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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:52 am 
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It has been awhile since we have posted anything, but again not a lot to report as far as Kay goes. Between Covid and getting the DC-3 ready for the Christmas Lights Flights every night thru 1 Jan, there hasn’t been much progress compared to our usual turnout of troops. The holiday season also impacts our work level. That said, the 25 hour inspection, repair of the speed brake actuator and the installation of two freshly overhauled igniter boxes in our T-33 has been completed. The only remaining item is the installation of a couple of USB ports to power our IPads. After the holidays, we will resume training flights. Our lead stick actuator just completed a Beechjet 400A type rating at CAE. This is very similar to the USAF T-1A, multi engine jet trainer. So that’s all the news. But mainly we want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a great New Year. Let’s hope 2021 sees us back in the airshow business.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:41 pm 
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Amen to that! Shoot me a PM if "Kay" is going to be out in the west in late summer 2021.

Tom P.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:35 am 
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No plans yet for going west, but later in the year, we would be open to invitations out that way. Wendover certainly has an historic connection to the 509th. One of the core groups came from the Dalhart Army Airfield in the Texas Panhandle where B-17 crews from the ETO were training for transition to the B-29. When Col Tibbets went to his friend General Frank Armstrong for recommendations for crews in his training command to pull to form the Atomic Bomb unit, Armstrong pointed him to Texas. BTW, Gen Armstrong and Paul Tibbets formed the composite character of Gen Frank Savage from the 12 O’clock High book according to the writer who was on 8th AF staff. Armstrong and Tibbets worked together on starting B-17 missions out of the UK. Dalhart was used for training several types through the war years but the one the grabbed our attention was the A-26. We had talked to the Dalhart Chamber of Commerce last year about bringing Kay to their proposed airshow. Of course, Covid changed that plan. We are still hopeful though. Our Chief stick actuator got his first dose of c virus vaccine today. It went very smoothly with no adverse reaction. It was like getting a flu shot. Now if enough people can do likewise, maybe the airshow business will be revived. For those who like the smell of burnt jet fuel, the T-33 has a couple of training sorties at VFM (Meacham) on Saturday morning around 0900. Feel free to come visit, but masks are required.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:33 pm 
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Sounds good - planning / anticipating an airshow in September - but what will that look like? Right now we are able to have the museum open as long as people stay distanced and wear masks, but bringing in a few thousand of our friends is another matter - LOL. All of the local businesses are all for it but we have to play safe and play by the health guidelines.

Tom P.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:03 pm 
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Coming up on the weekend at VFM, we are open, but work continues to be slow on Kay. We are taking a lot of precautions with Covid. Visitors must wear masks and observe social distancing until the pandemic is under control. The CAF B-29 is being prepped for departure in May to go on tour. When it returns, it will move to the new museum home at Dallas Executive Airport, the CAF Nation HQ. The B-24 is waiting on some landing gear parts, but it should follow behind FiFI shortly. So if you want to see these up close, this would be a good time to do so. That said, with their move, a lot of hangar space becomes available for new warbirds, preferably flying or close to being restored to fly. The rent is reasonable and there are metal & other shops available for use. Contact Bill or Chuckie at the Vintage Flying Museum website. The T-33 is operational, but due to uncooperative weather will not fly this weekend. It may go during the week, however. Check our Facebook page for when. http://www.Facebook.com/a26specialkay
Hope everybody stays safe and healthy!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 4:07 pm 
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March 20, this coming Saturday, is “Ride Day” at the Vintage Flying Museum. The B-29, CAF A-26, T-34, Stearman, T-6 and C-47 will be selling rides. The T-33 will be on display with an open cockpit. If you prebuy a ride then admission is free. Be sure to bring a receipt. There will be a food truck with excellent burgers and BBQ too. Should be a fun day watching all of the flying activities. Fort Worth Meacham airport will be the place to be! Be sure to mark your calendar. See you there!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:13 pm 
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Now that the weather is warming up and several of the team members have received vaccinations, good progress has been made on Kay. We are picking up where we left off last year. The cockpit is being completely restored and given new paint. Several sheetmetal projects are close to being finished. Our next step will be to put the nose back on so we can jack the airplane to pull the nose gear for a complete inspection and servicing. This is one of the weak links in the A-26 design and one, if it fails, that results in costly replacements of the props and overhaul of the engines. On another note, the T-33 is operational and we have training sorties planned this week. We hope to be ready with both birds for the return of the Fall airshows. Btw, the next Ride Day(s) at the Vintage Flying Museum will be sponsored by the CAF on 15-16 May. The CAF Invader Squadron A-26 will participate this time. The A-26 flew on Saturday. The R-2800 noise was beautiful. Stay tuned for more info.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:41 pm 
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A26 Special K wrote:
Our next step will be to put the nose back on so we can jack the airplane to pull the nose gear for a complete inspection and servicing. This is one of the weak links in the A-26 design and one, if it fails, that results in costly replacements of the props and overhaul of the engines.

