Greetings from the staff at the Warbird Heritage Foundation and welcome to the latest edition of the WHF Hangar!
The year 2009 was a very busy one for all of us at WHF, and it was filled with several unique events and accomplishments. The 2009 airshow
season saw our aircraft at eleven different shows around the country. Not only did we perform at shows in the Midwest, but we also
participated in shows as far away as Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.
Airshow performances last year included a new F-86 Sabre aerobatic "TAC DEMO" routine. Wherever we flew, you can be certain
that we were the hit of the show!
To re-create the feel and excitement of this awesome experience, we have produced an F-86 Sabre Airshow Demonstration Video.
To view this short three minute video, click
Again this past year, both Steve Kirik and Paul Wood re-qualified to fly with the Navy in formation with F/A-18 Hornet fighters as part
of the Navy's Legacy Flight program. There are only 14 civilian pilots from the entire country who participate in this program, so it is
quite an honor to continue to be in such an elite group. Last summer we flew the T-2 Buckeye in the Legacy program at several shows around
A United States Navy F/A-18F Super-Hornet and the
WHF T-2B Buckeye fly as part of a 2009
Navy Legacy Flight formation.
Photo by Rob Edgcumbe
As many of you know, we have been hard at work on the restoration of our Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. We are happy to announce that after over
two years of hard work by our maintenance staff led by David Staffeldt, Sean Roarty, and a group of volunteers,
our A-4 Skyhawk has returned to the skies!
On December 1, 2009, the Skyhawk made its first post-restoration flight at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
The aircraft had last flown over seventeen years ago! After an extremely successful test flight, the Skyhawk continued
home to the Warbird Heritage Foundation later that same day.
The Foundation A-4 Skyhawk flies home from Oshkosh.
Photo by David Staffeldt
To see photographs of the first flight day, click
We have also put together an eight minute video containing the highlights of
the day's activities, including the pre-flight preparations, the engine startup, the test flight, and the flight to Waukegan. To view
this video, click
There are still a few additional cleanup items left to be completed on the Skyhawk before we consider it operational.
You can expect to see it flying regularly around the Midwest later this year.
We introduced the A-4 to the public for the first time at Oshkosh last summer at the "Warbirds in Review" Forum. We were fortunate
enough to have with us Cmdr T.R. Swartz, USN(ret.). Cmdr. Swartz flew a variety of aircraft during his naval career, including the
A-4 Skyhawk during the Vietnam era.
Our aircraft is painted exactly like the one that then Lt. Cmdr. Swartz flew when he was credited with the
only air to air victory by an A-4 Skyhawk in the entire
Cmdr. Swartz spoke in front of a capacity crowd at Oshkosh, with our aircraft as the backdrop, as he discussed his experiences flying the Skyhawk.
Cmdr. T. R. Swartz, USN(ret.)
Speaking at AirVenture Oshkosh 2009
Photo by Henning Henningsen
Speaking of AirVenture Oshkosh 2009, the Warbird Heritage Foundation had a record number of aircraft on display, and in the air, during
the event. Present at Wittman Regional Airport were our F-86 Sabre,
A-4 Skyhawk, AD-1 Skyraider, T-2 Buckeye, T-28 Trojan, and L-39
Albatros. The Sabre, Skyraider, and Albatros flew as part of the airshow several times during the week.
In another unique milestone this past year, our Demonstration Pilot and Safety Officer, Steve Kirik, was awarded an Experimental Type Rating in
the Sukhoi Su-27 "Flanker". The Flanker is a modern front-line fighter flown by the Russian Air Force similar in many ways to the F-15 Eagle
flown by the US Air Force.
Steve is the first and only civilian pilot to receive such a rating. He says that flying this aircraft reminds
him very much of his days in the Air Force when he flew missions in his F-15 Eagle during the first Gulf War. For more information and pictures
of Steve and the Su-72, click
Congratulations to Steve on such a unique accomplishment!
A Sukhoi Su-72 Flanker rotating - piloted by Steve Kirik
Photo by David Jacobson / www.airshowstuff.com
We hope you continue to check our website over the course of the year. We are constantly putting up new photographs and other information
on the website in order to keep everyone up to date on our activities. Our 2010 Airshow schedule will be updated as soon as it
In addition, we have added a "Photographer's Corner" section where we feature well known aviation photographers who have made significant
contributions to our website.
Included for each photographer are a BIO, samples of their work, and links to their individual websites for your
convenience. To visit the "Photographer's Corner" click
So please take some time to re-discover our website. We are averaging over 1,000 visitors each month and guests have signed our guestbook
from 27 different states and six different countries from around the world. When you do check in, please remember to sign the guestbook
and download our free screensaver.
Since the last newsletter, we have released Version 2 of the screensaver with more new and exciting pictures.
To download and enjoy Version 2 of our screensaver, click
We are looking forward to another exciting and eventful summer airshow season and hope to see many of you over the course of
So for now, regards from the staff of the Warbird Heritage Foundation.