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waterpolodan
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How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:27 am

The crash involving the 2 P51s in Wisconsin got me wondering about the number of WWII era warplanes still flying... I'm sure the P51 has to be the most numerous in terms of aircraft that still regularly fly, but I have no idea how many are in the air worldwide, it's gotta be a couple hundred planes? How about some other WWII types? I know the B24 was the most produced aircraft of the war, but there can't be more than 3 or 4 flying today, and there is only 1 B29 that is airworthy... P47s? P38s? Spitfires? "Real" Me109s? Any info would be appreciated... Also, of all those P51s and such flying today, how many actually saw combat in the war? Are there any Mustangs out there that were credited with actual enemy kills?
 
waterpolodan
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:49 am

Anyone have any ideas?
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:49 am

I know there are at least 100 P-51 Mustangs still existing, but I don't know how many are airworthy. There is another B-29 in Kansas, "Doc" I believe, is undergoing restoration to flying status. Doc & Fifi will the only 2 flying B-29s in the world.
There are several B-25s still flying that actually saw combat, as well as handful of Mustangs, some B-17s and if you count the C-47s & T-6s as warbirds, they're still around too.
There are several books & magazines out there, detailing surviving warbirds which is where I get my info from, however there are a few websites offer some info as well, if you can locate them. Alot of times, they're hardly up to date. One in particular, the Commemorative Air Force website is a great place to get questions answered.
Good luck on your quest. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
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northstardc4m
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:26 am

Add to the above:

Many Spitfires in existance, maybe 20 airworthy
Some Hurricanes, 25-30 in air
2 Lancasters in Airworthy condition (1 uk, 1 Canada, i believe the UK one either just finished a heavy rebuild or is just finishing?)
tons of Gypsy Moths
some Mosquitos
1 Spanish built He111 with Merlin engines
maybe 10-15 P-38s, at least a couple P-40s, maybe 25 Corsairs, a few avengers?
i believe there are 3 airworthy true Bf109 types (as opposed to spanish or other country built ones)
at least 2 Fw190s in airworthy form.
2-3 original Ju-52s
1 Ju-87?
1 Me262 airworthy now
several Me263 in existance, but not flyable...
must be 10 or so Zeros in flyable condition now... various marques
And let us not forget:
IL-2, Mig-1/3/7/9 and all the other Soviet ones... there are a few being restored but i don't think any are currently flying?

anymore???
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
 
dc8jet
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:37 am

A July 24 listing in Mustangs,Mustangs shows the following:

Surviving complete P-51 airframes 289

Airworthy 156

On display 57

Under repairs/restoration 51

In storage 21

Status unknown 4

There are about 40 flying B-25s and below is an uneducated guess as to the flying numbers of a few other types.

P-38 under 6
P-40 under 20
P-47 under 10
Corsair under 25
Skyraider under 25

I would guess there are several hundred T-6 SNJ flying and quite a few T-28.

Go to www.warbirdregistry.org They list the surviving warbirds by type and serial number.
 
WrenchBender
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:01 am

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 3):
anymore???

Buffalo Airways in Yellowknife, NWT owns and operates, (on a daily basis) 6x DC3/C47 that all saw WWII service as RAF/RCAF/USAF,
2x C46 that saw USAF WWII service and a couple of Canso's that are from that era (since converted to Water Bombers).
http://www.buffaloairways.com/fleet.htm
And CWHM in Hamilton
http://www.warplane.com/pages/aircraft.html
Not all A/C are flyable

WrenchBender
Silly Pilot, Tricks are for kids.......
 
waterpolodan
Topic Author
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:55 am

It's amazing that there are so few of these planes left... Obviously their historic value wasn't of any great concern when they were lined up in boneyards, replaced by jets in the 10 years after the war, but it is still sad to think how many great warbirds were melted down. How about Navy types? There's gotta be a few F6Fs flying? Are there any airworthy planes that became aces during the war?
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:14 pm

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 3):
Many Spitfires in existance, maybe 20 airworthy

I think you will find the figure is nearer 50 airworthy. I have seen about 18 airworthy in one place at one time (50th anniversary of the Spitfire in service Duxford 1988); since then there have been a lot more restorations.
 
SlamClick
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:52 pm

Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 6):
It's amazing that there are so few of these planes left...

Especially when you realize that beer was sold in glass bottles for the first ten years after the war, then steel cans for the next ten.

Maybe it was B-36 production that created the demand for aluminum. (That's "Al you minnyum" to you Spitfire fans)

Most of my life I've lived with the illusion that there are more of these planes left than there actually are. When I was a student pilot there was a T-6, a B-17 and two F-7Fs at my airport. I've shared the traffic pattern with five B-17s on one occasion. Today, not a month goes by that I don't see at least one great warbird. Each september I see them by the dozen.

