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!!!AIRSHOW!!! The WWII AirPower Expo 2016 !!!AIRSHOW!!!

23 October 2016

The National WWII Museum, Commemorative Air Force (CAF) and Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Announce WWII AirPower Expo 2016
November air show to feature living history, exclusive tours and exhilarating roaring fly-bys

FLASH FROM NEW ORLEANS (20 October 2016) – The National WWII Museum, Commemorative Air Force (CAF) and Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation are proud to present WWII AirPower Expo 2016 – a celebration of historic 1940s warbirds and the American aviators who flew them. Taking place at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport, the three-day air show will offer thrilling aerial demonstrations, up-close aircraft tours, authentic WWII-era entertainment, hands-on activities and an opportunity to meet some of the men and women who helped win World War II. Visitors will also have the option to purchase tickets for a memorable ride aboard some of the majestic aircraft.

From November 4th through the 6th, airshow visitors will enjoy access to a large fleet of vintage WWII aircraft, including the B-29 Superfortress FIFI, the B-17 Flying Fortress Texas Raiders, the P-51D Mustang Gunfighter and a quartet of P-40 Warhawks painted in their iconic shark-mouth motif. During World War II, the P-40 Warhawk was most popularly used by The Flying Tigers, a storied group of US volunteers known for daring dive maneuvers, innovative communication and intelligence methods, a high level of success, and the strategic savvy of its commander, Claire Chennault, whose early life was spent in Louisiana. This year’’s AirPower Expo, the third Museum-sponsored air show, will give visitors special access to the cockpits of the awe-inspiring WWII-era planes – and allow them to experience the sights, sounds and thrills of the aircraft while in flight.

“We’’ve added a new feature to the 2016 Expo called ‘”Warbirds in Review”’ in which select aircraft are spotlighted during on-the-hour historical presentations followed by demonstration flights,” explains Stephen Watson, executive vice president and COO of The National WWII Museum. “Up to four P-40 Warhawk aircraft will star in a daily 2:00 p.m. showcase session and FIFI will showcase daily at 11:00 a.m. We’’ll also showcase a B-25 Mitchell bomber, an F4U Corsair and a P-51D Mustang throughout the weekend.”

To commemorate the upcoming 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, daily showcases will also feature three Japanese replica aircraft from the CAF Tora Squadron: –the Tora “Val” dive bomber, Tora “Kate” torpedo bomber and Tora “Zero”fighter. These aircraft tell the story of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s side of the now infamous surprise attack against the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor HI—the historic aircraft carrier raid which plunged America into World War II and awakened the nation’’s industrial might (FDR’S “Arsenal of Democracy”). These three aircraft will perform a breathtaking formation flight daily at noon in which air show attendees, as well as local residents, will be able to track the planes by the epic smoke trail generated over the city of New Orleans.

Additional activities throughout the weekend include cockpit tours, expanded reenactor camps, hands-on history exhibits, veteran meet-and-greets, vehicle showcases and maneuvers, and performances by the Museum’’s Victory Belles – (á lá 1940s-style singing trio). The new-this-year WWII-themed Boot Camp obstacle course will take hands-on history to a new level, as adults and kids alike will be able to test themselves on the fitness regimen that prepared our soldiers for victory—including the climbing of cargo nets, ropes and monkey bars.

The CAF Red Tail Squadron’’s signature traveling exhibit “Rise Above” will also return to the Expo. This educational experience includes a film about the Tuskegee Airmen and the obstacles they overcame as they trained and fought as the first African-American fighter pilots. Additional vintage military aircraft to be featured at the Expo include a C-45 Expeditor, a TBM Avenger, a T-6 Texan as well as many more*. Guests can also view ground vehicles from the Museum’’s diverse collection, including a 1943 GMC CCKW 2½-ton truck (the deuce-and-a-half in the lingo), the M2 high speed tractor, a Dodge WC-54 ambulance and an M3 Stuart light tank.

