Around the Airport

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Simple Tailwheel Flying Test

It is my pleasure to bring you the world's shortest tailwheel knowledge test.  Once you watch the following video, you need only read and then answer three questions correctly to show advanced knowledge of such flying.



Questions:
1.  What is the appropriate attitude for take off?
2.  How is landing on a carrier different from landing on land?
3.  How does this training video tell you to wheel land the T-6?


When Will Connecticut Admit Their Mistake?

If you read NORDO News, you know about the recent fight to right a major wrong in Connecticut. Wait, I just realized I need to be very specific.  I'm talking about the bill the Governor of Connecticut signed decreeing Gustave Whitehead as the first in flight despite absolutely ZERO credible evidence of such a thing. 
Sure, some of you may point to the fact the "Gustavites" have been trying to get someone to buy into their BS for decades.  You may also treat that as smoke from a fire.  Unfortunately, each and every one of those decades they have been proven wrong.  Yet, likely in the interest of a tourism slogan, Connecticut showed itself to be a willing conspirator when it dove headfirst into a photo claimed as new evidence. Shortly thereafter the state passed and signed into law a bill that proclaimed their belief in the myth.  The photo was then easily disproved and the Governor's signature now lies firmly printed on a sham.
Wow, that's a tough place to be.  How embarrassing.  I mean, it's almost as bad as signing a bill that says Bigfoot exists in Houston.  So how do we all get past this?Someone is going to have to swallow their pride; uummm, that would be you Connecticut.
While we all wait for that moonwalk, a group of historians are building an overwhelming show of evidence and support for the overturning of this folly.  And by overwhelming, I mean so much that even the Governor of Connecticut would understand how silly the bill he signed is.  Let's hope they accomplish their goal.
Fortunately, the effort is starting to get traction as evidenced by a recent news conference held by Ohio and North Carolina legislators. The Aero-News Network reports that during this event the representatives, whose states share a common bond to the Wright brothers, spoke out against the Connecticut bill.  Furthermore, working as a unified forcce they released a document signed by 34 historians, archivists, authors and others showing support for their effort. The document can be read here.
Let's all hope this is over soon.




Runway Resurfacing Starts Tomorrow


If you're out and about and flying to Lee Bottom you may see some equipment* on the runway. If you do, just fly by and all associated workers* and machinery* will move off to the side so you can land.  Over the next week or two, depending on the ability of the contractors* to get the job done on schedule*, the daytime resurfacing effort could be quite hectic*.  Although all employees* know to look for and accommodate aircraft traffic whenever possible, they are known to move slow* before their first Red Bull.  Therefore, again we ask that you exercise patience while we improve the primary landing surface.
* The terms workers, contractors, and employees refers to Ginger and Rich.  The words equipment and machinery should be equated to our tractors and associated accessories.  As for schedule, hectic, and slow, they all mean the same thing which is whenever we have time and whatever pace we chose.  There is no guarantee of timeliness.  Employees are not required to move from the runway for FAA, TSA, or Homeland Security personnel.  All governmental visits must be by appointment.  Beer and pizza are welcome as gifts as long as they are gluten free.  The animals are sheep, not goats.  It takes us 8-10 hours to do all mowing including trimming.  We're slowly rebuilding from the tornado but aren't there yet.  No you can't hunt here because that right is already spoken for.  We make no money from the airport and yes you are welcome to donate because that's how we pay for runway resurfacing.  No Mexicans are harmed during resurfacing.  If you have nothing to offer but smiles, that's perfectly fine.  Anyone not smiling will be escorted away.  Our dogs don't bite and two of the three are better than yours.  Our cat is extremely smart and he does the accounting.  If you get a bill for landing fees payable in tuna, yep that was him.  Rich likes his job but he'd rather be here flying old planes.  Ginger likes the airport but would much rather be 25 and hiking the Himalayas.  The owners offer no guarantee on your experience at Lee Bottom.  If you didn't like it, you probably suck as a person in general and should consider that as a reason you have no friends.  Despite what your doctors are telling you, ticks all over this region carry lyme disease.  If they tell you otherwise they are out of touch.  The river bottom is not some mythical place with strange diseases and animals that don't exist elsewhere in the area.  Of course, there is the mountain lion, giant python, and bear one person claims to have seen.  All other claims of rare sightings should be seen as reliable.  Tax, tags, and license apply.  Have you bought any honey?  Sorry but the cabin is out of service. Yes you can camp.  If you are flying a tricycle because people have told you taildraggers are difficult to fly, you are missing out on something great due to idiots and cowards.  No implication is made in this statement as to your ability to overcome Cessna feet.  It is a horrible disease which is literally sometimes fatal.  Dark Chocolate is to chocolate what a Morgan three-wheeler is to a Prius.  For our friends that own Priussss, sorry it's true.  That though is overlooked because you like cool airplanes.  Never forget that.  Did I mention two of our three dogs is better than yours and the other one is prettier?  That is guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the Lower Salude Savings and Loan.  The Lower Saluda Savings and Load is run by the Fed; full disclosure.  So far the Cloudboy is Rich's favorite biplane he has flown. Feel free though to lend him yours if it is something different so he can find out if there is something better.  Should you have something better, all attorney's fees are to be paid by the person who lost their plane to some guy who took off and didn't come back. Flying is freedom.  That is the only worthwhile reason to fly.  Experience it while you can.  If you like it, take one year off from your EAA and AOPA memberships and donate that money to our runway resurfacing and facility construction fund.  At least you'll know where money is going and that we are actually here because we love it.  Although like both of those organizations we too are rebuilding after a proverbial shit-storm, ours was actually a storm. Need we say more?  Support the cause.  Donate early and donate often.  Every penny has always gone right back into the field and for that reason it is still here for you to use.  You keep it alive and only you can.  That we do guarantee with no exceptions.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

