Does this work
This is a good little story, about a vivid memory of a P-51 and its pilot, by a fellow who was 12 years old in Canada in 1967.
It was to take to the air. They said it had flown in during the night from some U.S. Airport, the pilot had been tired.
I marveled at the size of the plane, dwarfing the Pipers and Canucks tied down by her. It was much larger than in the movies. She glistened in the sun like a bulwark of security from
days gone by. The pilot arrived by cab, paid the driver, and then stepped into the pilot’s lounge. He was an older man, his wavy hair was gray and tossed. It looked like it might have been combed, say, around the turn of the century. His flight jacket was checked, creased and worn – it smelled old and genuine. Old Glory was prominently sewn to its shoulders. He projected a
quiet air of proficiency and pride, devoid of arrogance. He filed a quick flight plan to Montreal (Expo-67, Air Show) then walked across the tarmac.
After taking several minutes to perform his walk-around check the pilot returned to the flight lounge to ask if anyone would be available to stand by with fire extinguishers while
he “flashed the old bird up, just to be safe.” Though only 12 at the time I was allowed to stand by with an extinguisher after brief instruction on its use: “If you see a fire, point, then pull this lever!” I later became a firefighter, but that’s another story.
The air around the exhaust manifolds shimmered like a mirror from fuel fumes as the huge prop started to rotate. One manifold, then another, and yet another barked — I stepped back
with the others. In moments the Packard-built Merlin engine came to life with a thunderous roar, blue flames knifed from her manifolds. I looked at the others’ faces, there was no
concern. I lowered the bell of my extinguisher. One of the guys signaled to walk back to the lounge. We did.
Several minutes later we could hear the pilot doing his pre flight run-up. He’d taxied to the end of runway 19, out of sight. All went quiet for several seconds, we raced from the
lounge to the second story deck to see if we could catch a glimpse of the P-51 as she started down the runway. We could not. There we stood, eyes fixed to a spot half way down
19. Then a roar ripped across the field, much louder than before, like a furious hell spawn set loose; something mighty this way was coming. “Listen to that thing!” said the
In seconds the Mustang burst into our line of sight. Its tail was already off and it was moving faster than anything I’d ever seen by that point on 19. Two-thirds the way down 19
the Mustang was airborne with her gear going up. The prop tips were supersonic; we clasped our ears as the Mustang climbed hellish fast into the circuit to be eaten up by the dog-day
We stood for a few moments in stunned silence trying to digest what we’d just seen. The radio controller rushed by me to the radio.
“Kingston tower calling Mustang?”
He looked back to us as he waited for an acknowledgment. The radio crackled, “Go aheadKingston.”
“Roger Mustang. Kingston tower would like to advise the circuit is clear for a low level pass.” I stood in shock because the controller had, more or less, just asked the pilot to
return for an impromptu air show!
The controller looked at us. “What?” He asked. “I can’t let that guy go without asking. I couldn’t forgive myself!”
The radio crackled once again. “Kingston, do I have permission for a low level pass, east towest, across the field?”
“Roger Mustang, the circuit is clear for an east to west pass.”
“Roger, Kingston, I’m coming out of 3000 feet, stand by.”
We rushed back onto the second-story deck, eyes fixed toward the eastern haze. The sound was subtle at first, a high-pitched whine, a muffled screech, a distant scream. Moments later the P-51 burst through the haze. Her airframe straining against positive G’s and gravity, wing tips spilling contrails of condensed air, prop-tips again supersonic as the burnished bird blasted across the eastern margin of the field shredding and tearing the air.
At about 500 mph and 150 yards from where we stood she passed with the old American pilot saluting. Imagine. A salute! I felt like laughing, I felt like crying, she glistened, she screamed, the building shook, my heart pounded. Then the old pilot pulled her up and rolled, and rolled, and rolled out of sight into the broken clouds and indelibly into my memory. I’ve never wanted to be an American more than on that day. It was a time when many nations in the world looked to America as their big brother, a steady and even-handed beacon of security who navigated difficult political water with grace and style; not unlike the pilot who’d just flown into my memory. He was proud, not arrogant; humble, not a braggart; old and honest, projecting an aura of America at its best.
That America will return one day, I know it will. Until that time, I’ll just send off this story. Call it a reciprocal salute, to the old American pilot who wove a memory for a young Canadian that’s lasted a lifetime.
Stumbled on this video hosted on Vimeo, an outstanding look into the lives and history of modern bush flying in Ketchikan, Alaska.
The Wing Walkers will always enjoy the benefits of the latest in technology and fashion, thanks to the likes of our own WWPierre. He is seen here in a “selfie” image sporting the latest in home-made tin-foil hat technology. In this case, safely supported with the additional bonus welding helmet.
