The 1st Quarter 2018 newsletter for the Valiant Air Command can be found here.
The winner of P-51 Mustang Flight will be announced LIVE from Stallion 51’s Hangar (KISM) on Mercy Flight Southeast’s Facebook Page. LIVE ON FACEBOOK SUNDAY 8:00 AM
There is still time to enter for your chance to have the flight of a lifetime at the controls of Stallion 51’s Mustang, “Crazy Horse” !
Spread the word; this is the chance of a lifetime for the flight of a lifetime! One lucky person will have a fantastic Father’s Day!
Visit the Mercy Flight Southeast Facebook page on Sunday, June 17, at 8 a.m. EST to find out who won the chance to fly a Stallion 51 P-51 Mustang. The winner will enjoy a half day at the Kissimmee, Fla. venue where they will participate in a flight orientation, enjoy a one hour flight and receive photos of the adventure. Roundtrip airfare to Orlando is included.
Raffle tickets are still available for purchase for a chance to win the Stallion 51 P-51 Mustang Experience: 1 ticket = $20; 3 tickets = $50; 7 tickets = $100.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.mercyflightse.org/events or clicking here.
Fantasy of Flight “Museum Lite” re-opens on 15 June and run through the end of July. Museum is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm.
Prices are: Adults: $12.00 plus Sales Tax, Seniors (55+) $10.00 plus Sales Tax and Children (6-12) $8.00 plus Sales Tax.
If visiting, strongly suggest you call ahead to ensure that they will be open tot he public.
So, it was Fun, Sunny, Windy, Rainy, Cloudy and even Dark if you were there for the nighttime show. We had a bit of everything during this week long airshow. Did I mention the walking?
Little background, Sun N Fun is a massive aviation event at the Lakeland Linder Airport in Central Florida that has been occurring for the past 44 years. Not only is there an airshow, but education sessions, vendor talks, tents selling new aircraft, old parts & t-shirts and fundraiser. Also, they hosted the arrival of an “Honor Flight” that was filled with veterans that just came back from spending a week in Washington DC. And one last thing, the economic impact on the area is in excess of $60 million.
But I was there for Warbirds and there were a great many. And what may be there one day, might not be there the next day so it kept things fresh. As it got closer to the weekend, the ramp got fuller, until Saturday afternoon when a major storm front reaching from Florida to Southern Canada came through.
First aircraft I saw on the ramp was the Commemorative Air Forces P-63 Kingcobra, based out of Georgia. Missed the NACA/NASA heritage flight between this aircraft and a NASA T-38.
Next aircraft to visit was the National Warplane Museum’s B-17 “The Movie Memphis Belle” which was down in Florida for few months.
First time ever seeing a F8F Bearcat that was not in a museum. As luck would have it, there would be 2 on the field as the day went on.
The mystery Corsair that has been at Stallion 51 was on the ramp. Heard lots of about the aircraft and was happy to seeing. I will post more pictures of this Corsair in another post.
Walked around the ramp, heading down to the Commemorative Air Forces B-17 “Texas Raiders” which was doing rides during the week.
As soon as I made down to the end of the taxiway to see the B-17, a formation came into view. It was the Lewis Air Legends arriving. They flew in with their P-38 “Glacier Girl”, A-20 Havoc and F8F Bearcat.
Taxiing in before them was the P-40 from the Cavanaugh Museum.
A couple of Mustangs were on the field along another Corsair and all types of warbirds. Found myself talking photos all day.
One of the best things about my work, is that every so often, I need to travel and I find some time to visit great aviation venues. This time, I got to visit aviation on a naval venue, when I traveled to San Francisco. Took a ferry over to Alameda on a Sunday morning and after a long walk from the ferry, I found myself on the old Alameda Naval Air Station. This is also the home of the USS Hornet (CV-12).
Walked in from the front entrance, found this Vought A-7 Corsair II (BuNo 154362) on a pole.
After about another mile of walking, found the USS Hornet. The USS Hornet is a WW2 veteran after joining the fleet in 1944 and participated in Pacific Fleet operations. After the war, she was put into the reserve fleet until 1951 when she put back in to active duty. In 1955, she was modernized with an angled flight deck. In 1958, the USS Hornet was redesignated as CVS-12 with a role as a anti-submarine warfare support carrier. Deployed back into a wartime role off the coast of Vietnam in the early 60’s to support 7th Fleet operation.
The USS Hornet was active with the space program as the recovery ship for Apollo 11 and Apollo 12. The foot prints of the astronauts are painted on the hangar floor.
Decommissioned in 1970 and struck from the Naval Registry in 1989, the faith of the ship was in limbo, whether she could become a floating museum or scrapped. It was luck that intervened when she was brought to Alameda NAS for an open house. This has been her home ever since.
Took a tour onboard and we had a retired Navy NCO walk us around the ship to include the engine room, catapult room and living spaces. He told us stories of operations and of day-to-day life onboard. Highly recommend a visit.