Still I get angry when some fool crashes a perfectly good one and I always cheer for the purpose-built race planes like Tsunami and the Pond Racer when they show up. It will be a happy day when the Mustangs and Bearcats and Sea Furies are no longer competetive at Reno. They can go back to being works of art for us to drool over.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
SlamClick
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:00 am

Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 6):
amazing that there are so few of these planes left...

I just remembered another factor. When I was a kid you could buy a radial or V-12 airplane engine "in the can" for as little as $50. Some sheep and cattle ranchers bought them, dumped the engine on the ground out back of the barn somewhere and used the shipping can halves as water troughs for their livestock.

One Allison was used to power a small sawmill that I knew of. Another found its way into a lumber truck. He ran with no side panels on his hood so you could see the heads. No need, when you saw him fly past the 200-Cummins powered trucks going up the hills there was no doubt.

Art Arfons used an Allison in his "Green Monster" dragster, running a tank rear end through a tugboat clutch. Hydroplane racers used up Allisons and Merlins by the hundreds. Prop come out of the water for a moment and the engine went to the scrap heap. I was told by one team that they were pulling 200 inches of manifold pressure at 4000 RPM. It's a wonder there are any left.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
Lumberton
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:42 am

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 3):
at least 2 Fw190s in airworthy form.

No ME-109s? Wasn't this the most produced fighter aircraft in history? There's got to be some flying somewhere?
This press release talks about a ME-109 at a recent air show.
http://www.experiencecolumbus.com/pr....cfm?detect=no&pressrelease_id=118
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:40 am

That's why it always saddens me to see aircraft being scrapped at AMARC and other places....if we knew what we did back after WWII when all sorts of aircraft were murdered, we'd save more of them. I have a feeling we'll regret it one day.

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
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KPDX
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:15 am

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 10):
No ME-109s? Wasn't this the most produced fighter aircraft in history? There's got to be some flying somewhere?
This press release talks about a ME-109 at a recent air show.
http://www.experiencecolumbus.com/pr...d=118

I know there are at least 2 109's in the air flying.

KPDX  Smile
 
RayPettit
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:01 am

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 11):
That's why it always saddens me to see aircraft being scrapped at AMARC and other places....if we knew what we did back after WWII when all sorts of aircraft were murdered, we'd save more of them. I have a feeling we'll regret it one day.

Well, how many current inmates at AMARC could be restored and re-flown at a price people could afford?

It is one thing restoring a Mustang back in the fifties, but quite another finding the cash to maintain a 1970's jet fighter.

Sadly, we won't be seeing too many Phantoms being flown in private hands. And in the UK, the authorities won't allow a Lightning to fly in private hands, hence why those are now in South Africa.

ray
 
KevinSmith
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:04 am

I know that I have personally seen two flying B-24s. One is Diamond Lil and the name of the other one is escaping me.
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:21 pm

Ol' 924 is the name of the other B-24. I saw it at Oshkosh all last week.

They offer a type rating in it....$225,000 if you've got the spare change. And the satisfaction of donating to a worthy cause  Wink

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
waterpolodan
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:12 am

Was one of those B24s once painted silver with "All American" written on the nose? I saw that plane and a B17 at the Weeks Air Museum when I was a kid, I still have the tshirt somewhere and the .50 cal bullets.
 
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KPDX
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:16 am

Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 16):
Was one of those B24s once painted silver with "All American" written on the nose? I saw that plane and a B17 at the Weeks Air Museum when I was a kid, I still have the tshirt somewhere and the .50 cal bullets.

Yea, there are 3 B-24's I believe.

Diamond Lil
Ol' 924
and
All American (formally known as 'Dragon and its Tail') which is owned by the Colling Foundation.

KPDX  Smile
 
KevinSmith
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:08 am

Quoting KPDX (Reply 17):
'Dragon and its Tail'

That's the one!!!!
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
kbfispotter
Posts: 658
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 5:56 pm

RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:05 am

Quoting KPDX (Reply 17):
All American (formally known as 'Dragon and its Tail') which is owned by the Colling Foundation.

now known as Witchcraft...

Kris
Proud to be an A&P!!!
 
FlyUSCG
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RE: How Many Warbirds In The Air?

Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:09 am

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 3):
1 Spanish built He111 with Merlin engines

Pretty sure that is the Commemorative Air Force's one that crashed and killed the pilots a couple years ago in Wyoming(?)

I believe the B-17 number is around 13 Airworthy
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