Re: Cancellation of Rutan Trubute flyby. Attn: Mr. Poberezny,Mr. Knapinski and Mr. Smith [text][html][heur][bcc][faked-from][mx]
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I write a column for our monthly EAA79 Chapter newsletter. This month's contribution kind of fits with the current complaining about warbirds. I have pasted it in below. I write to entertain....enjoy.
EAA Chapter 79
Spokane, WA....ps, if interested in complete newsletter with pictures, go to EAA79.org
THE OSHKOSH EXPERIENCE
I reckon every culture, (or more accurately in our case... "cult,") has its "Mecca." In other words, a place where all the fanatics of a common interest meet at one central location to completely indulge and gorge themselves on their particular passion. While the motorcycle guys meet in Sturgis, and the Quilting Moms of America meet wherever….none of them even come close to what the annual EAA convention creates. Every year they put on an event that exceeds the 1969 historically famous Woodstock rock festival. Attendance is always over a half million which is more than Woodstock. In addition, about ten thousand airplanes fly-in. Woodstock only had a few helicopters flying in the rock stars who couldn't get through the traffic jam.
About five thousand volunteers insure that the event comes off flawlessly. While Woodstock was short on Honey Buckets….that is never an issue at Oshkosh. And the grounds are so well kept, it rivals Disneyland for presentation.
I am certain that when EAA founder, Paul Poberezny, gathered a handful of rogue amateur aircraft builders in his basement in Hales Corner, Wisconson in the mid 1950's, he never envisioned the juggernaut that would evolve from his modest effort. A ride in the 1929 Ford Tri-motor gave us a birds eye view of the length and breadth of the event. It is enormous! Actually, it is beyond enormous...it is humungous!
So what is it about this airplane, Oshkosh thing? My theory is that it is primarily a "guy" thing. That is not to say that aviation does not have its share of accomplished women pilots and aircraft builders...a pink RV with flowers was proof of that...but the testosterone at this thing goes into the massive overdose proportions.
You've got your ultralight area with your docile little birds, with delicate gossamer wings, and tiny chainsaw motors coaxing pilots into the air. And surely these guys spend their non-flying hours at some "green environment rally" and drive a Toyota Prius hybrid. And while the attendance at the ultralight area is respectable, it is easy to see where the real action is.
As if by design, the WARBIRD area is at the opposite end of the field. Here you will find your rough and rugged aviator wannabes. Often they are wearing their oil stained, worn flight jacket even if its 85 degrees out. The heavy metal birds line the concrete ramp. They have to be on the concrete, if they were on grass like the ultralights they would probably sink up to their wheel pants. One Corsair or P-38 probably weighs as much as a hundred ultralights. And while the little guys measure their horsepower in single or double digits...these guys are into the thousands of hp on each engine. But its not just the size, power and weight...they also have way cool guns and bombs. And the sound...my gawd, the sound! Our patriotic (and rich) warbird owners and pilots dominated the fly-by scene. You get a slug of those WWII fighters flying down the flight line with the engines roaring and you could probably hear a chorus of "Tim, the toolman Taylor" grunts if it wasn't for the fact they are drowned out. And to top it off, the airshow guys light off a "wall of fire" pyrotechnic display that with a little imagination, you could pretend you were smelling napalm in the morning. Its over the top.
If the group of warbirds on the north end of the field wasn't enough, the last surviving B-29 "FiFi" was center stage at the Conoco square. Now we are talking real fire power here. This bird could carry atom bombs!
The power, speed, smell, sound, guns is all great. But what if you combine all of that into a fighter jet that can hover? At Friday's airshow, a Harrier wowed the crowd. Someone said it was privately owned. Now that is my idea of the wealthy letting it trickle down. At thirty gallons a minute when it is hovering...that is a hefty trickle. When this jet hovers at center field, with engines roaring so loud it is almost deafening, it looks like something out of science fiction. While regular jet fighters shoot their guns while making a strafing pass, you could imagine this guy just rotating on a massive column of hot air as he blew away anything he wanted. After he shut down his engines, you could almost hear the faint buzz of an ultralight at the south end.
If warbirds aren't your thing, (you certainly aren't a real man) but you can find nearly an infinite number of homebuilts, antiques, classics, canards...whatever kind of airplane that turns you on. This Mecca is definitely worth the trek.
--- In canard-aviators@..., Elwood Johnson <ejandlinda@...> wrote: