- P-51 Boise Bee
- Ultimate Reward: The “FIFI” Success Story
- Under a Foreign Flag: The F8F Bearcat in Indochina
Grumman TBM Avenger 85828, once an instrument of war and later a fire bomber, was recently given a new lease of life. In 2010, owners Brad and Jane Deckert, along with dedicated volunteers, restored the combat veteran bomber to its 1945 configuration.
Having flown this very aircraft while serving in the United Stated Army, pilot Ed Finnegan is more than casually acquainted with AWAM’s OV-1 Mohawk, and is fully qualified to describe the flying qualities of the Army’s first hi-tech, purpose built observation aircraft.
Although a multitude of new restorations took to the skies in 2010, one of the most exciting was among the least heralded. While most people dream of owning a Mustang at a young age, John Paul knew someday he would call one his own. For thirty years he collected parts and patiently pursued his dream. This is a must-read, multifaceted story—a tribute to a World War Two hero, a priceless relic of American history, and evidence of what a family with a shared vision can achieve.
In June of 1939 the first Fw 190, designed by Focke Wulf’s Kurt Tank, took to the skies. Almost 71 years later one of the most unique of the Flug Werke new construction Fw 190 kits, built by Matt Nightingale for owner Rudy Frasca, and flown by Steve Hinton, lifted off the runway on May 14, 2010.
Few aircraft are as visually distinctive as Grumman Aircraft’s advanced observation aircraft known as the Mohawk. American Wings Air Museum’s OV-1 is completely original, maintained just as it appeared during active duty.
One of the most anticipated events of 2010 was return of the world’s only flying B-29 Superfortress, the Commemorative Air Force’s “FIFI”. When the plane was grounded five years prior, many people wondered if it was the end for the big bomber. It took five years, countless man-hours, and a million dollar pledge from Jim Cavanaugh to prepare “FIFI” for the next 60 years.
An aircraft that represented the pinnacle of piston driven fighter designs might not have been the perfect aircraft to employ in the ground support role, but the French utilized the amazing Grumman fighter against the Viet Minh to great effect.