced their first flight.

“That’s the biggest rush I’ve had since skiing down a black diamond in Colorado or Europe,” said Karen Young, president pro tem of the Frederick Board of Aldermen. Young had flown with her father in his Piper Cherokee when she was looking for colleges but hadn’t been in a GA aircraft for years until a special flight May 15 in AOPA’s Fun to Fly Remos GX light sport aircraft. The experience opened Young’s eyes to the importance of city officials taking flights to survey their towns.

A future aviatrix?
“Everyone who has a role in the planning function should see Frederick from the air,” Young said, mentioning various projects in the Frederick area.

Some teenagers also learned how to plan flights, pre-flight an aircraft, and fly a traffic pattern. The Women in Aviation, AOPA chapter, hosted Girl Scout troops from the Frederick area to help the girls work toward their aviation badge. After trying their hand at loops and rolls on a simulator in Patty Wagstaff’s Extra 300, the girls watched video of the aerobatic star performing and talking about the thrill and challenge of aerobatics.

Barrel rolls on a first flight? That was part of the fun for Sophie Eureka who went up in a Decathlon.
Sophie Eureka, a 13-year-old Girl Scout, immersed herself in aviation, taking her first flight in a Decathlon. “I think it’ll be fun,” she said before the flight. Not intimidated in the least by going flying for the first time, she opted to don a parachute in order to do aerobatics. A few climbs, descents, and two barrel rolls later, Eureka’s feet were once again on the ground, but she was already thinking about the future. She would like to become a pilot and learn how to do aerobatics.

After the flight, she got a better taste of aviation, working through the aviation stations with pilots in the Women in Aviation, AOPA chapter.

During the workshop, one lucky group of girls got the chance to meet AOPA President Craig Fuller and take a tour of the company’s Cessna Caravan. Fuller had flown to Sporty’s in Batavia, Ohio, to help kick off International Learn to Fly Day, and then traveled back to AOPA’s headquarters at Frederick to take part in the events and talk to members.

AOPA President Craig Fuller talked to Frederick area Girl Scouts and let them tour AOPA's Cessna Caravan.
Although International Learn to Fly Day occurs only once a year, the joy of flight instilled in children and aviation enthusiasts who learned about GA will live on throughout the year and, for many of these enthusiasts, their entire lives. But in the short term, the day will dominate most topics of conversation for those who experienced it. “I think we’ll be talking about this for weeks,” Brothers’ mom said after his flight. After all, the budding future pilot needs to tell everyone, “I got to fly the plane!”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Accidents Happen...

Glider crash injures teen girl - Air cadet taken to hospital after plane goes down during takeoff from Debert airfield

I assume it is the towplane that was at fault, rather than the female glider pilot involved in this accdent:

A teenage air cadet was taken to hospital with neck pain after her glider crash-landed at the Debert airfield early Sunday afternoon.

The girl, 13, and a woman, who was the pilot, were in the glider at the time.

The small aircraft was being towed and taking off when a decision was made to abort, said RCMP Staff Sgt. Mike Doucet of Colchester County RCMP.

"It came down fairly hard," Doucet said.

As of early Sunday evening, the cause of the crash was not known, he said

The glider was involved in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets glider training program, an airport official said.


No air cadet officials could be reached to confirm the information about the training program.

RCMP officers and paramedics were called to the airfield near Truro at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The girl was taken to hospital, said Krista Beck, an Emergency Health Services spokeswoman.

The airport has three paved runways. Colchester Regional Development Authority operates it.

According to a regional gliding school website, the air cadet gliding program began in Alberta in 1965 to introduce potential pilots to flying. Sites were later added across Canada.

The Debert airfield became the Atlantic regional training school in 1985.

Its goal is to provide about 50 cadets with 10 hours flying experience each summer to help them qualify for a Transport Canada glider pilot licence.

Those who continue with their training can go on to earn a private pilot licence.

An investigator with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada was aware of the crash Sunday but confirmed the board is not looking into what happened.

"The military have their own investigators. We don’t get involved," Neil Pinsent said.

Read the original here:
http://thechronicleherald.ca/NovaScotia/1181546.html

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Be A Part of History: Be a Sponsor of the Blue Thunder


In time for Speed Record, Oshkosh, and Reno: Sponsorship Opportunity with Blue Thunder II
www.BlueThunderAirRacing.com

Here's a press release I just received:

Reno, Nevada – May 10, 2010: John Parker, championship-winning pilot and builder of Reno Air Race contenders Blue Thunder and Blue Thunder II, has opened the door to several sponsorship levels, even as his planned record attempt in Blue Thunder II is just a month away, in public view, at the Golden West Fly-In (Marysville, California, June 11-13).

