See which of your favorite aircraft will be featured in this year’s All American Air Show.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.”
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 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 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 Bell P-39 Airacobra is the newest addition to the collection of the Military Aviation Museum, and has been restored to flying condition. One of the primary American aircraft in use at the onset of WWII, this aircraft was used extensively by the Soviet Union through the Lend-Lease program, having been funneled to the Western front via the Alaska-Siberia ferry route. The P-39 was unique in that the engine was located behind the pilot, turning the propeller through a shaft that ran beneath the pilot. This flying example is particularly rare, with only three others actively flying world-wide.
Stay tuned for a soon to be announced guest aircraft!