Story and photos by Jeff Hill
On the week-end of Feb. 15 -17 my son Steve, former 10C line boy and now United Express Jet captain, and I flew down to Tucson, Az. for the American Aviation Historical Society annual gathering which included a tour of the famous, “world’s biggest airplane boneyard” at Davis-Monthon A.F.B. – and it surely is that! 2,600 acres, a little over four square miles.
Although there are several other aircraft boneyards, Davis-Monthon is the only one for excess U.S military, government aircraft and aerospace vehicles. About 3900 planes in storage there with over 6000 engines. However no reciprocating engines remain. Some units are cannibalized for salvageable parts and eventually broken up for scrap metals.
The bus tour started from the adjoining Pima Air Museum. A docent provided good descriptions of what we were seeing and answered questions throughout the tour.
The first part was the most interesting; Celebrity Row: about a half-mile roadway with airplanes parked on each side. There appeared to be one of each type in the museum boneyard. Signs identified each, and our guide gave interesting descriptions and comments. There were a number of planes I had not known of, including several “Y” models, Y being the designation the A.F. uses for prototypes before the type goes into production,
It’s impossible to take a picture of everything, as the place is so big. If you are interested in any certain ‘species’ you can photograph it from the bus. (No one is permitted off the buses while on the base.) The tour lasted about an hour and was well worthwhile. I later discovered that if one drives along the city streets around the perimeter you can get a good look at everything from not too great a distance.
We spent a second day at the Pima Air Museum. Pima is an Arizona county, with Tucson as the county seat.
My favorite in the museum is the L-049 Lockheed Constellation in TWA colors, serial #10, likely built in 1944. The sign says they searched the world and could find none of the first nine 049s so this is likely the oldest Connie survivor in the world.
When I hired on with TWA in 1964, all the L-049s had been converted to L-749s most easily recognized by the addition of the weather radar nose radome. There were several improvements such as reversible props, steerable nose wheel, an increase in MGWt. and others. TWA retired the last of the Connies in 1967, becoming the first ‘all jet’ U.S. airline
We began with a tram ride to the restoration hangar. As one would expect they have everything they need including a paint both the size of a house.
The Museum is so big that, unless you rush through, you can’t see it all in one day. There are eight large hangars and 91 acres of outside display area!
One big thing we noticed: there are no “Do not touch” signs. The only thing close was a sign warning not to sit in the engine inlet of the B-787. You can see that sticking anything into the free wheeling fan blades could prove to be hazardous.
With that one caveat, the Pima Air and Space Museum is a very much ‘hands-on’ place that both kids and aviation-minded adults will love.
Every so often, a website, museum or organization comes to my attention that may be of interest to you. For that reason, I’ll pass them along here. I encourage you to check them out. Also, if you know of something or someplace that may be of interest to the EAA Chapter 932 membership. please email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month, one such organization is the American Aviation Historical Society. Founded in 1956, the AAHS is an educational organization whose primary objective is the preservation and dissemination of the rich heritage of American aviation. The Society maintains an extensive collection of books, documents and photographs that are available to researchers and aviation enthusiasts on a wide variety of American aviation history. Their intent is to serve as a catalyst for communication among people having a common interest in specific aviation related topics. The AAHS publishes a quarterly Journal and an informative AAHS FlightLine that provides information on interesting and often little known facts associated with American aviation available on a subscription basis. Information about the AAHS can be found at https://www.aahs-online.org.
A Visit to the Curtis Jenny Replica Project at Poplar Grove
Afterwards, we’ll refuel at the Hydeout Bar & Grill (http://hydeoutbar.com/) in Poplar Grove.
We’ll be car pooling/plane pooling, as available, departing from Galt at 9am on Saturday morning. The tour starts at 10am. Poplar Grove is 45 minutes away by car. (Entry is from Orth Rd.) Park at the museum. The museum’s address is 5151 Orth Rd, Poplar Grove, IL 61065.
