On Tuesday, Chennault Aviation & Military Museum in Monroe, Louisiana welcomed a new arrival in the form of an F-86L Sabre.

The aircraft (S/N 53-01061) is said to have been acquired from a base in Crystal Springs, Mississippi by a local doctor many years back. He transported it to a VFW post along I-55 near Hazlehurst, Mississippi, where it has been on outdoor display since 1968. The post closed about a decade ago and the aircraft has since suffered from vandalism and continued exposure to the elements.

The museum reportedly went through a lengthy approval process in order to receive the Sabre and also launched coordination and fundraising efforts to relocate it. The machine will now be restored on museum grounds and displayed “on certified loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.”

The restoration will be performed by volunteers and is expected to take roughly a year and a half.

Click below to check out local news coverage and photos of its arrival.

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Jack Bally’1/3 scale, manned B-17G reproduction will reportedly attend the AirVenture 2018 fly-in this summer.

The Illinois-based 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 full-scale machine’s 36,134 lb weight. It received its airworthiness certification in October 2016 and performed its maiden flight on November 14th of that year.

The aircraft, also known as “Obsession,” is expected to be on display throughout the week, during which time it will reportedly be alternated between between Boeing Plaza and the Replica Fighters Association. Exact details will be announced as the event draws closer.

AirVenture 2018 is scheduled to take place at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin from July 23-29.

(via EAA Photo via Bally Bomber)

Airfix has announced the marking options for their upcoming new tool Vickers Wellington model kit in 1/72 scale.

The kit (A08019) will reportedly include decals representing Mk.1A N2980 “R” Robert of No 20 Operational Training Unit and Mk.1C L7818 of No 75 [New Zealand] Squadron. The latter machine is also featured on the kit’s box art and is depicted after it was attacked by a Messerschmitt Bf 110 during a bombing run over Germany on the night of July 7/8, 1941. The machine was severely damaged and a fire had erupted on the starboard wing, prompting Sergeant James Allen Ward to climb out of the bomber’s astrodome hatch and attempt to smother the flames with a canvas cockpit cover. The dangerous gamble paid off and he was able to stop the spread of the flames, allowing the aircraft to return home and earning Ward the Victoria Cross.

As previously reported, the Airfix team is designing the model with the aid of original engineering drawings and other rare Wellington information to provide historical accuracy and “impressive levels of detail.” It is currently slated for release in June 2018.

Check out additional images below.

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Yesterday, the newly restored B-17F “Memphis Belle” was unveiled in a private ceremony at the USAF Museum in Dayton.

Today’s exhibit opening occurs on the 75th anniversary of the machine’s 25th and final mission, after which it returned to the US and toured the country to promote war bonds and boost morale. Described as “a national aviation treasure and widely recognized symbol of American bravery and heroism during WWII,” the new permanent, public display in the collection’s WW2 gallery reportedly includes interactive displays, rare archival film footage and many personal artifacts which have never before been on display at the museum.

The opening also saw the arrival of B-17s, P-51s and a trainer which will be on public display until 3:30 today, with a shuttle bus service bringing visitors to the display area. The aircraft are expected to depart around 5pm (UPDATE: The aircraft departed around 2:45 due to weather concerns).

Click below to check out videos of the Memphis Belle’s unveiling as well as an overview of its restoration, warbird arrivals, and an interview with Robert K. Morgan, son of the Belle’s primary pilot during WW2.

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North American SNJ-4 N7692Z (S/N 889831) has hit the market.

The aircraft was formerly operated by the South African Air Force and is said to have had one U.S. owner for 20 years. The airframe has reportedly amassed 7242 hours since new, while the engine has acquired 479 hours SMOH by Tulsa Aircraft in 2003.

The machine is said to be equipped with an avionics package as well as original SAAF logs, two Strong parachutes and much more. The elevators were reportedly recovered in 2009 and the aileron and rudder fabric is said to be in excellent condition.

The aircraft is located in Iowa City, IA and is currently being offered for $189,000. Click here to check out the complete listing.

(Photo: By Armchair Aviator’s via Wikimedia Commons)

Earlier today, three B-17s and five P-51s flew over the USAF Museum in Dayton as festivities get underway for the unveiling of the historic B-17F “Memphis Belle” on Thursday.