You can’t make this stuff up… 😉
more info on how this image happened to be made, on our forums. A harmless thread devolves into tin foil hat imagery
I like Scotch.
I blame it on Jay “WWDubya” Stein. Then again, we tend to blame all sorts of things on Jay, so I suppose it really isn’t fair to blame my own lush-full tendencies on him. But I will anyway.
To be honest, it’s not really Jay’s fault that I like Scotch. I actually got started down that path on my own. It was on a whim that I decided to try a single malt Scotch. After all, it’s the “manly” thing to do, according to countless movies through the years showing the handsome and debonaire leading man chugging the stuff like tea. Which it probably was in those movies, but I digress. I was, however, clueless. (Hush, dear. That was not your cue to chime in.) All I knew was that “single malt” Scotch was supposedly “better” than blended Scotch.
So off to my local liquor store, where an old friend works. He was quite happy to assist me.
I came home with a bottle of 12 year old Glennfiddich.
It looked cool, came in a neat box, and the bottle was oddly triangular in shape.
So how did it taste?
Truthfully… it took some getting used to. It wasn’t the whisky’s fault however, that I had no clue how to go about drinking fine whisky. But after three or four drinks, it didn’t matter. I kept on trying to like this whisky, and eventually succeeded in convincing my self that I did, in fact, enjoy it.
While pretending to like Glennfiddich, I decided to try something a little less pretentious.
There on the liquor store shelves were several rows of a blended Scotch whisky, Dewars White Label. I picked up a bottle, and determined that with a cube of ice, it’s pretty doggone good.
Yeah, yeah. The Malt snobs are all laughing at me now. Go ahead, laugh. Meanwhile my money was going into the tills while repeatedly buying this nicely tame blended Scotch.
Fast forward a year or three, and my buddies in the Wing Walkers were having their 20th Anniversary reunion/”Get Together” in San Diego. This is where Jay comes in… because, like I said at the top of this post, it’s all his fault.
It’s his fault, because he showed me what good Scotch is. Good Scotch like…
Lagavullin 16 Year Old Scotch whisky, from the western Scottish island of Isla (pronounced “Eye’-la”.) What got my attention with this whisky, from the very start, was that deep ‘peaty’ aroma. I had never sniffed anything like it. It was… ambrosia. Intoxicating just in it’s aroma. And the taste… smooth, with so many varied flavors and ideas of flavors being brought out that I couldn’t believe it. THIS, dammit, was what good Scotch was all about. Of course, at $75 per bottle, it had better be damn good!
And now I’m hooked. And my family knows it. Because on a recent trip to visit my wife’s family, my sister-in-law (bless her heart) got me a bottle of Scotch. I was thinking I’d have something like a bottle of Dewar’s White Label waiting for me on arrival, but no. She had found a bottle of Laphroaig Quarter cask for me to enjoy. Yay, sis!
So I gave this version of Laphroaig a try, and I was well and truly impressed. Though not aged long at all, it makes up for youthful exuberance through pure unadulterated Scotch magic. Bottled at 48%, this whisky is very strong. Tamed with a teaspoon of good water it turns a slight bit cloudy, but all of the flavors are released. I enjoyed this one quite a lot, and found the bottle empty much too soon!
My next foray into Scotch goodness was directed (through a disappointing lack of Lagavullin on my favorite retailer’s shelf) to a less ‘peaty’ Islay Scotch, Bunnahabhain (pronounced Boon-a-Hah-vin.) Though this is from Islay, it’s from the north-east coast of the island, well north of the peat marshes where the famous Lagavullin, Laphroaig and Caol Ila distilleries (among others) get their distinctive flavoring.
This one is intriguing… It’s a much less “in your face” Scotch. Even at 46.3% alcohol, it’s sneaky in it’s quiet strength. Again, a teaspoon of good water really allows the full flavor of this whisky to be released. I’m working my way through this bottle now, and enjoying it immensely. Highly recommended!
More to come as I discover more good Scotch whisky to indulge in. 🙂
Update: Oct. 20, 2013:
Last night I asked my wife to stop at the neighborhood liquor store and get me a(nother!) bottle of Bunnahabhain 12y/o. What I didn’t count on was that she would go to the smallish liquor store down the street, and not the more completely stocked store a mile away. So she comes back a while later, saying they didn’t have what I had requested but that she got a “B” named 12 year old Scotch. With a small amount of trepidation, I went to check out what she had gotten…
Buchanan’s DeLuxe Blended, 12 years old.
Turns out this wasn’t a bad choice at all… I’m going to enjoy it.
A well made video found on YouTube by BadBud, and shared via the Old Fokkers’ forum. About 45 minutes long, it covers a selective series of WW1 aircraft types built from scratch by following original drawings. It’s an intriguing look at the development of combat aviation in WW1.
