Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Visit to The Tri-State Warbird Museum

The cockpit is perfect in every detail.
Ginger and I recently found ourselves within a few miles of The Tri-State Warbird Museum and couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit.  Although we'd like to make it there more often, it seems to be about every other year or so we do.  Fortunately, there is a benefit to so much time in between; the noticeable evidence of progress being made.
Progress takes many different forms.  Sometimes it is a step forward, other times it's a leap, and in the case of the museum's P-40, a few steps in the right direction after one big setback.

A little over a year ago the P-40 was out on a flight near its home base airport of Batavia when something bad went wrong.  After all was said and done the pilot's skill brought the plane home, and although nobody was hurt, the plane was damaged.  Looking at the powerplant case sitting in the hangar, it is obvious things could have been much worse.  Myself, I've never seen so many holes in a crankcase.  I could go into details but let's just accept the fact that when your oil cooler comes apart and pukes out all the oil, your engine is not going to enjoy what happens next.

Notice the different color tips on the bullets.
Presently the P-40 sits in the hangar undergoing repairs and improvements.  Although it was already one of, if not the most original restoration of a P-40, it will come out better than before.  If you get a chance to visit, be sure to check out the guns and wing ammo boxes plus the bomb release mechanisms they reproduced from scratch.  They are doing great work.

While there, you should also check out their FW-190 and the Corsair project.  Sitting at different stages of rebuild, they offer great insight into the construction of these magnificent machines.

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