Lavochkin LaGG-3

When Nazi Germany launched their War against the Soviet Union in June, 1941, the Soviet Air Force had just started an aggressive modernization program.

Let’s take a look at one of those new types just getting into service.

Continue reading
Posted in Fighter, Soviet Union | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Thought for Today

I remember as a young teen, just getting interested in World War II and aircraft, the CAF B-17 “Texas Raiders” was the first warbird I ever saw. And the first I ever toured. Spent a lot of time one Saturday on board the plane talking with the crew. No doubt, all these years later it was another generation of personnel on the plane, but still CAF and still bringing the sights and sounds of another time to the air show crowds…

Posted in Miscellaneous | 2 Comments

North American P-51C Mustang

Another look at a combatant from the least known of the major theaters of operation.

Let’s take a look at a successful CBI pilot and aircraft.

Continue reading
Posted in Fighter, USA | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIa

The first American ace of World War II scored his fifth kill before his homeland was even in the War.

Let’s take a look at a significant, if lesser known accomplishment.

Continue reading
Posted in Britain, Fighter | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2

By Spring of 1942 the first mass produced variant of the Bf 109 “G” was entering combat service.

Let’s take a look at one from that year, and an important fighter pilot.

Continue reading
Posted in Fighter, Germany | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Avro Lancaster B Mk I

The Lancaster is another of the great, iconic aircraft of World War II. Also the last of the major Allied “heavies” that I haven’t featured yet at this site.

Let’s take a look at this very important British bomber.

Continue reading
Posted in Bomber - Strategic, Britain | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Theme Build 5

Spitfire

It seems obvious to have a Theme Build of all one type of aircraft. And there’s a few types I have many examples of. I think I’ve mentioned a few times that I have so many Mustangs I hardly know what to do with them all. I have also have large numbers of Thunderbolts, and Warhawks, Bf 109s, Zeros, Spitfires and even Wildcats. So why did I chose Spitfire for my first type-based Theme Build?

Blame Eduard.

The Czech model company Eduard is currently putting out just exquisite quality kits. Beautiful detail and excellent fit. But more to the point, for some reason, they like issuing what they call “Dual Combos”. This puts two similar, if not identical kits in a single box. Often paired in an intriguing theme too. Combine this with the fact that until Eduard got to it, we really didn’t have a decent late-Merlin Spitfire in kit form (Mk VIII, IX or XVI). Or a Mk Vc. Or even a Mk II. It meant there was a gaping hole in my stash for certain marks of Spitfire until Eduard came to the “rescue”! Its really been easier for me to resist as they’ve recently released Mustangs, Zeros, Bf 109s… All of those previously existed as modern, nicely detailed kits. Okay, maybe one here or there if they did interesting markings and sub-variants (! But I could normally hold out for the single kit of those other types!).
But I seem to have acquired several interesting Dual Combo Spitfire boxings. You all may have noticed pairing up the same type doesn’t normally fit the way I work. But for a theme build it makes perfect sense.

So here we go, my first theme build featuring a single aircraft type. For the record, the four aircraft in this theme will be a Spitfire, a Spitfire, a Spitfire, then finish off with a Spitfire. Now if I can just choose which interesting “Dual Combos”! Its safe to say when you see the first Spitfire completed, the next one will be closely related. I would also add, the Eduard kits, even though they are single engine fighters, are a little more complicated than most other brands. So these will likely go longer than three weeks each. Although maybe by the fourth one I’ll be finding my rhythm…

Posted in Theme Build | 9 Comments

Panzer III Ausf.N

Panzer III is one of those weapons that went from state of the art, to obsolete over the course of the War.

Let’s take a look at the final form of this medium tank.

Continue reading
Posted in Armor, Germany | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Republic P-43A Lancer

Among the less known types of the USAAF in World War II. Let’s take a look at an aircraft that was important as a development, if not for actual combat.

Continue reading
Posted in Fighter, USA | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Thunder Over Michigan – 2022

I’m running a little late on this one for this year. The one drawback to getting my wife’s help with taking better pictures than I could ever do, is then we need to find time to sort through and save the right ones! But I do have some good ones to share this year from the Air Show on July 16 and 17.
A couple things to mention about the show, it is held at Willow Run Airport every year and proceeds go to support the Yankee Air Museum. They have gotten much better in recent years about having a more “packed” event. Once the flying starts, it really goes non-stop through the end of the show. Food service seemed better organized this year than it has been. That’s all good.
They also stuck with the “drive-in” format. This is more mixed. I love having our vehicle right there with us the whole time. Its so much easier to bring along everything we might need or want during the day. No drama walking back to, and locating your car after. Especially when rain is in the forecast, its just better in almost every way. But I am very unhappy with the price points. The show is broken into two halves, two shows a day of about 2 1/2 hours each, at over $200 for each. The whole day is close to $500 for one carload. As I figure it, you’d need six people to make that a bargain. And some people do! But we didn’t, and even though I had a ton of fun I’m not sure I can justify this every year. Seriously its cheaper for me to drive to Dayton or Battle Creek for their shows. Now the good news is, Yankee Air Museum is a good cause, and the people are easy to work with. One of my tickets was “free” this year because of a short show I went to earlier this year that was completely rained out (tickets say such recompense will not be made, so bonus!). But I can’t really believe its even that profitable for them. The first show in particular (with no Blue Angels, but an F-16 demo instead) had A LOT of empty parking spots. I would guess over half empty. I know last year there were a lot of empty slots, even as the Museum boasted “sold out”; so I would guess they had corporate sponsors picking up the unsold tickets. Not sure if they can count on that every year? I hope they review this process before next year and consider some more affordable options.

The day started with this M18 Hellcat racing up and down the display area flying the Flag for the National Anthem. This is a compact tank destroyer, the fastest AFV of World War II. The drivers manual includes the warning “may be difficult to control above 60 mph on paved surfaces”. Dang. Now I want another Hellcat…
Also during the opening, Navy “Leap Frogs” jumped from a Sea Dragon helicopter to enter with the flag.
The first big act of the day was a performance by Collings Foundation’s F-100D Super Sabre. They boast as the only flyable Super Sabre in the World. It was fun to see this Cold Warrior. First airshow I ever saw as a kid had the Thunderbirds in this type (used through 1968).
Hurricane Mk XII put on a nice demo.
As did a Kittyhawk Mk III. I don’t recall seeing the colorful Kiwi South Pacific scheme on a warbird before.
The two then joined up and gave us some more low passes.
Climax of the morning show was an F-16 demo. Time for some serious noise!
Yankee Lady, Yankee Air Museum’s own B-17G was up on and off all day.
Nice flying demo by Spitfire Mk IX.
Quartet of warbirds flew together for a while. First time I’ve seen a Bf 109G in flight. Except it sort of isn’t. It was built in Spain as an Ha 1112. Then rebuilt to have a correct “G” model’s cowling. No Db 605 engines were available so its powered by an Allison V-1710. The Fw 190F is a new build, completed in 2019 and powered by an R-2800 (BMW 801s are also in short supply!)
“Georgie’s Gal” is a beautiful B-25J belonging to Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton, Ohio.
Different artwork on the two sides of the nose.
deHavilland Vampire put on a nice show! First time I’ve ever seen one fly. This is a first generation jet fighter, the second in RAF service and was being readied for service as WWII ended.
Blue Angels always put on a terrific show.
My favorite picture of the day!
Posted in Air Show, Museums | Tagged | 4 Comments