Re: Air Show - Owl's Head

Thayer Syme (
23 May 1995 07:32:26 -0800

I saw the first flight of the Depperdussin in this country a few summers ago.
It was built in France and had about 50 hours TT before arriving at Owl's Head.
Thomas J. Watson Jr. of IBM fame had wanted to just hop it a few feet and set it
back down. After several high speed runs he came to the conclusion that the
runway was not long enough to keep him happy. He asked for his leather helmet
and proceeded to take off and make 2 circuts before setting it down again.
Because of the low vis over the nose, he was required to make a low sweeping
approach to touchdown. This plane has a rudder smaller than the proverbial
postage stamp and everyone on the ground was plenty nervous about a ground loop
or worse yet, going over on the back. 10,000 hours of stick and rudder paid off
and Mr. Watson greased it as if it were a 172. A bunch of pictures were taken,
handshakes passed around and we adjourned for breakfast.

Interesting that TJW's only inflight engine failure ever occured while flying a
Sopwith Pup replica with a rotary engine that is at OHTM. they often run this during
this show to display the engine but it is almost never flown. This plane came
from Rhinebeck.

They also have the obligatory Fokker Dr.1 replica and this is flow extensively.

The Curtis and Ford are also flown from time to time but I wouldn't expect them
to fly this weekend. The best time to get there is when the show starts. If
the wind is down, this is when the Taube gets flown. Seeing this in the air is
truly remarkable.

Of particular note is a sail-glider that has recently been put back on display.
This unique craft was restored in the early 80's. It is a Bleriot based glider
with a mast and sail much like a small boat! The theory was that the sail would
provide motive power and one could tack through the air as if sailing the ocean!
It made several 'flights' towed aloft by a car on Old Orchard Beach in the late
20's I think. It was marginal as a straight glider and things got much worse
after hoisting the sail! Needless to say, this is not demonstrated at the

I grew up in Camden, just north of the museum and have spent many hours here. It
is a great place to see some unique stuff up close and in operation.

Thayer Syme
San Francisco
Date: 5/22/95 8:26 PM
From: Jon Rettinger
Hi gang,

Just thought someone may like to know about a WWI airshow coming up.

The Owl's Head Transportation Museum, in Owl's Head, Maine are holding
their military airshow this year on July 1-2. Gates open at 10.00am EDT.

The museum has several WWI replicas in flying condition, and invariably
fly some of them each weekend throughout the summer. A list of flyable craft:

FB-8 Gun Bus
Curtiss Jenny
Depperdussin (Haven't seen this one fly yet.)
Neiuport 18 (I think)
Etrich Taube (Design by Rumpler)

The museum also contains some static replicas inside such as the Ford
Tri-motor and Curtiss Pusher.

In addition, they have a number of antique automobilia, some are driven
around the area, others are static.

This isn't a big show by any means, but I do like the "Down East"

If anybody wants additional info, I can get in touch with the museum.