Cincinnati – August 2018 – 1940s Day at Lunken Airport

Lunken Airport is located in a valley on the east side of Cincinnati where the Miami River flows into the Ohio River. Because it is in a valley that has a tendency to flood it is known as ‘Sunken Lunken’.

In the early days of aviation it was the airport for Cincinnati, but in the late 1940s they moved to a much larger site across the river in Northern Kentucky.

 

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Lunken still is a very busy airport, serving corporate jets and other smaller private planes, while maintaining it’s classic art deco look.

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On this day the Cincinnati Museum group was hosting ‘1940s Day at Lunken’. Among the events was a ‘Rosie the Riveter’ photo shoot.

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Amazingly a couple of elderly women were on hand actually were ‘Rosies’ during the 1940s.

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People were encouraged to dress the era, and many did.

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The festival hosting a number of vintage airplanes and cars, and those that came in costume fit in perfect with the equipment.

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Either she is a spy or one of the museum workers.

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A Carmen Miranda look, minus the fruit.

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We saw a couple of ladies dressed in their ‘League of Their Own’ uniforms – a great touch.

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There was entertainment all day. The ‘Queen City Sisters’ acapella group were great singers, with style in their presentation.

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The umbrella served two functions this day – shade in the hot sun, then protection from the rain when a hard shower came through.

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She made a great entrance from the sidecar.

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As noted previously there were some vintage planes and cars, and this fire truck.

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They were very selective in the cars presented, all fitting the environment, if not exactly period perfect.

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Some Model A’s.

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Airplanes and a stylish dress and hat – how cool.

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A vintage Navy plane was on hand.

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I can see this being 1935 in Cincinnati.

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Molly Wellmann is a local tavern owner, and historian. She entertained the crowd with the history of alcohol production in Cincinnati (which is extensive).

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Meanwhile the contestants for the costume contest gathered.

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I suggested to these three they visit Twinsburg next year, they would be a hit there too.

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These ladies were also from the museum.

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The styles were great – without the people who came this would’ve been a mediocre event with a couple of planes and cars. With them it was fantastic.

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A vintage couple with a vintage hangar in the background.

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One observation I have made over the last couple of years that if you ask someone to take their photo and you have your phone or a point and click camera you don’t get much response, but if you have a SLR you get enthusiasm.

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While the dancing was occurring in another tent, this costume contestant decided to combine them.

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The pilots are ready for boarding.

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If this is the 1940s I need to time travel – what a great day.

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And they danced the day away….

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Warren, Ohio – August 2018 – Wings and Wheels

Sloas Airfield in Warren, Ohio is a nice 3,000 foot long grass landing strip that sees occasional use, except for 1 day a year – this day.

This was the day for Wings and Wheels. As we entered we immediately passed by a fantastic Porsche.

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Hurried by the Cobra.

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Skipped the Ferrari…

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Even blew by the Superbird, because on this day cars were anything but the Superbirds.

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The ‘Wings’ part of the show were the stars.

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Taking off and landing throughout the day.

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With biplanes.

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We were literally standing next to the runway for the takeoffs.

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The classic cars lining the far side of the runway.

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The pilots were showing off their skills.

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Many completing low passes down the length of the runway.

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Before gaining altitude and heading out.

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The weather was perfect, a few big puffy clouds.

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The ‘crew’ were the volunteers.

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Old school leather helmets were in order.

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Biplanes have a majestic look to them.

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Another one heads skyward.

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I would estimate there were about 50 airplanes when we arrived, many parked with their owners hanging out or checking out the rest of the planes and the cars.

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The noses of the various plans are very distinctive.

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As well as the tails.

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An immaculate Piper Cub.

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Even a couple of ultra lights.

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We spent most of our time in the planes, as we see custom cars all the time.

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Another one heads out – we were happy we were there fairly early as by noon many had departed.

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And he takes off for home.

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While one returns.

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The symmetry of a small plane.

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This photo illustrates how close you were allowed.

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Planes everywhere you looked.

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An excellent paint job for this biplane.

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Future pilots perhaps?

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Even the Porsche pales in comparison to this.

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Inside the hangar is a museum with numerous models.

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Most of the models were custom built.

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Models everywhere.

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All of the models had amazing detail to them.

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We headed back out into the heat to check out a few more airplanes. This one is a 7/8 scale Italian WW1 air force plane.

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The owner of this is an American Airplanes pilot. It must be strange going from 737s to a 2 seater.

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Finally it was time to fly on out (ok – drive). What a great event.

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Mansfield, OH – July 2018 – Elektro The Robot

Mansfield, Ohio is a mid sized city in north central Ohio. It is most famous for the historic Mansfield Reformatory, which was used for the filming of Shawshank Redemption.

Also in Mansfield is their local museum, housed in a 1800s Soldier’s and Sailors Home.

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Mansfield was once home to a division of Westinghouse that built home appliances. At one point in the 1950s over 8,000 people from Mansfield worked for Westinghouse.

Without a doubt the most interesting thing ever developed and built for Westinghouse in Mansfield is Elektro, the Robot.

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Elektro was designed by Joseph Barnett for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. He is credited with being the first true robot ever built.

