Wings of Eagles

Discussion in 'Warbird Displays' started by skipperbob, May 22, 2010.

  1. skipperbob

    skipperbob Member

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    Does anyone remember the "Wings of Eagle" airshow that was held in Geneseo NY back in the 80' and 90's? It was a great event, held every summer and was strictly for WW II vintage aircraft. The airstrip was a large grass field with a couple of hangars but they would get a huge turnout every year, thousands of people and dozens of beautiful aircraft. Besides the usual trainers and single engine fighters they made a point of trying to get as many four engine planes as they could, including B-17s and a Lancaster from a Canadian museum that came every year. One year they had six B-17s, one Liberator, the Lancaster and even a Connie made an appearance! I have videos from those show but they are on VHS and I should convert them to a CD before something happens to them. There was also a small museum, called the National Warplane Museum where they kept several aircraft that the museum owned and restored. If you were a member of the museum you could come during the year and volunteer to work on the aircraft to help maintain them and it was a fantastic feeling to actually put your hands on these vintage war birds. Their pride and joy was a B-17G that they restored, named Fuddy Duddy. I donated time and money towards restoring that Fortress and I managed to get one short ride in it I will never forget.

    Unfortunately it all started to fall apart several years ago, they got too big for their grass field and moved everything to an airport near Elmira NY. They tried to expand the airshow to include jets and other modern aircraft, and had more acrobatics and such but it had completely lost it's feeling for vintage aircraft and it's uniqueness and soon the museum was losing money until finally they sold the Fuddy Duddy and I was crushed. I still see and hear about the" Fud" flying at various shows around the country, I believe it is based in California now, and I'm proud to look at pics of her and think that I helped in my small way to get her flying. I believe the National Warplane museum is still in Elmira but I don't go, too many sad memories of what it used to be when they were at Geneseo with the grass field and all.

    Here are some pics I took through the years at Geneseo, sorry for the quality, before digital cameras you know!

    Some nose art on various B-17's that were at the airshow and also some pics of taxing, that is how close you could get to them, right up to the edge of the strip! The noise was deafening, you could feel the slipstream beating on you and smell the oil and gas. It was fantastic! Nothing like most airshows today where you are roped off and can't get close to them while they are running. I sure miss that grass strip and those old war birds at Geneseo from long ago. Forgive me if I have rambled on too much - was anyone else ever at those great "Wings of Eagles" shows?
     

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  2. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    #2 pbfoot, May 22, 2010
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
    very rarely have I missed it . Fuddy Duddy was sold from under them without the knowledge of many of the people that restored it and is still a very sore point . The airshow at Genny still exists and is still IMHO the Top of the Class , I base this on 45yrs of attending airshows , there is no other airshow that gives access to the aircraft like Genny . Try and get there it hasn't changed much
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/warbird-displays/geneseo-2009-a-19659.html
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/warbird-displays/geneseo-2007-a-8801.html
    1941 Historical Aircraft Group Museum, Geneseo, NY
     

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  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Welcome to the forum Bob! Geneseo still has an airshow every year - hoping to go next year. One of our members, pbfoot, I believe has gone several times and volunteers his time working on Marseilles Bf 109 which attends the shows at times.

    Great pics!

    EDIT: Neil we posted at the same time! :)
     
  4. skipperbob

    skipperbob Member

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    #4 skipperbob, May 22, 2010
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
    Thanks. To be honest I didn't realize there was still a show at Geneseo. I was so bummed out when they moved and then sold "Fuddy Duddy" that I kind of lost interest. I will do my best to try and check it out this July! There is nothing like being on grass and getting that close to the aircraft!


    Just went and looked at the pics from 2007 - 2009. Made my old heart race again. Will definitely be back this summer!
     
  5. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    #5 pbfoot, May 22, 2010
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
    I don't know the full story but not one of the guys that restored Fuddy Duddy was aware that she was being sold , they were cold cocked , but they do have the "movie" Memphis Belle based there gotta call it the Movie Belle as the AFM wil not let them call her the Memphis Belle . If you have the formation with the 6 B17s , 2B24's and the lanc I 'd kill to see that again I believe there was also a formation of 25+ T6s or Harvards depending on which side of the border your on
     
  6. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Great shots!
     
  7. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Great shots Skipper.

    Fuddy Duddy was flown this year at the Chino air show.
    I think she's been painted in different colors though?


