Another new-old warbird shape has returned to the world's skies, a shape not seen for over 50 years, and once again we have the vision and determination of Sir Tim Wallis to thank for it.
And what a stunning machine it is. Last year we were delighted to present the first feature story complete with air to air coverage, of the amazing Polikarpov I-16 Ishaks, (or more commonly, 'Ratas'), six of which have been restored from eight crashed examples recovered in Russia.
In fact the sixth I-16 is being readied for its first western test flight as we go to press.
Issue 24 ( 1999 #4 August - September )
Vultee's Versatile Valiant
Biplanes & Brahmans - Raglan '99
Mesquite For Lunch?
Chicago's Forgotten Aero Treasures
MOTAT's Memorial Lancaster
It's hard to believe that the trusty Trojan first flew half a century ago, on 26th September 1949.
When I initially encountered the big trainer during my first trip to Oshkosh as a youngster in 1980 I was surprised by the imposing size of the aircraft, and the fact that they appeared in large numbers, all in nearly identical paint schemes, of the orange and white US Navy training livery.
That the aircraft were only recently released from military service, having nose-wheels, electric canopy sliders and are generally modern in appearance but for the radial engine, make it hard to now believe that the Trojan is a 50 year old design.
Issue 23 ( 1999 #3 June - July )
10 Out of 10 ... the Lockheed Electra
Vintage Homebuilt ... Lincoln Sport
Avenger, A Steed with Appeal!
Avenger Survivors Downunder
Mystery Aeroplane - Monospar
Warbirds Parts Searching
NZ Warbirds Fly-In, Omaka
Mammoth Mustang Meet!
Military Museum of Iraq
Where better to host the all time greatest post-war Mustang gathering, than the home of Stallion '51 where dedication to safe P-51 operations is part of daily business.
The folks at Kissimmee, Florida had been planning the Gathering of Mustangs and Legends for some time, and there were many ups and downs along the way, particularly in securing suitable sponsorship.
That the planning and preparation culminated in a type-specific event like no other before it is now a successful page in Warbird History.
Issue 22 ( 1999 #2 April - May )
P-47D Gone..But Not Forgotten
Kiwi Classics Remembered
Portrait of a P-40E
Not Yet Past Its Use By Date
Dick and Judes Mustang
Early Flying Days Recalled
Max Hilste's MH1521 Broussard
Finally Found After Nearly 55 Years
Historic Point Cook
Beaufort: Back To The Future
Langley Park '99
Much discussion has been taking place in recent times concerning the aircraft wrecks known to still survive within the numerous Pacific Island nations where military action took place during World War II.
In most cases those nations have placed restrictions on the export of wartime wreckage, and we have previously voiced our concerns as to what becomes of those aircraft when left to the elements.
Of even greater concern is the attention directed towards those wrecks by local villagers seeking to exchange scrap aluminium for spending money.
Issue 21 ( 1999 #1 February - March )
Flying the Cessna 195
Witness to the fall of Singapore
Downunder Mustang Portfolio
The "Flying Scotsman"
Canada's Amazing Amazons
Tiger Moth Race
When Stephen Grey's beautifully restored P-40C returned to airworthiness at Chino, California, last September, a near extinct fighter type effectively came back from the dead.
Consulting Leslie Hunt's "Veteran and Vintage Aircraft" of 1973 (the first recognised 'survivors listing' of historic aircraft) it can be seen that at that time, no early series P-40s were known to exist.
Stephen Grey's aircraft is the first to fly in over 50 years, an amazing comeback, especially considering that the restored aircraft comprises around 90% original structure.