Many volunteers working this week on a new "lozenge" pattern for our Fokker D-VII wing. Wikipedia has a good page on this patterns' origins. Here is an excerpt, "...Lozenge-Tarnung, the lozenge camouflage made up of repeating patterns of irregularly shaped four-, five- and six-sided polygons. Because painting such a pattern was very time consuming, and the paint added considerably to the weight of the aircraft, the patterns were printed on fabric, and the fabric was then used to cover the aircraft. This pre-printed fabric was used in various forms and colors from late 1916 until the end of the war."
A number of people have been involved in creating a new entrance-way to our museum. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea (and to encourage those of you who can--to visit and see it in person) of the progress made to-date. We're almost done and anxious to hear your feedback. There are some very interesting exhibits in the shadow boxes and, as always, many incredible stories for you to hear during tours of the stories/background on exhibit material. Please stop in!
Mark Beam and Ryan Lunde began rehearsing for this summer's fly-in on Tuesday of this week. Mark flew the SE5 and Ryan flew the Taylorcraft standing in for a Fokker. They did some formation re-familiarization and ran through several maneuvers to give them material to work with as they begin critiquing the plan for the World War I flight demo. Though the Taylorcraft would be hard pressed to be passed off as a WW-I aircraft, its speed is much like some of the replicas in the collection, so it makes a good stand-in while some of the other planes are in the maintenance shop. The weather has been excellent this week and it was a beautiful evening to be flying as well as an awful lot of fun carefully chasing each other around the sky, albeit in a choreographed fashion. They first pre-briefed several scenarios before each flight and switched rolls to gain insight into all facets of the proposed routine. When Andrew King arrives next week, they hope to do some more practicing with four planes in the air.
We continue to make progress on the engine cooling ("mailboxes") and on relacing new wheels. We have literally one of the world's best wheel lacing and wheel design experts located in Denver. Mr. Woody Witt, of Woody's Wheel Works, has significantly improved the hub/brake attachment as well as increased the side-load capacity of the SE-5 wheels by perhaps as much as 30%. Woody will be redoing wheels on most of our planes this year. Look for more information on this outstanding technician on our website.
Here you see the center section "wing" that is installed between the two wheels of our Fokker D-VII as it is being rebuilt. We'll be featuring more information on this rebuild process in future posts--stay tuned!