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Gate Guards Over Long Island

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If you happen to be driving around Eastern Long Island and feel the urgent need to see an F-14A Tomcat, we have the place for you! Drive out on the Long Island Expressway (LIE or I-495) and exit at Route 25. Then back taxi west to the Grumman Memorial Park – about four miles to the west. There is a beautiful F-14A on a hard stand previously owned by the VF-101 “Grim Reapers”. If you drive further west for about a mile and turn south on to Burman Avenue, you will enter the old Grumman Plant and Airport where the final assembly and flight testing of the F-14 took place. On some maps it is called “Calverton Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Airport”. It is now open to the public. Drive in, look around! It is hard to believe that this is where all those wonderful F-14 Tomcats were built!!

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But before you leave the Grumman Memorial Park, walk over to the beautifully restored A-6E Intruder strike bomber. It’s hard to believe that so many fantastic fighter planes were built and tested out here in Long Island; now there is no aircraft industry remaining at all!

LIAS, Revisited

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During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, I was beginning to travel across North America in search of larger and more diverse air shows than those in my backyard of New England. This was the time before widespread use of the Internet and electronic media, and it involved searching in the land of land mail and magazines for any tidbit of information about an interesting theme or an exotic visitor from another shore. Plus, I had a network of friends who, via long distance telephone, would pass along news of interest to me, and I would return the favor when I could.

As I wasn’t connected with any friends or family who lived on military bases and would be able to bring me aboard to watch any Friday practice air shows and to photograph the arriving planes, I usually went in with the public on Saturday and Sunday and took my (film) pictures with everyone else. This all changed one year, when my circle of friends expanded, and I learned about the “photo tour” at the London International Air Show (LIAS). As Jeff recounted the 1988 show, which featured thirty McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms assembled for the thirtieth year of the jet’s operation, I was hooked. Additionally, a special photo pass that allowed for access to the ramps on Friday, and early entry to the grounds on Saturday and Sunday, allowed for uncluttered photos and opportunities to meet up with other enthusiasts.

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Owls Head Transportation Museum’s 2016 Wings and Wheels Rally!

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The Owls Head Transportation Museum’s Wings and Wheels Spectacular was held on the first full weekend in August this year, on the museum grounds on the north side of the Maine’s Knox County Regional Airport . Featured were aircraft designs that spanned a full century of flight. These flying machines, coupled with a collection of automobiles and other wheeled vehicles that also spanned the century of progress, presented a great afternoon of living history in the picturesque MidCoast region of Maine. Not only were a multitude of rare and interesting vehicles displayed, but the vast majority of them operated as their creators expected them to – flying in the air and motoring around on the ground!

Let’s take a look at most of the aircraft that were featured at the “Rally” (as it is sometimes called), along with a few of the performers:

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Boeing’s First Century Celebration

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Story and Photos by Bob Shane

On July 15, 2016, the Boeing Company marked its 100th birthday. The aircraft manufacturer’s “Founders Day” event at Boeing Field, Seattle was the high point of a celebration that had been going on all year. Boeing was officially founded on July 15, 1916, a month after the first flight of the Boeing Model 1 single engine bi-plane seaplane known as the B & W. It was designed by William Boeing and U.S. Navy Lt. Conrad Westervelt.

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