CALIFORNIA 2018


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Copyright Ruud Leeuw Photos © R.Leeuw

A brief trip (11-22April) to California; as usual my interest was a mixed bag and here are the vintage (mainly propellor) aircraft I came across on this trip.

 

VACAVILLE - NUT TREE AIRPORT

Propliner trail in Southern California 2018
Lockheed L.18 Lodestar N6711 (c/n 18-2484); N6711 has been deregistered from the FAA Registry, expired in 2013.
Lockheed (BACC) H-250 Tri-Gear (L-18) was converted from USAAF C-60A (Lockheed 18-56) 42-56011 by BACC (Howard successor), including replacing the tailwheel by tricycle undercarriage.
Howard 250 executive aircraft were Lockheed L-18 Lodestars fitted with various frills; the H-250 Tri-Gear was a further development with tricycle landing gear.

Propliner trail in Southern California 2018
Grumman US-2B Tracker, BuNo. 136636/D (US Navy VT-26)
Googling I came across the following data: c/n G-89-545, last civil registration N7141D and
reg'd (26Jul2013) to Rick Clemens of Carson City, NV (from www.aerialvisuals.ca and FAA Inquiry).

Propliner trail in Southern California 2018
Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon 'NL20PV'. Not sure if these here at the Nut Tree Airport are dormant or not?

Sean Keating replied:"the PV2 NL20PV is being restored to flight by Taigh Ramey and his crew."
Sean copied a link to a thread on warbirdinformationexchange.org which stated "We bought a Harpoon that has been sitting for a long time in California. Last flown in 1995. Engines have not run in 15 plus years. We started to bring her back to life and have visited a few times to knock the nests out and begin to prep the airframe and engines." ¬dated Apr 02, 2018.

That thread also included its entire and detailed history!
History of PV-2 Harpoon 37524
June 1943: The Navy ordered 500 examples from Lockheed under the designation PV-2 Harpoon.
1944: The PV-2 was manufactured at the Lockheed (Vega) Aircraft Division, Burbank California. The PV-2 was assigned construction number 15-1490.
May 28th, 1945: PV-2 Harpoon was accepted by the Navy. The final paperwork was completed including the DD form 250 signed by the contract representative for the Navy. The Navy took ownership of the aircraft and authorized final payment.
December 26th 1945: PV-2 Harpoon was delivered to the Navy. The aircraft was ferried out from the manufacturer to its next assignment. The Navy assigned it Bureau Number (BuNo) 37524.
December 1945: PV-2 BuNo 37524 was flown from the factory at Burbank California to NAS Terminal Island, Los Angeles County, California. At NAS Terminal Island, the plane received its final equipment installations and flight tests.
January 1946: The PV-2 was transferred to Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) Holtsville, San Diego County, California (now Holtville Airport 125 miles east of San Diego CA, near El Centro). This was just a temporary stop on its way to its next reported location. The Army Corps of Engineers reported that NAAS Holtville was used for a few months in 1946 to store 111, PV-2 Harpoons before the station went into caretaker status in late 1946.
February 1946: PV-2 BuNo 37524 transferred to Naval Air Facility (NAF) Litchfield Park, Arizona.
June 16th, 1952: While still in storage at NAF Litchfield Park, it was reported that PV-2 Harpoon, BuNo 37524 had a total of only 13 hours of flight time on the airframe since acceptance by the Navy.
June 26th 1952: PV-2 Harpoon, BuNo 37524 was taken out of storage and transferred to NAS Alameda California. At NAS Alameda it was assigned to the Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) Overhaul and Repair (O & S), Maintenance and Supply (M & S) Departments most likely for overhaul after its long storage period.
February 1953: It was reported that PV-2 Harpoon, BuNo 37524 had a total of only 18 hours of flight time on the airframe since acceptance by the Navy.
March 11th 1953: Last reported date it was at NAS Alameda.
March 18th 1953: PV-2 Harpoon, BuNo 37524 transferred east to Naval Air Reserve Training Unit (NARTU) Anacostia, Washington D.C. (This field became Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in 2005).
May 1953: The Navy finally started to get some use out of the aircraft because it flew 16 hours between March and May 1953. It was reported that PV-2 Harpoon, BuNo 37524 had a total of 35 hours of flight time on the airframe since acceptance by the Navy.
November 1953: It was reported that PV-2 Harpoon, BuNo 37524 had a total of 149 hours of flight time on the airframe since acceptance by the Navy.
February 1954: It was reported that PV-2 Harpoon, BuNo 37524 had a total of 192 hours of flight time on the airframe since acceptance by the Navy.
February 1955: It was reported that PV-2 Harpoon, BuNo 37524 had a total of 406 hours of flight time on the airframe since acceptance by the Navy.
August 31st 1955: Last reported assigned to NARTU Anacostia. It was also reported that PV-2 Harpoon, BuNo 37524 had a total of 479 hours of flight time on the airframe since acceptance by the Navy.
December 14th 1955: Transferred back to NAF Litchfield Park Arizona and returned to storage.
February 29th 1956: It was reported that PV-2 Harpoon, BuNo 37524 had a total of 513 hours of flight time on the airframe since acceptance by the Navy. This was the last total hours reported by the Navy.
May 9th 1956: Last reported at NAF Litchfield Park.
December 17th, 1956: Stricken from the Navy inventory.
1957 - 1979: The PV-2 was owned and operated by Ralph S. Johnson/ Master Equipment Co, Cheyenne WY with civil registry N7262C. Ralph S. Johnson purchased 22 surplus PV-2 Harpoons and used them as aerial agricultural sprayers.
February 1979 – 1982: Owned by Ralph S. Johnson/ RALCO Inc, Cheyenne WY
1981 -1986: Located in open storage Chandler AZ
March 1982 -1984: Owned by Westco Interservice Group, St Helens OR
1985 – 1987: Owned by Ralph S. Johnson/ RALCO Inc, Cheyenne WY
June 1987 – 1995: Owned by Quarry Products Inc, Richmond CA
1988 – 1995: Located in open storage, Sonoma-Schellville CA
April 29th 1995: Owned by Earl R. Benedict, Vacaville-Nut Tree CA. Restored to military configuration with bare metal finish and Donald Duck nose art.
August 1995- 2014: Owned by Earl R. Benedict. Civil Registry N20PV, Vacaville-Nut Tree CA.

Propliner trail in Southern California 2018
N20PV ('NL20P') once reg'd to Earl R.Benedict and reregistered from N7262C in Sep.95 rereg; ex/USN 37524.
I had come across N20PV already in 1996 at Vacaville! Now there is hope one day she'll fly again!

Propliner trail in Southern California 2018
This must be a T-28 Trojan, but I have no details of its identity. Information appreciated! EMAIL

Supposedly Beech 18 N5867 and Grumman Goose N291VW reside here too, but my attention span was short: caught in abysmal traffic after landing on SFO, heading for a bed in Sacramento, this stop needed to be short for me!


 

Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)

Sacramento McClellan Airport is a privately-owned public-use airport located 10 km northeast of the central business district of Sacramento.
The airport is on the former site of McClellan Air Force Base, which existed as a military base from 1939 to 2000. It was transferred to Sacramento County in 2000, as part of its conversion into McClellan Business Park, and was purchased by McClellan Business Park in October 2017.
The airport is a public-use facility which operates as an uncontrolled airfield in what the FAA designates as Class 'E' Airspace. The airport is mainly used for general aviation.
Current airport tenants include Calstar, the California Department of Forestry, United States Coast Guard, Air Station Sacramento, Dassault Falcon, United States Forest Service, PODS, and the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District. [¬Wikipedia]

 

AEROSPACE MUSEUM of CALIFORNIA

Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC).
The air base opend in 1939 and was named after Major Hezekiah McClellan, a pioneer of Arctic flying; he was killed in '36
My wife and I very much enjoyed a tour here by our good friend John Vogel, volunteer here at the museum.

Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
DC-3 42-68835/W-CU (c/n 11762)
Douglas C-53D Skytrooper 42-68835. It was leased by American Airlines after World War II.
The U.S. Geological Survey operated it as N19924 in the 1960s. It progressed through a series of privat owners,
before the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) seized it in Florida, in 1982.

Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
DC-3 268835/W-CU, the D-Day colours are striking. It did not participate in the D-Day invasion in
Normandy but did fly resupply mission soon after from England. It did fly in 'Operation Market Garden', which
was the largest paratroop mission during WW2. And it flew re-supply missions during 'the Battle of the Bulge'.

John Vogel sent me these photos to support my photos of 268835/CU-W

C-47 N19924
DC-3 N19924 'United States Geological Survey', 1958. Photo by Larry Smalley.
Photo from the archives of the Aerospace Museum of California

DC-3 19924 in 1986 at McClellan,CA
John wrote : "N19924 probably very soon after its arrival at McClellan in 1986
(photographer unknown; photo from the archives of the Aerospace Museum of California )".

C-47 268835/D-UA


C-47 42-68835/CU-W
On the left: "repainted, now marked W-CU, with Superwoman (?) as nose art (dated Aug 2003, though I am not
sure when 268835 was repainted)".
On the right: "note the markings above the windows; these were on the port side only (my photo, dated Aug 2003). There is an inflight photo in the museum's archives (which I was not able to reproduce because of the poor quality), dated 'late 1944', showing similar port side markings, although I am not positive the museum reproduction is exact.
But the Superwoman and W-CU code are accurate!"
Comments by John Vogel.

John added the following information:
  • C-53D-DO USAAF s/n 42-68835, c/n 11762
  • Jul 12, 1943 - delivered to the USAAF at Baer Field, Indiana
  • Jul 13, 1943 - Modification Center, Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • Jul/Aug, 1943 - various other US locations
  • Oct 4, 1943 - arrived in England (it did not fly over Normandy on D-Day, but certainly was active after that)
  • Jul 16, 1945 - returned to the US
  • Aug 15, 1945 - to the RFC (Reconstruction Finance Corp.), Augusta, GA for disposal
  • Sep 6, 1945 - civilian registered NC19924, leased to American Airlines
  • Sep 10, 1945 - converted to DC-3A at the American Airlines facility, New York
  • Jul 16, 1948 - returned to the WAA (War Assets Administration)
  • 1953 - to the USGS (US Geological Survey Agency)
  • from here I have no dates: it was operated by the USGS through at least 1958
  • date unknown - J Benn, JR, Arlington, Virginia
  • date unknown  -  Flying Sportsman, Falls Church, Virginia
  • Nov 1967 - G Cavoli, Willingboro, New Jersey
  • Aug 4, 1977 - Island Air Corp., Ft Lauderdale, FL from there details are uncertain, but N19924 was reported as stored
  • Jul 1978 - in Miami, Florida
  • Feb 1983 - in Gainsville, Florida
  • Jul 1984 -  in Addison, Texas, seized by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency)
  • Oct 1986 - flown to the McClellan Aviation Museum, Sacramento, CA

  •  

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    The open door invites a look on board..

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Information about this DC-3 military variant, a C-53 Skytrooper, and its history in detail.
    The C-53 was, after been restored to flying condition by 440th TAW, flown to McClellan AFB in Oct.1986
    to join the museum.

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Bucket seats! Probably not very comfortable but the 'passengers' did not remain on board for long!

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    The cockpit shows its age..

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Volunteer offering the inside story to many of these planes


    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Beech C-45 '42-51291' (c/n 5618) flanked by two Big Dougs.
    The Beech was a naval variant, SNB-2 with serial 51291. It was accepted by United States Navy with BuNo. 51291
    on 06Oct1943. In 1962 it was redesignated as UC-45J and staged through NAS Patuxent River and NAS El Toro.
    From an unknown date to May 1966 it was operated for the Naval Weapons Lab at Nval Air Station Dahlgren, MD.
    By May 1966 it was struck off charge from the United States Navy. On 18Jun70 Certificate of Airworthiness
    was issued for N11248 (C-45, 51291). Soon a sale reported to a new owner in Wright Patterson,OH. Thus entering
    the inventory of the National Museum of the United States Air Force Loan Program, Wright Field, Dayton,OH and
    subsequently loaned to Aerospace Museum of California here at Sacramento. During September 1988 it was
    transported by truck and delivered to the museum. In April 1992 it was restored with markings applied 42-51291, representing a USAF C-45J. [Source: aerialvisuals.ca]
    Somewhere along the line this Twin Beech was assigned tailnumber N11248, but perhaps never applied.

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Douglas C-54 (military variant of the DC-4) 42-72449 (c/n 10554)
    Built in 1942 under USAAF contract, but immediately transferred to the Navy upon acceptance as BuNo. 50874.
    It served its entire career with USN/USMC, until civil registered as N27MA in 1976. It was with the museum by 1979.

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Fairchild C-119, '52-2114' (c/n or msn: 10825)
    John told me this was an ex/ Canadian Air Force plane so I knew where to look! Canadian CC-119 22124 was written
    off on 19Mar1956 at Montreal-Dorval Int'l Airport, damaged beyond repair following hangar fire
    and subsequently written off.
    aviation-safety.net/database

    From my own records over the years:
    C/n 10825 @Museum McClellan AFB, Calif. '22114' was carried while in Canadian AF, tho acft now (1994) in full USAF c/s; ex/Hawkins&Powers N15502. Rankin-Lowe: "ex-RCAF C-119G, s/n 22114, c/n 10825. It was t/o/s by RCAF 10Mar63, to Saskatoon 28Jun65, s/o/s 13Sep65; sold through CADC to Frank Shelley Electronics 01Feb67, bt H&P rereg'd N15502 (dte? but prior May77!), not cvtd to tanker; HP traded to USAF Museum (+C119s ex/ RCAF 22105 + 22122) for UC-27 161628 (+P-2s 145905, 147957 + 148342) 1988."
    To McClellan Museum as '52-2114' (serial really is a F-86H Sabre).

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar, '22114', former Canadian Armed Forces CC-119 22124
    I ended up with serial 22124 as noted in 2017 issue of 'Survivors', published by Gatwick Aviation Society.
    The FY 1952 batches for the C-119 were 52-5840/5954, 52-6000/6058, 52-9981/9982 (all C-119G's).

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Fairchild C-119, '22114'; after damage by fire in 1956 it has never flown though it was
    procured by H&P Aerial Firefighters (of Greybull,WY) - but this must have been for parts.
    This is one airframe involved in a veritable 'diaspora' originating from Greybull,WY! See my longtime log report.

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Convair VC-131D-CO (CV340) Samaritan, 54-2822; last (& only) civil registration N8455H.
    Even by 1993 it was listed with this museum. It wears 'California' on the tailfin.
    Assigned to 144 FIS at one time, at Fresno ANG.

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    A fine selection of proliners here at the museum

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Lockheed EC-121K Warning Star '03-0552'; BuNo.141309, on display here as USAF 53-0552.
    This is one of two Warning Stars painted as 53-0552! The other one is at Tinker AFB,OK I believe.
    From JoeBaugher.com: '141309 to MASDC March 1978 for storage as 5C0105. To USAF inventory as CK0223.
    Now on display at McClellan Aviation Museum, California, marked as 53-552.'
    '552' may well stem from service with 552d AEWCW at McClellan AFB, California..?
    Wikipedia has interesting details on the Warning Stars, also on service of these special aircraft during the Vietnam War!

