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Issue #64 January/February 2016

Warbird Digest

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Cover Caption: Brad Deckert flies his TBM over the most iconic American World War II memorial-the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. Planning and implementation to get this WWII combat veteran aircraft from its home base in Peru, IL to Hawaii totaled thousands of man hours and the support of hundreds of people and multiple federal and state agencies. This flight over the Arizona was the ultimate success for Brad and his crew.
Photo: Greg Morehead from a Cessna 206 provided by Skydive Hawaii and flown by David Prince and Alan Miller


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The Flying Finn  by Bjorn HelleniusHawaiian Homecoming
by Greg Morehead

On December 7th, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Navy launched 354 warplanes in two waves from six aircraft carriers. Their mission was to obliterate the American naval fleet moored at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii, and to destroy as many of the air assets as possible at key military facilities, including Naval Air Station (NAS) Kaneohe Bay, Hickam Field, Ford Island, Wheeler Field, Bellows Field, NAS Barbers Point, and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Ewa (pronounced "eva"). American losses were staggering: four battleships sunk and three others damaged, and one grounded. Two additional ships were sunk and nine damaged. The death toll was 2,403 while 1,178 were wounded. Of approximately 400 American aircraft, 188 were destroyed and 159 damaged-a remarkable combined impact of 87%!


"Stearman One"
Chuck Cravens

The Model 75 Kaydet, universally recognized as the Stearman, is the most produced American biplane in history. The type's survival in impressive numbers is reflective of the many uses this workhorse has had over its 70 year lifespan. The popularity of restored Stearmans is a result of the beautiful and nostalgic experience that only wind in your face, open cockpit flying can provide.

Flying the Italian Stallion
by Doug Matthews

The Siai Marchetti S-211 is one of the best trainers ever designed. Maybe the U.S. Government didn't think so, but I did. I was cruising at 28,000 feet, TAS of 330 knots, ground speed of 423 knots and my fuel burn was 70 gallons per hour of cheap Jet A fuel. What's not to like?

Special Resource Section - Topic: Restoration Facilities and Aviation Parts Companies, Introduction by Greg Morehead

by Frank B. Mormillo

Although it was rugged and agile, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was not thought to have been the best fighter airplane of World War II; but it was a very useful warplane that provided invaluable to the Allies, especially in the early years against the German and Italian air forces in the North African desert, and the Japanese in China and the South Pacific. Out of production and relegated to second-line duties before the war ended, the P-40 was still a famous airplane and a number wound up in the hands of post-war civilian warbird operators. However, the airplane from which the P-40 was developed, the Curtiss Hawk 75/P-36, had for many years essentially been a forgotten warbird.

Flying the Fortress

What a Fokker!
by Stephen Chapis

The Fokker Dr.I Driedecker is forever linked to Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron. However, the Dr.I replica at the Golden Age Air Museum in Bethel, Pennsylvania, pays homage to Lothar von Richthofen who was perhaps more lethal than his famous older brother.

Warbirds on Paper by Ann-Marie Loos

Trojan Warrior

by Nathan Harnagel


The short operational life of the North American T-28A Trojan as a training aircraft for the U.S. Air Force seems unimpressive compared to the relatively long life of the T-28B and C models flown by the U.S. Navy. The T-28A was to have a longer and lesser known combat career around the world in covert and clandestine units secretly supported by the United States. The definitive history of military and intelligence operations, as well as equipment during the Cold War has yet to be written. Many aircraft considered obsolete or inadequate for America's frontline service fought intense combat operations in jungles and deserts across the world. A few T-28A aircraft have survived in their original configuration to be flown in civilian operations.

Biplanes & Triplanes 2014 by Stephen Chapis

Take Photos, Leave Bubbles

by Dan Farnham, Photos by Brandi Mueller

History comes to life
Located in the Central Pacific, approximately 2,100 miles southwest of Hawaii, Kwajalein Atoll is the largest of the 29 atolls that make up the Marshall Islands chain. It is comprised of 97 islets on a reef that encloses the world's largest natural lagoon. The main island, Kwajalein, anchors the atoll at the southern end. Roi-Namur is the second largest island in the atoll and is at the northern end, approximately 52 miles from Kwajalein Island.



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