EAA Airshow 2016 + Video

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane, by those who could not hear the music.
— credited to Friedrich Nietzsche

Warning Long Post and Video
Isn’t it interesting how often we act, or fail to act based on information? We’ve now been here in Wisconsin for just over a year, and this summer has been really fantastic! To begin with, we’re not unpacking truckloads of boxes, buying pieces of furniture we need for a different place, or figuring out how to handle a winter’s worth of snow. This summer we can go out fishing, and we actually know how to get to a place AND get back home again without getting lost!

Mention the city of Oshkosh, and the first thing many people will respond with is, “Oshkosh, b’Gosh!” and smile with fond memories of overalls. The second thing people will refer to is “the air show,” better known as EAA — Experimental Air Adventure — and also known as the AirVenture. You can talk to anyone in the airplane world, anywhere in the world, at any airport or landing strip, and they’ll know about Oshkosh.

In fact, the city name is unique in all the world. We watched a great documentary put together by the Wisconsin Historical Society, learning about how the city came to be and why it’s so important. With all the lumber in the upper Midwest, Oshkosh became a central gathering place for the cut trees. It’s at the mouth of the Fox river, directly connected to the Wolf river and about 300 square miles of lakes. It was originally settled by the Menominee Indians, and we have a huge park, coincidentally called Menominee Park. What are the odds that someone would come up with a name that strange, and it just happens to be almost exactly the same as a tribe of Indians? Amazing!

Okay, so there was a very important chief, back when the Americans were moving ever-outward in the country, taking over land and resources. Chief Oshkosh was a superb public speaker, well-versed in oratory, argument, rhetoric and persuasion. He went to Washington to speak with the President, and basically saved the area from being completely taken over by the American government.

At first, the land was used for the wealth in fish and animals, with the French coming together with the Menominee to develop the fur trade. That gave way to the lumber industry, and the incorporation of the city of Oshkosh in the early 1800s. The city became known as the Sawdust Capital of the world because of the never-ending cutting and milling of trees. You could smell the fresh scent of sawdust everywhere, and today we have the Sawdust Days Festival in Menominee park. Lots of carnival rides, souvenirs, vendors, crafts, food, bands, and noise.

Fast-forward to the end of July, each summer, and the creation of the AirVenture show. This is the largest airshow in the world, and little Whittman airport becomes the busiest airport in the world for two weeks. For example, they had 3100 air “events” (landings or take-offs) on Thursday alone! Not only that, but although it might be a regional airport, the runways have been built to land the largest plane in the world: the C-5 Galaxy military transport.

Having looked at some YouTube videos of people landing private planes for the EAA, we learned that the primary traffic approach control is in Fisk, which is the town at the end of the road that passes by where we live. The controller routinely tell private plane pilots, “Follow Fisk Avenue and the railroad tracks until you come to Kathy and Craig’s house. Then go over the lake, and land when someone tells you to on a colored dot!”

We had no idea that our house is an international navigation landmark!

Actually, the controllers use Fisk Avenue and the railroad tracks to direct small planes to the start of the runways, where the airport control tower can see them. We have upwards of 1-million visitors during the 10 days of the show, with huge numbers of people flying in on home-built planes or small commercially manufactured planes (e.g., Cessna, Gulf-Stream, etc.) They can land 3 planes at a time, in some cases, based on the colored dots and different runways.

Last summer during the show, we would hear planes and jets everywhere. We’d quick go to the window to see what was happening, and see nothing. Or we’d see a formation of anywhere from 4 to 16 planes flying around for some reason. While fishing, we’d see, maybe, a B-52 bomber come flying right over us at about 100 feet! Talk about loud?! But that wasn’t even close to racket made by the F-16 or F-22 fighter planes!

So: This year we discovered EAA Radio, not only streamed online, but also available on FM radio. Suddenly, we got to hear WHY all this was going on, and WHAT was happening! All the really loud revving of engines and the buzz of planes made sense when we heard the underlying narration of the “aerobatics.” These are pilots (pretty much lunatics) who fly planes in ways they never were intended to be flown — the old-fashioned barn-stormers!

We also know enough about the city now, that we were able to drive all over, to places right off the airport grounds. We were in a parking lot, along with many of the local folks, and watched the arrival of the Canadian Snowbirds. They’re the Canadian version of the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels precision flying teams. They came in with 9 jets, in perfect, exact alignment…right over our heads!

There was one aerobics pilot from Kentucky who flew a bi-plane at 150mph down the runway, 18 feet off the tarmac in order to cut one of two ribbons being held aloft on some poles. That was pretty astounding, considering he did it upside down! But then he decided to cut the second ribbon by flying on edge, with the wings facing the ground and sky. Also at 150mph, he sort of danced the plane along in a hop and skip format and sliced the ribbon. Why? Because it’s cool-looking!

We went to the outlet mall parking lot Wednesday night, to watch the night show and see some of the biggest and best fireworks we’ve ever seen! They’re put together by many of the sponsors of the EAA, including GE, Lockheed-Martin, Oshkosh Defense, Hewlett-Packard, and just about every other corporation involved in the air industry. So you can imagine: There isn’t a shortage of money for fireworks!

