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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Benefit for Kyle and Amanda Franklin to be Held May 14

A fundraiser is being organized to help raise money for Amanda and Kyle Franklin, who were seriously injured while performing in an air show earlier this year.  For more information, go to Aero News

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Closed After Possible Tornado Strike Damages Terminal

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport was heavily damaged last night as storms with tornadoes tore through the St. Louis and surrounding areas.  Flights and public activity at the airport have been suspended for the foreseeable future into next week.  For photoes of the effects of the weather, see

Friday, April 22, 2011

Boeing Delivers 500th Aircraft in Super Hornet/Growler Production Line

(Boeing Photo and Video)

Boeing News Release Issued: April 21, 2011 12:30 PM EDT
Boeing, US Navy Mark Delivery of 500th Super Hornet/Growler
All aircraft delivered on budget and ahead of schedule
F/A-18E/F and EA-18G will operate through 2035 and beyond
 ST. LOUIS, April 21, 2011 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Navy celebrated a milestone delivery on April 20 in St. Louis: 500 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and derivative EA-18G Growlers have joined the Navy's tactical aircraft fleet.

The Super Hornet Block II is the Navy's frontline strike fighter, deploying leading-edge technology and multirole strike capability around the globe. The EA-18G is now the premier airborne electronic attack platform in the Navy's arsenal and the United States' newest tactical aircraft, providing the ability to block enemy radar and electronic systems.

"The Super Hornet and Growler, both combat-deployed, have continuously increased capability for the warfighter while reducing cost for the Navy and the taxpayer," F/A-18 and EA-18 Programs Vice President Kory Mathews said at the ceremony. "Boeing has delivered every F/A-18E/F and EA-18G to the U.S. Navy on budget and ahead of schedule."

"Today is another significant milestone for a program that has by any measure exceeded expectations for cost, schedule and performance," said Capt. Mark Darrah, F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager (PMA-265). "The PMA-265/Hornet Industry Team has consistently delivered capable and reliable aircraft to our fleet customer."

The F/A-18E/F and EA-18G will operate from U.S. Navy aircraft carriers through 2035 and beyond, with the flexibility to seamlessly operate from land-based airfields.

"These aircraft were designed with extensive growth capacity, enabling evolutionary technology to be added throughout the life of the aircraft to expand capabilities and remain well ahead of changing threats," said Mathews.

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. The Super Hornet Block II achieved Initial Operational Capability in 2007.

Boeing is on contract to deliver 24 two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornets to the Royal Australian Air Force. The Super Hornet also is a competitor in ongoing fighter competitions in Brazil, India, Malaysia and Japan.

The Boeing EA-18G Growler is the only air combat platform that delivers full-spectrum airborne electronic attack (AEA) capability along with the targeting and self-defense capabilities derived from the 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. The EA-18G achieved Initial Operational Capability in 2009.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

St. Louis Aviation Book by Jeremy Cox Now Available!

Jeremy Cox holding his book, St. Louis Aviation

Images of Aviation - St. Louis Aviation, by Jeremy Cox, is now available for purchase!  This pictorial history of the rich St. Louis area aviation heritage contains rare images of early airship and airplane flight, including many 'firsts," spanning from 1836 to the space age.  Proceeds from the book benefit the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, located in historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2 at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, IL.  Copies can be obtained through the museum or your local bookstore.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Boeing Announcement of Tanker Win Occurred in Unusual Way

(Boeing Video)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Where Will the Space Shuttles Land? NASA Announces Winning Museums

(NASA Photo)

NASA News Release:

NASA Announces New Homes for Space Shuttle Orbiters After Retirement

After 30 years of spaceflight, more than 130 missions, and numerous science and technology firsts, NASA's space shuttle fleet will retire and be on display at institutions across the country to inspire the next generation of explorers and engineers.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on Tuesday announced the facilities where four shuttle orbiters will be displayed permanently at the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program:

Shuttle Enterprise, the first orbiter built, will move from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York.

The Udvar-Hazy Center will become the new home for shuttle Discovery, which retired after completing its 39th mission in March.

Shuttle Endeavour, which is preparing for its final flight at the end of the month will go to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Shuttle Atlantis, which will fly the last planned shuttle mission in June, will be displayed at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex in Florida.

"We want to thank all of the locations that expressed an interest in one of these national treasures," Bolden said. "This was a very difficult decision, but one that was made with the American public in mind. In the end, these choices provide the greatest number of people with the best opportunity to share in the history and accomplishments of NASA's remarkable Space Shuttle Program. These facilities we've chosen have a noteworthy legacy of preserving space artifacts and providing outstanding access to U.S. and international visitors."

NASA also announced that hundreds of shuttle artifacts have been allocated to museums and education institutions.

Various shuttle simulators for the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum of McMinnville, Ore., and Texas A&M's Aerospace Engineering Department

Full fuselage trainer for the Museum of Flight in Seattle

Nose cap assembly and crew compartment trainer for the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio

Flight deck pilot and commander seats for NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston

Orbital maneuvering system engines for the U.S. Space and Rocket Center of Huntsville, Ala., National Air and Space Museum in Washington, and Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum

Sightings: 1946 Ercoupe 415-C N99340 from Mountain View, AR Visits St. Louis Downtown Airport

EAA 64 Gives Young Eagles Flights to Over 50 Scouts at St. Louis Downtown Airport

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Supermarine Award-Winning Seafire Mk. XV Scheduled for Salute to Veterans Air Show in Columbia, MO

(Salute to Veterans Corporation Photo)

Wes Stricker's 2010 AA Prize-winning warbird Supermarine Seafire will be part of the Salute to Veterans Corporation Airshow this Memorial Day weekend.  See for all of the details!

TAC Air St. Louis Hosts U.S. Coast Guard HU-25A Guardian During Mid Day Stopover

An HU-25A Guardian from U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama made a mid day stopover at TAC Air St. Louis during an ILS training flight.  Aero Experience thanks the service professionals at TAC Air St. Louis at Spirit of St. Louis Airport for their hospitality and permission to record the event as it happened.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Missouri Aviation Community and EAA Mourns Passing of Ben Morrow

Benjamin H. Morrow (EAA Photo)

EAA Reports:

March 31, 2011 — Benjamin H. Morrow, who served on the EAA Ultralight Council for 10 years and led the development of much of EAA’s ultralight training program, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Friday, March 25, in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. He was 70. Ben, of Liberty, Missouri, was extremely dedicated to EAA and the ultralight community. He and his wife, Joyce, dedicated many hours volunteering to train ultralight instructors and traveled around the country conducting ultralight flight instructor refresher courses. Ben also developed an online refresher training course for ultralight flight instructors and was a frequent contributor to EAA publications.

Ben was employed for 32 years in several positions at the FAA’s Small Aircraft Certification Directorate in Kansas City, retiring in 1996. He worked with EAA in the areas of ultralights, light-sport, aircraft certification, amateur-built, and safety analysis issues and received the EAA President’s Award in 2002 for his service to ultralight aviation.

Ben was passionate about aviation safety, and for many years after retiring from the FAA ran a safety data website that provided access to aircraft accident and incident data and service difficulty reports. Ben also operated MorrowAire Aviation Services LLC, providing services to ultralight and light-sport aviation, in Liberty.

Funeral services were Wednesday, March 30, at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City.