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Showing posts from 2007

Constellation for Christmas

News reports are hitting the aviation press that the German airline Lufthansa has purchased THREE Lockheed Constellations! Here is the link to one article.

A quote off the Starliner web site - "The Starliners have now been sold to Lufthansa. Plans are to start work on N7316C, one of the Starliners in Maine. The plan is to get this one operational and FAA certified for flight. The other two Starliners may or may not become operational in time."

Great news that another Connie will take to the skies! (Photo from Aerofiles)

Vintage SNJ Photo

This photo comes from my personal collection. A family friend said her father was a photographer in the Navy and gave me copies from his collection. Look forward to posting photos from my vintage collection on a regular basis. Check back to see more!

Longnose 190 in FL

A Flug Werk built "Longnose" Fw190 now resides in FL! Thanks to Chuck Gardner for the photo of the amazing machine sitting in the FL sunshine. One of the unique features of this scratch built replica is its American Allison V-12 engine... that is running in an upright position where the original German engine was running inverted! The owner recently imported the 190 from Germany to add to his impressive collection of Spitfires and other Warbirds.

Running of the Bulls

OK... odd headline... but another great picture came through from Steve Dickey that I just had to post. The Red Bull P-38 during a recent engine run. Nice shooting Steve!

38 Shines

The Red Bull P-38 is now showing its shine! Thanks to Steve Dickey for the photo from the recent work on the rare fighter. The machine is not too far from its first flight.

AAA - Air Mail Days

News release from the AAA...

"The Antique Airplane Association and the Board of Directors of the Air Power Museum are excited to announce that the 2008 AAA-APM Fly-In will commemorate the 90th anniversary of air mail service in the United States. The 2008 Fly-In theme will be Air Mail Days, to honor the pilots and airplanes of the early air mail service. The dates for the fly-in are August 27 to Sept. 1, 2008, at Antique Airfield near Blakesburg, Iowa."

See more here.

Fantasy of Flight Display

Warbird photographer Bill Scheuerman caught Kermit Weeks flying some rare birds in his collection recently. The rare Grumman Duck was even flown off the water. Also note the amazing Storch restoration that was displayed on the ramp of the most recent Art Deco hangar built at the aviation themed attraction. Thanks to Bill for allowing us to post the photos!

If you are reading this please share with us the location of more Art Deco hangars you know of and send us a photo to post. Post your comments below.

Hurricane Flies in New Colors

The Lone Star Flight Museum unveiled their freshly painted Hurricane at their most recent open house - fly day. This Hurricane has been in restoration for many, many years and flew from the restoration shop in its silver primer color. The rare fighter was transfered to the paint shop near Houston and recently rolled out in this historic desert scheme. Thanks to Ryan Harris for the above photo.

The Swoose

It appears that the NASM and The Air Force Museum have come to an agreement on the future of the famous B-17D named "The Swoose."

Read The Washington Post story here.

History of The Swoose is here.

Waco and Lockheed Flyin - Chino

October 18th thru the 21st.

On Thursday when the flight took off from DFW the skies were clear blue and the visibility was unlimited.The Dallas skyline showed crystal clear.I knew the flight might be a fun one when as we boarded the airplane I noticed that the Capt had a rubber chicken stuck in the windshield wiper on the MD80!It didn’t take long and the Capt was making jokes on the PA and offering a bottle of liquid refreshment to whoever could announce the most popular attraction at Disney World!Crazy pilot.Once we were up and cruising I pulled out the ipod to listen to some new music from Mainstay and Rush of Fools.The older couple sitting next to me also settled in and even pulled out their ipods!Guess everyone is gearing up with ipods! It was hard to hold back a laugh as the lady scrolled down to The Backstreet Boys as her choice of tunes for the flight!While flying along I noticed the highest mountain tops all had snow on them.Must have been a little cooler in CO than in TX.About…

Reno Air Races

That time of year again. The worlds fastest motorsport is flying thru the skies in Reno, NV this week. Scott Germain is posting pics and comments on his web site - warbirdaeropress.com
Click on the message board to read the reports. Thank you to Scott for allowing me to post a few of his pics! Above is Rare Bear in its new paint scheme after being refurbished over the last year. Also above is September Fury sporting new clipped outer wing panels.
More pics to come!

