aircraft, airplane, aviation, civil rights, history, Oregon, photo, photograph, photography, plane, Tuskegee, WAAAM, WACO, Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum, YPF-6
I’ve totally obsessed about the Waco YPF-6 in WAAAM’s collection since I saw it for the first time last year. I researched every possible story I could find online about this wonderful plane, especially this one.
Thus, when I heard that it would be pushed out and flown as part of the Second Saturday activities on 1/12/2013, I made absolute sure that I made to the event to see and photograph this amazing plane. The weather that day was interesting, here in Salem we had freezing fog, making the beginning to our trip a cause for anxiety.
When we got there, we immediately went to the back of the main hangar where the maintenance on the YPF was being finished. Museum personnel were reinstalling the engine cowling and this step took longer than anyone would have predicted. We sat and watched and photographed this process until it was completed, well in addition with visiting with photography friends.
After the maintenance was completed, the plane was pushed out and started. The engine run-up actually, went much faster than I anticipated. I guess I’m used to some really long run-ups I’ve witnessed on some of the old warbirds. Then we watched the plane taxi out to the runway and fly around the valley for a while. It was quite cold, around freezing, so when the Waco turned such that the propwash hit you as it was taxiing, it was rather chilling.
Upon the plane’s return and its return taxi is when I made most of the images you see here. Although, a few were made later in the day immediately prior to closing.
The other big draw for me to this Second Saturday was the presentation by Tukegee Airman, Ben “Flaps” Berry. I have always been very concerned about the gap between what the mythical America and the real one. The Tuskegee Airmen were true heroes in the fight to narrow that gap, as such, I find their story to be truly inspiring. The surprising thing was from my perspective, Ben’s postwar aeronautical engineering career was every bit as inspiring as his war career.
I bought Ben’s book and had it signed, allowing a brief conversation with the man. I felt very privileged to meet such a man.
I suggest you take a closer look at my images of WAAAM’s Waco YPF-6.
In February, WAAAM will be having a fashion show of women’s military uniforms as the headline event of the Second Saturday. I will be attending this event as well and this time will be with some other aviation photography friends, promises to be a fun day.