John’s race-built Thunder Mustang (Blue Thunder II looks like a ¾ scale P-51 Mustang… and flies faster than the original) will be shooting for the world 100-kilometer speed record in class C1c, currently 339.51 mph.

Blue Thunder set shorter-distance records (for 3km and 15km) several years ago, and still holds them, at speeds over 370mph. Those records established Parker’s effort as the fastest normally-aspirated vehicle of any kind, ever.

“The 100km record, in a new machine, looks achievable,” said Parker, who averaged over 350mph in Blue Thunder II at the Reno Air Races last September. “We’ve done a lot of development since then,” Parker added, “and we now believe that ‘Blue II’ is even faster than the original.” (Parker’s original Thunder Mustang was destroyed by fire in 2007.)

Parker is offering big-time exposure to companies that cater not just to aviation, but to fans of excitement: speed sells, and a flashy, well-prepared and sexy airplane turns heads – eight million impressions’ worth, according to Parker. One three-foot advertisement is available right on Blue Thunder II herself! Certain sponsorship levels also bring customized product endorsements by ‘Blue II’ team members; a permanent banner at the home of the Thunder Mustangs, the American Air Racing facility on the airfield in Reno; inclusion in media (TV, radio, and internet) reports; distribution of sponsor literature at select Blue Thunder appearances (which can also include an Oshkosh appearance during the largest aviation show in the world), and many other smaller but effective promotions. That’s in addition to exposure on the dedicated website, BlueThunderAirRacing.com. Sponsors are also invited to a family-style dinner at the Reno Air Races, following each day’s events.

Parker is also planning "fan" opportunities, like the privilege of being able to sign one’s name on the airplane itself. For donations as small as $50, fans at Golden West, Oshkosh, and Reno will be able to put their autographs on one of the most-famous SuperSport racing airplanes in the world!

Contact information:
Blue Thunder Air Racing
5805 Alpha Ave
Reno, Nevada 89506
www.BlueThunderAirRacing.com

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 29: WASP Homecoming 2010 at Sweetwater Texas

I just received the Powder Puff Pilot's monthly newsletter, in which she states the following:

I have the honor and privilege to escort two former members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) from Denver to this year's WASP reunion on May 29.

We'll fly my Piper Arrow to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, site of the National WASP World War II Museum and where many of the WASP received their initial flight training in 1943 and 1944. Thanks to Jan McKenzie of the Colorado Chapter of the Ninety-Nines for sponsoring our trip.

The WASP Museum has scheduled events throughout the day to honor our nation's military aviatrix pioneers, including:
--A fly-in of modern and vintage aircraft
--A good ol' Texas-style patriotic parade
--Free flights for kids, sponsored by the EAA Young Eagles program
--A luncheon featuring WASP biographer Sara Rickman
--A Meet the WASP panel discussion
--A Dinner & Dance in Hangar One with Dr. Peggy Chabrain, Founder and President of Women in Aviation, International, as guest speaker

You don't have to be a WASP to attend - all activites are open to the public. Click here for more information about this Memorial Day Weekend event.


Author Sarah Rickman has written a couple of non-fiction books about the WASP, as well as a fiction novel. You can go to Powder Puff Pilot to purchase autographed copies.

http://www.powderpuffpilot.com/products/books/adult/nonfiction/the-originals.aspx

May 27, 2010: Flying Musicians to Appear at Quiet Valley Ranch

Flying Musicians Landing at the 2010 Kerrville Folk Festival

-- Come Jam with Us --
Fort Worth, Texas –May 6, 2010: The Flying Musicians Association, Inc., a non-profit organization, will land at the Quiet Valley Ranch for the Kerrville (TX) Folk Festival, an event held annually at the Ranch 9 miles south of Kerrville on Hwy 16. Starting on Thursday, May 27 and continuing for 18 days (until June 13), the Festival will host performances by more than 100 singer songwriters and their bands. Interspersed between weekends are workshops in songwriting, blues guitar, and harmonica.

The Flying Musicians are teaming up with the Kerrville Folk Festival to establish a new venue, providing a jamming and camping area at the Ranch throughout the event. Primitive camping is available at the FMA site, featuring a main canopy/tent for refreshments, socializing, hangar chat and, of course, jamming. Look for the Flying Musicians Association tent and banner.

