Airplanes 50¢

I spent part of this afternoon at Marvin’s Magnificent Mechanical Museum in Farmington Hills.  It’s tucked in behind a strip shopping center and you probably wouldn’t know it was there despite the big sign.  Inside, in addition to the pinball machines and video games, is one of the largest collections of old-style automated arcade attractions I think I’ve ever seen outside of Cedar Point.

But the coolest thing is when I detected movement above my head.  The ceiling is pretty busy with stuff attached to it.  But, running around the place is a conveyor system with dozens of model aircraft attached to it.  The conveyor system is static most of the time but there’s a box next to the door that says “Airplanes 50¢.”  If you put a couple of quarters into the box, the conveyor system starts and the airplanes make circuits of the place.

Really cool.  Worth a couple of quarters any day!  I especially appreciate that several of the aerobatic aircraft are inverted.

I shot the above video on my iPhone and then stitched it together this afternoon.  Enjoy!


Airspeed – Shut Up and Listen to the Airplanes!

Subscribe to Airspeed through iTunes, or your favorite podcatsher using the RSS feed or listen online at

Here’s a change of pace from me running at the mouth. It’s audio culled from three or four days of stalking airplanes through the rain, mist, clouds, and some sunshine.

I though that it might be nice to shut up and just listen to the great big radial engine of Gene Soucy’s Showcat or the JP-5 conversion stylings of the F-16 (both Thunderbirds and ships from the 107th Fighter Squadron at Selfridge ANGB), the F-15, and the A-10.

The picture above is from the first day at Battle Creek. Spitting rain most of the day, but Gene Soucy was right up there in it, flying his heart out for the crowd.

The F-16 sound is pretty realistic. I finally managed to get the levels just right. I recorded a couple of passes at KPTK during the open house while on duty with CAP. I then plugged the MP# recorder into the 200-W Klipsch sound system I’d brought to handle the audio for the recruiting video and cranked it up behind some unsuspecting cadets. When they ducked and started scanning the skies, I was pretty sure that the system was working well.

Here’s Gene Soucy’s heavily-modified Ag Cat with its throaty Pratt & Whitney 985. Probably the sweetest non-jet sound out there.

The pulled pork and Diet Coke. I haven’t had a sandwich this good before or since. Absolutely amazing. I’d go to the show just for the sandwich!