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Event Report
Event Reports - EAA AirVenture 2004

We're heading up to Wisconsin! July 21, 2004
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Article by Steen Staff
 
The Steen crew has loaded all the stuff on the truck and packed up the RV and we're about to head out! We're eagerly anticipating this show... the aviation industry has been making a good recovery since 2001, and with the long-awaited Sport Pilot rule having been released just last week (finally!), we expect this AirVenture to be especially significant. We think that the interest in all forms of "fun" flying will continue to accelerate quickly. Hang on, it's going to be a fun ride!

We are looking forward to seeing many old friends again, and making a lot of new friends as well. Our booth will be in the same location as last year (between the main gate and Paul's Park) and we would love to see you! Both the Yellowbird Skybolt and the Pitts Model 14 will be at the tent, and there are always many fine examples of Skybolts, Pitts Specials, and Great Lakes out on the flight line... and maybe even a Knight Twister. If you can't make it in person, then keep checking this page as we plan to take lots of photos and make updates on a regular basis.

Until the next report, fly safe, read your NOTAMs, and stay tuned!


Skybolt Flight - Melbourne to Oshkosh
Thursday, July 22 - Sunday, July 25
July 22, 2004
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Barrett Brummett and Mike Hughes flew the company Skybolt (the Yellowbird, N3HW) to Oshkosh, leaving from our home base at Melbourne International Airport in Florida on Thursday and arriving on Sunday. They had an interesting trip... the photos tell the story.


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The view out the front of the Skybolt.  
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Barrett acts as PIC on this leg.  
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The mirror mounted behind the cabanes makes it easy to Check your Six.  
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The Florida peninsula disappears into a layer of haze.  
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A quarry appears off the wing in Tennessee.  
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Mike and Barrett turn and take a look.  
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The Smokey Mountains live up to their name.  
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Tennessee is very pretty from the air.  
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Time for a self-portrait.  
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Mike poses with the Yellowbird in Knoxville.  
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Mike and Barrett stayed at the Maplehurst Inn, a Bed & Breakfast in Knoxville.  
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Mike and Barrett really roughed it the first night.  
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Not a bad place to stay.  
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Knoxville has some really beautiful spots.  
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The Tennessee River runs right through downtown Knoxville.  
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Soaring is popular in the mountains of Tennessee, where the slopes can allow for day-long flights over hundreds of miles.  
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Biplanes and grass strips go together well.  
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The airport dog makes sure that all is well with the runway.  
   
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Mike and Barrett stopped to check out a Sprint-car race.  
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Believe it or not, this $60,000 engine will be replaced after the race.  
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The chassis only lasts for a dozen or so races.  
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Racing under the lights.  
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We continue our journey towards Wisconsin.  
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The fledgling Poplar Grove Vintage Wings and Wheels Museum is located at the Poplar Grove Airport in Illinois (C77). The museum has Corbin Baby Ace S/N 1.  
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This Fleet Bipe has a Kinner radial on the front.  
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Mike goes for a ride in a J-3.  
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A nice-looking 1944 Grumman Widgeon taxies by.  
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Mike brings the Yellowbird in for a safe arrival at Oshkosh. (If you look closely in the mirror, you can see 932 planes following them in.)  
   

Travelling to Oshkosh July 23, 2004
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Article by Steen Staff
 
We loaded up the truck and the RV (with the Pitts 14 fuselage in tow) and headed up on Thursday, July 22. On the way to Oshkosh, we stopped by Jeff Robert' house to deliver a freshly-minted set of Skybolt Delta wings... Jeff is one of our initial beta builders and is making good progress on his Delta project. The remainder of the trip went pretty smoothly and we all looked forward to another great convention.


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Thursday morning: everything's packed and we're ready to roll!  
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There's no doubt about where this RV is headed to!  
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An unusual sight for a tire repair shop.  
 
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At a truck stop, we ran into a Civil Air Patrol group from Connecticut coming back from a CAP event in Indiana.  
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There's not too much room left once the truck is loaded up.  
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We stopped at Jeff Robert's place in Indianapolis to drop off the wings for his Skybolt Delta project. Jeff is an experienced builder and is helping us to tweak the final design.  
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As you can see, Jeff is making excellent progress on it.  
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Carefully extricating the wings from the truck was almost a mini-project in itself.  
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Here they come...  
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The guys carry the wings in.  
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The wings have a safe, secure storage location in Jeff's shop.  
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We saw some interesting sights along the way.  
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An encouraging sign.  
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More encouragement.  
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"EAA Air Show"... now that is an understatement!  
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Many motorists did a double-take when we drove by, Model 14 in tow.  
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FINALLY HERE! Paul and Sherry Goetsch celebrate a safe arrival (to Oshkosh, that is!)  
   

