Georgetown AirFest 2013

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The fourth annual Georgetown Airfest will take place on November 2, from 9am to 4pm. Visitor can take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a ride on a C-47 Southern Cross, a Huey helicopter, and a single-engine Cessna or Piper. The EAA Young Eagles program will be offering flights free of charge to young people between the ages of 8 and 17 years – reservations to be made at Static and aerial displays include the Douglas R4D Skytrain; C-47 Southern Cross; P-51 Mustang; B-25 Devil Dog; M-24 Hind Attack Helicopter; UH-1E Huey Helicopter; Cessna Skycatcher 162; SNJ-4 US Navy Trainer; Nanchang CJ5; Harvard Mark IV trainer and Piper Tomahawk; to mention a few. For more information visit

Date: November 2, 2013
Venue: Georgetown Airport
City: Georgetown
State: California
Country: United States

The Aviation Museum of South Africa

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The Aviation Museum of South Africa incorporates the South African Airways Museum Society, the Dakota Association of South Africa and Skyclass Aviation, all of which aim to preserve and promote South Africa’s aviation resources and heritage in its various forms. These associated organizations, under the auspices of the Aviation Museum of South Africa, coordinate the efforts of volunteer enthusiasts, clubs and societies to achieve their goals of sharing their knowledge of the aviation industry with as wide an audience as possible.

Established in 1986, the South African Airways Museum Society aims to record and preserve the history of South African Airways as an integral part of civil aviation in South Africa. One of the first items to be restored for display by the members of the South African Airways Museum Society was a Junkers Ju 52/3m (CASA 352L) aircraft, and the collection has since grown to include a Lockheed L-18-08 Lodestar; De Havilland DH 104 Dove; Lockheed L1649A Starliner; Vickers VC1A Viking; Boeing 747-244B; Douglas C-54D-15-DC; Boeing 747SP-44; Douglas DC-3 Dakota; Douglas DC-4 Skymaster; and Boeing 707-344C.

Among the goals of the South African Airways Museum, which is located at the Rand Airport in Germiston, is to preserve South Africa’s aviation history for future generations; to maintain an interactive museum in which to display aircraft and aviation related memorabilia; to restore artifacts relevant to aviation; to make visitors welcome and offer them insight into South Africa‘s aviation history while drawing attention to the great strides that aviation has made over the years.

The Dakota Association of South Africa focuses on Dakota aircraft and related artifacts, promoting these to the public. The association was established in 1984 by Victor Philip Fouche, and consisted initially mostly of WWII veterans, and members of the South African Air Force’s 44 squadron, with each having flown Dakota aircraft at some point. As the association came to the attention of the public it received support from others who admired the iconic aircraft and the pilots who flew them. December 17, 2010, was the 75th anniversary of the first flight by the DC-3 and these pioneering aircraft are still in operation to ferry holidaymakers and tourists to their destinations.

With the combined efforts of South African Airways Museum Society, the Dakota Association of South Africa and Skyclass Aviation, the Aviation Museum of South Africa is ensuring that future generations will have the opportunity of seeing just how far technology has come in a relatively short period of time.


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Heading off on vacation or going on an important business trip? You will likely be flying on a commuter aircraft. Commuter airplanes vary in size from those which seat just a few passengers to those which seat over 100. All commuter planes have a cargo hold in which baggage and other goods are stored during flight.

Commuter aircraft are fitted to ensure the comfort of commuters over both short distance flights (nationally) and long distance flights (internationally). Commuter planes have developed to the point where refuelling on certain long journeys is unnecessary thus making such flights quicker and more convenient.

Douglas DC-3

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The Douglas DC-3 quickly became a fixture in the aviation world after it was introduced on December 17, 1935. Within two years, the DC-3 was carrying 90 percent of the world’s commercial airline passengers. In addition to ferrying people around the country, the DC-3 also transported mail for the United States Postal Service. In 1944, 4,853 DC-3s were produced, a sizeable number of aircraft for that time.

The DC-3 is recognized as one of the single greatest influences in developing commercial air travel, in addition to its heavy use by the American military for transport operations during the Second World War. The Australian Defense Force also used DC-3s for wartime missions. Approximately 10,000 of the Douglas DC-3s were pressed into military service around the world. Military versions of the DC-3 include the Dakota, R4D, C-47, and the C-53. The DC-3 has also been used for transporting cargo, skydiving, and aerial spraying. Altogether, Douglas built 13,000 DC-3s.

Douglas had developed the DC-3 as a successor to the DC-2. Some of the primary changes with the newer aircraft were larger, reinforced wings that provided additional lift and enabled it to carry a heavier payload. More space was also provided for fuel tanks, giving the DC-3 a much longer range than the DC-2.

