Ever wondered what P-38s looked like operating in Germany in 1945?

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The American Airpower Museum’s P-47D Thunderbolt “Jacky’s Revenge” in flight. Photo Credit: MAAM

The Mid Atlantic Air Museum will put on it’s annual airshow World War II Weekend in Reading, PA from June 5th-7th.  This year is the 25th Anniversary of the show and the Mid Atlantic Air Museum (MAAM) is going all out this year.  Over 50 pristine WWII  and WWII era aircraft including the Commemorative Air Force B-29 “Fifi” and B-24 “Diamond Lil” , 4 B-25 Mitchell bombers, 3 P-51 Mustangs, and two  Grumman Avengers are just a few which will be in attendance.  Most importantly the MAAM’s P-61 Black Widow.  It was recovered from a mountain top in Papua New Guinea and has been under restoration since the early 1990’s.  Enormous progress has been made since last year, and it is getting closer to its first flight.  In fact at last year’s show $20,000 was raised in order to buy a rare Curtiss Electric propeller which was able to be purchased. Another Curtiss Electric propeller has been promised to the restoration, also.  In addition to aircraft there will be almost 30 WWII Veterans in attendance from pilots and aircrew to soldiers, sailors and medical personnel.  All with amazing stories to tell.  It should be a top notch show, as it always is!


The Yankee Air Museum’s B-25D Mitchell “Yankee Warrior” at sunset. Photo Credit: MAAM

World War II Weekend Main Site: http://www.maam.org/maamwwii.html

World War II Weekend 2015 Airshow Roster: http://www.maam.org/wwii/ww2_acft.htm


Aircorps Aviation Open House


For more information and to RSVP visit: http://www.aircorpsaviation.com/open-house

Support the Tacoma Freedom Fair Air Show

Help the Tacoma Freedom Fair Air show to help bring a fully restored US Navy TA-4J Skyhawk Jet fighter to the show.  Click the picture to donate to the Tacoma Freedom Fair Air show’s GoFundMe page!


The Recovery and Restoration of Sanbar Mitchell


New Projects Arrive at Pioneer Aero

Three new projects arrived recently at Pioneer Aero’s restoration shop in Ardmore, New Zealand for restoration.

Bell P-39Q Airacobra:

“Ex Soviet Airforce, recovered circa 1995 being restored to fly as USAAC 220341. This aircraft is currently being assessed prior to the final phase of restoration to flying condition. ”



Vought OS2U Kingfisher Bu. 5982:

“Originally intended for use by the Netherlands East Indies. Arrived in Australia April 1942 and received at Rathmines Put into Service September 1942. Served with the Seaplane Training Flight, later 3 OTU and 107 Sqn  Coded JE-H. On the 7th of December 1943 the controls became jammed and the aircraft flipped on takeoff near Wangi Point, Lake Macquarie. Crew; FO K Drury and FltSgt A Larsen both unharmed. The aircraft was towed to shore and righted, as the aircraft was submerged it was not flown again and reduced to spares. ”

kingfisher 1


Vought OS2U Kingfisher Bu. 5985

” Originally intended for use by the Netherlands East Indies. Arrived in Australia April 1942 and received at Rathmines. Into Service June 1942. Served with the Seaplane Training Flight, later 3 OTU and 107 Sqn in May 1943. Coded JE-B. Flown to Lake Boga VIC August 1945 where the last 9 remaining Kingfishers were stored. Sold in April 1947 to Mr Norman Padgett but not delivered. Displayed at the  Mildura Museum VIC and restored using other Kingfisher parts. Displayed, partially restored, at the Malcolm Green Aircraft Museum, Whaleworld,…”



Source: Pioneer Aero




Hawker Hurricane P3351 Noses Over in France


On Sunday Afternoon, May 24, 2015 in France, Hawker Hurricane P3351 nosed over at the end of the runway at Darios airfield upon lading.  There were no injuries to the pilot, the cause of the accident is under investigation.  This Hawker Hurricane was delivered to the RAF as P3351.  It crashed twice during it service in WWII.  The first in Prestwick on  July 21, 1940 while serving with the RAF and again in Murmansk, Russia in 1943 while serving with the Soviet AF as DR393, where it had been assigned in May of 1941.