All-access passes and general admission tickets can be purchased in advance through the AirPower Expo website ( or by phone 504-528-1944. Naturally, general admission tickets will also be available at the entry gate daily. School groups and members of the military enjoy free admission on Friday (04 November). School groups must register with Shelbie Johnson at Rides on WWII aircraft will be sold on-site at the AirPower Expo. To purchase advance tickets, or to speak with a ride coordinator, visit View the complete WWII AirPower Expo 2016 schedule as well as the complete list of attending aircraft below.

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) honors the men and women who built, maintained and flew in these airplanes during World War II. CAF believes this is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition and by taking the airplanes to the people, allowing them to experience the sights and sounds of these aircraft while in flight. Collecting, restoring and flying historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to honoring American military aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A nonprofit educational association, the CAF has more than 12,000 members and a fleet of over 160 airplanes distributed throughout the country to units located in 24 states for care and operation. For more information, visit

Organized in August 1988, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation (GNOSF) is a non-profit 501(c) (4) organization whose mission is to attract and manage sporting events that have a positive economic impact on the Greater New Orleans area. Throughout its 28-year history, the GNOSF has hosted hundreds of events and turned a $28 million public investment in major events, into a $2 billion economic impact for the State of Louisiana and the Greater New Orleans area.

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world, –why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today –so that future generations will know the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by the U.S Congress as America’’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage as well as sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit


WWII AirPower Expo 2016

New Orleans Lakefront Airport
Friday, November 4, 2016 | 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 5, 2016 | 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 6, 2016 | 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

• Warbirds in Review showcases begin at 10:00 a.m.
• Exclusive photography access from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. (all-access pass required)
• Behind-the-scenes pilots’ briefing from 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. (all-access pass required)
• Private tour of B-29 Superfortress FIFI from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. (all-access pass required)
• CAF cockpit tours
• CAF Ride Flights (additional ticket required)
• WWII veteran interviews throughout the day in the Wedell Hangar
• Performances by the Victory Belles in the Wedell Hangar
• Hands-on Activity Area in the Wedell Hangar
• Souvenir shop in the Wedell Hangar
• “Rise Above” Traveling Exhibit
• Boot Camp
• WWII ground vehicles and artifacts in the Bivouac Area
• Hands-on history exhibits in the Bivouac Area
• Reenactor camps in the Bivouac Area
• Crafts and educational activities in the Bivouac Area
• Food-and-beverage concessions by Messina’s

Lineup subject to change without notice
• P-40 Warhawk
• B-29 Superfortress
• B-17 Flying Fortress
• P-51D Mustang
• B-25 Mitchell
• C-45 Expeditor
• Nakajima B5N (CAF’s Tora Kate)
• Aichi D3A (CAF’s Tora Val)
• Mitsubishi A6M (CAF’s Tora Zero)
• PT-13 Stearman
• T-6 Texan
• TBM Avenger
• PT-19 Cornell
• F4U Corsair
• P-63 Kingcobra

Calendar 2017! The People’s Mosquito!

20 October 2016

Get Your TPM Calendar 2017!



The People’s Mosquito calendar cover

This years TPM calendar shows 12 stunning images of the de Havilland Mosquito at work. Each is accompanied by a small write-up giving interesting detail on the aircraft depicted. Printed with a high quality gloss finish, the large format 30cm x 30cm (12″ x 12″) pages have plenty of room for you important appointments, birthdays and wedding anniversaries.


The People’s Mosquito calendar’s monthly images

You can buy yours here!

Please allow 28 days for delivery.

The People’s Mosquito monthly layout for March 2017



Boeing 747SP x 2

19 October 2016

Nick Veronico is familiar to readers for his authorship, wreckchasing and—especially—NASA’s SOFIA. The exploratory SOFIA is the immense IR observatory within a highly modified Boeing 747SP (SP for Special Performance). SPs are 747s which are 50 feet shorter with length taken from ahead as well as aft of the wing to increase range, had specialty parts made, and an enlarged empennage—making it more of a sportster. A few were made but a following was created all the same due to their uniqueness—and there is a website for them at the B747SP Website.