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Douglas A-1E Skyraider, 32-463/EC; a Vietnam War veteran, now displayed as a Vietnam veteran but
    believed c/n 9480 is thought to have been previously displayed as BuNo.132463..?

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    North American Super Sabre, 56-777/CB; equally a Vietnam War veteran!
    More such jets were on display here, such as the Phantom II, a Republic F-105 Thunderchief, a MiG-21 and many others.

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II, 76-0540 'Fist'.
    Note the many sort of kills recorded below the cockpit: Gulf War veteran. During that war half of the aircraft was
    shot away but it managed to land! The USAF tried to repair it but too much had been damaged.
    No doubt this A-10 Thunderbolt is the youngest airplane preserved here.

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    North American T-28B Trojan, '38327'. Originally BuNo.138327 (c/n 200-398)

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    North American T-6G Texan, 51-15124 (c/n 182-211))
    Many of this batch, 51-14314/15237, were exported abroad and may have been know as 'Harvards'.

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Grumman HU-16B/E Albatross, 7209 (USAF Serial 51-7209; c/n 282, also written as G-282)
    This Albatross was in fact a USAF plane, but the Coast Guard guys offered to repaint it for free one day;
    however, they stipulated it would be sprayed as a USCG plane! And now, on special ceremonies with the USCG it
    gets towed to the Coast Guard ramp and plays a proud part in some official event. A win-win deal I'd say!

    Aerospace Museum at Sacramento McClellan Airport (MCC)
    Grumman S-2 (TS-2A) Tracker, N412DF (c/n G-222) of the California Dept of Forestry (ex/ US Navy BuNo.133251)
    My records show I have a 1990s and a photo from 2000 of Tanker 78 hiding in my collection somewhere...?

    https://aerospaceca.org/


     

    McCLELLAN AIR PARK


    US Forest Service (USFS) & CALFIRE


    On the soutside of McClellan Airpark I had seen (on Google Earth) 6 P-3s parked, former Aero Union firefighting aircraft.
    Upon my visit, april 12th, I could no longer find them; two I found near the Calstar building, they had moved a little bit north.

    P-3 Orions at Sacramento-McClellan Airport
    While Tanker 21 still wears the Aero Union titles, Tanker adorns Buffalo-titles.

    P-3 Orions at Sacramento-McClellan Airport
    So, where did the other four ex/ Aero Union airtanker go to? EMAIL
    Ken Swartz wrote me: "There were no P-3s outside at McClellan when I visited in mid-January and I only saw the
    Buffalo P-3 when I visited in early March, a week prior to the aerial firefighting conference.
    In mid-January there were four P-3s on the ramp at Chico Airport."

    P-3 Orions at Sacramento-McClellan Airport
    Tanker 21 is P-3A N921AU (c/n 5098).
    The last two remarks / sightings I have in my database on N921AU is 'Ln 07Apr11 @Aero Union mx hanger at
    McClellan (KMCC) and ..Mar2017 @salvage yard Wilmot Rd/Drexel Rd (Facebook). So that last one is in doubt..?
    Unless N921AU has also been purchased by Buffalo and both await maintenance here or a station contract..?
    N921AU, when I checked the FAA Inquiry website, is still firmly reg'd to United Aeronautical Corporation.

    See my 2008 visit to CHICO,CA for details on the demise of Aero Union.

    P-3 Orions at Sacramento-McClellan Airport
    N922AU is P-3A (c/n 5100), ex/BuNo.151385
    It was reg'd to Buffalo Airways USA Inc. on 17Jun2014. I assume it is ready to go on firefighting contract in the USA.


    With that mystery on the P-3s (where did the other 4 go to? What is the status of N921AU?) I continued my search
    here at the airport. I noticed the Bell UH-1 CAL FIRE choppers practising their landings.
    CalFire UH-1

    Helos don't really cut it for me, so I soon found my way to the air tanker base and under friendly escort of S-2 pilot
    Jerome Laval I was allowed on the ramp to shoot some photos of the S-2 aircraft. Fire alert was low.

    OV-10 aircraft at Sacramento-McClellan Airport
    I have always liked the North American OV-10 Bronco, it did outstanding service as a Forward Controller
    aircraft during the Vietnam was and no doubt does sterling service in the aerial firefighting duties too.

    The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is an American twin-turboprop light attack and observation aircraft. It was developed in the 1960s as a special aircraft for counter-insurgency (COIN) combat, and one of its primary missions was as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft.
    It can carry up to three tons of external munitions, internal loads such as paratroopers or stretchers, and can loiter for three or more hours. [¬Wikipedia]

    S-2T aircraft at Sacramento-McClellan Airport
    Tanker 89 is Grumman (Marsh) S-2F3AT (G-121) Turbo Tracker (c/n 294C).
    These turbo powered aircraft were reconfigured from piston-powered Grumman S-2 aircraft for this firefighting role.
    From the Marsh Aviation website I gathered 'Marsh/Grumman C-1/S-2T: Various configurations of the 'Turbo Tracker' for CAL FIRE, Armada Argentina, Turkey, Marinha do Brazil, Republic of China (Taiwanese) Air Force, including modification, upgrades/kits, ongoing engineering/parts support. That is not the only program they have!

    S-2T aircraft at Sacramento-McClellan Airport
    Tanker 95 is S-2T N448DF (c/n 684). This is 2nd firefighting N448DF, the first one, c/n 179, crashed 20Aug78.
    Note it still has the 'CDF'-titles on the tailfin and the tanker number not yet the shadow.
    CDF stands for California Dept of Forestry. 'Cal Fire' is of course a lot more sexy...

    S-2T aircraft at Sacramento-McClellan Airport

    S-2T aircraft at Sacramento-McClellan Airport
    Marsh Aviation S-2F3AT (or S-2T) N441DF (c/n 277C; ex/152808) and N440DF (c/n 148C) also still with 'CDF'-titles.
    Another N441DF (c/n 281; ex/ BuNo.133310) was swapped by the CDF with Conair of Canada, stored @ Abbotsford,BC. Its US-reg was cancelled and afaik last noted 29May01 still stored, the fuselage only.
    Same story for N440DF, c/n 481 was swapped & stored with Conair of Abbotsford,BC; ex/ BuNo.136572

    S-2T aircraft at Sacramento-McClellan Airport
    Besides Tanker 100 and T96 we see T80, which is N445DF (c/n 232C; ex/ BuNo.152345)

    S-2T aircraft at Sacramento-McClellan Airport
    Grumman/Marsh S-2T N438DF (c/n 232C) is seen here undergoing en engine test-run for routine maintenance.
    C/n 232C was a former US Navy S-2G, BuNo. 1511640 and also converted by Marsh Aviation for a new lease on life.
    My guide here on the ramp, Jerome Laval, had flown N438DF the day before. All in preparation of another fire season.

    S-2T aircraft at Sacramento-McClellan Airport
    Grumman/Marsh S-2T N428DF (c/n 137C; ex/BuNo.443262) in the latest Cal Fire livery.
    It was reg'd as recent as 30Aug2000 to USDA Forest Service FEPP.
    It is very confusing that the CDF used those tailnumbers a second time, for the Marsh Aviation turbo conversions.
    For this conversion, e.g., I also had a c/n '0865-018' which was apparently changed to 137C after the conversion.
    The S-2 N428DF that went to Conair @Abbotsford was ex/BuNo. 133199 with c/n 170. So here we 3 construction
    numbers for 2 airframes, while the FAA makes it even more confusing by registering the US Navy serial for the airframe.

