Should the old warbirds still fly?

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Matt308, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Every year we encounter airshows and other flying museums that are showcasing old warbirds. These beautiful aircraft, their dedicated pilots, and even more dedicated mechanics work with love and enthusiasm to ensure that another generation is allowed to experience the wonder of yester-engineering.

    How many of us have witnessed an old (or perhaps new!) warbird performing a fly-by hearing that radial engine and... imagining. Who of us has got chills or hairs on the back of our necks seeing one of our favorite aircraft doing a low pass or high-G turn? How else can a new generation appreciate such engineering marvel, aerodynamic beauty or raw physical awe? Where else can you go to witness visual, auditory and visceral appreciation for man's accomplishments?

    Now for the question. Should these rare old beauties still fly? Does catastrophic destruction outweigh the benefit of satisfying a few more years of both hardcore and new audiences? If there are only 20,10, 5, or 3 aircraft of a particular type in the world, should they be flown at the risk of reducing that precious population?

    Give us your thoughts.

    [And this should wet your appetite.:) There are expletives in the attached for those with sensitive ears.]
     

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  2. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

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    I believe the Warbirds should fly. The Pilots are brave, the mechanics are amazing. Keeping those Warbirds in the sky shows that good aircraft that once served our countries should still have the chance to stay in the skies.
     
  3. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Oh yes. But is it worth the risk for catastrophic damage if only a couple of these airframes are left in the world?
     
  4. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

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    No. In that case, the Aircraft should be kept in a well funded museum so they will last and not rot away.
     
  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I think they should fly, for many reasons. Being a member of the CAF, without appearance fees at shows, a lot of these warbirds would become static displays. Now think about that. Yes, the airplane would be preserved, but how many will actually see it? I have been volunteering at the CAF in Camarillo for 5 years, they have been there longer than that and we still get visitors that state they didn't know we were there.

    Sitting in a museum for "all to see" means it will be seen by less people, period. Flying at airshows, more people will see it and become interested enough to learn more about it. Plus the rumble of the engine and the site of it in it's native environment, the sky, is irreplacable in itself. Spend some time in any CAF museum and you will see that the guys there love to work on the planes to see them fly, not sit in the hangar. I would bet that a majority of the guys on the maintenance side of the museum wouldn't do it if they only worked on the planes for static display.
     
  6. Clave

    Clave Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I think they should fly IF there are more than 5 in the world, otherwise the risk is too high..
     
  7. mosquitoman

    mosquitoman Active Member

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    Personally they should all fly, they're in better condition than they ever were when they served.
     
  8. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    yes their flight is very limited (the BBMF lanc is limited to 40 hours a year) yet that's plenty of time for them to be enjoyed, if they're grounded today then they'll never fly again in years to come through old age and the effects of long term storage, keep them flying as lost as possible now, and when they can fly no longer, stick them in a museum.........
     
  9. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

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    I agree. As long as there is a good quanity of these aircraft, keep them in the skies. But there are cases where they dont need to fly. For example, I was at an Airshow a couple of months back. I heard this guy talking about how a lot of German aircraft were malfunctioning. Aircraft that are rare are usually the first ones to go. At the Eglin Air Force Base Airshow in Montgomery, A beautiful F-86 Sabre broke down on the runway. They had to pull off the runway so more aircraft could come in safetly.

    Watching Airshows is what inspired me to get me involved in Military Aviation. Watching these beautiful aircraft that once served our country is amazing.
     
  10. Twitch

    Twitch Member

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  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    If the aircraft has been maintained and it is airworthy, fly it!!!

    If its a super rare aircraft, spare no expense on maintenance, only allow the best pilots to fly it and fly it only on calm clear days, it's that simple....
     
  12. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    The simple and effective way to go. Well said, Joe.
     
  13. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

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  14. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Agreed as well, the best way to see them is in the natural environment (the air) it is no good just looking at them and having to imagine everything...
     
  15. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

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    Hearing the roar of their engines is what gives it the excitement and watching them take off from the runway is even better!
     
  16. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Well as an aircraft mechanic I think they should fly. The maintenance that is conducted on them now is better than it was 60 years ago and as long as the proper inspections are conducted they will continue to fly with out very much hazzard to the pilot or aircraft.
     
  17. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    I thought that this thread would illicit some interesting responses. Unfortunately, I too have witnessed firsthand crashes of these flying museums. In the late 80s or early 90s I was in an airshow at Boeing Field, Seattle, and witnessed a P-51D cartwheel with a collapsed right main gear. Scary and tragic, though that pilot managed to walk away and the airplane suffered relatively minor damage. I believe there is a fine line that must be weighed between number of aircraft remaining, aircraft type condition and the need for static display only. It is where one chooses to draw that line which I find interesting. Lord knows there will always be a pilot willing to fly them. And that I can truly understand.
     
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I would love to work on them to keep them flying and who knows later maybe fly them.

    KEEP THEM FLYING!!!!!!!
     
  19. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I Agree Adler
    Thing is their old designs but not really old aircraft as nearly every component has been renewed take Sally B she has old wing spars but only because they past the regular ultrasonic testing but huge amounts of her has been renewed over the years to maintain the airworthy certificate, the amount of care lavished on these planes against the amount of flying hours put in (Sally B is around 20 hours a year) is greater than many modern aircraft and lets not forget none of them are pushed anywhere near the limits that they had to endure when in service.
     
  20. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

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    Agreed! Its like the American War Effort posters!
     
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