Welcome once again, to the Massey Aerodrome, MD1, the permanent home of the Massey Air Museum Inc.
Notice the subtle changes. MD1 is our airport identifier number. We don't know how we got to be #1 in Maryland. But we like it. The other is the "Inc." in our name.
As of November 22 we were incorporated in the State Of Maryland as a nonprofit educational museum that will operate under the IRS rules for 501 (c) (3) organizations. We are still working on the IRS approval of our status.
But, just in case you feel so inclined, it is our understanding that we can accept donations pending such approval. On the slim chance that we could be turned down by the IRS, I would not donate that P-51D that you have been hiding in your garage just yet. Soon though, I hope.
We have seen a lot of firsts this year. On August 23rd Garrett Taylor from Lowell Arkansas made his first solo flight here on his 16th birthday. His family lives nearby in Suddlersville.
We built our first real hanger door. More on that later.
A Smith Mini-Plane made its first flight after a 22-year construction effort by its owner/builder, Jim Kay from Chestertown.
The first and not only gear-up-landing. No damage to report, and no more on that topic. Embarrassing you know. The first kit plane completed. Ken Ryznar's Genesis. Check it out. It's the aqua, gold and white plane in the East hanger.
Our first Young Eagles Day, June 8th was a great success. Ralph DeGroodt organized it and his team of volunteers and six planes flew sixty-five youngsters. A couple of days after the event one of our guys was stopped at the stop sign in Massey and asked a couple of kids there if they had gotten a plane ride. They answered with great big smiles on their faces "Did we? Every kid in Massey got a ride". It was a really great success!
Several people (including Ann) got their first ride in a gyro-copter. Lee Blazejewski had his Magni M16-gyro here. It is an impressive little machine.
The first bathroom-remodeling job has been completed. It is spectacular! Emily Williamson out-did herself on it. Check it out it is the one off the green room.
We received our first really serious donation of memorabilia and other items from Bud Leonard.
Bud made a sudden decision to retire from his Aviation Technology teaching position, which he held for almost thirty years. He is a bit of a "packrat", and over the years he had accumulated a tremendous amount of great collectable aviation stuff. As he vacated his shop he had the need to trim down his collection.
We became very grateful beneficiaries of his generosity.
Here is a partial list:
The old Bell 47D1 Vietnam era helicopter fuselage is on loan (most items were outright gifts). He still has most of the rest of the parts for it. Also; the early ultra-light Vectra hanging in the East Hangar.
A great engine collection, also in the East hanger. There is even a big 250 hp Continental W670 radial; this one came from a tank like the one just written up in the December Sport Aviation magazine. These things, as well as several great shop tools, and numerous pieces of art and aviation memorabilia in the artifact area (Green Room).
We also had the first arrival of several neat planes that now live here:
Gavin Giddings's 1943 R 680 Lycoming powered Stinson Reliant V77, a great old gull-wing. In WW II it was an AT-19 on lend lease to the Royal Navy on assignment in the Far East,
Rick Burns's Oshkosh award winning pink and green Revelation,
Dave Pfaff's WW II Bucker Jungmann Bu 131 this one was built in Spain after WW II,
Jim Kay's little blue and yellow Smith Mini-Plane, sure to grab some awards when he starts to take it to the fly-ins.
Ken's Ryznar's just completed Genisis,
These planes add to a pretty good list of interesting planes that already live here as follows:
Major Bob Bean's 1942 450 hp P&W powered Stearman PT 17,
John Williamson's Australian built Moyes Dragonfly; John tows hang gliders with that.
Jim Sypherd's Buccaneer Amphibian a prototype of the Sea Ray,
Jack Welsh's factory built Sea-Ray Amphibian, which he takes home to Knight's Island almost every weekend.
Bill Malpass's very nice blue and white Kolb Firestar and his Williamson built Quicksilver MX type that hangs in the west hanger, (Yes John used to build ultra-lights and hang gliders)
My 1939 Piper Cub, which, in my very biased opinion is the most fun airplane here, and, my award winning PA 22/20 Piper Pacer. It won awards two years in a row at Oshkosh and the Reserve Grand Champion award at this year's EAA East Coast fly-in. Ask Ann why it keeps winning awards at the shows. Don't let her hurt herself when she pats herself on the back.
We got a donation of a 1/6th scale model of a WW II Waco CG-4A Combat Glider along with some books, videos and other documentation from David S Kaufman. He flew one in the South Pacific. It will be a great historic aviation display.
We had a couple of other firsts. Our first restoration was the three-wheeled EZ-GO dump truck. Jay Gleitz took that under his wing and made it happen. It is cool. We use it for ground maintenance etc.
We also suffered the first loss of a good friend and big time Museum volunteer. Don McKenzie was here, for a few hours, almost every day from spring through fall (he was a Florida Snowbird). He learned all about the different planes and things and became a great host for the visitors. He had a great sense of humor and refereed many "discussions" in his very low-keyed way. We miss him.
Let's talk about the door. We decided to tackle the most difficult one first. The back end of the east hanger had a great big concrete foundation for an old grain tank that had to be removed. Jim Sypherd ran a skid loader with a hydraulic hammer for 24 hours one weekend to break it up so we could remove it.
We needed a 60' truss to support the rear of the building. It was going to be expensive. Fortunately, I had a neighbor take down a huge Norway spruce last year and I asked the tree guy for the 22' long by 30" trunk. Rather than cut it up for firewood he sent it here. We let it dry for several months and with Ben Knight's (John's son-in-law) sawmill John cut the timbers for the truss. With a lot of volunteer help we built and installed the truss. It didn't sag 1/16th of an inch when it went into place.
We then assembled the door. (It is a do-it-yourself kit) and hung it. It works like a dream. It is "Armstrong powered" and works with one hand. Rick Burns has given us an operator to install on it.
In addition to John Williamson, Bill Malpass, Jim Sypherd, and Me, We had help from Don McKenzie, Larry Tasker, and Bill "Doc" Dougherty, Jeff Murray and Ken Ryznar and a few observer/supervisors.
The door is 48 feet wide and 11 feet high and typically cost between $7,000 and $12,000 installed. We brought this one in for under $2,000. This was clearly the biggest project of the year, a great team effort and success.
Larry Tasker has managed, almost single handedly, to re-wire both hangers and has started to finish the shop. It is a great relief to know it is now in accordance with current codes.
Ralph DeGroodt and I continue to do the lion's share of the mowing. That job got considerably easier this year. Chuck Voorhees manned his computer and got us a surplus golf course gang mower at auction from government surplus.
BTW, if you read last year's letter you know we had considerable concern over the lack of grass. This year even with the earlier drought we can report that the turf on the runway is MUCH improved. Jim Sypherd and "Doc" Dougherty ran an overseeder over the barest areas and the grass is growing there. We still have some low spots to fill in so we can eliminate the puddles.
We have to thank Greg Bange again for the new logo and a supply of stationary.
Well what's next?
As you look around you will see that we still have a lot to do. A tremendous amount has already been done, but we still have a very big job jar to pick from.
The buildings need a paint job, the runway needs to have the puddles graded away, and we need new blacktop. Also we need more hanger doors, and the restoration shop and office areas need refurbishment.
Don't let it scare you. With your help we will get it done.
We will soon start to solicit the public to become supporting members of the Museum. If you are on our current mailing list we will mail you an invitation to join. The first 100 members will become Charter Members. If we don't have your address and you want to be included please sign the guest register with your address and we will send you an invitation to join.
If all our ideas go according to plan we should have a great Grassroots Aviation Museum here in Massey, preserved for future generations. It will be one that will merit your participation and support.
Thank you all!