If you had been at the Palm Springs Air Museum yesterday to see a flying Hellcat you would have had a lot more coming your way. The United States Navy F6F Hellcat was a carrier based plane that destroyed more enemy aircraft during WWII than any other Allied Naval Aircraft. A truly huge and impressive airplane that was plenty to see in flight all by itself. But extra added excitement at the Palm Springs Airport with United States Marine Harriers and United States Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets landing and departing during the day. A very unexpected air show! The Palm Springs Air Museum is a good place to be!
One of only three World War II Japanese Zero’s still flying in the entire world. In the skies over the Palm Springs Airport courtesy of the Palm Springs Air Museum earlier today. This Zero, owned and operated by the Commemorative Air Force, was delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Group #3. It originally had an air cooled rotary engine producing 1,130 hp and a top speed of 388 mph at almost 20,000 feet. In today’s flight demonstration you could easily see it’s nimble and powerful maneuverability. I also have video which I will post here in the next day or two. Very Fun! Here is the video I shot of the Zero starting up and heading out to taxi. https://vimeo.com/93085158
Vietnam War era helicopters over the skies at the Palm Springs Air Museum yesterday. A Huey Gunship and a Loach. Good thing I brought a camera!
The Loach was officially named the Cayuse, it was a light observation helicopter that was sometimes equipped for combat. In the movie “Blackhawk Down” you hear them referenced as “Little Birds” operated by U.S. Army’s Special Operations Forces.
The Huey Gunship, actually the Bell UH-1 Iroquois, where 7,000 of them saw extensive service in the Vietnam War. Used for everything from troop transport and medical evacuation, it became most known for it’s combat role as “Air Calvary”. The Huey reached Hollywood epic star stars in the Vietnam War movie “Apocalypse Now”.
Another photograph from Wednesday at the Palm Springs Air Museum. The Collings Foundation P-51C Mustang, the only fully dual control version still flying. As well, there are fewer than five of the early B and C versions still flying. General Dwight Eisenhower rode in the back seat of one of these two seat versions over the beaches of Normandy to direct the D-Day Invasion of World War II.
The only restored flying B-24J in the world taking off from the Palm Springs Airport. Owned and operated by the Collings Foundation flying last weekend for the Palm Springs Air Museum, the Consolidated B-24 Liberator flew during World War II in the Pacific and Europe. I find it very exciting to point my camera at these tremendously fascinating and historic aircraft.
There are only ten of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress still flying and here is one of them. The B-17 flew daylight bombing missions over Europe in World War II. It was made famous in many movies but most recently in “Memphis Belle”.
Yesterday at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Also flying was the only fully restored B-24 Liberator bomber and the world’s only dual control P-51 Mustang fighter. Both from World War II, now owned and operated by the Collings Foundation.
This is just a preview, I will be posting more photographs and videos in the next few days.
A Supermarine Mk XIV Spitfire starting up and going out to do a fly by at the Palm Springs Air Museum yesterday. The British fighter made famous in the Battle Of Britain in World War II, this specific plane carries the paint scheme of the Indian Air Force. It’s supercharged engine at over 2000 horsepower drove it though the air at 450 miles per hour.
A Spitfire Mk XI in a flight on April 27, 1944 made the true airspeed of 606 mph in a dive. The propeller broke off, the pilot blacked out as the plane reached 11 g’s and when he regained consciousness he found himself at 40,000 feet with the wings swept back at an angle.
On February 5, 1952 another pilot flying out of Hong Kong took a Spitfire 19 to 51,550 feet. He ended up in an uncontrolled dive recovering below 3000 feet. Flight data showed he had reached 690 mph, Mach .96, which is the fastest flight ever recorded for a propeller driven aircraft.