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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Vintage WWI planes make stop in Putnam County

Friday, September 25, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- Five vintage airplanes came in from the west about 3 p.m. Monday to refuel at the Putnam County Airport en route to an air show at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.

The planes were headed to the Dawn Patrol Rendezvous presented by the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright Field today through Sunday.

The group left from Platte Valley (about a mile from Hudson, Colo., or east and north of Denver). They fly 120-mile legs for an overall 950-mile journey, according to fuel capacities.

The Red Baron plane takes off from Putnam County Airport and heads toward Dayton, Ohio. The vintage plane was one of five that stopped to refuel in Greencastle Monday.
"That's a helluva lot of stops, particularly in these planes," 72-year-old pilot Dan Murray of Longmont, Colo. said while refueling his Fokker D-VII. "We like to hit grass runways wherever possible because these planes land a lot nicer on grass. They're kind of squirrelly to maneuver."

Murray also had to pour in three quarts of oil every 120 miles, he said as he filled up with aviation fuel.

He also said Monday's moderate winds required them to maintain constant hands-on control, lest they wished to be buffeted by the breezes or find themselves bobbing up and down on the air currents.

The planes and participants were a Fokker D-VII double-wing plane. It is a replica of the 1918 Fodder developed by Anthony Fokker in Germany as a WWI fighter plane near the end of the war. The plane was piloted by its owner, 72 year-old Dan Murray of Longmont, Colo.

Mark Holiday is the pilot owner of the Fokker D VIII single-wing plane. It, too, is a replica, although it saw very little action during the war. Holiday is from Hudson, Colo.

A triple-wing Fokker DR-I (the same as the infamous Red Baron plane) was owned and piloted by Andrew King of Virginia. It is another replica.

The gray and burgundy colored Waco biplane is a 1930s-era plane built as leisure craft or consumer plane (the rest of the planes were war planes). Its owner and pilot is Art Annechario of Boulder, Colo.,

You could hear them before you saw them--five WWI vintage airplanes came in from the west about 3 p.m. Monday and landed at the Putnam County Airport. John Layne of Dixie Chopper Air hands a hose to Dan Murray of Longmont, Colo., so he can refuel his double-wing Fokker D VII (German warplane from WWI).
A support plane with the group was a 1979 Citabria GCBC. Cliff Pond of Longmont, Colo., was the pilot providing flying support, navigation and other assistance to the group.

This epic flight will be featured in a full-length documentary film by Emmy award winning director/producer Art Annecharico. Russ Wilson of Denver was flying along to edit the film. He was responsible for editing the documentary film, "The Cove," which won the People's Choice Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

He said it is currently in 24 theaters. It was made using hidden cameras to document dolphin slaughters along the coast of Japan.

Wilson mounted hi-def cameras on the planes throughout the journey and will film at the air show as well.

To follow the groups blog visit www.vafm.org and click on Trip to Dayton.

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