Hiller Aviation Museum: Bay Area X-Planes

Saturday October 19, 2013

A child stopped in front of a house in his neighborhood and asked the woman working out front why she had such a strange looking canoe in her driveway. „It’s not a canoe, it’s an airplane!” said the woman. Mystified, the boy asked where the wings were if the odd contraption was actually an airplane. The woman laughed and replied, „In my living room, of course!”

Strange stories like this happen often to the men and women who build experimental aircraft, often in their own garage. These homebuilt X-Planes are constructed, certified by the FAA, and then flown.

The thought of Caractacus Potts from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tinkering in his laboratory conjures up Hollywood images of eccentric inventors, but these creative souls are actually normal people that have a love of flight and a desire to create their own flying machine! While some of these aircraft are economical and can be built for less than the cost of a new car, others are high tech machines more expensive than the fanciest of sports cars.

On Saturday, October 19th, the Hiller Aviation Museum hosts a gathering of these homebuilt X-Planes and their builders from around the Bay Area. Join us to meet these magnificent men (and women) and their flying machines.

NASA X-Plane Test Pilot
Dan Dugan

11AMTiltrotor research in the United States goes back as far as the twenties. The first successful demonstrations of full conversions from the helicopter mode to the airplane mode, however, were with the Bell XV-3 in the fifties. The Army/NASA XV-15 successfully proved the tiltrotor concept in the seventies and eighties which led to the development of the MV-22 Osprey. After a difficult and sometimes tragic development, the MV-22 (Marines) and the CV-22 (Air Force) have emerged as reliable and capable aircraft with unique capabilities. A civil, corporate sized version, the Augusta- Westland 609 (formerly Bell-Augusta), is under test and development and will be fielded in 2016 or earlier.

Come listen to Dan share some of his most exciting and interesting test pilot stories.

Event included with Museum admission.

Source / Author: Hiller Aviation Museum