Anyone who wishes to fly is welcome The Jenny is in the EAA Chapter 1414 hangar near the Wings and Wheels Museum located at the north end of Poplar Grove Airport. Airplanes can park on the ramp just southwest of the museum.
Pilots with empty seats and passengers looking to hitch a ride should email Dan Johnson at email@example.com. NOTE: Please use “” in the subject line of your email.)
It is with great pride that Galt Traffic once again presents…
Planes on Posts
This month’s triple-header comes complements of our own Jeff Hill who spotted these bronze beauties in front of the Pima Air & Space Museum in Arizona during his recent retreat from the cold with son, Steve. They represent three Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23 stealth fighter demonstrator aircraft designed for the United States Air Force.
7th Annual EAA Chapter Leaders Conference held at Schaumburg Airpport
On February 23, the 7th Annual EAA Chapter Leaders Conference took place at Schaumburg Airport. The meeting was organized by Chapter 932’s Beth Rehm. This year saw 29 attendees representing 13 chapters.
The purpose of this annual meeting is to build relationships between chapter leaders in the Chicagoland area, to share knowledge and experience, to help each other resolve chapter issues and to encourage our chapter members to attend each other’s events.
Topics on the agenda included discussions of best practices when hosting pancake breakfasts and Young Eagles events, effective use of social media, how to grow chapter membership and encouraging volunteer participation.
JB Aviation Flight School News
Between the extreme cold, snow, and ice, this winter has not been great. But the good news is spring will happen and there are lots of fun events to look forward to at the airport. Check out the 2019 event schedule here: https://www.flywithjb.com/event/2019-galt-airport-events/
We hope you can join us!
The President’s Page
Hello EAA Chapter 932 Members,
Happy New Year!
I hope that everyone is fairing well during our arctic tundra-like weather! As I write this, runway 9-27 at Galt Airport is layered in sheets of ice along its entire length. Adding to the pain has been some tough winter weather with record-breaking snow falls and sub-zero temperatures. Not exactly the best of conditions for flying. I can only trust that things will get better as winter moves into its final weeks. Despite the weather, our chapter has been warm and active over the past month.
On February 9th, we had a well-attended chapter gathering. Chapter member, Marty Papanek, gave an excellent presentation on Aircraft Partnerships and how they can make flying more affordable. Marty outlined many of the things one should consider when choosing the right kind of airplane to fit your needs, spreading out fixed and variable costs among multiple owners, legal considerations, and the resources that can be utilized when shopping for just the right airplane. Done properly, a partnership can have many advantages that can help make flying more affordable to those involved. Thanks again to Marty for a great presentation!
As we move into March, our next gathering will be a fly-out/drive-out visit to a Curtis Jenny project On March 9. The replaca Jenny is being built by members of EAA Chapter 1414 and is housed in the Chapter’s hangar near the Wings and Wheels Museum located on the north end of Poplar Grove Airport. Our tour of the project will start at 10am. You are welcome to drive out on your own or carpool from Galt around 9am. The drive time is about 40 minutes. If the weather cooperates, anyone wishing to fly to Poplar Grove is encouraged to do so. If you are able to take passengers or are interesting in being one, please email Dan Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use “EAA Flyout” as the subject. Visiting aircraft can park on the ramp immediately southwest of the museum.
After visiting the project we will have lunch nearby at the Hyde Out Bar and Grill located 5 minutes from Poplar Grove Airport.
Chapter Membership Renewals
In my president page for last month, I mentioned that Chad Genengels has taken over as our new Membership Director. We are happy to have Chad step up and serve this valuable roll in our chapter. As he steps into his new role, Chad will be reaching out to chapter members who are due for renewal. In the past year we have gone to a “rolling” membership renewal as opposed to trying to renew everyone at the beginning of the year. In other words, if you joined the chapter during the year, your membership will renew during your anniversary month. During the transition, we have fallen behind in collecting some dues and renewing some of our members. Chad will be reaching out via email to those who need to renew their memberships in EAA Chapter 932. We value everyone’s dedication and membership in our chapter. If you hear from Chad, please take the time to renew your membership.