Pre-Show Setup July 26, 2004
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Setting up is always a huge task, but after attending Oshkosh and Sun 'N Fun for several years now we've gotten the process to run pretty smoothly. We start packing the truck weeks before the show, we arrive several days before the show starts, and then we work very hard to be ready for opening day. Of course, no two events work out the exact same way, and the logistics can be challenging. Yet somehow, it all seems to come together in time. We're blessed to have such a dedicated crew that can make this happen twice a year!


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The cutaway M14 engine (on loan from George Coy of Gesoco) is always a popular showpiece.  
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First, we erect the main tent to provide some needed shade.  
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Then we put down plastic sheeting to keep the floor dry.  
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Then, we assemble the plywood floor panels. By this point, it's starting to feel a lot like work.  
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EAA staff kindly provided a tow into the vendor area for the Yellowbird Skybolt.  
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Mike Hughes and Barrett Brummet flew the Yellowbird up from Florida. That's a good cross-country trip in any plane, but being able to cruise at a pretty good rate (with the occasional acro maneuver thrown in, if you wish) really helps!  
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Barrett provides guidance while the Yellowbird is pushed towards the tent.  
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Barrett and Mike swing the tail around.  
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Lots of activity surrounds the tent during the setup process.  
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We have to remove a pole and lift the front of the tent to get the Yellowbird in.  
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The Pitts 14 is assembled right inside the tent. This actually doesn't take very long to do.  
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There are always lots of things going on at once... Paul works on some last-minute details.  
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Paul is pretty well unflappable in the face of what some would describe as chaos. AirVenture is all about fun, after all!  
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Christy Everette (left), Cheryl Everette, and Mike Hughes take time to fuel up at the local Applebees.  
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(L-R) Justin McGahee, Jeff Long, and Rick McGahee enjoy a well-earned dinner.  
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Justin re-creates a scene from "Easy Rider"... well, kind of...  
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There were none braver than the FAC pilots who flew planes like this beautiful little O-1 Bird Dog on some of the most harrowing missions imaginable.  
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This gate will become a very, very busy place tomorrow morning.  
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It's amazing how convenient digital cameras are. How did we ever get along without them?  
 

Tuesday, July 27 - Opening Day July 27, 2004
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Tuesday (Opening Day) was very busy, as usual. Fortunately, we did find some time to look at the flight line. As anyone who's been to Oshkosh knows, it's impossible for one person to see it all in a week, let alone in a part of a day. There are fascinating things to see and experience everywhere you go!


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Our good friend Steve Culp of Culp's Specialties brought one of his new Sopwith Pups. He built 12 of them at once! This beast is powered by a 360 hp Vendenyev M14P (note the huge prop which spins "backwards".) The original Pup had only an 80hp LeRhone rotary!  
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Another view of the Pup. The airframe can handle +/- 10 G once all the streamlined flying wires are installed! Weight is 2400 lbs, cruise should be around 150 mph and the climb rate is expected to be 4500 fpm!  
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Please do not taunt the biplanes!  
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All of Steve's planes demonstrate exceptional workmanship. EAA has a good article about Steve's Sopwith posted here.  
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Word is that Snoopy himself is planning to flight-test the Pup soon.  
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The Pup's Steel struts are painted convincingly to look like wood struts.  
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The Pup's ailerons.  
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The "Red Baron's-Eye View" of the Pup.  
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A view over the nose.  
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This beautiful machine is a Goodyear F2G Super Corsair owned by Bob Odegaard of Kindred, North Dakota. It won in the 1947 Cleveland Air Races.  
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The Super Corsair looks fast from any angle. It should... max speeds are towards 500 mph and it can reach 30,000 feet in four minutes!  
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This is the only flying Super Corsair in the world. The F2G was designed to intercept Kamikazes in the waning days of WWII, and only 10 were built.  
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As usual, the Steen/Shapes Group tents were crowded with interested folks.  
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Fiberglass component guru Sam James and his lovely wife Patty came by to say hi. Sam does top-notch work.  
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Steve Jones returned this year with his nice Skybolt.  
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We can't even begin to describe this... umm... airplan... er, helicop... umm... flying machine?  
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Paul and John Goetsch hold up a C-5A.  
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How planes are born? The C-5A dwarfs Pete Clinton's Skybolt.  
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A well-done Pitts Model 12.  
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Another good-looking "Macho Stinker" Model 12.  

