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Wings Across America 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 2013 Saga of the Wings Across America Plane as it travels throughout the United States.

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Old 02-03-2013, 11:30 AM   #3301
Don Sims
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WAA-08 Pilots,



I hope this email finds you well. Once again another year has been completed in the WAA-08 adventure. 2012 has proved to be an awesome year for our adventure. First let me start off with a few statistics for 2012.



As of 31 Dec 12:



3,316 miles traveled

144 pilots have flown the WAA-08 plane

26 AMA Chartered clubs visited

4 states visited



We have had some excellent news during the year and have reached a major milestone. Some say that we have even made history, and I guess you could certainly look at it like that. What we have accomplished in 4.5 years has never been accomplished before and I am very humbled by the efforts and accomplishments of all pilots involved in making this happen. On 18 Nov 12, what began as a typical flight with a small parkflyer piloted by Don Sims of Dyer, TN resulted in the Wings Across America 2008 completing a flight in every single state in the CONUS. What a remarkable accomplishment this truly has been. The SQuiRT has never been shipped anywhere to anyone at any time. She has only been transferred from one pilot to the next pilot all across the USA. And maybe the best part of the adventure is that we have made many new friends along the way as she has been transferred from pilot to pilot.



We have had some more wonderful news this past year as well. The National Model Aviation Museum in Muncie, IN has approved my application and will be accepting the SQuiRT, its travel box that was beautifully crafted by Steve Griffin, the 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, all the mementos collected through the years, the names of the sponsors who helped make this adventure possible, all of your photos that has been sent to me and your pilot certificates that we have been sending to all the WAA-08 pilots that have flown the SQuiRT. To date there have been 639 of them. What an honor that is to have the SQuiRT on display so people from all over the world can come by and see not only the SQuiRT, the transmitter, hats, stickers, etc., but to see pictures of all the WAA-08 pilots and be able to read through the pilot's log books and the coordinator's log as she made her way around the country. I am very pleased that the SQuiRT has been accepted into the museum and I look forward to seeing her on display.



I always like to compliment our pilots on the amount of press coverage we receive as the SQuiRT makes progress around the USA. It’s great to see our pilots taking the time to contact their local media and help spread the word about this wonderful sport we are involved in. Believe it or not, I think there has been only three times that a WAA-08 pilot has been turned down by a newspaper when asked to run a story about the WAA-08 adventure. I hope we can get many more local papers to cover the adventure and get the word out on how fun and exciting this sport can be; especially to the younger generation. I don't think there has ever been an easier time to get started in the hobby like there is today. With smaller and cheaper electric powered planes and all the information available on the World Wide Web 24/7, now is definitely a great time to get involved in model aviation. It seems like nowadays that too many kids are only interested in TV and video games and I think if we can set the spark with this adventure, it may certainly lead to a lifelong interest and activity in model aviation. Wouldn't that be a fantastic "gift" to pass along to any child?



Update:



The WAA-08 plane is now with pilot #373 Jeff Williams of Florence, AL. Jeff and Ed Grissom (pilot #374) plan to fly the SQuiRT as soon as weather permits and pass her along shortly. Jeff said that will most likely be next weekend. After that, the SQuiRT will continue to head south until we reach our southernmost part of this part of the journey and then turn north for the final leg back to VA.



Thankfully, we have had a pilot volunteer to be the "WAA-08 Ambassador at SEFF 2013." Dan Saegaert has generously offered to bring the SQuiRT to SEFF and put her on display while she is there. He will also be working on some noon demo flights and talk to the crowd about the history of the WAA-08 adventure. We are also planning on a group photo shoot for all the WAA-08 pilots who will be in attendance at SEFF. Look for further emails about that in the near future. And for those who are not local to the SEFF area, please let me know that you will be attending SEFF so I can keep you posted on details about the photo shoot. I look forward to seeing all the smiling faces like we had in the group photo the last time the SQuiRT was in attendance at SEFF.



