|Gathering Of Eagles 2011
Gathering of Eagles fly-in is known as the opportunity to display WWI aeroplane replicas and do lots of flying. There
are no contests, no awards, no judging at this fly-in. Just plenty of small conversations centered around the
pilots/builders discussing their planes with spectators. Additionally, someone was flying all the time. Three planes
seemed to be about the maximum reasonable for avoiding congestion. Around and around the triangular shaped
runways they went. Some making slow passes, others blowing smoke, and still others flying in some type of loose
formation (they all go the same direction).
|Kansas City Dawn Patrol fighters chase a Fokker Dr-1 out of their area and
back across the Eastern Front.
FLYING FOR FUN AT GARDNER
Sharon in her Morane and Dick Starks in his Nieuport,
flew in trail. After all these years of marriage, Dick is
still chasing her tail! Soon they were joined by another
flier. Over the course of the day almost every one of
the 15 flyable scaled-down replica planes took to the
air. It truly was a gathering of eagles: A Spad,
numerous Nieuports, Fokker Dr-I, Mariner amphibian,
Siemens Schuckert, two AirBikes and several GA
planes such as a Hummel Ultra-Cruiser, Aeronca
Champ,and a Sonnex completed most of those flying.
On the ground were Fokker D-VII (with a working
acetylene powered audio system for it machine guns),
Sopwith, Fokker D-VIII, and numerous planes in
various stages of construction.
|Sharon Starks does a fly-by in her
Generac powered Morane
|Nieuport smoke pass next to Fokker
The Central Powers planes were outfitted with Spandau machine guns while the Allies used those made by Lewis.
Each plane was painted in its national colors representing France, Germany, Britain, and others. Power plants
included two and four-cylinder VW engines, Rotec radial, Rotax, Generac, and one Suzuki automobile engine.
Weather conditions were similar to Friday's. With about 5-1/2 gallons of fuel remaining in my wing tanks, I
lightened my ship by removing all the traveling gear and ten half-pint bottles of two-stroke oil. AirBike engine
warmed up, I waited in the grass for one of the circling planes to land. Soon Sharon Starks brought her Morane
down and taxied to her tie-down spot. I taxied out and began my demonstration flight. While taxiing, the Dr-I,
piloted by Dick Lemons, landed and a Dick Starks' Nieuport made a low pass over me. Cool!
|Pietenpol Air Camper/warbird
For the next 20 minutes I circled the field passing
the show line in various AirBike show line
configurations: high-speed pass, slow-speed pass
(really not much noticeable difference), “knife-
edge” (sort of) with smoke on, wing-wag, and some
near formation passes with the Nieuport. It was fun,
that is what we are here for—fly for fun. I love this
Not all displays were aviation oriented. A military re-
enactment group showed off their Jeeps, Cushman,
Harley and Suzuki motorcycles, and, trucks and
other vehicles pulling carts with bombs on them. All
personnel was dressed in military garb and eagerly
engaged conversations with spectators.
|Paul in his AirBike approaching air show center