Gathering of Warbirds and Legends – Day 1 – Briefing

GWL BriefThese are the show notes to an audio episode. You can listen to the show audio by clicking here:  Better yet, subscribe to Airspeed through iTunes or your other favorite podcatcher. It’s all free!

The Gathering of Warbirds and Legends is underway here in Topeka.  I sat in on the briefing this morning.  Lots and lots going on and Dan and others covered everything from parachute deployments to warbird formation sequences.

This might not be the best episode for those who like their podcast material in filtered and summarized form.  There’ll be some of that later, to be sure.  But, for now, you can hear what it’s like to attend the briefing at an utterly unique gathering of old iron.



Gathering of Warbirds and Legends Day 0 – Getting There

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14 hours on the road.  Not including biological breaks and fuel stops.  But all eminently worth it!

My wingman FOD and I left Airspeed Intergalactic Spaceport this morning at 0545 US ET and pointed the nose of the trusty crew vehicle west.

The first stop was the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois.  It’s a  Mies van der Rohe design.  It’s a paradigmatic example of modernist design.  It’s beautiful.  And anyone who thinks that it blends in with nature or disappears into its setting is fooling himself.  The house stands out starkly with its bright white color, cantilevered feel, and right angles.  It’s exactly what it’s supposed to be:  A functional artifice in a beautiful natural setting.


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We drove through Norway, Illinois on the way south and west to Topeka.  This little display captures much of what’s eclectic, friendly, beligerent, and slightly imbalanced about the backroads that we drove on the way here.  It’s most of a Beech 18/C45.  The sign reads (with no proofreading other than conversion to sentence case): “Dedicated to . . . all farmers and ag-related business folks that have lived thru the ‘agricultural crash of the 1980′s.”  And there’s a sign on the telephone pole, like others that we saw around town, that advertises fundamentalist bible videos available on YouTube.  Rain on the scarecrow.  And other stuff.


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We showed up at forbes Field just in time to get the Airspeed crew vehicle out onto the ramp and then to unload and thrash about with banjo, mandolin, guitar, and other implements of destruction before  moving tables and chairs into the main hangar and heading to the hotel to write this and try to get some sleep.

Check in tomorrow when the content begins to fly in earnest!