Message from the Board
Once again, Wings of the North will host our annual AirExpo2022, July 23-24 at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie, MN. Join us as we continue to celebrate our aviation heritage at this great event! This year, we have a fantastic lineup of 30-40 aircraft from our partner museums, military supporters, and private aircraft enthusiasts. You will also see The RED BULL Historic Military Vehicle Association in attendance. Like us, we’re certain you will see favorites your entire family will appreciate. We have several planes returning again this year, plus some exciting additions to AirExpo2022. One of them is in our feature spotlight later in this issue.
One of many aspects we’re thrilled about are the opportunities for rides. Last year, we had an overwhelming number of tickets sold for a ride on the B-17 “Yankee Lady”. This year, instead of only one of Yankee Air Museum’s planes, we opted for two by adding the C-47 “Hairless Joe” along with “Yankee Lady”. But we didn’t stop there. You will also have an opportunity to purchase rides on two additional planes: the SBD Dauntless and SB2C Helldiver. Both planes offered from the Commemorative Air Force (Georgia and Texas Wings respectively).
Lastly, you will have a rare opportunity to meet and talk with war heroes, who served our country throughout our nation’s fight for freedom against tyranny and terrorism. Their captivating stories will teach and inspire you and your family and give you an appreciation of what they endured during those times.
You are invited to come see our planes, meet the pilots, and be amongst the action and experience at AirExpo2022. You can find everything you need to know, and to purchase tickets, by going to our web page at AirExpo2022 (wotn.org).
See you there!
AirExpo2022 – Planes, Rides, and Heroes
AirExpo2022 will have a similar layout as last year. The map below illustrates the AirExpo2022 Entrance (Gate A), located at 10100 Flying Cloud Drive.
Again, this year the JET LINX Hangar will house all the VIP/Heroes and Exhibitors, which is open to the public. The featured aircraft will park between the JET LINX Hangar and the East-West Runway.
The public is welcome to walk among aircraft on display, talk to the pilots and crew, and take all the photos they want. Vendors will also be on site with food, soft drinks, and other summer fare available for purchase.
Wings of the North Flight Line personnel will be there to ensure public safety and keeping everyone a safe distance from aircraft during active operations.
A SAMPLING OF AIRCRAFT INCLUDE:
- AC-47 Spooky, American Flight Museum, Inc.
- A1 Skyraider, East Iowas Air, Inc.
- P-63F King Cobra, Commemorative Air Force
- C-130 Hercules, 133rd Airlift Wing
- Minnesota Air Rescue, State Trooper
- T-28A Trojan, Texas Aviation Academy
- O-1D Bird Dog from Aviation Heritage Foundation
- Spitfire Mk IXc and Hurricane Mk. XII, Dakota Territory Air Museum
- ME-109, Erickson Airshow Collection
- FM-2 Wildcat, Dakota Territory Air Museum
- T-6 Thunder
…and from our own Wings of the North Air Museum which includes a new acquisition*…
- *P40-E Warhawk “Desert Shark”
- P-51D Sierra Sue II
- F4U Corsair
- TBD-3E Avenger Torpedo Bomber
- AT-6D Texan
- N2S-1 Stearman
A RIDE OF A LIFETIME:
Climb aboard an iconic plane of World War II and take your seat as you transport back in time. Both Yankee Air Museum and Commemorative Air Force are offering rides at AirExpo22, July 23rd and 24th.
Click on the links below to get your tickets before they disappear.
For a more intimate flying experience, purchase a ride on a legendary dive bomber and experience the view from a gunner seat. Hop on one of these rides offered by the Commemorative Air Force.
The SBD Dauntless:
Although designed by Ed Heinemann as a light bomber and reconnaissance purposes the aircraft got its name in part by the Douglas Aircraft manufacturer.
The Scout Bomber Douglas (SBD) was the United States Navy’s main carrier-based scout/dive bomber from mid-1940 through mid-1944 when it would be replaced by the SB2C Helldiver. A total of 5,936 were produced.
