In an amazing chain of events, the story of these WWII fighters continues to be written. The Goodyear F2G Super Corsair was an upgraded version of the famed F4U, optimized for fighting Japanese aircraft at low level. Before the aircraft could go operational, the war ended, and only 10 were built. Of these prototype airframes, only two still exist today.

     Race 57, shown in her striking red paint job, was the fifth prototype to roll off the assembly line as serial number 88458. After the war, she was purchased by Navy Captain Cook Cleland, who won the 1947 and 1949 Thompson Trophy race with this aircraft. She would become the last propeller driven aircraft to ever win the Thompson Trophy. 

     The dawn of the jet age caused these aircraft to be mothballed. Race 57 lay dormant for many decades until Bob Odegaard would return her to flight in 1999. I took these photos of Race 57 on August 26, 2007, at the Alpine Airpark Airshow in Wyoming. Earlier that day, I watched in awe as Odegaard flew low level aerobatics in this beautiful bird. I was 17 years old. 

      Nearly ten years after seeing my first Super Corsair, I was privileged to visit the Museum of Flight Restoration Center in Everett, Washington, where I photographed the first F-2G prototype as they breathed new life into the plane. Serial number 88454 proudly wears her original Naval Air Test Center livery (as shown in the final five photos in this set).

     As I experienced this later encounter with a Super Corsair, I did so with a heavy heart. Bob Odegaard, who thrilled me as a teenager with his aerobatics, was no longer with us. Odegaard owned a second Super Corsair called Race 74. He exhibited the aircraft all over the country until on September 7, 2012, he tragically lost his life while practicing for an air show in his home state of North Dakota.

      Odegaard’s legacy lives on, forever entangled with the story of the Super Corsair. Race 57 has recently changed hands once again in an effort to keep her flying. Wars begin and end. Races are won. Lives are lost. As one chapter closes, another begins.

Airworthy B-24 Liberators, 2017

A quick guide to the survivors and how to distinguish them.

B-24J, Witchcraft, 44-44052, The Collings Foundation

The only “true” B-24 still airworthy.  Painted to resemble the original Witchcraft of the 467th Bomb Group, she wears an overall olive-drab paint scheme with red stabilizers.  Extensive nose art marks the port-side nose, showing 130 combat missions.  Previously flew as All American from 1989-1998 and The Dragon and His Tail from 1998-2005 before the current paint scheme.  This aircraft served with the USAF, RAF, and Indian Air Force before finally passing into civilian hands for restoration.

LB-30A/B-24A/C-87, Diamond Lil, 40-2366. CAF B-29/B-24 Squadron

The only surviving B-24A model in existence, originally one of the LB-30 order bound for England.  The aircraft is painted in a two-tone camouflage pattern overall, with original US roundels on the fuselage and wings.  Port side nose is painted with the Diamond Lil nose art, starboard side is a massive 48 star US flag.

Diamond Lil flew in the colors of the 98th Bomb Group for many years before the current paint scheme.

PB4Y-2, 66300, Yanks Air Museum

Overall silver finish with red bands around the ends of the fin and horizontal stabilizers, “124″ painted in black on both sides of the nose.  The aircraft was flown to the museum in 2006 and has not flown since, although she is under restoration to military condition and likely airworthiness once more.

PB4Y-2, 66302, GossHawk Unlimited

Overall polished aluminum finish, post-war national insignia on fuselage sides behind cockpit, 6302 painted in black along the nose.  Of the airworthy Privateers, she appears closest to a Coast Guard aircraft would have in service.  She is based out of Phoenix, Arizona.

PB4Y-2, 59882, Museum of Flight and Aerial Firefighting

Overall silver finish with red bands around the stabilizers and cowlings, black 126 marked on both sides of the nose.  Heavily faired nose with a smaller window than greenhouse noses.  She was registered as airworthy in 2013.

B-24J, Joe, 44-44272, Fantasy of Flight

Overall silver finish, black fins with white vertical flash.  The aircraft was last flown in 1997 and still technically listed as airworthy by the FAA and the museum, but it will likely need a full restoration before it flies again.

Despite its high production numbers, there are few remaining B-24s in museums and under restoration.  Hopefully more wrecks can be recovered from their resting places in the South Pacific and restored in the coming decades.

Airworthy B-17 Flying Fortresses, 2017

A quick guide to the survivors, and how to quickly identify them.

Sentimental Journey, 44-83514, CAF Arizona Wing

“Triangle U” fin flash, denoting the 457th Bomb Group, 1st Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force.  This aircraft served as a mothership during Operation Greenhouse, a series of atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in 1951.  She is based out of Mesa, Arizona.

