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Old 08-17-2019, 07:10 PM
ArlingtonRV ArlingtonRV is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Marysville, WA
Posts: 511
Default Arlington Fly In 2019 Highlights

In case anyone was wondering, the Arlington Fly In does continue, but it does seem to get smaller every year. They changed things up this year by moving it from July, just before Oshkosh, to the middle of August.

There was pretty light airplane attendance, though there were easily more RVs than any other single type. Part of that may have been due to the cloudy weather which probably prevented visitors from too far away. Today the ceiling was mostly about 3,100 overcast to broken until mid afternoon, with about a 1,000 feet lower on Friday. At least it wasn't hot, about 68 degrees on Friday and 75 on Saturday. It is at least a slight exaggeration to say that there were more campers than airplanes.

Noticeably absent this year was the guy with a New Standard bi-plane selling rides and an R-44 helicopter selling rides. New this year was a model airplane flying event featuring really big models an jets. They must have been really big because we could see them from my hangar probably close to a mile away.

There weren't many highlights, but here are my favorites.
Steve Rush
Arlington, WA
ArlingtonRV on YouTube
RV-8 (Bought Flying)
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:10 AM
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flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,409
Default back..... to the 1979 future?

Nice video Steve....for a minute I thought ONLY taildraggers were allowed!

I just realized my first Arlington was exactly 40 years ago...I was 16, tented on site with my Dad. LOVED the dawn patrol, ( some poor stiffs had to push a couple Stearmen waaaaaaaaay down the taxiway so they could takeoff in near silence, no fine pitch howl that day) and then buzz the grounds at oh-dawn thirty!
Some fond memories there; wandering around the site, hangars were open, strange giant steel shipping barrels with pickled radials in them...ahhhh the smell of airplanes!
Lunch was burgers from a grill, supper; steak & spaghetti from the Lions club? ( things are getting murky)....and a barn dance in the evening, where I met a cute girl there with her family....& we debated at some length, the proper way to pronounce 'roof' ;-)
If that's the 'new' smaller, quieter Arlington that's returning, then I may just take my taildragger down there next year! ( oh, I need ADSB? dang!)
Perry Y.
RV-9a - SOLD!....
Lake Country, BC
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:36 PM
seward747 seward747 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 190

Thanks for the video, Steve.
To me, it was a telling statement when they changed the name to Arlington BALOON fest and Fly-In (emphasis mine). I was there with my Luscombe in the Vintage area, which was a nice operation this year; decent variety of vintage and antiques (including the VERY authentic Spirt of St. Louis replica) and a nice hospitality "suite".
RV attendance way down, as you say, partly, no doubt, due to same weekend as Van's Homecoming, though someone had a beautiful -4 in WWll colors , oddly parked over in the contemporary area .

Seattle area
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:52 PM
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RV8JD RV8JD is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 799

Originally Posted by seward747 View Post
... and antiques (including the VERY authentic Spirt of St. Louis replica) and ...
Seattle area
Regarding that Spirit of St. Louis replica you saw at the Arlington Fly-In. I had a chance to look at it closely in its hangar at Arlington as it was being prepared for its first flight. Here are some pics I took:

And some comments I noted from talking to the builder and his wife:

At the hangar, we met John Norman and his wife, Heather. John is an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic with Inspection Authorization. They were extremely gracious, and let us look at the Spirit, ask them a hundred questions, and take pictures. John has spent approximately 9,000 hours building this replica of the Spirit.

His website has many details of the research he did and the build itself. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum let him have hands-on access to the original Spirit, where he took measurements and photos, made patterns, and used a borescope to look at the internal structure of the original Spirit. On his site he has comparison pictures of some of the original Spirit’s components and his replica’s components.

The replica is amazing, to say the least. He did not want his replica to look like the Spirit did when it came out of the Ryan shop brand new, but rather he wanted it to look used, and aged, as the real Spirit does in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

For example, the cowl was shiny burnished aluminum when new, but the cowl of the real Spirit has yellowed with age, and the replica matches that patina. The cockpit interior looks used, like the real Spirit does. The floorboard is scuffed. The instrument panel looks exactly like the panel in the real Spirit looks as it now hangs in the Smithsonian. You can see the wear on the panel, down to the small area of wood delamination at the bottom left portion, exactly as the real Spirit has. And you can see that in the pictures I took in the link above.

Another mind-boggling example: The original Spirit was covered in Cotton fabric. But after landing at Le Bourget Field in Paris, the crowd damaged and tore away some of the fabric. The French patched and recovered part of the fuselage with what they used on their airplanes, namely, Irish Linen. This replica is covered in a combination of Cotton and Irish Linen as the real Spirit has been! In one of the pictures looking at the left sidewall of the cockpit, you can see where the Cotton and Irish Linen meet and are sewn together.

He has made this replica as near the original as possible to an amazing degree. Here are some examples:

- The replica has an original Wright J-5 Whirlwind engine. The standard J-5 engine had to have the rockers greased every 30 hours. Since Lindbergh knew his flight might be as long as 40 hours, the Wright Company added greaser modules to each rocker box. John Norman had a machine shop make working replica greasers! You can see them on the rocker boxes in the pictures.

