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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mexico, MO Salute to Veterans Air Show Fair Ground Scenes

Giant American Flag Displayed on Service Trucks

Show Cars Impressed the Crowds

Bikers Show Off Their Machines

Color Guard Prepares to Post Colors During Ceremony

"Hot Pursuit" Entertains the Audience With Patriotic Songs

MO Senator Kit Bond Speaks In Praise of Veterans 

Phil Dacy and Crew Provided Announcer Services

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mexico, MO Salute to Veterans Air Show

Two Stearman Biplanes from Creve Coeur Airport, MO

A Stearman Formation Flight Is Always a Thrilling Site

Ercoupe Arrives Waving the American Flag

Ozark Airlines Museum C-47 From St. Charles, MO Arrives and Parks

Vlado Lenoch Prepares for an Early Morning Flight

Lenoch in "Moonbeam McSwine" Heads Out to the Runway

Clyde Zellers Flies His SNJ During the Afternoon Show

Jim Maroney in His Super Chipmunk Waves to the Crowd

Jim Celebrates a Great Performance

Jacquie Warda Takes off in Her Pitts S-1T Red Eagle

Dave Dacy Flies His Super Stearman

Wing Walker Tony Kazian in the "Superman" Pose

Dave and Tony are Proud Americans

A-10 West Demo Team Pilot Capt. Joe Shetterly

Capt. Shetterly and Vlado Lenoch Heritage Flight

Rod Hightower, New EAA President and Stearman Pilot, Greets the Crowd

MO Senator Kit Bond, Mexico MO Native, Addresses Veterans

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mexico, MO Airfest Coming This Weekend!

Boeing, US Navy Celebrate T-45 Jet Trainer's Million-Flight-Hour Milestone

(Boeing Photo)

The Boeing Company today joined the U.S. Navy at Cecil Field in Jacksonville to celebrate the Naval Air Training Command’s 1 millionth flight hour with the T-45 Goshawk, the Navy's premier jet trainer aircraft.

"This milestone is another testament to the quality that this team has put into each and every T-45 that we have training our future aerial combat warriors," said Rear Adm. Bill Sizemore, chief of Naval Air Training. "It's an exciting time in Naval Air Training as we forge into the future with the T-45 Goshawk, converting the remaining analog models into digital/glass cockpits to mirror the aircraft in the fleet."

For more than 18 years, the twin-seat, single-engine Goshawk has prepared student aviators to transition to front-line Navy and Marine Corps fleet aircraft, including the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-6 Prowler, EA-18G Growler and AV-8B Harrier. It is also the only aircraft in the world designed to conduct carrier-based flight training. A total of three Naval Air Training Command wings fly the T-45; Boeing presented each with a plaque at today’s event.

"Boeing is honored to commemorate the T-45's rich legacy with our U.S. Navy customer, and we share the Navy's pride in the aircraft’s critical mission of training for naval aviation," said Greg Dunn, T-45 program manager at Boeing. "Boeing was proud to deliver the final T-45 aircraft last year. Our support of the T-45 fleet continues with affordable upgrades and supply-chain solutions. The Boeing team understands the importance of maximizing readiness and safety for the Navy so that aspiring aviators and flight officers are able to climb into a T-45 and take to the sky to earn those cherished wings of gold."

The Goshawk is a component of the fully integrated T-45 training system, which also includes high-fidelity instrument and flight simulators, computer-assisted classroom learning, an automated training-management asset, and contractor logistics support. More than 3,600 student aviators from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and several international militaries have received instruction on the system at naval air stations in Meridian, Miss.; Kingsville, Texas; and Pensacola, Fla., before earning their "wings of gold" naval aviator insignia.

"BAE Systems is proud of its role on the T-45 program, and of the training aircraft capability that we have brought to bear in support of our partnership with Boeing," said Martin Rushton, managing director for BAE Systems' Air Sector Training Business. "The T-45 Goshawk plays a key part in the overall training system for the U.S. Navy, and it is great to see that the aircraft continues to perform so well."

