Aircraft Collection

FEATURED COLLECTION

FG1D Corsair

The Olympic Flight Museum’s Corsair was built by Goodyear Aircraft Corporation in Akron, Ohio and was delivered to the US Navy on the 10th of July, 1945. Although too late to see combat action in WWII, she arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and was placed with the Marine Carrier Aircraft Service Unit 1 (MARCASU1) at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa (MCAS EWA).
 

P-51D Mustang

"american beauty"

The Mustang, designed initially to meet a British requirement for fighter service in Europe, became the leading US fighter in the European Theater of Operation during the final months of the war. The Mustang was designed and rolled out in 117 days.


Specifications
WINGSPAN: 37 feet
LENGTH: 32 feet; 2 inches
MAXIMUM WEIGHT: 11,600 lb
PERFORMANCE: Packard Merlin V-1650-7 12 Cyl, 1490HP Engine
TOP SPEED: 437 mph
RANGE: 950 miles without auxiliary fuel cells
CEILING: 41,900 feet
RATE OF CLIMB: 3,475 feet per minute
ARMAMENT: Six Browning M2 .50 Caliber Machine Guns
History

Produced: 15,551 (all variants)

Brief History:

  • 1951: RCAF 9300
  • 1958: N6313T
  • 1977: N51TK, “Lou IV” racer #19 (Tom Kelly)
  • 1986: N51KD, “Cutters Capers” race #91
  • 1993: (Wally Fisk)
  • 1999: Rep. new paint job “Slo-Mo-Shun” (Brian Reynolds)
  • 2000: New name: “American Beauty”

World War II History:

The Mustang, designed initially to meet a British requirement for fighter service in Europe, became the leading US fighter in the European Theater of Operation during the final months of the war. The Mustang was designed and rolled out in 117 days. It was first flown on October 26, 1940. The P-51is the synergism of every contemporary advanced aerodynamic and structural design; primarily, it was the first fighter with a laminar wing design. As a result, it held an exceptional internal fuel capacity and low drag enabling it to fly an extended combat radius.

The RAF first flew the P-51 on July 27, 1942 as the MK I Mustang, of which 620 were ordered. Although the aircraft had great potential, it was limited by its Allison engine and relegated primarily to ground attack and reconnaissance roles.

The USAAF ordered 500 Mustangs, the first buy as A-36A dive-bombers in late 1942. With an Allison powered V-1710-87 engine, the aircraft demonstrated high power at low level; however, it was inefficient above 15,000 feet with its single-stage supercharger. The aircraft wasn’t really wanted for an attack role, but was employed as a means to maintain the production line while the merits of the airframe were being argued. The A-36A was named the “Apache”, and then later the “Invader” until the name “Mustang” stuck. The aircrafts were moderately successful in the Mediterranean area of operation; claiming its share of aerial victories against the Luftwaffe in air-to-air combat.

Cautiously, the USAAF ordered an initial 150 P-51s mounted with four 20 mm cannons. Thereafter, 310 P-51As were ordered, with a 1,200 hp V-1710-81 engine, and four 0.5-in machine guns with racks for two 500-lb bombs.

The British took a dramatic step that began to turn off the cautious attitude toward the Mustang by proposing the Merlin engine be fitted into the air frame. There was even discussion that the engine should be placed behind the cockpit, similar to the P-39 configuration. In 1942, with installation of the two-stage Merlin engines and four-bladed propellers, the Mustang performed extremely well, exceeding 400 mph; and, the transformation produced a fighter that could equal or outperform any other aircraft in the air at that time. North American developed plans to manufacture the P-51 with the license-built Merlin 61, the Packard V-1650-3 in-line engine.

The USAAF ordered 2,200 P-51Bs followed on by the P-51Cs. The aircrafts were mounted with six 0.5 machine guns. The P-51D variant was ordered in 1943 and was introduced with the bubble canopy and dorsal fin to control stability problems. Even though the Malcom hood, which enhanced visibility on the British Mustang Mk II and Mk III, was employed by the USAAF, it was the bubble canopy that became the standard feature of the P-51. Few P-51Ds were operated by the British as the Mustang Mk V. Later P-51Ds included an additional 85-gal fuel cell behind the pilot’s seat. This enabled the Mustang’s combat radius to extend from England to Berlin and back.


P51D 44-13926, of the 361st FG, 8AF flown by
1st Lt. Urban Drew during WWII.

