Jim Savage, based at Butler, PA, rolled his Spartan Executive out into the sunshine this past weekend. Normally this is a maneuver that makes polished airplane owners cringe, because bright sunshine brings out the "frost" and scratches. However based on these photos Jim has nothing to worry about!
But let’s look back on last year’s event for a moment. What has come to be known as “Lakesburg” was perhaps the most challenging event the staff, directors and volunteers have ever had to deal with due to rain, rain, rain & then more rain !!
While everyone eventually and safely departed (via plane, car, RV or even tractor), Antique Airfield did not fare well. Remember images like these?
Well, when the mud dried, we were faced with a lot of damage to the airport and its facilities. Damage that has taken a lot of time and money to begin to repair & restore. Damage that was out of sight and mind for most fly-in attendees once the fly-in ended. But if Antique Airfield is to be ready to host the AAA/APM Fly-in just 120+ days from now, there is still much work to be done.
That’s why a portion of the funds raised, via our APM Capital Improvement Campaign for 2015, are earmarked for things like grass seed & gravel to help with the repair & restoration of Antique Airfield.
But just what is the APM Capital Improvement Campaign for 2015 you may be wondering ?
The twofold goal of the campaign will be:
Ensure the future and permanence of the APM.
Rebuild and maintain the infrastructure of the APM
The major infrastructure projects in the works for 2015, include continued replacement of the roofs on the APM hangars. Spearheaded by AAA National Director Gary Van Farowe and the Michigan AAA chapter, last year saw a much needed new roof installed on the APM Fly-Market building. This year the plan is to replace the roof on the N side of the APM display annex. That project is slated to happen in June and will tie in with the ongoing moving of the N wall in the Powell Hall display area.
But that’s not all. Another much needed project to be accomplished before the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in in September, is the replacement of the APM main hangar door (s). Per the suggestion of APM President Mike Gretz, in order to retain the period look and keep the costs down we will once again install sliding/track doors. Our research indicates a lot of advances in construction, serviceability and ease of operation of these type doors in the 40+ years since the APM main hangar was originally built and the doors installed.
Then there is the aforementioned need for re-seeding portions of the campgrounds, parking areas, ramps and areas around the buildings, as well as re-rocking all the access roads on Antique Airfield.
Finally for 2015, with the recent completion of the construction phase of the “APM Restoration Center”, the next steps towards making this facility operational are cleaning, sealing & painting the floor, installing new door seals and insulation on the Schweiss bi-fold hangar door, then installing/finishing the electrical, plumbing, heating and pneumatic systems.
So please consider joining with us & help us reach our goal and get these important infrastructure projects finished in time for the 2015 AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in.
The Florida Air Museum’s 1936 Aeronca LB. The APM donated some much needed parts for the LeBlond engine to help in the restoration of this Aeronca.
“Where are we going today Mr. Peabody??”
“Well Sherman, set the WABAC machine for the year 1971, Thursday April 15th to be exact. “
That’s the date of the “1st Spring National AAA Fly-in “at…..Lakeland, FL!! Yes, you read that correctly, the aviation event commonly known these days as the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo began as an AAA Fly-in.
Of course since that initial event in 1971, the annual event at Lakeland has gone from being an AAA Fly-in, to an EAA fly-in, to its own independent entity and event. It still has a confusingly strong EAA feel to it, what with an AirVenture “mini-me” cloned style that includes parking and headquarter buildings for homebuilt, vintage & warbird areas, a daily airshow, a large vendor/tradeshow presence and an on-site museum, among a host of other similarities.
From the Sept. /Oct. 1971 issue of the International Antique Airplane News.
My visit to Lakeland this year was only my second and like my first a few years ago, was mostly predicated on a meeting I needed to attend. In this case that meeting was hosted by Mark Baker of the AOPA and was in regards to the ADS-B (or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) mandate that will affect all aircraft and go into effect come Jan 2020. This meeting was attended by the manufactures, various aviation organizations and the FAA. I will have a more complete report on what was discussed during this meeting and how it will impact our AAA members and the operations of their antique/classic aircraft in the upcoming issue of the Antique Airfield Runway.
Though my visit was short I did get to spend time perambulating the grounds, looking at airplanes and happily bumping into many AAA members.
So following is a small selection of the aircraft and sights from the 2015 Sun ‘n Fun.
