Old Timers

Pilot - - CONTENTS - Re­port: Nigel Hitch­man

Sun 'n Fun news, Ju-air to re­turn, Army Fly­ing Museum re-opens, BA'S retro colour schemes

The forty-fifth an­niver­sary Sun ’n Fun In­ter­na­tional Flyin & Expo was held from 2-7 April 2019 at Lake­land Lin­der Air­port, Florida. Its over­all air­craft at­ten­dance roughly matched last year’s to­tal and, while war­bird num­bers seemed down, XP-82 Twin Mus­tang 44-83887’s long-awaited first pub­lic ap­pear­ance was a great coup. For their ef­forts (see March ‘Old Timers’) owner/ re­storer Tom Reilly and his team at Dou­glas, Ge­or­gia, de­servedly re­ceived the Grand Cham­pion War­bird award.

WWII fight­ers were scarce but Thom Richard/war­bird Adventures’ re­cently-re­stored Cur­tiss TP-40N N977WH Amer­i­can Dream stayed all week, giv­ing pas­sen­ger rides and, on some days, fly­ing demon­stra­tions. Mis­sion­ary Flights’ DC-3TP Turbo Dakota was one of six DC-3/C-47S present: the oth­ers were pro­mot­ing The D-day Squadron, whose mass transat­lantic cross­ing start­ing from Ox­ford, Con­necti­cut, on 18 May will mark the sev­en­ty­fifth an­niver­sary at Dux­ford and Nor­mandy in early June.

Viet­nam-era war­birds from the Cavanaugh Flight Museum at Ad­di­son, Texas, gave a flavour of the con­flict with their SAR Demo fea­tur­ing Dou­glas A-1H and EA1-E Skyraiders, a CV-2B Cari­bou ‘para­trooper’ jump with a Cessna O-2A Sky­mas­ter pro­vid­ing close air sup­port. Res­cu­ing the ‘wounded’, the museum’s UH-1H also un­der­took plea­sure flights through­out the event. Its Spe­cial Ops-marked A-1H 52-139606 had a fur­ther role, part­ner­ing the Viper Demo Team’s F-16 as the USAF Her­itage Flight. The War­bird Her­itage Foun­da­tion’s T-2B Buck­eye sim­i­larly linked up with a colour­ful T-45C Goshawk for the US Navy Legacy Flight.

A hand­ful of clas­sic jets on static dis­play included sev­eral Aero L-39s, a for­mer-nasa Lear­jet, and an ex-slo­vak AF MIG-21 that for­mer owner Draken In­ter­na­tional has do­nated to the res­i­dent Florida Air Museum. Do 28A-1 N12828 also caught the eye. A di­verse­ly­tasked ex­am­ple of Dornier’s dis­tinc­tive STOL util­ity air­craft, it was ini­tially op­er­ated by

Air Lloyd, next equipped the Le­sotho Po­lice Mo­bile Air Unit, and in 1987 joined Brian Woodford’s Wes­sex Avi­a­tion and Trans­port col­lec­tion. Reg­is­tered G-BNVW, the Do 28 re­mained in the UK for four years be­fore be­ing ex­ported to the United States. Next owner Isle Royale Sea­plane Ser­vices had a float­plane con­ver­sion planned but, hav­ing not won the nec­es­sary con­tract, nonethe­less re­tained the air­craft for the next twenty years. Cur­rent owner Dan Ful­wiler, who re­turned it to air­wor­thi­ness, flew it all the way from Wis­con­sin for the show.

While full, the vintage park­ing area con­tained mostly 1950s and ‘60s de­signs and only a hand­ful of pre-war an­tiques. Grand Cham­pion An­tique was Steve Zo­er­lein’s Waco UPF-7 NC32091, one of two on show. 1952 S-1A Cadet 90 N2922V was the Best Sur­vivor, while Jeff Nel­son’s su­perb 1946 clipped-wing J3C Cub topped the Piper cat­e­gory. There were at least seven Globe Swifts in at­ten­dance. All looked smart but GC-1B NC3824K was the judges’ Out­stand­ing Clas­sic, and Alon A-2 Air­coupe N5618F their Con­tem­po­rary Class Grand Cham­pion.

BT-13A Valiant N56319 scooped the Best Trainer award. The most in­ter­est­ing train­ing air­craft was Richard Ep­ton’s North Amer­i­can NA-64 Yale N314BT. This was built in 1940 for the French AF but, fol­low­ing the Ger­man oc­cu­pa­tion, was di­verted to the Royal Canadian AF with which, as 3424, it served un­til 1946. Ac­quired by col­lec­tor Ernest Sim­monds and thence stored with his 38 other Yales in Til­son­burg, On­tario un­til 1970, it passed through nu­mer­ous hands over the next forty-four years, be­ing pro­gres­sively re­stored along the way. Ep­ton ob­tained 3424 in 2014. With its restora­tion com­pleted by the Barn­storm­ers Work­shop at Wil­liamson, Ge­or­gia, the Yale flew again in 2018.

Next year’s event, to be re­named the ‘Sun ’n Fun Aero­space Expo’, is sched­uled for 31 March - 5 April.

ABOVE: the award-win­ning Twin Mus­tang took cen­tre-stage on its pub­lic de­but

BE­LOW LEFT: newlyair­wor­thy TP-40N pi­loted by owner Thom Richard dur­ing one of its dis­plays

BE­LOW RIGHT: his­toric Skyraider and mod­ern F-16 link-up for the USAF Her­itage Flight

Briefly Uk-based, Dornier 28A N12828 has an in­ter­est­ing his­tory

For­mer RCAF Yale N314BT stood out amongst the train­ers

The Cavanaugh Flight Museum’s Viet­nam demo fea­tured this Cari­bou para-drop

Tight US Navy 'Tail­hook' pair­ing of Buck­eye and Goshawk

This Waco UPF-7 was Grand Cham­pion An­tique

GC-1B NC3824K - an award-win­ning Globe Swift

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