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IPMS USA Nationals 2013 pt.2

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Day 3 tour of the Vintage Aero Flying Museum
Snafus can be overcome. Through some minor error a couple of topics were missed by the tour committee. There occured on the same weekend the mile High Flyin held annually at the Jefferson County airport. Big show with lots of local aircraft. Also the Vintage Aero Flying Museum mailing address Address: 7125 Parks Lane, FT Lupton, CO 80621; Phone: 303-668-8044 is actually located near Hudson CO. It is the home of the Lafayette Foundation and the holder of the licensed Lafayette Flying Corps incorporation from 1916. You can go to to VAFm.org and see our site. Our organization is suffering like many others with slowed donations and the rehabilitation of one of our pilots who lived through the crash last August of our full scale Eberle Fokker Dr.I replica. I told the organization president I would bring some real enthusiasts for a tour. He was visibly excited to open the doors for this event.

As mentioned earlier we arrived and Mr. Andy Parks (the president of the foundation)had pulled out our full scale replica Fokker D.VII in Udet's markings of "du doch nicht!!". The overall tour included some of our WWI replica aircraft and the Museum itself. Over 67 uniformed mannequins, thousands of books and 147 of my completed WWI aircraft builds. It is the home of the Lafayette Foundation and the holder of the licensed Lafayette Flying Corps incorporation from 1916. We have three hangars; aircraft storage, museum and repair shop.

We began the tour with everyone getting a chance to see our Fokker D.VII up close. Ed Boll lost his Nats Id card in the cockpit and Andy had to do some gropping in the dark to find it. In the hangar also were the two 80% Se 5a replicas. We also have a BT-13 (Basic Trainer -13)with a Consolidated Vultee motor, an ultralight Nieuport two seater as a static display for kids to get in and see up close details. Our "hack" is a Mysteryship that we use to get to various venues.

The repair shop is crowded these days with partial builds and airframes being recovered. In full scale we hve a Sopwith F.1, Se 5a and a 90% compete build of a Spad XIII. There is a Fokker Dr.I airframe that we now have to use to replace the one we lost in an accident a year ago. Our pilot thankfully survived and is doing well under the circumstance.

Ed Boll comments, ". . .In one word 'incredible!!' Incredible that such a collection exists right here in the USA near Hudson, Colorado in the small airfield in the middle of an agricultural area. Starting with the memorabilia of the Lafayette Escadrille it just gets better as you move though the collection. From the 60 plus actual uniforms (WWI & II), medals and log books and Souvenirs of the men representated Eugene Bullard, Reginald Sinclair, Elliott White Springs, Charles Lindbergh, Jimmy Doolittle, Wade McClusky, a seemingly unending list of famous names. Other luminaries of WWI, like Major Lanoe Hawker's small New Testament, personalized Handkerchief, the signed cigarette case from the First Fighter competition with all the engraved signatures of the most famous pilots alive that day , the first use of the BMW emblem. The head of the Museum, Son of the founder Andy Parks, fills you in with the personal stories of all those people who have contributed to, and visited the Museum and in his family's home with grandfather and father, he is a true living encyclopedia. Anyone with an interest in aviation, should make this a MUST stop. If this had been the only tour I had taken, it would have made my whole trip worth it. Also the equipment displays are just as exciting."

Dr. Joe LoMusio comments on his visit to the Vintage Aero Flying Museum (VAFM); "While attending the IPMS/USA National convention in Loveland, CO, I was invited to visit the VAFM at the Platteville airport near Hudson Colorado. It was a tremendous experience and turned out to be one of the highlights of my convention week.

Actually, I was not aware of how wonderful this museum is for those of us who love aviation history, and especially World War One history. Upon arriving, Andy Parks, the museum director, had wheeled out a Fokker D.VII (painted in Ernst Udetís colors), and we were able to get up close and personal with this wonderful replica of an iconic WWI plane. In the hanger next to it, there were two SE 5A replicas and a Nieuport 12 (ultralight two seater) being worked on. Seeing and photographing these planes was fun, but the real unique experience occurred when we were ushered into the actual museum.

The entrance gives you the feel of an Aerodrome bunker and canteen area (circa 1917 A.E.F.). Andy Parks began by explaining some of the initial glass cases full of WWI uniforms and artifacts. As we proceeded through the museum we were greeted by row after row of glassed-in display cases revealing authentic WWI aviation artifacts, uniforms, memorabilia, etc. This was amazing enough, but what really made it unforgettable was Andyís personal relationship to much of the collection. His family has been an integral part of the Lafayette Flying Corps history and archives, and his firsthand knowledge was spellbinding. Famous World War One pilots, both allied and German, years later, spent time in his home and around his family. His knowledge of the history and the personal stories and anecdotes surrounding these men and the various items that make up the collection was nothing short of incredible!

I have visited numerous WWI aviation related museums and displays and none can rival the VAFM collection. The personal commentary offered by Andy Parks far exceeds anything else you may experience at any other aviation museum. I hope to provide support for this amazing collection in the future and join those who are doing what they can to keep this museum in the public eye. I canít wait to visit it again. Dr. Joe LoMusio."
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About the Author

About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)
FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...


Comments

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SEP 02, 2013 - 01:43 AM
Stephen Thanks so much for all the time and effort you put into taking literally 100's of pictures, then putting together these two presentations. I especially appreciated part 2, that was all the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winners. Joel
SEP 07, 2013 - 02:22 PM