It has been since April 2016 since we visited Bob Coolbaugh at his hangar/work shop at New Market airport. Besides the many projects he is working on he is making good progress on his Viking B-8 Kittyhawk. As you can see by the pictures we had a good turn out with some of the participants driving, while Bob Jabobs (Taylorcraft L-2), Bob Metcalfe (Luscombe), John Ely (RV-12) and Juergen Nies (Piper Pacer) decided to fly. The weather was not too bad after all. In Winchester was just light rain when we left and light surface winds. After we climbed to 3,000 feet we encountered only the occasional bump, but had to fight a 35 knot headwind. Bob Jacobs reported a ground speed of only mid 50 knots. There was nothing going on at New Market and the wind (from 220 at 8 gusting 15 kts) was almost down runway 24.
We walked over to Bob's hangar and were treated with a wealth of information and history about the Kittyhawk, Monocoupe and other aviation history. It is always very interesting to listen to Bob. Here is the E-mail he send to me after our meeting:
Sincerest thanks for gathering your aviators for the New Market Hangar Visit. Looking back, I regret talking too much and not allowing your gang to jump into the fray. I believe this rambling comes from too many hours alone in the hangar/shop - when I get the chance to talk I go nuts. Apologies for motor mouth!
Several good things came from this visit. I was reunited with one of my best and most interesting fellow pilots from the original People Express Airlines days - 35 years after we first flew together! Gary Schaffer followed a different career path after PEX, I stayed on thru the Continental years and ne'er the twain did meet - until Juergen Nies rounds up a band of flyers from just up the road, sweeping Gary and his wife into the batch. Wonderful reunion right in my hangar!
A second windfall for me was to meet John Ely, a distant relative of Eugene B Ely. If you recall, I built a replica of Ely's 1911 Curtiss Pusher which he used to fly onto and off of USS Pennsylvania on January 18, 1911 in San Fran bay. First shipboard arrested landing, first time an aircraft successfully landed aboard a ship. John was only sure his family history intersected with Eugene Ely's lineage at some point but he left New Market with the promise that he would actively trace back to find the connection. Since Eugene and Mabel never had the chance to raise a family, John will probably intersect with Eugene's father, brothers or great-great uncles. Standing by for an update. Interesting side note - there is another John Ely in the Washington, DC area who is also descended from Eugene's side of the family tree. These two definitely have to find each other!
Thanks as well to the muscle corps who helped with the wing shifting detail! As you can imagine, I couldn't advance without your assistance. That was a genuine open invitation to all to return when you have spare time. Just wear work clothes and expect some Kitty Hawk assignments.
Thank you to Gary for the great video which captured the essence of the Chapter visit. Perfect!
Blue Skies for all - Bob Coolbaugh"
Bob, it is always a pleasure to listen to you.
The wind had died down a little by the time we took off for the flight home, but at altitude we still enjoyed a nice 30 knots tailwind. We joined up for a little formation flying with the L-2 in the lead, the Luscombe on the left wing and the Pace on the right wing.
It was another great visit and as Bob mentioned, if any of you want to visit Bob and help him (and learn from a great craftsman), we are always welcome.
Everyone listen up
Detail in front cockpit
This "MAP CASE" is hiding the radios
View from the cockpit
Engine is (almost) ready to run
Bob explaining what he had to do to get enough elevator up travel
Bob traded this Monocoupe for a zero time 220 Continental for his next project
In the paint booth
Giving Bob a hand to move wings around
Chapter airplanes at New Market (Taylorcraft L-2, Piper Pacer, RV-12 and Luscombe)
Juergen catching up to join formation on the right wing (picture taken from John's RV-12)