It's easy to feel that the country's current case of "security nerves" is unique to our time only. That's not so, of course, as these pictures from Bob Button's files show so clearly:
How To Hide An Airplane Factory
Bob Button: During World War II the Army Corps of Engineers needed to hide the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant to protect it from a feared Japanese air attack (which never came). They covered it with camouflage netting and trompe to make it look like a rural subdivision from the air.
Here are some before and after photos:
The Lockheed farm..so to speak.
Beneath it all.
Looks like a job done by Disney, doesn't it?
Ed Campion (back to camera) hugged by Barbara Morgan.
My friend, Ed Campion, is a Public Affairs Officer for NASA. He works hard and
takes the effort seriously. Ed saw his first space shuttle launch 21 years ago;
tragically, it was the Challenger flight. He had worked very closely with the
crew, particularly Christa MacAuliffe, the teacher who was to hold classroom
sessions in space. That dream was suspended 73 seconds after liftoff.
On August 21st, 2007, shuttle Endeavour landed, bringing home
Barbara Morgan, Christa's fellow teacher and backup. Barbara stuck with the
program and, finally, flew on Endeavour to pick up where Christa left off. The big
difference is that Barbara actually became a full-time astronaut, participating in the
work of the mission itself, while holding a couple of classroom sessions in orbit with the International Space Station. Once again, Ed Campion
worked with the teacher-astronaut to make it happen. Once again, he
was standing there to see them off..and this time, to see them land. Some say Ed
was seeking "closure" from the awful tragedy he'd witnessed so many years ago.
Soon after the landing, Ed emailed me:
"A few hours ago, two friends shared a congratulatory hug 21+ years in the making
so I thought I'd share the photo.
In some respects, the Challenger has finally landed.
As a rule, we have pretty civilized flying conditions here in the eastern mountains. For instance, the Morgantown, WV (KMGW) airport where I base my airplane has a 5200 foot long, 150 foot wide concrete strip with ILS and any bell or whistle you might like to have. But there are exceptions .. and some of them would curl the hair of the unwary. Flatlanders, especially.
My buddy, Tom Gauger, sent me these pictures of a place called "Lost Mountain." I think the name is appropriate. Nobody uses it much, but I thought you'd enjoy a peek. The strip is carved out of a mountain top near Romney, WV. Tom took his Mooney down for a closer look.
Gosh, Tom, it sorta bends in the middle.
Just a low pass, huh, Tom? Right, Tom? Huh?
Actually, Tom did make a good and safe landing on "Lost Mountain," but he told me he really thinks it is better suited to a Cessna 152. All you have to watch out for is that telephone tower sitting off the south end. Coming from the other direction, a 152'd be off long before that. Right? But I think an immediate right turn would be appropriate.
And those bush pilots think they've got it rough.
That was fun.
Into the sunshine.
In my view, the 1935 Stinson Reliant "Gull Wing" was probably the most beautiful of the great airplanes built in that era..right up there with the Beechcraft Staggerwing.
These pictures were taken on August first, the day the big airplane was pulled out of the hangar for its first flight after a more than two year final restoration. It and its owner live in an aviation community in Florida..we'll not mention names here to protect everybody's privacy..but, oh my, what an absolutely gorgeous job. The plane was a "basket case" before restoration began in California. When it was partially done, it was trucked to Florida for the "finish" you see here.
The Lycoming comes to life. 9 cylinders, 300 horsepower.
First takeoff in so many, many years..
Home again. That flowing wooden wing is a work of art, built entirely by hand in the Golden Age. Every rib is different.
Congratulations to everyone involved.
Thanks to TOM HAYKIN for sending me these beautiful pictures.
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