Archive for the 'aviation' Category

Tulare, CA B-17 on Display


The Better Half snapped this (clickable) image of a B-17 parked at Tulare Airport, just alongside CA SR 99. There are a number of aircraft on display with this WWII bomber and a Vietnam era F-4 Phantom parked close to the road. The B-17 is placarded with AMVETS signage by the fence in front.

We departed the Los Angeles area this morning and made our way up through “The Grapevine” mountain pass which is Interstate 5 from the north San Fernando Valley to Grapevine, CA. When we came through here last April, we had gusty winds up to 30 knots through the pass, but this time not so much winds and just a lot of traffic.

One more travel day tomorrow then we will be taking a break for the week and the Thanksgiving Holiday. If I don’t post between now and then, please have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.

Sky Divers over Blythe, CA

Sky Divers

Today started out a bit overcast as we crossed from Arizona to California. Just after the border, The Better Half pointed out what appeared to me to be a Shorts Sky Van twin-engine airplane apparently on a final approach to Blythe airport. Just after that, she took this (clickable) image of five sky divers with chutes deployed a couple of hundred feet from touchdown. She saw four others in the distance (no photo) shortly after that.

Evidently, there is sky diving activity in the area. The Shorts airplanes are popular for sky diving.

Many years ago, I agreed to go sky diving with my sister for her fortieth birthday. Fortunately, she came to her senses and called it off before we both were going to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

23RD Annual Fly-In and Classic Car Show

23rd Fly-in and Car Show

Clickable image, clockwise from upper left - Devil under the hood, Wickenburg Flight Line. PB4Y Privateer (modified) and a nice Ford T-Bucket Roadster

The Better Half and I gave up our weekend sleep-in to venture down to the local airfield to observe and participate in the 23rd Annual Wickenburg Fly-In and Car Show. It was pretty much the same old stuff, but very enjoyable on a beautiful Saturday morning.

Since we gave up having breakfast before the event (they start and finish very early 7-11AM), we made the rounds, bought a T-shirt commemorating the event and headed back home to chow down, thus getting back to our usual schedule. Later in the day, TBH prepared a sumptuous helping of Asian Broccoli Beef (tenderloin beef, of course). It has been a good weekend thus far.

Sunday promises to be clear, according to the forecast, with spring-like temperatures in the low 90’s. We love our little Arizona Town and homestead.

LTV A7 Corsair II

LTV A7 Corsair II

A couple of days ago, we were camped in Montrose, Colorado. On our way out of town, we passed the Airport where this Ling Temco Vought (LTV) A7 Corsair II was mounted on a pedestal. I read that the last of these subsonic Navy attack aircraft has been decommissioned.

The sight of this (clickable) image (courtesy The Better Half) brought memories back to me. In the early sixties, I was stationed at the US Naval Missile Center, Point Mugu, CA. We had the big brother of the A7 on our aircraft line. Our F8U Corsair I aircraft were used to control drone aircraft flown downrange to be used as targets for air to air missile practice.

Later in my aerospace career, I was assigned to a project where our customer was LTV in Dallas, TX. The job was to evaluate and demonstrate Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensors potentially to be installed in the Corsair II. We spent a couple of weeks with prototype equipment at NAS Dallas.

It is always nice to see these old aircraft preserved for posterity. I do not know if any of these are still flown by civilians in refurbished aircraft. It would be nice to see one flying.

Rainbow One Overflight

Rainbow One

I took this (clickable) image of an ultralight aircraft as it passed over our area today. I took another shot when it was abeam our house as it flew west to east seemingly tracking US 60 a quarter mile south of here.

When I was looking at the pictures I had taken, I noticed that the pilot was not wearing a helmet, which, in my opinion, might be unwise when flying one of those. The thing doesn’t move very fast, maybe 25-30 KPH or thereabouts, so a crash might not be that serious. The structure around the pilot appears that, were he to be strapped in pretty good, a rollover wouldn’t appear to be that bad.

At any rate, the weather here was absolutely gorgeous today with light winds and a high temperature of 88°. I’m sure the flyer of that ultralight was enjoying the weather and the view.

We Saw a Couple of Classics Today

1955 Ford Fairlane 1946 Funk B85C

Since the weather is a bit more hospitable for the dogs (Scratch ‘n’ Sniff), we took them down to the dog park which is located on a small strip of land between Wickenburg International Airport and US Hwy 60. On the Highway, The Better Half got a shot of the 1955 Ford as it passed us. She also got a shot of the aircraft pictured above, a 1946 Funk B85C as it taxied out to the airport runup area in preparation for departure.

I believe the old Ford was on display earlier this month at the annual fly-in and car show at the airport. There are always a lot of our Classy Classics guys on hand for that event.

When I saw the plane from the dog park area, I thought it might be a PA28 Piper Super Cub, but as we exited the dog park I could see it was not a Cub. I initially thought it might be a Taylor Craft of some sort.

TBH took several shots of the aircraft through the fence. I was able to read the tail number (N77708) in the photos and looked it up on line to find out that it was a Funk. This one is reported to belong to Desert Wings LLC according to the Texas Antique Aircraft Association.

Both are clickable images.

22nd Annual Wickenburg Fly-in and Car Show

Wickenburg Fly-in and Car Show

The Better Half was a bit under the weather and did not attend the show today, so I made a quick appearance to take a look around, photograph some interesting things and get the souvenir T-shirt. The big hit of the show was the modified B-24 Privateer (Navy version of the WW2 bomber) that showed up unexpectedly.

The usual Classy Classics guys were there with their excellent collection of cool old and medium-old cars. I browsed those rather quickly and only took a few photos that may show up here eventually. Meanwhile, the semi-panoramic images of the Privateer and some of the cars appear above. Clickable image.

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