Archive for November, 2023

Flymall / Kraemer Aviation November 2023 Wheels & Wings Newsletter

Sunday, November 26th, 2023

Welcome to the Kraemer Aviation/ Wheels & Wings Newsletter. This month we’re featuring failed technology. We have some very cool technology this month, from dual motor cars, to the hyperloop high speed transportation tunnel. Plus we have a special interview with a young helicopter pilot that made an awesome flight in a very cool helicopter.

You can view past newsletters here.

Earlier this month we celebrated Pat’s birthday at the Laytonsville Cruise In (Julliano’s). Click here for more pictures.

Pat & Harry hosted their annual Thanksgiving dinner. It was truly a Wheels & Wings event. There were pilots there, car collectors, and bicycle collectors. Click here for more pictures.

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.

History Trivia: How many knew that Cessna made a helicopter. The Cessna CH-1 Skyhook is the only helicopter ever built by the Cessna Aircraft Company. It was the first helicopter to land on the summit of Pike’s Peak and the last piston-engined helicopter to set the helicopter altitude record. With having such a record breaking helicopter, one must wonder why Cessna did not continue producing helicopters. Was this just some failed technology? Why didn’t Cessna stay in the helicopter manufacturing business?

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.

On November 10 1885, we had the first test ride of what is often considered the first modern motorcycle, the Daimler Reitwagen (“riding car”), occurred. At the controls was 17-year-old Paul Daimler, son of the bike’s inventor, Gottlieb Daimler. This journey effectively made Paul the world’s first biker. This is certainly NOT failed technology. It has been improved upon over the years and we’re still riding on 2 wheels.

Do you recall NASA’s research on lifting bodies in the 1960s? Lifting bodies paved the way for the Space Shuttle! The M2-F1 lifting body research program required a tow vehicle for its low-speed glider. Engineers, including Walter Whiteside, modified a 1963 Pontiac Catalina convertible with a more powerful engine, custom gearbox, and drag slicks. The car, which remained street-legal with NASA license plates, made its first successful tow on 1 March 1963, and would make over 400 more tows before the project moved onto the next phase, where the M2-F1 would be towed by a Douglas C-47 at altitude instead.

Achievements & Special Recognition: Carmel Haas: Earlier this month, Carmel celebrated her two year anniversary (November 11 2021) of passing her instrument checkride. A flawless checkride at that. She had moderate turbulence and 20 to 30 knots of wind at altitude and she kept the needles centered for every approach. This girl is outstanding. Her first lesson was 9-3-2021, first solo was 9-23-2021, private pilot checkride 10-7-2021, and instrument rating 11-11-2021. Now she is flying with the airlines. Best of luck to her in her aviation career.

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.

Aviation/Aviators in the news: This month we have a special interview with Lexie Diedrich. She has just completed an awesome flight ferrying a Chinook helicopter from Istanbul Turkey to Burkina Faso Africa. Click here for her interesting story.

While air-to-air refueling is commonplace for our military today, it was very different in 1929. On November 12 1929, the first air-to-air refueling took place. It was accomplished by Wesley “Wes” May, Frank Hawks and Earl Daugherty whom devised a simple plan to strap a 5 gallon can around Wes’ back, who then, carefully made his way from the Curtiss Jenny to the Lincoln Standard to transfer the fuel. Here’s a picture from that day. The method used in 1929 is failed technology.

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.

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.

In 1965 Ford introduced the wrist twist steering for cars. We don’t believe that it ever got past the testing stage. Here is a YouTube video of the wrist twist steering in action.

Does anyone remember the fifth wheel to assist in parking your car? This is technology that didn’t make it. Click here for a YouTube video of this in action.

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 ideas and interesting places to visit.  Check it out here.

Chrysler Corporation introduced high fidelity record players for their 1956 line-up of cars on Oct 12, 1956.
The unit measured about four inches high and less than a foot wide and mounted under the instrument panel.
The seven inch discs spun at 16 2/3 rpm and required almost three times the number of grooves per inch as an LP.
A set of 35 classical recordings were available that provided between 45 and 60 minutes of uninterrupted music. The players would be discontinued in 1961.

Barn Finds/Hangar Finds:  Need an appraisal on your barn find?  Visit our Appraisal Page for information on our appraisals.  It would be awesome to find one of these sitting in a barn. This is the 1959 Ford Country Squire concept camper station wagon. Dubbed the Swiss army knife of cars.

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.

