Planes of Fame in Chino, California operate a very unique 1930’s era aircraft in their flying collection. A Seversky AT-12 Guardsman (USAAC 2 seat advanced training version of the P-35 fighter), which is the only flying example in the world.
The USAAC operated 50 AT-12’s. Originally they were ordered by Sweden but an arms embargo in 1940 resulted in them being purchased by the Army (Sweden ordered 52 but only received 2 before the ban). Although intended as an advanced trainer, according to Planes of Fame most of them ended up being a fast transport for base commanders during World War Two (this one, Serial Number 483-38 was last used in this role at Lowery Air Base in Denver, Colorado).
Another 1930’s fighter took to the skies with the Seversky AT-12 Guardsman at the Planes of Fame Airshow 2015, a Curtiss P-36C Hawk which had recently been restored and made its flying debut at the airshow (the only one of this model flying). This doubled the flying examples of the Hawk in the world, with the other being a French Hawk 75 operated by The Fighter Collection at Duxford in the United Kingdom. They also own this newly restored P-36C and it will be shipped out to them in time for the 2015 European summer airshow season.
The Curtiss P-36 Hawk was first introduced in 1938 and was a predecessor to the more famous Curtiss P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk fighter of World War Two. This P-36C example (Serial Number 38-210) was the last C model manufactured in 1939 and served with the US Army on the east coast of the United States until retired in 1942. It then ended up in Canada for many years, then back to the United States before being purchased by The Fighter Collection. The recent restoration back to flying condition took 4 years to complete at Chino.
It was fantastic to get a close look at these two aircraft on the ground and see them fly together. Two rare birds indeed!