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T-6/SNJ/Harvard Scrapbook

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The North American Aviation T-6 Texan family encompasses dozens of variants and sub-variants. The initial prototype was known as the NA-16, which first flew in 1935. This aircraft was modified to answer a call for an advanced training aircraft for the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1937. The BC (Basic Combat) and BT (Basic Trainer) series were merged into the AT (Advanced Trainer) designation as World War II became a reality.

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Warbirds Over Wanaka – 1998

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Twenty-plus years have flown by since my first and only visit (thus far) to New Zealand. My main purpose of the trip was to see the highly anticipated Polikarpov fighters, the I-153 and I-16 World War II era planes that the Alpine Fighter Collection had rebuilt in Russian factories during the mid-1990s. The show, during the Easter Weekend of 1998, would present five of the I-16 monoplanes and a sole I-153 biplane. Additionally, many more New Zealand warbirds would take to the skies, giving me a chance to see a whole field of aircraft that I’d never seen before.

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Mustang Scrapbook

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North American Aviation’s P-51 Mustang changed the course of World War II, the Korean War, and quite possibly a few more smaller conflicts. The type served in front line use for more than three decades. Over 15,000 airframes were produced, and the type served in about two dozen air forces around the world.

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Sikorsky’s Sea Kings No Longer Rule the Waves

 

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The prototype Sikorsky HSS-2 Sea King made its’ first flight on March 11, 1959. There are still some later-built versions in use today, some sixty years ago, attesting to the design’s usefulness and reliability.

Sikorsky Aircraft began manufacturing the HSS-2 helicopter after winning a 1957 competition for an anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the U.S. Navy. First operational in 1961, the large, amphibious craft was the first Navy helicopter powered by turbine engines, and its’ waterborne handling capabilities lent itself for naval search and rescue as well. By 1962, under the Tri-Service aircraft designation system, the type became known as the SH-3.

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