Posts Tagged ‘Warplanes



01
Aug
09

Great Warplanes Tribute Flight

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A-10 Thunderbird II.

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A-10 Thunderbird II in flight.

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F-86 Saber, A-10 Thunderbird II, P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang.

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During the salute to these great warplanes, I also kept on eye on the people around me.  A group of four stood about fifteen feet behind me; two boys, what I assumed was their father and their grandfather or perhaps great grandfather.  The grandfather looked old enough to have been part of the what I like to call the greatest generation.  You know, the generation that survived the Great Depression, fought World War II, drew the line against Communism, and eventually led us to the moon.  Some pretty tough folks to say the least.  He watched these planes fly-by along with the three others, and when they all had their backs turned to him, watching the planes, he reached up with his right index finger and wiped away a tear.

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31
Jul
09

EAA Airventure 2009: P-38 Lightning "Ruff Stuff"

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30
Jul
09

EAA Airventure 2009

Oshkosh, Wisconsin

I had planned on two days in Oshkosh, which meant I had a pretty quick learning curve to be able to bring you some of these pictures.  I’ve never been to an air show, so I had no idea the types of things I would see, stunts pilots would try or the sheer number of people I would be confronted with.  Obstacles and lack of understanding aside, I have some really nice pictures to share, including parachutists, death defying stunts, impressive fly-ins, incredible fly-bys, and a whole lot of airplanes.

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Since I went on Tuesday and Wednesday, I’m certain the crowds were thinner than on the weekend.  Typically, whenever you neared a unique attraction, like this vintage World War II era British Avro Lancaster, the crowds thickened.  This is a beautifully kept machine and for five bucks you could climb the ladder beneath the nose and take an inside tour of the plane.  As far as I was concerned, the British had already satisfied my price of admission because this is a very rare machine.  However the Brits weren’t done trying to please my need for historical aircraft.

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This is an extremely rare P-40 Kittyhawk.  Sold to the British as part of Lend-Lease during World War II, P-40 Kittyhawks and Tomahawks helped keep the British in the fight against Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

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The primary British fighter at the beginning of World War II, the Hawker Hurricane.

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Hurricanes eventually gave way to an air superiority fighter that maintains legendary status to this day.

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The Supermarine Spitfire.

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So, as you can see, EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with tens of thousands of people present and thousands of aircraft to look at, attracts the very finest examples of aircraft from vintage warplanes to modern jets.  I’ll be posting more over the next few days.  I hope you enjoy seeing these pictures as much as I did seeing these aircraft.

19
Jun
09

World War II American Airplane: Grumman (Columbia) J2F-6 Duck

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Primarily used for reconnaissance, Grumman’s J2F-6 “Duck” served before, during and after World War II.

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Variations of this plane served as medical transport, air taxi and photo-reconnaissance.  Designed for a crew of two, pilot and rear gunner, a third crewman could be added in the space behind the wing in the float.

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Donated to the EAA Aviation Foundation in 1974, a fourteen month restoration projected began in 1982 resulted in how the plane appears today.  This plane can be found at EAA Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

For more information see:  Grumman J2F-6 Duck

12
Jun
09

World War I German Fighter: Fokker Dr I

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During World War I, it had to be an uncomfortable feeling to have this aircraft turn in behind you.  This replica Fokker Dr I hangs in the EAA Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  A very visible aircraft that immediately draws your attention as you walk into the museum.

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The paint scheme is authentic, representing Lt. Hans Weiss of Jasta 11, which was under the command of Baron Manfred von Richthofen — the Red Baron — famous for his blood red Fokker Dr I.  Only 320 Fokker Dr Is were ever built.  Making the planes reputation even more remarkable because its Allied counterparts were built in the thousands.

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Powered by a rotary engine the Dr I was slower than the then current Allied designs, but with impressive turning and climbing abilities this plane proved capable against most aircraft despite being slower.  Armed with a pair of Spandau machine guns synchronized to fire through the propeller it delivered a fearful punch.

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With a welded aluminum frame, wooden wings and fabric stretched over, this light weight design offered little defensive protection for its pilots, which even the vaunted Red Baron discovered when he was shot down.

05
Jun
09

World War II American Fighters: Chance-Vought F4U-4 Corsair

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Warplane development during World War II produced many interesting designs.  The Chance-Vought F4U-4 Corsair with its gull-like wing design proved to be one of America’s best designs.  Fighting in the Pacific Theater, in the hands of capable pilots, it outclassed the best the Japanese had to offer, destroying over 2,000 enemy aircraft with an impressive 11 to 1 kill ratio.

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The gull-like wing design, created to accommodate the massive four blade propeller, gave the Corsair a low profile and exceptional lift.  The Corsair could also absorb an enormous amount of damage — even more so “than the tank-like P-47” as reported by the EAA Airventure website.  It had one major drawback, however, in that if an inexperienced pilot gave it too much throttle on take-off, the powerful Pratt-Whitney R2800 engine produced so much torque that it could flip the plane over. 

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Usually armed with six fifty caliber machine guns, Corsairs fought in World War II and the Korean Conflict, though in Korea it served mostly as a ground attack bomber.  In the roll of ground attacker the Corsair had a larger payload than most twin-engine designs.  With superb speed, rate of climb and a large payload, Corsairs served their pilots well.

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This warplane can be found at the EAA Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

For more information on this plane see:  Corsair

29
May
09

World War II Fighters: North American P-51D

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Considered the best fighter plane of World War II, the P-51 Mustang, born of a British desire for a fighter to fend off the Luftwaffe and North American incorporating lessons learned from the P-40 Warhawk and the latest developments in aerodynamics, didn’t really excel as a fighter until the British Rolls-Merlin engine was added.

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Innovative wing design, featuring laminar flow technology, helped the P-51 decrease drag which added speed, agility, and with less drag comes better fuel mileage.

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The importance of the P-51 Mustang can be noted from an infamous quote by Herman Goering commander of the German Luftwaffe which concerned the appearance of P-51s escorting B-17s over Berlin.  Goering said, “When I saw Mustangs over Berlin, I knew the jig was up.”

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The United States built nearly fifteen thousand P-51 Mustangs and this design served in world air forces into the 1980s.

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This P-51 Mustang can be found at the EAA Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

For more information please see: P-51D Mustang




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