Boeing 747SP paired, NASA’s SOFIA (L) and Pratt & Whitney Canada’s (R)—courtesy and copyright Nick Veronico

But Pratt & Whitney Canada has a 747SP, as well, which has been modified to test jet engines while in flight. The test engine is suspended from a wing stub located just aft of the cockpit on the right side of the fuselage. The upper cabin has been heavily reinforced for the stress of a powerful engine’s thrust. Additionally, the stub is angled slightly downward to better keep trim and pitch authority on the aircraft. Recently, Nick Veronico graciously shared these photos of these two aircraft as they were parked next to each another recently while at a recent meeting of both operators.


Boeing 747SP of Pratt & Whitney Canada up closer—courtesy and copyright Nick Veronico


Boeing 747SP wing stub attachment for in-flight jet engine testing by Pratt & Whitney Canada (during testing a small wing with the test engine suspended on a pylon is attached to the stub)—courtesy and copyright Nick Veronico

Boeing 747SP flown by P&W Canada engine testing wing stub mount—courtesy and copyright Nick Veronico

A closer view of the Boeing 747SP flown by P&W Canada engine testing wing stub mount—courtesy and copyright Nick Veronico


Boeing 747SP flown by Pratt & Whitney Canada has a glass cockpit as does SOFIA—courtesy and copyright Nick Veronico

But what about SOFIA?

NASA operates a Boeing B-747SP (see the previous post for a description of this unique 747 variant) so that a big eye can be carried aloft for SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy)—the big eye is, as you likely infer, a telescope which senses within the infrared portion of the light spectrum. This telescope is quite large and more capable than those based on land or in orbit. SOFIA is a cooperative mission between the USA’s NASA and Germany’s Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR, or the German Aerospace Center). DLR built the quite large IR telescope which has a diameter of 2.5m (100 inches) and weighs 20,000kg (44,100 lbs)—operating within the range of  0.3–1600 μm (microns). It is a Bent Cassegrain/Nasmyth design and serves to gather information from nebular gas clouds which is fed to instruments aboard the NASA’s 747SP. One of these instruments is known as GREAT, an acronym for German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz (frequencies), though there are many other instruments, as well. Recently the frequency was nearly doubled from ~2 THz to 4.1 THz vastly increasing the richness sensed by the telescope.

The aircraft (N747NA) was originally built for Pan American Airways in 1977 and christened Clipper Lindbergh. Later it was sold to United Airlines and retired thereafter. Later acquired by NASA it was fitted for flight and modified to carry the large telescope aloft in a fuselage bay located between the wing and the tail. A large hatch can be rotated upward to expose the telescope to observe the heavens as well as to expose what is known as “the cavity” to the harsh conditions of the stratosphere. The aircraft is designed to fly 900 mission per year at an altitude range of 39,000–45,000 feet (~11,800–~13,600 meters) with as many as 25 persons on board for eight hours of observation at a time — all at -60º C (-76º F) and 800kph (500 mph). Clipper Lindbergh was refitted after 2011 with most of the science system wiring replaced (15,000 connections were rewired), three times more power made available to the scientific instruments, the telescope mirror cleaned, the cavity door improved as well as the cavity’s environmental control (better keeping water as well as water vapor out) and the cockpit was transformed from analog based to digitally based (i.e., a glass cockpit).


(Author’s notes)

Nicholas Veronico works for NASA on the SOFIA project as a writer as well as a photographer and we have seen his work before, as he is a prolific author. Read the book reviews for Hidden Warbirds and for Hidden Warbirds II—you’ll be pleased by the stories he has written of the recovery/restoration of WW II aviation wrecks with his particular skill at going beyond the easy and the obvious. His newest book will be out soon and is about the attack on Pearl Harbor—Nick does not fail to bring new and salient detail to a story as well as a huge dose of common senses so we are excited to see this new title.

