Photography by Ian L. Sitren

Posts tagged “Tuskegee Airmen

Reno Air Races Recap

Again I am honored to be part of the Palm Springs Air Museum. Here as photographer, content creator, social media manager and even in flight operations at the 55th National Championship Air Races in Reno for 2018. Thanks!

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The Palm Springs Air Museum again became the standout at the 55th National Championship Air Races in Reno this September. The most prestigious race in the fastest motorsport in the world saw our Red Tail P-51 Mustang “Bunny” and our P-63 Kingcobra “Pretty Polly” fly around the pylons in front of crowds estimated to be 150,000+. “Bunny” flown by pilot Mark Moodie took a Third Place “on the podium” win in the Silver Unlimited Race with a speed of 333.562, less than one mile per hour away from first place! “Pretty Polly” flown by pilot Jim “JD” Dale made for a crowd favorite in 7th Place in the Silver Unlimited Race with a speed of 307.781. We finished with both aircraft “in the money”!

We were most honored for the second year in a row to be joined by a man who is indeed a very special friend to the Air Museum, 98 year old Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Col. Bob Friend. With us everyday at the Races to meet people and sign autographs, we were most proud to have him start our airplanes and watch as they taxi’d out for the Finals. The honor even extended further as the Colonel joined us on stage for the Awards Dinner to accept our trophies as he was given an extended standing ovation by a hangar filled with 1,000 racers and crew and family and friends. A moment in time that brought many to tears as cameras and cellphones saved the moment for history.

Certainly “Bunny” stole the show in so very many ways. A Red Tail dedicated to the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II and specifically to the aircraft flown by Lt. Col. Bob Friend, many would say she is the most beautiful of all P-51 Mustangs. But we had another very special girl with us, “Pretty Polly”. One of perhaps only four P-63 Kingcobras still flying, it has been forty years since a Kingcobra raced at Reno. Race fans, aviation fans, aviation photographers all greeted the news of “Pretty Polly” at Reno and her arrival and racing with huge enthusiasm and appreciation. Our Race Pit was continually visited by Kingcobra fans who specifically came to see her. Even a fan from Japan came by wearing one of our Air Museum ‘Pretty Polly” shirts! Pilot Jim “JD” Dale was on hand to talk with so very many and they were in luck because “JD” is a tremendously knowledgeable Kingcobra historian and of course one of the very few Kingcobra pilots.

The National Championship Air Races Reno gives the Palm Springs Air Museum the opportunity to bring our message of living history to expanding audiences around the world. Millions of people online will share in our adventure being there. We have endless numbers of people to Thank in getting us to Reno. Mechanics, pilots, the people who loaded the trailers, and so very many volunteers. And of course the individuals and sponsors who donated to funding our being able to make it happen. Everyone has their own reasons for being part of Reno with us. But to a person, it is unselfish and giving, whether through their money or labor. To everyone a huge and heartfelt Thank You! And an excited; see you in Reno for 2019!


Sigma 150-600mm Lens

I have been trying out the the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | S lens. On my Canon 1DMkIV. And a no fail serious camera strap from Vulture Equipment Works.

Just worked with it for the 2nd time. Yes it is sharp and the color fidelity is beautiful! You might look at the lettering on the prop and say it is blurry. Actually that is exactly how it is on the prop. This was at 150mm. The aircraft is at the Palm Springs Air Museum; a Red Tail P-51 Mustang “Bunny” dedicated to the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II.

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The Fastest Motorsport In The World

Hey everyone! This is for me… Off to the Reno Air Races very soon with the Palm Springs Air Museum. We are racing our “Red Tail” P-51 Mustang “Bunny” dedicated to the famed and heroic Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. And… the very rare P-63 Kingcobra “Pretty Polly”, one of only four flying in the entire world!

This is the big one, the Indy 500 of air racing, the fastest motorsport in the world. And this is the last few days of my crowdfunding for it. Yes I am asking you for money. This has been really successful so far and I am very grateful. To be honest, it makes me look good too! But I am asking your help to make this finish with a big bang.

Thanks to so many of you who have jumped in so far. If you add on in, that would be wonderful too. For those of you who have been just watching, come on in! Join with me! There are great perks from team T-Shirts to actually flying!

