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Oshkosh diary
by Hammy McClymont

25 July, 2001

Up at 0500, it’s pouring. Great! We need the rain for all the flowers we’ve planted for the Fair. OSH is OK in the rain. I found that out last year. On the road at 0640.

0815 arrive at the Museum parking lot, an hour and twenty minutes after leaving Milwaukee. The rain stopped at Fond du Lac and the sky is clearing

0835 at the Gate - $17 + $5 for the program

Aeroshell plaza, I’m looking for the rotary guys but instead I see a couple of RVs, a 6A and an 8 in an area that says Continental. This strikes me as odd so I investigate. Signs say FADEC.

http://www.fadec.com

Ken, who owns the 6A, invites me over to explain. The engine doesn’t say Continental, it says Mattituck, and it’s a Lycoming. I learn that Teledyne Continental has acquired the Mattituck. He explains the "Full authority ….". We are joined by a guy whose name tag says Bart Lalonde. He invites me to drop by later.

Retraced last year’s steps to American Champion Aircraft where I’m able to tell a couple of Americans who are looking at the new Champ and wondering about the engine, that it is an Aussie engine, 4 horizontally opposed air cooled cylinders, a real airplane engine , that I have flown behind one, and it is fine. They seemed to take my word for it.

http://www.amerchampionaircraft.com/

Then a peek in the Eclipse tent (no price shown this year, the program says it’s $837,000, no change from last year)

http://www.eclipseaviation.com/

and the Maverick across the street, who have a plane flying at OSH this year.

http://www.aviationco-ops.com/twinjet/jet-e.htm

I still like the feistiness of these guys, though their resentment of Eclipse’s NASA support is unbecoming.

Cub Crafters are showing off a new cub-yellow super cub with an O-360.

http://cubcrafters.com/cc/

Built under Piper’s type certificate in Yakima, WA, the guy says this plane out-performs the Husky because it’s lighter. It turns out that this outfit might be a good source of used O-320s, which they replace with O-360s when they rebuild customer aircraft, their other line of business.

I’m always attracted to the Vulcanair twin, formerly the Partenavia, which the Italians had at their pavilion at Expo 86. It looks like a sensible airplane, with no folding wheels to worry about.

http://www.vulcanair.com/

In the old airplanes section there was a clutch of 4 Spartan Executives, the most I’ve ever seen in one place.

Swing north, quick trips through the NASA places and the Canada/US governmental building.

Then to the RVs. Here’s a list of the Canadians I spotted.

C-FADC 6A Al Cornyn AB

C-GYRV 4 Jack Duek AB

C-FTDO 4

C-FECM 8 G McCarty Oakville, ON

C-GFLG 6 Brampton, ON

C-FMEV 6 93 award winner

There was also a 6A in United Airlines paint with a sign that said "Yes, I work for United, No, I didn’t ask and No, it’s not part of the UA fleet". On the shelf behind the seats were UA towels, presumably for the flight attendant to deliver.

The walk through the warbirds revealed Jerry’s Albatross, still for sale according to the signs and the usual collection of Harvards, Beech 18s, P-51s, T-28s and T-34s, who were there in force to prove their airplanes airworthy.

I met Gus at Van’s booth, and we chatted about the Delta Fly-in, which he enjoyed attending.

Nearby I found Airmaster, makers of propellers from New Zealand.

http://www.propellor.com

Interesting stuff, though expensive. The model for the lower powered homebuilts was installed in a Pelican, the only one in display. I was told that KOLB has made a deal with Ultravia to be the US distributor, and I found out later from the KOLB guy in the ultralight area that the deal may go further than distributorship. Sounds like KOLB is putting capital into the Canadian company, and we may see it slide south of the border.

Lunch time came. The nearest tent featured Fish Fry (a Wisconsin specialty) and it was good.

A walk through homebuilt parking included lots of Glasairs and Glastars and wound up at the auto engine area.

C-GAPF 6 Jim Mosur Caledon ON a Mazda rotary with the Ross PRSU. He’s very happy with his arrangement.