Looking Ahead into Spring and Summer
As time rolls by into spring, please watch our website at www.eaa932.org for the most up to date information on our chapter. In April, we will have our Chapter Gathering at Galt Airport and in May, we are looking forward to hosting our first Young Eagles Rally of the year. We will also once again host the Airline Pilots Association and Allied Pilots Association of United and American Airlines for their annual pancake breakfast. In June, it’s Barnstormer Day once again at Galt. This will be a great time to roll back the years and enjoy a good ole’ fashioned day of family fun at the airport.
Lots of good stuff is on tap in the months ahead. As always, we need everyone on deck to help keep everything running! Volunteering is the best way to get involved and meet fellow chapter members. I hope to see all of you as these events come along!
For now, do your best to stay warm and look to the sky for better weather in the coming weeks. As always, fly safe.
Thanks to all for staying engaged in our chapter!
President, EAA Chapter 932
Almost every day, my news tickler pops up with another story about a company that is introducing their idea of a personal VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle. Judging by the news, the skies around cities are going to get really crowded by the end of the week.
With that in mind, the Mothership in OSH has announced that it will be featuring cutting-edge innovation at Air Venture 2019 at its new “Urban Air Mobility Showcase.” https://www.eaa.org/airventure/eaa-airventure-news-and-multimedia/eaa-airventure-news/eaa-airventure-oshkosh/02-28-2019-Cutting-Edge-Innovation-at-AirVenture-2019s-New-Urban-Air-Mobility-Showcase
Their press release has been widely picked up by aviation media. (I actually received a notification from “Flying” before I got it from the EAA, and I’m not even a subscriber.)
Not a moment too soon (and as if we don’t have enough acronyms) a company with their own HAV (Hybrid Air Vehicle) has done some forward thinking. With everyone getting into the act, it occurred to thinkers at a hive named Zeva, that rooftop parking is soon going to be at a premium. To solve a problem that doesn’t exist yet but will the day after tomorrow, they’ve come up with the “SkyDock” which will allow you to park your HAV just outside your office window on the 83rd floor of the Willis Tower. That is likely to take some of the thrill out of looking down from the “Ledge” on the 103rd floor.
If it’s inconvenient to make it out to Tucson to see Pima’s Boneyard, no worries. There is one that’s considerably closer to home. One of the country’s biggest small aircraft salvage yards is in Bates City, Missouri, where 81-year-old Terry White has been salvaging airplanes since 1956. His 170 acre property has its own runway and is home to over 2,000 airplanes in various stages of disassembly and/or decomposition. Terry related that one of his more memorable request was for the fuselage of a 6 – 8 passenger aircraft and came from a guy who wanted to use it as a tree house for his kids. If you’re contemplating a stop to look around, Terry does offer tours, but on a
limited basis. Plan to do so soon, because Terry’s thinking about retiring. https://fox4kc.com/2019/02/27/one-of-the-countrys-largest-aircraft-salvage-yards-calls-bates-city-home/
You may be aware of the term “train spotting,” (the hobby, not the movie) which requires enthusiasts to stand around for inordinate amounts of time waiting for trains to pass so they can take pictures of them. Now, as I’ve just discovered, Plane Spotting is a thing too. As you might expect, it involves standing around for inordinate amounts of time while looking up. There are actually web sites about how to do it properly and guide books to the best spots to, uh, spot airplanes. It suddenly occurs to me that I have spent an alarming amount of my life gazing at aircraft passing overhead and all this time I might have been earning points or something! On second thought, I was probably doing it all wrong. http://www.airportspotting.com/spot-airport-spotting-guides/
Finally, if the icy weather has left you trying to explain to your dog exactly why you need to keep spreading salt on the driveway, just show him/her/it this video of a very lucky airplane driver: https://www.9news.com/video/news/watch-this-airplane-slide-on-ice-at-the-salida-airport/73-6f460f1f-4f75-4510-a70b-144ba22fb57b