National Championship Air Races (Part 7)

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National Championship Air Race wrap-up.

Unlimited Class
F-4U Corsair – The venerable Navy and Marine Corps fighter aircraft flew during the Second World War and the Korean War (back when we fought wars – today we fight “foreign contingency operations” now that there is no more war).
Even though the aircraft was very successful in aerial conflict, it came in dead last when competing head to head with the P-51 Mustang and F8F Bearcat.
The F8F Bearcat came along in 1945, too late to do any fighting in World War 2. An unmodified production F8F-1 set a 1946 time-to-climb record (after a run of 115 ft/35 m) of 10,000 ft (3,048 m) in 94 seconds (6,383 fpm). The Bearcat held this record for 10 years until it was broken by a modern jet fighter, which still could not match the Bearcat’s short takeoff distance. Many nations purchased Bearcats for their naval applications. The one above is painted with an Australian scheme.
The Bearcat first saw combat with France in their Indochina War. The US sold 200 Bearcats to France in 1946. Ten years later, the twenty surviving Bearcats were operated by the Army of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The aircraft remained in service in many countries until the 1980’s.
Is the North American P-51D the most perfect piston engine aircraft ever built? — Yeah. I think so. They are nimble, sturdy, powerful and fly like homesick angels. 
“Wee Willy” – P-51D
“Precious Metal”, extensively modified P-51 Mustang – now wins just about everything in its class.
Everyone who showed up at this (and one other) Ashima Devices location spun the wheel of fortune and won a gift! They were all winners.

12 thoughts on “National Championship Air Races (Part 7)

  1. There is a guy around here who has an old Navy trainer, I assume it was used at Naval Air Station Wildwood. He flies over the range and dips the wings, its awesome…

  2. Classic aircraft evoke another place and time in a way that it nearly impossible to duplicate in any other way.

  3. "fly like homesick angels." 🙂

    I've loved the paint jobs on the planes– wouldn't have expected this facet of the show.

  4. I'm not a gambling man, but I'll wager my fighting monkey against any three of your priestesses that the wheel was rigged.

  5. If I buy a P-51 I may need to have you pose to have your picture painted on the nose of the airplane, hand behind hair, legs crossed.

  6. Mrs. Woodsterman never called me and thus I never brought you a t-shirt via her. You're going to have to wait until our next breakfast where we solve the ills of the planet to get your shirt.

  7. The F8F was a Grumman plane. Four of us in my family (my Dad, my sister, my BIL and myself) worked for Grumman's at one time or another. I believe they made the finest naval aircraft in the world. But that's just my extremely biased opinion.

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