There's Never a Video Camera When You Want One

Through the years I have seen some incredibly beautiful things from the cockpit.  Each and every one of them I would have loved to share with others. Unfortunately, there was hardly ever a camera or video camera to be found. And even if one could have been located, getting it turned on and in capture mode would have taken too long.  Thus such things serve as a great example for the general rule of all things beautiful; enjoy them in the moment for they rarely last long.
Fortunately, ever so often someone happens to have a camera handy to catch those magical fragments of time.  Sometimes they are even able to predict a scenario accurately enough to plan and execute the trapping of such beauty.  The later is what I believe happened in the video below.  It's been flying around the internet for about two weeks now and for some reason it never occurred to me to put it here for those of you who never see such things.   Be sure to watch it all.
Enjoy.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Great Friends, Below Average Weather

The Spartan based at Silo Field
Thanks to the folks at Silo Field for a great event despite the weather.  Although there was some confusion on my part about the correct day, I somehow managed to get there via a passenger seat in my brother’s car.  And as usual, it was a great time.
If you’ve never been to Silo Field, you’re missing out.  Being a private strip, the casual invitations go out each fall to a group of folks who know who to tell after that.  Then the owners make some special invites to car, motorcycle, and other vintage machinery folks to round out the list.  When they all come together, you get something special.
Other vehicles you see at Silo Field
For me, what made this year’s event great was seeing the group on hand.  A huge percentage of them, which was smaller than usual due to average weather, were people I really love running into just to catch up and hear how they are doing.  Particularly entertaining was the debate at the end that involved people trying to decide if this one guy should buy this certain biplane or not.  Everyone involved had an opinion as to how he should spend his money and as usual I somehow managed to throw a wrench in the operation.  From what I could tell, they had him talked into it until I walked up.  They asked me, thinking I would seal the deal by automatically saying “Hell yeah” and I said “No way”.   Fortunately, nobody took it personal and everyone got a big laugh out of it.  Maybe you had to be there?
Perhaps the best part of the day though was seeing my friend Art Francis.  He’s a book’s worth of stories in himself so I just don’t have the space to cover him here.  But I wanted to make sure to let him know how great it was to see him out and about.  He’s a great man everyone would be better for knowing.
As for the other folks, instead of listing all of you, I’ll just say it was great to spend some time together.  Keep in touch.
Finally, thanks to Mr. Boone for hosting the event and to all the others who help out with it each year.  It has become something I always look forward to.

Peak This Week

George Pascal enjoying a great day.
If you want to come to Lee Bottom to enjoy the colors of Fall you should do so this week.  Peak color is almost here and when it hits, the next day it will be gone.  So, pack up a picnic and come enjoy.  To get you motivated, here’s a photo I took many years ago of a friend flying his Stearman against some of nature’s best work.