Here is a link to our pilot's map which shows the remaining pilots and their locations: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=U...045fb2c7ae1f68



After SEFF, the SQuiRT will make a stop in the now world famous Triple Tree Aerodrome when The Joe Nall event happens. Although not accustomed to hanging out with her larger siblings, I'm sure she will feel right at home. We are looking forward to hearing about the exciting stories of her visit at The Joe Nall and her meeting with legends of model aviation.



We are still on for a “gathering” of WAA-08 pilots at Kill Devil Hills, NC to fly the WAA-08 plane in the same place Orville and Wilbur flew their Wright Flyer back in 1903. I have been in discussions with Scott Saxon who plans on taking the SQuiRT to Kitty Hawk to fly her there. Please let me know if you'd like to attend that event and I will put you in touch with Scott.



Speaking of a "gathering," it was suggested that with enough notice, a number of pilots could meet up in Muncie at AMA's HQ and fly her one more time when the journey is finished. That sounds like a great time and a wonderful way to meet many of our WAA-08 pilots face to face. If we do plan for that, I will make sure everyone knows about it in plenty of time and for those wishing to attend, I'll pass along all the details if that is going to happen.



I have been told that the SQuiRT has received its first wing damage. The leading edge has been damaged but from what I have been told, it feels "squishy" but it does not affect its flight worthiness. I have asked one of the current group of pilots to look into the damage. Some white covering is included in the travel box. Overall the SQuiRT has been holding up tremendously well throughout the 4.5 years. Incredibly tough plane because I'm sure she has been though more than what some of the pilots have told me about. J



Route:



As I touched on above, the current route takes us southeast into lower Alabama and then turns northeast into Georgia. She'll make a loop around the middle of Georgia and then wait with Dan in Locust Grove, GA until SEFF. Then she'll head northeast along I-85 until she reaches North Carolina. Then she turns north and starts her final northeastern trek into VA. As always, the latest info about where the SQuiRT is and who is next to fly is posted on our pilot’s map (the map).



Patches:



If you would like a patch, please let me know. I have a limited number so first come first serve on them. They cost $5 each and that includes postage. If there is enough interest, I will take names and when we get close to 25 requests, I can order some more.



T-shirts and Stickers:



WAA-08 t-shirts and stickers are still available at: https://www.grumpymonkeydesigns.com/...key-store.html Please contact Warren of you are interested in those items.



Collages:



Jerry Branch is working on the 2012 WAA-08 collage as I type this. If you would like one, please let me know and I will let you know when they are available and how to get yours. I suspect they will cost around $12 again this year.





WAA-08 Statistics (Current as of 31 Dec 12)



24,343 miles traveled

635 pilots have flown the WAA-08 plane

208 AMA Chartered clubs visited

48 states visited

333 registered pilots

248 AMA Chartered clubs represented

29 registered pilots in California –the most; followed by NY with 22

1 registered pilot in Delaware and Vermont

0 degrees –Coldest temperature that the WAA-08 plane was flown: Richard C (#263) Butte, MT.

107 degrees –Hottest temperature that the WAA-08 plane was flown: Mike H (#127) Valley Mills, TX

8,500' – Highest altitude flown by the SQuiRT by pilots Rod B (180) & John C (180a) of Dillon, CO.

11,600+ emails sent in support of the WAA-08 adventure

4,300+ posts on the online RC Forums in support of the WAA-08 adventure

110,462 hits on our WAA-08 Google Maps page

16,617 hits on our WAA-08 website

186 pages of notes taken recording my personal experiences and important events of the WAA-08 adventure



Major Events Attended:



National Electric Fly In (NEFI) 11 Jun 2011

Western States Electric Fun Fly (WSEFF) 4-6 June 2010

Dallas Electric Aircraft Fliers (DEAF 23) 27-28 September 2009

Southeast Electric Flight Festival (SEFF) 1-3 May 2009

Northeast Electric Aircraft Technology (NEAT) 12-14 September 2008



The oldest and youngest pilots:



Youngest Female: Nicole Hansen 8

Youngest Male: Evan Holman 6

Oldest Female: Carol Bershers 68 (yes, we asked and it was OK)

Oldest Male: Bill Baily: 97



Club with the most WAA-08-pilots:



Monroe County RC Club (23)

Toledo Weak Signals (17)

Prop Floppers (15)

Hawks R/C Junior Aviators (10)

South Bend Radio Control Club (10)



News Coverage:



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



Forum Members:



135 on RC Groups

34 on WattFlyer

2 on RC Universe

2 on Flying Giants





Plane statistics:



Plane: Simple Quiet Robust Trainer (SQuiRT)

Wingspan: 38"

Motor: GWS sp400 (1st one replaced after 215 flights)

ESC: Spectrum 18 Amp from Medusa Research

Batteries: MaxAmps 1100 mAH 7.4V 25C LiPos

Props: GWS 7x3.5

Receiver: Spektrum AR6100e

Servos: 2 Ea Hitec HS-55

Radio: Spektrum DX6i

Battery Charger: Cellpro 4s from FMA Direct

AUW: 16 ounces

Built from: Balsa and vinyl covering

Manufacturer: Stevens AeroModel

Year Built: 2008



Sponsors:



Stevens AeroModel

Horizon Hobby

Redneck RC

SuperFly RC (Tram)

Big Al's Hobby Supply

RC Pro Racing

MaxAmps

Hobby Hangar

Castle Creations

Grumpy Monkey Designs

E Cubed R/C

FliteLine Hobbies

R/C FlightCast

Vinyl For RC

Medusa Research Inc.

Nico Hobbies

Al’s Bicycles and Hobbies

Steve Cranford (WAA-08.org Domain creator)

Desert Eagles Model Airplane Flying Club





That sums up the 2012/2013 winter update of the WAA-08 adventure. Thank you all for participating and helping to make this adventure a reality. It is with your time and effort that keeps the dream alive and I deeply appreciate all that you have done or will do.



I am sure I have forgotten something in this email, and as soon as I hit send I will remember it. But as always, if you have any questions or need more info about something, I am just an email or phone call away. Email is preferred since my friends tell me I am awful about keeping my cell phone turned on and I don't do text. J



Thanks for your time and I'll be in touch.



Frank Geisler

Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

Don
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:02 AM   #3302
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Once again, Frank, I would like to thank you for all your work in the years that WAA-08 has been going on around the US. I am honored that I was one of the pilots who got to fly SQuiRT.

Again, thanks.

Jim
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:53 AM   #3303
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You are welcome Jim and thank you being part of our adventure.

Frank
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:19 AM   #3304
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The weather in AL looks good this weekend so we are hoping for some good news. Will keep you posted.

Frank

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Old 02-17-2013, 04:48 PM   #3305
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One THE proudest flight of my many years of enjoying this sport was with SQuriT, what a great adventure we have had, thanks for letting me be a small part of it,, bubsteve


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ID:	166323 My pass to partner Richard have become one of my best Friends who has gone to SEFF and camped with me 4 years running (5 comeing up),,, Thanks to SQuirT,

Monkey Minion'air
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:59 PM   #3306
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You bet Steve! I'm glad you enjoyed it. BTW, I got the email about you and Richard attending SEFF. Thanks for letting me know.

You know I thought there would be more non-Georgia WAA-08 pilots attending, but I only have you two and Steve from MN that have emailed me. I was hoping for a big turnout like we has before. Oh well, it will still be a great group photo no matter how many WAA-08 pilots attend this year.

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Old 02-17-2013, 07:04 PM   #3307
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Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
You bet Steve! I'm glad you enjoyed it. BTW, I got the email about you and Richard attending SEFF. Thanks for letting me know.

You know I thought there would be more non-Georgia WAA-08 pilots attending, but I only have you two and Steve from MN that have emailed me. I was hoping for a big turnout like we has before. Oh well, it will still be a great group photo no matter how many WAA-08 pilots attend this year.

Frank
I'm pretty sure Fireman Bill and his son Mason are planning to be at SEFF this year as well.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #3308
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Nick and I are planning to go.

Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

Don
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:23 PM   #3309
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I wish I could go.

Cheesy poofs are what Yankees get when they eat Southen Food!! bub, steve
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:43 AM   #3310
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Originally Posted by MustangMan View Post
I'm pretty sure Fireman Bill and his son Mason are planning to be at SEFF this year as well.
I haven't heard anything from Bill about going to SEFF this year. I sent that email out almost a month ago. Perhaps he changed his mind or is not interested in what Dan is planning so he hasn't emailed me?

Tom,

I hear ya. One day I hope to attend as well.

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:44 AM   #3311
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Originally Posted by Don Sims View Post
Nick and I are planning to go.
Got it. Thanks Don. Expect an email from me and Dan with more info as the time gets close.

Frank

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Old 05-10-2013, 05:56 AM   #3312
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Here is a video from SEFF. Wish there were more for those that couldn't make it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpz-I6rL5vY

Frank

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Old 05-10-2013, 10:37 AM   #3313
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Here are a couple of shots that I took at SEFF 2013.


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Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

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Old 06-11-2013, 06:18 AM   #3314
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Default Congratulations!

Well done Frank. Some people see while others have vision.

Roger
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:39 AM   #3315
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Originally Posted by Saltfishr View Post
Well done Frank. Some people see while others have vision.

Roger
Thanks Roger!

Here is another news report of the WAA-08 adventure out of NC that aired today.

http://myfox8.com/2013/07/03/randolp...s-the-country/

Frank

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Old 08-24-2013, 12:19 PM   #3316
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Following is Frank's latest update:
WAA-08 Pilots,
I hope this email finds you well. This final update is bitter sweet. The great news is that the WAA-08 adventure is almost finally complete. After 5 years and 4 months the SQuiRT will be making her final flight in southeastern Virginia. The bad news is that the SQuiRT will be making her final flight in southeastern Virginia.

We have come a long way and many of us have made new friends because of the WAA-08 adventure. I know for myself, I have met so many wonderful people who truly love the sport of model aviation and have gone to great lengths to help make this adventure happen. It has been a pleasure getting to "meet and know" so many people. Sadly, we have lost a few good friends along the way, but trust me, they have not been forgotten. Each and every one of you has played a key role in allowing a battery powered plane to fly in all 48 of the contiguous United Sates. The SQuiRT has never been shipped. That has never been accomplished before –ever! This has truly been a historical event for model aviation.

Current Status
After 5 years, 1 month and 29 days the SQuiRT has finally returned to Virginia. Pilot #402, Wade Saltzgiver of Newport News, VA met pilot # 398 Scott Saxon at Kitty Hawk, NC on 17 Aug. They were joined by pilot #399 Jim Davis to fly the SQuiRT on aviation's hallowed ground. The SQuiRT flew 110 years after the Wright Brothers' famous flights which marked the beginning of powered flight not more than a few hundred yards away from where it all began. What an incredible day for our adventure. Thanks to Scott for coming up with the idea 5 years ago

Wade transported the SQuiRT back to Virginia and is currently coordinating the SQuiRT's visits to a number of flying events at local clubs during the months of August and September. As of right now, Wade has scheduled the SQuiRT to attend five events in the local Virginia area. She will be flown in demo flights at these events and will be used for new pilot introductions with a buddy box. The SQuiRT is a trainer after all and it is in her blood to introduce newcomers to the sport and help teach new pilots how to fly.

At today's count we have had 719 different pilots fly the SQuiRT, but there is no telling how many total flights the SQuiRT has on her. I am going to guess close to 1,000 flights. Who would have thought that an old school brushed motor would have lasted that long not to mention a balsa built airplane with thin vinyl covering. That is one tough bird and a testament to its quality design. Not only has she held up well, she still looks great after all this time. I bet there are lot of stories the SQuiRT could share with us on her travels and visits with pilots around the country. That would be a very interesting read if possible.