Wednesday, July 28 July 28, 2004
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Article by Steen Staff
 
There are always many fascinating things going on at Oshkosh... here's a sampling from Wedneday.


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It's doubtful that this Stearman ever looked this nice while it was actually in military service.  
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The Stearman has side access panels similar to the Pitts Model 14.  
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More details of the Stearman's forward fuselage.  
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This is a rare Ford 4-AT-A trimotor (most Fords are 4-AT-B or 5-AT models.) The large, corrugated Tin Goose was polished all over!  
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The Chanute is a brand new, high-technology aerobatic monoplane from CADCOR with many interesting features.  
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This is the first glass cockpit we've seen used for a purely aerobatic aircraft... unless you count military aircraft.  
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Airspeed and altitude... what else do you really need?  
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The Chanute has a neat rudder pedal arrangement.  
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The leading-edge extensions are somewhat similar to those on an F-16 or F/A-18.  
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This S1-S is owned by Robert Richards of Indiana.  
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The classic Pitts color scheme...  
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There's nothing quite like a Cub. This Wisconsin-based J-3C has a very attractive paint scheme. Note the vortex generators on the wings.  
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Gerrit Vanderziel's nice Pitts S-1S was built in 1977.  
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Steve Jones' Skybolt returned, with baby in tow.  
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Skybolt Jr. even has tie-downs.  
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The sleek, single-seat Polen Special first flew in 1972 and is now owned by Richard Keyt. It really is as fast as it looks... how about 325mph cruise on 200 hp?  

Thursday, July 29 July 29, 2004
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Thursday, retired RCAF Col. Fern Villeneuve came by. Fern is a legend in Canada, the same way that Bob Hoover or Chuck Yeager is in America. He was instrumental in the early days of the jet era in Canada, and was the leader of the 431 Iroquois Squadron's 4-plane aerobatic team during the Prarie Pacific operation in 1954, which demonstrated the RCAF's skills to the public. In 1959, he was chosen as the leader of the legendary Golden Hawks F-86 aerobatic team. Not too much later he served with the Canadian Snowbirds. He was also involved in developing the method by which CF-104's would have dropped nuclear bombs from low level had the Soviets attacked Canada. Today, Fern is still actively flying, and serves as a Glider tug pilot for the RCAF air cadet training program.


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Famed Canadian test/exhibition pilot Col. Fern Villeneuve (Ret.) drops by to see us. Fern was instrumental in forming the first exhibition flying team of the Royal Canadian Air Force (the Golden Hawks, flying F-86's) and was the first leader of the Canadian Snowbirds. He still flies, towing gliders for RCAF cadet training.  
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Paul poses with Fern in front of the Pitts Model 14. Fern also helped in the development of low-altitude bombing techniques for the CF-104.  
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The original members of the RCAF 441 Squadron Aerobatic Team (the legendary Golden Hawks) in Nov. 1952. (L-R) F/Os Jean Gaudry (slot), Ralph Annis (left wing), Fern Villeneuve (right wing) and Gar Brine (leader). (RCAF photo)  
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In 1997, the Canadian Mint issued a CAD$20 silver and gold coin with Fern's likeness on it. He's sort of a Canadian version of Bob Hoover.  
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This plane, N241ST - (appropriately named "Symmetry") was built by Cory Bird - who just happens to work for Scaled Composites... Burt Rutan's company. The composites expertise shows!  
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It is rumored that the whole plane is built to an accuracy of thousandths of an inch.  
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Even the latches on the cowl are high-tech. This is why this aircraft won the Gold Lindy Award (Grand Champion, Plans-Built) as well as the Stan Dzik Memorial Award for Design Contribution. Good going, Cory!  
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This plane is so slick it even has a retractable tailwheel.  
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The airshow at AirVenture is world-renowned, and always opens with parachuters and the Star Spangled Banner.  
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When the Poberezny's said they wanted to have a marshmallow roast, they really meant it!  
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Paul and John Goetsch pose in front of the Lone Star Flight Museum's B-17G "Thunder Bird".  
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"Fast glide. Slow Control." Flying report, or a reminder?  
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The USAF brought their newest airplane, the C-130J Hercules. While it obviously incorporates new technology, the basic C-130 design is now over 50 years old - and still going strong!  
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Paul and John Goetsch pose with the C-130J. The 6-blade Dowty composite props are used to absorb the 6,000shp from each engine (up from "only" 4,300shp in the H model.)  
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This Giles has a hot-rod paint scheme.  
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The Giles 202 is typical of modern aerobatic monoplanes.  