The Citroen Sahara built for the North African terrain. It featured identical front and rear engines and could be driven using either engine or both. A multi engine car! There is nothing failed about dual motor cars, we have them now. They are referred to as hybrids. And we also have cars with electric motors at each wheel. Chevrolet’s new E-Ray uses power from the gas engine on the rear axle and power from an electric motor in the front (a dual motor Corvette).

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.

Weather in the news: Just 2 days before Thanksgiving, we had a major storm system move across the states. Just in time to disrupt travel plans for many.

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. Check out the all new site. We have over 750 listings in the A to Z list. The A to Z list has numerous sub categories as well. Check it out here.

In the late 1800s, the Rex Cycle Company tried something that failed. Their unique bicycle was only in production for one year. The Rex Cycle Company of Chicago, Illinois manufactured this three-wheel bicycle in 1898. The bicycle was designed by Bohn C. Hicks, who obtained three patents on this type of machine (patents, 557,387, 557388 and 561710) in 1896. The unusual construction of the Rex cycle resulted from Hicks’ efforts to produce a machine “particularly adapted to absorb or minimize the shocks incident to riding over obstructions.” The seat was mounted on a tube attached to pivot points on the front wheel and the rear third wheel, a design to allow the wheels to undulate over bumps with minimal jostling to the rider. We have both a single and a tandem in our collection. The tandem is so rare that only two are know to exist, the one we have and one in the Henry Ford Museum. Click here for info on our Rex single. Click here for info on our tandem.

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

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Prototypes:  Ford Levacar was a concept vehicle from the 1950s that is failed technology in terms a transportation for the public. The Ford Mach I, also known as the Ford Levacar Mach I, is a concept car hovercraft developed by the Ford Motor Company in the 1950s. The Mach I was a single-seat automobile which rode on pressurized air, not wheels. Its name was inspired by the speed Mach 1, an aspiration speed not yet achieved by vehicles at the time. It used air pressure at a force of 15–100 psi to provide lift and propulsion.  In experiments, 50–60 psi was used so that 15 hp was needed for levitation and 2.5 hp propelled it 20 mph.

The Levacar project was led by Andrew A. Kucher (a Ford Vice-President for Engineering and Research) and David J. Jay (a Senior Development Engineer). Kucher had initially conceived the concept around 1930.  One of the lead designers was Gale Halderman, known for being the initial designer of the Ford Mustang. In addition to the Mach I automobile, the project also developed a similarly outfitted scooter, the Levascooter.  In experiments on a circular track,[4] vehicles would raise .125 inches (3.2 mm) off the ground and could jump 1 inch (25 mm) obstacles

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When Chevrolet recently “re-introduced” the mid-engine Corvette, there was a lot of excitement. Yes, we said “re-introduced”. The idea has been around since 1968 with the 1968 Chevrolet Astro II (XP-880). This mid-engine Chevrolet concept car was introduced at the 1968 New York Auto Show as a practical, personal sports car designed to carry two passengers and their luggage comfortably and rapidly. A hint of Astro I styling flavor is seen in the frontal appearance of this running experimental car, but unlike the Astro I, Astro II had doors to access the passenger compartment. The contours had been altered slightly to accommodate wide section tires, which promoted stability and handling and reflected the change in dimensions, which resulted from the adoption of a mid-wheel base location for the engine. The air-cooled, single overhead camshaft six-cylinder engine used in the Astro I was replaced with a liquid-cooled 390 horsepower MK IV big block V8 engine, with power passing through a two speed torque converter from a Pontiac Tempest transaxle. Unlike many European mid-engine vehicles, the Astro II carried its radiator at the rear; a location intended to minimize the amount of plumbing required and to keep the hot water lines from passing through the passenger compartment. This arrangement freed the front compartment for the storage of luggage. The sponson area on either side of the car behind the passenger compartment was available for extra storage on the left and a collapsible spare tire on the right. The rear section of the Astro II raised immediately aft of the passenger compartment to allow access to the sponson storage areas and to the engine and suspension. The Astro II has a wheelbase of 100 inches, overall length of 181 inches, and a height of a mere 43.7 inches. Overall width is 74 inches.

Lead engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov and GM styling chief Bill Mitchell were hoping Astro II would be the concept for the next generation Corvette, but the GM management figured the public was not ready for a mid-engine car.

The Astro II is currently part of the GM Heritage Center Collection.  This isn’t really “failed technology”, it is just technology that was decades in the making.

Nautical Notes: How useful is a boat that can crawl onto land? This could have some military uses as well as search and rescue. Click here for a YouTube video of a crawling boat. This seems like an improvement of the landing craft we saw in WWII. This is just some more technology that we will need to see if the test of time makes it failed technology.