It Looks Fun But How Can I know For Sure?

Every now and then something comes along that makes you sit up and take notice.  The Double Ender is one of those things.  Created not by using anything new but with great effort to pick and chose the methods and mechanisms that would best achieve the desired outcome, it is a real looker.  But, how does it perform?
From what I can tell, The Double Ender doesn’t perform any better than the typical tricked out Alaskan Super Cub.  Actually, some of the tricked out Cubs may be slightly better in ultimate performance.  Yet, if that was all that mattered, wouldn’t everyone be flying helicopters?
The Double Ender is not the first plane with this basic layout.  There have been several others.  One such plane is the Seeker.  Being the first though isn’t important.  Adding the missing pieces is.
There are three things I see about The Double Ender that make it different and better.  Those are the full wraparound clear canopy, the twin tandem engines, and something I’ve fantasized about for years, the ability to dump fuel.  The visibility out of The Double Ender, at least the tandem seat model, would be second to none when it comes to piston driven aircraft.  And as for the engines, although I would prefer something other than the Rotax, they have proven themselves reliable (I just hate the sound).  Additionally I’m not sure there is anything else of that size and horsepower being built.  But the important part of “two engines” is that you have two.  When it comes to dumping fuel, wouldn’t that be great?
Of course everything comes with a drawback.  The canopy will most surely help the sun cook you till you’re done.  The engines could tend to make the plane porpoise if it were on floats.  And the gas dumping could be interesting so I’m going to allow someone else to test fly that option as I’m not sure where the airflow will take the dumped atomized fuel.
Continuing with the inner voice narration; on the other hand there are see-through shades for canopies like that, the engines appear to have been placed at an angle of attack to partially compensate for power application pitch over tendencies, and I want to be on hand when they test the fuel dumping option.  Seriously, that could be one impressively expensive Fourth of July.  If it isn’t then it’s everything I hoped for.
But back to the engines; let’s be real.  Powerplants have always been the Achilles heel, the leaky radiator as you enter the desert, and the empty wallet in Vegas when it comes to aircraft success.  From day one it was the powerplant that made the aviation possible a reality or not.  The same goes for The Double Ender.  Yet from what I see, as long as the rear engine cools properly and doesn’t experience prop issues due to disturbed airflow, the setup is difficult to argue against.  And I have to admit, when flying around in the back country I would prefer to have two powerplants.
All that said though, there’s only one way I could ever be sure about any of this.  Do any of you know how I could get some time in this thing?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Are You Linked in?

Are you Linked in?  If so, and you would like to add the Lee Bottom Flying Field staff to your professional network, you can find us by clicking on the following links:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Vintage Biplane Gets Its Revenge - A Halloween Special

"Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaa"
Fly old planes long enough and you’re bound to end up with some odd stories.  Due to their nascent engineering and all the souls that have touched them, weird things often pop up like practical jokes.  A few years back it was a Great Lakes that played one on me.
Not that long ago, I used to ferry a lot of antiques.  Phony real estate values and a nationwide reassessment of our lives triggered by 9/11 had everyone mortgaging their homes to buy planes.  Some were just buying what they previously could not afford and others were chasing dreams.  Whatever the case, a lot of planes were changing hands at ridiculous prices and most of the new owners needed someone to fly them home.  That’s where I came in.  One such flight involved a Great Lakes.
Starting later in the day than expected, and with little time left to get home, I looked the plane over without dwelling.  Thankfully, a great deal of information about its history had already made it my way and no time was wasted firing it up for departure.  Information or not though, there are some things you always check.  Having never even sat in a Great Lakes before that day, on the way out I triple checked everything.
Was the gear tracking straight, did the tailwheel feel ok, and was everything rigged correctly, went the questions in my mind.  Five senses gave me the answers and a sixth verified.  All was good and I took off.
During the flight I would eventually learn two things about Great Lakes.  One of them is that they are spectacularly second place airplanes.  Knowing that may sound a little negative, please understand it is not.  Let me explain.

