The original Lockwood Air Cam will now call
the EAA AirVenture Museum home following the donation of the aircraft by
its designer, Philip J. Lockwood. EAA President Tom Poberezny accepted
the keys to the aircraft from Lockwood on Thursday afternoon, just
inside the old main arch where the Air Cam will remain parked for the
rest of the convention.
EAA President Tom Poberezny, left, accepts the keys to Air Cam #1 for the EAA AirVenture Museum following its donation by designer, Philip J. Lockwood.
Photo by Tyson Rininger
Lockwood designed the Air Cam in the
early 1990s in response to a request from the National Geographic
Society for an aerial photo platform from which to photograph the Ndoki
Rain Forest in the Republic of the Congo for a National Geographic
study and story (published in its July 1995 issue).
In donating the aircraft, Lockwood noted
that the freedom of the amateur-built category offered the latitude to
design this special mission machine. "That's why it's important
this aircraft come to the EAA museum." Lockwood stated.
He added, "At first the society
planned to use a helicopter for the mission, but its fuel burn was too
high." The society knew Lockwood from previous South African photo
missions so it contacted him for help in developing an aircraft for the
mission…and asked him to fly it. "When I found out we'd be flying
just above the canopy of the trees and not along the river, I told them
'You've got the wrong guy,' but after thinking about the possibility of
using a twin-engine aircraft, I became intrigued with the project."
In accepting the aircraft, Poberezny
said, "EAA is extremely pleased that Phil has recognized EAA and
its work for the amateur-built movement by donating the aircraft to the
museum. It's airplanes like the Air Cam that continue to tell the story
of innovation and accessibility that amateur building offers."
Today, Air Cams are being used globally
in a variety of research applications, including off-shore oil
surveying, tracking whales, testing water quality in remote lakes in
Adirondack National Park, and other research activities in Namibia.
The story of Phil's adventure in the
Ndoki Rain Forest is available in Sport Aviation's online archives. See
"Air Cam in the Congo," in the August 1995 issue.