|USA 1980s - WARBIRDS
A selection of my photographs of warbird category aircraft seen on visits to USA during the decade
|Curtiss P-40M N1232N landing at a warbird fly-in at Madera CA in August 1989 began life as a RCAF Kittyhawk Mk.III.
An earth mound near the duty runway threshold provided the vantage point for many of the following photographs.
|P-40 restoration expert John Paul arrives Madera August 1989 in his P-40N N1195N formerly a RCAF Warhawk Mk.IV
|Sue Parish arrives at Madera CA August 1989, all the way from Kalamazoo Michigan her desert pink P-40N N222SU
|Parked among the Cessnas at Lewiston-Auburn Maine in early August 1989 was P-40E N940AK, painted to represent a
American Volunteer Group "Flying Tigers" P-40 of the Chinese Air Force. It was originally a RCAF Kittyhawk Mk.1.
|This unidentified P-40 hulk, reputed to have been recently salvaged from a wartime forced landing site in the Aleutian Islands,
was stored behind a hangar at Chino CA in August 1989.
|North American P-51D Mustang N151BP with Cavalier upgrades including second seat and tall tail. Seen at Chino CA in
August 1989 when owner Bob Pond was strong supporter of the resident Planes of Fame museum, prior to establishing his
own impressive Palm Springs Air Museum.
|Warbird royalty Bill "Tiger"Destefani had three air racing Mustangs at his Shafter CA hangar in August 1989.
Here's P-51D N471R Huntress III, rebuilt with dual controls from a stripped hulk salvaged in Israel.
|One of the Mustangs attending the fly-in at Madera CA in August 1989 was Bill Hane's P-51D N151X "CY-H Ho! Hun"
|Kermit Weeks' P-51D N921 "Cripes A'Mighty 3rd" on a wet ramp at Tamiami FL in October 1981.
This was former RNZAF Mustang NZ2417, flown briefly in NZ as civil ZK-CCG before export to US in 1974.
C-GMUS was a Cavalier Mustang Mk.2 delivered in 1968 to the Bolivian Air Force as FAB 523 and later one of four acquired
from Bolivia by Canadian Arny Carnegie. It was in the P-51 rows in the warbird park at Oshkosh July 1989.
|Australian-built CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.22 A68-198 masquerading as P-51D 45-11483 at Oshkosh July 1989
|Not quite the old-warbird-in-the-barn story, but this very original P-51D N74978 with faded non-genuine USAF paintwork had
been stored by a Californian aircraft dealer for many years when caught outside its hangar at Mojave CA in December 1981.
|Two views of FG-1D Corsair N97GM "Skyboss" flown by owner Gary Meermans landing at Madera CA August 1989
Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat N100TF at Chino CA in August 1989 had just completed a rebuild using parts of three aircraft.
New owner Stephen Grey of The Fighter Collection, Duxford, England had it painted in wartime Royal Navy camouflage.
|F6F-5 Hellcat N4998V from the Lone Star Flight Museum in Texas was at Oshkosh July 1989
Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat N700F from the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum, Michigan fires up on a drizzly day at
Oshkosh July 1989. Like all warbird Tigercats, it had previously been modified as a forest fire bomber.
|Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat N14HP is taxied from the warbird park at Oshkosh 1989 by Texan owner Howard Pardue
|Grumman TBM-3E N7001C at Oshkosh 1989 which owner Coke Stuart from Valdosta Georgia repainted in the markings
of the TBM flown during WWII by the future US President George H.W. Bush.
|Grumman TBM-3S N53503 at Mesa AZ in November 1981 while with the Confederate Air Force Arizona Wing.
It retains the maritime canopy configuration from its Royal Canadian Navy days as an Avenger AS Mk.3.
|Four South Vietnam Air Force Douglas A-1E Skyraiders were parked at Long Beach Airport CA in November 1981.
They had been flown to Thailand by their pilots with their families during the fall of South Vietnam in 1975 and abandoned.
They were acquired by US warbird dealer David C. Tallichet, shipped to California for resale to private owners.
|Cessna Bobcats were produced in large numbers during WWII with designations AT-17, T-50, UC-78, and Navy JRC, but
all were popularly known as "Bamboo Bombers". This is former USAAF UC-78 42-72125 at Oshosh July 1989 as N88878.
|Also at Oshkosh 1989 in a row of nine Cessna Bobcats was this AT-7B N69092 in civil scheme
|Kermit Weeks had just shut down his DH.98 Mosquito Mk.35 RS712/N35MK at Oshkosh July 1989 on arrival from Florida.
