Sep 072010

I had great hopes that the wind would die down today and my hopes were rewarded. After a complete blowout for the first time in the history of the fly-in, the field was closed. Around 7pm the wind finally dropped off and a number of planes took off at sunset. But because the wind will tend to drop off around sunset every day anyway, it did not necessarily predict the next day to be calm.

Fortunately it was and I was provided with a fantastic day of shooting movies of Antique and Classic Airplanes landing, taking off, taxiing and making passes at the field. The flip side of that is less still pictures. I may add a few screen grabs later but for now I only have a few stills I took while downloading camera footage to my portable hard drive around lunch time.

A 1934 Waco Model YKC

A 1941 Waco Model UPF-7

At first glance it might appear that I put the same plane up twice. Yes, they are both Wacos but No, not the same plane. One thing I am learning about Antiques and Classics is the wide variety of Wacos. Both of these are done in a very similar paint scheme but are only similar in limited ways. Over 600 of the UPF-7’s were produced and 60 of the YKC’s. I am partial to the Waco line and find them very pleasing aesthetically.

A 1973 Starduster SA-300

I put this picture in not because it is a Classic or Antique but because the Starduster has a special place in my memories. It was on a sunny day like this, nearly the same day (September 6) my Son Jack got a Young Eagle ride in a Starduster owned by Steven R. Manweiler of Wichita, Kansas. He was 11 years old at the time and was impressed enough by it to write a story and draw two illustrations of the event.

CORRECTION: I was just informed by my buddy Mike Rodriguez that Manweiler’s plane is an ACRO SPORT II. Well, you learn something every day. Anyway the Starduster above STILL brought back that memory….

Denny Whitson • Security

Here is the first person I met at the Blakesburg Fly-in and the last guy I said goodbye to. Denny is one of the reasons the Blakesburg AAA Fly-in is such a success every year. He is one of the volunteers that give their time to staff the event each year. I can’t remember exactly but I think he told me he had been putting in his time for about 20 years at the event. The smooth running and safety of the Fly-in are a testimony to the diligence of this fine crew of which Denny is a part.

Bob Punch, Don Thun & Rich Caswell on the other side of "The Big Eye"

Some people think airplanes are kept aloft by lift. More practical people know that it is money that keeps them up there. But. The real truth of it is they stay aloft because they love getting their picture taken. Here are three of that faithful cadre of professional and “advanced amateur” photographers who work tirelessly to supply magazines, newspapers, television and the web with high quality images of the beauty that is Antique and Classic Airplanes.

Below is a short clip I shot I’m calling “The Firing Line”. It includes the trio featured above as well as a number of other experienced photogs at the show. I’ll be using this shot in one of my music videos.

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Blue Skies & Tailwinds!

Brian FitzGerald