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

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dreams of Flight in Vintage Biplane Come True for St. Louis Area Residents
By Carmelo Turdo
During the summer months, the distinctive rumble of a radial engine can be heard at St. Louis Downtown Airport as Kevin Kegin taxis his 1941 Waco UPF-7 biplane across the west ramp before takeoff.  Today was no exception - Kegin flew four times over the St. Louis area with passengers who made reservations through Kegin's St. Louis Biplane Rides business.  Passengers arriving for their flights are welcomed at Ideal Aviation, and flights are boarded next door in front of the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum at historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar 2.  

Many of his customers receive their rides as birthday or "bucket list" gifts from family members, and there is no better way to see the St. Louis riverfront than flying 90mph in an open cockpit vintage biplane.  Some passengers choose to experience aerobatic maneuvers during their flights, and Kegin's smooth flying makes this a great choice for almost anyone. 

Kevin Kegin's fully restored 1941 Waco UPF-7 is a thing of beauty as well as a practical pilot training aircraft.  About 600 of the type were built in Troy, Ohio between 1937 and 1942.  It was a refinement of the Waco "F" Series from the early 1930s, retaining the two-seat bench configuration in the forward cockpit.  The aircraft was used primarily for pilot training in civilian flight schools, and later used for cropdusting and recreational flying.  Many of the surviving aircraft were rescued from permanent demise during the 1950s when the Waco cropdusters were replaced by purpose-built models and they were becoming available for restorers.  About 150 remain flying today.

Here are views of the Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium from Kevin Kegin's Waco...

...and some scenes from today's flights:


Check out St. Louis Biplane Rides to book your flight, and get some great Waco gear!

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