& it sounds like a hailstorm inside the aircraft as all the asphalt/concrete that the props threw into the air comes back down.
On the upside, instead of cutting up & throwing the wooden prop stand into the dumpster, I dismantled it, took it home & made a workbench from it. So now I have a Hamilton Standard workbench :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 4:57 am 
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We are getting the band back together…finally. Major efforts are underway to get back on track. We can see light at the end of the tunnel to start putting the nose back on and start the nose gear removal for NDT and lubrication. VFM has asked to use Kay and BUBA as backdrops for the annual Hangar Dance on Oct 9 so we have to have her presentable by then. Big Band WW2 music and lots of dancing to the oldies. Dinner is optional, but it has been quite good in the past. Put it on your calendar! Meanwhile, we are seeking airshows after 9 Oct for Oct and Nov plus next year. Please help us spread the word to your local airshow directors. Hopefully, the airshows will recover and be back to normal in the coming months.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2021 9:49 pm 
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We continue to work on Kay. The instrument panel is about to be declared done with all new LED lighting. Our sheet metal guys are close to finishing their part even though they got pulled off some for their day jobs over to other side of the field where they make F-35’s. Spark plugs are reinstalled in both engines so some work needs to be done to hook up the leads. The T-33 crew tackles the inspection that is due by pulling off the tail and removing the engine on Saturday. The DC-3 is scheduled to give rides at the 4th of July celebration at the New Braunfels airport. The B-29 and B-24 are out on tour so the hangar looks a little more spacious now. If you need a hangar in the DFW area for your Warbird, VFM is taking applications! Drop by and say howdy some Saturday!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 10:54 pm 
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Work on Kay has slowed down a bit, but should pick back up shortly. We have some people out for various reasons. Our next big project is to remove the nose gear for the usual NDT. There is the remainder of the 50 hr check to do and get the carbs overhauled. The shop says there is about a 4 to 6 week turnaround time as they are playing catch-up after Covid as well. They estimate a $7000 cost so inflation is truly raising its ugly head. Actually it has more to do with the single source of the diaphragms that go inside the carb. What used to cost 60 to 100 bucks is now $990. We are in hopes another manufacturer will start the production line again. On the other side of the hangar, the T-33 is all disassembled for inspection. We are looking for some special hoses to be made for the engine to put it all back together. Rumor has it that a very nicely restored J-3 Cub will be flying in soon to join VFM family. There are still slots available for other warbirds. Contact VFM for more info.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 6:26 pm 
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Kay is making great progress now. The sheetmetal guys are replacing one rib in the nose that a small part of the bottom portion corroded off. The nose gear has been inspected and is going back together. Should go back in maybe in two weeks. Meanwhile the T-33 engine inspection was completed and the Nene was slid back into the engine bay we are waiting on our GPU to come back from the repair shop to do a gear swing and hydraulic system check. A Functional Check Flight will complete the check if all is ok. We installed a couple of USB ports to power our IPad mini’s. This gives us a magenta line to follow! So the jet is probably three weeks away from resuming operations. It is scheduled for the Davis-Monthan AFB show 5-7 Nov.


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