Saturday, June 20, 2009

WhiteKnightTwo Steals Show at Plane Crazy Saturday

For the June edition of Plane Crazy Saturday, the theme was "Wings and Wheels", and besides the usual warbirds and homebuilts that show off for the public, this time a couple of local car clubs came by to show off their gorgeous machines. Planes and was a great combination that drew lots of folks in to visit.

Steve Ericson showed up with his gorgeous Great Lakes 2T-1A-2.

I know there's got to be a story behind the F-22 "Raptor 17" sticker on this MiG-15...I've asked around, but no luck so far. If you know, please comment!

But, stealing the show, was Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve. It wasn't, of course, a planned event. WK2 was supposed to do a fly-by yesterday, Friday, at the groundbreaking ceremony of SpacePort America in New Mexico. A funny thing happened on the way to Truth or Consequences, NM, however. A problem with a spoiler caused WK2's crew to have to divert to Phoenix's Williams-Gateway airport, where it spent last night. That put the return, by way of a substitute fly-by of Las Cruces, NM, right in the middle of Plane Crazy. It was almost too good to be true, and the combined hopes of the crowd that had gathered along the edge of the taxiway was realized as Pete Siebold piloted WK2 through a fly-by down Runway 26, right in front of us. Another fly-by down Runway 30, and a taxi past us, and it was instantly a day to remember...WK2's first airshow appearance. Mojave trumps Oshkosh (where the debut had been planned to take place).

There's nothing like flying one of the coolest planes ever made around the southwestern U.S. then coming home to a joyful daughter! Behind all the gee-whiz technology are real families . . . the heart of small-town Mojave is what gives Plane Crazy Saturdays its joyfulness.

Kids, F-16s, and WhiteKnightTwo high overhead...what better way to sum up the Mojave experience?


sikiri said...

What were the F-16's doing there? Just visiting? Or are they going to be converted to drones?

Keep up the good work. I always enjoy some mojave news.

Alan Radecki said...

F-16s are not drones, but rather a part of a test program being developed by Calspan.

Peter said...

They should have parked WK2 on top of one of the F-16s! Mothership style!