PFM Logo Fokker Triplane Model T Curtiss Canuck

AirFair 2013

May 11, 2013

by Tom Gaylord

Curtiss Canuck in flight

The 2013 Spring Air Fair Fly-In actually went very, very well. We'd had tons of rain in the Seguin area in the days leading up to the event and the field was soaked, but we were pretty well committed to May 11th and moving it would have been extremely difficult. Things looked grim at Kingsbury on Friday morning with all the rain that drenched the field but by noon the weather had cleared and the field started drying out. By late afternoon the guys were flying the Canuck!

The big concern was that the overnight forecast called for a 50% chance of heavy rain. However, we lucked out and while the Seguin area got plenty more rain Friday night, The Old Kingsbury Aerodrome got next to nothing in the way of rain. Saturday dawned clear - no more rain in the forecast and mild temperatures! The field had been drying out since Friday morning so it was useable for the event.

We ended up with a good drive-in crowd and more airplanes flew in than we typically have at our Spring event. We had several interesting aircraft visitors, but the coolest arrival was when the Kerrville "L" squadron arrived overhead in formation just as the U.S. flag was run up the pole with a re-enactor blowing the call on his WWI bugle. Complete coincidence, but very cool.

Curtiss Canuck taking off

The Museum had only two airplanes flyable, the Canuck and the Triplane, and the runway crosswind prevented flying the Fokker! We flew the Canuck three times during the day for the crowd and ran the Triplane's engine twice.

Team Vehicles was busy during the show, displaying all the vehicles in the collection and driving most of them. Just before the event was to start the Wrecker broke down and was parked, but it was repaired and got mobile again. There were rumors it just ran out of gas! The Blue Racer was driven but the U.S. Signal Corps truck blew a freeze plug and was parked for the day - an easy repair, but there wasn't time to get it done during the event. Kevin Monahan drove both the Indian and the Triumph around the grounds periodically and Cameron Whitaker fired up the Maytag motorbike. In the afternoon Lynn Howell succeeded in getting the Nash Quad running and took it out for a drive!

There was a special display of the very "antique" condition horse drawn grader, vintage cement mixer, 1913 Model T, PFM's 1927 Wrecker and Clint Allred's 1930s Farmall tractor, all of which were in one color...rust! Despite the monotone color palette the display drew a lot of attention!

Model T Blue Racer

Clint also brought his 1924 Model T touring car and drove it around the grounds for the crowd. Steve Penaluna brought his 1955 Crown Victoria (which was once in a Johnny Cash video) and directed visitor collector cars to their special parking spots. Some interesting cars were brought in by collectors, including a 1915 Hudson, and several Model Ts and As.

The military re-enactor contingent was smaller than usual but they still had an interesting display. As usual they had set up a camp and also laid out a couple of blankets and placed a variety of uniforms, weapons and military gear for the crowd to see. The time period for the display was Spanish-American War through WWI. The guys who set the equipment up were very knowledgeable and one could acquire quite an education listening to the explanations about the gear and its evolution through the time period! Quite a few of the PFM volunteers were adding to the vintage flavor in their period garb and many looked downright authentic while driving the Model Ts around the property.

World War I equipment layout

The event ended with Ron Marcotte making a video of a faux silent picture movie being shot featuring the Fokker Triplane, Ian Whitaker in his German officer's uniform, and Al Sumrall (plus a couple of other military re-enactors). Additional props were the vintage movie camera Ron had fabbed up at home. The improvised story line featured the capture of Lt. Von Whitaker and his fearsome Fokker Triplane by our brave troops and his subsequent escape from captivity. We'll have to see whether Ron can cobble something together out of the footage he shot! Al is hoping the flick will win a prize at the Canned Film Festival (not to be confused with the Cannes Film Festival)! Coming soon to a YouTube screen near you!

Overall the event was a success for the Museum - despite increased costs due to a t-shirt re-order (which included the new event T-shirt - which looks fabulous, by the way!) the Museum made a little money on the event.

Curtiss Canuck, Ryan PT-22, and various unsavory characters Display of antique engines
L-19s (O-1s) that flew in for the AirFair Display of antique cars that drove in to see the show
Re-enactor's campsite Re-enactor's camp and antique vehicle line
Visiting cars from the post-WWII period Fokker Dr.I Triplane engine run
The Museum's motorcycles Getting the Canuck ready to fly