Xenon gyroplane

Owner John Salz, Springfield, Illinois treated Job Conger to a flight around the pea patch in his2007 Xenon gyroplane, designed by a French engineer and manufactured in Poland by Celier Aviation. It has a 100 hp Rotax 912ULS engine. During our encounter, he explained “Gyros fly very much like  a fixed-wing airplane because most gyros don’t have a collective control, like a helicopter.  When you’re doing 60 to 65 knots at tree-top level, you really feel like you’re flying very fast, and gusty  winds have little effect on it. When I first started flying mine, I thought ‘This is as close to flying an F-16 as I’m ever going to  get!'”

Most of John’s flying the Xenon has been trips from 100 to 200 miles. “I’ve always loved low and slow,” he says. “I knew I’d never have time to build a gyroplane, so I started looking at factory-built machines until I chose this one.” John soloed in the gyro in the summer of 2009, and flies as often as time permits. “It cruises about 70 knots, and he plans for a fuel consumption of 6 gph. I usually file flight plans for 65 knots and get 5 to 5.5 for a comfortable 3.5 hour range. I’ve taken off in as little as 100 feet and landed in about 50.”

 

Raytheon T-6A Texan II

These pictures were taken Saturday, November 5, 2016 following the arrival of two T-6s with student pilots and IPs from Vance AFB, Oklahoma. I was escorted on the ramp by a very courteous, enthusiastic student front seater who aims to fly left seat in C-17s which he admires greatly. He explained that the USAF is eliminating the nose-to-tail red stripe which has been part of the T-6 since they were first delivered to the USAF. It was great to meet him and his squadron mates!

SNJ-6 of John Schonhorst

I was delighted to meet John Schonhorst and passenger US Navy veteran Bob May who visited Springfield in late afternoon October 31, 2016. I understand from Greg Vallero, who taught John how to fly this Texan, that JS is veteran pilot with two military services and more. Bob — believe it or not — soloed for the first time in a US Navy SNJ on October 31, 1956! He went graduated into TO-1, F9F Panther, FJ-4A and B, A4D (as they were called in 1961) and F8U Crusader! He’s the gent with sunglasses and the cane. What stories he could tell! I had just a few minutes with him while JS was paying for the fuel. John visited AeroKnow Museum briefly and promised to return. Bob did not see AKM  but said he hopes to  see it when he can. To give maximum impact to the pictures taken October 31 and about 9:00 am November 1 and are shared in a thumbnail grid. Click on any for a larger pic., I’m not captioning these. I’ll be happy to answer questions and read your comments.

AeroKnow Museum recently moved our WELCOME Room which we occupied for more than six years to a new location that includes the new WELCOME Room and an adjoining Models On Display Room. Things are still being arranged as this post comes together, Look for pictures of the new rooms in a future AKM Gallery of Flight.

Monday afternoon

Tuesday morning

Commemorative Air Force — Part 2

Please read the introduction to Part 1 to understand what I’m doing here.

 

 

Commemorative Air Force Visit #1 — C-45 pt.1

The Commemorative Air Force AIRPOWER TOUR began arriving at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport Monday, August 8, 2016. Their C-45, PT-13 and T-34 were first on the ground; the B-29 arrived a little after 1:00. This series of Gallery posts will present every picture I thought of acceptable quality. To better serve visitors each installment will “focus” on each CAF aircraft starting with the Beech C-45. Additional galleries will feature additional aircraft photographed when I was on the ramp during the CAF visit, and a final installments will share broad views showing CAF activity and a display of a restored US Army Jeep and a one-morning display by a local re-enactor’s organizaion.

Sincere THANKS to the Commemorative Air Force whose visiting personnel grated me “carte blanche,” permission to AeroKnow Museum and me to photograph their priceless aircraft  when they were present at our airport and away from the airport as well. Without their most generous cooperation, many of the pictures you will see in this series, posted  every six or seven days, would not have been possible.

Pictures were taken by Job Conger, Director AeroKnow Museum, and are shared in a thumbnail grid format, up to 25 pictures at a time.  Click on any for a larger image and back to return to the mosaic. Questions and comments are welcome.

If you like what you see here, please support AeroKnow Museum.

Beech Staggerwing . . . . . part 2

These pictures were taken the morning of August 4. As with they August 3 post, they are presented in a thumbnail grid. Click on any for a larger picture. All photos by Job Conger, founder/director AeroKnow Museum.

Beech 17 Staggerwing…part 1

This former US Navy GB-1 (what the  USN VIP transport Staggerwings where called) visited Springfield August 3. Pictures taken August 4 will posted in part 2 of this series of 2 next Thursday. I was privileged by pilot Pat Napolitano to photograph it on the ground the overcast early afternoon when it arrived and the sunny morning when it took off. I did not obtain any photos of the panel or interior other than what you see here. I  didn’t want to inconvenience the cordial visitor. Pictures are presented here in thumbnail format. Click on any for the full picture. If you have questions, additional information about this aircraft or questions, please contact photographer Job Conger at AeroKnow Museum, Springfield, Illinois — akm@eosinc.com  Sincere thanks to Pat Napolitano, Regional Service Representative for MidContinent Instruments + Avionics of Wichita, Kansas for courtesies extended to yours truly and AeroKnow Museum.

Dassault Falcon 7X

These pictures of two visiting 7Xs are shared as thumbnails. Click on any for a larger image. All were taken during May, 2016. I hope you like them.

