December 28, 2008


Here is a nice shot I came across last week of a AD-5/A1-E Skyraider. This big machine is based out of St. Louis, MO. Click here for some of its history. Thanks to Trey Carroll for allowing me to post his photo.

Feels good to fly!

With the holidays being so busy with family and friends I have not flown much lately. Happy that my 170 just fires right up and flies perfectly when I want to go. Slid out to the airport late this afternoon and flew for about 20 minutes. Looking forward to flying adventures in 2009!

The last couple weeks I have been dumping my collection of aircraft photos on to a portable drive. My wife found a good deal on a 20 gig drive that hold TONS of my photos! Now that the airshow photos have been moved to one place I am starting files of individual aircraft types. Hope to be posting more photos soon!

Happy Holidays to ALL!

December 11, 2008


Earlier this year a forum post caught my eye. A very nice scale replica of a Macchi seaplane was pictured and the pilot posted his comments. Thanks for Roger Cain for the pictures and Eric Presten for the commentary and their permission to post it here. To see all the pictures and comments click here.
Eric writes... "I did the first three flights on the Macchi M-5 that are shown in the pictures above. It was built by Jason Petrolje in Holland, Michigan. A man of amazing talent. He has also built, an Albatros and a Spad over the years, both of which have since been sold to other owners.

The craftsmanship on this airplane is exquisite and it looks like a Garwood clear varnished boat with a set of Nieuport 17 wings bolted onto its top deck. The airplane performs well, but due to limited aileron travel, I was only able to do flights down the lake in ground effect on the first day. It has since been flown to altitude, and we are planning a week of flying this summer to find our way around it’s envelope.

I call this airplane a lawn chair airplane. It is so beautiful you can just sit in your lawn chair and watch it floating in the water in front of you. Flying it is just a bonus. It has fantastic lines and gets out of the water easily on only 125 hp. The missing outer struts are now installed, and the airplane was built from a very complete set of original plans. It even has the original airplanes folding wings. The landing gear shown is only a beaching gear, as the airplane is a true seaplane. The reason for building the airplane in 7/8 scale is unique to seaplanes. Hangers next to the water with easy access are very rare. Jason had a friend who used to have a Volmer Sportsman. He had sold the airplane, but the hanger remained. Jason had to scale down the airplane to fit in this existing hanger. This modification also helped with the fact that the airplane was to be powered by an engine of less horsepower then the original."

Great looking machine. Thanks Roger and Eric for sharing the experience!

December 6, 2008

Mister Dickenson

Received an email from Addison Pemberton with news of the first flight of Mister Dickenson. Looks to be a mean machine!

Here's a little information on Bruce Dickenson's hybrid "Mister Dickenson". First off this is not a modified Howard DGA, Bruce Dickenson, who's grandfather was one of the original founders of the Santa Paula Airport in the 1920's designed and build "MR. D " from scratch. He emphasizes that he borrowed a bunch from Benny Howard's, DGA and Howard's famous racer Mr. Mulligan designs and why not. He was pretty familiar with the Howard line of airplanes. The Dickenson family has been flying the same Howard DGA for almost half a century.

Bruce wanted and airplane with a little more performance than the DGA. He decided what he needed was a cross between the comfort and nice flying characteristics of the DGA and the speed and performance to Howard's racer "Mr. Mulligan". The result after eights years of pains taking labor is the beautifully crafted "Mister Dickenson". Bruce built the airplane pretty much by himself. Of course there are a lot of talented people around the Santa Paula Airport that lent a hand when it was needed. And naturally getting advise on how to do anything around and airport is never a problem.

"Mister Dickenson" is powered By a 600 HP Pratt & Whitney 1340 engine. It was designed to have a cruise airspeed of 210 MPH. The first reports look like the airplane is going to meet that target. Check with Bruce

When your in Southern California drop in to Santa Paula some weekend and take a look at "Mister Dickenson" and the other wonderful antique and Classic airplanes that live at the airport. Try and coordinate your visit to Santa Paula Airport on one of the days that the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is open. They have a new museum facility and a "Chain of Hangar" which is a great walking tour of some great aircraft and aviation displays.

December 2, 2008

November 15, 2008

195 Next Door

Most of us know how small the world is. Those of us in aviation circles know how small the aviation world is. We see a fellow pilot or airplane in some far away airport or they drop into our own airport. This is one of many stories that could be told about a particular airplane. This story is about the classic Cessna 195 in the hangar next door.

