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Entries in Aircraft (16)


Red Fresco

Kathy and I made plans to go to 3 car shows on Saturday. Unfortunately 2 had been cancelled. The remaining show was in Rialto and was excellent. On the way home we stopped at the Chino Planes of Fame Museum. This is a MiG-17 fighter designed in Russia. The NATO code name for the MiG-17 is Fresco. All Russian fighters were assigned NATO code names that started with a letter F. For example, the names for the MiG-15, 19 and 21 were Fagot, Farmer and Fishbed respectively. This example has been nicely restored, its bright red and black paint stood out beautifully when compared to the other aircraft in this hanger which were mainly silver or grey. American pilots that encountered the MiG-17 over Vietnam quickly learned that trying to turn with this nimble aircraft would most likely result in the MiG shooting them down. The solution was to fight in the vertical plane, using the American aircraft's superior thrust to accelerate away from the MiG and re-engage from a more advantageous position. In the 1960's, a few flyable examples of the MiG-17 were "obtained" by U.S. intelligence agencies and participated in mock combat against American pilots and aircraft to train them in methods of effectively overcoming the MiG's advantages in the skies over Vietnam. One valuable lesson they learned was that at speeds over 450 knots, the MiG's control stick would partially lock up. American pilots engaged by the MiG were instructed to accelerate to 500+ knots and evade. The MiG would be unable to follow.


The Liberator

The Liberator, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

I've read about them in books and seen them many times on DVD's and TV but until this October I had never set eyes on a real B-24 bomber. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. Manufactured by the Consolidated Aircraft Company of San Diego, the B-24M Liberator bomber was 13th version of this aircraft to be built. About 20 minutes after I took this 10 exposure HDR image, the skies opened up and it rained hard. I took refuge under the huge delta wing of a Canadian Vulcan Bomber and put my camera back into my rolling backpack. My day at the museum was cut short, but I was able to return the next day to finish my tour.


Lead Sled

Lead Sled, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

Formerly cloaked in absolute secrecy and for decades regarded to be the fastest jet powered aircraft the world has ever known, this SR-71 Blackbird now sits quietly in front of the Castle Air Museum in Atwater California. I've seen Blackbirds in mueseums before but never outside and never in a setting where I could freely use my full size tripod to create an HDR image. This is one of my favorite aircraft.


Under Your Wing

Under Your Wing, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

The US Navy's RA-5C Vigilante aircraft has a giant wing. I was hiding from the sun here for a while so I decided to lay down and take a photo. Some smart ass kids asked If I had fallen and couldn't get back up. I regained my feet rapidly and towered over them not saying a word. They left immediately. Little yuppie larvae.


Double Trouble

Double Trouble, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

Two pristine P-51 Mustang fighters line up for their afternoon flight. An American design powered by a British engine, the P-51 was greatly feared by German pilots during World War 2. Kathy and I waited to see them take off and I have to say there is nothing in this world like the sound of the Merlin engine.


Glory Days

Glory Days, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

I was a little shocked to see the condition of this seemingly famous experimental aircraft. It was rotting away in the boneyard at the Chino Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, CA. It turns out this is just a television prop. It was built and used for a show called Quantum Leap in 1989. The actual X-2 became the first aircraft to fly higher than 100,000 feet with pilot Iven C. Kincheloe at the controls. It was lost after becoming the first aircraft to fly in excess of Mach 3. The pilot Milburn G. "Mel" Apt was killed and the test program was ended.


Phantom on Deck

Phantom on Deck, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

This is an amazingly restored McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighter bomber on the flight deck of the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum which is located in San Diego bay. No longer in active service with the U.S. military, the Phantom was an all weather, two seat, twin engined aircraft used extensively during the Vietnam war. This aircraft is located in the landing area of the flight deck. A volunteer docent who was a former F-4 pilot with over 600 carrier landings was available to explain how Navy aircraft are recovered aboard.


Ghost Squadron in Fading Light

These historic aircraft are awaiting funds and skilled hands to restore them to flight conditon. Making history by saving it, the Chino Planes of Fame museum is an amazing place.


Intruder's Resting Place

Intruder's Resting Place, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

Saved from the wreckers ball, these two A6-E Intruders await restoration at the Yanks Air Museum in Chino California. The two seat all weather aircraft saw service beginning in the Vietnam conflict serving the fleet as light bombers.


Push Back

Wee Willy II being pushed back into the hanger after flying in from Arizona.

Push Back