N250LG  arrived May 15

N496AC  visited May 25

and was photographed again, this time from the ramp, on May 26

President Obama’s February 10 Visit to Springfield, Illinois – Part 4

The day after President Obama’s visit was ideal with weather and timing of the final C-17 visit. Unfortunately for me, it was parked next to the terminal where I knew the chances for prime photos were slim. I ALMOST didn’t bother to try. After I changed my mind, I walked over to the terminal’s north side where I had phot’d another 17 earlier in the wee.As I waited for the 17 to park, I saw a Falcon in Canadian registry take off.

apt21116-1
Above is my view of the 17 after it parked. I was not interested in taking the same sub-nominal pictures of this bird that I had taken earlier of the President’s VC-25A so I walked to the other side of the terminal to see what I could do from behind the fence.  Here is what I saw as I walked across the parking lot to my new destination.

The ground next to the ramp on this side had obviously hosted the  media and other heavy gear the day before. By the  time I arrived here, the VH-60N and the rest, unloaded from a C-17 two days earlier had been loaded aboard. Just one crew member as engine start was initiiated. I  had seen the smoke before, but had not photographed it. Against the blue sky it was especially interesting. The fellows with the truck and flatbed trailer had just arrived and were removing the chairs that remained from the day before.  That didn’t take long, and soon they had exitedd via the secured gate nearby. outside.

When he turned left onto the taxiway heading southwest to take off on Runway 4, it was clear  I HAD TO BE back where I started, behind the fence on the other side of the terminal. I  have not run as fast as I ran (ran, jogged, walked, ran, jogged, walked) since I was a much younger hombre, but to get the pictures I wanted, the other side was where I HAD TO BE.
I arrived JUST IN  TIME. He had completed final checklists and was turning onto the runway. Here are the pictures taken, intentionally long into the climbout because the  light and aircraft were so perfectly positioned.

So ended the media-credential-less tussle with unhappy circumstance. In retrospect this fate-rendered poop-in-my-face motivated me to try harder to capture some moments worth remembering, so I  suppose, I’m grateful for that. I hope readers of this AeroKnow Museum Gallery of Flight blog like what you’ve seen. If 10 people will leave comments, including constructive criticism, in the comments section that follows BEFORE MARCH 19, I will extend this series to a Part 5 which will be, in one post, all the photos I took on the day when I was GIVEN MEDIA CREDENTIALS for President Obama’s first visit to our city’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport aboard  VC-25A “Air Force One” on February 9, 2009.

Thank you for reading this post. Please support AeroKnow Museum. Have a great day.

President Obama’s February 10, 2016 Visit to Springfield, Illinois – Part 3


Late in the day we were informed at Horizon Aviation that the president would be returning soon. We were also told something we were NOT told as the VC-25A, radio call sign Air Force One, approached to land that morning: that the lockdown declared for people occupying buildings adjacent to the tarmac and the prohibition against any ground vehicles moving during the approach and until the motorcade had departed the airport had been CANCELLED!  That explains why we saw so many cars and trucks  in motion that morning and again when the entourage returned. Once we knew the new reality, Horizon’s front door was unlocked, and I was permitted to walk over to the fence facing the VC-25 on the other side of the obstacles and join the 20 or so spectators already gathered there.
DSC01633

It was a happy bunch. Without asking anyone to move, I snuggled into a open spot next to the fence and apologized to three or four close by for taking up so much space. I said “You have as much right to be here as I do.” One replied that I wasn’t in the way, she and her family had been waiting by the fence four hours, and everyone was glad to be there and for the only slight chill in the weather.

 

The challenge awaiting me in the next five minutes was to double check shutterspeed and to fanagle, which is to say gently step, unhurredly to the left corner of the fence to be ready at first glimpse of the airplane to frame without the fence wires in the way and take what I could as fast as I could. If the fence got in the way, my pre-auto-focusing at infinity would be wasted effort since the auto-focus would re-engage and cost me precious pieces of seconds to recover from that. Another factor was that the airplane would be so quiet, even at takeoff power as it approached the obstructing terminal from the right as it accelerated, that I had to listen to the crowd whose reaction would help me be ready and then do the best I could as fast as I could.

VC25-b23
VC25-b24
It’s a MIRACLE that my first picture was in focus. And I consider myself extremely lucky with the second picture. I had deliberately NOT set the shutter in rapid-fire mode because I  wanted to SEE the picture and like it, before I pressed the shutter release. I have heard too many stories of how good photographers missed “the money maker picture” because the camera was cycling to the next picture.

VC25-b25

The  last picture was a “Hail Mary” desperate snap that worked out okay. Nothing was cropped, and the angle of the slightly tilted horizon was not adjusted to true horizontal because I feel the angle contributes to the picture. Again, Lady Luck was riding on my shoulder!

There will be parts 4 and 5 of this series.  The next will share the departure of the C-17 which visited the same terminal ramp to pick up equipment delivered to the 183d Fighter  W ing, Illinois Air National Guard facility about a week before the presidential visit. Part 5 will be every picture I took during the president’s visit to Springfield February 9, 2009. Those pictures were taken following my SUCCESSFUL ACQUISITION of media credentials. The difference between what I  took on that joyous occasion and the most recent will astound you.  Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading this post.
. . . . PLEASE SUPPORT AEROKNOW MUSEUM.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Have a terrific day.