Chino Planes of Fame
The annual Planes of Fame airshow at Chino, CA, held on 5-6 May in hot, dry weather, had – as ever – a superb line-up of warbirds. This year’s featured aircraft were Thunderbolts and Lightnings, and there were multiple examples of both on hand. Two modern-day USAF A-10 Thunderbolt IIS joined a pair of WWII-ERA Republic P-47 Thunderbolts while no less than six P-38 Lightnings were present. Four should have flown but, with Jim Slattery’s newly restored P-38F ‘White 33’ refusing to start, it was left to Comanche Fighters’ Thoughts of Midnight, the Collings Foundation’s recently-acquired P-38L, and the Planes of Fame Air Museum’s P-38J Skidoo to conduct several unforgettable fly-bys. The other Lightnings on the field were the Yanks Air Museum’s rare F-5G photo reconnaissance version, displayed statically, and Jack Croul’s P-38L Honey Bunny, which sat in Allied Fighters’ hangar. The same operator’s newly-restored P-47D Dottie Mae (see ‘Old Timers’, December 2017) was one of the two participating Thunderbolts alongside Planes of Fame’s P-47G.
Republic’s predecessor Seversky was also represented, courtesy of Planes of Fame’s AT-12 Guardsman – a two-seat trainer version of the P-35 fighter which directly preceded the P-47. The AT-12 accompanied the Planes of Fame Boeing P-26 ‘Peashooter’ in another magic Chino moment that brought together two of today’s rarest airworthy pre-war survivors. With many other highlights including the one-off Northrop N9MB flying wing and Gosshawk Unlimited’s PB4Y-2 Privateer, this was another great Planes of Fame event.
Lightning struck thrice in Chino’s flying programme
AT-12 Guardsman and P-26 Peashooter - a very rare pairing
P-47D and P-47G Thunderbolts in tight formation