Riding The Rails: Is it possible that the Virgin Hyperloop could make other forms of transportation obsolete? Or is this just some failed technology? We will need to wait and see. Hyperloop One is an American transportation technology company that works to commercialize the high-speed travel concept called the Hyperloop, a variant of the vacuum train. The company was established on June 1, 2014, and reorganized and renamed on October 12, 2017.

Native American Indian Transportation: The travois was a popular means of carrying loads over long distances. These were widely used by the Plains Indians of North America.

The basic construction consists of a platform or netting mounted on two long poles, lashed in the shape of an A-frame; the frame was dragged with the sharply pointed end forward. Sometimes the blunt end of the frame was stabilized by a third pole bound across the two poles.

Animals in the headlines: Meet the newest addition to the Kraemer family, a Belgian Malinois.

We close this newsletter with these words: Here are some words of wisdom from Sir Paul McCartney: And in the end,
The love you take, Is equal to the love you make.

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Ferry Flight Across 13 Countries From Istanbul, Turkey To Burkina Faso, Africa

Sunday, November 26th, 2023

 What is it with pilots and the lure of flight?  Leonardo da Vinci has been quoted to say: For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward; for there you have been, and there you long to return.  For most pilots, flying is flying.  It doesn’t matter if you are going from place to place or just flying circles in the pattern. 

 Imagine being a pilot and your current job is flying a helicopter over a cherry tree orchard to dry cherries.  Cherries are easily damaged from being too wet.  Many growers will hire a helicopter to fly above the orchard and dry the cherries to prevent damage.  Cherry drying is very seasonal and when the crop is picked, the pilot is looking for their next job.  This is exactly what happened to Harry’s friend, Lexie Diedrich.  Lexie had applied for a position to ferry a BV-234 Chinook across 13 countries, over 7500 miles.  As her cherry drying contract was coming to an end, she received an email from the assistant chief pilot that her application (for the Chinook ferry flight) was reviewed and that they would like to do an interview.

The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a tandem-rotor helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol. The Chinook is a heavy-lift helicopter that is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Its name, Chinook, is from the Native American Chinook people of Oregon and Washington state. A commercial model of the Chinook, the Boeing-Vertol Model 234, is used worldwide for logging, construction, fighting forest fires, and supporting petroleum extraction operations. In December 2006, Columbia Helicopters Inc purchased the type certificate of the Model 234 from Boeing, Columbia Helicopters’ model is the Columbia Model 234 Multi-Mission Chinook. 

Here’s Lexie about the interview:  It was a pretty informal phone conversation. I remember thinking, “there is no way that I got the position… that would be too good to be true.” “Fast forward to two weeks later, I was on the phone with a friend whom I was telling that it would be too good to be true if I got the job. At that moment, I looked at my phone and saw a call from my new company. I was hired! The timing worked out perfectly with the end of the cherry drying season in Washington, and my drive to Oregon for training. I am so fortunate to have been picked for the ferry trip as well.”

 Lexie’s ferry flight started in Istanbul, Turkey and ended in Burkina Faso, Africa.  The crew consisted of a captain, the second in command (Lexie) as well as two maintenance personnel: one Crew Chief and one mechanic. Since they were flying into many remote areas and maintenance from outside sources would not be available, they carried the two A&Ps. They did have some maintenance issues in Greece, for a short time, they thought they would need to return to Turkey, however, their maintenance crew resolved the issue.

 Here are the countries that Lexie visited on this awesome flight; Turkey, Greece, Italy, Algeria, Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burkina Faso.  The trip was just over 44 total hours.  The Chinook burns from 1250 to 1500 pounds per hour.

 The Chinook is a true, two pilot aircraft that requires a type rating for the captain as well as the SIC.  The PIC is the one flying the aircraft and the SIC is very busy with the radios, navigation and pretty much every task other than stick-and-rudder flying. Lexie says “It is like the synchronicity of a brain and body; the PIC is the body, the SIC is the brain.”

When asked what her favorite part of the trip was, Lexie repliedOur three days in Greece. Though the delay was due to unfortunate circumstances, I was able to see some of the most beautiful, secluded beaches I have ever seen. The rural, oceanic landscapes we saw while flying over Greece inspired me to build a homestead here one day.”

 Harry asked what her least favorite part of the trip was and Lexie replied “The fact that we only got to stay in many beautiful places for a night; no time for exploring, if you want to get any rest.”