In an effort to lower the Mustang’s weight, the P-51H variant came about with a taller tail, of which 555 were manufactured. This version came late into the war and flew missions from the Philippines prior to VJ day.

The P-51K was the Dallas, Texas variant of the Inglewood, California
P-51D, sporting a different propeller, of which 1,500 were built. In combat, the Mustang proved to be significant in its role to wartime victory. The aircraft was employed throughout 40 USAAF fighter groups and 31 RAF squadrons. The P-51 Mustang’s combat record is generally considered to consist of: 4,950 aerial victories, and 4,131 ground kills resulting in an 11:1 “kill ratio”.

 

PT-17 Stearman

first flying in 1934

The Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 is a biplane, of which 10,346 were built in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s as a military trainer aircraft. Stearman became a subsidiary of Boeing in 1934. Widely known as the “Stearman”, “Boeing-Stearman” or “Kaydet”, it served as a Primary Trainer (PT) for the USAAF, as a basic trainer for the USN (as the NS1 & N2S), and with the RCAF as the “Kaydet” throughout World War II.


Specifications
WINGSPAN: 32 feet, 2 inches
LENGTH: 24 feet, 9 inches
MAXIMUM WEIGHT: 2,635 pounds
PERFORMANCE: 1 Continental R-670-5 seven-cylinder air-cooled radial 220 hp engine
TOP SPEED: 135 mph
RANGE: 505 miles
CEILING: 13,200 feet
RATE OF CLIMB: 840 feet per minute
ARMAMENT:
History

The Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 is a biplane, of which 10,346 were built in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s as a military trainer aircraft. Stearman became a subsidiary of Boeing in 1934. Widely known as the “Stearman”, “Boeing-Stearman” or “Kaydet”, it served as a Primary Trainer (PT) for the USAAF, as a basic trainer for the USN (as the NS1 & N2S), and with the RCAF as the “Kaydet” throughout World War II. After World War II, thousands of surplus aircraft were sold on the civil market. In the immediate post-war years they became popular as crop dusters and as sports planes.

AIRCRAFT NOT ON DISPLAY
 

A6M2 “Tora” Zero

first flying in 1937

The A6M2 and it follow-on versions were considered one of the finest carrier fighter designs of WWII.


Specifications
WINGSPAN: 36 feet, 11-3/32 inches
LENGTH: 29 feet, 11 inches
MAXIMUM WEIGHT: 6,095 lb
PERFORMANCE: Mitsubishi NK1F Sake Engine, 980HP at 19,685 feet
TOP SPEED: 351 mph
RANGE: 1,171 miles at cruising speed of 230 mph
CEILING: 38,520 feet
RATE OF CLIMB: 2,526 feet per minute
ARMAMENT: Two Type 99 20mm cannons, one each wing; Two Type 97 machine guns in upper fuselage; Two 132-lb bombs, one under each wing
History

The A6M2 and it follow-on versions were considered one of the finest carrier fighter designs of WWII.

Pre-War War II:

In 1937, in light of combat reports from China, the Imperial Japanese Navy established specifications for a new carrier fighter aircraft. The aircraft had to achieve a maximum speed of 500 km/h at 4000 meters; a climb to 3000 meters in 3.5 minutes; an endurance a 1.5 to 2 hours at normal power and fully loaded and with additional fuel tank; or 6 to 8 hours at economical cruising speed; armament requirement consisted of two 20mm cannons and two 7.7 mm machine guns, and two 30 kg or 60 kg bombs; a complete radio set; a wing span of less than 12 meters; and maneuverability at least comparable to the A5M type 96 aircraft.

The specifications were presented to the Nakajima and Mitsubishi aircraft manufacturing teams. Nakajima considered the new requirements unrealistic and pulled out of the running. The Mitsubishi team, led by Jiro Horikoshi, presented a two-bladed propeller, low-winged monoplane with a retractable landing gear, and powered by a Mitsubishi Zuisei 13 engine. The aircraft presented a large canopy for an excellent view. The first prototype, the A6M1, was flown my Katsuzo Shima on April 1, 1939. The two-bladed propeller was soon replaced by a three-bladed propeller. On September 14, 1939, the Japanese Navy accepted the aircraft as the A6M1 Type 0 carrier fighter. After further testing the Mitsubishi Zuisei engine was replaced by the Nakajima Sakae engine and re-designated the A6M2. On July 31, 1940, the A6M2, named “Reisen”, entered into production as the Navy Type 0 carrier fighter, Model 11.

