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1942 CESSNA T-50 “Bamboo Bomber”

      The Cessna AT-17 Bobcat is a twin-engine advanced trainer aircraft designed and made in the United States, and used during World War II to bridge the gap between single-engine trainers and twin-engine combat aircraft. The AT-17 was powered by two Jacobs R-755-9 radial piston engines. The commercial version was the Model T-50, from which the AT-17 was developed. The AT-17 was a military version of the commercial Cessna T-50 light transport. The Cessna Airplane Company first produced the wood and tubular steel, fabric-covered T-50 in 1939 for the civilian market, as a lightweight and low cost twin for personal use where larger aircraft such as the Beech 18 would be too expensive. A low-wing cantilever monoplane, it featured retractable main landing gear and wing trailing-edge flaps, both electrically actuated. The wing structure was built up of laminated spruce spar beams with spruce and plywood ribs. The fixed tail wheel is non-steerable and full-swiveling. The prototype T-50 made its maiden flight on 26 March 1939 This wonderful example is owned and flown by EDGAR  T. NEWBERG and is currently based at the Arizona  Wing of the CAF  Falcon Field Mesa ,AZ . Read more »

Announcement on Reno Races

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE In a press conference to discuss the future of the National Championship Air Races, the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) announced on Wednesday the formation of a Blue Ribbon ReviewPanel to study the event. The panel will examine any possible changes or modifications that could bemade to enhance the already high level of safety established by the FAA and existing RARA procedures. RARA also announced that, despite many challenges in the near and long term future, they are planningto hold the 49th Annual National Championship Air Races at the Reno‐Stead Airfield, Sept. 12 – 16, 2012.“Buoyed by the overwhelming support of the victims and families of last year’s terrible tragedy, our sponsors, air race participants and fans and aviation enthusiasts all over the world, we are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to hold this historic event in 2012,” said Mike Houghton,president and CEO of RARA. “The safety of our fans and pilots has always been our foremost andprimary concern, which is why we feel so strongly about a blue ribbon review. This effort is not designed to interfere or duplicate the efforts of the National Transportation Safety Board and we will continue to cooperate with them to the fullest extent.” The panel conducted its first meeting shortly after the press conference and will release its preliminaryresults and recommendations to RARA within the next 90 days, allowing race officials to study them before the event’s annual Pylon Racing Seminar (PRS) in June. Headed by former Chairman of the (NTSB), Jim Hall, and formerAssociate Administrator for Aviation Safety for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Nick Sabatini,the four members of the panel bring a wide breadth and depth of experience. The panel is rounded out with two aviation legends, Steve Hinton, a highlyacclaimed movie stunt pilot, aviation choreographer,two-time national Unlimited Air Race champion and current pace plane pilot in the Unlimited Class, and John Sharp, an aeronautical engineer and the winningest pilot in the history of air racing.“In addition to the blue ribbon panel, as is an annual matter of course, we will work with the race classes and emergency responders to conduct an internal review, in the very near future, of all of the event’s operations and procedures,” said Houghton. “Until we get further down the road, we will not speculate on possible changes to the event or the results of either of these reviews or the NTSB investigation. As has been the case, the NTSB has asked that they remain the point for all communications related to the accident.”The not‐for‐profit event is a year‐round effort that regularly attracts more than 200,000 spectators and generates an estimated $85 million annually to northern Nevada’s economy. It was also announced that, RARA had a loss of up to $1.5 million for 2011. Race officials wanted to make it very clear that, while this financial loss presents a significant hurdle, thanks to the continued generosity, sympathy and support of the event’s fans and sponsors, the loss could be overcome. “We know there are many people in our organization, our community and all over the world who havebeen significantly impacted by last year’s tragedy and our thoughts and prayers remain with them,” said Houghton. “However, we have heard from a vast majority of these people that this event must continue on and many of our fans and sponsors have volunteered to do whatever they can in order to help ensure the successful continuation of the National Championship Air Races. It’s in this spirit that we’re working towards holding a poignant and successful event in 2012.” In order for the 2012 event to occur, RARA must receive permits from the City of Reno, Reno Tahoe Airport Authority and the FAA. RARA has already begun to initiate conversations with each of these entities regarding permitting for 2012 and these conversations are ongoing.“For planning purposes, we have to receive our waiver from the FAA for PRS by the end of February or March, at the latest,” said Houghton. “This will provide a pretty good indication of our ability to get permits and waivers for September’s event. Regardless, many people, including victims of the accident, have told us they are coming to Reno in September, one way or another. We’ll do whatever we have to do in order to memorialize and celebrate courage, passion and indomitable spirit that is so often associated with aviation but, more importantly, was so vividly exhibited during the accident and the weeks and months since, even if that means just holding a memorial air show.” For more information on the National Championship Air Races, visit

Jimmy Leeward – Blue Skies and Tailwinds Forever

As Dave and I sit in our hotel room in Reno, Nevada and reflect on the events of yesterday, we have decided to write this tribute to Jimmy Leeward. Dave arrived last Saturday and spent a lot of time around the unlimited pits, at times speaking with the crew of the ghost. We have gathered lots of images and video footage which we still need to edit. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who lost loved ones and the many injured who are still being treated at this time. A very special thank you to all the first responders both civilian and uniformed, who selflessly braved danger to assist the injured. You are the true HEROES of the day. Read more »

Planes of Fame – Chino Air Show 2011

The County of San Bernardino Planes of Fame Airshow is an annual event and one NEVER to be missed. Joe and I have been making this trip for the past three years and it just keeps getting better. This year was special as it was celebrating the "100th Anniversary of  U.S. Naval Aviation". Planes of Fame in conjunction with the County of San Bernardino, did another great job bringing to the skies 40 historic aircraft. Read more »