Henning airport gets upgrades [UPDATED]Published 6:41am Tuesday, July 26, 2011 Updated 6:54am Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Much needed changes are being made at the Henning Municipal Airport. A new eight-foot perimeter fence was completed in November 2010. Grant money from the state of Minnesota will allow for new lighting and papi (landing lights).
The Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) is a visual aid that provides guidance information to help a pilot acquire and maintain the correct approach to an airport. It is generally located beside the runway approximately 300 meters beyond the landing threshold of the runway. “The papi normally consists of four equi-spaced light units color coded to provide a visual indication of an aircraft’s position,” said Airport Manager John Thalmann. “This is relative to the designated glideslope for the runway.”
Electronics will be housed in a new building at the airport, also referred to as F.R. Steuart Field one mile south of Henning.
There currently are eight planes and one helicopter housed at the Henning Airport. All planes are privately owned. The City of Henning receives state funding in order to operate the municipal airport.
The pride and joy for Thalmann is his two-passenger 1946 Ercoupe, owned jointly with his father, Tony. The two-passenger plane was purchased by Tony in 1980. It has sliding windows and can be operated open or closed.
“I flew with the cockpit open during the hot weather this past week,” said John.
In 1931, aeronautical engineer Fred Weick was assistant chief of the aeronautics division of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). In 1934 he asked permission to build an aircraft based on the 1931 Stout Skycar.
The easy-to-fly design included unique design features, including a large glazed canopy for improved visibility. The two-seat ERCO Ercoupe 415 went on sale in 1940. LIFE magazine described the aircraft as “nearly foolproof” and showed pictures of a pilot landing with his hands in the air.
Thalmann also serves as fire chief in Henning. He’s the owner of Thalmann’s Repairs, serving cars and trucks.