Vintage Aircraft

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Groundswell of opposition halts bid to ground warbirds

Article | Apr 30, 2012

The nation's airworthy warbirds have survived, for now, another attempt to knock them out of the sky. Warbird operators and enthusiasts bombarded lawmakers with calls and letters as word spread of a proposed amendment to defense legislation that would have grounded vintage military aircraft.

Become an ambassador for GA

Advocacy | Apr 26, 2012

Pilots can help promote general aviation and serve their communities by creating charitable events at airports, or adding a charitable element to an existing aviation event. Here are tips for creating a charitable event or helping an existing cause.

British team finds cache of Spitfires buried in Myanmar

Article | Apr 18, 2012

A British farmer's 15-year quest turned up a treasure trove in Myanmar, where as many as 20 Spitfire fighters have been buried since the end of World War II.

Veteran airshow, race pilot Howard Pardue killed in crash

Article | Apr 06, 2012

The airshow, warbird, and racing communities all mourned the loss of Howard Pardue, 77, who died April 4 when his vintage Grumman F8F Bearcat crashed just after takeoff from Stephens County Airport in Breckenridge, Texas.

Youth serves the future of the Commemorative Air Force

Article | Mar 31, 2012

The Commemorative Air Force has grown from a small band of pilots who purchased a P-51 in 1957 into a world leader in warbirds, with 9,000 members operating 156 vintage aircraft to honor American military aviation history and heritage. As the organization looks to the future, the door has been opened to the next generation willing and able to take up the mission.

P-51, DC-3 emerge as 'Challenge' finalists

Article | Mar 31, 2012

The Douglas DC-3 win sets up the dream contest of AOPA’s Favorite Aircraft Challenge between it and the powerful P-51 Mustang.

P-51, DC-3 advance to 'Four on Final’ round

Article | Mar 29, 2012

As the AOPA Favorite Aircraft Challenge now enters the home stretch toward the finals on April 1 and 2, March 29's round of eight voting was some of the busiest so far in the tournament. By late afternoon some of those Round Four contests were still too close to call, so watch the AOPA website for the latest results after final votes are tallied.

Classics, warbirds march to 'Challenge' finals

Article | Mar 27, 2012

The P-51 Mustang continued slicing and dicing, eliminating the King Air in a blowout in AOPA's Favorite Aircraft Challenge. The unstoppable F4U Corsair took out the popular Cessna 172; the Mooney M20 couldn't best the lovable Piper J-3 Cub, and the Beech Staggerwing eliminated the Stearman PT-17.

High school student earns a T-6 flight at Sun 'n Fun

Article | Mar 27, 2012

Hard work and good grades bring many rewards. For Joshua Gutierrez, a student at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, the rewards include a college scholarship to study aeronautical engineering, and, on March 26, a ride in a vintage warbird.

Spitfire kit makes inaugural appearance at Sun ‘n Fun

Article | Mar 27, 2012

The 90-percent scale, all-aluminum Spitfire kit offered by Supermarine Aircraft, an aerobatic two-seater, commands plenty of attention.

Clear skies, smiles as Sun 'n Fun prepares for opening day

Article | Mar 26, 2012

Mike Porter paused in mid-sentence and cocked his head, listening to the distinctive sound of a radial engine overhead. A veteran restorer of Stearman biplanes, Porter explained apologetically that radials always make his ears perk up. There was a lot of that going around as aircraft converged on Lakeland, Fla., for Sun 'n Fun.

Skylane joins vintage, warbird aircraft in advancing

Article | Mar 22, 2012

The final results of Round Two in the West Region of AOPA's Favorite Aircraft Challenge demonstrated that the older vintage and warbird aircraft have come to play, and are not going to let many modern flying machines stands between them and the finals.

Three vintage aircraft, Mooney move on in challenge

Article | Mar 21, 2012

Just like a certain other basketball bracket challenge, as teams - or in our case, aircraft - are eliminated, what is left in AOPA's Favorite Aircraft Challenge are some stellar matchups. Let's wrap up more second round contests, and try to determine which aircraft in the East Region will make it past the third round.