Museum Status
I have been working with Maria from AMA's National Model Aviation Museum in Muncie, Indiana and have coordinated the SQuiRT to be donated to the museum at 1400 hours on 18 October 2013. I had hoped to fly back to Virginia and fly the SQuiRT at her home field in Gloucester, Virginia, but after checking on ticket prices, I realized it would just be way too expensive. Fortunately, Rusty Kennedy who is the Leader Member chairman who happens to live in southeast VA has volunteered to carry the SQuiRT to Muncie since he will be headed that way for the executive council meeting that will be happening that weekend. The deed of gift will be signed by Bill Stevens, Walter Grasmick, Steve Griffin, and Donald Way along with me. As you know, these gentlemen has been instrumental in the success of the WAA-08 adventure and I felt it only fitting that they would sign the deed of gift for the SQuiRT, travel case, pilot's log books, photos, and all the memorabilia collected along the way to the museum.

I do need to add that there has been a number of pilots that has not sent their photos to me of them posing with the SQuiRT. If you have not received a pilot certificate from Don that means I did not get your photos. Please send your photos to me along with your pilot number and we'll be sure to get your certificate out to you. I don't want you to miss out on Don's wonderful pilot certificates and I don't want you to miss out on your photos not being included in the SQuiRT's exhibit at the museum.

Patches
I have a limited number of WAA-08 patches remaining. If you would like a patch, they are still $5 shipped to your door. I do not plan on placing any more orders so first come first serve.

And Finally
I believe that is about all the information I have to share with you. As I mentioned above, this is a bitter sweet email. I am sure you are tired of getting "spam" from me twice a year but I just wanted to keep everyone updated on the status of the Wings Across America 2008 adventure. I know for me, it has been a ton of work. It was much more work than I could have ever imagined and it really turned into a labor of love coordinating this adventure for the past 5 years. I certainly appreciate all the time and effort everyone has put into making this happen. So many people have done so much to ensure its success. I could not begin to list their names and provide details, but their enthusiasm and willingness to go above and beyond to help promote model aviation is nothing short of incredible. Thank you all for your selflessness and love of model aviation.

If you are ever near Muncie, Indiana please stop by the museum and say "Hi" to the SQuiRT. I'm sure she would love to see you again as she rests in her "retirement home" chatting with all the other historical planes in the museum.

I will end this email with the credit line that will be on the SQuiRT's exhibit:

For those who shared our dream; Promoting Model Aviation – One Pilot At A Time

Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

Don
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:19 PM   #3317
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Don,

Thanks for posting the update. This has been a long project and Frank and others have shown great commitment to seeing it come to a positive conclusion. I am proud to be one of the 700+ pilots who flew as part of the project.

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Old 09-05-2013, 12:32 PM   #3318
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In case anyone is wondering what has been happening with the SQuiRT, here are some stories and photos.

The SQuiRT is in FiremanBill's backyard now. Bill is the next WF member to fly the SQuiRT.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...37250&page=535

Frank

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Old 09-05-2013, 08:11 PM   #3319
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Alrighty! Is Mason going to fly it as well?bubsteve


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Old 10-17-2013, 03:24 AM   #3320
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I was asked to post this:

Please be advised that the National Model Aviation Museum may now, or in the future, use any photographs taken of the SQuiRT and shared with Frank or through the forum as part of an exhibit regarding the model. If you do not want these photographs used in such a manner, please email Maria at mariav@modelaircraft.org by December 31, 2013 to let her know.

If you would like your photographs used in the exhibit, please email Maria at mariav@modelaircraft.org the following statement by December 31, 2013 with the necessary blanks completed, “As (Pilot #) of the Wings Across America 2008 tour, I, (NAME), give the Academy of Model Aeronautics/National Model Aviation Museum permission to use photographs and/or video taken of the SQuiRT’s visit to my area for any exhibit or display purpose, in any media now known or hereafter invented.” It would be helpful if this email could list the people in the photographs, as well.