We have group and business sponsorships too. Don’t see something that exactly fits what you might like for your company; just send me a note and we can chat. Ian@PalmSpringsAirMuseum.org

Anyway this is the last few days, so please jump on in. We are preserving a great part of history and it is fun! Or if anything else, do it for me! Thanks! Here is the link, check it out… https://igg.me/at/RedTailsReno2018


Meet The Heroes

Not just the machines but the men too! On Memorial Day come meet Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. Bob Friend and Captain Rusty Burns. Two of the airmen of the iconic “Red Tails” of World War II. Watch our own P-51 Mustang “Bunny” take to the skies, the “Red Tail” dedicated to the Mustang that now 98 year old Col. Friend himself flew during the War.

Also with us will be B-17 Flying Fortress Gunner, US Army Air Force Tech Sgt. Mike Kovich. Now 102 years old, Mike was shot down in March of 1944 over Germany and was a POW until April 1945.

And meet 106 year old US Navy Radioman 2nd Class Marvin Cohn. Served in World War II from 1943-1945 aboard the USS Purdy. The Destroyer was attacked off the coast of Okinawa by Japanese aircraft suffering extensive damage and 73 casualties.

So please visit the Palm Springs Air Museum on Memorial Day. It is a day to meet the heroes of history. Thanks!

I am very proud to have photographed this Red Tail P-51 for this very special poster.

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Back Seat Mustang

This was me in the back seat and it could be you in the Palm Springs Air Museum P-51 Mustang “Bunny” this coming Memorial Day weekend, Saturday through Monday!

A flight experience in one of the most iconic aircraft of all time. The fighter that changed the course of the air campaign in World War II. Hear the roar of that distinctive Merlin engine as it pulls you into the skies!

Dedicated to the famed “Red Tails” Tuskegee Airmen, on Monday you can personally meet 98 year old Lt. Col Bob Friend, the man who flew this aircraft dedicated to the one he flew over Europe during the War. Also meet Tuskegee Airmen Captain Rusty Burns!

Call 760-778-6262 to reserve your time. Your flight experience of history $1895.00. A flight you will not forget!. Thanks!


National Military Appreciation Month

May is National Military Appreciation Month and May 19th was National Armed Forces Day. buzzbox premium cocktails joined with the Palm Springs Air Museum to honor the so very many by celebrating the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. Watch and listen as Air Museum Volunteer and United States Air Force Veteran Al Crossley tells his story and takes a flight in the “Red Tail” P-51 Mustang “Bunny”.  Thanks!


Remember Those Airplane Models

Remember when you were a kid like me building those plastic model airplanes. Now we are old enough to fly in the real ones or at least see them close up. The Palm Springs Air Museum is where you will find me and get the chance to fly too, for tomorrow Veterans Day. Check it out…

Your flight is warming up! Get on board for a flight, Saturday Veterans Day, in this World War II B-25 Mitchell Bomber! Once you are in the air you will get to check out everything from the bombardier seat in the nose to the gun turret and even looking over the pilot’s shoulder. Sure beats sitting in some economy seat on your least favorite airline with a better spent only $425 to kept it fueled and mission ready! Call 805-377-2106 (please leave a message and you will be called right back). You can also fly on Sunday and next weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday. What a great opportunity!

For Veterans Day right here at the Air Museum, flight demonstrations going on all day. You will see our P-51 Mustang ‘Bunny” in the air along with our C-47 “What’s Up Doc”? and our T-28 Trojan. There will be a special appearance by a flight of six T-34 trainers too. You can also fly in a World War II Stearman Biplane trainer for only $175!

Not to be missed! With us will be a very very special guest… Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. Bob Friend. A wonderful opportunity to meet and shake the hand of this true American Hero.

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Also we are dedicating our newly finished Grumman F9F Panther which was the Navy’s first successful carrier based jet fighter. For that honor we will have with us another very special guest, a man who has been called “The Forgotten Hero”, Capt E. Royce Williams! On November 18th, 1952, then Lt. Williams in a carrier based engagement of the Korean War shot down four MiG-15s. Forty years later it was revealed that all four were flown by Soviet pilots.

There will be food and birthday cake celebrating the Museum’s 21st Anniversary. So much fun going on! You can reserve your flights on the Stearman Bi Plane trainer by calling us at 760-778-6262 and for the B-25 at 805-377-2106.

Yes you can just come on in and get your flight on either the B-25 and/or Stearman. However there might be a wait for the next available seat. There are only so many seats per flight. So again try to make your phone reservations but come on in no matter what! You will be happy you did! Thanks!