Here’s more from Harry’s interview with Lexie.

Question – Do you have any other ferry flights coming up?

Answer – The flights I do are all at the mercy of my company’s business needs and if I get chosen.  We often don’t know our schedule until the day before!

Question – Did you get to do any sight seeing?

Answer – Many places we did not have enough time to, as the needs of the business went before our leisure. However, I would go to the beaches as much as I could. The hotels we stayed in were incredible; I learned there is a hotel in Africa built where no natural growing plants can be found for hundreds of miles, that teaches windsurfing guests. I got ideas from all the places we stopped at of locations that I would like to go back to and visit for a longer period of time. I will definitely be seeing more of Greece and Spain!  When the trip was over, I tried to take a couple day trip to the beach in Morocco. Word to the wise; do not try to change your flight on Royal Air Maroc at the airport in Morocco, Africa. It is not worth the effort. 

Question – Did you cross over the western mediterranean sea or stay close to land?

Answer – We hugged the shorelines. It made for a picturesque view, places to land in case of emergency, and a good way to stay on course.

Question – Any border crossing or customs issues?

Answer – The company hires another business to handle our General Declarations, hotels, visas etc. They were a big help as we did not have to figure these things out as we were handling our pilot duties. 

Question – Was there any complex airspace to deal with?

Answer – YES. It turns out that controllers in Italy will not hand you off to the next controller whose airspace you will be flying through, despite the fact that they have your flight plan. They also get irritated when you ask to get handed off to the next controller so you don’t get in trouble.  At one point, we were flying along the coast of Italy from one CTA to another. The controller did not hand us over to the next and we were told to call “the number.” Thankfully they never called us and we were able to continue. 

Question – Were there any issues getting fuel?

Answer – Typically not. Occasionally our hired company forgot to send the fuel release form. That was fixed with a phone call, and at worst having to wait until the next day for fuel. 

Question – Did you use a flight planning service?

Answer – No, we needed to file our own flight plans because we are a helicopter flying VFR. We would have to explain to the tower personnel that we don’t want to climb up to 10,000+ feet, but needed to stay low level. In many African countries, we were not allowed to use IFR waypoints. The charts with the VFR waypoints are not online. The VFR charts are only found as physical copies in the flight planning offices of each airport. One airport would not have the charts with VFR waypoints for the next airport to land at on our route, so we kept having to explain to them we don’t have their points. We would write down all the applicable VFR points for the local airspace on our route and use them to be directed out of their airspace. 

Question – Were you able to get accurate and current weather information?

Answer – Only in first-world countries. Many places in Africa would only update their Metar once a day. The weather was also inaccurate in terms of cloud layers. There were a couple times when it was questionable as to whether we would be able to land VFR at our destination airports. 

Question – What were your longest weather delays?

Answer – We wouldn’t be able to depart after noon local time, since we do not fly after dark. So if the adverse weather remains past noon, we would stay at the current location for the night. We hoped for bad weather when we were at good locations and to depart early in less favorable locations.

Question – Did you get flight following?

Answer – Per company policy, we had to have flight following for every leg. We would typically get flight following from the company headquarters. The PIC was to call company headquarters before our departure each time we took off and get the flight following. If we did not have service, the cockpit was equipped with a satellite phone that we could call company headquarters from. 

Question – Did most controllers speak good english?

Answer – Oooof…not at all. I would often have to turn my volume up to ear piercing decibel levels to try to make out what they were requesting. There were a good amount of “say again?” Radio calls made by me. 

Question – What are your career goals?

Answer – This has changed throughout time for me. My current career goal is to get away from contract work and work for one company indefinitely. I desire to have a living wage and work/life balance from said company, such as two week on/off. Doing short contracts can be exciting, but I desire to know where my next paycheck is coming from.  I am actually about to move to New Mexico to get my add on fixed wing ratings to continue my aviation education. Perhaps I will work in the airlines for a couple years until I get on my feet financially. 

Lexie is a very experienced helicopter pilot and CFI with over 1,000 hours of flight time.  She also has her fixed wing ratings.  In addition to her cherry drying contract flying, Lexie has flown aerial tours, ferry flights, flight instruction, and other contract work.

Here is a list of the airports Lexie stopped at on her trip with a map showing each stop: LTBU – LGKV – LGKF – LGPZ – LIBG – LIPY – LIML – LFML – LERS – LEMI – GMTT – GMMN – GMAD – GMML – GMMH – GQPP – GQNO – GOBD – GGOV – GFLL – GLRB – DIAP – DFOO – DFFD

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