Nearly a year after performing its maiden flight, new video has surfaced showing Jack Bally’s 1/3 scale B-17 replica performing shakedown runs.

As previously reported, the machine was built over a 17 year period using 1/9 scale RC model aircraft plans and carries a single pilot. It is powered by four Hirth 3002 4-cylinder 2-stroke engines, spans 34′ 7″ and weighs an estimated 1,800 lbs empty – a far cry from the 36,134 lb weight of its full-scale counterpart.

The unique aircraft received its airworthiness certification in October 2016 and performed its first flight on November 14th, departing its home field in Illinois for a short flight to a local airport.

The newly released video is referred to as “unofficial” and only shows a brief glimpse of the machine in the air from a distance, but it will hopefully help tide us over until the promised “official” videos are released – something that is supposed to happen sometime in the near future.

Click below to check it out.

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Yesterday evening, Texas Flying Legends Museum’s Merlin V-1650-powered P-51C-10NT performed its first post-restoration flight with pilot Warren Pietsch at the controls.

As previously reported, the airframe (S/N 43-24907) never saw combat and was used for training during and after WW2. It was restored by AirCorps Aviation of Bemidji, MN and now wears the colors of 42-103585 “Lope’s Hope 3rd” flown by Lt. Donald Lopez of 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 75th Squadron.

Lopez scored 5 victories in WW2’s China-Burma-India theater before becoming a test pilot and finally deputy director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, a position that he held until his passing in 2008.

Click below to check out videos of yesterday’s flight.

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The full restoration of the XP-82 Twin Mustang Prototype (S/N 44-83887, seen above) is “getting close” according to a newly released progress report.

The type, later designated F-82, was designed during WW2 as a long-range escort fighter, carrying a pilot and co-pilot/navigator to reduce fatigue during long missions. Although production orders were not completed prior to the end of the conflict, the F-82 did go on to see service in the Korean War as well as with Air Defense Command, which fitted the machines with radar and used them as replacements for the P-61 Black Widow. A total of 263 examples of the type were produced and it became the last propeller-driven fighter produced in quantity for the U.S. Air Force.

Tom Reilly of Douglas, Georgia acquired the prototype XP-82 from Walter and Margaret Soplata in 2008 and restoration work began that July. Additional F-82 parts were sourced from Alaska and Colorado and a rare, left-hand turning Allison V-12 was located in Mexico. Additional components, including full second cockpit controls and a second canopy (one that “is completely different from any P-51 type”) were sourced from San Francisco and Tampa, respectively.

The machine is being restored to airworthy status at the Douglas Municipal Airport and is now equipped with right-hand and left-hand engines restored by Vintage V-12s and new propellers manufactured by MT Propeller of Germany. Click below to check out the recent engine test.

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Over the weekend, the Castle Air Museum in Atwater, California welcomed their newly acquired Lockheed EC-121 “Warning Star”.

As previously reported, the aircraft, military variant of the Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation, was a fixture at the Helena Regional Airport in Montana since 1981, when the USAF donated it to Helena College for use in their airframe and powerplant mechanics program. The EC-121 was reportedly turned back over to the government several years ago and was acquired by Castle in 2014.

Worldwide Aircraft Recovery of Bellevue, Nebraska began disassembly of the airframe in August and transported the components aboard flatbed trucks. The machine’s distinctive triple tail arrived in late September followed by the wings and the massive fuselage, which made up a load spanning 150′.

The Warning Star, which is said to be “as complete as the day it was operational”, will now be restored for static display. Click below to check out photos of the machine’s transport and arrival.

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The Raise the Arrow OEX Recovery Group has reported the potential discovery of a second free-flight test model of the Avro Arrow on the bottom of Lake Ontario.

Newly released underwater footage captured in late September shows the object believed to be the missing model heavily encrusted with zebra mussels and partially buried in sediment.

As previously reported, the models were strapped to rockets and deployed over the lake while the Arrow, a massive cold war interceptor, was in development in the mid-1950s. They serve as a rare, tangible connection to the Arrow project, which was eventually cancelled due to to excessive costs, resulting in all completed airframes and engines, as well as associated tooling and components, being destroyed. [click to continue…]

Airfix has announced the development of a new tool model kit of the Bristol Blenheim Mk.IF in 1/48 scale.

Described as a particularly important aircraft for British air power during the 1930s and in to the Second World War, the Blenheim will serve as the first twin engine WWII aircraft type within the Airfix rage to be produced using the very latest design and manufacturing techniques.

The larger scale has allowed designers to incorporate far more detail, and they reportedly left no stone unturned in their quest to produce the most accurate kit possible. The team has utilized data gathered from examinations of original Blenheim drawings as well as preserved examples of the type, including the Aircraft Restoration Company’s airworthy Bristol Blenheim Mk.I and the beautifully preserved Blenheim Mk.IV based at the Aviation Museum of Central Finland in Tikkakoski.

The kit is currently slated for release in 2018, although the company hopes to have a prototype sample of the new model on display at the upcoming Scale ModelWorld show at Telford next month.

Click below to check out a series of CAD renderings of the new model, including detail shots of the cockpit, undercarriage dorsal turret and engine.

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The Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California has made great progress on their full-scale Fokker Dr.1 project and recently performed the first full assembly of the airframe.

The museum is building the aircraft strictly for static exhibition and plans to make the cockpit accessible so visitors can sit in the machine and have their picture taken. It is being constructed from Arizona Model Aircrafters plans and will wear the colors of 425/17, Manfred von Richthofen’s famous mount.

It is hoped that the triplane will be complete sometime this year in order to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the type’s first flight.

Click below to check out an additional photo.

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HpH Models has announced the development of a new tool 1/32 model kit of the A-20 Boston WW2 attack bomber.

The kit is reportedly being created in partnership with HGW Models, although additional details are scarce.

Although full kit contents, livery options, pricing and release date have yet to be announced, the company has released a series of photos showing the assembly of basic parts and surface detailing. Click below to see more.

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Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire is seeking volunteers to serve as guides and ambassadors for the upcoming exhibition “Lincolnshire in World War One: Bastion in the Air.”

The project, which will launch next year, is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and will include exhibitions at The Collection in Lincoln and the RAF Scampton Heritage Centre. The goal of the effort is to “tell the story of Lincolnshire’s involvement in British aviation during the First World War and its role in the birth of the Royal Air Force.”

The Collection exhibit, which will run from May through September 2018, reportedly focuses on “the contribution by the county to the nation’s air defences in the First World War, the large-scale construction of aircraft for the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) at factories in Lincoln and Gainsborough and the rise of the Royal Air Force in Lincolnshire, which led to an enduring presence in the county that still includes a national air defence role.” [click to continue…]

During a presentation at the recent E-Day International Scale Kit Exhibition in the Czech Republic, Eduard displayed images of a number of exciting new model kit projects.

The aircraft on the company’s schedule include 1/48 examples of the P-51D Mustang, Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10, Hawker Tempest Mk. At and Focke Wulf Fw 190A-3, A-5, A-8 and F-8. Also included are 1/72 examples of the Fokker D.VII and MiG 21-MF, PF and PFM.

Additional details about the upcoming releases have not yet been announced. Click below to check out additional images.

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