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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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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Friends of Jenny’s Curtiss Jenny crash-lands in Kentucky

The Friends of Jenny’s Curtiss JN-4 Jenny replica crash-landed in a golf course on August 12 near Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport in Kentucky. Fortunately, pilot Terry Richardson was reportedly only lightly injured, suffering a light head wound.

The aircraft is a replica built in 2012 using original plans, but is powered by a GMC V8 engine.


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Four Bristol Fighters headed to New Zealand

The Shuttleworth Collection’s Bristol Fighter. (Photo Kogo (GFDL))

From Aerodynamic Media:

Four newly discovered Bristol Fighters commissioned by a film studio will be heading to New Zealand after being acquired by a new owner.

The aircraft were among seven examples of the type originally built for the 1983 film High Road to China, but were subsequently written out of the production, leaving their whereabouts a mystery. However, this changed recently when all seven were located in a warehouse east of Los Angeles.

Read the full story on Aerodynamic Media

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Collings Foundation F-4 Phantom II flies again

From Warbirds News: “The Collings Foundation‘s F-4 Phantom II is now the only flying example of its kind in North America. She took to the skies again in the capable hands of former US Air Force ‘Rhino’-driver Harry “D-Day” Daye at 10:50am local time on August 8th, 2017 from Ellington Field in Houston, Texas. Listed on the US civil registry as N749CF, the 1965-built McDonnell Douglas F-4D Phantom II once flew with the USAF as 65-0749. She is currently painted in the markings of 66-7680, a Phantom II flown by Col. Robin Olds’ during Operation Bolo in the Viet Nam War.

Read the full story on Warbirds News

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Over 20,000 Mosquito technical drawings saved from destruction in the UK

From the Telegraph: “More than 20,000 wartime Mosquito engineering drawings and diagrams have been found in the corner of a wartime factory just days before bulldozers were due to flatten it.

The archive includes what are thought to be the world’s only complete set of engineering drawings for the plane, as well as details of variants that never made it off the drawing board.”

The drawings, on microfilm cards, have been donated to The People’s Mosquito, a charity hoping to restore and fly a crashed Mosquito.

Read the full story on the Telegraph


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Walkaround: CAP 20L F-AZVR

Here are some reference photos of the Mudry CAP 20L registered F-AZVL, which might be  of interest to modellers, illustrators. This aircraft was built in 1979. The photos were taken on 20 May 2017 at Le Plessis-Belleville. All photos © Bertrand Brown.

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B-17 “Shady Lady” flies again

As announced last month, the Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress “Shady Lady” has flown again and departed the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, to join the collection of the Collings Foundation.

More information on Aerodynamic Media.

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Bolivia retires last active Lockheed T-33

(Photo Mateo33 (CC BY-SA 3.0))

On July 31st, the Bolivian Air Force’s Grupo Aéreo de Caza 31 retired the last four T-33 in military service worldwide, thus putting an end to the military career of Lockheed’s iconic jet trainer and light aircraft, which first flew in 1948. The T-33 served an impressive 44 years in Bolivia.

More on this topic from Jane’s 360.

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Two injured in Sea Fury accident in Breckenridge, Texas

Hawker Sea Fury N254SF in 2007 (Photo Greg Goebel (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Nelson Ezell of Ezell Aviation and his passenger Dustin Mayfield were injured in an accident involving Hawker Sea Fury N254SF on July 25 near Stephen County Airport in Breckenridge, Texas . Details concerning the accident are unavailable, with conflicting versions being provided by media.

More to the point, Breckenridge American reports the following about the health of Ezell and Mayfield:

Ezell sustained serious but not critical injuries, while Mayfield’s injuries were less serious, according to the men’s wives.

We wish both men a speedy recovery.




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First engine runs for B-17 Flying Fortress “Shady Lady”

The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum has reported that the B-17G Flying Fortress “Shady Lady” (s/n 44-83785) recently ran its engines for the first time in 15 years. The bomber was acquired by the Collings Foundation in 2015 and should make its first flight soon. It will then be flown to the Collings Foundation in Stow, Massachusetts, and will join the “Wings of Freedom Tour” where it will replace the B-17 “Nine-O’Nine”, giving the latter the opportunity to undergo a major inspection and likely receive a new livery in the process.

More on this topic from Aerodynamic Media.

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USA: Two killed in P-51 Mustang crash

The P-51 Mustang “Baby Duck” in 2016. (Photo JanetanPhil (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

Vlado Lenoch and his passenger Bethany Root were killed in the crash of the P-51 Mustang “Baby Duck” on Sunday, July 16 in Atchison county, Kansas. Vlado Lenoch was a respected member of the warbird community and a member of the Air Force Heritage Flight since its creation in 1997. Bethany Root was general manager at the Amelia Earhart airport in Atchison.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and relatives of Vlado Lenoch and Bethany Root.


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A-26 “Special Kay” flies again

“Special Kay” made its first flight in Fort Worth, Texas on 8 July 2017 after a six-and-a-half year restoration.

This aircraft was the final B-26K, a variant of the A-26 Invader improved and re-engined by On Mark for service during the Vietnam War.

More info on this topic on Warbirds News.



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“Miss Velma” and “Berlin Express” damaged in separate incidents at Flying Legends

The TF-51D “Miss Velma” made a wheels-up landing during the Flying Legends airshow at Duxford this weekend. It appears the engine failed shortly before landing and the pilot made the quick decision to perform a wheels-up landing in a field. The aircraft suffered damage but the pilot was unhurt.


In a separate incident, the P-51B “Berlin Express”, which recently crossed the Atlantic to participate in the airshow, had its Malcolm hood disintegrate during a low pass, damaging the tail surfaces of the aircraft. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in this incident either.


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Video: 1939 Cleveland National Air Race

Found this on the excellent blog Hushkit. Enjoy !

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