Friday, July 27, 2012

EAA 2012

A friend of Middle Daughter found tickets (much thanks to you both!) and Eldest Son and I went today. He and Youngest Daughter were going to Pirates of Penzance and so we couldn’t stay past 4, but we got to see part of the big air show (it lasts until 6), and lots of aircraft old and new.

They have a model of SpaceShipOne in the museum now. I think it would be fun for them to put in the loop for HotRod, aka Putt-Putt, aka a prototype for Project Orion, though I suppose it wouldn't strictly have been an aircraft since nobody ever figured out how the thing could land.

A Hornet was a noisy part of the show, and a B17 and B29 (with a photography plane shadowing them) a much more sedate interlude as they carried Dolittle’s co-pilot and the Enola Gay navigator and a surprised team of Young Eagles (the winner of the bid didn’t fly himself and his friends but gave the flight to the Young Eagles) around Oshkosh. A Redtail Mustang was taxiing out to be ready after the acrobatics when we left.

The timing of the skydivers worked well, except that the jumper with the US flag came down faster than the singer sang, so the "Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave" coincided with the landing and the end of the waving.

The kits for sale were interesting, but with my eyebones not quite as young as they used to be, and less than no space to store anything, I was able to consider and restrain myself. (I wanted to be an astronaut, not a pilot.)

We got to look around inside a C-46, of the sort my wife’s uncle had flown over the Hump in China. And a tour through the new Orbis flying eye surgery unit. And others. And a drone. And fields full of planes.

I’m interested in aviation, but you meet the real enthusiasts there. Eldest Son, as we entered the gate, opined that it looked like a fair because of all the sales tents. But when 90% of the tents display aviation-related equipment, the resemblance to the Dane County Fair begins to subside. Even Bose and Sennheiser had booths: hearing protection, of course; obvious in retrospect. (I have trouble with names and couldn’t name most of the aircraft I saw if my life depended on it.)

The scattered drips and brisk wind kept it all cool, though I now sport a jolly red nose that seems to have projected beyond my floppy hat.

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