    S-2T aircraft at Sacramento-McClellan Airport
    Grumman-Marsh S-2T N439DF 'Tanker 74' is conversion 0865-010, c/n 129C; ex/ BuNo.149854.

    More relevant reading on CALFIREPILOTS.COM


    US COAST GUARD

    US Coast Guard aircraft @McClellan Airpark
    Alenia HC-27 (G.222) and Lockheed C-130 aircraft for the Coast Guard here at Sacramento-McClellan Airport.
    They were hard to photograph, the ramp firmly secured from visitors with no guard to plead my case to!

    US Coast Guard aircraft @McClellan Airpark
    USCG 7209 is Alenia HC-27J Spartan, ex/ USAF 08-27018
    The Alenia aircraft have 'Sacramento'-titles on the forward fuselage, the C-130 has 'Barbers Point', of Hawaii.

    The Alenia C-27J Spartan is a military transport aircraft, developed and manufactured by Leonardo's Aircraft Division (formerly Alenia Aermacchi until 2016).
    It is an advanced derivative of Alenia Aeronautica's earlier G.222 (C-27A Spartan in U.S. service), equipped with the engines and various other systems also used on the larger Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules.
    In addition to the standard transport configuration, specialized variants of the C-27J have been developed for maritime patrol, search and rescue, C3 ISR (command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), fire support and electronic warfare and ground-attack missions. [¬Wikipedia]

    US Coast Guard aircraft @McClellan Airpark
    USCG 7211 is Alenia HC-27J Spartan, ex/ USAF 09-27020

    2701/2714 Alenia HC-27J Spartan - info from JoeBaugher.com 28Apr2018.
    Transferred from USAF.Info by www.amarcexperience.com
    2701 was ex USAF 07-27010
    2702 was ex USAF 07-27011
    2703 was ex USAF 08-27012
    2704 was ex USAF 08-27013
    2705 was ex USAF 08-27014
    2706 was ex USAF 08-27015
    2707 was ex USAF 09-27016
    2708 was ex USAF 09-27017
    2709 was ex USAF 09-27018
    2710 was ex USAF 09-27019
    2711 was ex USAF 09-27020
    2712 was ex USAF 09-27021
    2713 (MSN 4169/JCA13) was ex USAF 09-27022. In Feb 2017 assigned to CGAS Sacramento
    714 was ex USAF 10-27023. As USCG Sacramento at Norfolk, VA, May 2016

    In Oct.2017 I came across several Alenia C-27 Spartan aircraft, still stored in their USAF livery. LINK

    US Coast Guard aircraft @McClellan Airpark
    USCG 1707 is a Lockheed HC-130H Hercules, c/n 382-4999. Originally ordered by USAF as 83-0506.
    It seems 1707 has been here at Sacramento-McClellan AP for quite a while, taken off station from Hawaii?

    In 2015 it became known that HC-130 aircraft were going to be converted for the aerial fire-fighting role,
    this article mentions a 2nd Hercules being added but to be used for crew training. USCG 1707?
    "The first of the seven HC-130Hs that are being transferred from the Coast Guard to the U.S. Forest Service will
    arrive at Forest Service Air Station McClellan (FSAS MCC) in mid-June, not mid-May as originally planned. And yes,
    that is what the Forest Service is calling their facility at McClellan Airport in Sacramento, California."

    This link may be informative:
    fireaviation.com/2018/04/23/maffs-training-begins-at-mcclellan

    The U.S. Forest Service is cutting the number of large air tankers on exclusive use (EU) contracts this year from 20 to 13.
    Operators include Aero Flite Inc (4x RJ85), 10 Tanker (2 DC10), Aero Air (2 MD87), Couslon Aircrane (1 C130) and
    Neptune Aviation (4 BAe146). Article link

     


     

    LODI - AIRPORT CAFÉ

    Unfortunately there wasn't time in this day's schedule to make a stop at Lodi's Airport Café, they'd deserved it for having that DC-3 preserved outside!

    DC-3 parked at Lodi
    Douglas C-47 N4991E (c/n 12106)

    The Douglas DC-3 was the work horse of World War II as well as the post-WW2 years. Over 10.000 DC-3 variants were built and some are still in use today, over 70 years later!
    This particular one saw its last action on New Year's Day 2000, when it was used for parachute jumps. It was allegedly then flown to Redding, CA but appeared to have caught a cockpit fire on approach... It survived the fire, was flown back to Lodi and has not flown since
    While it belonged to the owner of the Lodi Parachute Center and is parked next to the main Parachute Center hangar, the owner may not have changed, it serves the Airport Café as a display.

    I photographed N4991E in May 1996, also here at Lodi. It was then owned by W.C.Dause of the Parachute Center here at Lodi.


    C-47 N4991E @Lodi Airport Café
    N4991E was also in use as a clubhouse, by june 2005 I believe but now serves the at Lodi Airport Café as well
    as the Parachute Center, but its display has been grounded.

    C-47 N4991E @Lodi Airport Café
    The addition of the DOUGLAS-titles adds a nice nostalgic touch

    C-47 N4991E @Lodi Airport Café
    Long may it serve this purpose!


     

    STOCKTON FIELD AVIATION MUSEUM

    I had a little trouble finding the front door of this museum, as it is noncircumspect, discreet and in my case firmly locked. Fortunately, the engineer was sitting in his car for a smoke and made us welcome. While he continued with his work on a
    Beech 18 in the hangar, he allowed us a free reign inside and out the hangar here.
    The hangar / workplace is also known as 'Vintage Aircraft'.

    Stockton Field Aviation Museum
    Stockton Field Aviation Museum
    Stockton Field Aviation Museum
    N9840Z is a beautiful Beech C-45 with c/n AF-886; reg'd 11Oct2016 to Tumi Air of Durango,CO.
    N9840Z was bought by Conley Aeronautics LLC, Jackson,GA on 24Jun13.
    Bob Parmerter identified the AT-11 hanging from the ceiling in the background: AT-11 N74629 (c/n 1448).

    The Stockton Field Aviation Museum is a nonprofit, all volunteer, organization that is dedicated to the preservation of aviation history in the US.
    The museum has a special emphasis on WWII aviation and the equipment that was used by the people who designed, built, maintained and flew the aircraft.
    The Board of Directors for the Stockton Field Aviation Museum include Nick Veronico as Vice President, Sydney Ramey as Secretary / Treasurer, Taigh Ramey as CEO and Director at Large, Bill Meehleis as Director at Large.
    www.stocktonfieldmuseum.org

    And much can be learned from www.TwinBeech.com 'We are a maintenance and restoration shop located at Stockton Airport (SCK) in California. Our shop specializes in the maintenance and restoration of Warbird (ex-military), Antique, and Classic aircraft.'
    Read about many projects that come to fruition here, as well as other accomplishements.

