By Roger Chesneau
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Additional info for Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II
So if wind velocity and direction are unknown, the plane could be blown oﬀ course. 8 Takeoﬀs and landings were very demanding. ” A windsock, a tube of bright-colored fabric at the top of a tall pole, indicated wind direction. Most had no facilities for fueling or servicing airplanes. Pilots and tour coordinators had to make - 39 - Walking on Air prior arrangements to be certain fuel, parts, and mechanics would be available to them. Short ﬁelds at high elevations or on hot days were hazardous, much easier to get into than out of.
They found a barn in Iowa that had a central runway from end to end, and rigged a trapeze bar from the rafters. While Messer hung by his knees with his arms extended, Phoebe stood on the seat of an old buggy as Vernon piloted the team of horses. As Vernon drove the buggy through the barn, Phoebe would reach up to grasp Messer’s hands and be pulled up alongside him on the trapeze. Gradually they increased the speed of the horses to a fast trot until she could connect with Messer on every pass. When they thought they had the stunt perfected, they alerted Fox to send a camera crew to ﬁlm it.
They had to hock their clothes and luggage to the Arlington Hotel where they were staying until they could resume ﬂying and discharge their bill. 1 They talked about settling down. Vernon wanted to make a living from aviation that didn’t involve stunting and daredevil ﬂying. Like many barnstormers, his ultimate goal was to establish aviation as a legitimate business. 2 Air-mindedness was a kind of “air intoxication” that gripped Americans during the golden age of aviation in the early twentieth century.
Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II by Roger Chesneau