A pilot for more than 45 years and a retired Northwest Airlines Captain, Julie Clark has logged more than 33,000 accident-free hours in the air and is rated in more than 66 types of aircraft.
Restoration fans will appreciate that Julie bought her Beechcraft T-34 in 1977, sight unseen” at a government surplus auction, in Anchorage, Alaska for $18,000.00. She flew the airplane, dubbed Free Spirit, 2900 miles to her home in California.
Julie personally and painstakingly restored her aluminum airplane, hand polishing inside and out. Over the next four years, Julie spent many long hours bringing the airplane back to mint condition. Beginning with her creative version of the “Air Force One” paint scheme, the aircraft constantly requires upgrading and modification.
Julies’ T-34 is powered by an Eagle Engine’s, Stratus Plus Series Engine, producing approximately 300 hp, coupled to a Hartzell three bladed Designer “Prop” by American Propeller. Eagle Engine and American Propeller are of Redding, California. Although T-34 aircraft saw countless hours in the 1950s as trainers for U.S. Air Force and for Navy, the airplane demands tremendous skill to fly aerobatics.
The T-34 requires concentration and anticipation during aerial maneuvers as the aircraft does not have an inverted oil or fuel system and inverted flight must be carefully calculated. Due to its larger size than most air show aerobatic aircraft today and its low power-to-weight ratio, the airplane’s flight controls become very heavy during the aerobatic routine.
Serenade in Red, White and Blue.
Her unique and patriotic presentation, “Serenade in Red, White and Blue,” is breathtakingly choreographed to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” or “God Bless You Canada.”
2015 marks Julie’s 36th year of flying to Lee Greenwood’s song. 36 years ago, patriotism was not what it has evolved into today. Consequently, Julie’s desire to continue performing to this remarkable song has made her a personal friend of Lee Greenwood.
To enhance her routine, multi-colored wing-tip smoke trails her every maneuver and she concludes her performance with crowd-pleasing pyrotechnics, dazzling fireworks.
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