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 and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Midwest Aviation Event: EAA Ford Trimotor Makes Stop in Rolla, MO

By Fred Harl
The EAA's 1929 Ford Trimotor made a stop in Rolla, MO the last weekend in June as part of the scheduled pre-EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 tour. Hosted by EAA Chapter 1616 at Rolla National Airport in nearby Vichy, MO, the four day event provided an opportunity for visitors to tour the aircraft and fly over central Missouri in the standard airliner of the Golden Age of Aviation. Though modernized to current safety standards and passenger comfort, the Trimotor retains its basic 1920s-era construction, powerplants and flight performance. 

According to the EAA, this 4-AT-E Trimotor aircraft was number 146 of 199 total produced and first flew in August of 1929. It served with Eastern Air Transport (later Eastern Airlines), the government of the Dominican Republic, as a cropduster, a firefighting tanker, a barnstormer and even a moviestar. It was acquired by the EAA in 1973 and underwent a lengthy restoration. The Trimotor has been touring since 1991, and continues to provide an unforgettable nostalgic flight experience across the U.S. and each year at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

Pilot John Hartke flew planeloads of passengers in the cabin and several who purchased the upgraded "copilot" seat for their flights. Here are some views of Hartke as he refueled the aircraft and one flight sequence:

The EAA's Ford Trimotor continues it's 2019 tour, and you can see the schedule and book flights through their web page. Take an inside tour and watch a video of a previous flight featured in this story: "Aviation History Comes Alive As EAA Ford Trimotor Returns to St. Louis Area."

Rolla National Airport began as a U.S. Army Air Forces pilot training field and was revived as a civil airport in the late 1950s. Lee Maples, World War II veteran aviator and local aviation legend, became the first airport manager there for the City of Rolla in 1958 and served until 1967. He then started Maples Aviation and later Baron Aviation, which still provides feeder services for FedEx.

During our visit, we also saw some general aviation aircraft on the apron, including a Hughes 369D helicopter, 2 experimental Long-EZs, early Cessna 150 and 172 models and others featured here:

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Aero Experience at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019: Airshow Sampler

The Aero Experience coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, sponsored by Elite Aviation, continues with this airshow sampler edition. The daily airshows attracted viewers from around the world and featured premier civilian aerobatic performers, military demonstration teams and special appearances by homebuilt, vintage and warbird aircraft that were on display around the grounds. Here we feature a brief "snapshot" composite of the airshows, with coverage of each performer and the special attractions in later posts. 

 Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, AT-6 Texans

Bill Stein, Edge 540

Bob Carlton, SubSonex

Scott Yoak and Jim Tobul, Mustang and Corsair Class of '45


David Martin, Beech Baron

Aerial Fire Fighting Tankers

Gene Soucy, Showcat

USAF Heritage Flight

USN Legacy Flight

John Klatt, Jet Waco

Julie Clark, T-34 Mentor

Kevin Coleman, Extra EA-300S

Kyle Fowler, Long-EZ 

Kyle Franklin, Demon-1 Dracula

Matt Chapman, Extra EA-330LX

Matt Younkin, Beech 18


Michael Goulian, Extra EA-300SC

Patriots Parachute Demonstration Team

Patty Wagstaff, Extra EA-300L

Red Bull Air Force

Rocky Mountain Renegades

Sean Tucker and Jessy Panzer, Oracle Challenger II and Extra EA-300L

Shetterly Squadron

Shockwave Jet Truck

Skip Stewart, Prometheus

Trojan Thunder, T-28 Trojan Team

Twin Tigers, Yak-55

Vicky Benzing, Stearman

Josh Boudreaux, RV-8A Wild Blue


We hope you enjoyed this look at some of the airshow performers from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019. We will have much more coverage of the airshows in future posts!