Tranquilized by the falling air and attracted by the crystal blue dome of the sky at Col Palen's old airfield in early October, I pass the breakfast and the new field gift shop to the Biplanes Rides booth, reserving one of four passenger seats in the new standard airplane D-25 with open cabin on Hudson Valley Air Tours.
My ticket, which is already $ 100 and a significant increase over its $ 25 price since 1995, will provide me with a seat in flight HV 007, which took off in 1215. Although unofficial, the flight number was made up by the fact that that is the seventh climb of the Day.
I would be accompanied by a young couple who would share the front seats of the two benches, and a man with a white beard who would join me behind them. The pilot, of course, with his own cockpit, was behind us all.
Takeoff Terminal Plate Translated as "Outside Rides Booth", "New Standard D-25, American, 1928, Continental 220hp Engine Designed specifically for perch, the D.25 was the 25th Charles Day Design aircraft. It transports four paid passengers, is easy to fly, operates from the smallest fields and uses modern (1928) construction techniques. Our first new standard carried over 11,000 passengers here at Old Rhinebeck Airport. "
It was not completely correct. The total number of passengers was accurate just a few years ago, and its single D-25, registered N19157, has since been joined by a second, N176H, which will fly for the first time today; my other flights to the Hudson Valley have aired in 1995 , 2000 and 2006
Withdrawing the field after its previous chain headed for cab charges and defrauded its four passengers, before the next four, armed with pre-departure safety instruction and wearing helmets and goggles, were allowed to cross the grass to the two-way ramp step at the bottom of the wing. The turning time of this now 89-year-old aircraft can be measured in minutes.
After the root fuselage of the black fuselage, the orange wing of the biplane whose engine was spinning and spraying all the time, I stepped into the cockpit – and into the Golden Age of the cane. Taking the left of the two seats on the rear bench (2A) and stretching the seat belt like a metal handshake to that of the passenger next to me in 2B, I intimately tied it to his. Shared bench seats mean general seat belts.
The assault on the ears and nose, even with its idle propeller, resulted in an instant immersion in the technology left by the cab in the late 1920s. The slider was so fierce that my nostrils couldn't absorb the air, and the throat splash of the engine was deafening. As with my other outdoor cabin cases, I hoped to experience this era of aviation through my senses. Maybe I was – and still was on earth no less.
If the idle setting was exhausted, then the advance of the throttle caused a rude awakening. Released from the brake, the biplane began sprinting over the grass toward the slopes of the track, which in this case was the southern end of the field, covered with grass, overcoming it and turning right, on a 180-degree turn, on its tail wheel.
There was no take-off permit. There was no radio to provide it. Nor was there any other land traffic to deal with.
Full throttle advancement, opening of the combustion arteries and pumping of the plane's engine with a life-expanding plasma forced the plane to gravity driven by gravity down the hill, at the bottom of which its tail rises in flight of a horizontal stabilizer, allowing the wing to stabilize. to do the rest and generate a lift.
The slider, created by the rotating propeller and the increasing speed of air, hopelessly unrestricted by the tiny plexiglass windscreen, hit my face and served such pressure on my nostrils that they ironically failed to accept despite the excessive amount of air , the substance itself was needed from my lungs.
It reached the wings for sure, but its increased speed counteracted the reduced pressure and allowed the biplane to jump from the rolling grass strip. Double wings mean a doubling of the size of the surface and its ability to generate lift. Turning to the cool, lively, crystalline blue, he crossed the line of planes, seemingly tucked away in the harbor of history on the port side, in the form of Caudron G.III, Albatros D.Va and Fokker Dr.1. triplane.
Overcoming the northern edge of the field and briefly tilting to the left, the D-25 triumphs over the diminishing size of the Hudson Valley. Norton Road, now a narrower strip than the type used in packing, went under the wing of the harbor. Viewed from a different and descending point of view, this was the path from which I had looked up at this very aircraft when I approached the airport, which now pulled behind my left shoulder.
After going beyond the physical boundaries of the earth, the D-25 cut through the blue hue with an autumn bite, its orange, retaining ligaments covered with tissue wings that extend over mostly green trees and patches of farmland, only occasionally. accented by a lemon clock.
A pause made my inner contemplation easier, both for the cabin of four and for my location in it at previous sightings in Cole Palen's sky storm. I was currently taking up my original seat — that is, what I was introduced to in the air travel era in 1995. In the front, to the right of both seats, 1B, was Jose, one of my Aviation History classmates at Farmingdale State University and next to him in 1A, Christian, as I recall, another in our class. I replaced Jose on my next two ascents in 2000 and 2006 and my mother was sitting next to both of me.
Now I was theoretically sitting behind her – or at least her seat, but since she had left the physical plan about 20 months earlier, I could only include her in my current flight, getting so close to the sluggish slippage of earth ties and the elevation of which her soul was surely capable now. He was here with me already, I knew.
Cole Palen himself, the founder of his famous airfield, eclipsed the boundary between physical and eternal dimensions two years before that initial battle in 1995, and I never saw Jose or Christian again after graduation. Well, at least I still had myself.
The wind, perhaps the echo of them all, was fighting the engine for good dominance, but though the latter won technically, it roared and howled in its own way. Could the cockpit experience be as authentic without them? I doubt.
Turning the outskirts of the Hudson River, the azure snake that intertwined the radiant topography, the D-25 tilted to the left before reaching the steel erectile system, resembling the Reincliffe Bridge, signaling the return of the field too soon.
His shadow, reflected from the ground by a silhouette, skipped the farm geometries below like a boundless spirit, and certainly bore Cole's imprint.
Navigating the invisible air currents, the biplane began a series of sharp turns, its wings swayed and protested with every maneuver, and air speed fluctuations registered a strong wind intensity.
Passing perpendicularly over the green power, which was Old Rhinebeck's 500-meter airbase, the D-25 curved into a downward left turn with reduced gravity, practically diving into the orbs of trees obstructing its southern end.
Passing over the hill, he stopped his speed of descent about 100 feet above the ground, firing and abruptly grabbing the gravel path that traversed the field with his two wheels and allowing the resistance of his grass to drain him from his inertia.
Turning to the left with a tide of force, he headed back to the biplane booth to ride under the heavy lunch blue.
Releasing the seat belt buckle I had shared with a man I had never known, but whom I exchanged glances with in the air from time to time, I climbed out of the cockpit of the still-throbbing biplane and down the wing's wing. to land and back in 2017