Friday, July 30 July 30, 2004
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Friday was another busy day. Here are some of the things we saw.


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The Steen/Shapes Group tent continued to be a busy place.  
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The Hatz biplane has been popular for several decades. This one, built by James Douglas of Colorado, is only about a year old.  
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This Hatz's "office" is elegantly done in a classic style.  
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More cockpit details. Mr. Douglas ought to be proud of this fine bird!  
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This 2002 Little Toot was built by Jim Longstreet of Michigan.  
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Another view of the Little Toot. This fully-aeobatic 1957 George Myer design began as a functional exact-scale model, and soon became very popular.  
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The Toot's cockpit is nicely-appointed.  
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Another view of the office.  
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Aviat brought this Pitts S2-C.  
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This is a Monocub built by Paul Dannenberg.  
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This is an original, Hisso-powered Curtiss Jenny! It was trailered from California to Brodhead, and then flown to Oshkosh. Few airplanes are as rare as this one.  
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This is a rare, one of a kind 1939 Waco ARE. Only four were ever built. It won the Reserve Grand Champion - Vintage Aircraft Award at Sun N Fun 2003.  
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An AV-8B Harrier does its thing... always an impressive (and very loud!) show.  
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A typical Oshkosh scene: a JN-4H Jenny and a Harrier.  
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Rick admires the PA-28 Cherokee that EAA was giving away in their Membership Sweepstakes. (Sorry Rick... someone else won!)  
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The airshow is always enjoyable.  

Saturday, July 31 July 31, 2004
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Saturday, famed actor and pilot Cliff Robertson came by to visit us. Cliff is a neat guy... he certainly hasn't let his fame go to his head. Cliff is a former Young Eagles chairman and in addition to his movie work, he has appeared on TV shows (such as National Geographic Explorer) to promote the freedom and beauty of flight. Cliff owns several aircraft, including a vintage Stampe biplane for which we provided the flying wires. At Oshkosh, seeing well-known celebrities like Cliff, Burt Rutan, and many others is a common occurance.


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Well-known actor and pilot Cliff Robertson stopped in to visit. Cliff has been a Young Eagles chairman and is actively involved in EAA. (L-R) Paul Goetsch, Cliff Robertson, Jeff Long.  
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Paul and Cliff mug for the camera. Cliff bought a set of flying wires from us for his Stampe biplane.  
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Rick McGahee says hello. Despite being famous, Cliff is just a down-to-earth guy who loves to fly, and has enjoyed having opportunities to introduce aviation to many people along the way.  
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Christy and Cheryl Everette get Cliff set up with some Steen information.  
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With the front pit covered, this Jacobs-powered Taperwing T-10 looks especially sleek.  
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The T-10 has an elegant panel.  
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We just couldn't get enough of the Goodyear F2G racer.  
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It just doesn't get any better than this.  
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Innodyn showed off this interesting turbine setup on a Cub.  
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Turbines offer some real advantages in certain installations, though the initial costs are significantly higher.  
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What would Mr. Piper have thought about this?  
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This is Scott Campbell's Pitts S1-S.  
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Ray Vetsch's Turbo Shark is a Sukhoi Su-26MX with a Walter M601-T turboprop on the nose and a pulse jet underneath (ala the German V-1 Buzz Bomb.)  
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This is a radical bird, indeed.  
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Have you ever heard a Dynajet run? It really makes you wonder how incredibly LOUD this thing must be when it fires up!  
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The flea market has everything... and eventually, someone will take on this "challenging restoration project."  
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The Reno racing Sea Fury "Riff Raff" was built in 1957 for the Iraqi Air Force. What a beauty!  
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This is a "new" Waco YMF, built in 1987 and registered to Robin Williams (not the comedian/actor, so far as we know.)  
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This is easily the most "packed" instrument panel we've ever seen in an open-cockpit aircraft.  
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The Waco has very clean lines and smooth curves.  