There was a historical re-enactment of the bombing of Tora Tora and Pearl Harbor, all with original, vintage antique planes that have been lovingly restored to perfect condition. The entire sky was filled with every imaginable plane you’ve ever seen in a World War II movie (they have a special FAA waiver). They blew up the runway with firepots set off electronically, and strafed the runway with heavy cannon-fire from all sorts of planes. There were Japanese Zeroes, German Fokkers, Russian MiGs and lots of whatever-they-are jet fighters and prop planes: Even a B-25 bomber blowing up things.

All this because we suddenly could hear the “music,” so to speak! Just having the ongoing information played across the radio suddenly turned a world of chaos into a fabulous choreography of planes and motion. And to think: We live here!

Below is my 1st attempt and creating a video of what we saw at the EAA Airshow. Some our pictures that I took with my camera but also video that show the night airshow. That was taken across the street from the Oshkosh Outlet Mall. You can see how close those planes got as they lit up the sky. Could be better but I think I will improve with time. First time using Windows Movie Maker.

Because I don’t have the Premium version of WordPress I uploaded it to YouTube

 

2 Related Links
EAA Highlights
Night Aerobatics up close

A New Arrival to the IB Designs, USA Family

Bravo Zulu Award Print, Nautical, signal flags

t’s been a while in the making, but we’re excited to introduce the newest member to our family:

BRAVO-ZULU (BZ) Presentation-Quality Color Print

We previously offered a fabric flag vertical banner with the letter B (Bravo) and Z (Zulu). These two flags are a sort of “well done” acknowledgement in the maritime services. Then we realized how much time it took to make the flags, while at the same time some of our customers wanted to order quantities. We did a lot of ponderatin’, thinkinating, contemplatin’, cogitatin’, bamboozlizin’ and meditating.

Then we came up with a photo-realistic, 3D image of the two flags and saw we could do some really cool things with it! Our next problem was how to get it from our imagination into the real world, onto the Web site and available for purchase. At last, we figured it all out.

The new Bravo Zulu is:
An 8×10″ quality color print on 32-lb laser paper,
Ready to frame in whatever frame or matting you’d like (frames are not included),
Carries a much lower price than our fabric ladder flags.

Additionally, each BZ print comes with its own custom-designed gift card and envelope, featuring a crest we designed with a gold banner proclaiming “BRAVO ZULU.” The card opens to a simple message stating, “BRAVO ZULU, Well Done!”

bz signal flag,nautical.navy

Craig designed this and the quality is excellent. This is just the beginning, and we intend to introduce other high-quality 3D paper signal flags in various sizes and banners in the future. We’re thinking of 1-click-to-buy banners that spell out various events like: “Happy Birthday,” “Just Married,” “Congratulations,” “Welcome Home,” and so forth.

The paper-letter signal flags will be DYI, where you order the flags and cut them out to string together. I’ll have more about them as we get closer to finishing them. The BZ award is an example of what we also can offer as “portrait” flags, all suitable for framing. The individual letters we’re thinking would be wall size, about 8×10 and then smaller versions. For example, we hope to produce “stick flags,” about 4×5″ that you cut out and fold to wrap around a typical skewer. The result could be part of a floral arrangement or hung on string instead as a decoration.

Several years ago, we saw a post from Martha Stewart that went on about putting small signal flags on toothpicks for cakes. Oddly enough, she had no connection to where anyone could buy some of these! So we decided we should be the ones making them! Those could even go on Christmas trees as a sort of garland. Fun, right? But of course!

We’re also able to do things with paper that we simply can’t do with fabric. We’re thinking of “repeater” flags, and things like pirate flags for birthday parties with a nautical theme. Another problem has been number pennants, which we do make in fabric but they’re cumbersome. With numbers in “stick flag” size, we could offer things like “Happy New Year 20-##” at a much more affordable price.

It’s an exciting time, but Holy Cow!…there’s a lot involved! At the moment, we’re redesigning the Web site, so keep an eye out for Breaking News!

Check out our BZ page to see the images and to order.

bravo zulu,signal flag, nautical, award print

USS Cooperstown and Signal Flags

We make signal flags. Reading this blog, you’d know it because it’s all about signal flags. But our signal flags are indoor decorations for people who want a nautical theme or room decor. The question is from where did we get the flag patterns and colors? Well, the US Navy.

Our flags are small 8-inch squares, but the full-size flags can be from size 0 up to size 14, which is a 4-by-6-foot letter flags, or a 2.6-by-9-foot number pennant. Can you imagine putting a 9-foot flag in the living room? When an ocean-going ship is dressed in flags (i.e., flying the full set of all the flags used for messaging), it’s an amazing picture!

