OX5 Air Heritage Trip

Last month a group of Cliff Ball Wing members of the OX5 Aviation Pioneers stopped by Air Heritage for a tour. Here is what they had to say about their experience.

On April 20, 2013 a group of Cliff Ball Wing members of the OX5 Aviation Pioneers departed from the parking lot at Allegheny County Airport for a trip to the Air Heritage of Western Pennsylvania Beaver Air Museum. Trip was planned by member Norman Hogg earlier in the year. The group departed 10:00 AM with the fist stop at Sal’s restaurant for an excellent lunch and then the Spring CBW meeting.

At 1:00 PM the group was met by Bill Schillig, Air Heritage President, who conducted a tour of the museum facilities. CBW members saw numerous aircraft in various stages of restoration that included a Funk B-75L, F15-A Eagle, Jet Provost T3, C-123K Provider, OV-1D Mohawk, T34 Mentor, Fairchild 24, T-28B Trojan and L-21B Seneca.

In addition to the aircraft being restored, the group viewed the memorabilia area which is very complete with WWII memorabilia, models, and displays. The group was highly pleased with the work being done by Air Heritage and expressed their appreciation with thanks to Bill and Paul Schillig and other museum personnel.

On this day the Air Heritage was conducting an annual pig roast which serves as a fundraising affair for the organization.
-Clifford J. Yerkey, Pres CBW

View the pictures on their website or the video on YouTube.

Air Heritage C-47 Skytrain

Air Heritage at this time, would like to announce the newest member of our museum has touched down on our ramp. Air Heritage is now the proud new owner of a World War Two Veteran, a C-47 Skytrain.

Our C-47 has been sitting on the ramp at the Vietnam Huey Pilots Association’s hangar across from ours’ since November 29th, 2012 when they received it from Florida. We reached a deal with them to sell our OV-1D for their C-47 and the C-47 officially became ours late last week.

For all you OV-1D fans don’t be too upset though, the upside of the deal is that our OV-1D will be staying with us, even though we will no longer be the owner of it, at least for the time being.

Now for a little bit of history of 716.

Our plane came off the production line on September 13th, 1944 and was delivered to the USAAF as a C-47B, # 43-48716. It served in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) after arriving in Welford Park, England on the 27th of September, 1944, just missing operation Market Garden by ten days.

It briefly served with the 8th Air Force before being transferred to the 9th Air Force sometime before December of ‘44. Upon arriving with the 9th AF, it served within the 53rd Troop Carrier Wing, 435th Troop Carrier Group and 75th Troop Carrier Squadron. It flew two missions over the Battle of the Bulge resupplying the allied forces in late December ’44.

In February of ‘45, it moved to a new home base of Bretigny, France. From there it took place in the world’s largest airborne operation in history to be conducted on a single day, Operation Varsity (March 24th, 1945); dropping over 16,000 paratroopers from several thousand aircraft to cross the River Rhine. On that day, our plane towed two Waco CG-4A Gliders full of troops.

At this time, we don’t have any more specific history of our plane except for dates of transfers within the service. By the time it was retired in 1972, it had been converted into an executive transport, VC-47D. Upon leaving the Air Force, it was used by the state of Florida spraying for Mosquitoes out of the Miami area. From there it was acquired by the Vietnam Huey Pilots Association who had it ferried here to Beaver County.

As for flying, our plane is in a somewhat flying condition. They were able to ferry it up here, but we will need to do some maintenance on it and get it repainted into its military colors before we can begin flying it to air shows hopefully starting next year.

So for all that haven’t seen it yet, why don’t you come on out and see our new combat Veteran.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Air Heritage! We are closed today and enjoying time with our families. We are open the rest of the week from 10am to 5pm but are closed Sunday December 30th and January 1st. If you are looking for an activity for the entire family this holiday season, stop by the hangar for a tour of our museum and our planes. You can find out more info at airheritage.org.