First Combat:

In August 1940, 15 pre-production A6M2s went to China. On September 13, 1940, 13 “Reisens”, led by Saburo Shindo attacked 27 Chinese I-15s and I-16s–all the Chinese aircraft were shot down without any Japanese losses.

World War II:

In November 1940, the aircraft was redesigned with manually folding wingtips so that the aircraft could fit on the deck elevators of Japanese aircraft carriers; it was designated as the Model 21. Production continued for two years in the Mitsubishi and Nakajima plants. A total of 1,540 aircrafts of this version were manufactured. The model 21 took part in the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, the New Guinea and the Solomon operations.

In October 1942, the Reisen (Zero) fought its last air campaign during the Battle of Santa Cruz. Thereafter, the A6M2 was replaced by the A6M3 and relegated to second line duties and training. The Reisen provided the basis for two other versions, the A6M2-N float plane, named the Rufe, and the A6M2-K two-seat trainer.

In the early years of the Pacific air war, the Reisen was a tight turning aircraft; it can turn on a dime. To gain its great maneuverability, it had to sacrifice amour protection for the pilot; thereby it was fragile and almost completely unprotected from enemy fire. An American fighter armed with .50 caliber machine guns is likely to tear the A6M2 in half and instantly kill the pilot if given a chance to fire from the rear. American pilots respected the Reisen by avoiding a dog fight. The outcome is the A6M2 would most likely out maneuver the American fighter. The American fighter pilot’s best approach was a rapid dive onto the rear of the A6M2.

A Japanese Ace, Saburo Saki:

Probably the most famous Japanese air war veteran of the Pacific, Saburo Sakai survived WWII with 64 confirmed aerial victories over US aircraft. His first actions, after Pearl Harbor, were in the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies. He shot down the first US bomber, a B-17E during the third day after the United States entered into WWII. He flew long-range missions from Rabaul to Guadalcanal before he moved to New Guinea, where he scored most of his 64 victories.

He was seriously wounded in 1943 during an attack on a formation of Dauntless dive bombers; whereby, he lost his right eye. The backseat gunner in a Dauntless creased his skull with a round. A year later, he was back flying and shot down four more aircraft. He saw action over Iwo Jima. His last engagement was on August 17, 1945; two days after Japan surrendered to the Allied forces.

In an act of chivalry, Sakai was ordered to shoot down any enemy aircraft during a bombing run of Java. Sakai encountered a civilian DC-4. He initially assumed important people were fleeing. He notices a woman and a child through the window, and decided not to shoot down the aircraft. He ordered the DC-4 pilot to continue on its course. Years later, he was interviewed by Dutch newspapermen regarding the event.

Above is a photo of Saburo Sakai. He became a historical advisor to the Microsoft, Inc., during the production of Combat Flight Simulator 2, died in Tokyo on September 22, 2000 at the age of 84.


 

L-39ZO Albatros

first flying in 1968

There are more than 2,800 L-39s belonging to more than 30 air forces world wide. The L-39 is very versatile from light attack missions to basic and advanced pilot training—it is the most widely used jet trainer in the world.


Specifications
WINGSPAN: 31 feet
LENGTH: 39 feet, 10 inches
MAXIMUM WEIGHT: 12,560 pounds
PERFORMANCE: 1 Progressive/Ivchenko AI-25TL turbofan engine
TOP SPEED: 470 mph at 16,000 feet
RANGE: 620 miles
CEILING: 37,730 feet
RATE OF CLIMB: 4,130 feet per minute
ARMAMENT: Up to 2,840 pounds of stores on four external hardpoints including: AAMs (K-13) missiles, 7.62mm machine-gun pods, free-fall cluster bombs, rocket launchers and drop tanks
History

The Aero L-39 Albatros is a high performance, jet trainer aircraft. It was developed in Czechoslovakia to replace the L-29 Delfin. The L-39 was the very first turbofan-powered trainer. The trainer is stilled produced as the more advanced L-159 Alca. There are more than 2,800 L-39s belonging to more than 30 air forces world wide. The L-39 is very versatile from light attack missions to basic and advanced pilot training—it is the most widely used jet trainer in the world.

 

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