Return of the “Meat Chopper”

meatchopper6The 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 meatchopper5they 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)

Project Cutlass Vought F7U Restoration

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The front end of Vought F7U Cutlass BuNo 129554 in storage at Paine Field. Photo Credit: Al Casby

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:

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The back end of Vought F7U Cutlass BuNo 129554 in storage at Paine Field. Photo Credit: Al Casby

-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)

-Goodyear 9530987 Brake Assy (2)
Please contact us if you know of or are in possession of any of these parts or of any F7U Cutlass parts and help get this rare jet back in the sky.

Airshow in Nîmes France

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The Warbird Watcher would like to thank our friend Fesquet Luc for the amazing pictures!

Ready For Reading?

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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!

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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

 

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!

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