Richards will answer your questions in AirVenture Today throughout the
Please drop your questions (with your
name and where you are from) off at the AirVenture Today office located
near the old FAA control tower and the First Aid Station or via e-mail
and he will do his darndest to answer them.
Q: Which cafes on the
AirVenture grounds are open late?
K.H., Corona, California
A: Late is a relative
term. Some people believe that late is anything after, say, 2:30 a.m.
You won’t find that here, where late is 8 p.m. Here are the hours of
the 10 eating places on the grounds:
Warbirds Café, 6:30
a.m.-3 p.m.; Homebuilt Café, 10 a.m-6:30 p.m.; Tower Café, 10
a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Twin Oaks Food Court, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Ace’s
Cafeteria, 6:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; FAA Pavilion Concession, 10:30 a.m.-3:30
p.m.; Convention Headquarters, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Classic Café, 6
a.m.-7 p.m.; Park Cafe, 6:30 a.m.- 8 p.m.; and Hangar Café, 7 a.m.-8
p.m. Bon appetite.
Q: Walking through the
Warbirds area, I noticed that there are airplanes that appear to be the
same, but have different names. Why is this? Are they trying to confuse
They are the same, and they are trying to confuse you. It sounds as if
they are succeeding. They indicate the kind of service, whether
civilian, military or country, where they come from. To use a well-known
example, the military C-47 is the civilian DC-3.
Q: What’s that
"put-put" thing with the flapping wings going around the
That Fred Flintstone looking craft is an "ornithopter," which
the dictionary appropriately calls an experimental aircraft designed to
be propelled by flapping its wings. Few are as successful as this one,
which is the product of Steve Hay, who also is the pilot. His firm, the
Wright Experience, built the replica engine that powered the recreation
of the Wright brothers flight at Kitty Hawk. Hay wears a t-shirt that
says "Wrong Brothers" on the back.
For about 20 years, the
ornithopter was a regular visitor to the EAA convention, but he hasn’t
been here for the past two. He has made some improvements to the craft.
The engine, a 1927 Stover, was built to generate two horsepower. "I’ve
hopped it up to about three," Hay said. He also has added a
whistle, a horn, and a small cannon that shoots water.
Q: Your blimp answer
was wrong. A Class A was a rigid airship, but a Class B was just a
balloon, and it was called a Class "B-limp" because there was
no supporting air frame.
You may be correct. Certainly, I am not prepared to argue the point.
However, my source stands by what I reported on Tuesday—that the name
derives from the sound of a finger thumping the side of a blimp. Also,
the Word Detective website casts doubt on your theory. He says
"blimp" first appeared in print in 1912, but, in spite of the
military’s proclivity for paperwork, there is no record of the terms
"A-Rigid" or "B-Limp".
Q: I’m new to this
airplane stuff. What’s an elevator? It doesn’t make you go up or
down to another floor, does it?
V.G., Random Lake,
In a conventional airplane, an elevator is a flap-like thing on the
horizontal portion of the tail assembly. Raising or lowering these
elevator flaps together causes the aircraft to point up or down. One up
and one down causes the plane to rotate on its lateral axis. There
should be no floors involved.
Q: What’s the latest
on the V-22 visit? We had hoped to see them yesterday, but they were MIA
and little information was available.
T.S., Pewaukee, Wisconsin
The V-22 "Osprey," an unusual airplane here among unusual
airplanes, will have its ups and downs at 2:30 pm. today.
Q: Last year, there
was an aviation cartoon character here who was selling his DVD. I can’t
remember his name, but he reminded me a little of Jimmy Neutron. Is he
here this year?
P.M., Owosso, Michigan
That would be Andy of Andy’s Airplanes. I’m told that he’s not
here, but his stuff is on sale at the EAA Museum and at the Wearhouse.
Q: Is there some way I
could get mention in the paper of www.howitflies.com? It’s a
community site for pilots, kind of like Wikipedia for aircraft articles
that anyone can edit or comment on. Whether someone is gathering
information on a plane they would like to fly or buy or just wants to
think about flying on a rainy day, it’s a fun resource.
The site seems to be some kind of an aviation blog. I’m sorry. I can’t