Courtesy of a ride by Mike and Jeff in Mike's sweet Cardinal, on Friday Brian brought home the newest plane in the Half Fast fleet. The Red Baron Stearman was an orphan after the Red Baron Squadron closed down a year ago. While the others had already been sold in an auction, Schwanns had held two back for the museum. Well, lucky for us they changed their minds and decided to sell off the remaining two planes. We quickly jumped on the chance to own one of only two Red Baron Stearmans remaining with the authentic Red Baron logo and paint scheme (all other planes had the logos removed upon sale). Stop on by to see the newest member of our family, and look to the skies if you hear a round engine because we plan have fun this summer.
Despite strong storms (and damaging winds) on Friday and rain again on Sunday, the 2009 Quad City Airshow produced another great year of aerobatic greats, such as the Blue Angels (with the ever lovable Fat Albert), an A-10 Warthog, a Harrier Jet, Otto the aerobatic helicopter, Mike Wiskus, Kyle Franklin, and the unbelievably awesome John Mohr. Heck, even a jet school bus as well as a jet outhouse joined the show. With that kind of variety, every one of us had a different favorite... from Duane's love of the Harrier to Brian's analyis (and awe) of John Mohr. My favorites changes like my mood, but this year I really enjoyed the air-to-air wingwalker (it was either Kyle Franklin or Todd Green) transfer from John Mohr's stock Stearman to Otto's helicopter. Even in the sweltering 90+ degree humidity, it looked like several tens of thousands enjoyed the show.
Tonight we're getting the Texan ready and packing up for the Quad Cities Air Show this weekend (Saturday and Sunday shows). Weather permitting, we'll be hanging out in the warbird area the entire weekend. Stop by - we'd loved to see ya!
We've settled on a paint scheme for the Stinson after we get it restored... it will be pink (like I wanted) with a military scheme (like Brian wanted). Brian and his brother Travis realized the two ideas fit together nicely when they saw the desert pink P-40 at the Airzoo recently. If you look closely, the teeth have full lips and the eyes are complemented with long, pretty lashes. With a complete restoration ahead of us, it will be several years before you'll see Pinky in the air, but we'll keep you posted.
Setting the prop onto the concrete support
What to get that special someone who happens to be an aviation fanatic? Prop yard art, of course! The DC4 prop is the latest addition to the Half Fast Hangar. Thanks to help from a few volunteers and Ray Robinson's welding expertise & truck, the 1,000 pound yard art has found a new home at the Ames airport. If you drive by and catch sight of the 6+ foot long blades, stop by for a visit.
Brian and Rachel Aukes are aviation nuts based in Iowa. They love to fly, and when the weather keeps them on the ground, they love to talk about flying. When they aren't in the air, Brian keeps the airplanes running while Rachel cleans them and keeps this website running.