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

Wings Quarterly – November 2023

Dec 2, 2023 | Air Mail, Wings Quarterly

AirExpo Pauses

Due to various factors including a reduction in show space on Flying Cloud Airport, the decision has been made to pause the AirExpo in 2024 and focus on making the necessary adjustments to ensure that the 2025 show will be a spectacular event.  We know this may be disappointing for many of you, but we believe this is the best decision for the long-term continued success of our organization and our mission.

We are looking forward to AirExpo 2025 with enthusiasm and we need your help to make it happen. Whether you have a passion for aviation or just an interest in airplanes and history, there are many ways to get involved, including:

  • Securing major sponsors for the AirExpo which will provide them with valuable exposure and recognition among thousands of aviation enthusiasts as well as the general public.
  • Volunteering for the AirExpo planning team or for other smaller events which require dedicated people to help with planning, logistics, security, hospitality, publicity, and more.
  • Entering our 2024 airplane sweepstakes offering the winner a vintage general aviation aircraft.  Proceeds support all WOTN activities including the AirExpo.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please visit our website or contact [email protected] for more information. We appreciate your support and your enthusiasm for WOTN, the AirExpo, our museum, and our aviation community.  We hope to see you soon at a meeting, museum event, and AirExpo 2025!

WOTN Board of Directors

The WOTN Air Museum Soars

A lot of exciting things have happened since we announced in our last newsletter that the museum would be reopening.  On September 9th we held a combined Grand Opening, pancake breakfast, and Airplane Sweepstakes Drawing!  Since then the museum has been open every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm with good attendance.  We have done several private weekday tours including two for Eden Prairie High School students enrolled in their new aviation curriculum.  In October we celebrated the 76th anniversary of Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier with seven Mach 1+ veterans on hand including a former NASA astronaut and a former female USAF Thunderbird pilot!  On Veterans Day we had more than 80 people attend to help us honor all who have served.  Free poppies were handed out.

Several future private museum tours and meetings have already been booked.  The museum needs at least two new docents to help with these and with some open shifts on the weekends.  No experience is needed and training is easy and done at your pace.  If you are interested in helping please talk to any current docent.  Being a docent at the WOTN Air Museum is both rewarding and fun and helps support all the other Wings of the North projects.

Work on planning for a new, larger museum on Flying Cloud continues.  The Board of Directors has met with the Metropolitan Airport Commission planners.  We hope to have a more definite idea of the future plans for the museum after the MAC finishes its Long Term Plan for Flying Cloud early next year.  Stay tuned!

Bob Jasperson, WOTN Air Museum Director 

WOTN 2024 Take Off Party

Traditionally, Wings of the North does an annual party to get the new year started on a high note.  This year’s party will be on Saturday, January 13, in the WOTN Air Museum hangar.  An invitation will be sent out soon and an RSVP must be received since we will be having the buffet meal supplied by a caterer.  This is primarily a social event with a brief program to review 2023, discuss plans for 2024, and announce the WOTN Volunteer of the Year.  Please save the date!

WOTN Restoration Project

Work on the Vultee BT-15 basic trainer continues to progress.  The “tail feathers” (rudder and elevators) were cleaned and taken to Premier Jet Center here on Flying Cloud Airport where primer paint was applied.  They are now ready for fabric covering.  Several side panels are at Air Corps Aviation in Bemidji where they will be spot welded to the supporting frames.  This is work we are not equipped to do.  The locations of all new antennae have been determined and some have already been installed.  This is a major step.  In order to qualify for airworthy status we must install several pieces of electronic equipment that were never on the original airplane.  A flight in 2024 is still the goal!

Mike Cagely, WOTN Restoration Team

Sweepstakes 2024

The 4th annual WOTN Sweepstakes for the fantastic 1948 Bonanza 35 aircraft has landed.  On September 9th Sean Swennson’s entry was drawn as the grand prize winner.  He opted for the beautiful classic aircraft instead of the cash alternative and he flew it home to Southern California!

Winners in the 2023 Sweepstakes included:

  • 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
  • James Parker of Draper, UT one the Bose A30 headset
  • Sean Swensson of Alpine, CA Grand prize winner of the Bonanza 35!

The WOTN Sweepstakes 2023 was about more than winning the Bonanza 35 and the other great prizes.  It also supported our many other projects:  Education, Restoration, Aviation History, Museum, AirExpo,

Scholarship and our aviation family.  We thank everyone for their support that made this a great success.  Look for news about Sweepstakes 2024 after the New Year!  Do you know of an airplane that might be available for Sweepstakes 2024?  Please contact us ASAP. 

John Bormes, Sweepstakes Director

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