Boeing delivered the 221st and final T-45 training jet to the Navy in November 2009. The company continues to support the T-45 fleet by providing engineering, logistics, and support equipment in partnership with BAE Systems, which supplied the aircraft’s rear and center fuselage sections, wing assembly and vertical tail. Boeing manages the T-45's spare and repair parts supply, and supports L-3 Vertex with aircraft maintenance. Rolls-Royce provided the T-45’s Adour F405 turbofan power plant.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

(Boeing Press Release)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

B-17G "Liberty Belle" Makes Stop at Spirit of St. Louis Airport

The Liberty Belle Foundation brought their B-17G "Liberty Belle" to Spirit of St. Louis Airport this weekend to provide an opportunity for local residents to see and ride this historic aircraft. The aircraft was parked at the Million Air ramp, and the public was invited to tour the aircraft, and flights in the aircraft were provided to paying customers. The aircraft will continue on its national tour after this weekend, with the next stop in Springfield, MO in the coming days. Visit for further information.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Boeing to Open New Manufacturing Facility at MidAmerica Airport

The Boeing Company announced today that it is expanding its St. Louis-area operations with the planned opening of a new manufacturing facility at MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah.

The facility, tentatively scheduled to open in late 2010 or early 2011, will use leased space in an existing building to house assembly and subassembly work. It is expected to initially bring approximately 75 new manufacturing jobs to Illinois.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg addressed U.S., state and local officials, Boeing employees, and the media at a ceremony today in Mascoutah.

"This facility’s proximity to BDS headquarters, the presence of an established, skilled work force, and the infrastructure at MidAmerica Airport make it an ideal choice as Boeing looks for opportunities to expand our core business and ensure our St. Louis site remains competitive as we meet the high-value, low-cost needs of our customers,” said Muilenburg.

Muilenburg was joined by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), and St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern at the official announcement.

“I’m happy to support Boeing’s investment in America’s work force and the State of Illinois. In this economy, every single job counts, and Boeing’s facility will bring skilled manufacturing jobs that pay wages capable of supporting families,” said Durbin. “It’s exactly the kind of investment in Illinois we need to spur our nation’s economic recovery.”

“Today marks the beginning of what I expect will be a long-term relationship with Boeing, and I expect we will be back here to announce more good news and more jobs in the future,” said Costello.

“This is the best news Southwestern Illinois has received in some time. We have had a great relationship with Boeing through the years and look forward to welcoming our new neighbors,” said Shimkus.

Boeing and St. Clair County are entering into a long-term lease for the existing 50,000-square-foot facility, which is the first Boeing manufacturing center in Illinois.

“We are ecstatic that Boeing has chosen MidAmerica Airport for this expansion. Their presence here brings a much-needed boost to the entire local economy,” said Kern.

(Boeing News Release)

Monday, August 16, 2010

B-17G "Liberty Belle" Will Stop In St. Louis August 21-22

(Liberty Belle Foundation Photo)

The B-17G named "Liberty Belle" will arrive at Million Air FBO, Spirit of St. Louis Airport, and will be open to the public August 21-22, 2010.  The "Liberty Belle" usually flies between 10am to 3pm each day with ground tours after the flights.  Each flight cost is $390 for Liberty Foundation Members, $430 for non-members. Become a member for $40 and receive the member discount for friends and family. Call 918-340-0243 to schedule your flight.

(Details provided by Liberty Belle Foundation)

Monday, August 2, 2010

P-8A Poseidon Aircraft T3 Successfully Completes Its First Flight Test

(Boeing Photo)
Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft T3 successfully completed its first flight test in Seattle on July 29. T3 is the P-8A program's mission-system and weapon-certification aircraft.

During the two-hour and 48-minute flight from Boeing Field, Boeing and U.S. Navy test pilots performed airborne systems checks including engine accelerations and decelerations, autopilot flight modes, and auxiliary power unit and engine shutdowns and starts.

In the coming weeks, T3 will join the two P-8A test aircraft currently at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and complete additional ground and flight tests.

"At Pax River, the Boeing and Navy team will use some of the ground test data we've gathered in Seattle for in-flight separation and delivery accuracy tests that will occur later this year," said Chris Ahsmann, P-8A chief engineer for Boeing.

T3 is one of six flight-test aircraft that are being assembled and tested as part of the U.S. Navy System Development and Demonstration contract Boeing received in 2004. Airworthiness-test aircraft T1 entered flight test in October 2009 and arrived at the Navy's Patuxent River facility in April of this year. T2, the primary mission-system test aircraft, arrived at Pax River in June.

The Navy plans to purchase 117 P-8A anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to replace its P-3 fleet. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013.

(Boeing Press Release)