Flight Paths

Markings kept pilots from firing

Two of the three German aircraft slated to fly on Luftwaffe Day, Aug. 17, served in Russia during World War II. Before heading into the… Continue reading

How to read the ID on the Mitsubishi Zero

The Flying Heritage Collection’s Mitsubishi Zero has a three-line designation or identification block stenciled on the rear left side of its fuselage. Streaks of dark… Continue reading

Ejector stacks increase horsepower

When you come from a company known for building racing planes, you learn to steal any advantage you can get. Supermarine’s Spitfire (and Hawker’s Hurricane,… Continue reading

Steering tabs, vanes maintain direction in flight

The V-2 rocket maintained its direction in flight with steering tabs on its fins and graphite steering vanes. These vanes were located in the rocket’s… Continue reading

Merlin engines powered local tradition

Those of you that grew up in Seattle in the 1950s know about Slo-mo-shun V and the epic hydro battles on Lake Washington. Did you… Continue reading

Plane used wings to store hidden bombs

The Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik has four compact bomb bay cells hidden in the wing between its main gear and fuselage. Each space is big enough… Continue reading

How the frozen tundra affected Soviet planes

This image tells us a little about the history FHC’s own P-40 Tomahawk. The plane was built in the U.S. but given to the Soviets… Continue reading

What’s that arty looking thing at the FHC?

Some who have visited the FHC in the last few months may have seen an unusual art piece in the courtyard between the two hangars.… Continue reading

Odd engine uses

The FHC’s M4A1 Sherman tank is powered by a 400-horsepower radial airplane engine. In more conventional uses, the Wright R-975 Whirlwind flew in the Beech… Continue reading

How plane’s windshield protected pilots

Like everything else around the cockpit of the FHC’s Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, the plane’s canopy is heavy and armored. Reports mention that direct strikes from… Continue reading

Warcraft’s symbols prevented deadly confusion

If you carelessly mixed the two substances used to power the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, it was most likely the last thing you ever did.… Continue reading

The Dzus fastener changed aviation

This little fastener changed aviation. Ukrainian-born toolmaker and inventor William Dzus (pronounced “Zeus”) witnessed all sorts of unusual and inefficient connecting systems while working for… Continue reading

Parts manuals don’t say it all

Parts manuals are good for figuring out what a component of an airplane does, but there is no chapter in the manual that lists what… Continue reading

Squadron’s unit patch painting of ‘Willie the Wolf’

The FHC’s P-47D carries a painting of “Tallahassee Lassie,” pilot Ralph Jenkins’ wife. The image was created by artist Staff Sergeant Lynn Trank, jokingly considered,… Continue reading

N-3C reflector gunsight helped pilot navigate attacks

Last week, we talked about the forward-firing blister packs affixed to the fuselage of the B-25. Now let’s go into the cockpit and see a… Continue reading

Blister packs affixed to B-25 fuselage

In the Pacific, the Army wanted more punch from their B-25s. A quartet of forward-firing guns was added near the nose. North American Aviation called… Continue reading

Fan lets fighter stay sleek, but practical

What’s the story with that funny 12-bladed fan behind the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-5’s propeller? Fitting a big radial engine into the nose of a… Continue reading

Imperfections important for accurate replica

Accurately replicating a warbird’s paint scheme sometimes means adding in the imperfections. A close look at the tail of the FHC’s P-40C Tomahawk reveals a… Continue reading

Skid used for tail support, to stop

The FHC’s Curtiss JN-4D Jenny still has a tailskid; a tough, durable wooden protrusion fitted with a metal shoe. Back in the old days, airfields… Continue reading

FHC mechanics begin annual inspections

Fly Days and “annuals.” Now that the flying performances are finished for the year,… Continue reading