Sun ‘N Fun 2009 – Saturday and Sunday

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Ella and I are back from Sun ‘N Fun 2009 and a side trip to Kennedy Space Center. Heck of a good time.

Ella’s least favorite (and one of my most favorite) of the day was the USN F/A-18F Super Hornet East Demo Team, shown above in the Heritage Flight phase of the flight. Sun ‘N Fun is a little easier to photograph because the sun is a bit more behind you and you can shoot to the right from the announcer’s stand and get a much better sun angle than some other venues.

Matt Chapman flew his Eagle 580 to the edges of the envelope again. Really nice low-energy maneuvers and masterful handling of the aircraft. I’m not sure that many of those watching really understand what it takes to do some of the really slow stuff, but I was amazed. Embry-Riddle Eagle 580. Lycoming IO-580 engine, 330hp. 1,300 lbs. 400 degrees/second roll rate. +/- 10 gees. Yeah!

The Uncontrolled Airspace team was in full attendance for two episodes of its show and to run the Gathering of Aviation Podcasters on Friday. Good to see Jack, Jeb, and Dave all in one place!

Ella and I took Sunday and headed over to Kennedy Space Center. She’s not huge into the whole space thing, but, then again, she’s four years old and was a champ about everything. Here she is in the rocket garden just after arriving. There’s a dearth of family rest rooms throughout the center (rough for daddy-daughter pairs trying to navigate the premises), so we rode the fine line between not needing the facilities too often and dehydration.

I have pictures of her with the Saturn V from a January 2006 visit to KSC when she was 13 months old. I took another few of her in roughly the same position at the aft end of the first stage for comparison and I think we’re going to try to keep doing that for years to some. In the meantime. Here’s one of the both of us (which might also develop into a tradition).

Still on for Airspeed Breakfast 20 March in Titusville, Florida

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We’re on for the 20th! be sure to check out that morning to verify that we’re there.

I’m doing my annual sojurn to Jekyll Island, Georgia to go play golf with my dad (and, with any luck, fly my mom from Brunswick McKinnon (on St. Simons Island) to St. Augustine and back to build a little cross-country time).

As is my custom from time to time, I fly commercially in to Orlando the day before and hit Kennedy Space Center for a day and then pick up my brother and/or best friend at the Jacksonville airport on the way north to Jekyll.

So, I figured, why not try to connect with some Airspeed listeners while I’m down there? If you’re going to be near Titusville, Florida on the morning of 20 March 2009, please consider joining me for breakfast. I’ll be at the Cracker Barrel on SR 50 off of I-95 in Titusville, Florida at 7:00 a.m. sharp. Not a huge thing or a command performance. If you want to show up and shovel some pancakes and hangar-fly for an hour or so, you’d be very welcome. Just come on in and look around for us. If we get more than a few folks, we’ll push a few tables together.

I’ll tweet the evening before and/or that morning to confirm that I’ll be there. I’m planning to be there, but you know how airlines and other exigencies of travel go.

Hope to see you there!

Cracker Barrel
I-95 , Exit# 215
I-95 & SR50
4745 Helen Hauser Boulevard
Titusville, Florida 32780-2596
(321) 268-9911

David Kneupper and the Music of Apollo/Saturn V Center

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If the music right after the Airspeed theme in this episode seems familiar, the chances are good that you’ve paid a visit to the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. I fell in love with the music in 2001 during my first visit to KSC and watching Atlantis go up on STS 101.

Airspeed is as much about the inspiration behind aviation and aerospace as anything, and it struck me as that I ought to try to get the composer of that music on the show to talk about the music and what’s behind it. It turns out that there’s a whole lot behind it – Like being present at several launches, being a pilot, and having strong family ties to the US space program.

David Kneupper [kuh-NIE-puhr] is an award-winning composer and sound designer currently living in Los Angeles, specializing in original music for museums, theme parks, film, and the concert stage.

David holds both a Master of Music Theory and a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Texas Tech University, and has composed extensively for Universal Studios, the Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros., Six Flags, and many others. Recent projects include music for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, music for the US Pavilion at World Expo 2005 in Japan, and music and sound services for TimeRiders, a ride film starring John Cleese.

In addition to entertainment projects, David composes actively for the concert stage, and is the recipient of numerous commissions and awards for creative excellence. His Passacaglia and Fugue Rondo received its Carnegie Hall debut in 1993.

David is also an award-winning sound designer for both themed entertainment and feature film. His film credits as sound supervisor include What Dreams May Come, U-Turn, Sudden Death, Terminal Velocity, and Bad Company among many others. He is a member of the Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild, and former President of the Academy Award -winning Soundelux, the largest independent film sound company in Hollywood.

We caught up with David by phone at his office in Los Angeles.


David’s website:

Want to buy a copy of the music? Try the KSC Space Shop at and/or call them at (321) 449-4444. I’ve had no luck in finding copies for sale at KSC since my first visit, but David says that he recently re-mastered the music and provided it for printing new CDs. If you want to buy a copy, call them up and let them know that you want one and, if you find out how they’re making it available, please e-mail me at so that I can update the show notes!

Christopher Coleman’s review at TrackSounds:

KSC’s web page featuring the center:

Excerpts from The Music of Apollo Saturn V Center and The Star of Destiny used for comment and criticism as permitted by 17 USC 107 (fair use).