Had a great flight in an SNJ today around NE Ohio. The pilot is a friend (named Guy) who is a former stunt pilot and airplane enthusiast. Ironically, the plane and I are the same age (73 yrs)
. The weather was great and I enjoyed it so much I forgot to take many pictures. As soon as we took off from Akron Fulton International we could see Cleveland to the north. This is unusual because Ohio is usually cloudy/foggy (though there was fog at the shore of Lake Erie). We were in the air for more than an hour, enjoying the view and the calm air. We were wearing noise-cancelling headsets to block out the noise of the 600 hp unmuffled motor! I don't know how they managed to communicate before the invention of the noise-cancelling headsets - that engine make a racket! I was wearing a stunt-pilot parachute - which apparently can be used as low as 600 ft agl! (It has a spring-loaded canopy that opens quickly)
The plane itself has a history as you can tell from the markings: its last military posting was at the US naval air station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It is on its third engine and many of the original instruments have been replaced with more modern ones.
On the ground, being a tail-wheeler with a huge radial engine, forward visibility is miserable and it is necessary to taxi in a series of S-curves to see where you are going. And in the air, forward visibility from the back seat is limited.
With 600 HP the takeoff roll is short and lift off is at 80 mph. Cruising speed is about 160 mph. Landing requires constant attention during the roll-out because it is susceptible to ground-looping once the tail wheel is down.
In all it was a great time! Hopefully we can do it again sometime.
Oh, here are a few pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/oxEoG93ZS1mJY9pG7