OUR WORLD WAR TWO AIRCRAFT
Our WWII WARBIRD collection continues to grow.
Come out and see what fought in the first world war!
The Messerschmitt Me-262 “Schwalbe” (Swallow) was the world’s first operational combat jet. As such, it immediately outclassed all piston fighters and would have been a serious threat if it had been available in significant numbers. The design predated WWII, but engine difficulties delayed operational status until mid-1944.
No original Me-262s are still airworthy. The museum’s aircraft was reconstructed and first flown in 2011. It is painted as “White 3”, flown by Ens. Hans Guido Mutke of JG 7, the most successful Me-262 squadron during the war. Guido Mutke visited our museum several years ago, before he passed away.
The Curtiss P-40, first flown in 1938, saw service in most WWII theaters. As one of few fighters available at the beginning of the war, they were sent under lend-lease to Britain and the Soviet Union as well as serving famously with the American Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers. Our aircraft carries the livery of AVG legend “Tex” Hill.
In the U.S. all P-40’s were “Warhawks”, but later variants were called “Kittyhawks” by other nations. The P-40 was almost obsolete at the beginning of the war, but with the right tactics, it was still capable of great impact.
The MAM’s P-40 was built in 1941 and was sent to Great Britain, then on to the Soviet Union to a squadron near Murmansk where it was lost in action and restored 50 years later. It returned to the skies after extensive reconstruction in 2003.
One of the most powerful and unique fighter aircraft of the war is undoubtedly the instantly recognizable “gull-wing” Corsair. Designed by the Vought Aircraft Company, demand was such that production was also licensed to Goodyear and Brewster.
Known to pilots as “hose-nose” and to the Japanese as “Whistling Death”, the Corsair had birthing difficulties as a carrier-based aircraft but saw immediate success as a ground-based fighter as popularized by Maj. Greg Boyington and the “Black Sheep” Squadron of television fame.
MAM’s Corsair was delivered in May of 1945 and spent much of its military career in storage, being one of the lowest time Corsairs known. The “Skull and Bones” livery is that of Norfolk-born Ray Beacham, who flew with the famous VF-17 in the Pacific.
Designed in 1940 with the flying prototype built in under 120 days to British specs, the Mustang proved to be capable but somewhat underpowered, particularly at altitude.
The RAF and AAC tested replacing the Allison engine with Merlin engines, and a legend was born. First operational with U.S. forces in June 1944 in its new configuration, the Mustang now had the speed, range, and firepower to master the skies over Europe, allowing the survival of daylight bombing.
MAM’s P-51D was built in 1945 and was immediately sent to England to the 8th Air Force. Markings belong to the Deputy Commander of the 353rd Fighter Group. In post-war years it served in the air forces of Sweden and Nicaragua.
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 is a German World War II fighter aircraft that was the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force.
The Bf 109 first saw operational service in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War and was still in service at the dawn of the jet age at the end of World War II in 1945.
It was one of the most advanced fighters of the era, including such features as all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, and retractable landing gear. It was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted-V12 aero engine. From the end of 1941, the Bf 109 was steadily being supplemented by the Focke-Wulf Fw 190.
The Hawker Hurricane was originally designed in 1934 as an updated monoplane version of the Hawker Fury (also in the MAM collection). It first flew the next year.
It could be argued that Britain would have lost the war in 1940 without this plane. During the Battle of Britain, when that country fought alone against expected invasion, the Hurricane was flying in greater numbers than the more popular Spitfire and accounted for 80% of enemy planes destroyed.
The MAM Hurricane was built in 1943 as one of the 1,451 planes built in Canada, and it is almost completely in its original condition. The livery is that of Pilot Officer John Kenneth Haviland, the only U.S.-born RAF pilot who flew in the Battle of Britain that survived the war. Haviland returned to the U.S. and retired as Professor Emeritus at the University of Va.
Designed for high altitude combat, the Mig-3 was usually forced into roles which resulted in inferior performance. An excellent aircraft above 12,000 feet, its performance was seriously diminished at lower altitudes. According to one pilot, the Mig-3 flew like “a cow” below that altitude. It was a demanding plane to fly in any configuration, and it was relegated to defensive units fairly early in the war.
The museum’s Mig-3 is the only flying Mig-3 anywhere in the world.