Sunday, August 1 August 1, 2004
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Sunday, we toured the EAA AirVenture Museum. This facility holds many rare and historic treasures covering not only the history of the homebuilt movement, but all eras of aviation history. This is a place not to be missed!


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The planes of the famed Eagles aerobatic team are enshrined in the EAA Museum.  
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This Clipwing Monocoupe is a Monocoupe 110 with 9 feet lopped off the wings. N15E was the last Clipwing built, and only one other still exists.  
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The 1952 Stits SA-2A Sky Baby was the world's smallest flyable aircraft for many years, with a wingspan of only 7ft 2in and a length of 9ft 10in. The Sky Baby's pilot, Bob Starr, built an even smaller plane in the 1980s.  
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The EAA's Spirit of St. Louis replica has a windshield, unlike the original.  
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This 36hp Aeronca C-2-N Deluxe Scout is better known to the world as "The Flying Bathtub", for obvious reasons.  
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Some more info about the Aeronca C-2-N.  
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The engine arrangement on this Aeronca K clearly shows its heritage as a C-2 replacement.  
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More information about the Aeronka K. The museum does a good job of informing visitors what they're looking at.  
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C.G. Taylor's E-2 Cub is a direct predecessor to the J-2/J-3 Cubs. The tiny plane has less than 40hp, and epitomizes low-powered, simple flying.  
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The E-2 info.  
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This B├╝cker Bu 133 is actually a replica built in 1967 by LtCol. Samuel Burgess. It has toured all 50 states (note the flags on the side) and has a 165 hp Warner Super Scarab engine.  
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Super Chipmunk N1114V was one of several that were flown by Art Scholl over the years. This one originally was owned by Skip Volk, who (along with Art) flew a duet acro routine with it starting in 1969.  
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The Driggers A is a homebuilt from the 1930s. Fortunately, this beautiful example remains airworthy.  
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The Driggers is powered by a 60hp 3-cylinder Lawrence L-4 radial.  
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Driggers A info.  
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The incredibly sleek, but never flown, Bugatti Model 100 racer hangs in the museum. It was designed in 1939 to reach 550mph.  

Monday, August 2 August 2, 2004
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Article by Steen Staff
 
By Monday, things had slowed down considerably and towards the end of the day, the vendors were all taking down their displays. It was a good show, the attendance was good and things went pretty smoothly all around. After a very busy week at an airshow, it is always good to finally head home.


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Steen's hardworking Oshkosh crew: (Rear, L-R) Paul and Sherry Goetsh, Rick McGahee, Jeff Long, John Goetsch, Jere Larson, Justin McGahee, and Andreas Kranz (our German representative). (Front, L-R): Mike Hughes, Cheryl and Jake Everette, Barrett Brummett, Christy Everette, David Stone, and Phil Everette.  
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Rick enjoyed a helicopter ride on a Bell 47.  
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Mike Hughes seals up the tent for the evening.  
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The Pitts 14 fits snugly into the tent.  
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After a good show, we begin the process of disassembling everything.  
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The Skybolt is wheeled out of the tent.  
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Take-down is a lot faster than the set-up.  
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We bring a lot of stuff.  
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Everything is packed carefully for the trip home.  
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Rick and Jeff work hard to get everything packed up.  
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Justin tries to be at home in the truck.  
 

Skybolt - Return Trip
Monday, August 2 - Wednesday, August 11
August 2, 2004
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Barrett and Mike brought the Skybolt back starting on Monday, August 2nd, going back the same way they flew up.


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A nice day in the mountains.  
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The wires and struts add a certain feel to the experience.  
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The view from the front seat.  
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Mike and Barrett pass by a mountain.  
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Beautiful scenery passes below.  
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Quite a few boaters were out enjoying a nice day.  
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The Yellowbird spent the first years of her life flying out of a mountain airstrip... this must have felt like home!  
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The Smokey Mountains are just that.  
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Picturesque mountains surround the plane... quite a change from our low and very flat Florida stomping grounds.  
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A golf course hidden in the mountains. Fore!  
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Sun glints off the flying wires...  
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Coming down the home stretch, a small shower created this beautiful partial rainbow. Space Center Executive Airport (TIX, aka TICO) is visible to the lower left while I-95 lies below. The Kennedy Space Center is directly across the Indian River from TIX.  

If you have any additions or corrections to this item, please let us know.

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