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Discussion Starter #1
bik·er *(bkr)
n.
1. One who rides a bicycle or a motorbike….

...For some the bike is a fashion accessory, like the guy who owns a Harley as a complement to his expensive leathers, you know the ones, they have a beverage holder, electronically regulated for both hot and cold beverages bolted somewhere on the frame.
Then there is the biker for whom the bike is a hobby, he is a glorified stamp-collector, one who would pin his bike to the wall like a butterfly if he had a nail big enough.
Then you get the guys for whom a bike is a life style, rockers and greasers fall into this category, lonesome cowboys of the Autobahn
Then you have Slammer and a select few others for who biking is more our sexual orientation, the only time I would consider not riding is when nature inches a glacier over the road.
Iron Pig II is not a molly-coddled polished beast languishing the winter under a heated blanket, she is outside, grimy, streaked with salt and nursing a slight oil leak, ready to roll at anytime, just the way I like my bikes.
I have a itchy throttle hand and I get a phantom pain between my legs when I have not taken the pig for a ride for over 24 hours.
Saturday was such a day and I needed to kick the tires and light the fires, we filled up with cheap CHian petrol, we checked our oil and we headed north along the A5.
last summer on a trip when bubbling along the same stretch without a care in the world I heard a plane, flying quite low, it sorta registered without me actually thinking about it, when…..
GrrrrrroooOOOOOOOWWWWWWwwwwwwllllll I was overtaken by a Focke Wulf FW 190 WW2 German fighter.
A bit of internet research later and I found out that they were restored at Meiermotors in Bremgarten (http://www.meiermotors.com/)
So today was as good a day as any to go and have a lookie-see.
Achim Meyer the owner was banging and clattering around in the guts of a huge Chevy truck when I pulled up so I asked if I could take a peek.
It's pretty amazing to get up close and personal to aircraft that you normally see only in museums and on occasion at an air-show, but unlike in a museum where the souls of the "exhibits" have long gone to dust and corrosion, these planes are alive.
("planes alive," must be a man thing, a woman just wouldn't get it)
Achim was kind enough to take me around his factory.
Every nook and cranny was filled with all things warbird related, Merlin engines in all versions, every last one meticulously rebuilt, spotless and better than factory new, the merlins however looked like Matchbox toys against the American Wasp's and a massive twin wasp radial engine.
German Jumo 211 and Daimler-Benz 601 engines, power plant of the Messerschmitt, painted black, brutal and powerful looking machines.
Unlike the incredibly beautiful and filigree Hispano-Suiza, simply a work of mechanical art.


A Spanish-Swiss Hispano-Suiza, the powerplant for a rare Eidgenössische Flugwerk F+W, C36.

I drooled over and stroked Spitfires including a rare two seater and looked at my reflection in the mirror finished duraluminium skin of a P51 Mustang, I was amazed at how dainty a Soviet Yak 3's looked in comparison, however my jaw dropped over two Messerschmidt 190's undergoing restoration, one of them a hyper rare relic of the legion Condor.


Don't look much but this Legion Condor era Me109 will fly again.

In the middle of the hanger with it's wings folded like a Nightclub bouncer, a F4 Corsiar, built by Goodyear, totally badass and black as sin, a plane that looks as if all daddy planes went and had sex with all mummy planes, they then abandoned their offspring who went psychotic.. Standing there it gave the impression as if it could eat Mustangs and 5hiit Spitfires.


A twin seat Spitfire, care for a ride?

F4 Cosair….
…just so much…plane!

The cockpit of a mark VIII Spitfire, ready to rock and roll.

However, against the far wall, almost as if ashamed of itself was a example of one of the most deadly aircraft ever fielded in combat, a tiny, deadly sleek and even in its unrestored condition evil looking Reichenberg-Gerät, a manned version of the Doodlebug.
A last ditch Selbstopfer or suicide weapon, a tactic that was thankfully stopped before hot operations and thus the Germans never got the same infamous reputation of the Japanese Kamikaze.
Achim told me that the simulation tests they had conducted showed that had the Reichenberg been given a better engine it would have made an excellent anti bomber interceptor, cheap and simple to to build, armed with cannon instead of a ton of high explosives, swarms of them would have caused havoc in the allied bomber streams.
Brrr! What could have been, sometimes I shudder.


The Fiesler Fi 103R, Reichenberg-Gerät, for the life of me I can't imagine the fanatic mind-set needed to fly my machine into a target and end my life for Volk, Vaterland und Führer.

Mayermotors also offer a ride in a twin seat P51 Mustang with Achim as your pilot, this is now sooo on my bucket list. Just look at the grin on the face of the guy in the websites vid.

