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View Diary: This is a really pretty Kitten! (39 comments)

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  •  As I was saying to OS, it is a great deal of fun.. (5+ / 0-)

    ..bringing rare/exotic aircraft to you all. I had thought of adding something to my sig line.

    'Purveyors Of Fine Aircraft To The Kos Comminuty Since November, 2012'

    'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

    by shortfinals on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 06:34:28 PM PST

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    •  I bet the community might enjoy hearing about... (6+ / 0-)

      ....the gorgeous DeHavilland "Grosvenor House"...

      doesn't it reside somewhere near you?

      Or maybe the DeHavilland Rapide biplane that used to belong to the royal family?

      These planes have been featured in the EAA's Sport Aviation in the last few years, both having been refurbished...

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 06:51:21 PM PST

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    •  I wish you could have met Frank Ryder. (4+ / 0-)

      He had a museum located at the Guntersville, Alabama airport.  He had 33 WW-I airplanes.  Frank was killed when he crashed in his brand new Piper Malibu. He was in the process of setting up a perpetual non-profit educational corporation, but was killed before the paperwork was finalized.  His family auctioned off the entire museum and all 33 airplanes.  Apparently the money was more important to them than the collection. It did not help that both his wife and son were killed in the crash.  They would have fought to keep the museum going.  Frank sponsored two airshows, the first of which was called Aerodrome '92, held in 1992.  It was there that I got to meet Otto Roosen, the last living pilot from WW-I.  Otto had the dubious distinction of being shot down by Billy Bishop....twice.  Otto was 99 years old that year, and died a couple of years later.  

      At one point in the show, I counted 17 WW-I airplanes in the pattern.  They had dogfight demonstrations and the show ended with a missing man formation to honor all those from all sides of the conflict who went up in those stringbags and have now "gone west".  

      I found a long video of that airshow. It is long, but chock full of eye candy for those who love dancing in the sky.

      I have a video of this event as well, but have not transferred the VHS tape to digital.  As far as I could find, this is the only video online from either the 1992 or 1996 airshows.

       

      The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

      by Otteray Scribe on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:22:38 PM PST

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      •  An AMAZING show....I, personally, would have ... (4+ / 0-)

        ....PLEADED with him for a chance at using one of the microphones! (I think I might have had the credentials for a 5 minute slot...even cover for 'bathroom breaks' for the other guys)

        It is a crying shame that Frank and his family were killed, and hsi vision lost!

        'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

        by shortfinals on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:03:31 PM PST

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        •  When they did the missing man formation (4+ / 0-)

          that was Frank pulling up and heading west in his Fokker D.VIII.

          I was standing next to the runway when that Sopwith Pup groundlooped right in front of me. The pilot was a local high school teacher and one of the pilots Frank had checked out to fly almost all of his airplane.  Being a high-time commercial pilot is no protection against ground looping a taildragger, especially a Pup.  I never saw anybody get unstrapped and bail out of a cockpit so fast in my life.  He was mortified but Frank was not upset with him. Frank reminded everybody within hearing distance that groundlooping any of these airplanes is all part of flying them.  At the time of Frank's death, that Pup was still hanging from the ceiling of one of the museum hangars by cables.  It was in the queue for repairs to the crumpled wingtip at the time of Frank's death.

          The videographer did not show the art display in one of the hangars.  Several of the big name aviation artists had displays set up and they were selling original paintings as well as prints.  I talked to a couple of the artists about commissioning a picture of my Skymaster.  The ones I talked to would be willing to work from a good set of color photographs, but the prices were a little steep for my wallet.

          The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

          by Otteray Scribe on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:22:14 PM PST

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          •  They showed some of the weapons... (4+ / 0-)

            ....on display, including a rare WW1 Luger Parabellum with holster/stock.

            'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

            by shortfinals on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:03:23 PM PST

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            •  There was a lot the video did not show. (3+ / 0-)

              It was a whole day of activity like a three ring circus.  A number of pilot/owners brought partly built replica projects in trucks and on trailers. Beautiful workmanship.

              There were several engines set up on stands, including a Le Rhône 9C, Gnome, and Clerget 9Z. It has been a long time, and I can't remember everything I saw. Fully functional, fully restored and looked as if they just rolled out of the factory.  All they would have had to do was hang them on an airplane, put oil in them and good to go.

              Frank was quite well off.  He invented the green dot on Delco batteries that tells you the condition of the battery.  He owned a plastic manufacturing company that make most of the plastic one-time-use stuff in your hospital.  Everything from syringes to incubation sets.   A renaissance man.  Poet, pilot, philosopher,inventor,  historian, teacher and philanthropist.  He paid travel and lodging for all the plane owners and pilots who came to the air shows to fly.  People came from all over North America to make it a success. Real guy, worked hard and played hard, drove a modest car and got his hair cut at the same little barbershop he used when he was poor.  

              Not all wealthy people are trolls.  Comparing Frank Ryder with another rich guy like Mitt Romney is no comparison. Frank was friendly and patient, and never treated any question about airplanes as a "dumb question."  I have seen him stop in the middle of a serious restoration project to answer some young kid's questions about the planes or equipment.  As for guns, he had at least one Lewis gun off an SE-5a on display under glass, complete with drum magazine.  Apparently he had all the paperwork to make it legal for him to own it.  

              The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

              by Otteray Scribe on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:32:01 PM PST

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          •  I painted a biplane once, in art class. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WakeUpNeo, Otteray Scribe

            It was a Curtiss Jenny, backlit against a sunset, great bank of orange clouds.

            The teacher preferred watercolor to oil, which is what I was using. He walked around a few times, didn't say much. Finally I asked him if he had any advice for me. He said, "I'm just waiting to see where the heck you're going with that -- it looks like a forest fire!"

            I sold the painting later for $50; sort of wish I'd kept it. I have one of the teacher's, a big watercolor of black horses in a snowy Mt. Hood meadow. It's beautiful, and I'm glad I have it in remembrance of a very nice guy. I think he knew that whatever he said, I'd paint it the way I felt it....

             

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