- The replica has all of the separate fuel tanks like the real Spirit. All the fuel plumbing and fuel valves in the cockpit work exactly like the original.

- The replica has a periscope, like the original, and it works.

- The replica’s structure is honest to the original (not sure about all the materials though).

- The markings are the same, hand drawn in many cases like the original.

- There is a generator mounted in the upper rear fuselage, driven by the external anemometer to power the Earth Inductor compass.

- The original Spirit had some instrument panel lights powered by dry cell batteries. But before the NYP flight, Lindbergh took them out to save weight. During the NYP flight, Lindbergh used a flashlight at night when he had to see something on the panel. After the NYP flight they were put back in for his flying tour, and the replica has them.

- It has a tailskid. But it does have a removable tailwheel for flying.

- At the time I saw it, the propeller was not finished yet. The propeller is true to the original, but the decal was incorrect (the original was a "Standard Steel Propeller Company” propeller, the precursor to Hamilton Standard which is on the existing decal), and it did not have red tips. These were on John's list of things to fix.

The replica was issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate, and it is licensed in the Experimental - Exhibition Category.

One concession for while the replica flies: the replica has a small video camera mounted between the lower two cylinders. It provides a forward-facing view on a video screen in the cockpit for taxiing and while flying. You can see the video screen mounted high in one of the photos I took.

After flying it for awhile, John plans to sell it! He says he has a Ryan M-2 mail plane he plans to restore. The Spirit was based on the Ryan M-2.

Here is a good article on the replica Spirit from the Everett Herald published on August 11th, shortly after its first flight:

Several days ago I saw the Spirit flying around the airport with a spotter chase. Not only was it cool to see it fly, but the staccato bark of those very short exhaust stacks was really sweet, and unique nowadays.

BTW, if you haven't read the book “The Spirit of St. Louis” by Lindbergh himself, I heartily recommend it. It’s a great read. The movie, with Jimmy Stewart, isn't bad either.
Carl N.
Arlington, WA (KAWO)
RV-8, 730 Tach Hours
(Pic 1),(Pic 2)
- Out with the Old, In with the New
RV-8, 1938 Tach Hours (Pic 1),(Pic 2) - Sold

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Last edited by RV8JD : 08-18-2019 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:10 PM
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Wunderon Wunderon is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Seattle (Edmonds) and Iowa
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Originally Posted by RV8JD View Post

The replica is amazing, to say the least.
100% true, must see if you get a chance
Dave Grimmer
RV8 N46LG for Lynda
Edmonds WA
paid 2019
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:20 PM
alpinelakespilot2000 alpinelakespilot2000 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,624
Default Van's at Arlington?

Was Van's noticeably absent again? I know a couple years ago they understandably stopped going because it was just before Oshkosh, but I hope they start showing up at Arlington again. It's got to be pretty hard for the Arlington fly-in to attract other regional exhibitors if the experimental community's largest kit manufacturer, also from the NW, doesn't support it.
Steve M.
Ellensburg WA
RV-9 Flying, 0-320, Catto

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Old 08-18-2019, 06:24 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 2,410

I like the idea of doing it in mid August. I had taken it off my radar completely so I didn't know. Maybe put it back on my radar.

Need to do something different to create a fresh draw. How about some kind of race from a distant starting point, kinda like airventure cup? Or how about some kind of lap races around the area?
Steve Smith
Aeronautical Engineer
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:29 PM
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Plummit Plummit is offline
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Originally Posted by alpinelakespilot2000 View Post
Was Van's noticeably absent again? I know a couple years ago they understandably stopped going because it was just before Oshkosh, but I hope they start showing up at Arlington again. It's got to be pretty hard for the Arlington fly-in to attract other regional exhibitors if the experimental community's largest kit manufacturer, also from the NW, doesn't support it.
Vans was at 7S5 for the homecoming fly-in this weekend.

2020 Donation Made
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:28 PM
terrye terrye is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 836
Default Arlington Fly In 2019 Highlights

I've been going to Arlington since 1990, and only missed a few years in between. However, the last five to eight years have seen a shift in focus, a drop in attendance, and a significant change in the number and variety of exhibitors. As a result, I've not attended the last two years. For me, the military presence in the form of tanks, guns, boats, jeeps and "re-enactors" is a complete turn off. The drop in attendance seemed to start after the "Great Recession" of 2008 and never recovered. From my several discussions with exhibitors, I was given to understand that Washington state had decided that the exhibitors from out of state were selling goods and services at Arlington and therefore imposed a sales tax on them. This was when, and the reason why, Vans, as well as other out of state exhibitors stopped coming to Arlington. One of the big reasons I decided to build my RV-9A was watching Van himself perform his low level aerobatic display in his RV-4 and also his RV-6A. I thought if the owner of the company and the designer of the airplanes had that kind of confidence in them, the airplane family must be sturdy, sporty and worth buying. I think so even more today.

I have a lot of nostalgia from the decade of the 1990s and early 2000s about the Arlington fly-in, but I'm afraid it will never be as interesting and compelling as it was then.
Terry Edwards
RV-9A (Fuselage)
2019/2020 VAF Contribution Sent
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