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Where is my personal helicopter?

29 May 2015

Where is my personal helicopter? The one I was promised ages ago for use in these times? I ask this often when dealing with Miami traffic which alternated between a saltation mode and pure gridlock.

Robinson R44 helicopter

Robinson R44 — photo by Joseph May

Robinson has come close with its R44 model. A Lycoming flat-6 245 hp/183kW reciprocating engine turns a twin blade main rotor as well as a tail rotor. They are almost unmistakably identified by their size and tall rotor mast.

Robinson R44 — photo by Joseph May

Robinson R44 — photo by Joseph May

This R44 was recently photographed leaving the Florida Keys Marathon Airport taking passengers on a brief aerial tour on a gorgeous Florida Keys day.

 

A lot of art in the Key West International Airport

28 May 2015

A lot of art in the Key West International Airport

24° 33′ 12″ N / 81° 45′ 18″ W

Art outside the Key West International Arrival Terminal — photo by Joseph May

Large mural  outside the Key West International arrival terminal — photo by Joseph May

Bust Agustin Orduña, native Key Wester and first to fly from Key West to Cuba in ??? (artist not specified) — photo by Joseph May

Key West Airport bust of Agustin Orduña, native Key Wester and first to fly from Key West to Cuba 02 January 1912 and winning US$5000 which is ~$119,000 today (artist not specified) — photo by Joseph May

 

 

 Interpretation of the Morane-Saulnier monoplane flown by Domingo Rosillo — photo by Joseph May

Interpretation of the Morane-Saulnier monoplane flown by Domingo Rosillo in the US$10,000 on 19 May 1913 (~$239,000 today) winning first flight from Key West to Havana — photo by Joseph May

Domingo Rosillo collage — photo by Joseph May

Domingo Rosillo collage — photo by Joseph May

"Santa Maria" by David Harrison Wright — photo by Joseph May

“Santa Maria” by David Harrison Wright, from the famous photo of the Aeromarine Airways Aeromarine 75 airliner flying the Kew West/Havana route in the early 1920s — photo by Joseph May

"Cuba" by David Harrison Wright — photo by Joseph May

“Cuba” by David Harrison Wright, the Consolidated Commodore christened “Cuba” flying boat employed by Juan Trippe and PAA in their first international flight venture — photo by Joseph May

Key West Airport bust of Mario Sanchez by Jam??? — photo by Joseph May

Key West Airport bust of Mario Sanchez, a Key West folk artist, by James Mastin — photo by Joseph May

Key West Airport bust of George Faraldo (artist unspecified) — photo by Joseph May

Key West Airport bust of George Faraldo who established the airport (artist unspecified) — photo by Joseph May

A visit to where Pan Am began

27 May 2015

A visit to where Pan Am began

24° 33′ 27″ N / 81° 48′ 20″ W

Kelly's Caribbean Bar Grill and Brewery — photo by Joseph May

Kelly’s Caribbean Bar Grill and Brewery — photo by Joseph May

Now called Kelly’s Caribbean Bar Grill and Brewery, this is the building which Pan American Airways (PAA) housed its first international operation which was the Key West FL–Havana Cuba route. Soon Juan Trippe would lead PAA as well as the world into trans Pacific flights, jet airliners, wide bodied airliners and flights affordable to the masses. Recently owned by Kelly McGillis (of Top Gun film fame) though currently under different ownership it is on the corner of Whitehead St. and Caroline St. in Key West FL.

Kelly's – photo by Joseph May

Kelly’s Caribbean Bar Grill and Brewery as seen along Whitehead St. in Key West – photo by Joseph May

Kelly's – photo by Joseph May

Kelly’s Caribbean Bar Grill and Brewery displays its place in aviation’s history – photo by Joseph May

Kelly's Caribbean Bar Grill and Brewery displays its place in aviation's history – photo by Joseph May

A more readable view of the PAA sign at Kelly’s Caribbean Bar Grill and Brewery – photo by Joseph May

Aviation Museum tucked away in the Florida Keys — EAA Chapter 1241 Air Museum

26 May 2015

Aviation museum tucked away in the Florida Keys — EAA Chapter 1241 Air Museum

24° 43′ 42″ N / 81° 02′ 30″ W

The Ozark Airlines airliner at the EAA Chapter 1241 Air Museum front — photo by Joseph May

The Ozark Air Lines airliner at the EAA Chapter 1241 Air Museum front — photo by Joseph May

EAA Chapter 1241 Air Museum's main entry — photo by Joseph May

EAA Chapter 1241 Air Museum’s main entry — photo by Joseph May

The EAA Chapter 1241 Air Museum is perhaps among the smallest of museums but, as they say, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight it’s the size of the fight in the dog. This museum, at the airport in Marathon FL, cannot be missed and should not be missed. Located in a working hangar the atmosphere is relaxed and rich with spirit.

EAA Chapter 1241 Air Museum front — photo by Joseph May

EAA Chapter 1241 Air Museum front — photo by Joseph May

EAA Chapter 1241 Air Museum back — photo by Joseph May

EAA Chapter 1241 Air Museum back — photo by Joseph May

The staff are experienced and the museum has artifacts, books as well as models — but it is the three aircraft displayed that are to be enjoyed. Two of the aircraft are particularly pleasing to visit since visitors can:

  • Lean through the cargo door opening into the Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor and easily see the cockpit from there, as well as experience the capacity of the military version of the Twin Beech.
  • Walk through the passenger cabin of perfectly-kept-in-shape Ozark Air Lines DC-3 (technically a C-53). Visitors can easily peer into the vintage cockpit, see the steep floor angle from the main deck to the auxiliary door/hatch immediately aft of the cockpit as well as see where Grace Kelly (later to become Princess Grace of Monaco) once rode.
Ozark Airlines DC-3/C-53 — photo by Joseph May

Ozark Air Lines DC-3/C-53 — photo by Joseph May

Ozark Airlines visitor access — photo by Joseph May

Ozark Air Lines visitor access — photo by Joseph May

Grace Kelly's (later Princess Grace of Monaco) seat — photo by Joseph May

Grace Kelly’s (later Princess Grace of Monaco) seat on the Ozark Air Lines aircraft — photo by Joseph May

The museum enjoys inspiring young minds and hearts in the community by its everyday service as well as airshows and events. The entry is free, no restrooms on site but they are next door at the friendly FBO, food and refreshments can easily be found in Marathon. Their hours of operation are Tuesday–Saturday from 11:00am until 4:00pm.

