2018 has been another great year for warbirds, with many significant events and first flights taking place. We at Vintage Aviation Publications through WarbirdsNews.com and Warbird Digest have endeavored to keep our readers informed of as many developments as possible, with exclusive reports of major milestones in the warbird and aviation museum community. Although we couldn’t cover everything, it has been a remarkable year of growth for us here too culminating with our ninth issue of Warbird Digest Magazine. We are always looking for new leads, as well as writers/photographers who are able to provide coverage. With your help, we can have an even better 2019, and be sure not to miss any important first flight this year!
In case you haven’t yet seen the 2018 issues of Warbird Digest Magazine, links to each edition are provided below. The cover-art alone is worth more than a second glance, but you will discover even more fabulous stories and photography inside. It really has been a great year… many thanks for your continued support!
Issue #82 is just around the corner as well… you won’t want to miss it!
Below are some of the Warbirdsnews.com highlights from 2018.
January – ‘That’s All, Bother’ Takes the Skies
Douglas C-47A ‘That’s All, Bother’ Takes the Skies – In a frigid, cold Wisconsin winter the icon Douglas C-47A (s/n 42-92847) took the skies for the first time after almost 22,000 hours of painstaking effort to repair or replace any deficient structure, hardware and systems. Doug Rozendaal and Tom Travis, both long-serving CAF veterans, had the privilege to conduct the test flight of this iconic C-47. Read the full article HERE.
February – F-104 Flight Training Launches
F-104 Flight Training Launches at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center – Flying the F-104 has been a dream of countless aviation enthusiast and back in February it became a reality. Licensed pilots with both the means and the urge to fulfill a test pilot’s dream now have direct access to flight training in the magnificent Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. Read the full article HERE.
March – Paul G. Allen Expedition Discovers The USS Lexington
Paul G. Allen Expedition Discovers the Sunken USS Lexington and Her Aircraft – An expedition, led by Microsoft co-founder, Paul G. Allen, had discovered their final resting place under nearly two miles of water in the Coral Sea some 500 miles off Australia’s northeast coast. Read the full article HERE.
April – Greek Spitfire Resurfaces at Biggin Hill
After being out of public view for the past ten years, the Hellenic Air Force Museum’s Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc MJ755 resurfaced again recently in the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar on the old Battle of Britain aerodrome, RAF Biggin Hill. Read the full article HERE.
May – 3rd Annual TBM Gathering
3rd Annual TBM Gathering – Avengers and Veterans, Warbirds and Patriots Invade Illinois – This year eleven Avengers made the gathering, alongside a number of other choice warbirds. It was certainly a marvelous experience for everyone who attended as Warbird Digest’s Greg Morehead relates in this article. Read the full article HERE.
June 2018 – Messerschmitt Bf 109 – June 2018 Water Recovery in Russia
Messerschmitt Bf 109 – June 2018 Water Recovery in Russia! In June, members of Russia’s Wings of Victory Museum and ICAR led the team which found and recovered the Bf 109 this past June. After raising the aircraft using inflatable air bags, they towed her to shore and dismantled the airframe, shipping it to the Technic Museum of Vadim Zadorozhniy. Read the full article HERE.
July – FOUND! Lost Squadron P-38 Piloted by Lt. Col. Robert Wilson
FOUND! Lost Squadron P-38 Piloted by Lt. Col. Robert Wilson – In July, the Arctic Hot Point Solutions successfully located the site on the Greenland Icecap where Wilson’s lost Lightning still lies… nearly eight decades after he abandoned it. Read the full article HERE.
August – Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik Raised From a Russian Lake
Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik Raised From a Russian Lake – We were amazed back in August when we saw some fabulous images of a surprisingly complete and intact single seat variant of the Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik rising to the surface of a lake in Russia. The recovery took place within the last week, conducted by the Wings of Victory Foundation. Read the full article HERE.
Westland Lysander first flight – As twilight approached of a sultry, summer’s August eve the Aircraft Restoration Company’s John Romain started up the Bristol Mercury engine in Westland Lysander Mk.IIITT V9312 in preparation for her first flight since December 30th, 1944. Read the full article HERE.
Warbird Adventures Unveils Their Dual-Seat, Dual-Control P-40 Warhawk! -Warbird Adventures adds a beautifully restored, dual-seat, dual-control Curtiss P-40N to their fleet of aircraft. Members of the public will be able to fly in this aircraft, and even receive flight training towards their P-40 rating in the aircraft. Read the full article HERE.
September – Brewster F3A-1A Corsair Arrives at National Museum of WWII Aviation
Brewster F3A-1A Corsair Arrives at National Museum of WWII Aviation – In July the Brewster F3A-1A Corsair Bu.04634 flew for the first time, following a lengthy rebuild at Ezell Aviation. In September the magnificently restored aircraft finally arrived at her new home with the National Museum of WWII Aviation in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Read the full article HERE.
The Ghost of Gananoque – ‘A Flying Boat in a Barn’ – In September, our own Richard Mallory Allnutt stumbled upon a WWII-era Canadian Vickers Canso flying boat hidden away for decades in an old hangar near Gananoque in Ontario’s Thousand Islands region. Read the full article HERE.
October – ‘Beach City Baby’ Flies! – WWII Combat Vet C-53 Airborne Again
‘Beach City Baby’ Flies! – WWII Combat Vet C-53 Airborne Again – A historic, combat-veteran Douglas C-53 Skytrooper (41-20095) took to the skies again for the first time in several decades in Beach City, Ohio on Saturday October 6th, 2018 following a remarkable three-year effort by Jason Capra and his team of volunteers at Vintage Wings Inc. Read the full article HERE.
Paul G. Allen: 1953 – 2018 -While we rarely remark on the passing of aviation luminaries, as that is not really our role, it is hard not to offer our thanks to the life and legacy of the late Paul Allen, who died in October from complications relating to non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Read the full article HERE.
November – Ju-87 Unveiled at Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum Hangar Opening
On Saturday, November 10th, the late Paul G. Allen’s Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum (FHCAM) held a grand opening ceremony for their third hangar. For the occasion the extremely rare Junker Ju 87R-4 Stuka, which has quietly been under restoration for several years now, was introduced to the public. Read the full article HERE.
December – Junkers Phantom Pharewell in Japan
In celebration of their nearly half century Japanese Phantom II operations, 302 Squadron held a special air show on December 2nd at Hyakuri Air Base just north of Tokyo. Several of their aircraft were painted in commemorative liveries to mark the event. Read the full article HERE.