The RR Merlin exhausts were still clicking as I took this picture.
|Kermit Weeks (right) emerged via the belly hatch to be welcomed to Oshkosh by an EAA official.
|Former RAF Percival Prentice trainer N1041P seen at Oshkosh 1989 was the only one of its type in USA
|British-built DHC-1 Chipmunk RAF basic trainers were popular in USA as entry-level warbirds. This example N48810 ws
at the Rosamund aistrip near Mojave CA in August 1989, still in original faded RAF paintwork from its days as WD285.
|This retired RCAF Canadian production DHC-1 Chipmunk was at Petaluma CA in September 1981 in RCAF paintwork.
The blown cockpit canopy was standard for RCAF Chipmunks later in their service careers.
|Another Canadian product, Noorduyn Norseman Mk.V N1037Z at Ryan Field near Tucson AZ in November 1981, parked with
Bill Dempsay's Central Air Service C-54 fire tankers. Dempsay had just ferried the Norseman from Canada for local resale.
|North American NA-64 Yale N3406 at Oshkosh July 1989 was formerly RCAF 3406
|These two ex US Navy SNJ-2s were early models of the Harvard/Texan line. N606455 and N87613 were part of the Skytypers
sky-writing team based at Long Beach CA in November 1981. Note their extended exhaust pipes.
|Another Skytypers SNJ-2 at Long Beach CA November 1981 was this modified single-seater and uncowled N66082
Texan N3931Z at Oshkosh 1989 wearing its former Spanish Air Force markings. This typical Texan was built in 1943 as an
AT-6D to USAAF order, transferred to US Navy as a SNJ-5B, then to Spain.
|Former US Navy SNJ-4 N7406C at Denton TX November 1981 had been restored to Navy markings as Bu51654
|Late production T-6G Texan N8203H at Chino CA in September 1981 had been delivered by NAA to USAF in 1950.
CCF Harvard Mk.4 N1254 seen landing at Madera CA in August 1989 came from the large scale post-war production runs
by Canadian Car and Foundary Ltd at Fort William, Ontario. It was delivered in 1952 to RCAF as 20439.
|Another ex RCAF CCF Harvard Mk.4 N13631 at Chino CA in September 1981. It was later sold to England as G-BKCK
Many Texans were modified as Mitsubishi A6M Zeros for movie and airshow work. N296W at Oshkosh July 1989 was a
convincing Zero replica, one of a group of CCF Harvard 4s rebuilt in 1968 for the movie Tora Tora Tora.
Some Harvard/Texan owners resisted the temptation to paint their aircraft in military markings.
Here's SNJ-5 N3258G at Riverside-Flabob Airport CA in September 1981 while with a local owner.
|Vultee BT-13 Valiants were another WWII trainer that made popular warbird restoration projects across USA.
N56915 was one of several attending the Madera CA fly-in in August 1989.
|Convair L-13A N13NH at Madera was ex USAF 47-276 and retained the original 240hp Franklin O-425 engine.
Surplus Convair L-13s were upgraded and re-engined for the civil market by various US contractors during the 1950s.
CF-NOI seen at Langley BC in September 1981was a Longren Centaur 101, with a 300hp Lycoming radial engine.
|Stinson L-5 Sentinel N63094 built for USAAF in 1944 comes over the fence at Madera CA August 1989
|North American T-28A Trojan N83705 at Madera CA August 1989 was formerly US Army 51-3705.
|N28DS at Madera was a 1964 model Hamilton T-28R-2 Nomair II upgrade of the T-28A by Hamilton Aircraft Co, Tucson AZ
|T-28A 51-3530 was with a group of military Trojans at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport FL in October 1981 awaiting resale.
Following USAF service it went to French Air Force as an armed Fennec, then to Moroccan Air Force.
|T-28A N9868A was another Moroccan Air Force Fennec at FLEX October 1981, being prepared for resale as a civil warbird.
|Former Swiss Air Force Federal Aircraft Factory EKW C-3605 turbine powered target-tug C-483 being assembled at Chino CA
during August 1989. It had been shipped to Californian warbird enthusiast Bob Pond and became N360BP.
|Messerchmitt Me 108 with landing gear tucked up in a go-around at Madera August 1989
|Former Yugoslav Air Force Soko 522 trainer N121DV on final at Madera CA in August 1989.