When Saturday September 3rd rolled around Paine Field, Washington was awash in misty rain and clouded over. Things didn’t look good but the weather forecast still held promise…
A few hours later the sun was out and the warbirds were flying at the Vintage Aircraft Weekend hosted by the Historic Flight Foundation! A great day was had by all!
Commemorating the Battle of Britain 1940
As the misty rain and the sky cleared away, the roar of Rolls Royce Merlin engines joyously filled the air as the Flying Heritage Collection fired up their Hawker Hurricane Mk.XIIA and Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc accompanied the Historic Flight Foundation Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXe. The Battle of Britain commemorative flight was soon away!
A Pearl Harbour Story 1941
An unlikely survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7th, 1941 was present in the flying display. This was a diminutive 1941 Interstate Cadet (N37266) that is today known as “The Pearl” and is operated by the Lost Aviators of Pearl Harbor LLC out of the Heritage Flight Museum in Burlington, WA (it is the only flying survivor that was present during the attack and was one of approximately 8 civilian aircraft that were in the sky on that fateful day – 3 were shot down by Japanese aircraft. More can be read on this aircraft here). At Paine Field “The Pearl” was jumped by a Tora A6M2 Zero replica (a North American T-6 Texan modified to look like Japanese Mitsubishi Zero fighter for the 1970 movie Tora! Tora! Tora!) but lived to tell the tail once again!
Warbirds from World War Two to the Vietnam War
More legendary warbirds took to the sky including the Historic Flight Foundation’s North American B-25D Mitchell “Grumpy” (actually taking people on scenic flights rather than performing a flight display), North American P-51B Mustang “Impatient Virgin“, Grumman TBM-3E Avenger “Ida Red” (newly on loan to the museum from a private owner) and their stunning Grumman F7F Tigercat “Bad Kitty“. The Heritage Flight Museum joined them with their North American P-51D Mustang “Val-Halla” and their mighty Douglas AD-4NA (A-1) Skyraider “The Proud American” with 15 hardpoints to bring the fury (painted up as a USAF A-1 rather than a US Navy AD-4)!
In addition the Cascade Warbirds flying 3 x Ryan Navion trainers and a Romanian IAR-823 (nice flying Bob!) were joined by Ross Granley in a Yakovlev Yak-18T and followed up with North American T-6 Texan/SNJ formation flying. The trainer displays were concluded with a great show by a stunning bare metal finish North American T-28 Trojan flown by Ron Morrell a former USAF A-10 pilot, so you knew it was going to be a good performance!
The Pacific Northwest always provides plenty of great historic aircraft to see at such events. There were also many vintage civilian aircraft on static and flying display. Below is a quick look at the static displays to give you some idea.
Alas another flying season in this neck of the woods is almost over. Hopefully I will have a few more flying display posts to go before the cold weather starts to roll in!