From renowned Triple Tree Aerodrome in SC came the Reserve Grand Champion Antique, Pat Hartness’s 1938 Spartan 7W “Executive”.
Sarah Wilson’s (AAA #23904-life) 1929 Stearman 4E she calls “Buddy”.
The Best Custom Classic was this 1947 Piper PA-12.
We thought the wind tee (built by Ercoupers’ as a memorial to Mike “Cowboy” Abrahams) here at Antique Airfield was the most unique use of an Ercoupe we had seen, until we came across this simulator at Sun ‘n Fun.
Mark Gilmore’s (AAA #23356) awesome Marquart MA-5 “Charger” was chosen as the Grand Champion Plans Built Homebuilt.
Aviat’s display, complete with a new Husky on floats, was a hit with the kids, though that likely had more to do with getting to go “fishing” for rubber ducky’s !!
Colin Hales from Oxford, UK is on a world tour with this Rands KR2. We first met Colin at the Cactus Fly-in, Casa Grande, AZ in March. He has a very interesting and completely different approach to planning & flying this diminutive wood & foam legacy homebuilt around the world. If you get a chance to meet Colin or hear him speak about this flight, do not pass up the chance.
Ed Hoffman’s 1946 Warner powered Fairchild 24 from Tarpon Springs, FL.
The all wood original design “Woodpecker”, was the recipient of the Best Innovative Design Homebuilt award.
Now that the 2015 Fly-in season is well underway how about a photo report on the season opener, at least when it comes to antique/classic aircraft.
Of course I’m talking about the Cactus Fly-in, held the first weekend of March at Casa Grande, AZ.
This year, the 57th annual, was blessed with sunny, warm weather (though a bit breezy on Friday) as opposed to the rain and wind which resulted in a complete washout of the 2014 event.
Also of note, the change in leadership of the Fly-in with Arv Schultz stepping up and not only taking the reins of the Fly-in but also the revitalization of the newly re-formed and re-chartered AAA chapter of Arizona, now called the Classic Airplane Association of Arizona (CAAAA).
AAA President Brent Taylor was the guest speaker at the awards dinner on Sat evening and besides giving a talk on the history, philosophy and direction of the AAA, the APM & Antique Airfield, he presented the CAAAA with their new official AAA chapter charter.
The “Ghost Ship”, a highly modified Stearman. Shades of the” Lone Birdman” stories from Sport Flying magazine !!
Barry Branin’s (AAA #18107-life) 1931 Waco QCF-2 from Morro Bay, CA.
John Nance’s (AAA #17227) 1937 Stinson SR-9B from the San Diego, CA area.
Elden Iler’s 1941 Monocoupe 90al from Van Nuys, CA. This ‘Coupe was owned/flown by Monocoupe guru Bud Dake (deceased) for years. The Fairchild 24 in the background, belonging to Lonny Woodard (AAA #16772-life) from Provo, UT, was the AAA Headquarters Choice award winner.
Fred Born (AAA #18372) from nearby Chandler, AZ explains to a group of local school kids the intricacies of his 1955 Cessna 180. A long term project in connection with the Cactus Fly-in is one intended to help interest children in aviation. Spearheaded by Linda Irvin, children from local elementary schools are brought out to the fly-in on Friday afternoon to talk with the pilots and look at their planes. The program has grown to include several schools and at least 300 elementary school children were seen touring the flightline on Friday this year. This program is truly a positive and proactive way to interest these youngsters in airplanes, flying and aviation in general.
A rare sight, two Spartan 7W “Executives” graced the flightline at the Cactus Fly-in this year.
This modified (P&W 1830 powered) 1954 YAK 11 is a regular visitor to the Cactus Fly-in and displays impressive performance.
Jim White (AAA #13458-life) of nearby Tempe arrived in his long owned and recently finished 1946 Bucker BU-131 “Jungman”. Jim also has his clipwing Monocoupe close to flying.
AAA President Brent Taylor giving a talk on the history, philosophy and direction of the AAA, the APM & Antique Airfield at the awards dinner on Sat evening. (Mike Friedrich photo)
Gerd also stated MT was working on replacement blades for the more common Hamilton Standard constant speed propellers used on many antique/classic aircraft.
MT Propeller & Gerd's dedication to the new manufacture of what is perhaps the hardest replacement part to find for restoration and maintenance purposes, is truly helping to "Keep the Antiques Flying"!
Though cold, overcast & wet a large group of our loyal volunteers showed up to help get several projects in the APM accomplished.
