Curtiss Mohawk Mk IV

The Curtiss Hawk 75 had been a popular export product in the years just before the start of World War II.

Let’s take a look at one that flew for the RAF.

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Posted in Britain, Fighter, USA | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Blohm und Voss BV 141B-0

Symmetry is over-rated.

Time for a look at one of aviation’s truly unique designs.

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Posted in Germany, prototype, Reconnaissance | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Consolidated Catalina Mk I

One of the better known types that wasn’t a fighter or bomber; the Catalina served the US, Britain and other Allies throughout World War II.

Let’s take a look at one in service before the War had even started for its country of origin.

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Posted in Britain, Patrol, USA | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Minor Update

It looks like its been a while since I’ve had any updates! But let me assure readers I have been busy behind the scenes. The three models “On My Workbench” are all approaching completion at about the same time. I think the Catalina will be done first, with a post up middle of next week? But seriously, I think I’ll finish all three in a span of two days (As always, posts will be at least two days apart on major subjects).

I’ve also done some minor editing on previous posts, I have a whole lot more of that I want to do! But most recently I added footnotes to the articles “How Sure Are You?” and “The Value of an Ace” based on recent things I’ve read.

Posted in Administrative | 4 Comments

Messerschmitt Me 262A-2a

One well known part of the Me 262 story is how Hitler insisted on ordering the type into service as a bomber, rather than as a fighter which it was clearly better suited for.

Let’s look at one such bomber, and the impact of that decision.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Sd.Kfz. 2 Kettenkraftrad

A quick look at Germany’s lightest artillery tractor.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Grumman F4F-3S Wildcatfish

Japan may have been the only nation with a fully successful float-plane fighter, but others tried.

Let’s look at a US Navy attempt.

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Posted in Fighter, prototype, USA | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Ilyushin Il-2 Stormovik

With over 30000 examples built (over 40000 if we count the Il-10 follow-on), the Soviet flying tank remains the most produced combat aircraft in history.

Let’s take a look at an early example

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Posted in Bomber - Tactical, Soviet Union | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat

The Hellcat is best known for its central role in devastating Japanese air power in the last two years of the Pacific War. But it also served, if briefly, against the more land locked opponent.

Let’s take a look at a Hellcat that flew against the Nazis.

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Posted in Fighter, USA | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

Thunder Over Michigan 2021

After missing 2020 for obvious reasons, Thunder Over Michigan was back this year! The format was different, it was a drive in event. You simply set up chairs, blanket or whatever right next to your parked car. There were concessions (and port-a-potties!) available on site.
All things considered it was a fun way to do things. It certainly made it easier to bring along supplies (some home made desserts, check! rain coat? Might need it, so, check! Cooler with our own choice of beverages, check!) and locating your car after was much easier.
I do think the price points were badly fumbled, it was really only a bargain if you had four or more people in your car. But then they broke the show into two halves that were not the same and required their own tickets. I understand the capacity was MUCH less than normal (I would guess less than 1/10th normal) and the Yankee Air Museum was likely scrambling to make sense of the whole thing. But there were hundreds (thousands?) of unsold tickets and they will need to rethink this if things aren’t back to normal next year.

But it was so good to have this show again. And it was really well loaded with things to see.

Nothing like a Mustang, Thunderbolt and Lightning all in one picture! Or maybe I should say P-51, A-10 and F-35.
This was the show’s Heritage Flight. There was also a Navy Legacy Flight with Corsair and Growler.
As you may have guessed, an F-35 demo was a special treat. I’d never seen the type fly before, and I bet most viewers could say the same.
Airshows are so much fun when its humid!
An interesting visitor. An A400 Atlas of the Luftwaffe put on a good show too. Sort of an Elephant ballet.
Any event hosted by the Yankee Air Museum will have World War II types!
The two Mustangs in back, “Old Crow” and “Gentleman Jim” both represent the 357th Fighter Group and are owned by Jack Roush. That means they show up most local gatherings. The one in front was new to me, “Mad Max” (not a historic name) carries 31st Fighter Group colors and looks to have a post-War “Cavalier” style tail.
The official theme this year was “Mitchell Madness!” They used the same theme about 15 years ago (?), but actually had more planes this time. There were 15 Mitchells in total, one was a show time scratch but that still meant 14 up all at once!
They mostly gave us a continuous stream of low passes for 15 minutes, but late in the program several of the planes formed up.
Let’s just say my wife’s camera blows away anything I can do on the iPhone!
Did I mention it was a humid day?
I took my own F-18 up so I could get a good close-up… Sorry, day dream inspired by Jodie’s new camera…
Okay, extra bonus treat. This was the first time ever in Michigan that Blue Angels and Thunderbirds were at the same airshow.
Interesting that the two seaters seem to have extra fuel?
The jet teams did their low shows because of a low cloud deck. Now doubt the Thunderbirds’ vertical burst is amazing to see; but the flat burst pointing strait at the viewers is hardly less!

This may be the most photos I’ve ever put in one post, and I deleted everything on the iPhone…
There was more we didn’t shoot. Before the Navy Legacy Flight the EA-18G Growler did a demo, as did the A-10. The Mustang “Mad Max” did a brief aerobatic display. They really did a good job of putting something in the air all day long. Except for maybe one year in Dayton I think that was the most after-burners I’ve ever seen (and heard!) in one day.
The re-enactors’ land battles were missed, but with so many cars it would have been tough to see anything on the ground. Hopefully that part will return next year.

Posted in Air Show | Tagged | 8 Comments