So I rode the bike to the airport and it wasn't that cold, in the low 40s, but it was the first use of my leather jacket this Fall/Winter. Not bad, December 4 and still comfy. And I rode home in shirtsleeves. Wonderful afternoon riding weather makes memories of the blistering Arizona summer heat fade away.
At the airport I got to see P-51 Mustangs fly in and out this time. Great fun. Even better, it's a rural airport and a very low key gathering so photographers are allowed to stand out near the runway as as long as we stay at least 100ft back from the pavement. Most stand a bit further back because zoom lenses have all the reach needed and no one wants to be a bug on a P51 prop.
|North American P-51D called "Stang"|
It's really a great experience to be able to get so close to the planes when they are taking off or doing a fly-by, very much like the olden days of bike racing in America when crowds at a race track could get right down on the wall to watch the races. All wonderful, at least until something goes wrong. Most things worth doing involve some risk.
Amongst the planes flying in this month were two P-51D Mustangs, a Rearwin Cloudster, a Beech "Staggerwing", an Aero L-29 Delfin jet trainer, a North American T-28C, and a Twin Star twin diesel powered composite speedster from Germany.
|1965 Aero L-29 Delfin from the old Czechoslovakia|
Someone was talking to the owner of the L-29. The Delfins are not real pricey as jets go and the owner of the one above was said to have grabbed it in a down market for $45k. Then, as with other "good deals" like a used Ferrari, Chris Craft boat, or super model wife, the maintenance bills started to arrive. I'm guessing motorcycles are dirt cheap compared to owning and operating any vintage aircraft beyond a Piper Cub replica.
A couple of more favorites from the day:
|North America T-28C. US training aircraft c1960|
|1944 Beech D17S also known as "the Staggerwing Beech" This plane represented both speed and class in the 1930's.|
The rest of the photos from the morning are here.