    Stockton Field Aviation Museum
    Ronald 'Ron' Carlson's Grumman TBM-3E Avenger, N337VT.
    Stockton Field Aviation Museum
    N337VT is here for maintenance; it was reg'd to Mr Carlson on 26Sep2017 so is probably here to give it the once over.
    About two weeks after my visit this footage was published on YouTube:
    'TBM Avenger N337VT - Final week in Stockton - Testing .50 Caliber Wing Gun (part 1 of 2)'

    Duo Bails Out Of TBM Avenger

     
    - By Russ Niles, 12May2018 on www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news

    "A Chicago pilot and his passenger survived bailing out of their TBM Avenger on May 7th over northeastern Arizona. Ron Carlson and Kenny Franzese hit the silk near Fort Apache in Navajo County after an apparent engine failure in the freshly restored warbird.
    The two were ferrying the big single-engine torpedo bomber from Phoenix to Chicago when things went wrong.
    "I was on the instruments and a big bang in front, and everything just started shaking,” Carlson told NBC’s Chicago affiliate. Carlson told AVweb there was no place for a forced landing on the rugged terrain below and smoke was filling the cockpit and he was also afraid he wouldn't be able to see if he tried for a landing. He told Franzese to abandon the aircraft...

    Franzese went first and clung briefly to the wing before letting go. Carlson followed and both were pretty banged up but mobile when they landed. Carlson had a broken rib and sprained ankle and Franzese needed surgery to fix a major facial injury. They spent a night separated before they found each other on a gravel road the next morning. Franzese followed a gravel road and found help, returning in a pickup truck with two forestry workers. "An hour later I was taking a rest and boom, a pickup truck comes by with Kenny in it," Carlson said. "So I know at that point, the adrenaline just went out and the next thing I knew I had a cold Gatorade in my hands--so that was the best thing.” The wreckage of the aircraft has not yet been found.

    Carlson bought the aircraft in flying condition in Australia in 2017 and it underwent restoration in Stockton, California. He was flying it home from restoration when the mishap occurred.
    The Avenger was built for the U.S. Navy but spent most of its life in Canada, first in the Royal Canadian Navy and then as a waterbomber in British Columbia before going through various owners in the U.S. and finally being exported to Australia in 2006.
    The plane was re-registered in the U.S. in 2017 and underwent a thorough restoration, including making the wing-mounted machine guns functional.
    ./end quote from article


    Stockton Field Aviation Museum
    Beech E18S, N141ZA (c/n BA-178), reg'd 11Dec2015 to Vintage Aircraft Inc.
    Previously owned, reg'd 16Nov04, by Advanced Air Inc. of Council Bluffs,IA. In 2010 deregistered.
    Stockton Field Aviation Museum

    I had hoped to meet Taigh Ramey, but I came unannounced and he was away on business in some other state.

    Stockton Field Aviation Museum
    Roy Blewett wrote me in May 2018: 'I suspect the high cabin Beech on the trailer is G18S N732EB, arrived on 17Feb18.'
    Googling, I found N732EB to be Beech G18S c/n BA-506, reg'd 22Sep2017 to Kris A. Nace of Glendale, OR.
    I found a Facebook posting dated 16Feb (allowing for local time posting may have been 15Feb), "N732EB G18S
    BA-506 moving to Stockton,CA Today." See my Photos by Griends & Guests #54 for its transport to Stockton!
    Transport to Taigh's domain originated from Oregon.

    Stockton Field Aviation Museum
    Beech UC-45J Expeditor, 51144/038- VT-10, US Navy ('NFO TRAINER')
    History: ex/ N40090, United States Department of Agriculture, Mission,TX. Been here at Stockton for a long time, 1990s, perhaps restoration for a static display was started by Vintage Aircraft (markings '2N/038' allegedly applied here).

    Stockton Field Aviation Museum
    An interesting airframe here, among the Twin Beeches: Douglas A-26 fuselage?
    Stockton Field Aviation Museum
    I made no attempt to come closer and I have no idea about its identification nor its history.
    Fortunately Roy Blewett came to the rescue (May 2018): "the Invader fuselage is from 44-35372/N8028E."

    I found its history on warbirdregistry.org/a26registry/a26-4435372
    Serial: 44-35372 --- Construction: 28651 --- Civil Registration: N8028E, N26RP --- Model(s): A-26C Invader, B-26B Invader --- Last info: 2003
  • Delivered to French AF as 44-35372
  • BOC: April 7, 1954.
  • Based in Indochina.
  • Returned to USAF, August 27, 1954.
  • Madden & Smith Aircraft Corp., Miami, FL, 1964 ->
  • Registered as N8028E. Consolidated Air Parts Corp, Los Angeles, CA, 1966-1972 -
  • Derelict, Tucson, AZ, 1969-1972 Pima County Air Museum, Tucson, AZ, 1976-2002
  • Jack Bazler, Gnoss Field, CA, 2003. - Used as parts source for unidentified restoration.
  •  

    Stockton Field Aviation Museum
    Beech AT-11 'Kansan', N701BA Blue Sky Express. Deregistered from California Antique Aircraft Museum.
    Roy Blewett was able to identify th US Navy Beech, marked 267: 'N75020, an RC-45J and once Bu51267'.

    Stockton Field Aviation Museum
    Top is Beech AT-11 N701BA (serial 3991), with the blue cheatline, the only one I could identify.
    The 'open-nose' Kansan and the fuselage (part) with USAF marking defy identification.

     


     

    CASTLE AIR MUSEUM

    Castle Air Museum is a military aviation museum located in Atwater (near Merced), adjacent to Castle Airport, a former United States Air Force Strategic Air Command base. It was closed in 1995, after the end of the Cold War.
    This museum is one of the largest aerospace museums displaying vintage aircraft in the western United States.
    The museum opened in 1981, and currently displays over 60 restored World War II, Korean War, Cold War, and modern era aircraft.
    The outdoor museum covers 45.000 m2 and among the exhibit highlights are a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird (one of only 19 surviving), a Boeing B-52D Stratofortress and the massive, ten-engined Convair RB-36H Peacemaker, one of only four surviving and the largest mass-produced piston aircraft in history. [¬Wikipedia]
    I regretted the café had alll but closed here, for we had skipped lunch to be here in time, knwowing I needed time to cover ot all and the museum would close at 16:00. The seating is still there, but all they have is deep-frozen hamburgers, a microwave and sweets.

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Castle AFB Museum; I must have walked 01hr30, working my camera quickly, in the museumm grounds.
    There's a lot here.
    A list of the aircraft can be found on Wikipedia, link above.

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Boeing WB-50D Superfortress, 49-0351. (c/n 16127).

    Castle AFB Museum, California

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Douglas B-23 Dragon, 39-047 c/n 2733. Not sure what the code 112/MD signifies..?
    It has gone through a number of civil identities before being preserved here: NR45361, N45361, N1G, N244AG,
    N8658E, N409ME and N880L [¬BobOgden's Aviation Museums, 2nd Edition]

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    North American B-25J Mitchell, 44-86891

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    The humongous Convair RB-36H Peacemaker, 47-287 (c/n 167)
    This giant B-36 was for many years on Chanute AFB in Illinois; it was dismantled there and transported to Castle AFB.

    The Convair B-36 'Peacemaker' was a strategic bomber built by Convair and operated solely by the USAF, from 1949 to 1959.
    The B-36 is the largest mass-produced piston-engined aircraft ever built. It had the longest wingspan of any combat aircraft ever built, at 230 ft (70.1 m).
    The B-36 was the first bomber capable of delivering any of the nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal from inside its four bomb bays without aircraft modifications. With a range of 10.000 km and a maximum payload of
    39.600 kgs, the B-36 was capable of intercontinental flight without refuelling!
    Entering service in 1948, the B-36 was the primary nuclear weapons delivery vehicle of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), until it was replaced by the jet-powered Boeing B-52 Stratofortress beginning in 1955.
    All but 5 were scrapped. [¬Wikipedia]

    Castle AFB Museum, California

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Boeing KC-97G Stratofreighter, 53-0354 (c/n 17136)

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Lockheed EC-121T Super Constellation, 52-417 (c/n 4335) - a Warning Star model.
    The lower picture has the civil tailnumber N4257L still on the aft fuselage.
    This is a recent addition, see how I came across it at Helena,MT (2014) where it was grounded for decades!
    The aircraft is the oldest surviving EC-121, delivered to the USAF as a RC-121D in September 1954 and
    upgraded to an EC-121T in 1970. [¬military.wikia.com/wiki/Lockheed_EC-121_Warning_Star]

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Douglas B-18 Bolo, 37-029 (c/n 1890; I don't know what '24-BI' signifies here).
    =Identity from Bob Ogden's Aviation Museums of N.America, 2nd print=

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Lockheed Lodestar, 254 (in South African Air Force colourscheme)
    Repainted Lodestar '1373', ex/ ZS-ASU, SAAF 1373, VP-KHW, ZS-DHK, SE-CDR, N6064V, N102V & '12473'.