Despite many of them being destroyed on the ground at Pearl Harbor, it played a critical role in delivering the fatal blows to the Japanese at the Battle of Midway in 1942. The Dauntless was responsible in the sinking of four Japanese carriers. Through that battle, they earned the nickname “Slow But Deadly” for its pivotal part.
Arguably the best dive bomber of World War II. Having a long-range capability, good handling characteristics, maneuverability, potent bomb load, good defensive armament, and ruggedness. Above all, the unique perforated split-flaps and dive brakes were its most distinctive features for which it came to be known.
Unlike other carrier aircraft, the Dauntless did not have folding wings, instead designers went for structural strength. Regardless, it was an excellent dive bomber even despite being slow and low-tech, it would change the course of the Pacific War.
Take a ride on the SBD Dauntless (click here for ticket information)
VIPs scheduled to be in attendance
AirExpo2022 is once again proud to have in attendance many of our aviation heroes. We’re proud to have hosted dozens of these amazing veterans throughout the past years and AirExpo2022 will be no exception. We are thrilled to have WWII veterans returning along with those who served in Korea, Vietnam, and other places around the world.
This is a great opportunity for kids of all ages to enjoy the full AirExpo2022 experience. Stop by the Jet Linx hangar to meet these aviation heroes, and be sure to check out our webpage for up to date schedule of attendees.
- John A Clark, B-17 pilot
- Ralph Delperdang, RF-4C WSO (weapons systems operator)
- Dan Farkas, Navy A-1 Skyraider pilot (Saturday)
- Jim Floring, Forward Air Controller
- Tom Harrison, F-16 pilot
- Robert Holmstrom, B-24 tail gunner
- Mike Huttner, C-130 pilot
- Ronald Kelly, F-86 pilot
- Joe Latham, F-4 Phantom pilot (1 MiG kill)
- Cliff Laughlin, C-130 pilot
- Dave Lundin, Navy-Anti-submarine warfare
- T.J. Mannion, Navy AD Skyraider pilot
- Lt Col Alex Plechash, USMC (Ret.), F-4 Phantom pilot
- Kirk Ransom, USAF RF-4C pilot
- Joe Repya, Helicopter pilot
- Jim Rasmussen, B-17 navigator
- Paul Sailer, Helicopter pilot
- Glenn Sell, B-52 EWO
- Bruce Myers, Navy, F-14 RIO
- Ron Oberg, C-130/AC-130 EWO
- Dave White, B-52 radar navigator bombardier
- John Zimitsch, B-52 Navigator
- Roger Grotbo, C-1A pilot
- Jim McDougall, Black Cat PBY Crew
- Jeff Montzka, P-3 pilot
by Heide M. Ahmann
The aircraft swarming the skies over AirExpo2021 brought out hundreds of aviation enthusiasts to Flying Cloud Airport. As they watched the Spitfire, the Hurricane, and the P51s cut through the air, some may have wondered; What was missing? What did these planes have to face some 80 years ago? The answer for AirExpo2022…
The Messerschmitt BF 109 (G-10)
The naming conventions of the BF 109 and ME 109 have become interchangeable throughout history. The designation “BF” comes from Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Plane Factory) while the “ME” points to the designer of the plane, Willy Messerschmitt. It was typically referred to by Allies, who didn’t necessarily know the factory designation, as the ME 109. The plane was more commonly known as BF 109 in the early years until the Bavarian Plane Factory was reorganized and ME was more commonly used afterwards.
Produced from 1934 to 1965, it was once Germany’s premier aircraft (through 1945.). Its maiden flight took place May 29, 1935 and had air superiority over everything else in the sky soon after its introduction to the Luftwaffe service in 1937. It was arguably the best fighter, quickly becoming the Luftwaffe’s go-to sky fighter which was designed by Wilhelm Emil “Willy” Messerschmitt.