Sponsor, Mooney Airplane Company, is providing free parking on their ramp for FMA members, plus factory tours, hospitality, and shuttle service to the Festival during business hours.

Viewing the festival from above is fascinating and adds a new perspective. The Flying Musicians have created an atmosphere where enthusiasts of both aviation and music can converge to share their passions while enjoying a great music festival!

An RSVP is required to reserve a tiedown spot for the Fly-In MusicJam part of the Kerrville Folk Festival. Contact John@flyingmusicians.org for reservations and purchase your Festival tickets prior to May 23 to receive a 15% discount at http://www.kerrville-music.com.

Flying Musicians Events Before and After Kerrville:

FMA has committed to two additional aviation events. Even before Kerrville comes the Cowtown Warbird Roundup at Fort Worth Meacham Airport (May 22); later, there’s the DFW Summer Balloon Classic & Airfest at the Midlothian/Waxahachie Airport on June 11-13.

The Flying Musicians Association, Inc. took off in 2009 by blending two passions: flying and music. FMA was founded by two pilot/musicians, John Zapp and Aileen Hummel, who have made it their quest to encourage, promote, educate and support these two passions. The mission of the organization: “Pilot Musicians sharing their passion while encouraging and educating youth in the science and art of aeronautics and music.”

The Winds of Kitty Hawk (TV movie)

Was channel surfing this morning and came accross this, about halfway over when I first tuned in. The Winds of Kitty Hawk (1978)

I can't say I'm very impressed with it...but it may just be because I've never really cared for actor Michael Moriarty, who plays Orville. A favorite, John Hoyt, plays professor Langley. Interestingly, in checking the IMDB, I see that it won an Emmy.

In any event, as usual, historical events our changed to help add drama to the mix. The story switches between the Wright brothers working on their craft, and Samuel Langley working on his. And they are each "racing against the other."

However, the Wright brothers were working in secret on their project - I doubt if Langley had even heard of them until after 1905.

Still, the scenes of the Wright flyer "in action" are worth watching... although you can tell at times it's a dummy on board the craft rather than one of the actors.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bessie Coleman Foundation News: Apply to the Aerospace Leadership Academy



and

Bessie Coleman Aerospace Leadership Academy

In recognition of Bessie Coleman "Queen Bess"-
Who on June 15, 1926 became the first American citizen to receive an International Pilots License.

The Bessie Coleman Foundation, INC (BCF) will host the Bessie Coleman Aerospace Leadership Academy, June 15 & 16, 2010 in
Memphis, TN, for highly motivated young women between the ages of 18-24.

What is the Bessie Coleman Aerospace Leadership Academy?

The Bessie Coleman Aerospace Leadership Academy is a two day workshop designed to utilize the proven skills of Bessie Coleman to
expose and influence young women to set goals, and to consider aviation and aerospace technology as a career.

Participants will become familiar with careers in aviation and aerospace through tours, guided discussion with professional aviators
and lectures. They will also explore practical leadership skills such as financial literacy, setting goals, conflict resolution, and
communication, through workshops and seminars.

What’s in it for me?

The Bessie Coleman Aerospace Leadership Academy is all about preparing you to be successful!

-You will be given the unique opportunity to meet African-American women who are successful in aviation and aerospace
technology.

-You will also be taught leadership skills that will be useful wherever your life takes you.
-You will discover how to use your talents to become a positive influence to society.
-You will be a better person because of your knowledge of Queen Bess!
What will it cost me to attend?

Two days of your time -Tuesday, June 15 and Wednesday June 16 from 8am to 3:30 pm. Also – you must be able to attend a
graduation reception in your honor on Wednesday, June 16 from 6pm to 8pm. "THAT'S ALL!!"

The Bessie Coleman Aerospace Academy is FREE!

Upon completion of the Academy, you will be invited to attend and participate in the BCF Fly-Sister-Fly Empowerment Breakfast on
Wednesday, August 4 2010 at the Downtown Marriot in Memphis, Tennessee.

Who is eligible to apply?

Young women in the Memphis, Tennessee area between the ages of 18-24 (high school graduates), who are ready to put their minds
to work, who are prepared to develop themselves and pursue success on every level!

What is required of me?

