|Jul 13, 2009, 05:50 PM|
Flyin in a REAL P-51 Mustang!!
Some days the planets all line up, the sun shines, the birds sing and everything just works out perfectly. Well, Friday, the 10th of July was one of those days for me.
I filed an IFR flight plan to Lexington, Kentucky, jumped in a UH-60, climbed to 5000' and off we went. I did the ILS RWY 22 into LEX, taxied down C taxiway to D taxiway and into parking at, get this, "Air 51" and shutdown the Blackhawk.
Joe came walking out to the helicopter to meet us. Joe an emergency room doctor, the owner of Air 51 AND the proud owner of "Hurry Home Honey", an original WW2 P-51 Mustang credited with 15 kills!
We met Joe a few weeks ago by chance when we stopped into Lexington for fuel. We all started talking and he offered to show us his collection of airplanes. The hanger door opened and OH MY LORD! Right there in front of us, a T-6, A PT-17, a P-51D and a couple others I cant remember right now! WOW was all I could say. Joe told us, that if we were ever up there again, to call him and we could get a ride in Hurry Home Honey! Needless to say, we planned our next flight to Lexington!
Again, we went down to the hangar, he opened it up, pulled Mustang 3751D out, did a pre-flight and fired up that big 12 cyl engine! The smell of the exuast is sooooooooo good!
Adam (my buddy) went first. I watched as the Mustang taxied out, took off and flew off over the city. About 20 min. later I watched Joe and Adam slide in on a perfect landing, taxi around and come back to Air 51. Then it was my turn! I jumped in, strapped on the parachute and off we went.
Now, flying Blackhawks is a pretty darn cool job in itself, but there is just something about a warbird like that Mustang that is awesome. I heard the tower clear us for takeoff, we took the runway and as Joe pushed the throttle forward I felt that huge 4 blade prop chewing away at the air. It shoved me hard into the seat as we accelerated. The tail came up and the first thing I thought of while looking over his shoulder was what it must have been like over 60 years ago looking through that really small windshield, closing in on a FW190 and squeezing that trigger. Looking out through the windshield during takeoff like that is a memory that will stick in my mind for a loooong time.
Joe pulled the nose up and off we went. We cruised around at about 230knots at 2500' for awhile, then Joe brought it in right on the numbers and greased the landing. The only part of the flight I DIDNT like was getting out. Only because that meant it was over.
What a great day, and THANK YOU JOE for the ride of my life!
Folks, if ever find yourself in Lexington, Kentucky, stop into the airport, find Air 51 and talk to Joe, who knows, you might even get a ride in a P-51 Mustang!
CW2 Laine Stahr
|Jul 13, 2009, 07:47 PM|
Waa Waa Wee Waa as Borat would say! Sounds like a good time! I mean even the taxi must have been a rush since that's faster than the Vne on a UH-60. I kiiid I kiiid! Sorry man I gotta give the Army helo drivers a hard time. Do you have any more pics of his collection? Maybe you can scam a few more rides from him
|Jul 13, 2009, 09:37 PM|
They had P-51 rides at the Reading PA airshow the one year that I was there. I think they charged something between $300-$500 for a ride in one. They had height restrictions too, so even if I had the money I couldn't have gone up in one.
Best free ride I got was in one of the Red Baron pizza Stearmans, the pilot did loops too.
|Jul 13, 2009, 09:48 PM|
Thanks for the comments guys. It sure was fun to fly in a piece of history like that. I'll never forget it thats for sure.
|Jul 14, 2009, 03:55 AM|
Joined Apr 2005
You can get people to give you stuff and they think they are getting the deal of the century, wish I would have gotten that trait. My only comfort is my car is faster and prettier than yours.
color me green, really deep metallic pearl green....
|Jul 14, 2009, 12:41 PM|
Joined Jan 2005
A friend of mine used to fly P-51 "LOU IV" out of Ft Wayne, Indiana. Later he got this idea in his head to mix a Lear Jet model 23 with a P-51 Mustang.
The end result was an airplane called "Vendetta"
Half Mustang, half Learjet!
It did race at Reno, but had problems.
The airplane got sold off before my friend John Dilley could set the absolute world speed record for a propeller driven-internal combustion powered airplane.
John did take it to 540 mph straight and level with only 80% manifold pressure.
Everyone who knew John, had confidence he could have taken it up to 600 mph or more.
But fate stepped in the way after a forced belly landing in a bean field near Auburn Indiana. John walked away from it, but the owner decided to sell it
It was sold off to Gary Levitz and later called "Miss Ashley 2"
Unfortunately , it met its end at Reno during the National Air Races
I've got some video on VHS of
Well in a couple of weeks I'll be at Oshkosh and there will be a lot of Mustangs and other airplanes there.
Any of you guys coming to Oshkosh, you might want to go check out the EAA website at www.eaa.org
The reason I say this, is the ground traffic pattern is TOTALLY DIFFERENT this year!
The "Fly Market" has been moved and is on the southwest corner of the big hangar exhibit buildings -A-B-C-D
The old control tower is gone, and a new one has been built elsewhere.
If you drive in and come in the main gate, you will immediately see the changes.
The EAA has aerial views on the website
There are new roads taking you to Warbirds, the North Forty, etc.
Also stop by the new VAA Hangar next to the VAA Red Barn.
The "Type Club" tents are gone, and the Type Clubs will be inside the new VAA hangar along with Harold Nuemanns 1941 Monocoupe( freshly restored) "Little Mulligan".
Also while on the EAA website, check out the "Oshkosh" Spirit of Aviationn video!
Download it and watch it for free!
EAA-VAA Security Team
C yall there!
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