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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Boeing Receives Multi-Year Contract for 124 F/A-18 Super Hornets and Growlers

(Boeing Photo)

Boeing Press Release:

The Boeing Company has been awarded a new multi-year procurement (MYP) contract from the U.S. Navy for 124 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft.

The new contract is valued at $5.297 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing will deliver 66 Super Hornets and 58 Growlers to the Navy from 2012 through 2015.

"The men and women of Boeing are honored to provide the Super Hornet's advanced, combat-proven multirole capability and the EA-18G's unmatched airborne electronic attack capability to the American warfighters serving their nation around the world each day," said Boeing F/A-18 and EA-18 Programs Vice President Kory Mathews. "Procurement of these 124 aircraft through a multi-year contract takes advantage of the full efficiencies of Boeing’s production and supplier operations, which will generate more than $600 million in cost savings for U.S. taxpayers."

The new contract is the third multi-year agreement between Boeing and the Navy for production of the F/A-18E/F, the Navy's frontline strike fighter, which delivers forward-deployed air combat capability around the world from the decks of 11 Navy aircraft carriers, including ongoing missions in Afghanistan.

The EA-18G, the United States' newest combat aircraft, conducts advanced airborne electronic attack (AEA) missions to support Navy and joint force requirements. The EA-18G is scheduled for its first combat deployment later this year.

"Boeing and its Hornet Industry Team suppliers have delivered every Super Hornet and Growler on schedule to the warfighter and on budget for the taxpayer from the first Super Hornet delivery,” said Mathews. “The first two F/A-18E/F multi-year contracts generated more than $1.7 billion in savings for the United States. We look forward to continuing to provide unmatched capability and value through this contract."

Boeing delivered 210 Super Hornets to the Navy during the initial F/A-18E/F MYP, which spanned fiscal years 2000 through 2004. Boeing was then awarded a second MYP that included aircraft procurement during fiscal years 2005 through 2009. Aircraft deliveries under that contract continue through 2011 and total 257 aircraft.

The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a multirole aircraft, able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions. Boeing has delivered more than 430 F/A-18E/Fs to the U.S. Navy.

The Boeing EA-18G Growler is the only air combat platform that delivers full-spectrum AEA capability along with the targeting and self-defense capabilities derived from the Navy's frontline fighter, the F/A-18E/F Block II Super Hornet. A derivative of the two-seat F/A-18F Block II, the EA-18G's highly flexible design enables warfighters to operate either from the deck of an aircraft carrier or from land-based airfields. It is replacing the Navy's current AEA platform, the EA-6B Prowler, which has been in service since 1971. The EA-18G joined the Navy's aircraft fleet in 2008, when it was introduced to fleet training squadron VAQ-129.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Support Boeing NewGen Tanker Bid by Contacting Elected Officials

(Boeing Photo)

Below is a message from Boeing.  Please consider supporting the Boeing NewGen Tanker proposal and keep as many aerospace jobs in the U.S. as possible.

The message reads:

Over the next two weeks, members of Congress will wrap up their work in Washington, D.C., and head home to prepare for the November 2 mid-term elections. Before they leave Washington, members of Congress need to hear from you. I would ask you to make your voice heard again in support for our efforts to build the next generation of aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force.

With the Air Force scheduled to select a winner sometime this fall, we need your support – and the support of your family and friends – now more than ever.

In the coming days, please visit, and go to the site’s Legislative Action Center to e-mail letters to your members of Congress, encouraging them to support Boeing’s NewGen Tanker. Can you help us send 5,000 e-mails to Congress by Friday? Together, we can send a powerful message to lawmakers in support of the 50,000 U.S. workers who will be employed by Boeing’s NewGen Tanker. Additionally, your vocal support ensures that our nation’s leaders understand that competition on a level playing field means saying NO to an illegally-subsidized European competitor, Airbus/EADS – especially at a time of significant economic challenge and high unemployment.

There is a lot at stake in this competition – providing our nation’s warfighters with the world’s most modern and capable refueling tanker, protecting tens of thousands of U.S. jobs and saving tens of billions of taxpayer dollars. Please let your elected officials know that the Boeing NewGen Tanker is the right choice for American warfighters, taxpayers and workers. So please stay involved, and let your voice be heard by helping us send 5,000 e-mails to Congress!

Thanks for your continued support!


 Sean McCormack

Sunday, September 26, 2010

St. Louis Regional Airport Fly-In Attracts Wide Range of Aircraft

Three RVs Taxi in to Park After Fly-By

Two T-28Bs Made Several Passes Together Before Parking

T-28Bs Taxi in to Park on the Ramp

One of Two Stearman A75N1 Biplanes Giving Flights

Early Model T-34 Mentor Taxis In to Park

This Waco Biplane Made Several Flights During the Day

A Mint Condition Vultee BT-13 Valiant on Display

C-47 from the Ozark Arilines Museum on Display for Tours

1968 Champion 7ECA Lands and Parks on the Ramp

David Herrmann's Benson Modified Gyrocopter Lands and Taxis

1950 Navion B Is a Local Favorite at the Fly-In

A Visiting Piaggio P.180 Stops By and Later Departs

Eric Downing's Skyraider from Creve Coeur Makes an Appearance

Siai-Marchetti F.260B Adds International Flavor

A Rare "Yellow Perril" N3N-3 on Display

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Great Forest Park Balloon Race This Weekend!

