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Things found while out & about
A public forum for the JG300 Wild Sau Gruppe!
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 4:06 am
Post subject: Things found while out & about

I'm appreciating more each year the diverse scenery that Virginia offers and getting a better feel for the back roads when I get a chance to get out and stretch with some exploring. Sometimes it's extremely rewarding to just get out and get good and lost -here's a tale as an example:

I was out toodling around on some back roads in the Piedmont area - flat with rolling hills, farmland and sporadic forests and horse farms - when I saw an open field, a large old house and a group of buildings in row with a windsock on the end building. The windsock caught my eye of course, and the house was clearly empty and abandoned with a For Sale sign on it. The buildings lined up in a row looked to be in pretty rough shape too, housing some rusted old farm equipment.

I couldn't see evidence of a soul in sight and the entrance was open so clearly this warranted further examination. Here's what it looked like form the road (after I walked out to take the picture after parking near the end building).



The building on the end was the only one in good condition and it took me a while to notice the bars on the windows, indicating that it was likely in use and so I exercised some caution, but still wanted to look around bit...I'm assuming the "For Sale" sign and open entryway meant it as OK to look around just a tad....



The buildings immediately adjacent to this shed (or hangar?) were nowhere in the same condition...



Closer inspection however revealed the building to be a T-hangar which immediately sparked additional curiosity...the mind wonders what may have been parked under this roof in the past...



Turning around to look for evidence that this was an airfield of some sort only revealed a partially plowed field accessible beyond a slight muddy area...I suppose that's wide enough for light aircraft operations and the tracks don't look that old...



Turning back around I then noticed a white sign on the inside of the fence back by the road, which at first seemed a little odd, most signs are on the road-side of a fence but this one seemed meant to be read by people already on the property. Walking over to it and reading it explained why:



Interesting! So, having solved this little mystery and not wanting to overstay my welcome I mounted up again and began to head out. I was just about to pull out onto the road again and was waiting for an SUV approaching from the right to go by when it slowed down, then slowed down some more, then almost came to a stop with its turn signal on, wanting to turn left into the property. the driver looking at me. He had his turn signal on and waved me to exit first, which I did. I turned right onto the road and noticed he was kind of staring me down, giving me that "what are you doing on this property" look.

In the split second as I went by him is when I noticed it. The tail section of an aircraft - a very small aircraft - inside his vehicle. The familiar curve of the vertical stabilizer and rudder of a Pitts Special, just much smaller than the real thing - but VERY BIG for a model.

As I shifted into second gear my curiousity got the better of me so I slowed and did a U-turn and went back onto the property. The driver saw this and slowed to let me ride up beside him so we could chat.

Turned out to be a real nice guy who was part of a giant-scale R/C flying club that used that field on the weekends for their activities. He said I was welcome to hang out and that more members would be showing up soon. When fate hands you these fascinating chance encounters you don't say no, so I took him up on it!

Long story short I had a great time, met some cool folks and saw some neat sights! Here's some hilites...

First we had to go all the way down to the end of the field which is on a very slight hill so that you can't see their parking and flying area from the road. There'd been a lot of rain lately so there was LOTS of mud to cross, and I'd just got new tires on my bike, unfortunately this time around I went with more street-oriented tires instead of the usual offroad ones it's had on it, so I had my hands a little full getting a fully loaded bike through the muddy ruts....



Here's the dude in the SUV (name actually turned out to be Gary) standing out by the grass runway doing his thing with his plane - it turned out to be a model of a Pitts Bulldog in fact, which is a Pitts Special with radial power - in this case a two-cylinder 1.2cc gas engine. When these guys say "Giant Scale" they're not kidding, the wingspans have to exceed 90 inches to qualify and his plane is in the far background...you want to think it's between the camera and him, but



The guy kneeling in front of Gary (name is Dave, I think) was working on a jet-engine powered model aircraft. This was a real honest-to-god turbine engine running kerosene and spewing flame out the back end and all. If you look carefully you'll notice some bare ground under the tail section, he had started it up a few times and had managed to singe the grass pretty good, explaining the presence of the fire extinguisher (mandatory). Unfortunately he was fighting some "restart" issues and couldn't get it running to his satisfaction so no pictures of it tearing up the sky. Sounded awesome when it was running on the ground though.



While this was going on I noticed the sound of a prop plane coming form behind the flight line and was surprised to see a Piper Cub approaching the field from just above treetop level. At this point things were so confusing on terms of scale that I had to rub my eyes to see if I was looking at another giant scale model or the real thing. When the plane cleared some power lines and dove down toward the runway and made a pass over us, waving out the open cockpit window, it was clear it was the real thing though. VERY cool! Turns out it was the owner of the property, who still flew out of it. The R/C'ers quickly landed their planes when they heard him coming, after overflying the strip on downwind he made a quick turn onto base and then a VERY short final...




