Planes of Fame Air Museum Special Event, Chino: October 8, 2000


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The Planes of Fame Air Museum at Chino, California hosted a flying display of numerous warbirds in early October. I shot these pictures on Sunday, October 8.

To avoid any confusion, I would like to point out that I have no affiliation with the Planes of Fame Air Museum. I was just a spectator at their airshow.

Hear the sound of the Flying Wing

Founded over 43 years ago, The Air Museum "Planes of Fame," a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is dedicated to preserving aviation history for the benefit of future generations. Currently, The Air Museum houses over 150 aircraft at its two locations, the main facility at chino Airport in California and a satellite museum near the Grand Canyon at Valle Airport in Arizona.  The Air Museum displays aircraft spanning the history of manned flight, from a replica of the Chanute Hang Glider of 1896, through modern space flight, and includes numerous milestone achieving test and research flight vehicles.

Northrop N9MBNorthrop N9MB Flying Wing is now registered N9MB, although it carried no registration when it was flown as a one-third scale, free-flying, wind-tunnel model of the XB-35 bomber. It is owned by the Planes of Fame Air Museum at Chino, California. It is powered by a pair of Franklin OX 540-7 eight-cylinder opposed engines.

Northrop N9MB stored in Ontario, 1971

In 1971, the outer wing panels of the N9MB were stored in a vacant lot near the Ontario Airport with a number of airplanes from the Planes of Fame collection. They are at the far left, next to the forward fuselage of B-36H, 51-5720.

Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat N4994V Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat N4994V is registered to the Planes of Fame Museum. The FAA database lists the museum's address as Anchorage, Alaska. It was originally Navy BuNo 93879. It has been with the museum since 1958 when the museum was located in Claremont. It is powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial engine.

Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat N4994V, George Air Force Base, May 4, 1975

F6F-5 Hellcat, N4994V at an airshow at George Air Force Base on May 4, 1975.

Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless NX670AM Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless NX670AM is registered to the Air Museum at Chino, California. It was built as Navy BuNo 28536 but delivered to the Royal New Zealand Air Force as NZ5062. After the war it was used as a wind machine by MGM Studios. Wings from another SBD were recovered from Guadalcanal to return this Dauntless to flying condition in 1987. It flew its first flight after reconstruction on February 7, 1987. Note the perforated dive brakes and the swinging bomb cradle. It is powered by a Wright R-1820 radial engine.

19 years ago: Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless, NX670AM on display at the Air Museum Planes of Fame on October 18, 1987.

Douglas A-1D (AD-4NA) Skyraider, NX409Z Douglas A-1D (AD-4NA) Skyraider, NX409Z has been owned by Cinema Air of Carlsbad, California since 1992. It still carries its original Bureau of Aeronautics number 126997. It was loaned to the French Armee de l'air as No.78 in 1961. It was re-imported to the United States by Jack Spanich of Detroit, Michigan in 1977 and registered as N92053. It was sold to Landon Cullum of Dallas, Texas in July 1986, when it received its current registration. It is powered by a Wright R-3350-42 radial engine.

Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat, N198F Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat, N198F has been owned by Cinema Air of Houston, Texas since June 1982. It still carries its original Bureau of Aeronautics number 122637. It was first registered as N1033B in 1963 by William Johnson of Miami, Florida. Subsequently it was owned by New Jersey Air Company of Hackensack, New Jersey from 1966 to 1968, Sherman Cooper of Merced,California from 1968 to 1971, and John Church of Hackensack, New Jersey from 1971 to 1973. John Gury of St. Louis, Missouri changed the registration to N198F in 1973. Gury raced it under race numbers 99, 11, and 98. It was sold to John Herlihy of Montara, California in 1980 and then to Cecil Harp of Canby, Oregon in 1981. It is powered by a Wright R-1820 radial engine.

Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat, N198F, Chino Airport, September 2, 1978

F8F-2 Bearcat, N198F on the flightline at the Chino Airport on September 2, 1978.

Grumman F3F Flying Barrel N20FG Grumman F3F Flying Barrel N20FG is owned by Cinema Air of Carlsbad, California. It was manufactured by the Texas Airplane Factory. It is powered by a Wright R-1820 radial engine.

