Welcome To The Friendliest Fly-In In The World!
While no one is
claiming that their luck can hold out forever, the 2004 rendition
of the nation's friendliest fly-in has started off with great
crowds, great weather and LOTS of planes and products for people to
With 65 degree temperatures greeting ANN's Jim Campbell, who had
just arrived from the previous day's nearly 100 degree and nearly
100% humidity (in Florida... The "Sunshine" state), the Arlington
Fly-In was, literally, a breath of fresh air. The first day is a
special one in that it is traditionally the day that the staff of
the NW EAA Fly-In welcomes scads of munchkins from local schools
who get a chance to commune with aviation on a very intimate level.
Lines of kids, led by teachers and chaperones, were seen all over
the fly-in grounds while their excited chatter and giggles were
heard loud and clear. You can never get enough of watching kids get
excited over aviation. If they could just bottle that
We've already spotted a number of new planes and products, done
some chatting and are looking forward to sharing some intriguing
stories with you this week. One of the first sights that made an
impression, though, was something we had never seen before at
Arlington... an F-104 Starfighter... converted into a land based
vehicle to be used for an assault on a number of land-based speed
records in the not too distant future. The goal of this amazing
apparition is to break the current world land speed record of 763
MPH, set on October 15, 1997.
In September of 1997 RAF Pilot Andy Green drove Richard Noble's
Thrust SSC to a new world record (714 MPH) breaking the previous
record set in 1983 with Thrust2 (633 MPH) - driven by Richard
Noble. The next month, they pressed on to achieve Mach 1.02 (763
MPH) for the first time ever. For 20 years now the British have
held the record. This new team, the folks of the "North American
Eagle," feel that "it's time to bring the record back to North
America, but it will take a team effort of sponsorship to make it
happen." You can read more about them at www.landspeed.com.
We noted the return of some oldies but goodies... the wooden
(formerly) Buethe Barracuda is back. The original demo bird is on
display and apparently still flying up a storm. With some kits now
available, this plans-built bird could get a shot in the arm with
better support and a few new short-cuts, so that builders can get a
faster start on what was once a pretty intense building project.
With 260 HP, the two seat (side by side) Barracuda is a 200 mph
machine... but one that will still need about 1800 hours of your
time to make your own. More info to come...
This year's Fly-In boasts one of the largest roster of
exhibitors in their history... so many that they had to expand the
area they inhabit. There are scads of forums, workshops,
demonstrations and other attractions to enjoy and (as usual) one
heck of a daily airshow. This year's line-up includes John
Mrazek in his T-6, Tom Ellsburg in the Oregon Streaker, Eddie
Andreini, Bud (one of the best we've ever seen) and Ross Granley in
the T-6 & Yak-55, Ken Fowler, Lon Arnold, Renny Price in a
Sukhoi SU-29, Parker Johnstone, Lyn & Deb Kleen doing their
amazing Parabatics parachute routines, Terry Burch in a Zlin 50 and
Sukhoi Pilot Price (shown below) provided a little unexpected
(and no doubt unwelcome) excitement on the opening day by losing
his canopy and helmet in the middle of a performance. The large two
seat tandem canopy is a goner, and so his Price's helmet... but
Price is fine -- though his wallet may be on the critical list for
a while. That canopy is not cheap.
The second day of America's friendliest Fly-in promises to be a
good one. The Exhibit area will open from 9 AM to 6 PM, while
Thursday's Forum Roster is not to be missed... among our hot picks
for the day are:
Thu 9:00 AM
- Forum Tent C: Will Sport Light
Aircraft & Sport Pilot's be "Aircraft Quality"
Presented by Dave Sandoz FAA Safety Counselor for Eastern
Washington. How can Sport Light Aircraft manufacturers &
operators do it better? Is qualified achieved by people, procedures
or management? Learn 5 simple steps to find quality problems.
- Forum Tent D: Flying Aerobatics
Presented by Renny Price and others.
Thu 10:30 AM
- Forum Tent A: How to Get You Homebuilt
Presented by FAA Seattle Manufacturing Inspection District
- Forum Tent B: Avionics CNX80 Operations
Presented by Wayne McGhee of Garmin
- Forum Tent C: Van's Side-By-Side Models
Presenter: Richard Van Grunsven Discussion of the history, the
flight characteristics and the assembly of Van's RV-6/6A, RV-7/7A
- Forum Tent D: Aircraft Financing
Presenter: Jim Blessing of Air Fleet Capital. Aircraft financing
overview including the tax advantages of aircraft ownership.
Thu 12:00 PM
- Forum Tent B: Glasair Aviation
Presented by Ted Setzer
- Forum Tent C: Sport Pilot Updates
Presenter: Ron Wagner of EAA
- Forum Tent E: Kitfox Group Building of Multiple
Presenters: Sylvan Adamson & Mark Miller of EAA 103. The
history of EAA 103 Kitfox builders group and its construction of 15
Kitfox aircraft at one time. How we got started, what we
accomplished and what we learned.
Thu 12:30 PM
In the Air: Ultralight Manufacturer's Demo
Thu 1:30 PM
- Forum Tent B: Pure Joy of Flying the Twister presented
by Pacific Aerosport
Exciting Spitfire look alike (shown below). 21st century high
technology, safety, & efficiency are features of the Twister
that cruises 146 MPH using just 3-4 gallons of gas. A lightweight
at 525 lbs empty. Quick & easy removal of the tail & wings
for easy storage & more
- Forum Tent C: Mountain Scope: Terrain Awareness and
Todd Sprague of PC Avionics will demonstrate
MountainScopes unmatched terrain awareness capabilities, plus its
planning, tracking and navigation features.
If you're ANYWHERE near the north side of Seattle, dial in
Arlington, Washington (AWO) on the GPS and stop on in... it's
going to be great day! More info to come...