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Thread: Homebuilt WW1 Antique Aerodrome

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Dayton, Ohio
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    Homebuilt WW1 Antique Aerodrome

    Not sure where to put this or if there is interest, but I am trying to build a modest aerodrome, hoping to keep in a WW1 theme to match a Sopwith Camel replica. My budget is somewhat modest, so we started with 11 acres open farmland outside of Dayton, Ohio. While typical minimum RFC standards were a field 1250 x 1250, a field of 300 x 1600 was chosen with a mowed landing field of 1600 x 150 feet - enough for most all WW1 replicas to operate easily. The field was initially in corn, but was drug and Fescue 31 grass was seeded on the landing area. There is a treeline down one side, and the approaches are clear over bean fields. Clear at least when we bury a power line running down the road next month. The first call was to the township zoning inspector who gave the go ahead for the landing field. Next calls were to Ohio DOT/Av and the FAA regional airports office in Michigan to register. Amazingly, the FAA takes even the smallest registered landing areas quite seriously as far as safety is concerned. A long process, but the folks at the FAA were accommodating and tolerant of my not knowing anything. Ohio DOT/Av were great as well - very friendly and helpful. So, again keeping with the 'somewhere in 1917 France' theme, the modest airfield was registered with a very common French name: Aerodrome Les Noyers. I had researched RFC/RNAS aerodrome buildings in France, and came up with initially starting with a wooden technical shed (hangar) and a small watch office based on the Stow Maries Pilot's ready room. Stow Maries is a WW1 aerodrome in Kent, that has completely survived being isolated in the rural English countryside. There would also be a small French farm cottage to live in to keep with the ambiance of being "over there". The aerodrome will ultimately also have a replica Bessoneau tent hangar, but that is in the next couple of years. The 50 x 40 hangar and the watch office were built in cedar planking after a stone drive lined with Poplar-like trees was laid going up to the aerodrome. This tree-lined drive will hopefully be reminiscent of those many French country roads of the early 1900s. In keeping with the name 'Les Noyers', an orchard of walnut trees will be planted in front of the cottage. The watch office interior, complete with wood stove and 1915 Victrola and period maps, acts as a nice 'hang out spot' for visiting aviation enthusiasts. the hangar houses the Sopwith and has room for a future project BE2c. Feel free to check out the Facebok page under Aerodrome Les Noyers for notams and announcements. I post some more details about the mechanics of building and running a small (tiny) antique airfield if there is interest, and hope to see you all someday for a spot of tea!
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    Last edited by snj5; 08-12-2013 at 12:15 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Alabama
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    755
    lt keeps looking better and better all the time!

    The Camel looks so authentic (as always) that it could be mistaken for some CGI magic.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    328
    Glad to see a new airfield.
    I proposed an antique Aerodrome be built on the south side of our county airport (Port Townsend WA. 0S9)to enhance the "Victorian Seaport" image that draws tourists. Something like Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in New York.

  4. #4

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    Jul 2011
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    Clarklake, MI
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    Looks great! Count me in as a future visitor.

  5. #5
    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by martymayes View Post
    Looks great! Count me in as a future visitor.
    Ditto!

    Hal Bryan
    EAA #638979
    Online Community Manager
    EAA—The Spirit of Aviation

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio
    Posts
    40
    Thanks for the posts everyone. Hope to have a fly-in picnic next Spring with the Sopwith flying, and as suggested, will have something with the DPR next fall at the USAF Museum.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    4
    My wife and I wanted to build a place similar to this with a small 1200 house on it for the 2 of us. In Northern California, we have found that doing anything like that for all practical reasons is impossible. Unless we move to deep northern counties far away from healthcare and the like, it cannot happen here. Even the rural agricultural counties require a "Major Use Permit" for a private grass runway. That process alone takes 2 years and $25K up front with no guarantee it will be granted.

    It is too bad that one of the places, California, that has a great number of young people and great weather for flying is so inhospitable to people who want to create places that would appeal to the young, aviation wise, as opposed to the locked industrial camps that pass as airfields here in most of California.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDD View Post
    My wife and I wanted to build a place similar to this with a small 1200 house on it for the 2 of us. In Northern California, we have found that doing anything like that for all practical reasons is impossible. Unless we move to deep northern counties far away from healthcare and the like, it cannot happen here. Even the rural agricultural counties require a "Major Use Permit" for a private grass runway. That process alone takes 2 years and $25K up front with no guarantee it will be granted.
    I am basically trying to do the same. The small farm cottage is a modest 1300+ old European type for just me. It is on a long driveway lined with poplar type trees resembling a rural French country lane as it leads past the cottage and on up to the Airfield. I wish you the best, and you're always welcome here in Ohio.

  9. #9
    My wife tends to go to the exotic real estate listings and look around. Several years ago, she found a 17-century French chateau/manor for sale. A number of buildings, previous owners rented the hall out for conventions. Had a half-km long grass strip.....

    Finally sold, last year. Damn.

    Ron Wanttaja

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    My wife tends to go to the exotic real estate listings and look around. Several years ago, she found a 17-century French chateau/manor for sale. A number of buildings, previous owners rented the hall out for conventions. Had a half-km long grass strip.....

    Finally sold, last year. Damn.

    Ron Wanttaja
    Very cool place. A half kilometer is right at 1600 feet. Very cool wife.

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