Edwards AFB Open House--Big Success--Again!

Norm Howell

Originally published November 1994

Yup it came, it went, and it was successful. The Edwards AFB Open House and EAA Chapter 1000 Fly-in was a blast. If I get the count correct there were 79 aircraft on display inside Hangar 1600 not including a few that trailered in for static display only. There were aircraft ranging from early model Waco's, lots of Long-EZ/Vari-EZ/Cozy/Velocity/E-Racer types, to a number of classics such as a Stearman, Navion, Ercoupe, Aeronca, and a Luscombe. There were others, of course, like RVs, Bonanzas, T-34s, Cessnas, and Lancairs. Finally, we had a good blend of unique aircraft like the Trio, Pietenpol, Q-200, Starduster, Tiger Moth, Pulsar, Loehle 5151, KR-2, Corben Ace, Cricket, Mig-17, Nemesis, and an ultra-high performance sailplane too!

After we got everyone in the hangar, we had a grand Santa Maria Beef BBQ at Club Muroc where Dave Watson spoke to us about the human powered aircraft Daedalus which was flown from the Greek island of Crete to the next nearest island some 70 miles away--quite an impressive achievement! Joining us at the club were a dozen or so Russian pilots (how they got them all in that Mig-17 I'll never know) and the Flight Test Center Commander, General Engel (do we know how to throw a party...or what)!

There were a few bits of humor displayed during the show too. Most notable was a friendly game of one-ups-manship between Jack Hakes and Scott Liefeld. It all started when Jack put a sign on his RV-6's propeller that justly proclaimed the following...

THIS AIRCRAFT HAS FLOWN ABOVE THE ARCTIC CIRCLE!

...which the aircraft did when Jack flew it to Alaska earlier this year. Well, Scott, not to be outdone by a mere RV-6, retailiated with a creative prop card on his Pietenpol as shown below.

THIS AIRPLANE HAS FLOWN ABOVE THE ANTARCTIC CIRCLE SINCE MAR OF 1971 FOR 800 PLUS HOURS!

TOP THAT JACK HAKES.

Now part of the fun of feuding publicly is watching people scratch their heads trying to figure out what is going on. Scott received comments like, "How did you get it there?" and "Wasn't it cold there?" Obviously, most of these people haven't yet figured out that the world is round much less what hemisphere they live in. Geography was never their strong trait, apparently!

Although no prizes were given out, we did have a peoples' choice ballot going on all day. The first choice went to N41151, which was George Robinson's L-17B Navion. Runner-up was N2ND, a beautiful Christen Eagle belonging to Norman Dewitt. Third place was N91280, a Cessna 180 flown in by David Lebaron. Of special note was a Lancair 200 painted up in really...um...interesting florescent colors. This aircraft had more votes than anyone else in the box but the Project Police determined that because the same color ink was used on 90% of them and the handwriting was so similar that the box was stuffed and thus this Lancair is due a dis-honorable mention.

So that's how it all happened. I'm not going to even try to name names for all those who helped make the Open House a success but rest assured that it wouldn't have been possible without you. I really, really, really appreciate it! Every Chapter 1000 member deserves a pat on the back!


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Revised -- 25 March 1997 (19 September 2009)