Also, thanks again to Nick for the use of his photos in this post🙂

Mossie Bites—The People’s Mosquito now has a journal

16 October 2016

TPMThe People’s Mosquito (the unique and noble project to build a World War II era de Havilland Mosquito for flight BUT which is in the public trust)—continues to grow in steady well-planned and executed steps. The latest of which is Mossie Bites: the quarterly journal of The People’s Mosquito Club. TPM is led by educated, experienced and professional people, not by a unilateral financially well of business person. It is a by-the-people-for-the-people operation who have the inspiration to build a new de Havilland Mosquito using original plywood molds and identifier plate—hence a new-old airplane as opposed to a faithful reproduction. There are now a pair of Mosquitos flying and one that could be prepared to do so but all are owned privately and are original World War II aircraft. They suffer the paradigm of being wanted to be seen in flight yet the thought of crashing a World War II artifact is almost as horrifying as the thought of the souls on board being harmed. Not to mention that each aircraft’s fate is in the hands of a single person. Though each person is an excellent citizen the fate of each aircraft could be in serious legal jeopardy in case of death or incapacitation—we’ve seen it before.


The cover of the inaugural edition of “Mossie Bites”—courtesy and copyright The People’s Mosquito

TPM’s Mossie would solve the above and lend another solution to layer into the welcome private flying examples. The TPM Mossie would be original yet not a veteran. The TPM Mossie would be in the public trust and managed by a professional organization loyal first to citizens. The de Havilland Mosquito is an excellent design which served during WW II in a more than distinguished fashion—whether flying unarmed and unafraid on recce missions to nocturnal interceptions over hostile European skies to daring commando-like bombing missions into Fortress Europe. Her main defense and offense was her speed as well as her grace and it is hard to imagine the Allied victory without this “Wooden Wonder” on their side.


The full boat (L–R) Commercial Director & Company Secretary Steve Manning, Communications Director Nick Horrox, Chairman & Managing Director John Lilly, Operations Director Wing Commander (RAF ret) Bill Ramsey, Director of Engineering & Airframe Compliance Ross Sharp, Finance Director Alan Pickford—courtesy and copyright The People’s Mosquito

The Mossie Bites inaugural issue relates how the wing rib construction goal has been attained and what is next in store. There is also a story of an inspired reconstruction in a special museum of the UK. Download the PDF from the provided link and entertain donating, joining, or shopping (a lot of cool stuff in that one). Join this unique, noble adventure and be part of a public thing bigger than yourself—it is rewarding as well as inspirational!

Your Mossie Needs YOU!—courtesy and copyright The People's Mosquito

Your Mossie Needs YOU—courtesy and copyright The People’s Mosquito


A geologist’s wish list aircraft for long range expedition—the Grumman Gulfstream G650ER

14 October 2016

ER stands for Extended Range and the Grumman Gulfstream G650ER has it in spades! What an aircraft for a geologist to use to get to an investigative area in style, rested, with gear and friends as well as quickly. Able to sleep ten, fly at Mach 0.9 for maximum cruise speed, or Mach 0.85 for maximum endurance, the reality is that one can fly from New York City to all of South America, most of Africa and all of Europe in one hop. Or Hong Kong to all of Asia including Australia and New Zealand as well as most of Africa and Canada. What an aircraft for a geological team with its galley and a pair of lavatories? What and aircraft for a blogger to cover international air shows😉



Grumman Gulfstream G650ER taking its place in the departure queue—image provided by Grumman Aerospace


Grumman Gulfstream G650ER wings its way to the destination—image provided by Grumman Aerospace


Grumman Gulfstream G650ER is suited to international travel—image provided by Grumman Aerospace


Grumman Gulfstream G650ER’s sleek lines and winglets—image provided by Grumman Aerospace


