Monday, February 18, 2019

A Beast, Thought Extinct, Spotted at Lee Bottom

A "survivor" visits Lee Bottom.

Have you seen the image above? If so, you most likely received a 2019 Lee Bottom calendar. Although it may not be the flashiest photo (purposely aged), it is easily the most historically correct ever used.
Lee Bottom’s timeline is dotted with nearly every kind of aviation that exists, or has existed. From Barnstorming to maintenance, flight training to salvage, the place has seen it all, including a long stint as a duster field. Along the south side of the runway you can even find parts of junk Ag-cats, used as landfill, sticking out of the ground.
The plane featured here is one of the last “survivor” Stearman dusters. Still in its duster configuration (unrestored), and powered by a P&W 1340, it’s most likely the only one of its kind remaining – a true time capsule of aviation history.
Every time I see this plane I wear the grass in a continuous path around it. There are endless details to find and ponder. Some things are almost comical; others are mechanical exclamation points. In short, I love it.
Thanks to Mike Rutledge for bringing it by on a rare cross-country. “The Beast,” as it is affectionately known, isn’t something usually chosen for flights more than an hour or 100 miles long.
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***Thanks to all of you who participate in our annual calendar fundraiser. Each year you help us a do a little more to the field to improve it, and keep it open for future generations.

Would you like to contribute?  Click here.

The End


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