Happy New Year Museum Fans;
With the help of our friends, we just completed another fabulous year at the Massey Aerodrome. Thank You All!
Our big fly-in this year was the Chili-Fiesta fly-in in April. There were almost 150 planes and 500 visitors. The chili supply was big enough to feed everyone. It was really a great event.
We borrowed some of the bean field for aircraft parking and were able to put mostly tail draggers on that field. People and planes are coming from greater distances each year and there seem to be more special planes here for the fly-in. Put it on your schedule for Saturday April 26th 2008, Rain date 27th. 11am to 4pm.
The Young Eagles Day got off to a slow start. The pilots had to wait for sufficient visibility due to fog and low clouds before they could get here. Once they got started all went well and 40 youngsters got plane rides. They showed great patience while waiting for the fog to lift.
This summer it will be Saturday August 23th.We will start the flying at 11am in case the weather needs to burn off before we start.
Early this fall we had the second annual WW II liaison Aircraft Re-enactors Squadron here for a weekend encampment. There were a dozen L-Birds here. That is about twice what it was last year. Someone even brought a WW II Half-track. We expect an even bigger group this year. We don't know the date yet because they are trying to avoid some conflicts with other re-enactor groups we will post the date on the web page when we know.
Our other major annual event, of course, is the big Open Hangar Party on the first Sunday in December. This year in spite of some horrendous weather we still had 250 brave souls come to the hangar for a great party in the freezing rain. Swapping stories with old friends makes for a great time even on such a nasty day. Our method of supplying the loaves and fishes is such that we always have just the right amount of food. The hangar was pretty crowded and the body-heat helped our under sized heater keep things comfortable.
Lets hope this year we will have good flying weather and another great fly-in like we had in 2006 (135 +planes). It is scheduled for the first Sunday in December 2008 (7th).
We also had a great year on the aircraft and flying front. Two newly constructed planes took to the air on their maiden voyages. A father and son team Dick Runkle Sr. and Jr. completed an RV-7. It is a real beauty and is a fabulous performer.
The other maiden flight was in a Sonnex. John Warrington from Red Hill MD did the final assembly here. And the FAA signed it off for flight. After some minor adjustments to the mixture control John took off on its picture perfect first ride.
Another sort-of-maiden flight was actually a return to flying status of Don Sloan's 1941 Stearman (Ex Bob Bean's). The plane has undergone a complete re-covering job here in the restoration shop over the past year+. Don flies it a lot. Feeding that big 450 HP Pratt & Whitney has made him our un-disputed biggest fuel customer.
That brings up another big milestone for us; we now have 100 LL fuel available. We installed a great new fuel dispensing system. Due to an unusual agreement with the County when we obtained our zoning permits for the airport we cannot sell gas to the public. However, We can sell
fuel to museum members. (You should be a museum member anyway).
Some of our on-going and new projects are moving along quite nicely.
The red and white FAA light tower is in place and finished with a nice new FAA specification paint job. We are still waiting for an old fashioned rotating beacon to install on top. We have been promised one that has failed at another Maryland airport and we expect to receive it when they get their replacement. We expect to re-habilitate it and install it on the tower. The weather station is in operation now.
The DC-3 has made great strides. Last Spring Jimmy Sypherd and Jill found a DC-3 in Florida. It was scheduled for the scrap-yard. The man responsible for it told Jimmy we could "have anything we wanted off it" for the Museum. Time was of the essence.
John Williamson and Jimmy S. left for Florida on the day after the Chili-Fiesta-Fly-In with a big trailer. They spent a week "saving parts" It was a goldmine for us and a great save from the scrap yard for the DC-3 parts. The plane had been in active service until damaged in a recent windstorm.
We have spent considerable time on the "3" and it is starting to show. The engine cowls from the Florida 3 are installed and some of the fairings. The interior continues its spruce up by Bill Dougherty, Dustin Sanders, John, Jimmy Larry Tasker and others. The instrument panel and throttle quadrant look great.
We have covered all the fabric control surfaces Jon Goldenbaum of Poly-Fiber fame kindly donated the fabric and Tony Markl and we covered the surfaces.
Jon Goldenbaum just came through again for us with the topcoat paint for the fabric surfaces.
The existing finish on the plane is olive drab in pretty rough condition and Jon Goldenbaum suggested we would have the best luck by staying with the Olive Drab.. We wanted some color on the plane so we painted red and white stripes on the tail ala WWII paint schemes.
Several of our kibitzing friends took us to task for that, suggesting that camouflage with red and white stripes would not have been used at the same time. A point in fact is; we learned that scheme was used in the Pacific Theatre at the beginning of the War. So we are going to keep it. Those types of issues tend to keep us on our toes. There is always someone watching.
We see more visitors all the time. We have groups of people that range from kindergarten kids through nursing home tours.
We had an interesting group on an automobile road tour. It was the Mid-Atlantic De Lorean Car Club. Those are the little two seat stainless steel sports cars like the back to the future car. We have an overhead photo of 23 of them in a semicircle around the DC-3. Check it out on your next visit, or on the web page.(msaaeyaero.org)
That group came for lunch. We had the grill going for them. They apparently underestimated the amount of fun one could have at a museum. The tour manager allocated a couple of hours and had a schedule to keep. But, they were having just too much fun to leave and got to argue about moving on. The group won-out and the organizer changed their rally to let them stay longer. They especially liked the rides in the Stearman. And Don as always enjoys any excuse to give a ride. It is fun to host such an enthusiastic group.
The really big news for us now is about the new Airport Terminal Building. With major help
from the Maryland Aviation Administration we have broken ground on a brand new airport terminal building of 3500 square feet with an 850 square feet mezzanine. We will be in a position to provide modern facilities for the flying public while at the same time we can display museum artifacts in a much more professional manner.
The new building will have handicap accessible rest rooms, a kitchenette-snack room, a library-lounge, quiet room, and flight planning room, office, weather shelter-entry, several storage areas, and a large general assembly area. All of these areas can be considered display venues for the ever-growing collection of museum artifacts.
So What Next!
Massey Air Museum Inc. began to gratefully accept memberships in January of 2005. We knew we had the potential for a very special thing here. As more people became aware of what we were doing they began to show their support in many ways. It has become apparent there is growing support for our efforts.
A fair number of people thought from the beginning we may be going to do great things. I agree. They saw us "in the rough" and wanted to sign-up as members even before we considered ourselves worthy of their support. They are proud of their low member number. And we are proud of them too. The good news is the member list is still small and you too can have a nice low number if you sign up soon. We would love to have you on board.
None of us here at the museum are very good at asking others for help. We are all the kind that "would rather do it myself thank you"
Thankfully, we do have a small cadre of helpers; here on a regular basis that makes our days really fun. Thank you helpers! Someday we will develop a list of volunteers so we can give proper credit.
As we grow and take on more projects we will need more people and monetary help to keep the projects moving forward. It would be great if you could help us by becoming a member or volunteering in some capacity.
I should mention three other projects just underway. An old time farmhouse well water windmill, an old motorized two-man railroad maintenance car called a speeder and the find of the year. A full sized replica Chance Vought V-166 (F4U Corsair).
The Corsair is a fabulous addition. It needs some work of course. We will get it done!
Not a member yet? Join now with this Membership Form