SOURCE: Air Force Reserve

June 04, 2007 06:37 ET

The Maneuver That Appears to Freeze Time

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - June 4, 2007) - "It isn't pretty walking into a hangar and seeing your favorite material possession laying in pieces on the floor, but a periodic teardown is exactly what keeps me safe when I'm hovering above the crowd," said the pilot of the Air Force Reserve Biplane. Ed Hamill, who is a major in the Air Force Reserve as well as a full-time aerobatic pilot, and the Biplane will be appearing at the Scott Air Force Base Airfest 2007 near St. Louis on July 7 and 8.

"The pilot is in complete control of the Biplane -- there is no on-board computer, just a stick and rudder. It's a very personal relationship between man and machine," said Ed Hamill. "For example, there really is a maneuver called 'the Hover' during which the biplane seems to hang in the air, tail toward the ground and nose pointing skyward. Though the Biplane is making slow forward progress, it appears to stay still for as long as a minute. This is affected by so many variables that exactly how 'the Hover' is performed really comes down to the feel of the Biplane to me at that moment."

Ed Hamill joined the Air Force and was trained as an F-16 pilot and then as an instructor. After eleven years, he joined the Air Force Reserve, so that he can continue serving his country while pursuing his career as an aerobatic pilot, performing at air shows across the country.

"Whether I'm flying a jet or the Biplane, I do everything possible to reduce risk, and that includes always building in a chance to recover if the unexpected happens," said Major Hamill. "I enjoy making the Biplane dance across the sky, and that takes plenty of practice and lots of safety checks."

The Air Force Reserve Biplane is a beautiful, single engine biplane patterned after one built 50 years ago by legendary designer Curtis Pitts. It's six-and-a-half feet tall, shorter than many NBA stars, yet it can loop, spiral and dive at speeds up to 212 mph, far slower than an Indy car. The Biplane has a maximum gross weight of 1,300 pounds and the wings, which span 20 feet, are Dacron-covered.

Ed Hamill and the Biplane are proudly supported by the Air Force Reserve, a team of more than 70,000 men and women, who serve to keep America safe.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Marlene DeMarco
    702-435-6947