Warbirds on Display at Quonset’s Silver Anniversary Air Show

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The Rhode Island Air National Guard Open House and Air Show was held at the former NAS Quonset Point airport at the end of May, 2015. It was the 25th edition of the show since the annual event began in 1991. Following a familiar format, this year’s show featured several warbirds in the air and the Quonset Air Museum’s varied collection of retired military aircraft on the ground, which constituted the bulk of the show’s static display. Just a few non-museum aircraft rounded out the static park.

Aerial displays included Mark Murphy performing an aerobatic sequence in his P-51D Mustang Never Miss, while Jim Beasley joined Viper East in P-51D Bald Eagle for a Heritage Flight, and Greg Colyer flew his T-33 during his Ace Maker Air Shows display. Seven (presumably) retired Aero L-39C jet trainers equipped the civilian Breitling Jet Team too.

On the ground, the Quonset Air Museum offered a number of their aircraft on static display. From the 1940’s and 50’s, their collection included a fully restored TBM Avenger, the only surviving Curtiss Wright XF-15C , and a Douglas F3D Skyknight night fighter. From the Vietnam War forward, there were a number of retired aircraft parked on the ramp. The museum’s partially restored F-4A Phantom is basically complete. A pair of Douglas A-4M Skyhawks, an LTV A-7D Corsair II, a Sikorsky H-3 helicopter, and three Grumman aircraft: an A-6E Intruder, a rare C-1A COD with twin tails, and a F-14A Tomcat were all survivors from the 1960s and ’70s and displayed. A MiG-17 in Polish Air Force colors rounded out the exhibit. On an unfortunate side note, the Museum’s hangar incurred winter storm damage that has left it unusable, and their aircraft are currently stored outdoors for the foreseeable future until a new home is found.

Otherwise, a Siai Marchetti SF-260C painted in spurious Luke AFB training colors was an interesting addition, and the Rhode Island Army National Guard provided restored, non-flying examples of their previously operated helicopters – an OH-6 Cayuse, an Medivac painted UH-1 Iroquois and an AH-1 Cobra.

In all, the show offered a good gathering of some rare and exotic aircraft on the ground, and some current warbird favorites in the air.


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