North American F-86F Sabre, N4TF and MiG-15, NX87CN Korean War vintage North American F-86F Sabre is owned by Tom Friedkin of the Cinema Air Corporation and registered N4TF. Its Air Force serial was 52-5012. MiG-15 was registered by the Air Museum at Chino as NX87CN in February 1999. It was operated by the Chinese Air Force as 83277. Tom Friedkin first registered it in the U. S. in June 1991

North American P-51D Mustang, NL5441V North American P-51D Mustang owned by the Planes of Fame Museum and registered NL5441V. Its original serial was 45-11582. It has belonged to the Air Museum since June 1956. It is powered by a Packard V-1650 license built version of the Rolls Royce Merlin.

Republic P-47G Thunderbolt, N3395G The Planes of Fame Museum's Republic P-47G "razorback" Thunderbolt is registered N3395G. Its original serial was 42-25254. It was manufactured under license by Curtiss. It was purchased by the Grand Central Aircraft Company of Glendale, California in 1944. Cal Aero Technical Institute used the airframe as a mechanic training aid from 1950 to 1955. The Claremont Air Museum acquired it in October 1955. It was restored to flying condition at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The restoration began in 1958, and it first flew in 1963, when it received its current registration. It flew as Roscoe's Retreat for a while. It crashed during an airshow at Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station, California on October 23, 1971. The next time it flew was in 1976. It is powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial engine.

Yak-11, NX498SD NX498SD is a single seat conversion of a Yak-11 trainer. It has been retrofitted with a Pratt and Whitney R-2000 radial engine. It is registered to Samuel Davis of Corona, California.

North American P-51D Mustang, "Wee Willy II" NL7715C, and P-51D NL5441V At the right is North American P-51D Mustang, "Wee Willy II", owned by Steve Hinton and registered NL7715C. This Mustang has adopted the identity of the Red Baron RB-51 racer, once the fastest piston powered aircraft in the world. Its original serial was 44-84961, but it carries 413334 on its tail. The Air Force disposed of it at McClellan Air Force Base, California in 1958. It was purchased by Capitol Airways of Nashville, Tennessee and registered as N7715C. In July 1964 it was acquired by Charles Willis Jr., Frank Lynitt, and Charles Hall of Seattle, Washington. They raced it as #5, first named "Red Baron", then "Miss RJ". Gunther Balz of Kalamazoo, Michigan bought it in July 1971 and changed its name to "Roto-Finish", keeping race number 5. John Sliker of Wadley, Georgia picked it up in October 1973, but sold it to Ed Browning of Brownings Incorporated in Idaho Falls the following February. Brownings Inc. installed a Rolls Royce Griffon engine with contra-rotating propellers and called it the "Red Baron" RB-51. It first flew with the Griffon engine on March 6, 1975. It set the world's piston engined speed record of 499.018 miles per hour on August 14, 1979. It crashed with Steve Hinton at the controls at the Reno Air Races that September. Hinton survived the crash. Richard Ransofer of Grapevine, Texas acquired the wreckage in 1980. Steve Hinton and Fighter Rebuilders at Chino transferred the dataplate and probably a small section of the fuselage of the "Red Baron" wreck to P-51D, 44-73053 to reconstruct "Wee Willy II". It first flew after reconstruction in September 1985. Some of the hulk of the RB-51 was acquired by Terry and Bill Rogers of Sherman, Texas in 1989 to be used in another Griffon powered race conversion, but Rogers' efforts were diverted into the rebuilding of Vendetta into Miss Ashley II.

Red Baron RB-51 Griffon powered Mustang, Mojave Air Races, June 1975

Debut of the Red Baron RB-51 Griffon powered Mustang at the Mojave Air Races in June 1975. The vertical stabilizer was enlarged and a ventral fin was added not long afterward.

