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Wings of the North Air Mail Newsletter Header
Wings of the North Air Mail Newsletter Header

Wings Quarterly – August 2023

Aug 19, 2023 | Wings Quarterly

WOTN Air Museum Plans

Eating pancakes and learning more about Wings of the North

It has been a real “hurry up and wait” situation as we try to reopen our successful museum on Flying Cloud Airport. And, yes, we plan to stay on Flying Cloud. The WOTN Board of Directors decided that since we have been on the airport since 1998, we have produced 25 annual shows on the airport, and our volunteer base is centered on the airport, we will make every effort to reestablish our museum on Flying Cloud. This is our home!

We do have some good news about the museum! After negotiating with the Metropolitan Airports Commission for several months we have been given permission to open a temporary mini-museum in our storage hangar on Sierra Lane next to our restoration hangar! This will reestablish us on the airport, allow us to host small events, and serve as the headquarters for efforts to build a new permanent museum on Flying Cloud. The plan is to debut the new museum at our pancake breakfast on September 9! There is a huge amount of work to do in the hangar but this would be a chance to possibly get some media coverage of our return.

We definitely will continue to work toward a more permanent solution and you can help. First and foremost, if you have personal contact with anyone who might be able to provide significant financial help to the museum please let us know. We stress the fact that we are a Minnesota aviation museum. We do not limit ourselves to just Air National Guard history or World War II history. We feature all aviation history with an emphasis on Minnesota’s contributions. Second, if you know any contractors who might donate time or material to the construction of the new museum we would like to talk with them. There are still a lot of hurdles to overcome but there are also a lot of positive things happening. We have a lot of supporters in both the public and private sectors. We just need some faith and some persistence. And maybe a little hard work!

Bob Jasperson, Museum Director

Sweepstakes 2023

The 4th annual WOTN Sweepstakes with the fantastic Bonanza 35 aircraft is continuing to fly along at full speed. Three more weeks and you may find yourself the grand prize winner of this beautiful classic aircraft or $35,000! You also still have time to enter and win the newest Bose A30 Aviation headset with Bluetooth. We will be picking a winner for this on August 26th! Everyone who has won one of our preliminary prizes still has a chance to win the Bonanza 35 on September 9th, 2023! Winners so far are:

John Polkinghorne of Edmond, OK won the PJ2 COM handset
Donald Reardon of Portland, OR won the SP-400 NAV/COM handset
Glen Lane of Titusville, FL won the Clarity Aloft headset
Michael Cutforth of Denver, CO won the Garmin Aera 660 GPS

The 1948 classic Bonanza is a beautiful plane that flies wonderfully. It will take you and 3 friends on a 2.5 hour flight at 150 mph burning only 25 gallons of fuel. Arriving at your destination in comfort and style!

Your $50 entry in the Wings of the North Sweepstakes not only gives you a chance at winning the Bonanza 35 but you lend your support to our many projects. Education, Restoration, Aviation History, Museum, AirExpo, Scholarship and our aviation family.

Hurry up and purchase your winning ticket! Thank you for your support and we will see you in the winner’s circle!

John Bormes, Sweepstakes Director

WOTN Restoration Group

Work continues on the BT-15. The wiring is nearly complete, final electrical system checks are going on now. New modern circuit breakers, radios, and ADS-B have been installed. Both the engine and propeller have been rebuilt. The instruments have all been overhauled and installed. The side panels are up at AirCorps Aviation in Bemidji getting new outer skins welded on their frames.  The sheet metal work is nearing completion with just a couple of lower panels yet to be fabricated. Control surfaces are being repaired and primed, getting ready for the fabric work.

The A&P mechanic will be here in September to install prop governor, adjust control cables, and help with the intricate assemblies.  After years of work, often interrupted by circumstances beyond our control, we expect to do taxi tests and flight tests in 2024!  The aircraft will be on display at the WOTN pancake breakfast on September 9.  Please come and check out the progress we have made!

Gary Krieg, Restoration Director

AirExpo 2023

Pilot Devyn Reily offers some young girls a look in the cockpit of her plane at AirExpo 2023. Sadly, Devyn and her passenger Zach Collie-Moreno were lost in an accident in this plane at AirVenture in Oshkosh just one week later.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful weekend of weather for AirExpo 2023, the 25th year of presenting AirExpo. Crowds were large by early Saturday to see the arrival of the A-10 Thunderbolts from Whiteman AFB in Missouri flying over for the National Anthem and then doing some passes before landing. The C-130 from Minnesota’s 133rd Airlift Wing was also popular again with long lines to take a tour through the aircraft. Another popular attraction was the C-146 Wolfhound from the 919 Special Operations Wing in Florida; it was their first time coming to AirExpo. The Minnesota Aviation and Rescue Team (MART) performed their rescue demo on both days which is also a crowd favorite.

Guests had plenty to see and observe this year with over 20 VIP’s attending, historic military vehicles, reenactors, a glider, and all the warbirds and general aviation aircraft on both static display and flying. A record 1,100 pancake breakfasts were served for the weekend.

The success of this year’s AirExpo relied on the over 200 volunteers that helped again. They did an amazing job in all the areas that it takes to present this event. AirExpo 2023 will go down as one of the most successful AirExpos ever.

Greg Doeden, AirExpo Director

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