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From the Flight Deck

From the Flight Deck

NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE FLIGHT DECK

FIRST MAJOR POUR AT ELLINGTON

 

Clockwise from top left: Waltrip Hangar site: first pour and completion; LSFM President and COO Larry Gregory, LSFM Chairman of the Board Scott Rozzell and LSFM board member Dan Collins pose for the media; Scott Rozzell live on Fox26 News.

On Friday morning, July 15 a major construction milestone was achieved as D.E. Harvey Builders poured the first half of the concrete slab of the future Waltrip Hangar at the new Lone Star Flight Museum facility at Ellington Airport. This area was filled with approximately 100,000 gallons of concrete, pumped over a five-hour period. Due to the recent record-high temperatures, even a pre-dawn start time still did not provide a cool enough window to allow the full 33,500 square foot slab to be completed in a single pour. The remaining half of the Waltrip Hangar slab was completed Tuesday morning, July 19.

 

EVENTS

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

Patients from the Ronald McDonald House Galveston and the Shriner’s Hospital for Children – Galveston were treated to a Night at the Museum on July 16. Sponsored by FedEx, the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston hosted the event attended by the families of more than 30 children who are receiving treatment at the Shriner’s Hospital in Galveston.  The evening featured dinner followed by a tour of the museum and aviation related crafts.  A highlight of the evening was when the museum volunteers opened the hangar doors to push the B-25 Mitchell bomber outside for a flight. The children were noticeably excited when the B-25 came to life and roared overhead for a few passes over the airfield.

“This was a fantastic evening for the Lone Star Flight Museum and our friends at FedEx,” said Larry Gregory, President of the Lone Star Flight Museum.  “Lone Star and FedEx volunteers worked together to produce a memorable evening for some great kids.  We were all thankful to place a little joy in the hearts of children and their families during a difficult time in their lives. Watching their looks of amazement when they walked into the hangar then seeing kids jump with excitement when we started the B-25 was very rewarding. The hugs were pretty good as well,” continued Gregory.

The children and family members received aviation related toys, coloring books and a t-shirt to commemorate the event. Through the generosity of FedEx, the Lone Star Flight Museum will continue to build on this event by supplying Shriner’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House with toys and activity books several times throughout the year. Shriner’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House are known internationally as premier centers for treatment and care of children with burn injuries.

CURATOR'S CORNER

F4U-4

F4U-5

The Corsair's Second War

By: Stewart Bailey

When the North Korean troops swarmed across the border to invade South Korea in the summer of 1950, it was not just the South Koreans who were unprepared. Their allies, including the United States and Great Britain, were caught by surprise and unable to respond to the mass assault.  In the air, the Korean War is remembered for its jet-to-jet combat between F-86 Sabres and MiG-15s. In the early days of the conflict,the “old” World War II era piston-engined aircraft such as the P-51 Mustang and F4U Corsair bore the brunt of the operations to hold back the invaders.

Sixty-six years ago this week, the U.S. Marine Corps joined the Air Force and Navy in flying combat strikes against the North Koreans when VMF-214, “the Blacksheep Squadron” of World War II fame, launched from the aircraft carrier USS Sicily to attack positions near Inchon. Equipped with the F4U-4, a more powerful and capable version of the Corsair which they flew to fame against the Japanese, the Marines flew close support missions with incendiary bombs and rockets to support troops on the ground. VMF-214 would fly two tours in Korea before swapping out their Corsairs for F9F Panther jets in 1953.

The Corsair would continue in service throughout the length of the Korean conflict and well beyond, with the last examples going into battle during the “Soccer War” between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969.  The versions of the Corsair used by the Navy and Marines in Korea were the F4U-4 and F4U-5, which differed from their World War II predecessor by the change to a higher output version of the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine. To handle all the extra power, both versions received a four-bladed propeller.  The -5 model Corsair featured entirely metal wings and can be easily distinguished from the -4 by the pair of chin-mounted air intakes on the cowling instead of a single intake in the lower center of the cowling as well as a fully retracting tail wheel. Over 250 of the -5s were also fitted out as night fighters, with a large radar pod located on the leading edge of the right wing.

The Lone Star Flight Museum is proud to display an F4U-5N Corsair which was originally built for the Argentine Navy as a night fighter.  Restored by Ezell Aviation in Breckenridge, Texas, it is painted in the markings of Lt. Guy Bordelon, the Navy’s only ace (and only night-fighter ace) of the Korean War. Assigned to the USS Princeton, Bordelon was operating from a land base near Seoul to protect against night attacks when he scored his five kills over a six-week period in June and July, 1952. Lone Star Flight Museum’s F4U-5 flies as a tribute to the Navy and Marine Corps pilots and their rugged Corsairs that helped hold the line in the early months of the Korean War, when South Korean forces and their western allies were almost pushed off the Korean peninsula by the vast army of Communist North.

 

THIS DAY IN AVIATION HISTORY

JULY 26

July 26, 1929 (USA) - Johnny Burtin sets a new world altitude record of 26,531 feet for airplanes with a 1-ton load. Burtin's flight also proves that at high altitudes, fuel consumption drops considerably and wind resistance is reduced, making high-altitude flying more economical and profitable.

July 26, 1937 (USA) - Famous pilot Jacqueline Cochran sets a new speed record for women by flying more than 203 mph.

July 26, 1944 - This iconic World War II photograph, “The Bottisham Four”, is one of a series depicting a flight of four North American Aviation P-51 Mustang fighters; three P-51D and one P-51B, of the 375th Fighter Squadron, 361st Fighter Group, based at Royal Air Force Bottisham, Cambridgeshire, England, as they fly formation with a B-17 Flying Fortress camera ship from the 91st Bombardment Group. None of these aircraft would survive the war.

July 26, 1947 (USA) - President Truman signed National Security Act creating the United States Air Force as a separate service.

July 26, 1971 (USA) - The Apollo 15/Saturn V (AS-510) was launched from Launch Complex 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. Five days later, Astronauts David Scott and James Irwin were driving a lunar rover on the moon. This was humanity’s fourth trip to explore the Moon.

A LSFM REMINDER...

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

The Lone Star Flight Museum will be taking nominations for the 2017 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame (TAHOF) until next Monday, August 1. To nominate someone, please send his or her name (or group name) along with an outline of the Texas aspects of the life and work of the suggested honoree as well as a statement as to why that person or persons is deserving, to texasaviationhalloffame@gmail.com. To view a complete list of current members, please visit www.lonestarflight.org.

Other news

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