Here’s a picture of one of the Navy’s newest Freedom-class war ships. It’s a “littoral” combat ship, meaning that it’s designed for close to shore action. The intention is for a ship that can take out defense systems on beaches and shores where we want to land military troops and supplies.

navy ship,nautical,signal flags,pennants
photo credit-fox11 online

This ship is the USS Cooperstown, with the call sign “LCS-23.” That would looks like this in signal flags:

Call sign USS Cooperstown
Call sign USS Cooperstown

The Cooperstown is the first ship with this particular name, signifying the baseball Hall of Fame and the 64 veterans who are members. Those men served in conflicts ranging from the Civil War to the Korean War, as you can read about in the Fox News story. Navy Ship    

 

In this picture, the ship is about to be launched and is dressed in signal flags the way we might wear our Sunday best for a celebration or formal occasion. The entire set of signal flags comprises all 26 alphabet letters and 10 numbers (0-9). In addition there are “repeater” flags. Because a set contains only 1 of each letter or number, certain flags instruct the reader to “repeat the first instance” of a previous flag. The repeaters indicate repetitions of a second or third occurrence, and can be quite confusing. That’s why we don’t make them. We offer multiple copies of letters, depending on what a customer would like to spell.

The Freedom-class ships are considered fast on the water, capable of reaching speeds of 40 knots. That’s about 46 miles-per-hour, which is two times faster than necessary to pull a water skier! And this ship is 388 feet long! Picture that: You’re out on a lake and ship the size of a football stadium comes flying by, pulling thirty or forty water skiers! Now that would be something to see!

IB Designs, USA

Moving- Still on Track

With a little less then 2 weeks to go things are getting a bit nuts. Especially since it’s a long distance move. Approximately 195 miles from where we currently live. I have been taking some pics of all the boxes we have packed. After we get up and running on the computer I will be doing a few posts with the various pictures from beginning to end.

Special thanks to Amy ( LadyPinkRose )and ( jpcox ) Everett for suggesting that I take pics since this is such a huge move for us. They both have wonderful blogs and I subscribe to both.

One thought we had is since IB Designs, USA is going to have it’s own room where we will make the flags is to hang a signal flag valance on one of the windows. The picture below is one that I put together spelling ” Oshkosh, WI ” in signal flags. Our valance signal flags have a wide casing and a standard curtain rod (3/4 in or less) slip easily through it. We are still on schedule to reopen our website to orders the end of May or early June. Thanks for your patience!

signal flag valance,nautical,decor,navy
The next post will be from Wisconsin 🙂

It’s a Nautical Christmas ~ 2014

With Thanksgiving barely behind us we are rushing towards the Christmas season. I love Christmas decorations and wanted to share some of my favorites in this post. Since we are busy packing we won’t be decorating as much this year. The first picture is my tree a couple of years ago with the added signal flags spelling out Merry Christmas.
christmas tree,holiday,signal flags,nautical

I just love this boat ‘The Gambler’ decorated with the lights and star!
christmas tree,holiday,signal flags,nautical

Another one that I found on Pinterest.
christmas tree,holiday,signal flags,nautical

Next this was posted on the Navy site and released to share. It was taken a few years ago.
christmas tree,holiday,signal flags,nautical

Lastly a Big Thank you to all our followers and customers. I treasure the friendships I have made through the blog and our website.

Wishing you a safe and Happy Christmas!
christmas tree,holiday,signal flags,nautical

IB Designs, USA

18th & 19th Century Ships-Decor

This post shows a little bit of everything as far as nautical decor on ships of old. gpcox- pacificparatrooper had a great idea and got me thinking what ships would look like back then. He has a wonderful blog that is worth checking out!

Here is a pic of a 18th century ship!

 

ships,18th century,ocean, nautical
photo credit-maritime-connector.com

Below is a 19th century ship.

ships,19th century,ocean,nautical
photo credit- mlive.com – scooner

 

Next is the Captain’s Quarters. Notice the quills that they used for writing back then!

captains cabin,quarters,ships,desk,nautical decor
photo credit-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabin_%28ship%29

Next is a Captain’s desk.Mahogany ship’s Captain’s pedestal desk

captains desk,ship,nautical decor
photo credit-carters.com.au

Love this lantern that they used.

ships lantern,nautical decor,ocean
photo credit-vallejogallery.com

Lastly love the signal flags in the picture below. Dressed as a 19th century sailor on the deck of a wooden sailing ship- Punch

signal flags,ships,ocean,
photo credit- punch.photoshelter.com

Here is a link with a little bit about Frequently Asked Questions from the Navy site.

Phonetic alphabet is a list of words used to identify letters in a message transmitted by radio or telephone. Spoken words from an approved list are substituted for letters. For example, the word “Navy” would be “November Alfa Victor Yankee” when spelled in the phonetic alphabet. This practice helps to prevent confusion between similar sounding letters, such as “m” and “n”, and to clarify communications that may be garbled during transmission.

An early version of the phonetic alphabet appears in the 1913 edition of The Bluejackets’ Manual. Found in the Signals section, it was paired with the Alphabetical Code Flags defined in the International Code. Both the meanings of the flags (the letter which they represent) and their names (which make up the phonetic alphabet) were selected by international agreement. Later editions included the Morse code signal as well.

 

Hope you enjoyed the post!