Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil, Fred Harl and Leo Cachat - The Aero Experience Team

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 Airshows: Geico Skytypers

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 featured the top-tier airshow performers.  Today we highlight the Geico Skytypers, that two-for-one skywriting and aerobatic team that keeps the audience looking to the skies all day long.  The team flies 6 early model SNJ-2 Texans equipped with enlarged fuel capacity and smaller overall dimensions than other Texan models.  The aircraft are ideal for the team - slow and stable for skywriting and maneuverable for the dogfight portion of the show.  

The Geico Skytypers use a ground-based, computer-controlled program to produce the skywriting messages.  Each sequence of smoke trails is commanded by radio signals to each aircraft at the correct time to form letters 1000 feet tall at 10,000 feet altitude.  This process forms letters much faster and at a larger size than the typical skywriting process.  

The Geico Skytypers could be seen in the air during the day at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 forming "EAA" and "GEICO" in large letters along with their airshow performance.  The Aero Experience presents their airshow formations and dogfight routine in the following photo essay:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 Airshows: Gee Bee QED Replica
Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 featured the top-tier airshow performers, including some very unusual acts.  True to form, this year's airshow featured a modified replica of the Granville Brothers' Gee Bee Q.E.D. (R-6H "Sky Conqueror") racer, originally flown in 1934.  It was a larger version of the classic Gee Bee racer series of aircraft used to compete in the numerous air races held throughout the 1930s.  Unlike its predecessors, this model was not successful.  The only original aircraft of the type was involved in a fatal accident in 1939, and was later rebuilt for display in Lerdo City, Mexico.
The replica, modified to carry two crew, was built by Jim Moss in Seattle, WA.  It is equipped with a Wright R-1820 radial engine producing 1425hp.  The dimensions are nearly the same as the original design, but with a larger vertical fin and rudder to give greater control of the aircraft equipped with the more powerful engine.  The aircraft made several passes during the airshows, and was on display in the Vintage Aircraft area throughout the week.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 Airshows: Chuck Aaron and the Red Bull Helicopter
Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 featured the top-tier airshow performers, including some very unusual acts.  Airshow favorite Chuck Aaron was on hand all week to fly the Red Bull aerobatic helicopter.  Aaron is the only pilot licensed to fly helicopter aerobatics in the U.S.  He put the modified MBB BO-105 through loops, rolls, and steep climbs before an awed airshow crowd.  The California native is as "cool" on the ground as in the air, always friendly and helpful to audiences and media.  A real class act.