Grumman Gulfstream G650ER over eroded mesas—image provided by Grumman Aerospace


Grumman Gulfstream G650ER transiting a desert basin—image provided by Grumman Aerospace


Grumman Gulfstream G650ER—image provided by Grumman Aerospace


Grumman Gulfstream G650ER—image provided by Grumman Aerospace


Grumman Gulfstream G650ER uses an airstair in the conventional location—image provided by Grumman Aerospace


Grumman Gulfstream G650ER’s all glass digital cockpit—image provided by Grumman Aerospace


A geologist’s wish list aircraft for serious trips to the field—the Pilatus PC-6

13 October 2016

A geologist would do well to have two piece of gear made by the Swiss—the inveterate Swiss Army knife and the preeminent Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. PC-6. With the Porter, plenty of gear can travel a long way and land just about anywhere with its tremendous STOL performance. The main cabin has wide entry doors on each side as are cockpit doors—handy in limited areas. Camera ports and a hatch in the main cabin floor lend themselves to a variety of applications from photography to mapping. Long range, heavy loads, rough strip capable and as rugged as a geologist’s rucksack🙂



The Pilatus Porter has STOL performance which impresses—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


Hardly straining to reach the sky—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


A Pilatus PC-6 turboprop powered Porter on amphibious floats—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


A Pilatus PC-6 turboprop powered Porter on amphibious floats can go just about any remote location—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


The Porter gets longer legs with wing mounted auxiliary tanks—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


The Porter gets longer legs with wing mounted auxiliary tanks—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


The Porter gets longer legs with wing mounted auxiliary tanks—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


Porters are comfortably flown high or low—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


The Porter has excellent marks as a utility aircraft—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


Pilatus Porters often have spectacular paint liveries—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


Pilatus Porters often have spectacular paint liveries—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


The main cabin’s roominess of the Porter is especially attractive—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.

STANS/NW, 06. OKTOBER 2009 - PILATUS AIRCRAFT LDT.: NEUES COCKPIT PC-6: Fotodok Pilatus Aircraft Ldt.: Ein Revival nach fast 50 Jahren: Neues Cockpit PC-6 mit Garmin-System. Auftrag: Jerome Zbinden, Public Relations Pilatus Aurcraft Ldt. Stans. ths/Photo by: E.T.STUDHALTER / PILATUS AIRCRAFT *** Local Caption *** DigitalPhoto

The cockpit is efficient and smartly done—E.T. Studhalter image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


Another example of the Porter’s voluminous main cabin, here equipped with a down looking FLIR camera using the floor hatch and operator seat on the left—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.


A Porter wings away to what adventure or exploration?—image provided by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.

A geologist’s wish list aircraft for short field trips—Maule’s M-7/MX-7

12 October 2016

Studying geology requires not only books and mentors but travel as well. One has to see the subtlety, the differences, the similarities and out-and-out fascination from outcrop to outcrop. Some places are well within civilization and some are not. Some are well inland in arid regions, some on or near water, some low and some high. Always, there is the need for equipment, food, camping and kitchen gear. Usually, the geologist comes back weighing more than when going in, since rock samples are heavy (these are the times we wish we loved flowers or moss instead of rocks).

For short trips it would be hard to travel better than in a Maule Air M-7/MX-7. Powerful engine and light weight for STOL performance with decent range as well as speed. Able to carry two with gear or four with some gear, amphibious floats or oleo struts (for rough fields) it is a fabric over tube frame construction. When lightly loaded it can begin a climb like a rocket coming out of the hangar. Five position flaps and purpose-built wing tips enable extremely slow speed under control handling characteristics.



M-7 on the beach—image by Paul Harding/Safari Seaplanes provided by Maule Air


M-7 on the beach—image by Paul Harding/Safari Seaplanes provided by Maule Air


MX-7 on the ground (note the added clear panels in the door)—image by Brent Maule provided by Maule Air


M-7 Maule at the field in one of the many available colors—image by Brent Maule provided by Maule Air