Mike Meir & Dan Quinn begin the work of removing and storing displays in Powell Hall in preparation of a major construction project
Among those, plumbing repairs/modifications in the APM restrooms, mounting the 12 cyl Franklin engine on a new mobile display stand, inventorying several donations of books, manuals and periodicals to the APM “Library of Flight”, the razing of the N wall of Powell Hall in preparation for installation of a new wall (which is now partially framed), lots of cleaning and most notably the completion of the construction phase of the APM Restoration Center !!
You’ve read that right. In March the building was fully insulated and on Sat the last of the steel was hung inside, finishing the construction phase. Next steps are cleaning, sealing & painting the floor, installing new door seals and insulation on the Schweiss bi-fold hangar door, then installing/finishing the electrical, plumbing, heating and pneumatic systems. Making the APM Restoration Center operational is in sight but more financial support and volunteer work is needed. More on that in a minute.
Mounting the 12 cylinder Franklin engine on its new movable display stand. Ron Hodges (2nd from the left) designed and built the stand.
More major infrastructure projects are in the works for 2015, with one big one being the continued replacement of the roofs on the APM hangars. Spearheaded by AAA National Director Gary Van Farowe and the Michigan AAA chapter, last year saw a much needed new roof installed on the APM Fly-Market building. Well Gary & the MI antiquers are back this year to replace the roof on the N side of the APM display annex. That project is slated to happen in June and will tie in with the moving of the N wall in Powell Hall (per above).
But that’s not all. A lot of time was spent evaluating another much needed project we plan to have accomplished before the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in in Sept. That is the replacement of the APM main hangar door (s). Per suggestion of APM President Mike Gretz, to retain the period look and keep the costs down we will once again install sliding/track doors. Our research indicates a lot of advances in construction, serviceability and ease of operation of these type doors in the 40+ years since the APM main hangar was originally built and the doors installed.
Steve Adkisson, Ken Marth, & Luke Pieper begin hanging steel on the walls in the APM Restoration Center. Note the spray on foam insulation.
Of course all of this will take money, so the Board of Directors of the APM asks you join with us in the APM Capitol Improvement Campaign of 2015. We have joined with Personal Fundraising Website, GoFundMe to help raise the capital for these projects. If all our AAA members, website subscribers, Facebook fans and interested parties would donate but $5 or $10 we will be able to easily reach our goal of $20,000.00.
And please make sure when you see, meet or run into the following people, who came from IA, IL, MI & MO on a cold, overcast and wet weekend to help move the APM forward, “THANKS” for their help & dedication;
Mike Meir, Scott Anderson, Larry Phelps, Ron Hodges, Dan Quin, Steve Adkisson, Ken Marth, Luke Pieper, Rick Gritters, Mark Lancaster, Steve Hendryx, Jeff Claypool, Aaron Klugherz, Harman Dickerson, Ben Taylor, Don Parks, Harve Applegate, Steve Black, Mike Gretz, Mark Robotti, Robert Taylor, Brent Taylor & especially Marcy Taylor for feeding all the troops.
The shop in the APM Restoration Center is complete but awaits the installation of electrical, heating & pneumatic systems.
Steve Hendryx working on the steel installation around the hangar door frame.
Gary Van Farowe, Jeff Claypool & Dan Quinn begin construction on the new N wall in Powell Hall.
The sponsors of the Cactus fly-in, the Classic Airplane Association of Arizona (CAAA), invite you to join them for the 57th Annual Cactus Fly-in at Casa Grande, AZ March 6th - 7th, 2015.
Fly-in Chairman Arv Schultz says with the move back to their traditional dates and hope for good weather, that interest is high from those already planning to attend.
In fact Barry Branin, noted Waco owner/restorer/pilot & AAA Lifetime member, has been promoting the event to Waco owners and sent the following; “The interest to attend this event is TERRIFIC! Spread the word and plan to attend. See you there.
So far I have confirmations from the following;
D. Allen Cabin
D Pyeatt F-7
D Chivens YMF
C Aldrich F-2
B Branin F-2
D Allen UMF
P Tackabury something old
L Whittlesey LWACO (twin)
Along with all the Wacos and other antique, classic, warbird, neo-classic & homebuilt aircraft to see, AAA President Brent Taylor will be the guest speaker at the awards dinner on Saturday evening and will charter the CAAA as the newest AAA chapter at that time.