Flymall February 2023 Wheels & Wings Newsletter

Welcome to the Kraemer Aviation/ Wheels & Wings Newsletter

This month, the theme is German engineering. Next month (March 2023), our theme is “Treasure Hunters and their vehicles”.

You can view past newsletters here.

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Interested in living at an airport?  Visit our Aviation Real Estate page here. You can view price data for airport property in our Market Watch section of the Flymall. Here is the data for all airport property. You can refine the search by “state” simply by searching for the desired state under “Model”.

Want to have your business highlighted on the Flymall???  We offer inexpensive rates to have your business featured on our Wheels & Wings page.  Contact us for more info.

Earlier this month:

History Trivia: What is the history on letting a rodent forecast the weather? It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerges from its burrows on this day and sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will go on for six more weeks; if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early. The Pennsylvania Dutch were immigrants from German-speaking areas of Europe. The Germans had a tradition of marking Candlemas (February 2) as “Badger Day” (Dachstag), on which if a badger emerging from its den encountered a sunny day, thereby casting a shadow, it presaged four more weeks of winter. The Pennsylvanians maintained the same tradition as the Germans on Groundhog Day, except that winter’s spell would be prolonged for six weeks instead of four.  For the Pennsylvania Dutch, the badger became the dox, which in Deitsch referred to “groundhog”

We cannot talk about German engineering without mentioning Wernher von Braun. Von Braun is widely seen as the “father of space travel”, the “father of rocket science” or the “father of the American lunar program”. In Germany he invented the famous V-2 rocket. He got the Americans to the moon and back. Near the end of WWII, von Braun and his team were making plans to surrender to the Americans, which they eventually did. Von Braun actually became NASA’s first director in 1960 and held that position until 1970. We could do an entire post on von Braun, however his Wikipedia page has a lot of good reading.

If you enjoy history we have a new aviation history fact each day at the bottom of our webpages.  Some days there may be more than one, just refresh the page.  And if you like Beatles history, checkout our Events Calendar and select the Beatles category.  This is a work in progress, we’re building the most comprehensive calendar of important dates in Beatle history.  For those that like to stick with current news, we have an aviation news ticker on our home page.  This is updated daily to show the current aviation news.

Achievements & Special Recognition: The spy gondola, spy basket, observation car or sub-cloud car (German: Spähgondel or Spähkorb) is a crewed vessel that an airship hiding in cloud cover could lower several hundred meters to a point below the clouds in order to inconspicuously observe the ground and help navigate the airship. They were used almost exclusively by the Germans in the First World War on their military airships. The Imperial War Museum in London exhibits a Zeppelin observation car that was found near Colchester after the Zeppelin air raid on the night of the September 2–3, 1916. It is believed to have been carried by the LZ 90 and was being deployed uncrewed when the winch accidentally ran out of control. The brave observer that was lowered down in one of these deserves some special recognition.

We can’t write about the spy gondola without something about the ship that carried it. Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin or Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin as he was known. Von Zeppelin was the inventor of the Zeppelin rigid airships. In 1863, Zeppelin took leave (from the German military) to act as an observer for the Union’s Army of the Potomac in the American Civil War. Ferdinand von Zeppelin served as an official observer with the Union Army during the American Civil War. During the Peninsular Campaign, he visited the balloon camp of Thaddeus S. C. Lowe shortly after Lowe’s services were terminated by the Army. Von Zeppelin then travelled to St. Paul, MN where the German-born former Army balloonist John Steiner offered tethered flights. His first ascent in a balloon, made at Saint Paul, Minnesota during this visit, is said to have been the inspiration of his later interest in aeronautics. His ideas for large airships were first expressed in a diary entry dated March 25 1874. After his resignation from the army in 1891 at age 52, Zeppelin devoted his full attention to airships. His first airship was designated the Zeppelin LZ1. On 2 July 1900, Zeppelin made the first flight with the LZ1 over Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen in southern Germany. Click here for more reading on von Zeppelin. See below (under Native American Indian Transportation) for more on his travels in the United States.

Have you ever flown a blimp or ridden in one? Here’s Harry in the cockpit of the Goodyear blimp about to takeoff from Martin State Airport getting his first Lighter Than Air hours in his logbook.

Here is a drawing of a Union Army observation balloon that would have been similar to the type that von Zeppelin rode in. Click on the image for a larger view.

Instructors, what to highlight your students first solo or other achievement here?  Just send us a short write-up and a picture or two and we’ll post it here for you.  Click here for our contact info.

Click on image for larger view

Aviation/Aviators in the news: The Etrich Taube, was a pre-World War I monoplane aircraft. It was the first military aeroplane to be mass-produced in Germany. The Taube was very popular prior to the First World War, and it was also used by the air forces of Italy and Austria-Hungary.  On November 1st 1911, Giulio Gavotti, an Italian aviator, dropped the world’s first aerial bomb from his Taube monoplane over the Ain Zara oasis in Libya. The Taube was designed in 1909 by Igo Etrich of Austria-Hungary, and first flew in 1910. It was licensed for serial production by Lohner-Werke in Austria and by Edmund Rumpler in Germany

The aviation section of the Flymall is full of aviation news, training info, and much more for the aviator.

