Curtiss SB2C Helldiver Visits California

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The only airworthy Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, NX92879 made its first visit to California in many years in June 2006. It belongs to the Commemorative Air Force and is based in Texas.

SB2C-5 NX92879 served the U.S. Navy as BuNo 83589. Ed Maloney and The Ontario Air Museum acquired it in May 1963 and sold it to the Confederate Air Force at Harlingen, Texas in 1970. It was registered as N92879 and restored to airworthy condition in Ontario, California before its delivery to the CAF in November 1971. It flew for the CAF as USN #5. It crashed after an engine failure at Harlingen in August 1985. It flew again on September 27, 1988. It flies now as USN #32.

The Helldiver waiting on the Van Nuys Airport ramp on Monday, June 12, the day after the last Van Nuys Airshow.

Thirty-five years ago: SB2C-5 NX92879 is seen here at the Chino Airport in April 1971.

The crew pulls the propeller through before starting the engine.

The pilot cranks up the Wright R-2600 radial engine.

The Helldiver unfolds its wings as it prepares to depart.

Taking off from Runway 16R on its way to visit the Southern California Wing of the CAF at Camarillo.







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A dozen photos of the sole airworthy Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, N92879 at Van Nuys and Camarillo on June 12, 2006.

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Helldiver on the ramp at Camarillo, just over an hour after taking off from Van Nuys.

Helldiver taxis out to fly past the Jack Broome Ranch where the Quiet Birdmen Airshow and Barbecue was taking place.

The deck behind the gunner's station has been lowered to provide clearance for operation of the machine gun.

The Helldiver returning from the QB Airshow in the company of the Planes of Fame Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless, NX670AM.

Overhead break into the pattern for Runway 26.

On approach to land.

The Helldiver will be at Camarillo until Friday.


Another surviving Helldiver

This SB2C-3 served the U.S. Navy as BuNo 19075. Ed Maloney and The Air Museum acquired the Helldiver in 1963 and sold it to Dave Tallichet and Yesterday's Air Force in 1979. Tallichet restored it and registered it as N4250Y. Charles F. Nichols and the Yanks Air Museum bought it in 1987. It is seen here in the restoration hangar at the Yanks Air Museum at the Chino Airport on August 23, 2002.







Links

The CAF's Helldiver Home Page.

The Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force' Home Page.







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