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Fairchild C-123 Provider, 55-4512/WX

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Curtiss C-46D Commando, 44-77575/N54510 'Tiger Feet'

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Curtiss C-46D Commando 44-77575/N54510 (c/n 32971)
    Delivered to the USAAF in 1944, it served at RAF Folkingham in England at the end of WW2. During 15Nov1955 -
    1978 it served with the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (s/n 51-1124). In August 1978 it was reg'd to
    Wayne Craft of Jackson, MI (reg'd N54510). While in May'82 reg'd to Fred Patterson of San Leandro,CA it
    soon found its way to National Museum of the United States Air Force Loan Program (HQ at Dayton,OH).
    By 1991 markings were applied: 'Honey Gal, Dinjan, 13, 477575'. These markings I see on my photo, have been removed.

    Castle AFB Museum, California|
    Douglas C-47A Skytrain, 43-15977 (c/n 20443)

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    C-47A Skytrain, '7th Heaven', has not changed much since I visited this museum in 1996!
    It held following previous identities: NC812, NC112, NC24, N14, N21, N24010 AND N230GB.

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Beech C-45G 'Expditor', 51-1897 (c/n AF-454).
    Previous identities: 51-11897, N87681, N608, N87681, '44588'.

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    deHavilland U-6A (DHC-2) Beaver, 54-1707 (c/n 853); ex/ N43862

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Fairchild C-119C Flying Boxcar, 49-0199 (c/n 10436); ex/ N13744

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Fairchild C-119C Flying Boxcar, 49-0199 (c/n 10436); ex/ N13744
    The C-119 'Dollar-Nineteen' has my special interest, see My C-119 Dossier

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Douglas C-54E, BuNo.90407 (c/n 27363)
    It has on the fuselage MATS titles, while the tailfin has faded 'PACIFIC', 90407 and 'US NAVY'-titles.

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    Grumman SA-16A Albatross, 51-7163 (c/n G-213)
    Botton left: Convair HC-131A (CV240) 5785 'Miami' USCG (c/n 133); ex/ HB-IRT, N1018C, N280P.
    Bottom right: Grumman US-2A Tracker, BuNo.136421 (c/n 330) 'MCAS Iwakuni - MARINES'
    Perhaps this list of interest: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_displayed_Grumman_S-2_Trackers or
    grummantracker.com/usatrackers

    Castle AFB Museum, California
    North American B-45A Tornado
    Not a propellor transport, but included here because I had never come across one, not even heard of this type!

    The North American B-45 Tornado was the (USAF's 1st operational jet bomber and the first multijet-engined bomber in the world to be refueled in midair.
    The B-45 was an important part of the United States's nuclear deterrent for several years in the early 1950s, but was soon superseded by the Boeing B-47 Stratojet.
    B-45s and RB-45s served in the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command from 1950 until 1959.
    Wikipedia]

    www.castleairmuseum.org
    www.castleairmuseum.org/collection


     

    CALIFORNIA CITY

    Convair @California City Mun'l Airport
    Convair HC-131A N54215 (c/n 53-4), as gate-guard display here at the Municipal Airport.

    N542115 was at one time reported with California Museum of Air & Space here (reg'd 29jun98), but not sure how
    extensive that museum was. At home I read that this is or was a HC-131A, and equipped with an escape hatch of the Space Shuttle in the back..? I did notice that the overwing escape hatch is missing.
    The colours are reminiscent of the US Coast Guard, but the titles and numbers are all removed.


    Besides C-131A N54215 I was hoping to find DC-3 N231GB here, but I was told in that nice café that it left
    about 6 months prior to my visit. Bummer. I found a photo on Airliners.net that it was in maintenance at Flabob,CA
    by 21May17. So it probably earlier than 6 months ago, various DC-3s had a long or short stay here, I found.
    Reg'd 17Nov2016 to California Macinery Services Inc. of Lasaden/LA,CA. Through Facebook I found N213GB
    is being restored by Jim Salazar for 'FallenAmericanMIARepatriationFoundation'; something to do with recovery
    project in Greenland, WW2 casualties..? When I visited Flabob on this trip N231GB had moved to somewhere Arizona.

    Fouga Magisters at California City MAP
    Former French- and Belgian Air Force, advanced trainers: Fouga CM170 Magister
    Tailnumbers of those four (long time residents): N315BC/102, N315MB/498, N925WD, N355F.

    www.californiacityairport.com
    "First sunday every month there is a Warbird and Antique Aircraft Fly-In"!


     

    The MOJAVE AIR and SPACE PORT (MHV, KMHV)


    Mojave Airport, California
    The Mojave Air and Space Port is also known as the Civilian Aerospace Test Center; it is located in Mojave, CA.
    It is the first facility to be licensed in the United States for horizontal launches of reusable spacecraft, being certified as a spaceport by the Federal Aviation Administration on 17Jun2004.

    Mojave Airport, California
    A splendid gate-guard: Convair 990A (30A-5) N810NA

    Mojave Airport, California
    Evidently this Convair 990 is getting cleaned; perhaps there are some chemicals involved, hence the protective clothing

    When I visited MHV in the 1990s, we went on a ($10) tour, driving around the stored airplanes. Not anymore it seems.

    Mojave Airport, California
    Boeing 707, N707CA - while it wasn't yet 11:00, the heat was notable in the photos of distant aircraft.
    N707CA c/n 18586 started its career with Northwest AL (N353US). It was supposed to go to Transavia (PH-TVA)
    but the acquisition was cancelled. Instead it went to Cathay Pacific AW (VR-HGO). After its use by ARAMCO and
    others it was also used by Gov't of Liberia: EL-SKD was flown for President Samuel Kanyon Doe.
    Through various other registrations it ended up with Omega Air and here at MHV it is now stored.

    Mojave Airport, California

    Mojave Airport, California
    Lockheed L-1011-385-1-15 N140SC 'Stargazer', 'Orbital ATK'.
    Reg'd in 1997 to Orbital Sciences Corporation; the aircraft itself was manufactured in 1974.

    N140SC, ex/ Air Canada C-FTNJ and SriLankan AL 4R-TNJ.
    ATDB.aero: 'Pegasus XL rocket carrier (ff 10/8/93 Cambridge), based Bakersfield,CA & Mojave; cvtd with RB-211-524 11/07-28/3/08; StarGazer c/s from 4/15.'