Times Change

Like vintage cars or boats, vintage airplanes are now demanding higher and higher prices. There are even brokers who are buying up aircraft just to resell at elevated prices. At one point I heard some complaints about that. My thought is more along with what a friend of mine told me a few years back... an airplane is worth what someone will pay for it. So if I am asked what my Cessna 170B is worth I have a hard time answering. If I throw a price out there people gasp. I laugh because values are relative. Relative to what was paid for the aircraft... how much was invested in it... and how much sentimental value it has to the owner.
Now that some of the aircraft owners are aging and selling their aircraft off there are new collections developing. Aviation enthusiasts who are coming into money are quietly building up amazing collections. A few of the larger collections of vintage and Warbird aircraft, either in museums or private collection, have recently sold some significant aircraft. T…

Oshkosh 2007

Having only missed one year at the Oshkosh airshow since 1988 it is hard to write about another trip to the show. Thousands of airplanes, some of them are the rarest flying machines in the air and friends around every turn. This year I invited my friend, Lynn, along for his first trip to aviation heaven. We arrived SUN and headed for home late on WED. So it was a short trip but we covered alot of ground in the short time we were there. Between myself and some other friends that joined us at the event we showed Lynn the ropes. Routes, shopping and must see features of one of the largest airshows in the country. Oshkosh is one of those events that you fill your days full and dont know how tired you are until the day is over!
At this point I am still sorting pictures but do have a few posted here. Hopefully I will be able to post the others soon.

Glacier Girl to Oshkosh

Latest news on Glacier Girl is that once the engine change it complete it will fly from Goose Bay to Oshkosh. EAA press release here. Looks like it will fly to England another year. (Steve Dickey photo)

Hangar Full of History

Another great picture of the busy working going on in Breckenridge via Steve Dickey. Two Mustangs, Super Pinto, and Lightning. Nice toys to work on!

Spartan Landing accident

Sorry to report that the Blankenburgs Spartan Executive has been involved in a landing accident on its way to Oshkosh. Sounds like they walked away with no injuries but the airplane is alittle dinged up. Here is the link to the newspaper article. Best wishes to them in having it returned to the air soon.

Weekend Flying - July

The weather improved over the weekend for flights on SAT and SUN. Some of my pics from the weekend are here. SAT I flew a quick flight to blow the spiders off. SUN I flew up to Gainesville for fuel and snapped a pic of the propliners parked out on the old runway.

ol'927 Flies

Great news to report that the B24A "ol'927" has flown! Oshkosh is on the schedule so looking forward to seeing the machine in person after its makeover. Pic pulled from WIX under the post titled "Gary - whats the plan for Diamond Lil" Interesting note is that the pilot for this flight was one of my flight instructors, Bill Goeken! Nice pic of your flying the big bird, Bill!

Thunder Over Michigan

The Thunder Over Michigan airshow was also this weekend. The highlight to this years show was the large gathering of B25s. It sounds like 14 of the medium bombers were in attendance! Pics from the show are on this thread on WIX. Be sure to scroll through all the pages. Special thanks to Eric Dumigan for allowing me to post the pic of the B25 line up. Visit his web site here.

Flying Legends

The Flying Legends airshow at Duxford, England was this weekend. Check out the pics here. Always great pictures by the photographers in attendance! Note that the P51 "Miss Velma" completed its trip from the US by flying across the Atlantic. The P38 had to end its trip in Goose Bay and will need an engine change.

June Showers

Still raining quite often here in Texas. Was able to fly Thursday night after some showers rolled through. Took the pic above of a shower just Northwest of the airport. Made for a colorful sunset. Earlier today I checked the mouse trap in the 170 and was greeted by another kill. Two mice down. Hopefully that was all the mice that have taken a liking to my airplane!

MiG-3 FLIES!

No... I have the number right... yes... a MiG-3! The Fighter Factory has had a MiG-3 built up in Russia and there are pictures of this machine flying! It is reported that it will fly in the Moscow airshow and then be brought to the US! See the pics here.

Best of the Best

This from EAAs web site... My vote is for the Spartan... other great machines in the running but the Spartan is just highest on my list.

Six of the world’s finest restored vintage aircraft will travel to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this summer to participate in the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s first “Best of the Best” People’s Choice Award competition. These aircraft will be showcased at EAA AirVenture, “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration,” on July 23-29 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.AirVenture visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite among these restored vintage aircraft. All six vintage aircraft have been masterfully restored to virtually like-new condition and are great examples of our rich aviation history. The National Aviation Hall of Fame and the National Aviation Heritage Invitational (NAHI) joined together to create and sponsor the competition.The aircraft scheduled to appear are al…

Mouse House

Mouse house no more! At least I hope. I set a mouse trap last night after finding more evidence that there was a mouse present in the airplane. The trap worked as I found out tonight... finally know that I wont see anymore evidence at least from THIS one! Set it again just to make sure it doesnt have a partner in crime. Amazing little creatures but sure annoying to have in the airplane! Was able to fly for about 20 minutes last night right at sunset. Hard to resist not attempting another sunset shot with the 170 in it. Turned out fairly good! Rain looks like it might let up FRI and SAT. BRING on the FLYING WX!

