Saturday, March 26, 2011

Zenith Aircraft In Mexico, MO To Have High Representation at EAA AirVenture

Designer Chris Heintz - Zenith Aircraft Photo

EAA Press Release:

Likely the largest gathering of Zenith aircraft owners and builders ever assembled will convene on Oshkosh at AirVenture 2011 to celebrate company's various models of airplanes and the man who created them. Over the years, Chris Heintz has introduced more than a dozen successful kit aircraft designs, including the STOL CH 701, Zodiac CH 601, CH 650 LS and LSi, STOL CH 801, Zodiac XL, STOL CH 750 light-sport utility kit airplane, and CH 2000.

"Zeniths to Oshkosh" is a grassroots effort created through various Internet groups involving owners and enthusiasts from around the world. Zeniths to Oshkosh organizers have reserved an entire floor of dorm rooms at UW-Oshkosh's Gruenhagen Conference Center - there's already a waiting list established for those - and they're also arranging private housing for other participants. Attendees are coming from as far away as Australia and New Zealand, said Joe Scheibinger, 601 builder/owner from Oshkosh. "An Army Major serving his country in Afghanistan is even planning to come to Oshkosh on his leave," he said.

Fifty aircraft parking spaces have been reserved in the Homebuilts area, and they're expected to be filled, with about 25 owners already reserving a spot. "It looks like getting 50 Zeniths to Oshkosh will be a lot easier than I thought," Scheibinger said, adding that Zenith owners who bring their airplanes to Oshkosh will receive a commemorative presentation plaque.

Monday will be designated Chris Heintz Day and will include a special recognition event on the West Ramp with examples of Heintz-designed aircraft followed by showcase flights. Other events during the week will include forum presentations on the various Zenith models, an address by Chris Heintz at the Homebuilders Hangar, and a banquet. Planning for these events is ongoing and will be announced when finalized.

For more information, e-mail Scheibinger or call 920-237-1450.

Friday, March 25, 2011

St. Louis Aviation Pioneer Carl "Chub" Wheeler, 99, Honored by Local Daedalian Flight

Carl "Chub" Wheeler (right) Was Honored for Lifetime Achievement

Carl "Chub" Wheeler was honored for a lifetime of achievement in aviation at last night's local Daedalian Flight meeting.  For Wheeler, who will turn 100 years old later this year, that is close to two lifetimes for the rest of us!   He learned to fly at Curtiss-Steinberg Airport (later Parks Airport and now St. Louis Downtown Airport) in 1934, earned his private and transport licenses, operated a flight school, taught Army Air Corps pilots during World War II, managed the renamed Parks Airport in the 1950s, flew corporate DC-3s for Monsanto and the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and continued flying his vintage Fairchild 24 for years after "retirement."  He still shares his unique perspective of St. Louis aviation in a style that leaves the listener with the feeling of having been there right along with him.  Joining with the Daedalians and the St. Louis aviation community, The Aero Experience salutes Chub Wheeler!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

EAA 32 Has Large Turnout for Young Eagles Event With Jeff Skiles and Rod Hightower

Young Eagles Flights were conducted for youth 8-17 years old in a variety of aircraft:

No child was left behind...

EAA President Rod Hightower arrived in his Stearman and gave several Young Eagles Flights:

Flight Simulators were also available:

Jeff Skiles, Young Eagles Co-Chairman and First Officer on US Air "Miracle on the Hudson" flight spoke to the next generation of pilots and announced new Young Eagles initiatives:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lambert Aircraft 1934 Monocoupe D-145 Removed from Lambert St. Louis Airport at Start of Renovation Plan; Now at SRT Aviation at Mount Vernon, MO

Renovations Set to Begin in Terminal 1

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport will begin the most intense phase of its Airport Experience renovations in April with the launch of multiple construction projects in Terminal 1. As early as April 4, construction walls will be erected throughout most of the terminal’s lower level between the entrances to the A and C Concourses. Construction will proceed in phases through late 2012 to improve passenger services, airport operations and deliver a dramatic visual makeover of Lambert’s historic facility, which was designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki (1956).

Improvements include:

■Relocation of C Concourse checkpoint to accommodate latest passenger screening equipment.

■Introducing brighter ceiling treatments in lower level that includes programmable LED light fixtures on structural columns.

■New atrium to connect ticketing and lower levels

■New baggage claim restrooms; renovation of existing restrooms.

■New ticket counters and Terrazzo flooring on upper level Ticketing Hall

■New signage and directories.

