Since Jim and Jackie would be in Washington DC on June 22, 2017 for a National Aeronautic Association award program, Airbus decided to leverage that trip for Perlan. At 8 am Kristina Messner from Focused Image took us to the ABC television station for an interview about Argentina Campaign Two with David Kerley. See http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/video/meet-man-attempting-break-world-glidi... Then we drove over to the Airbus Center on Pennsylvania Ave.
Ken McKenzie and Jamie Darcy met us on the 8th floor of the Airbus Center. At their museum I was amazed to see a 1:4 scale of the Perlan 2 glider monopolizing one wall. There was more great interest by top name media - NBC, WTOP radio, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Aviation Week, USA Today, Science magazine, and others. See https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/06/22/glider-project-aims-highe...
The Airbus Center Capitol Room has a fabulous view down Pennsylvania Ave towards the Capitol. Across the street is the beautiful old Post Office building. Only the Washington Monument and the Post Office Building are allowed to be the tallest buildings inside DC. You can just see the Wasington Monument to the right of the Post Office Bld in my photo. The PO Bld was bought by Trump (prior to presidency) and converted into an international hotel and conference center.
At 6 pm we went to the Lockheed Fighter Center in Crystal City for the NAA Most Memorable Records of 2016 ceremony. In March 2016 Jim and Miguel Iturmendi flew Dennis' Arcus at almost 190 mph for 300 kilometer Out and Return from Inyokern to Big Pine and return. See At 305 kph it is the fastest US Soaring Record ever. Ken McKenzie joined us for the fun.
To entertain all these record setting pilots, NAA arranged to have the F-22 and F-35 simulators operational. Jackie was first. When asked if I had any aviation experience, I responded 500 hours of private aircraft. I shot down the first bogey, but crashed two other times. When Jim was asked did he have any aviation experience, he replied, "Some." (Jim was Top Gun of his Aggressor class and flew Aggresor F-5s for two years before becoming a Distinguished Graduate of Test Pilot School.) He proceeded to shoot 3 of 4 bogeys, never crashed, and ran out of bullets. He kept the "pipper" on the last bogey for the rest of the mission time. Even though it's been 20 years, I guess a Top Gun retains "some" skills.
We went over to the F-35 sim and Jim asked if he could do a vertical take off and landing. Again Jim acknowledged he had "some" experience. The instructor was amazed, but agreeable. He made a perfect aircraft carrier vertical landing and take off. This is the sixth time one of Jim's record flights has been awarded Most Memorable status. We have been so fortunate in our soaring endevors.
Art Greenfield of NAA had asked if Jim would speak about Perlan after recounting the wave flight from March '16. The audience was impressed. See my original blog at https://soaringblog.tumblr.com/post/141117727128/fastest-ever-us-nationa...
Each time we visit DC we try to get to the Air and Space Smithsonian Museum. I am always impressed by the aviation accomplishments highlighted. The 1903 Wright Flyer is a favorite of mine. But finally it was time to return to Minden and get ready for the next big Perlan Argentina trip.
I appologize that the cropping of photos is not working correctly. The photos look fine as I load them, they just don't display correctly. Blogging can be challenging on this website.