August 27th, 2011
Ground Attack Flying Day
- On a beautiful sunny Pacific Northwest summers day the Flying Heritage Collection museum at Paine Field, Everett put on another great flying day by to showcase two famous ground attack aircraft, one from WW2: the museums Republic P-47D Thunderbolt “Tallahassee Lassie” (known as the “Jug” by WW2 pilots), and a Korean and Vietnam war era Douglas A-1 Skyraider “The Proud American” visiting from the Heritage Flight Museum in Bellingham, Washington. Both aircraft have huge airframes, powered by propellor driven engines, they could take a lot of damage and dish out even more. It was impressive to see them flying together and they put on a great display roaring low and close over the runway!
The Skyraider had four 20mm cannons and a massive 3.6 tonne weapons payload on fifteen external hardpoints! Even though it was a ground attack aircraft that massive fire power brought down two much faster Mig-17 jets in Vietnam!
- The Thunderbolt had eight 0.50 calibre machine guns plus bombs and rockets and became the scourge of German tanks and troops after the D-Day landings (Achtung! Jabos! – “Fighter Bombers!” must have been a common cry?).
- The flight display was actually disrupted quite a bit by air traffic coming and going from Paine Field, but this was an added bonus to the flying display! Additional aircraft included the huge Boeing 747 Dreamlifter (an oversized jumbo that is used to haul parts for aircraft such as the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner which are all over the field getting fitted out now that the FAA has given the aircraft final delivery approval), a brand new Boeing 737 (not even painted yet) on a test flight runway touch and go (it will go to Ryanair in Europe), a Canadair CT-114 Tutor jet trainer (formerly of the Canadian Air Force) and various other light civilian aircraft.
The finale by the Skyraider was quite amusing. The pilot made the aircraft “flap” its wings on the tarmac in front of the crowd to say goodbye (it was a carrier based aircraft, therefore to save room the wings would fold upwards).
Another great day courtesy of wealthy investor and philanthropist Paul Allen of Microsoft fame. We salute you!