The North American P-64 was the designation assigned by the United States Army Air Corps to the North American Aviation NA-68 fighter, an upgraded variant of the NA-50 developed during the late 1930s.
The Spitfire, along with the Mustang, are the best WWII examples of the old adage, “If it looks good, it will fly good”. First flown in 1936, the Spitfire went through an astonishing number of variants and was used by more than 36 countries for several decades past war’s end.
Shipped to Casablanca in 1944, the MAM’s Spitfire served in North Africa, Italy, Corsica, Greece, and Yugoslavia during the war and Italy and Israel after the war. Its final service prior to restoration was as a dilapidated playground attraction in an Israeli kibbutz.
The unique markings of “The CO’s Query” are those of the Squadron Commander George Silvester (DFC) of RAF 32 Squadron assigned to Kolomaki, Greece.
The Wildcat was an American carrier-based fighter built by Grumman that entered service in 1940 with the U.S. Navy and the British Royal Navy (as the “Martlet”). In the Pacific, it was the only fighter available in the early war, and it was only with superior tactics that it achieved a 6:1 kill ratio in the first year of the war.
Lessons learned from the Wildcat led to the Grumman Hellcat, but the Wildcat continued to serve throughout the war on “jeep” carriers that were too small to take on larger aircraft. Wildcats built under license by GM were designated FM-2 as distinct from the Grumman F4F.
No less authority than British test pilot Eric Brown said “I would still assess the Wildcat as the outstanding naval fighter of the early years of WWII …this Grumman fighter was one of the finest shipboard aeroplanes ever created.”
Introduced in 1944, the Yak-2 was a Soviet fighter aircraft. It was lighter and smaller than most fighters, and it was regarded by some as superior to the Spitfire and Mustang for pure dogfighting ability due to its’ high power-to-weight ratio.
Several combat engagements between numerically superior German planes and Yaks led to a Luftwaffe command to “avoid combat with Yak fighters …” because as many as 15 Germans were shot down for each Yak lost.
The museum’s Yak-3 is a rare case among warbirds. In 1991 Yakovlev used original parts and dies to build, new, a number of Yak-3 replicas which were given the suffix “M” to distinguish them from original production models. The “M” model is largely different from original models in its use of the Allison engine.
The Boeing P-26 “Peashooter” was the first all-metal production fighter aircraft and was also the first “pursuit” monoplane used by the U.S. Army Air Corps. To add to the list of “firsts”, it was also the debut of flaps to reduce landing speeds. Sadly, it was the last fighter built by Boeing.
The prototype first flew in 1932, and the type was still in use in the Philippines as late as 1941. The unusual high-back canopy, which was armored, was added due to the planes unfortunate tendency to flip over after a bad landing due to the short nose.
Despite the small production, the type actually served until 1956 with the Guatemalan Air Force. MAM’s replica P-26 was built completed in 2006 and is painted to represent the 1st Pursuit Group, 94th Pursuit Squadron circa 1935-36.
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 “Würger” (Shrike) is a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s and widely used during World War II. Along with its well-known counterpart, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Fw 190 became the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s Jagdwaffe (Fighter Force). The twin-row BMW 801 radial engine that powered most operational versions enabled the Fw 190 to lift larger loads than the Bf 109, allowing its use as a day fighter, fighter-bomber, ground-attack aircraft and, to a lesser degree, night fighter.
The Fw 190 made its air combat debut on the Eastern Front in October 1943, finding much success in fighter wings and specialized ground attack units. The Fw 190 was well-liked by its pilots, and some of the Luftwaffe’s most successful fighter aces claimed a great many of their kills while flying it, including Otto Kittel, Walter Nowotny and Erich Rudorffer.
The Museum’s Fw 190A-8 was built by a private enthusiast from a Flugwerk kit and first flew in 2010 before being acquired by the museum in 2015. This aircraft is unusual in that it is fitted with a four-bladed propeller and hub (rather than the original three-blade propeller), and has a modified cowling to fit a more modern Tupelov Tu-2 engine.
Fw 190A-8, Blue 4 served with 12 /JG 5. Displayed as the a/c flown by Ltn Rudi Linz in 12./JG 5, a German ace with 70 victories. He was shot down by RAF Mustang and crashed near Herdla, Norway, during the ‘Black Friday’ raid on February 9, 1945, after being involved in combat while defending German destroyer Z33.
