By the way, I want to mention that the X2 team benefitted greatly from the Sikorsky counter-rotating XH-59A of the late 1970s and `80s, that went 245 knots true airspeed. The X2 team simply built its “house” on the XH-59A foundation, and some of the engineers who achieved the 245-knot speed, but with severe stability problems, are still at Sikorsky today to enjoy the moment. All told, there were 70 employees involved with the X2 from time to time, but no more than 30 at one time. There were 12 key players working 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., unless they came in at 4 or 4:30 a.m. Hats off to the two XH-59A pilots who sat there, fought the stability issues second to second, and went 245 knots in spite of them. It took two pilots because there were nine levers to control.
Did you happen to hear that music as they arrived at AirVenture, or perhaps as they passed overhead somewhere along the way?
It was a concert that I would love to hear again, but nothing like that is on the schedule–and such a gathering may never take place again. If you missed it, there’s a slide show on AOPA Online.
- Moved WhiteKnight2 out so that it could fly in the pattern (to the extreme delight of onlookers);
- Got out the Airbus A380 so that it could depart.
- Brought in a C-5, a C-17, and a C-130.
- Brought back in WhiteKnight2.
- And kept the huge crowds safely out of the way, but still close enough to enjoy the spectacle.
I blog today in praise of the ice cream and hamburger joint in Oshkosh known as Ardy and Ed’s. It is to the body’s circulatory system what concrete is to the builder, yet it is an essential risk. A root beer float shoveled between the lips near Lake Winnebago is the same as cabernet savignon sipped in Napa Valley. I take pills to fight what Ardy and Ed serve, and yet I return again and again. Drivers passing by get high cholesterol just from breathing the air, even when speeding. Fry my burger in a river of grease, Ardy. Pour me a bucket of root beer, Ed. Roto-Rooter will clear my veins.
CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE (Photo by Alton K. Marsh)
Nothing against Jet Blue, but I go to airshows to catch up on industry news, talk with other pilots, and see cool airplanes. Boeing and Airbus airliners can be cool in their own right, especially when you’re the person flying the airplane (or flying the simulator). But one of the reasons that I fly general aviation airplanes is to avoid lines like this.
Maybe these folks were just seeking a few minutes in the air conditioning, and a respite from the heat of the ramp….
First, as fellow Senior Editor Dave Hirschman notes, it can’t fly as high as Michael Jordan can jump. I wanted more altitude today during the demonstration at EAA AirVenture. Second, it seems a bit wobbly, difficult to control. It came to airshow center with two people assigned to hover by its side during the flight, grabbing training handles on either side to steady it should that be necessary. So if you buy a Martin Jetpack (really it’s a ducted fan), my question is this: Do you have to hire two people to follow you as you scoot just above the ground? Would I pay $100,000 for one? A better investment is to get in shape like Michael Jordan, and learn to jump. Or as Dave Hirschman says, “Buy a trampoline.”
In September 1968, N50405, a Cessna 150H, was one of the first two airplanes delivered to the University of North Dakota. UND was just launching its aviation program, which marks its 40th anniversary this year. UND sold the airplane in 1973, and the UND Aerospace Foundation purchased the airplane in April 2007. The two-place Cessna had spent the intervening 34 years only 150 miles away from UND’s Grand Forks campus. The 150 was refurbished over a 12-month period.
Today UND Aerospace operates a fleet of more than 120 aircraft, including a Cessna Citation Mustang. The restored 150 won’t be used for primary training, however; a UND representative said the airplane might be used to provide spin training for CFI candidates, and the university’s flight team would no doubt love to use the airplane for precision landing competitions.
your sense of awareness to engine performance.
You did check the oil right? Actually, twice. Is that the right fuel pressure reading? Yep, it’s normal. Is it just me or did the engine suddenly change pitch? Nope, it’s just you. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman and I made the pilgrimage to Oshkosh in AOPA’s company Piper Archer (not to be confused with the sweepstakes one) on Tuesday.
The questions I was asking myself and my own answers to them were bouncing around in my head as we made the crossing. We were heading for Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, and over the radio we heard a P-51 Mustang requesting an overhead pass into the airport.
Although I’ve made water crossings before, my mind shifted back to World War II. Both of my grandfathers worked as engineers, building fighter planes. Another relative of mine was lost in a storm in a P-51 during a raid over Iwo Jima. Anyway, one of my grandfathers told me once how they gold plated engine parts in the P-47 in case pilots ran out of oil. It would give them a little extra burn time.
What’s astounding to me is how pilots flew tremendous distances over open ocean water to find enemy ships. Then they attacked. It’s also hard to imagine dog fighting without land in sight. As it turned out, though, the Archer did just fine and the only enemies we saw were phantoms.