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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2005

- a Report by Gerhard Schmid, translation by Jurgen Binnemans -

Warbirds in action: some airplane fans take a journey half way around the world to enjoy this beautiful oldtimers. In Oshkosh a great show was performed. Several dozen of Warbirds met in the sky over the Wittman regional airport to re-enact the scenes, which took place in 1945 over German cities: bomb attacks in the fight against the Axis powers.

Someone who is interested in Warbirds can make a rough picture for himself of the enormous maintenance and operating costs of these airplanes. And not at least since the Terror attacks on the USA in 2001 when regulations and costs for insurance drastically expanded. Only the unbroken enthusiasm of Warbird-owners give the inspired public - despite all adversities - an unforgettable experience.

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B-17 "Fuddy Duddy", a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress right after take off. The machine carries the painting of a B-17G, crashed on 30.12.1944 over Mannheim after a Mid air collision. Four B-17's participated in the Warbird air show.
B-25 "Panchito", the beautiful North American B-25 Mitchell we already know from the static display. Here the machine is in her takeoff run, briefly before taking off.
B-17 Weapon-defying and with open bomb bay the B-17 flies over the "target", the prepared pyrotechnics. In reality this machine never experienced a war deployment. Built in 1944, it served as VIP transport for general Eisenhower and general MacArthur.
B-25 "Panchito" with open bomb bay. Together with the B-17 this Mitchell demonstrated pyrotechnic bomb attacks.
B-17 The B-17G "Liberty Belle" of the Liberty Foundation in Atlanta has a troubled past. In 1947 it was sold for $2.700 and reequipped for civilian use. She served a.o. as test airplane for P&W propeller turbines, which were installed on the nose.
P-40 Compared to the mustangs the Curtiss P-40 is seen rather rarely, although more than 14.000 machines of this type were built. Here a Warhawk takes off for the demo flight.
B-17 "Yankee lady" was built in 1945 by the Vega Division of Lockheed in Burbank CA. The B-17 was used as a measurement and photo airplane, tanker and spraying airplane. She can also be seen in the film "Tora, Tora, Tora".
P-40 This 1941 built and to the RCAF delivered P-40E carries the painting of a Warhawk of the 23rd FG, 14th AF, USAAF, flown in Burma in 1942 by Colonel Robert L. Scott.
B-17 The bombs hit the target. The Flying Fortress turns away and leaves a large smoke cloud ...
P-40 From 1968 until 1970 this beautiful airplane stood as decoration on the roof of a gas station. Fortunately it was saved and put in airworthy condition again.
little friends The large four-engine Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, followed by the twin-engine North American B-25 "Mitchell". Four North American P-51D "mustangs" fly an escort patrol over the formation.
P-38 Steve Hinton during a skilful demonstration of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning "Glacier Girl". Steve is one of the most experienced Warbird-pilots. He describes the flight characteristics of the P-38 as very simple and light. Of course, with such experience, Steve ...
P-51 "Upupa Epops" was flown for the first time at Airventure 2005. Insiders designate this new restored mustang as the most high-quality and most valuable machine of its type at present. It belongs to Paul Allen, the joint founder of Microsoft.
P-38 Lockheed designer Kelly Johnson had the idea of the radical new design of the P-38 in 1938. The success of the airplane justified his concept. The "fork tail devil" was used in all theatres.
P-51 Aircraft scramble! Two mustangs briefly before take off. The wheels of "Gunfighter" (left) have already lost contact with the runway.
Spitfire Bill Greenwood at the stick of his Supermarine Spitfire Tr. Mk. IXc. The machine was build in Castle Brominwich. The machine never flew in combat. In 1950 it was converted into a trainer.
P-51 Further two P-51D's follow shortly. Within a few minutes there are a dozen of these fast fighters in the air. In the back of the picture you can see "Old Red Nose" from the CAF in Midland, Texas and in the foreground you can see the "Checkertail Clan" of Nathan Davis from Indiana.
Spitfire In 1961 the two-seater Spitfire was bought from the Irish Air Force. In the film "Battle of Britain" this Spitfire became a film star. For this appearance however the rear cockpit was covered.
P-51 Still in the 50's this P-51D served with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Since 1957 it is privately owned. Tom Wood from Indianapolis acquired it in 1969 and flown it eversince.
Wildcat Don't be fouled by the somewhat awkward appearance of the Grumman F-4F Wildcat. The carrier supported Fighter was very successful. The first machines where used by the British Fleet Air Arm.
P-51 The mustang "Checkertail Clan" is in great condition. That was not always the case. In the course of its life the machine had two crashes in 1987 and in 1994 during the first flight after the restoration. Since 2002 it belongs to Nathan Davis.
Corsair A Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair takes off. The heavy Fighter with its characteristic cranked wings was in the Pacific extremely successfully used against the Japanese.
P-51 General Reg Urschler sits in the cockpit of this North American P-51D "Gunfighter" of the CAF. The machine is stationed in Omaha.
Corsair Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and his VMF-214 "Black Sheep" Squadron became legendary. This successful Squadron also flew on the F-4U Corsair.
P-51 / B-17 "Old Crow" secures the flank of the bomber. The mustang in the painting of the WW II Ace Col. Bud Anderson belongs since 1994 to Jack Rousch from Livonia.
T-6 Formation That there is no lack of airworthy North American AT-6 Trainers can be clearly seen in this picture.
P-51 Bud Anderson obtained 16 1/4 kills in the Second World War as a member of the 363 Fighter Squadron. Occasionally the machine is still flown by the very quiet Bud Anderson.
Ju 52 In part 4 this Junkers Ju 52 of Spanish production was already described. It also was to be admired in the flight.
P-51 Four P-51's in the breaking of a close formation: such scenes put a Warbird-fan in ecstasy... ;-)
L-4 The Piper L-4 Grasshopper served as a liaison aircraft and flew over the hostile lines, directing artillery fire on targets.
NA-50 The NA-50 Replica when taking off. From this perspective the T-6 starting point of this replica is easily seen. Wheels and chassis are almost identical.
Yak-3 American airplanes are the main attraction in the Warbird Air show. In addition, this Yakovlev Yak-3 was present. It belongs to the Museum of Flying in Santa Monica, California.
F-8F Howard Pardue with his Grumman F-8F after take off. For several decades he takes part at air shows with his airplanes . He ranks among the most experienced Warbird-pilots.
Wall of Fire The "Wall of Fire" is the highlight at many American air shows. The pyro-guy made it really crack this time. One could still feel the pressure and heat wave at approx. 200m distance.

Continue to... >>>Part 5



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