Restored at the Texas Air Museum in Rio Hondo, Texas. Now it is displayed in the Cottbus Hangar of the Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach.
The D-9 “Dora” or “long-nose” version of the Fw-190 was intended to improve the higher altitude performance of the aircraft. Many Fw-190 D’s were constructed at a final assembly plant in the hangars of Cottbus.
Originally the Dora was used by the German Luftwaffe to combat high-altitude bombers. As the air war evolved, the “Dora” was more typically involved in fighter-to-fighter operations.
The museum’s “Dora” is a reconstruction painted in the “Black 12” livery of Lt. Theo Nibel of JG 54. During Operation Bodenplatte, Germany’s last major aerial offensive of WWII, Nibel made a successful forced landing after a bird strike crippled his aircraft.
An improved second-generation (“bis”) version of the I-15 corrected the visibility and stability concerns of the original. It was the most-produced Soviet fighter plane of the pre-war era, and Soviet Air Force pilots held the plane in high regard due to its stability and combat handling.
By 1941, the aircraft was mostly used for observation, patrol, anti-submarine defense, and night attacks. They were in use all the way up to 1945, and for some years in Mongolia after that.
MAM’s “bis” is believed to be the only example remaining. It was found wrecked in Northern Russia and was fully restored in time to fly in the 2001 Moscow Air Show.
In 1933, Polikarpov broke away from his biplane designs and worked on the world’s first cantilever-wing monoplane design with fully retractable landing gear. The “rat” was considered more difficult to fly than earlier models, so a two-cockpit design was rushed into production for dual instruction.
The “rat” was underestimated by many opposing pilots due to its ungainly appearance, but its speed and firepower were more impressive than it looks.
The I-16 was definitely a front-line fighter at the outbreak of WWII, but as early as 1941 it was beginning to be outclassed by most opposing fighter aircraft. This particular plane was built in 1939 according to the data plate found at the crash site near the Finnish border.
The I-153 was the third version of the venerable 1930’s biplane fighter, the I-15.
It saw limited use but did fly against the Japanese in Mongolia. This version returned to the original gull-wing design for the top wing, and was given the nickname “Chaika”, or “seagull”. It also had a larger engine and fully retractable landing gear.
The Fighter Factory’s 1938 Polikarpov I-153 was found in a swamp outside of Murmansk. This aircraft, serial number 6316, once flew with the 2nd Aviation Fighter Squadron of the Northern Navy. After being restored in Russia in 1998, this plane performed at air shows in New Zealand.
The La-9 “Fritz” was developed by the Soviets as an early post-WWII improvement on the earlier La-126 prototype.
First flown and accepted in 1946, the new fighter was all metal compared to partially wood, and it had a new laminar flow wing, much like the U.S. developed for the P-51.
The La-9 had greater fuel capacity and better armament than its predecessor, but it was inferior to the Yakovlev Yak-3, and production was ended less than two full years later in 1948.
Variants included adding a pulse-jet engine under each wing, but the resulting small airspeed increase came at the cost of poor handling, vibration, and noise.
Based on the P-39 Aircobra, the P-63 was delivered in 1943. Several unique features characterize the plane, including tricycle gear, cannon firing through the propeller hub, automotive-style cockpit door, and mid-fuselage engine installation.
The P-63 proved to be a solid ground attack platform and was used by the Soviets for killing German tanks and general low-level work. The vast majority of P-63’s were sent to Russia via Alaska and Iran, although some were used by the Free French Air Force. None are known to have seen combat with U.S. Forces.
The MAM P-63 is one of a group that was engaged against Japanese forces at the extreme eastern Russian territory at the end of WWII. Several P-63’s were found after 60 years of open storage.
First flown in 1930, the tri-motor “Iron Annie” saw service in military and civilian airline roles. In her military role, she was used as a troop transport, cargo, bomber, and paratroop platform. The unusual duralumin skin and wing spars and the corrugation provided extra strength and stiffening of the structure.
The aircrafts light armament and low speed made it vulnerable to fighter attack, and losses grew dramatically as the war progressed. MAM’s Ju 52 was built by Spain in 1950. It carries the markings of the early war campaign in Crete. The crests on the nose are the coats of arms of the cities of Brandenburg and Hapsburg.