With voice commands he could walk, talk and count on his fingers. Built out of gears, cams, motors, vacuum tubes and a photo electric cell, one of Elektro’s stranger talents was the ability to smoke a cigarette.

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When we arrived in Mansfield we were greeted by Scott Schaut the curator of the museum, and expert on Elektro. When I asked why he wasn’t in a museum in Pittsburgh, the home of Westinghouse, Scott replied ‘over his dead body’!

Scott has re-created Elektro with modern resin’s and other components. The original is on the left, with the recreation on the right. There was once a dog named Sparko but he was lost to time.

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Also within the museum are some exhibits on the Westinghouse products built in town.

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Including a roasting pan.

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The museum has other local interest items scattered throughout.

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While much of the museum has a military feel to it, they also have some local minerals on display, along with more eclectic items.

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As part of their military display they have a very large model airplane collection.

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While most are military, they have some of the early airplanes like the Wright Flyer.

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The models are very detailed in the presentation. Scott said it best when he said, we are the museum for Mansfield but 90% of the people that walk through the door are looking for Elektro – just like us.

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Hagerstown, Indiana – July 2018 – Wilbur Wright Fly In

The small eastern Indiana town of Hagerstown is the home of an annual small airplane ‘fly-in’. Home to one of the longest, nicest grass runways in America, it is the perfect stopping off point for the planes headed to the large show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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As we arrived and parked we passed by a number of vendor booths including this one manned by Bob, an elderly man who makes whirligig airplanes out of soda cans.

He is very skilled, and his touch includes having a picture on a can, if available to be the pilot.

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When I was there he was making one out of Pepsi cans featuring Ray Charles – it was cool enough it now is proudly hanging in my garage!

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But it was time to move on to the main display area. All of the planes were accessible to all who attended.

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Many had open cockpits.

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The pilots were on hand to answer questions about their planes.

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All were magnificently restored.

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It attracted photographers young and old.

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The grass runway resembled a fairway on a golf course – bordered by the Indiana cornfields.

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A sleek nose cone for the propeller.

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They came in a variety of shapes and sizes.

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The two bi-plane rides stayed busy throughout the afternoon.

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With many excited and happy customers.

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The weather was perfect, just a few puffy clouds far above where anyone was flying.

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Some had creative designs.

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While others looked like racing airplanes.

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But eventually it was time to fly out of there. If you are an airplane fan, and can’t make it to Oshkosh, this is a good alternative much closer to home.

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Delaware, OH – July 2018 – Fun with Funghi

Our hot weekend continued with a visit to a local Metro Park – Gallant Woods – that was holding a ‘Mushroom Hike’. Lead by Kari, one of the Education leaders from the park service, we wandered through the woods for an hour while she and others spotted various types of mushrooms.

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Our group was small, with Kari and another family who was into foraging for mushrooms, making it very educational.

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Most of the mushrooms were quite small, but still very interesting.

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We found interesting growth on trees.

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A red one on a small twig.

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Mushy ones on another dead tree.

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It was fascinating how when you start looking closely how many different types there are. Much time was spent explaining how difficult it is to see the difference between poisonous ones and those that are edible.

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Kari would often pick them to give us a closer look.

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When you looked closely the details are amazing.

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One large tree had them growing all the way up the 50′ tall tree.

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While you are supposed to leave the mushrooms where they grow for others to enjoy, we were permitted to keep some since Kari picked them as part of our tour.

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Across the road is the original homestead complete with a restored 1930s farm house.

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The entire county parks system is featuring flight this year so one of the barns had a great exhibit with model planes.

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The exhibit’s planes were very impressive.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our hike with Kari, and the time spent with the other staff and volunteers afterwards in the farm house. The staff was even kind enough to share some mushroom quiche they had been preparing in the 1930s stove.

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Washington DC – June 2018 – Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum opened in downtown DC in 1946. Today it houses some of the most important aircraft and spacecraft in history.

One of the first artifacts we saw was the first satellite, Telstar.

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A recent addition is the actual model from the Star Trek TV series.

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Apollo 11 capsule

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Saturn 5 engine.

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A collection of space rockets.

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The original Wright flyer.

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Military aircraft.

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There is a nice ‘Pioneers of Aviation’ section.

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Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St Louis.

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A tribute to Amelia Earhart.

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The plan that first flew across Antarctica. This museum is truly one of the best in the world for aircraft.

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Cleveland – March 2018 – A Revisit to the Piston Powered Show

Since we have ran out of things to do in Ohio, we are now revisiting some of the better events, including the Piston Powered Show in Cleveland.

Held at the million square foot IX Center, this event features ‘anything with a piston’ including cars, boats, planes, motorcycles, snowmobiles and others.

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A custom bike

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Surf’s up on Lake Erie!

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A chopped Beetle.

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As noted, the place is huge – with the airplane being dwarfed by the indoor ferris wheel.

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Some artists were customizing on the spot.

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Lanterns on an antique fire truck.

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The Cleveland Corvette Club.

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Customized 1950s Ford pickup truck.

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Clearly a winner.

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Hey Scoobie…

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