Air show season is always just around the corner.  Want to travel to air shows in your own aircraft?  Visit our used aircraft page on the Flymall to view our inventory. Coming in April 2023, we will have a low airframe time, and very low engine time, 1975 Beech Sierra for sale.

Café Sophie at the Montgomery County Airpark was all decked out for Valentines Day this year. They had a special menu just for the occasion.

Car/Motorcycle Show News:   The Laytonsville Cruise In is the place to be on a Friday night in Montgomery County.  The Laytonsville Cruise In was started by Harry in 2010. It has become one of the most popular cruise ins in the area. You can follow Harry on Facebook for daily updates during the many shows and events he attends.

New for Season 14 – Dash Plaques (see the picture below) will be given away on the “Opening Night” which is May 19 2023. May 19 2023 is also the first award night of the season. We hope to see you there.

Also for the season at the Laytonsville Cruise In, we will be offering some very cool “gear” for sale. One item will be these very cool looking coffee cups.

Our Events Calendar has the most current info regarding local and national car shows, air shows, and more.  With nearly 30 categories, there is something for everyone.  The Day Tripper section of the Flymall has dozens of day trip ideals and interesting places to visit.  Check it out here.

Here’s an unusual engine. A BMW 6 cylinder 2/stroke special made by Rudi Rupp.

Barn Finds/Hangar Finds:  Need an appraisal on your barn find?  Visit our Appraisal Page for information on our appraisals. We have a barn find for sale. She’s a 1969 Jaguar E-Type or XKE as they are known in England. Click here for more details on this one owner car.

Visit our online store to search for hard to find car parts, aircraft parts, and much more.  You can pay online in our secure store, just click on the Store button on our home page.

February 11 2023, the Flymall team was at the Timonium Motorcycle Show. This is one of the largest motorcycle shows in the area. Click here for more pictures. Just about every motorcycle manufacturer was there displaying the best they have to offer, everything from motorcycles, jet skis, and off-road 4 wheelers like the one below.

The Flymall team was also at the Timonium RV show this year. We’re looking for a new RV to be our mobile classroom and office. Here’s some information on our Mobile Training Unit we developed in early 2005.

Visit the Test Drive section of the Flymall for reviews on automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and more. Read about it before you buy it.  You can also research price info on a wide variety of vehicles, collectibles, and more in the Market Watch section of the Flymall. 

If you’re restoring a fabric aircraft, Ira Walker of Walker Aviation is your resource.  Visit his page on the Flymall by clicking here

CFI / DPE Notes:  Visit Harry’s Practical Test page for information on his checkrides.  You will also find useful information there to help you prepare for your checkride.  You can also visit Harry’s Lesson Plan section of the Flymall for other flight training information.  Visit our Flight Training page for information on our aviation training classes.

Earlier this month, Kelly passed her commercial pilot checkride. Her maneuvers were text book perfect. Her steep spiral and go-around maneuvers were outstanding, the best Harry has seen in a while. Kelly has already started her CFI training. She plans to be teaching by early May this year. We wish her the best in her aviation career.

Click on image for a larger view

Weather in the news: On Saturday, February 4, the Mount Washington Observatory at the peak of the Northeast’s highest mountain, famous for its extreme weather conditions, recorded an actual temperature of minus 47 (minus 44 C), tying an observatory record set in 1934 and a wind gust of 127 mph. It also set a record for the coldest wind chill ever recorded at minus 108 degrees.

In the same month that we are setting records for cold temperatures, on February 23 2023, we set a record high temperature of 81 degrees in the Washington DC area. This is a record high that stood for nearly 150 years.

Three Wheel Association (TWA) &  Harry started the Three Wheel Association in 2013 to promote/support the industry of three wheel vehicles of all types. Visit the Three Wheel Association page on the Flymall for more info on the association. We are also the new owners of the very popular site Look for a major revamping of the site early this year.

Three wheel vehicles became popular in many European countries because they were taxed as a motorcycle. You still had the enclosed security of a 4 wheel car, however, it was taxed as a motorcycle. Once such vehicle made in Germany was the Fuldamobil. Fuldamobil is the name of a series of small cars produced by Elektromaschinenbau Fulda GmbH of Fulda, Germany, and Nordwestdeutscher Fahrzeugbau (NWF) of Wilhelmshaven between 1950 and 1969. The car’s original design was conceived by Norbert Stevenson, a freelance journalist who had worked for the Rhein-Zeitung newspaper. As with many others involved in the field of automotive design, Stevenson had little in the way of formal qualifications in this area, although he had completed one term of mechanical engineering at the Technische Hochschule Berlin. His design concept was for a very simple three-wheeled car with room for two people inside, it would have two wheels at the front for stability, and be driven by a small engine at the rear.

Want a reproduction vintage 3 wheeler.  Walker Aviation can scratch built from pictures or drawings.  Visit his page on the Flymall.  