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, N47DF Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, is registered to Ted Melsheimer of Carson City, Nevada as N47DF. It was built as 45-49335, but it carries tail number 45-49385. In the early seventies it was owned by Vintage Aircraft International of Nyack, New York. It was reassembled by the Confederate Air Force in Harlingen, Texas in 1973 and flew as "Unadilla Killa" of the 354th Fighter Group. In 1974 it was sold to Tom Friedkin of Palomar, California. In April 1975 it went to the Military Aircraft Restoration Group at Chino, which stored it at Barstow-Dagget airport in California for several years. It crashed on take-off on March 7, 1980 at Barstow. It was rebuilt in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After that it was based in Caspar Wyoming through 1986. It was loaned to the Liberal Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas until 1990. In October 1990 it made a forced landing near Flagstaff, Arizona while it was being ferried from Topeka, Kansas to Chino. It is powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial engine.

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, N47DF, George Air Force Base, May 4, 1975 P-47D Thunderbolt, "Unadilla Killa" at George Air Force Base on May 4, 1975.

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, N47DF, Barstow, 1978 or 1979 P-47D Thunderbolt, "Unadilla Killa" at Barstow in 1978 or 1979. Photo courtesy David Gibson.

Lockheed P-38J Lightning, "Joltin' Josie" NX138AM "Joltin' Josie", Lockheed P-38J Lightning, NX138AM is registered to the Air Museum at Chino. It was built as Army Air Corps 44-23314. It was acquired by the Hanfield School of Aeronautics in Santa Maria, California in 1950. Jack Hardwicke of El Monte, California registered it as N29Q in 1954. He sold it to the Air Museum in Ontario, California in 1960 where it sat on static display for seventeen years. It was restored to flying condition, making its first flight on July 22, 1988. It then went to the Planes of Fame East museum in Minnesota. Bob Pond purchased it in October 1989 and registered it as N38BP.It returned to the Air Museum at Chino in 1998. It is powered by a pair of Allison V-1710 twelve-cylinder engines.

Lockheed P-38J Lightning, "Joltin' Josie" NX138AM and Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Tr 9., N308WK Lockheed P-38J "Joltin' Josie" and William Greenwood's two-place Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Tr 9. The Spitfire is registered N308WK. It was provided to the Irish Air Corps as 163 in 1951. The Irish used it as an instructional airframe at Baldonel Air Base, Eire until 1968. Samuelson Film Services in Elstree restored it to flying condition for the movie Battle of Britain in 1968. At the time, it received the registration G-AWGB. Sir W. Roberts of Shoreham acquired it in December 1969. It was sold to Don Plumb of Windsor, Ontario in 1970 and registered as CF-RAF. Plumb converted the trainer to a single seat configuration. In 1975 the registration was revised as C-FRAF. Later in 1975, it was sold to Thomas Watson of the Owls Head Transport Museum in Maine and registered as N92477. Woodson Woods of Scottsdale, Arizona bought it in October 1979, at which time it received its current registration. Woods converted it back to its stock trainer configuration and displayed it at the Carefree Aviation Museum. It was acquired by Aero Meridian Corporation, also of Scottsdale, in November 1982. Greenwood bought N308WK in 1983. It is powered by a Rolls Royce Merlin V-12 engine.

Hawker Sea Fury FB Mk. 11, "Argonaut" Brian Sanders in Hawker Sea Fury FB Mk. 11, "Argonaut" with smoke generators on the wing tips. Its original Bristol Centaurus engine has been replaced with a Wright R-3350 radial engine.

General Motors FM-2 (license built Grumman F4F Wildcat), N29FG General Motors FM-2 is a license built version of the Grumman F4F Wildcat. This one has been registered as N29FG since July 1991. Air Service Control Incorporated of West Bend, Wisconson registered it as N90523 in the early fifties. They sold it to Frank Tallman's museum at the Orange County Airport, California in 1960. Wade Porter of Columbus, Indiana bought it in 1963 and sold it to the Yankee Air Club of Sunderland, Massachusetts in 1966. It joined the Damned Yankee Air Force at Turner Falls, Massachusetts later that year. William Whitesell of Medford, New Jersey acquired it in 1969 and sold it to Doug Champlin on Enid, Oklahoma in 1971. He moved it to the Champlin Fighter Museum at Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona in 1978. Tom Friedkin of Cinema Air in Houston, Texas bought it from Champlin in December 1990 and registered it as N16TF. He moved it to Cinema Air of Carlsbad, California and re-registered it as N29FG the next year. It is powered by a Wright R-1820 radial engine.

