Collings Aircraft Visit New England

"Witchcraft" fly-by at KMHT on 2016-09-20
“Witchcraft” fly-by at KMHT on 2016-09-20

Collings Foundation‘s “Wings of Freedom Tour” recently passed through a number of New England airports. The aircraft (B-17, B-24, B-25 and P-51) are always worth seeing. This time, their TP-51C “Betty Jane” had been replaced by the recently restored TF-51D “Toulouse Nuts”.

I saw the aircraft several times, at Beverly, MA (KBVY) on 2016-09-18, at Manchester, NH (KMHT) on 2016-09-20 and -21, and at Worcester, MA (KORH) on 2016-09-24. The Worcester stop featured additional aircraft; I was able to photograph their Corsair and Skyraider.

I also received the honor of being the Collings Foundation’s first “fan photographer of the week”. There will be a separate blog post about this.

TF-51D Mustang "Toulouse Nuts" being parked at KMHT on 2016-09-21
TF-51D Mustang “Toulouse Nuts” being parked at KMHT on 2016-09-21

Touring Aircraft

"Witchcraft" taking off at KBVY
“Witchcraft” taking off at KBVY

“Witchcraft” – Foundation’s Consolidated B-24J Liberator (NX224J, 44-44052) served with the Royal Air Force during WW2 and with the Indian Air Force after the war. The aircraft is now painted as 42-52534, “Witchcraft”, an unusually successful aircraft that amassed 130 missions during WW2 in Europe (the original “Witchcraft” was scrapped after returning to the US after the war). This is the last late-model Liberator still flying (Commemorative Air Force has a B-24A).

When brakes are applied on landing, the Liberator "kneels" quite dramatically
When brakes are applied on landing, the Liberator “kneels” quite dramatically
"Witchcraft" taxiing in at KBVY
“Witchcraft” taxiing in at KBVY
"Witchcraft" landing at KMHT on 2016-09-20
“Witchcraft” landing at KMHT on 2016-09-20

“Nine-o-nine” – Foundation’s Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress (N93012, c/n 32264, 44-83575) is painted as 42-31909, “Nine-O-Nine”.

"Nine-o-nine" landing at KMHT on 2016-09-20
“Nine-o-nine” landing at KMHT on 2016-09-20
"Nine-o-nine" taxiing in at KORH
“Nine-o-nine” taxiing in at KORH
"Nine-o-nine" taxiing in at KORH
“Nine-o-nine” taxiing in at KORH

“Tondelayo” – There are still a number of B-25 Mitchells flying around the world. Foundation’s aircraft, North American B-25N Mitchell (NL3476G, 44-28932), named “Tondelayo”, is technically a TB-25N conversion.

"Tondelayo" landing at KMHT on 2016-09-20
“Tondelayo” landing at KMHT on 2016-09-20
"Tondelayo" taxiing in at KMHT on 2016-09-20
“Tondelayo” taxiing in at KMHT on 2016-09-20
"Tondelayo" taxiing at KMHT on 2016-09-21
“Tondelayo” taxiing at KMHT on 2016-09-21
"Tondelayo" taking off at KMHT on 2016-09-21
“Tondelayo” taking off at KMHT on 2016-09-21

“Toulouse Nuts” – New to the tour, the recently restored Mustang “Toulouse Nuts” is a post-war TF-51D conversion. It was recognized as the “Grand Champion” at this years EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, WI.

"Toulouse Nuts" at KBVY
“Toulouse Nuts” at KBVY
"Toulouse Nuts" fly-by at KMHT on 2016-09-20
“Toulouse Nuts” fly-by at KMHT on 2016-09-20
"Toulouse Nuts" landing at KMHT on 2016-09-20
“Toulouse Nuts” landing at KMHT on 2016-09-20
"Toulouse Nuts" taking off at KORH
“Toulouse Nuts” taking off at KORH

Additional Aircraft

Corsair being parked at KORH
Corsair being parked at KORH

In Worcester we saw some additional aircraft, including:

  • Vought F4U-5NL Corsair (NX45NL, BuNo. 124692) – this aircraft served with VC-3 in the Korean War and later with the Honduran Air Force (as FAH-607).
  • Douglas A-1E Skyraider (N188RH, c/n 10265, BuNo. 135188) – this aircraft was originally built as an AD-5W (AEW) version and later converted to the A-1E configuration. It carries the markings of its last service squadron VAQ-33 in the late 1960s.
F4U-5NL Corsair at KORH
F4U-5NL Corsair at KORH
A-1E Skyraider at KORH
A-1E Skyraider at KORH

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