Nov 14 2017

Thomas J. Hudner †

Thomas J. Hudner Jr., the only US Naval aviator to be awarded the Medal of Honor during the Korean War, died age 93 at his home in Concord, Massachusetts, on 13 November 2017.

Born on 31 August 1924, Thomas Hudner was flying F4U Corsairs with VF-32 when the Korean War broke out. On 4 December 1950, during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, Hudner deliberately crashed his aircraft on a mountainside in an attempt to rescue his wingman Jesse L. Brown, the first African-American aviator in the US Navy.

Hudner retired from the US Navy in 1973 and was very active with veterans associations.

His Medal of Honor citation reads:

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a pilot in Fighter Squadron 32, while attempting to rescue a squadron mate whose plane struck by antiaircraft fire and trailing smoke, was forced down behind enemy lines. Quickly maneuvering to circle the downed pilot and protect him from enemy troops infesting the area, Lt. (J. G.) Hudner risked his life to save the injured flier who was trapped alive in the burning wreckage. Fully aware of the extreme danger in landing on the rough mountainous terrain and the scant hope of escape or survival in subzero temperature, he put his plane down skillfully in a deliberate wheels-up landing in the presence of enemy troops. With his bare hands, he packed the fuselage with snow to keep the flames away from the pilot and struggled to pull him free. Unsuccessful in this, he returned to his crashed aircraft and radioed other airborne planes, requesting that a helicopter be dispatched with an ax and fire extinguisher. He then remained on the spot despite the continuing danger from enemy action and, with the assistance of the rescue pilot, renewed a desperate but unavailing battle against time, cold, and flames. Lt. (J. G.) Hudner’s exceptionally valiant action and selfless devotion to a shipmate sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.”

Read more on Thomas Hudner and Jesse Brown.


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Nov 12 2017

C-97 Stratofreighter “Angel of Deliverance” flies again

The Boeing C-97G “Angel of Deliverance” of the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation made a successful first flight on November 7 from Floyd Bennett Field  to Robert J. Miller Airpark in Berkeley Township, NJ. From there, the aircraft was refueled and flew to Reading Regional Airport.

“Angel of Deliverance” is currently the only airworthy C-97 Stratofreighter, a long-range heavy cargo derivative of the B-29/B-50.


More information can be found from Warbirds News by Warbird Digest.

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Oct 25 2017

Fieseler Storch flies again in Norway


From Aerodynamic Media: Warbirds of Norway’s Fieseler Fi 156 Storch Wk.Nr. 1816, built by Morane-Saulnier in Puteaux, France, flew again earlier this month in Kjeller.

After serving with the French air force, the aircraft joined the civilian registry as F-BJQB until 1970, when it was exported to the US.

It has been restored to be as close to the original Fi 156C-3 specifications as possible, complete with an original Argus AS 10C engine, original instruments and equipment, and the markings of an aircraft that served with JG 5 in Norway.


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Oct 19 2017

First flight for Caudron G.III replica in Czech Republic

The Caudron G.III replica built for the Metodej Vlach Aircraft Museum in the Czech Republic has been finished and made its maiden flight on 23 September 2017.

(h/t to Petr H.)

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Oct 19 2017

First post-restoration flight for P-51C Mustang “Lope’s Hope 3rd”

The P-51C-10-NT Mustang “Lope’s Hope 3rd” made its first post-restoration flight on October 17 after being restored by AirCorps Aviation. The flight was made with pilot Warren Pietsch at the controls. The aircraft, serial number 43-24907, was used for training during World War II and did not see combat. It carries the colours of s/n 42-103585 “Lope’s Hope 3rd” flown by 5-victory ace Lt. Donald Lopez of the 23rd Fighter Group, 75th Fighter Squadron.

After the war Lopez became a test pilot and later was deputy director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum until his passing in 2008.

Lt Donald Lopez’s P-51C “Lope’s Hope 3rd” in September 1944. Profile created by Gaëtan Marie/Bravo Bravo Aviation for AirCorps Aviation.



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Sep 29 2017

Breitling to end its support to the Super Constellation Flyers Association

C-121C Super Constellation HB-RSC. (Photo Aldo Bidini (GNU FDL))

There is an end to even the best things. The 14-year-old partnership between the Super Constellation Flyers Association which flies the C-121C Super Constellation HB-RSC and the Swiss watchmaker Breitling is reportedly coming to an end.

Breitling, whose name is strongly associated to aviation, has been a generous donator to many classic aviation projects for years. Breitling was acquired by the British equity firm CVC Capital Partners earlier this year, and seems to be reducing its support for such projects.

Nevertheless, it was Breitling long-standing support that made it possible for the 3,500 members of the association to acquire, restore and fly the Super Constellation, one of only two airworthy examples in the world.