    Stargazer, registration number N140SC, is a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar built in 1974, that was modified in 1994 to be used by Orbital Sciences (now Orbital ATK) as a mother ship launch pad for Pegasus rockets.
    As of December 2016, 43 rockets (containing 94 satellites) have been launched from it, using the Pegasus-H and Pegasus-XL configurations.
    In 2015, Stargazer was re-painted to reflect Orbital Sciences' merger with Alliant Techsystems.
    As of March 1, 2018, the Stargazer L-1011 aircraft was hangared at ONT (Ontario International Airport, Ontario, CA).  [Wikipedia]
    en.wikipedia.org:_Stargazer_aircraft

     


    'A'-model Hercules converted to JC-130A, 54-1639 (c/n 3026).
    Went to TBM Inc (sometime 1990-1996; noted in open storage at Sequoia, CA) and broken up for parts Nov1998. joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1954.html and www.aerialvisuals.ca


     

    GEN. WILLIAM J. FOX AIRFIELD, LANCASTER

    Lancaster-Fox Field
    Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter, 53-0272 (c/n 17054)

    Lancaster-Fox Field

    Lancaster-Fox Field
    Armstrong Whitworth AW660 Argosy C.1 N1430Z (c/n 6779) ; the high fence made it hard to take photos..

    Lancaster-Fox Field
    The museum was closed a few years ago; in 2008 I had a very nice tour through this museum - SEE MY 2008 REPORT

    Lancaster-Fox Field
    Fairchild C-119B Flying Boxcar N13745 (c/n 10304, ex/ 48-0322)
    'Tanker 82' once flew for Hemet Valley Flying Service; the tail looks 'shot'.

    Lancaster-Fox Field
    Sikorsky S-64E N957AC and N6962R, both operated by Erickson Air-Crane - awaiting firefighting duties no doubt.

    Lancaster-Fox Field
    So what is a North American F-100 Super Sabre doing here at Lancaster-Fox Field...?
    As yet I am unable to put a USAF serial to it: www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1952.html

    Looking for information on this Vietnam-era fighter jet, I received replies such as-
    "It was trucked from Mojave about a year ago. Maybe more now."
    "It was supposed to go to the CalVets home in Lancaster for display ages ago. There have been apparent ownership issues... CalVets aren't happy. The last thing I heard was PPG donated the paint for it, then the paint was stolen. That was a year ago."
    "If that pic was taken last month then nothing has been done to it for a year. I guess it got punted from the hangar it was in."

    These message gave me someting to go on and I ended up on peteknightf100restoration.com, which gave the following information (editted for abbreviation):
    'F-100 Super Sabre Jet Restoration For the Veterans Home of Lancaster.'
    'This is about a USAF F-100A which was found beyond economic repair back in the early-1960s, due to a GEAR UP landing. In 1969  Flight Systems had requested it and was thus transferred to their facility in Long Beach, for use of equipment installation tests and such.
    In 1971 the company transferred to Mojave, the F-100 did too. The idea was to create F-100 drones.
    After they finished that project they donated the aircraft to the airport, ca. 1972, where it sat as a gate guard for many years.
    In 1988 the Airport Manager Dan Sabovich, gave the aircraft back to the USAF, swapping an F-4 Phantom to take the place of the F-100. The F-100 was put out in the boneyard and the Air Force never picked it up, so it resided there for 30 years.
    In 1995, Dean Soest (commercial pilot and aircraft mechanic) was contacted by Doug Nelson, Museum Curator at Edwards AFB.  Dean was asked to provide assistance via his company, National Aircraft Services, in relocating the plane to Edwards. But that never happened.

    In 2011, Steve Knight (Pete Knight's son) submitted a letter to CalVets for the acquisition of an F-100, for the
    Pete Knight's Veteran's home in Lancaster, at which time the request was forwarded to William 'Bill' E. Dietzel.
    In 2011 while working with US Airpower Museum and serving as the restoration manager for the Museum, Dean was requested by Bill Dietzel, President of US Airpower Museum, to locate an F-100 to be put on display at the Pete Knight Veterans Home.
    Pete Knight was an X-15 pilot and he flew 253 combat missions over Vietnam, including 223 in an F-100 Super Sabre squadron. His name was William J. Knight, but earns the nickname 'Pete' when, in grade school, he wiggles his nose like Peter Rabbit to get a girl's attention... He died in 2004.

    [United States Airpower Museum was founded in 2000 by William E. Dietzel to obtain, restore, preserve and operate historic military equipment and aircraft for research and educational purposes and establish a public museum.
    At time of writing, may 2018, I found on the above: 'This organization is not registered with the IRS.']

    So in 2011 Dietzel tried to find who had legal ownership of this airplane. The only documents found seemed to relate to the 1972 transactions regarding the physical move. At this point the airport (MHV) seemed to believe
    that they owned the aircraft.
    Finally, after much debate and consultations, during the Dec.2011 Board Meeting, the Mojave Airport (MHV) gave the US Power Museum the airplane with the stipulation that the plane would need to be fully restored and set in place within 6 months or they would have the right to take the airplane back. 
    However, the USAF had been the owner all that time.

    Work on the plane continued over 22 months inside Dean's hangar: cleaning, repairing and re-skinning much of the fuselage, replacing the landing gear, finding a new canopy, replacing the pitot tube masks, etc.
    Then in September 2013 the MHV airport officials called the Sheriff Dept., to have Dean arrested for stealing the Sabre jet on 6 felony counts of aircraft theft, because a letter dated May 28th suddenly resurfaced by the Mojave Airport. stating that the aircraft needed to be returned.
    At the time of the arrest they also took the airplane back to the MHV boneyard.
    It took 3 years and 2 trials to get the acusations dismissed. However, it involved time and financial investment to deal with the multiple accusations by the airport.
    The aircraft was then moved from Mojave to Fox Field Airport. Dean restarted work on the Super Sabre.
    But money was running out.
    During the time Dean was declared off-limits to his own hangar, all of the paint for the restoration had been stolen...

    The F-100 is now back at Fox Field, back in its hanger while Dean and crew continue their commitment to its final repairs before paint.
    US$70,000 was invested to get the plane to its current state but more work and monies are needed.'

    Les Chapman wrote on 11May18: "It is gone. We took it apart and moved it to a collector in Wilcox, AZ."

     



     

     

    California - aviation report 2018
    Making our way through the Califonian desert

    California - aviation report 2018
    An artifact in someone's yard such as this makes me hit the brakes..
    I saw no means of identification.

    California - aviation report 2018
    Boeing 727 XA-SEN (c/n 19398), flown at one time by Mexicana. A 1984 photo on Airliners.net shows the scrapped fuselage at Mojave (MHV) with remarks: 'Del 12/66 to PSA as N976PS. Fuselage remnants after crash at Mazatlan
    on October 20, 1973.' ATDB.aero states: 'fuselage hulk moved to Mojave then to El Mirage,CA, tail to N4744)'

    California - aviation report 2018
    Part of a fuselage of another airframe, I think.

     

     

     

     

    THE AVIATION WAREHOUSE, EL MIRAGE


    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    Due to its remote location I had not yet come to visit this site, but this time I ticked the box. Unfortunately...
    After I returned home I learned Mark Thompson, who owned the Aviation Warehouse, passed away last year.

    ...I was refused entry by the front office. I walked the fence on the outside and got the gist.
    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    I promised my faithful navigator sand and palm trees: California desert & joshua trees...

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    A glimpse into the yard, but further entry was kept from me

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    XA-REP may be one of these, see www.aerialvisuals.ca - that would be C-47 c/n 9049

    DSC01080
    '11' is a Percival C.51 (P-66) Pembroke. Ex Belgian AF RM-11/OT-ZAK. Registered N51970 (c/n P66/32 C51)
    N51970 was last registered to someone in Florida apparently. Info by www.airliners.net
    The Percival Pembroke prototype flew on 21Nov1952. Belgian Air Force operated 12 C.51s from 1954 to 1976.
    Interesting find here in the Californian desert!

