Well sort off.. we continue greatly disappointed with the recent turn of events in our country but we will save the subject for perhaps an other day.....
I get to fly with my friend Clint about half a dozen times a year. Today was one of those fortunate Saturdays. And some fancy equipment it is. We usually go for a few hours to practice instrument approaches. In this case to get some practice in with his new radios.. A Garmin 750 and a 650..Touch screen technology and more wiz-bangery than you can shake a stick at.
Here we pull out the Bonanza from the hangar on a brisk 40 degree Saturday morning. Clint is sumping the tanks checking for water in the fuel.
This is what the new radios look like. Note the I-pad like screen icons. The new ones are the 2 top screens on the center stack. Nav-Com function with moving map, approach plates, full data base, anti collision, XM Weather and Music.....
...yes folks music for your soothing enjoyment. Nothing like a little George Frederich while shooting an approach....
Here is a closer look as we set it all up on the apron at North East Air and receive our clearance to taxi from the tower.
and as we start out our roll on runway 11 at KPWM (Portland Maine for you pedestrians)
Here is what the view looks like at about 500 feet from the copilot's window looking at the west end of the Portland peninsula I-295 at the bottom and Maine Mercy Hospitals new buildings at the waters edge.
And from the pilot's window looking at I-295north
A few seconds later over the city looking over downtown Portland to the East End of the peninsula.
Back Cove and Tukey's bridge by the B&M bean factory viewed from above the city.
And the Portland waterfront with Dimillos floating restaurant the big paddle boat in the marina and the overpriced condominiums that yuppified the working waterfront.
we head North east up the coast to Brunswick....
Airspeed on the left column, altitude on the right heading on the gyro compass in the center of the left screen... moving map display on the right.
The requisite partners in crime shot with yours truly now sporting his usual winter growth in the copilot's seat.
Past Bruswick we fly up and take a look at Merrymeeting airport were nearly 30 yrs ago Clint taught me to fly. 1800 feet sod, mud and gravel with a hump in the middle.
a strafing run on runway 32 in Bowdoinham as we cross the Cathance river.
We then head 6 miles back south to NAS Brunswick over the tidal flats on final....
... and the view on final approach to runway 11
Here's what it looks like on the panel as we near touchdown.
and our own shadow as we flare for touchdown
Naval Airstation Brunswick.
The purpose of our visit was to check out the new Citabria (backwards spelled airbatic) Decathlon our friend Joe and his friend Adrian had just purchased and brought back from Wisconsin.
Adrian is one of the principal people behind the development of the new all composite carbon fiber Kestrel aircraft. So while Joe took Clint for a ride in the Decathlon, Adrian gave me the tour of the facility. Here we see the Kestrel prototype. It has been across to Europe three time and made it as far as Dubai. The actual production aircraft will be slightly longer and wider fuselage with a more powerful turboprop engine.
Invited to check it out the inside I can't refuse. The prototype is a work in progress with all sorts of comical annotations on the ceiling liner.
A view forward inside, currently stripped out the panel has been cannibalized of instruments for the Restoration of a company commuter a Mooney M20-E
Here we see models for what the prototype looks like in the background and the all wood model in the foreground was the original design when the project was first initiated in the UK many years ago. The production aircraft will actually have the longer wider fuselage of the wooden model in the foreground.
Some of the tooling molds used to make some static mockups/proof of concept for the larger production model. The pink foam cube in the background is made all from Owens-Corning extruded polystyrene as an inexpensive size mockup. The tooling on the floor is all CNC cut foam molds for the various fuselage and tail surfaces.
A view of the cavernous hangar that once housed the P3 Orions sub chasers that were based at NASB. the small GA aircraft seem lost in there.
Headed back to KPWM looking off the right wing at the Cousins Island power plant in Yarmouth.
4 pm and the sun will set in about 30 minutes...
Final approach to newly expanded and repaved runway 18 in KPWM
and that all for today folks..... I had a great day... but of course any day I get to fly is a wonderful day....