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.
Beech E.18S F-AZEJ (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))
The Beechcraft Model 18 (E18S) F-AZEJ belonging to the Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis was damaged today in a take-off accident on the first day of the Paris Air Legend 2021 airshow. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the accident. The aircraft reportedly struggled to get airborne, veering off the runway and coming to a stop in an adjacent field. Photos of the accident appear to indicate moderate damage.
Correction (12 September 2021) : according to Le Parisien, the pilot appears to have suffered minor wounds.
Sea Gladiator N5519 when it flew in Malta. (Source: The Malta Sea Gladiator Project / Facebook )
On September 6th, the Malta Aviation Museum officially launched its Gloster Sea Gladiator construction project.
The museum’s official announcement published on Facebook states that this is probably their most ambitious construction project to date.
The project aims to bring together generations of aviation enthusiasts in Malta and abroad, and its ultimate goal is to fly a Gloster Sea Gladiator in Malta to honor the pilots who fought again the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica Italiana. Continue reading
The only surviving North American NA-50 Torito, a fighter derived from the NA-16/BT-9 trainer, has been restored in Peru by the Servicio de Mantenimiento de la Fuerza Aerea del Perú (Maintenance Service of the Peruvian Air Force) for the Museo Aeronáutico del Perú at Las Palmas.
This aircraft, coded XXI-41-3, was one of only seven NA-50 built, all of which were delivered to Peru where they saw action during the 1941 Peruvian-Ecuadorian war. The aircraft remained in service until 1961 and was later displayed on a pedestal next to the Mausoleum of Captain José Quiñones Gonzales, a Peruvian hero who died flying an NA-50, crashing into the anti-aircraft battery that had just disabled his engine.
In 2018, the aircraft was removed from its pedestal to be restored to flying status in time for the Bicentennial of Peru’s Independence in 2021.
The T-28B Trojan BuNo 138179 registered OE-ESA (Photo C.J. van de Burgt (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))
We have just learned of the tragic crash of North American T-28B Trojan BuNo 138179 registered OE-ESA of the Austrian Flying Bull collection. The aircraft crashed in Jickovice in the Czech Republic as it was returning from the Leźno airshow in Poland. Continue reading
The Jaguar A91 at the Paris Air & Space Museum on 17 January 2021 (Photo courtesy Xavier Méal)
January 17, 2021 is the 30th anniversary of the initial strikes of Operation Desert Storm led by the US-led coalition against Iraq. It was also the day on which the SEPECAT Jaguar A91 of the French Air Force made its last flight after suffering extensive battle damage. On this day, the aircraft officially joined the collection of the Paris Air & Space Museum (Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace) after many years of illustrious service. The airframe has largely remained untouched since 1991 and shows its battle scars.
Brigadier General “Chuck” Yeager (Photo US Air Force)
World-famous test pilot Charles “Chuck” Yeager died on Monday the 7th of December at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 97 years old.
A World War II P-51 Mustang ace and test pilot, Yeager made international headlines when he became the first man to break the sound barrier on 14 October 1947, flying a Bell X-1. He was one of the main characters of the 1979 book “The Right Stuff” by Tom Wolfe, and the 1983 movie adaptation of the book, which brought him international public recognition.
Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of “Chuck” Yeager. Continue reading