Monday, August 17, 2009

$100 Hamburger at KCGE

With a little extra time in DC this weekend, some aviation for enjoyment (as opposed to commuting) seemed in order. So, yesterday my son and I flew N631S over to the Cambridge-Dorchester Airport (KCGE) on Maryland's Eastern Shore. My first objective was use and get comfortable with the security procedures for VFR flight in and out of the DC Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ). (My home 'drome, VKX, is one of the famous "DC-3" airports.) So far I'd only done it IFR, and there are some small procedural differences. That all turned out to be straightforward - easier to do than to explain.
The second objective was lunch and that also worked out well. The restaurant at Cambridge, "Kay's at the Airport", is really quite good. We had excellent sandwiches, the iced tea is really brewed and the soft drinks are served in large Mason jars that they re-fill for free. And while you are having lunch you can watch the traffic on the runway and also at the hummingbird feeders just outside the windows. The little creatures are fascinating!
We also watched another little bird arrive. This one:
The Cessna 140 was designed by Dwane Wallace and company as the Second World War was drawing to a close. This particular example was built in 1946, the first production year (s/n 11032...which may imply that it is #32 out of over 5,000). It's powered by a Continental C85 85 hp engine. It's a very pretty airplane and wears its 63 years of age with grace.
In a sense, the Cessna 140 is N631S's great-grandfather. In about 1949 the 140 begat the 170, which was stretched to accommodate two more passengers and was given in consequence the more powerful Continental O-200 145 hp engine. In 1952 the 170 evolved into the 180, a "high-performance" four-seater powered by the Continental O-470A engine, with 225 hp. And finally in 1956 the 180 was given a tricycle landing gear and re-christened the Cessna 182. If you strip the skins off of all these airplanes the common design DNA is apparent in the structural layouts.
Since I expect to keep flying N631S for a good long time, it was nice to see "great-grandpa" looking so hale and fit at KCGE yesterday!

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