The association is now looking for new sponsors and ways to continue its operations, and the aircraft should keep flying and offering paid rides in the near future. We hope they will succeed in finding new sponsors and keep this extraordinary aircraft flying.

Source: Tribune de Genève


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Sep 28 2017

New Warbird Shirt: P-51B Mustang “Berlin Express”

New Warbird Shirt available: the North American P-51B Mustang “Berlin Express”.


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Sep 26 2017

Mid-air collision for P-51 “Miss Helen” and “The Shark” at Duxford

The P-51D Mustangs 44-72216 “Miss Helen” and 44-73877 “The Shark” suffered a mid-air collision during a formation flight during the Battle of Britain Air Show in Duxford on Saturday the 23rd of September. Both aircraft were damaged in the incident but luckily they were able to land and their pilots were unhurt.

The collision can be seen on this video by Aviation Videos & Wildlife Full HD at 10:30, followed a minute later by the landing of “Miss Helen”.

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Sep 12 2017

15% off all items in the Warbird Shirts shop

From September 12 to September 18, get 15% off all items on our Warbird Shirts shop with this discount code: 150917

New shirts and items are regularly added so make sure to visit again !

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Sep 05 2017

Steve Hinton Jr beats world speed record for piston-engined aircraft

On September 2, Steve Hinton Jr. established a new speed record for a propeller-driven piston-engined aircraft by flying the heavily-modified P-51 Voodoo at an average speed of 531.53 mph (855.41 kph), thus largely defeating the previous record, established by Will Whiteside Jr. and Yak-3U Steadfast in 2012.

Despite this achievement, Hinton and his team were a bit disappointed with the result as they had hoped to defeat the 528 mph speed record set by Lyle Shelton with the F8F Bearcat Rare Bear in 1989. Since the FAI’s regulations have evolved, Shelton’s speed record is no longer official, but Steve Hinton was hoping to better it by at least 1%, i.e. the minimum required to validate a new record. This would have required an average speed of 533.28 mph.

Nevertheless, Steve Hinton is now the proud owner of the world speed record for a propeller-driven, piston-engined aircraft.

Source: The Vintage Aviation Echo

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Sep 02 2017

Sea Fury T.20 G-RNHF flies again

(Photo Jez (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

The Hawker Sea Fury T.20 G-RNHF flew again on September 1st in North Weald with Lt Cdr Chris Gotke at the controls. Gotke was awarded the Air Force Cross for saving the aircraft after an engine failure in 2014.

The aircraft is loaned by the Fly Navy Heritage Trust to the Royal Navy Historic Flight. After the 2014 accident, it was rebuilt and received a new Centaurus 18 engine.

The 2014 crash of Sea Fury G-RNHF. (Photo Tony Armstrong (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))


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Sep 02 2017

Two killed in Antonov An-2 crash at Russian airshow

An Antonov An-2 at the 16th Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide airshow in 2011. (Photo Julian Herzog (CC BY 4.0))

An Antonov An-2 crashed today at an airshow in Balachikha near Moscow. The two pilots were killed in the accident, but no members of the public were hurt. The scene was filmed from many angles and appears to show the pilot attempting a hard left turn to avoid the public before losing control and hitting the ground.

Source: RT

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Aug 28 2017

Two killed in Tiger Moth crash in the UK

A de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth during the Flying Legends 2015 airshow.

A de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth crashed Saturday morning in Shaftesbury, near Compton Abbas Airfield in Dorset. Tragically, the pilot, aged 64, and his passenger, aged 67, were killed in the accident. The causes for the accident are unknown.

Source: The Sun

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Aug 25 2017

Stephen C. Ananian †

Stephen C. Ananian, who flew P-51 Mustangs with the 339th Fighter Group during World War II passed away on June 28, 2017.

Stephen was born on Christmas Day 1922 and joined the Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor. He was deployed to the UK with the 339th FG and was shot down on his first mission, spending over an hour in the icy waters of the North Sea before being rescued. He later returned to his unit and flew 62 combat missions, and even shot down a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet in February 1945.

After the war, Stephen returned to the US and married Isabel Gefairjian in 1946.  He worked for over 35 years in the photoengraving industry and was very active in his community. He was also the president of the 339th Fighter Group Association for 8 years, and was the editor of their quarterly newsletter, finishing the final one only a few days before his passing.

He is survived by his two sons Clifford and Stephen Jr, along with 5 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Stephen’s family and friends.

Lt Stephen C. Ananian’s P-51D-10-NA s/n 44-14734, “Baby Mine”, 505th FS, 339th FG. (© Gaëtan Marie)

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Aug 17 2017

CAF Dixie Wing FG-1D Corsair flies again

After spending several months during which “a Firewall forward restoration and engine change were completed”, the CAF Dixie Wing’s FG-1D Corsair flew again on August 15 with Thom Richard at the controls from the Kissimmee airport in Florida.



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