Thorp Air Command -

Stroll down memory lane
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Author:  JackPark [ Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Stroll down memory lane

In 1963 I bought T18 plan set 67 directly from John Thorp. By mid 1966, I was flying it. It was N2264B; John's Skyscooter was N2262B. By 1971 after flying all over the country, I snagged a cable over Shasta Lake and landed it in the lake. It doesn't float very well.

Stumbling on this group brought back a flood of really fond memories.


Author:  James Grahn [ Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Stroll down memory lane


Author:  N2056 [ Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Stroll down memory lane

I have some memories for you!
On April 27th, 1971 you were the test pilot for my Dad's first Thorp. :)

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Author:  JackPark [ Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Stroll down memory lane

Wow! Ramona Airport.
I recall breaking ground and noticing the cylinder head temperature climbing into the red, so I throttled back and cut short the flight.
Talk about memories!
Many thanks for that.
What does it mean "my dad's first Thorp?" Did he build another one? I vaguely recall that he had a motorglider parked at that airport.

Author:  JackPark [ Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Stroll down memory lane

This is what "memory lane" is about; looking at photos of you taken 48 years ago, finding it hard to get to sleep at night because your brain will not let go of revisiting that experience. I was 26 years old, then, and now, through different eyes, I recognize that my identity was locked up in flying, and perhaps especially the adrenaline rush of test flying new birds. Today, things are a bit more mundane; I am a co-founder of a non-profit seeking to tame global conversations about wicked problems. Back then, test flying had its own wicked moments.

Somezheimer's won't let me recall your father's name, but I have an image of a couple of men, and two young women - one of whom was introduced as his daughter - on that day. I flew there, as I recall, in a friend's T-18 because mine was already in a hanger being disassembled for parts after hauling it out of Shasta Lake.

I now live in Temecula, deep in the heart of the Riverside, Ramona, San Diego region. I'd be happy to meet with others, and especially that family.

Author:  JackPark [ Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Stroll down memory lane

Ok. Roaming about this site, searching on N2056, I discovered the sad news that John Kerr had passed away due to a cancer. A sad closure on this particular memory lane. Sigh.

Author:  N2056 [ Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Stroll down memory lane

I am sorry for the delay in responding. That ended up being a trip down memory lane for me as well. Dad actually was involved with 3 builds. The one you flew, one built by an aerospace studies program at a local high school that he was involved with, and the polished one you saw here. Those pictures I posted were captured from the movie that was made of your flight. I was able to convert it off of my DVD and put it on YouTube.

Author:  JackPark [ Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Stroll down memory lane

Your father was an amazing fellow. It's even hard for me to imagine a high school building an airplane, must less a T-18.
If you or anyone else wants to talk in depth, use jackpark at gmail and put [T18] or something like that in the subject line.

Thank you very much for this stroll down memory lane.

Author:  JackPark [ Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Stroll down memory lane

The video cleared up what was a faulty memory of this event. Earlier, I said I recalled meeting a daughter, and there was a motorglider. It's clear now that I conflated this T-18 test flight with a completely different event, though possibly at the same airport.

Author:  JackPark [ Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Stroll down memory lane

Speaking of test flying T-18s, I recall flying with John Thorp in his Skyscooter out to Lancaster and putting flight hours on his own T-18 after it was built. Flights in the Mojave desert would otherwise be boring except that you have so many gorgeous mountains and other scenes to fly over and observe; you can fly through the Tehachapis and drop down and shoot landings at Mojave airport.

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