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?
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
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).
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.
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)
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
135 on RC Groups
34 on WattFlyer
2 on RC Universe
2 on Flying Giants
Plane: Simple Quiet Robust Trainer (SQuiRT)
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
SuperFly RC (Tram)
Big Al's Hobby Supply
RC Pro Racing
Grumpy Monkey Designs
E Cubed R/C
Vinyl For RC
Medusa Research Inc.
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.