Warbird Radio LIVE! – Museum of Aviation’s B-17 Restoration – Episode 643

WARBIRD RADIO – Museum of Aviation Director, Ken Emery and EAA’s Chris Henry join Matt Jolley on this episode with a look at the Museum of Aviation’s B-17 restoration.  Hear the inspiring back story of how this aircraft came to its new home and much more.

QUICK LINK:  Museum of Aviation 

STORY UPDATE – Warbird Radio Presents – The B-29 Mystery

B-29 Small

 

WARBIRD RADIO – On this episode of Warbird Radio Presents we work to solve a B-29’s mysterious past.  Inside the Warner Robins Museum of Aviation is B-29, 44-84053.  From the outside, 44-84053 is just an ordinary late war B-29, it’s on the inside where the mystery begins.

Unexplained seats in the aft section of the fuselage and missing records (prior to 1955) set the stage for something secret.  Was 053 part of a special forces unit post war or was she a member of a covert mission during WWII?

Find out this week on Warbird Radio Presents – The B-29 Mystery.  For a complete update on the evidence we’ve discovered since the original broadcast, just keep reading.  Thanks for taking a look!

DOWNLOAD OR PLAY THE PODCAST AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

QUICK LINK:   Museum of Aviation


 

STORY UPDATE (01/30/15):  Since broadcasting this story in 2010, Warbird Radio.com has confirmed 44-84053 was most likely used for Psychological Operations post World War II.  It’s secret mission would have been to deliver agents behind the Iron Curtain in Europe.  With help from a retired USAF Colonel (who doesn’t want us to print his name) and some clever research, it was discovered 053 has a high probability of being part the Air Resupply and Communications Service.

Documented in Apollo’s Warriors – United States Air Force Operations During The Cold War, B-29’s configured like 053 were operated by the 582nd Air Resupply and Communications Group from RAF Molesworth.  In a strange twist of fate the B-29’s that were retro-fitted for this mission were stored and re-configured at the Robins Air Force Base depot in Warner Robins, Georgia before departing for Molesworth.  Today, 053 rests on the same property.

“The required number of bombers were soon pulled from the mothball fleet at Robins AFB, Georgia, and restored for duty,some with fuselage markings still showing the number of combat missions flown over Japan.  These modifications included removing all guns for self-defense, saving those in the tail turret, and installing a “joe hole” in the former aft-belly gun turret space for parachutists to exit.  Resupply bundles would hang like clusters of melons in the bomb bay to be dropped like bombs as the plane passed over the drop zone.” – Apollo’s Warriors

Some clues to 053’s past are still highly visible.  After careful examination around wheel wells and bomb bay doors,  black paint chips still remain.  The “joe hole” can clearly be seen in the aft belly turret and many other clues have helped lead to this hypothesis.

NOTE:  At this point, the only way to definitively solve the mystery would be confirmation by a crew member or photo of 053 in action.  So naturally, we’re working on that now (grin).  We have located some very clear documentation supporting our theory but before going to print we’re going to get the full story.  If you have any thoughts, we’d love to hear from you!

Matt Jolley
Warbird Radio.com

CONTACT: matt@warbirdradio.com

QUICK LINK:  Apollo’s Warriors

PHOTO GALLERY

General Goddard (USAF RET) Working To Restore “His” Vietnam F-100

GoodardF100RestorationEDITWARBIRD RADIO – The Museum of Aviation is getting some VIP help with the restoration of a special historic fighter plane.  According to a recent news release, Retired Major General Rick Goddard, former commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center from November 1997 to February 2000, is showing up in jeans these days to help bring an F-100 fighter plane back to life that’s close to his heart.  The single engine-rugged fighter plane with many corroded structural parts and missing pieces is the aircraft in which Goddard flew in Vietnam some 45 years ago.

As a young fighter pilot, Goddard completed 226 combat missions in F-100s, 180 of them in this exact aircraft (#56-2995) from September 1968 to October 1969 while assigned to the 309th Tactical Fighter Squadron in Vietnam.  The aircraft was eventually retired from active service in 1978 and put on display at Otis AFB, Massachusetts.  The General found out about it from a web site and notified the Museum of Aviation.  Museum Director Ken Emery then contacted the Massachusetts base that had the aircraft on display and negotiated a deal to trade the plane for another less significant F-100 in the Museum’s collection.  The trade took place and the aircraft came to the Museum in December of 2010.

Work has slowly progressed on the restoration for the last 3 years and it will take at least another year to complete the restoration.  When done, the aircraft will be displayed in the Museum’s Vietnam display hangar, known as Hangar One. In the meantime, if you see bruises on the General’s knuckles, you’ll know why.

LEFT PHOTO: Rick Goddard, left, and Museum volunteer Aaron Robinson work to restore the F-100 that Goddard flew in Vietnam.

LOOK INSIDE – The Convair F-106 – “Delta Dart”

F106_FeatureWARBIRD RADIO – The Convair F-106 (“A” model shown) was the last of the true “interceptor” aircraft of the United States Air Force. The Delta Dart served from the 1960’s until the 1980’s.  After that it saw limited service as the QF-106 drone and was used until 1998.  The subject for our photo tour is currently on display at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia.

For more info on the F-106 or the Museum of Aviation simply click on the Quick Link posted below.

QUICK LINK:  The Museum of Aviation

Photo Tour

F-106 “A” General characteristics

* Crew: 1
* Length: 70.7 ft (21.55 m)
* Wingspan: 38.25 ft (11.67 m)
* Height: 20.28 ft (6.18 m)
* Wing area: 661.5ft/61.52m (Original Wing) or 695 ft/64.57m (Conically-Cambered Wing) ()
* Airfoil: NACA 0004-65 mod root and tip
* Empty weight: 24,420 lb (11,077 kg)
* Loaded weight: 34,510 lb (15,670 kg)
* Powerplant: 1— Pratt & Whitney J75-17 after burning turbojet, 24,500 lbf (109 kN)
* * Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0083
* Drag area: 5.8 ft (0.54 m)
* Aspect ratio: 2.10

Performance

* Maximum speed: Mach 2.3 (1,525 mph, 2,455 km/h)
* Range: 1,800 mi (1,600 nm, 2,900 km) combat
* Ferry range: 2,700 mi (2,300 nm, 4,300 km)
* Service ceiling: 57,000 ft (17,000 m)
* Rate of climb: 29,000 ft/min (150 m/s)
* Wing loading: 52 lb/ft (255 kg/m)
* Thrust/weight: 0.71
* Lift-to-drag ratio: 12.1
* Time to altitude: 6.9 min to 52,700 ft (16,065 m)

SR-71 “Blackbird” Skybound At Museum of Aviation In Georgia!

SR-71 Museum of Aviation - Warner RobinsWARBIRD RADIO –  The Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia  recently elevated their SR-71 “Blackbird” into a nose-up “take off’ position in their Century of Flight Hangar.  A combined team of Robins Air Force Base aircraft crash recovery personnel completed an annual exercise earlier this April to raise the aircraft’s front landing gear seven feet off the hangar floor and the rear landing gear four feet high.  Several large rubber bladders inflated by 100 hoses were used to elevate the fuselage and put the aircraft on three sturdy steel pedestals.  For more information on the Museum of Aviation just click on the Quick Link posted below.

QUICK LINK:  Museum of Aviation

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