Also, note that the museum will not use any photographs of children under the age of 17 without the express written permission of their parent or guardian.

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Old 10-21-2013, 11:04 AM   #3321
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The following is an update Frank sent us last night about Squirt:
WAA-08 Pilots,

I know I said that my last email I sent a few months ago was my "final email" but I did want to send you an update on the SQuiRT and let you know what happened when I visited the National Model Aviation Museum to donate the SQuiRT on Friday. I feel I owe you that much and it is my pleasure to let you know how it went. First of all, thank you for all the kind words and responses I received from my last "final" email. They really did mean a lot to me. And it has been my pleasure to send the winter and summer updates on the SQuiRT's progress for the past 5 years. I hoped you enjoyed reading them. After all, this has been your adventure as much as it has been mine. I hope I can remember all that I need to say in this email since this will really will be my final email to you all. At least I think so anyway. J So this year you will get three emails from me instead of two.

On Friday, 18 Oct, I signed the Deed of Gift and donated the SQuiRT, the travel case, pilot log books, spare parts and all the "valuables" that have been traveling with the SQuiRT to the National Model Aviation Museum (NMAM) in Muncie, Indiana. If you have never been to the AMA headquarters or the NMAM you are missing out and owe it to yourself to visit. I have talked to a lot of people that have visited and they always have great things to say about it. Since this was my first time to visit let me just say that they are a first class operation. I was extremely impressed with the museum and their professionalism. It is definitely worth your time to go there at least once. (And now you have another reason to go.) I recommend at least one of those days be a Saturday so you can speak with a man named OC. He is a volunteer at the museum and has been an AMA member since 1938. He is a wealth of information about model aviation and has some great stories to share. I'm sure he would enjoy speaking with you as much as you with him.

Friday started off with me arriving at the museum about 1125. Glen Crandall pilot number 388 was already there and Don Way pilot 338 followed me in shortly after. We introduced each other and all shook hands since this was the first time we had all met in person even though we have "known" each other through the WAA-08 adventure for a long time now. Don brought along his lovely wife Lisa who surprisingly shown a big interest in our hobby and the WAA-08 adventure. I wonder if all wives are this interested in model aviation? It was really great to meet The Way's and Glen in person. Glen came all the way up from GA and The Way's came down from northern Indiana. I wish more WAA-08 pilots could have made it to the donation ceremony but I am glad that they were there to show their support.

Maria VanVreede brought the travel case out for us that Rusty Kennedy had dropped off the day before. We glanced over the contents in the box and the SQuiRT. I was impressed with how well she has held up through the years and commented that she is one tough bird. Because I know that every landing she had was not always a gentle one. We talked about the signatures and how many of them were faded from time and handling. We also checked out the SQuiRT to make sure she was still flightworthy. Even though the wind was blowing 12-15 mph we decided that we had to fly one last time. I mean how could we refuse the opportunity to fly an airplane that will be going into the NMAM and never be flown again?

Glen, Don, Lisa and I along with the SQuiRT drove out to site 3. If you have never been to the AMA flying site, let me tell you it is a beautiful flying field and has close to a thousand acres with a number of different flying sites for all kinds of modeling/flying activities that can happen at one time. As luck would have it, there was a group of students who formed an aviation club called the Flying Cougars visiting from Thurgood Marshall High School and they wanted to come out and watch the fun. After arriving at site 3, Glen and Don assembled the SQuiRT and did the preflight checks while I briefed the students on what to expect and how we will fly the SQuiRT in such a strong wind. I also explained why we were here in the middle of October at the AMA field in the blowing wind flying a small parkflyer. They were pretty excited to learn all about the SQuiRT and the Wings Across America 2008 adventure.

