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Panchito makes a run! — the Mitchell, not the cartoon

13 June 2012

Panchito makes a run! — the Mitchell, not the cartoon

"Panchito", North American B-25 Mitchell making a run on Stuart Airfield — photo by Joseph May

Coming in low — just above the tree tops.

Coming in hard — loud and fast, with a war load and four 0.50 caliber machine guns at the pilot’s command.

Four forward firing Browning machine guns and a bomb bay made for a potent weapons delivery system — photo by Joseph May

Good thing it was the Stuart Airshow in 2009 and not an island in the Pacific during WW II. I could sit an enjoy the flying of the B-25 Mitchell known as “Panchito” without having to keep my head down.

Panchito, the cartoon, is a pistol packing rooster from a 1945 movie.

Panchito, the original B-25 Mitchell, was manufactured that same year.

Panchito, the one that can be seen flying today, is a slick late model B-25. Most of the paint is for the “Panchito” nose art with the fuselage and wings finished only in brightly polished aluminum.

Bomb bay doors open with nose art in view — photo by Joseph May

Seeing into the bomb bay to observe an inert bomb — photo by Joseph May

It is flown on the airshow circuit to help raise funds for charity and does so in spectacular fashion. The day I witnessed her being flown the powerful radial engines pulled her on low fast passes as well as gracefully arced turns. On a high pass one can see an inert bomb in the bomb bay when the bay’s doors are open into the windstream.

One last pass and onto another airshow — photo by Joseph May

More about Panchito and its ancestor can be read in the excellent article called Living History by Larry Kelley and Larry Wilson published by the EAA Warbirds of America in their Warbirds periodical published in July 2003.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve Turner permalink
    13 June 2012 18:47

    It is amazing that B-25 Panchito can fly for so many photos with the propellers not turning! Or is the “photographer” so poor at the job that he cannot take proper photos of planes with propellers ?

    • travelforaircraft permalink
      13 June 2012 19:02

      By your statement I have served you poorly and by your judgement I am a failure. Since you offer nothing and have not stated your quals I feel I will sleep well tonight nonetheless. I concur shooting at a slower shutter speed would have been better though the gusty winds precluded that option. This is a news blog not an art blog so methinks you may have been to quick too judge or you are one of the unfortunates who miss what is there as they fix on a detail. Your money will be refunded. No, wait, the dollars and hours I put into this blog are all mine, no thanks to you, sir.

    • Marty Davis permalink
      14 June 2012 15:49

      @Steve: Please submit your photographs for review.

  2. bob doyle permalink
    19 February 2019 03:50

    sounds good to me sir!!!!!

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