The Messerschmitt KR200, or Kabinenroller (Cabin Scooter), is a three-wheeled bubble car designed by the aircraft engineer Fritz Fend and produced in the factory of the German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt from 1955 until 1964. After WWII, Messerschmitt, was temporarily not allowed to manufacture aircraft, so they had turned their resources to making other products. In 1952, Fend approached Messerschmitt with the idea of manufacturing small motor vehicles. These were based on his Fend Flitzer invalid carriage.

Messerschmitt kr200

The Fend Flitzer was a three-wheeled invalid carriage designed and built by Fritz Fend. The Flitzer established many of the basic concepts on which Fend’s later Messerschmitt Kabinenroller microcars were developed.

Fend Flitzer

The Timonium Motorcycle Show is one of the largest motorcycle shows on the east coast. We usually attend this annual event and will often have a motorcycle or two on display. Click here for a YouTube video montage of some of the three wheelers at the Timonium Motorcycle Show, February 11 2023. Our 1912 AC Delivery Trike did win a Best of Show and Best in our class at this event several years ago.

Prototypes: A well know fact is that prior to and during WWII, the Germans were very much into tank development. What is not well know is that they also experimented with driverless tanks (self propelled). They actually produced a few and evaluated them. Most were “anti-tank” vehicles, based on half-track chassis. They tested a few, however they were never fully developed. One such prototype made was a vehicle called the 3.7  cm Selbstfahrlafette L/70 (pictured below).

There’s an episode on Hogan’s Heroes (Season 2 Episode 9: Tanks For The Memory) where they had a radio controlled tank and Hogan and his crew hijacked it. Here’s a picture from that episode. Did you know??? The actors who played the four major German roles—Werner Klemperer (Klink), John Banner (Schultz), Leon Askin (General Burkhalter), and Howard Caine (Major Hochstetter)—were all Jewish. In fact, Klemperer, Banner, and Askin had all fled the Nazis during World War II.

Nautical Notes: The German were very much into U-boats during WWII. And many of their U-boat commanders became legends. One such legend was Otto Kretschmer (pictured here). Otto Kretschmer, a German U-boat commander and WWII Ace. Otto was in command of U99, a Type 7 U-boat. Donald MacIntyre – A British destroyer captain from the beginning of the war almost to its end, captaining the destroyers Walker and Hesperus and the smaller Bickerton, as well as leading the famous Group 5 anti-submarine group, McIntyre established himself as one of the greats. He captured the number one German U-boat ace Otto Kretschmer (whose Zeiss binoculars he took and used for the rest of the war); in the same battle, he directed the attack that killed the second-scoring ace Joachim Schepke. Later in the war, his ship was torpedoed; before that he nursed a bent-nosed destroyer back to port after ramming a U-boat. The Zeiss binoculars were very special to Otto. They were presented by the high command to only the very élite U-boat commanders. To Otto, they were a part of his image.

Many do not know that the Germans actually invaded the coastal waters on the east coast of the United States during WWII. This attack was known as Operation Drumbeat. Reinhard Hardegen, the commander of the German U-boat 123, launched the first strike of Operation Drumbeat. Operation Drumbeat’s primary targets were merchant ships off of the coast of the United States. The Germans sank more ships in US coastal zones in one year, than nearly the rest of the war in all the oceans of the word combined.

The Germans used a number of different innovative torpedoes during WWII. One was especially designed as a specialized anti-convoy weapon, the FaT and LuT torpedo could be programmed to run in a straight line for a given distance, then if it did not hit a target, the torpedo then turned to the right or left (as pre-set) and began a zigzag search pattern until it struck a target or ran out of fuel. LuT was a more sophisticated version of the FaT, with more variable patterns, but was only used operationally towards the end of the war.

Riding The Rails: One of the high speed trains currently operating in Germany is the The ICE (InterCity Express). This is a high-speed train that connects all major cities in Germany. With speeds up to 186 MPH, this is one of the fastest ways to travel between cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne.

During WWII, Germany built some awesome trains. The best-known and the most produced German war locomotive, was the Kriegslokomotive.

Native American Indian Transportation: What’s the history on snow goggles?

Thousands of years ago, Inuit and Yupik people of Alaska and northern Canada carved narrow slits into ivory, antler and wood to create snow goggles. This diminished exposure to direct and reflected ultraviolet rays thereby reducing eye strain and preventing snow blindness.

While in the United States, von Zeppelin  travelled to the Upper Midwest with a party that probably included two Russians. Led by Native American (probably Ojibwe) guides, they canoed and portaged (Portage or portaging is the practice of carrying water craft or cargo over land, either around an obstacle in a river, or between two bodies of water) from the western end of Lake Superior up the St. Louis River and across to Crow Wing, Minnesota, on the Upper Mississippi River.

Animals in the headlines: One of the most famous German shepherds is Rin-Tin-Yin. Saved by an American soldier serving in Germany during World War I, he was trained to act in film. Soon, he had made a name for himself, appearing in 27 Hollywood films. He was considered one of the elite stars in Hollywood during his day.

We close this newsletter with these words: We close this newsletter with one of Harry’s favorite quotes from John Lennon: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

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