The 2010 Great Forest Park Balloon Race is scheduled for Saturday, September 18, 2010 and will take place on Central Field in Forest Park, near the Jewel Box. The Balloon Glow will take place on Friday, September 17, 2010 also on Central Field.  All events will be free to the public.  Please visit for more details.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Legends of Flight" Opens at St. Louis Science Center OMNIMAX Theater September 17

(St. Louis Science Center Graphic)
"Legends of Flight" opens at the St. Louis Science Center OMNIMAX Theater Sept. 17.  Visit for details. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Scott AFB Air Show Delights Large Audience Sept. 11-12

Blue Angels Diamond Pass

Blue Angels Echelon Pass

Blue Angels C-130 Support Plane Takes Off

VC-9C Based at Scott AFB

MO CAF B-25 "Show Me" Recreates Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

Japanese Zero Reenactment of Pearl Harbor Attack

Jason Newburg Performs in His Pitts S-2S

Matt Chapman Flies His Cap 580

Greg Colyer's T-33 "Ace Maker"

David Macaluso in the Fighter Jets MiG-17

USAF QF-4E Flown by Ltc. Greg Blount

Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum Display in Hangar 1

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blue Angels F/A-18B Hornet Arrives at St. Louis Science Center for Display

Former Blue Angels F/A-18B Hornet Arrives at St. Louis Science Center

Invited Guests Enjoy Breakfast Prior to the Acceptance Ceremony

Invited Guests Gather to Witness the Acceptance Ceremony

The Following Speakers were instrumental in bringing the F/A-18B Hornet to the St. Louis Science Center for eventual display and for participation in St. Louis Navy Week:

Al Wiman, VP of Public Understanding of Science, St. Louis Science Center

Douglas R. King, President/CEO of St. Louis Science Center

Aaron West, VP Development, National Naval Aviation Museum Foundation

Michael K. Gibbons, F/A-18E/F & EA-18G Program Manager at Boeing

Kent Schien, CEO of Innoventor Engineering Consultant Company

Captain Greg McWherter, Current Blue Angels Team Commander

Blue Angels Support Team

The Former Blue Angles F/A-18 No.7 is Unveiled:

The display area for the aircraft is yet to be determined, so check back for further details.

The St. Louis Science Center accepted the loan of a former U.S. Navy Blue Angles Number 7 F/A-18B Hornet fighter plane September 10 for eventual outdoor display on the museum grounds in the renowned Forest Park. Following a VIP breakfast, representatives from the St. Louis Science Center, the National Naval Aviation Museum, Boeing Aircraft, Innoventor Engineering Consultants and other contributing parties gathered outside the James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the St. Louis Science Center to view the ceremony. Due to the efforts of many at the event, the aircraft has “closed the circle” by returning to St. Louis, not far from its origins.

The Hornet, bureau number 161746, was manufactured by then McDonnell Douglas Corporation (now Boeing) near Lambert St. Louis International Airport in 1983. It was used by several operational Navy squadrons before being acquired by the famous Navy Blue Angels aerobatic team, and is now owned by the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida. The cockpit bears the names of Lt. Frank Weisser and Lt. Dan McShane, both of whom flew this aircraft during the 2008 performance season. When mounted on a pedestal, it will remind the St. Louis community of its past and current role in aviation history.

St. Louis Science Center President and CEO, Douglas R. King, put the achievement in perspective. “Our Mission here at the Science Center is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning, and there couldn’t be any better example of how that works than what we’re doing today. What you are going to see here in a few minutes will ignite the imagination of a lot of people…It’s much more than an airplane, it’s an inspiration for people in our community and for the next generation of people who will build and fly these aircraft.” Being outside in such a prime viewing area where more than a million people a year will see it, King continued, will serve as catalyst for them to go inside and learn more about the actual airplane and aerospace careers. The St. Louis Science Center already has a display dedicated to McDonnell Douglas, early space exploration and of course astronomy.

Kent Schien, CEO of Innoventor (Engineering Consultants), described the process by which the aircraft was brought to St. Louis. As a result of discussion 110 days ago aboard an aircraft carrier between Schien and Lt. Cmdr. Garrett Kasper, former Blue Angel member and communications contact for St. Louis Navy Week, the seed for the acquisition of a Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet for St. Louis was planted. A Contact with Admiral Michael Bowman, Chairman of the National Naval Aviation Museum, set the process in motion for the aircraft loan to the St. Louis Science Center. Of course, the desire for an aircraft loan had been expressed for years, but now the dream was set to become a reality.

Over the next several months, the exhibit area for the aircraft will be finalized and the Hornet will be mounted on a pedestal for the community to see. And then, in the process, the allure of lifelong science and technology education at the St. Louis Science Center will soar along with the Blue Angel Hornet that has returned to its home.