|1967 Hafe CH-1|
What is the best airplane page on Facebook? The answer, for me, is easy. It's "Vintage Experimental & Reproduction Aeroplanes."
The page currently does not have a huge following, and that's good. Once a group has thousands of followers things get "hinky." People start wanting to post unrelated items, next come the screenshots from flight simulators, and finally, advertisements for making money at home make an appearance. Soon after that the grim reaper arrives and folks scurry. Therefore, I hope the page stays stingy with its acceptance of members.
|Look at the craftsmanship on this bird.|
As it stands, many of aviation's greatest unknown enthusiasts randomly show up to post images of long forgotten homebuilts and reproductions. These folks reveal unique experimentals to younger members who never realized how amazing the homebuilding movement actually was in its early years. The evidence of America's greatest innovators, and the spirit of the country, are crafted into each and every plane on display. Some of the aircraft pictured are of groundbreaking designs, while others reveal evidence of broken dreams. Whatever the case may be, my God, aviation was so alive back then.
Unfortunately, there is an underlying message to the page that few stop to mention. Perhaps the truth is too painful for the enthusiasts to face. It took millions of years to etch dinosaurs in stone and only five or six decades to do the same with airplanes.
If you are interested in archeology, but don't like to get dirty, all you need to do is visit the Vintage Experimental & Reproduction Aeroplanes page on facebook. It's a fossil record you uncover with a keyboard - if you can get in.
|The Swannee Special|
NOTE: I firmly believe there should be an entire wing, no, and entire building, at the Smithsonian, dedicated to homebuilding and experimentals. There is no other realm of aviation more diverse and representative of the American spirit, and aviation itself.