On Friday, August 25th, at Sywell in the United Kingdom, English pilot Pete Kynsey conducted the first post-restoration flight of the North American P-51D 45-11518, registered as G-CLNV on the British civil register.
Restored by Air Leasing Ltd, led by Richard Grace, this P-51 was built in 1945 and was taken over by the Royal New Zealand Air Force in August of the same year, where it was given the serial NZ2427. Continue reading
It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Paul Ehlen. He crashed yesterday afternoon in Curtiss P-40E Warhawk ‘AK753’, registered as N4420K and belonging to the Wings of the North Air Museum, near Hamilton, Montana.
Paul Ehlenpilot and owner of the Curtiss P-40E (Photo via WOTN Facebook page)
Little information is available about this tragic event but the police announced that Paul Ehlen, the museum’s founder, was at the controls and did not survive the crash. Continue reading
Lockheed VC-121A Constellation 8613 “Bataan” (N422NA) in 2016. (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))
Lewis Air Legend’s Lockheed VC-121A Constellation “Bataan”, which served as General MacArthur’s personal aircraft, flew again on 21 June 2023 after an eight-year restoration by Fighter Rebuilders in Chino, California. Footage of the first flight can be viewed on Lewis Air Legend’s Facebook page:
The Lockheed VC-121A Constellation “Bataan” holds a rich history spanning several decades. Originally delivered to the USAF in January 1949 as C-121A 48-613, it played a crucial role in the Berlin Airlift by flying the Westover AFB-Rhein-Main route. In 1950, it underwent conversion to a VC-121A and became the first aircraft of its kind to be equipped with the APS-10 weather radar.
From September 1950 to April 1951, it served as the personal aircraft of General MacArthur, Supreme Commander Allied Powers during the Korean War, and receoved the name “Bataan”. It was also General Ridgeway’s personal aircraft from 1952 to 1953. It was later transferred to HQ, Pacific Air Command as a VIP transport until late 1965, when it was declared surplus by the USAF and flown to Davis-Monthan AFB for storage in January 1966. Continue reading
P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27609 during its first flight with Bernie Vasquez at the controls. (Photo courtesy Ben Redman via AirCorps Aviation)
Following a lengthy restoration period by AirCorps Aviation, Republic P-47D-23-RA Thunderbolt serial number 42-27609 took to the skies again on 16 May 2023 in Bemidji, Minnesota. The first flight was a success and was flown by Bernie Vasquez, with Warren Pietsch and Ben Redman flying chase in P-51D Mustang “Miss Kitty III”.
The aircraft belongs to the Dakota Territory Air Museum and will carry the markings of the P-47D Thunderbolt “Bonnie” flown by Major Bill Dunham, commanding officer of the 460th Fighter Squadron in the Philippines in 1944. Continue reading
Sadly, this is not a bad joke or an April’s Fool. The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA), the organizer of the National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport, Nevada, announced on 9 March that the Reno Air Races will no longer take place at the world-renowned Reno-Stead Airport after this year’s edition, from 13 to 17 September 2023.
The races have been held at Reno-Stead in Nevada since 1964, a location that saw tens of thousands of aviation and racing enthusiasts gather from around the world to enjoy the racing and notably the “Unlimited class” of racers which sees Mustangs, Sea Furies and Bearcats battling for the lead. Continue reading
It’s a great disappointment for warbird enthusiasts as The Fighter Collection has announced via the Flying Legends Facebook page that the 2022 edition of the world-famous Flying Legends airshow has been cancelled :
Dear Flying Legends community, pilots and friends,
It is with deep regret that we must confirm the cancellation of Flying Legends 2022. Our search for a suitable alternative to Duxford has not been successful, despite our best efforts. To compromise and select a lesser location for the event would neither do you nor the brand justice.
This decision was not made lightly and pains us all, but we are determined to find a new home for the show in the near future. One that will ensure the continuity, excellence and growth of Flying Legends for many years to come.Continue reading
Restored from 1994 to 1999, P3351 made its first post-restoration flight on 12 January 2000. Since 2013, it has been based at Cannes-Mandelieu, France .
Rare WW2 Warbird Video Found And Restored
Blenheim, New Zealand — February 3rd, 2022
A twenty-one year old video documentary detailing the restoration and eventual return to airworthiness of Sir Tim Wallis’ Second World War Hawker Hurricane warbird, has been located and resurrected from near extinction by the Historical Aviation Film Unit (HAFU). Continue reading
Visitors of the Royal Air Force Museum Hendon, near London, will have been surprised to see the museum’s two-seat Focke-Wulf Fw 190 being disassembled.
Based on information received from museum members, the Fw 190 is to be sent to Germany and will be on long-term loan with the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr in Berlin-Gatow. Continue reading
Charles Edward McGee, born on December 7, 1919, passed away in his sleep on Sunday the 16th of January 2022, aged 102. A member of the famous Tuskegee Airmen, he was deployed in February 1944 with the 302nd Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group, which was then based in Italy. Flying the P-39 Airacobra, P-47 Thunderbolt and finally the P-51 Mustang, he flew 137 combat missions and was credited with one aerial victory and a shared aerial victory before returning to the US in December 1944.
After the war, he remained with the US Air Force and flew another 100 combat missions in the Korean War, still flying the P-51 Mustang. During the Vietnam war, he commanded the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron flying the RF-4C Phantom II and flew another 172 combat missions. Continue reading
The Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 Werk Nr. 410077, under restauration by Midwest Aero Restorations Ltd and belonging to Bruce Winter of San Antonio, Texas, has had its first engine run since 1943, in Danville, Illinois.
According to local authorities, the three people on board were wounded. One has reportedly suffered severe burns, and is in a life-threatening condition. A second occupant was severely wounded. The aircraft had been destroyed.
This aircraft was well known by aviation enthusiasts as it was based at Duxford in the United-Kingdom for several years.
Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims of this accident, and their families.