WWII Birds and the Goose

Discussion in 'WWII' started by rebelgtp, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. MikeyB17

    MikeyB17 One of the Regulars

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    I'm going in March. Cannot wait.

    MB17
     
  2. Gray Ghost

    Gray Ghost A-List Customer

    You will love it. They have flight sims there that are shapped like corsairs. They even have sliding canopys. They use to be movable and linked to the others so that if you saw one corsair going down, you knew that it was one of your buddies in another sim. I believe the company that handled that is out of business, so they are stationary and use a regular flight sim now. They told me that they were looking to get them back and running like they use to have them. I hope they do. You find out fast in the old ones that it takes a lot to shoot down another aircraft. The one they are running now, you can run up your kill score pretty fast. I never leave the new one with out scoring at least five kills. The old one, I did 2 kills one time, 3 the next, and 2 more the next time. That was during 3 separate visits. Have fun. I plan to be there around the week of my birthday on March 4.

    GG
     
  3. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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  4. Twitch

    Twitch My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Here's a fun pic that shows the relative size of the B-26 over the "big" B-29

    [​IMG]
     
  5. PrettyBigGuy

    PrettyBigGuy A-List Customer

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    Location:
    Elgin, IL
    Great shot! I knew the Peacemaker was big, but WOW! I's like to see the same shot, but with a B-17 & a B-52 added!
     
  6. Jake

    Jake One of the Regulars

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    Great shot Twitch, I think there might be a typo here though, B-26 should be B-36 ....Jake
     
  7. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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    Tangential to this thread

    Jul 16, 10:57 PM EDT

    Vintage Warplanes Going Airborne Again

    By ELIZABETH M. GILLESPIE
    Associated Press Writer

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    ARLINGTON, Wash. (AP) -- When Paul Allen started acquiring warplanes nearly a decade ago, he set out to have them painstakingly restored, but not just so they could go on display - he wanted them back in the air.

    The Microsoft Corp. co-founder opened his collection to public view two years ago, and has since given many summertime visitors a chance to see the old planes take to the skies during "fly days," when the aircraft get exercise needed to keep their engines in good shape.

    Allen and his staff at the Flying Heritage Collection are careful not to call it a museum.

    "Instead of planes that are just statically displayed for people to see, they're restored to the most authentic artifact that they can be," said Michael Nank, spokesman for Allen and his investment company Vulcan Inc., which backs projects in science, the arts, movie production, and other ventures.



    Allen, an aviation buff who built model airplanes as a boy, has acquired about three dozen vintage planes since 1998. Fifteen are on display in two hangars at the airport in rural Arlington about 40 miles north of Seattle.

    Two of them, a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt and a Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3, were added to the collection in June. Another recent acquisition, a Hawker Hurricane Mk. XIIB, is to go on display later this summer.

    The collection's oldest model is a 1918 Curtiss Wright JN-4D Jenny, which was used as a military training plane during World War I. The only thing on it that didn't win a 100 percent authenticity rating was its engine - the original had just one magneto, a device that feeds electricity to an engine's spark plugs. To meet modern safety requirements for airworthiness, the restored engine needed two magnetos.

    Everything else, from the Irish linen that lines the wings and fuselage to the copper fire extinguisher behind the navigator's seat, has been restored with the same materials that were used when the original plane was built.

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    "If you'd gone to March Field in 1918 and looked at aircraft No. 3712, this is the airplane you would've been looking at. This is the way it was back then," said Norm Gordon, an Army veteran who's one of the collection's tour guides.

    At the other end of the hangar, there's a Polikarpov U-2/PO-2, which was designed to be a training plane but was quickly put into use as a World War II bomber after the Germans destroyed much of the Russian Air Force. Until bomb racks were installed beneath the wings, Gordon said, the navigator seated behind the pilot would drop bombs from the plane by hand.

    Allen's PO-2 was piloted by the first regiment of women ever to fly in tactical combat. They flew at night, in some cases more than 1,000 missions per crew by the war's end. Germans nicknamed them the "Night Witches."

    "They'd fly up to the German line, shut the engine off, drop their bombs, start the engine, go back, land, rearm, refuel, go back and do it again ... up to 10 times a night," Gordon said.

    One side of the plane bears the message: "Revenge for Ducia," hand-painted in Russian as a tribute to Soviet Union war heroes killed in combat. Gordon said some two dozen women who flew PO-2s earned the title Ducia, the Soviet Union's equivalent to the United States' Medal of Honor.

    North Koreans later used PO-2s to bomb U.S. air bases in the Korean war. "We called them Bed Check Charlies," because like the Night Witches, they'd bomb at night, Gordon said.

    The collection includes a 1941 Curtiss Wright P40-C Tomahawk flown by the famed "Flying Tigers" - a fighter unit of Americans that battled Japanese forces in China. It bears the signature painted shark teeth on the nose and is riddled with patched-over bullet holes.