The DC-3 answered customers’ needs for an aircraft that was capable of covering longer distances and traversing the United States easier and faster than airplanes currently in service. When World War II concluded, the thousands of existing military DC-3 aircraft were converted for civilian use and were purchased by most major airlines. Sleeping berths were standard in early versions of the DC-3 and many passengers chose to travel by air rather than by train, which was much slower and took days instead of hours to cross the country.

A retired Canadian Pacific DC-3 is permanently mounted on display at Whitehorse International Airport in the Yukon Territory. The DC-3 swivels into the wind and is affectionately called “The World’s Largest Weather Vane.”

Maximum speed: 237 mph
Cruise speed: 170 mph
Range: 1,025 miles
Ceiling: 24,000′
Length: 64′ 5″
Wingspan: 95′
Height: 16′ 11″
Maximum weight: 28,000 pounds
Empty weight: 18,300 pounds
Engine(s): Two 1,200 HP Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp S1C3G 14-cylinder engines
Rate of climb: 1,130′ per minute
Crew: Two
Passengers: 21-32

Hawker Siddeley 748

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The Hawker Siddeley HS-748 was originally manufactured by Avro in the 1950’s, as the successor to the popular Douglas DC-3. The maiden flight of the Hawker Siddeley HS-748 was conducted on June 24, 1960, and the plane went into production at the end of August a year later. By the time production ended in 1988, 382 of the HS-748 airplanes had been delivered to customers all over the world. Some of those planes were constructed in India as well as in the United Kingdom. In India, production of the Hawker HS-748 was overseen by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. in Kanpur, India on behalf of the Indian government. Many Hawker Siddeley HS-748 airplanes remain in service for regional airlines in northern Canada, Europe, and other locations for hauling freight as well as for carrying passengers.

In 1935, the plane was renamed from the Avro to the Hawker-Siddeley when the company acquired several aviation companies based in the United Kingdom. Later, because of the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act of 1977, Hawker-Siddeley merged with British Aerospace, though production of the HS-748 continued under the designation British Aerospace 748, or Bae748.

During its production life, the Hawker Siddeley HS-748 included Series 1, Series 2, Series 2A, and Series 2B. Each had successively more powerful engines and improved performance over earlier versions. Larger load capacity was gained, as was extended flying ranges.

While Series 1 aircraft were powered by 1600 HP Rolls Royce Dart 514 engines. Series 2 planes were shipped with 1910 HP Dart 531 engines. Series 2A, available in 1967, were powered by Rolls Royce Dart 532 engines.

Original Hawker Siddeley HS-748 specifications:

Cruise speed: 243 knots
Range: 904 miles
Length: 67′
Wingspan: 102′ 5″
Height: 24′ 10″
Maximum weight: 46,500 pounds
Empty weight: 38,500 pounds
Engine(s): Two Rolls Royce Dart RDa.7 Mk 552-2 turboprop engines
Rate of climb: 1,420′ per minute
Runway requirement: 3,720′
Crew: Two
Passenger: Up to 58

The final version of the Hawker Siddeley HS-748, the Series 2B, was powered by Dart 536-2 engines. The Hawker Siddeley 748 was developed separately as a military version of the plane and included a kneeling undercarriage as well as a rear loading ramp.

MD 80

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The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 airplane completed its first flight on October 18, 1979. It entered the market in 1980 as a mid-size, medium-range airliner designed to succeed the DC-9 as well as compete against Boeing‘s popular 737-400. The airplane’s interior accommodated a row of five passengers each in coach seating, and could carry up to 172 passengers in total, depending on how the seats were arranged and the version of the MD-80.

At first, McDonnell Douglas marketed the plane as the DC-9-80, or DC-9 Super 80, however, the designation was eventually changed to the shorter “MD-80.” Though production of the plane ended in 2000, the MD-80 remains in service today on behalf of several major commercial airlines, including a number based in Europe, China, Mexico, Korea, and the United States.

From 1979 to 1999, McDonnell Douglas built 1,159 of the MD-80 aircraft at the Long Beach Division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. A second version of the MD-80 was soon introduced, and 117 of both aircraft types were manufactured between 1995 and 2000. The MD-80 versions included MD-81/82/83/88 and the MD-87 which had a shorter fuselage than the others in the series.

During their production life, all MD-80 variants received upgrades that included avionics, several cockpit improvements, and aerodynamic streamlining. Operation of the MD-80 series was eased with the replacement of the original Pratt & Whitney engines with the JT8D-200 engines. The newer engines have created a quieter ride and are much more fuel-efficient than the older and smaller engines. The Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 engines have also extended the MD-80’s range. This has made the airplane popular for regional as well as national commercial airlines.

