Friday, May 30, 2014

Central Coast Quilt Run

For the last 13 years, a group of quilt stores on the Central CA Coast put together a group sale.  Starting in Ventura and going to Paso Robles, 15 shops are involved.  Besides great sales, the stores do prizes and events.  Some even dress up the weekend.  One was done as a "casino."  Another was a playground with hopscotch game taped out on the floor.

But there's this one store that's the rebels.  They don't participate normally.  At least they haven't for the fast couple of years.  However, that hasn't stopped them from decorating up and having a great time of it.

The Creation Station in Buellton, CA is run by Patrick and Dawn.  They run an eclectic, vibrant and interesting place full of fabric (no, really?), patterns, and much more.

These are all 1/2 or full yard cuts.  And not the whole thing.  They also sell by however much you want.  Love all the colors and patterns.  Prices are reasonable and the owners and staff are friendly.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thunder Over the Valley, 2005

 US Marine AV-8.

 Steerman biplane.

 Mustangs seem to be a popular plane to have around.

 Here's a Corsair, that plane with the funny wings and really big prop.

 Wait, there's -another- P-51 here?

And where did this come from?  The red star on the tail might be a clue.

Two oldies, but goodies.

More planes, Fortress and Liberator at San Luis Obispo, CA airport, from 2003:

 A B-17 Fortress and B-24 Liberator.

 Didn't realize/know that there was a cost for getting in the fence, so I couldn't get any closer.

Strato-Fortress and Mitchell from 2002 show at Vandenberg AFB

A few more planes. How about a B-52 and a B-25.  I liked the symmetry.
 Eight great big jet engines.

 Looks like the sun got in the way.

 They just don't make nose art like that anymore.

 Wonder what that's for?

Three bladed prop makes it all get in the air.

A few more planes from years gone by.

I have lots of pictures.  Some have even been taken by myself.  So I'll post a few here.

 A P-51 Mustang in checkerboard.

 One of the best looking planes to grace the skies, hero of the Battle of Brittan. The Spitfire.

 Front view with oil cooler / radiators.

 More blades, I think this is the interceptor version with cannons in place.

 A "Zero."  Most likely a modified T-6 Texan.  I'm not sure that any true Zeros exist anymore. (edit: This Wiki page says that there are four Zeros in existence now.  Thanks, @goretsky!)

 And something from a carrier, the Hellcat.  Big, heavy, sort of fast, with lots of guns.


Now, for the main attraction:  "Fifi," a B-29 Super Fortress.

This is one of the biggest planes I've ever personally seen, with the C-5 Galaxy being bigger.  Fifi is so big each of her engines have names.  Rita, Mitzi, Betty, and Ingrid.  It's so big, the wing has a light mounted in it so people can see under it.  The tires are huge.  The wings are huge.  The props are huge.  The exhausts are HUGE.  Did I mention it's HUGE?

Better post some pictures....

 It looks good, from a distance.  I think those blades are 12 feet long.

 "Fifi," a name that strike fear and terror in her enemies.  Um, about that....

This engine is named Mitzi.  This is about as close as I would get.  The sheer size of the blades is terrifying.  Each engine is turbo-supercharged and makes 2,000 horsepower.  There's four of them, in case you didn't notice.

I'm thinking the guy that aims the bombs sits here.  Bet that is a spectacular view from 40 or 50,000 feet.  They were offering tours of the cockpit, and I really wanted to go in.  However, I think that with the surgery still healing, it would have been a Bad Idea to climb the ladders.
And another insignia, of the United States.

Man O'War

Next up, and last of the four "small" planes, is Man O'War.  This is a P-51 Mustang.  One of the arguably best aircraft and fighters ever made.  this one has Lt. Col. C. H. Kinnard as the pilot.  Looks like Lt. Col. Kinnard was a pretty good pilot too, there's a good number of German markings on the canopy frame.
Can't really find much about him, and the little I do find isn't definite.  So I'll leave those for Google.

 Covers over the exhausts for the Merlin engine.  Same as used in the Spitfire.  Another of my favorite planes. 

 Massive prop to move plenty of air past the blades.  Bright red does the Mustang good.

 Clearly painted tail number.  I did find that there is a Hasegawa model of this plane on eBay.

Canopy open, just waiting for the pilot to jump aboard.

Next up, a story.

This is a PT-19A, I know this because it's painted on the side of the plane.  I've heard of them before, but never seen one in person.  

Captain Charlie Plumb is noted at the pilot.  Using this, I searched a bit online and found that Captain Plumb is a speaker:
He had the chance to meet the man who packed his parachute:
Captain Plumb was a POW for 2,103 days.
Here's a little more about him:
 This looks like an air-cooled straight six engine.  Note the lack of mufflers.  I bet it sounds great.
 The sky and the wind, not much else.  Some instruments are marked "non-functional."
And, of course, the red - white - blue of the roundel.  Not quite as -yellow- as the T-6.  I do appreciate the simplicity of this one.

At the time, I did not know that Captain Plumb was still alive, or I would have required a picture with him.  Thank you, Captain Plumb, for your service. Most glad to know you came home.

Still at the Airport

Next to the C-45 was a bright yellow T-6 Texan trainer.  In great condition. 
 It is very much bright yellow.  For visibility I suppose.  It works very well.
 One of my favorite parts of a military plane.
 The view ahead.
 Powaaaaah!  Not really a place I'd want to stand if it was running.
Hamilton Standard prop.  Keeping a lot of planes in the air since... a really long time.

Went to the Airport Today

Heard on the radio that there was going to be a B-29 Super Fortress at the Santa Maria Airport. (And to think I heard someone say that listening to radio is stupid....  How sad is that?  If I hadn't been listening I wouldn't have known about this.)  Fortunately, I don't live toooo far from there.  A short drive and $10 later, I was on the concrete looking at some old planes.

In addition to the B-29 (I'll get to that in a bit), there was a C-45 Expeditor.

 Here's a plaque on the C-45.
 Looks like European Invasion stripes.  I think.
 The five planes were here from the Commemorative Air Force.
 This man was a C-45 pilot.  Said they were great fliers, but a handful on the ground.  The nose made it hard to see forward.  Told me a story of a fellow that stopped in front of one to look at something, and the nose passed right over him, then knocked him down under the fuselage till he was run over by the tail wheel!  Good thing the fellow didn't get hit by a prop....  He had me take a few pictures of him with the plane, I was very happy to oblige.
What a thing to see, a true piece of history.