When I was a kid, I remember Road & Track doing a shootout between all the great exotic cars of the day.  Thrown in the mix, almost on a whim, was a De Tomaso Pantera.  Being the beginning of the Super Car Era, everyone was enamored with all the “exotics” which inherently ran engines built in far away lands.  The Pantera contained a Ford.
When the results of the competition were tallied, the writers were befuddled.  The Ferrari may have come in first in one category but the De Tomaso was second.  The Lamborghini came in first in another but the De Tomaso again came in second.  And so it went with nearly every aspect of the challenge.  And in the end nobody could deny the Pantera was quite possibly the best all around car of the bunch.  It hadn’t won a thing but it had placed high in everything.  That’s what the Great Lakes is, unremarkable in anything, but great at everything.  That was the second thing I learned.  

What was the first?  At least one of them is a practical joker.
Christmas gift alert - click here.
Cruising a little higher than usual to take advantage of a tailwind, things were going smoothly.  Below, rolling tree covered hills passed rapidly and I was happy.  I’ve never liked having limited options and the quicker I could get past that area the better.  Then, just as my eyes located the next “where I’d go” area, something tapped me on the back of my head.  I turned to see what it was.
Yeah, I realize that may seem funny but when something taps you on the head, airborne or not, you look.  Nothing was there.  Then it happened again; this time hitting the side of my head.  Turning quickly in the direction of the attack, no excuse for the mystery could be found.  "Oh well", I thought and flew on.
Maybe ten minutes later, another something hit me on the head.  Bouncing sharply off the canvas skull cap, it ricocheted over and forward into the cockpit flashing by the corner of my eye.  Looking around to see what it was did no good.  It had gone into the belly.  “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT”, I asked myself as I twisted to look for loose parts.  Everything was still there and firmly attached.
When it happened a fifth time the image of the Looney Tunes Gremlin went through my mind.  Someone was definitely having fun at my expense and I couldn’t help but laugh.  And yet, I had to find an answer so I turned to look again with the same results.  It was the strangest thing.  Twenty minutes later, whatever it had been wasn’t happening anymore.  Content to never know what it was, I relaxed.
Skirting under a cloud at the top of an updraft, buzzards surrounded me.  Enjoying the free lift they circled without care as the Great Lakes flew by.  Then “TWACK”, I was hit on the back of the head.  Equivalent to good a humored slap with a newspaper, at the moment it felt like an impact.  Jerking my hand back to feel for damages, I found nothing; no bird guts, no moisture, no dents, nothing.  My mind went wild.
Birds couldn’t fly fast enough, it wasn’t raining, and all the parts were still there.  What the heck was going on?
Considering all possibilities, I began to look for a place to land.  Something was definitely going on and if it turned out to be serious, I didn't want to have to think about where I’d go.   Then it happened again, “THWACK”.  Having begun watching behind me by looking at the glass in the instruments, I was even more startled to see nothing when I was hit.

“Was it a freak buffet created by this airplane”, I wondered.  My senses told me otherwise and in an effort to solve the riddle I let my mind consider anything and began to make plans to land.
Turning off course toward a field, something reached out and smacked me again.  This time though it was different; slapping my head continuously like someone playing the bongos.  It was starting to piss me off.

Behaving as a predator looking for the best moment to grab its prey, I took a deep breath and prepared to spring.  The plan was to move my head rapidly to one side and snatch it, whatever it was.  “OK, NOW”, went the dialogue in my head but by the time I had moved and my hand begun to reach, nothing was there.   Over my shoulder and into the cockpit something flew. I screamed; the plane banked.
Having allowed my mind to wander, this creature, several feet long with a leathery brown head, registered as a snake, chupacabra, giant rat of Sumatra, and all the monsters found after midnight on your local AM station combined into one.  Suddenly it was my turn and I slapped it hard as it leapt for my leg.  It wasn’t going to get me.  Fortunately, one good hit was all it took.  Well, all it took for my mind to catch up and realize what it was; the turtledeck headrest.  Then I laughed 'till I cried.
As with most biplanes, the Great Lakes airframe produces wildly varied airflows.  If you could see a wind tunnel test you’d be amazed they fly.  One such particular area is the point where air passes over the top wing and down toward the fuselage.  There, typically right behind the rear cockpit, some of the air turns forward.  It’s one of the reasons many old planes have the head rest.  In addition to the obvious, it keeps the wind from wearing you out while you fly.  But, if that headrest is held on with PK screws driven into wallered-out (technical term) holes, the same airflow can turn each stainless steel turtledeck fastener into a projectile aimed at your head.  I know this because we eventually found the one in the belly.
Like I said, fly the old planes long enough and you’re bound to have an odd story tell.  Fortunately, if you can get used to their practical jokes, you’re also sure to have a great time.  Just remember this; like humans, when you bore them, they act up.  Let’em sit and their joints get rusty.  Never leave the pattern and they'll break down when you do.  Cruise a Great Lakes straight and level for hours at a time and you’re sure to take a beating.  You’ve been warned!



