The Planes of Fame Air Museum’s 2013 Air Show in Chino, California, entitled “Lightning Strikes Chino” happened this past weekend and had five flying Lockheed P-38 Lightnings in the air and flying formation, in what has to be the largest assemblage of flying P-38s in decades. According to the show organizers, it’s believed that there are only seven airworthy P-38s in the world, six of which are in the United States and one in Europe, so to have five at an air show is quite a feat, particularly given the vagaries of operating and maintaining these craft.
On hand was the Planes of Fame P-38J “23 Skidoo,” Allied Fighters‘ P-38L “Honey Bunny,” Tillamook Air Museum’s P38L “Tangerine,” P-38L “Thoughts of Midnite”, owned by Tom and Dan Freidkin and P-38F “Glacier Girl,” owned by Rod Lewis. Rounding out the “Lightning Strikes” theme, the Yanks Air Museum had their P38F-5G on display, which while a non-flyer brought the total number of Lightnings in attendance to six.
With many P-38 Lightning projects aiming to bring these planes back to airworthy status, it’s not impossible to imagine this impressive gathering being topped some time in the future, we’d certainly like to see it happen!