Memphis Belle, 44-83546, Military Aircraft Restoration Corp.

Olive drab fuselage paint with yellow identification markings, lacks a fin flash for unit identification.  The aircraft is actually a B-17G modified to resemble the real Belle for the 1990 movie, and carries the markings of the original aircraft.  Note the flatter Sperry top turret (not visible in this picture), lack of a chin turret, and larger waist windows.  She is based out of Anaheim, California.

Miss Angela, 44-85778, Palm Springs Air Museum

Unpainted main fuselage, bright red forward fin, yellow ring around the nose compartment, the markings of the 34th Bomb Group, 4th Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force.  The aircraft was delivered to the 6th Air Force and served post-war in Brazil.  She is based out of Palm Springs, California.

Fuddy Duddy, 44-83563, Lyon Air Museum

“Square K” fin flash, denoting the 447th Bomb Group, 4th Air Wing, 8th Air Force.  Unpainted main fuselage, yellow fin and control surfaces, double green band on rear fuselage and fin.  This aircraft served as a VIP transport in the Pacific at the end of WWII.  She is based out of Santa Ana, California.

Nine-O-Nine, 44-83575, Collings Foundation

“Triangle A” fin flash, denoting the 91st Bomb Group, 1st Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force; olive drab fuselage, vertical red bar on fin, aircraft code OR-R, extensive mission markings for nose art.  The aircraft was subjected to three nuclear explosions in 1952 before being sold for scrap, then restored.  She is painted to resemble the original Nine-O-Nine and is based out of Stow, Massachusetts.

Yankee Lady, 44-85829, Yankee Air Museum

“Triangle L” fin flash, denoting the 381st Bomb Group, 1st Air Wing, 8th Air Force; unpainted main fuselage, red vertical band on the fin and red markings on the wingtips and horizontal stabilizers, aircraft code Y-GD.  The aircraft was transferred to the Coast Guard in 1946 where it was stripped and turned into an air-sea rescue plane.  She is based out of Belleville, Michigan.

Thunderbird, 44-85718, Lone Star Flight Museum

“Triangle C” fin flash, denoting the 303rd Bomb Group, 1st Air Wing, 8th Air Force; olive drab fuselage, large group markings on the fin and starboard upper wing surface, aircraft code U-BN.  The aircraft is painted to represent the original Thunderbird which flew 112 missions without a crew injury.  She is based out of Galveston, Texas.

Texas Raiders, 44-83872, CAF Gulf Coast Wing

“Triangle L” fin flash, denoting the 381st Bomb Group, 1st Air Wing, 8th Air Force; olive drab fuselage, red wingtips and horizontal stabilizers, group markings on the fin and starboard upper wing, aircraft code X-VP.  The aircraft served in the Navy as a PB-1W AWACS aircraft before being retired in 1955.  She is based out of Spring, Texas.

Madras Maiden, 44-8543, Erickson Aircraft Collection

“Triangle L” fin flash, denoting the 381st Bomb Group, 1st Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force; unpainted main fuselage, red wingtips and horizontal stabilizers, red band on the fin, black/red open band on the starboard upper wing, aircraft code F-JE.  The aircraft was converted into a Pathfinder with the H2X radar set before being retired in 1959.  She is based out of Madras, Oregon.

From 1979 until 2013 44-8543 wore the colors of Chuckie, “Square W” 486th Bomb Group, 4th Air Wing, 8th Air Force.  In these pictures she is painted with a yellow fin, triple yellow bands around the rear fuselage, yellow wingtips and yellow ring around the nose.  This is how the aircraft was displayed at my local air museum, and how it is most often pictured.

Aluminum Overcast, 44-85740, Experimental Aircraft Association

“Triangle W” fin flash, denoting the 398th Bomb Group, 1st Air Wing, 8th Air Force; silver main fuselage, red wingtips and horizontal stabilizers, red vertical band on fin, group markings on fin and starboard upper wing.  The aircraft was delivered too late to see service in Europe and was sold as surplus, entering the civilian market.  She is based out of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Sally B,  44-85784, B-17 Preservation Ltd.

The aircraft carries identical markings to Memphis Belle, acquired during the filming of the 1990 movie.  Her #3 engine cowling (starboard inner) is painted with a yellow-black checkerboard pattery.  She is based out of Duxford, England, and is the only airworthy B-17 in Europe.

Several other B-17s are listed as airworthy, including The Pink Lady (44-8846, last flown 2010), Boeing Bee (42-29782, flown 2006 with no plans for further flights), and Shady Lady (44-83785, recently acquired by the Collings Foundation with plans to return to flight by 2017).  Several others are under restoration to airworthiness.


