EAA Aviation Museum, Oshkosh, Wisconsin (KOSH)
Cheap proven 100 year old technology and it's great on gas ! Too bad it only carries one person less then a 1000 feet :) No the company won't be ordering any of these birds anytime soon but I wouldn't be standing here in the museum today if it wasn't for this airplane (replica seen here of course). The Wright Flyer was designed and built by the Wright Brothers, who owned a bicycle shop in Ohio. It is credited as the first heavier then air machine to sustain controlled flight with a pilot on board. It made it's first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.
My co-worker and I looked once at this guy and figured these guys had to have some serious gumption to be able to strap into (hold on in this case) a newly designed unproven technology and just giver. The EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) is an organization that was started in the 50's by a group of pilot's who were building their own airplanes. They had the same pioneering spirit and love of building things which led them to create the EAA and that is where these pictures are taken. It is the EAA Aviation Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin home of the worlds largest fly-in (called EAA AirVenture). I have been here for about 3 AirVenture's and it is truly amazing how huge of a gathering it is. Airshow's, static displays, booth's from tons of aviation suppliers, aircraft makers and everything aviation. Also growing up my dad was a member so we used to get the monthly Sport Pilot magazine and each month it featured one homebuilt aircraft. I have been trying to find it with airliners.net and with google but still no joy. It was a Lancair that was white on top and blended to a lilac on the bottom and had some sort of woman/angel person with the wings spread and the whole underside of the wing was well the angels wing, very cool.
Can you imagine hitting a bird flying this thing ? Probably why it still isn't in use, and the fact you are the first person at the scene of the accident for damn sure. When I was younger I would just see the up side of flying something like this. The wind in your face, unlimited view and the bird like feeling from such an open cockpit (can you even call a seat strapped to a plane a cockpit ?). But now as I get older I can still see the up side but then the risk you run to enjoy such an experience. Ah hell it would be worth the risk :)
When I saw this (weight and balance computer for WW2 bomber sea plane) I thought of how ingenious it is and basically was amazed that it existed. The first company I worked for you had to manually had to compute weight and balance which was a mundane, drawn out affair. When I went to my next company they had a "whiz" wheel for weight and balance and you could figure out your center of gravity in a matter of seconds. I thought it was the greatest technology only to see the same thing here but in a more detailed form. Today all I do is type in how many males and females after I select which airplane I am flying and it does the rest. But before there were keystrokes there was dials to turn. In the case of this airplane A LOT of them, but probably just as many steps as when I have to run Excel, load the sheet, type in the numbers...etc.
The race is on here in the museum....a pretty cool display and it makes for a much more interesting showcase of older race planes and puts them in their element opposed to sitting on the ground. This museum is not the largest but it sure packs a lot of amazing airplanes and is well laid out.