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Google recently updated the satellite images in our area. Have you checked out the hangar and planes from above? Air Heritage on Google Maps

We are closed on Sundays but please stop by the hangar Mon-Sat 10am – 5pm to see these planes up close with your own eyes.

Greg, Jim and Lee reinstalling the prop on the C-123K

Greg, Jim and Lee reinstalling the prop on the C-123K

Spread for lunch by the ladies of Air Heritage

Spread for lunch by the ladies of Air Heritage

Jim Little, Bill Schillig, Virgil Wyke, Brandon Arnold, Paul Lehuring, Jim Ackley, Don Mansfield

Happy Birthday to Jim Little, Bill Schillig, Virgil Wyke, Brandon Arnold, Paul Lehuring, Jim Ackley, Don Mansfield

Tom, Rich, and Ralph working on the wing for the L-21

Tom, Rich, and Ralph working on the wing for the L-21

Hangar Update

Over the last 36 hours a lot has happened at the Air Heritage Hangar.

Friday saw the OV-1D being towed into the hangar for its annual inspection. It has already been put up on jacks and will begin to receive the attention it needs to be flying for next year’s air show season.

Today, “Thunder Pig” came into the hangar to begin its own annual as well, after a 15 minute engine run. It too has been put up on jacks and has been prepared for work to begin Monday by having the engines’ cowlings opened and stands put in place as well as interior lighting installed. While it is in the hangar, it will also receive some much needed touch up painting and mechanical fine tuning.

The Pig’s left elevator is nearing the point of being ready to be re-primed and covered in fabric. Once the fabric is on, it will be painted and hung back on the pig.

After the pig was brought in, the right elevator was put up on stands and was completely stripped of all its fabric in one day by 6 of our volunteers! Its next step is to be stripped of all its paint so it can be re-primed and covered as well.

Come on in and visit us and see what all we have been doing to keep this historical aircraft flying.

A mid-air collision on February 1, 1943 between a B-17 and a German fighter over the Tunis dock area became the subject of one of the most famous photographs of World War II. An enemy fighter attacking a 97th Bomb Group formation went out of control, probably with a wounded pilot then continued its crashing descent into the rear of the fuselage of a Fortress named All American, piloted by Lt. Kendrick R. Bragg, of the 414th Bomb Squadron. When it struck, the fighter broke apart, but left some pieces in the B-17. The left horizontal stabilizer of the Fortress and left elevator were completely torn away.

Read more: http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/stories/tough-old-bird-28831.html

Engine Driven Hydraulic Pump – Vickers Model NF971330BCF
Cowl Flap Electric Motor N/O/S – Lear Inc, Piqua, OH #VS 47506
Boost Pumps – Thompson Products, Inc. P/N TFD8000-1
Turret Drive Mark-2 – Bell Drawing #03-093-300 (Sunstrand), US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics for Bell A/C Ordinance

For more information please contact Greg Werking by phone @ 724-843-2820.

“Gentleman” Jim Box died at the age of 90 in Rome, NY, his home town. Jim is survived by his wife and 5 sons. Jim was a WWII pilot trained in PT-17, T-6, and B-25.

A long time member of Air Heritage, Jim traveled to Tucson, AZ on the original trip to pick up the C-123K Provider, to bring it hom. He retired from U.S. Airways after many years in the engine shop.

Read Jim’s obituary on barryfuneralhome.com

Something very special happened here on March 22, 2011.  Chris Vidovich’s sister made the arrangements so their family would be here to celebrate the finishing of the F-15A “Eagle” on Chris’s birthday.  Chris being a former crew chief on an F15, made a substantial contribution to transport the “Eagle” out of Georgia, with his help it now sits here at our hangar.  We here at Air Heritage are proud, as I know his family is, to have his name on the side of the airplane as “Crew chief”.

Read more about Chris and how helped bring the F15 back to Air Heritage on airforcetimes.com

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