Britain's Brawny Beagle

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2012

Why show up in an ordinary Cadillac when you could have brought a classic Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud limo? That's the sort of analogy that would describe taxiing up to the ramp in the rare Beagle B206, compared to any other light twin. The Beagle is radically different enough to swing the heads of even casual ramp lurkers.

Easy Flyer

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2012

With its rounded lines and roly-poly looks, the Ercoupe looks like it would be right at home with a smiley face painted on its nose. And why not? The Ercoupe is one of the simplest, easiest, safest, and most fun airplanes you could want. It's also among the least expensive to buy and fly on the used market today and, despite its age, has a robust parts and owner support network.

Stricken P-51 lands with help from a legend: Bob Hoover

Article | Feb 29, 2012

Circling above Mobile, Ala., on Feb. 26 with the left main landing gear of the vintage P-51 stuck halfway down, pilot Chuck Gardner calmly worked the procedures. When that failed to produce the desired result, a little advice from fellow aviators - including 90-year-old aviation legend Bob Hoover - proved helpful.

Graves: FAA bill protects GA

Advocacy | Feb 07, 2012

Keeping user fees out of the new FAA reauthorization bill was a "big win" for general aviation--but vigilance and education efforts must continue, said Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), the House GA Caucus co-chairman and member of the conference committee that produced the final bill.

Classically quick

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Since its beginnings, the Mooney name has been synonymous with speed. Pilots like to go fast, and Mooney marketing knew that--and has played up the speed credentials for practically every airplane to ever come out of the Kerrville, Texas, factory. But today is a different day.

Fly-Outs: Big Bear City Airport

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

Big Bear City Airport (L35) is the gateway to year-round activities. Located in a wide valley ringed by the peaks of the San Bernardino Mountains, Big Bear City Airport is a hop, skip, and a long climb away from the Los Angeles Basin and its surroundings.

Controlling traffic during LSA show 'an adrenaline rush'

Article | Jan 25, 2012

FAA Operations Manager Boyd Martin said working the air traffic control tower at the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo is a thrill, comparing it to "an adrenaline rush," similar to what skydivers or bungee jumpers feel when they take the plunge.

Challenges: River dance

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

Let's all tip our caps to aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss, who was one of the first to brainstorm the possibility of marrying a boat to an airplane. Curtiss attached pontoons to a biplane and managed to get airborne in 1911, and pilots have enjoyed both the utility and the fun of being able to land and take off on water ever since.

Letters

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

"Above New York" is the best piece of writing on the vibrant and historic New York City rotorcraft scene I have read (September 2011 AOPA Pilot). Julie Summers Walker captured, in a remarkably brief piece, the range and diversity of helicopter operations in the city: the heliports, the bread-and-butter air tours, and corporate operations that contribute so much to New York financially and culturally, the Eastern Region Helicopter Council that serves so well in relations with residents and politicians, even a nod to the utility and wildlife operations most New Yorkers never see.

Fly-Outs: Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in New York's Hudson River Valley redefines the word "old." Or should we say "really old"? For in 2011, a World War II vintage aircraft, at more than 60 years old, is old, but a World War I aircraft? That's really old. And not only are these aircraft really old, but they are performing, active flying machines from a time when aviation was in its infancy.

Ride in a 'Tin Goose'

Article | Sep 01, 2011

EAA's 1929 Ford Tri-Motor 4-AT-E has had careers as a barnstormer, aerial applicator, and fire fighter. At next year's EAA AirVenture, it will take the winning bidder in the AOPA Foundation's A Night for Flight auction - and eight friends - for the ride of a life.

Dogfight: Experimental versus Standard

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2011

Editor at Large Tom Horne and Senior Editor Dave Hirschman have a lot of things in common: lots of ratings, lots of experience in lots of airplane models - and lots of opinions (and similar haircuts). We last turned them loose on the topic of running the tank dry on occasion and the response to two different schools of thought garnered some of our most interesting musings from a large number of readers. So with a "Dogfight" this month regarding lean vs. rich of peak, we hope you'll enjoy these two takes on a topic - and let us know what you think, too.