Another significant change for the plane in later years was the extension of the MD-80’s fuselage. That permitted the MD-80 to carry additional passengers and freight, which increased the plane’s value for cost-conscious carriers.

Maximum speed: 546 mph
Range: 1,600 miles
Length: 147′ 9″
Wingspan: 107′ 8″
Height: 30′ 5″
Empty weight: 140,000 pounds
Engine(s): Two 18,500-pound-thrust Pratt & Whitney JT8D-209 engines
Crew: Three, including the pilot, first officer, and flight engineer
Passengers: 155 passengers

A1 Skyraider

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The Douglas A-1E Skyraider entered service in World War II as a replacement for the SBD dive-bomber. The Skyraider‘s original designation was the “AD” and it made its inaugural flight on March 18, 1945. The A-1E Skyraider had a middle compartment which allowed it to be used for carrying passengers, supplies, or heavy cargo. Modifications of the airplane continued years after the aircraft was first placed in service. During the next twenty odd years, the Navy took delivery of 3,180 Skyraiders – a number of those aircraft were placed in service during the Korean War.

By 1963, and after many modifications, the Skyraider had evolved from the AD-5 to the A-1E and the United States Air Force used the airplane heavily during the Vietnam War. Despite the advent of jet fighters, the propeller-driven A-1E was well-suited for missions in Vietnam because of its ability to perform close-support operations. Specifically, the A-1E Skyraider had the ability to absorb lethal ground fire and fly at low altitude with large bomb loads, essential tasks during the Vietnam War.

On March 10, 1966 the A-1E Skyraider played a major role in the rescue of a downed pilot in enemy-held territory by pilot Maj. Bernard Fisher for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Though the airplane suffered major damage in combat, Maj. Fisher’s A-1E’s Skyraider is currently on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

The A-1E Skyraider has dual controls and side-by-side seating for the pilot and assistant pilot. Both crew members have an ejection seat. Each wing has two 20 mm guns and the Skyraider can accommodate a variety of mines, gun pods, bombs, rockets, and other armament. To enable the A-1E Skyraider for long strike capability, it can be fitted with external or internal auxiliary fuel tanks. Here is some critical data for aircraft enthusiasts:

Maximum speed: 325 mph
Cruise speed: 240 mph
Range: 1,500 miles
Ceiling: 26,200 ft.
Length: 40 ft.
Wingspan: 50 ft. 1/4 in.
Height: 15 ft. 9 5/8 in.
Maximum weight: 24,872 lbs.
Engine(s): Wright R-3350 of 2,700 hp
Crew: One
Armament: Four 20mm cannons and a wide assortment of bombs, rockets, mines, grenades, flares and gun pods
Contractor: Douglas Aircraft Company

If you are a current or former military pilot and would like to submit an article about your experience or a story about the A-1E Skyrider then please contact us at and we would like to hear from you.


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The B-17 Flying Fortress is one of the most famous and recognizable aircraft from World War II today. One B-17 airplane was even the subject of two popular films, both of which are entitled Memphis Belle.

On July 28, 1935, the B-17 made its first flight. Though not many B-17s had yet been manufactured when the United States entered the Second World War, military strategists recognized the plane’s value and quickly increased production. Primarily, the four-engine heavy bomber took part in daylight bombing raids on German industrial targets. The U.S. Air Force flew the B-17 from Allied bases located in Italy and England as part of the Fifteenth Air Force and Eighth Air Force respectively.

The B-17 Flying Fortress was especially popular with her crew because she could endure fierce punishment and survive massive damage from enemy fire but still limp back to base for a safe landing, thus often saving the lives of her crew.

As production of the B-17 continued, modifications were incorporated and the airplane evolved into the B-17G, of which more than 8,500 were manufactured by Boeing, Lockheed-Vega, and Douglas. In all there were 12,726 B-17 Flying Fortresses manufactured before production ended in May of 1945.

Several restored B-17 Flying Fortresses are still flying today and are available for public charter. Many other B-17s are on display in museums. The Memphis Belle is now located at the National Museum of the United States Air Force where it had been undergoing restoration work since it arrived there in October of 2005.

Maximum speed: 300 mph
Cruise speed: 170 mph
Range: 1,850 miles
Ceiling: 35,000 ft
Length: 74 ft. 4 in.
Wingspan: 103 ft. 10 in.
Height: 19 ft. 1 in.
Maximum weight: 55,000 lbs
Empty weight: 36,135 lb
Engine(s): Four 1,200 hp Wright Cyclone R-1820s
Rate of climb: 900 ft per minute
Crew: 10, including the pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier and nose gunner, top turret gunner and flight engineer, radio operator, ball turret gunner, tail gunner, and two waist gunners.
Armament: 6,000 lbs of bombs and 13 .50-cal. machine guns.
Contractor: Boeing

If you are a current or former military pilot and would like to submit an article about your experience or a story about the B-17 Flying Fortress 6 then please contact us at – we would like to hear your stories about this fabulous aircraft.

