We met a really cool guy at Oshkosh, nicknamed Smash, who is a pilot/trainer for the B2 Stealth Bombers out of Whiteman, MO. A couple of months ago we got invited to come tour the Air Force Base and check out the bombers! Poor Brandi was sick so she was a last-minute scratch. Lucy and I departed on a pleasant 3-hour trip and met up with other friends who were all descending on the area for the tour. We ate some lunch on base and then we got busy at one of the most amazing tours I've done. The bombers are way bigger in person than you would imagine. They only produced around 22 or so and as a result they are rare, expensive, and super secretive. We got to go into the cockpit though and it was SUPER RAD. We ooohed and ahhhed at it for like an hour and asked tons of questions. It was really cool to see the precision in the design of the aircraft. Next we got to go over to the simulator, which was a full-sized hydraulic actuated realistic cockpit. We got to fly around the pattern and take turns landing. It was a thrill! The real challenge was the fuel tanker refilling. Wow is that hard? I've done a tiny bit of formation flying and there are guys who make it look easy, but it really isn't without tons of practice. There were similarities with formation flying and refueling, however with the margins were the size of a dinner table so once out of the pocket that's it, its a fail and you start over. The guys training had to hold solid for 15 minutes!! What!? The best of us did about 29 seconds after many attempts lol. It was a great time and a really neat learning experience.
It had been a long day up to this point with all the travel and touring. Lucy was very well behaved and loved playing with EJ and Dash, who are her age. We all headed over to Smash's house and had a really nice dinner and a couple beers while letting the children all play together, including Smash's son and daughter, who were also the same age as the Lucy crew. Everyone had a really great evening with new and old friends. We headed back into town and slept like a rock at the hotel. The next morning we were up early and got a little exercise in then enjoyed breakfast with the gang. We hung out in the quaint downtown area a bit, went back to Smash's house for a while, and then headed home.
It was a quick trip but action-packed and we are so grateful to have good friends and amazing opportunities to see and learn new things.