Just after I purchased my Cessna 170, a number of years ago, I needed to find a hangar for it and my Taylorcraft. A friend offered his large hangar for rent so I could house them both. The hangar next door was home to a Beech 18 and a Cessna 195. I caught the two classics outside one day and shot a picture. A few years later the owner decided to sell the 195. I happened to be at the airport when the new owner was preparing the airplane to fly off to its new home. At the time I figured I would never see the airplane again.

Fast forward to today I had heard that 195 passed through several owners and had been wrecked.

The hangar next door was sold and I met the new owner recently. He introduced himself one day while I was about to commit aviation in the 170. He mentioned that he wanted to find a 195. Well... you might guess which 195 he found being restored in a well know shop. The same 195 that use to live in the very hangar he just moved into. Just a few weeks ago I caught the newly restored 195 glowing in the lights of the hangar. What a difference a few years make. The shiney classic is not what it once was!

It is a small world. That same 195 now lives in the same hangar once again!

October 22, 2008

On a Personal Note

This has been a busy summer... a great distraction was planning a wedding. Married now and back from an amazing trip to the mountains in Canada! Upon returning I checked the 170 over and it fired right up... flew perfectly.

Already sorting my pictures from the summer and planning to update the Spartan web page. Also hard at work researching more Curtiss Robin and Ryan survivors. Stay tuned for more updates!

Blue Skies,

October 10, 2008

Breckenridge, Texas Tour

Great post on WIX! A photo tour of the very busy Ezell Aviation out in Breckenridge, Texas. F3F, Spitfire, Sea Fury, Corsairs, Bearcat, Wildcat, P-63... and more!

The post is here.

September 19, 2008

Gun Camera Footage

The newly restored P-51D "Happy Jacks Go Buggy" has an OPERATIONAL gun camera in it! Check out the recently shot footage from the camera here! Congrats to the team at Midwest Aero and the aircrafts owner for winning the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trophy at Reno! Click here to see the write up.

September 15, 2008

Strega Wins Reno Gold!

Great to hear Strega win again after a couple tough years! Listened to the race live, via the web broadcast. Lap speeds were up in the 480s! Scott Germain photo of Strega from earlier in the week.

September 14, 2008

Reno Saturday

Sounded like a great day of racing on Saturday. I took the time to listen to the Unlimited Gold Race late in the afternoon. There is a streaming audio of the race via the announcers calling the race. Scott Germain posted some nice shots on his message boards. Really cool to see Race 57 racing from the part into the future! Dago Red won the Gold race for the day. Above are some highlights.

September 13, 2008

Pardue's Bearcat

Great shot from Scott Germain from Reno yesterday of Howard Pardue's Bearcat. Pardue ran 410 mph to win a Silver Heat race! Thats moving for a stock Bearcat!

September 12, 2008

Youngest Reno Air Racer

Over on the web site Airshow Buzz, Steven Hinton Jr. has been posting on the forum a blog of his experience at the Reno Air Races. The posts are a great way to read what it is like flying and crewing at the air races. Years ago at the Texas Air Races I was waiting for some friends at the hotel bar and a little kid walked up to me and smiled. Just a couple seconds later his dad, Steve Hinton came over and grabbed his hand and walked away. Now that young man is racing Mustangs at Reno! Read his latest post here from yesterdays race around the pylons! A few pictures here.

September 11, 2008

Reno Air Races

The Reno Air Races start today! Follow the news on these web sites in the forums and message boards. Warbird Aeropress, AAFO, and WIX. Qualifying ended yesterday about noon and Rare Bear flew its qualifying lap with just minutes to spare! After being down for about a year Rare Bear's crew got it flying just in time and then it posted a speed of 468 mph! Amazing for a "test flight." Also, check out the picture of the three Tigercat's in attendance! Bet they sounded good flying in! Thanks to Scott Germain of Warbird Aeropress for the pictures above.

September 1, 2008

Red Bull P-38

The Red Bull P-38 is still in the United States as of now. Plans were to fly it from Texas to Austria but now those have been put on hold. This picture shows it still in Breckenridge at the end of an evening flight. (Photo by Steve Dickey)

Lockheed 12 Flies Again!

Good news! Lockheed 12, N1108, s/n 1227 has flown out of Santa Paula airport in California to it's new home in Georgia! It will be restored and grace the skies once again! (Photo by Ron Eyanson)

What is THAT?

Here is a great link to test your aircraft recognition skills!

August 3, 2008

Happy Jack

The latest Mustang restoration out of Midwest Aero has been awarded the Grand Champion Warbird at Oshkosh. Congrats to Mike and his crew for another award winner! A photo diary containing a number of warbird pictures from Oshkosh is here.

