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'Navman' can't find the planes, or can he ???


Francois_Dumas

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Francois_Dumas

Saturday June 2nd, 2007, was to see a FLy-in of Ultralights at the small airstrip of Middenmeer, smack in the Wieringermeer Polder north of here. Or so it said in the local newspaper.

 

Organized by someone I know through a friend of mine, I figured it would be nice to have a look-see and make some pictures. And perhaps some new contacts.

 

It was gorgeous weather, so I packed the camera, dressed lightly, and got on the bike. I had seen the strip a few times while passing it on the highway, riding or driving towards the big dike up north. I figured it would be easy to get to.

 

How wrong I was....... I did justice to my nickname of 'Navman' and took a wrong turn. Never saw the airfield and was heading farther north all the time.

 

Here are some pics of what I saw instead..... until I was almost on the dike !!

 

I did NOT go over the highway..... which was the main reason of getting lost of course..... well, I didn't get lost, the airfield did !!!

 

 

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You can see the doors of the dike just behind the docked ship. I was WAY beyond where I should have been by now......

 

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This is a lock, connecting the polder with the lake. Water level difference of some 12 feet already....

 

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I had my sandwiches here, instead of at the airfield. And planned on riding home via the highway......

 

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So after having my sandwiches I turned south on the highway and whistled my way back home. The weather was great, little traffic, a little breeze ahead.....

 

When I was almost at the exit of Middenmeer I saw the little airplanes next to a farm, alongside a little road parallel to the highway !!!

Darn !

I took the same exit I had taken before, on the opposite side of the highway, and found a roundabout with a tiny little road heading back. THAT was the one I missed.

 

So I found my planes after all !! 'Navman'..... you get the drift...

 

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The Wieringermeer was a fairly new polder when the Germans invaded us. They flooded it to prevent gliders and para's to land in the fields.

After the war it had to be drained anew, after which a new kind of farming was implemented. Large farms with LOTS of land (well, for Dutch measures that is).

 

That's why today thet farms are still wide apart, and have their own windmills now for electricity..... This one cast it shadows over the litle planes ..... a large barn is used as hangar now.

 

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When I saw this little rascal, my heart made a jump. And I ran to get a picture of it.

This little French Ultralight must be some 20 years old already. It is also the very first aircraft I got to handle myself back in 1989 or so !

 

Cute eh !!??

 

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And then I saw a familiar type..... I wasn't quite sure, until he took off his cap.

Yep, my friend Ruud made it up here after all (we talked about it the days before).

Ruud has taken a lot of lessons in the little 'Fox' ...... he took up flying after being introduced to flightsimming !!

 

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Forgot what it is, but I liked the livery !

Sort of a Cub wannabe, with pre-WW1 US markings on the wings

 

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Remember the bi-plane Ruud was standing in front of. They are called Kiebitz and come in ..... paper! That's right, the only thing you can buy are the building plans.

he owner of this one worked 6 years to build it !!!

It looked absolutely superb !!

 

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There were two of them parked side by side.....

 

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And now, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the best and most advanced bit of high-tech aviation equipment I have seen in a long time.........

 

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More really nice planes..........

 

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Ruud found some fellow club members....

 

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Errrmm, yes, strap a parachute onto it, yank the starter chord, open the throttle and you have a ... well.. flying machine.

I still prefer the 20 year old Mistral myself.....

 

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And just to reiterate that this is HOLLAND..... everybody rides bikes... even if they have 1150 cc's :lol:

 

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Now we're off to Romania..... the poor RT stays behind !!

 

Francois

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Paul Mihalka

Beautiful pictures as always and I love the planes. Just a comment: I think these planes would be called "experimentals"

in the USA, not "ultralights". Ultralights are minimal one-person flying machines, more or less like a hang-glider with a motor. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultralight_aircraft_%28United_States%29 I prefer your planes to the US ultralights.

Spike, if you read this, chime in...

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Some of them would qualify as ultralight in the US, but many of them would be experimental home built, and most all of them would qualify as light sport aircraft.

 

Its interesting to see the kitfox, they are close to my heart.

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Francois,

 

The "cub like" aircraft is a Kitfox. They are really cool because the wings can fold up and the aircraft can be towed home with a fitting on the tailwheel. Saves on hangar rent! The larger ROTAX engine makes for pretty good performance too. thumbsup.gif

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Wheels Rollin'

What a visual treat, Francois... Thanks! You do have a way about you we all seem to enjoy immensely <<smile>>...

 

-- Bill

 

P.S. Received my 'Computer Pilot' in the mail today... Nice to see and read your article!

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Firefight911

An absolutely wonderful post.

 

Man, I need to make another trip with a journey of airfields!!!

 

Thanks! wave.gif

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Francois_Dumas

YOu are all correct of course.... we call them 'ultralights' out of laziness (that's how they came to be known many years ago with a trike gear and a delta wing......).

 

Officially they are called Microlights here (or MLA aircraft), and I guess the license for them is the same as your new 'sports' license in the US? Need 12 hours to keep it current, and costs a lot less than a real PPL.

 

 

@Bill: wow, you read Computer Pilot !?? I am honored ! smile.gifthumbsup.gif

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Jerry_75_Guy

Very nice post Francois thumbsup.gif

 

You must come over here and see the EAA airshow at Oshkosh one year; it's pretty much 'Valhalla' for those interested in aviation.

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Francois_Dumas

I know...... been drooling over it for 30 years already.. never had the 'occasion' (read: money and approval from SO) to visit bncry.gif

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Hey Navman, err Francois,

 

I'm glad you found the field & shared it with us.

 

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Looks like OoPEZoO

has compatiction.

 

 

 

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I like it thumbsup.gif

 

You can pedal to/from the field clap.gifclap.gif

 

Thanks again for sharing & enjoy your jant to Romania.

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Jerry_75_Guy
I know...... been drooling over it for 30 years already.. never had the 'occasion' (read: money and approval from SO) to visit bncry.gif

 

Yeah, I know how those two 'issues' can put a damper on a great many things tongue.gif

 

I can't help with the $$ issue other than to say that if one Really loves aviation, justifying a small vacation loan would be well worth the trouble: even when you already know all about OSH and what goes on there, it can still take your breath away. This will be my 14th year in a row flying in, and everytime we step out of the plane after being marshalled to our camping spot, the experience is kind of like in the "Wizard of Oz" when Dorothy steps out of the black and white house into a technicolor world...yes really grin.gif

 

I don't know how to help with the 'spouse approval' thing (got my own problems in that regard smirk.gif) but I can say that even my wife, who dislikes flying in general, was amazed by OSH, and has enjoyed repeated visits to the convention with me; I'm sure your wife would like it too, if only you could get her there to prove it wink.gif

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Francois_Dumas

We ARE now i nthe planning stages of coming over to the US (being in Europe is another limiting factor....... it's not like we could ride/drive down there) to visit relatives. Unfortunately at the 'wrong' time. Has to coincide with a business event in Seattle in early November.... will have to take yet another raincheck on OSH bncry.gif

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but I can say that even my wife, who dislikes flying in general, was amazed by OSH, and has enjoyed repeated visits to the convention with me; I'm sure your wife would like it too, if only you could get her there to prove it wink.gif

 

+1 thumbsup.gif

I got my wife to attend OSH in 2005 - she loved it and has even suggested a return visit.

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