    NASA and Boeing teamed up to produce the X-48C, a subscale prototype that first flew in August 2012. Creating small flying models to test new ideas is faster, safer and less expensive than building full sized research aircraft. The new idea here is the Blended Wing Body. This idea improves efficiency and capacity for future airline designs.

    One of the design goals here was to lower the noise of an airliner. Over the decades, jet engines have made huge advances in noise reduction, but less has been done about the sound generated by the aerodynamics of the ship cutting through the air. Deploying landing gear and flaps creates drag, thus creating noise. These devices are used at low level (during takeoff and landing), when the noise level of the aircraft is most critical. This design strives to make those non propulsive parts quieter by “sculpting” them into the body in a more efficient way.

    The windows on the model are not just for show. A small camera sits behind the windows, feeding a ground based pilot a view from the tiny cockpit, allowing them better situational awareness during the flights.

    This X-48C is on display at the Air Force Flight Test Museum on Edwards Air Force Base, California, serving as a precursor of things to come. Like so many aircraft that have graced the flightline of Edwards, this may serve as the aircraft of the future.

Christmas Tidings (Loki x reader)

The Avengers didn’t know how, but (Y/N) always gave the best Christmas presents.

The team swore she placed cameras around the tower from the accuracy of her gifts.

Nat got new pointe shoes and the chocolate she adored delivered straight from Germany.

Steve was gifted a brand new record player after his old one was destroyed in a spat between the superhuman tenants.

Bucky received a scrapbook filled with the most random of occurrences over the years, along with very plush socks. He adored both gifts.

Thor opened a delicacy box to reveal homemade fudge, and after having a taste, had the god posed on one knee. To his dismay, (Y/N) refused.

Sam’s gift was two tickets to the museum of flight, and he would most definitely not be bringing Bucky. (He brought Bucky.)

Her father, Tony would find an MP3 player with a playlist of songs she knew helped him sleep and stacks of his favorite chamomile tea bags under the expansive pine, he had insisted they decorate “together as a team!”

Wanda was pleasantly surprised to see the red dress she had been eyeing in the store display window. Complete with matching strappy, black heels.

Pietro laughed as he saw the many pairs of running shoes she had given him. All different brands and styles.

Bruce opened his present with chuckles as he held up the pair of jeans, shirt, and lab coat, all she helped design to be resistant from tearing.

Clint received a gift card that would last him the whole of the new year to his favorite pizza place down the block.

Vision got sweaters, educational books and every other nerdy thing you would expect an android to want.

Loki surveyed everything. The hidden delight on all their faces as they opened their gifts, and the jealousy on his own. He was actually very surprised when she announced his name. (Y/N) aimed one of her award winning smiles and Loki struggled to remain as calm as he had been for the last hour. “Loki! This one’s for you!” She exclaimed as her hands flitted to a medium sized box from the pile of gifts surrounding her.

He pulled the aluminum paper off of the box that was clearly wrapped delicately by hand and let a fond smile drift on to his face as he saw her enthusiasm. The newly opened parcel revealed a jar filled with book suggestions and a framed sketch of the two of them together.

“I remember you saying that you had nothing to read so I wrote out all if my favorite books and stuffed the notes in the jar. So you can randomly pull out a title!” She enthused. The color rising in her cheeks was almost enough to make Loki hyperventilate, not that he would ever let that show. To the others he seemed cool, indifferent even.

Loki gave her a smile; his real one, not the smirks he threw the rest of the team. He murmured his thanks and let his fingers trace the small box inside his jacket pocket. It could wait a few more hours.

The rest of the party consisted of jokes, cake, and the team trying to steal Thor’s fudge, which he defended ‘til the last crumb.

When Loki saw (Y/N) leave for the balcony, he decided this was the best time as any. He still wasn’t allowed to fully leave the tower alone, only being on Midguard so Thor could monitor his behavior, but balconies were fine, or so he thought.

As soon as Loki passed through the doorway, Thor was alerted by Friday and quietly made his way to the balcony.

While Thor was standing behind the wall Loki had caught (Y/N)’s attention.

He hadn’t really thought far ahead enough of how to begin his conversation, and was now just standing in front of her, waiting for words to tumble out of his mouth.

After about 5 seconds, they finally did, and Loki said rather endearingly, “I very much appreciated your gift. It was highly thoughtful of you,” The blush on her cheeks was much darker than before.

“It wasn’t a problem at all. I actually love giving gifts!” She gushed.

Loki smiled before reaching into his jacket and grabbing the small parcel, and murmured, “I hope you don’t mind receiving gifts, also then.”

