The P-47 was first introduced in 1942 and saw extensive service in both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II. 15,678 were manufactured and the last active duty aircraft was retired from the Peruvian Air Force in 1966. The P-47 was big and heavy, and not as tightly maneuverable as other fighter aircraft at the time, but it could dive faster than other aircraft, could carry bombs and rockets, extended fuel tanks and was equipped with eight .50 caliber machine guns mounted in its wings. The P-47 flew missions escorting bombers, fighting enemy interceptors and also was successful in air to ground warfare, disabling German armored vehicles including exploiting tank vulnerabilities with armor piercing, armor piercing-incendiary and armor piercing-tracer ammunition. P-47 pilots also became skillful at skip-bombing train tunnels, sealing both ends of a tunnel and sealing German trains inside the tunnels.
This P-47G Thunderbolt is the last flying Thunderbolt with the “razorback: canopy configuration in existence, the razorback limited rear vision and was replaced in subsequent fighter aircraft with the “bubble” canopy. The “Spirit of Atlantic City” was manufactured in 1944 by Grand Central Aircraft Company, Glendale, California. Restored once at Kirtland Air Force Base (New Mexico) in 1958-1963 it was housed at various air museums and used in air shows. On October 23, 1972 the aircraft crashed during a forced landing at an air show at Point Mugu, California and struck an earth embankment. The “Spirit of Atlantic City” was then rebuilt in Chino, California and returned to flight in 1976 and remains in the flying collection of the Planes of Fame Air Museum, Chino, California.
Prints of this and other aircraft are available here: http://goo.gl/zZohQ .
This is a Grumman F8F “Bearcat” receiving some tender loving care in the sunshine adjacent to the Fighter Rebuilders hanger at the Planes of Fame museum, Chino Airport, Chino, California. The Bearcat, one of the still flying aircraft exhibited at the museum, was developed in 1943/44 as a fighter interceptor designed specifically for carrier operations but was not deployed to the fleet by the United States Navy until after the end of the second world war in 1945. This aircraft is capable of lifting off the deck after a take off run of just 115 feet, and in 1972 a Bearcat broke its own record by achieving an altitude of 18,000 feet 91.9 seconds after take off; in 1989 a Bearcat set the World Speed Record for piston driven aircraft at 528.33 mph.
In post processing this image, I am again reminded of a bad habit I have of getting so excited about an image in my viewfinder, that I lose the benefit of approaching the subject in a slow, deliberative manner, and in the case of this image forgot to adjust the ISO setting down from what I was using inside of a hanger making the previous shots. The result is a bit of unwanted grainy effect in parts of the aircraft fuselage, elevator and tail.
The aircraft in the foreground is a Boeing P26A “Peashooter”, this is a fully functional (and still flying) former military aircraft in the collection of the Planes of Fame (air) Museum located at the Chino Airport, Chino, California. The Peashooter was developed in 1932 and was the first all metal, monoplane pursuit fighter placed in to service by the United States Army Air Corps.
The thin red “line” that seems to be bisecting the fuselage at the mid-point in this image is actually an aircraft warning flag attached to the leading edge of the wing (not an aberration in the image file).
I am not actually happy with the sharpness of this image. I seemed to be having some focus issues while on this shoot, I believe I need to improve my skills with the autofocus function in the camera, insuring that I lock it on the correct focus points.