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New Quonset Hut Dedicated to Vlado Lenoch
By Ti Windisch, EAA Staff Writer
July 26, 2018 - The Warbirds Youth Education Center, a new Quonset hut located near the Warbirds Living History Encampment, will be dedicated to the memory of Vlado Lenoch on Friday at 11:30 a.m.
Harold Cannon, EAA Lifetime 466240, a Warbirds of America board of directors member and committee chairman for the Warbirds youth program, said a generous donation, in part from Vlado’s family, made the new building possible.
“Vlado was an absolutely integral part of our community, very widely respected and certainly very widely liked,” Harold said. “This building will be dedicated to his memory.”
The Warbirds Youth Education Center contains two immersive simulators built by Redbird Flight Simulations. Harold said the space is upgraded from last year and the second simulator is new.
“We started this last year, we had one simulator that RedBird simulators built for us on spec,” Harold said. “We had a very generous donor step up and purchase the simulator and donate it back so we could keep the program going. Last year we were in a tent that was so small we had to lift it over the simulator.”
Leading up to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, the second simulator was built, bought, and donated back to help the Warbirds Youth Education Center as well. The first one is styled after Bud Anderson’s P-51 Old Crow, while the second is in the style of Tom Hudner’s Vought F4U Corsair.
Harold believes the Quonset hut could house up to two more simulators, and hopes that soon more could be donated to help with the mission to introduce young people to warbird aviation.
“It’s really fulfilling to watch these kids,” Harold said. “Some of them it’s a video game for, some of them I think show flying aptitude. If we light a spark in a kid and it goes on and they become a pilot, great. If they become a professional pilot, even better. Maybe one or two of these kids who come through this year will be flying a warbird someday.”
Young people can come by the Warbirds Youth Education Center from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and get a spot in line to fly one of the simulators for no charge.
“We’re trying to foster interest in aviation and young people, as well as teach them a little history,” Harold said. “We’re free to those 18 and under, they can just come by and get in line and we keep a bit of a waiting list. We can tell pretty closely how long the wait will be.”