CAF A-26 Invader Squadron Update

CAF A-26 Invader Squadron's A-26B in a high speed pass. (photo via A-26 Invader Squadron)
CAF A-26 Invader Squadron's A-26B in a high speed pass. (photo via A-26 Invader Squadron)
CAF A-26 Invader Squadron’s A-26B in a high speed pass. (photo via A-26 Invader Squadron)

The Commemorative Air Force’s A-26 Invader Squadron, based within the Vintage Flying Museum’s hangar at Meacham International Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, has spent the winter month’s working hard on their Douglas A-26B Invader 41-29427.  The Squadron began life in 2009, with the specific objective of getting the A-26 airworthy. Following years on the air show circuit as ‘Spirit of Waco’, the aircraft was in real need of a lot of attention. The group got her back in the air again in 2012 with help from Ezell Aviation, but as everyone in the warbird world knows, there is often much more to do once an aircraft is flying again. The aircraft is now back on the air show circuit, but during the off-season, the team in Fort Worth make the most of the down-time to progressively work through areas of the aircraft which need extra TLC…

Working on the A-26 during winter maintenance. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)
Working on the A-26 during winter maintenance. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)

As the A-26 Invader Squadron’s Maintenance Officer, Bill Gorin recently told us, “We finished up the 2015 in November making every show we had a contract to appear at with the exception of the New Orleans Air Power Tour, and that was due to weather. We have been busy over the winter doing our scheduled winter maintenance. The airplane was in pretty rough shape when we got it in 2009 and we have been making big strides since then improving her reliability while trying to work in some restoration projects at the same time…… This winter we fixed numerous leaky push rod tube seals on the right engine, replaced the left generator, resealed the nose gear actuator, improved our intercom system and #1 VHF Com radio, resealed the left brake and installed new brake pads and installed new main aircraft batteries.”

Bill Gorin working on one of the Invader's P&W R-2800 engines. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)
Bill Gorin working on one of the Invader’s P&W R-2800 engines. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)
Changing a cylinder on the starboard engine.. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)
Changing a cylinder on the starboard engine.. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)
Buttoning up the starboard engine. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)
Buttoning up the starboard engine. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)

The aircraft has a new name and nose art in the works too. The aircraft’s paint is in too rough a condition to warrant applying the design directly on the aircraft at present though, so the artist is creating the image on wood. The team will then scan the design, and have a transfer made, which they can then affix upon the Invader’s nose. This will be a temporary measure until the Squadron has raised the funds to repaint the aircraft; never an inexpensive task. The new name and nose-art design have not been revealed yet, but this should happen soon, with the aim of helping the Squadron better tell the A-26’s story, and assist in her marketing too. Anyone wishing to donate to the project should click HERE. The Squadron is always eager for volunteers to help work on the aircraft, especially those with mechanical training and skills. Please do contact them through their Facebook page HERE if you would like to become involved. The A-26’s next scheduled air shows are NAS Kingsville (Corpus Christie, TX) between April 8th and 10th, and NAS Fort Worth JRB over the weekend of April 23rd/24th.

Preparing the overhauled oil cooler for installation in the starboard wing. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)
Preparing the overhauled oil cooler for installation in the starboard wing. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)
The overhauled oil cooler back in the starboard wing. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)
The overhauled oil cooler back in the starboard wing. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)
Working on the radios in the nose bay. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)
Working on the radios in the nose bay. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)

In additional news, Bill Goring added that, “We welcomed our other squadron airplane home last month as well, our Beechcraft T-34B N802HV. Our out-going Squadron Leader Jim Reynolds flew it from Baker Aviation in New Smyrna, Florida to Fort Worth. Just this week I appointed Nathan Carroll the Crew Chief of N802HV. Nathan is in his early 20’s and is an A&P, Private Pilot and is working on his degree in Aerospace Engineering. Nathan and the crew have some work to do on the T-34, but once it’s up and flying we look forward to taking it to air shows, offering flight experiences and doing formation training with it. We invite you to come out to the Vintage Flying Museum at Fort Worth’s Meacham Airport where we are based along side B-29 FIFI and a bunch of other cool airplanes….”

Nathan Carroll working in the cockpit of the newly acquired T-34B. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)
Nathan Carroll working in the cockpit of the newly acquired T-34B. (photo via CAD A-26 Invader Squadron)

WarbirdsNews wishes to thank Bill Goran for taking the time to talk to us about what the A-26 Invader Squadron is up to, and we wish them well for a successful air show season!

3 Comments

  1. I flew back in early 90’s at Waco tx airport. Joe Niemer who owned Niemer electric. I new this plane was out there, so happy to see it being loved! I am visiting the air graveyard in Tucson now and will be on my way home to Temple Tx . If I lived in Ft Worth , I would love to work on your plane! Was a mechanic back in early 70’s and still rebuild old musle cars and old dodge military power wagons . Thanks Dan Golder

  2. As a Navy “nugget”in 1960 my 1st orders were to Utility Squadron Seven, VU-7 at NAAS Brown Field, Chula Vista, CA.
    The Navy called it the JD (Utility by Douglas)
    What a thrill to turn loose those beautiful R2800s while recalling it’s proud participation in WWII and Korea.

  3. I just wanted to let you know I really appreciate your time at air show this weekend in Lufkin Texas the air plane was great that’s first time I got to look at that close

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*