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  •  When they did the missing man formation (4+ / 0-)

    that was Frank pulling up and heading west in his Fokker D.VIII.

    I was standing next to the runway when that Sopwith Pup groundlooped right in front of me. The pilot was a local high school teacher and one of the pilots Frank had checked out to fly almost all of his airplane.  Being a high-time commercial pilot is no protection against ground looping a taildragger, especially a Pup.  I never saw anybody get unstrapped and bail out of a cockpit so fast in my life.  He was mortified but Frank was not upset with him. Frank reminded everybody within hearing distance that groundlooping any of these airplanes is all part of flying them.  At the time of Frank's death, that Pup was still hanging from the ceiling of one of the museum hangars by cables.  It was in the queue for repairs to the crumpled wingtip at the time of Frank's death.

    The videographer did not show the art display in one of the hangars.  Several of the big name aviation artists had displays set up and they were selling original paintings as well as prints.  I talked to a couple of the artists about commissioning a picture of my Skymaster.  The ones I talked to would be willing to work from a good set of color photographs, but the prices were a little steep for my wallet.

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:22:14 PM PST

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    •  They showed some of the weapons... (4+ / 0-)

      ....on display, including a rare WW1 Luger Parabellum with holster/stock.

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:03:23 PM PST

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      •  There was a lot the video did not show. (3+ / 0-)

        It was a whole day of activity like a three ring circus.  A number of pilot/owners brought partly built replica projects in trucks and on trailers. Beautiful workmanship.

        There were several engines set up on stands, including a Le Rhône 9C, Gnome, and Clerget 9Z. It has been a long time, and I can't remember everything I saw. Fully functional, fully restored and looked as if they just rolled out of the factory.  All they would have had to do was hang them on an airplane, put oil in them and good to go.

        Frank was quite well off.  He invented the green dot on Delco batteries that tells you the condition of the battery.  He owned a plastic manufacturing company that make most of the plastic one-time-use stuff in your hospital.  Everything from syringes to incubation sets.   A renaissance man.  Poet, pilot, philosopher,inventor,  historian, teacher and philanthropist.  He paid travel and lodging for all the plane owners and pilots who came to the air shows to fly.  People came from all over North America to make it a success. Real guy, worked hard and played hard, drove a modest car and got his hair cut at the same little barbershop he used when he was poor.  

        Not all wealthy people are trolls.  Comparing Frank Ryder with another rich guy like Mitt Romney is no comparison. Frank was friendly and patient, and never treated any question about airplanes as a "dumb question."  I have seen him stop in the middle of a serious restoration project to answer some young kid's questions about the planes or equipment.  As for guns, he had at least one Lewis gun off an SE-5a on display under glass, complete with drum magazine.  Apparently he had all the paperwork to make it legal for him to own it.  

        The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

        by Otteray Scribe on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:32:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I painted a biplane once, in art class. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo, Otteray Scribe

      It was a Curtiss Jenny, backlit against a sunset, great bank of orange clouds.

      The teacher preferred watercolor to oil, which is what I was using. He walked around a few times, didn't say much. Finally I asked him if he had any advice for me. He said, "I'm just waiting to see where the heck you're going with that -- it looks like a forest fire!"

      I sold the painting later for $50; sort of wish I'd kept it. I have one of the teacher's, a big watercolor of black horses in a snowy Mt. Hood meadow. It's beautiful, and I'm glad I have it in remembrance of a very nice guy. I think he knew that whatever he said, I'd paint it the way I felt it....


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