Here is the surprise I have been working on. I found a place that makes custom designed shirts. The company's name is ForeverCali and Anne and I worked together to come up with an embroidered design for shirts. http://www.forevercali.com/
Attached is the design that I will be getting for my shirt. It should be delivered on Friday. Just in time for my trip down to Chino.
Sorry to everyone that I have been aloof for a while...just bad timing schedule wise between work, my class, trading hours at work so I can go to class, a back injury, my Father's 2nd heart attack and heart catheterization and the weather...just didn't leave much opportunity to fly. Good news is...Dad is OK, my back is better and class will be over this weekend!
More good news...The Squirt got to fly today in Southern Indiana at around 1:20 PM!!! Logged in two flights in approximately 10 mph winds at 45 degrees just before it started to drizzle. She performed well, although with the wind it could have used a bit more rudder authority to get it to turn. There was one good landing and a kind of ugly looking belly flop in the grass....it just didn't want to settle in for a "traditional landing" =)
I didn't really get much in the way of photo ops like it did in Louisville, but I did get a pic with the local flying club at their meeting. I thought about taking the Squirt with me to vote...but I had to re-think that idea.
I'll try yo get some pics up as soon as I find my USB cable for my camera.
Anyway, after this weekend it will be on it's way to the next lucky pilot!
Picked up the piece of history today at Lake Barkley Dam in Kentucky and got to meet Tim. It was something else looking briefly at the log book and plane. The box is a work of art and has interesting comments all over it. I couldn't believe that it still had a speed 400 brushed motor!
Got it loaded up on the X and headed back home to Tennessee. Planning to get together with some folks and fly it soon. Nick King has to work the next few days so I don't plan to pass it on until he has a chance to fly it too.
It was a great day to fly here in West Tennessee and I got together with Bill, his Son, and Dave Huff to ohhhhh and ahhhhh over Squirt then take it up for a few flights. Dave had to go before his turn at the sticks, then he had to go again after his flight.... We got a kick out of looking at log book number three and all the signatures on the box. Squirt actually survived the day and as soon as I can get together with Nick King so he can get a flight in I'll be ready to pass the plane on.
Before flying the WAA-08 plane we got some practice flights in.... Bill's son made the P-47 and Corsair from scratch out of blue foam and Bill made the jet from blue foam too.
After making a ground check and getting Squirt ready I tested the thrust of the Speed 400 brushed motor. It was strong so I decided to ROG. Squirt had a nice roll out and was airborne within a few feet.
After getting the plane up to altitude I turned the sticks over to Dave. He turned it over to Bill and Bill passed it on to his son. No one else wanted to land Squirt so I took the sticks back and brought it in for an uneventful landing.
Then it was time for another flight once the motor cooled off a bit. Squirt flew just as well on flight number two. We had a great day of flying, spun a few yarns, and had a great afternoon flying here in West Tennessee!
As you know, I normally send out my email updates in January and June, but this news is too wonderful and cannot wait. It is with great pleasure that I can finally send you this email.
We have just completed a flight in our 48th state! Pilot #365, Don Sims of Dyer, TN has made the SQuiRT's historic flight, today 18 Nov '12 at his local flying field. When Don received the SQuiRT on Saturday, it had already traveled 23, 824 miles and had been flown by 623 pilots before him.
The dedication and efforts shown by all of our pilots to make this happen to get the SQuiRT through all 48 CONUS is without a doubt beyond remarkable. As you know this really was history in the making and you my friends have accomplished something that has never, ever been done before. Please take a moment to reflect on that because without your participation, selflessness, and dedication to the sport of model aviation this adventure could have not have been possible.
During the 4.5 years the SQuiRT has been "on the road," we have helped promote model aviation every single day. Your efforts by piloting the SQuiRT, delivering her to the next pilot, replacing broken props, or by donating some cash to the prop fund may not have seemed at the time like you really were promoting model aviation, but those acts, big or small, has helped get us to this fact; we have made history and accomplished our main goal of promoting the sport of model aviation in those 4.5 years. And as a side note, we have also done a great job in promoting the AMA and its membership. Remember the card sent to Steve M from the Senator in MN? Below is some examples of the publicity that I have seen happen so far:
33 Online news stories
28 Local papers
6 nationally publicized magazines have run articles on the WAA-08 adventure
5 Local television news broadcasts
1 Local radio show
1 Parade Logan County Fair Parade
1 Weekly RC Podcast that provides WAA-08 updates
That does not take in account the thousands of posts on numerous internet forums, or dozens and dozens of videos posted on sites like YouTube or Vimeo. Nor does it take in account the dozens of new folks joining the sport due to the fact they witnessed the SQuiRT fly in a local park or seen an article about the WAA-08 adventure in their local paper. Again, I hope that you all take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments in the last 4.5 years and look at the extraordinary thing you helped accomplish. It truly is an amazing accomplishment and I thank each and every one of you that helped make it happen.