Just wanted to pop on and send wishes for safe travels to all the WW’s, their friends and their families. With a special nod towards all those heading to San Diego.
For all those who cannot make it, you will all be greatly missed. Especially Taco, Natops, Wringer and Happy because they had originally made plans and purchased tickets to attend the events planned, but had to cancel due to real life concerns. I do hope that the issues holding you back will be positively resolved so that you may attend the next WW Gathering (damn right, there will be many more!)
Those of us traveling to San Diego look forward to meeting old friends and new, some for the first time. That peculiarly strange feeling, of meeting an old friend for the first time, is part of what makes this group so special. Our bonds have grown close over the impersonal medium of the internet, and yet we have only rarely met in person to develop our friendships. And here we are… some twenty years after this group was first formed. My hat is off to the original WW members who formed this group, without dreaming that their idea for a virtual squadron would endure for twenty years, and even longer.
My hope is that the next twenty years will see the squadron continue to grow and evolve and adapt. It is also my hope that WW members, past, present and future, will continue to hold the traditions established in these first twenty years, traditions of honor, friendship and integrity, very dear and close to their hearts. And to start a few traditions of their own.
I look forward to the traveling day ahead, to meeting up with old friends and sharing a bond of common interest and common past. And I look forward to the beginning of the next twenty years of Wing Walkers history.
“Once a Wing Walker, Always a Wing Walker!”
News from the AvSim forums: http://forum.avsim.net/page/index.html/_/pri-news/support-for-fsx-has-come-to-an-end-r677
In an email sent to a variety of flight simming sites today, Microsoft announced that Customer Support for FSX has expired. In the announcement, Jennifer Paige, Community Manager for Microsoft Studios said; “Customer Support for FSX has expired here at Microsoft. What does this mean? We will no longer be answering support emails or hosting various updates and download files for the FSX product. Why has it ended? It simply ran its course, all products will hit a support expiration at some point, FSX has hit that date.” Microsoft will announce the closure of support in the XBOX forums and will provide links to the various community sites for fellow flight sim enthusiasts. AVSIM will be one of those sites.
An FYI to all FTX/Orbx scenery users, the latest update to the standard libraries was released Aug. 30th. More info here: http://www.orbxsystems.com/forum/topic/48243-orbxlibs-120825-dual-installer-now-available/
ORBXLIBS has now been updated as a dual FSX/P3D installer. There are also some major updates as follows:
– Added new Staticflow2 aircraft libraries
– Added new Peopleflow2 libraries
– Added new Creatureflow library
– Added new runway markers for the UK
– Added new traffic-cone library
– New FTX Central for P3D and FSX (FTX Central for P3D now has a working Library Insertion feature)
– Added a few general tweaks and updates
The object library updates are in preparation of upcoming releases.
EVENT: Fireside Chat w/Mike from Lotus Simulations
TOPIC: Lotus Simulations and the L-39 Albatross
TIME: September 7th, 5pm PST, 8pm EST, 0000 GMT (one night only)
LOCATION: avsim.digitalthemepark.com (TeamSpeak 3)
We are pleased to welcome Mike Johnson of Lotus SImulations to end our week. He is going to share with us his background and development of Lotus SImulations and the Lotus L-39 Albatross jet trainer for FSX. Mike is the founder of Lotus Simulations and has been involved in 3D graphics in one form or another since graduating from the Vancouver Film School’s computer graphics program in 1993. Mike worked in the video gaming industry for ten years prior to starting FS development, including stints at Electronic Arts and Namco. Mike holds both US and Canadian PPLs and has been a flight sim junkie since the age of twelve, starting out his flying career with Flight Simulator version 2. We welcome Mike and excited to hear more about his background and creation of the L-39 Albatross.
This is an event you will not want to miss.
We suggest getting connected before the event in order to make sure your headset fully works, and familiar with DTP. We appreciate your understanding that we refuse to “seat” folks after the event has started.
Anyone who has purchased the L-39 Albatross for FSX may want to jump in on this fireside chat to have any questions about the Albatross answered.
I’m always on the lookout for nicely done (and unique) freeware aircraft to add to FSX. Recently released by Mario Noriega is his FSX-only Piaggio P-180 ‘Avanti’ version 3.0.
For more information and download links, visit the AvSim announcement here: Mario Noriega’s Paiggio P-180 ‘Avanti’ version 3.0 for FSX
Some images of this unique aircraft …
And looking over my virtual shoulder into the cabin area I see we have a guest on board…
My uncle sent me the link to this YouTube video (thanks, John!) It’s part one of two, and is about 16 minutes long. It’s a very cool model airport in action, with a full surrounding community with stuff going on as well. Take a minute (err, half an hour) to check out parts one and two. Part one starts below, with lots of take-off and landing action at about 12 minutes in and going to the end.