Correspondent: Mark Schimmer
Earlier this year Walter Eichhorn, German test-pilot, and one of the few who flys and breaks in new (restored) Me-109s in Germany, visited the German-Canadian Airforce Museum in Söllingen (www.airforcemuseumsoellingen.de/Airforcemuseumsoellingen.php) to talk about his career and piloting.
He is also known in the show-circuit to do airshow team-displays with his son Toni with their two T-6 Texans. It was then that I asked if they would take someone along in the T6 for a flight, and the answer was YES !
WEBSITE - http://www.t6-team.de/
Well, last week I had the chance to fly 1.5 hours and two landings with Toni. It was quite an experience. We went through all the aerobatic exercises (I told him: go as you like. And boy, he did!).
First time I felt what it is to black out due to high g's. I also had the privilege to fly the "normal" route by myself, with him only telling me the heading and altitude, and instructing me otherwise.
The T6 felt heavier as I expected, you have to give her quite some pressure. Except on the rudder, which is almost over sensitive.
When we came back to the homebase he made a 220 mph pass over the airfield with an aprupt high-g swing up, which almost drove my head into my chest, because it was totally unexpected for me. I have a video of that and when it happened, I wasn't able to point the camera out the window anymore because of the high g's. You only see that the camera suddenly shows the intrumentpanel and then the floor. Hehe, funny for those who know what happend :-)
I love the sound of the T-6, nothing beats the roar of a big old radial (hmm, in fact all those old engines sound great, Merlins, Packards, Daimler Benzs, Junkers Jumos, BMW...