1930s

At the Chino airshow I was able to take a few pictures of a nice Packard into front of my friends Lockheed 12. Made for a great art deco scene! If I made this a black and white picture some might not know the age of the scene!

Operation Bolero II

FROM GLACIER TO GLORY

OPERATION BOLERO II TO SET AVIATION MILESTONE
AS LEGENDARY P-38 GLACIER GIRL COMPLETES HER
HISTORIC WORLD WAR II MISSION

Philadelphia, PA (May 24,2007)—On July 15, 1942, a United States Army/Air Force Squadron departed American soil on Operation Bolero, a World War II aid mission to support U.S. allies in the war torn European theatre. Due to insurmountable weather-related problems en route, the entire squadron of six P-38s and two B-17 Bombers was forced to abort its mission and make an emergency landing on a remote ice cap in Greenland. “The Lost Squadron,” as it has become known over time, drifted miles from its original location and only one P-38, encased in 268 feet of ice, was salvaged.

A recovery and restoration mission taking more than ten years and costing over a million dollars brought this legendary P-38 Lightning, now known as Glac…

Chino 2007 - Sunday

Sunday was almost and exact repeat of Saturdays airshow schedule. The fog burned off alittle sooner that Saturday. Was able to use different settings on the camera and think some of the P38 pics turned out better. Only one minor incident in the show today... an F86 was doing a fast flyby and lost one of its drop tanks. Landed out in the grass next to the runway so no harm done. Another great day of Warbird flying! Had a nice cool breeze blowing and I am showing signs of being out in the sun! See the pics here.

Chino 2007 - Saturday

The day started out cool and foggy but the people were pouring in the gates to the airshow. I really was surprised how many people were coming in at 0830am! With the fog and no sunlight I didnt take any pictures until close to noon time. Before walking the ramp I visited with my friend Les and took a few pictures of the hangar he is building to house his Lockheed and Wacos. When the sun did some out it it was still hazy but the pictures did come out fairly clear. It was a great airshow... Sea Fury acro, large Warbird flyby with one or more of each type flying, and a flight with three P38s in formation! The flyby pattern here at Chino has to be one of the best I have seen. The flybys are made in a banking turn so that the aircraft appear very close. This sure makes for great photo opportunities. See Saturdays pics here.

Planes of Fame Pics

Check out the Planes of Fame web site for official pics!

http://www.planesoffame.org/airshows/2007/photos-day1.php

Headed off to the airshow here in a few minutes. Will be posting again tonight.

Chino 2007 - Friday

My bags were packed and I was ready to head to bed late Thursday night when something didnt smell right. No... everything for the trip was ready. Airline tickets... check, hotel... check, rent car... check. OH! I know what that smell is! SKUNK! The weather in Texas has been cool at night and I had the windows thrown open to let in the cool breeze. The friendly neighborhood skunk had made a stink and now it was in my house. So much for a restful start to THIS trip! (My excitement before a trip usually doesnt allow any restful sleep anyway.) I turned on the a/c to clear the air and hit the sack.
I caught a mid-morning flight out of DFW to Ontario, CA on American Airlines which would give me plenty of time to visit the Chino airport to see the early arrivals. Three hour flights can be alittle long to go without food so I grabbed an over priced airport muffin right before boarding. I had to laugh because right about the time I was thinking I paid too much for the muffin they announced on t…

B24 Rollout

Last weekend the CAF B24 was rolled out in its new paint scheme! Thanks to Alan Brooks for the pic! Formally known as Diamond Lil the new name is Ol 927.

Chino Preview

Just to give you a preview of the P38 action over Chino this weekend!!! Here is a pic from Mike Shreeve of the Planes of Fame P38. Three P38s are scheduled to fly in the airshow this weekend. Thanks for the preview Mike! To see more of Mikes P38 pics go here.

Niagara Falls

Check out this picture taken by my friend Kent Wien over Niagara Falls on a trip across the country in a DC-3 a couple weeks ago! To read about the trip go to Kents web site and click on Trips and go to the posts about DC-3 Transcon. He and his dad flew the DC-3 from NY to WA!

