The WHF Hangar

March, 2014 Volume 6, Number 1

The Foundation P-51D "Baby Duck", flown by Stuart Milson, flies
lead in a formation of four P-51D Mustangs on August 3, 2012.
Photo by Scott Slocum

Greetings from the staff at the Warbird Heritage Foundation and welcome to the latest edition of the WHF Hangar!

It has been quite a while since our last newsletter and there are many new developments to update you on.

In the last newsletter we announced that WHF had acquired a North American P-51D Mustang and that we were nearing the end of a project to restore the aircraft to flight status. That restoration project was successfully completed and the aircraft made it's first post restoration flight in July of 2011!   It was introduced on static display at the Wings Over Waukegan 2011 airshow, and has been flying in airshows on a regular basis since 2012!   If you weren't following along with the restoration work as it progressed and would like to view some pictures that were taken while the work was still in progress, they are available online. You can click here to go directly to the P-51D "Restoration" page.

Since the last newsletter, there have also been some changes to our staff. Sean Roarty was named Director of Maintenance in April of 2013.   Congratulations Sean!    David Staffeldt remains with the Foundation, focusing his efforts on restoration projects and helping out where needed.

The Foundation AD-1 Skyraider, flown by Jim Leavelle, flies past the
"Wall of Fire" at the Wings Over Waukegan 2013 airshow.
Photo by Geoff Sobering

In addition to pursuing their own independent airshow performances, Jim Leavelle and Vlado Lenoch have joined our staff as Demonstration Pilots.

Jim Leavelle is a former USAF A-10 pilot who flies his own SNJ (T-6) at airshows. Jim will be flying our AD-1 Skyraider.

Many of you are familiar with Vlado flying his P-51 as part of the USAF Heritage Flight program. Vlado will now be flying our P-51 Baby Duck and our AD-1 Skyraider.

More information on Jim and Vlado can be found on our staff page.

Several of our pilots have recently earned additional type and instructor ratings. Our Chief Pilot Herwig Schmidts now has a rating in the P-51 Mustang. Jim Leavelle and Vlado Lenoch now have a type rating in the AD-1 Skyraider. And last, but certainly not least, our Founder, Paul R. Wood is now a Certified Flight Instructor!   Congratulations to all!

This brings us to the major announcement for this newsletter. In January of 2013, the Warbird Heritage Foundation began a new restoration project with the acquisition of a Goodyear FG-1D Corsair.

The Foundation FG-1D Corsair as it looked when we took delivery.
Photo by Bluedharma

The first of the production Corsairs were manufactured by Chance Vought Aircraft in June of 1942, and were designated "F4U". During World War II Chance Vought was overwhelmed with Corsair orders and could not keep up. In order to meet the demand, Chance Vought licensed the "F4U-1D" specifications to both Goodyear and the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation. A Corsair manufactured by Goodyear was designated an "FG-1D".

The FG-1D aircraft acquired by WHF, BuNo 92050, was modified as an air racer in the 1970's, as you can see in the picture at the right. Note that 36 inches were removed from each wingtip to reduce drag for racing.

We immediately began a project to restore the aircraft back to it's original condition. The aircraft has been relocated to Tab-Air, Inc. of East Troy, WI, where the restoration work will continue. The Pratt and Whitney
R-2800 engine has been removed from the aircraft and sent to Anderson Aeromotive in Grangeville, Idaho for refurbishment. The wings have been removed, and the aircraft has been divided into two sections, split at

The Foundation FG-1D Corsair as it looked during it's Naval career.

the factory build line. Work is currently underway to restore the flaps to their original condition.

We have added the FG-1D Corsair to our website and will post periodic updates so you can follow along with the restoration project. To go directly to the FG-1D "Restoration" page, click here. You can also track the restoration via Facebook. Click on the "Find us on Facebook" button below to go directly to our Facebook page.

After the restoration work is complete, we will be partnering with the Glenview Hangar One Foundation and re-painting the aircraft in the NAS Glenview 1950's Corsair paint scheme. By doing this, we will be recognizing the contributions of the Naval Air Station Glenview veterans who served, or supported it's operations before the base was closed in 1995. The paint scheme will be similar to the one pictured above, except that it will read "Glenview" instead of "Salem".

We consider the Corsair restoration to be a major project with an estimated completion date in the 2016 - 2017 timeframe.

Click here to visit our website and view the "Events" page for an updated schedule of the airshows and events that we will be participating in during the 2014 airshow season. Remember to check back periodically for any updates.

Some notable events that we have participated in since the last newsletter include:
  • Paul Wood, in the Foundation A-4 Skyhawk, did a flyby of the 2011 Indianapolis 500.
  • Paul Wood, flying the Foundation F-86 was part of a formation that did a flyby at AirVenture Oshkosh 2011 as a tribute to Robert A. (Bob) Hoover.
  • Paul Wood in the Foundation F-86 along with Vlado Lenoch flying the Foundation P-51 did a flyby of Soldier Field during the Bears / Lions game on November 10, 2013.
  • Some upcoming events of interest:
  • Paul Wood is scheduled to do a flyby of Wrigley Field in the Foundation A-4 Skyhawk during the Chicago Cubs / Arizona Diamonbacks game on April 23, 2014.

  • The Foundation A-4 Skyhawk during a phased inspection.

    Just in case you haven't noticed yet, It's winter. That means our annual maintenance effort is already well underway. Our maintenance staff is working hard to get all of our aircraft inspected and ready to go for the upcoming 2014 airshow season.

    Many of you have been closely following us on Facebook, where we highlight our aircraft maintenance efforts. We provide frequent updates on the status of all our aircraft, and post pictures of the annual inspection process.

    If you haven't already done so, please click on the button above, and "Like" us on Facebook!   Then, continue to follow our progress there during the remainder of the winter aircraft maintenance season.

    We hope you continue to check our website as well 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.

    When you do check in, please remember to sign the guestbook and download our free screensaver. Since the last newsletter, we have released Version 3 of the WHF screensaver with more new and exciting pictures. Version 3 has been very well received, and has been downloaded by people from all around the world. If you haven't checked it out, please take a moment to do so. To download and enjoy Version 3 of our screensaver, click here.

    We are looking forward to another exciting airshow season in 2014 and hope to see many of you during the course of the year.

    So for now, regards from the staff of the Warbird Heritage Foundation.

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