AOPA's Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes - Oct. 10 Photos and Commentary

November 11, 2009

Photos and Commentary

Work days are lengthening

Oct. 10 � Work days were already long at Rare Aircraft in Owatonna, Minnesota, where a final push is on to complete our AOPA sweepstakes Waco UPF-7. The staff is in the shop by 7 a.m. and often not out until 11:30 p.m. Here's the latest summary: Just about everything on the aircraft that is supposed to be red is now red. Black trim is going on at a rapid rate and already graces the leading edges of the wings. The Insignia Red fuselage has its black stripes. Wings might be bolted onto the airframe as early as Monday. The engine is on but has not been run, of course, except at Radial Engines near Oklahoma City where it was refurbished. The gear is ready for its Cleveland brakes. There will be no holidays and no weekends for many of the Rare Aircraft crew. It is possible the plane could enter flight test as early as Saturday Oct. 19. Rare Aircraft will put five hours of test flying in before letting it go cross country. If all is completed in time, the Waco will fly 1,490 nm from Owatonna to Palm Springs, California, for AOPA Expo, going about 200 nm during each flight and stopping six or seven times.