December 5, 2011
I am constantly looking for ways to share my love for aviation with my kids. We started by making planespotting a daily activity whenever we are outside. Then I added a few trips to the airport to sit in a few cockpits and spotting some takeoffs and even grading a few landings. However, most exciting as of late is their interest in books. They are getting to the stage where they enjoy sitting in my lap to read a book or even to sitting on their own and flipping pages and pointing at neat images (what is neater than an airplane?).
A new favorite in our household is the fourth installment of illustrated books featuring Claire Bear, a pink-clad aerobatic performer and mentor for aspiring young pilots. Claire Bear Flies to Oshkosh follows Claire Bear on one of the greatest rights of passage in aviation a flight to AirVenture. The book is beautifully illustrated by Linda Terentiak who does an excellent job bringing AirVenture to life with many familiar sights for those who have attended the annual airshow. The book is my second in a now growing collection of childrens books oriented around Oshkosh sitting on our bookshelf next to Treat Williams and Robert Neubecker's Airshow!
Author and Pilot Sue Hughes is founder of Powder Puff Pilot, a great online resource for pilot accessories and gear oriented towards women. Hughes is successfully inspiring the next generation of aviators through her series of books and products on her website. Girls with Wings, is another great resource for aviation products for girls. Check out my Aviation Products for the Whole Family post to find more products geared towards young aviators in the making.
September 13, 2010
Airshow season is winding down, but if you have kids in the house you can still enjoy the excitement of an airshow with the new illustrated children's book from Treat Williams and Robert Neubecker, Airshow!
Treat Williams is an actor best known for his role in "Hair" and most recently in the television series "Everwood", though his real passion is aviation. Williams soloed when he was 17 and has been a pilot for more than 30 years. He met illustrator Robert Neubecker at a release party for "Wow City" where he learned that Neubecker was an aviation enthusiast. They decided they needed to work on a project to share their passion for aviation with kids.
I had the opportunity to check out the book and meet the author and illustrator when they flew into the Chicago Area in Williams' Piper Navajo to promote the book prior to the Chicago Air & Water Show. Their mutual passion for aviation was immediately noticeable as we toured the plane inside and out while sharing a few aviation tales. While touring the cockpit I noticed that the instrument panel looked liked the inside panel of the book. Neubecker confirmed it was inspired by that very cockpit.
Neubecker also drew much of the inspiration for the artwork from a trip to AirVenture a few summers ago. He and Williams attended the show together to find inspiration and for those who have attended Oshkosh, they will find a strong resemblance between some of the illustrations and their memories of touring the tarmac at Wittman Regional Airport.
The story follows a brother and sister, Gill and Ellie, (named after Williams' children) as they join their pilot father and his co-pilot friend for their first fly-in to an airshow.
As a new father, I am excited about having a book that will allow me to share my love for aviation with my children. The book includes illustrations of some of my favorite aircraft (B-17 Flying Fortress, P-51 Mustang, DC-3, Piper Cub and many more) and also includes some great aviation radio call dialogue which will be fun to read to my kids.
Williams and Neubecker succeed in creating a book that would share their passion for aviation with kids for years to come.
December 20, 2009
For twenty five years Sporty's have helped pilots celebrate the Christmas Season with a line of Crystal Christmas Ornaments. This year their ornament features a P-51 Mustang that Sporty's Vice President John Zimmerman describes as "an iconic American airplane that is a rich part of our own aviation history." The P-51, often an airshow favorite, is the best air to air combat fighter ever flown.
I added the P-51 Mustang to my collection which also includes a Cessna 195 (2005), Lockheed Constellation (2006), Spirit of St. Louis (2007), Cirrus (2008). About a third of my tree is now adorned with aviation centric ornaments. If you have a pilot on your gift list or are looking for another way to celebrate aviation during the holidays check out Sporty's line of ornaments.