A Goodyear Blimp paid a visit to ATW over the summer! Goodyear has been operating airships since 1925 and currently operates three; based in California, Florida and Ohio. This particular airship, Wingfoot Two, is actually a brand new zeppelin and has only been in service since April 2016! Every airship has it’s own traveling ground crew, fully equipped with a 64,000 pound mast truck. When the airship arrives at an airport, the ground crew attaches a cable to the nose of the airship and to the mast. A truck then reels-in the aircraft via remote control. This monster truck can safely dock the airship in winds up to 90 miles per hour. Since the airships have a maximum airspeed of around 70 miles per hour, they often have to make multiple stops when traveling between cities. If there’s a headwind, it’s not uncommon for the ground crew to beat them to their destination!
This is a K-C Aviation Hawker Siddeley HS.125 sitting in front of the KC Aviation hangar at ATW in the early 80’s. Did you know Midwest Airlines was born from KC-Aviation? Kimberly-Clark formed K-C Aviation in 1969 to fly employees between their headquarters in Neenah and other cities, and to perform maintenance on corporate aircraft. (Kimberly-Clark had actually been operating their own corporate shuttles since 1949.) In 1978, Kimberly-Clark formed Midwest Express as a scheduled passenger airline. The airline would spend three decades growing throughout the Midwest with hubs in Milwaukee, Kansas City and Omaha while also serving major business and vacation destinations around the country. Midwest was ultimately merged into Frontier Airlines in 2010, with much of their route network cut. They’ll always be remembered for their spacious seating, great service, and fresh-baked cookies on board! #TBT
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How’s this for a view? This is the cockpit of “FIFI,” a 1944 built B-29 Superfortress bomber. FIFI is one of only two B-29’s still flying, out of nearly 4,000 built, and we had the pleasure of hosting her during EAA AirVenture this year! Built during WWII, the B-29 was the most state of the art aircraft of its time. These bombers could carry 20,000 pounds of bombs for more than 3,000 miles. It took an 11-person crew to operate this bird! Fun fact: Many say the B-29 cockpit windows inspired the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit windows in the Star Wars movies!
Check out this United Airlines 757-300 at ATW! Large airlines usually have multiple variants of the same model of airplane, so they paint the variant under the nose to help ground crews easily know which plane is pulling into the gate. This shot also has a great view of the nose gear assembly. The small pair of lights on top are the taxi lights for moving around airports. The angled lights behind them are runway turnoff lights, which illuminate areas to the front and side so pilots can see where they’re steering the jet. The larger lights below are the landing lights, which help illuminate the runway for pilots. There are also landing lights at the root of each wing. This 757-300 brought the Detroit Lions to town to take on the Green Bay Packers a few weeks ago!