return to sender

Erik Pilawskii (
Tue, 14 Nov 1995 14:22:02 -0800 (PST)

Greetings All,

I have returned (proverbially) from the San Diego Air Museum. Just in brief,
let me say that I was *extremely* impressed, and that anyone traveling
anywhere near SDAM that does not take the opportunity to drop by must be
considered clinically impaired.
I had a wonderful visit. I got pictures of their WWI collection, which
was most impressive. The highlights include:

*An original (said to be 95% genuine, which would make it the most authentic
WWI a/c I know of) SPAD VII; British-built, and sporting the early open
cowling arrangement.
*A hand-built replica Albatros D.Va ("Blitz" from Jasta 5)[yes!!!], said to
be constructed to perfectly historical standards (it looked it, too).
*A hand-built replica Fokker Dr.I, said to be constructed to perfectly
historical standards, in the markings of one of M.v.Richthofen's Tripes (all-
red, 425/17 or some such-- I'll have to wait for my pics).
*A hand-built replica Nieuport N.28, and N.11, both said to be constructed
to perfectly historical standards. [all of the above in flyable condition]
*An original Thomas-Morse fighter; etc.

I should wait for my pictures to come back, but if they come out I'll
have good shots of the D.V, Dr.I, S.VII, and N.28 cockpits, detail shots,
etc. Of course, I'll turn them over to Allan for scanning-in (Al?).
There was a Manfred v.Richthofen display chest with, of course, the now
infamous "Red Fabric Patch From Richthofen's Triplane". It was dark, by
the by. Better still, they had stuff like a nice Parabellum, medals, etc
(not orig.). Quite nice.
Additionally, I got the Grand Tour of the Works, including a 'hands-on'
of the soon-to-be-completed Fokker E.III. They found an original Rhone 110hp
for it (wow!), and original MG, and some original instruments (very neat!).
The wings are complete structurally, as is the fuselage (it was displayed
in this condition-- assembled but uncovered-- a week ago). There are 12 ribs
in the wing, by the way :^) . Indeed, I saw quite a lot of Ian Stair drawings
lying about! What a plug for Ian!

Well, that's it for now. Erik
**ASST. HEAD COACH, 1996 U.S. Olympic Gaff Team**

"To err is Human, to do so in formation is really quite outstanding if
done properly by highly trained athletes of this caliber...."