I would be remiss in this update if I did not mention and give thanks to Walter G who has tirelessly performed his duties as our WAA-08 webmaster during these last 4.5 years without complaining about the hundreds of emails I have sent him with new updates or new photos to publish. He has done an outstanding job donating his time to keep our website alive and has used his own money to host the WAA-08 domain. And I need to thank Don W who generates our pilot certificates for the adventure and has been doing such a wonderful job at that. The certificates are a great way to say "Thank You" to our pilots and Don sure does a great job on them. Some more good news is that Jerry B has offered to make the 2012 WAA-08 Collage for us this year. The collages, started by Don J back in 2008, is a great way to capture the smiling faces of all the WAA-08 pilots and their club mates throughout the year, as well as showing the historical places the SQuiRT has visited. I also want to thank our sponsors who donated ESCs, servos, a LiPo Sack, and other necessities, and especially Bill Stevens who provided us with a wonderful and robust airplane to use on our adventure. What a superb choice that turned out to be. And thanks to John Redman from Horizon Hobby for the DX6i transmitter.
These last 4.5 years have seen a lot of changes in all our lives. Back when this began, I was living and working in Virginia and now I am all the way on the other side of the country in a new job and home. Who would have thought that when this all began? I know I never saw that coming. And I have heard similar stories from other pilots as our adventure marched on. Sadly, these last 4.5 years has also had some sad times. We lost some good friends along the way; Greg S, and Don J, our two treasurers, and pilot #192 Bill H, who passed away in a tragic accident at his work shortly after flying the SQuiRT. We certainly miss their friendship and their contributions to the WAA-08 adventure and model aviation.
Now you may be asking yourself, "So what now. Are we done?" My answer to that is "No way!" We still have the last leg of our journey to finish. We still have 30 more registered pilots to fly the SQuiRT and most likely another 70 pilots/flights to go. We have SEFF coming up next year and we are hoping to get a pilot in the local area to showcase the SQuiRT and fly her during one of the noon time demos and have someone share the tale of the SQuiRT's journey as she flies for the crowd. We want to SQuiRT to be on display while she is there so the pilots at SEFF can stop by and see the "remarkable parkflyer that could." The next big event after SEFF is a trip to Kitty Hawk, NC to fly the hallowed grounds of aviation and I am hoping to get a good showing of local pilots to join Scott S there at Kitty Hawk. After that, she makes her way on to Gloucester, VA to make a final flight at her home field, completing her journey around the USA in approximately 5 years.
I have often been asked, "What happens to the SQuiRT when the journey is finished?" I personally would like to see the SQuiRT reside in Muncie, IN. I have sent in the application for the SQuiRT, its travel box that was beautifully crafted by Steve G, 3 pilot's log books, my personal log of over 200 pages recording events both good and bad from the very inception of the adventure until the end, and all the mementos collected through the years to be inducted into the AMA's National Model Aviation Museum. (I should be hearing the results of the application in mid-December.) I think that would be a fitting "retirement home" for a parkflyer who has traveled over 25,000 miles around the US and flown by over 700 pilots promoting model aviation. I am really hoping this happens. I think it would be wonderful for Moms and Dads when they visit the museum to see the SQuiRT on display and tell their kids, grandkids or even great grandkids that they took part in the WAA-08 adventure helping to make model aviation history. I'd love to take my son there someday and show him the SQuiRT on display and what a thrill it would mean to me for him to take his children to the museum someday and have him explain to his kids about WAA-08 adventure and the role their granddad played in it.
With that said, I am tentatively planning on meeting with all the WAA-08 pilots that can attend NEFI in 2013. Jay S said he is going to let me know when that will be happening and I will send out emails to let everyone know my plans. I hope to see as many of the WAA-08 pilots as possible there and thank them in person for their efforts in making this happen. It would be wonderful for all of us there to pass the transmitter around and give the SQuiRT one final flight. That would be awesome.
On a side note, I have worked with a shirt designer down in San Diego who has designed an embroidered WAA-08 shirt. I have attached a photo of my shirt. If anyone would like to order a shirt, please let me know and I can provide the link to the website for ordering info.
I hope this email finds you well and thank you all again for your wonderful contributions to this adventure. I've said this a number of times and it still holds true to this day. Without your efforts, all I would have had is a brand new plane in a beautiful wooden box sitting in my garage.
Thank you all and a virtual fist bump to everyone! (even though my 15 year old son says people don't fist bump anymore J)
This afternoon 11-25-12 Nick King, Dave Huff, and I got together so Nick could fly the WAA-08 plane. The day was a beautiful one for November but the wind was gusting between 20 and 30 mph so we were a bit hesitant to fly the plane. Nick warmed up with his ME-109 and I flew my Mustang and then decided to give Squirt a flight.
I ROG'd the plane again and flew it up to altitude then handed the transmitter off to Nick. He flew it for quite a while then came in for a nice landing. The plane handled the wind well and was blown backwards a few times as we flew into the wind. Nick signed off in the log book plus made his mark on the box and I added a couple of logbook entries to document the flights.
Guess it's time to make arrangements to pass this traveling little plane on to the next pilot. Once again I'd like to thank Frank for his dedication to the project.