P-40 “American Dream” to lead part of the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover

The P-40 “American Dream”, which is based in Kissimmee, FL, has been selected to lead the P-40 flight during the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover in September. Flyover will happen over Washington, DC.

“Please continue to support the aircraft by donating to support the warbirds at https://ww2flyover.org/donate/ like this P-40 Warhawk “American Dream”, a very special aircraft as it has actual pedigree.

It has two confirmed kills and one probable. Lt. Joel Thorvaldsen shot down a Zero fighter and Betty bomber in this aircraft. After which he took some enemy fire and did a forced landing in a field next to a river in New Guinea. One of his buddies dropped a life raft and he floated down stream, evading enemy capture for 5 days. He was picked up by the Australians and went on to a long career in the USAF. He passed away in 2014.

The airplane sat in the jungle in to the 90’s, known only to the locals and was eventually recovered for restoration. It took over 10+ years and flew again in 2009. It’s now one of only 7 two-seat TP-40’s in the world and is used full-time by my operation for dual instruction and airshow work.

Thom Richard is the current pilot of this P-40 and has been teaching in and wrenching on airplanes for over 30 years, with over 12,700 hours of flight time of which more than half is in Warbirds and a quarter in helicopters, he’s very active on the airshow circuit performing aerobatic displays in P-40’s, P-51’s and Corsairs. World Cup winner in the Airrace 1 series and known for racing Unlimiteds, Jets and Formula 1 aircraft. He’s an avid aircraft restorer and operates a small air museum in central Florida along with his WWII vintage flight school, Warbird Adventures, Inc., primarily teaching in the P-40 Warhawk, T-6’s, and the mighty Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.”

Trip Report, American Aero Services, August 2020

Between being cooped up at home for COVID and the need to burn some vacation time, I took a road up to American Aero Services to see what was going on. Was hoping that the Collings Foundation’s second B-17 would be onsite but the ferry flight has not happened yet.

None the less, still a lot of activity at the shop with work being done on the P-51C “The Stars Look Down”, as well work on another P-51 B/C.

Being stored on site are parts of the fleet of the Collings Foundation touring group to include B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft”, TF-51 Mustang “Toulouise Nuts”, B-25 “Tondelayo”, PBY-5A Catalina and the TP-40.

And here are a couple of other photos to include a T-55 being worked on.

Mig-21 in Miami

Wings Over Miami Air Museum at Miami Executive Airport is excited to announce the arrival of their newest exhibit, a MIG-21!

On Monday, August 17th, a Soviet-era supersonic MIG-21 fighter jet will arrive from Lakeland, Florida. This plane is coming dissembled and crated from storage in Lakeland. The museum will publicly reassemble and then display it alongside the museum’s F-14. While the museum houses multiple flyable aircraft, this one will be a static display as rehabbing the jet engines would be cost-prohibitive.

From the early ’60s to 1974, approximately 3,000 MIG’s were built, then sold worldwide and notably throughout the 28 Eastern Bloc countries. Dennis Haber, a former museum board member who is shepherding the jet’s arrival, pointed out that Miami’s Cuban community will recall that the Cuban Air Force also deployed this particular type of aircraft.

The aircraft is part of Draken International‘s collection of air combat tactical aircraft. Draken International, a privately owned company, specializes in maintaining and flying military assets for training purposes. Despite the plane being donated, the museum is actively soliciting funds to pay for it’s packing, shipping, and reassembly costs.

Photo credits to Micheal Downs and the Wings Over Miami Air Museum.

National Naval Aviation Museum Live event, History Up Close, P-40 Tomahawk

The National Naval Aviation Museum is continuing the online tour of aircraft in the collection. Learn more about these aircraft from staff at the museum and a chance to ask questions about them.

“We’re back with another episode of History Up Close! Join us this Thursday, August 20, tune in as Hill Goodspeed presents P-40 Tomahawk: Naval Aviation and the Flying Tigers. Leave your questions and comments in the Facebook events page and he will answer them during the broadcast.”