The Big Spring, Texas city council has approved a $426,000 purchase of three aircraft currently on loan to the Hangar 25 Air Museum, which is based in a restored WW2 hangar at the former Webb AFB.

The aircraft, which have been based at the museum for the past 14 years, include T-33A Shooting Star and T-28 Trojan Cold War training aircraft, as well as an AT-11 Kansan, which was used to train bombardiers during WW2. Museum Director Jim Little asked the council for approval to acquire the machines after being notified that the benefactor was planning on selling some of his collection, including those on display.

Little says that the planes “represent the essence of the Hangar 25 Air Museum” stating, “if they are lost then a good part of that history is lost with it.”

The purchase will reportedly be paid out of the Airport’s oil royalty revenue.

(via Big Spring Herald Photo: Barbara Brannon via Wikimedia Commons)

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Two Sopwith Pup reproductions built by volunteers at the Canadian Museum of Flight in Langley, British Columbia are returning home after cross-country tour plans were cancelled.

The aircraft were originally built to perform a flypast during the 100th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France on April 9, being finished in the colors of N6205, “BETTY” flown by Sub Lt Joseph Fall of 3 Squadron RNAS and N6181, “HMA HAPPY” flown by Flt Lt. Lloyd Breadner of 3 Squadron, RNAS. Although they did make the trip, their participation was limited to static display due to the lack of flight time on their newly installed Lycoming engines. [click to continue…]

As revealed in a new series of images, All Coast Aircraft Recovery is making progress in its effort to relocate a rare example of the B-58 Hustler.

As previously reported, the aircraft (55-0666) is one of only eight examples of the Cold War supersonic bomber in existence and is currently located at the site of the recently closed Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul, Illinois. It will be heading to California’s Castle Air Museum after the move was approved by the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

To date, a number of components, including the four engine pods, radome, pylon mounts and center line weapons pod have been removed and delivered via flatbed truck to Castle. A final arrival and display date has not yet been announced.

Click below to check out recent photos of the progress.

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The Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB in Georgia has placed its newly acquired VB-26B Invader on display.

The aircraft (44-34610) was delivered to the USAAF on 6 August 1945 and went on to serve with various bases and Air National Guard units, being converted to a TA-26B in 1946. It was later transferred to Headquarters Air National Guard at Andrews AFB in Maryland as a VB-26B and operated in this capacity until 1972.

After retiring as the last Invader in USAF service, the machine was transported to the National Air & Space Museum and finally the Museum of Aviation. It arrived at its new home last month and has since been reassembled and placed on display. It can now be seen behind the museum’s Century of Flight Hangar.

(via Museum of Aviation)

Copper State Models has released the first test photos of their 1/48 Handley Page O/400, which is described as “a future release in resin.”

The O/400 was a continuation of the O/100, a twin-engined patrol bomber initially introduced in 1915 that was, at the time, the largest aircraft built in the UK with a wingspan of 100 ft. The O/400 entered service in 1918 with more powerful 360 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle engines and an improved bombsight, among other changes. By the end of the war, the type had become the standard British heavy bomber.

Click below to check out additional images.

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After spending many years at the Yorkshire Air Museum in Elvington, York, de Havilland Mosquito NF.II HJ711 will be moving to a new home at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby.

Owner Tony Agar is reportedly excited about the development, as the Heritage Centre has additional facilities available to complete restoration work that will ultimately enable HJ711’s engines to run for the first time in over 70 years.

The aircraft was built at Hatfield in 1943 and went on to serve with 141 and 169 Squadrons, scoring the latter’s first kill on January 30, 1944 when pilot Squadron Leader J.A.H. Cooper downed a Bf 110 over Berlin. Following the war, HJ711’s forward fuselage was transferred to RAF Air Training Command at Chingsford before the nose section resurfaced at the Reflectaire Museum in Blackpool. Agar acquired the remains in 1971 and began a long term restoration to taxiing condition using components of PF498, VA878, NT616, and RS715.

Plans are currently underway for the relocation of the machine, which is expected to take place by November. As part of the effort, a crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help cover associated costs. Interested parties can contribute here.

(via Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre and Mossie.org Additional Information via Warbird Registry Photo: Nilfanion via Wikimedia Commons Thanks, Pascal!)

Over the weekend, Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets IV manned the copilot’s seat as the newly restored B-29 “Doc” headed from McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas to the Wings Over Whiteman Airshow at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.

As previously reported, Tibbets IV is a B-2 Spirit pilot, the commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman and the grandson of Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets, Jr. who commanded the B-29 “Enola Gay” during its mission to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945.

Tibbets IV states that military aviation has played a significant role in the defense of the nation and shared his fascination with the idea of taking history on the road, referring to the B-29 as a type that “changed the world.”

“Doc” is currently one of only two flying B-29s in existence. Click below to check out video of the historic flight, as well as local news coverage of the story.

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The pilot of Spitfire PR.XIX F-AZJS was taken to the hospital with minor injuries after the machine’s propeller struck the ground while attempting to takeoff from Longuyon-Villette Airport near Verdun, France on Sunday.

The strike caused the aircraft to flip onto its back, prompting onlookers to quickly rush onto the field in order to free the pilot. One female spectator was also reportedly injured by flying debris.

The aircraft (PS890) was initially delivered to RAF Benson in 1945 before being transferred to the Royal Thai Air Force, where it served until 1952. A decade later, King Bhumibel of Siam donated the machine to Ed Maloney, founder of the Planes of Fame museum in California. The Spitfire was later restored to airworthy condition by Steve Hilton, returning to the air in May 2002 with an Avro Shackleton engine. In 2005, it was sold to French collector Christophe Jacquard, who refitted the aircraft with its original engine and applied the current 152 Squadron livery.

Click below to view footage of the incident.

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The ‎Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum’s Goodyear FG-1D Corsair is scheduled to perform its first post-restoration public flight at FHCAM’s Pacific Theater Day event at Paine Field in Everett, WA on June 24th.

The aircraft (88303) was built by Goodyear in April 1945 and delivered to Marine Squadron VMF-115 in the southern Philippines, seeing combat in July and August. Following the war, the aircraft passed through the hands of a number of owners (including Flying W and the Champlin Fighter Museum) and, in 1995, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the end of WW2 by launching off the deck USS Carl Vinson. It was acquired by FHCAM in September 1998 and has since been restored to airworthy condition.

In addition to the Corsair debut, the Pacific Theater Day event will reportedly include demonstrations by the collection’s A6M3-22 Zero, F6F-5 Hellcat, P-40C Tomahawk and B-25J Mitchell. Click here for details.

(via Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum Additional information via HeraldNet and Warbird Registry)

The town of Edwardsville, Illinois is seeking the public’s help to track down a missing mannequin that has occupied the cockpit of an A-7E Corsair II since it was placed on display at the Robert C. Stille Edwardsville Township Community Park in 1991.

The aircraft was recently removed from its perch at 6368 Center Grove Rd. and lowered to the ground for a much needed restoration. However, before work could begin, the mannequin pilot, affectionately known as “Mabel”, disappeared.

It is believed that Mabel was taken from the cockpit over the Memorial Day weekend and the town is hoping the public might be able to help solve the case. Edwardsville Township Supervisor Frank Miles states: [click to continue…]