Only seven Ju 52’s remain flyable, and the MAM’s example is the only one flying in North America.
The B-25 Mitchell medium bomber was launched into history in the opening months of WWII. As the entire air bombardment concept owed itself to Gen. “Billy” Mitchell, the B-25 is the only U.S. aircraft to be named after a person.
Just four short months after Pearl Harbor, Gen. James Doolittle led a one-way raid from the decks of the carrier Hornet against the Japanese Empire with B-25’s. The emotional impact of the raid on both nations was far greater than the actual damage inflicted.
B-25’s served in all theaters of the war, and many survived the war as transports and cargo carriers. The MAM’s Mitchell was sold no less than ten times after the war for as little as $500.
Introduced into the fleet in 1942, the Avenger torpedo bomber was designed in the late 1930’s as a replacement for the aging Douglas Devastator. The original TBF Avenger built by Grumman was also contracted out to General Motors, whose planes were designated TBM.
Former President George H.W. Bush, then the youngest naval aviator in the service, was shot down while flying an Avenger from the carrier USS San Jacinto while attacking Chi Chi Jima Island and was rescued by a submarine.
MAM’s Avenger was built in 1945, and she accumulated only 1,227 hours in her eleven years of service. She saw brief duty as a fire retardant “bomber” before being acquired by MAM in 2001.
Her livery is that of Captain “Zeke” Cormier who flew combat missions from escort carriers in the North Atlantic.
The Catalina was an American flying boat of 1930’s design that was one of the most widely used, multi-role, designs of the war. It served in military branches as an observation, night attack, maritime patrol, bomber, air-sea rescue, and anti-submarine aircraft.
The Catalina’s outstanding range and endurance made her the key element in the destruction of the German battleship Bismarck and the Japanese fleet at the Battle of Midway, where a Catalina also rescued the sole survivor of Torpedo Squadron Eight, Ensign George Gay.
MAM’s “Cat” was accepted in October of 1943, and had an extensive career that took her to San Diego, Norfolk, French Morocco, Canary Islands, Gibraltar, and the Azores, but her civilian career was far more interesting.
Designed as a replacement for the obsolete SBD Dauntless, the new “Dauntless II” was tested in 1945. From this initial design came the AD Skyraider. At the time, the military phonetic alphabet used “Able” and “Dog” for letters AD, and the nickname “Able Dog” stuck.
Astonishingly, more than one thousand variations were built on this airframe, including ground attack, airborne early warning, night attack, and even nuclear bomber.
The MAM’s AD was built in 1949, and saw three tours in Korea with several squadrons. It is in the livery of LCDR “Swede” Carlson, commander of what became known as the “Dam Busters” when his squadron accomplished in Korea what B-29’s could not.
The de Havilland DH-98 Mosquito, constructed almost entirely of wood, is affectionately known as “The Wooden Wonder”. This particular airplane, number KA114, was manufactured in Canada in 1945 but never saw combat action in the Second World War. In tribute to the New Zealanders responsible for the restoration, 487 Squadron RNZAF color scheme was chosen and it was painted as EG-Y.
After being sold surplus to a farmer in Alberta, Canada in 1948, it deteriorated in a farm field until 1978 when it was acquired by a Canadian museum. The Military Aviation Museum purchased the crumbling remains in 2004 and shipped it to AVspecs in New Zealand for restoration. A major obstacle was recreating the forms needed for the new wooden fuselage, wings, and tail sections. Glyn Powell, of Auckland, had spent nearly a decade building the 36 foot long molds for the fuselage alone.
Developed as a high-speed fighter with a two-man crew, this twin-engine aircraft is powered by dual original Rolls Royce Merlin engines and equipped with four replica machine guns and 20mm cannons under the nose. The Mossie was prized for its maneuverability and speed capability of over 350 mph.
Eight years of painstaking restoration work resulted in the long-awaited first flight at Ardmore Airport in September OF 2002. Of approximately 30 projects and museum displays that remain, our Mossie is the only flying Mosquito in the world today.
The de Havilland Canada DHC Chipmunk is a two-seat primary trainer fully-aerobatic trainer that was standard for the RAF, RCAF, and several other countries through much of the post-second world war years. First flown in 1946, more than 500 “Chippies” still fly.
