AirVenture in the Mirrors

As I pushed the throttle in, lifted off of Wittman Field's runway 36(L) and pulled in to a right turn for a heading of 150, I caught a glimpse of AirVenture 2017 in the glare shield mirrors. Vibrant, full of airplanes, and crawling with people, the festivities would last two more full days, but my head and memory cards were full, and it was time to head west. Looking ahead, I picked out the three cub-like airplanes between me and the seaplane base, leveled off at 500' AGL and felt the acceleration that made those cubs look like stars in a special-effects hyper-speed sequence as I went by them on the right. It was another beautiful morning in Wisconsin!

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Pilgrimage to the EAA Museum

I feel a necessity to trek to the EAA Museum during each visit to Oshkosh. I need to pay my respects to the notable flying machines housed there. I re-live the thrill I felt helping to restore and then having the privilege to fly the historic RV-1. And, the bitter-sweet memory of escorting the plane into the 2012 AirVenture, flying our RV-3B immediately in front of Dick VanGruensven in the RV-1--it's last flight.

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What Is It?

Rutan-Grizzly

This has to be one of the most unusual STOL planes ever. Powered by a 180-hp Lycoming IO-360 turning a Hartzell constant-speed prop, this four-place, all-composite airframe features a unique canard/tandem wing configuration that stalls at 40 mph. The tandem wing interconnects provide torsional bracing for the forward-swept wings and also carry fuel.

The sliding canopy's bulging side windows allow straight-down visibility. Fold the rear seat forward, and it converts into a level, 78-inch-long bed that sleeps two.

Empty weight is 1474 pounds and gross is 2500. The aircraft first flew in 1982. Continue reading "What Is It?"