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Warbirds of New Smyrna Page 3

Trainers

A head on view of a Boeing Pt-17 Stearman biplane owned by Warbird Flights Inc. of Kissimmee, FL.  The plane was officially called the Boeing Model 75 but was known as the "Kaydet" or "Stearman" by the men of the Army Air Corp and "Yellow Peril" by the Navy.  More than 10,000 of these rugged aircraft were produced.  Of those aircraft over 1,000 are still flying today!

Another view of the Warbird Flights' Stearman.  This aircraft is used to give flight instruction and warbird rides in; no prior experience required.  This particular aircraft is powered by a Continental R-670 engine capable of 220hp output. 

A great view of this red tail WWII trainer parked on the grass awaiting an inspection and upkeep.  During its production life more than 17,000 aircraft were built making it the most widely produced trainer ever built.  With these kinds of numbers it's no surprise that around 380 of these aircraft are still airworthy making it one of the most plentiful warbird in the world.

This vintage AT-6G Texan is owned by Hans Christensen of Pahrump, NV and is registered to do Aerial Surveying work. 

The Texan was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp radial rated at 600hp.  The engine had a single row of nine cylinders situated in a radial design as can be seen in this picture. 

The T-6 is an easily serviceable aircraft.  Here you can see a rare glimpse of one with it's cowling, sides, and all inspection ports open.

As this T-6 is being inspected we get a glimpse of the guts of one of these warbirds.  Even though this plane is almost 60 years old it is still a very complex machine.  This view shows the intake and updraft carburetor on this aircraft.

Two T-6's on the ramp in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Looks like a good morning for a T-6 Texan test flight.

First test flight after time in the shop.  (The guy in the back seat is Gene McNealy.  Gene flies Race 90 "Undecided" in the   T-6 class at Reno.  During his spare time he also flies his airplane in airshows.)

This North American T-28C Trojan belongs to Dr. Daniel Serrato  of Columbus, Georgia.  It is painted in the colors of VAW-77, the Nightwolves. The Trojan was built as a replacement for the Texan.  The T-28C added a tail hook so it could be used to train Naval pilots to land on an aircraft carrier.  Over 1,900 of these aircraft were produced and approximately 150 are still airworthy.  (unfortunately there is now one less airworthy example - see below)

On Sunday June 20th, 2004, the T-28C made a forced landing on a sod farm west of the New Smyrna Beach airport after experiencing engine difficulties.  Dr. Serrato and his passenger luckily walked away from the accident on their own but the aircraft sustained heavy damage.  The nose gear was broken off halfway down, right main pushed up through the top of the wing, and the left main was sheared off.  Everything from the firewall forward departed the aircraft.

Another view of the wreckage of the fuselage after it was removed from the trailer.  In this view you can see the extent of the wreckage to the front of the wing, the canopy rail, and the firewall and gear well forward.  The engine was not removed for transport, it separated from the aircraft during the impact.  You can also see some of the damage of the trailing edge of the wing in that the flaps are pushed up out of their fittings and hanging over the top of the wing.  It's hard to believe that a sod farm did this much damage to the aircraft.

After the accident with the T-28 Trojan the outer wing panels and the tail section was removed by maintenance crews in order to transport the main body of the plane via flatbed trailer.  (Note:  The damage done to the dorsal fin is from the hoist used by the crane to lift it while the damage done to the underside of the tail appears to be caused by contacting the ground during the accident.)

 

 

 

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Brian Whittingham 2004