The Chipmunk was in the air service of two dozen countries during her decades of service, and the MAM’s Chipmunk is an excellent example. Built in 1952 at the de Havilland factory Broughton it was immediately assigned to RAF College Cranwell. She flew with the RAF until 1957, when she was transferred to the Army Air Corps, where she served for nearly forty years.
MAM acquired the aircraft in 2004.
At the International Aerobatic Championship in Germany in 1936, the 133A showed “astonishing agility”, and by 1938, the C version was the Luftwaffe’s standard advanced trainer.
The Germans were strictly limited in their ability to produce aircraft as a result of the Versailles treaty that ended WWI, and they pushed those restrictions to the limit to prepare the pilots of “sports and aerobatic clubs” that would become the core of the new Luftwaffe in WWII.
The museum’s example was manufactured under license to Switzerland in 1940 for the Swiss Air Force. Unsurprisingly, Swiss craftsmanship reportedly made the Swiss-built Jungmeisters the best-built planes, and the Swiss Air Force’s were the best maintained.
The Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 biplane trainer was built in the 1930’s and 1940’s by the Boeing company. Known as the Stearman, Boeing Stearman, Kaydet, and most appropriately “The Yellow Peril”, it served the Army, Navy, and RCAF as a primary or basic trainer throughout WWII.
The Stearman is a remarkably rugged aircraft, having been designed to take the abuse of teaching tens of thousands of pilot recruits to fly.
The unique design of the propeller on the Stearman, the tips of the propeller reach the speed of sound at take-off power settings, making the plane’s signature “growl” instantly recognizable. The plane served as the PT-13, PT-17, PT-18, and PT-27 and the S2N in various services.
The de Havilland DH 82 Tiger Moth is a 1930’s biplane designed by Geoffrey de Haviland and was operated by the Royal Air Force and others as a primary trainer. The Tiger Moth first entered service in 1932 at the RAF Central Flying School.
From the outset, the Tiger Moth proved to be an ideal trainer, simple and cheap to own and maintain, although control movements required a positive and sure hand as there was a slowness to control inputs.
Some instructors preferred these flight characteristics because of the effect of “weeding” out the inept student pilots. It remained in service with the RAF until 1952.
The Focke Wulf aircraft company in Germany became perhaps the best known during WWII. In 1931, it had just merged with the famous Albatros firm of WWI fame. The Focke Wulf FW-44 (called the “Stieglitz”, or “Goldfinch”) is a 1930’s design for a biplane, two-seat trainer that first flew in 1932.
In the pre-war years, orders from glider and flying clubs, which would be the nucleus of the future Luftwaffe, ordered so many FW-44s that a new factory had to be built just to produce the Stieglitz. It is likely that virtually every German pilot of the period flew this plane at some point.
After many tests and modifications aimed at its durability and aerodynamics, the final FW-44 proved to have excellent airworthiness. The MAM’s example of the FW-44 is the final model of the series (FW-44J).
The Fairchild PT-19 is an American Fairchild Aircraft monoplane primary trainer aircraft that served with the United States Army Air Forces, RAF and RCAF during World War II.
It was a contemporary of the Kaydet biplane trainer and was used by the USAAF during Primary Flying Training as the introductory pre-solo phase trainer for introducing new pilots to flying before passing them on to the more agile Kaydet. As with other USAAF trainers of the period, the PT-19 had multiple designations based on the powerplant installed.
The North American NA-16, designated by the Navy as the SNJ, the Air Corps as the AT-6, and the British as the Harvard, first flew in 1935. This aircraft was the “middle step” in the training of many pilots between their Primary Training and their transition to actual combat aircraft.
This venerable type has flown in many training, liaison, combat, and observation roles in no fewer than 59 countries.
The first model of the AT-6/SNJ going to the Navy resulted in only 16 aircraft, and this model, the second variation with a different engine, only resulted in 61 SNJ-2’s being produced.
The North American Aviation T-6 Texan is an American single-engined advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force, and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II and into the 1970s. Designed by North American Aviation, the T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force.
It remains a popular warbird aircraft used for airshow demonstrations and static displays. It has also been used many times to simulate various Japanese aircraft, including the Mitsubishi A6M Zero in movies depicting World War II in the Pacific. A total of 15,495 T-6s of all variants were built.