Chino Bound

Cant hardly wait to fly off (via the airlines) to California this weekend for the Planes of Fame Airshow! I made it out to the show two years ago and look forward to spending three days at Chino. Come back and visit this blog this weekend for daily posts that will include pictures from the show!

170 Flying Again

Finished up the annual on Friday night and make a quick flight at sunset. Feels good to have burned up the gas in the tanks and have bugs all over the leading edges! A few pics above of one of two mouse nests I found... one by the left fuel tank and one out in the right wingtip!

Busy shop in Breckenridge

Steve Dickey sent me another round of pictures from the current projects in the shop out in Breckenridge. A privately owned Mustang having a rear seat installed and in the background the Flying Bulls P38 comes together. Thanks again Steve!

Annual Time Again

The 170 is in annual again. All is well accept for the fact that a mouse has been making the 170 a home! Spent last night cleaning out the nests and droppings! Now that it is washed out on the inside maybe the smell will go away! More rain is in the forecast for the next week so the return to flying status might be delayed until next week even thou it might be flyable this Saturday. When I pulled it out last week to run the engine after the oil change a Huey came in for a landing a few hangars down!

Lone Star repaints their B25

Thanks to Trae for allowing me to post this pic! It shows Special Delivery in her new colors! This "Doolittle" paint scheme replaces the bright blue paint scheme that it wore for many years. Here is the history of this B-25.

CAF B24 Makes Midland Newspaper

04/25/2007 Diamond Lil restored to original configuration Stephanie Miller Staff Writer
Midland Reporter-Telegram
World's only second B-24 also receives new name Though it's taken approximately seven months and countless hours of work, crew members are close to completing the restoration of the CAF's B-24, with a new look and new nose art to be revealed next month.
The CAF's B-24, known as Diamond Lil, is one of two flying B-24s in the world, said Kay Crites, director of public relations for the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). The Collings Foundation owns one and the CAF purchased its B-24 in 1968. Now after several months and nearly 3,000 hours of manpower, Diamond Lil has been restored to her original B-24A configuration. "It's the new and improved version of our B-24. We're excited to have her return to her more historically accurate configuration," Crites said. "It's an important part of our mission to tell the story of Worl…

P38s Over Chino

After posting a few pictures of Glacier Girl in Texas I saw pictures of her now in California. Last weekend the Planes of Fame flew their P38 along with Glacier Girl... so 2 P38s in formation together! Thanks to Brandon K. for the picture! A rare sight! The plan for the Chino Airshow in May is for 3 P38s to fly together. Already have my reservations made for THAT show!!

One more from Steve

Steve Dickey sent me quite a few pictures of Glacier Girl when she made her stop in Breckenridge so I just had to post another!

P38 times 2

My friend Steven Dickey sent me pictures of a surprise visitor to the Breckenridge, Texas airport. He works for Ezell Aviation and in the hangar is the P38 under rebuild for The Flying Bulls. Looks to me like the visitor fits right in! Thanks for sending the Glacier Girl pictures!

The Home Aerodrome

The airport where I am based out of, Northwest Regional, is a fun airport. It is one of the largest privately owned airports in the country as far as number of aircraft based on the field. As the weather improves there will be more flying activities happening around the home aerodrome so check in as I post more pictures from 2007. Here is the first installment! (When viewing the pics be sure to click on slideshow for easy viewing)

New Carpet

Last weekend I was finally able to install my new carpet in the 170. Only took a few minutes to pull the seats out and install the carpet but it took me several hours to reinstall the back seat! All back together now and flying good.

P40B

A few more pictures have been posted online of the early model P40 that belongs to The Fighter Collection in England. As of this writing it is being flown out of California.

Scroll down this page for the pictures.

Fighter Factory

I read an article in Forbes magazine a few years back about Jerry Yagen and his technical training schools but what captured my interest was his growing collection of vintage aircraft. One of the first aircraft I saw owned by Mr. Yagen was his Spitfire Mk. IX at Oshkosh. Not but a few years later I found the web site that lists his aircraft! The Fighter Factory is fast becoming one of the top collections of flyable World War Two aircraft. Emphasis on the FLYABLE part! Be sure to check out this list of aircraft that is under restoration! And if assembling a collection of this size isnt enough a new hangar complex has been built near Virgina Beach to protect it! New build hangars with a 1940s look along with a few World War Two structures that have been imported from Europe! If you couldnt tell I am impressed with Mr. Yagen and how he spends his money preserving vintage fighters.

Early Model P40

Pictures have started appearing online of an early model P40 that suggests it has Pearl Harbor history! Rebuilt in California and final assembly at the Chino airport.

See this pictures here.

Compare this early model to other P40 models here.