A decline in recent years of participation in the warbird aircraft judging program at the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo in Lakeland, Florida, has prompted officials to suspend the program in 2012. According to officials from the Warbirds of America, they and Sun ‘n Fun officials will reevaluate the program during the one-year stand-down. WOA is seeking the input of the warbird community on the topic. You can add your input via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stallion 51 will kick off a yearlong “Silver Jubilee” commemoration at this year’s Sun ’n Fun International Fly-in and Expo in Lakeland, Fla., March 27-April 1. Sun ’n Fun will dedicate Friday, March 30, to Stallion 51 in commemoration of its 25 years. Lee Lauderback, Stallion 51’s president and chief pilot, will perform his signature solo Mustang routine at the beginning of the night air show that will culminate Sun ’n Fun’s “Stallion 51 Day.”
On Saturday, Feb. 18, the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, Calif., will host a National Warbirds Operators Conference event. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. there will be tours at Planes of Fame and at 5 p.m. there will be a flyover of three museum aircraft — two 2 P-51s — Wee Willy and Spam Can — and the museum’s P-40. Additionally there will be visiting aircraft on display: Julie Clark’s T-34 Mentor, Mike McDougall’s TA-4J Skyhawk, and John Muszala’s AD-5 (A-1E) Skyraider.
Then Mark Clark is the man to see
When he was just 14, Mark Clark bought a life-changing ride in a Mustang. That 35-minute flight set the course for his career as a broker specializing in warbirds.
But when you ask Clark, owner of Courtesy Aircraft in Rockford, Ill., what it was about that flight that changed his life, he says what many pilots already know: It’s hard to quantify just what it was that sparked such a passion.
Aviation enthusiasts and history buffs will have the opportunity to tour — or take flight — in rare, historic World War II aircraft when the Collings Foundation brings its Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress “Nine-O-Nine” heavy bomber, Consolidated B-24J Liberator “Witchcraft” heavy bomber and North American Dual Control P-51C Mustang “Betty Jane” fighter to Florida’s Page Field (FMY) on Wednesday, Feb. 8 through Friday, Feb.10.
If you missed seeing EAA’s B-17 on the Dec. 19 episode of the History Channel’s hit show Pawn Stars, you haven’t lost out — the show is available online through the Pawn Stars website. Richard Harrison, better known as “Old Man” on the series, and Austin Russell (Chumlee) visited Aluminum Overcast during its Oct. 11-12 tour stop at North Las Vegas Airport (VGT). George Daubner, EAA B-17 program manager, provided a ground tour, followed by a flight in the venerable bomber. Click here to watch.
Historic Flight Foundation, in concert with several Cascade Warbirds photographers, has published a 2012 calendar featuring warbirds. The calendar (pictured below) is offered for $20, with 25% of the proceeds donated to the Cascade Warbirds Memorial Scholarship Fund.