Complete and submit the following application to jmyers@WeAreTheLegacy.com or mail to BCF, PO Box 3163, Memphis, TN 381733163. DEADLINE for submission is May 21, 2010. Call more information contact Jennifer Myers at jmyers@wearethelegacy.com or
Thelma Rudd at 901-219-7544.

I wasn't able to uploadd the application here, becaue it's in PDF, but you can download it by going to http://wearethelegacy.com/Bessie%20Coleman%20Aerospace%20Leadership%20Academy%20Form.pdf

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Long Island, NY: Its role in aviation

The Aviation Foundation of Long Island

(Which quotes from http://www.cradleofaviation.org/history/main.html)

Sparsely populated, as evidenced by the once thin scatter of farmhouses, Long Island, still in its nascent state, had been carpeted by forests, but a single, central clearing, the largest east of the Mississippi River, stood like an oasis in the desert, and served as a spawning ground for aerial life. It was called the “Hempstead Plains.” Almost predestined as the threshold to air, its flat, unobstructed expanses called to flight, providing a venue for aircraft experimentation, flying fields, and piloting schools, an area where vehicles spread wings and rose from the womb which had incubated them, pursuing an ascending path which would one day eclipse the atmosphere and connect the planet with its moon.

Located on the eastern edge of the country, a dividing line which only pointed transcontinentally toward the west or transatlantically to the European continent, the area, in close proximity to New York, the world’s most populous city, only served to geographically cement this aviation foundation.

Glenn Hammond Curtiss, the first to aerially triumph over Long Island with his Golden Flyer biplane, won the Scientific American trophy after making a 25-kilometer, 30-circuit flight round Mineola Airfield on July 17, 1909, attracting other aeronautically-inspired people and the first commercial buyer of an airplane.

The burgeoning aviation interest and experimentation, quickly eclipsing the boundaries of the tiny field, resulted in the establishment of the nearby Hempstead Plaines Aerodrome whose almost 1,000-acre expanse had sprouted 25 wooden hangars and grandstands by the summer of 1911. The Moissant School, the country’s first such civilian institution, had opened with a fleet of seven Bleriot monoplanes operating out of five structures. It subsequently issued the first female pilot license, to Harriet Quimby. [Quimby's best friend was fellow pilot, Mathilde Moisant.]

Long Island’s soil, nurturing aviation as much as grass, had provided the stage for the first International Aviation Meet the prior year at Belmont Park in Elmont, attracting both US and European pilots who raced and established speed and performance records with an ever-increasing collection of early designs, while Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn had served as the origin of the first transcontinental flight piloted by Calbraith Rogers in a Wright Brothers’ designed EX Vin Fiz biplane on September 17, 1911. It terminated in San Diego, California, 49 days later, despite a dizzying array of enroute stops and airframe reconstruction-necessitating crashes.

The first US airmail route, albeit the short, temporary, six-mile stretch from Garden City to Mineola in a Bleriot aircraft, also occurred that year.

Hempstead Plains Airfield, assuming a military role, provided the location for New York National Guard pilot training in 1915, and two years later, it had become one of only two Army fields in the United States with a fleet of four Curtiss JN-4 Jenny aircraft. It had also been the year when it had been redesignated “Hazelhurst Field,” in honor of an Army pilot who had lost his life in an airplane accident.

In order to cater to increased Army pilot training demand, Field #2 had been established south of the existing Hazelhurst Airport in 1917 and was subsequently renamed “Mitchel Field” in July of the following year after then-New York City Mayor John Purroy Mitchel.

The first regularly scheduled air mail service, occurring in May of 1918 from Washington to Belmont Park with Curtiss Jennys, yielded to the first heavier-than-air craft transatlantic crossing from Long Island to Portugal the following year with a trio of Navy-operated, quad-engined, amphibious Curtiss NC flying boats, only one of which ultimately reached the European continent after two intermediate stops in Newfoundland and the Azores.

The roots of many Long Island aircraft manufacturers were planted during World War I.

The “Golden Age of Aviation,” associated with numerous speed, distance, and altitude records, resulted in two famous nonstop flights. The first of these, entailing a single-engine Fokker T-2, had resulted in a 26-hour, 50-minute transcontinental crossing from Roosevelt Field to San Francisco in 1923, while the second had been Charles Lindbergh’s world-renowned, solo, nonstop, transatlantic flight four years later, on May 20, 1927, in the Spirit of St. Louis.