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    I suspect this is all that is left of Ah'm Available Too, a B-25 Mitchell WW2 bomber.

    It took me quite a bit of internet searching to find details on the 'wrecks & relics' here at The Aviation Warehouse, but sometimes I got lucky, like with this B-25.
    My theory is that this is TB-25J 45-8887, last reg'd as N3680G. That while it was last owned by Carl Scholl (Mitchell Aircraft Components of Chino) 1998-2013 and reportedly stored at Borrego Springs, CA it had been previously stored at the Ocotillo Wells boneyard (dismantled, 1984-2001) where Mr Thompson of the Aviation Warehouse did some of his 'shopping' (e.g. PV-2 elsewhere on this page).

    The webpage www.warbirdregistry.org/b25registry/b25-458887 has a fascinating account of TB-25J N3680G:
    USAAF 45-8887 c/n 108-47738; civil Registration: N3680G
    Models: B-25J Mitchell, TB-25J Mitchell
    Name: Ah'm Available Too
    Status: Stored (Last info: 2013)
    Delivered to U.S. Army Air Force as 45-8887, 19??
    H.H. Coffield, Rockdale, TX, August 1959-1970
    - Registered as N3680G
    - Acquired from United States Air Force disposal
    - Converted to executive configuration, completed, January 1960
    Rockdale Flying Service, Rockdale, TX, February 1970-1972
    Central American Imports, Phoenix, AZ, December 1972-1976
    I.N. "Junior" Burchinall, Paris, TX, July 1976
    North American Transport Co, Tucson, AZ, 1976
    - Damaged by undercarriage collapse during landing, Vega, TX, December 21, 1976
    - Siezed for drug running, Oldham County, TX, December 1976
    State Of Texas, Austin, TX, September 1977
    Frederick Bates, Austin, TX, December 1977-1979
    - Flew as Ah'm Available Too
    Mark Thompson, circa 1978
    Carl Scholl/Historic Aircraft Preservation Group/Aero Trader, Chino, CA, February 1979-1998
    - Trucked from TX
    - Stored dismantled at Ocotillo Wells, CA, 1984-2001
    Carl Scholl/Mitchell Aircraft Components, Chino, CA, March 9, 1998-2013
    - Stored at Borrego Springs, CA.


    This is useful too:
    " A long succession of B-25s began to enjoy the attention of Aero Trader at Borrego Springs.
    In 1983, the company bought N3438G, a neglected Mitchell located at Turlock, California, and ferried it to Borrego Springs for rebuild. It was sold the following year to Wily Sanders in Troy, Alabama.
    Additionally, Aero Trader purchased a number of derelict or near-derelict airframes over the next several years. Two B-25s came from the H.R. Coffield estate sale in Rockdale, Texas and were trucked to Borrego Springs, as
    was N3680G, which was recovered from Vega, Texas.
    Two other airframes recovered include the only known B-25B fuselage in existence (40-2347, never civil-registered) and a B-25C (42-32354, also never civil registered). 40-2347 had been used as a movie prop before being rescued by Ed Maloney in the mid-1960s. The B-25C also had been used as a movie prop, showing up in a Twilight Zone TV episode as King Nine.
    Also added were a pair of B-25 airframes, N943 and N9936Z, (owned in partnership with Hal Kading) saved from destruction in Fairbanks, Alaska. Other incomplete airframes were acquired as well from around the country. Aero Trader also purchased several substantial parts inventories, including portions of the Tallmantz Museum, Pioneer Aero, Chesapeake Airways, John Marshall and Harry Doan collections to add to what they obtained from Hardwick. By 1984, Aero Trader had amassed an enviable assemblage of B-25s and parts from which they could fuel their business."
    www.aerotrader.net/hist.html

     

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    'Alaska' can be read from that wing

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    A Lockheed 'Twin', readable is N14... plus the nose art 'Lucky Lady'
    Found this to be PV-2 Harpoon c/n 15-0478, ex/ BuNo. 37512 and last registered N1448 - www.aerialvisuals.ca
    After flown with US Navy (BuNo 37512) it went to unknown owner as N1448 (PV-2, 15-1478)., then (?) to a
    new owner in W Palm Beach,FL. On 17Sep1963 a CofA was issued for NL1448 (PV-2, 15-1478). 24Aug87 to |
    unknown owner, with tailnbr N1448. Reg cancelled on 17Aug2004.
    To Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage Field, Adelanto,CA.
    I am forever confused by the types of the Lockheed Twins, but as Dave explained 'L.18 is a Lodestar, Harpoon was the
    PV 2 and had no civil version, as the L.14 was the basics for the Hudsona and the L.18 was the basics for the Ventura.'

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    It wasn't always easy to walk along the fence

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    The forward fuselage of a Martin 2-0-2 or 4-0-4? Or a Convairliner?

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    Seems like a Big Doug forward fuselage
    Here it is from the other side:
    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    Seeing this photo Jim Gribben wrote: "I sold Jack Thompson ( think that was his name ) a complete nose off a DC-6
    that we cut off at the radio room forward that was parked on the W. end of Chino airport. He hauled it out to El Mirage. Think that was mid-1980's. The DC 6 was an old fire bomber, full of pigeon crap and rotted out. Cut the rest up for
    scrap with a hydraulic excavator and sheer. We took down all the old red hangers at the same time."

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    Perhaps someone can identify this type of aircraft for me? EMAIL

    I hope through time more identities will surface, perhaps from previous (photo)records.
    Sofar the Aviation Website http://aviationwarehouse.net/ was (a.o.) helpful.
    This one too: www.urbanghostsmedia.com .

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    Now I can see use for the film industry for this Russian type helicopter, a Mil Mi-24V 'Hind'.

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    A Beech 18, past its prime, no means of identification here. Anyone? EMAIL

    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage
    This Beech 18 still seems to have resale value; but its identity...?
    Could this be Beech Expeditor 3NM, N9159B (c/n CA-242 / A-892) as on ABpic.co.uk ?


    Very near the Aviation Warehouse we noticed filming in progress. So the film industry not only shops here
    for its props, there is also a possibility to actually film a 'burning plane wreck', with lights, cameras and a smoke machine.
    Aviation Warehouse, El Mirage


     

    SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LOGISTCS AIRPORT
    @VCV (VICTORVILLE)

    VCV-Victorville
    A McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom, coded GA - this is a tribute to the days this 'airpark' was George AFB.


    The red-tail 'VIM'airliner is B.777‑2H6(ER) VP-BVA (c/n 28413). VIM Airlines operated 2002-2017:
    'Formed by Viktor I Merlukov (VIM, founder of Aerofreight AL). Intended to set-up Alfa Avia in 2003 with ex-Aeroflot Il-62's.75% acquired by Centre Capital in 6/04. Ceased all non-scheduled operations in 9/17 due to
    financial issues; suspended all flights on 15/10/17. AOC suspended on 27/10/17. Co-owner Rashid Mursekaev arrested in Dec.2017 when Russia’s Investigative Committee found the airline was a financial pyramid scheme.' [ATDB.aero]

    The blue A340-313X is LV-CSE (c/n 126) of Aerolineas Argentinas. Previously with Singapore AL 9V-SJB and
    with Cathay Pacific Airways, as B-HXN.

    My heart wasn't really in this visit to VCV and I couldn't find a good spot to oversee the airport. Plus I was in
    need of a bathroom: no where a café when you need a rest stop! I soon gave up and left.


     

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    Created: 25-april-2018

    Reactions / comments welcomed.