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AirVenture 2008 - Day 6

by John M. White |

If gas prices are getting you down, and you have now turned to a motorcycle (like one of my sons), much to my wife's dismay, then its not too much of a leap to get yourself one which - with the pull of a lever - turns into an airplane!  The Skybike is under development by Sampson Motorworks and is a three-wheeled two-seat motorcycle with a canard front and a large duct fan at the rear. Skybike2

Now, there are a lot of ideas out there to save gas and bring aviation into every garage al la Henry Ford and William T. Piper, but I just can't see this one taking to the air!  At least, not with me on board!

The roar of a B-25 and other warbirds filled the air on Saturday, along with screaming P-51's dropping bombs on the grass just off the runway.  Unusual designs like the Electric Moni takes to the sky demonstrating an extremely quiet and cool concept for our "Green" friends. Al Gore, you were right  The problem is, where are we going to get all of the electricity?  From the sun?

At sunup everyday at the World War II reenactment camp old soldiers gather to raise the flag and salute Old Glory. During the day reenactments of World War II activities take place including mock battles and flybys of historic aircraft.

On Friday women strutted their stuff with aerobatic demonstrations followed by the 5K runway run on Saturday morning, with many attendees flying out to return home.  Of course, large crowds gathered at Aeroshell Square to see the display of aircraft ranging from a B-17 to a U-2, and everything in between.

On a more serious note Tom Thatcher is a man on a mission, conducting a survey to find why public use airports have declined from over 6,500 to less than 5,000 over the last 40 years.  Tom says that the environment for general aviation airports is tougher than any time in the past, and he is working to find ways to preserve these general aviation public use airports. Keeping general aviation airports open is a serious problem that needs to be solved.

One last note, on Thursday morning Aeroshell Square was blanketed with pink-shirted women to promote women in aviation.  It was an awesome sight!  When I started in aviation many years ago women were a rarity in aviation; today you can find them in cockpits all over the world.  Way to go gals!Airventure2008_women_pinkshirts_lar

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!


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