Cessna 172 "FAC" — photo by Joseph May

Cessna 172 “FAC” — photo by Joseph May

CEssnas 172 "FAC" — photo by Joseph May

Cessna 172 “FAC” — photo by Joseph May

 

Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor — photo by Joseph May

Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor — photo by Joseph May

Stay tuned for posts on the museum’s C-45 as well as the Ozark Air Lines airliner :)

 

Memorial Day 2015

25 May 2015

Memorial Day 2015

28° 36′ 28″ N / 82° 12′ 32″ W

Florida National Cemetery

A short distance off I-75’s Exit 309 near Webster FL.

American flag at FL National Cemetery — photo by Joseph May

American flag at FL National Cemetery — photo by Joseph May

Florida National Cemetery is located just off the Webster exit (Exit 309) on I-75 and is one of the many scenic cemeteries this country uses to honor those who served in the military. Most of us have not been to a national cemetery and, for those, it is unfortunate since they are lovely sites to see and calming seeing how honored are those who have passed. Stately columbaria, neatly ordered rows of graves and memorials are the norm. This Memorial Day we will go on a photographic journey of this cemetery.

Florida National Cemetery Entry Sign — photo by Joseph May

Florida National Cemetery Entry Sign — photo by Joseph May

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address — photo by Joseph May

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address which was given to establish this country’s first national cemetery — photo by Joseph May

Tony Alvarez Eagle Scout Project — photo by Joseph May

Tony Alvarez Eagle Scout Project — photo by Joseph May

— photo by Joseph May

Memorial to lost submariners of the U.S. Navy — photo by Joseph May

— photo by Joseph May

Neat and ordered — photo by Joseph May

Hylon Oliver Broadbrook stone — photo by Joseph May

Hylon Oliver Broadbrook head stone (history is evident wherever one looks) — photo by Joseph May

— photo by Joseph May

Symmetry also has a calming effect on the mind — photo by Joseph May

— photo by Joseph May

Head stones are placed with survey grade precision (right and tight) — photo by Joseph May

— photo by Joseph May

Columbaria (walls laden with niches for urns)— photo by Joseph May

— photo by Joseph May

A columbarium with each small rectangle defining a niche for cremated remains — photo by Joseph May

— photo by Joseph May

Part of a colmbarium niche (a penny from a friend or family member up to a quarter if the visitor served in combat with that person) — photo by Joseph May

Seeing two Kellys in the Keys

22 May 2015

Seeing two Kellys in the Keys

Kelly's Caribbean Bar Grill and Brewery — photo by Joseph May

Kelly’s Caribbean Bar Grill and Brewery — photo by Joseph May

Readers may recall my story of a trek to Hong Kong to see Betsy and next week I will have posts of my trip to see traces of two women in the Florida Keys. Each is each named Kelly and each has a footnote in aviation’s history.

Grace Kelly's (later Princess Grace of Monaco) seat — photo by Joseph May

Grace Kelly’s (later Princess Grace of Monaco) seat — photo by Joseph May

 

 

 

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Fiberglass Lightning

20 May 2015

Fiberglass Lighting

25° 47′ 01″ N / 80° 17′ 18″ W

94 Aero Squadron sign — photo by Joseph May

94th Aero Squadron sign along Red Road — photo by Joseph May

The 94th Aero Squadron is a theme restaurant which can be found in several cities. It has the charm of a WW I aerodrome headquartered in a French estate’s château. They are located at airports with views of an active runway, which adds wonderfully to the aviation historical motif of the operation. Outside may be found war relics of more recent vintage — or are they?

94th Aero Squadron rear elevation — photo by Joseph May

94th Aero Squadron rear elevation which faces one of the main runways of MIA — photo by Joseph May

The 94th Aero Squadron restaurant located on the southern boundary of Miami International Airport (the SE corner of Red Road and Perimeter Road in Miami FL) has an unblemished Lockheed P-38 Lightning in the open by the parking lot. Such a valuable aircraft exposed to the elements and potentially vandals? No worries though, since it is a replica made from fiberglass — so value and history are not at risk. A substantial undertaking no doubt and what a charming addition to the overall theme.

Fiberglass Lightning — photo by Joseph May

Fiberglass Lightning with the 94th Aero Squadron in the background— photo by Joseph May

Fiberglass Lightning — photo by Joseph May

The fiberglass Lightning is firmly secured to a concrete pad — photo by Joseph May

Fiberglass Lightning — photo by Joseph May

Fiberglass Lightning’s commanding view over the airspace of MIA — photo by Joseph May

Fiberglass Lightning — photo by Joseph May

Fiberglass Lightning fuselage pod — photo by Joseph May

Fiberglass Lightning — photo by Joseph May

Fiberglass Lightning view emphasizing its minimal parasitic drag — photo by Joseph May

Fiberglass Lightning — photo by Joseph May

A Frontier Airlines airliner lands in full view from the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant — photo by Joseph May

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