After landing he taxied down to the one operational hangar on the property in the very first picture above (with the windsock on the roof). He later walked over wearing a T-shirt with a Piper Cub on it that said "Legalize Low Flying!". Hilarious individual!

Meanwhile a couple guys were prepping a P-47 and a P-40 with the (predictable) AVG paint scheme:



The guy with the red & white aerobatic monoplane is named Howard, I hung out with him yakking planes and bikes, he rides a Yamaha FZ6 and he thought it was funny we both had the exact same hi-vis yellow riding jackets...this is him in the lower right of the picture, kicking back...



Oh yeah that really big biplane in the foreground of some of the above pictures? Was a brand-new bird brought by the local ace pilot of the group, a very big and gregarious gentleman who had spent the winter putting it together and was going to take it up on its first flight that day. Unfortunately for transportation all the wing and tail section panels are removable, which means that they have to painstakingly be put back in place and all the flying wires rigged back up - he explained as he was working on it that it was built for 3D (read:EXTREME) aerobatics so the flying wires were most definitely a working part of the airframe, there;s so much stress involved the plane would crumple out without them. And naturally he wanted to get it right for the first flight, so he was taking his time. I was there for about two hours and it took that long for him to get to the point where he was ready to start the engine.

This thing was HUGE though, more like 1/3 scale than 1/4 scale, and he said he knows someone who is working on a HALF-0scal Christen Eagle and will probably have it out at the field later this year (!!!!!)

When it was time to fire the engine up he got Howard to hold onto the bird while he flipped the prop...someone asked why he didn't just let the kid sit in it and fly it for him...



Most guys were using big padded sticks to flip the props, but not this guy. He was old school all the way, flingin' that bad TWO-FOOT-PLUS prop by hand!!!



Unfortunately the battery on my phone started dying so I couldn't take any more pictures, and this gent still had lots to do, like run the engine in on the ground some and make sure everything was dialed in. It was about time for me to start getting home if I wanted to be on time for dinner so I bid 'em a good day and promised to come back (I do have an uncovered 92" wingspan Gee Bee Model Y airframe in the basement they may find interesting). All told I was there for quite a while and even had a heck of a sunburned face the next day from looking at the sky so much.

One heck of a nice little back-road getaway surprise if I do say so myself!


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Last edited by JG300-Stoopy on Fri May 06, 2011 4:13 am; edited 2 times in total
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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 4:11 am
Post subject: Re: Things found while out & about

These kinds of unexpected finds are what riding is all about. Seldom do "planned rides" pan out as much cool stuff as the "just toodling about" ones do. Wink

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Uhu_Fledermaus
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:14 am
Post subject: Re: Things found while out & about

Great stuff Cool
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Shadow_Bshwackr
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 12:27 pm
Post subject: Re: Things found while out & about

Great stuff indeed! Thanks for sharing!!
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wheelsup_cavu
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 3:37 am
Post subject: Re: Things found while out & about

Very cool. Smile


Wheels

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JG300-Dan736
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 8:30 pm
Post subject: Re: Things found while out & about

Enjoyed that a lot Stoopy, thanks.

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JG300-fr8ycat
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 3:34 am
Post subject: Re: Things found while out & about

That's awesome. Thanks for sharing Stoopy.

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 8:18 pm
Post subject: Re: Things found while out & about

Y'all are welcome guys, thanks!

Just got back from a cross-country drive from Denver to VA....sorry about the late response.

The property it's on was very interesting - the large house for sale looks to be quite old and had 3 chimneys so lots of fireplaces inside. But apparently it needs "a few hundred thousand dollars" worth of restoration to come out of the condemned state it's in. If I ever won the lottery it would be a great property to buy and fly something light and fun (Bellanca Scout?) out of that airstrip. The owner of the Piper Cub also apparently has a Stinson Reliant that he flies in and out of there as well (!!!!)


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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:01 pm
Post subject: Re: Things found while out & about

- JG300-Stoopy


The property it's on was very interesting - the large house for sale looks to be quite old and had 3 chimneys so lots of fireplaces inside. But apparently it needs "a few hundred thousand dollars" worth of restoration to come out of the condemned state it's in.



In the business, this is known as a "unique fixer-upper opportunity". Wink

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JG300-WILLIFOCK
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 7:49 am
Post subject: Re: Things found while out & about

NEVER MIND THE VIRTUAL STYE! STOOPY FOUND A REAL ONE FOR US.
CAN THE 300 LEVERAGE .
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:00 am
Post subject: Re: Things found while out & about

I' doing my best to negotiate Willy! Might have to spruce up my giant scale GeeBee Model Y hanging in the basement. Smile

- JG300-Ascout
These kinds of unexpected finds are what riding is all about.


So true - even when things don't go as well as planned they're sometimes "interesting" at least and perhaps even funny, at least in hindsight:

www.stromtrooper.com/g...-must.html

(no that's not me)

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