Airplanes
I love to fly airplanes. And I think they are the most beautiful objects created by humankind. They are the ultimate expression of "form follows function." 

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N66745. The Cessna 150 I soloed in at Grosse Ile airport just south of Detroit. Thank you Joe Hicks, wherever you are, for teaching me to fly!
N3339T, a 1967 Cessna 177 Cardinal owned by friend Mike Walker who graciously let me log most of the time in my logbook in his airplane. I later flew this airplane from Michigan to West Palm Beach, FL for Mike where he now lives. And I had a grand time getting there.
This Bellanca Super Decathalon was owned by my uncle, Ron Philgreen, and his partners for a year or so. I had some great fun getting upside down in it.
CCCP02523, an Antanov An-2 cabin biplane. I flew this one winter afternoon with Vladimir E. Bobrovsky, Chief of Air Squadron, Novgorod, Russia. If you like flying stories, read the  article about this flight.
Click here to link to it: An-2 Article ( in the travel journals section of this web site)
An2cpitThumb.JPG (7482 bytes) AN2 Cockpit.
Vladimir throttling up the 1,000hp radial for taxi.
View out right cockpit window of An-2 over Novgorod, Russia.
An-2 on final to dirt strip from right seat.
The Aeroflot chief pilot's logbook given to me by my friends after our flying outing.
The entry they made in the logbook for 40 minutes flying time, Vladimir's business card, and the receipt for chartering the aircraft - 254 rubles, worth about $5 at the time.
Tupelov 154 cockpit immediately prior to flight from Moscow to Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad). No, I didn't get to fly this one. Bummer. This was in 1992 and security was sometimes hyper-strict and sometimes, obviously, quite lax. The Tu-154 is the airliner that looks like a copy of the Boeing 727 tri-jet. Actually, except for the tri-jet configuration, it is a very different design, especially the wings and landing gear.
Shooting out of a Cessna 206 with the cargo doors removed. Notice the wind deflector mounted to the hinge points. This helps a lot. For more about video production using this camera, click here: DV Production
Cessna 206 over Papua New Guinea.
JAARS Cessna 402, also over Papua New Guinea. (This and the 206 shot above are still frames from DV video shot from another 206 depicted in the camera configuration shot above.)
Friend, Bill Cristobal, a pilot for JAARS, the Jungle Aviation and Radio Service. Bill has spent more than two years of his life (that is: 2 x 365days x 24 hrs) piloting aircraft. He has flown thousands of hours in the C206 and C402 above (and others identical to them) as well as in the helicopters below. He was a Huey slick pilot in Viet Nam. Bill is an amazing pilot, aircraft mechanic, and all-around wonderful guy.
Shooting from the old JAARS Hiller (since retired) in Papua New Guinea.
The JAARS Bell Jet Ranger in Papua New Guinea. I spent a whole glorious day shooting this aircraft and from it all over PNG with Bill Cristobal.
Bill taking off from a refueling stop in the mountains.
A B-25 wreck, one of many WW-II wrecks around the island. GPS coordinates took us straight to this one in the middle of nowhere. Sadly, many of these wrecks have been looted and many have been helicoptered out by the Australian military.
Profound contrast: a turbine powered flying machine of extrordinary precision and capability viewed by tribal men in the shade of a grass hut.
My Dad, Irv Philgreen, and I next to Cessna 172 Skyhawk, 3931R.  31 Romeo belonged to the Hinsdale, Illinois flying club (formerly the Hinsdale Hospital Flying Club.) Dad was a member of this club for quite a few years and we flew this plane a lot. When the old Hinsdale airport was closed and turned into an industrial park, the planes were based at Lewis Lockport airport, Lockport, Illinois.
Dad bought some block time from the guy who owned this old Ercoupe. He had a disability and couldn't fly an airplane with rudder pedals. The Ercoupe had coupled rudders and no pedals. To land in a crosswind you flew it crabbed all the way to the ground. The main gear castered and straightened the plane on the ground by cam action as it settled.  Also, it wouldn't spin. A rather strange plane, but it flew.
Luscombe N2073B. My dad learned to fly in this very airplane when I was a tyke. He actually owned a share of it, the only airplane he ever had ownership in. The airplane was damaged in an incident on the ground during a landing roll-out (not uncommon with Luscombes) while one of the other partners was flying it. Dad took his check ride in a Cessna 140 and never flew a Luscombe again. But he talked about them all his life.
Bill Milbourn, the current owner of the Luscombe. I found the airplane and Bill through a website and sent him a letter. He called one Saturday and invited me to come out to Kansas to fly it with him. I did! What a kick! It was a great time and very meaningful to me to fly my dad's plane. Bill has promised me that if he ever sells it, I have right of first refusal. A pleasant fantasy, but just maybe...
Panel of Luscombe N2073B. Bill did a fantastic job of restoring the airplane from the pieces it sat in for over a decade. This interior shows that it's now nicer than it was when new. Bill bought and installed a mechanically variable pitch prop from one of the famous Cole brothers. (He couldn't remember if it was Marian or Duane) You can see the crank for prop pitch control on the upper right of the panel.
73 Bravo's finish is now highly polished aluminum. This is a tremendous amount of work to accomplish and to maintain. Bill has a rag handy at all times. If you touch the plane, he's polishing the prints away immediately. This airplane shines like a mirror - something that is very rare to see these days. Just beautiful! 73 Bravo has won awards at the famous EAA airshow at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
My cousin's husband, Steve Blazer, with his restored Taylorcraft. This is a beautiful and sweet flying airplane. Steve flew it out to the Leavenworth airport to meet us the day I went out to fly the Luscombe. I got to fly two beautifully restored classic taildraggers on the same day. Unforgetable!
This airplane represents a dream: I have wanted to build an airplane with my own hands since I was a boy, and this particular one, the Kitfox, for the last 10 years or so. Maybe someday. Standing in front of it is another dream: this one come true, my wonderful daughter, Stacey.

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Copyright 1998 by Dan Philgreen - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED