Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weird, wacky and FAST: MTM's First Monthly Fly-in

The Mojave Transportation Museum Foundation today hosted the first of what is expected to become a monthly fly-in and open house at Mojave. The event allows aircraft owners to display their unique and/or historical aircraft to the public, and harkens back to the days when the local airport was a friendly, exciting place to visit. The weather was warm and spring-like (January in Mojave - eat your heart out, rest of the world!), which resulted in 30 aircraft ranging from warbirds to some of the fastest glass in the air, on display and a surprisingly large crowd wandering the flightline, getting up-close-and-personal. Cory Bird's stunning Symmetry, above, was this fly-in's featured aircraft (look for it to be featured in an article here in the next few days).
Award for the wackiest aircraft there went to John Avery's JA-5 Walrus, below, which is powered by a four-cylinder Rotax engine...and turbocharged, to boot. 

The line-up above says a lot about the kind of place Mojave is: from the right is Airport Boardmember Joann Painter's Meyers Little Toot biplane, then Matt Steinmetz's Rutan Longeze, which holds the distinction of being the very first Longeze, Burt having started it himself in 1979. Next is Ralph Wise's fast GT-400 and last, peeking its pink nose out, is Jon Sharp's Nemesis NXT (also below), fresh off of setting all kinds of records and bringing home the trophy from this year's Reno Air Races. 

Above is Al Hansen's gorgeously restored 1947 Republic RC-3 Seabee (Al had a number of his other planes on display, including his ever-popular F-86 Sabre, and the almost-completed T-28 Trojan). Below is another of Joann Painter's little treasures, a Pietenpol Air Camper, complete with a very early type of TCAS!

Off to the side sat Robert Shearer's pristine Beech Starship, famous from its SpaceShipOne chase duties. Discovery Channel was filming it and interviewing Shearer for a special on canard aircraft...that'll be a show to see!

A big round of applause to all the MTM folks who worked hard to pull this off! I can't wait until the February folks, start setting aside the third Saturday of the month to come visit Mojave!


Alan Radecki said...

When I posted the fly-in announcement yesterday, it contained an image of Symmetry, and someone named Peter left a comment asking about the little round spheres on the wing and horizontal stab tips. Since I've deleted the announcement post, in fairness to Peter, I'll answer it here:

The spheres are little foam balls to protect the sharp corners from hapless little children and old ladies who might happen to not watch where they're going as they wander the ramp.

Anonymous said...

Great shots of the Pietenpol Air Camper and the traffic avoidance device. Got to wonder, though, if the squeeze bulb can force air out faster than the horn end takes it in.

Scott Stearns said...

Man, that Walrus is sweet...