Oshkosh Report: The E-1 and More!

As always, AirVenture at Oshkosh was amazing! It just keeps getting better every year, with more people, more airplanes, more things to see, and an incredible airshow. The fireworks display at the night airshow on Saturday was the best I’ve ever seen — I didn’t think they were ever going to stop. Both of my presentations were well-attended and I even sold a few books.

The E-1, as promised, was on display on the grass outside the EAA Museum. My older sister Maureen took the photo below of my dad with the E-1 on Wednesday, July 25. I took the other photo the next day; it shows the Lesher Teal lurking behind the E-1. You may recall that Ed Lesher and the Teal held the C1a distance record from 1975 until 1984, when Gary Hertzler set the record in his VariEze that Arnold eventually broke. Gary still has his airplane and flies it regularly.

Arnold with the E-1 at Oshkosh/EAA Museum

The E-1 with the Lesher Teal in the Background

I also was lucky enough to fly the EAA’s T-6 on Sunday before I left Oshkosh. I flew with EAA’s Sean Elliot and I had a great time doing some introductory maneuvers such as steep turns, lazy-8s, and chandelles. No acro — we didn’t have chutes — but it was still a blast. Here’s a couple of pictures:

EAA’s T-6

Me after having a great time in the T-6!

Finally, on my drive back to Madison for my flight home the next day, I stopped by Fisk to see the FAA controllers who bring all the traffic into Oshkosh during AirVenture. As you can see from these photos, the set-up at Fisk is a pretty low-tech operation right next to a corn field! The controllers visually spot inbound aircraft and then push them in one direction or another as they fly directly over Fisk. The pilots don’t talk at all, they just listen to what the controllers tell them to do. I flew into Oshkosh once in the mid-1990s and it was both challenging and fun. On Sunday, the last day of the show, things were pretty quiet, although there was a steady stream of airplanes outbound.

FAA controllers waiting for some action at Fisk

The luxurious facilities at Fisk

And that’s it for Oshkosh for another year! I’m already making plans for next year.

The E-1 at Oshkosh (and Some Presentations, Too)

The E-1 is supposed to be on display during AirVenture this coming week! I’m not exactly sure where, but usually some of the aircraft not yet on display in the museum are towed to a grassy area behind the museum so people can see them during AirVenture. Arnold is planning to be there on Wednesday, along with my older sister, Maureen. I don’t arrive until Thursday, but once I find the E-1, I’ll be sure to post a picture! I’m hoping it will be on display with Ed Lesher’s Teal, which held the C-1a distance record from 1975 until 1984, when Gary Hertzler set the record that Arnold then broke in 2010.

Also, I’m going to give two presentations and will be signing books during AirVenture. The first presentation is on The Propeller under the Bed and will be at the museum on Thursday, July 26, 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm. It’s titled Homebuilts: Not the Usual Suspects and I’ll be signing books afterwards.

The second presentation will be 10:00 am to 11:15 am on Friday, July 27, at Forum Stage 3. It’s titled F-100 & F-8: The Forgotten Fighters. The material in this presentation is based on some research that Maureen has done on the F-100, along with some of my F-100 articles and an article I wrote on the F-8 a couple of years ago.

I’ll also be signing books 3:45 pm to 4:45 pm on Friday at the Sky Shoppe Authors Corner and again at 2:45 pm to 3:45 pm on Saturday, July 28, at the Wearhouse Authors Corner.

I hope to see some of you there!

EAA eHotline and Upcoming Events

My Decathlon is broken so I was going to try to fly in a rented Decathlon today in Leesburg, Virginia, but it was too windy. I guess I’ll have to settle for a picture of a Decathlon (the picture below is actually my older airplane; I often regret selling it, but I know the new owner is taking good care of it). Bummer! But the cancellation gives me some time to work on my long-neglected website.

1974 Decathlon

1974 Decathlon

Many thanks to EAA for a nice call-out about The Propeller under the Bed in their eHotline last week: Click here to read the short article.

I’m excited to be the speaker at the annual meeting of the Oregon Aviation Historical Society in Cottage Grove, Oregon next Saturday (April 14). I have to admit I’m a little nervous about giving a presentation on the history of homebuilt aircraft to a group of folks who know way more than I do about Oregon’s significant contributions to homebuilding!

I’m also going to be giving an interview and book reading to Authors of the Pacific Northwest. I’ll let you know when the podcast gets published and will provide a link to the website.

F-100 Stories (and the F-4 too)

Happy Veteran’s Day!

The Super Sabre Society has invited Arnold and me to talk at their next reunion in San Antonio in the spring of 2019. Yes, it’s a little far out, but I’m already looking forward to it! We’ll be talking about the F-100 of course, not the E-1 and homebuilt aircraft, but I suppose the E-1 could come up since the F-100 played a role in the E-1’s aileron design. Also, Arnold’s experiences in flying the F-100 long distances gave him the confidence that he could stay awake for an 18-hour flight.

The Super Sabre Society has posted some of Arnold’s writings about the early days of the F-100. You can read these at https://supersabresociety.com/ever-wonder-like-fly-f-100a-1955/.

I also published an article about the F-100 and the 1955 Bendix Race in Air & Space magazine that you can read here: https://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/when-slower-was-faster-1-180952131/

Here’s a couple of pictures of Arnold with the F-100, one in Vietnam in 1968 and one taken with a display F-100 at Luke AFB in Arizona during a Veteran’s Day trip last year:

Since it’s Veteran’s Day, here’s a picture of me too, from my days flying in the backseat of F-4s at Edwards AFB (circa 1988). This particular RF-4C even had my name stenciled on the rear canopy:

 

Oshkosh Schedule for The Propeller under the Bed

I will be giving my presentation, “A Brief History of Homebuilt Aircraft,” at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on Thursday, July 27, 8:30 a.m. After the presentation, I’ll be signing my book at the Sky Shoppe (EAA will be selling books) until 10:30.