I spent a good two hours in Bremgarten and still under the influence of so much plane-porn I bubbled off towards Münstertal in the Blackforest.




Still chilled by the Reichenberg but not as chilly as this landscape.

There was still around two hours of daylight left and a few nice curves and hairpins would hopefully give me that fighter plane pilot feeling, however a few hundred meters over the snow line and I noticed a wall of Payne's grey cloud coming in from over France and in the draft under my helmet I could taste the sharp tang of coming snow, this year I had not mounted winter tires and my Bridgestone's, as good as they are in normal conditions will harden in temperatures under 5° thus loosing grip and making riding in snow a gingerly affair. I had the feeling that any longer and I would overstay my welcome on the mountain.
It was time to boogie and I decided to turn back and ride another day.
Got back to Basel just as the rain started to turn to snow.
 

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Slammer said:
... ready to roll at anytime, just the way I like my bikes.
I had anticipated another B word there :D

Another great ride report, love those pictures. It reminded me of the tour I took with my brother in Washington, DC at the National Air and Space Museum. Probably the one thing that stood out the most was the complexity of the radial engine.


Cracking the design challenges of that beast must have a kept a few people up at night.


Greg
 

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Great post, thanks for the photos. Those Corsair pilots, I don't know how they managed to land on the carriers with that long, thick engine blocking the forward view and the attitude of the aircraft pointing skyward.

And a GPS in a Spitfire! Who knew they had them way back then! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
George_S said:
Great post, thanks for the photos. Those Corsair pilots, I don't know how they managed to land on the carriers with that long, thick engine blocking the forward view and the attitude of the aircraft pointing skyward.

And a GPS in a Spitfire! Who knew they had them way back then! ;)
As I said, unlike in a museum these warbirds fly, the meierwerk is actually a restorer of international ranking, the Condor Me 109 is privately owned and the return to flight is estimated to cost 11.000.000 €'s, Achim asked the owner why he wanted this particular plane to be rebuilt as is would cost far less to build a new one from scratch and (the guy is over eighty) do you think you are gonna live long enough to see it fly?
The answers:
A. "Because I can"
and B. "It's something I want"
How can you argue there?
 

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Slammer said:
Oh I see your pima air and raise you http://www.technik-museum.de/en
OK, I'll see your Space Shuttle but raise you an SR-71 Blackbird.

You can still smell the JP-7 leaking out from the seams. I've walked under it during a private tour. Sweet perfume indeed. ;)

The "official" record of 2,193 mph is just a wee bit shy of the actual record, which has to this date has still been kept top secret - and rumored to push 3K.

In 1976?? :wow:

The Blackbirds used approximately 36,000 - 44,000 pounds of fuel per hour of flight. How would you like to have the fuel bill for that bad boy? :eek: :D

The Blackbird set absolute world speed and altitude records for air-breathing production aircraft in 1976. The records of 85,000 ft. (25,500 m) and 2,193 m.p.h. (3,509 kph) were broken only in 2004 by NASA's experimental, unpiloted X-43A. The Blackbird remains the fastest, highest-flying piloted jet in history.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I mut admit that I would like to root around the Paul Garber facility, I hear that the Horton 229 Flying wing is being restored at the moment.
Speaking of Horton's the Flugwerft in Schleissheim has just finished a Horton IV flying wing glider, it is one of the most beautiful aircraft I have ever seen.
 

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Thanks guys,

You have just added a few more places I would like to see (and condemned wife &/or the kids!)

Slammer, if you are in the area, please call and say hi! - Need to touch base at some point in time.
 

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My favorite air museum is the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck, NY.

http://www.oldrhinebeck.org/

This is a museum where the aircraft date back to as early as 1909 and continue through WW I. The amazing feature of the museum is that all the aircraft are maintained in operating condition and are used to provide an air show every weekend during the summer. It's many years since I've been there but it is probably the most memorable air show that I've ever had the pleasure to attend. If your ever in the area don't miss the opportunity to visit this Living Museum.
http://cs.dogpile.com/ClickHandler....1&mid=9&hash=838BD5E2F6FDD96BB5F7DC7F30E6C662
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Lynn_Keen said:
My favorite air museum is the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck, NY.

http://www.oldrhinebeck.org/

This is a museum where the aircraft date back to as early as 1909 and continue through WW I. The amazing feature of the museum is that all the aircraft are maintained in operating condition and are used to provide an air show every weekend during the summer. It's many years since I've been there but it is probably the most memorable air show that I've ever had the pleasure to attend. If your ever in the area don't miss the opportunity to visit this Living Museum.
http://cs.dogpile.com/ClickHandler....1&mid=9&hash=838BD5E2F6FDD96BB5F7DC7F30E6C662
Ok! If I am in the area gonna go, I love the Albatross fighter, a replica was built in Schleissheim and had first flight last year, it was amazing to see this thing in the air.
 

