Crew Report - 1 June 11

June 01, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Yes, I must admit that I have been lax in keeping everyone up to date as to what is happening with Blue Thunder II. Due to other commitments during February and March we did not get much done on Blue except a short test run on the engine after the valve job and the Conditional Inspection was finally signed off in May just in time to get our entry forms in for the PRS event.

The Golden West show went quite well for us even though the attendance was down for some reason. The weather was good and they had beer sales right by the front gate. More people should have shown up.

We brought Blue back from the Golden West show on Sunday morning so that we could get her in a few shots of a 3D IMAX feature that was being filmed here at the Stead Airport.

The next morning, June 13, I started formation and pylon race course practice, flying once a day for a week. Steve Edmonson was here for the week and he did a great job of finding places on Blue to mount our GoPro Hero camera. We got a lot of footage and Rhonda has edited some of that footage and uploaded it onto You Tube. The links below show some pretty cool stuff.

Golden West 2011 photo gallery
Blue II flight test #7
Yellow in formation flight with Blue
Blue II at PRS 2011

One problem that cropped up during the week of flying was the water cooler door could not be controlled in auto or manual after about thirty minutes or so of flight. After a flight, we would down load the data recorder and try to figure out what was wrong. After making several tests, the Motion Systems linear actuator worked perfectly only to have it fail on the next flight. We decided to change out the motor on the actuator. On the bench, it would work perfectly until we heated it to about 150 deg. F where it would fail. Clearly this motor did not meet the specifications.


The 2011 engine program is behind schedule so we are going to cancel the appearance at the Arlington Air Show, but we will be at the Oshkosh Convention all week parked in AeroShell Square. The Oshkosh appearance should put us over the top of our objective of eight million impressions for our sponsors.

In August, we will be working over time preparing for the Air Races in September and it is not too soon for all of you to start planning your trip here for the races and Thunder Storm 2011. Everyone is invited and we will take good care of all the TMs that come for the show. Let me ask that the pilots ensure that the tail wheel is unlocked and the canopy closed when the aircraft is parked. We will provide all the ground handling required, display your TM during the day and hangar it at night.

The family styled dinner will start as soon as the last racer is on deck (LROD). John McCartney will chair the TBG meeting which I hope will include a report from Dean Holt on his progress as well as a display of his TM.

As a reminder, Blue Thunder II will be on display:

July 25-31: EAA AirVenture

September 14 – 18: Reno Air Races and Thunder Storm 2011

October 8th & 9th Mustangs over Vacaville.

The Blue Crew, along with Jan and I wish everyone a happy Independence Day and we are looking forward to seeing everyone at the eleventh annual Thunderstorm in September.

Thanks for your continued support.

John Parker

Tags: Golden West PRS 2011
Category: Crew Reports

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