    Wheels
     
  8. skipperbob

    skipperbob Member

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    #8 skipperbob, May 23, 2010
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
    Oh no! First they sell the plane out from under us and now they change the name! I guess they can do whatever they want to her now. Any idea what she goes by at the moment? I didn't do anywhere near the amount of work on the Fuddy Duddy that many other volunteers did but it was a real feeling of pride to think I was helping keep that plane in the air. They never even notified me by mail what had happened - got a call from another distraught volunteer who had put hundreds of hours into her. What a shame.

    I'm afraid the pics I took back when were with a primitive camera by today's standards and I never got any good shots of them in the air but I will try to get my videos redone to CDs!

    Found these old photos from an airshow they used to have at the Oswego County Airport in Fulton NY. About twenty minutes from where I live. The Fuddy Duddy came every year and it was really nice to see a Spitfire close up, only one I have ever seen in flying condition. What a beautiful sound when it went over! That RR Merlin was unmistakable! Like Geneseo you could get right up to the taxi way as the planes went past. Once they had to move the Fud to make room for another plane to taxi out and it sat right in front of me for twenty minutes, gale winds blowing back into our faces, oil mixed in blowing onto everything - a real dream! Was a terrific summer to be able to go to both shows but after three years the Oswego County legislature stopped funding to help support the airshow and it folded.
     

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  9. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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  10. skipperbob

    skipperbob Member

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    I can't tell you how happy it made me to check out the link you posted! I feel so much better to see that Fuddy Duddy is receiving such TLC. I wish it had been handled better but it looks like she is in a better place than where she was. The engine cowling you mention was indeed green. I'm afraid my old brain has forgotten exactly why but I believe it was meant as a memorial type thing for missing aircrew. I may be wrong but that is my recollection anyway. Thanks again - made my day to see the old Fud looking so good!
     
  11. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    you won't get that sentiment from the guys at Genny
     
  12. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    I am glad that it helped. When i saw her at Chino she still looked real sharp.
    I got to see her fly at the show but I also quite by accident got to see her fly by my house on her way to the show.
    I almost ignored what I heard because I couldn't beleive my ears.

    The video below is of her taxiing to takeoff and leave after the show was over.
    You will probably need quicktime to watch it.


    Wheels
     

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  13. PamelaMyers

    PamelaMyers New Member

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    #13 PamelaMyers, Jul 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
    Hi, I am new and before I ask my question, I first want to share my link to my hubby's flight on Fuddy Duddy in the 90's as I think some of you may be interested in reading it :) My hubby loves WW planes. I bought him a ticket one time as a surprise and boy oh boy was he in his glory. http://richard-and-pamela-myers.net/my-ride-on-fuddy-duddy<---This is what he wrote about the flight and photos.

    My question is related to a poster he collected from an air show with two autographs and we can not locate a year , but we know it was the 19th Annual Air show at Elmira, New York. I am selling(or going to try to sell) the poster, but would like the year of the show for sure if anyone knows it. Here is the link to the poster. 1990′s | A Book Kook I have it in the 1990's section, but I am not sure if that is correct and not sure if it is worth that much either, but I just stuck a figure there for now. Thanks for any help you can give me, and I hope you enjoy the Fuddy Duddy story my hubby wrote. He makes model air planes and hangs them from his ceiling too :) I'll share a photo of that later..

    ADD ON TO POST -

    Well, talk about a ditz! I just opened the poster and way at the bottom (in the directions to the airport) it clearly says 1999 Air show! DUH! I just asked my husband if he remembers getting this poster at the show (which is the same show he flew in the Fuddy Duddy and he said no! I asked him to go look at his certificate and see if the pilot was the same and it is! This Senior moment stuff is starting to get to me! I am 68 and he is 58 and I swear I do not know which of us has more of these senior moments. I think it's him, but of course, I would say that. <G>
     
  14. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Hi Pamela, welcome to the forum. What a great gesture giving your hubby a ride on a ww2 aircraft. Wish my wife would do that!
     
  15. PamelaMyers

    PamelaMyers New Member

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    Thank you Crimea_River,

    Maybe some day she will buy you a ticket.

    :D
     
  16. Dermanville

    Dermanville New Member

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    These were GREAT shows. I took my kids to a small aerobatic air-show in OC, NJ yesterday, and told them all about the "Cornfield Air Shows" I'd taken their Grandpop to. He was a B-24 pilot who was show down on his 49th mission and spent the rest of the war as a POW. I was fortunate enough to know one of the organizers of these shows, and he got my Dad a ride on "Delectable Doris" - the owner and pilot was kind enough to give Dad the controls so that he could complete his 50th mission. One of the best days that I ever spent with my Dad.
     
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