Source: http://www.warbirdregistry.org/hurriregistry/hurricane-p3351.html

Memorial Day


Photo Credit: The Veteran’s Site

Thank you to all who have served and especially to all of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for this great country.  We remember you…


Inside the Grumman Avenger’s Emergency Landing during the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover

On May 8, 2015 a fly-over took place over Washington D.C to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of V.E. Day.  The Military Aviation Museum’s Grumman Avenger took place in the event with veteran pilot Josh Wilson at the controls.  Mr. Wilson has experience, “…in over 100 aircraft, from WWI, WWII, Ultralights, Aerobatics, Crop Dusters, Airliners, F-16’s and F-22’s in the military”, with 3 years experience flying the Grumman Avenger.  As seen in the video, right as the formation is over the Lincoln Memorial a white vapor appeared in the cockpit that was thought to be smoke.  Mr. Wilson pulled out of the formation and made a successful emergency landing at Reagan International Airport.  It was later determined that the vapor that was observed was caused by a leak in a hydraulic line in the cockpit.  The Avenger was repaired a was flown out later the same day.


Pilot Mr. Josh Wilson stated following the incident that, “This event, especially on this day, gave a somber reminder to all those who didn’t have a runway conveniently aligned. To those who were hundreds of miles away from the nearest carrier, in enemy waters. To those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We remember. ”

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A Helldiver Story…the National Air and Space’s Museum’s Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver


The National Air and Space Museum’s Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver.

Every Warbird has stories to tell.  The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in Chantilly, Virginia has many aircraft with enormous history.  From the Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay” which was made famous for dropping the first ever atomic bomb, to the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird the top secret stealth strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed in the 1960’s, every turn at the NASM opens a door to the past.  One such aircraft in the collection, the Curtiss Helldiver, is no exception.  It is one of the newest restorations completed at NASM, and the first aircraft to be restored at the world-class Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar.The Curtiss Helldiver’s story begins in 1939 when it was ordered by the U.S. Navy, to replace the Vought SB2U Vindicator.  The Helldiver’s first flight took place on December 18, 1940, and  the prototype was lost eight days later due to stability issues.  The first production Helldivers rolled of the new Curtiss aircraft plant in Columbus, Ohio in June of 1942.  Although the Helldiver was in production, it encountered many issues during carrier trials in the beginning of 1943, most of which ended in crashes.  This earned the Helldiver respectable nicknames such as the “Big Tailed Bastard” and  “the Ensign Killer”.  In spite of its rough beginnings, the Helldiver played major roles in the Battle of the Philippines and the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

At the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Helldiver which NASM’s recreates the one flown by Lt. Donald D. Engen.  Lt. Engen sank the Japanese carrier the Zuikaku during the battle.  Engen would later go on to be awarded the Navy Cross for his role in the sinking of the Japanese Battleship Hyuga, during which he was forced to fly under the bow of the ship after dropping his ordinance on it.  Engen also played a role in the sinking of the Japanese heavy cruiser Nachi.  Donald Engen retired from the U.S. Navy as a vice admiral and became an FAA executive, before becoming the Director of the National Air and Space Museum.  Shortly thereafter he was tragically killed in a glider accident in the summer of 1999.


Curtiss Cadettes, Betty Maskett and Jackie Davis standing in front of the National Air and Space Museum’s freshly restored Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver which they helped build during WWII.

After a complete restoration, the National Air and Space Museum’s Helldiver rolled out of the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar painted in Donald Engen’s Helldiver’s paint scheme in spring of 2014, 15 years after his death.  In attendance at the unveiling ceremony were two Curtiss Cadettees.  The two women, Betty Maskett and Jackie Davis, worked for Curtiss Aircraft.  Betty Maskett’s job was empenage manufacturing and Jackie Davis was in charge of quality control during WWII, while the men were off at war.  In fact, Betty and Jackie helped to build the museum’s Helldiver 70 years before at the Curtiss Factory.  A moment of history captured in the making!

Historical Side Note:


Original U.S. Navy Helldiver in VB-92 to carry ‘208’ markings, shortly before in crashed into the Pacific Ocean after overshooting the arresting wire on the carrier deck or a wire break on landing

This Curtiss Helldiver is the original Helldiver in VB-92 to carry the markings of ‘208’.  It is assumed that the pilot overshot the arresting wire on the deck, or it broke on landing.  The National Air and Space Museum’s Helldiver was the replacement aircraft for the one above.  This fact was confirmed by Scott Wiley one of the restoration experts at the museum that helped to restore this Helldiver.


National Air and Space Museum, Curtiss Helldiver. Restoration full speed ahead, March 12, 2014 -The Reilly Collection

Historical Credit:

-National Air and Space Museum

-The Nation’s Hangar- Aircraft Treasures of the Smithsonian (Pages 124-125)

-Scott Wiley- Docent and Restoration Expert at the National Air and Space Musuem

Photo Credit:

-National Air and Space Museum

-John Bretschneider (Navy Times)

-U.S. Navy

-The Reilly Collection