Built to cut through the air like a knife; with a streamlined body and efficient cockpit, it was a born dogfighter and one of WW II’s most influential fighters. At 32 feet wide and 30 feet long, it was a lightweight and compact machine with the Daimler-Benz V12 engine. It was faster than most, could dive rapidly, and carried two cannons and two machine guns.
The name ME 109 put a pit in the stomach for other aviators in World War II. Known to sweep the sky in the four-finger formation. It ruled the skies at low to medium altitudes where most of the early air combat was won.
Erickson Airshow Collection Specific History:
The German ME-109, at AirExpo2022, is coming to us from the Erickson Airshow Collection. It’s a Spanish built Buchon, which was the last version of the famous fighters by Willy Messerschmitt. The cowling is an HA-1112, with an updraft carburetor intake on the bottom, giving it a distinctive look as it houses the Rolls-Royce V-type engine. Ultimately building 170 of this type, Spain would continue to produce their version of the Messerschmitt well into the 1950s.
According to Erickson Airshow Collection’s website, this aircraft was one of 28 used in the film “Battle of Britain.” Jack Erickson purchased the aircraft from Connie Edwards in 1989. It’s newly restored (2017) airworthy aircraft is flying with a lowered Allison V-1710 and fitted with genuine Bf-109 G-10 cowling and a reconfigured tail unit.
Be sure to see this amazing aircraft, along with its rivals of the sky, the P51 Mustang, the Spitfire Mk IXc, and Hurricane Mk XII.
WOTN Fundraising Sweepstakes
The grand prize this year is a fabulous 1948 Beechcraft Bonanza V-35 we call “BB8”. She’s a honey from the golden era of post-war civilian production, and she’s been nicely refurbished. Or take the cash option of $35,000! Proceeds go toward securing a permanent museum home and facility accessible to the public.
Plunk down your $50 for a ticket, and you will be a hero to us and perhaps the new owner of this dream machine! Click here to enter the drawing!
For more specs on this aircraft, visit our website here.
In Loving Memory:
Volunteer Spotlight – Max Haynes
Wings of the North is taking this Volunteer Spotlight opportunity to pay respect to one of our core volunteers who suddenly passed away this past May. His passing is a tremendous loss to our community. The outpouring of love and stories shows us how many lives he touched. His gift of storytelling through his special talents are already missed. He was an amazing friend, creative and kind soul and fellow aviation enthusiast, and his spirit will live on through Wings of the North, and its mission: To be the premier organization in the Twin Cities dedicated to inspiring our community to explore aviation and space through its history, its heroes and technology.
“Blue skies and tailwinds, Max”
Call for volunteers
As you may already know, the process to sign-up as a volunteer has greatly improved through our InItLive App. This has proven easy to use and offers much better volunteer communications and coordination.
To sign-up, click on this link (I want to be a WOTN Volunteer) and follow the instructions to enroll. We’d also recommend downloading the InItLive Mobile App as it will be the easiest place for you to interact with the system. Don’t forget to allow notifications during install so you’ll receive reminders and information.
Once you are logged in, you can view all available volunteer opportunities. When you find the opportunity you want, please register for that opportunity first, and then register for your preferred shift.
If you need assistance or have any difficulties, please email Brande ([email protected]).
While we continue to search for a permanent facility at Flying Cloud Airport (FCM), WOTN has secured a storage hangar for our aircraft and museum artifacts located right next to our restoration hangar on the north-west side of the field. We anticipate launching a capital campaign soon to build a permanent home on the Flying Cloud Airport campus, so be sure to watch our Facebook page and our WOTN museum website for updates.
We have re-launched our events calendar for up-to-date information on all WOTN Events and remember, our volunteer meetings are always OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Check out our Events Calendar here.
We will be offering a lot of merchandise at AirExpo2022, including some new designs and looks.
We are also working behind the scenes to upgrade our on-line shopping experience, so stay tuned for more information. Can’t wait until then, you can still find WOTN items on our current WOTN shop.
You can also check out our WOTN eBay shop for other items.