Tuesday, May 22, 2012


It is the goal of this weblog to randomly pay tribute to aeronautical achievements, people, events, and interesting aeronautical facts.  Most of the time we look back over the phenominal history of American aviation.  But today, it is fitting that we honor a private company which has aspired to the dream of space flight and are achieving it as I write this.

Photo Credits: NASA / SpaceX

5/31/2012: Back to Earth after Success.
5/25/12 Houston.. "Looks like we have a Dragon by the tail..."
5/25/12 SpaceX Dragon Capsule Approaches the I.S.S.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket - 1.1 Million Pounds of Thrust

"Dragon" reuseable spacecraft developed by SpaceX under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.

Today, in the morning's wee hours, SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket to propel it's Dragon space capsule into orbit en route toward a rendezvous with the International Space Station. Our family has followed the progress made by SpaceX over the past several years.  Today's mission is an endeavor only achieved previously by four enormous government programs. 

We're proud that our hometown McGregor Texas is also home to the SpaceX rocket engine test facility. SpaceX started as a private venture just shy of ten years ago.  Today the company has over 1,700 employees in California, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Florida. They have harnessed the best of today's talent and technology in the reach toward their goal.  At they same time, they give back to their community as sponsors to youth programs, city events, and supporting our public schools.  SpaceX is truly a first class company.  We cheer them on toward the ISS.

At right, and below:

SpaceX Test facilities in McGregor TX

For more information, visit spacex.com.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Out and About

Flier Teresa Sloan reported via Facebook that Richard Pingrey had his Curtiss Robin J-1 out and about over the past weekend at Ellensburg, Washington.  Great to display the old Robin at a local fund raiser pancake breakfast for EAA and AHP scholarship fund.

"Wheezie" at the breakfast.
What a beautiful bird under the bright blue skies of Washington State!  We hope to hear more from Richard soon....  unfortunately, it seems there was a slight setback after the pancake breakfast.

See facebook updates...

All is well that ends well minimum damage, mostly to landing gear. Pilot unhurt. Fifteen friends later she is resting in her hangar awaiting repairs.

  Teresa Sloan Won't know (what happened) until they tearr down engine. Suspect she swallowed a valve. 
    • Teresa Sloan Gear was a mess and prop bent but wings and fuselage ok.
    •  Teresa Sloan Not my plane. Its the 1929 curtis robin. The owner was flying. He shut down the engine due to smoke so it wasnt under power when the prop hit, so hopefully no damage to crankshaft. 
    • Terry Bowden Glad Nobody got hurt. This scene looks familiar... similar incident in 1993 with Dad's Robin. Send our best wishes for quick repairs.
      Teresa Sloan Yeah pretty scary. He had a friend circling overhead. She stopped breathing until she saw him get out of the plane and wave.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Another Curtiss Robin changes hands.

David Baumbach has quietly become the most prolific Curtiss Robin collector of the past few years.   This is great news!!

Terry:  I wanted to report that I have a third Curtiss robin.  I will send photos next week.
Best Regards, .......... David Baumbach

Hey David, Thats great news.  Which one?  Is it flying or a project?  I look forward to the photos. .... Terry

Terry:  We got it from the Yanks Museum; Yanks got it several years ago from the Douglas Santa Monica.  It is a model J-1 s/n 679, N679R.  It is powered with 220 Cont engine, has a Ham std prop, and is currently disassembled.  The fabric appears to be airworthy so we will assemble it and attempt to fly it this summer.   I will email photos. .....  David 


Friday, May 4, 2012

Spring Air Fair - Pioneer Flight Museum

Here is another few photos from my friend Doug Ratchford, who attended the April 28th gathering at Kingsbury Aerodrome.

Hey Terry,
Last weekend I went out to Pioneer Flight Museum at Old Kingsbury for their spring air
fair. I had a great time, saw several friends and made many new ones. I had so much fun I
decided to join and have already signed up for a get dirty project on some old (and I mean OLD)
display engines.
Several late model Cessnas flew in, a few Vans , two Stearmans and a really pretty Cessna 195.
Also the Cessna Bird Dog with the big dog teeth and hanging tongue.
Don Price, CAF Gulf Coast Wing Leader arrived later in his PT-26 (editors note - Doug I think you meant PT-22) and I had a pleasant chat with him. PFM had all their Model T fleet and antique bikes out driving around the patch which was lots of fun. Lots of grinning kids.
Here's a few pix. Check out this prehistoric engine lineup. The fuse at left is a 1917
Thomas-Morse S4 "Tommy Scout". Engines are L-R Hisso 150, Lawrance, Salmson, 2 Gnomes,
LeRhone, Liberty, Hall-Scott and any Robin driver should recognize that thing on the far right.

More on the 2012 Central Texas Taylorcraft Fly-in

The following is a guest post from my friend Doug Ratchford, which I asked him for and then after he provided it, I got busy and neglected to post it until now.  Doug did a nice writeup on the 2012 Central Texas Taylorcraft Fly-in held March 30-31 at Fort Parker Flying Field, in Groesbeck, TX. He has also provided some really nice photos he took himself. My apologies to Doug in dragging my feet to get this published.  But I think the readers will agree it was worth the wait. Thanks Doug and nice work! Terry

Tail Logo from NC22207 photo by Doug Ratchford

    I had a real good time with some fine people last weekend.  Terry and I finally met face to face, Doc and I had met before at a warbird event and there were a couple of more folks I'd crossed paths with at a fly-in last fall, so vintage av is still a small world.   This is my first guest post on anyone's blog so thanks for the invitation to do so Terry and I hope y'all don't mind me rambling a bit.
    My sum total Taylorcraft experience prior to this was seeing my father in law's and uncle's 1942 DC-65 fly around the patch once about fourteen years ago in Wisconsin.(7878Charlie is now in the Denver area)  Other than the Piper connection, I was pretty clueless.   After close to a decade in warbirds I've gotten more and more involved in the vintage club/type fly-ins and really like the experience.  I'm not giving up my B-17 gig but I've really gotten to like the family atmosphere of club fly-ins.  Being an avid photographer too, it's easier to get close ups of vintage GA aircraft than of a warbird several hundred yards away. Not to mention easier to catch a buddy ride.
  Saturday I heard the comment that looking at a lineup of the same model, they all look alike at a glance but upon closer examination, there are boucoup differences.  "Like they never built the same thing twice."  Sounds like Wacos....hmm..
  I was hoping to get some dawn pix Sat. since the a/c were facing east but it got pretty froggy early on. No problem-muted early light with everything all drippy makes good photo ops too.
 Blue skies and tailwinds until the next event,
Doug "Ratch" Ratchford,  Brenham, Tx.
      member-Lone Star Flight Museum & National Waco Club

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