Taking the aircraft to the Vintage Wings airshow yesterday was both very satisfying, and extremely frustrating. The weather was fabulous, if a bit hot, and there was a huge crowd on the airfield. The aircraft drew a large amount of interest, and was surrounded by people the whole day. I ran into quite a few old friends who knew I was building an aircraft, but had never seen it.

The down side - Most folks were careful, but there were a distressingly large number who were completely thoughtless. I had to yell at quite a few kids who were beating on it. One little boy, sitting under the shade of the wing, suddenly started yanking on the pitot tube. I was extremely upset to find a big chunk of ashes that had fallen off a cigarette onto one of the elevators. Fortunately the ashes seemed to have not been that hot, and I don’t think they did any visible damage to the paint. I had the canopy cracked open to keep the interior temperature from getting too high, and I had the key lock locked to prevent anyone from pulling it any further open. But, that didn’t stop someone from yanking on the canopy hard enough to pull it open past the lock - I need to figure out how they did that, and beef it up. When cleaning the bugs off after the flight home, I found a big black mark on the side of the fuselage - I think it was from the sole of a kids foot - he must have kicked as his parent held him up to peer in the cockpit. I managed to get the mark off after quite a bit of scrubbing.

Lesson Learned - I won’t put the aircraft on static display at any more big airshows unless I have arranged to have the aircraft cordoned off to keep the crowd away from it.