Friday, April 24, 2009

Flying in Texas

Today is the day before the Alamo Liaison Squadron has their Annual Bluebonnet Picnic featuring a truly impressive collection of Liaison Aircraft from WWII.

So, naturally, today everyone was there, tidying hangars, washing airplanes and tables, moving chairs, and getting ready for the event. The airplanes were being moved around so the projects would be more in back, and the best of the breeds up front, and nobody minded in the least my wandering around and asking questions, taking lots of pictures, and trying to see and learn everything.

Unless many museums which I find mildly boring, this is no collection of piled memorabilia - not a single glass case in sight! Instead, the airplanes are the museum, and as airplanes should be, they are regularly cared for and flown out of the grass strip. If you want to know how she really flies, how she needs to be cared for, how she feels, what her quirks are, where to find parts... now this is a museum where the staffers have wind-ruffled hair and stories of their own, as well as oral histories passed on down!

I may not make the Valdez May Day Fly-In as I'll probably be too busy working, but tomorrow I get to see spot landing contests and flour bombing competitions all the same, as well as formation flying and an open floor for World War Two veterans to tell their stories! And it opens with bagpipes. I love bagpipes - I believe in loud expressions of freedom!

More later on how an L-5 flies - or, better yet, if you are nearby, come see for yourself!

4 comments:

phlegmfatale said...

Sounds like a grand occasion - there's nothing like the sound of those beautiful old birds, is there? Glad you got to make it to Texas soil for this uplifting event. I hope next time you're in the neighborhood, I'll get to meet you.

Old NFO said...

Enjoy! A chance to celebrate old airplanes flying, and hear stories from those who flew them when they were new is NOT to be missed!

On a Wing and a Whim said...

fatale,

I hope to meet you, too! And no, there's nothing quite like the sound - it rumbles and hums and sputters and purrs its way into your heart and soul, and whips your head around to see every time, no matter how many years later.

NFO,

That was definitely the event of a lifetime - while the birds can and are rebuilt, the guys who flew them are not so repairable, and irreplaceable. It was a privilege to stand in the blast-furnace sunshine and talk with a man who flew the L5 in the pacific theater back when it was a new plane and the world was at war.

John the Texaner said...

Glad to hear you had fun!

If you're ever in the Galveston area, I recommend the Lone Star Flight Museum. While a lot of the planes there are on static display, there are several operational WWII planes based there, and they do occasional warbird rides in B-17, B-25, T-6, and PT-17 Stearman aircraft.