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The National Museum of the US Air Force is the national institution for preserving and presenting the Air Force story. Learn about the mission, history and evolving capabilities.

The museum is the world's largest and oldest military aviation museum featuring more than 400 aerospace vehicles amid more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space. Thousands of personal artifacts, photographs and documents further highlight the people and events from the beginning of military flight... :dance:

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/virtualtour/index.asp
check it out1

Dayton Ohio
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Now that's a museum, I like the lineup of the transport planes, a French Nord Noratlas, WW2 area and a further development of the German Gotha 224, then Auntie JU, Junkers 52, the swiss still have a "squadron" based at Dübendorf
http://airforcecenter.ch/index.php?id=25
You can take a one or two hour flight along the alps and friends tell me it is an amazing experience. Whenever one flies over you can hear the growling THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUD, a sound like two sheets of corrugated iron being rubbed together.
The one in the background looks Boeing-ish but can't tell and the one in the foreground is totally unknown, ya have any idea what it is?
 

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Slammer said:
...The one in the background looks Boeing-ish but can't tell and the one in the foreground is totally unknown, ya have any idea what it is?
The one in the background is a military version of Boeing's 707. It might be a KC135 refueler, but I'm thinking it could be an version of one of the USAF AWACS planes. It also served as Air Force One for a time, but the paint scheme isn't correct for that.

The one in the foreground appears to be the first version of Lockheed's C130 Hercules, a cargo/transport plane. The C130A was first delivered/put into use in 1956. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
bikerj said:
The one in the background is a military version of Boeing's 707. It might be a KC135 refueler, but I'm thinking it could be an version of one of the USAF AWACS planes. It also served as Air Force One for a time, but the paint scheme isn't correct for that.

The one in the foreground appears to be the first version of Lockheed's C130 Hercules, a cargo/transport plane. The C130A was first delivered/put into use in 1956. :cool:
I will go with the AWAC, that nubble could be a radardome however even the first Lockheed connie AWACS used a disk shaped radar dome, maybe a tanker, the verdict is out. Did some research, the Hercules was never a twin boomed aircraft, that is a Fairchild C-82 Packet, of post WW2 vintage and a predecessor to the C119 flying boxcar.
 

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Slammer said:
I will go with the AWAC, that nubble could be a radardome however even the first Lockheed connie AWACS used a disk shaped radar dome, maybe a tanker, the verdict is out. Did some research, the Hercules was never a twin boomed aircraft, that is a Fairchild C-82 Packet, of post WW2 vintage and a predecessor to the C119 flying boxcar.
You're referring to the second thumbnail in the attachments. I thought you were referring to the fourth picture. :confused:

Yes, the E3 "Sentry" uses a 30 ft. dia. "disk shaped" antenna. That's why I said a "version" of it. I should have used better wording such as "electronic surveillance" or "electronic communications". Try the EC135 "Looking Glass" for a better guess. It was used, basically, to communicate with our ICBMs/nuclear forces.
 

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bikerj said:
The one in the background is a military version of Boeing's 707. It might be a KC135 refueler, but I'm thinking it could be an version of one of the USAF AWACS planes. It also served as Air Force One for a time, but the paint scheme isn't correct for that.
...
With that hump on its back - it reminded me of the laser testing aircraft that was flying around during the Star Wars program.

I rooted around in WIkipedia for a while and I think it is a NC-135 airborne laser lab apparently it now has been removed to make way for a C5 Galaxy. If they cannot find a home for it - it is likely to be scrapped! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_NC-135)

I have two favourite museums in England, which are not in the same league as the others mentioned, but are still worth a visit.

RAF Hendon the museum of the RAF - http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/

Imperial War Museum Duxford - http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sleuth, Belgium has the jaw-droppinglyest air museum in Brüssels, it dosn't have to hide itself anywhere, I was most impressed with the line up of WW1 fighters, still in original livery so that if you listen just hard enough you can hear somebody shouting: "CONTACT"
 

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Sleuth said:
With that hump on its back - it reminded me of the laser testing aircraft that was flying around during the Star Wars program.

I rooted around in WIkipedia for a while and I think it is a NC-135 airborne laser lab apparently it now has been removed to make way for a C5 Galaxy. If they cannot find a home for it - it is likely to be scrapped! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_NC-135)...
Yes, I think you're right on. There's much more of it visible in the second thumbnail. Pretty neat. :cool:
 
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