Here are some Warbirds flown by Irishmen in World War II. Thank you for your sacrifice and for protecting our freedom.
Apollo 17 was the final manned mission to the lunar surface. The mission launched on December 7, 1972 from the Kennedy Space Center. This was the Saturn V rocket’s first night launch and would be a mission that would set many records that hold to this day. The crew under the command of the legendary Gene Cernan consisted of Ron Evans (Command Module Pilot) and Harrison Schmitt (Lunar Module Pilot). Cernan and Schmitt spent 3 days exploring the lunar surface, longer than any other men. Cernan made the final footsteps on the Moon in December 13, 1972. Before making his final steps and returning to the Lunar Module Cernan said, “…I’m on the surface; and, as I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I’d like to just [say] what I believe history will record. That America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. “Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.” May we soon return.
“It’s not just the end. Were not putting our rockets in the barn, and closing the door. We are just beginning to understand and accept the challenges that this universe has for us…” -Gene Cernan USN (Ret) (Gemini 9A, Apollo 10, and Apollo 17)
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) owns a Republic P-47N Thunderbolt painted as “Lil’ Meaties Meat Chopper”. The original “Meat Chopper” served with the 464th FS/507th FG based on Ie Shima in 1945. In 2002 , the CAF’s P-47 was involved in an accident. The aircraft caught on fire during a maintenance test flight and made and emergency landing at Albuquerque International Airport in New Mexico where it had taken off from not long before. (See NTSB report) The aircraft was substantially damaged and subsequently placed in storage for many years.
This year as a part of the CAF’s 12 Planes of Christmas Campaign, they announced that they were holding a fundraising campaign for this P-47. The CAF’s goal is to conduct further structural surveys of this Thunderbolt to determine what it will need for its return to flight. “…Tremendous work has been completed in restoring the aircraft to flying condition, with the fuselage repaired, a new canopy and windshield fitted, the control surfaces rebuilt and painted, and a replacement wing located and purchased.”
Donate to help this Meat Chopper get back in the air and honor those who fought for our freedom!
Photo Credit: Commemorative Air Force (CAF)
A Vought F7U Cutlass restoration is on its way to fly again one day, thanks to the efforts of Project Cutlass. Al Casby is the owner of two F7U Cutlass airframes, which are BuNo 129622 and BuNo 129554. Mr. Casby has owned 622 since the early 1980’s, but it is a “badly damaged partial aircraft, usable for parts only”, he recently acquired 544 which previously belonged to Tom Cathcart and is currently stored at Paine Field in Washington State. Mr. Casby hopes to bring 544 from Paine Field to Phoenix, Arizona to begin the restoration that he has been waiting to carry out for 44 years. This is no easy task. With a 21 foot width, and a high tail height, transportation is a difficult task. The aircraft cannot be completely disassembled without risking compromising the integrity of the airframe. Mr. Casby stated, “Vought strongly suggested that neither the tails or the center-section wings ever be removed from the aircraft, going so far as to implore that should that need arise the airframe should be stricken. There is no corrosion noted anywhere that would indicate a need for removal of these, so I do not want to remove them just to effect transport.” Have no fear, these challenges will definitely be overcome. Check back soon for more updates!
If you know of a transportation company that would be willing to donate their time to help Project Cutlass’ efforts please contact us!
The project recently acquired a complete lighting set for the Cutlass in New Old Stock condition. Some things that the Mr. Casby is looking for consist of:
-Parts or components bearing a CV10- part number prefix
-Any Westinghouse J-46 engine parts or components
-F7U-3/-3M canopy perspex and windscreen plexiglass panels
-BF Goodrich G-3-721-2 wheel (1)
-Goodyear 9531077 wheel (2)
Hurricane 501 is a British organization that is working to restore Hurricane V7497 a Battle of Britain veteran of 501 Squadron to airworthy condition.
Hurricane “V7497 is a Hurricane Mk 1, manufactured in mid 1940 by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. Flown operationally at the very height of the Battle of Britain from the famous fighter station, RAF Kenley, East London, the aircraft was lost during an operational patrol on 28th September over Sutton in Kent”. In fact V7497 had only flown seven sorties before being shot down over Kent, England on September 28, 1940.
Hurricane V7497 was discovered during an aviation archaeology expedition, the remains were recovered, and the decision was made to begin restoration to airworthy condition. When completed V7497 will be made up of only period correct parts, including those that are hard to find.
Currently Hurricane V7497 is being restored by Hawker Restorations in the U.K., and its Rolls Royce Merlin Mk.III is being overhauled by Eye Tech Engineering based in Suffolk. Hurricane 501 hopes to have V7497’s first engine run and flight in 2016. When completed Hurricane V7497 will serve as a memorial to the members of 501 Squadron and that gave their lives in the skies over Britain.
Photo and Information Credit: Hurricane 501
The Collings Foundation welcomed this TF-51D named “Toulouse Nuts” back to the skies over Florida with the the help of American Aero Services in New Symrna Beach. “Toulouse Nuts” will be joining the Wings of Freedom Tour and will be available for rides across the U.S. For more information about the restoration process check out: “Whats new at the Collings Foundation”
Photo Credit: Mike Ligosh
The Erickson Aircraft Collection’s new Grumman TBM Avenger is currently nearing completion at Pacific Fighters in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Pacific Fighters has returned this TBM back to its original condition. It wears the markings if a VT-40 Avenger based off the USS Suwannee in 1945. Also notice the paint is flat. Drab paint is period correct for this TBM. We look forward to seeing this TBM back in the skies with the Erickson Aircraft Collection!
Photo Credit: Pacific Fighters