Thursday, June 3, 2010

Where the heck is the Hawk One Website?!

It's coming. A few glitches have been worked out and the new will go live soon, promise.

In the meantime, its nice to know what is going on with that awesome jet and where might it be seen this season. This weekend she travels to Borden Ontario for her first Air Show weekend. However, A low pressure system is currently keeping her on the ground at Vintage Wings today but she should be airborne within the next 24 hrs.

Here is a team summary from outgoing team lead, Paul "Rose" Kissmann...

We are at long last about to head into the airshow season 2010 after many months of preparation. We are sporting a new look to the aircraft with the Discovery Air logo wrapped securely around the aircraft mid-section – our lead sponsor – and a new Orenda 14 engine installed and purring like a kitten – supported by Magellan. Our technical team has worked hard to bring the aircraft in line with civilian standards for potential IFR operation, and to mop up the inevitable snags that pop up after months on deck over the winter. All that to say, the aircraft is operating better than ever, and Mike “Woody” Woodfield and Will “Fat Daddy” Radiff are ready to put her through her paces with a more dynamic solo air show performance than last year.

Chris Hadfield got his “fix” with the aircraft last week with a recurrency check and flight to St Hubert to talk to 650 or so Air Cadets. As many of us found our roots there, we all feel strongly about supporting an opportunity like that, with a star like Chris. That may be the only time he flies the aircraft this summer as the Canada Day festivities are not planning to feature the Sabre at this point – we will save that for a very big day on the 4July and the Vintage Wings Open House featuring the Snowbirds - a show that promises to be the biggest aviation event in Ottawa area since the air shows of old.

Steve “Swill” Will’s quick departure in February left a significant hole in the team at the critical time of the year. Duty called to him from a surprise location, Moose Jaw and the Snowbirds. He has, in the meantime, brought the Snowbirds team through some challenges and restructuring, which include the creation of a LCol CO position and helping get the team ready for this year’s show season.

While he was busy out west, I have been trying to keep this Hawk One venture moving forward within Vintage Wings, rather than along-side like the year before. I am happy to say that we are there now, and the Sabre show will thrill millions again this year, importantly with a week long stint in Oshkosh where a million plus aviation enthusiasts will see and hear the story of the Golden Hawks and the Sabre jet in Canada. We are again going coast-to-coast with the Sabre, although with a reduced schedule to stay within our budget constraints. It is not cheap or easy to run a 50+ year old bird – but we are up to the task with the help of our volunteers and supporters.

One of our most important volunteers this season has been Jeff Hill who has worked very hard to keep our show moving along – from working with Sam Reid on music and commentary to support manuals and airshow bookings.

There are other great team members out there like Dan Dempsey, who is chomping at the bit to get back into the Sabre next year, and we will look forward shortly to see how folks like Dan, who bring such an important passion and experience to the fray, can best stay engaged with Vintage Wings.

We have a very small team this year of less than 10 folks, out of necessity, and a focused airshow presence. I think this will be the recipe to success this year, a year that is very different from 2009 but will be no less successful and will touch many people again. Best of luck to the team, and thanks again to those that stepped up to support as volunteers and sponsors.

-Paul Kissmann

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