On Veteran’s Day, the Palm Springs Air Museum dedicated their newly restored F9F Panther as part of a special tribute to those who maintained and flew the type, which was one of the US Navy’s first successful carrier-based jet fighters.

The aircraft (BuNo 125316) was originally built as an F9F-5P, an unarmed reconnaissance variant of the machine equipped with a special camera bay ahead of the national insignia on the forward fuselage. Following its naval service, the Panther reportedly spent time at Pioneer Park in Mesa, Arizona, the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California and the WASP Museum in Quartzsite, Arizona before being acquired by the Palm Springs Air Museum.

The rare variant was restored over a two-year period and its unveiling ceremony was attended by a number of special guests, including Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. Bob Friend and Capt E. Royce Williams, a Korean War Panther pilot who shot down four enemy MiGs.

Click below to check out a photo of the completed aircraft as well as local news coverage of the event.

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Hong Kong Models has released new renderings of their highly anticipated new tool 1/32 Avro Lancaster model kit.

The kit will reportedly represent the Mk 1 and include markings for R5868 “S-Sugar” of 467 Squadron RAAF, which became the first bomber to complete 100 missions.

Most of the major components for the kit are said to be in the tooling stage at the moment and it is hoped that the first test build photos will be ready by January. Release is currently expected for February or March.

Click below to check out additional renderings.

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Brickmania has released their impressive Gotha G.IV custom military LEGO model kit in 1/35 scale.

The company is touted as offering “high quality building kits made from genuine LEGO brand parts, but in subjects falling outside the company’s official product line at the time of their release.” This includes a range of military models from World War 1 to the present.

The Gotha kit reportedly includes 864 genuine new-condition LEGO and BrickArms elements, a sticker sheet, printed tiles, posable ailerons, Brickmania premium fabric textured wing covers, eight bombs and three custom printed minifigures.

The finished product spans 26″ and is said to make an excellent addition to any historical collection.

Click below to check out additional photos and a detailed video overview.

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The city of Toronto has issued a response amid growing public calls to save Avro Lancaster FM104.

The aircraft, which now sits in storage at the Edenvale Aerodrome west of Barrie, was built by Victory Aircraft of Malton, Ontario and installed along Toronto’s waterfront following its retirement from the RCAF in 1964. In 1999, it was moved to a museum in Downsview Park, where a restoration effort began. However, it was relocated once again when the museum closed in 2011.

The removal of FM104 from display has been difficult for some to accept, as it is seen as a connection to the city and a way of remembering veterans’ service and sacrifice. However, calls for the bomber to be saved grew louder when it was recently reported that the city was seeking to dispose of it. [click to continue…]

E-Flight has announced the upcoming release of an AT-6 1.5m RC model in both BNF Basic and PNP versions.

The model is touted as “a rare tribute” to the famous WW2 advanced trainer and “a chance to enjoy a beautiful flying scale model uninhibited by the flight envelope that bound the original.”

The E-Flite AT-6 reportedly includes functional flaps and retracts, an EPO foam airframe with composite reinforcement throughout, a hands-free connection system for “ultra-simple” assembly, and a powerful 3S LiPo battery-powered brushless motor system with “ample room for a high-capacity pack under the pilot appointed magnetic canopy hatch.” The model also includes an AS3X (Artificial Stabilization – 3-aXis) receiver to smooth out the effects of wind and turbulence resulting in “a sense of stability and precision that makes you feel like you’re flying an expertly tuned aircraft.”

Click below to check out a promo video for the new release.

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Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Spitfire Mk LFIXe MK356 (seen above in 2010) returned to RAF Coningsby yesterday following a major overhaul by The Spitfire Company at Biggin Hill.

As part of the effort, the aircraft was repainted in order to commemorate “the hard-fought war in the deserts of North Africa.” The new markings recreate the desert camouflage of Mk IX EN152/QJ-3 of 92 Squadron, a machine that operated in Tunisia during April and May 1943 and was once flown by Flt Lt Neville Duke, who became the highest-scoring Allied ace of the Mediterranean theatre with 27 confirmed victories.

MK356 was constructed at Castle Bromwich and delivered to 443 “Hornet” Squadron, RCAF in March 1944, performing its first operational mission on April 14. During the lead-up to D-Day, MK356 was used for fighter sweeps and ground attack, flying 60 operational sorties in support of the landings that resulted in damage from enemy fire, three wheels up landings and a partial credit for a victory over a Bf 109G. [click to continue…]

Eduard has announced an exciting upcoming release for fans of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190.

In December, the company will release a Royal Class edition Fw 190A early version model kit featuring three 1/48 scale variants of the type. Contents will reportedly include the A-3 and A-4 in two and four-cannon versions, but what makes this offering especially unique is the inclusion of an A-2, which is said to be a first not only for Eduard, but for any manufacturer.

Additional features are said to include two variants of cooling flaps (or more precisely slots), Cartograf decals boasting 14 marking options (+Eduard decals), colored photo-etched accessories, paint mask, Brassin undercarriage wheels, covers for the A-2 mask, engine covers with tropical dust filters, a beer glass with unique Fw 190A design and an A2 format poster with artwork by Piotr Forkasiewicz.

Click below to check out additional photos.

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The Avro Heritage Museum at Woodford Aerodrome, Stockport has welcomed its latest exhibit, a full-scale Avro Lancaster forward fuselage reproduction.

The section was constructed by Martin Willoughby to represent Lancaster BI R5868 “S-Sugar” of 467 Squadron RAAF, which became the first bomber to complete 100 missions. The RAF veteran has a deeply personal connection to this particular aircraft, as his father was one of the ground engineers who helped maintain her during WW2, and also worked to restore it in the 1970s for display at the RAF Museum in Hendon (seen above).

As previously reported, Willoughby built the 14-meter-long reproduction using a mixture of old and new parts. Boasting crew stations and original controls, the fuselage section will reportedly be open to the public for tours for a small fee. It is intended to serve not only as a tribute to Willoughby’s father, but also as an interactive educational tool that will help teach future generations about what it was like for Bomber Command crews during WW2.

Click below to check out photos of its recent arrival.

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ICM has released their new tool Spitfire Mk IXc “Beer Bomber” model kit in 1/48 scale.

As previously reported, the beer bomber was the result of Heneger and Constable brewery providing free beer to troops following D-Day. As resources were focused on delivering vital supplies, RAF Spitfire pilots devised a delivery method which saw Spitfire Mk IX bomb/tank pylons modified to carry kegs. As an added benefit, delivery at high altitudes would serve to chill the beer so it would be ready to drink upon arrival.

The kit reportedly includes a detailed engine bay and cockpit as well as bomb racks and two types of beer barrels (with or without a fairing). Two liveries are also included representing ML316 of 308 (Polish) Sqn Royal Air Force and MJ452 of 412 Squadron, RCAF.

Product Page ($22.98)

Thanks to a new partnership with the Witte Museum, the city of San Antonio, Texas has been loaned a restored Curtiss JN-4D Jenny that is now on display at San Antonio International Airport (SAT).

According to Michael Antonelli’s new book Aeroplanes: A Compilation of the World’s Original Aircraft Built Before 1920, the Jenny (S/N 3805) was formerly on loan to the Edward H. White II Memorial Museum at Brooks AFB for 30 years prior to is closure in 2011.

The machine was most recently housed in a hangar at Port San Antonio (the former site of Kelly AFB), which is being redeveloped to serve as a 1,900-acre industrial campus for aerospace, advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, logistics and defense organizations. [click to continue…]