The N3N “Canary” was built in the mid-1930’s as a trainer. It is quite unusual in that it was both designed and built by a U.S. Government entity (the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, PA). NAF also procured the rights and tooling for the Wright Series 760 radial engine, and mounted those in their own planes.
The N3N was produced in both land and seaplane versions, the latter with a large single float under the fuselage. The N3N has the distinction of being the last biplane in the service of the U.S. Military.
The Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun was a German single-engine sport and touring aircraft, developed by Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraft Works) in the 1930s. The Bf 108 was of all-metal construction.
Although it was outperformed by several other aircraft in the competition, the M 37’s overall performance marked it as a popular choice for record flights. Particular among these traits was its extremely low fuel consumption rate, good handling, and superb takeoff and landing characteristics.
The Bf 108A first flew in 1934, followed by the Bf 108B in 1935. The Bf 108B used the substantially larger, 12.67-litre displacement Argus As 10 air-cooled inverted V8 engine. The nickname Taifun (German for “typhoon”) was given to her own aircraft by Elly Beinhorn, a well-known German pilot, and was generally adopted.
The aircraft was developed in France at the Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Nord ( SNCAN ), which has been the Messerschmitt Bf 108 since the occupation of France by Germany. The airframe and the wings are very similar to those of the Bf 108, one can speak in total of a modernized and heavily modified Bf 108.
Many of the machines are preserved and mostly exhibited in museums, the MAM Museum’s ME-208 is the only fly ready 208 in the United States.
The Fiat G.46 was a military trainer developed in Italy shortly after World War II. The G.46 was a conventional, low-wing monoplane with tailwheel undercarriage, the main units of which retracted inwards. The pilot and instructor sat in tandem under a long canopy. The first prototype, powered by a 205 hp (153 kW) Alfa Romeo 115-Ibis engine, made its maiden flight on 25 June 1947.
Its initial testing revealed excellent flying characteristics and suitability for aerobatics, and the type was ordered into production.
Apart from the 150 ordered by the Aeronautica Militare, 70 aircraft were exported, to Austria, Argentina and Syria.
The biplane with the largest production run in aviation history was the Po-2. An astonishing 40,000 plus were produced between 1928 – 1953. The Po-2 was a general purpose biplane that was used in military and civilian roles as a trainer, crop-duster, ground attack, and observation platform.
Originally named the U-2, it was designed by the Soviets to replace the U-1, which was the Avro 504 as used for training. One of its uses was as a psychological warfare weapon as it attacked out of nowhere in the night to deprive German troops of sleep.
This type was also used by the “Night Witches” of the all-female 588th Night Bomber Regiment who flew as many as 18 low altitude night raids in a single night, harassing German rear-area positions. The Po-2 was almost impossible to shoot down due to tactics, low stall speed, and a tight turn radius.
The Stinson L-5 Sentinel was developed for the Army from the civilian Stinson Voyager. The L-5 served in observation and support roles as a light and nimble aircraft that would operate out of almost any small field available.
L-5’s were capable of taking off in as little as 50 feet with full flaps, earning the name of the “Flying Jeep”. The plane could deliver messages and supplies to frontline areas and evacuate casualties in a “litter” behind the pilot when the observer’s seat was not needed.
During the Korean War, Marine L-5’s (USMC designation OY) even operated from a carrier.
The Piper J-3 Cub is an American light aircraft that was built between 1937 and 1947 by Piper Aircraft. Due to its performance, it was well suited for a variety of military uses such as reconnaissance, liaison and ground control. It was produced in large numbers during World War II as the L-4 Grasshopper. The L-4 was mechanically identical to the J-3 civilian Cub, but was distinguishable by the use of a Plexiglas greenhouse skylight and rear windows for improved visibility.
During WWII Goodyear Aircraft Corporation developed the “M” class blimps. The first one, XM-1, was used to try some hooked on airplane flight operations. The Cub was selected and designed to be dropped from the blimp to take photos and to do other tasks. XM-1 was flown with an NE-1 Piper Cub airplane on radio control and guidance experiments in early 1944. Several flights were made in March and April 1944 with the Piper Cub “Glimpy” supported from the forward car section. On 13 March a manned “Glimpy” was released for return flight to base at an altitude of approximately 1000 feet. The Museum’s Cub was built in 1939.