Takeoff

One of the best parts of AirVenture is when seasoned pilots are reunited with their former aircraft. For Roy J. Griesbach of Appleton, Wis., that reunion took the form of a ride in the EAA’s B-17 “Alumnium Overcast.”

During World War II Griesbach was a member of the 91st bomb group and flew a B-17 named “The Jub Jub Bird” over Europe.

“The name came from the Lewis Carroll poem ‘Jabberwocky,'” he explained, then recited a line from the poem, “Beware of the Jub Jub bird.”

Griesbach has about 1,000 hours in B-17s and brought along copies of his records to prove it. On one mission they dropped leaflets instead of bombs on the enemy. Griesbach brought a copy of one of the leaflets to AirVenture as well.

Joining Griesbach on his warbird ride was his friend Bill Plummer, who has been flying for 61 years.

“I built my hours in an Aeronca Chief,” he said. “I used to fly my mom to Milwaukee to shop.”

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One, two, three, four, FIVE?

Have you ever seen a Spitfire with five blades on the propeller? It was unusual enough that it caught our eye in the warbird area of EAA AirVenture.

The Mark 18 Spitfire is owned by Rudy Frasca. Dick Henrickson from Urbana, Ill., piloted the aircraft.

“It has a five-bladed prop because it has a 2,500 hp Rolls Royce Griffon engine in it,” Henrickson explained. “It needs that extra blade to absorb the energy.”

According to Henrickson, top speed is 440 knots.

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