■Introduce “St. Louis Stage,” a dedicated performance area in lower level.

■Incorporate new interactive and static art displays in renovated areas

The Airport has opened up a demonstration area to showcase lower level improvements including new columns, programmable LED column caps and lighting. The area is located across from Great American Bagel Bakery.

In advance of the construction, the Airport is removing the historic 1934 Monocoupe D-145 plane (once owned by Charles Lindbergh) which is currently on display over the C Concourse Checkpoint. The plane will be restored over the next 12 months during checkpoint relocation project and re-installed after construction is completed in that areas.

(Lambert-St. Louis Airport News Release)

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Book About St. Lous Aviation Due Out April 9

For a little more than 60 years, from 1904 to 1967, St. Louis was considered the world’s air capitol for balloon racers, parachutists, airship aeronauts, air-traffic controllers, scheduled airlines, solo-flight adventurers, fighter pilots, and astronauts. At many times, the United States has led the world in aviation development and technology, and St. Louis was one of the biggest contributors with many aviation firsts:

 A U.S. president first flew in an aircraft here. St. Louis can arguably be credited with the world’s first parachute jump, along with the world’s first air-traffic controller. The city was the epicenter for international balloon racing, and of course most people know that the city was home to Charles Augustus Lindbergh. The cold war and subsequent conflicts might have turned out quite differently if a St. Louis aircraft manufacturer had not existed. The world’s largest airline may have never gotten off the ground if not for a U.S. mail contract that was awarded to a St. Louis company in the mid-1920s.  This book provides a brief view of these firsts in aviation, as well as the development and impact of aviation in the city and beyond. 

Jeremy Cox is vice president at JetBrokers, Inc., a professional aircraft sales company. He is also a staff writer at World Aircraft Sales Magazine,, Forbes Wheels Up, and Fly Corporate Magazine. In 1987, Jeremy was elected by the Royal Aeronautical Society as a technician of the organization. He currently serves as president of the Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum, which is based at the Historic Hangar Two at KCPS.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How the Helicopter Changed Modern Warfare - Latest Aviation History Book by Walter Boyne

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"Walter Boyne has made what could be a prosaic subject read like one of his thrillers. It never slows and is packed with an immense amount of information and sometimes alarming, but illuminating, insights.

This guy is good!" -Budd Davisson, editor in chief, Flight Journal magazine.

"Anyone interested in helicopters or flying generally will find this book indispensable." -Philip Handleman, Handleman Filmworks.

"In yet another home run, Walter Boyne sets forth and definitively explains the transformational importance the helicopter has gained on American battlefields from Korea to Iraq and Afghanistan. This is an insightful and thought-provoking book." -Eric Hammel, author, The Road to Big Week.

The vertical lift aircraft was a unique invention when introduced to combat during World War II. Since then, it has changed the way we perform transport, soldier extraction, and close air support. Carefully cataloging the steps from idealistic concept to fantastic killing machine, this historical overview touches on the major points of the helicopter's developmental journey. The helicopter has proven advantageous in overcoming problematic geography and terrain and has empowered the United States military in ways previously unimaginable. Unfortunately a combination of factors, including arguments over the machine's role in the military, operating costs, maintenance, and the increased attention toward nuclear weapons, has stalled its progress. Blaming Congress and the Department of Defense for this irresponsible oversight, this account simultaneously pays tribute to all those who made the technological advancements possible.

Walter J. Boyne co-founded the cable channel Wingspan, the Air and Space Channel, which was bought out by the Discovery Channel in 1998. Since then he has appeared as a commentator, discussing aviation, space, and military events on broadcast networks and on such cable channels as the History Channel, A&E, the Discovery Channel, and the Military Channel. Boyne, a retired air force colonel, was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2007 and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Medal by the Air Force Association in 2010. He is the author of more than fifty fiction and nonfiction books on his subject of expertise, including The Influence of Air Power upon History, available from Pelican. He resides in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Terri. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

VX-9 "Vampires" FA-18E Super Hornet Makes Fuel Stop at TAC Air, Spirit of St. Louis Airport

This U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet made a stop at Spirit of St. Louis Airport for fuel this afternoon.  The pilot, Lt. Christopher Muller from VX-9 (Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 9) "Vampires" at NAS China Lake, CA, spoke briefly with AE and crews of other aircraft parked nearby before suiting up and departing.  Special thanks to TAC Air for today's ramp alert!