He handed her the jewelry box, elegantly tied up with satin ribbon, her face lit up in surprise and excitement. When the package was in her hands she carefully untied the ribbon, her frozen fingers stumbling against the knot for a few seconds until the velvet box was revealed for what it was.

She quickly pulled up the lid on the jewelry box and let out a gasp. Lying on the velvet cushion was a gorgeous emerald necklace with a delicate gold chain tying it together. “Loki this is beautiful! But I can’t accept this. It’s far too valuable!”

He was pleased at her reaction and gently shoved the box back into her hands. “I insist, besides your gift to me was the most thoughtful one all night,” his reply still hadn’t fully convinced her, so he lifted the necklace from the box and asked if he could put it on her. After she reluctantly agreed, she wept her hair to the side and turned so he he could clasp the necklace.

His pale hands lingered on her soft skin and she could feel his breath on the back of her neck, causing a shock of pleasure to run through her spine. (Y/N) thought she probably looked like a tomato, she was blushing so bad.

As Loki was about to lean down to kiss her, he saw his brother’s large figure lurking behind the doorway. He quickly pulled away, wishing (Y/N) a hurried “merry Christmas,” and rushed off to find and hopefully kill his brother. What Loki didn’t see was the disappointment on (Y/N)’s face as he left the balcony.

Thor began speaking as soon as (Y/N) was out of earshot, “You gifted her the necklace without telling her of its power,” Thor spoke when they were parted from the rest of the group.

“I did, Brother. Does it bother you?” Loki threw a glance in his brother’s direction.

“You care for her,” it wasn’t said as a question, but as a statement.

“And if I do? What happens then?” Loki was glancing at his hands; his sarcastic mannerisms dropped.

“Nothing. Opposite to your beliefs, you do deserve to be happy, Loki,” Thor placed his large hand on Loki’s shoulder, “And I know that the necklace was from Mother’s designs.”

Loki raised his brow and looked away, “I may have made a stop to her room for her enchantments on our last visit,” Loki looked back at his brother, “But, I only wish for her to be protected.”

Thor sighed, “I know you won’t, but I would rather you tell her than have her be terrified when her enemy is being knocked through the air twenty feet.”

The mischievous grin on Loki’s face only made Thor’s sigh deepen, “While that will be amusing to watch, I just need to know that the scum of this world does not touch her.”

Thor tried not to let his smile show, happy that his brother was not completely gone yet. “Return to her,” he winked, “Besides you looked as if the two of you were in the middle of something!” Loki rolled his eyes as his brother ran off to find Jane.

Loki stood for a moment, before making his way over to where (Y/N) watched the snow blowing by the window, with hot chocolate in her mug. Her face seemed relaxed, and after turning to see who was coming, it lit up in happiness. She set her chocolate down, so not to spill it, and was surprised as he leant down and pressed his lips against hers. She gasped, and was frozen for a moment before wrapping her arms around the back of his neck, sinking deeper into the kiss.

“Hey Reindeer Games, that’s my daughter you’re defiling!” Was soon heard from an angered billionaire.

The pair soon pulled away, but only until they were tucked safely away from prying eyes. This was surely a great way to end the year.


     The David Clark S-901 pressure suit was designed to keep our fragile pink human body functioning in the extreme conditions of a triple sonic 90,000 foot ejection from a Blackbird. This involves heating from wind blast, followed immediately by frigid temperatures as you fall through the extremely low pressures of the stratosphere.

     Even on a normal flight, the suit protected pilots from the dangers of a typical cockpit environment. While flying the Blackbird at speed and altitude, the window panes a few inches in front of your eyes are heat soaked at the temperature of 650°F. If the shade visor was left up for too long, pilots would receive what looked and felt like a sunburn on their faces.

     This suit (as seen here on temporary display at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada) was the spare suit for A-12 pilot Jack Weeks, whom we lost on June 5, 1968. Weeks was flying A-12 Article 129 over the South China Sea when communications were lost. Contrary to major search efforts, no sign of him or the aircraft were ever found. At the time of this writing, the suit is now on display at the Southern Museum of Flight in Birmingham, Alabama, which was Weeks’ hometown.

The American Explorer

((A/N: This is an AU! I’m still writing my requests, but I had a little ping in my head to write this so I’m writing this. It’s completely inspired by watching The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, so the setting is 1920′s Dean. I imagine if Dean were an Explorer, not a ‘Hunter’, but still with the same idea. He tracks down the rare and crazy, all to save lives. Sam’s not in this… yet. But if it does well, I’ll keep it going. Feedback is SUPER important! Also, if you want to be tagged, lemme know.