Following its almost symbolic roll-out into the fog-shrouded dawn prior to departure, the silver monoplane was plunged into the darkness, doubt, and obscurity of consensus belief concerning the attempt, yet the tiny orange glow piercing the sky on the horizon somehow reflected promise and hope–a target for which to aim. From the present standpoint, however, France seemed just as infinitesimal in size. Yet, the precarious, mud- and water-impeding take off, which barely cleared the trees, served as the threshold to the successfully-covered 3,610 miles across the Atlantic to Paris.

By 1929, Roosevelt Field, having integrated with its former half known as “Curtiss Field,” had been considered the “World’s Premier Airport” because of its paved runways and taxiways, instrument flying equipment, hangars, restaurants, and hotels, and by the early-1930s, had been the largest such facility in the country with 450 based aircraft and some 400 hourly movements. It had also been home to the Roosevelt Aviation School, one of the largest civilian pilot training facilities in the US.

During a three-year, post-World War I expansion phase, occurring between 1929 and 1932, Mitchel Field developed into one of the United States’ largest military facilities, with eight steel-and-concrete hangars, barracks, operations buildings, and warehouses, and served as home to many fighter, bomber, and observation squadrons. The first nonstop transcontinental bomber flight, operated by a B-18 in 1938, departed here, while two P-40 Warhawk squadrons had been based at the field during the Second World War.

Indeed, war-necessitated demand only served to deepen Long Island’s aviation core, resulting in an explosive peak of military aircraft design and manufacture by 1945, at which time some 100,000 local residents had been engaged in aviation-related employment, primarily with the Republic Aircraft Corporation and the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, in a man-and-machine merge which had ultimately triumphed in war.

The first of these, founded in 1931 as Seversky Aircraft Corporation, relocated to larger facilities, redesignating itself Republic Aviation Corporation seven years later and becoming the second-largest supplier of fighters to the Army Air Corps because of the copious quantities of superior-performance P-47 Thunderbolts sold to them.

The second of these, founded in 1930 by Leroy Grumman, became the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation and had been synonymous with Navy and amphibious aircraft, the former including the two-seat FF-1, the F4F Wildcat, the F6F Hellcat, the TBM/TBF Avenger, the F7F Tigercat, and the F8F Bearcat, and the latter encompassing the Grumman Goose, Widgeon, Mallard, and Albatross.

Changing, post-war conditions, however, began to pull at Long Island’s aviation roots, as no-longer needed military aircraft contracts were canceled and encroaching suburbs choked Roosevelt and Mitchel Fields into closure. Nevertheless, more than 64,000 civilian and military aircraft had been hatched by its manufacturers by this time.

Transcending the atmosphere, aviation transformed itself into aerospace.

Dr. Robert Goddard, who had successfully designed the world’s first liquid-fueled rockets in Massachusetts, received a $50,000 grant from Harry Guggenheim on Long Island to pursue related research and testing, and he ultimately designed a liquid fuel rocket engine, a turbine fuel pump, and a gyroscopic-controlled steering device.

Eleven aerospace companies subsequently bid to design and produce the needed Lunar Module transfer component of the Project Apollo Moon Mission, enabling crew members to travel between the orbiting Command Module and the lunar surface, and NASA awarded Grumman the contract in 1962. Two simulators, ten test modules, and 13 operational Lunar Modules had been built during the Apollo Program, the most famous of which had been the LM-5 “Eagle,” which had disappendaged itself from the Apollo 11 spacecraft on July 20, 1969 and connected the first human being with the moon, leaving his footprint and the base of the Lunar Module itself as eternal evidence of this feat.

The aviation seed planted on Long Island’s Hempstead Plains had thus sprouted and grown, connecting its own soil with that of its moon.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Penelope Pilot's First Day as a Captain



Girls With Wings has brought out their firt book, Penelope Pilot's First Day as a Captain.

http://www.shop.girlswithwings.com/Penelope-Book-40.htm

Penelope has always dreamed of being a pilot. Today she is so excited to fly for the first time as the Captain on an airplane. Follow along as she gets ready for takeoff!

This entertaining and educational book about Penelope’s crew and their preparations for a flight is targeted for kids ages 5 to 11 years. With the turn of every page, kids will be fascinated with the vibrant illustrations and informed with definitions of aviation terms. All profits from the sales of this book benefit the non-profit organization Girls With Wings, Inc. Includes a bonus stand up Penelope doll that girls can bring to events they discover on the Penelope Pilot Project website!