Fantasy of Flight, Mechanic’s Corner, October 2020

Kermit Weeks’ posted this video to update us on some of the restoration work happening at the Fantasy of Flight.

Florida warbirds heading to DC, part 2, C-47 “Placid Lassie”

For the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover happening in Washington, DC on 25 September will see 2 aircraft from the state of Florida. And best of all, they are veterans of World War 2. This is the last article on these amazing aircraft.

The Tunison Foundation will be flying its C-47 “Placid Lassie” as part of this flyover. This aircraft flew as part of D-Day in June 1945 dropping troops on St Mere-Eglise and other missions during the invasion. Other missions included Operation Market-Garden (Airborne invasion of Holland) and the Relief of Bastogne (the Battle of the Bulge).

After her wartime service, she flew passengers or cargo, with West Coast Airlines, Saber Cargo Airlines and Express Air Cargo. The aircraft was abandoned but in 2010, she made airworthy again.

Florida warbirds heading to DC, part 1, P-40 “American Dream”

For the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover happening in Washington, DC on 25 September will see 2 aircraft from the state of Florida. And best of all, they are veterans of World War 2. This is the first of two articles on these amazing aircraft.

As mentioned before, Thom Richards will be flying his P-40 “American Dream” as the lead aircraft of the P-40 flight. This aircraft flew the 8th Fighter Squadron’s in the 49th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force out of New Guinea and is credited with 3 kills. 1st Lt. Joel Dixon Thorvaldson was shot down on 13 September 1943 by Japanese fighters.

Joel D. Thorvaldson recalls via Pacific Wrecks:
“When I got on the ground, the kunai grass was so high, I fired a flare to burn the grass. They knew i was out there. A friendly plane spotted me on a river bank and dropped me a raft that I used to go down the nearby Ramu River. It took me nine days to get back. At the mouth of the River, the Australians picked me up. They had only taken Lae two days before they picked me up. I had gotten credited for one kill before I even got back, because everyone had seen me shoot this plane down over the strip.  I was the first rescue for the squadron too, they did a victory roll for me when I got back. I claimed 2 and a bomber.  I was supposed to get a purple heart for my wounds but they said my plane crashed from mechanical failure, not enemy fire, so I didn’t get it. Now, from your photos of the wreck, it looks like it will finally get my purple heart! I did see a piece go by in the air, but had no idea they even hit me”.

This aircraft was recovered in 2005 and in 2008, this aircraft took to the air after being restored by Precision Aerospace in Australia. After a landing gear accident, the aircraft was converted into a dual-control one. Aircraft was sold and shipped to the USA in 2015. Thom bought the aircraft in 2018 and proudly flies it out of Warbirds Adventure in Kissimmee, Florida.

National Naval Aviation Museum has a Phase 1 reopening.

Phase 1 reopening happened on 23 September 2020.

Postponed due to Hurricane Sally.

From the National Naval Aviation Museum:

We are excited to announce Phase 1 of our reopening as we invite Active Duty military personnel and their dependent family members to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum beginning on Tuesday, 15 September 2020. Operating hours will be Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Masks will be required at all times while inside the museum and sanitizing stations are available throughout the museum for the safety of our visitors. The Giant Screen Theater and refreshment counter will be open at reduced capacity. At this time the popular Cubi Bare Café will remain closed. Blue Angels practice flight demonstrations are currently closed to the public. We look forward to seeing you soon“.