July 2, 2017 - Flight with Hans

As you probably know, I'm building a Fokker DR-1 Triplane from the Ron Sands plans.  It's not a kit.  You have to make virtually everything yourself.  So I'm working on fabricating the spar brackets which literally hold the fuselage on to the wings.  Pretty important.  To make the spar bracket flanges, I have to make a deep U-bend in .060 steel.   A brake will work for one of the bends, but is to bulky to make the second bend.  What to do?  I presented the problem at my EAA Chapter meeting.  One of the chapter members, Hans E., said he had access to the well-equipped machine shop at a nearby military base and suggested bringing my steel there and seeing what could be done.  It turns out the shop had the perfect tool for the job -- the "Magna-Brake".

Well, I owed Hans a big favor and since he's building an RV-7 and has never flown in one, I figured he might like a ride.  So one Sunday morning we went flying.

I was going to pick Hans up at Freeway Airport so here I am over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, about ready to enter the dreaded SFRA.

I don't go into the SFRA too often but when I do, I always have to check out Annapolis and the U.S. Naval Academy from the air.
Here's a good look at Annapolis Harbor, Spa Creek, and Halsey Field House (where it began for me almost exactly 40 years ago).
A better look at the U.S. Naval Academy with the Maryland State Capital Building center left.
At center is the latest construction project at USNA:  a parking garage.  Believe me, they need the extra parking.  I heard the Midshipmen were in favor of using Warden Field -- that grassy area to the right of the construction -- for additional parking.   Just kidding, Warden Field is where the Midshipmen march for their parades, and will be there as long as their is a Naval Academy.
The Naval Academy Chapel.

Visibility was excellent, and on downwind at Freeway Airport, I could see the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capital building, the big Air Force One hangar at Andrews Air Force Base, and Fedex

Here is the FBO building at Freeway.

Hans is ready to go flying.  He normally flies something a little bigger: a 757.
My RV-7 faces the runway at Freeway.  It's called Freeway because it's right next to Highway 50.
We flew back across the bay, and across the Eastern Shore, to Delaware Coastal Airport (formerly known as Suffolk Airport) in Georgetown, Delaware.  They have an on-field restaurant and we met a bunch of Essex Skyparkians there.  After their good breakfast buffet, we climbed back into our planes and flew down to Ocean City, Maryland for some sightseeing.
Here we are following Tom K. and Ron L. to Ocean City.
Approaching Ocean City from the northwest.
Lots of boats already on the water.
Great day to be at the beach!
Following the beach north.
North of Ocean City they allow vehicles on the beach.  I've never seen so many on the beach, just lined up side to side.

We left Tom and headed inland, passing Georgetown Coastal -- where we had breakfast -- below.  We headed over to Massey and did a few landings there.

I let Hans fly most of the time and we did all the things that make the RV so fun to fly.  He did all that stuff in his military pilot training but wasn't able to fly like that when he started on the heavy stuff.  I could tell he really enjoyed flying the RV.  I suspect this flight will increase his motivation to finish his plane so he can have fun flying it.

After dropping Hans off at Freeway, I headed east towards the Bay to exit the SFRA.  This time I took a more northeasterly route.
Down below is the Annapolis Town Centre which consists of condos, grocery stores, restaurants and bars.  Would be a nice place to live.
And there is the Annapolis Mall which I haven't been to in years.  I'm a flyer, not a shopper.
Looking up Ritchie Highway which leads right to my house.  But this is as close as I can get to my house because of the BWI Class B airspace.
The (relatively) new Navy Exchange and Commissary, and (brand new) Naval Medical Clinic.
Cantler's Riverside Inn which has been around forever.
It amazes me that there could be clear farmland like this in Cape St. Claire (western side of the Bay Bridge) given how they are trying to stuff houses in every nook and cranny in this area.
The west side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
Look at that traffic!  They are all heading to the Ocean, I guess.
Yikes!  Much better to cruise around the sky at 150 mph with no traffic.