About a month ago, I challenged myself to fly on a Beechcraft Starship and I have secured a ride! I get goose bumps just thinking about it.
I have been very surprised how many people have emailed me with suggestions and personal stories of the Beechcraft Starship. There truly is a great following and people love this plane. I thought I might be one of the biggest fans out there, but I might have some competition for that title.
Shortly after my first post I started getting emails suggesting I contact the same person: Robert Scherer. He owns Starship NC-51 (N514RS). He also bought left over Starship parts and runs Starfleet Support (no, not a Star Trek thing), which provides parts to the remaining flyable aircraft. I was also told that Scherer is a pretty cool guy and has a genuine love for the Starship. My readers were right!
I tracked down his contact information and sent over an email. He replied that he would be more than happy to help me out in my quest. AWESOME (I know I use that word a lot, but I REALLY mean it this time)!
NC-51 is one cool Starship. It has been used as the chase plane for Spaceship One, White Knight 2, and is even signed by Burt Rutan (the father of the Starship – click that link, pic of Rutan at the door of NC-51).
Scherer is based out of Aspen, CO (ASE) and routinely flies over to Orange, CA (SNA). I have been invited to go with him on one of his flights in the next few months.
When he flies this route, he leaves ASE and heads to Meeker (EEO) for cheap gas. This is a low level, 15 minute flight over some beautiful terrain. Then he goes around 34,000 feet to fly from EEO-SNA. Want to see what the first leg of the flight looks like? Scherer has a video of one of his flights from ASE to EEO. Um…yes please.
This blog has given me quite a few amazing opportunities since I started it in July 2008, but I have to say this one excites me the most. You can be sure there will be lots of video, photos and Tweets from this wonderful experience.
A HUGE thanks to Robert Scherer for giving me and my readers this great opportunity!
* See Scherer talk about the Starship on History Channel’s Boneyard
* Video of NC-51 cockpit
* If this professional video of NC-51 doesn’t gives you goose bumps, you aren’t a true Starship fan
* Cockpit night landing of NC-21 into Austin, TX
* See what happened to every Starship