    The plane was shot down in Russia and sat on the tundra for 50 years until a British collector spotted it in a satellite photo. While other Tomahawks have been restored, Gordon said Allen's is among the oldest still flying.

    Bill Fischer, executive director of the Experimental Aircraft Association's Warbirds of America, said Allen has one of the most extensive war plane collections on display at a single site. Some of the German models are particularly impressive, he said, because they're so rare.

    "After World War II, a lot of those air frames were destroyed, just through the process of demilitarizing Germany," Fischer said in a phone interview from his office in Oshkosh, Wis.

    Allen owns about 20 vintage planes that are in varying states of repair at restoration shops around the world. Eventually, Nank said, some of them may be added to Allen's Arlington collection if they can be restored to airworthiness.

    Nank declined to disclose how much Allen has paid for his planes, but it's safe to say it's a lot more than it would have been if he'd simply restored them for static display.

    Costs vary widely, depending on the age and condition of the plane, but the difference between restoring aircraft for flight vs. static display can be tens of thousands of dollars for small planes or hundreds of thousands for larger ones, said Kay Crites, spokeswoman for the nonprofit Commemorative Air Force in Midland, Tex.

    More than 4,500 visitors have toured Allen's collection since it opened to the public in the spring of 2004. Allen is looking into allowing greater access to his collection by the end of next summer. To date, tours have been limited to Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is $20, with discounts for seniors and veterans.

    Crites said a collection like Allen's reminds visitors "that freedom really isn't free. There was a price that was paid, and these planes played a very big part of that."

    ---

    On the Net:

    Flying Heritage Collection: http://www.flyingheritage.com
     
  8. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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    Price: Late pilot's dream for WWII plane to take off
    BY ROBERT PRICE, Californian columnist
    e-mail: rprice@bakersfield.com | Tuesday, Dec 26 2006 8:35 PM

    Last Updated: Tuesday, Dec 26 2006 8:59 PM

    Peter Crown will have his air museum one day.

    Not exactly the way he envisioned it, perhaps, but then he never envisioned a million annual visitors cooing admiringly at his vintage World War II-era fighter plane, either.

    But that should be the case in about a year and a half, when the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum, home to the USS Midway, sees the fruits of a promise his widow made to herself a decade ago.

    Crown, a pilot and aircraft collector from Bakersfield, was killed in July 1995 as he flew a helicopter above Sacred Falls, Oahu, in search of missing hikers.

    He and his wife, Lori Pierucci Crown, had spoken often about opening an aviation museum in Hawaii, their adopted home.

    The prize of their collection was an F4U-4 Corsair, the highly maneuverable fighter that helped the U.S. Navy win the war in the Pacific. By some accounts, there are only seven known intact Corsairs remaining in the world today.

    Peter Crown and his father, Gerald, then a battalion chief for the Bakersfield Fire Department, had purchased the cracked, crumpled disassembled remains of the Corsair from a party in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in late December 1983.

    The Crowns, who lived in Gillette, Wyo., when they first bought the Corsair, had intended to restore the plane and perhaps fly it one day in the Reno Air Races. It never happened.

    After Crown's death, airplane collectors started calling Pierucci Crown, the daughter of the late Bakersfield banker Leo Pierucci, asking about the availability of their planes -- the Corsair in particular.

    "The one guy called 14 times," she said. "Finally I asked him, 'If I had died, would you be asking Peter if he was ready to sell the plane?' He said, 'Well, of course not.' I said, 'No, you wouldn't.' Click."

    Planes were as much a passion of hers as they were her husband's.

    But restoring the Corsair was an expensive task: Full restoration would cost at least $750,000. Pierucci Crown had a young son to raise and life to put back together. The plane lay in pieces in a trailer.

    Last summer Pierucci Crown got an e-mail from a representative of the Midway museum, which opened in June 2004 and has already had more than 2 million visitors. Officials wanted to know if she might be interested in selling the Corsair.

    She wasn't. But a few months later, museum representatives approached her again with a different offer: If she would loan the fighter plane to the museum for eight years, workers there would fully restore it.

    Now they had a deal. She also agreed to loan the museum a Stearman bi-plane from the 1930s. Museum officials fetched them in November.

    "There are museums all over the United States looking for those F4U (Corsairs)," said Aubrey Brittian, the museum staffer heading up the restoration. "When I got my hands on it, thanks to Lori, people everywhere were saying, 'How did you do that?' That's an American dream."

    The Crowns' Corsair, which saw combat in Korea, ought to be ready for its first public appearance in mid-2008. Museum officials will place it on the flight deck of the Midway -- a historically accurate treatment.

    "It'll help the Midway museum and give people a wonderful history lesson," said Pierucci Crown, who encourages aircraft and military history buffs to donate to the Midway museum by visiting midway.org. "Another bird restored, another bird flying."

    But this isn't just about educational opportunities.

    "I really feel like I'm fulfilling a dream of his," she said, referring to Peter. "This matters to my father-in-law, it matters to my mother-in-law, and it matters to me."
     

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