I asked Don if he wanted to go first and he politely suggested that I fly first. Glen steadied the airplane and I attempted a ROG but the wind was blowing so strong it tumbled the plane nose to tail over. I thought for a second it was all over, but the SQuiRT is a lot tougher than that. My second launch was a hand launch which was much smoother. But the wind was so strong the SQuiRT was staying in one place. I didn't want to risk any harm to the SQuiRT doing anything more than just hovering in the wind. As much as I wanted to do some loops and rolls as I practiced the day before with my own SQuiRT, I just didn't want to risk it. After all flying was one thing, getting crazy with an history making model airplane is another. J Don's turn was next. He did a hand launch as well but he had more nerve than I and actually did some loops. He did a great job flying the SQuiRT in the wind and the Flying Cougars was cheering him on. He made a very sweet landing in the wind and she even stayed up on the gear. A very great final landing for a wonderful plane that has traveled around the USA. Very well done Don! After that we took some photos and headed back to the museum. Since we were an hour and a half out from the ceremony we decided to head to lunch. We ate at a place called 12th Street Diner. I had the BBQ sandwich and fries. It was tasty. After lunch we headed back to the museum for the donation ceremony.

When we got back Sharon Brooks and her two daughters arrived. Sharon is Don Jiskra's daughter. She was the one who made the 2011 collage for us. It was great to finally meet her in person. We assembled in the museum next to the 1950s hobby shop for the donation ceremony. Mark Benson was there to film the ceremony as Maria started it off by introducing Michael Smith the museum director. Michael gave a nice speech about the WAA-08 adventure and how it brought a group of modelers all across the country together. Then it was my turn to give my speech. I think it lasted all of 5 minutes. After that, I signed the paperwork that officially gave the SQuiRT to the NMAM. Walter Grasmick, Bill Stevens, and Steve Griffin will also have to sign the paperwork. I thought that was fitting since they were involved with the WAA-08 adventure from the beginning and had given so much to the adventure for the last 5.5 years. We could not have had a successful WAA-08 adventure, if at all, without their efforts and dedication.

And that was that! Model aviation history has been made. Thanks to you and everyone else involved. I truly appreciate everyone's role in making this happen and you should be proud of your role you had in it. I hope everyone gets the chance to visit the SQuiRT at the NMAM. I'm not sure when the SQuiRT will go on display. Just call ahead to make sure she is out there. I know I plan to take my family to Muncie as soon as we can get away.

After that, Maria gave Glen, Lisa, Don and I a full tour of the museum. Which I don’t have to say, but it was an awesome tour! After that we said our goodbyes and thank yous. It was great to meet Don, Lisa and Glen and all the wonderful folks at the AMA.

I was going to meet Glen at the Air Force Museum in Dayton on Saturday, which one of the finest aviation museums in the country, but it was raining out on Saturday and I didn't feel like driving 7 hours there and back in the rain. We got really lucky with the weather on Friday. Even though it was windy, it was sunny and "warm enough." I did go back to the AMA gift store though on Saturday and bought some souvenirs for my family and finally bought my leader member hat that I have meaning to get for so long.

I have attached a photo of Michael speaking at the donation ceremony and one of me touching the box with nitrile gloves on. I was teasing Maria about it since not 15 minutes before we were touching the SQuiRT with our bare hands and even flew it earlier in the day without gloves on. But now the SQuiRT and contents will only be touched with gloved hands to protect her through the ages.

The below is what Maria asked me to pass along to you. You do not have to Cc me on any correspondence to her.

Please be advised that the National Model Aviation Museum may now, or in the future, use any photographs taken of the SQuiRT and shared with Frank or through the forum as part of an exhibit regarding the model. If you do not want these photographs used in such a manner, please email Maria at mariav@modelaircraft.org by December 31, 2013 to let her know.

If you would like your photographs used in the exhibit, please email Maria at mariav@modelaircraft.org the following statement by December 31, 2013 with the necessary blanks completed, “As (Pilot #) of the Wings Across America 2008 tour, I, (NAME), give the Academy of Model Aeronautics/National Model Aviation Museum permission to use photographs and/or video taken of the SQuiRT’s visit to my area for any exhibit or display purpose, in any media now known or hereafter invented.” It would be helpful if this email could list the people in the photographs, as well.

