Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Great Plains Air Expo Brings Variety of GA Aircraft to Spirit of St. Louis Airport

A variety of aircraft were on display today at the Midwest Aviation Center at Spirit of St. Louis Airport today.  Aircraft manufacturers brought their new demo aircraft to the event, and the crews were on hand to discuss the merits of their products.  It was as if the general aviation show room appeared on the ramp, and new airplanes do smell good, too!  Below are some examples of the aircraft on display.  Whether you can purchase an aircraft or not,  please support general aviation as a national priority!

The Aviat A-1C Husky provides impressive performance and can operate almost anywhere.  For more information, visit

The Hawker Beechcraft G58 Baron, YES that Baron, is still alive and kicking.  This beautiful classic design offers comfort and modernized cockpit to this legendary piston twin.  For more information, visit

Hawker Beechcraft also brought its B90 and B300 King Air twin turboprops as well.  These luxurious twins are works of art.  For more information, visit and

Cessna brought its 208B Grand Caravan, the large turbo that is a versatile executive and cargo aircraft.  It comes in a variety of sizes and configurations, including floats.  Also on the ramp were T182 Skylane and 162 Skycatcher.  For more information, please visit

Cirrus brought an SR20 with all the bells an whistles.  John Arnold, Cirrus commercial pilot and sales representative, discussed the advanced design and safety features of this best selling single engine piston aircraft.  For more information, visit or contact John at

Other Aircraft on display included Diamond DA40 and DA42 (twin), Pilatus PC-12, Piper Archer, and Piper Mirage.  For more information, visit

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ralf and Marga Hannemann's Around the World Flight for Charity Stops at TAC Air St. Louis

Ralf and Marga Hannemann Pose In Front of Their P68C Before Takeoff

The Aero Experience caught up with Ralf and Marga Hannemann during their stop in St. Louis on their around the world flight for charity.  The Hannemanns departed Spirit of St. Louis Airport Tuesday to continue their journey northeast before crossing the Atlantic back to Europe where their latest trip began.  The Hannemanns, who hale from Nuremberg, Germany, have been flying their custom twin-engined Vulacanair P68C Partenavia almost continually since 2003.  At 130 knots, intercontinental trips take a while!  The current tour is designed to call attention to Mission Aviation Fellowship and Harl-e-kin, a local German aftertreatment project for premature infants and their parents.  Both charities are under the banner of "A Healthy Smile Connects People", and are supported by such aerospace giants as BendixKing and Jeppesen.  Please visit Mission Aviation Fellowship at and Harl-e-kin at and make generous donations to each charity.

The Vulcanair P68C is a rugged, low-maintenance twin known for its versatility and endurance.  The Hannemann's aircraft, P68C D-GHAN, was custom-ordered in 2002 and delivered in 2003.  This aircraft was chosen for its simplicity of construction, high wing to keep the propellers away from rough ground and the short-field performance needed for utilizing unimproved airstrips world wide.  With long-range fuel tanks, over water flights of over 9 hours are possible.  The neatly arranged cockpit provides for safety and crew awareness during extended international flights.

Since receiving their P68C, the Hannemanns have been touring the world by air.  They are now on their second around the world flight.  Owning an aircraft in Europe and flying in remote areas of the world has its challenges.  Notwithstanding the higher price of fuel in outside the United States, even European countries have different flying environments.  Marga described Germany as being less supportive of general aviation, while France was described as "easy" and Scandinavia as "beautiful."  The conditions in Africa and Asia are especially challenging, often including small, unimproved landing strips and less than ideal fuel quality.  TAC Air St. Louis at Spirit of St. Louis Airport made it easy for the Hannemanns by providing excellent ramp service during their stay.

TAC Air Employee Dan O'Hara Tops Off the Tanks

Ralf and Marga Hannemann preflighted their aircraft and departed St. Louis around 10:00am.  Blue skies and Godspeed for this and future flights!  Please visit the Hannemann's website for more information on their charity around the world flight.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum and Southwestern Illinois College Team Up to Create Aviation Displays

Southwestern Illinois College has created attractive and informative displays using aviation artifacts provided on loan from the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum.  Together, these two organizations continue to inform the students and the general public about the rich aviation heritage of the St. Louis and Southern Illinois region.  Below are some results of this cooperative effort:

J34 Jet Engine Cutaway Restored by SWIC Students

Large Map of Lindbergh's US Tour Following His Atlantic Flight

Helpful Graphics Like This Provide Essential Background Data

For more information, visit Southwestern Illinois College at and the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum at

Zenith Z6A - Last Surviving - at the Waco Club Fly-In at Creve Coeur Airport This Weekend

For more information on this aircraft, visit