Re: FWD: Re: planes and stuff

Erik Pilawskii (
Mon, 5 Dec 1994 13:46:56 -0800 (PST)

Yep. Great discussion.

BTW, there are at least two opportunities to see (and hear) original rotary
engines in operation in North America (in flight!). I have availed myself,
I'm happy to say, of both:

1) Go to the Old Rheinbeck Aerodrome in Rheinbeck, N.Y. (up the Hudson Valley
across from Kingston, very near to FDR's house, 100 mi from NYC). They
operate a Camel with a 160 hp. Clerget(Sp?); a Nieuport 11, AVRO 504K,
and a Fokker D.VIII all with 110 hp. LeRhones. One of their Dr.Is has a
150 hp. Clerget (which must make it a nightmare to fly!!!). They fly
different machines on any given weekend, so it's sort of a hit-and-miss deal,
but what a treat when they all go up!!!

2) However, my choice would be Ottowa, Canada (conveniently close to NY!):
Canadian Natl.Aviation Museum (or some such name...). On Canada Day (I
think that's in September??) they fly their *utterly immaculately* restored
Sopwith Tripe, complete with its original 110 hp LeRhone! What a sight! And
I do mean *fly*-- not putz around the field with a smoke generator like
the NY Boys! As well, they usually have various machines from the Shuttleworth
Collection on hand (the year I was there they had the 504, Pup, Snipe, and
Halberstadt D.II (replica)). They have, as well, their own Pup (in the
same wonderful condition) and a replica N.17. Did I mention the Museum's
static displays?-- SPAD 7, Snipe, 504, and the killer, an AEG Gotha Bomber!!!
They also have part of a Junkers J.I awaiting restoration. Needless to say,
I was completely bowled over!!!!!!!!!
You know, I'm also reminded of a piece of film I've seen repeatedly (I have
it on the video "Red Baron") that shows a couple of Camels in flight. Even
in spite of the films typicall WWI-era 'acceleration', it is still easy to
see that the machine flies in a most unstable way, in fact, "only on the edge
of control...."

"The Heavens were the grandstands, and only the Gods were spectators. The
stake was the World. The forfeit was the Player's place at the table; and
the Game had no recess. It was the most dangerous of all sports-- and the
most fascinating. It got in the blood like wine. It aged men 40 years in
40 days; it ruined nervous systems in an hour. It was a fast game-- the
average life of a pilot at the Front was 48 hours. And, to many, it
seemed an Age....
Elliot White Springs, WWI ace