July 20, 2008

Meacham Field World War Two

This picture recently came across my desk. Meacham Field in Fort Worth, Texas sure was a busy place during World War Two! Just a few Corsairs, Avengers and Wildcats!

July 11, 2008

Flying Legends

The Flying Legends show is this weekend and pictures are starting to appear on the forums. Check out some of the early arrivals here. The B-17 Liberty Belle has made the trip from the US. The P-47 project is making good progress... this P-47 was once flown as "Little Demon" in the US.

Visit the PLANE TALK forum for more.

July 3, 2008

Boeing over Seattle

Great shot from Ryan Pemberton of his Dad flying the Boeing 40 over Seattle!

July 2, 2008

Spartan 7W News

Spartan s/n 21, NC17633 is winging its way across the pond and will be based in England with its new owner. Hope the crossing goes well and look forward to seeing pictures on the European airshow circuit. 17633 was with Colgate Darden for many years at his base in South Carolina.

Spartan s/n 17, NC17667 has been purchased from the insurance company after its landing accident. The new owner will finance the rebuild and base it in the Northeast. 17667 (formally owned by the Blankenburg's) was an active Spartan and was shown at many shows in California and at Oshkosh.

July 1, 2008

Where do you park Mars?

From my friend Kelly...

I had a trip up into BC today with the Tailwind. At Tailwind speeds no place is out of the way so I thought I'd fly past Sproat Lake to see if the Mars firebombers were at home. One is evidently in California working and the other was actually out of the water for maintenance. That is some serious beaching gear for that size of a seaplane; remember that is not an amphib.

After reviewing this picture I had several thoughts that go like this:

1. If you paint lines on you pegboard for your hammer, shouldn't you put it there?
2. Maybe this explains why the #3 engine is missing.
3. They even have the extra prop on the wrong side of the airplane!!!
4. You think that is bad; look over by the hangar and you'll see that they have lost everything aft of the Captain and First Officer's command posts. Another poor flight engineer out of a job!

And lastly...
5. If this thing is supposed to be so darn big, explain to me why the fuel drums behind the airplane look so big!!!!

June 16, 2008

June 4, 2008

P38 Flies

The Red Bull P-38 has made it's first flight following a multi-year restoration. Photo by Steve Dickey.

May 30, 2008

More on Amelia Movie

As more time passes news of the new Amelia Earhart movie is hitting the press. I pulled this quick blurb from here.

Ewan McGregor flies with 'Amelia' Actor joins Fox Searchlight's Earhart biopic By TATIANA SIEGEL Ewan McGregor has signed on to co-star in the Amelia Earhart biopic "Amelia" for Fox Searchlight. Hilary Swank, Richard Gere and Virginia Madsen have already boarded the project, which Mira Nair is helming. Story centers on the legendary aviatrix (Swank) and chronicles her rise to fame, marriage to publisher George Putnam (Gere) and passionate affair with Gene Vidal (McGregor), father of author Gore Vidal. Ronald Bass penned the screenplay. The filmmakers have long been trying to land McGregor but were having trouble working out the scheduling. The actor is about to wrap "I Love You, Philip Morris" alongside Jim Carrey and will begin work on Ron Howard's "Da Vinci Code" follow-up "Angels and Demons" in early June. McGregor will sandwich the "Amelia" role in between.r The film, which is being produced by Ted Waitt, Lydia Dean Pilcher and Kevin Hyman, is shooting in Toronto. Don Carmody, Bass and Swank executive produce.

Early in production some emails came across my compute to locate a Lockheed to use in the film. Because one of my web sites tracks the history of the Lockheed 10 and 12 aircraft it has been exciting to see a fine example selected for the film. Joe Shepherds model 12 NC2072 will be one of the stars. Follow the link above to more shots of Joe's Lockheed in its movie roll on his web site.

Look forward to seeing the flying scenes in this movie!

Hellcat Air-to-air

Mike Shreeve has posted another round of great air-to-air shots. This time on the CAF Hellcat. I remember seeing this bird fly in the early 1980's in Texas. Good to see this machine in the air. It is now based in California.

More shots here.

May 11, 2008


Mike Shreeve posts again! Great shots of a Fleet flying over the California wine country!

See more pics here.


Great shots from Mike Shreeve of the Jenny out of Sonoma, CA!

See them here.

April 11, 2008

Goose dinged in landing accident

Interesting story out of Alaska where a Goose was landing and clipped a truck.

The story is here....

I was impressed that it was a scheduled commercial flight using the Goose. Vintage aircraft still earn their keep!