South Australian Aviation Museum

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Port Adelaide, South Australia

The South Australian Aviation Museum began in 1984 inside a small garage behind a hotel in Glenelg. Two years later, the museum moved to the former SA Lion Flourmill in Port Adelaide. As the South Australian Aviation Museum grew, larger quarters were required and it closed temporarily in 2005 in preparation for relocating to its current home at the aviation complex on Lipson Street.

Aircraft on display inside the museum’s hangar include the Avro Anson, the Douglas C-47B Dakota, the Supermarine Spitfire MKVC, and the classic open cockpit biplane de Havilland Moth. Located around the hangar are numerous floor displays featuring notable aviators such as Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo to Australia which she did from Britain in her Gypsy Moth. Other displays include information on Australian pilot Jon Johanson who holds the world’s record for several aviation achievements involving speed and distance.

The South Australian Aviation Museum also has aircraft engines on display. Among them, see a 6-cylinder 340 HP de Havilland Gipsy Queen engine or the Rolls Royce Merlin MK III engine. The Merlin engine is the type used to power the Hurricane, Spitfire, and other famous aircraft during World War II.

Visitors to the Museum can watch restoration work being performed on a Fairey Battle World War II training aircraft, the only one located in Australia and one of only four in the world. Another restoration project in progress is the twin-engine 1956 Aero Commander. See these planes come alive again as technicians and historical experts restore them piece by piece.

Unique to the Museum is a rocket collection on loan from the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation. It represents more than 30 years of rocket history in South Australia beginning from 1950. Be sure to check with the museum for special events held throughout the year.

The Museum is located on Lipson Street in Port Adelaide. Visit their Web site at, and be sure to tell them you learned about SAAM on!

SBD Dauntless

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The Douglas Company began production of the SBD Dauntless in the early part of 1940: The plane completed its first flight on May 1, 1940. The US Military entered the “Dauntless” into service first with the Marines as the SBD-1, followed by the Navy’s activation of the aircraft in 1941 which flew the SBD-2 version of the Dauntless as a carrier-based fighter. Among some differences between the two aircraft was the SBD-2 s’ larger fuel tanks. Upgrades and other modifications of the plane continued at a steady rate with increasingly larger fuel tanks, fuselage upgrades for protection against enemy fire, and additional armament.

One of the most common versions of the SBD Dauntless is the SBD-5. It was equipped with a larger 1,200 hp engine and further improvements to armament. More than 2,400 of the SBD-5 aircraft were produced, some of which were sold to Mexico, New Zealand, and the Royal Navy. The final version of the SBD Dauntless was the SBD-6. As with many of the previous modifications, it again had larger fuel tanks as well as a more powerful engine. U.S. Army versions of the SBD were the A-24, A-24A, and the A-24B. The total number of SBD Dauntless aircraft manufactured was 5,936.

The most unique feature of the SBD Dauntless was its dive brake system. It worked by using flaps with large holes in them. By relying on the dive brakes, the Dauntless pilots could drop into a steep dive and accurately deliver its bomb on target before pulling up and away.

The Dauntless served almost entirely in the Pacific theatre and even saw action at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese made their surprise attack on the American fleet. The aircraft also served valiant airmen in the Battle of the Coral Sea, sinking four Japanese aircraft carriers. Before the war’s end, SBD Dauntless airplanes were responsible for destroying six enemy carriers and a battleship.

Here are some interesting facts about the SBD:

Maximum speed: 252 mph
Cruise speed: 185 mph
Range: 1,205 miles
Ceiling: 27,100 feet
Length: 33 feet
Wingspan: 41 feet 6 inches
Height: 12 feet 11 inches
Maximum weight: 9,353 pounds
Empty weight: 6,535 lbs.
Engine(s): one 1,200 hp Wright R-1820-60 engine
Rate of climb: 1,700 ft per minute
Crew: Two
Armament: 2,250 lbs bombs, two .50-caliber machine guns, and one to two .30-caliber machine guns.
Contractor: Douglas

If you are a current or former military pilot and would like to submit an article about your experience or a story about the SBD (or any other aircraft whether military or civilian) then please contact us and we will publish your stories with other veterans, pilots and aircraft enthusiasts in the United States and abroad.

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