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From Colorado by Skyhawk - Day 12 - Oshkosh to Dayton

October 29, 2018 8:35 PM | Michael Brown (Administrator)

Greetings from Dayton, Ohio, home of the Wright Brothers!

The weather was good enough this morning to leave Oshkosh and head south, but worse weather began just east of Dayton. The 24- and 36-hour projections looked better back home in Ithaca, so I decided to break up the trip home and stay here in Dayton for the night.

Leaving Oshkosh, there was a thin scattered cloud deck at around 2,000 feet. I climbed above it and flew most of the day's three-hour flight at about 3,300 feet under sunny skies above the layer. As I neared Dayton, though, the layer rose to about 4,000 feet, so I got under it and finished the trip under cloudy skies.

Today's Rorschach Pond - I see a dragon.

The huge particle accelerators at Fermi Lab.

The twisty roads here were puzzling. I looked up the location in Google Earth tonight, and it turns out to be the Burlington WI home of MGA Research. Apparently, this was originally the proving grounds for American Motors (remember them?). MGA was founded by people from Cornell Research Laboratories (later Calspan), and does testing work for auto manufacturers.

A housing development that never was, in Frankfort, IL.

Fountain in Aurora, Illinois.

The Wabash River near Peru, Indiana.

A flooded quarry near Converse, Indiana.

I was cleared to enter a right downwind and land on Runway 24 Right at KDAY from twenty miles out. Here, turning base to final on 24R.

N46493 parked at Wright Brothers FBO. The brothers themselves were not at work today, sadly, but Enterprise had a rental car waiting for me. The Air Force Museum had added another exhibit hall since my last visit, bringing them up to over a million square feet under cover, which definitely merited a visit.

I started out in the WWII hangar. This is the original "Memphis Belle" B-17F bomber, which went on display at the museum in May. This bomber was one of the first to survive 25 combat missions, after which it was rotated back to the States for a bond-drive tour. The producer William Wyler flew with the crew for two missions, including the 25th, and his footage taken on the missions became the documentary "Memphis Belle".

A poignant collection - the Doolittle Raiders cups in the Air Force Museum. These cups were presented to the surviving Doolittle Raiders in the 1970's. Each one is engraved with a name of one of the 80 men who flew with Doolittle in the 1942 raid on Tokyo. The cups were engraved on both sides in opposite orientations, so that the names could be read right-side-up or upside-down. Each year the remaining Raiders would get together and toast the lost, and as the Raiders passed away, their cups were inverted. Today, only one remains - Dick Cole, Doolittle's copilot, who made the case in which the cups are stored. I was privileged to meet him and hear him speak about the raid at Sun'n Fun earlier this year. At more than a century old, he's still sharp and funny.

The huge B-36 Peacemaker bomber seems almost lost in the even huger Cold War hangar at the Air Force Museum. It really stands out in the brighter lighting they've installed since I was last there. On my first visit in about 1975, there was only one hangar at the Museum, and the B-36 barely fit inside.

The newly restored XB-70 Valkyrie supersonic bomber, one of only two made (the other crashed in a midair collision with one of the chase planes during a test).

It looks like the weather should be good enough to make it home (finally) tomorrow. If everything goes well, I should be back by mid-afternoon.

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