April 6, 2008

New Earhart Movie

Interesting emails have crossed my mailbox the last couple weeks about a new Amelia Earhart movie that is in production. A Lockheed 12 has been moved from FL to Canada! If more info comes to light I will post more!


A little late in posting... The Boeing 40 has flown... It flew mid-February. Here is a quote from Addison...

The test flight this weekend went perfect with my sons Jay and Ryan flying chase in our C-185 (Spot) loaded with video and camera.. I was able to fly the airplane hands-free within a few minutes of flight.. In all flight configurations I never used more than 1-1/2 degrees of trim change including slow flight at 55 mph. Cruise was dead center with the 29 percent MAC CG.. The airplane is very controllable and pleasant with excellent ground handling, good elevator, and very good rudder control and heavy but effective ailerons with a disproportionate amount of rudder needed for more than 50 percent travel. The visibility is very poor, but not difficult. The overwhelming surprise is stability! 'Like a rock.'

Congrats to the Pemberton's! Photo by Ryan Pemberton

February 11, 2008

Boeing 40 Runs!

The Pemberton's Boeing 40 has made its first engine runs! Videos of a first start and taxi are here. Boy... cant wait to see this big machine fly! Plans are to fly the Boeing to Oshkosh, Brodhead, Blakesburg this summer. Then the big trip will be made on a transcontinental airmail run from New York to San Francisco! Now thats what I call flying back to another time!

January 31, 2008

Schellville New Years Day Pictures

Some great pictures have been posted on the Society for Aviation History web site from the Schellville airport in California. This small airfield is just packed with some amazing vintage aircraft. Check out the pictures here.

January 22, 2008

B24 & B29 to base in Addison

Great news out of the CAF and CFM!

Midland, TX
Addison, TX Director of Membership and Public Relations


Jim Cavanaugh to Sponsor CAF B-29 Bomber - FIFI

The Cavanaugh Flight Museum (“CFM”) and the Commemorative Air Force (“CAF”) announced today a Cooperative Agreement that will put the world’s only airworthy B-29 back in the air. Jim Cavanaugh has pledged $1.2 million sponsorship for the re-engine project of FIFI, the CAF’s world famous B-29. “This sponsorship, together with additional donations from CAF members, should go a long way towards completing the project of putting FIFI back in the air again,” said Stephan Brown, President / CEO of the CAF. “Fundraising for FIFI by the CAF will continue, as we still have other restoration maintenance to perform, but Jim Cavanaugh’s generosity will get us a long way down that track,” Brown continued. Cavanaugh is the main financial support for the CFM and has been a long time benefactor of warbird projects and the CAF. “The B-29 played such a significant role in history that it is important that this airplane be preserved. Because of my close relationship with the CAF, I felt the need to get FIFI flying again,” said Cavanaugh.

Additionally, the B-29/B-24 Squadron Staff of the CAF, which has been assigned with the responsibility of operating the B-29 and the B-24A, voted unanimously to base these two airplanes at the CFM. According to Lyn Fite, CAF B-29 / B-24 Squadron Leader, “Up to now, these aircraft were based out of Midland, but this unit move will be beneficial to the Squadron in many ways,” said Fite. “We will reside in Addison Texas, at the CFM, for six months, while we perform annual maintenance and we will tour on behalf of the CAF, by our crews, for the other six months.” Steve Sheridan Director of Maintenance of CFM exclaimed, “We have the facilities and resources to assist the volunteers of the B-29/B24 and look forward to helping in any way we can.” According to Doug Jeanes, Director of the CFM, visitors of the museum will be able to view this spectacular aircraft during its annual maintenance, at no additional cost.

The Cavanaugh Flight Museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization devoted to promoting aviation studies and to perpetuating America's aviation heritage; the museum fulfills its mission by restoring, operating, maintaining and displaying historically-significant, vintage aircraft, and by collecting materials related to the history of aviation.

The Commemorative Air Force is a nonprofit aviation association dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation, through Flight, Exhibition and Remembrance. The CAF has more than 8000 members within 75 units worldwide, flying and restoring 171 vintage Warbirds.

For more information of the Commemorative Air Force or the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, go to or

January 7, 2008

Images of Light and Lift

Scott Germain's new aviation photography site is now up. Scott is the host of and has been published in Warbird Digest. Amazing photography! Be sure to check out his aviation sunsets!

Images of Light and Lift

January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to my friends and fellow vintage aircraft enthusiasts! Fly safe, fly vintage! Wanted to start the new year out by posting this awesome shot of a Mustang flying off into the sun. Thanks to Trey Carroll for permission to post the pic he took at the Mustang Gathering.

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