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Warbirds of New Smyrna Page 1

Fighters

The F4U-5 being repaired at Aero Services Warbird Restoration after making a skilled gear up landing when the right main gear wouldn't come down on a test flight.  Test pilot Dale Snodgrass pulled off a skillful landing with minimal damage and the plane was back in the air in a little over a months time.  This aircraft was being restored after being ditched offshore in 1997 when on a photo shoot the plane suffered an engine failure from fuel starvation. 

This Corsair has a wartime history serving aboard the U.S.S. Essex during Korea.  During WWII these aircraft often tangled with Japanese fighters and bombers.  When the Corsair was built it was the fastest fighter of its time.  It was built around a large engine fitted with a large four bladed prop.  The inverted gull wing was designed to give the prop the adequate clearance it would need during take off and landing. 

Corsair view from the front quarter (notice the radar pod on the wing)

The Collings Foundation F4U-5 Corsair in it's finished form.

Oh what a decision!  What aircraft should we fly today.  Well the Corsair appears to have bent it's wing a little, maybe we should stick with the B-25.  Maintenance on this Chance Vought Corsair for this day includes checking the hydraulic wing folding mechanism on the right wing.  This B-25J is also undergoing some maintenance to it's engines. 

The P-51-D Mustang "Obsession" owned by Jeffrey Michael of Spruce Creek, Florida.  Michael had a very close call that resulted in the first ever successful dual bail out of a P-51.  Read the story here:  http://www.mustangsmustangs.net/p-51/survivors/pages/45-11381.shtml

Jack Roush's beautifully restored P-51 "Old Crow".  In contrast to many of the engines shown on this site, this is a V-12 rather than a radial engine.  This Mustang is powered by a Rolls Royce V-1650-7 Merlin.  It is rated at approximately 1,700hp.  This engine was used to power the P-40F model, the P-51 Mustang, and the British Spitfire, Hurricane, and Mosquito.  

Jack's stang undergoing landing gear tests.  I've been told that Jack has modified his engines using custom forged pistons and internals.  This brings a new meaning to a Limited Edition Roush Mustang!

The aircraft picture above is a Yak 3UA.  The Yak 3 first entered service in the Russian Air Force in July of 1944.  It was smaller and lighter than the Yak 9.  It saw combat in WWII in 1945.  A total of 4,848 aircraft were originally produced.  The Yak was powered by a 2,197 cubic inch 1,300-hp Klimov VK-105PF-2 V-12 engine.  This engine was a Russian development on the French Hispano Suiza 12Y engine.  The Yak 3UA was conceived in 1991 as a limited production for civilian buyers.  It was powered by an American Allison engine driving a Hamilton Standard propeller.  The aircraft were build in Orenburg, Russia by Sergei Yakovlev, son of the original designer Alexander S. Yakovlev.  All aircraft were designed using the original plans, tooling, and dyes.  Approximately 20 of these new models will be built. 

Bombers

A close-up picture of the North American B-25J Mitchell "Pacific Prowler" reveals an interesting bit of nose art.  The aircraft was named after a B-25 from the 38th bomb group based out of New Guinea.  This aircraft is based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  It was previously owned by the same World Jet Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale that sponsored the P-51 that would become Race #38 "Precious Metal."  This particular aircraft also has a history in Hollywood.  It was one of the aircraft used in the movie "Catch 22." (See a picture of the real Pacific Princess at this site:  http://www.sunsetters38bg.com/38117.jpg  Awesome site by the way.)

The "Pacific Prowler" starts engine No. 2 to begin the engine run-up.  Those Wright R-2600's put out a lot of smoke when starting as well as a lot of oil both while running and while sitting on the ramp.  I was once told, "if these engines don't have oil spitting out of them splattering all over the cowling and wing, well it's because you ran the engine out of oil."

 

 

 

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Brian Whittingham 2004