Also, note that the museum will not use any photographs of children under the age of 17 without the express written permission of their parent or guardian.

Here is our completed pilot's map. This will give you a sense of how many pilots actually flew the SQuiRT:

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=e...mid=1382278737

Here is a video of Don and I flying the SQuiRT at the AMA field (many thanks goes to Lisa for the excellent video work):

http://youtu.be/fpwV9YAXQZY

And I will close this email with the speech that I gave in Muncie:

Thank you Michael, Maria, Wings Across America 2008 pilots, and friends for being here at the SQuiRT's donation ceremony.

"RC Airplane Makes It Back To Gloucester After Trip Around U.S." That was what the headline said in my hometown newspaper. Can we take a moment to think about that for a second? A model airplane took a trip around the United States. An RC airplane was flown in 48 of our United States by over 800 pilots in a five year 26,000 mile journey. Wow! That is remarkable.

What can one really say about an adventure like this? It has truly been a humbling experience. That little model airplane has been flown by over 800 pilots. And I bet she probably has over 1,000 flights on her. That itself is amazing let alone has traveled around promoting model aviation and the AMA all across the USA. It is hard to imagine that 333 pilots raised their hand to say "I'd like to participate and join in the fun." When is the last time you could round up 333 people from all walks of life and all across the USA to focus on a single goal? With their help, this little airplane that started out on a journey in a small eastern Virginia town in May 2008 has traveled over 26,500 miles around the USA creating headlines, recruiting AMA members and bringing newcomers into our hobby. I often said that without those pilots, I would have just had a new plane in a pretty box sitting in my garage. And just imagine all the stories the SQuiRT could tell from her travels. Truly an amazing adventure and certainly very humbling indeed.

I cannot begin to thank all of the people involved that donated so much of their time and effort to make this happen. From our sponsors like MaxAmps and others who helped get us started and kept the airplane flying and to the pilots in all 48 states who kept the SQuiRT moving along from person to person. I can't forget about people like Don Jiskra who volunteered to be our treasurer when Greg Stephenson passed away. Don gave so much to the adventure with his never-ending dedication and he kept me going even when I felt like giving up after a few rough spots along the way and as the months turned into years. He also did a wonderful job of creating and distributing pilot certificates and the Wings Across America 2008 Collages. And Walter Grasmick who volunteered to run the Wings Across America 2008 website for us and had to put up with sometimes daily updates as the SQuiRT went from pilot to pilot. And also Don Way who took over for Don continued with the tradition of creating pilot certificates. These certificates were a wonderful way to provide a small token of our appreciation for their hard work. And of course I can't forget about Steve Griffin who built the beautiful travel box for the SQuiRT's travels. Although I'm not sure if it looks better now or when she left my house in Virginia. Last but not least, Bill Stevens for designing and donating the SQuiRT and the original DX6i radio for the adventure. Without that gift, I'm not sure we would have gotten off the ground. Hard to believe that was over five and a half years ago.

So here we are today, 5 Years, 145 Days, 21 Hours, and 50 Minutes later since the journey began, at the world famous Academy of Model Aeronautics' National Model Aviation Museum. This is hallowed ground for model aviation enthusiasts. So many beautiful and historic models grace the displays inside this building. It is wonderful knowing that the Wings Across America 2008 airplane will be with these other historic models and that Wings Across America pilots and their families can come visit the museum to see the SQuiRT, the travel case, pilot's log books and all the other mementos and know that they had a part in making model aviation history.

On behalf of all the Wings Across America 2008 pilots and their families who helped make this adventure possible, it is with honor that I donate the Stevens AeroModel SQuiRT to your museum. May she be safe with you here and serve as a permanent reminder of what 333 dedicated model aviation enthusiasts can do when they set their mind to something.


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Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

Don
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:50 AM   #3322
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Almost sad to see it all come to an end. Sure wish I could fly her one more time.

Cheesy poofs are what Yankees get when they eat Southen Food!! bub, steve
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