Sunday, July 11, 2010

Back at the Airport

I'm working at learning the rather daunting interface of the Blender 3D drawing program. Meanwhile, I'm still having fun noodling around with Google SketchUp.

The small airport composition is made mostly from recycled parts. The planes were replicated from a previous drawing. The two figures, the bike rack and the bench are from SketchUp's sample box. The spiral stairs is nearly a one-click production, thanks to the marvelous on line plugin from The Engineering Toolbox.

The inspiration for my small airport came in part from the ad below which appeared in the Nov. 1944 issue of Popular Mechanics. I also have my own memories of flying off grass strips in the '40s and '50s in Kent and Renton, Washington.

It certainly made good sense for Aeronca to target farmers with their ad pitch for new dealers. Farmers had the land, as well as the necessary mechanical and construction skills to support such an undertaking. I don't know how many such ventures were successful; probably a rather small percentage in the long run, I'd guess. Ultimately, of course, the small airports succumbed to the same suburban development onslaught that contributed to killing off the small farms.

I suppose there is still some possibility that one could start up a small aviation business these days, but the budding entrepreneur had better have an MBA, and maybe a minor in computer science.

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