General Motors FM-2, N29FG, Champlin Fighter Museum, December 31, 1981

General Motors FM-2, N29FG was displayed at the Champlin Fighter Museum on December 31, 1981

Aichi D3A Val replica (modified Consolidated-Vultee BT-15) Aichi D3A Val replica is a modified Consolidated-Vultee BT-15 that was sold to the civilian market in the 40's. It was modified to represent a Japanese Val for the 1969 movie TORA TORA TORA. The modification consisted of an extra 3 feet of fuselage added between the rear cockpit and the tail, a large fiberglass dorsal fin, raised sides of the fuselage and lower canopies. The modifications also incorporated large fiberglass wheel pants. Its Wright R-975 engine was replaced with a Pratt and Whitney R-1340. After the movie was completed the Val was sold to the San Diego Aerospace Museum. The Planes of Fame Museum collected the Val back in 1973. It was returned to airworthy condition for the new Disney Pearl Harbor film.

Visit Muche's Warbirds Val Replica page for more information.

Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" NX46770 Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" NX46770 is registered to the Planes of Fame Museum of Chino. It was captured by U. S. troops at Asilito Airfield, Saipan on June 18, 1944. It was shipped to the U. S. for evaluation, arriving in San Diego, California on July 16, 1944. It was flown for approximately 190 hours by Navy pilots at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland. Ed Maloney acquired it for the Air Museum in Claremont in 1950. It first flew after restoration on June 28, 1978. It is powered by an original Sakai 21 radial engine.

Mitsubishi A6M "Zero", NX46770, Chino Airshow, May 20, 1984

The A6M leads a pair of Corsairs and a Mustang at the Chino Airshow on May 20, 1984.

Curtiss P-40N Warhawk, NL85104 Curtiss P-40N Warhawk is registered as NL85104. Its Army Air Corps serial was 42-105192. It was delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force as 858. Fred Dyson bought it at Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington on October 23, 1947. It was owned by W. Bridges in Jackson, Mississippi from 1952 to 1954. Louis Rice of Marysville, California bought it in 1954 and very quickly sold it to Richard Rowlette of Riverside, California. Walter Brockin, also of Riverside, acquired it in 1955 and then sold it to W. Keith Larkin of Weather Modification Company in San Jose, California. It was damaged in a wheels up landing near Denver, Colorado in 1958. The Air Museum in Ontario restored it to static display condition in 1959. Restoration of the airframe was begun in 1977. It made its first flight after restoration in 1981, when it acquired its current registration. It is powered by an Allison V-1710 twelve-cylinder engine.

Curtiss P-40N Warhawk, NL85104

P-40N Warhawk, NL85104 at the Chino Airport on October 18, 1987.

North American B-25J, "Photo Fanny" N3675G North American B-25J "Photo Fanny" N3675G registered to James Maloney of Corona Del Mar, California. Its Army Air Corps tail number was 44-30423. It joined the Air Museum in Ontario, California in 1965. It is often used for air-to-air photography sessions of the warbirds flying out of Chino. It is powered by a pair of Wright R-2600 radial engines.

North American B-25J, "Betty Grable" N3675G, El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, April 28, 1990

B-25J, N3675G was painted olive drab over gray and named "Betty Grable" when it appeared at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station airshow on April 28, 1990.

North American B-25J Mitchell, "Pacific Princess" N9856C North American B-25J Mitchell, "Pacific Princess" has been registered as N9856C since 1963. It is currently owned by Ted Itano of Monterey Park, California. It still carries its original Air Corps tail number 3-28204. While still in the service of the Air Force, it was redesignated TB-25N. Idaho Aircraft Incorporated of Boise operated it as a tanker in 1963. Dennis Smilanich of Boise owned it from 1963 to 1966. Filmways Incorporated acquired it for use in the movie Catch-22 and then sold it to Ted Itano in 1972.

North American B-25J Mitchell, "Pacific Princess" N9856C,  Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station, October 17, 1982

Ted Itano's B-25J, "Pacific Princess" was painted as a Navy PBJ when it appeared at the Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station airshow on October 17, 1982.


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