Warbirds

I suspect due to the nature of the GWOT , there is a heightened level of scrutiny on Warbirds designated for experimental use. Unfortunately, this looks expensive.

The Department of Homeland Security recently notified a pilot, an EAA Warbirds of America (WOA) member and owner of a Douglas AD-4N Skyraider, that it intended to confiscate his recently imported aircraft. The Department alleges that necessary forms were improperly filed. Last week federal agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized and threatened to destroy this rare piece of our nation’s aviation heritage…..Last September, the FAA inspected the aircraft and issued the Skyraider its new Experimental and Exhibition operating certificate and U.S. registration number.

One of the last tactical prop driven planes and an important part of  Vietnam war rescue missions as captured in the book Cheating Death. Meanwhile,, support is being rallied to save the Skyraider.

Speaking of Warbirds, the Swiss Air Force expended  effort in developing this excellent video presented by Warbird Alley in this weeks clip featuring the Hunter Hawker. It looks somewhat similar to the plane in the title bar but the Delphin has tandem seating and much less power. However, both saw extensive use in training roles. While the the L-29 is a gas hog, it doesn’t burn nearly as much jet-A.

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10 responses to “Warbirds

  1. virgil xenophon

    Brings back memories! We had flying close to that in the mountains down in Turkey when we used to reflex out of the UK to sit nuclear alert at Incirlik, in early 70s and fill our conventional tng squares at the same time. Each squadron would go every 3rd mo for 30days with 2flts at a time for 2wks with other 2 remaining in England, than trading places. The tallest of ’em were only about 5000+ above MSL, tho, most around 4. Great flying! Good memories….

    PS. I TOLD you in one of my earliest set of comments that your bird in the title bar reminded me of a Hawker! Remember–when you had only the single frontal shot up?

    PPS: Further confirmation that Homeland Security is staffed by morons. Sleep tight tonight, your bureaucrats are awake!!

  2. VX: Hailing from the great State of Illinois there are unfortunately no mountains. Of course you know this. Therefore, I’m jazzed about flying around mountains next week while in AZ in a C206. This allows more time to react than in , say, an F-4. Can’t imagine what it might have been like dodging karst in scud while folks were shooting at you though.
    I did in fact remember your comment from February when I wrote the post. The Hawker has a number of similarities.. How did you make the connection? Did they have those at your AFB?

  3. virgil xenophon

    Wilco/

    I was an airplane buff from a very young age and bought practically everything on aviation I could get my hands on as a child. Probably knew more about aircraft recognition WWII-current by age 13 than most intel officers! I was a real nut on the subject. Plus being stationed in England 68-71 the RAF still had plenty of them flying around in the CAS (ground attack) role. (They’ed given over the interceptor role to the English Electric Lightnings–which were a helluva plane. I think there’s an ex RAF civilian type that owns and flies a restored one!) We shared a lot of their ranges–so saw them (the Hunters) often. Although strangely enough never really trained with them much in joint exercises despite we both having the NATO CAS role under the warplans. Was really silly. We were all going to be fighting our own separate war, really–no matter what the war plans said if our training was any indication.

  4. Planes? I thought you had set your mind on playing tennis for a career!

  5. virgil xenophon

    Hey, A guy can do both, ya know. But I came up in the days prior to open tennis (that’s how old I am!) when it was strictly amateur (oh they had a small pro tour, but the pay was nothing and it was all exhibition–only about the top tenners involved–Gonzales, Segeura, Jack Kramer, etc. you really couldn’t make a living at it. I was good, but not THAT good.)

    I did play on some all-AF teams. Coached and played on our base team in the UK. We won the USAF UK team championship 2 out of 3 yrs I was there. I played #2 singles, Guy who was AFA’s #1 player was #1 and my doubles partner at #1 singles. I was won # 2 singles individual title 3 yrs running. The UK always sent an “All-Star six man team to the USAFE Tourney in Garmisch, Ger. where where we all competed in an open tourney, but best I ever did was semi-finals. It was on clay and I’m a hard court guy. (or was–I’m a clay geezer guy now! 🙂 ) You gotta remember, those were the war years and a lot of REALLY GOOD college players were in all the services then because of the draft, etc., so the competition was pretty high level at least thru the top three positions on every team, then it dropped off somewhat 4-6. (same as a lot of college teams, really–at least in those days before every foreign top #1 or 2 from every country in the world came to the US on a coll. scholarship. But hey, I can’t gripe, a tennis scholarship paid my way thru college…)

  6. virgil xenophon

    I should have added that Open tennis came about while I was in College, so most guys my age already had other things planned, except for the REALLY GOOD ones like Arthur Ash, Stan Smith, etc., who were of my generation and went on to star as peos in Open tennis. I DID play doubles with Jimmy Conners’ cousin Frank ( a hell-raiser that drove a white 57 T-Bird–my kinda guy) on the summer Tour in Ill in HS, and even beat Arthur Ash once in the quarters in the 16 and under at the Nationals at Kalamazoo! (My claim to fame, such as it is/was. HA! 🙂 )

  7. virgil xenophon

    But about the planes thing… Remember, my childhood hero was my 1st cousin 43 WP grad
    AF Lt. Gen. Carlos M. Talbott, who won the 55 Bendix Air Race (in an F-100C) , was a WWII Distinguished Service Cross, DFC, Purple-heart winner P-47 fighter pilot and was a child-hood playmate of my mom. (mom was 20 yrs younger than the rest of her sisters) Can’t blame me for looking up to a guy like that!

    He took the wing I was assigned to in Vietnam (366th) over to DaNang ahead of me in 65 as a Col., so I got to fly in his old wing! (By that time he was an O-7 assigned as Chief of Staff of the Taiwan Defense Command. I got up to see him in Taipei in Aug, 68 on leave just before he left to become Vice Commander of 10th AF–an ADC outfit–as a 2-star. He eventually retired as a 3-star Vice Commander of PACAF )

  8. It’s allways a pleasure when men like that recount some of their life stories. Facinating stuff that I’d never tire of hearing. Certainly, your cousin’s acheivements were extraordinary. Are you the only aviator in your family or are there any others that were inspired by his example?
    A friend of mine had had also won a DFC in Korea flying A-26’s (which was a little unusual). He was very matter of fact about the event, like it was another day at the office.

  9. virgil xenophon

    A little bit of pilotage trivia, Wilco. To show you what a good stick Maurice was, when he won the Bendix there was no air-air refueling in those days; the planes had to land at least once on the x-country dash from LA to Phila. So Maurice elected to land slick without deploying the chute and save time that re-packing the chute would require–but if he was too hard on the breaks and blew a tire it would have meant the race for sure, so was a fair-sized gamble that paid off thanks to his skill and experience.

    No, I’m the only one. Maurice’s oldest son had bad eyes and went in the AF as non-rated in logistics–got out as a Major. Maurice’s roommate at WP married his sister (Al ret as a Col in Arty) and their second son grad WP in the 70s. My Dad had bad eyes, which is why he ended up in Inf in WWII.

    The old Douglas A-26 Invader–a helluva plane–lasted 3 wars: Tail end of WWII, Korea and in special ops in Laos during the Vietnam
    conflict. Used to be half the Air Forces in the world flew some, don’t know if any still are today or not.

  10. -so he went by his middle name (I’m confused easily). Quite the bio and career. Rarefied air (pun intended) sharing the Bendix with luminaries such as Doolittle, Turner and Cochran who were all larger than life. The Super Sabre was a risky plane to fly under normal circumstances.

    As relates to trivia, I also recall the playing days of Conner, Ash and Smith. I guess that makes me old. I also remember wooden racquets!

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