The aircraft, which included B-17Gs “Yankee Lady” and “Aluminum Overcast” and B-17G/F “Movie Memphis Belle,” were prevented from landing at the museum due to weather conditions and instead performed as mass flyover which can be seen in the videos below.

As previously reported, the main focus of the three-day celebratory event (May 17-19, 2018) will be the debut of the newly restored Memphis Belle in the museum’s WW2 gallery. In addition, more than 160 WW2 reenactors are expected as well as historic vehicles, memorabilia and artifact displays, music from the era, guest speakers, book signings and films. [click to continue…]

The Vintage Aviator, Ltd. (TVAL) has listed a vacancy for a Production Manager.

The New Zealand-based aircraft restoration and manufacturing company strives to build “WW1 aircraft, engines and propellers to the same exacting standards they were originally made over 90 years ago,” and is seeking someone “with a keen eye for detail, excellent organisational skills, and an interest and experience in bespoke engineering and manufacturing.”

The Production Manager oversees the manufacture of each and every aircraft component made by TVAL, and each and every aircraft that TVAL constructs under our CAA Part 148 certificate, from start to finish.

In addition to overseeing manufacturing at TVAL, the Production Manager oversees the day-to-day operations at our Wellington workshop, including, but not limited to, supervision of staff, allocation of resources, product manufacture, quality control, and process improvement.

Ideal candidates would possess aviation engineering qualification or an engineering or business-related degree as well as significant experience in a supervisory/leadership role, specifically within a specialty manufacturing/production environment, and can pass a NZ CAA Fit and Proper Person application and CAA Senior Person Interview.

For additional details, visit TVAL’s website.

(Photo: Phillip Capper via Wikimedia Commons)

Earlier today a groundbreaking ceremony was held for a full-scale Avro Lancaster monument that will be placed at Brills Farm adjacent to the A46 on the Lincolnshire / Nottinghamshire border.

As previously reported, the 98-foot-tall steel monument, dubbed “On Freedom’s Wings,” was unanimously approved by the North Kesteven District Council last month. The installation will consist of a steel frame mounted on a slim steel support structure to give the impression of flight, and will depict Lancaster R5689 (pictured above) heading home toward the former RAF base at Swinderby Airfield. It is intended “to remind visitors of Lincolnshire’s inextricable link to the RAF and to act as a catalyst for people to visit the many attractions in the county.”

Today’s event was reportedly attended by WW2 Bomber Command veterans, including Dambuster George “Johnny” Johnson, who assisted in the process. Click below to check out video of the groundbreaking as well as photos of a scale model depicting the monument’s proposed design.

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On May 6, the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden Aerodrome in Bedfordshire held their Season Premiere / RAF Centennial airshow – an event that saw the display debut of their new Sopwith Camel reproduction.

The Clerget-powered aircraft was built from original drawings by Northern Aeroplane Workshops in Batley before being transported to Old Warden, where it was covered and assembled by the Shuttleworth team. The machine wears the colors of D1851, “Ikanopit”, a Ruston Proctor-built Camel that operated with 70 Squadron RAF in 1918.

The aircraft performed its maiden flight in May 2017, becoming the fourth Sopwith type based at the museum (others include a Pup, Triplane and Dove).

The historic flight, performed by Chief Pilot Dodge Bailey, can be seen below, along with footage of a training week flight from April.

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Following an exterior restoration, B-17 “Preston’s Pride” was unveiled on Saturday in a ceremony at Mefford Field in Tulare, California.

As previously reported, the machine (S/N 44-85738) was originally constructed as a B-17G and delivered to the USAAF in May 1945. It was placed in storage before participating in “Operation Crossroads,” a pair of atomic weapons tests conducted at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1946. From there it moved on to Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio and then the Air Proving Grounds at Eglin AFB in Florida before being struck off charge in August 1958.

Since then it has been on outdoor display in California, serving as a memorial to the 379th Bomb Group. Over the years it was vandalized and damaged in a collision with a runaway truck and was in desperate need of attention. B-17 Archaeology stepped in and not only worked to return the exterior to a factory fresh appearance, but have also been compiling the history of the aircraft, which is the last surviving B-17 from Operation Crossroads. [click to continue…]