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Thread: Unwelcome warbird?

  1. #1
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    Unwelcome warbird?

    My question is about the decisions whether an airplane is allowed to park in the warbirds area or not.

    Today, I flew my plane into Dulles/KIAD to participate in the National Air and Space Museum's "Innovations in Flight" day. I was parked next to a recently restored HU-16 Grumman Albatross, owned by "Seaplanes Crossing" an aviation history 501(3)c. It is a beautiful restoration and was quite popular with the visitors. I asked the PIC if he would be bringing it to OSH this year and if so where he would be parking it. He told me that he had asked to park it at Warbirds, but was refused because it was not panted in military colors! Instead, he will park it a Vintage -- and vintage has been very welcoming to him.

    It seems to me that I have seen more than enough "warbirds" painted in civilian colors parked with the warbirds area. Of course there are also the airplanes where, although that airframe was never in military service, there were models strongly similar to it that were in military service and are allowed in if that aircraft is painted with a military appearing paint scheme (E.g., Navions of different model years.) I am pretty sure last year I saw a couple of planes where the airplane was in civilian colors, but since airplanes of that type served in some foreign country's military, there were allowed in too. (E.g., IAR's)

    Given that liberality, I wonder why the operators of this particular HU-16 were told that the plane could not park in Warbirds unless it had a military paint scheme. (I am sure the crew will have a great time with the Vintage folks.)
    Chris Mayer
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    www.o2cricket.com

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    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    The only way you can determine if a Navion was a legit L-17 is to check the serial number against the military purchase records. They were pretty much stock.

    I've seen very laughable Navion military paint jobs (forget the ones for people like the Marines and Navy who I don't think ever had them) but there was one that was painted up as [sic] "Ar Farce One" a few years back in Warbirds. I thought that as long as your model was used by some military anywhere you were OK (which explains the RVs there since the Nigerian airforce or some such uses them).

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    I think the Albatross owner was mistaken or more likely feeding you a line, unless it was a case of running out of parking space rof the larger planes i warbirds. I think he probably had some grievance against warbird division of EAA. There are many planes that were legitimate types in former military useage, that dont have military paint,. There are some T-6s, some T-34s, and even a few Mustangs that had civilian paint, etc. On the other hand, puting a miltary paint scheme on a plane does not make it a warbird.
    I dont see why it is such a big issue for some people.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 06-18-2018 at 10:25 AM.

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    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    Ron: For the early model Navions, you are correct. (But you are truly the expert on that.) Discussing the differences between airplanes that actually had military service and those dressed up like one (e.g. C-172 in USAF paint) was not my point. That is a separate gripe...(If you want to be a re-enactor, fine. Make it clear you are a re-enactor and get your kit straight -- markings, too! My personal opinion? If you want to park in Warbirds you should be making a statement that you are honoring the brave men (and women/WASPS) that flew those planes in combat. Getting the markings right is important to that. My opinion only and if I push it too much I might be asked to park in Vintage myself.

    Bill: I don't know about feeding a line. He seemed pretty sincere. This will be their first trip to AirVenture and they wanted to do it right. The team spent an awful lot of time and other re$ource$ putting the plane together. It could be that there was no room on the ramp for the big plane, but that was not what was relayed to me. All about paint...and I asked some very probing questions about that. Anyway, I am sure that Ron's people will appreciate them!
    Chris Mayer
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    www.o2cricket.com

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    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Well, most of the exhibit area in Warbirds or Vintage have no "ramp" area. All we have is grass (we have a few former roads that can pass for hard surface but mostly they're used as taxiways).

    We've never turned away a legal-for-vintage aircraft regardless of size. We've parked Howard 500's and all manners of the Grumman flying boats up to the Albatross. Parked more than a few DC-3's as well. We even convinced the Snowbirds to bring one of their Tudor jets down and park with us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    We even convinced the Snowbirds to bring one of their Tudor jets down and park with us.
    I saw that, one of the coolest sights ever at Osh. I wonder if the USAF, US Navy would be as accomodating and easy going as the RCAF?

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    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floatsflyer View Post
    I saw that, one of the coolest sights ever at Osh. I wonder if the USAF, US Navy would be as accomodating and easy going as the RCAF?
    The USAF and the US Navy demo teams fly aircraft that are not allowed in Vintage (too new). Margy and I were having dinner with Snowbird 10 and 11 when they came to DC for an event and we pushed them hard to come to Vintage. We told them we could take all 12 planes. They said their security people wouldn't allow it, but as a surprise to Margy they did manage to swing it.

    The EAA brought over tents, sleeping bags, chairs, and a cooler of Wisconsin craft beer for the guys to have their one night in Vintage.

    Camping with the plane was on their bucket list at Oshkosh. I asked what the others were. One was they wanted to direct traffic on the runways and had already set this up with the FAA. The other was they wanted to fly the Ripon proceedure and land on the green dots. We took 10 and 11 up in a pair of Navions and let them have one practice landing at an outlying field and then made them fly the approach. Naughty did OK, Sticky kind of slammed Trevor's Navion into the Runway.

    I asked what other bucket list item was. They said they wanted to drive one of the vw bugs around the airport. I went and borrowed our chairman's and let them take turns heading up and down the flightline.

    Here's Snowbird 10 showing us a little formation flight with Snowbird 11.
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    The next day we got to sit in one of the Tudors, but alas they couldn't fly us.

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    Oh Canada, eh!!

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    I parked a civilian painted T34 A in warbirds probably most of 10 years as did the previous owner which was where I first saw that plane. Now there was no doubt it was a warbird, the air force and navy both used T-34 as trainers and that plane was at Selfridge AFB named after the Lt who was the passenger lost in the first Wright crash.
    Ones plane does not have to have been used by military to be a warbird, but the type or make of model does.
    I dont know about Navions, I guess some where military and a slightly different model is civilian.
    Nowadays all sorts of stuff may be claimed to be a warbird. The milltary flys Citations and King Airs, really just a civilian plane.
    There are some fine lines, a Bonanza is not a warbird, a T-34 is, but there was one Bonanza with a huge ugly bump on the engine cowling that parked in warbirds and claimed to be a one off for military. Might have been good in Vietnam, it was too ugly to even attract a SAM.
    I am no Albatross expert, I guess its possible there were military models and maybe a model that was only civilian.I assumed all where militaru.
    I got to fly one once, my good friend Dennis Buein (sp?) sat me at the controls when I was new to EAA and warbirds and then they had a grand old laugh at my expense as the walked aft and forward down the ailse while I was trying to find the pitch trim.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 06-19-2018 at 09:04 PM.

  10. #10
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Nope, the L-17 were just civilian models (the L-17A was a straight Navion, the L-17B was a Navion A, etc...). You can't tell by looking at them. You have to research the serial number to see how it was sold. Other than paint and the designation of the engine, they were identical.


    Warbirds park "military" painted Navions and we park L-17's down in Vintage.

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