Posts about the missions we fly and their underlying motivations
I sat in my Seattle hotel room frowning at my computer screen. The weather synopsis showed a stationary front parked right on the Canadian border, and true to its name, it was forecast to stay put for at least the next 24 hours bringing rain and low clouds to the area. In contrast, the forecast for Seattle was surprisingly good, and the view out my hotel window corroborated it.
"This transmission is coming to you approximately halfway between the Moon and the Earth. We have been 31 hours and about 20 minutes into flight. We have about less than 40 hours left to go to the Moon."
My buddy Tim and I were part of the crowd lining the taxiway as the CAF airplanes rolled by: a gorgeous, mirror-polished P-51 Mustang, a Hawker Sea Fury, a Grumman F6F Hellcat, an extremely rare Mitsubishi Zero. It was a fine, if blustery, Spring weekend at Half Moon Bay airport and we'd flown my club's Cessna 172 in for the Pacific Coast Dream Machines airplane and car show. As I watched the airplanes pass, I thought I heard a woman's voice call my name amid the din of the massive radial engines.
Early on a misty, overcast morning in McMinnville, Oregon, my parents, my wife Janet and I, along with Eddie Pippin, Canine Aviator, arrived by taxi at the airport. We'd flown in from Seattle the night before in my club's A36 Bonanza. After a restful and enjoyable night's stay at a nearby hotel we'd come to visit the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, right across the road from the airport. We were greeted by Jennifer, who with her husband runs Cirrus Aviation.
79 feet in height. 319 feet from wingtip to wingtip. 11,430 square feet of wing area. 400,000 pounds' maximum takeoff weight. Eight 3,000 horsepower engines swinging 17-foot propellers. The specifications of Howard Hughes's gargantuan H-4 flying boat, dubbed the "Spruce Goose" by the 1940's press, strain the imagination. We had to see it for ourselves. My parents, my wife Janet, and I flew into McMinnville, Oregon in my club's A36 Bonanza late one evening in early September to visit the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. The museum is located right across the road from the airport, which was just a few minutes from our hotel. Early the next morning we got a taxi back to the airport and caught a shuttle over to the museum.