Flight Paths

Preparing Hellcat for first flight in decades

The Hellcat is days away from flying for the first time in decades. A test pilot is expected next week. (Let’s hope for good weather.)… Continue reading

Pilots found P-47’s cockpit shockingly roomy

While the size of the average man stayed about the same, the size of the average fighter plane, and its cockpit, increased during World War… Continue reading

Soviets used ramming technique when out of ammo, outnumbered

The Polikarpov I-16 is a solid little machine. You only have to be involved in pushing it around to know that it feels like it’s… Continue reading

German fighters packed a wallop

When you are hunting big game, you need a big gun. The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet carried two Mk 108 autocannons. Each weapon fired 650… Continue reading

Hellcat’s paint scheme will honor local ace

The FHC’s Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat goes into the paint shop on Valentine’s Day. The Glossy Sea Blue fighter will get its complement of Insignia White… Continue reading

For a rare plane, call on the best mechanic

When your Honda needs a tune-up, what do you do? There are a million Hondas out there and, therefore, thousands of mechanics who can handle… Continue reading

G-Symbols helped identify Navy carrier planes

By 1945, there were gaggles of Navy carrier planes seemingly everywhere in the skies over the Pacific. To keep track of who was who, the… Continue reading

Armored ‘coffin seats’ protected B-25J pilots

The FHC’s B-25J is from block 25. Some 1,000 of them were built at the Fairfax Bomber Plant in Kansas City. One of the improvements… Continue reading

1940s mechanics would have loved a laser pointer

Flying Heritage Collection staffers rolled the B-25J Mitchell outside on a foggy morning to take some fuel out of its tanks. While out of the… Continue reading

A tank rolls out at Paine Field

The tower at Paine Field got a strange call today. How often does the driver of an M4A1 Sherman tank seek permission to cruise the… Continue reading

Leveling lugs keep a plane balanced

When conducting weight and balance calculations on an airplane, you want the machine to rest at flight attitude. On a tail-dragger, the aircraft can be… Continue reading

Unique engineering on plane’s canopy

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190’s canopy rails are not parallel. They taper inward as they extend toward the tail. As the canopy slides backwards on these… Continue reading

New tracks for FHC’s Sherman tank

Last week the Flying Heritage Collection changed the tracks on its M4A1 Sherman tank. It was a relatively simple process; akin to putting socks on… Continue reading

F-84 traces its lineage to a Thunderbolt

It’s that nagging question that you have always been afraid to ask: Did the F-84 start life as simply a jet-powered P-47? Well, sort of.… Continue reading

A vivid example of why some warbirds are rare

This photo tells a little bit about why some warbirds are so rare. We have all seen the images of post-WWII boneyards in Arizona, Alabama,… Continue reading

What are those mystery compartments on P-40?

The little compartments on the bottom of the P-40’s wings have always confounded us. The little alcoves are 27 inches long and about 5 inches… Continue reading

Diaphragms allow for undisturbed airflow

The WWII-era P-51 Mustang is a marvel of design. The plane’s efficient wing allowed it to fly great distances. One addition to the wing design,… Continue reading

Tank’s turret poses a challenge

This week, the FHC staff is removing the turret from the M4A1 Sherman tank. In order to restore the interior to its wartime condition, a… Continue reading

Plane’s construction could be a lifesaver

Part of what gives the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt much of its “Jug-like” shape is the fighter’s maze of tubes and pipes running through its belly—from… Continue reading

FHC planes get dirty in Seafair fun

After about five hours in the air over Seafair weekend, the FHC’s F6F Hellcat and the other planes in the performance were pretty dirty. A… Continue reading