Latest Articles Appearing On Classic Warbirds..
Posted by Ken Kula on May 23rd, 2015
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) will hold it’s latest Convention… now known as EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, during the week of July 20-26, 2015. Every year, a surprise or two within the EAA Warbirds of America compound adds to the excitement.
As this story is posted, another AirVenture will unfold in less than two months. Bits of information released over the past few weeks hint about a bevy of heavy bombers attending this year… no less than 2 B-17s, a Lancaster, a PB4Y-2, and at least one B-29 (maybe a pair?!) are expected to attend.
Here are a few more of the surprises of past years… some were heralded loudly before the show, some slipped in quietly but left a big impression while parked on the Wittman Regional Airport grounds.
Posted by Ken Kula on April 30th, 2015
Towards the end of the U.S. Armed Forces’ move from the piston age into the jet age, MASDC, and later AMARC, became chock full of surplus and obsolescent aircraft in a hurry.
When I began visiting the Boneyard in the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were still several Convair C-131 and T-29 aircraft still in use as transports and squadron “hacks”; the U.S. Navy still had C-118s in use too. C-47s had been phased out a handful of years prior to this time. Many examples of these types were parked though, and ultimately would be sold to scrappers, but a fair amount made it into civilian hands too. Even early C-130 aircraft, some with the “Roman nose” (without a radome) could be found parked in the desert.
There once was a saying that when the last F-15 Eagle was phased out and parked in the Boneyard, a T-33 would be sent out to bring the pilot back home to his base. Of course this didn’t happen, but the last operational T-birds were being parked around this time… however the type was supplied to many friendly air forces and some became civilianized too. There were many T-33s stored, and not scrapped. T-28 and T-34 piston versions were replaced by T-37 and T-34C trainers, and a number of these became civilian warbirds at the end of their military lives. Even T-2 and T-38 advanced jet trainers were stored, either for later use or to be scrapped when their service life was over.
As a storage facility, MASDC/AMARC held some rare aircraft for their owners… the National Air and Space Museum’s Boeing Dash 80 prototype spent time in Tucson, as did one of NASA’s turbine-powered Guppies and WB-57 Canberras. Prototype YC-14A and YC-15 jets were parked together for a while, and a Fairchild T-46A, one of three used for flight tests before the program was cancelled, spent time in the sun too.
Here is a slide show with photos of some classic warbirds taken during five different visits to MASDC and AMARC… enjoy!
Posted by Ken Kula on April 4th, 2015
During a hazy summer weekend in western New York State, the Greater Rochester International Airport hosted it’s 2014 International Air Show. Nestled on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, the show headlined the USAF Thunderbirds, but a surprising amount of warbirds attracted attention too. To be sure, there was a gaggle of U.S.-built warbirds that included the Trojan Horsemen in their T-28s, a P-47 and P-51, and C-45 and C-47 transports, but what really made for some intrigue was the large number of foreign-built jets that flew during the show.
The blue “Mako” CT-133 from Canada’s Jet Aircraft Museum was joined by Art Nalls’ former British Navy Sea Harrier FA.2 . Besides the CT-133, other jet trainers included a Czech-built L-29, a French-built Fouga Magister and a Spanish Hispano/CASA HA-200 Seata operated by Genesee Warbirds. Other foreign jets built behind the former “Iron Curtain” was an L-39 and Randy Ball’s MiG-17.
For you warbird fans, the 2015 show will include half a dozen flying warbird acts and more on static display, including some of these jets from last year’s show.
Photos by Bob Finch