Couldn’t get near Tracy Crook, he’s so popular. His installation looked homemade, which, of course, it is. The guys from Wisconsin with the expensive rotary conversion were also busy, and their installation looked the cleanest and most professional, as it should for the money.

http://powersportaviation.com/

At 12:37, 2 B-1s made three passes. Loud!

An interesting note on some of the signs on aircraft propellers — "This homebuilt has 1000 hours".

 

The hangars

B AOA and Lightspeed, which works

http://www.angle-of-attack.com

http://www.anrheadsets.com/

D nothing

C Ben was there who I did the Jabiru ride with, he said business is good.

http://www.usjabiru.com/

Headsets Inc (Matt), the guys who have kits to convert headsets to ANR, did not have
the Peltor kit there, so no luck and I saved my money

http://www.headsetsinc.com

A Unison Lasar demo. Worth considering, though you have to save a lot of gas to make it pay

http://www.unisonindustries.com/frame.asp?p=products.html

1455 the Vimy bomber flew past, a wonderful contrast to the B-1s earlier

On the way to the ultralight are I came across a Roll Royce powered Globe Swift for sale for $99,500. It was a beauty. The owner said that the free castering tailwheel made for some interesting landings.

The air race started. 2 P-51s, a Corsair and a Sea Fury piloted by astronaut Hoot Gibson. It was very enjoyable and Hoot staged a "come-from-behind" win, which was popular with the crowd. The announcers encouraged all to attend the Reno races in September, stating that if they are ever lost, they won’t be replaced. I guess they have troubles.

Found a beautiful old yellow RV-3, with a superb brushed metal panel.

C-GGRV, Michel Boucher, London ON

And spotted yet another Canadian

C-GWYR RV-4

The RV-4s are growing on me. It has always been my favourite model.

The ultralight area was interesting for the chat with the KOLB guy and for the Fisher products, which look like fun and might be worth considering when the RV is finished.

Back up at the north end of the flightline, I found the New Tiger. It looked good. I gather they presented the keys to the new owner a couple of days later.

http://www.tigeraircraft.com

I also found a little Italian plane, 650 lbs empty, 1232 lbs gross, high wing, two seats, with retractable gear! They claimed this PG92-2000 RG built by Tecnamo of Napoli will do 135 kts on a 100hp Rotax. It was cute. With its wheels up, it looks like a baby Stallion.

http://www.tecnam.com/eng/index2.html

Next door was the Vans booth. As I wandered towards it, I bumped into Dick himself. We said "Hi", then his gaze reverted skyward. I figured if an air show act had brought him out to look, I’d better too. It was Howard Pardue in a Sea Fury, flying big, beautiful arcs through the sky, worth pausing for.

I headed back to the main plaza (AeroShell they call it now) and found Bart Lalonde’s booth.

http://208.181.117.77/

Bart is now building up new O-360 engines, (direct competition with the Superior/Mattituck Experimental 360). We had a good chat, and he invited me to tour his shop the next time I’m visiting my brother Andrew in Kamloops.

On the way to the Museum (where I usually finish my OSH visits), I found an interesting engine in Superior’s booth.

http://www.superiorairparts.com

Model TAE 125 is a diesel which burns Jet A. They claim its static thrust is equal to that of the O-360 and greater that the O-320 (it figures, eh?) and make an ideal replacement for 160-180hp engines. The literature says it will have a 3000 hour TBO. This one may be worth watching.

Last year I noted that there were no Van’s planes in the museum. This year, where the convention is recognizing "firsts", the place of honour is occupied by N17RV, the RV-3 prototype. Beside it is the first Glastar, and above, the first Lancair. It was good to see.

The Museum has a new feature, an ersatz control tower that overlooks the Pioneer Airport. As you climb the stairs to the tower, you see a silver ball a couple of feet in diameter with four trailing antennae. In the background you hear the bip-beeep, bip-beeep. I watched the young people reading the info boards, probably seeing Sputnik 1 for the first time. They looked unimpressed. They could not know how the flight of that little sphere rocked the world in 1957. I smiled, and I was glad that I was around then to see it.

As I looked out over the field, I saw the Spirit of St Louis parked on the grass. They were about to put her away for the night. It had been a long day, and a good one. I rested in the fullness of the moment, knowing that for me, there’s nothing better than flying.


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