DIRTY BIRD EXPRESS OSHKOSH OR BUST 2009
We had a bunch of
people that wanted to go to Oshkosh this year (14 of us) and since I sold my
"keeper" Twin Beech we needed a second ride.
I have a C-45G that we retrieved from Boeing Field where it had been sitting derelict for almost 11 years. We brought her out of storage and went through the systems to get her up to speed. The engines were overhauled just prior to being parked and had a total of 22 hours on them plus the 11 years of sitting. She was willing to come back to life and didn't fight us too hard in the process.
The years sitting out in the Seattle weather took a toll on her paint and she looks pretty bad so we thought that we should try and win the "highly coveted" Dirty Bird award that is given out at OSH in the Warbird Category. Usually when this award is given out it is not necessarily well received. I couldn't remember anyone actually trying to get the award so I figured we should make a valiant attempt at it.
My daughter came up with the Dirty Bird logo which we made into a decal for the nose art, shirts and stickers.
We didn't wash the Beech before we left for OSH and the guys even went out of their way to add additional greasy hand prints. We had replaced the flaps with some from the storage hangar that were covered with dust which added to the whole package. We were pretty upset enroute because we were rained on pretty heavy at Yankton, SD which washed off a lot of our dirt and dust!
Since we were going to remove the paint on this old Beech with our new soda blast equipment I figured we should have some fun with it first hence the painting idea. I ought a bunch of water based paint, put it out on a table with the brushes and let the good folks at Airventure 2009 have at it.
I had no idea how popular it would turn out to be. Jess, my mechanic Steve's girlfriend, started it off and it took off like wildfire. I was off doing the judging thing so I didn't get to hang around the Beech until Friday but whenever we drove by there was a big crowd of folks having a great time turning the Dirty Bird into a work of art. There was a mass of folks around the Beech all the time. The grass was mashed flat all around the Beech from everyone walking around it.
She sure looked wild from all of the artwork until it rained on Thursday and washed off almost all of the upper surfaces. No sweat as Friday was full of folks that repainted it even more than it was before. We did loose some nice artwork in the rain but we gained a whole new set on Friday.
The response from the people at OSH was amazing as there were so many wonderful comments thanking us for doing this. We had a few folks who just didn't get it, which was expected, but the overwhelming majority of people had a wonderful time painting on an airplane. We had all different types of people come and paint on her from little kids to WWII vets and everyone in between.
This was how it began. Jess started it out with this simple 'Kid Artist Needed' sign and people started coming in droves
We changed the flaps with a set from the storage hangar that had gathered a lot of dust. We decided not to wash them as it should help us get that Dirty Bird award.
There were more people hanging around the Beech all throughout the week. Some folks like the ones below even camped out for a while.
The Civil Air Patrol came by and added their artistic talent to the Beech
This was my personal favorite:
On Thursday it rained and it rained and all of the artwork on the upper surfaces was washed away.
But that was okay because on Friday the good people of EAA Airventure 2009 came back and filled in the blanks
Jess painted the RESCUE and Bernie added ME FIRST. That cracked me up!
Here is the motley crew that made the whole OSH 2009 experience possible.
They all are showing off their Dirty Bird designer wear! If you want a Dirty Bird T shirt ($20 plus shipping) just e-mail email@example.com and she will set you up.
This one photo, taken by Steve Clough, pretty much sums up the whole event. Everyone had a great time especially the kids just like this little guy. How cool!
Click here to see Warbird Information Exchange forum post on the Dirty Bird
Should you have any photos or stories about your experience with the Dirty Bird at Oshkosh Airventure please send them to me and I will gladly post them on this web page. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to everyone who made this a wonderful trip. From our fantastic crew to all of you who came out and helped paint up this great old Beech and turned her into a work of art.
Here are some photos taken by Trey Carroll. Thanks for sharing them Trey
Bye Bye Oshkosh...
See you next year!
TO ALL OF OUR COUNTRY'S VETERANS, WE HERE AT VINTAGE AIRCRAFT WOULD LIKE TO SAY:
THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID FOR OUR COUNTRY!
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