Pairing: 1920′s!Dean x Reader

Word Count: 2050

Warnings: Language

AU: 1920′s Explorer

Tagging: @little-red-83 @andwhenitwasclear @jodyri @torn-and-frayed @the-queen-of-hades @evanshiddlesgoddess @growningupgeek @beriala @growleytria @adaisinwonderland @holywaterbucketchallenge @iwantthedean @aprofoundbondwithdean @ohheyitsmik @flintera @aerisawriting @demondean-for-kingofhell @kazchester-fanfiction  @goandsavemyunicorn))

Cataloguing. Always cataloguing. Once more another weekday evening found you alone in the large museum, labeling and writing, organizing a new exhibit that had come in. You’d hoped your move to England would have given you more opportunities, but it was still 1920, and it was still impossible for a woman to be taken seriously. Now you were left eyeing the ‘Mythology of Edinburgh’, a piece from Scotland that had come in.

Keep reading


American Museum of Natural History, Part 29: Showdown!

The first thing I saw and took pictures of in the museum, it felt fitting to put it before I got to the permanent dinosaur fossil halls. Here we have a Barosaurus protecting its young from an Allosaurus. Barosaurus is my favorite sauropod, and Allosaurus one of my favorite theropods, and while I got to see these two genera duke it out at the Natural History Museum of Utah during SVP, seeing this iconic display right when I got to the museum (after a… 625 am flight… which was not pleasant) was truly wonderful. 

My first photo that I ever took at the museum is at the top, and the last photo I took, as we were leaving, is at the bottom. There’s something poetic in this. 

James Leininger's Story

James Leininger was not yet 2 years old when he began to have terrible nightmares. His parents knew he would outgrow them, but his screams frightened them. 
When they would come to his bedside, they often found him on his back, kicking his legs in the air and thrashing his arms - as if he were trying to escape from an imaginary box. He would also yell some garbled words that his parents could not understand.

When he was three, his Mom heard the words more clearly. “Airplane crash. On fire! Little man can’t get out!”

James had played with toy airplanes but he had never fantasized about them crashing or burning. He wasn’t exposed to war movies on television or in the cinema. His parents were puzzled. The boy’s nightmares seem to have started shortly after his father took him to visit a Dallas flight museum, containing some vintage aircraft, when the boy was just 18 months old. But why? As his fascination with airplanes continued, so did his nightmares. His parents bought him more toy model airplanes to play with, thinking he would soon find other interests. They noticed that when he approached his toy sit-down airplane, he would perform a walk-around inspection before he got in - just like a real pilot. 

Once his mother gave him a model with what appeared to be a bomb on the underside. When she pointed this out to her son he immediately corrected her, telling her it was a “drop tank.”

“I’ve never heard of a drop tank … I didn’t know what a drop tank was." - Andrea Leininger

When James was a little more than three years old, his parents decided to take him to a therapist who specialized in treating troubled children. Almost immediately his nightmares started to diminish. James was encouraged to talk about the things he remembered just before bedtime, when he was relaxed and sleepy. It was then that his surprising story started to be revealed. Among the amazing things little James told his parents was that he was a pilot and flew a Corsair airplane. According to James, "They used to get flat tires all the time.” He also recalled being assigned to a ship called “Natoma” and that he had been “shot down” by the Japanese in the battle of Iwo Jima! He further recalled that he had served with a buddy named “Jack Larson.”

All of this was too much for his parents to comprehend so they decided to see if this story had any factual basis. Almost immediately James’ father, Bruce, found that a Corsair was indeed a type of airplane used in the Pacific during WWII and that it didhave a reputation for blowing tires when it landed hard! 

He later found the record of a small aircraft carrier, Natoma Bay, that was in the battle of Iwo Jima! But the most remarkable fact was that there was a pilot named Jack Larson who served on the Natoma Bay. In fact, Larson was still alive and living in nearby Arkansas. About this time James began to draw pictures of his airplane and of being shot down. The fact that he was both drawing and talking about these memories seemed to eliminate his nightmares.

Bruce quickly contacted Jack Larson and was informed that the only pilot shot down from the crew of the Natoma Bay was named James M. Huston Jr., who had received a direct hit and crashed in a ball of fire. Bruce says it was then that he believed his son had a past life in which he was this same James M. Huston Jr.

“He came back because he wasn’t finished with something.” The Leiningers wrote a letter to Huston’s sister, Anne Barron, about their little boy. Now she believes it as well. In all there are over 50 distinct memories that have been validated i n this exceptional case of reincrnation.

“The child was so convincing in coming up with all the things that there is no way on the world he could know.”