Monday, October 14, 2013

Whatever Happened to That Bücker? (Updated w/more Photos)

A while back a fellow antique aviation nut posted a very unique photo online.  I was immediately drawn to it.  Obviously taken in WWII, the image was unlike any of the other hundreds of thousands of photos you've seen; a Bücker Jungmeister in American paint.
Andy Heins, most commonly known for his love of Wacos, isn't one to turn away from any biplane. Vintage flying machines are something he connects with.  And judging by what he told me about these photos, it runs in his family.
For a great video of a Jungmeister flying in Germany in 1939, CLICK HERE.

Here is Andy's response to my request for more information about the photo:

"When my fathers squadron moved France to a liberated airfield the Bucker was there. My father, being the commanding officer (C.O. Of Headquarters Squadron of the 9th Troop Carrier Command), claimed it as his. This was late 1944.  He said it was painted cream with orange and that he hated to paint it O.D.
At the end of the war, my father secured permission to ship it home as "squadron material" from the commanding general, who happened to be Maj. Gen. Paul Williams, head of the 9th Troop Carrier Command. My father was the generals personal pilot. My dad delivered it to the glider depo to be dismantled and crated. Everything that belonged to the squadron was shipped home. However, fate intervened and he and the whole squadron got held up for two weeks facing possible deployment to the Pacific.
When they finally got cleared to depart my father lead the squadron home with the General on board. When they arrived in the U.S., everything was there except the Jungmeister! He always wondered what became of it.
Fast forward to a year ago....started doing research and his Bucker was presented to the German National Aerobatic Champ named Felderbaum in 1939. He was a Luftwaffe pilot and kept it until he had to leave it at the field where the Allies liberated it".
So, is there anyone out there who can fill in the missing pieces?  Do you know where it is, what happened to it, or maybe just a little more of the story?  I'm guessing we'll never know but there's a chance someone knows what came of it.  How great would it be for Andy, and the family of the German aerobatic pilot, to find that plane?

