An alternative air show

The Farnborough Air Show got all the headlines this month, but we went to a small air show in Everett (WA), right at Paine Field, where Boeing dominates.

The Historic Flight Foundation is the brainchild of John Sessions, who has put together a private collection of all-airworthy airplanes. It’s also near by the Paul Allen (yes, the Microsoft Paul Allen) collection of airworthy airplanes at the Flying Heritage Museum and across the field from the restoration center of the Museum of Flight, which is at Boeing Field.

The HFF recently hosted the only airworthy Boeing B-29, “Fifi,” of the Commemorative Air Force. The history of Fifi can be found here.

The Commemorative Air Force Boeing B-29, the only airworthy example. Shown at the Historic Flight Foundation, July 2014. Photo by Scott Hamilton

The Commemorative Air Force Boeing B-29, the only airworthy example. Shown at the Historic Flight Foundation, July 2014. Photo by Scott Hamilton

Another aircraft on display this day at HFF was the B-25 Mitchell, named Grumpy. Built by North American, the B-25 made history when a group of them flew off the aircraft carrier USS Hornet to bomb Tokyo in the first offensive by the US against Japan following Pearl Harbor.

North American B-25 "Grump," owned by the Historic Flight Foundation. Photo by Scott Hamilton.

North American B-25 “Grump,” owned by the Historic Flight Foundation. Photo by Scott Hamilton.

The HFF offers rides in this B-25.

Another airplane owned by HFF is the Beech C-45, the military designation of the Beech 18. Rides are also available in the Beech. But our favorite is the Douglas DC-3, in Pan Am colors. This airplane was operated not by Pan Am but by China National Aircraft Corp (CNAC) and then served as an executive aircraft post-WW II. It still has the executive interior.

This Douglas DC-3, owned by the Historic Flight Foundation, was operated at one time by China's CNAC and later as an executive aircraft. It still has the executive interior and panoramic windows of the executive configuration. Photo by Gail Twelves.

This Douglas DC-3, owned by the Historic Flight Foundation, was operated at one time by China’s CNAC and later as an executive aircraft. It still has the executive interior and panoramic windows of the executive configuration. Photo by Gail Twelves.

We’ve been on this airplane twice for flights, most recently in July on a low level flight around Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands chain in Washington State.

Mt. Constitution, Orcas Island, San Juan Islands chain, Washington State. Photo taken from Historic Flight Foundation DC-3 by Gail Twelves.

Mt. Constitution, Orcas Island, San Juan Islands chain, Washington State. Photo taken from Historic Flight Foundation DC-3 by Gail Twelves.

Mt. Constitution is where yours truly proposed. We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary during the week of the Farnborough Air Show, which is why I was in Washington and not at the Air Show.

 

6 Comments on “An alternative air show

  1. Happy Anniversary, Scott.

    I is always a thrill to see, hear, and smell these old warbirds, no matter which side they fought on.

  2. I was there upon invitation to fly with Agather’s FIFI Crews and I was not impress by the attitude of a pilot that just before FIFI first takeoff started its Texan engine. From the hill above the taxiway we shouted at him to “Cut” and the a marshall (…) even dared from the top of his belly to ask us why …
    Nice collection indeed but far from the one of Jack Erikson in Madras (photos avail.) and the one at Evergreen in McMinville,(most of these airworthy too) In addition to the much more friendly attitude to visitors of both.

    Happy anniversary !

  3. Hi Scott,
    I was on Mt Constitution that day taking a photo of you taking a photo of me standing near the bottom of the tower.
    πŸ™‚

  4. I remember reading about the adventure of recovering FIFI (though not named that at the time).

    I believe the following numbers are right but…..

    The one that stuck in my mind was they could not find non detergent oil , which was mandatory for the radials, in anything larger than 1 quart containers.

    Each engine held a maximum of 80 gallons, but that was for a fully loaded full distance mission.

    They only needed “40 gallons” to fly. 160 quarter per engine one at a time. Ungh.

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