In this update: Multiple projects underway;  fabricating, welding, electronics, hydraulics, inlet and engine space crawling, and other good works

Today’s Featured Sponsors


  Metacomp Decal  

Today,   Les Holm, Lars Pedersen, Von Armstrong, Keith Zanghi, Cory Mitchell, David Martinson, Steve Rima, Omar Chramosta, Zac Hopkins, Marty Jackson, John Drury, and Chris Greene made up the first Saturday work party of the new year.  Brandyn Bayes is working virtual.

The shop is jammed as we prepare for our 2019 test session

A lot of repair work today as the team prepares the North American Eagle® for the 2019 season.  Chris Greene and Steve Rima worked on a repair in the left-hand engine inlet that was damaged when the door came off the hydraulics bay.  Even though Chris is the tallest person on the team, he is also the thinnest.  He was the only one skinny enough to get inside the engine inlets.

Les Holm and Marty Jackson installed the hinge pin and fitted the new hydraulic bay door.  Next week they will drill the holes full size, then send the door out for paint.

Zac Hopkins, Marty, David Martinson, and John Drury removed the generator fuel tank out of the trailer.  Somehow it had developed a leak.  David welded up the tank and tested it. Perhaps next week we will reinstall it.

Lars Pedersen was busy re-installing a new aft canopy latch mechanism and replacing a couple of missing alignment pins.  The functional test worked flawlessly!


Steve Rima helps Chris Greene climb into the jet inlet

Chris Greene is preparing the inlet for repair

The formerly bent hinge is now straight!

Les continues work on the new door and hinges


Marty and Zac are cranking up the trailer to gain access to the generator fuel tank

David and Zac looking busy at the welding table

David welding up the generator fuel tank


Pin in the right photo aligns with the hole in the left photo

Cory Mitchell, Keith Zanghi, and Marty removed the original engine fuel filter.  Later, Marty and Cory disassembled the new fuel filter to inspect it.  Beginning next week we will start planning on the replacement of the old filter and the routing of the hoses.


Cory and Keith team up inside the fuselage and out, cleaning up the fuel filter


Marty and Zac cranking up the trailer to gain access to the generator fuel tank

Cory Mitchell and Marty Jackson disassembling the new fuel filter

David Martinson repairing a 220-volt welding cable

Our Favorite Photo of Ed Shadle: The Billy Goat Tavern hat and our birthday tradition


July 27, 2015

In 2015, the North American Eagle® was shipped to Chicago to be on display at the Microsoft Ignite Conference.   During our stay, the team spent many nights eating and enjoying a few beers at the Billy Goat Tavern & Grill located on lower Michigan Ave.  The Billy Goat Tavern was made famous by a line in a skit featured in the early days of Saturday Night Live; Cheeseborger, cheeseborger, cheeps no fries!

On this one particular night, the team arrived at the Billy Goat about ten minutes to nine.  It was closed for a private party.  We looked at our watches and saw we only had ten minutes to wait.  As we stood outside we talked to one of the patrons having a cigarette.  When we asked who the private party was for, she said “Dick Butkus…and he is standing over there,” pointing behind us.  Sure enough, he was!  Not being shy, we walked over and began to talk to him.  We chatted for about 10 minutes, and he had a lot of questions about the Eagle.

When we walked into the Billy Goat, we told Ed we just saw Dick Butkus outside.  He said, really?  Got up and headed out the door.  About ten minutes later, Ed walked in and said Dick Butkus knew all about the Eagle.  We all laughed because Ed didn’t know we had been talking to him! What a great time we had.

Before leaving that last night, Les Holm bought about 40 Billy Goat Tavern cups and some hats. Now, on a team member’s birthday, we bring out the hats and celebrate. It has become a fun tradition.

billy goat

Billy Goat Tavern made famous by Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and John Belushi

The Eagle on Display in McCormick Place in Chicago


The Team at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Craig Breedlove’s Spirit of America



Good times in the Billy Goat Tavern with Sam Sianis

Steve Wallace, Les Holm, Lars Pedersen, Keith Zanghi, owner Sam Sianis, Von Armstrong. and Ed Shadle


Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears great, at the Billy Goat Tavern


Thousands of visitors.  Ed greeted them all!

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Sponsor Feature: S&S Turbine Services

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45,500 Horsepower from S&S Turbine Services, Ltd

Sponsor Feature: The LeMay Family Collection Foundation

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LeMay Family Collection is a long time sponsor of the North American Eagle®

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Ordinary people doing extraordinary things!

God Bless and Protect our Troops