The collings foundation made a major addition to its collection recently with the acquisition of an F-100F Super Sabre, 56-3844. The fighter is a former Royal Danish Air Force example, and served its post-military career as a drone with Flight Systems, Inc before becoming a warbird in the late 1990s. Collings acquired the 4Hun' through a significant donation from Frank and Bruce Dworak and their families. The F-100, one of only two currently airworthy, flew in early February from its previous home in El Paso to Midland, Texas. There, Evolution Aerostyling is already hard at work repainting the aircraft which, until very recently, had worn a very attractive USAF Thunderbirds scheme. The new markings will represent an F-100F flown by Medal of Honor recipient Col George 'Bud' Day during the Vietnam War (see below). The Collings Foundation will base its 'Hun' at Ellington Field near Houston and begin transitioning some of its pilots onto the Super Sabre once the repainting is complete. The Foundation will campaign it at airshows across the country, and hopes to certify the F-100 for its Flight Training Program, where members of the public can get instruction and flight time in the fighter.
The second civilian-owned MiG-29 to fly in the USA, a two-seat MiG-29UB trainer appropriately registered N29UB, took to the air at Arlington Municipal Airport in Virginia on 23 January. However, this example, owned by John Sessions' Historic Flight Foundation, will be the first private 'Fulcrum' on the North American airshow circuit. This MiG-29UB (Bort 64 red, c/n 50903014896) passed to the Ukrainian Air Force upon the collapse of the USSR, and served latterly with 642 IAP at Martynovka. It had only notched up 510 flight hours by the time it was retired, demilitarised and offered for sale.The Historic Flight Foundation heard about the aircraft through Tim Morgan of Morgan Aircraft Restorations, and a deal was brokered to bring it to the US. This, though, proved problematic.The shipping company split the aircraft into two consignments to deter hijackers, with the crates containing the wing and engines going across the Atlantic while the fuselage took the Pacific route. At Hong Kong, the fuselage was off-loaded to change ships, but the shipper had not obtained a local import licence, and on 4 April 2006 it was seized as military contraband.
The US Airways Airbus A320 that famously ditched on the Hudson River in New York on 15 January 2009 looks set to become a star exhibit at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina. Having made a safe water landing in the hands of Capt Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger following a multiple birdstrike on climb-out from New York's LaGuardia airport, all 150 passengers and five crew members were rescued successfully from the aircraft, A320-2I4 N l06US.The largely intact airframe was then moved to a location in New Jersey for examination by accident investigators. US Airways Flight 1549 was operating from LaGuardia to Charlotte, making the Carolinas Aviation Museum a most appropriate location for the Airbus.The museum's president Shawn Dorsch told Aircraft that plans are being formulated for the A320's display, which will focus on how all the systems, procedures and training that go into modern commercial operations contribute to their safety. Airbus and US Airways have both been extremely supportive. More on this story in future issues.
B-17G Flying Fortress 44-8543/N3701G Chuckie made its first flight in nearly three years on 5 December. Ray Fowler, regular lead pilot for B-17G Liberty Belle, had the honour of performing the test flight. It performed beautifully, without any significant issues to remedy according to those present. This wouldn't have been possible without the dedicated efforts of crew chief Bill Gorin and his volunteers, who have worked diligently over the past couple of years.This included such arduous tasks as performing the spar and propeller Airworthiness Directives and replacing the port main undercarriage. Built under licence by Lockheed Vega in late 1944, 44-8543 received modifications to house an H2X navigation radar, located in a retractable dome where the ball turret would normally be stowed. H2X was used by the Army Air Force on so-called 'Pathfinder' sorties to guide bombing missions accurately over enemy territory in poor weather.
Over the last year or so it seems that the modelling world has finally woken up to the fact that the Lynx helicopter in its many incarnations, can form the basis of a very interesting collection of models. There are so many variants, colour schemes and details, it makes you wonder why this attractive military aircraft hasn't been more popular! Though the Lynx has appeared in a number of different ranges - Frog, Matchbox, Airfix, HobbyBoss, Accurate Armour, Belcher - it has taken until recently for the mainstream manufacturers to grasp the mettle and produce kits in larger scales; first, Airfix released their superlative 1/48 kit and now Revell, noted for their ability to produce large kits at cut-prices, have released two new Lynx kits in 1/32 - a German Mk.88 and now, to the delight of the British public, a Royal Navy HAS.3. Let's take a look at the HAS.3 in more detail...