I’ll also be signing books at the Sky Shoppe on Friday, July 28, 4:30-5:30 p.m. and then at the EAA Wearhouse on Saturday, July 29, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

If you have already purchased a book and would like me to sign it, please feel free to bring it to the signing.

I hope to see some of you there!

 

Harvey Field Book Signing

I just wanted to post a few pictures from the book signing at Harvey Field last weekend (May 6). The weather was great and 50+ people came out; at least a few of them flew in! We sold almost 40 books and Arnold and I gave a short presentation about noon. Everyone ate most of the sandwiches, fruit, and spreads we set out, but there were plenty of chocolates and cookies left over for the hungry flight instructors.

Here’s a few pictures:

Some attendees at the book signing

The books!

Some E-1 memorabilia

Many thanks to all who helped me get this set up: Christi Otness, my sisters Kelly and Maureen, Vladimir Ursachii (who helped with the computers and celebrated forty years of skydiving a few days after the event), and all the Harvey Field employees that helped with every little detail from Facebook announcements to ordering the books for sale.

Events, Events!

I’m adding an events page, but here are some upcoming presentations and book signings:

April 22, 2017: Presentation on “A Brief History of Homebuilt Aircraft” at the EAA Chapter 186 meeting in Manassas, Virginia. I’ll sign books for anyone that brings a copy, but I didn’t have time to arrange for book sales for this event. The meeting starts at 10:00 am and my presentation will be at about 11:00 am followed by a BBQ! Click here for more information.

May 3, 2017: Literary Voices at the University of Washington, beginning at 6:00 pm. I’ll be one of about thirty authors at this event! It’s a bit pricey, but click here for more information if you are interested.

May 6, 2017: Book signing at Harvey Airfield in Snohomish, Washington, from 11:00 am until 3 pm. I will be giving a short presentation at noon and my father will be there also. Books will be available for sale and we’ll also have refreshments. Click here for directions to Harvey Airfield.

July 7, 2017 at 10:15 am and July 8, 2018 at 12:45 pm, I’ll be giving a presentation on “A Brief History of Homebuilt Aircraft” and signing books at the Arlington Fly-In in Arlington, Washington. I believe we will have books for sale, but I’ll confirm that at a later date. Click here for more information on the Fly-In.

I’m planning to do something at Oshkosh of course, but I don’t yet have confirmed dates/times, etc.

The Propeller under the Bed: Getting Closer to Release

The books have been printed and I got my first author’s copy in the mail on Monday! I promptly repackaged it and sent it to my father so he would have the honor of seeing it first since, without him, there would have been no book. Here’s a photo of that first book:

Propeller Book Photo

The Book in Final Form

Yesterday (Saturday) nine more copies arrived for me and I noticed that Amazon moved up their shipping date from 13 April to 16 March. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I hope it means that those of you who pre-ordered will be getting your books soon! Barnes & Noble has always showed a shipping date of 21 March.

So what’s next? I had been thinking about having a book launch party in April, but with the possibility of a March release now, that might be a moot point. Whatever happens with the launch, I’m planning to have a book signing at Harvey Field on 6 May, from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm, so mark your calendars! I’ll give a short presentation at about noon and Arnold will be there also to talk and answer questions. There will also be some light refreshments. More details to follow as it gets closer. I’m hoping to do other book signings as well, in Washington State, at Oshkosh and in the DC area (I moved back to northern Virginia in mid-February of this year), but nothing firm has been set up yet.

Writing a book has been a lifelong dream for me, but I never expected that it would turn into a project about my family and the dreams of thousands of other amateur aircraft homebuilders throughout the world. During my research, I gained a much better understanding of not only the history of aviation in the United States but also learned much about my own parents and other relatives. I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity to document all of this for future generations to enjoy.

Many thanks to all of you who have helped me on this journey that began in September 2012 with a vague idea about writing a book using my mother’s idea for a title. Knowing people out there cared about this project was encouraging in itself, but many of you also provided feedback on my early drafts and I always appreciated the “Likes” and encouraging comments you made on the blog. The blog itself produced occasional surprises–I’ve lost track of the number of people who were stationed at Foster AFB in the 1950s who have contacted me! So thank you again for all your support and I hope to see you at a book signing!

Propeller is Now Available for Pre-Order

Propeller now has an official release date: April 13! It can be pre-ordered at Amazon, B&N, etc (if you don’t want to click on the links, just go to the website and type “The Propeller under the Bed” into the search box and it pops right up). Both Amazon and B&N are selling pre-orders at a 20% discount. B&N shows it shipping on March 21, although that might be an error.

If you would like to pre-order with a 30% discount, you can call Hopkins Fulfillment Service at 1-800-537-5487; use discount code WST30.

I just about had a heart attack when I saw it for sale online! I’m starting to feel like a real writer now …

Book Release Update

Last Saturday, the Spring 2017 University of Washington Press Catalog arrived in my mailbox, and what a nice surprise: Propeller is on page 6! Here’s a scan of the page:

Propeller's Page in Spring 2017 UW Press catalog

Propeller’s Page in Spring 2017 UW Press catalog

I finished the index on Tuesday and sent it in, so now there’s nothing to do but wait for the presses to do their thing. Assuming I did the index right of course–this was my first index, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets kicked back for some edits. Even with my dubious indexing skills, everything appears to be on track for pre-release copies in February and the full release in April. In the meantime, here’s a link to a “book trailer” if you’d like to check it out: