After resolving some photo issues we were able to get this post up. Last Friday Mike Harris, Bob Weiss and myself made a trip to Kermit Weeks’ Fantasy of Flight” in Polk City Fla. which is about 50 minutes west of Orlando. Our objective was to take detailed photos of the Fokker DVIII and the Morane AI. We were met in the employee entrance by a Mr. Ken Kellett who is the restorer who takes care of the “older” aircraft. After signing out visitor badges (we got in for free!) off we went into one of two hanger bays on the south side of the airfield (They have a grass strip at FoF). After passing a Focke Wulf FW – 44 and a massive Sunderland flying boat there sat the DVIII at the front of the hanger. Next to it sat an airplane that flew in the “Flyboys” movie. I believe it was either a Sopwith or a Nieuport. Armed with digital cameras the three of went to work. Mr. Kellett was very gracious and extremely knowledgeable. Our conversations with him centered around the engine and construction of the plywood covered wing, which will be our biggest challenge. This DVIII had a Gnome 160 HP rotary and Ken told us to stay away from them because they leak and foul up the airplane pretty good. He seemed to think our choice of engine (Rotec) was a good way to go.
Our photos centered around detailed parts such as attach points, running of cable and of course the cockpit. What we did notice that we did not know was the DVIII had a steerable tail skid. At least this one did and we have a picture of it that we’ll post. After some additional discussions concerning propellers, rigging and the like we went off to take a look at the Morane. It was tucked in between other airplanes in the back of the hanger next to a Stinson Trimotor, and a Morse Scout . The first thing that caught our eye and Ken immeadiately mentioned was the complicated wing bracing and flying wires. Much more involed than the DVIII. Odd in the fact that the Morane and the DVIII were designed and flew roughly at the same time, the spring of 1918. We took several pictures of the bracing for the folks in Kansas City to see and we’ll post those also. The other thing Ken pointed out about the Morane was that the fuselage tapered back to almost a point. Ken thought that that might be a bit of challenge also. After we finished with the Morane Ken had to return to work and graciously gave us free rein to go and look at the rest of the airplanes. Of course we filled up the remaining space on the camera disks and we’ll post these at a later date when we get to sort thru them.
All in all a very worthwhile trip. Actually being next to one of these airplanes gives you much better appreciation of the times they flew in and the task that lies ahead.
Here are some pictures..enjoy……more to come…..Jasta 6
[note: There were several images included here but have been lost to the internet]
Note the ignition leads
Steerable Tail Skid
Bracing on Morane Wing
Bracing on Morane Wing