About the man in the photo:
Of course, like so many other folks from that generation, there's much more to Andy's dad's story.  Fortunately someone thought to write it down.  And since Andy was kind enough to send it to me, I'm including it below.  Does someone in your family have a story to tell that isn't recorded?  If so, get it done.  Once they're gone, their story will be also.
Lt. Colonel Edison D. Heins was born March 7, 1918, in Jackson, Michigan.  Growing up in Jackson, he became enamored with aviation and had aspirations of being a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps.  He graduated high school at the young age of 16 and immediately began attending Jackson Junior College, where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Business.  While attending college, he pursued his aviation dream and learned to fly as part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) at the Jackson Airport in a Piper J-3 “Cub”.
Following graduation, he entered the Army Air Corps as a Flying Cadet and received his Primary Training at Parks Air College in East St. Louis, Illinois, flying a Fairchild PT-19.  After Parks, he was sent to Randolph Field in San Antonio, Texas for Basic where he trained in a North American BT-9.  Upon completion of that training, Lt Heins was sent across town to Kelly Field for Advanced training flying the North American BC-1 and AT-6.  He graduated in July 1941 as a member of Cass 41-E.  Being only 5’5” tall, he was selected for fighters and was assigned to the 31st Pursuit Group at Selfridge Field in Mt. Clements, Michigan where he would be flying the Bell P-39 “Air Cobra.”  Also while at Selfridge Field, Lt Heins had the opportunity to receive his multi-engine rating in an obsolete Martin B-10 Bomber. 
In September, 1941, he accepted temporary assignment to Patterson Field in Dayton, Ohio and was checked out in the Douglas C-39 (DC-2).  Returning to Selfridge Field in November, Lt Heins requested a transfer to Troop Carrier.  His request was approved and in December of 1941, was sent to the 11th Troop Carrier Squadron at Westover Field in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts.  The following year in June of 1942, the squadron was given orders to proceed to England via Greenland and Scotland.  He crossed the Atlantic as first pilot in a Douglas C-47.  On November 7, 1942, he was awarded his first Air Medal for “Meritorious Achievement while participating in the longest massed, unescorted, non-stop troop carrier flight ever successfully performed”.  The flight originated in England and flew non-stop to Oran, Algiers in North Africa as part of the Africa Invasion.  He remained in North Africa until July 1943 when he was promoted to Captain and became Commanding Officer of Flight Section, NAATC and personal pilot to Commanding General, Brigadier General Paul L. Williams.
In 1944, Capt Heins joined the IX Troop Carrier Command after Brigadier General Williams was promoted to Major General and placed in charge of the entire unit.  Capt. Heins was promoted to the rank of Major and assumed the position of Commanding Officer, IX Troop Carrier Command HQ Squadron.  While there, Major Heins participated in every major invasion in Europe, towing Waco CG-4A Gliders or dropping paratroopers of the famous 101st and 82nd Airborne. Major Heins also became qualified on numerous other aircraft to include the B-24, B-17, C-46, C-54, A-26, UC-61, UC-64, UC-40 and UC-78.
In July 1945, Major Heins returned to the U.S. and was assigned to Stout Field in Indiana.  In 1946, he followed Major General Williams to his new assignment at Greenville Army Air Base in Greenville, South Carolina.  In 1947 Major Heins was qualified as a “Senior Pilot” and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  Shortly thereafter, Lt. Colonel Heins made the decision to leave the Air Corps.  During his career, Lt. Colonel Heins had participated in the following campaigns:  Africa, Tunisia, Sicily, Salerno, Rome-Arne, Normandy, Holland, and Rhineland.  He was awarded the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, EAME Ribbon with 10 battle stars, ATO Ribbon, American Defense Ribbon and WWII Victory Medal. Ed Heins remained an active pilot flying Waco biplanes until 1978 when health issues ended his flying days.  He passed away in 1991 just days after his 73rd birthday.



Government Not Required



If you haven't heard about it yet, a group of RV'ers recently got together to set a world record for the largest aircraft formation.  Sounds like fun hu?  Well, what number did you think of when I said "group"?
49, that's the correct answer.  I believe they started out hoping for 45 or 46 but ended up with the greater number of 49.  Whatever the case, I have to admit, the formation is something to see.  It's not their first record though.
Many of the RV pilots involved in this effort have been breaking formation records for years. This one though had something special going for it.  The flight was held in support of breast cancer awareness and the University of Kansas Cancer Center. Furthermore, it was done as a flyover for the national anthem during the beginning of the Chiefs vs Raiders game.  This of course is the reason for the title, "Government Not Required".
It just goes to show you what ordinary citizens can do, on so many levels, when left to themselves.  With the absence of government aircraft, a better show was had while less money was spent and more good was done.  It therefore stands as a great example of the American spirit.
If you would like to see more photos or videos of the flight, check out this link.
And here's a video of the coordination effort during the flight.



Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Sky Siren Flies

Mark Lightsey and his guys at Aerocraftsman have another success on their hands.  The Sky Siren has flown.
Friday, October 11th, marks the first flight of this highly modified Travel Air. Having been on the radar of “antiquers” for several years, its mods and paint scheme are things you can’t ignore.  When you see it in person, you’ll be blown away.
Built up with speedwings, a barreled and cowled fuselage like a D4D, disc brakes, hanging rudder pedals, a 300 Lycoming and 2B-20 prop, this plane is going to make some news.  All in all it took 6 337s to get this thing approved and that’s only half the story.  Put to a point, this beauty has enough hours in it for three or four Travel Airs.  Heck, the paint scheme alone, well, look at it.  That’s all paint; no decals.  Its owner, Richard Zeiler, must be proud.
Mark tells me the first flight went well and lasted 25 minutes.  Cruise speed at 22” and 1900 rpm was 125 kts, speed over the fence for the first landing was 75, and that it three pointed nicely.  Of course, he could have saved all those words and just said, “It’s something you’d love to fly”, and he’d have been right.
Look for the Sky Siren at a fly-in or airshow near you.  This plane will surely make the rounds as it seems almost purpose built for viewing.  In real life or print, it is sure to please.
This new old girl is amazing.